Prix Pictet: Hope

Friday 17 September – Saturday 6 November 2021
Joana Choumali: Ça va aller | Prix Pictet: Hope | Friday 17 September – Saturday 6 November 2021 | Photo Museum Ireland
――― In venue ―――

Gallery of Photography Ireland is delighted to be hosting the eighth cycle of the Prix Pictet, which this year takes the theme of Hope. It is a particularly significant theme for a world now slowly emerging from the shadow of a devastating pandemic and facing equally formidable challenges in the years ahead.

The Prix Pictet is the world’s leading prize for photography and sustainability. Its purpose is to harness the power of photography to draw global attention to critical sustainability issues that threaten humanity and the planet that we share with the rest of the natural world. We are especially pleased to have two Irish photographers nominated for such a prestigious award.

The nominees featured in this exhibition are:

Shahidul Alam (BGD), Joana Choumali (CIV), Margaret Courtney-Clarke (NAM), Rena Effendi (AZ), Lucas Foglia (US), Janelle Lynch (US), Ross McDonnell (IRL), Gideon Mendel (SA), Ivor Prickett (IRL), Robin Rhode (SA), Awoiska van der Molen (NL) and Alexia Webster (SA).

The winner for this cycle of the prize is Joana Choumali. Her work Ça va aller consists of pictures taken following the terrorist attacks in the town of Grand-Bassam on the Ivory Coast, West Africa. Choumali wandered the empty streets, photographing with her iPhone so as not to intrude and disrupt people’s mourning. In this region, it is rare to discuss mental health and any psychological trauma is often seen as weakness. Conversations are often met with ‘ça va aller’ – a blanket expression for ‘it will be ok.’ Choumali found that she could process the pain she felt through embroidery. Adding colourful stitches to her images had a cathartic, meditative effect, allowing her to lay down her emotions. Embroidering these photographs became an act of channeling hope and resilience.

Over 600 photographers were nominated for Hope by a global network of nominators. After a rich debate the jury arrived at a final shortlist of twelve artists. As a group the artists present Hope as a fragile and elusive quality that is nevertheless capable of overcoming despair. Hope is present even in the darkest of these images. The late Kofi Annan, President of the Prix Pictet, touched on the subject of hope in his closing remarks at the Prix Pictet awards ceremony in November 2017: “It is perhaps in the ability to carry on in adversity that there lies hope for us all.

Image: Joana Choumali: Ça va aller
Friday 17 September – Saturday 6 November 2021
Photo Museum Ireland
Meeting House Square
Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 1 6714654
Opening hours / start times:
Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 5pm. Mondays by appointment for education, artists archiving and training. Closed Sundays
Admission / price: Free

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