Alexia in New Zealand: Lectures, Discussions, Radio Shows, Exhibitions & More

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Last week, Alexia Foundation Executive Administrator James Dooley was a key participant in the the Auckland Festival of Photography, a city-wide contemporary art and cultural event which takes place in Auckland’s major galleries, project spaces, non-gallery venues and public sites during June annually. The festival is a member of the Asia Pacific Photoforum and is the largest festival of photography in New Zealand.

“My goal was to show the importance and depth of serious documentary work that needs to be done, needs to be shown and exposed and these projects and many, many others were done with the support of The Alexia Foundation,” explained Dooley about his purpose at the Auckland Festival.

Dooley participated in the Talking Culture portions of the program. He delivered a talk at the Auckland Art Gallery on June 4th about the Alexia Foundation. He began with a screening of A History of Photography That Drives Change, a film that tells the story of the founding and the legacy of The Alexia Foundation. It was created by Jim Tuttle and overseen by Mike Davis at Syracuse University.

Dooley then showcased work from many of our incredible photographers, including Sarah Blesener, Monica Jorge, Tim Matsui, Mary F. Calvert, Paolo Marchetti, Amanda Berg, Sara Naomi Lewkowicz, Sebastian Liste, Stephanie Sinclair and Walter Astrada and he screened the trailer of The Long Night, which is the feature length documentary from by Tim Matsui and MediaStorm. It was the product of our first Women’s Initiative Grant.

Dooley also discussed the grants we award annually, as well as the grant selection process, reaching many more people who might be a good fit for the funding we offer.

“You never know exactly the impact a presentation will have,” continued Dooley, “but by showing work, by talking about each photographer, by stating clearly that because of the decline of newspapers and magazines, if it weren’t for foundations such as The Alexia Foundation and others like it, this type of work could not and would not be done,” Dooley was able to impress upon the audience the importance of the Alexia Foundation in today’s photographic environment.

In addition to his solo lecture, Dooley gave portfolio reviews on June 5 and participated in the panel discussion “Identity + Photography” on June 3. The discussion explored the fluid nature of personal, national and cultural identity and photography’s role in it. He was joined by Shahidul Alam, Mayumi Suzuki, Scott A. Woodward, Emily Mafile’o, Raymond Sagapolutele, Ingetje Tadros, and Doris De Pont. Dooley also arranged for a slideshow of featuring images from over 25 years of the Alexia Foundation to be presented at the Auckland Central Library.

As well, Alexia project Call Me Heena, by 2014 student second place winner, Shahria Sharmin was on display as part of the Auckland Festival of Photography in an exhibition curated by Shahidul Alam. That work will be available for viewing until June 20 in Silo 6 in the Wynyard Quarter of Auckland.

Finally, Dooley was also a featured guest on the Sunday Morning program on Radio New Zealand, where, along with Alison Stieven-Taylor, discussing photojournalism in the smartphone age. The radio show has over 270,000 listeners every week.

Thank you, James Dooley, for bringing Alexia to this tremendous New Zealand audience. See you in Pingyao in September!

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