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Zana Briski  

Academy Award-Winning Director & Visionary Creator of Reverence

Zana Briski is an Academy Award-winning director and visionary creator of REVERENCE.

Zana spent ten years on her project in the brothels of Calcutta where she photographed, filmed and taught photography to the children of prostitutes. Her film BORN INTO BROTHELS, won an Academy Award, an Emmy and 33 other awards. She founded KIDS WITH CAMERAS, a non-profit which transforms the lives of marginalized children through learning the art of photography.

Following a mystical experience of a praying mantis, Zana spent twelve years traveling to remote wild places to photograph and film insects. Working alone at night, Zana is enraptured with the magnificent creatures she meets. Her insect portraits take hours of collaboration as she holds eye contact and allows for a deep merging of consciousness.

REVERENCE, the migrating museum, brings us face to face with insects as individual sentient beings. Housed in an exquisite 10,000 square foot pavilion resembling a praying mantis eggpod, it displays large-scale photographic artworks and a feature-length film with music. REVERENCE will travel to city parks around the world, inspiring wonder and awe and challenging our deeply held fears of otherness.

Zana photographs using 35mm black and white film and Leica macro and Widelux panoramic cameras. In her desire to get even closer to the animals she so loves, Zana has recently given up the camera altogether, working directly with wild animals to make unique photograms on light-sensitive papers, which she later processes in her darkroom.


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