CASE Art Fund has been raising money and awareness for humanitarian causes since 2018 through the support and exhibition of fine art photography. “Photography Creating Change,” the benefit on November 5, is their first fundraiser for their own operations.
“We’re very excited to present to the public what we do,” says Catherine Edelman, one of CASE Art Fund’s founders.
The benefit is both virtual and in-person, with tickets starting at $100. Attendees will see the premiere of Cesar Dezfuli’s film “Passengers,” made in collaboration with CASE Art Fund and Still I Rise films.
Dezfuli will answer questions about his work at the benefit via Zoom. “Passengers” is the result of Dezfuli’s work in 2016 photographing refugees from West Africa who were rescued from a rubber boat in the Mediterranean. Of the 118 people he met and photographed, he has reconnected with 105 of them over the years. The refugees ranged in age from eleven to thirty years old, with most in their late teens.
One of his photos is available for purchase at Catherine Edelman Gallery, and fifty percent of each sale will be donated to Alarm Phone, an organization that provides a way for people crossing the Mediterranean sea on boats to signal need for rescue via their hotline. The organization uses public pressure to encourage rescue services to act.
CASE Art Fund’s first Humanitarian of the Year Award will also be presented, to Bangladeshi activist and photographer, Shahidul Alam. Alam is best-known for his “Crossfire” exhibition, which concentrated on extrajudicial killings caused by Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion, the anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police.
CASE Art Fund was established in 2018, after longtime friends Catherine Edelman and Anette Skuggedal decided to use their experiences in the fine art world to bring attention to children across the world who face adversity.
“I made a promise to myself on the thirtieth anniversary of the gallery that I would give back,” Edelman says. “It is very important to me to use the knowledge that I gained from doing the gallery, and the resources that I gained to do something to give back, and that’s how CASE Art Fund came about.”
Skuggedal and Edelman strategized for two years on how to meet the goal of bringing change for children worldwide through photography, their mutual specialty.
When choosing artists to feature, the fine art element remained important. Edelman says that the photographs that were chosen “weren’t purely documentary. The work had to lend itself to a narrative that allows the viewer to enter the image,” she continues. “Beauty is very important, true beauty helps people to understand the content.”
The organization works with twenty-one photographers, who have each selected a single-issue nonprofit to work with.
When CASE sells prints, through its BriefCASE collection, fifty percent of the sale goes to the photographer’s choice of small organization that supports the cause they photograph. For this event, however, the tickets go toward keeping CASE Art Fund operational—covering expenses associated with upcoming exhibitions and programming. (Yvonne Krumrey)
For more information on “Photography Creating Change,” visit caseartfund.org/casebenefit2021.