BRAGA.- The Encontros da Imagem (Image Meetings), the oldest photo festival of the Iberian Peninsula is back in 2011 under the theme New Visions on Social Documentary Photography.
From September 16th until the end of October 13 exhibitions will be shown at historical, cultural and modern spaces of Braga, Portugal, in an event that also includes a 7500 Euros prize for the best portfolio presented to an international jury.
The current crisis in Portugal and the transformations of Eastern Europe after the fall of the communism are two of the main attractions of this year edition.
The current situation of Portugal is portrayed in the exhibition of the KameraPhoto collective that will be shown at the D. Diogo de Sousa Museum. Its a portrait of the social and political moment that Portugal is living, shown through the lenses of the 13 photographers that form this collective, born in 2003 explains Rui Prata, the festival director.
New life | New Document, commissioned by Vladimir Birgus, director of the Opava University, Czech Republic, presents a comprehensive view of the eastern countries and the changes suffered after the fall of the Berlin Wall. We feel in this exhibition the advent of democracy and the pulse of freedom in Eastern Europe, says Rui Prata. The show, with about 80 images of 21 authors, will occupy a division of the Monastery of Tibães.
A note also to "Things here and things to come," a work made in Tel Aviv by José Pedro Cortes, "with four young Jewish American who, as adults, fulfil the desire to return to Israel to perform military service" refers the festival director.
Mark Curan brings to Tibães Monastery his doctoral thesis. According to the Commissioner of the show, well see "a confrontation between the new technologies factories and bankruptcy of other production sectors in Germany."
"Nomads", a work on Irish nomads by Dragan Thomas, and three projects "on the underground side of society" which will be made available at the Museum of the Image, are the other major highlights of this year, according to Director of event.
The central theme of the 21st edition of the Meetings is "New Visions on social documentary photography" and results "of consciousness that the organization took in the analysis of landscape photography. We noted a growing of events that show a photography that is more decorative and, in our view, has a negative influence on young photographers looking for a quick success. "
"At a time of great euphoria around the image that is very manipulated by the emergence of new technologies, we feel the need to prioritize the territory of the documentary photography as a memory of the present time. Given this situation, the Encontros da Imagem consider important the approach to new projects which register the present moment of society, explains Rui Prata.
As far as photography is a privileged support to register the collective memory, the program was designed with the aim to lead the public to make a reflection about the everyday life through the attention that is given to the behaviours of societies from different geographic areas."
"We do not want to show only poverty or war, that we see every day in the news, but the experiences of everyday life and some happiness", he concluded.
The Encontros da Imagem were born in 1987. In the 20 previous editions more than 1000 Portuguese and foreign authors passed through Braga, including several references of the history of photography as W. Eugene Smith, Nadar, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Antoine d'Agata, William Klein, Andrew Kertsz, Diane Arbus, Lewis Hine and Martin Parr.