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AFAC's Documentary Program

AFAC Novel Writing Program

The Arab Documentary Photography Program


Arts and Culture Entrepreneurship - ACE

Arab European Creative Platform - AECP

AFAC’s Arab Documentary Photography Program (ADPP), supports 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 will also explore ways by which documentary photography can reach out to wider audiences and engage with them in compelling and impactful ways. Photographers may propose to work in a range of non-fiction narrative styles, from classic documentary photography to more experimental visual storytelling, and may propose to include audio and video elements.


The Arab Documentary Photography Program (ADPP) was launched in 2014 as a partnership between the Arab Fund for Art and Culture (AFAC), the Prince Claus Fund (PCF) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and the Magnum Foundation (MF) in New York, USA. The partnering organizations – AFAC, PCF and MF- will also explore ways to help the new bodies of work reach wider audiences and engage them in a compelling and impactful way.


Notable photographers have been invited to be members of AFAC’s Documentary Photography juror committees.


For the previous ADPP jurors, click here


About the Grant


AFAC’s Arab Documentary Photography Program (ADPP) provides up to 12 production grants per cycle of 5,000 USD each. Grantees are expected to work on their projects in their country of residence over a period of 8 months. The grant may be used to begin a new project or to complete work on an existing project.


In addition, ADPP grantees will benefit from mentorship provided by top caliber program mentors and will be required to attend two specialized workshops to help them develop and produce their projects and consider avenues for distribution. Grantees travel and accommodation expenses during the workshops are not included in the production grant but will be covered separately by the program. The production grant does not include printing and distribution costs.


In the event that the grantee does not sign the grant contract within 30 days upon receipt thereof, the grant will be canceled. Projects must be completed within 8 months of signing the contract, during which grantees are expected so submit the necessary financial and narrative reports.


Recipients of this grant must commit to attending the two workshops. Failure to do so might result in the cancellation of the grant. Refer to the program’s timeline for information on workshop dates.


Eligible Candidates


This grant is open to Arab applicants mainly those living and working in the Arab region, irrespective of age, years of experience, ethnicity, gender or religion. Exceptions are made for Arab applicants who had to flee their home countries during the past six years (since 2012) due to political unrest. Their projects must however be related to the region.


Professional and emerging photographers are eligible to apply. Photographers who have not specialized in documentary photography will be considered as long as the proposed work is documentary in nature.


Technical familiarity with photography is required. Journalists or activists who have not had experience with photography are not eligible to apply.


Applicants must be comfortable using English for all communication and in person discussions. The workshops and communication will be conducted in English. Translation can be provided during the workshops.


Applicants must be independent, i.e. not currently working under any “work for hire” agreements, and should have full copyright ownership of the work they produce.


Ineligible Candidates

  • AFAC will not consider applications submitted by:
  • Members of the Board of Trustees, their business partners or family members.
  • AFAC staff members, their business partners or family members.
  • Members of the current year’s juror committees.
  • Recipients of two consecutive grants unless two years had passed since the last grant (e.g. If a grantee had received two grants in 2016 and 2017, s/he can apply again in 2020).
  • Applicants with a current open grant in this category. If the applicant has an open grant in a different category, s/he must consult with the grants management team before applying with a new project.
  • Each applicant is entitled to one application in the same category. 


Eligible Expenses


This USD 5.000 production grant shall be used to cover the artist fees, any needed production equipment cost, any research costs, travel and other expenses related to the production. Additionally, the grant covers per diem (when on location) and visa fees associated with attendance of the two workshops.  (Note: Travel and accommodation costs related to the workshops will be covered directly by ADPP).  Grant funds will be used solely for the undertaking of the described photography project and not for any other purpose.


Place and Duration


AFAC will not provide support retroactively, i.e. to projects already completed. For projects that have already started, AFAC will cover the expenses that will occur only after the signature of the contract if the project is selected.


The project’s time frame should not exceed 8 months.


How to Apply


Applications are only accepted through our online call for application which is available on our website. Applications submitted via regular mail or e-mail will not be accepted.


The application must be submitted in English.


The applicant will receive a confirmation email once the online application has been received. Applicants are advised to follow up on the full completion and delivery of requested material as AFAC will not contact applicants if any part of their application is incomplete.


Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.


To apply, please login with your username and password. Once you login you will be directed to the applications page. In case you don’t have an existing account, please create one here.


Mentorship Process


An implementation plan - including the project story and characters, risks and possible challenges, tentative timeline for the different phases of the project - should be prepared before the first workshop, and will be agreed on with the photographer. This implementation plan will be discussed and approved by the mentors during the first workshop.


Grantees will have regularly scheduled Skype meetings with their mentors throughout the grant period to discuss their projects. Mentors will evaluate progress according to the benchmarks grantees set in their implementation plans.


Supporting Material


All applications must include:

  • 10 - 20 images from the initial stages of the proposed project.
  • Images from any single body of work that demonstrates the applicant’s ability as a photographer and a visual storyteller.
  • Captions should be included in the metadata of each image file. A numbered caption sheet is requested in the supporting material zip file.
  • Images should be JPGs, 72 dpi, and longest edge 1,000 pixels.
  • Additional media as supplement to the still photographs are accepted. Applicant needs to include the corresponding links in the supporting material zip file.
  • Supporting files/samples of current submitted project and/or previous work smaller than 10 MB can be uploaded directly to the application.
  • Supporting files/samples of current submitted project and/or previous work between 10 MB and 300 MB should be included as links to files on sharing websites (such as Dropbox, Vimeo, YouTube…). Only when supporting files/samples of previous work cannot be shared through online links does AFAC accept to receive them by physical mail.
  • Supporting files/samples of current submitted project and/or previous work sent by physical mail should be sent in 5 copies of each to AFAC’s Beirut office (Arab Fund for Arts and Culture - Charles Aoun Building, Saint Nicolas Stairs, below É-Cafe P.O.Box Beirut 13-5290 Beirut, Lebanon), postmarked by the relevant deadline and marked with the project title and application number.
  • Please note that AFAC will not return any material sent as supporting documents.
  • For further inquiries regarding supporting material, contact AFAC grants management team.



Evaluation and Selection Process


Following the submission deadline, AFAC will conduct an administrative check to ensure that applications are complete and adhere to the guidelines. Only applications that pass the administrative check will be processed. An independent jurors committee will assess the preselected applications and choose the projects to be granted. Please see Evaluation Process for more details.


Grants Announcement

The grant winners will be announced and published on the AFAC website and Facebook page after the jury meetings conclude. An automatic email will be sent to those who were not selected to receive grants.


Grant Contracts


As soon as the grant winners are announced, AFAC will draft a grant contract to be signed by the grantees. The contract will include start and end dates, workshops’ dates, grant amount, financial requirements, payment schedule, general provisions, implementation and amendments, required reports and project results.


Grantees will be expected to work on their projects consistently over the course of the eight-month grant term and are expected to communicate with their mentors on a monthly basis via Skype or other available means. A commitment of the equivalent of 30 days for this project is required.


Grantees will be required to attend the first workshop. The partner organizations will evaluate the progress of each project and will reserve the right to withhold invitations to the second workshop if a grantee has not met expectations for objectives they’ve outlined in their implementation plan.


Payments Conditions & Schedule


The grantee will receive 60% of the grant amount as a first payment upon approval of the implementation plan. The second payment of 40% will be made at the beginning of the second workshop and after the mentors approves the progress made by the grantee allowing him/her to participate into the second workshop.




The grantees retain the copyright to their work, but grant AFAC and PCF a non-exclusive, royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, and worldwide license to the images created under the grant for Web and exhibition use as well as audio-visual and multi-media, in order to help attain the objectives of the PCF and AFAC as part of its communication, PR and fundraising efforts. The PCF and AFAC are allowed to make derivative works from the copyright materials in any and all forms. The termination of the ADPP grant will not affect or end the license granted.


Visit the program's website: arabdocphotography.org

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