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We’re delighted to announce that Face to Face, our free, public exhibition of social documentary and portrait photography, curated by Ekow Eshun, has been extended until November 28th, 2020.

The exhibition, located in the King’s Cross Tunnel, has sparked debate around the relationship between art, activism, and the role of photography in the charity sector. On October 15, in an Instagram Live discussion with Ekow, the Fund’s European office director James Logan said, “Unlike traditional NGO photography where people are seen as objects of charity, these images show a deeper picture of a community and one in which—in some of those pictures—there’s a lot of hope.”

Last week, another Instagram Live saw Face to Face artist Medina Dugger talk to Fund Activist Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri about art and activism in Nigeria. On September 29, Dazed magazine ran a wonderful feature with Face to Face artist Sabelo Mlangeni, discussing marginalized communities and “life in a queer Nigerian safehouse.” Some of our own in-depth interviews with the artists can be found here.

We’ve been especially excited to receive so many warm responses from the public, as well as to hear the conversation continue in the media.

The Guardian, on September 21, said the “Exhibition looks beyond ‘exotic’ visual cliches of global south.” On the same day, Something Curated noted ‘Curator Ekow Eshun’s latest project celebrates the agency, energy and potential of people’. Ekow told Aesthetica on September 30, “The hope is that the succession of images, these depictions of human individuals and experiences, will offer an opportunity for people to engage with parity and connection, at least for a moment, with the lives of others from across the developing world.”

On October 2, the Telegraph commented: “Sabelo Mlangeni’s ‘House of Allure’ portraits are particularly striking: an intimate series documenting the residents of a safe house for Nigeria’s still-marginalised queer communities. So is Medina Dugger’s ‘Enshroud,’ inspired by the Muslim women in Lagos, who wear the hijab as a form of self-expression rather than oppression.”

Creative Review, on October 6, celebrated Face to Face’s uplifting message, calling it “an exhibition inspired by activism and agency.” Days later, on October 9, Elephant remarked that “Face to Face is a snapshot of a specific moment in multiple concurrent social histories—and viewing them together does much to enhance our understanding of global diversity.” 

The British Journal of Photography were complimentary too: “Centering on the importance of community and collaboration, a new public exhibition curated by Ekow Eshun presents work by eight contemporary photographers working at the intersection of documentary, art and activism”

The artists have kindly donated works for an upcoming prints series, and some of the profits will go toward the Fund’s efforts to equip grassroots organizations with the resources they need to address and overcome the challenges facing their communities. Check the Face to Face website for more information on how to purchase a print soon!

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