HONG KONG – The saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is cliche but it’s a powerful one. And it’s precisely how the likes of Joan Pabona and a group of budding photographers based in Hong Kong feel about the photos they take.
Pabona is one of the Filipino photographers whose photos are featured in (Fe) male: Gender through the Lenses, a photo exhibit which opened last September 30 at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
In an interview with Rappler, Pabona, 1st runner-up of this year’s National Geographic Photo contest said her group, Lensational Hong Kong, began discussing the project sometime in January.
“Yung Lensational kasi empowering women,” Pabona, a Filipino Overseas Worker based in Hong Kong explained.
“So ngayon, nag-invite kami, though student na ako nung 2016, so nakiki-join pa rin ako para to support Lensational,” she said of the organization, which was founded in 2013.
(Lensational is about empowering women. So we invite [budding photographers]. I was a student in 2016 but I still join up to now to support them.)
Before doing photography, Pabona would hang out with other OFWs in Central, where many of them spend their days-off. Wanting to make use of her time, she got into photography and started taking photo-walks with other Filipinos in Hong Kong.
The exhibit, she said, focuses on the issues of gender awareness, feminity, and religion.
“Kailangan din i-topic iyon kasi minsan, may discrimination,” she said. (It also needs to be a topic of interest because there’s still some discrimination.)
The exhibit is a project of the group – a mix of Filipino and Indonesian photographers based in Hong Kong – which held a photography workshop for members for 6 months starting January.
Aside from Pabona, fellow Filipino photographer Grace Tagum Orbon, and Indonesian photographer Dwi Purwanti are among those who participated in the exhibit.
(Fe) male: Gender through the Lenses runs until October 14. – Rappler.com
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