About Issa Touma
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 & FOMU Museum in Antwerp.
In 2016 his movie ‘9 Days from my window in Aleppo’ won several awards: the European Film Award for Best Short Film, the Best Short Film at the London Film Festival and the Tribute Award at the International Short Film Festival in New York. It has been shown in more than 60 festivals and in 50 cultural activities around the world. His latest movie ‘Greetings from Aleppo’ opened the International Film Festival of Rotterdam – Jan 2017) and won DIG AWARD – (Italy ) and DIRECTORSNL AWARD 2018 (Netherlands).
In 1992 he opened the Black and White Gallery in Aleppo, 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 the local
art scene through international events, such as 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 has had two photographic exhibitions: ‘Stories from Lost Cities’ and ‘Women We Have Not Lost Yet’. The latter tells the stories of those who lived through the war in Syria. Alongside his photographic exhibitions he gives lectures all around Europe. After he completed his artist- in-residence stay at the Swedish city of Gävle with a scholarship from ICORN, he returned to his city Aleppo to rebuild his home and Gallery.