Creative Europe

Reconstruction of Identities

In 2018-2020 Copenhagen Photo Festival is taking part in a Creative Europe-project with the title Reconstruction of Identities, which discusses cultural heritage and identity through the use of photography. Other than CPF, the partners are Noor (NL), Ad Hoc Gestion Cultural (ES) and the oldest Italian photo festival ‘Sifest’, which is organized by the Italian commune Savignano sul Rubicone (IT).

One of the aims of this collaboration is to build bridges between the new and the old populations of Europe and together create a European image archive, where the photos are shot by ethnic minorities and professional photographers – and then exhibited side by side.

Open call winner

On November 25th we published our shortlist on Instagram, and a week later the final winner was found. Ana Amado, with more than 1200 votes, was chosen as the winner by our followers. Thank you for your engagement – and congratulations to the winner. The winning image will be included in the Identity Dialogues Europe-exhibition at both Copenhagen Photo Festival and SIFEST in 2020. The photographer will also receive exposure on NOOR website, a signed book from a NOOR photographer and will be selected for a Nikon-NOOR Academy Masterclass.

Ana Amado, @anitadinam
© “Lideresas (Female Leaders)” by Ana Amado (2018-19)

The enormous inequality between men and women, specially in positions of responsibility and leadership, remains overwhelming. Great strides have been made, but much remains to be done. This imbalance becomes even more evident in the older women, especially those over 65, the large absentees in command posts. Although they continue to play an essential role as a support for families, taking care of grandchildren, husband and other elderly people, however, for society, they are invisible. This project aims to return the look towards them. For this, we have recreated and turned iconic or very recognizable photographs where famous male leaders are shown, in any area of society. It is important to point that those leaders have been a guide to follow in the construction of the identity of the whole humanity.

By flipping the images, the new protagonists are “Las Lideresas de Villaverde”, a group of older women from a working class neighborhood in Madrid, who together develop activities that seek to give voice and light to women in society. The title of the image is ‘Fraternal socialist kiss between Lyudmila Brezhnev and Erica Honecker. 1979’

The image speaks of European identity as it refers to a historical moment of fragmentation, not so distant in time, recalling the two Europas separated by the iron curtain, a circumstance that ended ten years later with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In a second reading, the image speaks of the construction of gender-associated identity and aims to provoke a reflection by contrast about the inequality between men and women when we speak of leadership positions, by showing an “inverted” image of two male leaders: it highlights the historical impossibility of women, and even more older women, to occupy command posts, when they run into the famous glass ceiling, maintaining their invisibility in such spheres today.

Through this image I propose a constructive criticism about the current socio-political situation, promoting a dialogue against the growing tendency towards disunity and fragmentation in Europe, while I denounce the serious imbalance that women still suffer in the 21st century. It is convenient to remember and keep intact such idiosyncratic values of European identity as equality regardless of gender and union in diversity. – Ana Amado

Ana Amado. Ferrol (Spain) Photographer, architect and visual artist. Currently, she combines her work as a photographer with the teaching of photography in Madrid. Her work explores the interconnections between the various artistic manifestations, always seeking the approach of contemporary art to society. Recently, her photographic projects focus on topics of social content where architecture acts as a scenic background in the construction of identities and also on feminism and gender equality.

Her work has been awarded internationally and exhibited at the Venice Biennale, PhotoLondon, the Sony World Photography Awards, PhotoEspaña, the London Royal Academy of Arts, the International Festival Eme3 and Picasso Museum (Barcelona), the International Arts Prize “Obra Abierta”, the IV Viphoto Fair or the Granada Photo Festival, among others.

Residency and masterclass

During Copenhagen Photo Festival 2019 we invited students from photo schools and public schools in Copenhagen as well as migrants and other dedicated youths to participate in a 3-day-workshop with the photographers Martin Thaulow, Kate Buil, Sanne De Wilde and Filippo Venturi. Apart from teaching, the four photographers also took part in a residency programme that included a visit to some of the galleries in Copenhagen as well as a networking dinner.

Here the residency photographers had the chance to meet and exchange thoughts and experiences with both the photographers and visual artists exhibiting at the festival, but also curators, gallery owners and others, who have been part of Copenhagen Photo Festival 2019. The programme aimed to build bridges between fine art photography and documentary photography as well as between the project’s partners and their respective residency photographers.