Join photographer Robert Valenti at Comber Street Studios for the special opening of his exhibition UnFuck.
‘UnFuck’ is a body of work that concentrates on the tumultuous current era that is defined by identity politics. From the Stop Black Deaths in Custody movement, Free Palestine Rallies, and Climate Change protests, these images articulate the complete disdain people now have for a flawed political system. A system that – rather than serving the people – has only its own best interests at heart.
Recently, we have seen the struggles of true grassroots organisations trying to come together and have their voices heard. Whilst they know the meaning of standing against a common threat with one another in solidarity, seldom do they receive the same support in return.
The struggle to be heard is made more difficult in the age of ‘clicktivism’, where human rights crises are reduced to fleeting trends on social media. More worrying still is that social media ‘influencers’ co-opt these causes for the sole purpose of winning over likes and followers, while the mainstream media corporations ride the ‘trending’ issues in the constant popularity contest of revenue and ratings.
Sadly, this has precipitated division within organisations themselves, that has, in turn, led to infighting. And the irony is that such internal conflict causes a greater divide between people who share a collective vision, than the one that is created and maintained by the very system they seek to dismantle.
I fear that unless – as activists – those who share a collective vision in matters of human rights come together, support one another, and learn the true meaning of standing in solidarity with one another, our arrogance will result in our own demise.
If nothing changes, nothing changes; and we need to realise this above all else. Unless we ‘UnFuck’ ourselves first, there is little chance of unfucking this capitalist, fascist, colonial, patriarchal regime for which we collectively hold so much contempt.
Rob Valenti is an emerging visual storyteller and social documentary photographer whose work is characterised by the combination of digital media, black and white film, direct flash, and slow shutter speeds. With the use of these techniques, Valenti’s instinctive way of photographing is able to draw the viewer into the frame and evoke the sense that they themselves are a part of the tension, emotion, drama, and action that unfolds in the scenes depicted.
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