'The World in London' is a major public art project initiated by The Photographers' Gallery, to coincide with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The project brings together 204 specially commissioned photographic portraits of 204 Londoners, each originating from one of the nations competing at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The 204 portraits will be exhibited as large-scale posters in Victoria Park in East London, and in the Ramillies Street pedestrian zone opposite The Photographers' Gallery in the heart of Soho. The World in London explores portraiture and cultural diversity using photography, one of the most accessible and democratic artistic mediums of our times. The project celebrates London as a place where individuals from all parts of the world live side by side, each of them contributing to make London the unique city it is. Emerging photographers will be shown alongside leading national and international artists, such as Faisal Adu'Allah (took the photograph for Benin), JH Engstrom (Georgia), Joakim Eskildsen (Czech Republic), Anna Fox (Gambia), LaToya Frazier (Cayman Islands), Toby Glanville (Venezuela), Jim Goldberg (Dominica), Dryden Goodwin (Syria), Jacqueline Hassink (Morocco), Pieter Hugo (Rwanda), Tom Hunter (Iceland), Nadav Kander (Lesotho), Karen Knorr (Puerto Rico), Mary McCartney (India), Dennis Morris (Haiti), Martin Parr (Sao Tome and Principe), Anders Petersen (Serbia), Rankin (Niger), Stefan Ruiz (Djibouti), Nigel Shafran (Gabon), Stephen Shore (Kazakhstan), Alec Soth (Netherlands), Vanessa Winship (Colombia), Tom Wood (Barbados) and Catherine Yass (Hungary).
"In my portrait of Mr Chamsi-Pasha my hopes were to portray first and foremost a strong notion of dignity and history. With the photograph I took and chose to work with, it was the sense of Mr Chamsi-Pasha’s face, his composure, a sense through his demeanour and his intensity of gaze, conveying a richness of his life and the culmination of his years of work and life experience. I felt a responsibility making this image, in light of the volatile and tragic events still unfolding in Syria and his home city of Homs, affecting his family. I hoped to create an image imbued with reflection. The drawn lines over the surface of the photograph are undertaken with a reverent touch that attempts to reach in and beyond the image, to represent the energy and life force, to draw out detail and empathy, connecting with a person’s physical appearance with the suggestion of the complexities of the inner world. "