Issa Touma is a self-taught photographer & Film director based in Aleppo. His work can be found in several international collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and FOMU Museum in Antwerpen.
2016 was a special year for Issa Touma, his movie 9 Days from my window in Aleppo won many Awards: an award by the European Film Award for Best Short Film. The movie won also in the same year the Best Short Film at the London Film Festival and the Tribute Award at the International Short Film Festival in New York. The "9 days..." movie has been shown in more than 60 festivals and around 50 cultural activities around the world. His new movie Greetings from Aleppo opened the IFFR (International Film Festival of Rotterdam - Jan 2017). and on June 23, 2017, Greetings from Aleppo won DIG AWARD - (Italy) - Greetings from Aleppo" by Issa Touma, Floor van der Meulen, Thomas Vroege finalist in Reportage Medium section - an investigation into the discrepancy between the Syrian war and its storytelling in the media.
In 1992, Issa Touma opened the Black and White Gallery, the first exhibition space dedicated to photography in the Middle East. After its closure in 1996, he founded Le Pont, an independent organization and gallery that promotes freedom of expression and stimulates the local art scene through international events: the International Photo Festival (first held in 1997) and the International Women's Art Festival (launched in 1999).
In 2012, shortly after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, Le Pont initiated Art Camping, for Syrian refugees and citizens of Aleppo. This unique collaborative project, whose participants come from different religious and ethnic backgrounds, attempts to foster resistance to political and religious radicalism through artistic interventions and cultural dialogue. During the years 2015 & 2016, Issa Touma was granted resident status in Europe and besides his film work, he opened two photographic exhibitions: stories from Lost Cities and Women We Have Not Lost Yet. This last one tells the stories of those who lived through the crisis in Syria. He keeps giving lectures all around Europe and for more than 50 cities now. At the moment he is an artist in residence at the Swedish city of Gävle throught the ICORN programme.
9 Days - From My Window in Aleppo by Issa Touma