Newman Prize-winning work at PhoPa

Sep 13, 2017
Photo by: ©Daniella Zalcman Daniella Zalcman's portrait of Deedee Lerat is part of her Signs of Your Identity documentary project.

Portland — PhoPa Gallery and Maine Media’s “Signs of Your Identity,” featuring work by Daniella Zalcman, is on view through September at PhoPa, 132 Washington Ave. The artist reception is Tuesday, Sept. 19, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Zalcman is the 2017 winner of the Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture. Her project Signs of Your Identity depicts survivors of Indian Residential Schools. For 120 years, the Canadian government operated a network of Indian Residential Schools that were meant to assimilate young indigenous students into western Canadian culture. Indian agents would take children from their homes as young as 2 or 3 and send them to church-run boarding schools, where they were punished for speaking their native languages or observing any indigenous traditions; routinely sexually and physically assaulted; and, in some extreme instances, subjected to medical experimentation and sterilization.

Zalcman’s work explores the trauma of some of the 80,000 living survivors who remain and, through extensive accompanying interviews, addresses the impact of intergenerational trauma and lateral violence, as well as documenting the slow path towards healing.

Zalcman is a documentary photographer based in London and New York. She is a multiple grantee of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting; a fellow with the International Women's Media Foundation; and a member of Boreal Collective. She also is the founder of Women Photograph, an initiative to elevate the voices of female and nonbinary visual journalists.

Zalcman’s work tends to focus on the legacies of western colonization, from the rise of homophobia in East Africa to the forced assimilation education of Indigenous children. Zalcman’s work regularly appears in The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, the BBC and CNN, among others. In addition to the Arnold Newman Prize, Signs of Your Identity has been recognized with a 2017 RFK Journalism Award, the 2016 Magnum Foundation Inge Morath Award and the 2016 FotoEvidence Book Award.

Gallery hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free. PhoPa Gallery is a collaboration among photographer Jon Edwards, independent curator Bruce Brown and Maine Media Workshops + College of Rockport. A percentage of all sales at PhoPa Gallery are donated to MMW+C, a 501c3 nonprofit educational organization.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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