The Luz Gallery in Victoria, BC is exhibiting an exceptional body of work. Sena, by Canadian photographer, Devin Tepleski, is a fine art documentary project that “aims to raise funds for flooded African Communities”. What makes this project so special, is that the work, though exploring the devastating subject of being relocated by a hydroelectric dam in Ghana, is hauntingly beautiful. It takes a unique vision to find elegance and simplicity in potential tragedy. The stripped down images reflect what remains after a community is washed away, yet the spirit of human resilience remains.
The exhibition has been extended to September 4th and is comprised of 52 images. All are available in 8×10″ and 11×14″, with a select images available at 20 x24″ and 30×40″. The proceeds from all the print sales are going back to the community to help with reeducation. If you would like to purchase a print, there is an online store on the Luz Gallery website.
Photographer Lauren Henkin recently started a new blog, Photo Radio, and interviews Luz Gallery owner, Quinton Gordon. It’s excellent listening and provides insights into the thought processes of a gallerist who is approaching the promotion, education, and sales of photography in a comprehensive and thoughtful way.
In Nafaanra, ‘sena’ asks a question of location equivalent to ‘where’.
The Nafaanra speaking villagers of Bui, Ghana have been asking this question for a long time now. The possibility of relocation has existed for generations, yet to this day they have no idea where they are going. Government officials warn Bui residents their new lands will be much smaller and not near the river, an important part of their economic and spiritual landscape for centuries. They have been promised little to nothing in terms of compensation.
Tepleski purposely situated his subjects in the very river that will flood their homes. In the photos the only discernible remnant of the river exists as a reflection of the human, a memory. “Photography is a time-based art. It always has a fragile quality to it, like ice about to crack. It is my hope to harness that fragility by placing them in two places, two times at once. One is unsure whether the people are emerging from the water or if they are succumbing to it. It can go either way. It is my hope that we can raise enoughfunds that the people of Bui can emerge and stand strong.”
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