Now that Dubai is back in full swing it's time to get out, meet some new people, and see some inspiring new photography work by talented locally and regionally based photographers!
GPP Slidefest is now in it's 14th edition and has grown from it's humble beginnings to filling the 300+ seat auditorium in Dubai Knowledge Village.
What is GPP Slidefest?
It's a free community event hosted by GPP where seven selected photographers take the stage to share unique, personal photography projects that run the gamut of genres including landscape and portrait photography, travel and fine art photography and much more.
It's a great night to find inspiration, engage with the photographers during the Q&A and mix and mingle with fellow photography enthusiasts.
Farah Al Balooshi
With an eye for visual art since childhood, Farah grew up with the idea that she would be an artist one day. Her passion in photography began in 2007 with a mobile phone camera and later in 2008 when she owned her first DSLR. Her knowledge in art came from online tutorials, practice and feedback from fellow creatives. After graduating with a Bachelors in Architecture, she took her passion for photography and architecture to the next level by combining them to create a style that she feels best describes who she is as an artist: a Minimalist. Farah will present a series of minimal black and white fine art photographs that capture man-made and natural architecture in the purest and simplest forms.
Ozge Calafato presenting for Akkasah
Özge Calafato studied Political Science in Istanbul and Journalism in London. Since 1999, she has worked as a journalist, editor and translator for several magazines focusing on photography, literature, contemporary art, film, jazz and travel. She has worked as an interpreter and reporter for several news publications and agencies, including the BBC World Service and The Wall Street Journal. In addition, she has authored five books and translated several others. Ozge currently work with the New York University in Abu Dhabi, and will be presenting a project caller Akkasah, which is the name of the centre for photography at the University. Akkasah explores the histories and contemporary practices of photography in the Arab world. It fosters the scholarly study of these histories and practices in dialogue with other photographic cultures and traditions from around the world. Through a range of activities, the center also supports the developing photographic culture in the UAE. Ozge will be presenting work from the first photography collection that Akkasah acquired, Vernacular Photography from Egypt: The Yasser Alwan Collection.
Jack Dabaghian worked as a photo journalist for an international news agency for 22 years covering conflicts, fashion and sports. He shifted to commercial photography in 2007 serving clients in the Gulf and Asia. He started documenting tribes facing globalization, slowly losing their identity and whose very survival is being threatened by uncontrolled tourism and development. Dabaghian unfolds a brilliant mix of story-telling and colourful visualisation while showcasing tribal traditions, fashion and daily routines, all told with unfettered honesty. "Photographing people has always been my passion" . Jack engages with his subjects in a way that puts them at ease resulting in an honest representation of their individual lives. He is always respectfully curious about how other people live. This project has led to several exhibitions in Art galleries in Asia- Sana Gallery, The Middle East - The Empty Quarter, and France- Paris Art Fair 2013 and Beaudouin Lebon Gallery.
Gerald Donovan is a photographer based in Dubai. For the last 18 months he has been working with Dubai Film Productions on creating a revolutionary 360 degree immersive tour of Dubai that is due to launch in December 2014. "Little Planet" is a timelapse of Dubai International Airport. Gerald explains,
"Later this year at Dubai360.com a groundbreaking website will be launched that will enable you to explore Dubai from anywhere in the world utilising state of the art 360 degree multimedia. As a sneak preview of the kind of amazing content to come, you can experience what it's like to be standing on the top of the control tower at Dubai International Airport. The timelapse was shot over a 30 hour period depicting over 1,000 planes landing, taking off, and taxiing at the airport."
Brian Kerrigan has headed the photo department at The National since the paper’s inception in 2008. In addition to leading a team of editors, photographers and multimedia staff, he’s also a passionate photographer. With camera in tow, Brian has spent the past two years documenting life in the United Arab Emirates shooting nightlife, street culture and portraiture. Kerrigan will be sharing a selection of his UAE work for Slidefest.
"For street photography I think it’s more productive to take what the city is offering. Tune into the feel of the place on any given night and try to express that visually." explains Brian, speaking with The National.
Catalin Marin is an award-winning commercial and corporate photographer based in Dubai, specializing in architectural and interior photography as well as corporate and environmental portraits. Marin also maintains the travel photography blog Momentary Awe, which has been awarded Best Asian & Oceanian Photoblog in 2011. About the series he will be presenting at Slidefest titled "When Time Becomes a Loop" Catalin explaines,
"Ever since I started learning photography, I have always been fascinated with photographing rivers, waterfalls and oceans. A photograph is a single moment in time and yet a body of water is something that's constantly moving and changing. Sometimes, these changes are so slow that our eyes cannot really perceive them and this is where long exposure photographs come into play. Keeping the camera shutter open for long period of times allowed me to capture landscapes which we will never truly see, but which we can easily imagine.".
Born in Kerala, India, Shahid Mohammed found his creative streak as a child manifested itself in the act of drawing. He eventually became a Mechanical Engineer by profession, but the artist in him was silent for some time. For the past three years, he had been trying his hand in photography. He finds a connection with people that shines through his work. For Slidefest he will be presenting a series of images titled The Dream Sellers of Kolkata. In his images he examines the relationship between the buyer and seller in various locations throughout Kolkata. He feels that in our modern age bar codes are replacing with conversations, care and concern. Where once the relationship between the buyer and seller was a close connection, this has begun to be replaced with a fast and impersonal exchange. Shahid's work highlights merchants in Kolkata who still have that connection with the community, still know their customers by name, and greet them with a smile.