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Karina Turok, the internationally known photographer who last year published the acclaimed "Life and Soul: Portraits of Women Who Move South Africa," will be the guest speaker for the Old Dominion University Friends of Women's Studies Annual Dinner Monday, Feb. 19 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

The event will begin with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. The cost is $25 for the general public and $10 for students. Reservations are due Feb. 5 and may be made by calling 683-3823.

"Life and Soul" features black-and-white photos of 75 women who have been pivotal to the transformation of South Africa. It was inspired by a photography project Turok saw in New York that depicted portraits of black women who changed America. In turn, she envisioned a photo essay that would encompass the great diversity of South African women who had overcome extreme hardships, yet still made a difference in the lives of others.

Turok began working on her book in 2004, conducting interviews with 75 South African women of divergent fields, generations and backgrounds. She created unique photographic portraits that "reflect something unexpected" about her subjects, sometimes seeking a visual metaphor in the photograph to represent the meaning of their lives. Turok uses light to create mood and atmosphere, sometimes shifting focus with close-ups of hands and faces to reflect wisdom or some other aspect of the character of the political figures, musicians, artists and athletes featured.

Turok studied in Cape Town during the 1980s, a time of intense struggle for South African people living under the apartheid regime. She later worked closely with Nelson Mandela to document his experience as the country's first democratically elected national president.

Photos from her book (including audio comments from the subjects) will be on display starting Friday, Feb. 2, and running through the month at The Selden Gallery in Norfolk's Selden Arcade. The exhibit is sponsored by the city of Norfolk.

This article was posted on: January 16, 2007

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