Thursday, February 26, 2015, from 7–8PM
Rudi Dundas’s work is focused on social change and environmental issues. She has traveled on horseback into the Tien Shan Mountains in Central Asia to photograph wild tulips for Michael Pollan’s film, Botany of Desire, as well as to Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Indonesia to cover sustainable farming for Peet’s Coffee, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Technoserve. Rudi has also photographed extensively in East Africa and India for Blue Planet Network’s drinking water issues.
She will give a free lecture, “The Face of Water,” Thursday, February 26 at The Image Flow.
Drinking water is life’s most basic need, yet nearly a billion people on our planet do not have access to it. For the past five years Rudi has traveled to more than 15 countries making portraits of people affected by the lack of clean drinking water. She has photographed the Samburu in northern Kenya; the Maasai Mara in southern Kenya; in the Omo River Valley and the Sidamo regions of Ethiopia; Pallisa in Uganda; Cyangugu in Rwanda; West Bengal in India; Arusha in Tanzania; Ntchisi in Malawi; Havana and Vinales in Cuba; and Pokhara and Kathmandu in Nepal.
When documenting water issues for NGOs and other organizations, Rudi sits with her subjects, to hear their problems and address their solutions in the universal language of laughter, empathy, and photography. In her lecture, Rudi will share the stories of the people she has met.
“I would like to share some of my stories of how and why I came to focus on the people I met while documenting projects for the organizations who are working to help solve the issues of access to clean drinking water,” she says.
“Most of the media stories we see are focused on violence and degradation in people’s lives. The people I meet are coping in dignity and grace with situations that those of us who live in more privileged situations can barely imagine. Their stories need to be heard. Not everyone wants to be photographed, but everyone wants to be seen.”
Through her work, Rudi hopes to bring awareness and connection to the people she has met, sharing their portraits and their stories.
“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water…” —WH Auden
This lecture will be given in conjunction with an accompanying exhibition, The Face of Water, at the World Affairs Council Gallery in San Francisco, which opens Tuesday, February 3. The exhibition will be on view through April 2015.
Rudi has exhibited internationally, worked in Paris at the Gobelins, and in New York City creating tapestries based upon her photographic images. From 1989 – 1995, she was co-director and owner of a non-profit gallery in NYC’s Soho neighborhood. Rudi has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The New York Foundation for the Arts, and The Adobe Foundation. She served on the board of directors of Artforum magazine for 20 years and now serves on the board of The American Photographic Artists in San Francisco. Last year, Rudi was nominated for a Lucie Award for International Photographer of the Year for her portraiture of people affected by drinking water issues.
Read more about Rudi on our blog.