"The photographic image...is a message without a code."
—Roland Barthes

Dialects presents recent work by the 27 photographers from What We Saw, the collective we formed upon graduation from the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program at ICP in 2008. What We Saw functions as a platform to collaborate globally and to exchange work, ideas, and experiences. It is also a vehicle that fosters an ongoing dialogue on current developments within the collective. As individuals and as a group, we are continually evolving as our subject matter—the real world—continues to change. Our group is made of members from fifteen countries including the United States, Mexico, South Korea, India, South Africa, Turkey, Australia, Germany, and Brazil. Our dialects, or the diversity of our visual languages, are molded—by historical, geographical, political, and social influences, brought about by the diversity of our nationalities, our thematic interests, and our photographic practice.

Dialects is a showcase of our work from projects ongoing from 2008–9. In this exhibition, we present a tapestry of images from our changing world; works that document social and political events such as the election protests in Iran, the remembrance of veterans of the Cuban Revolution, the impact of chemical manufacturing on neighborhoods in the American South, to more reflective works that deal with personal relationships or our natural environment. Whether we consider ourselves photojournalists, artists, or story tellers, we are united in the belief in our commitment to our subjects, our driving passion, and our conviction to make a difference through our work.

Curated by What We Saw

Gianni Cipriano
Alinka Echeverria
Alex Franck
Jake Fromm
Rachel Gardam
Toni Greaves
Sheila Griffin
Julie Hau
Becky Holladay

Andreas Karyofilis
Daniel Kukla
Minny Lee
Meaghan Major
Mansi Midha
Jesse Newman
Rafaela Persson
Katya Pronin
Andrea Star Reese

Annalise Reinhardt
Ruben E. Reyes
Elaine Santana
Jonathan Saruk
Yusuf Sayman
Brendon Stuart
Alessandro Vecchi
Alexia Webster
Jungyoon Yoo

Special Thanks

Special thanks to Eugene Foster, Per Gylfe, Yvette Naylor, Donna Ruskin, Alison Morley, and the staff at the International Center of Photography.