The new FotoDC HQ debuted with a reception for the gallery’s current show, Speaking to Silence, on July 22 with over 900 visitors streaming through the space over the course of the evening. The exhibit highlights humanitarian work from world-renowned photographers Marcus Bleasdale, Stephanie Sinclair and Platon, in a collaboration with the Pulizer Center for Crisis Reporting and Human Rights Watch.
Bleasdale, one of the world’s leading photographers, focuses on the repressed, exiled and often abandoned voices of civilians caught between warlords and armed rebel’s resource conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in his series Abandoned People/Abandoned Homes. For over ten years, Bleasdale has worked to bring attention to the devastation the Rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has waged on the Congolese population since the mid-1980′s, using his photographs to influence global policy change. This collection combines the evidence of life and community in ruin among lush landscapes and intimate portraits of those who abandoned their homes in search of refuge.
With a unique ability to access some of the most sensitive and human rights issues around the world, Sinclair, a regular contributor to National Geographic, explores the forbidden practice of child brides in the Middle East and Africa despite increasing international agreements to outlaw the tradition. Her multimedia presentation Too Young to Wed, produced for the Pulitzer Center in association with National Geographic, is a call to action to protect the young girls forced into marriage in India, Yemen, Afghanistan, Nepal and Ethiopia.
Platon, a staff photographer for The New Yorker and regular contributor to Time and Rolling Stone, is known for his portraits of some of the world’s most famous people, including the photograph of Russian President Validmir Putin featured on the cover of Time‘s 2007 issue of “Person of the Year”. In his first assignment with Human Rights Watch, Platon focuses on the heroic survivors and outspoken Burmese refugees living in Thailand. His portrait series Exiled features exiled Burmese dissidents, like Ashin Issariya, who fled his country in late 2008 to escape arrest.
Stop by the gallery through the end of September to view all of the images within the Speaking to Silence collection. The gallery is open Thursday through Saturday from 12 to 6 p.m., or by appointment.
-Angela Kleis with contributions by Miisha Nash.