July 12, 2013

Friday Round Up - 12 July

This week Friday Round Up features news on the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, new exhibitions from Robert Ashton and Youngho Kang, Stephanie Sinclair's Too Young To Wed and more including an interesting article from a frontline journalist in Syria. Importantly there is a message also from Issa Touma in Aleppo, Syria where the blockade on food and medical supplies has plunged residents into a new living hell. If you can help please act now.

Ballarat International Foto Biennale (BIFB)

Photography, wine and fine food. Is there a better way to spend a winter’s Sunday afternoon in Melbourne? This Sunday 14th July, Eleven 40 Gallery in Malvern (a short drive from Melbourne's CBD) is hosting a fundraising event for the fifth instalment of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale (BIFB). All 125 photographs in the RED DOT “lucky dip” are on show at the Gallery. Festival Director Jeff Moorfoot will be on hand, along with a number of local photographers who are involved in the Festival. Entry is by RED DOT or ticket only.

There are still some RED DOTs available for this worthy fundraising event. The RED DOT allows you to go into the lucky draw for one of the 125 photographs in this promotion. If you'd like to help the Festival raise much needed funds, please visit the link here.

BIFB Sneak Peak:
Youngho Kang – 99 VARIATIONS 

This photographic artist literally bleeds for his work! Today I interviewed South Korean photographer Youngho Kang about his exhibition "99 Variations", which is included in the core programme of this year’s Ballarat International Foto Biennale. My interview will run in the coming weeks, but I wanted to share a taste with you, as this work is extraordinary and demonstrates Kang’s unique visual signature. Inspired by ancient Chinese philosophy, Kang has created mythological characters that are of his “other” selves. In each photograph the camera is evident, an extension of his person, a “third eye” that observes and reflects. Shot on large format digital in front of a mirror, each image took hours to compose. The photograph where Kang is encased in a tangled web (above) took ten hours to complete. His interpreter Won said, “See that blood? It’s real”. This exhibition is a truly unique take on the self-portrait.

Youngho Kang will also hold a workshop during BIFB. Details to come. All images (C) Youngho Kang.

Robert Ashton – Interior Exterior

Australian photographer Robert Ashton’s exhibition "Interior Exterior" opens at Edmund Pearce Gallery in Melbourne on 24 July. Comprising a series of interior and exterior landscapes presented as triptychs, Ashton captures the natural beauty of the western coastline of Victoria.

Ashton said the interior images “are a metaphor for the intricate tangles within all of us”. These complex, somewhat chaotic images are juxtaposed with “the peace and serenity” of the sweeping seascapes. All images (C) Robert Ashton

24 July – 17 August 
Edmund Pearce Gallery
Level 2, Nicholas Building
37 Swanston Street (corner Flinders Lane)

Stephanie Sinclair - Too Young to Wed

If you are in Washington DC this month, VII Photo’s Stephanie Sinclair’s exhibition "Too Young To Wed" is showing for three days. I wrote about this exhibition last year on the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child 11 October 2012. In more than 50 countries millions of girls as young as six years old are still forced into marriage with adult men. These girls face a life of abuse and torment. Uneducated, marginalized and persecuted by the families into which they are married, child brides lose their chance to be children free to play and explore, they lose the opportunity to better themselves and are denied basic human rights. Sinclair has produced a powerful body of work that allows these innocent young girls to have a voice.

Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC
23-25 July
Too Young To Wed will tour throughout 2013 and 2014. Visit the website here for updates.

Aleppo – A Cry for Help
Food and medicine supplies have been cut off and the citizens of Aleppo now find themselves trapped in a humanitarian crisis on which the governments of the world have turned their backs. Issa Touma, who many know from his work as a photography festival director, now calls for help. If you know anyone in your circle of contacts that may be able to help, please ask the question. Let not only our hearts go out to the people of Aleppo….

A Message From Issa Touma (above)

“To all my Western Friend who enjoy Aleppo Nights
last 2 years I saw how you act on your page’s ( Face books ) , Today we need urgently your half energy you give it to changed the System in Syria , maybe can convince the Oppositions to enter foods and milks and Medicines to more then 1,5 Millions Civilians have nothing at all to eat , do not say you can not do any thing , I know you each one personally , and I know you are in Contact with them , and most of you have good contact with the media also …
Now Aleppians who welcome you in there home for years , when you was working and leaving in Syria , many of them Die and travel out , and rest of them will Die Hungry … if you stile part from Humanity so ?? show that now , and if you do not like what I say you are very welcome to removed your self from my friends , I do not care any more .
I will followed your reactions , we need it for History of Humanity .
PS : I do not mean diplomats in this post , because they was have limited movement in the society , I mean people who had full freedom to move and work and stay in Syria for years ,Also I do not mean Tourist who come for short time”

Worth reading:
Woman’s Work by Francesca Borri

Photo: Alessio Romenzi

Francesca Borri gives a frank account of her experiences as a freelance journalist on the frontline in Syria. Published in the Columbia Journalism Review. Here is an extract.

“People have this romantic image of the freelancer as a journalist who’s exchanged the certainty of a regular salary for the freedom to cover the stories she is most fascinated by. But we aren’t free at all; it’s just the opposite. The truth is that the only job opportunity I have today is staying in Syria, where nobody else wants to stay. And it’s not even Aleppo, to be precise; it’s the frontline. Because the editors back in Italy only ask us for the blood, the bang-bang. I write about the Islamists and their network of social services, the roots of their power—a piece that is definitely more complex to build than a frontline piece. I strive to explain, not just to move, to touch, and I am answered with: “What’s this? Six thousand words and nobody died?”….” to readmore please click here

Wherever you are in the world this weekend stay safe.

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