Arab Image Foundation releases over 25,000 archive photographs online

Unidentified portrait from the Ben Jelloun Collection, gelatine silver print, 14 x 9 cm. Courtesy of the Arab Image Foundation, Beirut

The Arab Image Foundation (AIF), a Beirut-based non-profit dedicated to the collection, conservation and study of archival images from the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab diaspora, has launched an online platform releasing over 25,000 photographs from its 600,000-strong collection. The foundation will also reopen its main venue this summer, after a three-year hiatus doing which the ambitious $255,000 digitisation project was conducted.

AIF managing director Marc Mouarkech said the platform represents the foundation’s efforts to be ‘more open, more inclusive and more collaborative’, hoping to stimulate artistic production, academic research and broad public engagement. The online database is also supported by a 'Lab' for digital experimentation and online residencies. 

The foundation was set up in 1997 by artists and photographers Fouad Elkoury, Samer Mohdad, Walid Raad and Akram Zaatari, and now holds an extensive archive of images dating back to the 1860s and spanning 50 countries.

Click here to access the AIF new platform

3 June 2019