Homelessness portrait exhibition opens in Olympia

cleblanc@thestate.comJanuary 15, 2014 

— A Dutch photographer will display his portraits of homeless people in Columbia, Atlanta and Mississippi during an exhibition that will include a panel discussion Saturday about Columbia’s homeless population.

Jan Banning is one of Europe’s most prominent photographers, according to 701 Center for Contemporary Art, which is holding the 24-photo exhibit that opens Thursday night with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. at the 701 Whaley St. building in the Olympia neighborhood. The show, “Down and Out in the South,” runs through March 2.

“Instead of presenting them as The Other, and thus, by default, different from us, I wanted to photograph them in a studio setting against a neutral backdrop, focusing on their individuality rather than on stereotypes,” Banning said of the project that begin in Columbia in 2010.

Banning will speak about his work Saturday at 1 p.m. A panel discussion by various organizations that deal with Columbia’s homeless will begin at 2 p.m. On the panel will be Craig Currey of Transitions, Matt Kennell of the City Center Partnership, Julie Ann Avin of MIRCI, Jennifer Moore of the United Way and Banning.


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