Justin Bromberg

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Artist’s statement

The best way to describe myself is a photojournalist or documentary photographer with an insatiable thirst for traveling the world. Whether that relief comes as Cuba during the revolution’s 50th anniversary, a bus trek through Bangladesh, Nepal and Tibet or settling down in a rural eastern Ontario village, each one advances the social curiosity behind my lens.

My photographic works are a personal commentary. Without the benefit of time and experience in a given place, I take pride in offering only a glimpse of what I saw, heard and felt along the way.

The faces of those I met in Cuba – especially after leaving the capital city and traveling by any means to the island nation’s small towns and rural countryside –were as humble as their hospitality. In similar vein, six weeks allowed me to weigh Cuba’s past against its current state and realize its advances in literacy, sustainability and conservation.

I hadboarded a flight to Havana in late December 2008, only knowing I wanted to practice my Spanish and that the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution was expected. Little was seen in terms of celebrations and there was a notable improvement in language skills, but what happened in those next 39 days would make for a journey to remember.

And Japan, to the eyes of a visitor who has only been there a fortnight, is a blend of ancient humility and modern wonder. The current Western concept of inconvenience is virtually removed (think electronic waiters in restaurants and always-punctual trains) while a stroll through the country’s major cities will uncover ancient temples, forested walkways and hidden treasures.

Its citizens, equally inviting and polite, add to the visitor’s experience by seamlessly adjusting to this hybrid culture. In the traditional sense, one abides by cultural traditions of respect and gratitude, yet never forgets to take advantage of everything the technology and progress has to offer. I like to think my photography demonstrates, if only an inkling, the humility and speed that maintains it as remarkable a place as it is in my mind.

Exploring social engagement is the driving force of my photography and perhaps I’ve found my next task right here, in my new hometown of Vankleek Hill. The social fabric that breathes life into the town is especially evident to those living here, but what makes my perspective unique is that I somewhat walk the line between outsider and resident.


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Support in creating this artist's page from the Government of Ontario through the Programs and Services Branch of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture is acknowledged.


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