The Arab Documentary Photography Programme 2016 (ADPP) held its first workshop in Beirut between August 26th and 29th. During those four intensive days, ten young documentary photographers worked closely with the four mentors of the program- Randa Shaath, Tanya Habjouqa, Eric Gottesman and Peter Van Agmael- on their projects and the different challenges they might face. On the first day, the grantees and the four mentors introduced themselves, their projects and some of their previous work, taking the opportunity to share their experiences with each other. Editing exercises, discussions on issues related to photography, audiences, copyrights, importance of captions and exhibitions were the main issues discussed during the three remaining days. The workshop concluded with the mentors’ instructions to the grantees on how to start developing their projects in the coming months.
AFAC launched the ADPP in 2014 with the Prince Claus Fund (PCF) in Amsterdam (Netherlands) and in partnership with the Magnum Foundation in New York (USA). The program is jointly funded by AFAC and PCF and is targeting creative documentary photographers in the Arab region. The grantees receive financial and professional support to complete their proposed photography projects.
The focus of the Arab Documentary Photography Program is compelling, non-stereotypical and unconventional visual documentation of important social issues and narratives relevant to the Arab region. In recognition of the image’s power to document, educate and advocate, the ADPP aims to stimulate social engagement through strategic and targeted presentations and distribution of the grantees’ work.
The ADPP 2016 grantees are: Mostafa Bassim (Post-revolutionary Social Change in Egypt), Nadia Bseiso (Infertile Crescent), Hadeer Ahmed (Loss), Sara Sallam (Hide and Seek), Youcef Krache (El Houma), Roy Saade (Dalieh; On the Edge), Carmen Yahchouchi (Beyond Sacrifice), Mehdi Mariouch (Bribes de Vie), Muhammad Salah (Who Said White Is Better?) and Anonymous.
In the ramp up to the second workshop which is planned for February 2017, the photographers will be working remotely with their mentors on the development and implementation of their projects.
Public Panel on “Visual Storytelling and Social Change”
On the sidelines of the workshop, a public panel was held on Monday 29th, presenting new strategies in socially engaged photography. “Visual Storytelling and Social Change” explored collaborative practice and emerging narrative forms as creative approaches for activating engagement on critical global issues. Three photographers and thinkers at the forefront of these ideas showed new work and discussed the challenges and opportunities in today’s image environment. The presentations were given by Eric Gottesman (“Four Freedoms”), Tanya Habjouqa (“Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots”), and Emma Raynes (“Immersive Projects”), in discussion with Susan Meiselas from Magnum Foundation and Oussama Rifahi from AFAC.
The panel was followed by a workshop on Tuesday 30th, giving the chance to a selected group of participants to get exposed to new techniques and latest trends, to expand ideas for addressing human rights issues, and to create greater understanding of challenges and issues practitioners are facing, especially in the Arab region.
The selected photographers were: Natalie Naccache (Lebanon), Emine Sevim (Turkey), Eman Helal (Egypt), Heba Khalifa (Egypt), Mohammed ElShamy (Egypt) and Ahmad Moussa (Iraq).
Another session explored the possibilities and ways to distribute and share the work of the photographers. Mohammad Somji from Photo Gulf, Maya Khalil from Athr Gallery, Naila Kettaneh Kunigk from GalerieTanit and Sueraya Shaheen from Tribe photo magazine gave presentations about their spaces. The presentations were followed by discussions with the public.
A final session consisted of a discussion about different issues related to the field, and an experimentation of emerging tools and new platforms.
The event was co-presented by Magnum Foundation, The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, and the French Institute.
For information about the ADPP 2016 Projects, click here
For pictures from the workshop, click here
About the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC)
AFAC is the Arab region’s preferred resource for independent artists and cultural practitioners. Founded in 2007, AFAC is a unique grant-making institution that is accessible, transparent and professional. AFAC supports as broad and diversified a scope of critical thinkers, artists and cultural entrepreneurs of the Arab region as possible, with an emphasis on quality, creativity and relevance.
About the Prince Claus Fund (PCF)
The Prince Claus Fund supports artists, critical thinkers and cultural organizations in spaces where freedom of cultural expression is restricted by conflict, poverty, repression, marginalization or taboos. Based on the principle that culture is a basic need, the mission of the Fund is to actively seek cultural collaborations and foster groundbreaking networks, based on equality and trust. The Fund also boasts excellent local networks in regions where it is active. The Fund with partners of excellence, in spaces where resources and opportunities for cultural expression, creative production and research are limited and cultural heritage is threatened. These regions include Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and (non-EU) Eastern Europe.
About the Magnum Foundation (MF)
Magnum Foundation sustains the practice of in-depth, independent documentary photography as a critical tool that serves society by fostering empathy, engagement, and positive social change. MF seeks to develop new strategies for increased exposure and impact of documentary photographers in an ever-changing media landscape. The photographers of Magnum Photos founded the independent, non-profit Magnum Foundation in 2007 to carry forward Magnum’s high standards for long-form documentary storytelling in the 21st century.