by Cinzia D’Ambrosi
For the 20th edition of the Photojournalism Nights, we welcomed Diego Radames, Godelive Kasangati and Nic Madge, who joined us online from different parts of the world.
The Photojournalism Nights is an event that engages the audience to committed and courageous photojournalism and fosters awareness and debate on human rights and social justice. Whether in Congo, Spain or the UK, the stories presented by the three guest photographers had a common thread that united them: it addresses social inequalities and the disproportionate impact that Covid-19 has had to those in low income and/or ethnic minorities.
Diego Radames, Guatemalan photojournalist based in Madrid, Spain, shared a series of photographs on the migrant communities and the impact of Covid-19 on their lives. Fighting forced evictions, unemployment and lack of opportunities, migrant communities face a lot of challenges. The pandemic situation has only made their grave conditions worse and in desperation, they took to the street of Madrid on a series of demonstrations. Diego has covered these events as news, but then developed he wanted the stories to be heard. So, he began to document the situation of the migrant communities of South America in Spain and in particular looking at the young people lives. In his presentation, Diego explained how young migrants find comfort in belonging to a group sharing similar backgrounds. They seem to meet and be together, but also try to push boundaries, entertaining a hide and seek type of game towards law and order. This quest of integration and acceptance is something that Diego would like to further explore.
Godelive Kasangati, is a photographer from DC Congo, however she joined us from Ghana during the event. She shared her project ‘Almost Empty’ which she worked on whilst in Congo during the Covid-19 lockdown in the country. Godelive found the lack of people in the street and in particular in places where they would have congregated, a powerful experience. In particular, she thought of religious spaces where so much of the community life goes around, being empty. She reflected on the impact of this, in the loneliness that was creating. “In a religious country like Congo, Catholic churches function like a fabric to the society – Godelive says. And to understand and to come to terms to this, Godelive decided to go out during the lockdown and document the empty spaces, the silence, the void.
NIc Madge is a British photographer, who joined the event from St Albans. Nic talked about his project ‘Pandemic Portraits’, which is a series of photographic portraits presented as diptych; each photograph shows a person with and without their facemask with a caption underneath about how the pandemic has affected them. Throughout 2020-21, Nic has been recording the way in which we are surviving the pandemic by making portraits of people as they go about their daily lives in the city of St Albans in the UK. The extraordinary timeless set of photographs were history in the making – are history- as we look back to reflect, learn, observe how the pandemic has changed our social, political, economic fabric of our society.
Written by Cinzia D’Ambrosi, photojournalist and documentary photographer, founder/director Photojournalism Hub.