15 Mar 2014 - 27 Apr 2014
Houston, texas

Edge of Arabia and Art Jameel were proud to be a main partner of FotoFest 2014, the 15th International Biennial of Photography and Photo-related Art. The Biennial is the longest-running international photographic festival in the United States. This year's focus was on Contemporary Arab Video, Photography and Multi Media art and lead curator, Karin Adrian von Roques described it as “the largest presentations to date of contemporary Arab photography and mixed media art in America.”

To accompany the Biennial, Fotofest published a hard-bound book, View From Inside: Contemporary Arab Photography, Video and Mixed Media Art, featuring over 200 color reproductions of Arab artworks, a DVD of video works and four essays by prominent scholars on Arab art: Biennial Curator Karin Adrian von Roques; Arab artist Samer Mohdad, Founder of the Fondation Arabe pour l’Image (Arab Images Foundation); Dr. Claude W. Sui, Chief Curator of the International Forum of Photography at the Reiss-Englehorn Museum, Mannheim, Germany; and Mona Khazindar, Director General of the Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute) in Paris.

Read Catalogue Here.

Arabophobia: A Scholar, a Poet and a Visual Artist Respond: This is a recording of an event held on April 2 in conjunction with FotoFest's 2014 Biennial. This event was held by FotoFest in collaboration with The Humanities Research Center and the James A. Baker III for Public Policy.

  • 275,000 people from 43 countries attended or participated in 2014 Biennial programs in Houston, Texas over the course of the Festival's six weeks
  • 123 million people were reached by editorial media coverage of the FotoFest Biennial (online, print, radio and TV) in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America, Canada and the United States
  • 1,159 artists participated and exhibited in the Biennial. They came from 40 countries and 37 US states.
  • 130 art and civic spaces across Houston, Harris County, Galveston, Sugar Land, Katy, Kingwood, and surrounding communities participated in the Biennial. They presented over 100 events in addition to their own exhibitions.
  • 200 events were produced by FotoFest and Participating Spaces alongside exhibitions over the Festival's six-week schedule.
  • 49 leading Arab artists were featured in FotoFest's main Arab exhibition, VIEW FROM INSIDE. Seventeen of the exhibiting Arab artists and twenty-five Arab curators, art critics, scholars, and gallery owners attended the Biennial in Houston. FotoFest, with Schilt Publishing, Amsterdam, published an accompanying book which is available internationally. Arab programs included films, concerts, poetry readings, concerts, artist talks, conferences on Arab culture.
  • 19 schools have used the new Arab curriculum, designed by FotoFest's Literacy Through Photography in-school education program, to engage with the cultures and history of the Middle East and North Africa.

Participating Artists

Ebtisam AbdulAziz (UAE), Khalil Abdul Wahid (UAE), Ammar Al-Beik (Syria), Manal AlDowayan (Saudi Arabia), Shadia Alem (Saudi Arabia), Reem Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia), Sadik Alfraji (Iraq), Tarek Al-Ghoussein (Palestine/Kuwait), Boushra Almutawakel (Yemen), Jowhara AlSaud (Saudi Arabia), Sama Alshaibi (Iraq/Palestine), Karima Al-Shomely (UAE), Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad Bin Ahmad Al-Thani (Qatar), Sami Al Turki (Saudi Arabia), Tammam Azzam (Syria), Hicham Benohoud (Morocco), Ayman Yossri Daydban (Saudi Arabia), Lalla Essaydi (Morocco), Mounir Fatmi (Morocco), Lamya Gargash (UAE), Abdulnasser Gharem (Saudi Arabia), Khaled Hafez (Egypt), Hassan Hajjaj (Morocco), Rula Halawani (Palestine), Hazem Harb (Palestine), Hazem Taha Hussein (Egypt), Ahmed Jadallah (Palestine)
Mohamed Kanoo (Bahrain), Mohammed Kazem (UAE), Huda Lutfi (Egypt)
Ahmed Mater (Saudi Arabia), Hassan Meer (Oman), Samer Mohdad, (Lebanon/Belgium), Youssef Nabil (Egypt/USA), Steve Sabella (Palestine), Faisal Samra (Saudi Arabia), Camille Zakharia (Lebanon)


FotoFest was founded in 1983 by legendary documentary photographers and journalists, Frederick Baldwin and Wendy Watriss, and European gallery director, Petra Benteler. The first Biennial, citywide Month of Photography was held in 1986 in Houston, Texas. 2014 was the Fifteenth International Biennial and the last one with Fred and Wendy at the helm.


"FotoFest 2014 presented a diverse and historically significant program exploring alternative and often unofficial cultural histories from the Arab World." - Stephen Stapleton, Director, Edge of Arabia, London, UK

"One of the world's biggest photographic gatherings turned its lens on the Arab World" - Simon Bowcock, Harper's Bazaar Art Arabia, 05.2014

" opportunity to deepen understanding and spark dialogue " - Benjamin Sutton, ArtInfo, 12.2013

"...a timely and extensive view of art production in the region"- Lilly Wei, Art in America, 04.2014

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