The Absent State

BredaPhoto & World Press Photo present: The Absent State. Five photographers from five continents show the impact of the withdrawal of the government in their country.

* Weekend of 1 and 2 October: The Absent State weekend
Sat 1 October 13:00 – 14:30h
Talkshow with 5 photographers and journalists of The Absent State
MOTI – free entrance
Sun 2 October 14:00 – 16:00h
1-on-1: meet & greet with 5 photographers and journalists of The Absent State
Breda’s Museum courtyard – free entrance

While global poverty rates have declined, social inequality is on the rise. How people around the world cope with declining social security is a major issue for our times. In the project ‘The Absent State’ the Dutch international photo festival BredaPhoto and the World Press Photo Foundation will give 5 photographers from 5 continents the opportunity to tell the story of economic inequality and social security in their societies. This project will show how people cope with these economic challenges and how they look for creative solutions.

The five photographers have been selected because of their participation in the prestigious Joop Swart Masterclass run annually by the World Press Photo Foundation. They will make work that addresses the following issues: How are communities functioning in places where the government can not or does not make economic and social well being a priority? How are communities responding to the withdrawal the welfare-state? What are the consequences for vulnerable people and how are they coping?

Photography can help visualise the answers to these important questions, by showing the similarities and differences in communities around the world. But pictures alone are not enough; they require a context and investigative story to support their representations. To achieve this, the project will pair photographers with writers to report on the situations the photographs portray.

The end result will be a major exhibition curated by BredaPhoto and the World Press Photo Foundation, to be shown during the 2016 BredaPhoto International Photo Festival, starting on 15 September 2016. Also a hardcopy publication will be presented, made by photobook designer Hans Gremmen. After the Breda festival the exhibition will travel around the world to reach as wide an audience as possible.

The photographers:
Jia Dai Tengfei – China
Yannis Kontos – Greece
Baudouin Mouanda – Congo
Alejandro Cegarra – Venezuela
Bryan Schutmaat – USA

The Absent State is a project of BredaPhoto and World Press Photo, in collaboration with crowdfundingpartner Yournalism.