In 2012 Al-liquindoi, Contemporary Image Collective (CIC) and NOOR jointly produced Visual Storytelling in an Open Society (VSOS), a long-term training opportunity for documentary photographers and photojournalists in Egypt. The program provided fully funded training and support to photographers who are interested in visually documenting issues of importance in Egypt.
Participants received two six-day master-level workshops on visual storytelling in March and October 2012, led by three internationally recognized photographers and industry professionals who also provided on-going mentorship and support throughout the six-month term in between. The mentors were Nina Berman, photographer from NOOR; Rula Halawani, photographer and founding director of the Photo Department at Birzeit University; and Sheryl Mendez, photographer and photo editor.
The VSOS participants were Ahmed Nagy Draz, Eman Helal, Hamada Elrasam, Khaled El Barky, Kismet El Sayed, Mahmoud Khaled, Matjaz Kacicnik, Mohamed Ali Eddin, Omnia Mohamed Arfin, and Pauline Beugnies.
The program’s goal was to support photography as a means of critically exploring current social, economic and political issues in Egypt after the revolution of 2011. With the dramatic changes of the there were hopes for a new era in politics and society and for increased freedom of expression.
Photographers are on the frontline of life, witnessing and documenting events close-up and transmitting images to a wider audience in a manner, which, if done well, can have a lasting impact. This program was created to support photographers in Egypt working nationally and also internationally, to tell stories through longer term documentary work rather than spot news photography.