Announcing The 2017 Arab Documentary Photography Program Grantees

Fethi Sahraoui

Fethi Sahraoui

Alongside The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) and the Prince Claus Fund (PCF), Magnum Foundation (MF) is pleased to announce the 2017 Arab Documentary Photography Program grantees, nine emerging and early career photographers from across the Arab region. The Arab Documentary Photography Program offers production support for long-term creative projects within a six-month individual mentorship program with Randa Shaath, Eric Gottesman, Tanya Habjouqua, and Peter van Agtmael. Over the course of the program, the grantees come together for two intensive workshops in Beirut to aid in the development of their projects. This year’s grantees are:

• Tarek Al Haddad, Lebanon
• Sima Ajlyakin, Syria
• Mohamed Altoum, Sudan
• Abd Doumany, Syria
• Hesham Elsherif, Egypt
• Mohamed Mahdy, Egypt
• Rawan Mazeh, Lebanon
• Btihal Remli, Morocco
• Fethi Sahraoui, Algeria

This year’s grantees were selected from 80 applicants from 15 countries, by a three-member jury in Beirut on July 2, 2017. The jurors were Fouad El Khoury, Lebanese photographer, Susan Meiselas, American documentary photographer and President of the Magnum Foundation, and Wafaa Bilal, Iraqi-born photographer. They issued the following statement:

The 2017 Arab Documentary Photography Program (ADPP) received more than 80 proposals from socially engaged applicants who share the urge to catalyze changes through their lenses. The pool of applicants actively seeks to document some of the most urgent issues in the Arab world with their unique artistic voice.

ADPP invests in the personal journeys of these individual photographers through a program where each of them can evolve their artistic practice. We as the jury were constantly reminded in making our selection, how the program can benefit the applicants in forming their distinctive identity. Within the framework of this mentorship program that benefits a limited number of grantees, during the selection process, we tried to maintain geographic and social diversity to find voices in both male and female photographers. The topics chosen by the artists were thought provoking for us; in return we were aware of their individual experiences and background and thus very conscious about why their artistic concepts were chosen. After long and open discussions, the three jurors, who had different perspectives in photography, agreed on 9 finalists with 2 alternatives who share a good balance between the relevance and the quality of their proposed projects, and show great personal potential.

The program was created to support and amplify creative approaches to visual storytelling that challenge conventional narratives about the region. Now in its fourth year, it has supported projects by 36 photographers from 15 countries, which have been published and exhibited both regionally and internationally. You can see past completed projects at

Magnum Foundation is a non-profit organization that expands creativity and diversity in documentary photography, activating new audiences and ideas through the innovative use of images. Through grantmaking, mentoring, and creative collaborations, we partner with socially engaged imagemakers experimenting with new models for storytelling.

Simone Salvo