Posts Tagged ‘student’

One of my stops the other day was the Ryerson Image Centre.

below: Students enjoying the un-autumn-like weather while the pond is almost empty.

the pond outside Ryerson Image Centre is almost dry, there are tables, chairs and yellow umbrellas set up in the pond area, students sitting there.

The main exhibit at the Ryerson Image Centre is based on the work of Gordon Parks, specifically his ‘Flavio’ photo essay.  Gordon Parks was an African-American, born in Kansas in 1912.   He bought his first camera in a pawn shop.  In 1948 he began a 23 year career at LIFE magazine where he created many photo essays including ‘Flavio’.   In the 1960’s Parks  went to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to document the poverty there.  He  centered the project around a boy, Flavio, and his impoverished family, the Da Silvas.  When the photographs and story appeared in ‘LIFE’ magazine in June 1961, it caused quite a stir, especially in Brazil.  In return, a Brazilian photographer, Henri Billot , visited the poorer parts of Manhattan to prove that the poverty in the United States was as bad as the poverty in Brazil.   The family that Billot concentrated on was the Gonzalez family.   There is also some discussion about candid photos vs images that are staged in documentary photography.

As a reaction to the LIFE article, Flavio was brought to the USA for two years to treat his asthma.  Money was also raised to relocate the Da Silva family to a new home.

below: Some of the photos by Gordon Parks.

five black and white photos on a dark grey wall, photos by Gordon Parks of poverty in Rio de Janeiro in the 1960s

below: Flavio and his brother Mario on the promenade in Rio during their first trip outside the favela. 1961.  Favela is Brazilian Portuguese word for slum, or low income area a city (usually on the outskirts).   In the 1960s the favelas were populated mostly by migrants from rural areas who couldn’t afford living in the city.   These areas didn’t have running water, electricity, or sanitation.

two boys in front of a row of apartment buildings, photo by Gorodn Parks

below: Photo by Henri Billot

old photo from the 1960s, 3 children play on the sidewalk by a car that is parked on the street

below:  Neighbourhood of the Gonzalez family, Manhattan, 1961, by Henri Billot (my apologies for the reflections).

Gonzalez building, tenement slums of New York (Manhattan), black and white phot by Brazilian photographer, Henri Billot

below: Flavio and his wife Cleuza da Silva in Rio in 1976 when Gordon Parks returned to see how the Da Silva had fared since his earlier visits.

black and white phot of Flavio and Cleuza da Silva taken in 1976 in Rio by Gordon Parks

In the student gallery was a small exhibit of the work of Alia Youssef.  Her project ‘The Sisters Project’ features portraits of Canadian Muslim women of all ages all with a narrative of their own.   Their portraits were on the wall of the gallery but their portraits and stories are on the website (it’s well worth a visit!)

two photographs by Alia Youssef, each of a muslim woman in a field or park, the one on top is a younger black woman, the bottom is an older whiter woman with a head scarf

In light of the recent earthquake in Indonesia, the third exhibit at the Ryerson Image Centre seems timely.  It is a display of photographs taken in the aftermath of the earthquake in Mexico City on 19th September 1985.  At the time it was the strongest earthquake on record.  Large portions of the city center and the neighbourhoods next to it were leveled.

below: Photo by Barbara Laing.

an old black and white photograph of Mexico city after the 1985 earthquake, a pair of pants and a clock on top of a flattened building, some people in the distance

woman dressed in black in a gallerywith black walls,looking at black and white photos on the wall

below: Photo by Pedro Mayer.

an old black and white photograph from the aftermath of the Mexico City earthquake of 1985, s pile of rubble with people standing on top of it.

the pond outside Ryerson Image Cetnre is almost dry, there are tables, chairs and yellow umbrellas set up in the pond area, students sitting there. aas seen from inside the Image Center