The Danish School of Media and Journalism Spring 2020 semester is coming to its end this June. We asked Solmaz Daryani and Sabry Khaled what they thought of DMJX Photo 1, the 6-month program to which they were granted a full scholarship by VII Academy. (Image © Solmaz Daryani)
For the first time ever, photographers Christopher Morris and Ron Haviv spoke together about their images from the dissolution of the Former Yugoslavia. Moderated in conversation by Image of War Zagreb Director Danilo Gregovic, the discussion touched on some of the most famous images of the various wars and the stories behind them.
The Nature: Through Her Eyes festival was held in October 2019 in Perpignan, France to celebrate and create space for women’s accomplishments in the field of nature storytelling, exploring what a feminine perspective means to women in their portrayal of nature. This festival was a free event open to the public and supported the participation of panelists from across the world.
The VII Academy offers a number of full-tuition scholarships for students to attend The Danish School of Media and Journalism (DMJX). Four students attended the Photo 1 program at DMJX during the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters with the support of the VII Academy and the VII Foundation.
With funding from the VII Academy and the VII Foundation, and training support by VII Agency photographers Sara Terry and Maciek Nabrdalik, the Post-Conflict Research Center held its Balkan Diskurs Youth Correspondents Training in Sarajevo in May 2019 for nineteen Bosnian youth participants from thirteen different Bosnian cities.
Sixteen students attended the introductory week of the multi-session training program in independent journalism.
In October 2019, ten young Burmese photographers roamed Yangon with instructors Philip Blenkinsop and Daniel Schwartz, who tutored them in the subtle art of street photography.
This six-day VII Photo Agency workshop in Rotterdam, the Netherlands focused on teaching students how to tell visual stories about the human condition.
This five-day VII Photo Agency workshop, led by Danny Wilcox Frazier and Linda Bournane Engelberth, was set in the historic metropolis of Berlin, a dramatic setting for students to explore the emotional landscape of this storied city. The workshop taught participants a new approach to their work, one rooted in personal connection and emotional content.
In this special workshop that took place during “VII in Sarajevo: Festival of the Image”, Sara Terry, Nichole Sobecki and Linda Bournane Engelberth worked with twenty-one women photographers to elevate their work to the next level by highlighting women’s unique perspectives. Spanning three days and aimed at committed visual journalist and artists, the workshop was entirely free to chosen participants. The group facilitated discussions on the challenges facing female photojournalists and how to overcome them to carve out careers in this demanding industry, advice on professional networking, how to edit portfolios, and strategies for finding and creating paid work.
In Kigali, Rwanda, from August 11th to the 17th, 2019, the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop brought together students and professionals from across Africa. Foundry is a project of the VII Academy working in partnership with PhotoWings, and seeks to inspire and educate future generations of men and women to address important issues through the medium of photography. In 2019, Foundry came to the heart of Africa and invited photographers from across the continent and beyond to a week of inspiration and education. Over seventy students received full or partial scholarships to attend the workshop.
The VII Academy invited eight photographers with strong connections and commitment to rural issues, both in and outside of the United States, to join Danny Wilcox Frazier for a documentary workshop in small-town America. The weeklong program was tuition-free and funded by the VII Academy to support photographers from low-income communities as well as those working on issues about underrepresented populations. The workshop was limited to eight photographers.
This three-day “After the Image” workshop with VII Photo Agency’s Philip Blenkinsop and Daniel Schwartz in Sarajevo addressed the critical period between the end of a photographic project and the moment when a designer genius embarks on squeezing your images and vision into a book that will neither make you proud nor rich, or when an artist-turned-curator hijacks them to illustrate his agenda. In other words, the period when you need to exercise an author’s authority but still want to listen to those with experience in making books and exhibitions. Generally, it is a period marked by mental exhaustion, self-doubt, and disappointment. Nothing you had envisaged in the field seems to work on pages or walls.
In May 2019, the VII Academy, the educational arm of the VII Foundation, hosted “VII in Sarajevo: Festival of the Image”: two workshops, thirty-one students, nine presentations, panel discussions on the state of the media in the Balkans, conversations with VII Photo Agency photographers, and an exhibition “Her Take: (Re)Thinking Masculinity,” featuring the work of the seven women photographers of VII. There were 200 festival participants from thirty-seven countries, including fifty-six scholarships for students from the region!
The Kuma International Summer School was held July 8-22, 2019 at the Bosniak Institute – Adil Zulfikarpašić Foundation in Sarajevo. The VII Academy supported twelve scholarships for Bosnian students who applied to the summer school programs, and this year the students who were chosen were all women hailing from several Bosnian cities—Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Gračanica.
The VII Academy supported two of our closest Balkan partners–the Post-Conflict Research Center (P-CRC) and WARM Foundation–who hosted the the 6th War Art Remembrance and Memory (WARM) Festival and the first WARM Academy in Sarajevo in July 2019.
In 2019, the VII Academy supported three workshops and multiple portfolio reviews at the Chobi Mela festival. Fifty-nine students received scholarships to participate in one of three workshops: “Your Photojournalism Survival Kit” with Ron Haviv; “Learning to See” with Christopher Morris; and “A Better Future For Independent Journalists” with Vaughan Smith. Eleven students attended portfolio review sessions with Gary Knight and Anush Babajanyan.
Seven days with instructors Daniel Schwartz and Philip Blenkinsop in Myanmar were spent observing, building confidence, and seeking out those special moments that as photographers we live for; documenting them as they happen, whether walking the streets, journeying by train, bus or boat or simply sat at a tea shop watching the world go by.