Award-winning ‘Paperittomat' at ‘Active Witness' European Photography Show

  • katja_tahja_crop
    Image: Katja Tähjä

    The show celebrates the European Year of Volunteering, bringing together work that either engages directly with the voluntary sector, or with closely related social issues.

    Works by photographers representing 26 participating countries will be exhibited, among them the UK debut of ‘Paperittomat' by Finnish photographer Katja Tähjä and journalist Kaisa Viitanen.

    The Finnish participant Katja Tähjä's work was originally shown as a part of her and journalist Kaisa Viitanen's exhibition ‘Paperittomat ‘(Finnish for ‘sans papiers'), which revealed the reality of living clandestinely in Europe. Tähjä and Viitanen travelled to seven EU countries to interview and shoot Europe's undocumented migrants. In 2010, the book accompanying the exhibition won the main prize for book design in Best of the Year, the most prestigious competition for graphic design in Finland.

    The photographers participating in the exhibition come from a range of backgrounds, including photojournalism, fine art and documentary practice, and the selected works cover subjects ranging from homelessness, to displaced populations, social care, rehabilitation and disaster relief.

    While many of the photographs relate directly to issues within the European Union, in other cases photographers from EU nations have travelled to sites around the world to depict critical events and situations. The aim of the exhibition is not only to illustrate circumstances and issues of concern, but also to raise awareness of the importance of active participation and volunteering as a positive response.

    The exhibition is organized by EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) and curated for EUNIC by Simon Baker, Curator of Photography and International art at Tate, and Ines de Bordas with the support of participating cultural institutes.

    ‘Active Witness' is open from 20 July - 9 September 2011 at Europe House in 32 Smith Square, SW1P 3EU London.
    Private view Tuesday 19 July 6.30-8.30 pm.
    Discussion forum led by Simon Baker on Tuesday 19th July 2011 4 - 6pm.

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