Critical Archives VI: We Can’t Breathe

The 5th edition of the MedPhoto Festival, titled CLIMATE WARS, presents the international photography exhibition CRITICAL ARCHIVES VI: We Can’t Breathe, which opens at the Contemporary Art Museum of Crete in Rethymno, on January 19, 2024.

The exhibition focuses on the climate and biosphere crisis and their socio-political parameters, and on the extreme and dangerous ways of exploiting natural resources and the widespread disappearance of ecosystems, which have resulted in the deterioration of living conditions – the suffocation – of an ever larger part of the planet.
The intersection of contemporary art with research and theory brings to the fore deeper aspects of this condition. Central to the exhibition are works that prioritise concepts like ecocide and climate justice, highlighting that not all people are equally to blame for the climate crisis, that shed light on phenomena such as the financialisation of energy, or that focus on the disproportionate burden on countries in the Global South. Addressing environmental issues in relation to the mechanisms of international capital, war, and the colonialist perception in the West, MedPhoto presents photo series, documentaries and research papers that study how ecological destruction is linked to labour exploitation, to the refugee question, and to patriarchal and racist mechanisms of control. This is where we believe that the phrase “We Can’t Breathe” as a literal or metaphorical, biological and social condition intersects with Eric Garner’s “I Can’t Breathe”. Within the exhibition’s narrative is attempted a mapping of alternative approaches to humans’ relationship with their natural and social environment, through the prism of political ecology, ecofeminism and degrowth. 

Participating artists: 
Ursula Biemann, Evangelos Daskalakis, Sophie Gerrard, Petros Giannakouris, Marina Gioti, Kostas Kapsianis, Nikos Markou, Cristina De Middel & Bruno Morais, Giorgos Moutafis, Oliver Ressler, Zied Ben Romdhane, Jonas Staal, Ian Teh, Penelope Thomaidi, Michailangelos Vlassis-Ziakas

Photobooks by:
Makeda Best, Matt Dunne, Mitch Epstein, Stuart Franklin, Fazal Sheikh

Artistic direction:
Maria Maragkou, Pavlos Fysakis

Curated by:
Dimitris Kechris, Pasqua Vorgia

Co-organized by:

With the Financial Support of:

With the Kind Support of:

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