WEDNESDY, JULY 25: Social injustice and human rights abuses, both globally and locally, are the focus of two photojournalism-based exhibitions in the works at the Bermuda National Gallery.
The gallery is seeking financial support for the Eyes On The World and Eyes On Bermuda shows due to begin in January 2113.
The concept arose following the important work being carried out by the Inter Agency Committee (IAC) for Children and Families. The agency this month held a conference exploring the effects of “unaddressed multi-generational trauma” on families in Bermuda.
Hosted in partnership with the Alexia Foundation for World Peace and Cultural Understanding, the exhibition aims to help fulfil the gallery’s mission to function as a museum space for social healing and transformation. It will feature the work of local professional and emerging photojournalists and filmmakers who have been invited to share their views of Bermuda.
BNG is in need of just over $52,000 to make the exhibitions happen.
BNG Director Lisa Howie said: “Financial support for the BNG exhibitions in 2013 is at a critical stage. Corporate support for exhibitions has taken a notable dive since 2008 and the museum is struggling as a result. In order for the BNG to fulfil its mission, we must provide the public engaging, relevant exhibitions and enriching educational programmes. We cannot do this without financial support. These are rather desperate days for the museum.”
The imagery intends to “promote the power of photojournalism to give a voice to social injustice, to respect history lest we forget it, and to understand cultural difference as our strength — not our weakness.”
The works will broach such issues as poverty, famine, gender struggles, civil unrest, and health care. Where Eyes On The World will focus on global issues, Eyes On Bermuda will look at “local matters of social injustice and hope”.
If the gallery can raise the funds for the exhibition, it will invite the public to share their contributions to Eyes On Bermuda which will be uploaded online at www.bng.bm which will run as a parallel show giving an opportunity for public engagement.
The shows will allow BNG to work with social service providers, social justice interrogators, and community collectives working in Bermuda and a programme of lectures, seminars and workshops will take place to garner community opinion on how to make the island a better place. Ms Howie added: “While not to negate the aesthetic and enriching experience that one expects of a museum, we also recognize that confronting social issues and negotiating a thoughtful programme of events alongside an exhibition, fulfills the museum’s role in today’s society.
“Increasingly the museum is being understood as a site for social change, not simply a repository of valuable cultural artifacts. As a forum of exchange, the museum has the propensity to inspire critical inquiry, debate, and remind us of who we are and who we aspire to be.”