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Anthropographia - The Interview


Interview with Anthropographia founder and manager Matthieu Rytz.

FD: Anthropographia -- http://www.anthropographia.org/ -- is an international photo competition. What makes this one unique?

MR: Anthropographia is a non-profit organization that aims to promote human rights using photography as a medium.

We're supporting photo essays that have been produced on a long term basis. We value the engagement with which the photographer does his work. We don't want to promote news photography, as our interest relies with in-depth stories.

The uniqueness of our competition is also based on the structure of the organization. We give a universal and free access to everybody who wants to submit a photo essay. This is uncommon practice, as most photo competitions require fees to participate. The last but not the least, we are curating the competition rather that judging it. A curating process is quite different from that of the judging one. Curating allows to put together stories in a specific direction, to work at a grassroots level and to publish emerging photographers. We also want to bring out stories that don't make the headlines.

FD: Yes, but many of the photos you include in your exhibits have already been presented elsewhere. Is there a uniqueness that we're missing out on here?

MR: Yes, the last two exhibitions presented famous work that was shown before. It was mostly a strategic choice. As the photojournalism field is highly competitive, we decided to first include well-known photographers in the selection. This helped us get some leverage with and recognition from the photographic community. In the following years we will include much more work from emerging photographers within the exhibitions. We will also include more "non-western" photographers.

FD: Anthropographia is moving into multimedia for human rights. What can we expect to see 3 years from now?

MR: By now most of the multimedia selected were linear works with lengths varying between 9 and 12 minutes. In the following years we wish to build a much more interactive experience by creating links between the printed exhibitions and a dynamic website. Next year, for instance, we will include a QRcode in the exhibition caption, in order to link virtual contents trough mobile devices. We wish to create a transmedia space.

FD: Would you qualify Anthropographia's exhibits as 'radical communication' spaces?

MR: The 'radical communication spaces' with Anthropographia are the exhibition spaces themselves. We push the limits of traditional exhibitions. Last year, we brought the exhibit into a national library in a small town in northern Quebec. We are planing to hit Asian shopping malls next year. We want to hit as many people as we possibly can by using many venues which are outside the gallery and festival circuit. Our main goal is to bring general education and awareness about social issues through visual storytelling. On can also recognize the radical communication from our 100% editorial freedom.

FD: If you had to think about a Memefest-Anthropographia partnership, what could that be like?

MR: We will be glad to spread information through the Memefest network. We may also partner for exhibitions and online projects. If Memefest wishes to think about how we can work on a transmedia partnership, we'll be delighted to collaborate.

For the Anthropographia competition, go here: http://www.anthropographia.org/

Frédéric Dubois performed this online interview with Anthropographia's Matthieu Rytz.


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12 years, 5 months ago

REQUESTED COMMENT (asked for on Dec. 19, 2010)

Thanks Frédéric for this interview.
You are most welcome to ask question and it will be a pleasure for me to answer them.
Just for infornation, the 2011 call for entires will ends December 31. Please check www.anthropographia.org to sign up.
Matthieu Rytz


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