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BEIRUT, LEBANON. January 23, 2015 — The "Our Limbo" journal, the photographs show Souad and her daughter Diana at the The Boustan hotel for Diana's wedding venue viewing, in Beit Mery, Lebanon. Photo by: Natalie Naccache

Merging of Art and Documentary Worlds: Photographing the Personal

17 Feb, 2017 

WHEN: Monday, 27 February 2017, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
WHERE: Ashkal Alwan


The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) in partnership with Magnum Foundation are organizing a panel discussion entitled Merging of Art and Documentary Worlds: Photographing the Personal.


Please join us for this exchange with documentary photographers Peter van Agtmael and Randa Shaath whose recent projects explore notions of home, and exemplify the convergence of art and documentary photographic practices.


The long-term project “Buzzing at the Sill” is Magnum photographer Peter van Agtmael's work about coming home from years of covering war in Iraq and Afghanistan and trying to understand his experiences and his country. The work is a merging of reflections on war, memory, militarism, identity, race, class, family, surrealism, and the landscape.


Randa Shaath’s “Indelible” asks: when does one feel at home? Shaath explores this question through a suite of more than forty color photographs that she has been working on for the last two years. She takes her camera inside the homes of family and friends and acknowledges ordinary and familiar objects, moments, and spaces that we often overlook, granting them a grace that evokes the people that breathe life into them.


Free and open to the public. Seats are limited. Reservation is highly recommended; please contact info@arabculturefund.org  




Randa Shaath: Born to a Palestinian father and an Egyptian mother, lived in Beirut from 1969 until 1977 and currently resides in Cairo. She received a BA in Middle Eastern Studies from the American University in Cairo, and a MA in Visual Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota. She worked as a photographer for Agence France Press in Egypt and Gaza in 1994, and for the Al-Ahram Weekly newspaper since 1993. She worked on various projects in Palestine, Nubian villages, and Cairo. In the Cairo project she captured daily life in the city, on the streets and the rooftops, and on its forgotten islands. Recent exhibitions include The state of Palestine, Sony Gallery, American University in Cairo, 1998; In the Heart of the Nile (Islands of Cairo), Atelier Le Caire, Cairo, 1999; Nubian Life, The Nubian Museum, Aswan, Egypt, 2000; and Being There, in Home Works: A Forum on Cultural Practices in the Region, Beirut, Lebanon, 2002.

Peter van Agtmael: Born in Washington DC. He studied history at Yale, graduating with honors in 2003. Since 2006 he has primarily covered the 9/11 Wars and their consequences, working extensively in Iraq, Afghanistan and the USA.  He has won the W. Eugene Smith Grant, the ICP Infinity Award for Young Photographer, the Lumix Freelens Award, as well as awards from World Press Photo, American Photography Annual, The Pulitzer Center, The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and Photo District News. In 2008 he helped organize the book and exhibition, a retrospective of largely unseen work of 22 photographers covering Iraq and Afghanistan. Peter joined Magnum in 2008 and became a full member in 2013.




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 Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) envisions a thriving Arab art and cultural scene, one that is confident in its expression, open to dialogue, accessible to all and sustained locally by committed patrons. Two fundamental principles guide AFAC's mode of work: transparency in the grant giving process and independence through a diversity of funding sources.  

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