Daniel Ramos: East of the Nile

In support of this year’s New Works Photography Fellowship Award Exhibition and to share the work of this year’s photographers with the online community, En Foco partners with juror and FlakPhoto.com creator Andy Adams to highlight their work in a series of  blog posts. For more information, preview the exhibition catalog. Part 1 of 5.

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Lily, Kampala, Uganda, East of the Nile series, 2009 © Daniel Ramos

The success of a portrait is often measured by a photographer’s ability to reveal the emotional depth of his subject. In the worst case, portraiture can reinforce negative stereotypes. The best images reflect a humanity that transcends conventional narratives associated with those being portrayed. Africa is a country plagued by an economic and political hardship heavily documented in images. Photographer Daniel Ramos challenges that depiction in East of the Nile, a stunning portrait series that presents its Ugandan subjects with dignity and respect. Blending black-and-white and color formats, Ramos photographs his wife and in-laws as well as strangers he encounters on the street or in the hills outside the city. His relaxed compositions are hypnotic, the sitter’s gaze directly focused on the viewer. Cultural identity is complicated and seldom represented in a single image, yet Ramos’ photographs are a meditation on the unique individuality and strength of Africa’s people. By focusing on the psychological nature of its subjects and de-emphasizing the social trauma in their surroundings, East of the Nile offers a refreshing alternate look at a people and place more like the West than meets the eye.

Ramos_Herder
Herder, Kabale, Uganda, East of the Nile series, 2009 © Daniel Ramos

Ramos_BodaBodaMan

Boda Boda Man, East of the Nile series, 2009 © Daniel Ramos

Ramos_Farmer

Farmer, East of the Nile series, 2009 © Daniel Ramos

Mechanic, Jinja, Uganda, East of the Nile series, 2006 © Daniel Ramos

Daniel Ramos is the recipient of En Foco’s New Works Photography Fellowship Awards, an annual program selecting three or more U.S. based photographers of Latino, African or Asian heritage, and Native Peoples of the Americas and Pacific, through a national call for entries. The New Works program helps artists to create or complete an in-depth photographic series exploring themes of their choice, and provides the infrastructure needed for national visibility and a professional exhibition of their new work in the New York area. More about him at his En Foco Photographers page.

Daniel’s work is on view as part of New Works #14, at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation’s Skylight Gallery in Brooklyn, through July 1, 2011. Please join us Thursday, April 28, 6-8 pm for the opening reception and Saturday, April 30, 2-4 pm for the artist talk.

Andy Adams is the founder and editor of FlakPhoto.com, a contemporary photography website that celebrates the culture of image-making by promoting the discovery of artists from around the world. An online art space + photography publication, the site provides opportunities for a global community of artists and photo organizations to share new series work, book projects, and gallery exhibitions with a web-based photography audience. More about him at AndyAdamsPhoto.com


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