Alexia Celebrates 10th Year at Pingyao International Photography Festival

Attendees of the 2016 Pingyao International Photography Festival examine Mary F. Calvert's Alexia supported photography on homelessness among women veterans in the U.S.

Attendees of the 2016 Pingyao International Photography Festival examine Mary F. Calvert’s Alexia supported photography on homelessness among women veterans in the U.S.

For the 10th consecutive year, Alexia Foundation Executive Administrator James Dooley will be presenting the works of Alexia Grant Recipients at the Pingyao International Photography Festival in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the ancient walled city of Pingyao, China. He will be exhibiting the projects of The Alexia 2017 winners Sarah Blesener and Monica Jorge.

Founded in 2001, the Pingyao International Photography Festival is organized by the China Photographers’ Association, China Artistic Photographers’ Association, Shanxi International Cultural and Exchange Association, Culture Department of Shanxi Province, Pingyao County People’s Government, and Shanxi Daily Newspapering Group. It has been recognized by the International Festival & Events Association (IFEA) as one of China’s top ten most influential festivals. More than 100,000 people attend annually.

Students train in firearms at the Historical-War Camp, in Borodino, Russia. 24 July 2016. Borodino is famous for a battle fought on 7 Sep 1812 - the deadliest day of the Napoleonic Wars. 350 adolescents are in attendance, ranging in ages from 11 to 16. They are using air-soft guns for the practice and competition. The camp teaches information about the basic kinds of weapons, bases and firing rules,  sniper rifles, and different type of weapons. Sarah Blesener/Alexia Foundation

Students train in firearms at the Historical-War Camp, in Borodino, Russia. 24 July 2016. Borodino is famous for a battle fought on 7 Sep 1812 – the deadliest day of the Napoleonic Wars. 350 adolescents are in attendance, ranging in ages from 11 to 16. They are using air-soft guns for the practice and competition. The camp teaches information about the basic kinds of weapons, bases and firing rules, sniper rifles, and different type of weapons. Sarah Blesener/Alexia Foundation

The festival runs from Sept. 19 through Sept. 25. Dooley will be showing a selection of 34 images from Toy Soldiers, by Sarah Blesener, winner of The Alexia 2017 professional grant. Blesener’s work explores the growth of patriotism and nationalism in the U.S. and Russia. It is the largest display of work from an Alexia Grant winner Dooley has every shown. He felt that Blesener’s work and the quality of her images merited this larger exhibition.

Dooley will also be showing 8 images from My Grandfather’s Keeper by Alexia 2017 Student Winner Monica Jorge. My Grandfather’s Keeper documents the psychological toll taken on family members who are not prepared for becoming the primary caregiver of a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The work focuses on the experience of the photographer’s grandmother who has found her role shift from spouse to nurse as her husband’s condition has worsened.

January 29, 2017 - Newington, Connecticut, United States:  Luisa and Ramiro Durao spend the day at their home in Newington, Connecticut, where Luisa cares for her husband who battles Alzheimer's and dementia, January 29, 2017. Monica Jorge/Alexia Foundation

January 29, 2017 – Newington, Connecticut, United States: Luisa and Ramiro Durao spend the day at their home in Newington, Connecticut, where Luisa cares for her husband who battles Alzheimer’s and dementia, January 29, 2017. Monica Jorge/Alexia Foundation

“Showing the Alexia student and professional winners each year gives the winners and the Alexia Foundation an opportunity to expose a large audience to the power and the importance of serious documentary photography,” explains Dooley.

He expects that Blesener and Jorge’s work will be very well received and that, as in years past, the large, Chinese audience will carefully view each image, and review each caption to gain a deep understand of each of the important projects.

While at Pingyao, Dooley will also be giving a gallery talk and participate in a number of other educational and enrichment activities. Details on those events will be posted in the coming weeks on social media.

Hope to see you in Pingyao!

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