Reporting Change: Behind the Arab Spring Headlines

Festival in Amsterdam with Debate, Photography, Film, Music

Reporters, photographers, researchers and activists from the Middle East and North Africa will bring the stories behind the headlines to The Netherlands on June 15, 2014, Human Rights Watch and World Press Photo announced today. Their work will be presented at a festival, Reporting Change – Stories from the Arab Region, at De Melkweg in Amsterdam.

Participants in the festival will bring their perspectives and answers to the questions of whether there is still hope for democracy and change in the region three and a half years after the start of the Arab Spring.

The festival is hosted by Dutch publicist and Arabist Petra Stienen. Key speakers will include Reem Maged, an independent Egyptian TV-reporter and talk show host, and Syrian writer, public intellectual and 2012 Prins Claus Laureate Yassin al Haj Saleh. Lama Fakih, the Syria and Lebanon researcher at Human Rights Watch, Selim Harbi a documentary photographer from Tunisia, Amna Guellali, Tunisia director at Human Rights Watch, Nadia Benchallal, photographer from Algeria and France, Oualid Khelifi, a freelance reporter from Algeria, Hanan Salah, Libya researcher at Human Rights Watch, Roger Anis, photojournalist from Egypt, Ole Solvang, senior researcher in the Emergencies Division, Human Rights Watch and Magdalena Herrera, director of photography at Geo France will join in discussions.

The documentary film "Return to Homs," winner of the World Cinema Jury Prize for Documentary at Sundance Film Festival 2014, will be shown. The director, Talal Derki, filmed a group of young revolutionaries in the city of Homs in Syria who first fight for justice through peaceful demonstrations, but then, as the army acts ever more brutally and their city becomes a ghost town, begin to take up arms.

World Press Photo will present the book Stories of Change. The program will also include a play titled "We have seen a revolution", starring actresses Nazmiye Oral and Maryam Hassouni. The play was written by Anna Maria Versloot and directed by Pieter Athmer. Waed Bouhassoun, a Syrian singer and songwriter, will give a concert, and Tunisian band A-way Tarik will be the closing act.

Human Rights Watch and World Press Photo have collaborated on Reporting Change to support local photographers and human rights research in the Middle East and North Africa. This work, with a strong focus on multimedia, has been made possible by a grant from the Dutch Postcode Lottery.

Click here for the full program.
Click here to buy tickets

For more information and to schedule interviews, please RSVP to:
In Amsterdam, for World Press Photo, Barbara Bufkens (English, Dutch): +31 206766096 or +31 6 29354180 (mob); or email
In Amsterdam, for Human Rights Watch, Jan Kooy (English, Dutch): +31 6 42091869 (mob); or

Reporting Change is made possible by a grant from the Dutch Postcode Lottery.
World Press Photo and Human Rights Watch receive support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and World Press Photo is sponsored worldwide by Canon.

Posted June 3 2014

About The World Press Photo Foundation

We are a global platform connecting professionals and audiences through trustworthy visual journalism and storytelling. Founded in 1955 when a group of Dutch photographers organized a contest to share their work with an international audience, the competition has grown into the world’s most prestigious photography award and our mission has expanded. We encourage diverse accounts of the world that present stories with different perspectives. We exhibit those stories to a worldwide audience, educate the profession and the public on their making, and encourage debate on their meaning.

The World Press Photo Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. We receive support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and are sponsored worldwide by Canon.