Wow January just disappeared! This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up the focus is on the 15th annual Exposure Festival, which opens in Calgary, Canada today and runs for a month.
Before looking at some of the exhibitions at this year’s festival I wanted to share that I caught up with Robin Hammond in January. He was in Melbourne with National Geographic’s Photo Camp which helps underprivileged youths through photography. I love this initiative, it’s a great way to build self-confidence and also to think about the world in new ways.
In Melbourne the kids were looking at how our food is grown and processed and its environmental impact. The week the Photo Camp team was here we had sweltering temperatures into the 40sC (100+F), but each day they were out with the kids taking them to farms, market gardens and into commercial kitchens. Above are a couple of photos from the camp. You can see more here. Robin flew from Melbourne to New York where his exhibition of Where Love is Illegal opens at the Bronx Documentary Center tomorrow, February 2nd. (This week’s featured image is from this project).
Also, it was announced today that Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani, who is currently a prisoner on Manus, has won the Victorian Premier’s literature prize. I featured Hoda Afshar’s portrait of Behrouz last week. It’s kind of ironic that someone the government won’t let into the country is worthy of our highest literary prize. The panel even made an exception allowing him to enter although he’s not an Australian citizen. Like Behrouz said, it’s a paradox, and hopefully this heightened attention will bring an end to Behrouz’, and his fellow asylum seekers’ unconscionable incarceration on Manus. Read The Guardian article in which he says awarding someone who is denied basic human rights “brings enormous shame to the Australian government”. If you haven’t read No Friend But The Mountains, get a copy, it’s a harrowing, but important story.
Exposure – Alberta, Canada
Now in its 15th year, Exposure brings a month of photography to Alberta, Canada with events located in Canmore, Banff, Medicine Hat, Longview, Edmonton, with the bulk of programming in Calgary. The festival kicks off tonight, Friday 1st February at the Founders’ Gallery in Calgary where one of the feature exhibitions is on show in Canada for the first time – Walled Off: The Politics of Containment.
Dr. Dona Schwartz, President of Exposure and guest curator of the exhibition, says “Perhaps the ultimate denial of freedom is captivity. This exhibition brings together photographic work that explores state suppression, control and containment, and summons the never-ending quest for individual liberty and human dignity.”
The exhibition features 110 images from artists including Edmund Clark (U.K.), Paula Luttringer (Argentina) and Peter van Agtmael (U.S.) as well as images from the Za’atari Project by Nina Berman, Andrea Bruce, Alixandra Fazzina and Stanley Greene. This exhibition is on until May 20.
Dona Schwartz is also a panel member for the discussion – “Photojournalism. Art? Storytelling? Truth?” – along with Ali Ledgerwood (News Photographers Association of Canada), photographer Candice Ward, and photojournalist Todd Korol. This is one panel discussion I’d love to hear. I’ve been reading some of Dona’s writing on photojournalism as part of my PhD research. The panel is on February 9th. Feedback welcomed.
The 2019 program features more than 35 exhibitions spanning photographic genres. In addition to Walled Off, if I was there I’d be checking out Explore With Me (Jon Handforth), Seasons (Joshua Jensen-Nagle), Translife in Asia (Kloie Picot), and the group exhibition Yukon Unorganized, And that’s just for starters. To see the full program visit the festival website. Congrats to festival coordinator Lizzie Carr and her team on putting together a compelling program.