Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Fol Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Follow her on Twitter, her site or Google+ or get in touch at [email protected]
Last month, we took a look at Emphas.is, which can be described as a Kickstarter for visual journalism. Photographers can use the site to crowdsource funds to finance their photography projects, as well as get them published.
Quite a few of the projects listed on Emphas.is have already been fully funded, but we wanted to highlight a few of the unique projects that have been shared on the site, and are still in the process of crowdfunding their way to publication or exhibition.
Picture an Arab Man
Picture an Arab Man by photographer Tamara Abdul Hadi is all about breaking down stereotypes. The project has been an on-going one for the photographer, who’s been developing her idea since 2009.
Abdul Hadi, an Iraqi-Canadian photojournalist, explains the idea behind the collection:
The project is meant to literally picture a new face for Arab males than the one we are so accustomed to perusing in the mainstream media. Breaking down stereotypes as to how Arabs have been represented in the West, as well as in the East, is one of the conceptual aims of this project.
I attempt to do so by highlighting the sensual beauty of the Arab man, an unexplored aspect of their identity on the cusp of change in a society that reveres an out-dated form of hyper-masculinity. Moreover, it is an attempt to uncover and break the stereotypes imposed on the Arab male in a post 9/11 world, and provide an alternative visual representation of that identity.
Having already photographed men from Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, the UAE, Jordan, and men of mixed Arab heritage, Tamara wants to complete the journey around the Middle East to include men from all over the region.
Citizen X is a project which takes the viewer to Sao Paulo, by way of Brazilian photographer Julio Bittencourt’s lens. The project puts the spotlight on the city’s marginalized citizens, emphasizing the fact that clean-up efforts initiated as far back as 2007 have done little to alleviate the real problems that impoverished citizens in Sao Paulo face.
“Citizen X” refers to the thousands of people who live on the margins of Brazilian society. Sao Paulo’s housing deficit, according to some estimates, stands at over 7.9 million units. And yet there are around 400 thousand empty apartments and houses scattered around the city, mostly in dilapidated areas—a testament both to the magnitude of the problem as to the potential for change.
Photographing the unemployed and homeless of Sao Paulo for over three years can only have an impact if the photographs are seen, and the project is almost akin to a unique meld of street graffiti and photography. What Citizen X aims to do is project these images throughout the city, on buildings, in parks and tunnels, and even on the façade of Sao Paulo’s Museum of Art.
Beyond Good Intentions
In the wake of the severe criticism levied at NGO Invisible Children’s campaign, Stop Kony, one of the many questions that has emerged is – does foreign aid really make a difference? That’s the exact question that Beyond Good Intentions aims to answer.
Belgian-born Photographer Alice Smeets is setting out to put together a film documentary about the effects of foreign aid on Haiti, Smeets will be speaking to development advocates, journalists, sociologists and more.
Major humanitarian crises caused by civil wars or natural disasters such as recently in Haiti mark humans and cause a wave of solidarity. But do our generous donations actually have the desired effect or do they conversely provoke an unhealthy dependence?
In the form of a film documentary choosing the example of Haiti, we will examine the issue of necessity and usefulness of traditional development assistance and offer solutions for improvement. If, thanks to development aid, houses and roads are built – does it actually stimulate the efforts of the locals? Or could it be the opposite?
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