Since then the basic concept has evolved and expanded. It now has a global perspective and is connected with multiple issues of social development, in collaboraton with humanitarian organizations, embassies, hospitals, schools, museums, universities etc.
I have been continuing the concept and research and creating equivalent photo series in country after country around the globe or, to be more precise in site after site.
In addition to the statistics of life-expectancy, also ethnicity and socioeconomic variation of the citizens at the specific site is included. Since no statistics are presented in direct connection to any specific portrait, the meeting with the naked face seems to raise even more questions. The viewer is left to guess who is a man/woman, who might be an executive or working in the fields, who might be gay, Muslim, Christian, atheist, foreigner etc. and ultimately whether friend or foe. Our prejudices are challenged as it is not possible to immediately place people in categories for the sake of our comfort.
The exhibitions are being presented not only in public sites, such as streets, parks, galleries, museums and railway stations, but also in unconventional arenas, office spaces and conference rooms. The portraits may thus be exposed to people who in one way or another can affect the life conditions of those who are portrayed.
An important part of the GLOBAL PHOTO PROJECT is to utilize the pictures and exhibitions to create spaces, large and small, for people to come together to reflect and exchange both research results and personal experiences on matters that matter. The pictures of the naked faces, eyes which contain so many questions seem to have a "warming" effect on the space that support honest self reflection and authentic meetings with others. Seminars, workshops and different forms of dialoge are arranged, from class-room format to larger forums.
Once enough material for a global comparison is produced and parallel with local projects and activities, all the photographs will be assembled into a large touring exhibition.
It is an immensely exciting and never-ending lifetime project and when my own timeline is coming to an end I may pass the camera on to somebody else to continue.
In August 2012 I was invited as keynote speaker at an International Conference on Empathy at the Centre for Studies in Practical Knowledge at Södertörn University in Sweden to present the work.
In 2007 the 13th International Conference on Thinking took place at the Louis De Geer Concert and Congress Hall in Norrköping/Sweden. I presented theproject with a lecture, workshop and a slide show.
The project was in 2006 selected by the Swedish Institute to be part of the "Sweden Upgrade", a journey through Russia with the aim of presenting an image of modern Sweden. The 73 Russian portraits, each enlarged to approximately one meter square were exhibited in the Chuvasian National Museum in Cheboksary and in Proekt Fabrika in Moscow.
That same year the Russian series was also part of an International Seminar in Moscow on the low fertility rate in the country, organized by UNFPA and Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation. Demographic expertise from all over the world was gathered together with representatives from the government and regions throughout the country. The walls of the seminar hall were decorated with faces of the citizens the seminars were all about.
In 2006 the Kyrgyzstan portraits were photographed. They were partly made in the UN house in Bishkek but many "models" fulfilling the criteria of age, gender, ethnicity and varied social background were found as we were setting up mobile studios in market places and other public areas. We also worked in old-age homes, a sanatorium, a crisis center and neighboring villages.
In 2004, collaboration with the UN in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, commenced. Other partners are the Swedish Honorary Consulate and the American University in Central Asia.
In 2003-2004 the Project in Thailand was accomplished in co-operation with the Swedish Embassy in Bangkok, UNFPA, PPAT, SI and the Chiangmai City Museum. Exhibitions were presented and seminars on health and quality of life were arranged.
In 2002 the photo part of the project in Russia was finalized in co-operation with the Swedish
Embassy and the State Technical College School of Visual Arts in Moscow.
2015-2017 Plans on realizing the project in 5-10 locations all over the world, including Stockholm.
Are you interested in contributing to the growth and realization of the
project? Do you have ideas about sites and contexts where to produce new images
and exhibitions? Ideas about how and where to create spaces for self-reflection, meetings and