Call for applications/Meeting with the Middle East/ 9th International Photography Gathering /Aleppo, Syria


Meeting with the Middle East

The 9th International Photography Gathering will be held from September 15th to September 26th, 2006. At this International event photographer from all over the world will come together for representing their art und views of life and culture.

In the last few years many eyes focused on the Middle East and its problems between countries, society, government and people. The Arabic world has a history which does not give any relax, for example: the Lebanon war, the Iraq war and problems between Israel and Arabic world. But at the 21st century, for the first time it happened that this problematical theme is not only limited in its own area! It grows and starts to bomb the western Capitals City’s! The whole world is pulled into this whirlpool. The problems of the Middle East become problems of the daily life of western people. On one hand it influences the life quality directly - the people become afraid, on the other hand indirectly - the daily life will be more controlled by securities! These mentioned problems and many more cut the east from the west! There exist many misunderstandings between these two cultures!

In the 9th International Photography Gathering we want to discover with you the different sides of this world! We will show different photographs and stories which will explain the oriental world! In addition videos will let us understand more about the life in the Middle East! After the opening of the Festival "Meeting with the Middle East" will be a conference by different people from around the world, who will discuss about their experiences and problems of the Middle East!

LOCATION

Over the years the Photography Gatherings have not only helped to introduce Aleppo’s population to the latest international developments in photographic art but also pioneered the use of long neglected architectural landmarks as innovative spaces to display the art. The first to be rediscovered was the one hundred twenty year old Shibani Building in the heart of old Aleppo. The startled residents of Aleppo were delighted to see this historical treasure transformed into a gallery and plans were initiated to convert the Shibani Building into a documentary center for photography and applied arts.

Next the citizens of Aleppo were again surprised to see the massive interior space of the Old Electric Building transformed into an art venue that reminded some that it has a potential similar to that of the new Tate in London. Much remains to be done, but the tremendous potential for alternative uses for this unused facility was highlighted by the International Photography Gathering’s presence.

In the year 2003 the Photography Gathering was held in the beautiful old Baghdad Railway station and brought the public spotlight on a splendid example of late 19th century Aleppo architecture.

The 9th International Photography Gathering will be held in the Shibani building and the Old Army Station. The last hundred years the Old Army station was only used for military! But in 2004 it changed. We showed the 8th Photography Gathering in this building, and this was the first time when civil people touched the floors of the building! The building was the center of the German spies against the French and English in the first war. They were protected by the Ottoman. Years later the French used it for their military and finally the Syrian it self could play their military games inside.

The last time when the whole building was full of photographs and artist work it looked almost like a museum. The people were surprised and wanted to photograph every corner of the building. As reason we have to continue to work there, but this time with more cooperation with the Syrian government. The major of Aleppo already promised us that he will support us.

DURATION

The Photo Gathering will take place at September 15th to September 26th, 2006 .

DEADLINE

The deadline for applications and submissions from the artists is June, 28, 2006.

ORGANIZATION

Le Pont Gallery is the main organizing body of the festival. Issa Touma is the Director and Chair of the organizing committee. Email: Lepont@postmaster.co.uk

Contact: festivals.aleppo@gmail.com Telefax: +963 21 2274018 P.O. BOX: (10005) Aleppo, Syria Mobile + 963 94 412218

MAIN ACTIVITIES

The photographs will be exhibited in the Old Army Stations exhibition hall and in the Shibani building. The work of the exhibiting artists mainly concentrates on contemporary and documentary photography

Modified on Monday 30 January 2006