Marcus Bleasdale Part of Nat Geo's 125th Anniversary Show
Marcus Bleasdale's pictures of the Congo, featured in National Geographic's 125th anniversary "Power of Photography" special, are part of a related exhibition at the Annenberg Space for Photography in L.A.
"The Annenberg is the principal photography space on the West Coast and the place is wallpapered floor-to-ceiling in Nat Geo photos – there are 501 images total," said Bleasdale. "Along with my Congo pictures, [curator] Sarah Leen included selections from 'Last of the Viking Whalers,' which ran in the June issue, and a few others that haven't been in the magazine. There are some sad ones from a funeral in an orphanage where I worked and some that depict other concerns surrounding the gold mines in eastern Congo."
Bleasdale also sat for the two documentaries being screened at the show and will participate in a lecture series next January. Last week, he traveled to Washington, D.C. for a Nat Geo Live talk in front of an audience of 500.
He noted that the response to his Congo story has been incredible. "As well as the art in the 'Power of Photography' edition, I had a picture at the back of the magazine in the 'Moment' section, which, sadly, was of a child who had just died in [the aforementioned] orphanage," he explained. "I received so many calls from people asking to donate, and when I was in D.C., I was contacted by a teacher who said her math class wanted to send over money. I told her I was in town and could come around to speak, and it was amazing. The kids were so inquisitive and smart." He added that the school, twenty minutes away from the White House, is located in the troubled southeast area. "Yet, these children were so engaged and thoughtful. Through their administration, they are going to do test questions for their math class and each time they get a question right, they'll raise a dollar for the orphanage – it's a kind of competition."
The Annenberg exhibit opens tonight and runs for six months. "It's a huge privilege and I'm honored to be involved," Bleasdale remarked.
"The Power of Photography"
From October 26, 2013 through April 27, 2014 at the Annenberg Space for Photography
Wednesday through Friday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067