The Alexia Foundation, an organization created in memory of student photographer, Alexia Tsairis, who tragically passed away in the Pan Am Lockerbie bombing in 1988, “promotes the power of photojournalism to give voice to social injustice, to respect history lest we forget it and to understand cultural difference as our strength – not our weakness.” The Alexia Foundation supports both student and professional photographers that use visual journalism to change our world for the better. On June 20th, the Alexia Foundation’s exhibit, “Eyes on the World” will be opening. The work featured will include three different series.
Abir Abdullah is a photographer who has spent years documenting fire risks in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In particular, the garment industry has been largely impacted by these fire. Since 2005, 600 garment workers have been killed in factory fires. Tazreen Fashion factory suffered a horrific fire in 2012 killing at least 112 people. Clients of this factory included global brands like Walmart, Nike, and Disney, making this incident a symbol of “the high cost paid by third world workers for western consumer’s fashion desires.” With his documentary project “The Deadly Cost of Cheap Clothing: Dangers in Bangladesh’s Garment Industry,” Abdullah hopes to raise global awareness and pressure these powerful brands to “pay fair prices so that labor and safety standards can be implemented in these factories.” This work will be on display for the the Alexia Foundation’s “Eyes on the World.”
In addition, work by photographer Sara Naomi Lewkowicz will also be a part of “Eyes on the World.” Her documentary project “Shane and Maggie: An Intimate Look at Domestic Violence” portrays an inside look at a couple plagued with domestic violence. Deviating from her original project plans upon witnessing one of Shane’s abusive outbursts, Lewkowicz followed Maggie during and since the incident. Lewkowicz plans to examine the effects of violence on both the abuser and the abused, as well as the child witnesses. Maggie fully consents to the project, hoping that it may help someone else escape a similar situation.
Amanda Berg‘s story, “Keg Stand Queens” will also be featured in “Eyes on the World”. Based on the Convergence Hypothesis, women have begun to take on more stereotypically male roles in many different areas of life, including efforts to drink more lie men. Berg’s photo documentary project focuses on the cultural dialect of the “perverse equality” caused by binge drinking in undergraduate females. A college student herself, Berg began this project in the first semester of her junior year in college, 2009. Objectively documenting the scenes of parties, she examined the complex relationship young women have with alcohol. “Determined to document the moments female binge drinkers choose to discard or painfully reinterpret through language,” Berg will be exhibiting her work for “Eyes on the World” and giving a lecture on June 22nd at 4:00PM. Ed will be introduction her at both events.