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Friday, February 1, 2013

Goethe-Institut opens 'Facing Democracy'

At the opening of Facing Democracy at the Goethe-Institut, Washington/patricia leslie

A new photo and video exhibit Facing Democracy by three artists with global reach has opened at the Goethe-Institut in Chinatown.

Featured in the show are works by a Pulitzer Prize winner twice, Lucian Perkins, who worked at the Washington Post 27 years and whose pictures document wars around the world; Danny Wilcox Frazier, who has photographed economic effects on the poor worldwide with a recent focus on his home state, Iowa; and Baltimorean Jenny Graf Sheppard, the creator of the video, Site Specific and Everywhere, about the Occupy movement.
At the opening of Facing Democracy at the Goethe-Institut, Washington/patricia leslie

The unframed photos on the wall of discontent and upheaval are mostly the “in your face” variety, dramatic and powerful. Looking at them, a viewer’s hearing sense is triggered, and the imagined sounds of the times become quite real. The pictures are reminders of the sacrifices the participants made to be there and their contributions to the movement to awaken the world to the needs of the 99 percent and the consequences, if ignored. They made me nostalgic for the lost opportunity to join Occupy activists.

At the opening reception, Goethe-Institut Director Wilfried Eckstein welcomed guests and asked “Where is democracy going?”
Wilfried Eckstein, right, director of the Goethe-Institut, Washington, welcomed Lucian Perkins, one of the featured artists in Facing Democracy/patricia leslie
The Occupy movement was “the largest protest I’ve covered in 27 years," said Mr. Perkins, "especially with Mitt Romney’s 70 percent comment.” Occupy “did play a role in the election, and we’ll have to see what happens,” he said.

After the reception, the Institut hosted the screening of a series of 12 short films entitled Why Democracy, made by filmmakers from around the world.
The photo show and the films are part of several events which explore the future of democracy and will culminate in a panel discussion, Mapping Democracy:  Utopia and Renewal with Athens and Munich representatives on February 24 from 2 - 4 p.m. at the Goethe-Institut. 


Click here for the film schedule in the Mapping Democracy series. The Goethe-Institut "organizes and supports cultural events that present German culture abroad and that further intercultural exchange," according to its website.
What: Facing Democracy  

When: Now through February 24, 2013 on Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Where: FotoGalerie, Goethe-Institute, 812 Seventh Street, Washington, D.C. 20001

How much: No charge

Metro stations: Gallery Place-Chinatown or walk from Metro Center (10 minutes)

For more information: 202-289-1200

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