Immigration, Citizenship, and Culture Blog

Last chance to see a major exhibit of American Photography
By Stephen Fogarty March 31, 2012

Fans of photography and of 20th century art have one last chance to view a spectacular exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa until Sunday, April 1st, 2012. Made in America 1900-1950 features some 130 photographs of American masters such as by Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Clarence White, Paul Strand, Walker Evans, Margaret Bourke-White, Dorothea Lange, Berenice Abbott, Ansel Adams, Lisette Model, Weegee, and members of New York's Photo League. The exhibit takes museum-goers through the two main tendencies in the development of photography during this period.  On the one hand, there were those photographers who viewed the medium as another way to express images, shapes, forms and feelings.  This is art for art’s sake, and in some of the photos displayed it is almost as if we are looking at black and white works by the impressionist painters themselves. The other trend displayed is the documentary approach.  These photographers were highly skilled and their images are imbued with great use of forms and placement of the subject matter, but there is an underlying message, often one of social commentary.  And so there are many photos showing the disadvantaged as well as ordinary working people, children, cities and the country.  But as we are reminded looking at one of images featured in the exhibit, Ansel Adam’s Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, the scenes presented to us on photographic paper are not necessarily free from manipulation even if the image is incredibly clear and detailed. Read More

Renewing your Canadian Work Permit? Procrastination & new Immigration procedures don’t mix
By Stephen Fogarty March 13, 2012

Sometimes reforms can lead to new problems.  In the past year the federal government has taken measures to protect foreign workers bound for or already in Canada, and the integrity of our immigration system, by implementing more detailed screening of employers.  This is aimed at rooting out fake job offers and reducing exploitation of such employees.  The government has also speeded up the Work Permit renewal process.  These are worthy achievements.  Unfortunately, in practical terms they are like oil and water.  They don’t mix together, and a whole new crop of problems has arisen due to the interplay of the two. Read More

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