“Today I was very lucky. A bomb exploded very close by. It threw me down but nothing happened (my right side hurts, but I went to the hospital and they said it was nothing important, just a wave of shock), so I think I have an angel that protects me, because this is already the second time that it happens to me, and I am still whole. Best. R.”
- -Ricardo García Vilanova, March 2011: Benghazi, Libya
Day after day, photographers witness and document historical moments, with no place to house their images.
The coverage of the Egyptian Revolution serves as a dramatic example of this situation. When the pro Mubarak militia began targeting photojournalists in Tahrir Square, many publications decided to pull out their photographers because of the risks involving their safety and the legal issues surrounding such danger. The photographers on the ground decided to stay and work independently in order to document what was happening.
Revolucion(es) is emblematic of this firm commitment to journalism via photography.
Curators Julien Jourdes and Matthew Craig asked twelve independent photographers who spent the last months covering revolutions in North Africa —Tunisia,Egypt, and Libya— to send them a selection of their best work. Some of these photographers are still in Libya and most of the images have never been seen by the public. The photographers are: Ricardo García Vilanova and Samuel Aranda (Spain); Bryan Denton, Michael Christopher Brown and Nicole Tung (USA); Mathias Depardon (France);Gabriele Micalizzi, Andy Rocchelli, Gabriele Stabile and Luca Santese (Italy/ Cesuralab Collective); Guy Martin (UK).
"From all the material that was sent to us we chose the photos that would create a representation of each country to give you a sense of what is going on in the region now and how the situations have evolved in the past months. These images were created independently of editors or clients — they are the essence of documentary photography, created out of one vision and one lens," says curator Julien Jourdes.
In order to contextualize the process of delivering news from the frontlines, we have invited a number of conflict and news photographers to be present at the opening. These individuals will be available to the public to discuss their work on the ground and answer any questions the public has about their firsthand experiences. This is a rare chance for the public to directly engage with the actors that deliver our news from today's most relevant stories - skipping over the print and broadcast journalism intermediaries. We hope their eyewitness accounts will complement the images you see on the walls.
About Amster Yard Project
The Amster Yard Project is a new creative initiative launched by the Instituto Cervantes New York to promote, develop and implement creative multidisciplinary interventions and programs at the spaces of the Instituto Cervantes in the Upper East Side of Manhattan and to strengthen the collaboration between Spanish and international New York based artists . The Amster Yard Project aims to activate the unique space in and around its landmark Amster Yard building through the display of innovative proposals by new emerging talents in the arts through the first half of 2011. The presence of Spanish photographers alongside with photographers of other countries highlights the collaborative nature of the project.
About Instituto Cervantes New York ICNY
Instituto Cervantes New York belongs to the Instituto Cervantes network of cultural centers. Instituto Cervantes is an institution that was founded by the Spanish government in 1991 to promote the Spanish language and Spanish and Hispanic-American culture. The central head office is located in Madrid and in Alcalá de Henares ( Madrid), birthplace of the writer Miguel de Cervantes. Instituto Cervantes is present on five continents with more than 50 centers spread out across many different countries.
Our institution is also responsible for organizing the DELE exams- Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera - (Diploma in Spanish as a Foreign Language), as well as issuing official certificates and diplomas for the participants of our courses; organizing Spanish courses; organizing training courses for teachers; supporting Hispanists in their activities and encouraging cultural activities in collaboration with other organizations.
The work of Instituto Cervantes is directed by representatives from the academic, cultural and literary world within the field of Spanish and Hispanic-America. In New york, the Institute collaborates with museums, galleries, theatres, publishing houses and other cultural institutions, as well as Spanish and Latin-American organizations.
Instituto Cervantes New York is located at 211E 49th street, NY, NY 10017 (between 2nd and 3rd avenue)