The Storyteller’s Cafe NGO, through the support of the U.S. Embassy in Armenia, is organizing a photojournalism camp led by National Geographic photographer John Stanmeyer. The aim of the camp is to bring together young photographers from Armenia and Turkey, joining the two groups through shared passions and hands-on learning of photographic storytelling techniques. Participation in the camp is free.
The overall project will take place in three phases:
1. Photojournalism Camp, Dilijan, Armenia, August 4-12, 2019
2. Working Period, during which each photographer will work from their towns and villages creating images and publishing to the @bridging.stories Instagram account and preparing selected images for the coming exhibition in January 2020
3. Exhibition in Armenia and Turkey to be held in January 2020
We received about 90 applications from Turkey and Armenia. 10 participants from each country have been selected for the project. Applicants from Armenia are Arshaluys Barseghyan, Karen Petrosyan, Laura Abrahamyan, Lilit Melkomyan, Lusine Margaryan, Mariam Terezian, Mari Sahakyan, Tamara Harutyunyan, Tatevik Azaryan. Participants from Turkey are B. Toprak Karakaya, Cagla Demirbas, Ekin Çekiç, Esen Küçüktütüncü, Hayal Çiçek, M.Emin Berk, Nelin Baykaldı, Öyküm Hüma Keskin, Sevilay Kelek, Suat Palalı.
The project will be led by the National Geographic Photographer John Stanmeyer, VII Photo Agency member Anush Babajanyan from Armenia, and a prize-winning photographer from Turkey Sabiha Cimen. During the camp in Dilijan the participants will discuss and practice the basic concepts of photography, storytelling, and self-publishing through social media. The camp will concentrate on the creative storytelling power of photography, the ability to build narratives and create concise bodies of work. The images will highlight the similarities and parallels of interests and experiences shared by young people from both countries.
Following the camp this August, the participants will be expected to photograph around their home towns and villages. For this purpose, the participants will use their smartphones (in the absence of such, Storyteller’s Cafe NGO will provide photographers with smartphones). In the months coming after the camp Anush, John and Sabiha will curate online the works of the photographers and by the end of the 4-month period of work and online publishing to @bridging.stories on Instagram, the co-teachers will edit a selection of photos in order to produce a photo exhibit. The exhibition will take place in Armenia and Turkey in January 2020.
Anush Babajanyan is a member of the prestigious VII Photo Agency and a National Geographic Society Grantee based in Armenia, focusing her work on social narratives related to women, issues of minorities, and conflict aftermaths. In addition to working extensively in the Caucasus, she also continues to photograph in Turkey and Central Asia.
National Geographic Photographer John Stanmeyer has been the recipient of numerous honors, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal Award in 2000 and Magazine Photographer of the Year, as well as numerous World Press and Pictures of the Year awards.
Sabiha Çimen is an Istanbul-Turkey based self-taught photographer with an emphasis on portraiture, still life and Islamic culture. She is a World Press Photo Foundation, Joop Swart Masterclass 2018 participant. Sabiha is a 3rd prize winner of 2018 PHmuseum Women Photographers Grant. Her master thesis on subaltern studies was printed by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.