Press Release (ePRNews.com) - ATLANTA - Nov 06, 2017 - With more than a decade working behind the camera on Hollywood blockbuster films like BLACK PANTHER, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING and THE HUNGER GAMES, documentary photographer Dwight O. Campbell is set to debut his exhibition series LETTERS FROM MADAGASCAR on Saturday, November 11 at the Facet Gallery in Atlanta, GA. After embarking on a defining journey through central Europe, the Middle East, and within Africa; Campbell recalls the moment when he witnessed children in Madagascar playactingin a septic dumpster. It brought a chill mirroring the day’s air down his spine. It was in that moment that he knew where to focus his lens and capture stories; reveal tales; understand and explain — even if it meant venturing completely outside of his comfort zone.
In LETTER’S FROM MADAGASCAR, Campbell exposes power and politics in the independent island nation marred by more than six decades of European rule. From crushing poverty to snapshots of an island where four-fifths of the population earn their livelihoods in ways unchanged from their ancestors, in a country rich of natural resources. Campbell carefully weaves their collective stories in a united narrative, remaining unique in exposing their plight while not speaking for them, but with them.
“There is a moment of the in between: an untitled place of belonging and an inherent truth that we don’t get to decide. Glimpses of it appear before our eyes but are gone too soon. It is this moment that drives me to seek and show the world one frame at a time. It is the oneness that we all are, it is the love we all seek, it is the actuality of all our being. It takes me beyond the mind, ego, and boundaries of time and place. It brings me home.” – Dwight O. Campbell
Visitors will enjoy an intimate series of photographs and letters curated to transport them into the tangled life of the islanders and to offer parallels in their tales. Campbell invites the viewer to roam the streets of the capital Antananarivo, travel down the Fianarantsoa Cote railway, experience the Malagasy people in their neighborhoods, playgrounds, workplace, and even their tombs; fully immerse in their isolated world. The exhibit will also feature a video diary of life on the island and an essay by London based writer and poet Savraj Kaur (https://savrajkaur.com), whose narrative evokes dialogue about global roles in a postcolonial world. Each item contributes to an exploration of the complexities and lucidities of sovereign island life; inviting tales of pride and pessimism, love and loss, and fair and foul; in a remarkable show of resilience against overwhelming odds.
COLONIALISM IN MADAGASCAR
Nothing has dictated the modern journey of Africa as much as the Berlin Conference of 1884-85: ulljn an event between thirteen European countries and the United States to systematically carve up and conquer her for exploitation, and with not a single African in attendance.
Until then, Europeans tended to treat Africa as a trading route, and negotiated with natives along coastal routes through relations with tribal chiefs. But, following a series of explorations, they also realized vast natural resources which enticed them deeper inside the mainland.
Some argued that Africa was a primitive place requiring their colonization, and that it was their responsibility to bring culture and enlightenment to the natives. Such sentiments were no doubt based on Africa’s intimacy with nature; the very same nature that Europe was driven by the commerce value of. After feigning off competition from British, France proceeded to seize Madagascar, a large island off the coast of East Africa; with its swift success making it the biggest colonial presence on the continent.
Over the next 64 years – and despite an attempted uprising and failed rebellion – the now French-named Colonie de Madagascar et dépendances (Colony of Madagascar and Dependencies) saw three quarters of external trade conducted with it’s own coloniser. In the Summer of 1960 Madagascar became the 14th of 53 colonized African countries to gain full independence.
For additional information about Dwight Campbell and LETTERS FROM MADAGASCAR, please visit our page at www.DwightCampbell.com or www.LettersFromMadagascar.com
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