2018

Curatorial Statement

This year’s festival explores the idea of personal truths and how it manifests and shapes individuals, societies, religions, and politics. They reflect our ideas towards science, the environment, the cosmos and how we process reality. The exhibition hopes to challenge our notions of how we perceive the truth, what we accept as the truth and how we manage and navigate the dissonance of multiple truths and half-truths which arise in all of us through complex relationships.

In what many are calling a post-truth society, how do we come to understand ourselves and our environments? How do we derive ‘value’, and place judgment in a world that seems to be getting increasingly more complex? What modern measurements can we employ in determining truth? Where do the apparatuses that we’ve relied on for thousands of years which have guided all of society forward stand today? Is there a need for a new framework for the mind moving forward in processing truth?

It is my hope that through the exhibitions, conversations, and discussions we will at least be aware of our logical and emotional paradigm, and ultimately walk away with more questions than answers.

– Vignes Balasingam, Director, OBSCURA Festival of Photography

PRINT EXHIBITIONS & ARTISTS

Confiteor – Tomaso Clavarino
The Kurds – Marc Yang
I Am Royal – Thania Petersen
Plaintext – Marta Bogdanska
Contained – Verena Andrea Prenner
Blood of the Narts – Fyodor Telkov
Contractions – Guilherme Bergamini
Lima Sites – Matt Aslett
Over|State – Ilias Georgiadis
Piedra, Padre, Universo – Clara De Tezanos
Somewhere Only I Know – Donna Chiu
Uncanny Lovers – Paulina Otylie Surys
Iʼll Be Looking At The Moon But Iʼll Be Seeing You – Harikrishna Kattragadda & Shewta Upadhyay
Only For The Dead On Duty – Naraphat Sakarthornsap
Kagerou – Yusuke Takagi
Abkhazia – Ksenia Kuleshova
Tomorrow Will Be Postponed – David Carswell
Kurosouschyna, My Love – Masha Syvatogor
Universal Truth- Camille Leveque
Nekyia – Rocco Venezia

talks

Photobook Related Talks

Poet Island – Atsushi Fujiwara
Kagerou – Yusuke Takagi
Scrapbook – Hajime Kimura
Supreme India – James Talalay
Dark Cities – Shyue Woon
Lima Sites – Matt Aslett

Keynote Presentations

Peter Bialobrzeski
Photography As Cultural Practise

Celebrated German photographer Peter Bialobrzeski will talk about his work and his 25 years in photography. He will give an overview about his career starting from a newspaper photographer in his native Wolfsburg in the eighties, leading up to a career as an internationally exhibited and collected artist. The focus will not only be on his well known books NEONTIGERS, HEIMAT, and PARADISE NOW but also include lesser known works from
the early 1990s, as well as so far unpublished pictures from 2018.
Peter works mainly on personal documentary projects. In the last 18 years he has published sixteen books. He won several awards including the prestigious World Press Photo Award 2003 and 2010. Since 2002 Peter is a regular Professor for photography at the University of the Arts in Bremen/Germany. He is represented by Laurence Miller Gallery in New York, LA Galerie in Frankfurt/Germany and also shows with Robert Morat Gallery in his hometown Hamburg, as well as at m97 Gallery in Shanghai. In 2012 he was honored with the Erich Salomon Award by the German Society of Photographers (DGPh).


Atsushi Fujiwara

On Publishing Asphalt with Akira Hasegawa, Shin-ichiro Tojimbara and on Personal Projects

Atsushi spoke of his journey into becoming a photographer, and his experience founding Asphalt magazine, which lasted 10 issues and five years working alongside renowned photo editor Akira Hasegawa, who came out of retirement to edit Asphalt. The talk also covered the remapping of Fujiwaraʼs 4 books to date and examined the artists thought process and ethic in making photographic works and books.


Kenneth Feinstein
Seeing The Face of the ‘Otherʼ in Photography
A historical overview of amateur photography

This talk asks what is at the core of photography? What makes it unique and why do we always return to it? It posits that what makes photography unique is what we find in amateur photography and specifically the act of photography itself. We will see how the act of making an image puts us in relation to the other that we see in front of the lens. With amateur photography we find that our relationship with the subject has more significance than the image made and yet it is this relationship that fuels how we have come to understand fine art and journalistic photography


Hajime Kimura
Japan – Yugoslavia work

Hajime spoke candidly of a vivid childhood memory of a football stadium riot at the onset of the Bosnian civil war, and how he subsequently went to Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia to document the way football connected the former Yugoslavian states and Japan, and of the numerous false starts in his project before it found its shape.


Thania Petersen
I Am Royal

Thania Petersen is a multi-disciplinary artist whose discourses focus on photographic ‘self-portraits’, installations and multi-sensory based performance. A direct descendant of Tuan Guru (an Indonesian Prince in the late 1700’s brought to South Africa by the Dutch as a political exile), Petersen explores the universal themes of personal and historical identities by reconstructing herself in various guises ‘of what remain from our ancestors’ rituals and past in our lives today’. From an intensely personal perspective as an Indonesian ‘Malay’ woman and mother, Petersen adopts a breath and diversity of theatrical personas – a mythological Queen, a  botanical Goddess to various personal reflections of her childhood growing up as a girl in a secular Muslim society. Her reference points include the history of African colonial imperialism, contemporary westernized consumer culture, her deeply personal Cape Malay heritage, and Sufi Islamic religious ceremonies.


Naraphat Sakarthornsap
Only For The Dead on Duty

In this very eye-opening and deeply moving talk and presentation, Naraphat Sararthronsap discusses his work in relation to the deeply worrying practises in the military in his country that has led to the death of many young men. This talk was accompanied by publicly sourced videos of excessive violence as well as facts and statistics in relation to these violations.


David Carswell
Tomorrow Will Be Postponed

David Carswell speaks about his work as well as the broader areas of his interests and practice in photography in this candid and intimate conversation.

PROJECTION NIGHTS & EVENING PROGRAMMING

Mint Collective Slideshows
Curated by Mario Wezel, Charlotte de la Fuente & Marcel Wogram

Photography is a medium that quickly becomes to much about itself, sometimes photographers do the same thing. By starting the MINT- Projections, two years ago, we decided to try and break down those preconceptions: instead of showcasing our own works as photographers we slip into the roles of curators and producers, acknowledging that there is always a right fit of topic and storyteller. The best we can do is to give a platform to those works. The projections are celebrating diverse and versatile storytellers, that report on current issues from around the globe. In a globalised world, we need a globalised visual culture that engages in discussions and raises awareness. With the Projections we hope to make you laugh, cry and reflect about your own role in this world

• Auto – Andreas Graf
• Pik Nik – Arko Datto
• Diaspora – Cecile Smetana Baudier
• In Quarta Persona – Filippo Menichetti & Martin Errichiello
• Banned Beauty – Heba Khamis
• I Want to Dissapear – Mafalda Rakos
• Apples for Sale – Rebecca Samspon
• Taufiqur Rahman Anik
• A Journey in Reverse Direction – Zhu Lanqing
• Laura Pannack – ?
• Robin De Puy – ?
• Albert Elm -?
• Franziska Gilli – ?
• Patricia Kühfuss – ?
• Maria Sturm – ?


Interfilm – International Short Film Festival, Berlin
Curated by Hienz Hermann

A visual journey through the world of international metropolises seen from very different perspectives and realized as animation, short fiction, experimental, documentary or music video. 10 short films about modern city life in Berlin, Amsterdam, Mexico City, Chongqing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Vientiane, Tokyo, Sao Paulo and a nonexisting place.
Beginning as a Super 8 film festival in 1982, the festival has become one of the largest short film festivals in Germany and Europe, receiving 6,000 annual film entries and a continually growing audience of over 21,000 – firmly establishing itself as a vital part of Berlinʼs cultural landscape.  2018 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles has declared interfilm an Academy Award® Qualifying Festival. interfilmʼs goal is to bring together creative individuals from all over the world who work with short film and provide them with an international and culturally-political platform to showcase their work and facilitate the exchange of ideas, skills, and support. Presenting a wide variety of short film productions comprising live action, animation, documentary and experimental films to enthusiastic audiences consisting of film industry professionals, students, and the general public, interfilm is dedicated to celebrating and promoting the short film format.


R.AGE Documentary Film Night

The R.AGE Documentary Film Night featured documentaries made by young journalists on very important topics which have taken the world by story. These ground breaking stories have gone to win multiple awards in journalism and activism on topics of child sexual crimes, human trafficking, urban poverty, etc. The selection of two major works, Student/Trafficked and The Refugee River & Interview With An Extremist were screened at the festival this year.


NJWA


DYNAMIC – Photographic Works and Initiatives from Greece
Curated by Ilias Georgiadis

The show consists of 3 chapters. In the first, we take a look at a fresh initiative that started in Greece very recently, “Vein Collective”, and focuses on sharing intimate-personal stories. In the second we discover a universe of different voices, which all share one thing.  They were all born on the same ground; “Common Ground”.  In chapter 3; “Inconnu” & “Hidden” we see three different stories of haunting beauty, approached with pure desire, in search for memory, roots and longing. It is very natural for the viewer to make conscious or unconscious connections with the works you see and the Greek socio-politico and economic scene. My point of view is that maybe as an artist and as a person, someone has to cross some dark corners before reaching the light. Even if an artistʼs reaction to this is the creation of an introspective narrative that questions a set of imagery, we see one thing: that there is so much light in it.

Vein Collective
• Manos Chrisovergis
• Theo Elias
• Ilias Gerogiadis
• Panos Kefalos
• Elizabeth Rovit

Common Ground
• Manolis Karatarkis
• Nikolas Ventourakis
• Eleni Onasoglou
• Kosmas Iliadis
• Manolis Skantzakis
• Maria Banouta
• Mixalis Kalaizakis
• Panos Mazarakis
• Stavros Stamatiou
• Vasillikos Lukas

Inconnu
• Iraklis Dimitriadis

Hidden
• Dimitra Dede
• Yorgos Yatromanolakis

Workshops & Masterclasses

The Process, The Narrative, Your Journey
IAN TEH

This workshop is an investigation into your Creative Process, a self-made framework essential for your development as a visual storyteller. The class will examine the possible avenues of the visual storytelling process and the decisions you might make as a thoughtful photographer. The framework provides a critical structure for the practitioner to grow within, learning to make objective step by step decisions along the way to craft narrative and explore ways in which to develop the story. The workshop aims to establish a solid foundation within your photographic practice in order to inform future development. The 5 day programme will cover key areas of the creative process from the development of a story idea, visualizing and problem solving, to its realisation — the development of these skill sets are part experiential and will, therefore, be incorporated within the framework of a photography project. The workshop focuses and explores creative considerations involved in shooting, sequencing, and reasonings behind the decisions for the final production. All these stages of the photographic practice are important and necessary to developing a coherent body of work — the maturation and advancement of these key foundational blocks will enable you, the photographer, to constantly explore and push your creative limits. A fundamental aim of the workshop will be to develop your critical creative facility and an understanding of professional production requirements, tools essential for your own photographic journey.

6-10 August 2018, Spaceley Penang

YALE NUS     Griffith
Student List


Portraits That Tell Stories
Maggie Steber

This masterclass is a journey into the multiple ways of using portraiture in the creation of important visual documents/storytelling. The approach to your portraiture project can reside in the vernacular of fine art, conceptual photography, photojournalism, documentary – as well as experimental photography, digital work and found images. This workshop will be about pushing your creativity to the next level. The masterclass will be research-based and there will be an emphasis on your written proposal, artist statement and writing captions for the images.  The final coursework will be a series of 7 portraits and must be presented under the assumption that this will be finished work to be presented to a client, gallery or for publication. The volume of works produced is limited to allow for more emphasis on idea generation, research, production, and finishing. The final outcome will be works that represent your personal growth as photographers, narrators, and artists in your own right. It will be very important for each participant thoroughly researching a story, presenting ideas, writing concepts and presenting visualizations of your ideas prior to the programme. Participants are strongly encouraged to explore a diverse range of narratives, from current news, myths & legends, personal stories, true accounts, and reenactments.

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