A few days ago the Nuku Photo Festival has started in Tamale, making the first photo festival ever in Ghana a fact. Yesterday we opened the exhibition 'Northern Ghana Life'. Internationally renowned, and young, talented Ghanaian photographers, combine their documentary and artistic visions to form a cohesive whole and thus show the social changes in Ghana.
For this 20th edition of European Eyes on Japan/Japan Today, Alexandra Pace from Malta and Alice Wielinga from the Netherlands turned their cameras on Aomori prefecture.
To select a Dutch photographer, we sought help from the Noorderlicht, organizer of photo festival held every other year in Groningen and Leeuwarden in the northern Netherlands. Among the proposals, I saw a few aspects in Alice Wielinga’s ideas which I was not sure about, but more than anything, her unique visuals captured my eye. One of the reasons for my concern was the fact that she would focus on the Nebuta Festival, which all Japanese are familiar with. With the Nebuta Festival, even if you have not seen it for yourself, just hearing the name immediately conjures vivid images of festival floats moving in a procession through the darkness. Considering the brief shooting time frame, it seemed that it would not be very easy to show the Nebuta Festival from a new perspective. As I continued my research, however, I belatedly realized that what is “painted” through “Nebuta” are “still” scenes. The fusion of these picturesque and photographic elements is one of the characteristics of Wielinga’s pwork, even if the forms are totally different. I expected that these elements would synergize and cause a reaction.
Monica Alcazar-Duarte has been working on her project The New Colonists for the past three years now. This has resulted in an interactive installation which reflects on the adventurous side of space exploration, promoting solidarity through emphasizing the import of meticulous preparations for such travels. Monica: “The object is very sci fi - like something that might go into space - and it is using the language of the extraordinary side of space exploration: very exotic and scientific. That is a trick because when you are attracted to it and you can be fascinated by it, but the inside is very mundane.”
Carlos Spottorno (Budapest, 1971) exhibited in the Noorderlicht Photogallery with Wealth Management & The Pigs.
Ken Schles (US, b. 1960) made his name in 1990 with the influential and now classic photo book Invisible City. He currently exhibits in the Noorderlicht Photogallery
Laura Böök : For me it's important to develop strong relationships with the people I photograph and give back something, and also to make work that is not just for other photographers or photography enthusiasts.”
Laura Böök speaks about her ongoing documentation of a Congolese immigrant community adapting to live in a small Finnish village.
Vero Bielinski: "In the future It will be harder and harder to be or to feel individual in our world."
Vero Bielinski, a German-based photographer with Polish roots, explored the hipster street culture in an effort to understand their message.
Surendra Lawoti : History has shown time and again, that the 'common people' do rise up to bring about change.
Surendra Lawoti was born in Nepal in 1972. After finishing his high school in Kathmandu, he moved to the US to pursue higher education. Surendra’s work stems out from his interest in social issues, politics, image-making and activism. He is interested in individuals, social groups and their milieus, generally those on the periphery of the mainstream society. He agreed to talk about his work with Nepali activists who are rallying for constitutional changes.
Matthew O'Brien joins our blogathon to talk about his long standing engagement with a complex country like Colombia.
"I feel it is more the individual who changes his community, not so much whole communities choosing a different life style." – Marrigje de Maar, our guest for blogathon issue #5.