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Jim Goldberg

Witness of Injustice

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In this interview with FotoTV, documentary photographer Jim Goldberg talks about his early career, as well as his latest book and exhibition project entitled “Open See”, a multi-media exhibit displayed at the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation in Paris, France.

Goldberg also discusses what his plans for the future are and shares some interesting facts about several of his earlier works including, “Rich and Poor”, Raised by Wolves”, “Hospice”, and “Nursing Home”.

Open See was a project that took over six years to complete and is a photographic documentation of the lives and experiences of illegal immigrants, refugees, displaced people and asylum seekers who are trying to make new beginnings and a better future in Europe. In particular Goldberg has focused on Greece, since illegal workers and immigrants make up about twenty percent of the population.

It is clear that Goldberg has a desire to make a difference in the world today, and it is through his humane photographs that he wishes to inform the viewer, expose social injustice and therefore, encourage change. His subjects reveal where they are now in life and other relevant personal facts and information by writing over Polaroid’s, which Goldberg has shot, and provided to them, creating a personal connection with a real person, not just another photograph of a nameless subject.

Although his passion is documentary work, Goldberg’s eclectic strategy is to use as many mediums as possible to create a diverse palette of information. Immigration issues in Europe in general are very complex and by creating poetic and metaphorical situations, his photographs seem to simplify the unknown and raise questions, engaging the heart and mind, giving a sense of underlying hope for the many displaced individuals.