Dubai: Eighty amazing images from 57 photo-artists featuring individual perspectives on everyday life were exhibited at ‘Collective Visions v2’, a group photographic exhibition by members of the Dubai Chapter of The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) and Shutter Bugs Creative Forum (SBCF) of Dubai. This is being held at the Central Park Towers, DIFC, from October 23 till November 3, 2018.
Included among these images are the emotionally charged works of Darawan Majeed, a talented self-taught photojournalist from Iraq who works with Bring Hope Humanitarian Foundation (BHHF) and documents the humanitarian struggles inside the refugee camps in Erbil, the Kurdish part of Iraq, along with some insightful stills from Rubeena Begum, a Pakistani housewife cum inspiring award-winning SBCF photographer.
Speaking to Gulf News, Majeed revealed how he got involved in a mission to help refugees through photography. “Before 2012, I used to edit and retouch photos, but could not pursue photography due to my family’s economic reasons. In 2013, I bought a small DSLR camera and began to shoot. I took all kinds of photos – from landscape, to architecture- and anything that I found attractive. Then I began working for Bring Hope Humanitarian Foundation (BHHF), the biggest international NGO in our region. We regularly provide aid to refugees in Kurdistan, especially to children in camps. When I went into the refugee camps and saw the people there, I decided to tell the world about the real situation in these camps through my photos I not only took photos but also videos and posted them on our foundation’s social media.” Later when Majeed realised that for better impact he would need to sharpen his photographic skills, he was introduced to Mohammed Arfan Asif through his friend.
Arfan Asif, who is the Curator of this exhibition, lives in Dubai and has been mentoring budding photographers in the UAE for 10 years. Majeed is now being e-mentored by Arfan Asif, and he (Majeed) believes he has improved a lot now. while proudly pointing to his pictures of a young boy and young children in the camp that were selected for the exhibition.
“My dream is to help refugees, and through my photographs if I can manage to get them all the essentials they neeed, I will be the happiest,” said Majeed, whose trip to the inauguration of the exhibition in Dubai was supported by BHHF. Wearing the traditional Kurd outfit, he stood near his photographs and narrated tales from refugee camp to visitors at the exhibition.
All 57 photo artists were presented with a Certificate of Appreciation at the exhibition inauguration on October 23 by the Honourable Khalil Abdulwahid, eminent Emirati artist and Director of Fine Arts Department at the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority along with Dr Ram Buxani, distinguished NRI & Chairman, ITL Cosmos Group, in the presence of Susan Mikloska, Marketing Director at Central Park Towers.