The popular uprisings taking place across North Africa and Middle East since 2010 became among the most thoroughly photographed events in recent history. People in the streets used their mobile phones to register incidents they were eyewitness to. Local journalists, camera crews and freelance photographers from around the world recorded developments from day to day.
Our perception of what we came to call the ‘Arab Spring’ is marked by dramatic images: demonstrators clashing with security forces on Cairo’s Tahrir Square; rebels storming Colonel Gaddafi’s compound in Tripoli; former dictators killed or on trial.
Major changes in power relations have taken place in some countries; others face challenges from local issues and from the effects of the global economic crisis.
Many of the issues that fueled the uprisings remain unresolved, such as the high level of youth unemployment, women’s rights, and the rising cost of living. But how well do we know the region beyond the headlines? What is really going on in people’s homes and in city streets? What do people worry or dream about?
In February 2012, World Press Photo, together with Human Rights Watch, received a grant from the Dutch Postcode Lottery for a joint initiative called Reporting Change. Both organizations aim to report on and to support democratic transitions in North Africa. Human Rights Watch does this through research and advocacy, and World Press Photo through training in visual journalism.
The Reporting Change workshops have generated two parallel productions, a book and an online experience called Stories of Change. Stories of Change celebrates authenticity in visual storytelling. It offers us an intimate perspective on everyday life in five North African countries—Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia—through the eyes of a group of photographers and videographers from the region, all alumni of the Reporting Change training program.
Photo credit: Zied Ben Romdhane
Het boek Stories of Change, Beyond the Arab Spring is nu te koop à 45 euro bij de kassa van De Balie (tijdens de openingstijden van de kassa), of online. In het kader van het Human Rights Watch Weekend in De Balie exposeert World Press Photo deze maand in De Balie.