Interview with Hosam Katan, winner of the Felix Schoeller Young Talent Award 2017

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Hello, Hosam. In 2017 you were the winner of the Felix Schoeller Photo Award for young photographers. What has happened to you since then?

Oh, a lot has happened. I published my book in which I also show the works I submitted for the Felix Schoeller Award and for which I got the award. I've even started a new photo project that I'm implementing here in Germany. Yes, and then I was involved in several exhibitions and presentations of my work. It's been two intense and exciting years.

May we ask what you used the prize money for?

Yes, of course! I used the prize money mainly for three things: I invested a large part of it in my book project. The prize gave me the chance to produce the book in the quality I had imagined: I was able to improve the design and the paper quality. And I was also able to print a higher number of copies. That made me very happy! For another part of the prize money, I could buy missing equipment. I used the rest to start the research for my new project. This included travel expenses, but also meeting people I'd like to work with.

What could you give young photographers as a tip for their careers?

My advice is: Make the camera your best friend! Be open and do your best to understand the people you photograph - or the subject. Never give up too early, stay focused, even after setbacks, there will come a stimulus that will inspire and motivate you again. Don't be afraid to realize projects you believe in. Use fear more as a reminder to be more careful.

Would you recommend young photographers to submit to the Felix Schoeller Photo Award?

Yes, absolutely. But they should only submit their best work. It's worth the experience alone – you can see your work in comparison to others and possibly rank it better.

Are you working on a new project? Can you tell us something about it?

I am currently working on three different projects at the same time. But I can only describe one of it more detailed. It's about integration in Germany. It will take the refugee perspective and tell the situation from their point of view. The project will highlight the challenges in different social strata and paint a broader picture of the overall theme.

Just one last question: Will you submit a new work to the actual Felix Schoeller Photo Award?

Oh, yes, of course, I will! I am looking forward to competing with the best photographers from all over the world!

Thank you and good luck, Hosam.

Hosam Katan

Hosam Katan, was born 1994 in Aleppo, Syria. He started photography with his smartphone when he was 17 years old when the Syrian revolution started. 

He started working as a photojournalist for Aleppo Media Center from October 2012. 

Between 2013 and 2015, he covered the conflict in Aleppo as a freelance photographer for Reuters as well as for the German magazine “Stern”. 

He is currently studying photojournalism at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover. 

Awards he has received include: 
the Ian Parry Special Award 2014
the Ian Parry Award 2015 category: highly commended)
the annual Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest 2015
the grand price at the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2015
the Nannen Preis for journalism 2016 (category: special award)
and the photography award at the University of Art and Design in Offenbach 2016

Nov/15 Soirée de soutien - Concert, Le tholonet / France. 
Dec/15 Ian Parry Exhibition, London / England. 
Feb/16 Exposition « Guerre en contraste », Aix / France. 
Feb/16 Museum for modern Art Frankfurt / Germany. 
Mar/16 Vernissage expo “Les enfants d’Alep”, Mareille / France. 
Apr/16 Humans of Syria: Stories of daily life and survival, California / USA

Profile of the Felix Schoeller Group, Osnabrück 

Founded in 1895, the Felix Schoeller Group is a family business with worldwide operations producing specialty papers. With around 2,315 employees, the renowned Osnabrück-based company produced and marketed almost 323,000 tonnes of specialty papers in 2017 and posted a total turnover of 747 million euros. The Felix Schoeller Group develops, produces and markets specialty papers for photographic applications, digital printing systems, the packaging market, self-adhesive applications and for the furniture, wood-based products and wallpaper industry.   

In addition to its Osnabrück main site and headquarters, the Felix Schoeller Group has four other production facilities in Germany - in Weissenborn and Penig in Saxony, in Titisee-Neustadt (Baden-Württemberg) and in Günzach (Bavaria). It also has production facilities in the USA and Canada and is involved in joint ventures in the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China. It has representative offices in Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Melbourne, Moscow, and Prague.  

The Felix Schoeller Group exemplifies uncompromising quality, unique flexibility and true partnership. The result: Best Performing Papers. Worldwide.  

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