“The truth can be hard to look at,” says an introductory essay to the exhibition Hard Truths, on show at Sotheby’s this weekend. “We all have a protective need to distance ourselves from disaster. But we ignore our neighbors’ misery at our own peril. Violence and hatred proliferate and can quickly engulf those who seek only to avoid them.”
The exhibition gathers five series shot by freelance photographers for The New York Times and it shows some very hard truths – Ivor Prickett’s images from the end of the Caliphate in Mosul, Iraq; Tomas Munita’s images from a Cuba at the end of an era; Meredith Kohut’s photograph’s of Venezuela’s “collapse”, as she puts it; Newsha Tavakolian’s portraits of individuals in Tehran; and Daniel Berehulak’s hard-hitting images of President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug crackdown in the Philippines.
The show was organised by David Furst, The New York Times’ international picture editor, and Arthur Ollman of the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, and it will travel to PHotoEspaña this summer. There are further plans for shows in France, Japan, and Australia, and for a book, co-published by Delmonic Books/Prestel and FEP in 2019.
“The Hard Truths collection is a deeply immersive and sometimes affronting collection, holding a mirror to significant social and political issues, and the repercussions of upheaval and uncertainty facing communities across the globe,” stated Furst. “This series demonstrates the nuance and artistry required by our photojournalists to bring these issues to the fore, bearing witness to these events and aiding our understanding of the world around us.”
The exhibition is part of The New York Times’ “The Truth is Hard” campaign, which promotes the importance of supporting independent, in-depth journalism. The New York Times is one of a shrinking number of news organisations currently investing in its photography team.
Hard Truths is open from 10am-4.30pm on Friday 16 March, and from 10am – 4.30pm 12-5pm on Saturday 17th March and Sunday 18 March at Sotheby’s https://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2018/hard-truths-prize-winning-photography.html