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Turkey : Bursa FotoFest 2012 Jake Price


Among the many portraits that covererd the walls of Bursa’s hans and cultural center were those, disfigured, found by rescue teams after the Japanese earthquake of Fukushima, and photographed by Jake Price before they were carefully cleaned. Fascinated by the culture of a country where he had never been, he decided to get there a few days after the devastation, with no assignment and no precise idea in mind. By chance, he ended up in a refugee camp where he met a local sixty year old who soon became his friend, his host, his fixer and his confidant. They travelled hundreds of kilometers together for Price to document the damage and bring back images to share with those who had lost their homes. He decided to stay at their sides, amazed by their resilience and generosity. A sensitive photographer, he noticed that one of the emergency operation consisted in preserving the memory of victims and he started to capture the reappropriation of the past and the reconstruction of a present that had become his. Everywhere, teams of volunteers tirelessly digged a devastated soil in search of clothes and personal belongings like family photographs, that were treated with special care. A gigantic hangar was dedicated to their storage and restoration. These are the images that are presented at the festival. With residual mud, grass, strains and traces of the dissolution of the ink and chemicals, these photographs are like strange symbolic stigma. All these documents - landscapes, still lifes, portraits and photographs - are the first components of a project that Price will extend over a decade and they will take the shape of an interactive website and a multimedia book that we will feature shortly in Le Journal.

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