Public Affairs

AUK Hosts Filmmaker George Azar

19th Jan 2020 | by the Office of Public Affairs

The Department of Communication & Media and the Department of Art & Graphic Design at the American University of Kuwait (AUK) hosted photojournalist and documentary filmmaker, Mr. George Azar for a public lecture on campus in collaboration with Nuqat. 

In his talk, Mr. Azar spoke about the craft of visual journalism in conflict zones, the power of narrative reporting and the representation of the Arab world in Western media. He used examples from his career in photojournalism and documentary filmmaking which took him from being a student at UC Berkeley studying Middle Eastern politics, to the Lebanese Civil War, Palestinian Intifada, and wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Gaza. While reflecting on his experiences, he highlighted the significant role of still photographs at a time of 4k and streaming videos. He said, “I realized that despite its limitations, the still photograph retains the unique power to crystallize a moment, an event and a time in history.” 

He shared advice with the attendees for pursuing a similar career path, including being proactive, finding a subject that one is passionate about, and being patient in the process.

AUK Assistant Professor of graphic design, Clark Stoeckley stated, “George’s stories and photos were quite emotionally moving and inspiring. His advice about the field of documentary photography and filmmaking was beneficial and informative for anyone with a camera in their phone. I particularly related to his suggestion to create work about things you love or the things you hate.” 

George Azar is an award-winning Arab-American photojournalist and documentary filmmaker. Born in South Philadelphia, he won honors at U.C. Berkeley before embarking on a journalism career in war-torn Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan as a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Times, the Independent, The Boston Globe, as well as Al-Jazeera English and Al-Jazeera Arabic. George is the author of Palestine a Photographic Journey, (University of California and Oxford University Press) and photographer of Palestine A Guide, (Interlink), and director of the acclaimed films ‘Gaza Fixer’, ‘Two Schools in Nablus’, ‘Donor Opium’, and ‘Free Running Gaza’. George’s latest film the autobiographical, ‘Beirut Photographer’, premiered on Al-Jazeera Arabic in September 2013.

George Azar during his lecture

General photo of the lecture

Group photo of George Azar with the event organizers

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