A World Elsewhere: photo reportage from around the world
Since living in Stratford, I have slowly come to realise that there are lots of hidden gems in town. For example, the Royal Shakespeare Company theatre is not just a theatre! There are little galleries inside hosting exhibitions. I was lucky enough to view one of the exhibitions entitled ‘A World Elsewhere’ which is running till the 3rd of March.
The theatre in Stratford.
Featuring the work of over 30 international artists, the exhibition gives audiences a window into the lives of people, places, cultures and communities from around the world. Curated by the Royal Shakespeare Company from the Foto8 Gallery Summer show 2012, it includes photo reportage of recent events such as the uprising in Libya, the spread of the Occupy movement and the build-up to the Summer’s Oylmpics.
The exhibition is linked to the Swan Theatre Winter season, turning our attention to different parts of the world during Shakespeare’s lifetime, with The Orphan of Zhao, Boris Godunov and A Life of Galileo.
Here are some examples of the amazing photographs on display:
The Libyan Wish by Fabio Bucciarelli
A Libyan fighter sits on a rocket launcher mounted on a pickup truck outside the walls of Sirte. The Battle of Sirte was the final battle of the Libyan civil war, culminating with the collapse of the four-decade Gaddafi regime.
Papua New Guinea by Timothy Allen
Central Highlands, Papua New Guinea 2010
Skeleton dancers from the Omo Masalai tribe. Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse nations in the world with over a hundred ethnic groups. Even today, many of the remote tribes have only marginal contact with the outside world.
Kazakh Eagle Hunter of Western Mongolia by Christo Geoghegan
Bayan-Ölgii, Mongolia 2012
In 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Kazakh Prime Minister, Nursultan Nazarbayev, set out to try and reclaim the rich Kazakh culture and tradition lost during years of Russian ruling. Border agreements and forced collectivisation are some of the factors which led to mass Kazakh migration across Bayan-Ölgii (Mongolia) and Xinjiang (China) – here Kazakh culture and tradition are still intact as they were hundreds of years ago. The Kazakh migration has led to a cultural crisis in modern day Kazakhstan where Soviet rule has all but wiped out these nomadic traditions, such as hunting with golden eagles.
Occupy Wall Street, No. 2 by Ashley Gilbertson
New York, USA 2011
An Occupy Wall Street demonstrator sits in Zuccotti Park, New York. The demonstrators occupied the park for two months before being evicted by the police on 15 November 2011.
Herero Woman by Jim Naughten
The Herero are an ethnic group living in Namibia, in South West Africa. They speak Herero language and are traditionally pastoralists, making a living tending livestock. Herero women wear Victorian era style dresses as a direct consequence of German occupation over a century ago, when Rhenish missionaries set about converting and clothing them in the European dress of the period. The headpiece is a Herero addition and symbolises cow horns, paying homage to their cattle which made them rich.
Girl With Snake by Justin Jin
Guangdong Province, China 2006
A girl lies with a snake inside a tent at a night market where herbalists, fortune-tellers, food hawkers and performers compete for business.
Uchha Hansa Risten and Ucha Hansa Thommas by Marianne Bjørnmyr
Billefjord, Norway 2009
The twins Uchha Hansa Risten and Ucha Hansa Thommas are part of the youngest generation of Sami People living off coastal Northern Norway. The Sami are Scandinavia’s aboriginal people, inhabiting the arctic areas. This community fights hard to restore and maintain a culture almost lost.
Combining photojournalistic, portrait and travel photography, the show aims to shine a light on subjects that shape our world. The exhibition room itself was a fantastic setting for the photographs, with music from around the world filling the space. I felt as though I was being transported elsewhere, away from Stratford. The whole room ignites the senses. Overall, a fantastic exhibition, and I thoroughly recommend it to others.