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Contributed by Melissa Gattine on 02/15/2011
Professor Janice Levy, who is on sabbatical leave from the Department of Cinema, Photography and Media Arts, and teaching at Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University (PNU) in Riyadh, will present “A Photographic Journey” Sunday night, February 20, at the Embassy of Sweden in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In her presentation, Professor Levy will talk about her first semester teaching at PNU. She will share her first photographic impressions of Saudi Arabia, the work produced by her students, plans and projects for the future, and the challenges and rewards of teaching photography as an interdisciplinary medium.
Since her arrival in Saudi Arabia this past fall, Professor Levy has taught the first-ever photographic courses at PNU. Levy notes that formal education in photography is a new concept in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, especially for women. Some, she explains, still don't feel comfortable photographing in public even though the ban on public photography was lifted in 2006. "Although it's difficult to believe, I have students who, with the exception of coming to the college, don't leave their homes."
Levy routinely photographs in places such as the falcon and camel markets in Riyadh. "When the students look at my pictures they always ask, ‘Are these places in Riyadh?’ I hope the photographs inspire them to explore their world."