Janneth Gil is a Colombian-born New Zealander photographer and Engineer who recently finished a Master of Fine Arts, majoring in photography, at the University of Canterbury. Gil uses a broad range of artistic processes as a tool for social change and wellbeing, including photography, collaborative practices, and community engagement.
Gil’s aim is to encourage the community towards considering dialogue, tolerance, and inclusivity in the face of adversity and hardship. She believes in helping others with her skills and her photography as a tool for social change, and as a mechanism through which to empower, teach, and help people to better understand others. Her social photography-based projects include Our Voices (www.ourvoices.co.nz) depicting the life stories of a group of people living with disability in Ōtautahi/Christchurch and Void. Void is largely drawn from Janneth’s autobiographical narratives exploring themes and ideas about identity construction and trans culturalism in the context of immigration.
The Darkness into Light Project is a major body of work in which Janneth sought to find ways to sustain the support shown towards the people affected by the tragic events of March 15th, 2019. She aimed to maintain positive dialogue within our public consciousness, and to challenge certain negative perspectives that inevitably linger. Under the umbrella of Darkness into Light Project she has created Finding peace – Raising Sakinah, where survivors from the March 15th attacks were invited to participate in a series of free workshops designed specifically for them.
Gil’s work is held in the collections of the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū and Canterbury Museum. The Christchurch City Libraries Ngā Kete Wānanga o Ōtautahi publications. Her artwork has also been displayed at In Situ Photo Project, PhotoForum NZ, Place in Time, and various galleries around New Zealand.
Janneth’s scholarships and awards include the Tohu Kahurangi | Blues Awards in Photography, The Outstanding contribution to University Arts Tohu Kahurangi | Blues Awards, the Ethel Rose Overton Scholarship, Ethel Susan Jones Fine Arts Traveling Scholarship, College of Arts Honours Scholars Award, the Vice Chancellor’s Excellence Award, Canterbury University Art Scholars scholarship, the Friends of the Christchurch Art Gallery Scholarship, the Student of the Year Award at the Design and Arts College of New Zealand. Finalist for ZAFAA18 and the Christchurch Art Show Awards in 2015. She has been also nominated for the New Zealand Latin Awards and the new programme for the Arts Foundation Te Tumu Toi, Springboard.
Photo Credit: Sol Gil