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Photography and Revolution: Memory Trails through the Latin American Left Brighton Photo Biennial 2008

Published: 1 October 2008

Photography and Revolution: Memory Trails through the Latin American Left

Brighton Photo Biennial 2008

The Winchester Gallery October
3 - November 7
Special Saturday Opening October 4 11.30 - 1.00pm
Opening times: Tuesday - Friday 10.00 - 4.30pm or by appointment

Photography has been important to the Latin American Left since the Mexican Revolution 1910-1920, which was the first conflict to be extensively filmed and photographed, with the willing participation of the revolutionaries. The remarkable photographs of the combatants on both sides, of the women soldiers and camp-followers, of revolutionaries storming through streets on horseback, and of the terrible social conditions that spurred the revolution, echo down the decades, and have been referred back to again and again by new generations of radicals.

Many of the themes of photographs of the Mexican Revolution are picked up once again in the portrayal of Castro's overthrow of the Batista dictatorship 1959, and again in Nicaragua with the Sandinista revolution against Somoza, and in the failed insurrection in El Salvador. Sebastiao Salgado worked with the Brazilian landless people's movement, the MST, to produce a poster series of their invasion and settlement of vast estates.

As, across the continent following the end of the Cold War, the US-backed dictatorships fell, activists turned to photography to reclaim memories of resistance and oppression that had been denied them so long. In Guatemala and Argentina particularly, photographs of murdered or lost loved ones took on enormous value.

 The exhibition includes photographs by Susan Meiselas, Jonathan Moller, Sebastiao Salgado and Matias Souto; and photographs from the Casasola Archives, SINAFO, Mexico; Museo de Palabra y Imagen, San Salvador; the University of Essex Collection of Latin American Art and a selection of books on display.

Brighton Photo Biennial is an ambitious celebration of international photographic practice committed to stimulating critical debate on photography in all its forms.

Brighton Photo Biennial 2008, entitled Memory of Fire: the War of Images and Images of War, is curated by Julian Stallabrass and explores photographic images of war, their making, use and circulation, and their currency in contemporary society. Stallabrass presents photography, film and online material produced and circulated in time of war, and explores how images have been shaped by the changing social and political conditions from the Vietnam era to the present. The exhibitions will include images produced by photojournalists, artists and non-professionals.

For this third edition, the Biennial extends its geographical boundaries through a new website that functions as a platform for ideas and discussion around the theme of photography and conflict. For more information, please contact Susie Medley, email sm8@soton.ac.uk or 01962 852500

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