Breda Photo Festival features more East Wing Artists

  • © David Fathi, The Last Road of the Immortal Woman
    © David Fathi, The Last Road of the Immortal Woman
  • © Maija Tammi, The Milky Way
    © Maija Tammi, The Milky Way

Running until 21 October - this year's Breda Photo Festival features works by David FathiMaija TammiMandy Barker and the Copenhagen collective Sara, Peter and Tobias as part of this year's programme "To Infinity and Beyond!"

David Fathi mixes science and history in his artistic practice, exceeding the boundaries of what we expect from photography. In his series 'The Last Road of the Immortal Woman',  David tells the story of Henrietta Lacks an African American who died in 1951 of an aggressive rare form of cervical cancer. Without her or her family being informed, a sample ofcancer cells was taken from her for research prior to her death. The cells became know as  ‘HeLa’-cells (from HEnriette LAcks). These cancer cells behaved differently than ever experienced before, continuing to live and multiply proliferating to this day. All over the world HeLa cells are used in medical laboratories for scientific research aiding studies on cancer, herpes, aging, flu, appendicitis, lactose intolerance, Parkinson’s disease, the mating behavior of mosquitoes, the consequences of prolonged work in sewers, cosmetics and the atomic bomb. HeLa cells have even been sent into space. Her children became aware of the studies 25 years after Henriett's death and that they were being sold to scientists worldwide.

'The Last Road of the Immortal Woman' is a series of photographs following the route Henriette Lacks traveled between the hospital in Baltimore, where she died and her final resting place at the graveyard in Virginia, USA. Her last trip, but for her cancer cells the beginning of an incredible journey. By telling the story of Lacks and her immortal cells, Fathi not only shows the tangible road between hospital and cemetery: he also touches on issues of of segregation, controversy and appropriation, death, immortality, and the space between science and emotion, between the personal and the political.

Maija Tammi mixes science and philosophy in her artistic practice.  Her series 'The Milky Way' was inspired by panspermia, a theory of ‘seeds of life’ expanding and traveling everywhere in the Universe. According to the hypothesis, life on earth and therefor humans originates from these seeds. Likewise the Sambia people in Papua New Guinea believe that humans are containers through which sexuality flows in the form of male milk and female milk. Milky Way is a series of male milk (semen) and female milk (breast milk) shot close up on a coffee table, resulting in images that look to be of the universe, raising questions about the origins of our civilisation.  Maija was the winner of the John Kobal New Work Award for 2018 for her series 'One of them is Human'

Mandy Barker has been researching plastic pollution for the last decade, her most recent series "Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly known animals' follows in the footsteps of 19th Century photographer, John Vaughn Thompson who made very important research on the life of plankton in Cork Harbour in the south of Ireland.  Mandy retraced his steps and collected plastic in all the places where Thompson originally collected plankton to point out that plankton is now ingesting plastic, threatening not only ocean life but the balance every living organism on the planet.  "Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly known animals" was shortlisted for the Prix Pictet Award and ispublished as a book by Overlapse.

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