encontros da imagem 2023: before it's gone, by m’hammed kilito

encontros da imagem — international photography and visual arts festival

15 Sep

to 28 Sep

free admission

pátio exterior


Created in 1987, the international photography and visual arts festival Encontros da Imagem is the oldest festival of its kind in Portugal and one of the oldest in Europe, with a rich and extensive collection. Having established itself as an essential platform for the dissemination and creation of photography, in 2023 it reaches its 33rd edition. This year, the festival celebrates the theme “Rehearsal for the Future”, conveying a desire to explore the challenges that are still being faced and the conversations that are still needed: representation and inclusion, environmental sustainability, the politics of everyday life and social movements as powerful forces for change. For the festival, it is urgent to listen and stop. If democracies are showing signs of fragility and extremism is gaining ground in the frenzy of the virtual world and real life, we must stop and think about new forms of organization, ways of life and creation. With “Rehearsal for the Future”, the festival proposes thinking about the present so that, together, we can imagine and build the future.

before it’s gone, by m’hammed kilito

Located in arid and semi-arid regions and considered an ecological bulwark against desertification and an important refuge for biodiversity, oases constitute an original ecosystem, based on the right balance of three elements: The abundance of water, the quality of the soil, and the presence of date palms. The date palms with their parasol-shaped foliage create a humid microclimate, shaded from the wind and favourable to the development of plants. For the past twenty years, this balance no longer exists and these islands of greenery in the middle of the desert are suffering the impacts of human intervention and climate change. Indeed, according to official statistics from the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture, over the last century, Morocco has already lost two-thirds of its 14 million palm trees. In 2019, Greenpeace warned of the threat of extinction facing oases due to the considerable impact of high temperatures on their water resources, resulting in a decrease in agricultural and livestock activities and the displacement of their populations. Before it’s gone is an ongoing long-term project that documents life in oases with a focus on the complex and multidimensional issues of oasis degradation in Morocco and its impact on their inhabitants.

M’hammed Kilito was born in Lviv in 1981. He graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Montreal and an M.A. in Political Science from Ottawa University.He is a National Geographic Explorer, a Magnum Foundation grantee, a 6×6 World Press Photo global talent, and a Prince Claus Fund Grantee. M’hammed’s practice focuses on the relationship between groups or individuals and the environment where they live. He is interested in capturing narratives that facilitate an understanding of this relationship, covering issues related to cultural identity, the sociology of work, and climate change. He has received a Contemporary African Photography Prize, a National Geographic Award, a Misk Art Institute Grant, François Schneider Foundation’s Contemporary Artist Prize, and is the winner of the national photographic commission “Regards du Grand Paris” and The Hopper Prize. His work has been shown at festivals and venues including Sharjah Art Foundation (Sharjah), 1:54 Art Fair (Paris), Tate Modern (London), National Museum of Photography (Rabat), Beirut Image Festival (Beirut), Photo Vogue Festival (Milan), Helsinki Photo Festival (Helsinki) and Breda Photo Festival (Breda) amidst others. His photographs have been featured in magazines and newspapers such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The British Journal of Photography, Vogue Italia, L’Express, Liberation, and El Pais.

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