An Expression Of Absence: Selection Of The Arab Documentary Photography Program

Published on November 16, 2022, 6:13 pm
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The Bronx Documentary Center and Magnum Foundation present An Expression of Absence, an exhibit taking inspiration from poet Mahmoud Darwish and critic John Berger that explores the ways photography conjures absence to represent time, memory, disappearance, loss, and erasure. In a context where the legacies of colonialism and political instability have imbued notions of home and belonging with impermanence and nostalgia, how can what is within the frame point to the hidden and missing?

On view: October 28 – December 18, 2022

  • Magnum Foundation opening reception: Wednesday, October 26, 2022, from 07:00 p.m. – 08:30 p.m. (RSVP);
  • BDC opening reception: Friday, October 28, 2022 from 06:00 p.m. – 09:00 p.m. (RSVP).

“No matter how near you come, you will remain distant. No matter how often you are killed, you will live. So do not think that you are dead there, and alive here. Nothing proves this or that but metaphor.” – Mahmoud Darwish, In the Presence of Absence.

“A friend came to see me in a dream. From far away. And I asked him in the dream: ‘Did you come by photograph or train?’ All photographs are a form of transport, and an expression of absence.” – John Berger and Jean Mohr, A Seventh Man The exhibit, divided in two parts displayed at the BDC and Magnum Foundation, features fifteen projects produced in the Arab Documentary Photography Program (ADPP). Many of these works move from the exterior realms of the public and the political to the interior domains of the mind and body, while others explore absent histories whose spirits populate the present.

Founded in 2014 in the wake of the Arab Spring, ADPP provides support and mentorship to photographers from across the Middle East and North Africa, challenging entrenched stereotypes of the region. Since its founding, ADPP has supported over 86 photographers and formed an extended community of creative cross-pollination that circumvents geographies and political barriers.

An Expression of Absence is curated by Roï Saade (2016 Arab Documentary Photography Program Grantee) and Rola Khayyat (2020 Magnum Foundation Fellow). It is co-produced by the Bronx Documentary Center and the Magnum Foundation, with ten photographers exhibited at the Bronx Documentary Center and five photographers exhibited at the Magnum Foundation.

Note: featured image courtesy of Nadia Bseiso.


About ADPP

ADPP is a joint initiative of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, the Magnum Foundation, and the Prince Claus Fund. ADPP’s mentors are photographers Tanya Habjouqa, Eric Gottesman, Randa Shaath, and Peter Van Agtmael. The program coordinator is Jessica Murray.

For more information, please visit here.

About Magnum Foundation

Magnum Foundation expands creativity and diversity in visual storytelling, activating new audiences and ideas through the innovative use of images. Through grant making, mentorship, and creative collaborations, we partner with socially engaged imagemakers exploring new models for storytelling. For more information, please visit here.

About Bronx Documentary Center

The Bronx Documentary Center is a non-profit gallery, educational center, and cultural resource. The BDC uses community-based documentary practice and education to explore vital issues, stimulate critical thought, and drive social change.

Bronx Documentary Center
614 Courtland Avenue
Bronx, NY 10451

Tel.: 718-993-3512

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