marcela taboada – women of clay

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Marcela Taboada

Women of Clay

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As soon as I set foot in this village, I knew that I had entered to the heart of a Mexican truth: women feed the Earth and their life is made of clay. Clay ovens for clay pans and pots, everything is touched and transformed by hands which are also the color of clay. As they told me when I asked whether they owned some land: “Our land is inside our fingernails”. The Vatican gave these women 17,000 pesos to help for their living and they decided to do something constructive with their money as they lived in ramshackle dwellings, to build proper new houses. They altogether started building walls and roofs out of clay. This brought scorn and derision from the men and elders; now that they have built twenty houses of excellent quality, they are looked upon with great admiration.

San Miguel Amatitlan is a small Indian village in the southern state of Oaxaca where the drinking water does not last any longer than four months a year. The soil is dry, hard and bare; they are neither beans nor cornfields in sight: water must be carried from many miles in order to drink, eat, wash and make those indestructible clay bricks. All the strong men have left the village and have gone far away to the other side of the northern border, where they will try to earn a few dollars picking fruit in the USA. When they come back to the village, they are most probably infected by AIDS.
Due to this appalling social and economic situation, some young women have decided to cross the northern border, swimming to the other side of the river either with their babies in their arms or leaving them behind. The young men who are still living in the village are deep alcoholics. Since the Catholic religion plays such an important role in their daily life, the use of contraceptives are obviously unheard of, and the families are overcrowded, it is an almost impossible task to feed and educate so many children.

The history of these women is a lesson of life for all of us. In order to support themselves and the rest of the family, they sew footballs and receive 70 cents apiece for this work: they can make two balls per day if they sew from sunrise to sunset. Old people also make palm hats and are paid $2,50 for each. They have to make four hats to buy a litter of milk. Yet, these very same hands never stopped creating the finest dresses for their daughters or ironing a man’s shirt, never forgot how to give a caress to a young child or console a grief.
They have always found the time to put flowers in the church, these women believe in Mother Earth because it is inside their fingernails.

 

Bio

Marcela Taboada is a Mexican photographer based in Oaxaca (southern México).
Her work has been published in newspapers, magazines and books from Mexico and abroad. She has been a professor of photography at universities, high-schools and cultural institutions. Her work has been exhibited at museums and galleries and belongs to collections such as The Hasselblad Center, Copenhagen Fotografisk Center, Sonoma Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, The Wittilff Collection, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Oaxaca, The Manuel Alvarez Bravo Photographic Center, among others. She has received awards, distinctions and scholarships such as Mexican Photojournalist Bienale,Hasselblad Foundation scholarship, National Geographic All Roads Photographers, Cultural Exchange México-Indonesia, Planet Magazine Price, Nikon juror of the International Photo Contest in Tokio, Hector Garcia Award, among others.
She currently belongs to the National System of Art Creators in Mexico.

 

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Marcela Taboada

 

 

Musings

L1003590-Edita

BEACH GAMES

For me this is a lazy Sunday afternoon. Seems I don’t get many lazy Sunday afternoons. Yet I am cherishing this one. It’s cool outside, I have a fire going, and I’m just talking to my cats. They do not seem to be listening, which is fine.

I have been shooting quite a bit in Rio since 2010. First with a NatGeo piece on Rio. Straight up documentary photojournalism. Then with my book, (based on a true story), which does not mention “Rio”  at all. Why? Because my personal life was mixed in the with pure documentary and I did not want anyone to think (based on a true story) was a “report” about Rio de Janeiro. It was all documentary, but it was not journalism.

Now with the upcoming BeachGames zine (photos here) I went all out and didn’t make any attempt at mixing a reportage coverage with the life I was living. So BeachGames is on the same stage as (based on a true story) except that it is a true story. Again, not journalism at all, yet a personal diary of my 3 months of shooting within the last year. Black & white. Conventional wisdom told me not to go back to the same well. Suicide creatively? Trying to do the same thing twice?  Yet I felt like doing it, so I did it. No other justifications. I will take the critique.

Yet now I am done. Finished with my photographic romance with Rio. Will I return to Rio? Sure I will. For vacation, for workshops, to see my good Carioca friends. Yet I know when I am finished shooting something. In this case, it took two books to finish. Both with different moods, both with different things to say. Both taking me away from conventional reporting and closer to the novella mentality, where I think I will stay. In the end, novelists interest me more than reporters. I see a type of truth in fiction. All barriers lifted. Nobody really makes things up. You cannot write  about or photograph something well if you have not lived it. I will leave straight reportage for others who do it so well.

After years of using one place as fodder for work, when its over there is some sort of post shoot nostalgia. A sweet exhaustion. The way we all feel after we have put everything into something. Knowing we did all we could do, yet always wondering if we could have done more. Yet I feel I really squeezed the lemon. No more juice left. Time to move on. Cuba? Cartagena? or just my own Outer Banks world? I cannot know right now.

Ok time to go take a hike in the dunes. Late afternoon light beckons. My cats will follow me. Rio seems far away. Yet always always near.

-david alan harvey-

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FujiFilm x Young EPF Award

EPF2014

Photo © Kiyana Hayeri, Honorable Mention – under 30 EPF 2014 Talent for her essay, “Jense Degar” (The Other Sex)

 

FujiFilm x Young EPF Award

 

Today we are proud to announce that FujiFilm is partnering with us to offer several prizes for our category “Young EPF Award” (introduced last year). It’s open to all photographers who are 25 or younger (born on Jan 1st, 1990 or later).

All you need to do is enter into the EPF… and if you’re 25 or younger, you’ll be automatically eligible for the “Young EPF Award” as well.

Fuji offers a cash prize of $5,000 to the winner of the “Young EPF Award”, and also adds a camera valued in excess of $1,000.

Additionally, they’re offering 4 extra cameras as well (all also valued in excess of $1,000 each) for different runners up.

Of course we are immensely proud of this partnership… and hope in this way we can give back even more to the young emerging ones amongst us… who just might need it more than we can ever imagine.

This all gets added alongside our existing “main” EPF grant which is already $10,000… and both the EPF grant and the Young EPF Award are not mutually exclusive, so you could potentially win both… imagine that.

The EPF is accepting submissions until May 1st (more info here)… so hurry and submit your story… if ever there was a time to emerge, that time is now.

 

FujiFilm

Tell It Like It Is… Circles

Tell It Like It Is… Circles

 

photo by Mariah Leal Paes

photo by Mariah Leal Paes

We are all exhausted, but we are finished printing. Burn photo editor Diego Orlando, creative director Anton Kusters, and I have just finished being on press in Treviso, Italy for the re-printing of my 1967 first book Tell It Like It Is . I do not ever remember an all out effort like this one. We eye balled every printing detail to a fanatical point.

Many of you know the story of this book, yet most likely many of you do not. In 1967 I was 23, in grad school, and married. My first son Bryan was just seven months old. I had no money, was unknown as a photographer, and no mentors. I was from a middle class all white neighborhood in Virginia Beach, Va. and yet I felt compelled to use my camera for social good. In the last weeks of the summer of ’67, before returning to the Univ. of Missouri J-school , I decided to photograph a disadvantaged black neighborhood. The Liggins family opened their door to me, and they became my singular focus as a microcosm of the whole. I wanted to make a difference. To make people aware. Perhaps naive, yet nevertheless sincere.

James Liggins and his wife Callie had seven children aged 2-15 years old and lived in a five story tenement apartment building. Callie often made a bed for me on the sofa, I had a darkroom set up nearby to process and print, and I lived the story. For approximately one month I spent all my time with the Liggins.

My friend Charles R. Hofheimer and my college roommate Masaaki Okada were collaborators. Charles had been working with organisations aiding the disadvantaged and was the producer of the book. Masaaki did the layout. I went back to school. We sold the book for $2. and the money went to the Norfolk, Va. Ministerial Association to buy food and clothing for the neighborhood. Our intent was to raise enough money and create an awareness to create public action to save the neighborhood. Four months after we published, in 1968,  Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated and life in America changed forever. That same year civil rights activist and Presidential candidate Robert Kennedy was also assassinated. A dark year in the United States of America.

I finished grad school, got a job as a newspaper photographer in Topeka, Kansas and later freelanced and by the time I was 28 had my second son Erin and had managed to start shooting for NatGeo. Tell It Like It Is was forgotten for the next 45 years. Life for me had just moved on to other things.  I lost contact with the Liggins family completely. As a matter of fact, after all this time both Charles and I had even forgotten their names.

About 10 years ago I was doing a presentation of my work at the New York Public Library. Bruce Davidson was in the audience. He saw a few pictures I was showing from Tell It Like It Is. He asked me when I shot the pictures. I told him 1967. He then said that my little booklet and document had preceded his iconic East 100th Street by 4 years. This surprised me. I had no sense of the context of  my essay, however on that day I realised perhaps I  had done something of historic value. In 1967 I  had zero contacts with the New York art or editorial world and no sense of what to do with my work at all.

In any case,  from that day with Davidson, I felt compelled to republish Tell It Like It Is. That day has come.

We have done two things these two weeks in Italy. First to print a consumer new version of the book. Finest quality. Designed and produced by Anton and Diego. Gratitude always my friends. We have also manufactured an exact replica of the original $2. book, reprinted the 35 contact sheets,  and I will return to my darkroom at home now to make one print from Tell It Like It Is for a special boxed edition of 100 for serious collectors.

 

davidalanharvey-tellitlikeitis-cover

 

This all follows a search for the Liggins family which I felt I must do before publishing. I  had no idea where they were, and as I mentioned, I did not even know their name. My filmmaker son Erin and I hit the streets last October with a copy of the original book ( only 5 copies of it are in my bank vault). No luck in finding anyone who knew who the people were in my little booklet. I was saved by a story in The Virginian-Pilot who did a really nice piece on my search. Lois Liggins saw the Teresa Annas story in the newspaper and emailed me “I am from the Liggins family”.  Lois was seven in 1967 and she was the cover of the book. She is also the cover of the new version and helped me to arrange a joyous reunion with the surviving six members of the Liggins family. We have stayed in constant touch since. We were friends then and are again now. A positive and happy story amongst so much racist negativity on the news channels. Erin filmed this search and reunion. Lois is now 56 and a lead mental health supervisor in the same neighborhood of Berkeley.

Circles.

The LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph this June will feature Tell It Like It Is as an exhibition curated by New York Times Magazine Director of Photography Kathy Ryan and Curator/Editor Scott Thode. I plan to have Lois and perhaps other members of the family join us of course. What could be more rewarding as a documentary photographer?

Pages off the press need to dry. Binding will be done soonest. I will spend most of April in the darkroom. My home now in the Outer Banks is only about 75 miles from where the Liggins family is now. They plan to come sit on my front porch. My intentions for the original book are the same intentions I have now.

Circles.

-david alan harvey-

 

Photo by 7 year old grand daughter Derica Liggins

Photo by 11 year old Derica White, grand daughter of Lois Liggins (center) – October 2014 at our first reunion after 47 years

gil bartz – ukraine

Emerging Photographer Fund – 2014 Shortlist

 

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ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT
EPF 2014 – SHORTLIST

Gil Bartz

Ukraine

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After I graduated from University I took all my money and the next night train to Kiev. For two month I travelled by train, bus and an old Lada Niva. Most of my photos are from people I stayed with for a couple of days or just a night. I never knew where to go next so I asked my Hosts and they always knew another friend or place that I had to visit. In Yasinovataya a small village near Donetsk I met Irina and her brother Dima and stayed at their grandparents` house for more than two weeks. The first photo of my series is a message from Irina from August. Most photos were taken in the year before the Ukraine crisis started.

 

Bio

Gil Bartz (b.1981, Germany)
After I finished school in 2002 I started working for television.
In 2007 I quit my job as a camera assistant and went to Berlin to study cinematography. In 2012 I graduated from the Film and Television University ‘Konrad Wolf’ in Potsdam- Babelsberg with Diploma.
For the next two years I traveled through the Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Russia taking pictures.
I live in Berlin. In 2013 I bought a tiny cabin near Poland where I spend most of my free time. Actually I am working on a long term project about life around my wooden cabin.

 

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Gil Bartz

 

 

 

 

 

 

marta berens – suiti

Emerging Photographer Fund – 2014 Shortlist

 

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EPF 2014 – SHORTLIST

Marta Berens

Suiti

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The history of the Suiti people goes back almost 400 years to a romantic story from 1623 when the ruler of the Alsunga region (Kurzeme, Latvia), Johan Ulrich von Schwerin, in order to marry a Polish court lady Barbara Konarska, agreed to re-convert to the Catholic faith. To distinguish residents of Alsunga from Protestants Johan ordered them to wear specific costumes. These have become an important element of identity for the Suiti. Nowadays, protecting their identity, brought by their ancestors through centuries is still important and makes this religious minority very special. Visiting Alsunga is a trip to a place where time passes slowly, people have a strong relation with nature and a romantic story from the past is still present.

 

Bio

Born in Warsaw, Poland.
In 2012 graduated from the Documentary Workshop with Michal Luczak, at Academy of Photography in Warsaw.
September 2012 – June 2013 member of Mentoring Programme lead by Sputnik Photos collective with Adam Panczuk as a mentor.
Since October 2013 student of Institute of Creative Photography at Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic.

 

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Marta Berens

 

 

 

 

 

 

antonis damolis – till life

Emerging Photographer Fund – 2014 Shortlist

 

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EPF 2014 – SHORTLIST

Antonis Damolis

Till Life

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This series is inspired by the skyscapes of William Eggleston. I wanted to capture the still, vast blue hues of the skies and the seas (as the sky’s reflection). Whilst imagining the serenity of capturing such a minimalistic subject, I noticed the images would often be disturbed by various events. Birds flying through, a plane cruising over or the sun, demanding all attention by beaming its rays directly in my lens. I became fascinated by these disturbances and pretty soon they became the subject of this series. The intruders of the still life, became part of the other wordly skyscapes.

 

Bio

I was born in 1980 in Crete, Greece, where I live and work. I take photograhs in a continuous mode since 2009.

 

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Antonis Damolis

katrina kepule – sit silently

Emerging Photographer Fund – 2014 Shortlist

 

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EPF 2014 – SHORTLIST

Katrina Kepule

Sit Silently

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The series “Sit Silently” examines the signs of time in the rites of subcultures surrounding the capital of Latvia, Riga. It captures the places where “modern Europe” meets the elements of the Soviet times, which conflict and overlap at the same time, while appearing creatively in interiors, exteriors, portraits and still-lives depicting the everyday and the leisurely pastimes. The pictures also capture author’s searches for a slower time zone with more vivid and more open expressions, as well as the sense of home and specific creativity of daily routines beyond the downtown.
The series is also an author’s journey of recreation – escaping from the “focus” and looking for her own (Latvian) identity or core, admiring peripheral moments with their own significance, values and feeling. If, for example, one looks from the East, Kengarags is periphery of Riga, Latgale is the periphery of Latvia, and Latvia is the periphery of Europe.
The series’ title is an abbreviation of a piece from “Google Poetics” and consists of phrases that are popularly searched on the internet and are associated with sitting: “Sit silently /sit silently doing nothing / we sit silently and watch the world / we sit silently and watch.”
This reminds of a passage from Franz Kafka: “You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”

 

Bio

My name is Katrina Kepule and I am a photographer based in Latvia. Photography for me is an important way to relate to the world and translate my angle of view to others. My chosen field is documentary photography through which I can communicate narratives often understandable on an intuitive level.
I have completed several photography courses such as Professional Photography Course, Vocational School N38, Riga, Latvia (2000), B.A. Audio and Visual Culture and Theory, Latvian Academy of Culture, Riga, Latvia (2008), and International Summer School of Photography (ISSP) Ludza, Latvia (2009). I curently graduated from a two-year informal education program for emerging photographers, run by International Summer School of Photography (ISSP), Riga, Latvia (2014).
I have participated in a masterclass by Jan Grarup :Essence of photojournalism ( 2013) and an Artist’s Book making workshop by Nico Baumgarten (2014).
I have worked as a photo reporter at Chancellery of the Latvian Parliament.

 

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Katrina Kepule

David Alan Harvey Rio 2015 Workshop, Student Slideshow

 

This is the work of my 11 students this month in Rio de Janeiro. You are seeing 11 different stories or essays all shot in 4-5 days of real time. Each student comes up with their own idea or theme. These themes can be journalistic or abstract and subjective. The whole point is to get photographers started into seeing photographs woven together as essays. All of them are beginnings of thinking. Something that can be taken further later on.

Some are exercises in thinking and some are projects ready to be taken further. My job is to inspire, to coach, and to help mostly to have those I mentor to start thinking in a non linear way.

In this particular workshop we had a very unusual situation where I was also shooting my own essay, BeachGames. This added an additional spark as we were all putting pictures up on the classroom wall each day. Needless to say, we bonded in a very special way. We had some great times together all around..A time never to be forgotten.

We put this show together for a live audience in Rio in just a few hours from the time the last picture was taken. Enjoy.

 

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Emerging Photographer Fund 2015

Emerging Photographer Fund 2015

Youth Denied: Young Migrants in Greece

Photo © Alessandro Penso, EPF 2014 Winner

 

Now is the time for some of you to start thinking about our Emerging Photographer Fund for 2015…

We will have at least $10,000. grant funding for an emerging photographer to finish a current project or begin a new one based on previous work.

Those of us on the Burn team are very proud to be able to support this grant for a photographer who might indeed be relatively unknown today, but will be an icon tomorrow.
An esteemed EPF Jury will be selected to choose the grant recipient.
We will announce the recipient at the LOOK 3 Festival of the Photograph in June of 2015….
The deadline for submission is May 1, 2015.
Please see our submissions page
I started this grant on my old Road Trips blog back in 2007 with my own money. Since then generous anonymous donors to Burn through the Magnum Foundation have kept the EPF alive and flourishing.
Please take a close look at your own work. Think body of work and/or narrative. Your work may be of either journalistic or artistic imperative. We are simply looking for serious work of any type where funding would help in the completion of this work. Authorship is the key.

 

Call for submissions

 

The Emerging Photographer Fund 2015 is now open for submissions!

The deadline for entry is May 1st, 2015 (6pm PST)

The winner will receive $10,000
and other awards will be announced soon.

Enter here!

 

More information here: http://www.burnmagazine.org/emerging-photographer-grant/