Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
Last updated 57 minutes ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
Lens on Turkey
June 09, 2016
 Print    Send to Friend

Art Jameel and the Crossway Foundation recently announced ‘Jameel Journey to Turkey’, the latest in a series of collaborative initiatives to give young artists from the Gulf region the opportunity to work and travel across international borders.

This year, six young photographers from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain travelled through Turkey (May 12 – 23), working with local photographers and arts initiatives in Istanbul, Cappadocia and Ankara.

The six participants were selected from a 15-person shortlist of promising young photographers selected from the hundreds who applied to the Art Jameel Photography Award.

Fady Jameel, President of Community Jameel International, said: “The majority of the participants are self-taught artists who will benefit enormously from working with innovative photography collectives and professional photographers in Turkey.

“Artists who were part of our previous Journeys to Brazil, Japan, Spain, Saudi Arabia and the UK have gone on to not only exhibit their work and contribute to important publications, but launch their own businesses and initiatives. So I’m excited to see how this trip will unlock the potential of this year’s participants”.

The young photographers will display their work from Turkey in a public exhibition in the United Arab Emirates in autumn 2016. They will also create a publication which both which documents their journey and explores this year’s theme, ‘Migration’.

Imogen Ware, Managing Director of the Crossway Foundation said: “Exploring a new place with new peers can be a very formative experience, both personally and professionally. We hope that bringing together like-minded practitioners in this unique context will have a genuine impact on the participants’ photographic practice: while in Turkey, the six photographers worked closely with local artists, artistic institutions and photographic collectives to discuss the theme of “migration”. “This is a topic of urgent and unprecedented importance for the world, and for Turkey in particular, but it can also be applied on a personal level to each of our participants who have a broad range of nationalities and backgrounds; a mix that will no doubt contribute to the group’s interpretation of this theme.”

Turkish visual artist Merve Ünsal was appointed Project Mentor and guided the participants during their time in Turkey. She said that “we are interpreting migration both as a mode of being for the contemporary citizen of the world and as a politically and socially charged condition that defines the MENAT region.

“Through this theme, we are going to look at the post-Ottoman heritage of Turkey as new identities were forged over the course of the 20th century and consider how these identities continue to evolve today.

“While the artist lectures focused on the theme through looking at specific bodies of work that deal with migration, walks through the cities were guided by this theme in mind, looking at new and old neighbourhoods through shifting urban dynamics”.

Those taking part in the journey were Akram Al Almoudi (Saudi Arabia); Marwan Haredy (UAE); Mohammed Shibli (Saudi Arabia); Rawan Alhusaini (Bahrain); Farah Salem (Kuwait) and Tyma Hezam (Saudi Arabia).

Art Jameel, one of Community Jameel’s Initiatives, fosters and promotes contemporary art and creative entrepreneurship across the MENAT region. In partnership with arts organisations worldwide, it is developing two arts centres and cultural exchange programmes to encourage networking and knowledge sharing.

The Crossway Foundation is a UK-based charitable foundation delivering arts and education initiatives for young people in the Middle East and the UK.

Talk on walk

Here is how the photographers reacted when asked about their journey before they caught their flight

* What do you expect to learn about photography and Turkey during your trip?

Farah Salem: I’m looking for my work to grow. I like the fact that Turkey is in between two worlds. It’s between the East and the West, and this is how I feel I am as a person; influenced by both worlds. Also a lot of my themes have to do with being in between two opposites yet merging at the same time. So I am looking forward to finding more inspiration and developing how I build my concepts, as well as presenting my work in a stronger way.

Tyma Hezam: My perspective of photography has already changed. All my life I have taken photography as a form of literal documentation, but in this trip I’m learning how to create my own fantasy world through my lens. It is a distorted reality, but I am in control. This gives me such a beautiful feeling of liberty and power. I can express myself without limitation at anytime any place, just me and my camera. I am learning how to establish a signature in my work and a consistent pattern that will belong to me and be recognised. It’s quite an amazing feeling.  

Akram Al Amoudi: The similarities and differences between our cultures is what I find to be the most interesting. I want to learn about how the Turkish photographers we are meeting managed to co-exist and thrive with the difficulties they faced. I want to explore their choices of subject matter and follow their journey that brought the Turkish photography scene to where it is today.

Marwan Haredy: This trip is a great opportunity for the six of us as young artists/photographers. It is a great chance for all of us to evolve our talents and receive guidance.

Rawan Alhusaini: I expect to learn how to improve the process of my practice as well as its presentation.

Mohammad Shibli: I think I will learn more about the culture and people of Turkey. I am hoping to learn from the Turkish photographers we will be working with and also from other people interested in arts more generally.

* Do you see big differences between your own countries and what you see in Turkey?

Rawan Alhusaini: Yes, very much so. The art scene here is much more lively and the photographers/artists seem to have a strong community amongst themselves. This is the opposite of Bahrain where the art scene is more exclusive and collaborations are far and few.

Tyma Hezam: I have lived in the States for the past three years and I realised how individualistic and capitalistic everyone is there. Visiting Turkey reminded me of my Syrian childhood. It reminded me of the sense of community, hospitality, and richness in culture.

Farah Salem: It’s definitely different, but there are also a lot of similarities in the culture and words in the language. I love the experience so far; it feels like I’m travelling but it’s also merging with my hometown.

Marwan Haredy: Turkey is very different and it’s quite magical. It is rich with culture, beautiful sites and inspiring people, which we will certainly be taking advantage of while practising our photography.

Akram Al Amoudi: The differences are pretty evident. Even though it is a stark comparison, there are still some similarities. In our journey of growing as photographers we can learn from the Turkish photographic scene and use it as our future guide.

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Post a comment
Advertise | Copyright