With Susan Sontag as the starting point of course
In an age marked by conflict, extremism, and deep societal polarisation, the role of photography transcends mere documentation. It becomes a powerful tool for shaping public perception, influencing political discourse, and fostering empathy. Against this backdrop, Foam is stepping forward to ignite a crucial dialogue on the intersection of photography and conflict. This Saturday, Feb 10th, Foam presents “Photography & Conflict: Regarding the Pain of Others” a one day symposium dedicated to exploring the multifaceted role of photography in navigating the complexities of our contemporary world – with Susan Sontag as the starting point of course. The symposium This day-to-night symposium, which is accompanied by an exhibition, features many talks and screenings from artists and thinkers alike. But we’ve done enough talking, let’s introduce you to some of the artists.
First off we have Emeric Lhuisset who challenges conventional perceptions of conflict. Through his innovative approach to photography, Lhuisset prompts viewers to assess their understanding of reality and the narratives that shape it. Implicit in this is the notion of cultural myths, which he explores using journalistic-like methods to subvert established codes and conventions. The artist and teacher at Sciences Po will be opening the symposium with a lecture titled “Show War.”
Forensic Architecture stands at the forefront of investigative research, shedding light on human rights violations across the world. Based at Goldsmiths, University of London, the group employs a multidisciplinary approach to uncovering truths often obscured by power structures. FA brings its findings to the forefront of public consciousness, presenting evidence in courtrooms, parliamentary inquiries, and leading cultural institutions worldwide, all while amplifying the voices of the affected communities. AF are hosting a special film screening during the day segment of the symposium.
Palestinian documentary photographer and filmmaker Sakir Khadar resides in the Netherlands where he channels his artistic vision into capturing the profound interplay between life and death in conflict ridden regions, particularly the middle east. Sakir’s work delves into the poetic complexities of existence amidst turmoil. Following FA, Sahkir will be giving a talk “The Camera as Weapon” zooming in live from Palestine.
Jakob Ganslmeier and Ana Zibelnik form a dynamic duo in the realms of visual arts, photography, and filmmaking. Ganslmeier employs his lens as a tool to challenge and deconstruct radical political narratives in today’s tumultuous landscape. Drawing from his deep understanding of visual storytelling, he seeks to foster sensitivity towards social issues amidst conflicting perspectives. This is merged with Zibelnik’s focus on themes like the ecological crisis and climate anxiety. Building a body of work focused on the implications of living in a world on the brink of catastrophe. Be sure to stay till the evening program to participate in their workshop; “The Appropriate Image.”