From October 17 until December 13, Kadir van Lohuizen’s traveling exhibition “Via Panam: The Pursuit of Happiness” will be shown at the Bronx Documentary Center.
Via PanAm is an investigation into the roots of migration in the Americas, a phenomenon which is as old as humanity but is increasingly portrayed as a new threat to the Western World. The exhibition follows Van Lohuizen’s footsteps from the very south of Chile to the very north of Alaska. Traveling almost 40,000 km overland along the Pan-American Highway and crossing through 15 countries, Van Lohuizen visualized the stories of the communities, regions and societies he encountered. His work reflects a diverse range of migration experiences both historic and contemporary. The photo stories reflect the complexity of migration – the diverse motivations for coming and going, the struggles and successes, the economic, political, social and environmental contexts, as well as the intimate moments and personal stories – some touching upon current issues, some on topics long forgotten but not resolved.
The Via Panam exhibition is a combination of audio-visual installations and prints. Together they form a spatial environment in which multimedia photo stories and road videos immerse the audience in the surroundings and stories of the project. The exhibition has already been shown in Chile, Costa Rica, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.
On Thursday, October 22, at 7 PM, there will be a book signing and discussion with Kadir van Lohuizen.
Via PanAm engages the audience through a variety of platforms, using both traditional and new media. The stories made on the road were edited into weekly radio broadcasts, biweekly newspaper columns and regular magazine publications. The Via PanAm website and iApp not only provide contextual background info, but also directly connected readers and viewers with the journey’s progress. Day by day, the Americas and their people revealed themselves to the photographer and his followers as photo-stories, video and audio were uploaded on a regular basis. The app, which can be purchased in the App Store, is available in English and Dutch, and soon also in Spanish.
Kadir van Lohuizen is a frequent lecturer and photography teacher; he’s a member and co-founder of NOOR picture agency and foundation and is based in Amsterdam. Before Van Lohuizen became a photographer he was a sailor and started a shelter for homeless and drug addicts in Holland. He was also an activist in the Dutch squatter movement. He started to work as a professional freelance photojournalist in 1988 covering the Intifada. In the years following, he worked in many conflict areas in Africa, such as Angola, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Liberia and the DR of Congo. From 1990 to 1994 he covered the transition in South Africa from apartheid to democracy. Van Lohuizen is best known for his long-term projects on the seven rivers of the world, the diamond industry and migration in the Americas. He has received numerous prizes and awards in photojournalism and in 2000 and 2002 he was a jury member of the World Press Photo contest.