Exploring Inequality Through Visual Art: The Imaging Inequality Project 2022

The Imaging Inequality project, initiated by GRIP in 2021 has made a significant impact in illuminating diverse dimensions of inequalities in different local contexts. Through an open call, the project invited visual artists from across the globe to submit proposals addressing various forms of inequality. Six exceptional artists were selected in 2022 to create visual representations of inequality, which were showcased in both physical and digital exhibitions.


The Artists

Nseabasi Akpan

Nseabasi Akpan, a photographer from Ibadan, Nigeria. He challenged the stereotypical portrayal of LGBTQ individuals in Nigeria through a powerful photography series, “All We Need Is Love.” Akpan aimed to spark debate about LGBTQ rights and advocate for a more inclusive and respectful society, despite the challenges posed by the discriminatory Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill.

Avijit Ghosh

Avijit Ghosh, a photojournalist based in Kolkata, India, shed light on the socio-environmental impact of climate change and the unequal access to water. Ghosh’s poignant work, “Water Inequality” drew attention to the struggles faced by communities in water-stressed areas, emphasising the United Nations General Assembly’s recognition of water as a basic human right.

Mohammad Hasan

Mohammad Rakibul Hasan, a documentary photographer and filmmaker delved into the daily hardships endured by the LGBTQR+ community in Bangladesh through his photo story, “The Forbidden Love.” Hasan’s project aimed to amplify the voices of the marginalised and draw attention to the inequalities stemming from the lack of acceptance and recognition of the community.

Rishi Jha

Rishi Jha, an academic researcher produced a series, “Necrosettlements” inspired by Achille Mbembe’s Necropolitics. He focuses on capitalist urban redevelopments, slum resettlements, and governance in Indian megacities and visually captured the experiences of vulnerable urban populations affected by rapid capitalist development in Indian megacities like Mumbai.

Mabel LLevat

Mabel LLevat, a Barcelona based artist and researcher who had participated in many events and had organised photography and eco-feminist workshops, whose project “Havaneras” focused on Cuban women living in Barcelona and how they dealt with inequality and stigmatisation as migrant women. Llevat’s project sought to identify patterns of dominance and deconstruct oppressive narratives used to represent the bodies, genders, and colonial histories of Cuban women living in Barcelona. The project aimed to bring awareness to the inequalities caused by colonial enterprise and the transatlantic trade and to the hidden labour of women in the accumulation of capitalist wealth.

Alice Penda

Alice Penda employed allegories from Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels” to vividly depict the imbalance and systemic enslavement of African countries under European capitalism. Penda’s artwork conveyed the reality of populations deprived of self-determination and trapped in a state of dependency on Western countries.

Through the diverse and powerful contributions of these artists, the Imaging Inequality project has successfully drawn attention to different forms of inequality and the struggles faced by individuals in various contexts. Imaging Inequality has been instrumental in bringing attention to various forms of inequality worldwide. As the inaugural exhibition ends, it leaves behind a legacy of powerful narratives and impactful visuals that challenge societal norms and promote dialogue on addressing inequality. But that is not just the end, it is also a beginning as GRIP plans to launch a new call for visual artists on the labour and inequality theme. Stay tuned for more information!