Open Forum will be a spontaneous evening events hosting talks by photography practitioners and projection of photography artworks.
To launch our first Open Forum, we have invited photographer Eugenie Dolberg and filmmaker Maysoon Pachachi to talk about the photography project Open Shutters Iraq and read from the eponymous photo book published in March by Trolley Books.
The talk will take place at Zico House on Sunday 16th May at 7pm.
Photographs from Open Shutters Iraq project will also be exhibited at UMAM from 14th May, 6pm.
Filmmaker Maysoon Pachachi who followed the project, created a 102-minute documentary which will be screened at Metropolis Art Cinema on Monday 17th May, 8pm.
*** About Eugenie Dolberg and Maysoon Pachachi
Eugenie Dolberg is a photographer who developed Open Shutters to teach photography not only as a medium of documentation, but as a way to share ideas and emotional experiences. She lives between London and Tehran.
Maysoon Pachachi is an Iraqi filmmaker, editor for television documentaries and dramas and documentaries director. She has time teaching film and video directing and editing in Jerusalem and Gaza for the Jerusalem Film Institute and Med Media, a program of the European Union and at Birzeit University in Ramallah. Pachachi currently lives in Britain, and plans to create a school and a film festival in Baghdad.
*** About Open Shutters Iraq photography project
"I open my eyes in the morning…I see the gun by my bed I toss and turn and then close my eyes so I don’t see the gun…and I go to sleep at night. My husband and I go to sleep “decent” these days. We worry that someone will attack us, the distance between me and my husband has started to grow, we no longer talk before we sleep, nor do we laugh together in the morning…there is no space for anything but anxiety."
© Lu'lu'a, Kirkuk /Index On Censorship/Open Shutters
The Open Shutters Iraq photography project began in 2006 when photojournalist Eugenie Dolberg gathered a group of Iraqi women in Damascus for a month to teach them how to take photographs. The 12 women shared their life stories, talking about their joys and opening up about surviving wars, death threats and kidnappings. They later returned to Iraq, where they used their newfound strength in photography to capture their stories.
*** About Open Shutters Iraq photography book
Open Shutters Iraq is a book of nine photographic essays and writing by women from all over Iraq. The thread of contemporary Iraqi history emerges through their tales of war, sanctions, intifada, siege, kidnapping, grief, love, happiness, times of resistance, achievements and small triumphs.
Dolberg, frustrated by the lack of journalistic access in Iraq and subsequent coverage of the war, decided to find a way for Iraqi women to tell their story in their own voices, the human reality of war, behind the collective headlines.
As Irada Zaydan, the Iraqi Project Manager who quit her job as a professor at the University of Baghdad to work on this project, and risked her life on several occasions says, 'This is not a project, this is a dream. A dream I want to live for my daughter. So she can grow up and understand what is truly happening now.'
Trolley Books is a leading independent publisher committed to issues germane to contemporary society in art, photography and reportage.
In the nine years since its inception in 2001 Trolley has established itself as an innovative and exciting imprint recognised for its diverse and often daring range of photography and art books, its high quality of production and design, and most of all for its commitment to the integrity of its publications.
Recognition has come in part from the numerous prestigious awards it has received, from such institutions as the Infinity Award of the ICP in New York, Rencontres D’Arles, Pictures of the Year International, the American Photography Awards, PDN and Photo Eye, and also from a more than positive reception by the domestic and international media. Trolley also received a commendation for its services to photography book publishing at
the 2004 Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards.