Tag Archives: Beirut

William Daniels, Edith Bouvier Arrive Safely in Lebanon

LightBox has just learned that William Daniels, who was on assignment in Syria for TIME, safely crossed the border with wounded Le Figaro journalist Edith Bouvier into Lebanon Thursday. Daniels was present in the war-torn city of Homs during a bombardment by Syrian forces that killed journalists Rémi Ochlik and Marie Colvin on Feb. 22, just one day after Daniels had arrived in the country. He was unharmed but Bouvier suffered serious fractures to her leg; the two appeared together in an online video the following day, pleading for safe transport so that Bouvier could receive medical attention. Today, more than a week later, they have finally made it out of danger. French President Nicholas Sarkozy announced publicly that the two, who are French, would be escorted to their embassy in Beirut—and TIME received a more personal confirmation of the good news: Patrick Witty, TIME’s International Picture Editor, got a text message from Daniels. “We are out,” he wrote, “and Edith is safe!”

Rawiya: Photography Collective Finds Strength in Numbers

Of the myriad lessons that can be gleaned from the Arab Spring, perhaps the most inspirational is the confirmation that there’s strength in numbers. So it’s hardly a surprise that several photographers who’ve made their livelihood documenting the Middle East – including the aftermath of the revolutionary riots from earlier this year – would apply such a lesson to their work.

Hence, the Rawiya collective, a photography cooperative made up of six female photographers from across the Middle East, who’ve pooled their resources, contacts and talents to not only strengthen their work, but to also expand their reach.

The photographers—Tamara Abdul Hadi (currently in Beirut), Laura Boushnak (currently in Sarajevo), Tanya Habjouqa (currently in East Jerusalem), Dalia Khamissy (currently in Beirut), Newsha Tavakolian (currently in Tehran) and Myriam Abdelaziz (currently in Cairo) – had each previously built careers shooting across the region, working the hard news cycles for various publications. However, the women felt that important social and political stories were still going unseen and wanted a platform to share them.

So when Tavakolian first approached Abdul Hadi and Khamissy during a trip to Beirut in 2009 with the idea of forming the collective, the women were enthusiastic. Boushnak and Habjouqa were asked to join the group soon after and in August 2011, Abdelaziz, whose work covering the Egyptian revolutions was admired by the other women, also joined the collective. The women spent long nights in Beirut cafes and chatting over Skype, discussing their vision.

The focus of Rawiya – which means “she who tells a story” in Arabic – is on capturing the region’s social and political issues as well as its stereotypes through photo essays and long-term projects. Unsurprisingly, this has translated into a body of work that spans the spectrum of subjects from dancers to displaced citizens to drag queens. The images are powerful and, thanks to the already extending reach of the group, now garnering an audience.

Rawiya made its official debut at the Format Festival in Derby, U.K. this March and the women say they’ve already benefited from exhibiting as a group. They went on to showcase their work at the Empty Quarter Gallery in Beirut, which led to invitations to exhibit in Greece and Kuwait. Because each woman brings a new region and issue to the collective table, they all benefit from one another’s audience.

In addition, being the first cooperative of its kind from the Middle East – with only female photographers – has provided the women with an extra bump in prominence. Of course, being female in a male-dominant industry isn’t without its challenges, yet the women insist that their gender hasn’t hindered their work. “When people ask me if it is more challenging being a female photographer in this region than a male photographer I usually answer ‘no,’” Abdul Hadi told TIME in an email. “I personally have had access to places a male photographer wouldn’t, which ends up being more of an advantage.”

The women hope to capitalize on that advantage and have plans to eventually expand the collective, hoping to work with other female photographers from across the region whose work they admire. Because that’s another way the collective has strengthened one another’s work: by inspiring it.

Read more about Rawiya here.

Megan Gibson is a reporter at the London bureau of TIME. Find her on Twitter at @MeganJGibson. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

Walid Raad in Vienna

 

© Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary


Scratching on Things I Could Disavow. A History of Art in the Arab World
Exhibition and Performance

Thursday May 26 – June 15, 2011

Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary
Himmelpfortgasse 13, 1010 Vienna
T +43 1 513 98 56 12

This latest project by Walid Raad considers the ramifications of the growing cultural tourism as evidenced by the increasing number of art museums in cities such as Abu-Dhabi, Beirut, Cairo, Doha, and Istanbul. The exhibition combines visual pieces and performance. Throughout the course of the exhibition there will be walk-throughs limited to 30 people with Walid Raad (in German with Markus Reymann). The exhibition and research for this new project grew out of Raad’s, The Atlas Group (1989 – 2004), which was established to research and document the contemporary history of Lebanon.

Raad’s photographic prints of changing building facades in Beirut was featured in Aperture magazine 198, Spring 2010 and We Decided to Let Them Say ‘We Are Convinced’ Twice was published in PHOTOart: Photography in the 21st Century (Aperture).

World Press Photo Beirut exhibition closes early as locals protest over Israeli photojournalist’s images

I am posting this statement about the World Press Photo show in Beirut closing early – it was due to close on 1 June. Here’s the statement in its entirety as International Editor Hotshoe Bill Kouwenhoven emailed it to me today.

Statement to the press

Amsterdam, 22 May 2011

“World Press Photo decided to close its exhibition in Beirut, Lebanon, on Friday, ten days in advance of the official closing date. The presence of prizewinning work by an Israeli photojournalist in the exhibition had sparked protests locally, and the Beirut exhibition organizers felt they could no longer guarantee the safety of the visitors or the exhibit itself, if the pictures remained on display.

“World Press Photo does not accept that any photographs are removed from the presentation, and the decision was made to dismantle and close the entire exhibition.” Read more…

“The exhibition showcasing the prizewinning images in the 2011 World Press Photo contest had opened in Beirut on 12 May in the presence of hundreds of guests, including many local photographers and media, and was due to run until 1 June. The presentation includes a series of photographs by Israeli photojournalist Amit Sha’al of street scenes in current-day Israel, juxtaposed with historic photographs of the same location. The series was awarded Third prize in the Arts and Entertainment category.

“World Press Photo managing director Michiel Munneke said: “The integrity of our exhibition was at stake. Removing any prizewinning photos would come down to censorship, which for us is not acceptable. In this instance, closing the exhibition was the only way we could remain true to our principle of promoting freedom of information. We regret that we had no other choice and we hope that we will be able to bring our exhibition back to Lebanon soon again.”

“”World Press Photo’s mission is to support and promote the work of press photographers and stimulate freedom of expression on an international level. World Press Photo Foundation, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, operates independently without any political affiliations. The World Press Photo exhibition presents the awarded work of all the prizewinners in what is regarded the most prestigious annual photography contest for professional photojournalists in the world.

This year, 5.691 photographers from 125 countries participated in the World Press Photo contest with 108.059 photographs. An independent jury of international photography experts selected the prizewinning work in 9 different categories, ranging from sports to portraits and from nature to spot news. Prizes were awarded to a total of 54 photographers representing 23 nationalities. The exhibition of the prizewinning work is currently on a world tour of 100 locations in 45 countries. Since a first World Press Photo exhibition was opened in Beirut in 1995, the annual edition has regularly been shown there and in other locations in Lebanon.

Filed under: Documentary photography, Photographers, Photography & Censorship, Photography Shows Tagged: Amit Sha’al, photo controversy, World Press Photo, World Press Photo Beirut

World Press Photo Beirut exhibition closes early as locals protest over Israeli photojournalist’s images

I am posting this statement about the World Press Photo show in Beirut closing early – it was due to close on 1 June. Here’s the statement in its entirety as International Editor Hotshoe Bill Kouwenhoven emailed it to me today.

Statement to the press

Amsterdam, 22 May 2011

“World Press Photo decided to close its exhibition in Beirut, Lebanon, on Friday, ten days in advance of the official closing date. The presence of prizewinning work by an Israeli photojournalist in the exhibition had sparked protests locally, and the Beirut exhibition organizers felt they could no longer guarantee the safety of the visitors or the exhibit itself, if the pictures remained on display.

“World Press Photo does not accept that any photographs are removed from the presentation, and the decision was made to dismantle and close the entire exhibition.” Read more…

“The exhibition showcasing the prizewinning images in the 2011 World Press Photo contest had opened in Beirut on 12 May in the presence of hundreds of guests, including many local photographers and media, and was due to run until 1 June. The presentation includes a series of photographs by Israeli photojournalist Amit Sha’al of street scenes in current-day Israel, juxtaposed with historic photographs of the same location. The series was awarded Third prize in the Arts and Entertainment category.

“World Press Photo managing director Michiel Munneke said: “The integrity of our exhibition was at stake. Removing any prizewinning photos would come down to censorship, which for us is not acceptable. In this instance, closing the exhibition was the only way we could remain true to our principle of promoting freedom of information. We regret that we had no other choice and we hope that we will be able to bring our exhibition back to Lebanon soon again.”

“”World Press Photo’s mission is to support and promote the work of press photographers and stimulate freedom of expression on an international level. World Press Photo Foundation, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, operates independently without any political affiliations. The World Press Photo exhibition presents the awarded work of all the prizewinners in what is regarded the most prestigious annual photography contest for professional photojournalists in the world.

This year, 5.691 photographers from 125 countries participated in the World Press Photo contest with 108.059 photographs. An independent jury of international photography experts selected the prizewinning work in 9 different categories, ranging from sports to portraits and from nature to spot news. Prizes were awarded to a total of 54 photographers representing 23 nationalities. The exhibition of the prizewinning work is currently on a world tour of 100 locations in 45 countries. Since a first World Press Photo exhibition was opened in Beirut in 1995, the annual edition has regularly been shown there and in other locations in Lebanon.

Filed under: Documentary photography, Photographers, Photography & Censorship, Photography Shows Tagged: Amit Sha’al, photo controversy, World Press Photo, World Press Photo Beirut

Photo News – Final calls for AOP Open, Photo Forum Beirut, DEVELOP Photo youtube channel and Shpilman Institute research grant winners announced

You have two days left to enter the Association of Photographers Open and, if you are in Beirut Photo Forum Beirut is calling for photographers to take part in its first event to coincide with the World Press Photo touring exhibition. Also, some educational resources: a new youtube channel aimed at photographers and the recipients of the Shpilman Institute of Photography’s first research programmes “for research in philosophy and photography, and for general research that advances the understanding of the practices, theories, and history of photography”.

AOP OPEN
There’s only two days left to enter as the call for entries for closes on Friday 20 May at 18:00 GMT. Run by the Association of Photographers The AOP Open is open to everyone; AOP members and non-members. “The Open Awards has no categories or themes but recognises all forms of outstanding imagery shot by professionals and amateurs alike.

“The competition attracts thousands of entries each year and the online public vote attracted over 4,000 votes in 2010 alone. Visit the AOP Awards website for further details of how to enter.

PHOTO FORUM BEIRUT

A Libyan rebel holds the Kingdom of Libya flag as he walks past a burning wrecked tank at a site bombed by coalition air force in the town of Ajdabiya on March 26, 2011 as forces loyal to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi were retreating after rebels recaptured the key eastern town in their first significant victory since the launch of the Western-led air strikes a week ago. AFP PHOTO/PATRICK BAZ

The World Press Photo exhibition is travelling to Lebanon this month  – Beirut Souks – May 12 to June 1, 2011, daily from 2pm to 9pm. Photo Forum Beirut has been invited to run a session during the time of the exhibition on Saturday 21 May 2011.

Photo Forum Beirut wants to celebrate and support civil demonstrations in the MENA region through the lens of photographers who have witnessed and reported on these events. It is inviting photographers to its first session of the year on Saturday 21 May at 7.30pm at Beirut Souks. Map here.

On 14 January 2011 Tunisian people brought about the downfall of long-time president Ben Ali. Since then, civil protests of resistance have spread to Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, Oman and Syria.

*Admission is free

Photographers, who have covered/ are covering, the events have been invited to show their work and share their experience with the audience. The projection will be followed by a panel discussion chaired by journalist Delphine Minoui.

CONFIRMED PARTICIPANTS:
Delphine Minoui – Journalist
Patrick Baz – Mideast Regional Photo Manager for Agence France Presse
Hussein Malla – Associated Press Beirut Chief Photographer.

(Please note that due to the ongoing events in the countries of the MENA region, some photographers still haven’t been able to confirm their presence; we will update the information in the next couple of days.)

For more info on the event please visit Photo Forum Beirut.

DEVELOP PHOTO YOUTUBE CHANNEL
The DEVELOP Photo YouTube Channel is “up and running and is Intended to be an educational resource and a bit of fun. It features interviews, lectures and films about photojournalism, fine art and documentary photography and photographers,” says photographer Erica McDonald on facebook. She is calling for you to “have a look, pass the word but also let me know if there is an organization or series of videos you think should be there that are not. This is a pretty time consuming project, and I am still adding playlists and bios/links. I have a good handle on what photographers still need to be added, but would really appreciate feedback on pages I may have missed (like the ones I have for Aperture, OSI, MagnuminMotion, BagNews, Dispatches, etc”.

The DEVELOP Photo YouTube Channel is “an educational resource which features interviews, discussions, lectures and films about photojournalism, fine art and documentary photography and photographers, as well as a look at some great work in those realms of photography. Please see individual playlists.”

SHPILMAN INSTITUTE OF PHOTOGRAPHY
The Shpilman Institute for Photography recently announced the recipients of “its inaugural research program for research in philosophy and photography, and for general research that advances the understanding of the practices, theories, and history of photography.

Its winners, selected from 500 applications by scholars and researchers in 47 countries around the world, are researching questions concerning the contemporary status of photography.

The public is invited to browse through their projects, as the institute believe they may offer significant contribution to the field. Some projects launched online throughout 2010-2011:

Jeffrey Yoo Warren, Shannon Dosemagen and Mathew Lippincott from The Public Laboratory for Open Technology & Science, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, are inquiring “Activist Uses of Emergent Hacker Technologies for Environmental Justice: Investigating Communities of Practice”.  One of their projects is devoted to Grassroots Mapping the Gulf oil spill with balloons and kites.

Prof. Nicholas Mirzoeff from the Department of  Media, Culture and Communication, NYU, devoted his research to “The Photographic Common and Authoritarian Realism: A Genealogy of the 2011 Revolutions”. Prof. Mirzoeff recently launched the blog For the Right to Look, which was also featured on its blog.

Prof. Steven Hoelscher from the Departments of American Studies and Geography, and Academic Curator of Photography, The Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin, USA and Susan Meiselas, photographer, New York, USA, and Professor, Masters of Photographic Studies, Leiden, The Netherlands, will delve into “The Magnum Collection: A Visual Archive of the Modern World”. You can also browse through Meiselas’ visual projects on her site.

Winners’ researches will be shared at a conference by The SIP, in addition to a publication. Their theoretical and visual endeavors will also be disseminated through our blog.

Filed under: Documentary photography, Photographers, Photography Awards & Competitions, Photography Shows Tagged: Delphine Minoui, DEVELOP Photo, Erica McDonald, Hussein Malla, Patrick Baz, photo resources, Photography research, SIP, Susan Meisela, The Shpilman Institute for Photography

Sherif Elhage

Sherif Elhage was born in St Petersbourg, raised in Beirut by his Russian-Estonian mother and Lebanese father, he now lives in Paris. He was formally trained in communications, but has explored photography from fine art to fashion and advertising.

Sherif prides himself by creating work that is captured in camera. Many of his images are graphically based, with the composition of the color and original framing as integral elements to his vision. “The photographs exposed on his site expound no literary or transcendental significance, the aesthetics of the photography limits itself to what you see.” I am featuring work from three series, Black, White, and From the Ground Up. Each address color and shape as subject matter.

The process is not difficult but it took me years to build this body of work, sometimes it does not work correctly, you need to have a loot of light and overexpose the photos with the camera settings, sometimes it’s with the aperture process and sometimes it’s about time so it happened to me to use a tripod during the daytime, it’s the same with black photos but in an inverse way, I never use the normal settings of the camera. White surfaces naturally are always more exposed than the other colours.

Images from Black

I use a digital camera so it’s faster to see immediately the result, but it’s not always good…what you see on the small lcd screen is very different from what you get on your computer screen or on a print, so sometimes i have to go back to do the same photo with better settings and conditions.

Images from The Ground Up

Images from White