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Photograph: by Tanya Habjouqa - Muna, a Syrian "urban refugee" and female head of household shares photographs of her husband from Germany. 'I swear each photo of him standing in the sun, or by an old church...you see devastation and guilt on his face. He wants to be with us so badly. We survive off of these photos and the lullabies and love messages he sends us on Whatsapp.' Her daughter's hand reaches for phone.

Visual Storytelling and Social Change: Strategies for Engaged Photography

11 Aug, 2016 

WHEN: Monday, August 29, 2016 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM 


WHERE: The French Institute - Damas Road, Beirut, Lebanon 


Please join us for a conversation about new strategies in socially engaged photography. Visual Storytelling and Social Change will explore collaborative practice and emerging narrative forms as creative approaches for activating engagement on critical global issues. Photographers and thinkers at the forefront of these ideas will show new work and discuss the challenges and opportunities in today’s image environment.


The panel will be followed by an invitation-only workshop that will be an opportunity for photographers to share works in progress and discuss new platforms for photography in the Middle East. 
The event is co-presented by Magnum Foundation, The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, and the French Institute. 


Visual Storytelling and Social Change includes presentations by Eric Gottesman, Tanya Habjouqa, and Emma Raynes, as well as a discussion with Susan Meiselas and Oussama Rifahi, followed by a reception.


Free and Open to the Public *RSVP REQUIRED before August 25th*



Eric Gottesman is a photographic artist and organizer. Central to his practice is collaboration. For Freedoms, is an artist run super PAC, co-founded by Eric Gottesman and Hank Willis Thomas, that encourages new forms of critical discourse surrounding the upcoming United States’ 2016 presidential election. For Freedoms uses art to inspire deeper political engagement for citizens who want to have a greater impact on politics.


Tanya Habjouqa is a photographer, journalist, and educator. Her practice includes social documentary, collaborative portraiture, and participant observation. For her project Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots, Habjouqa included mobile phone communications in her documentary work in order to explore the complicated intimacies of everyday life of Syrian refugee families.


Emma Raynes is a photographer and the Director of Programs at Magnum Foundation. She recently organized a laboratory for documentary photographers to experiment immersive media platforms such as spherical video and augmented reality. The laboratory explored how visual storytellers can most effectively adapt immersive platforms to inspire engagement on critical social issues.


Susan Meiselas is a photographer and the President of the Magnum Foundation.


Oussama Rifahi is the Executive Director of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture.




Magnum Foundation fosters creativity and diversity in documentary photography. Through grant-making, creative partnerships, education, and mentoring, we support socially engaged image-makers experimenting with new models for storytelling. 


The French Institute in Beirut is a multifaceted institution and cultural center. The Art and Audiovisual department organizes music and street festivals, cinema screenings, exhibitions, and artist talks. The Language department offers courses in French and in Arabic, as well as a multimedia library for research, trainings for Arabic/French translators, and academic conferences. Many of the activities are dedicated to cooperation with Lebanese institutions, schools and NGO’s. 

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