Exhibition: From Congo with Love

After his visit to a small town called Sange in the Democratic Republic of Congo, photographer Rankin was inspired to show a new collection of photographs which are currently displayed in front of the National Theatre on South Bank.

The exhibition, “From Congo with Love”, “focuses on the relationships that bind people to each other – the connections that make us human,” Rankin told Oxfam, his partner in the project. “I hope that these photographs can aid understanding. They are neither ugly images of brutality, nor sentimental images of suffering. The world needs imagery that, instead of encouraging pity and powerlessness, promotes understanding, connection, and ultimately action.  It’s about making people accessible to each other.”

I stopped by the other day to see the circular displays of photos lit up at night, complete with atmospheric music inside. They are up until 11 April 2010. You can read more about it here.

Here’s a few of my photos.

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London Events: See You Next Tuesday

Vagina season is coming.

Preparations have kicked off for V-Day London events, so I showed up at the first meeting this week to get a sneak peek at the plans.

See You Next Tuesday is the title of an exciting new two-week festival surrounding V-Day, masterminded by Emma Jane Richards and Annie Saunders. Londoners are invited to celebrate women and open their eyes to a different world at the New Players Theatre. It’s V-Day on steroids, pumped up with comedy, screenings, theatre, cabaret, workshops and tea time discussions… and, of course, the hilarious and heart-wrenching Vagina Monologues and A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer.

“This festival is like a playground,” Emma Jane explained to us, tapping her red pencil against a notepad that was scribbled with ideas. “It’s somewhere fun where you feel safe and comfortable to enter the doors. It’s all about entertainment with a conscience. You’ve got to open your eyes to what’s around you. We want it to be inviting, engaging to a person on the street, to someone who doesn’t necessarily understand post-feminism or wherever it is we are at right now.”

In other words, anything that celebrates women or highlights violence against women goes. Ideas were tossed around for everything from photo exhibitions to female comedians to lessons in cooking Congolese food.

V-Day creator Eve Ensler has decided that this year’s spotlight remains on the plight of the women in the Democratic Republic of Congo who continue to face incredible amounts of violence, especially rape and the consequences of other war crimes.

So, for a worthy cause and some good laughs, rack your brain and come up with a unique idea or two in order to get involved or simply volunteer a few hours of your time standing in front of a tube station handing out flyers. (Men are more than welcome too!)

Events kick off on 8th March 2010, International Women’s Day and run until the 20th.

To pitch an idea, volunteer your time or make a donation, please contact Emma Jane at pitch@vdaylondon.com

For more information on V-Day around the world, check out: http://www.vday.org/