An open air photographic exhibition at More London Riverside, London

Pressrelease 13 June 2011

An open air photographic exhibition at More London Riverside, London,
1 July – 6 September 2011.

All round the world people have developed ceremonies and events to mark the passage of their lives from one stage to another. During more than seven years, Swedish photographer, Anders Ryman*, travelled the world to record and photographs such rites. This major exhibition, Rites of Life, will feature his most compelling images shown in a large-scale outdoor exhibition, consisting of more than 50 images and two information panels, mounted on separate illuminated screens, making the exhibition available to the public 24 hours a day. The exhibition Rites of Life is held under the patronage of UNESCO.

The exhibition will be staged at More London Riverside in front of The Scoop amphitheatre, and between City Hall and HMS Belfast. The Tower of London is just across the River. Thousands** of people work in this area, others saunter along the riverside and Queen’s Walk from London Bridge to Tower Bridge.

Anders Ryman’s photographs cover all inhabited continents, all major religions, and life’s passages from birth to death, in modern as well as traditional societies. Birth is illustrated with photographs from Ethiopia (Hamar), Micronesia (Palau) and Spain (Castrillo de Murcia). Initiation ceremonies include photographs from Turkey (Istanbul), Thailand (Mae Hong Son), United States, Arizona (Apache), Kautokeino, Norway (Saami – Norway), South Africa, the Cape (Xhosa) and Uppsala (Sweden).

Wedding ceremonies from around the world include the Three Nuptials of the Newars in Kathmandu, Nepal, a Jewish wedding in New Jersey, US, a South African wedding in Soweto and a Berber wedding in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Ceremonies marking the end of life include Todos Santos (All Saints Day) celebrated in the Andes of Bolivia, cremations at Varanasi, India and the reburying of the dead in the Madagascar highlands.

The exhibition was first seen in Stockholm and has also been staged in Copenhagen and Malmo on its way to London. The prize-winning, accompanying book Rites of Life is available from TASCHEN in six languages, including English and will be on sale at the exhibition, together with prints and postcards.

Anders Ryman is looking forward to his photographs going on view in the heart of London: “It’s particularly rewarding for me that this exhibition will be seen by people around the world, easily accessible in an outdoor (and free) venue and no more so than in London, one of the most multi-cultural cities of the world.”

“When I started this project, I wanted to do something about people around the world to illustrate different cultures but also to show the similarities across cultures. I decided to focus of rites of passage as it is something which unites us as humans. We all have a need to mark the important steps along life’s passage.”

This exhibition is supported by Skandia; with additional support from Stena Line and More London.

Notes to Editors:

*Anders Ryman is a Swedish photographer and writer who has been published in a wide range of international magazines, including GEO and National Geographic. Before devoting himself to photography he pursued post-graduate studies in cultural anthropology, which is reflected in his continued interest in peoples and cultures.

**An estimated 10,000 to 11,000 people per day use this area of London. (More London)

Support and Sponsorship:

The open-air photographic exhibition Rites of Life at More London Riverside is held under the patronage of UNESCO. Patronage is UNESCO’s highest form of support. It is granted to demonstrate the Organization’s moral endorsement of an exceptional activity.

Skandia, an international insurance and banking company providing products and services for customers in various phases of life, is the major sponsor of the open-air exhibition Rites of Life. Skandia is a member of the Old Mutual Group.

Stena Line is an international transport and travel company and one of the world’s largest ferry operators. The route network comprises of 16 strategically located routes around the UK and in Scandinavia.

For press enquiries in the UK contact Ylva French

or tel 020 7976 5284.

Contact Anders Ryman

For more information and press images go to

Publication of press images available on the website is free provided that they are used in conjunction with publicising the exhibition Rites of Life in London.