Photography Jameel was launched in 2017 to build on the momentum of the Art Jameel Photography Award (AJPA) that ran between 2010 and 2016. The prize attracted more than 3000 participants – an indication of the interest in and enthusiasm for photography in Saudi Arabia. Photography Jameel focusses on year-round learning and community development with workshops, portfolio reviews, talks and more. With the aim of nurturing the grassroots movement in Saudi Arabia, the programmes provide opportunities for photographers and artists to share experiences and techniques, plus access to expertise and networks.
GPP Slidefest 2019
The Saudi edition of GPP Slidefest took place in Jeddah on September 27 at Beydoun Space. The highly popular format saw inspirational photographers showcase their latest projects, followed by Q&A. Featured photographers included Iman Al-Dabbagh, Abdulsalam Alamri, Mohamed Somji, Huda Abdulmughni and Mohammed Kouh. The evening was held in partnership with Gulf Photo Plus (GPP), the renowned photographic organisation based in Dubai, UAE.
In addition to the GPP Slidefest event, Art Jameel and Gulf Photo Plus partnered to present a portfolio review session on September 28, 2019, also in Beydoun Space. The session provided an opportunity for photographers and artists to meet with professional photographers and industry professionals for one-on-one sessions to share their work and receive feedback, advice, and exchange ideas.
Autumn 2018 Programme
Photography Jameel’s autumn 2018 programme included events in Riyadh and other cities across Saudi Arabia. The programme began on September 19 with ‘Photographic Composition’ at Gallery Naila, Riyadh; an event held with photographer Waleed Marhoum designed to enable all practitioners — photographers, artists, sculptors, painters, calligraphers — to gain the visual skills to create works of photographic art from scratch.
The first Saudi edition of GPP Slidefest, in collaboration with Gulf Photo Plus, took place in Jeddah in October. This special edition of GPP Slidefest featured six local and international photographers presenting recent projects followed by feedback and discussion with the audience. Photographers included Tasneem AlSultan, Ammar Al Attar, Nasreen Shaikh Jamal Al Lail, Heba Khalifa, Saad Tahaitah and Moath Alofi.
In January-February 2018, Project Space Art Jameel, Dubai, staged an exhibition of works by Saudi photographic artists. ‘Saudi Seen’ presented a diversity of views from the inside captured by a new generation of image-makers, working across documentary, art, portrait, and landscape photography. Featured photographers included: Adriano Pimenta, Akram Alamoudi, Bader Awwad Albalawi, Filwa Nazer, Iman Al-Dabbagh, Kholood Saleh Al-Bakr, Majid Angawi, Moath Alofi, Sami Altokhais and Tasneem Alsultan. The exhibition was organised by the Art Jameel curatorial team, advised by photographer and artist Ahmed Mater. The commissioned catalogue essay was researched and written by Dr. Maha al-Senan, academic researcher in ancient Arabian arts and modern Saudi art.
Photo Books and Zines
In November 2017, Photography Jameel ran a series of talks and workshops themed around photobooks and zines led by the photographer Daniel Donnelly . Activities ranged from a photo journey in the Balad of Jeddah, curating photos and creating a collective photobook.
Intensive photography workshop
In 2016-17, a collaboration with Pharan Studio brought to fruition the first community darkroom in Jeddah, which established the foundation for a set of intensive three-day workshops that took place during February 2017 with US-based photographer Osama Esid.
Year-around photography initiatives
Initiatives continue throughout the year across Saudi Arabia; all interested artists and photographers are welcome to join by signing up here.