‘999 portraits’ exhibition by photo-reporter David Hardy showcases the different profiles of society

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The exhibition titled ‘999 Albanian portraits’ by photo reporter David Hardy, – a project that started back in 2019 – at first glance, seems like a coming together and fusion of different portraits into one single space.

David’s objective and goal in fact, goes beyond this and what remains primarily is the introduction and merger of these profiles to show that, which is found within each and every one of us.

“In fact, I often say that it’s not just a photo of their portrait, it’s much more than that. Often all of us, every one of us is burdened with life’s problems, one of which could be the way people perceive their departure from Albania. Firstly, they have seen [this project] as a personal challenge. And secondly, they want to see a photo of their real selves, how they really felt at that moment in time,” said the photo reporter.

Until now, after a lot of hard work, David has been able to shoot a total of 540 portraits, but the photo reporter’s mission through this project remains the same: to show the complete and raw reality of a society.

“I have always tried to and wanted to touch people through my photos, not only through portraits but also through other personal projects I’ve been involved in, – where I’ve tried to shine some light onto the discrimination and abuse suffered by women or the Roma community,” said David.

Gjyljana Bakalli is one of the individuals, who was excited to join the project.

“We should be real with ourselves. By being simpler, more human, I believe that we would make a better society too,” she said.

David also spoke about the techniques used to realize these portraits.

“Seeing that the photos have been shot around the streets of Tirana, they have also been met with their own challenges. They have also been very beautiful because apart from the portrait, I have also tried to alternate Tirana’s many colors, buildings and old gates in the background,” said David.

This exhibition will be open until July 21st at “Europe House” in Tirana, whilst David Hardy wants to conclude this project with three books, where every portrait will be forever fixed, becoming part of a society’s collective consciousness.

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