Seif Kousmate (b. 1988, Essaouira, Morocco), is a self-taught Morocco-based visual storyteller. He developed a visual vocabulary that stands between documentary photography and the poetry of fine art photography. After a career as a Project Manager in the civil engineering sector, he dedicated himself professionally to photography in 2016. Since then, he has been working on different visual projects in Africa around migration, youth, and marginalisation.

Kousmate’s photography has been exhibited widely in various festivals and venues, including Foam Museum in Amsterdam, Les Rencontres d’Arles 2022, Contact photography Festival in Toronto, Jaou Photo in Tunisia,  San José Foto in Uruguay, Addis Foto Fest in Ethiopia. It has also been published in international magazines and newspapers such as The New York Times, Newsweek, The Guardian, Financial Times, Le Monde, El Pais among others. 

A National Geographic Explorer since 2018, He was selected as a 6x6 Global Talent Program by World Press Photo in 2020 and is one of Magnum Foundation and Prince Claus' grantees. He is among the Foam Talents of 2022 and lately has received the "Prix de la photographie" of Musée Quai Branly.

He is currently working on his series “Waha واحة", a four years essay on the oases of North Africa and the changes they are going through. 

He co-founded KOZ collective with photographers M'hammed Kilito, Yasmine Hatimi and Imane Djamil in 2020. 

Awards & Grants:

2023-Shortlisted for Publishing Ecology The Loose Joints and Mahler & LeWitt Studios Publishing Award.
2022-Winner of Prix de la photographie du Musée Quai Branly with «Waha».
2022-Pro Helvetia grant, Project with Collective 220 and KOZ Collective - Cairo, Egypt.
2022-Nominated for the leica oskar barnack award.
2022-Selected as a Foam Talents - 2022
2021-Winner of the 6Mois Award with «Waha».
2021-Finalist of le Prix Levallois with «Waha» .
2020-Arab Documentary Photography Program - Magnum Foundation/Prince Claus Fund/AFAC Grant.
2020-6X6 Africa Global Talent by World Press Photo.
2020-New York Portfolio Review by the New York Times.
2020-Shortlisted for CAP Prize - Switzerland.
2019-Winner of the photographic meetings Face à la Mer in Tangier.
2019-Shortlisted for Direct Look in Russia.
2018-National Geographic Society grant to pursue my long-term work on migration in Africa.
2018-Nominated for the Joop Swart Masterclass by World Press Photo.
2018-Nominated for the 6X6 Africa Global Talent Program by World Press Photo.

Group Exhibitions:


-Waha- Artsonje Center Seoul , Korea.
-Waha -Copenhagen photo festival, Denmark.


-Waha Points of Resonance: Contemporary Photography in Africa by TINTERA gallery- Cairo, Egypt.
-Waha- Casa Arabe Cordoba- Cordoba, Spain.
-Waha-PHotoESPAÑA 2023 Festival at Casa Árabe- Madrid, Spain.
-Waha-Contact photography Festival - Toronto, Canada.
-Waha- San José Foto- San jose, Uruguay.
-Waha- The Henie Onstad Triennial for Photography- Oslo, Norway.
-Waha- Deutsche Börse photography foundation - Frankfurt, Germany.


-Waha- Jaou Photo Tunis, Tunisia.
-Waha- Bronx Documentary Art Center - New York, USA.
-Waha- Mishat Festival - Oslo, Norway.
-Waha- Foam Museum- Amsterdam, Nederland.
-Waha- Face à la mer- French institute of Tangier Morocco.
-Waha- More Than Your Eyes Can See, Middle East Institute Arts and Culture Center Gallery - Washington D.C, USA.
-Waha- Palmier Fatigué, Le Cube - Rabat, Morocco.
-Rwandan Youth- Rencontres de Bamako -  Bamako, Mali.
-Waha- Rencontres d'Arles - Prix Découverte Louis Roederer 2022 - Arles, France.


-Haratins - La friche belle de Mai - Marseille, France.
-Waha - Humburg Portfolio review - Humburg, Germany.
-Haratins- Institut du monde arabe - Tourcoing, France.
-Tempus Figus-  Musée Abderrahmane Slaoui - Casablanca, Morocco.


-Tempus Figus- Museum of African Contemporary Art (Macaal) - Marrakech, Morocco.


-Six meters from the dreamland-The foundation of photography of Tangier -Tangier, Morocco.
-Rwandan Youth-The 20th edition of Barrobjectif - Barro, France.
-Rwandan Youth-The 3rd edition of Incadaces - Cadaces, Spain.
-Rwandan Youth-Les nuits photographique d’Essaouira- Essaouira, Morocco.


-Six meters from the dreamland-The Addis Foto Fest Ethiopië Festival- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
- Six meters from the dreamland-Derbe 18 Marrakech Gallery - Marrakech, Morocco.

Workshops & Lectures:

2024-Lecture for Live magazine - Rabat, Morocco.
2024-Lecture for Live magazine - Casablanca, Morocco.
2024-Lecture for Live magazine - Marrakech, Morocco.
2023-Lecture at Quai Branly Museum - Paris, France.
2023-KOZ Talks at the American Arts Center - Casablanca, Morocco.
2022-Lecture at Mishat Festival - Oslo, Norway.
2021-Qisas a one week photography workshop with teenagers at la Cinemathèque deTanger- Tangier, Morocco.
2021- Three months of photography workshops with teenagers at the cultural center Les Étoilesdu détroit- Tangier, Morocco.
2021-A Masterclass about documentary photography at l’Uzine foundation- Casablanca, Morocco.
2020-A collaborative work for the TEDxYaba Nigeria.
2019-A photography workshop with teenagers at the cultural center Les Étoilesde Sidi Moumen- Casablanca, Morocco.
2019-Speaker at the Forum of humans rights at the festival Gnaoua- Essaouira, Morocco.
2019-Speaker at a conference about documentary photography in North Africa byPhoto Doc- Paris, France. 

M le magazine du Monde, The New York Times, Newsweek, Financial Times, L'OBS, The Guardian, El pais, NZZ, Libération, GUP magazine, Le Point, Le Vif, Jeune Afrique, La Croix, La Vie, Le Desk, The New Humanitarian...



Currently in Tangier, Morocco.


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