1 / 5       Children with no Identity. © Abdollah Keidari.

2 / 5       Dr Beat Richner & Kantha Bopha. © Eric Sander.

3 / 5       Balaknama, Slum Kid Reporters . © Melanie Dornier.

4 / 5       Fish and Morning Glory (Lake Clinic Cambodia). © Patrick Firouzian/LakeClinicCambodia/Global Roots.

5 / 5       IKKT. © Try Sophal.

The Impact Project: cues for reflection

That attention is aimed in an almost monotonous way towards events and situations with a high level of tragedy, is a criticism that photojournalism has suffered since time immemorial. It would be easy indeed to contradict those who back this argument. The reasons we know well are many: it is easier to go with the interest of an often-morbid public with which a good photographer who has plenty of guts can build powerful images in the face of tragic events.
Just to try to provide compensation to this attitude stems The Impact Project, the evening of screenings created by Françoise Callier within the Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops and dedicated to the presentation of photographic works that, on the contrary, have set as their main target that of the documentation of positive events and activities.
An undoubtedly commendable initiative that cannot but leave these questions unanswered, some of which are disturbing. The most important concerns the reasons, which drive the best photographers to operate uniquely in the direction of the research of tragic events and assorted disasters, delegating to those who are less gifted the documentation of positive facts. As far as this statement may seem drastic, it truly reflects in full what at the end of the screening you are forced to think. Except for the work Children with no Identity by the Persian photographer Abdullah Heidari, the iconic level of these works aimed at the bright side of life appears in fact generally very low, so as to assume even amateur infiltration. Of course, going back to what I said, we must not forget that it is easier to show a tragedy. However, as the above mentioned work by Heidari has shown, even in a situation devoid of dead bodies and scattered limbs one can obtain extremely valid images. But to do that you have to have depth as a human, technical and speculative alike to consent entering into the situations fully. Otherwise we are limited to observing the world with bored eyes at least those who will be forced to observe those works.
So told The Impact Project could look like a failure, but in reality it is not. To the idea, and to the Festival that welcomed it, anyway remains the merit of having tried to lift a rug under which over the years has been hidden a lot of dust. And, perhaps, in insisting along this road, one day some really good photographers will also take the trouble to stop the litany of tragedies that they tell us to show us something else. [ S. I. ]


– – –

[ INTERNAL RESOUCES ]
Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops on FPmag
Exhibitions and screenings

[ video ] A yearlong search: interview with Françoise Callier
[ video ] Interview with Jean-Yves Navel

[ EXTERNAL RESOURCES ]
Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops

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published on 2015-12-11 in NEWS / MELTINGPOT

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