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The United Arab Emirates are an enormously media savvy country, with people casually adopting the latest technical developments and skillfully using digital media platforms. The flood of images and information through digital media is overwhelming. In times of social media and fast moving news, photographs and short videos are circulating in an uncontrolled speed. As a consequence, amateur and professional photography has emerged into a creative format in the arts, not just in the UAE but in the Gulf Region in general. This is also reflected in the regional gallery and exhibition landscape.
The Goethe-Institut Gulf Region intends with its focus on photography to further the dialogue and exchange between regional photographers and professionals of the art photography scene in Germany about cultural traditions and contemporary coherences. 

The workshop series DO YOU TRUST ME? was designed by the Goethe-Institut Golf Region in cooperation with expert photographs and curators for photographic art exhibitions.

 DO YOU TRUST ME? Workshop Series were presented in cooperation with Maraya Art Center in Sharjah and the Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center for Culture & Research in Bahrain.
12 Bahraini photographers shared in a two day workshop with Julia Baier and Stefan Stark, hosted by the Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center for Culture & Research, their photos and ideas about reality and its rendition in camera shots.
The event started with an introductory lecture by Stefan Stark, explaining the development of photography and the challenges photographers have met when catching reality through the lenses and the means of a camera.

Julia Baier then presented her artwork and talked about the details and challenges a photographer faces when aiming for the perfect picture.
The Bahraini photographers engaged in a very lively discussion with the German peers. Beyond the technical and artistic themes of photographing, they discussed ethical and culture related conditions that photographers meet and have to deal with. All of them had prepared a series of pictures taken in their immediate neighborhood. These pictures were then displayed and examined with the workshop title DO YOU TRUST ME in mind. The compilation of the photos under various aspects were jointly discussed, and all artists brought in their knowledge and skills as well as their opinions and emotions on how a series can be optimized. The Bahraini artists very much enjoyed the peer discussion with the two Germans. As a local Bahraini artists, Camille Zakharia enriched the discussions with his experience and knowledge.

Workshop with Peter Bialobrzeski

A further workshop with award winning photo artist Peter Bialobrzeski followed on 20 and 21 January 2017.
Two days of reflecting how the history of photography informs, challenges and enables the artist and photographer to address the issues of trust, truth and credibility in photography.
The workshop consisted of conversations, discussions and reviewing participants’ own photographs. The question of "truth" was an integral part of the debate in the workshop. The participants had the chance to discuss with Peter the extended possibilities of the digital image making and the way it changes our perception of a photograph. How is a place being represented in contemporary photographic practice? How was it represented by painters?

DO YOU TRUST ME  is a photography project that questions the authenticity and reality traditionally associated with the medium of photography, consisting of a series of public lectures and workshops conducted by leading academics and practitioners in the field. 
From the pool of submissions, selected artists will be invited to show their works in an exhibition at the Bin Matar House in Bahrain. The exhibition with the title DO YOU TRUST ME is scheduled for April 2017.

Click here for the vitual 3D tour of the exhibition.

Find here more information about the exhibition.
Julia Baier

Born 1971 in Augsburg, Julia Baier studied Psychology, French and Graphic Design with a focus on photography. She now lives and works in Berlin as a freelance photographer.

The recipient of various German awards, she has also gained international recognition. In 2004, Baier was put forward for the renowned World Press Masterclass. One year before, she competed in the final round of the Leica Oscar Barnack Award. Most recently, excerpts from her series Water Matters were featured in M Magazin No. 3. The series represents a homage to the element of water – a subject she frequently revisits in her work.

Stefan Stark

Stefan Stark hat an der Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach/University of Art and Design Kunst und Fotografie studiert. Seit 2010 ist er Co- publisher & Herausgeber des Albums Magazin für Fotografie / Magazin für Fotografie. Seine Arbeit wurde in Einzelausstellungen in Deutschland und in New York sowie in Gruppenausstellungen in Deutschland, New York und Taiwan präsentiert. Er ist ein häufiger Sprecher bei Fotokonferenzen und hat mehrere Auszeichnungen und Stipendien für seine Arbeit erhalten.

Peter Bialobrzeski
Peter Bialobrzeski studied political science and sociology before working as a local reporter in his home town of Wolfsburg, Germany. After the study of communication design with a focus on photography at the renowned Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen and at London College of Printing he started photographing for international magazines and in the late 90ies published his work in books. In 2002 the University of the Arts, Bremen, appointed him
professor for photography. In 2003 and 2010 he was awarded the WorldPressPhoto Award.

Camille Zakharia

Camille Zakharia graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from NSCAD University Halifax Canada in 1997 and a Bachelor of Engineering from the American University of Beirut in 1985. Zakharia has exhibited prolifically across North America, Europe and the Middle East, including the Venice Biennale Italy, Victoria & Albert Museum London UK, Canadian Museum of Civilization Quebec Canada, FotoFest Biennial Houston Texas USA and Musee du Quai Branly Paris France.  Camille Zakharia has lectured widely and taught numerous highly acclaimed workshops on documentary photography, the history of photography and photocollage techniques.