An active commercial photographer and photojournalist in the Middle East for more than twenty years, Katarina Premfors has long supported photography as a catalyst for positive social change. Working with various NGO’s including UNICEF and Photographers for Hope, Katarina has put forth a variety of photographic essays focused on humanitarian initiatives, depicting sensitive issues that include HIV/AIDS, drug abuse and disabilities throughout the MENA region.
Communicating challenging and often emotionally charged subject matter is a task for which Katarina comes well prepared. In this case it is no wonder she picked up her camera shortly after her father Kenth fell victim to a stroke in 2011. A familiar and cathartic process for Katarina, documenting her father throughout this period was not only something that she felt was important to do; her father also encouraged her to take photographs. Her images recorded his progress in physiotherapy, a process he was determined to continue even after his cancer diagnosis. Katarina continued to photograph her father through to his passing away, seventeen months after the initial stroke took place.
Pappa is a delicate and emotionally charged series depicting touching moments with Kenth and his infant granddaughter, his wife and children, portrayed alongside the daily challenges faced in the wake of a stroke and later following cancer treatments. Tackling a subject seldom approached in conversation, Pappa visually explores the undeniable truths tied to our own mortality. Katarina celebrates each moment, valuing both the struggles and victories that occur within each day.
The exhibition is free to visit and open to the public January 19 – February 22, 2014.