ISSN: 2038-0925

Akkasah: Center for Photography

Akkasah, the Center for Photography at New York University Abu Dhabi, explores the histories and contemporary practices of photography in the Arab world from comparative perspectives: it fosters the scholarly study of these histories and practices in dialogue with other photographic cultures and traditions from around the world. Through a range of activities, the center also supports the developing photographic culture in the UAE.

Photographers were working in the Middle East very soon after the invention of photography in the mid-nineteenth century. But despite the fact that there are rich traditions of documentary, art and vernacular photography throughout the Middle East and North Africa, these traditions have yet to receive the full critical attention they deserve.

The Arabian Peninsula is a crossroads where the peoples, arts, cultures, and economies of Asia, Africa, and Europe have encountered each other for centuries. Today the Gulf is cosmopolitan in a truly global sense. Abu Dhabi’s embrace of this history is most clearly manifested in its ambitious plans to build three major museums (the Zayed National Museum, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi) dedicated to the regional heritage and world art. Akkasah aims to contribute to these crossroad encounters through an ongoing program of conferences, colloquia, publications, workshops, artist residencies, and exhibitions and through the creation of a photographic archive.

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