Photography Exhibition Sydney with Slawo Plata at the Goethe Institute

Photography Exhibition Sydney with Slawo Plata at the Goethe Institute

If you’ve searched for photography exhibition Sydney then you’ll want to visit one of the most interesting in recent years. One of my many hobbies is photography, so I was very happy to receive an invitation from the Swiss Consulate to attend the launch of a photography exhibition Sydney ‘s East, from one of Switzerland’s lauded photographers, Mr Slawo Plata at the Goethe Institute.

Slawo’s passion is to digitally photograph people in remote regions in a way that gives us an enormous amount of information in an enhanced black and white photograph. He might take a thousand images a day for weeks with his cameras, lens and collection of batteries, in remote areas like Peru, Guatemala, Bangladesh and others, then spend months choosing the best one that conveys the most poignant information on the face of the subject or subjects, and in the environment around them.

Slawo Plato Photography Exhibition Sydney

Mr Slawo Plata, Renowned Photographer, speaking about his work at the launch of his photography exhibition Sydney at the Goethe Institute.

Looking at one of the pictures is like looking into a distant time, and the way Slawo has presented the captures will make some of you feel you are absorbing an encyclopedia through your eyes!

My regular thought as I explored the 40 images around the walls was “I didn’t know that!”

Many of the regions he visited did not trust foreigners and so much of the time was spent gaining their trust before being able to take any real life photos. The photographic evidence captured wild and dangerous areas, or areas where modern society would scarcely be able to believe people actually lived.

The launch night was amazing and the Goethe Institute, in conjunction with the Swiss Consulate, created a wonderful atmosphere with delicious Swiss wine and beer, as well as some tasty Swiss canapes. (I enjoyed the three types of wines and was fascinated to finally try a white Merlot – Bianco di Merlot from Ticino)

Slawo gave a short talk on his passion and also spent some time answering questions from the audience. It was great to hear his perspective.

We were also honoured to meet with the Consul-General and Deputy Consul-General who enlivened us with interesting stories, and were the consummate hosts.

Here is what Slawo has to say about his work, from the Goethe Institute’s website:

“In our ultra-modern societies where technology dictates our lives and shapes our behavior, where change is continuous and the word friends rhymes with social networks, are we still aware of the existence of a world where people live off the land in houses they built with their own hands? Are we still conscious of this precious balance of the Nature that feeds us? 

This world where men, women and children live in the tradition of their ancestors is vast and scattered across all continents. Nevertheless, a lifestyle based on the traditions and customs of previous generations is not synonymous with poverty or the rejection of the modern world. Worshiping the gods in one’s customs, weaving one’s clothes, raising livestock or making one’s soap are all inherited activities of a culture we all come from. 

During the journeys I have made over the past seven years in the remote villages of various countries, I had the privilege of meeting fascinating people in their daily lives, in their approach to community and the vision they hold of their society. Their hospitality and open-mindedness allowed me to show, through this series of portraits and scenes of daily life, people living in remote and inaccessible areas, and though poor communities economically, they remain rich in their cultures based on traditions and sharing.

This exhibition is a tribute to those people who are proud to preserve the traditions of their ancestors and to make it a model for their children in order to live in a world where the precious balance between nature and mankind remains sustainable.”

If you have an interest in finding out how people around the world without modern conveniences live, I strongly urge you to visit the Goethe Institute and experience Slawo’s work before the 31st July 2015 (on a weekday). You can find out more from the Goethe Institute’s website here


  • Neil A is an author, blogger and tutor, with a variety of books on Amazon. Check out his children's series here: