“Zanzibar is a unique cultural mix of Arab, Indian, Portuguese, British and African,” explains graphic designer Nasrin Suleiman (@nazyxo) in this edition of #LocalLens. Nasrin recently returned to this East African archipelago after spending most of her life in North America. Her portraits and photos of everyday life capture Zanzibar’s distinct architecture, customs, music and clothing.

Opportunities to capture the essence of island life are many, says Nasrin, from the historic narrow winding streets of Stone Town to the clove, nutmeg and cinnamon stands that helped Zanzibar come to be known as “Spice Island.” However, the coastline and the people that make their living from its waters are among Nasrin’s favorite subjects. She uses portraiture as a way to strike up conversation with the fisherman and sea farmers collecting sea life to sell at the market. “They share a little of part of their lives and I develop a certain connection with them.”

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