The roadshow around the Philippines of ACFJ’s first exhibit of news photography “Asian News in Pictures” highlighting photos culled from the works of the students of ACFJ’s Diploma in Photojournalism program, many of whom are among Asia’s most talented photojournalists, was a big success.
Beginning in September 2010, ACFJ mounted the nine-month long photo exhibit in 10 locations in Metro Manila, Naga City, Cagayan de Oro City and Davao City. Parents, students, professionals and photography enthusiasts, were among those who viewed the exhibition and expressed admiration over the compelling and inspiring images depicting social and development issues and events in the region.
“ Each photo says a story and a hidden message. It was like the photos were alive. They were great.”
“ Show the wonders of obscure insanity and tragic bliss in every picture.”
“ Great shots! Excellent work; it makes people like me pursue photography. Thanks for the inspiration.”
Some wrote in the guest book about the power of photography in sensitizing people to become more aware of their environment and act.
“ Congratulations on keeping our conscience alive –beyond the commercial and mundane.”
“ Do not blame it all to government. We as a people of this country must act first before complaining and seeing the negative side; act as one and unite for a better tomorrow.”
“ This photo gallery shows reality that other people ignore or really do not know. It is really awakening. It touched my heart. If only I could help them.”
Others issued a call to political leaders to address social and development problems.
“ Hope this exhibit will awaken the minds of people especially leaders of these nations on how people are able to cope with different failure sin life and how they find their ways to stand up the next day.”
“ If the government only considers God’s will, there will be no misery. If they are only serving not their own good but the good of many, there will be no scarcity.”
“ I think the government should give more attention to people who have mental problems.”
The show displayed six photo essays, and 25 single pictures – all of them compelling news images of social and development issues and events photographed by some of the most talented, audacious and passionate among Asia’s contemporary and upcoming photojournalists.
Among them are Rogelio Luis Liwanag, until recently chief photographer of Xinhua News Agency in Manila, VJ Villafranca, winner of 2008 Ian Perry Award in Photojournalism, the PDI photographers: Emilyn Hope Rillon, Remar Zamora and Rafael Lerma, and Rony Zakaria, the Indonesian photographer who won in the 2010 National Press Photography Awards.
The photo exhibit provided ACFJ a platform to network with universities, schools and leading business establishments and to raise the standards of mounting an international exhibition.
ACFJ also arranged guided tours for high school students and school campus journalists that allowed them not only to appreciate the mix of photos, but also engage some of the participating photojournalists of the exhibit to learn more about good photography.
The roadshow kicked off at The Block, SM North EDSA on Sept. 13, with sponsors and university officials attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The exhibit then moved to Shangri-La Edsa Plaza Mall from Oct. 5-15, The Podium from Nov. 1-10 and SM Megamall from Nov. 11-15. From Nov. 22 to Dec. 12 2011, it was shown at SM City Naga, with the Ateneo de Naga University as host. Ateneo’s Loyola Campus in Quezon City hosted the exhibit on 13 January 2011. ACFJ then transferred the exhibit to Mindanao at Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City from 1-19 February 2011, Limketkai Mall also in Cagayan de Oro from 19 February to 6 March 2011, SM City Davao from 2-12 May 2011 and Gaisano Mall from 13-30 May 2011.
The exhibit was launched on 7 June 2010 during the ACFJ 10th anniversary celebration, and was shown at the Ateneo High School and the Ateneo Grade School, Quezon City in Metro Manila before the roadshow.
The show is a response to repeated calls for ACFJ to feature Asian photographers after it has successfully hosted the annual international exhibition World Press Photo Exhibition the past three years. Asian News in Pictures aspires to the standards of the international exhibition, a project of the renowned Dutch media organization World Press Photo which has co-founded and continues to support ACFJ’s photojournalism program.