Blog

CatchLight Fellowship announcement

I’m pleased to announced that I have been selected for an inaugural CatchLight Fellowship in partnership with the Pulitzer Center. Below is the official announcement: More than 300 photographers from around the world applied for the first annual CatchLight Fellowship and three have been chosen for their exceptional talent in visual storytelling for social engagement, innovative distribution of photography, creative…  read more.

Group show

Traces of Exile at REDCAT Gallery in Los Angeles

Video installation of Traces of Exile on show at the REDCAT Gallery in Los Angeles, from March 25 to June 4, 2017, part of the group exhibition It is obvious from the map.

REDCAT Gallery
631 West 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
USA

About Traces of Exile:

The ongoing crises in the Middle East have uprooted millions of people, yet new technology allows them to keep connected to their home communities and loved ones in unprecedented ways. The smartphone has become the essential travel companion of the 21st century refugee. Apps help migrants navigate through unfamiliar lands, stay in touch with their family and friends, contact smugglers, and even document their daily lives with selfies and posts to Instagram.

How does a refugee’s life in exile differ from his or her presence online? How does their portrayal of themselves differ from how they are depicted in the Western media?

Inspired by an Augmented Reality app that layers the smartphone camera view with nearby social media posts, this project reveals the digital traces of refugees that have been geo-tagged to a specific place, capturing the intersection of their online identities and places of exile.

About It is obvious from the map:

The show examines the role of maps and map-making in the current migration crisis between zones of conflict around the Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East. It is obvious from the map is organized by Thomas Keenan and Sohrab Mohebbi.

Panel talk

Panel discussion at the ICP Museum in New York City

Panel discussion on Nationalism, Networks, Borders: Refugees in Visual Culture and Social Media

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 6:30 to 8:30 pm

ICP Museum
250 Bowery
New York, NY 10012
USA

Joanna Lehan, curator of “The Flood: Refugees and Representation” section of Perpetual Revolution: The Image and Social Change, leads a conversation with Carne Ross, founder and executive director of the Independent Diplomat, and Tomas van Houtryve, an artist, photographer, and author whose piece Traces of Exile is included in Perpetual Revolution.

This is a free event, but please register in advance. ICP Members have access to the best seats at our public programs in our reserved members’ section.

Tomas van Houtryve’s participation in the public program has been made possible through the support of the Pulitzer Center.

Talk

Artist Talk at the Berlin Museum of Photography

Artist talk about State surveillance and the visual landscape of war.

Thursday, March 16 at 6:00 pm

Museum für Fotografie
Jebensstraße 2
10623 Berlin
Germany

The museum is also exhibiting Blue Sky Days prints through July 2, 2017 as part of the Watching You, Watching Me group show.

The ICP Museum acquires Traces of Exile video installation for their permanent collection

The International Center of Photography Museum (ICP) has acquired Traces of Exile for their permanent collection. This is the first time the ICP has ever acquired a video installation for their collection, which contains more than 100,000 still photographs spanning the history of photography, from daguerrotypes to digital chromogenic prints. Traces of Exile (2016-2017) is a single-channel 15-minute video installation.…  read more.

Review: Wall Street Journal, Traces of Exile

Richard B. Woodward, New York art critic for the Wall Street Journal, reviewed the “Perpetual Revolution” group exhibition at the International Center of Photography Museum (ICP), featuring my Traces of Exile video installation. Below is an excerpt from the review: “…The section on refugees opens with a wall of black-and-white photographs by Robert Capa and Chim ( David Seymour )…  read more.

Solo show

Blue Sky Days at Chobi Mela

Blue Sky Days will be exhibited at the Chobi Mela International Festival of Photography in Dhaka from Feb. 3 to 16, 2017.

Chobi Mela IX Festival
Pathshala South Asian Media Institute
16 Sukrabad
Panthapath
Dhaka 1207
Bangladesh

About Blue Sky Days:

In October 2012, a drone strike in northeast Pakistan killed a 67-year-old woman picking okra outside her house. At a briefing held in 2013 in Washington, DC, the woman’s 13-year-old grandson, Zubair Rehman, spoke to a group of five lawmakers. “I no longer love blue skies,” said Rehman, who was injured by shrapnel in the attack. “In fact, I now prefer grey skies. The drones do not fly when the skies are grey.”

With my camera attached to a small drone, I traveled across America to photograph the very sorts of gatherings that have become habitual targets for foreign air strikes—weddings, funerals and groups of people praying or exercising. I also flew my camera over settings in which drones are used to less lethal effect, such as prisons, oil fields, and the US-Mexico border. The images captured from the drone’s perspective engage with the changing nature of surveillance, personal privacy and war.

. . .

Chobi Mela, the international festival of photography since its inception in 2000 has been the single biggest photography event in Asia and the first of a regular biennale, one that has become one of the highlights of the Asian calendar. It is organised by Drik Picture Library Ltd. and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute. The Ninth edition of Chobi Mela will be held from February 3rd to February 16th, 2017.

Group show

Blue Sky Days at the Berlin Museum for Photography

Blue Sky Days will be on display at Berlin’s Museum for Photography with twelve gelatin-silver prints as part of the Watching You, Watching Me group exhibition from Feb. 17 to July 2, 2017.

Museum für Fotografie
Jebensstraße 2
10623 Berlin
Germany

About Blue Sky Days:

In October 2012, a drone strike in northeast Pakistan killed a 67-year-old woman picking okra outside her house. At a briefing held in 2013 in Washington, DC, the woman’s 13-year-old grandson, Zubair Rehman, spoke to a group of five lawmakers. “I no longer love blue skies,” said Rehman, who was injured by shrapnel in the attack. “In fact, I now prefer grey skies. The drones do not fly when the skies are grey.”

With my camera attached to a small drone, I traveled across America to photograph the very sorts of gatherings that have become habitual targets for foreign air strikes—weddings, funerals and groups of people praying or exercising. I also flew my camera over settings in which drones are used to less lethal effect, such as prisons, oil fields, and the US-Mexico border. The images captured from the drone’s perspective engage with the changing nature of surveillance, personal privacy and war.

 

About Watching You, Watching Me:

What right do governments, corporations, and individuals have to collect and retain information on your daily communications? What tools – both today and in the past – have been used to monitor your activities? What are the immediate and far-reaching effects? As governments and corporations around the world expand their efforts to track the communications and activities of millions of people, this not only threatens our right to privacy, but also opens the door for information to be collected and used in ways that are repressive, discriminatory, and chill freedom of speech and expression.

It is in this context of massive information gathering that Watching You, Watching Me – the 22nd installment of the Open Society Foundations’ Moving Walls exhibition – explores how photography can be both an instrument of surveillance and a tool to expose and challenge its negative impact. In tackling the inherent difficulty of visualizing something that is meant to be both omnipresent and covert – seemingly everywhere and nowhere at the same time – the artists in this exhibition employ a dynamic range of approaches. Together, these 10 artists provide a satellite-to-street view of the ways in which surveillance culture blurs the boundaries between the private and public realm. These projects raise important and provocative questions about the role of privacy in preserving our basic freedoms and rights.

Watching You, Watching Me: A Photographic Response to Surveillance curated by Stuart Alexander, Susan Meiselas, and Yukiko Yamagata. Organized by the OSF – New York in cooperation with the Kunstbibliothek – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Publication: Traces of Exile in The New Yorker

  The New Yorker  featured Traces of Exile on Jan. 27, 2017. The publication includes six segments from my project which overlays enhanced video landscapes along the migrant trail in Europe with Instagram images that refugees posted to the same place. The text for the feature was written by Nicolas Niarchos and is copied below:   “Before the summer of 2015, the island of Lesvos was…  read more.

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