29 October 2012

Albert Watson | Visions feat. Cotton Made In Africa

Albert Watson is regarded as one of the world's most successful fashion and advertisement photographers. He is associated with unusual and powerful portraits with catch the eye due to their refined composition. Visions feat. Cotton Made In Africa is an exhibition that will be held at Haus der Photographie in Hamburg's Diechtorhallen from September 14, 2012 to January 6, 2013 in cooperation with the Aid by Trade Foundation.

Cotton made in Africa (CmiaA) is described as an organization that promotes the cultivation of sustainably produced cotton in Africa to improve the living conditions of 420,000 smallholder farmers currently active in the initiative. The work of Albert Watson provides insight into the worlds of the cotton farmers from Benin and promotes the work of CmiA.

The first images I saw of this photography project were of the two portraits above. Although I was intrigued by the aesthetic of the photographs, I hesitated to post it because I am careful to support work that provides a true and appropriate reflection of the communities portrayed. Despite the fact that I am not certain that the portrayal of the Benin farmers was 100% accurate, I appreciate the efforts to capture scenes of the city and of daily life. I am weary however, of the use of such images for marketing purposes by non-profit organizations, when it can often be very patronizing.

Watch the trailer below:

What are your thoughts on this photography project? Comment below.

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