Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – 17 September 2021

This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – right now more than half the population in Australia is in Covid-19 lockdown. Yesterday, the Ballarat International Foto Festival opened for less than half a day before Covid-19 threw the regional centre into lockdown, again. As we hunker down in Oz, let’s look at what’s happening in the photography world afar. This week the 10th anniversary of Photoville opens in New York City.

Festivals:

Photoville Turns 10

This year marks the tenth anniversary for New York City’s Photoville. The festival features outdoor events including the Fence exhibitions, as well as artist talks, community events and workshops. There are more than 75 exhibitions programmed this year. It’s all free!

One of the things I really like too about the program is the selection of 20 books that provide audiences with the opportunity to engage more deeply with the themes the festival is addressing such as the legacy of colonialism, the US border crisis, indigenous history, racism and Asian Americans amongst others.

Here’s a peek at what’s on:

Exhibitions:

As We Are: Collaborative Portraits with Uganda’s Gulu Women With Disabilities Union – Esther Ruth Mbabazi

Akwede Florence, 28 with Esther Ruth Mbabazi

In 2020 Ugandan photographer Esther Ruth Mbabazi was commissioned to shoot a series of portraits for the Gulu Women with Disabilities Union in northern Uganda. What began as a straightforward commission evolved into a wonderful collaborative project as these photographs reveal. 

Nancy Ayaa, 23 (C) Esther Ruth Mbabazi
Akwede Florence, 28 (C) Esther Ruth Mbabazi
Miriam Apio, 26 (C) Esther Ruth Mbabazi

Brooklyn Bridge Park – Pier 2 

Eyewitness: Who tells the stories of our time?

(C) Sarahbeth Maney

Last year the Pulitzer Center and Diversify Photo launched the Eyewitness Photojournalism Grant which is designed to support underreported stories and underrepresented photojournalists in the American press.

The inaugural recipients are Eli Hiller, whose “work documents several health care professionals supporting vulnerable populations of the opioid crisis in Ohio;” Sarahbeth Maney who won for her documentary work with Sophia Tupuola, a first generation Samoan American who had her first child in the middle of the pandemic; and Joana Toro whose winning project considered how the pandemic impacted the lives of New York’s Times Square entertainers. 

(C) Joana Toro
(C) Eli Hiller

Brooklyn Bridge Park – Pier 1

A Beautiful Ghetto – Devin Allen

In 2015, Allen, a Baltimore local, told MTV’s Andres Tardio that he recognised “the power of social media” and thought by posting what was happening on the streets he’d “touch people and shed some light on my city…With social media, anyone can have a voice.”

Quickly celebrities like Beyonce began following and sharing his work. The press took notice and the first photo this amateur had published in mainstream media made the cover of TIME (not a bad start!). Two years later his book, A Beautiful Ghetto was released.

This exhibition features pictures from the book, images that are designed to show the human face of Baltimore, to move the narrative past the politics of poverty and stereotyping, and to share the story of lives lived.

(C) Devin Allen
(C) Devin Allen

Brooklyn Bridge Park – Pier 1

A Compassionate Lens: Chris Hondros Fund, Ten Years On

(C) Chris Hondros

This fund was established following photojournalist Chris Hondros’ death in Libya in 2011. To mark this sombre anniversary, Photoville “asked the fund’s founders and awardees to select one of his photographs and share their thoughts about his prolific work—which continues to bring shared human experiences to light.” I reviewed Hondros’ book Testament in 2014. You can read my review, and see more images, via the Book Reviews tab at the top of this blog.

Brooklyn Bridge Park – Uplands of Pier 5.

A New BeginningCigdem Yuksel

(C) Cigdem Yuksel

This body of work is part of a transmedia project Shadow Game by Eefje Blankevoort and Els van Driel, produced in close collaboration with journalist and translator Zuhoor al Qaisi. Shadow Game comprises various elements including a 90-minute documentary film, multiple 30-minute follow-up docos and photography by Cigdem Yuksel.

Yuksel “works with young people who, after their flight to the Netherlands, start a search for their (new) identity. The youngsters express themselves through tattoos, poems, rap or Instagram posts. They look cool and tough, but they are also fragile. Together with Cigdem they start searching for a way to narrate their story.”

Old Fulton Road.

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