In a dazzling display of digital fellowship, Fotodok hosted its sixth edition of Take Off on December 15th, 2023. Spanning four hours, this virtual gathering connected 24 artists and 8 experts from diverse corners of the world – from South America to Asia, creating a tapestry of ideas and perspectives that transcended geographical boundaries.
The primary goal was to foster connections between emerging artists and a global network of photography and arts sector experts, including professional photographers, curators, editors, and researchers.
The event kicked off with brief introductions, paving the way for insightful one-on-one conversations. Over twelve minutes, each photographer showcased their recent projects on the virtual screen, sparking thoughtful discussions with the assembled experts. The diversity in perspectives and experiences became a standout feature, with participants delving into social issues and visualizing environmental processes, showcasing the richness of creativity and varied approaches.
The event witnessed an outpouring of positive sentiments from participants who lauded the quality conversations, multicultural engagement, and the unique opportunity it provided to share and receive feedback. Notably, artists underscored the significance of interacting not only with seasoned experts but also with their peers. This mutual exchange, where artists shared their works with one another, added an extra layer of richness to the collaborative atmosphere.
In reflecting upon Fotodok’s Take Off #6, several profound insights emerged, highlighting the event’s impact on the participating artists and the broader photography community.
First and foremost, the event provided a crucial platform for artists to receive constructive feedback from seasoned experts. This invaluable input acted as a catalyst for the refinement and evolution of future projects. The depth and quality of insights shared during these interactions served not only as a guide for artistic growth but also as a testament to the event’s commitment to nurturing emerging talent.
The global nature of the gathering also played a pivotal role, emphasizing the significance of building connections on an international scale. This interconnectedness not only broadened perspectives but also laid the foundation for potential collaborations and shared endeavors in the future. It’s the case of two photographers, who discovered that they were in the same location and coordinated a meetup.
Through discussions and shared experiences, participants gained profound insights into effective project development strategies and optimal portfolio organization. This aspect of the event showcased a commitment to the holistic growth of artists, providing them with practical knowledge and tools to enhance the impact of their work.
Lastly, the event underscored the role of photography as a vital storytelling tool. From addressing social issues to visualizing complex processes at the core of human experience, the showcased projects demonstrated the profound impact and narrative potential of the visual medium. This recognition further solidifies photography’s standing as a dynamic and impactful means of storytelling in the broader artistic landscape.
Let’s explore some of the projects presented at Take Off #6!
Beeld: Bram de Laet, Ach die eine ferne geliebte, 2021-2023
In Bram De Laet’s Ach die eine ferne geliebte a house serves as the backdrop for a narrative exploring themes of disconnection, obsession, gender, and ambiguity. Through meticulously staged images, the artwork creates an escapist setting, challenging traditional notions of photography with a classical visual style that transcends time. Viewers are invited to navigate a timeless space and construct their own photographic context.
Beeld: Gabriela Amaya Vásquez, Cuerpo heredado.
Gabriela Amaya Vásquez’s project delves into the act of posing, capturing moments observed in her family’s history. In Cuerpo heredado, she replicates and exaggerates repetitive poses from the family archive, expressing her disagreement with her body and reflecting on the healing process.
Beeld: Gudrun Sif Olafsdottir, Hugarangur.
Gudrun Sif Olafsdottir explores the concept of “Hugarangur,” translated as a mind ache. Her book responds personally to ecological challenges, drawing inspiration from nature and her children as sources of energy, healing, and hope amidst climate anxiety and grief.
Beeld: Karol Hincapié Villegas, Suturas.
Karol Hincapié Villegas unveils “Suturas,” a project aimed at recovering traumatic childhood memories through the family archive. Fragmented memories are reconstructed with torn photos, chemicals, and recycled fragments, symbolizing identity gaps and the healing journey, reminiscent of the art of Kintsugi.
Beeld: Laksmi De Mora Martínez
Laksmi De Mora Martínez’s project draws inspiration from the Amazons, with a literal exploration of the word: ‘a’ (without) and ‘mazos’ (breasts). Stemming from her battle with breast cancer, photography becomes a powerful tool to document her journey, offering a lens to face the challenges of hospital visits, treatments, and bodily changes.
In essence, Fotodok Take Off #6 transcended a mere virtual gathering; it served as a transformative experience that not only facilitated global connections but also acted as a catalyst for growth, learning, and the recognition of photography as a powerful medium in the world of storytelling.
By Marta Camagna