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AFAC announces the 2014 Grantees of the Arab Documentary Photography Program

10 Jun, 2014 

The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, AFAC, has launched a three-way partnership to cultivate documentary photography in the Arab region, together with the Prince Claus Fund in Amsterdam and the Magnum Foundation in New York. The first of three yearly editions of the Arab Documentary Photography Program (ADPP) opened this year. The conference, hosted at the Saint Charles Center next to the Phoenicia Hotel on the evening of June 7th, was an occasion to announce the partnership and the selected grantees of the first edition. Speaking at the conference were Head of the Magnum Foundation Susan Meiselas, the Prince Claus Fund’s Programme Coordinator Grants and Collaborations Bertan Selim and Executive Director of AFAC Oussama Rifahi. Presenting the winning projects was Zeina Arida, a member of the ADPP 2014 juror committee and director of the Sursock Museum.


The first call for ADPP applications opened on February 7th and closed on April 15th; 84 applications were received from 16 Arab countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.




This year’s jurors called to select the winning projects were Zeina Arida, director of the Sursock Museum Susan Meiselas, photographer and President of the Magnum Foundation, and critic and writer Kaelen Wilson-Goldie. The jurors of ADPP Program met on June 6th 2014 for the final selection of ten winning projects. This was their statement:


”As a jury, we were struck not only by the geographic and stylistic range of the proposals but also by the remarkably varied approaches to what documentary photography is and can be. In a field of strong and timely ideas, with a sustained focus on women’s issues that took us by surprise, we responded in particular to projects that were distinctive in their subjects, compelling in their narratives, serious in their research, and encouraging in their promise to develop and grow in a mentored relationship.

We were impressed with those candidates who showed the potential for intimacy and engagement, and who ranged, collectively, from classic reportage to conceptual art. The ten chosen projects tackle issues of tremendous social relevance—war, crime, sexual harassment, tenuous labor conditions, refugee status and class, architectural heritage, vanishing landscapes, wasted youth, and otherwise invisible subcultures, to name just a few—but in proposal after proposal, they do so in unexpected ways, and address these topics from unusual angles.

Moreover, all of the winning projects are in some way multidimensional, complementing tradition photography with other media as a means of bringing their work to broader audiences.”




Amira Al-Sharif (Yemen) for her project “Yemeni Women with Fighting Spirits”

Eman Bedir (Egypt) for her project “Just Stop
Faisal Al Fouzan (Kuwait) for his project “Friday Gathering
Hamada El Rasam (Egypt) for his project “Leftovers of Conflict
Mahmoud Elnagmy (Egypt) for his project “Living in Shelters
Natalie Naccache (Lebanon) for her project “Middle/Higher Syrian refugees Community
Omar Imam (Syria) for his project “Live Love Refugee
Reem Falaknaz (UAE) for her project “The Place of Perpetual Undulation
Samar Hazboun (Palesetine) for her project “Beyond Checkpoints
Zara Samiry (Morocco) for her project “Tales of the Moroccan Amazons


Click here for photo gallery of the event

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