Open Cities photo exhibition in Belfast

Last night I attended the launch of the Open Cities photography exhibition, which is on display at the Victoria Square mall in Belfast.

Belfast City Lord Mayor, Naomi Long, gave a fine speech (video above), in which she described the cultural and economic contributions that migrants make.

OPENCities (its formal title) is a British Council project that

“aims to identify the links between migration and cities’ competitiveness, with particular emphasis on internationalisation and population strategies that will pose migration as a competitive advantage for cities and, indirectly, help integration and cohesion agendas.”

A photography exhibition has been developed by the British Council in support of OPENCities. For each participating city, a photographer was commissioned “to portray the lives and personal stories of a number of people who have made another city their home”.

The exhibition will travel to each of the eight participating cities: Belfast, Bilbao, Cardiff, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Madrid, Sofia, and Vienna.

For the Belfast portion of the exhibition, there are four images by photographer Anthony Luvera. What is distinctive is that the portraits are of the back of their heads. The images also include surrounding/familiar areas of the subject, and some reflective thoughts written by the subject’s hand and in her native language.

There was even a soundtrack competition:

It is certainly worth an inspection. The photo exhibition runs until 19th November 2009.

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