Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, Tariq Tarey has been using photography as a socially conscious tool to document the lives of the dispossessed and marginalized. Since 2001, he has chronicled the lives of Somali refugees who live in cities like Columbus, Minneapolis as well as in African refugee camps.

In 2006, Tarey’s photographic exhibition, Forlorn in Ohio, a look at the lives of Somali refugees, appeared at Columbus’ Kiaca Gallery to great acclaim. The exhibit eventually traveled to Wright State University in 2007. Several images from Forlorn in Ohio are now part of the permanent collection of the Columbus Museum of Art. And in 2009 the exhibit was part of a larger show that opened at the Ohio Historical Society.

Tarey’s photographs have been published in numerous newspapers and journals. His work has also appeared twice in shows at the Northwood Art Space at The Ohio State University and at the MPX gallery in Clintonville. In 2006, Tarey was honored with the South Side Settlement House’s Arts Freedom Award and the Ohio Art Council’s Individual Artist Award. Tarey was given an Individual Artist Award by the Greater Columbus Arts Council in 2008.

Besides being the project manager for the Somali Documentary Project, which aims to create an archive of images of the Somali diaspora, Tarey is the coordinator for the Refugee Employment Program of Jewish Family Services, where he helps find jobs for newly arrived immigrants and acclimates them to a strange new world.

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