The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture and the Prince Claus Fund in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in partnership with the Magnum Foundation in New York City, USA, launched the Arab Documentary Photography Program (ADPP) in 2014, a program that is jointly funded by AFAC and Prince Claus Fund (in the framework of the Fund's Mentorship Awards), and supports creative documentary photographers in the Arab region.
Recognizing the image's power to document, educate, and advocate, the Arab Documentary Photography Program’s incentive has always been to foster creative photography practices in the Arab world and to encourage the transmission of critical, socially engaged, and local stories.
Looking back at nine years of the program, we are convinced that it remains essential for nurturing free expression, amplifying unheard narratives, and raising the level of creative documentary photography in the Arab region and beyond.
However, we recognize that one-time support can only go so far; which is why, on the occasion of the program’s tenth cycle anniversary, we are happy to announce the launch of the Arab Documentary Photography Program Alumni Fellowship. As the ADPP continues to support emerging photographers from the Arab region, the ADPP Alumni Fellowship is committed to accelerating the careers of the program alumni by providing them with the support and resources they need while facilitating further regional and international exchanges between established and emergent photographers.
ADPP for Emerging Photographers
Documentary photography sheds light on important neglected and unknown narratives. Over the past nine years, the Arab Documentary Photography Program has been dedicated to supporting unconventional, compelling, non-stereotypical visual documentation of social issues and narratives relevant to the Arab region. The program has proved itself to be a major springboard to emerging Arab photographers, granting access to the needed resources and adequate professional support to initiate and complete compelling documentary photography projects.
Even so, structural issues remain, and documentary photography practices tend to stand overlooked. With the tenth cycle of the Arab Documentary Photography Program, we commit to continuing the urgent work of providing support to documentary photographers in the region. If you are a documentary photographer who works with creative photography practices in the Arab world and transmits critical and socially engaged local stories, we encourage you to apply for the 2023 cycle of the Arab Documentary Photography Program.
In recognition of the image’s power to document, educate, and advocate, ADPP will explore ways by which documentary photography can reach out to wider audiences and engage with them in an impactful way. 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 provides up to 8 photographers with a $7.000 grant to work on their projects in their country of residence over a period of 10 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 distinguished program mentors and will be required to attend three specialized workshops (Two in-person and one virtual) to help them develop and produce their projects and consider avenues for distribution. Photographers can apply to ADPP in either English or Arabic. To facilitate exchanges, access to translations will be provided throughout the program.
This grant is open to applicants from, living and working in the Arab region, irrespective of age, years of experience, ethnicity, gender, or religion. 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 independent, i.e. they must possess full copyright ownership of the project they are applying with.
Each applicant is entitled to only one application in the same category.
Members of AFAC Board of Trustees and staff members, their business partners, or family members;
AFAC staff members, their business partners or family members.
Members of the current year’s jurors’ committee;
Applicants(s) who live, partially or fully, outside the Arab region;
Recipients of two AFAC consecutive grants unless two years have passed since the last grant (e.g. If a grantee received grants in both 2017 and 2018, they can apply again in 2021);
Applicants with an open grant with AFAC;
Applicants who have received a Seed Award in 2023 or a Mentorship Award from the Prince Claus Fund;
Previous ADPP grantees;
The $7.000 production grant is to 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) associated with the attendance of the three 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.
AFAC will not provide support retroactively to projects that have already been completed.
For projects that have already started, AFAC will cover the expenses starting from the signature of the contract, if the project is selected.
The workshops and communication will be conducted in English and Arabic. Translation will be provided during the workshops.
The project’s time frame should not exceed 10 months. A maximum of 9 months will be used for mentorship and/or consultancy, and 1 additional month will be dedicated for the final implementation and production phase.
Grantees retain copyright over their work, but grant the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, the Prince Claus Fund, and the Magnum Foundation a non-exclusive, royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, and worldwide license to the images created under the grant to be used in order to help attain the objectives of the partners as part of their communication, PR and fundraising efforts. The partners are allowed to make derivative works from copyright materials in any and all forms. The termination of the fellowship program will not affect or end the license granted.
Applications are only accepted through an online application form available on AFAC’s website. Applications submitted via regular mail or e-mail will not be accepted. '
The application must be submitted in English or in Arabic, and applicants will receive a confirmation email once the online application has been received. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. Note that AFAC will not contact applicants if any part of their application is incomplete.
To apply, please log in with your AFAC username and password. Once you login, visit the program page you are interested in applying to and click on apply. In case you don’t have an existing account, you can create one here.
Please note that the deadline for applications is December 20, 2023 at 5:00 PM (Beirut time - GMT+2).
Please note that we will not be able to respond to any inquiries communicated with us after December 19, 2023.
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;
Applications lacking in supporting material will not be considered for evaluation nor will the applicant be contacted to send the missing material;
Supporting files and samples of current submitted project and/or previous work that are smaller than 10 MB can be uploaded directly to the application;
Supporting files and samples of the submitted project and/or previous work that are between 10 MB and 300 MB should be included as links to files on sharing websites (such as Dropbox, Vimeo, YouTube, etc).