The ongoing war in Syria has demolished many parts of the city of Aleppo. Public buildings, apartment blocks and shops are bombed and looted, sometimes leaving personal belongings scattered through the streets.
One morning, Syrian photographer Issa Touma found the remains of a collection of glass plates, negatives and prints from a photo studio in Bawabet Al Qasab street, made between the 20s and 70s. Studio Aleppo presents these images from the past today, in order to honour the lost people of Aleppo.
In addition, Studio Aleppo is a pop-up photo studio, where citizens of the city where the project is on display are invited to have their portrait taken by a prominent local photographer. Refugees who have arrived in this city are invited to do the same. As a welcoming gesture, citizens of the city pay for two portraits: their own and a refugees’ portrait.
The photos are added to an evolving collection, to be displayed side by side in a portrait gallery and online on www.studioaleppo.eu. Through photographing the recently arrived refugees and including them in a collection of portraits, the project aims to stimulate a feeling of recognition and inclusion.
Coming up: Studio Aleppo [Helsinki]
The National Museum of Finland’s Studio Aleppo [Helsinki] is part of an international series of events, the goal of which is to strengthen the importance of empathy and equality in the discussion concerning immigration. Studio Aleppo [Helsinki] is a pop-up photography studio that brings together new and old citizens of Finland, taken by award-winning photographer Juuso Westerlund on 5 and 6 August. The portraits will be displayed side by side in an exhibition at the National Museum of Finland, from 10 – 17 August. Each portrait is a symbolic gesture, a declaration of intent for creating a new, equal future for all.
Coming up: Studio Aleppo [Helsinki]
The third Studio Aleppo will emerge at the Humanity House in The Hague (NL)! On 16 and 17 September the renowned Dutch photographer Robin de Puy will portray fifty ‘old’ and ‘new’ citizens of The Hague in a pop-up studio. As a welcoming gesture, citizens of the city pay for two portraits: their own and a refugees’ portrait.
Upcoming Studio Aleppo’s
In the fall of 2017, Studio Aleppo travels to Berlin (Germany).
Previous: Studio Aleppo [Amsterdam]
In September 2016, Amsterdam had the kick off of this European project with star photographer (and Amsterdam inhabitant) Koos Breukel and the Syrian photographer and festival organiser Issa Touma. During Unseen Photo Festival and Fair (2016), Koos Breukel installed his photo studio on 17 and 18 September at Felix Meritis. Issa Touma worked on 19 and 20 September in Spaarndammerbuurt. Portraits were printed and framed on site, resulting in a monumental portrait gallery at Felix Meritis and a small scale portrait gallery on the windows of Effe bij Moeder An in Spaarndammerbuurt, on view during the festival.
All participants of Studio Aleppo will be interviewed. Everyone will be asked the same questions, about where they are from, their dreams for the future and important values. The conversations are meant to uncover similarities amongst the participants and can be the starting point of a conversation at a later stage.
The portraits and statements from the participants of the photo studios will be presented in an online portrait gallery: www.studioaleppo.eu. This collection will expand over time when photo studio’s are organised on various locations throughout the Netherlands and Europe.
Studio Aleppo [Amsterdam]
‘Old’ and ‘new’ Amsterdam residents: have your portrait taken by photographer Koos Breukel!2 September 2016
Participate in this project and become part of an (online) portrait gallery of the new Amsterdam. And engage in a conversation! Register now at www.studioaleppo.eu 01. Why participate? ‘Old and ‘new’ Amsterdam residents will be portrayed in a portrait studio under the same conditions. Statements of all participants will be gathered by asking short questions. The...Read more
Studio Aleppo [Amsterdam] fully booked
Thanks for your overwhelming response8 September 2016
Studio Aleppo [Amsterdam] by Koos Breukel is fully booked for Dutch participants! An overwhelming reaction to our call for participants! In just a few days, around 60 citizens from Amsterdam registered. Thanks so much! Refugees are still welcome to enroll for Studio Aleppo [Amsterdam]. Want to stay up to date and have the chance to...Read more
Open call: Organize a local Studio Aleppo
Picturing new (European) citizens17 January 2017
In September 2016 Paradox launched Studio Aleppo [Amsterdam] in collaboration with Koos Breukel and Issa Touma. Studio Aleppo is a project of pop-up studios, in which residents of a city and refugees who have recently arrived there are invited to have their portrait taken by a prominent photographer. As an act of hospitality and solidarity...Read more