I'm pleased to see that Gulf Photo Plus is set for March 30 to April 4, 2009 in Dubai. This event promises to be an exciting venue for Middle Eastern photography in an area that, frankly, is not known for being in the forefront of visual arts and photojournalism.
However, what makes me really glad is to see that my friend Asim Rafiqui is scheduled to participate in the event by giving a workshop titled The Working Photographer-A Primer. The four and half days with Asim will concentrate on the production of a photo narrative by each student, the subject being agreed on by the instructor and the student on the first day of the workshop.
To my mind, there are few who could this as well as Asim. He's not only a remarkable photojournalist, but he holds well thought out opinions on the current status of photojournalism, and supplements these with a sharp intellect and incisive knowledge of international affairs. For those of you who haven't read Asim's thoughtful and frequently non-mainstream and courageous posts, do yourself a favor and drop by his The Spinning Head blog and by his brilliant opus-to-be The Idea of India.
There are about a dozen excellent photographers scheduled to participate in the Gulf Photo Plus by giving interesting workshops as well. These are top notch photo-professionals such as Vincent Laforet and Joe McNally among others.
It's a little disconcerting that there aren't any photographers-tutors (except for Asim) of Middle Eastern or Asian heritage...perhaps next year? I could name quite a few who'd more than qualify to the Gulf Photo Plus organizers.