The Shortest Distance Between Us

4-9 February 2019

The Shortest Distance Between Us: Stories from the Arab Documentary Photography Program will be presented by The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), Alserkal Avenue, and Gulf Photo Plus (GPP), in association with the Prince Claus Fund and Magnum Foundation. The exhibition, curated by Jessica Murray of Al-liquindoi, will run from 4 February – 9 February, concurrently with GPP Photo Week.

The exhibition will feature curated works from projects made by seven photographers who were awarded grants and commissions by the Arab Documentary Photography Program (ADPP). ADPP, which was established by The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture in partnership with Magnum Foundation and the Prince Claus Fund, provides support and mentorship to photographers from across the Arab region. The programme has been an instrumental force in shaping and nurturing self-reflective documentary photography from the Arab world since 2014.

The documentary photography projects featured in this exhibition allow the viewer to experience issues affecting the region without the tropes that so often dilute stories into statistics and visual repetition. Working across a range of experimental styles of visual storytelling, the exhibition includes:

Stranded: On Life After Imprisonment by Elsie El Haddad, which follows men and women through their re-entry into society after time in prison in Lebanon.

Intersections by Hicham Gardaf, in which Gardaf explores urban development in Morocco and its subsequent transformations on Moroccan society and identity.

Infertile Crescent by Nadia Bseiso, which follows a controversial pipeline that transports water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, exploring the effects of war and ecological turmoil in the once-fertile crescent of Mesopotamia.

Live, Love Refugee by Omar Imam, in which Imam puts the power into his subjects’ hands, asking Syrian refugees themselves to recreate and compose scenes of their dreams.

West of Life by Zied Ben Romdhane, in which the photographer explores the phosphate mining villages of Tunisia, where persists in spite of phosphate’s contribution to the Tunisian economy.

Moon Dust by Mohamed Mahdy, a project from Wadi El Qamar (Valley of the Moon) in Alexandria, in which the photographer shows the impact of toxic dust from a cement factory on its surrounding residential neighborhood.

Homemade by Heba Khalifa, a sobering and honest examination of having a female body and all the accompanying expectations and forms of abuse that one can endure as a result of one’s femaleness in Egyptian society.

(Photo: Zied Ben Romdhane)