Complex Made Simple

AFAC announces 2014 grantees of Arab Documentary Photography Program

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) opens this year. The conference hosted is to announce the partnership and the first round of grantees.

“The image is very important. We live in a world of fast moving pictures and an over-flow of information. This program aims to put the focus on a genre that pauses, reflects and invites to contemplate and understand. Documentary photography sheds light on important narratives that are often neglected or unknown. It is an under-developed genre in the Arab region where most visual production is journalistic and driven by mass-media broadcasting. The ADPP aims to support compelling non-stereotypical and unconventional visual documentation of important social issues and narratives relevant to the Arab region. It will also explore ways by which such a body of work will reach out to wider audiences and engage with them in a compelling and impactful ways,” said Executive Director of AFAC Oussama Rifahi.

“We at the Prince Claus Fund are delighted to partner with the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture and the Magnum Foundation to launch the Arab Documentary Photography Program. This collaboration enables young documentary photographers in the Arab region to explore important social issues through creative and personal approaches. Local voices can express current realities creatively, in ways that may not otherwise be heard. This partnership brings together important expertise, knowledge and networks to support documentary photography,” said Director of the Prince Claus Fund Christa Meindersma.

“The Magnum Foundation’s mission is to develop and expand the practice of independent documentary photography as a tool for fostering empathy, engagement and positive social change. The MF will work with AFAC and PCF to develop new strategies that will increase the exposure and impact of our ADPP grantees’ projects in a rapidly shifting media landscape. We are honored to be part of this special partnership to support documentary photographers in the Arab region. By focusing on production and distribution of in-depth documentary projects by local photographers, we believe we can empower regional communities. We look forward to seeing the new perspectives that emerge from the critical minds of our grantees as they develop projects within a multi-faceted and complex region,” said Magnum Foundation’s President, photographer Susan Meiselas.