Mohamed Somji of Dubai's Gulf Photo Plus (GPP) has responded to my criticisms which I raised in my earlier post. Here's his response:
Thanks for your blog post about our annual event. We had a quick email exchange last year and believe me, I would like nothing more than to have more local/regional Arab and Asian photographers but please understand a couple of things:
(i) The event caters mainly to commercial photography interests: lighting, fashion, photoshop, landscape, etc. - we have always struggled to fill in the documentary workshops.
(ii) The tutors we bring in have international acclaim in their respective genres. I would be very happy to invite Arab/Asian photographers for these particular type of workshops
But, I'm afraid in those genres, I have yet to come across photographers who I would have considered inviting and as someone who teaches workshops, you will appreciate that a good photographer does not necessarily make a good tutor.
I know Munem Wasif well and I had invited him to come to Dubai but I guess he was/is busy with his projects and the same with Farah Nosh so please understand that we are always open to the idea of bringing regional photographers and we do our best to promote local talent. I have reached out many times to Arab photographers to teach/present and we started a Slidefest evening which we aim to repeat again in Feb/March where we promote Dubai based photographers.
We are a young organisation and slowly making a foothold in the photography scene and I'm fully committed to nurturing photography in the region and promoting the work of Asian, Arab and African photographers.
Thanks and look forward to hearing from you.