The Women – Out of The Frame Photographic Exhibition will be held from 5th to 10th July 2013 at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Undertaken by Sri Lankan photographer Menika van der Poorten in conjunction with the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka this landmark photography project and exhibition on women provides the ideal platform to showcase the talent of 45 photographers (men and women) from across the island, and beyond, both professionals and enthusiasts. These photographers’ perspectives help to change the way we see women. The photographs selected for this exhibition capture a moment or moments revealing the complexity of women’s lives – whether it is women from different walks of life in the same frame, women living in a war and conflicted affected environments or elders going about their daily routine.
The project’s aim is to provide photographers in Sri Lanka a platform to present images that ‘go beyond the traditional, objectified and stereotypical portrayal of women common in mainstream media’. Submissions came from Battaramulla, Batticaloa, Bemmulla, Trincomalee, Hikkaduwa, Jaffna, Kandy, Kurunegala, Matara, Hambantota, Vavuniya, Warkapola and beyond, achieving one of the project’s main objectives which was to reach out to photographers countrywide, particularly those who, due to war, had limited access to this type of cultural exchange. As Cynthia Cohen’s study Creative approaches to Reconciliation illustrates, “investment in the arts and cultural work are critical to promoting coexistence and reconciliation in the aftermath of violent conflict.”
As a country emerging from a thirty-year conflict, visual media is pivotal in shaping opinions and perceptions. During the period of the exhibition a series of presentations and workshops that support the education, and development of conceptual and technical photographic skills, will be conducted. The workshop programme will encompass digital workflow, telling a story through photography and will encourage discussion and debate on context, ethics and the importance of visual media in making meaning.
“To say that photographs lie implies that they might tell the truth; but the beauty of their nature is exactly to say nothing, neither to lie nor not to.” —Stanley Cavell (1985)
An exhibition catalogue will be available and the exhibition website (www.outofthrframe.lk) will be launched to coincide with the opening of the exhibition. These exhibition and workshops are supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the National Peace Council, and the Goethe Institute.