istanbul masterclass

In March 2014, the NOOR-Nikon Masterclass in Documentary Photography took place in Istanbul, Turkey. Fourteen young professional photographers hailing from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey shared experiences and their work with NOOR photographers Andrea Bruce, Benedicte Kurzen, Jon Lowenstein, Stanley Greene, and NOOR’s managing director Evelien Kunst.

“As photographers we have a big responsibility to inherit the stories of the people that we photograph,” said Benedicte Kurzen during her presentation. “We have to ask ourselves how we represent the countries that we are covering and realize what is the perception at the end of the road for the audience back home.”

During the five intensive days at SALT Galata, the group collectively reviewed their portfolios, listened to presentations by the photographers, held in-depth discussions on ethical, practical, and creative issues, and edited the participants’ work prepared beforehand on the theme of FRAGILE.

“It has been a great experience editing my work with Andrea and the other participating photographers,” said Achilleas Zavallis from Cyprus. “Having the input from these photographers with diverse backgrounds, coming from different countries, gave me a new perspective on my own work. Being able to get their collective knowledge helps me to look at my work with a fresh set of eyes.”

Read more about this masterclass on NOOR’s blog.

On this page you will find a showcase of the participants’ work.

Below you will find a video of the last day of the masterclass, created by Kürşat Bayhan.

This NOOR-Nikon Masterclass in Documentary Photography was made possible with the generous support of Nikon. The masterclass was organized in collaboration with Genis Aci Project Office.

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selected participants

Achilleas Zavallis
Ali Arkardy
Azniv Andreasyan
Carole Alfarah
Giorgi Shengelia
Hossein Salmanzadeh
Kürşat Bayhan
Mehran Hamrahi
Nadia Bseiso
Natalie Naccache
Özge Sebzeci
Serpil Polat
Sitara Ibrahimova
Yasaman Dehmiyani

tutor team

Andrea Bruce, Benedicte Kurzen, Jon Lowenstein, Stanley Greene, and NOOR’s managing director Evelien Kunst as a moderator.

a fragile reality by achilleas zavallis


The Christian minority of Syria accounts for about 10% of the country's population. With…

sunrise canyon apparitions: a story about dreamers by azniv andreasyan


The Hovhannisyans family sold their flat in the city, took their favorite books by…

learning the hard way by ali arkardy


In the 70s, the Iraqi regime displaced Kurdish people to the Arab areas in…

natural damage by mehran hamrahi


Iran is one of the 10 most dangerous earthquake regions in the world. Almost…

under the skin of a city by yasaman dehmiyani


Early findings about homosexuality in Iran date back to the Achamenian dynasty. Since then,…

the dilan theatre by serpil polat


The Dilan Theater, was the largest movie theatre in the Middle East and the…

the faraway district by özge sebzeci


Sultanbeyli is a district on the outskirts of Istanbul known as the fortress of…

walking in circles by natalie naccache


With frequent car bombs taking place in Lebanon, an unstable government, and a dwindling…

olympic dreams by nadia bseiso


Ihab Al Matbouli, Jordan's first light heavyweight olympic boxer, was Jordan's hope for a…

deforestation for power by kürşat bayhan


Istanbul and Ankara have seen large-scale migration which has led to a swelling population,…

four rooms by giorgi shengelia


After the collapse of USSR and the brutal political, economical and social changes that…

waiting for hope by carole alfarah


“A Syrian becomes a refugee every 15 seconds,” said the UN’s refugee agency. After…