Photography’s ability to communicate instantly and wordlessly, and almost universally is invaluable: it is a means of participating in global exchange and also of examining a burgeoning global culture, its impact on the world, and our place in it. As globalization advances and commerce, commodities and ideas flow rapidly across national boundaries, people increasingly interconnect to foster cultural commonality worldwide.
On the 10th anniversary of the CONTACT Toronto Photography Festival, we present Imaging a Global Culture: a succession of public installations, exhibitions and programs throughout Toronto in May that reflect these interconnections and their dramatic increase over the past decade. As the many extraordinary photographs in this year’s festival demonstrate, globalization has had positive effects on the state of world affairs – including, for example, a significant increase in artistic exchange, made possible by the Internet. Simultaneously, globalization has escalated the degradation of the environment and strengthened the impact of international superpowers, and these are also primary issues of concern in CONTACT 2006. From galleries to restaurants, street corners to subways, CONTACT’s sweeping presence throughout Toronto in May accentuates the impact of the global on the local. As Saara Liinamaa writes in this magazine, “the festival maps the dilemmas and promises of global culture through the city in which it takes place.”
We are very grateful for the continued support of Hewlett-Packard Canada, our premier sponsor and our partner in the presentation of public installations of photography by 12 international artists throughout the city. Sincere thanks also go to our official media sponsors – Fashion Television Channel, the Toronto Star and enRoute magazine – for their dedication to the festival and their support of our activities.
Our gratitude goes out to everyone involved in CONTACT 2006, including venues, funding agencies, corporate sponsors, advertisers, education and exhibition partners, CONTACT’s board of directors, staff and volunteers and, especially, all the artists and photographers whose vision helps us better understand our world.
—Bonnie Rubenstein, Festival Director and Editor
—Darcy Killeen, Executive Director