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December 7, 2010 > Cultures in Transition

Cultures in Transition

By Patsy Ledbetter

How do photographers communicate similarities in cultural diversity around the world? The same things that drive one culture to succeed in one part of the world are often mirrored in one's own community. How do various cultures survive? You may find answers waiting for you at PhotoCentral's upcoming exhibit "Cultures in Transition." This show demonstrates how local photographers and photojournalists view the trials various cultures experience, and how they are experienced worldwide. This exhibit seeks to inform the viewer on how to link these cultures to our own.

Geir and Kate Jordahl, founders and co-directors of PhotoCentral for the last 27 years, will make you feel very much at home in the cozy photo gallery in Hayward, located next door to the Hayward Area Recreation and Parks District on E Street. Geir writes, "To curate Cultures in Transition is a humbling experience. Pictures, as the clichˇ goes, speak for themselves, but to write about the work is a daunting task. Yes, I did ask all the artists in the show to exhibit their work with the intention that they all show together, yet what I did not expect however, was the synergy resulting from the juxtaposition of these fine talented artists having such a transformative impact on my perceptions of the meaning of life."

On Saturday, December 11 from 3 p.m. - 6p.m., four of the five artists will be on hand to discuss their work with the public. Their photographs will be available for interested buyers, and refreshments will be served. The reception is free of charge. Geir encourages families with children to attend. He feels it will be an amazing learning experience, fostering many teachable moments.

Five photographers, including 1987 Pulitzer Prize winner Kim Komenich, will display their works. Kim is a professor of journalism at San Jose State University. His photos depict the fall of the Marcos' regime in the Philippines. He is known for his worldwide travel and photography books, and most recently has been in the local news because he prevented a bank robbery. He is the only photographer who will not be on hand at the reception, due to a trip to the Philippines.

Karna Kurata's photographs, which are passionate and dramatic visual displays of Mongolian Nomads, will be available for viewing. Their road to survival is in herding their animals. Many of these families are transitioning into the larger cities so their children can receive an education.

Photographer, Aphra Pia, works with the plight of the Uyghurs sect in China and writes, "The intrigue of the Silk Road has captured my imagination for many years. By serendipity, a photography trip to the far western corner of China coincided with an up rising of the Uyghurs, a population of Turkic non-Chinese people who have lived for thousands of years in a region they refer to as East Turkestan. These tenacious people were unknown to me and most of the Western world. My photographs show current conditions of the Uyghur people who are still living there, which have withstood generations of challenge."

One of the poorest nations in the world, Burkina Faso in Africa is the setting for David Pace's photos, which examine the lives of the Vereda tribe as they quarry bricks to construct homes. David states, "Karaba is a rural village in the southwestern corner of the small West African country of Burkina Faso. It is a poor agricultural community, without electricity or running water. Outside the village, a short distance of the dusty main road is a quarry where men carve bricks from solid stone using picks and shovels. The Karaba bricks are loaded into wagons and taken to a nearby village. They are the basic building blocks for the homes, buildings, and walls that structure the community."

Rick Rocamora who has been actively involved in providing recognition for Filipino World War II veterans surmises, "I hope that my work will remind future generations of Filipinos and Americans that Filipino World War II veterans were unjustly treated by the country they served with honor and blood. Without full equity, they will remain American second-class veterans."

This show is meant to be an all-encompassing experience. Geir is hoping you will set aside some time, enjoy the photos and read the texts on the wall while interacting with the artists. It is guaranteed to teach you something new and different not only about other countries, but also about our own culturally diverse community.

Cultures in Transition: 5Views of Our World
Closing Reception
December 11
3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
1099 E St., Hayward
(510) 881-6721
www.photocentral.org

Gallery Hours:
Monday: 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday: 10 a.m. -1 p.m.
Saturday: 12 Noon - 3 p.m.

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