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Felipe Romero Beltrán - winner of the Foam Paul Huf Award 2023

Press release | Amsterdam, December 2023

In 2023, Felipe Romero Beltrán won the 17th edition of the Foam Paul Huf Award. Now Foam is proud to announce his solo exhibition Dialect. The exhibition captures the journey of a group of young Moroccan men after their arrival from a dangerous journey crossing the sea to Spain. Romero Beltrán creates a multimedia narrative of the boys becoming young men, navigating a period of legal limbo in Spain. Through his work, Romero Beltrán sheds light on issues such as alienation and social inequity of migrants in today’s society.

Carrying a young man

Dialect, 2023

© Felipe Romero Beltrán.

Fishhead

Dialect, 2023

© Felipe Romero Beltrán.

Young adults with mirror

Dialect, 2023

© Felipe Romero Beltrán.

Born in Colombia, Romero Beltrán often focuses in his practice on societal issues where he follows his subjects for several years. For Dialect he documented the lives of these young adults for three years –the period it takes to go through the legal process of obtaining citizenship. After a perilous journey where they have crossed the Strait of Gibraltar; the maritime border between Morocco and Spain, these young men settled in Seville. While their legal status is being reviewed, these young men find themselves in a void: estranged from the familiarity of their home country and separated from a new society they can’t take part in. Even when they manage to step out of the legal vacuum, they remain ‘the others’ , experiencing a sense of alienation in this newly adopted country.

Romero Beltrán relies on a strong, almost cinematic framing in his work. He combines documentary photography with elements of performance and choreography. Alongside his photography, the exhibition will showcase videowork and include an installation as a response to the inaccessible paperwork this legal process brings along. Felipe Romero Beltrán displays a powerful humane manner in his practice: the subject and method of his work are intrinsically connected to him as a person and artist. His own background as a migrant from Colombia and his sincere affection towards his subjects guide his vision and perspective.

Dialect is a powerful pièce the resistance against the complex and arduous journey of those who have been displaced. A group of people that is growing with each passing year.

About the artist

Felipe Romero Beltrán is a Colombian photographer based in Paris. His practice focuses on social issues, dealing with the tension that new narratives introduce in the field of documentary photography. At the same time, he is working on his Phd dissertation on documentary photography at Complutense University of Madrid. His photographic work, characterized by its interest on social matters, is the result of long-term projects accompanied by extensive research on the subject.

Felipe has recently been awarded in different international competitions: Kbr Photo Award (2023-SP), ParisPhoto Curiosa Section (2023-FR), Aperture Portfolio Prize (2022 -USA), Die Biennale fur Aktuelle Fotografie (2022-DE), Joop Swart Masterclass (2020-NL), GetxoPhoto Award (2020), Photobook Madrid Prize (2020-SP), and ARTBO Colombia (2019-COL).

About the award

The Foam Paul Huf Award is an internationally acclaimed photography prize aiming to support generational talents and provide a platform for photographers from across the world. This prize has been organised by Foam every year since 2007 and is awarded to young photographers by an international independent professional jury. The jury for 2023 consisted of Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger (jury chair, director of the Finnish Museum of Photography and artistic director of The Festival of Political Photography), John Fleetwood (curator, co-head of BA Photography at the KABK and director of Photo in South Afrika), Sunil Gupta (artist and co-founder of the Autograph Association), Ashleigh Kane (Arts & Photography Editor at Dazed Magazine) and João Linneu (designer, art director and co-founder of Void Photo Publishing House).

The Foam Paul Huf Award consists of a prize of €20.000,- and a solo exhibition at Foam. Felipe Romero Beltrán sees his name added to an impressive list of 16 former winners, including Lebohang Kganye, Eric Gyamfi, Daisuke Yokota, Alex Prager and Pieter Hugo.

The exhibition will be accompanied by the publication Dialect, published by Loose Joints.

Dialect by Felipe Romero Beltrán can be seen from 26 January 2024 – 1 May 2024 at Foam. Open daily 10 am – 6 pm, Thu/Fri 10am–9pm.

Foam
Keizersgracht 609
1017 DS Amsterdam
The Netherlands
+ 31 (0)20 5516500
www.foam.org

Note to editors

For information and visual material please check www.foam.org/press or contact the Press Office of Foam on +31 (0)20 5516500 / pressoffice@foam.org
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The Foam Paul Huf Award was made possible by the generous support of Mentha.

Foam is supported by the VriendenLoterij, Foam Members, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, the VandenEnde Foundation and the city of Amsterdam.

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