BJP-online saw out 2018 by asking 13 photo-people from around the world to pick out the projects that most interested them over the past year – including The Guardian’s photo critic Sean O’Hagan, the FT Weekend Magazine’s director of photography Emma Bowkett, and BJP editorial director Simon Bainbridge
The director and co-curator of the award-winning Organ Vida festival in Croatia – which this year devoted its programme to work by women – picks out the projects that interested her in 2018
Emma Bowkett, the acclaimed director of photography for the FT Weekend Magazine, picks out the projects that “inspired, educated, excited and/or challenged me personally” in 2018
“In the EU today, we take women’s rights for granted,” says Marina Paulenka, director of Organ Vida, a three-week international photography event held annually in Zagreb. Founded in 2008, the festival has always been driven by political context, and this year, for its 10th edition, its all-female team have chosen to emphasise female-identifying perspectives from around the globe.
“In a time of post-capitalist global turmoil, technological advancements, with the strengthening of rightwing extremism, the growing influence of religion that limits women’s rights again, and the semblance of democracy in the 21st century, we are facing a situation in which women must fight anew for the rights that had been won long ago,” Paulenka insists.
Michael Danner’s book project Migration as Avant-Garde has won the prestigious Dummy Award at the Fotobookfestival Kassel. His mock-up will now be produced and published by Kettler, Germany, the company behind Mathieu Asselin’s hit book Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation.
Born in Reutlingen, Germany in 1967, Danner studied photography at Fachhochschule Bielefeld in Germany and the University of Brighton in the UK, and lived in London from 1997 to 2000. He’s now based in Berlin, where he lectures in photography at the Berliner Technische Kunsthochschule. He has previously published three monographs and seven artist’s books.
His project “examines the new ways in which migrants are pursuing their hope for a better life”, he states, adding: “The term ‘avant-garde’ stands for progress and the way of a pioneer. Driven by the desire to give their lives meaning, and guided by their own integrity, migrants bring new perspectives and points of view to our society. The origin of his work was the reading of a 1943 text by the philosopher Hannah Arendt.”
For the past five years, Ulla Deventer has been working on a project about women and prostitution in Europe – specifically in Brussels, Athens and Paris – but also, more recently, in Ghana. Several of the women she met in the project’s early days were from West Africa, and Deventer developed close friendships with some of her subjects, who inspired her to travel to their home countries to experience first-hand what life is like for women living there.
In May 2017, Deventer, who was born in Henstedt-Ulzburg in north Germany and is now based in Hamburg, spent six weeks in Accra, the capital of Ghana, where she focused her attention on the living conditions of the city’s youth, particularly its female sex workers. She recently returned to the country to continue to work on Butterflies Are a Sign of a Good Thing – an extension of her original project.
The Guardian’s photo critic picks out his top five of the year, including Sohrab Hura’s installation The Lost Head & The Bird at The Nines, London during Peckham 24
“You’ll Know It When You Feel It feels rooted in a fundamental desire to understand members of her family and her immediate community – and to allow her audience to see these individuals in the same empathetic light.” Rosella has won first prize and £5000 in the inaugural PHmuseum Women Photographers Grant for a shot in her native Australia; the £2000 second prize went to Egyptian photographer Heba Khamis, whose project on breast ironing, Banned Beauty, was shot in Cameroon.
The international photography festival in Croatia celebrates its ninth edition, hoping to unite audiences in a ‘divided’ world with its eclectic programme, which includes a Pieter Hugo retrospective; Dana Lixenberg’s award-winning Imperial Courts; and Dragana Jurisic’s elegiac pilgrimage through the former Yugoslavia, YU: The Lost Country
The eighth Organ Vida International Photography Festival, the largest festival of contemporary photography in southeastern Europe, opens today in the Croatian capital, Zagreb.