Documenting Crisis Through a Photo Lens – Arts & Culture

Tunggul Wirajuda (Jakarta Post)

Jakarta ●
Friday, September 23, 2022


arts and culture
art, world photojournalism, exhibition, photography, photojournalism, visual arts, erasmus-whis

The annual World Press Photo (WPP) exhibition at the Erasmus Cultural Centre in Jakarta highlights the crises of our time in vivid colour.

A row of crosses stretches out into the distance in a field in British Columbia, Canada, as seen through the lens of Canadian photojournalist Amber Bracken.title Kamloops Boarding Schoolthe wooden structure stood in the stormy sky, bare except for the cloth around the arms.

“[The] A red dress commemorates the cross on the roadside [Native American] After discovering as many as 215 unmarked graves of children who died at Kamloops Indian boarding school, the institution was created to assimilate Aboriginal children. “ New York Times June 19, 2021.

“Boarding school at 19th Century as part of a policy to assimilate people from different indigenous communities into Western, mainly Christian culture.More than 150,000 children pass through boarding school, at least 4,100 students die […] due to abuse, neglect, illness or accident,” the caption said.

The image manages to make an impact. Pope Francis apologized to Indigenous Canadians for the role of the Catholic Church in managing boarding schools during a visit to Canada last July.

Core: Visitors take pictures of Amber Bracken’s “Kamloops Boarding School” during the World Press Photo exhibition at the Dutch Embassy’s Erasmus Huis Cultural Center in Jakarta. (JP/Tunggul Wirajuda) (JP/Tunggul Wirajuda)

highlight diversity

World Press Photo (WPP) naming Kamloops Boarding School As a photo of the year. WPP Global Jury President Rena Effendi praised the photo “for its summary of the global history of colonial oppression that must be addressed in order to meet future challenges”.

Kamloops Boarding SchoolThe figure makes this photo the centerpiece of the 65-year-oldth The WPP photo exhibition takes place at the Erasmus Huis Cultural Center of the Dutch Embassy in Jakarta and other locations around the world.

on its website World Press Photo NetworkBracken’s work and other photographs that made up last year’s WPP competition’s regional winners” were selected by an independent jury from 64,823 entries from 4,066 photographers from 130 countries […] [down to] 24 photographers from 23 countries,” including a photographer from Indonesia.

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“WPP has become more diverse since its inception in 1955. At the time, the winners were mostly white, which made the game uneven,” said Marika Cukrowski, curator of the WPP exhibition.

“But now, WPP is becoming more diverse by representing work from diverse groups, women and binary populations. The competition also uses regional models from Africa, Asia and Oceania, Europe, and the Americas.”

Photo project by Indonesian photojournalist Abriansyah ‘Berto’ Liberto haze It is one of the winning entries of WPP’s long-term project in Southeast Asia and Oceania.

This forum Newspaper photographers effectively used black-and-white photos of the Sumatra forest fires to simulate the eye-stinging effects of fires in Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries, among other effects.

“These photos have been taken since 2015 in Ogan Komering Ilir in South Sumatra and Ogan Hilir near the provincial capital Palembang, as these two areas bear the brunt of forest fires caused by flammable peatlands. Palm oil plantations in both areas Drains groundwater that could have been used to fight fires,” said Berto, whose accolades include the 2015 Adinegoro Indonesia National Press Award and Anugerah Pewarta Foto Indonesia’s Photo of the Year Award.

“[Haze] Extensive research into one of Southeast Asia’s largest and longest-running environmental problems, affecting millions of people across the region […] [The photo project] Not just raising awareness, but creating space for reflection,” said the jury of Berto’s work.

The photos vividly depict people from all walks of life fighting bushfires, from President Joko Widodo witnessing the flames to schoolchildren wearing masks to avoid smoking. Berto deftly uses black and white photography to further focus on the subject and its personal impact on him.

“The fires forced schools in Palembang to close because the particles in the smoke can be dangerous if inhaled through the lungs. This is dangerous for all of us, especially school children like my children, and reminds us that clean air is a human right.”

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WPP confirmed Berto’s concerns, citing a Harvard study that “linked smog in 2015 to more than 100,000 premature deaths in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. [The United Nations children’s agency] UNICEF says the 2019 wildfires in Kalimantan and Sumatra put nearly 10 million children at risk from air pollution”. However, these statistics mean little to some.

“I may not face threats or harassment like other journalists,” Beto said, “but I do meet some skeptics who think the photos are hoaxes.”

Brazilian photojournalist Lalo de Almeida has equally dexterous eyes, as his long-term project shows Amazon Dystopia, as exemplified by his aerial shots of the Belomonte Dam on the Xingu River in Brazil.Excavated landscape similar to Tolkien’s Middle-earth Isengard Lord of the Rings Dominates the work of the photographer Folha de Sao Paulo/Panos Pictures, and the adverse effects of the dam.

“More than 80% of [Xingu] The river has been diverted from its natural course to build the hydroelectric plant [Belo Monte Dam] project.Sharp reductions in water flow adversely affect both [natural] environment and the livelihoods of traditional communities living downstream from the dam,” WPP noted in the work.

The imagery and images depicting open-pit gold mines, expanding pastures and poverty among indigenous peoples suggest that the region is the epicenter of climate change due to increasing deforestation and industrialization in the Amazon. Most importantly, it shows how political interests can exacerbate a crisis.

“Under the leadership of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, conservation regulations and enforcement have eroded. The president has encouraged agriculture and mining in protected areas, believing it will eradicate poverty,” WPP noted.

“Bolsonaro has often spoken out against environmental protection measures and made comments undermining Brazilian courts’ attempts to punish lawbreakers. Environmentalists say this is encouraging deforestation and creating a climate of impunity.”

Smoke and Smoke: Abriansah Liberty's photographic project Smoke and Smoke: Abriansah Liberty’s photographic project “The Haze” documents the forest fires that ravaged Sumatra between 2015 and 2019. (JP/Tunggul Wirajuda) (JP/Tunggul Wirajuda)

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Expose false information

Erasmus Huis director Yolande Melsert said the photos showed “the temperature of the world situation”. It makes us think about our responsibility to the world, caring about nature and people,” she noted. Melsert added that the WPP exhibition will be held in conjunction with the Jakarta International Photography Festival in Blok M district, South Jakarta.

Maresa Oosterman, head of the political department at the Dutch embassy, ​​agreed.

“Press freedom is an integral part of democracy, although at least 53 countries have abolished it. But while misinformation and disinformation remain a major threat to press freedom, good photos can strike, inspire and connect us, Thereby having an impact,” she asserted.

Projects by American photographer Louie Palu zero political year A visual record of how the conspiracy theories, disinformation and misinformation spread by then-President Donald Trump before and after his failed 2020 presidential election, and how the COVID-19 pandemic helped to tear America apart.

“[Political Year Zero] provides us with information about [insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021]. This style resembles that of an unwitting eyewitness and will slow down into a chaotic, spectacle-filled event,” observed the WPP jury of Palu Images.

Whether using 17 vaccination campaignersth Century beak masks shock public to get COVID-19 vaccine, thousands of Trump supporters storm Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, zero political year Known for its almost apocalyptic images. Palou amplifies the effect by using elongated shadows to show the seemingly darker shift in American politics during the Trump administration.

The WPP Photography Exhibition is on view at Erasmus Huis until October 1st. The event will then travel to Yogyakarta and take place at the Pendhapa Art Space from October 8th to 30th.

WPP Photo Exhibition

Runs until October 1st

Erasmus Jakarta

Jl. HR Rasuna said Kav. S-3
South Jakarta. 12950

Hours of Operation: 10am to 4pm


Instagram: @erasmushuis_jakarta

Twitter: @ErasmusHuis

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