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The Thousand Words of Photojournalism

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Lethbridge City Council and the Galt Museum & Archives are pleased to host The Thousand Words of Photojournalism, a travelling exhibit developed in partnership by the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the Canadian Newspaper Association in reflection of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to celebrate the freedom of the press.

The Declaration of Human Rights was adopted 60 years ago by the international community through the General Assembly of the United Nations.  The opening statement of the Declaration recognizes “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family [as] the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”  An important aspect of the “freedom” is addressed in Article 19 which states that, “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” 

“Lethbridge City Council is strongly committed to the goals of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism,” says Lethbridge Mayor Robert Tarleck. “Being offered the opportunity to host The Thousand Words of Photojournalism exhibition as a coalition member is a way of illustrating the human condition to be found in Canada. On the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we celebrate the freedom of the press and the effect of photojournalism on our society.

The Thousand Words of Photojournalism is dedicated to photojournalists who provide us with compelling insight into the world around us through their lenses.  It has already been shown in Saskatoon, Oshawa, St. John New Brunswick, Ottawa and Windsor.  Following its stop here, it will go to Quebec City and Stratford (P.E.I). 

“This exhibition shows that photojournalism is essential precisely because it is disconcerting,” says Michèle S. Jean, President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.  “It makes us face painful situations, thereby leading us to question the assumptions on which our biases are founded.  It is a means of keeping society honest.  Truly, a picture is worth a thousand words.”

In addition to the 50 images in the travelling exhibit – including two by the Lethbridge Herald’s David Rossiter – the Galt has added five powerful photos previously published in the Lethbridge Herald.  These photos represent local stories and three were submitted by Ian Martens, David Rossiter and Trevor Page.

The other two are a photo by Rick Ervin and a Canadian Press Wire photo both selected from the Galt Archives, which holds an extensive collection of Lethbridge Herald photographs.  These images not only provided immediate and commanding visuals the day they were published but continue to offer information about issues and society for researchers.  

The Thousand Words of Photojournalism will be displayed at the Galt from November 22 to January 14, 2009 on the main level of the original 1910 Galt Hospital wing.  An opening reception by invitation is scheduled for Friday, November 21.  The Archives are open Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm.

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