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Chan Hong Men Pierrot’s series “A Struggle for Dignity” has been selected as one of the finalist in the 2022 Eyeshot Open Call series category.
Chan Hong Men Pierrot
“A Struggle for Dignity”
In 1997, Handicap International invited Chan Hong Men to become its official photographer in their hometown of Fianarantsoa. This opportunity arose during the first sports and cultural event for the disabled, which took place in all six provinces of the island and catered to people with a wide range of disabilities, including deafness, blindness, mental illness, and paraplegia.
In “A Struggle for Dignity“, the photographer explores the complexities and nuances of disability, capturing the resilience and strength of their subjects. Through their lens, the artist delicately navigates the line between empathy and intrusion, providing an intimate look into the lives of these individuals while maintaining their privacy and dignity.
A Struggle for dignity
While traveling in Djibouti and Namibia, the photographer was deeply moved by the destruction caused by landmines. They discovered that diseases were the leading cause of disability in Madagascar, with untreated conditions frequently leading to blindness or severe mental health issues. One of the most common diseases they encountered was poliomyelitis, caused by a virus that attacks the spinal cord. With no vaccine or treatment available, tens of thousands of people were frequently left unable to walk.
“A Struggle for Dignity” highlights not only the physical obstacles encountered by these community, but also the broader issues of exclusion and marginalization that pervade their daily lives.
By shedding light on the challenges faced and with a keen eye for a detail and deep understanding of the human experience, Chang Hong Men Pierrot’s “A Struggle for Dignity” challenges societal perceptions in a compelling visual narrative that captures the power of determination and the beauty of overcoming adversity
Eyeshot Magazine #10 | Open Call Edition
This is the tenth issue of Eyeshot Magazine always in limited edition of 500 copies, showcasing the thoughtful and creative photographs of the 70 talented photographers who have been selected as the winners, jurors’ picks and finalists of the Eyeshot Open Call 2022. The artworks were chosen from over 6000 photographssubmitted from more than 100 different countries, making this a truly global showcase of street and documentary photography.
Born in 1954 in Midongy-du-Sud, on the east coast of Madagascar, Pierrot Men lives and works in Fianarantsoa, where he runs the city’s largest photographic laboratory, “Labo Men”. His journey with photography began in 1974 when he established his first lab. Yet, for several years, photography merely served as a practical (both artistically and financially) supplement to his primary passion: painting.
For 17 years, the artist was caught between identity, baptism, and wedding photos. However, a friend’s candid remark altered the direction of his creative pursuits. She bluntly told him that the photographs he used as the basis for his paintings were superior to the resulting artwork. This revelation prompted him to abandon painting and focus solely on photography. His dedication quickly bore fruit: in 1994, he won the Mother Jones competition in San Francisco and was awarded by Leica, which has remained his loyal companion ever since.
His work, a blend of photojournalism and fine art photography, is steeped in humanism and captures the dignity of his subjects. His meticulously composed and discreet images reveal a remarkable ability to remain perpetually fascinated by his surroundings, particularly in Madagascar.
The 2022 Eyeshot Open Call saw the submission of over 6.000 photographs by incredibly talented photographers from over 100 different countries. With the participation on an extraordinary jury composed of Marco Savarese, founder and editor-in-chief of Eyeshot, Magnum photographers such as Trent Parke and Emin Özmen, leading representatives of street and documentary photography scene – Vineet Vohra, Siegfried Hansen, Koci Hernandez , Mark Abramson and Isadora Kosofsky – and winners of the World Press Photo Award – Narelle Autio and Kitra Cahana – these artworks were selected for their visual storytelling, creativity, and style in conveying their unique observations of contemporary reality.
Street and documentary photography feel the urgency to elevate the streets of the world into theaters without requiring humans to perform. In front of each of these images, you can mirror yourself. Or you can also just look at them.
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