Currently on show at Flowers gallery in London is the inaugural 1000 Words Photography Magazine exhibition, Rebecoming: The Other European Travellers. The exhibition features new work by four photographers who won the 1000 Words Award for European photographers back in August 2012.
Henrik Malmström from Finland, Lucy Levene (Great Britain), Czech photographer Tereza Zelenkova, and Virgílio Ferreira from Portugal, each took part in an eighteen-month mentorship programme, which included workshops with photographers Jeffrey Silverthorne, Antoine d’Agata and Patrick Zachmann.[bjp_ad_slot]
The winning photographers were chosen by a panel of photography experts: Simon Baker, curator of photography at Tate; Brett Rogers, director of The Photographers’ Gallery in London; Dewi Lewis of Dewi Lewis Publishing; and Tim Clark and Michael Grieve, editors at 1000 Words Photography Magazine.
The Award is an initiative with The Other European Travellers, a project co-ordinated by Cobertura Photo and co-organised by Atelier de Visu and 1000 Words.
“We are delighted to unveil never-seen-before works from the four winners of the inaugural 1000 Words Award,” says editor and exhibition curator Clark. “The commissions were produced over the course of three very intense workshops during 2012 and 2013, and intend to reveal the complexities and contradictions of the migrant experience in our present societies and recent histories. I believe the work bears the promise of longevity and sets a good precedent for the future of the Award as we look to continue developing our programme beyond the online magazine.”
Depicting fragments of individual stories from Europeans who left their home countries to start new lives, the work on show explores “the complexities of the migrant experience”, including issues relating to family, labour, mobility, boundaries, cultural heritage and social expectation. The photographers also touch on themes that include: courage, upheaval, opportunity, heroism and the dream of returning ‘home’, among others.
Zelenkova presents work from the series Girls and Gloves, taken in the former London Brick factory in Bedford, England, which recruited Italian workers to do menial jobs during “the post-war reconstruction boom”. In this series, images of workers’ gloves and posters of women sit alongside portraits and images taken at neighbouring housing estate, Stewartby.
Levene also responds to Bedford’s Italian community by photographing residents in an attempt to explore what it means to be Italian, while Ferreira considers the ‘hybrid-identities’ of his fellow Portuguese. Malmström contributes a short film – Life’s Work – in which he reflects on the lives of Portuguese inhabitants (from cleaners to sex workers, laundrette staff, and religious worshippers), in Hamburg, Germany.
“An ode to travellers who dared to make the journey, for better or worse”, Rebecoming: The Other European Travellers is on show at Flowers gallery until 11 October. www.flowersgallery.com
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