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Catalog:

ROOM 18

FORMAT21 Photography Festival View 3D Gallery Visitor Feedback
Poster image for ROOM 18

Statement:

Ailbhe Greaney, Anand Chhabra, Cemre Yesil Gönenli, RPS Award: Etinosa Yvonne; Federico Estol, Simon Lehner

Reframed: Amrit Doll, Ashwin Patel, Bharti Parmar, De’Anne Crooks, Ismail Khokon, Justin Carey, Krishan Patel, Nilupa Yasmin, Pritt Kalsi, Raúl Valdivia Murgueytio, Rebecca Orleans, Sanah Iqbal

Curated by Laura O'Leary

Artworks in this room:

Supnaa: Dreams of our Fathers

Anand Chhabra
Supnaa: Dreams of our Fathers

Supnaa: Dreams of our Fathers

Anand Chhabra

How do you tell the story of those who gave you life? My series attempts to tell the story of my parent’s & their migration from India to the UK c1960s–to present day, and their hopes of a ‘new life’ together with early Punjabi migrants who arrived ‘en masse’ to the UK. This is a subject that remains largely untold photographically. Their formative years in the Black Country & the Midlands is my particular focus, as they arrived during tensions and protests around mass migration which were heightened largely by white working classes who were empowered by infamous MPs such as Enoch Powell (Wolverhampton) & Pete Griffiths (Smethwick). The series comprises of images that are connected specifically to my parents’ story that sit in four categories: family photos, portraits (people connected to them), ephemera and conceptual images that aren’t always instantly recognisable but nevertheless are laden with meaning (I describe them as dreamscapes). Together these photographs attempt to describe the people, family, their desires to work hard, the changing culture of the decades and their personal hopes, dreams and faith.I feel what I have done up to now and realise that our identity and who we are hasn’t mattered. There is almost nothing recorded and said about a community of Punjabi’s that makes up 15% of a whole city. So I continue on this photographic project further and deeper

bcva.info
Supnaa: Dreams of our Fathers

Supnaa: Dreams of our Fathers

Anand Chhabra

Shine Heroes

Federico Estol
Shine  Heroes

Shine Heroes

Federico Estol

A collaboration with sixty shoe shiners associated with the NGO Hormigón Armado in Bolivia. Federico Estol presents a photo essay to protest the social discrimination they face in their profession. Images depict the shoe shiners in masks. Worn to protect their identities, this collective anonymity is their resistance against exclusion.

federicoestol.com
Shine  Heroes

Shine Heroes

Federico Estol
Shine  Heroes

Shine Heroes

Federico Estol
Shine  Heroes

Shine Heroes

Federico Estol
Shine  Heroes

Shine Heroes

Federico Estol
Shine  Heroes

Shine Heroes

Federico Estol
Shine  Heroes

The mind is a voice, the voice is blind

Simon Lehner

The mind is a voice, the voice is blind

Simon Lehner
The mind is a voice, the voice is blind

The mind is a voice, the voice is blind

Simon Lehner
simon-lehner.com
The mind is a voice, the voice is blind

The mind is a voice, the voice is blind

Simon Lehner
The mind is a voice, the voice is blind

The mind is a voice, the voice is blind

Simon Lehner
The mind is a voice, the voice is blind

The mind is a voice, the voice is blind

Simon Lehner
The mind is a voice, the voice is blind

The mind is a voice, the voice is blind

Simon Lehner

Simon Lehner examines the cognitive dialogue between memories and the conscious as well as the control that trauma exerts over self-perception. This project uses lens-based animated videos and sculptures to make the memory of trauma tangible. It reflects the search for a visual language that aims to deconstruct lived experiences.

The mind is a voice, the voice is blind

Simon Lehner

It’s All In My Head

Etinosa Yvonne

RPS Award 'It’s All In My Head' is an ongoing multimedia project that explores the coping mechanisms of survivors of terrorism and extreme instances of conflict and cruelty by using layered portraits of the survivors and the things that they do to help them move forward or otherwise. The project aims to advocate for increased and long-term access to psychosocial support for survivors which in turn will improve their mental health and well-being. In the last two years, Etinosa Yvonne has worked with more than forty survivors of terrorism and violent conflict in different parts of Nigeria. It is interesting to note that while these survivors find a way to rebuild and adjust to their new lives, many of them never get to talk about their experiences. Thus, the idea of "moving on” can be considered to be a charade of sorts as they are stuck in the past while trying to start over. A lot of the survivors struggle with depression, PTSD, and vengeful thoughts, while others have found solace in their existence and religion. Etinosa Yvonne started this project to draw the attention of society to the state of mind of some of these survivors.​ Image description for Talatu Ezra: “When the insurgents attacked, we tried to escape, sadly, they attacked the car we boarded was attacked by the insurgents. They shot at us; my eldest child was killed. We were forcefully taken to Sambisa where we spent 5 years. While in captivity, I lost another child. I am happy that I got out of Sambisa alive. After years in captivity, I was happy to see my parents again. The fact that they are alive makes me happy." Talatu Ezra, Adamawa, Nigeria

etinosayvonne.me
It’s All In My Head

It’s All In My Head

Etinosa Yvonne

“When I wake up in the morning and just before I go to bed I think of all that happened. There was a time I stayed without food for fifteen days because I was hiding. I also saw lots of dead bodies. I went through hell and I can’t get it out of my head. Boko Haram is the worst thing that happened to me.” Hajara Abubakar, Borno, Nigeria

It’s All In My Head

It’s All In My Head

Etinosa Yvonne

“I was walking through a lonely path while on my way home, I saw two boys and I walked past them. In a split second, one of the boys held me down while the other stabbed me. Before then, I had heard that some Sara Suka boys were in town but I never thought I would be a victim. Since the attack, I don't stay out late. Sometimes I have negative thoughts, I just want revenge.” Julius Bature, Jos, Nigeria

It’s All In My Head

It’s All In My Head

Etinosa Yvonne

“I was at home with my family relaxing, then we heard gunshots. We fled to another local government area and stayed there for a year. We returned to our village in 2019. Ever since we returned, I’ve been frightened. Sometimes I wonder if my husband wants us dead, I mean why did he make us come back? Everything has changed, everyday is a constant reminder that we lost everything. Living is a struggle.” Ramatu Sunday, Taraba, Nigeria

It’s All In My Head

Etinosa Yvonne

“After every Sunday service, it was a norm for me to stay back in church for meetings. On that fateful day, I got word that the Boroboro (Fulani) people were in the community. A few hours later we were informed that they had attacked a nearby village. I didn’t get to take much, but I ran away. Since I left my community, I have been idle. I had just planted before the attack, sadly I never go to harvest. The only thing that keeps me company is my thoughts. I can’t stop thinking. My livelihood has been taken from me, I’m not productive so all I do is to think.” Malori Zemba, Taraba, Nigeria

It’s All In My Head

It’s All In My Head

Etinosa Yvonne

“When I was 12 years old, my step-brother told me he wants me to marry his step-brother. His step-brother was in his mid thirties at the time. When we got married, he tried to sleep with me. It was so painful, I fainted. In the third year of our marriage, I got pregnant and gave birth to a baby. A few months after, my husband got married to another woman. He asked me to go and visit my parents which I did. While at home, he sent a divorce letter. While I was preparing to remarry, my husband heard about about my proposed marriage. He reached out to my family to say that he had not divorced me. My family supported his claim and asked me to return to him. I refused and ran away with my child. So as to cater for me and my child, I became a sex worker. My family heard about it and disowned me. Sometimes I think that maybe my life was destined to be this way, or maybe the marriage ruined my life. My children are often picked on, people call them bastards. Sometimes I pray for death so that at least my children won’t be picked on anymore.” Hamida* Name changed for protection

It’s All In My Head

It’s All In My Head

Etinosa Yvonne

“My elder sister married me off when I was 11; my husband was 23 at the time. As soon as we got married, he began to maltreat me. My husband does not provide for me nor our kids. As the years went by, I took to begging so that I could be able to take care of the family. However, this did not deter him from beating me at any given opportunity. My husband took ill and the beatings stopped. I am praying for him to get better so that I can leave the kids with him and start a new life. If I was not forcefully married off, things would have been better; I would have been happier. Fauzia* Name changed for protection

It’s All In My Head

It’s All In My Head

Etinosa Yvonne

“I was married off when I was 12 years. When I turned 14, I got pregnant. After I gave birth, I was admitted to the hospital because I had eclampsia. I could not see nor talk. After 25 days I began to see; 3 months later I began talking again. My husband was killed during an attack by Boko Haram insurgents. Shortly after his death, I went to fetch water. While on my way, a middle aged man called me, when I got close to where he was, he dragged me inside. He raped me and ran away. Months after; I began staying in an IDP camp. I eventually gave birth to a baby who died after five months. I used to cry a lot before, I also felt angry as people mocked me when I was pregnant. I am trying to move on, I have left everything in the hands of God.” Hailma* Name changed for protection

It’s All In My Head

It’s All In My Head

Etinosa Yvonne

"I went fishing and upon my return, I saw thick smoke. I immediately went to look for my children. Some people informed me that one of my kids entered the water. Three days later, some fishermen discovered my daughter's lifeless body. I cried! Sometimes, when i want to call my son, i unknowingly call him by daughter's name. I still think of her." Abel Wajim, Lagos, Nigeria.

It’s All In My Head

Etinosa Yvonne

“I went to fish and when I returned I saw thick smoke; I saw that my house had been burnt. Four of my kids suffered burns. My wife’s shop was also not spared; all her goods were burnt. I was a successful fisherman and all that changed in one day. I’m not happy at all, sometimes I pray for death. I can barely take care of myself nor my children. I lost everything I had, I’m not happy”. Jimoh Boton, Lagos, Nigeria

It’s All In My Head

It’s All In My Head

Etinosa Yvonne

“During the 2001 crisis, my shop was looted. I lost all my sewing tools and equipment. Months later, I started over and then during the 2008 crisis, the shop got burnt. I made up my mind to stay idle but my clients encouraged me to start again, so I did in 2014. I lost a lot, but I try not to think too much so that I can stay alive for myself and my family. I’ve always been a tailor, it’s the one thing I know how to do best. Each time I go to the shop, I’m assured that I will rise again”. Saleh Adams, Jos, Nigeria

It’s All In My Head

Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Cemre Yesil Gonenli

Hayal and Hakitat, translated means dream and fact, features photographs of the hands of early 20th century prisoners. Abdul Hamid II utilised photography as a tool for documenting the modernisation of the Ottoman Empire at the start of the 20th Century. A photography studio was built inside the Yıldız Palace and albums were sent across the world as a testament to the progress of the Ottoman Empire. Abdul Hamid II admired crime fiction, in the 25th year of his reign he ordered all murder convicts to be photographed with their hands visible, in preparation for a planned amnesty. Moved by the pseudo-scientific information he had read in a crime novel that any criminal with a thumb joint longer than the index finger joint, is inclined to murder, the photographs in this series show the subjects’ hands for this purpose of classification, their ultimate fate is unknown.

cemreyesil.com
Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Cemre Yesil Gonenli
Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Cemre Yesil Gonenli
Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Cemre Yesil Gonenli
Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Cemre Yesil Gonenli
Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Cemre Yesil Gonenli
Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Cemre Yesil Gonenli
Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Cemre Yesil Gonenli
Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Cemre Yesil Gonenli
Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Cemre Yesil Gonenli
Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

Cemre Yesil Gonenli

Hayal and Hakitat, translated means dream and fact, features photographs of the hands of early 20th century prisoners. Abdul Hamid II utilised photography as a tool for documenting the modernisation of the Ottoman Empire at the start of the 20th Century. A photography studio was built inside the Yıldız Palace and albums were sent across the world as a testament to the progress of the Ottoman Empire. Abdul Hamid II admired crime fiction, in the 25th year of his reign he ordered all murder convicts to be photographed with their hands visible, in preparation for a planned amnesty. Moved by the pseudo-scientific information he had read in a crime novel that any criminal with a thumb joint longer than the index finger joint, is inclined to murder, the photographs in this series show the subjects’ hands for this purpose of classification, their ultimate fate is unknown.

Hayal and Hakitat: A Handbook of Forgiveness & a Handbook of Punishment

It’s All In My Head

Etinosa Yvonne

“I was chatting with some friends, then we saw people running from the market. A few minutes later, I saw my mother and my sister, they told me that my brother was stabbed in the market. My mom told me he had been rushed to the hospital. I rushed down to see him. When I got there he was unconscious, the doctor on duty referred us to another hospital. I tried to get a vehicle that will convey him to another hospital. When we arrived at the second hospital, I was told that he was dead. The death of my brother hurt me. Among all my siblings, my brother was the closest to me. I fear that the attackers might strike again because no arrest has been made, justice has not been served.” Abdul-Razak Salisu, Kaduna, Nigeria

It’s All In My Head

Notes on Distance

Ailbhe Greaney

The idea of the view from a window is nothing new within art or photographic history. In fact, within photographic history, it serves as a particular foundation. The very first image to be to be permanently rendered – to be fixed – was entitled View from the Window at Le Gras, taken in 1826 by Niecephore Niepce. While the window does not operate technically in the same way as the Camera Obscura, conceptually however, it acts as a similar link between inside and outside; providing a private view on to the world outside. In this way photographs have, to reference John Szarkowski, served as windows, offering a view onto both the known and the unknown; often taken with eyes closed as much as open. In the time of Covid many people are reliant on the view from their window for relief from isolation and confinement. What happens when the view that is offered is the opposite of relief? The window now acts as a frame on a world that has been closed in, shrunk to the parameters of our own home, our own view. What happens when there is no view?

Extract from the essay Room Without A View, written by Greaney during the first lockdown.

The mind is a voice, the voice is blind

Simon Lehner
The mind is a voice, the voice is blind

The mind is a voice, the voice is blind

Simon Lehner
The mind is a voice, the voice is blind

Shine Heroes

Federico Estol
Shine  Heroes

Shine Heroes

Federico Estol

A collaboration with sixty shoe shiners associated with the NGO Hormigón Armado in Bolivia. Federico Estol presents a photo essay to protest the social discrimination they face in their profession. Images depict the shoe shiners in masks. Worn to protect their identities, this collective anonymity is their resistance against exclusion.

The Travelling World Is Not Arriving

Amrit Doll, Ashwin Patel, Bharti Parmar, De’Anne Crooks, Ismail Khokon, Justin Carey, Krishan Patel, Nilupa Yasmin, Pritt Kalsi, Raúl Valdivia Murgueytio, Rebecca Orleans, Sanah Iqbal

ReFramed is a Midlands-based network for Black, Asian and other racialised communities interested in producing photographic visual art. 108Set up by a team of award-winning photographers and curators from these above communities, who believe that visual arts can play a critical role in shaping civic and contemporary attitudes, starting collaborative conversations and changing prevailing thoughts about race, the local environment and our communities. As the first wave of Covid-19 approached, we were conscious of how our communities were being disproportionately affected and yet under-represented, both in terms of who was being interviewed about it and also regarding who was asking the questions. The lack of inclusion and diversity in the media and the arts, whilst long-term and historical, seemed to be most apparent to us. Regrettably even after many arts organisations, in the wake of the global Black Lives Matter movement, had pledged to be more inclusive. As a result we undertook, with collaboration from Black Country Visual Arts and funding from the Arts Council, to create a range of opportunities for artists, from a cross-section of backgrounds, to respond directly to Covid-19 and the multiple ways it had affected their lives. The funding enabled us to support two artists, a number which later grew to five with the support of Kala Phool, Slanguages, New Art Exchange and Birmingham City University. Alongside these established artists we also, through workshop-based training opportunities, worked with several artists across the Midlands to help them produce bodies of photographic work. We believe that it is fundamental that those involved in commissioning and making work that is directly about our communities, have the lived experiences, knowledge and consent of those communities in order to reflect them in honest and recognisable ways. In this light, it has been a great pleasure for all of us at ReFramed to be able to have this platform at FORMAT21 so that we can share this work. The images in this exhibition reflect the approaches of both our Bursary Artists and photo-graphic workshop participants. Through their eyes we get to see their lives, thoughts and feelings reflected back to us during this difficult time. The ReFramed Team: Sebah Chaudhry, Andrew Jackson, Jagdish Patel and Anand Chhabra

reframed.uk