Thursday, 26 February 2015

Carlos Reyes "dwellings" exhibition opens eyes to unjust world

An excellent photographic exhibition from photojournalist Carlos Reyes Manzo focusing on “dwellings” has been unveiled at the Peltz gallery in London.

Carlos has brought together many images from across the world displaying the lives of struggle of so many people.

Some of the images show no more than shacks, others formerly substantial dwellings then destroyed. One of the latter images concerned a house destroyed by the Israeli Defence Force.

The exhibition is also a chronicle of Carlos’s journalistic journey, taking in the Nicaraguan revolution of 1979 to Ethiopia in the 1980s and Iraq and Afghanistan in the early part of this century. There are also contrasting images of England, including scenes from Brighton and London streets.

The exhibition shows struggle and hope – concern that things don’t seem to be getting any better across the world as the decades go by, yet the resilience of people to survive and wherever and however prosper.

Carlos told of his own journey, as someone who was expelled from Chile to Panama, after being held in  the Tres Alamos concentration camp in Santiago  by the murderous Pinochet regime. Carlos eventually arrived in Britain, where he lived in some of the worst sort of dwellings in Britain at the time, as he started his journalistic journey. “I realised what was happening in Britain then was happening all around the world,” said Carlos, who recalled graphic images of war in Afghanistan with people losing their legs and the struggle of Roma families against discrimination.

One image shows a dalit woman in India standing with dignity, despite having stood and been ignored for four hours.

Chilean ambassador Rolando Drago paid tribute to how Carlos’s work illustrated the suffering of humanity across the world, the lack of opportunity and need for human rights.

The exhibition has been organised by the politics department at Birbeck College as part of its ongoing work on housing issues. The other collaborators in the work are the Birbeck Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies.

*The exhibition runs until 20 March at Peltz Gallery, Birbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square London, WC1H OPD

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