Open Call for professional & amateur photographers: Do You Trust Me

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Date: Tuesday 26 Jan, 2016 - Saturday 30 Apr, 2016
Time: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Venue: Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, United Arab Emirates

A photography project by Maraya Art Centre and Goethe-Institut

Maraya Art Centre and Goethe-Institut Gulf Region invite UAE and MENA based professional & amateur photographers, students, photo journalists and artists to a photography project that deals with the question of credibility and reality in photography both in journalism as well as in art.

Peter Bialobrzeski, winner of the WorldPressPhoto Award in 2003 and 2010 and professor for photography at the University of Bremen, Dr. Jule Hillgärtner, director of Kunstverein Braunschweig (art society Braunschweig), and two representatives of the largest media channels in Germany, Dr. Stefan Leifert, News Correspondent ZDF, and Michael Wegener, Head of Content ARD News, will be presenting their views and experiences in a panel discussion.

In a consecutive workshop participants will work with Dr. Jule Hillgärtner on photographs for an exhibition in Maraya Art Centre.

On the project

Do You Trust Me’ is a photography project to research the power of photographs as a means to illustrate facts, to tell stories und to manipulate viewers by editing original photo shots to achieve specific effects.

In the beginning of photography pictures seemed to grasp reality much better than paintings. But with time, the technical improvements allowed the photo shots to be altered. Objects could be inserted or deleted or altered for various purposes or with differing intentions. Advertising welcomed the manipulation of photographs and the media could decide to arrange pictures to fit various information purposes, not seldom misleading the beholder. In times of social media and fast moving news, photographs and short videos are circulating in an uncontrollable speed. This development challenges and changes traditional journalism as well as the traditional understanding of art. Today the beholder of a picture has to ask more and more if he or she can trust what he/she sees. This leads to the project title ‘Do You Trust Me’, asked from the perspective of the picture to any beholder.

Do You Trust Me’ encourages an important intercultural exchange in order to enhance the mutual appreciation which reaches beyond the topic of the manipulation of images, the usage of effigies and the usage of images in art, in advertisement, in daily life and in social media.

Public Talk (mandatory for workshop participants)

Saturday 9 April

Photographers and professionals dealing with photographs will speak about their experience and views on photography and ethics, photography as a border between journalism and art, as a medium of communication and of the conflicts and the expert’s dilemma in choosing the appropriate photography for an article. The lectures include references to both - photography in journalism and in art. The presentations are followed by a panel discussion with the professionals and a local based artist / photographer.


Sunday 10 April – Tuesday 12 April

Applicants are requested to submit three photographs with a short description on their ideas to “edit” the photographs in order to tell a story.  

During the 3 day workshop Dr. Jule Hillgärtner will work with the participants on their photographs; they will be sensitized to consciously “manipulate” the original photo to convey a particular message. The workshop includes theoretical units as well as practical work.

Exhibition (Dates To Be Confirmed)

The participants’ amended photos will be exhibited along with the original photographs. The visitors are invited to “read” the photographs and involve in a dialogue with their message.

Lecturers and Workshop Instructor

Peter Bialobrzeski,

Professor for Photography, University of the Arts Bremen

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 to professor for photography. In 2003 and 2010 he was awarded the WorldPressPhoto Award.

Dr. Jule Hillgärtner,

Director Kunsterverein Braunschweig (art society Braunschweig)

Jule Hillgärtner studied theatre, film and media sciences as well as art pedagogy, with a focus on painting and photography at Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main. After her master’s thesis on war photography in January 2005 she received the DFG-postgraduate-fellowship „Zeiterfahrung und ästhetische Wahrnehmung“ (experiences of time and aesthetic perception) and completed her doctoral thesis on photography and video in embedded journalism in July 2009.

Michael Wegener

Head of Content Center, ARD News

Michael Wegener works as the head of content center at ARD News, Germany´s leading news broadcaster and one of the two public TV channels in Germany. The content center was established in 2011 and combines international picture research and research in the field of social media as well as the verification of videos from the internet.

Wegener worked as a news editor for the Eurovision News Exchange in the EBU offices in Geneva and New York (2000 - 2005). He is a political science graduate of the Free University Berlin and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Washington, Seattle (USA).

Terms & Conditions

If you are interested in participating in the project ‘Do You Trust Me’ please fill in the next page and send it together with 3 of your own photographs to the contact below. Deadline is 6 March, 2016.


The program is in English Language and applicants must be fluent in English.

A jury consisting of the workshop instructor as well as representatives of the organizers will then choose 15 participants for the workshop. The participation in the public talk and the three day long workshop is mandatory for all workshop participants. Participants need to use their own laptops to amend their photographs during and after the workshop. Participants also agree to further develop their works after the workshop and to submit their works until 24 April 2016 the latest.


For further informations and questions please contact:

Rabi Georges

Cultural Program Coordinator

Goethe-Institut Gulf Region

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Tel.: +971 2 4099400