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The Meat Market

Photogs and reviewers cruise each other at the Meeting Place

He also advises his reviewees to send handwritten follow-up notes to the people they've met with. "Handwritten," he says, adding, "I'm from the South."

Simon Norfolk's Northgate of Baghdad is one of the "Discoveries of the Meeting Place."
FotoFest
Simon Norfolk's Northgate of Baghdad is one of the "Discoveries of the Meeting Place."

The day finally ends, but Bennette isn't done yet. Figures that have been lurking by the doorway begin to descend on the reviewers. He shakes his head good-naturedly, saying, "I've had them follow me into the bathroom." A Chinese artist sits down, opening his portfolio. Bennette has reviewed him before, and at the previous meeting, things had gotten quite heated. The artist had been making photographs about racial injustice in the South. He felt that Bennette, an African-American who came of age in Birmingham in the civil rights era, wasn't sufficiently interested in the subject. Bennette bemusedly recounts the memory as he flips through the photographer's new work. The artist admonishes him to "Go slower!" Bennette shakes his head and is beginning a weary retort when a Norwegian photographer interrupts, asking, "Do you have a minute?" And so it goes.

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