Palestine News Network (PNN) launched on Monday 26th August, a five-day photography course, funded by EUROMED which took place in Bethlehem with the participation of 15 photographers; professionals, amateurs and university students in cooperation with the Free Lens Foundation.
The course was launched with the presence of Mohammed Abdul Nabi Laham, a member of the General Secretariat of the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate, Monjed Jadou, PNN General Manager and Bishara Kuttab, PNN Project Manager as well as representatives from the German foundation.
Jadou welcomed the audience and participants and gave an explanation of the project, which aims to reflect the Palestinian reality through photography, and explained the importance of representing different aspects of life through the photos. He then welcomed all the participants, who came from different cities and refugee camps.
Jadou explained that the project had three phases; the first phase was the launching of a commercial campaign on the internet. A Facebook page was created announcing the photography contest and as a place to exhibit the photographs entered in the competition. The page collected around 4000 “friends,” most of whom are professional photographers and those working in institutions and news agencies, as well as amateur photographers.
The second phase was the selection of the photographers by the PNN team and their partner photography foundation based in Germany.
Selected photographers were then trained over a five-day period at the Bethlehem Bible College. Finally, a series of pictures taken during the workshop depicting the Palestinian reality will be displayed at two exhibitions; one in Palestine and the second in Germany.
This is the first contest of its kind and PNN will continue the competition annually, to contribute to the development of photographers. Prizes will be offered through the upcoming competitions.
Bishara Kuttab, PNN Project Manager, said that the planning for this course and competition started a year ago. The idea was formulated in Turkey during a media conference for youth, hosted in Ankara with the partner foundation from Germany.
He said the idea was simply a competition through the internet to give the opportunity for any photographer to participate. He said in this first course and competition, 15 photographers were chosen out of 400, who sent their photos to the contest's website on Facebook.
Kuttab added that the course included training on how to take pictures and how to upload the photos on social media websites in a professional way.
He also said that at the end, the photos will be displayed to represent Palestinian life; politics, social, culture, nature and tourism through the two exhibitions in Palestine and Berlin.
Kuttab thanked all the participants for participating and attending the course and also thanked the EUROMED and the Free Lens Foundation for their support of the project.