Snap shots of modern life go on display

Escuela Secondaria B�sica Osvaldo Herrera Gonz�lez, San Fernando de Camarones, Municipio Palmira, Cuba.'Year 7, Maths.'December 7th, 2011.
Escuela Secondaria B�sica Osvaldo Herrera Gonz�lez, San Fernando de Camarones, Municipio Palmira, Cuba.'Year 7, Maths.'December 7th, 2011.
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MODERN life is being brought into focus with a festival of photography.

Venues across Sunderland will be taking part in the North East event, The Social: Encountering Photography, which runs from October 18 - November 16.

Museums, galleries and public spaces will be joining in this first regional festival of contemporary photography, which will include work from renowned international photographers.

As well as visiting gallery spaces to view the exciting range of works, the public will see the face of buildings and venues change as images spring up in places such as bus shelters, lampposts, large buildings and transport networks across Sunderland, Durham, Newcastle and Washington.

Organised by the North East Photography Network, NEPN, which is hosted, based and partly funded by the University of Sunderland and Northern Centre for Photography, The Social will bring together UK premieres and new commissions, supported through Arts Council England and National Lottery in partnership with the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art.

Co-collaborators include Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, National Glass Centre and Durham Art Gallery.

Amanda Ritson, programme manager at NEPN, who has helped develop The Social, said: “This latest project, our largest to date, allows us to showcase some of the work we have commissioned, as well as providing a platform for regional, national and international photographers and engaging the public in this.”

Co-curator Carol McKay, said: “The works are about what we call ‘socially engaged practice’, it’s a range of work from documentary and photo journalism to fine art practice, but at the heart of it is an issue or subject that is to be communicated or debated.

“We hope this festival sparks debate, inspires and intrigues as well as introduces new audiences to photography, making it accessible in the public realm to those who would not normally visit an art gallery. Photography is around you all of the time, from billboards to posters, so we’re trying to infiltrate those images and introduce new subject matter.”

Exhibits in Sunderland will be held in the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, National Glass Centre, The Bridges Shopping Centre, The Bridges Carpark Rotunda, Park Lane/Crowtree Road, The Old Fire Station, Dun Cow Street, Design Centre Gallery, Chester Road, Holy Trinity Church, Church Street East, Priestman Gallery, University of Sunderland, Sunderland Minster, University Boulevard/Sciences Complex in Chester Road and Pop Recs Ltd in Fawcett Street.

Durham Art Gallery and Arts Centre Washington will also be involved in the festival and for a full list of exhibitions, dates and times visit