Flourishing: Art, Participation and the World to Come

> How can we flourish? We have come to understand both art education and creativity as forms of industry; as the means by which to generate trained individuals and monetisable artefacts. It is a technocratic approach that understands value in narrow measurable terms that are ranked by metrics employed to determine relative success or failure. … Continue reading

Latin America: Two From 100

ALASDAIR FOSTER was invited by the Colombian website Fototazo to write about two Latin American artists of his choice for their series ‘LatAm f100’. He chose the Peruvian artist Cecelia Cecilia Paredes and Antonio Briceño from Venezuela. Fototazo asked fifty curators, gallery owners, blog writers, photographers, academics and others actively engaged with Latin American photography … Continue reading

Questioning the Image

“When approached with an open mind and heart, art can catalyse empathy and respect between people who, on the surface, seem immiscible’ Question the Image: A View from Two Poles of the World IN APRIL, the online magazine LensCulture published an interview with Alasdair Foster, who was to be one of the panel of judges for their … Continue reading

DMZ: Demilitarised Zone of Korea

>> ALASDAIR FOSTER wrote the introductory essay to ‘DMZ: Demilitarised Zone of Korea’, a book published by the renowned German publisher Gerhard Steidl . >> The book features imagery by Jongwoo Park, the first civilian photographer allowed to record the DMZ since the signing of the Armistice. The essay explores the complex multiple meanings that … Continue reading

CHINA: Amandla! South African Women Photographers

  CURATED by Dudu Madonsela and Neo Ntsoma (Johannesburg) and produced by Alasdair Foster (Sydney), ‘Amandla! South African Women Photographers’ brought together a diverse array of work by twenty contemporary South African women photographers. These images were set in a wider context with the inclusion of important historical images from the collections of Museum Africa … Continue reading

COLOMBIA: Fotográfica Bogotá

States of Being: the invisible territories of Asia TERRITORY DOES NOT SIMPLY DESCRIBE A TRACT OF LAND, but a jurisdiction. Indeed, territory need not describe geographic space at all – it might as easily describe a field of knowledge or professional privilege. In May 2017, Alasdair Foster gave a keynote paper entitled ‘States of Being: … Continue reading


Chobi Mela, Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka – February 2017 Alasdair Foster presented a keynote lecture, ‘Creating Shared Culture’ at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in Dhaka as part of the Chobi Mela festival program. Shilpakala Academy is the national academy of fine and performing arts and the principal state-sponsored national cultural centre of Bangladesh. While in Dhaka, Dr Foster also … Continue reading

COLOMBIA: Museo de Antioquia, Medellín

IN NOVEMBER 2016, Alasdair Foster was invited as one of two international guests to witness the of launch of ‘Relicarios’, a major new work by the Colombian artist Erika Diettes. This extensive yet intimate installation stood as a memorial for those killed during the multilateral armed conflict in Colombia. The staging of the exhibition in … Continue reading

BELARUS:  Minsk Month of Photography

IN SEPTEMBER 2016, the work of four Australian artists featured as a centre piece to the Month of Photography in Minsk. The artists were Hoda Afshar, Ray Cook, Simon Harsent and Owen Leong. Entitled ‘Fables of Change’ the exhibition explored diverse understandings of change: personal, social, cultural and environmental. Each artist approached the subject through … Continue reading

An Echo in Amber: Grief and the Disappeared

> This text was written for the opening of the exhibition ‘Relicarios’ by the Colombia artist Erika Diettes, which opened at the Museo de Antioquia, Medellín, in November 2016. It is dedicated to the families of the tortured, murdered and disappeared of the multilateral armed conflict in Colombia. > > An Echo in Amber GRIEF … Continue reading

SWEDEN: Adult Learning Global Change

ALASDAIR FOSTER took part in the 2016 Adult Learning Global Change institute, which that year was held in Sweden. The Institute meets every two years hosted by a different member, usually in one of Australia, Canada, South Africa or Sweden, the respective bases of the founding academic institutions. Dr Foster presented a paper entitled ‘Shooting … Continue reading

BRAZIL: FestFoto

IN MAY 2016, Alasdair Foster attended FestFoto in Porto Alegre. As the Australian delegate, he undertook portfolio reviews and interviewed the festival director. He also interviewed the three directors of Houston FotoFest, who were attending the Brazilian event. Both interviews were later published in the Chinese magazine PhotoWorld. Subsequently, Alasdair Foster was invited to join … Continue reading

Empowering Children to Realise Their Creativity

:: The Wrong Side of the Looking Glass :: “Children are born with a strong propensity for creativity, but conventional education is specifically structured to remove it by the time they reach puberty. This shapes children to become adults in a looking-glass world in which they consume other people’s ideas rather than working together to … Continue reading

Art and Industry

On Being Industrious CHINA: on 23 April 2016 Alasdair Foster delivered a short speech on behalf of the international delegates attending the grand opening of the Shenyang Festival of Industrial Photography. Below is an extract from that speech setting a wider philosophical frame for considering the many diverse works in the festival. FOR MORE THAN … Continue reading

Re-Imagining Industry

  SHENYANG, CHINA: Curated by Alasdair Foster, ‘Industry re.Imagined’ is an exhibition featuring the work of three artists, each from different continents, exploring notions of industry through the lens of artistic imagination. The chronicles of industry recount constant change: from steam, to electricity, to diesel, to nuclear and on to renewables such as wind, wave … Continue reading

DUBAI: World Photography Exhibition

DESCRIBED by Lens Culture as “the latest – and perhaps most ambitious – international photography showcase to step onto the world stage”, the Dubai Photo Exhibition: Global Perspectives was presented under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and staged in a custom-built museum in the new Dubai Design … Continue reading

Dyslexia · Diversity · Democracy

:: Shooting the Moon :: Alasdair Foster delivered a lecture at Newcastle University last Wednesday, which built out from his personal experience of being dyslexic to argue for a better understanding of difference within our educational system. He does not consider dyslexia to be a disability but a different ability, one which he has been … Continue reading

Australian Photography Showcased in Dubai

ALASDAIR FOSTER IS THE CURATOR of the Australian exhibit presented in Dubai this March as part of Dubai Photo Exhibition 2016. The Australian work will sit alongside presentations from 23 countries prepared by 18 leading curators from around the world, headed by London-based curator and editor, Zelda Cheatle. This major event is staged under the Patronage of … Continue reading

Australian Photobook of the Year Awards

IT WAS MY HONOUR to chair the judging panel for the self-published category of this year’s Australian Photobook of The Year Awards. The winner was Jordan Madge for his book ‘Red Herring’, which he both photographed and designed. Jordan Madge is a 21-year-old artist with a Bachelor of Photography from Photography Studies College, Melbourne. His book … Continue reading


> IN 2015, Alasdair Foster was invited by the organisers of GuatePhoto festival to create an exhibition introducing some examples of Asian art photography to the country. The resulting exhibition, ‘To Seem and to Be’ was an exploration of the challenges of how photography, as an art of surfaces, might lead viewers to seek deeper … Continue reading

  • The majority of the texts on this site are by Alasdair Foster and represent his opinions. However, in order to facilitate a useful diversity of views, some texts have been invited from artists and colleagues around the world, while others appear as independent comments. These opinions and comments are not necessarily those of Alasdair Foster or Cultural Development Consulting (CDC). All data and information on this site is provided on an as-is basis. While every effort is made to be as thorough as possible, neither Alasdair Foster nor CDC make representations as to accuracy, completeness, currency, suitability or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.