Photojournalism and Documentary Photography: A VII Academy 12-week Seminar with Ali Arkady for Native Arabic Speakers /
اكاديمية السابع ستُقدم دورة تدريبية مع المصور الصحفي علي اركادي لمدة ١٢ اسبوع للناطقين باللغة العربية في جميع انحاء العالم من يوم ٢٤ يوليو ٢٠٢٠ حتى ١٥ اكتوبر ٢٠٢٠

Core Programs, Seminar in Online — July 24, 2020 until October 15, 2020

Join Ali Arkady in this 12-week pro­gram that has been specif­i­cal­ly adapt­ed to work­ing in a COVID-19 envi­ron­ment. It will equip you with the nec­es­sary method­olog­i­cal and prac­ti­cal tools for the research and pro­duc­tion of pho­to essays suit­able for pub­li­ca­tion in an edi­to­r­i­al con­text. You’ll progress from the shoot­ing of sin­gle pic­tures to the con­struc­tion of short jour­nal­is­ti­cal­ly dri­ven pho­to essays, explor­ing the rel­e­vant tech­ni­cal, aes­thet­ic and jour­nal­is­tic aspects. The sem­i­nar will also address issues of ideas gen­er­a­tion, research, cap­tion writ­ing, and pic­ture edit­ing. You’ll be required to pro­duce an extend­ed, in depth body of pho­to­jour­nal­is­tic or doc­u­men­tary work that explores a sto­ry in detail.


Ali Arkady


12 weeks

Class size


Skill level

All levels


The VII Academy will offer schol­ar­ships to 10 native Arabic speak­ers who are cit­i­zens as well as res­i­dents of–or refugees from–majority world coun­tries.

Apply until

July 10, 2020

Languages: This pro­gram will be con­duct­ed in Arabic.



Over a peri­od of 12 weeks this inter­dis­ci­pli­nary sem­i­nar will be led by pho­tog­ra­ph­er Ali Arkady and will be com­ple­ment­ed with a series of pre­sen­ta­tions by lead­ing indus­try pro­fes­sion­als.

During the sem­i­nar, you’ll explore how to devel­op a last­ing career in visu­al sto­ry telling, includ­ing con­ceiv­ing, research­ing and plan­ning sto­ry ideas. You’ll be exposed to con­fronting eth­i­cal chal­lenges as you nav­i­gate the moral maze of doc­u­ment­ing the lives of oth­ers.

Problem-solving pho­to assign­ments will help you to unlock ways to work intu­itive­ly, intel­lec­tu­al­ly and emo­tion­al­ly, so that your pho­tog­ra­phy becomes more instinc­tive, pow­er­ful and sub­tle.

Expect a trans­for­ma­tive expe­ri­ence, where your cur­rent way of work­ing will be chal­lenged and refined through a series of one-on-one ses­sions, group ses­sions, and online live webi­nar lec­tures.


Each week will begin with a lec­ture on a rel­e­vant con­cept in pho­to­jour­nal­ism and doc­u­men­tary prac­tice. This lec­ture will be giv­en by the tutor pho­tog­ra­ph­er or a guest with high-level expe­ri­ence in the top­ic being dis­cussed.

After this lec­ture, the tutor will brief you on the week­ly assign­ment that you will have to work on. The assign­ments will rep­re­sent key sub­jects and approach­es in nar­ra­tive pho­to­jour­nal­ism and doc­u­men­tary pho­tog­ra­phy.

During the week, you will work indi­vid­u­al­ly to pro­duce pho­tographs with­in week­ly dead­lines.

At the end of the week, dur­ing the week­ly feed­back tuto­ri­als, you’ll present your work for dis­cus­sion with tutors and oth­er stu­dents. Each group mem­ber will learn from the feed­backs for each student’s body of work. Everyone is expect­ed to con­tribute to the dis­cus­sion about each student’s work. You will also be encour­aged to work in pairs or small groups out­side of the feed­back tuto­ri­als to edit and cri­tique each other’s work.

The first weeks are tight­ly struc­tured with reg­u­lar assign­ments and feed­backs on your work. In the sec­ond half of the pro­gram, you will begin to shoot short pho­to essays of a few images, build­ing up towards a longer essay then a final extend­ed project to be pho­tographed and sub­mit­ted at the end of the pro­gram.

You will need to iden­ti­fy and research ideas for these short and longer projects that should be local to you and allow for repeat­ed access through the pro­gram. Find sub­jects that real­ly fas­ci­nate you and make sure that you can get access to. The more engross­ing you find the sub­jects you pho­to­graph, the bet­ter your pic­tures will be.


This sem­i­nar will devel­op your abil­i­ty to work on short pho­to essays in an edi­to­r­i­al con­text. It will help you to:
* Respond pro­fes­sion­al­ly and cre­ative­ly to pho­to­jour­nal­is­tic briefs;
* Shoot sin­gle doc­u­men­tary pic­tures and pic­ture sto­ries or series;
* Edit your work;
* Work to a dead­line;
* Professionally present your­self and your work to an edi­tor;
* Develop the social skills need­ed to get access to peo­ple at work and leisure and get per­mis­sion to pho­to­graph them;
* Understand the visu­al poten­tial of ideas / sit­u­a­tions you are research­ing.


The tutor will adapt the pro­gram to the var­i­ous COVID-19 lock­down sit­u­a­tions that the par­tic­i­pants are going through in their respec­tive coun­tries and com­mu­ni­ties.
Not know­ing at this time who our stu­dents are, where they live, what their cur­rent sit­u­a­tion is nor how their respec­tive sit­u­a­tions will evolve over the com­ing weeks and months, we have thought of var­i­ous assign­ments and essays that can be devel­opped in full con­sign­ment as well as in less rigid lock­down sit­u­a­tions. Whatever the briefs, they will enable you to fin­ish the sem­i­nar with the method­olog­i­cal and prac­ti­cal tools that we’ve promised to bring you.


AliArkady_BW pic - Copy

Ali Arkady

Apply Now


Eligible appli­cants who wish to be con­sid­ered for a VII Academy schol­ar­ship to attend this pro­gram should click on the but­ton below. You must first reg­is­ter on Awardforce, then cre­ate an entry for this sem­i­nar by choos­ing “VII Academy” and then the name of this sem­i­nar.

Scholarship appli­ca­tion dead­line: July 10, 2020.

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