Nfoque Photography Exhibit | Camarena Memorial Library
The four images exhibited here were born from liquid emulsions applied to fine art paper. As the photograph only appears where the emulsion exists: “He turned a reproducible object into something unique,” says Langret.
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The lives of these workers, a true precariat, are the subject of the photo exhibit by Laurence Cuelenaere and José Rabasa. Entitled “Imagining Precarious Life in Tulum, Mexico,” the photos aim to capture a moment, a slice, an encounter, to invite viewers to imagine how people, so precariously pitched, craft a semblance of life in the everyday. Of central concern to Cuelenaere and Rabasa is what, borrowing from Francois Hartog, they call “presentism”: a condition of temporality that, rooted to the here and now of getting by and making do, remains always grounded in the present. Seeing this as a marker of precarity, a condition that affects the totality of life and not just the labor or work of the precariat, Cuelenaere and Rabasa use photography to bring viewers into this presentist zone of an uncertain everyday. Exploring with their Nikon F2 and Hasselblad 500/C cameras the affective worlds of people returning from work, heading to one-room homes of cardboard recovered from debris, cooking and washing outside, greeting neighbors or dressing for church, the photographers trace the fragility of lives without future and past. What they also show is that, even amidst such uncertainty, smiles also glimmer suggesting something else: the potential for political insurgency.
In 2012, Cultural Anthropology launched a . This is the second photo essay, which continues to expand on this project to bring photography to Cultural Anthropology. The section is developing an , which aims to include author–reviewer dialogues as well as online commentary. Once again, the authors offer to us a captivating set of images. For more information on how to submit your own photo essay to Cultural Anthropology, see .
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“Photography in Africa is controversial,” says Eva Langret, curator of , an exhibition showcasing photography from Africa and its diaspora at Tiwani Contemporary, displayed until the 27June.
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The seven African artists exhibiting are aware of this contradiction. They have given up on using photography as a documentation tool and instead adopted personal and subjective approaches that speak, perhaps more accurately, of wider issues.