Alia Youssef is a Toronto-based artist whose work focuses on portraiture and storytelling through photography, video, and text. Her personal work advocates for the positive representation of Muslim women and women of colour in mass media. She is also passionate about bringing light to underrepresented stories; especially those surrounding womanhood, familiar relationships, and gendered Islamophobia. Her long-term award winning series, The Sisters Project, combats negative stereotypes of Muslim women by showcasing the diverse stories of over 160 inspirational women from 12 cities across Canada. This work has been published by Elle Magazine, The Globe and Mail, CBC, VICE, Refinery29 and many more online and print media. Her passionate for diversifying the media landscape has led her to photograph for two Getty Images collaborations: the 2019 Dove x Getty Images x Girlgaze collaboration titled “Project #ShowUs”, the world’s largest stock photo library created by women to shatter beauty stereotypes across the globe, and the 2017 Muslim Girl x Getty Images collaboration in New York City, a project that intends to flood the web with positive images of Muslim women.
Youssef has exhibited her work and screened her videos in Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa. She has had solo shows at the Ryerson Image Centre Student Gallery (Toronto), Gallery 44 Members Gallery (Toronto), and Ryerson Artspace (Toronto) and participated in many group exhibitions, most notably at Presentation House Gallery (North Vancouver), Nuit Blanche (Toronto), and the Parliament of Canada (Ottawa). She has also given numerous public lectures, workshops (most notably for Instagram), and taught photography and film in the 2018 Winter Semester at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, BC.
Youssef holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography with Distinction from Ryerson University and is now pursuing her Masters of Fine Arts in Documentary Media at the same institution.