Monthly Archive for July, 2009

julia komissaroff – kitab al-balad

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Julia Komissaroff

Kitab al-Balad

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I call it “Kitab al-Balad” – the Book of the City. 11 years I’ve been
 circling in the narrow streets of Jerusalem’s Old City. This is a 
transformation of the City and me, the story how we became the one. 
Some time ago conflict and politics where important to me, now I just
 enjoy good tea with menta leaves, looking at old men and children. Doing what I do the best – my photography.

 

Bio:

Julia Komissaroff was born in Riga (Latvia) in 1977. Her family moved to Israel in 1991, when she was still a teenager. Julia has lived in Jerusalem ever since, where she is now raising her two children.

She sees herself as an independent photographer. She involved in socially important projects, with specific areas of interest are Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the countries of the former Soviet Union. Works with an Arab-Jewish human rights organization Taayush as well with Norwegian Refugee Council. Her photographs were used in the design of cd’s and posters of known Russian Rock groups. In 2006 together with the photographer David Dector, Julia Komissaroff opened the Jerusalem Seminar of Photography which is the first Russian photo school in Israel.

 

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Julia Komissaroff

 

Editor’s Note: Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

jared soares – haitian faith

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Jared Soares

Haitian Faith

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I have been interested in Haiti ever since I took a conversational French class when I was a high school student. Since the beginning of my career as a photojournalist, I have always been a proponent of telling stories in your own backyard. Before moving to Roanoke, Virginia, I had been researching potential story ideas and had found that there was a growing Haitian population in the area. According to reports by Refugee and Immigration Services of Virginia there are over a thousand Haitians living in the City of Roanoke with that number increasing each year.

After meeting a few Haitians during a pickup soccer game and a few phone calls later I was invited to a revival at Ebenezer Church of God, a Haitian church in a Southwest Roanoke neighborhood. The church was founded five years ago by refugees from Haiti. The entire worship service is in Creole, one of the official languages of Haiti, the other being French.

As walked up the stairwell to the church, I could feel how faith was helping the Haitians maintain a sense of community in their new Appalachian surroundings. The small one-roomed church was filled with an overflowing congregation, singing and praising in Creole. A few members mentioned that they enjoyed attending services at Ebenezer Church of God because it felt like they were back home in Haiti.

With this essay I wanted to show the importance of faith in a refugee community and how it can provide a semblance for those living in a new place. This set of unpublished photos is part of a larger story on Haitians living  in The United States.

 

Bio:

Jared Soares is a documentary photographer based in Roanoke, Virginia. He enjoys investing his time in longer term projects that center around social issues.

 

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Editor’s Note: Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

tom hyde – falling up

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Falling up by Tom Hyde

East Fork of the Satsop River, Washington State. July 3, 2009.

I shot film for years until I started shooting digital, and that’s mostly what I’ve done for a number of years now. Until two days ago. I dropped my Canon 5d, with its expensive L glass, all of 20 inches onto my gravel road. It landed just right, or wrong, and the mounts on both the lens and the camera broke off at the same time. The camera is … toast. I didn’t even get a conciliatory self portrait of shock and rage out of it. Actually, I may have gone through all the stages of grief. Silly really.

Now I shoot film in an old rangefinder without a working light meter and an apparent two stop shift in the shutter. I like it.

Faded box of cheap Kodak film courtesy of the Matlock Country Store (stored near the deep fat frier).

Processing and scanning courtesy of WalMart.

A good day courtesy of a bad event.

The results … well, whatever, it was a good day hunting and I never even tried to look at the back of the camera. Made some new friends. Left prints stuck on tree branches by the river bank.

They’ll find them tomorrow.

God I love summertime.

Website: Tom Hyde

mike berube – hometown

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Mike Berube

Hometown

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Hometown is a collection of images that centers around the effects that the current recession has had on the place i call home. Oshawa Ontario in rural Canada in particular, has been hit very hard by these changes, with General Motors factory closures and home evictions and rising drug trafficking.  So far, close to 250,000 people have lost their jobs, and as the downtown sector closes down, stores and shops become a haven for drug dealers and gangs turning a once peaceful downtown into violent ground. But this essay is not as much about the recession as it is about people and the loss and isolation endured through these changes. The emptiness and the separation that has followed and still continues…

“Photography is a personal experience through which i choose to express views on the world. The work I produce reflects my need for uncovering dark places, and further feeds my desire to produce humanistic, palpable photography. I choose to work with photography on the deepest level I can, to produce the best work that I can. I photograph things I feel and see. I try to give voice and meaning to the elements and environment around me.”

 

Bio:

Mike Berube was born in Toronto, Canada, were he is currently based. Mike’s photographs have been exhibited in galleries and venues across North America. His work has been published in magazines from Italy, France, Brazil and North America. His recent book entitled “The Dead can Dance” was published early July of 2008, and documents life in the slums of Kibera Kenya, following the election crisis that ripped the slums apart by tribal violence. Mike’s current essay “Hometown” was recently selected as part of the Toronto Contact Photography Festival in May of this year. A solo exhibition was held as part of the festival.

 

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Mike Berube

 

Editor’s Note: Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

james whitlow delano – in the eye of burma’s cyclone

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James Whitlow Delano

In the Eye of Burma’s Cyclone: A Firsthand Account

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Three days of driving rain had already begun to ruin the dry season rice harvest, leaving the crop under water, before I returned to Yangon from Bago on the day the cyclone struck. Just hours before the cyclone arrived, a steady stream of brand new, Chinese-made military trucks blasted their horns, bullying all manner of traffic from bicycles to 50 year old Hino timber trucks out of their way so that they could speed toward a military base. I would later see a line of them entering outside the former capital.

There was vague gossip on the street about a cyclone in the seas south of Burma but it was not until I was checked into my Yangon hotel, and able to receive CNN, did I realize that a category 4 storm was about to bare down on Yangon and the low lying Irrawaddy River Delta. Myawaddy, one of the Burmese television stations, had not forecast that such a severe storm was going to make a direct hit on Burma.

By midnight, the windows of the hotel room rattled violently. I got up and taped the large one and opened the two movable ones a crack to equalize air pressure. By 2am, trees could be heard snapping in two and tumbling down, some of them a century or more old. At dawn, a wicked wind but little rain sent sheet metal panels, torn from rooftops and outdoor adverts flying like newspapers but trailing sparks down the street. By the time I got downstairs, the wind had completely changed direction, had intensified, and sent curtains of stinging rain horizontally. In the blinding rain, I sheltered behind a pillar outside the hotel attempting to shoot one frame at a time, then dry off the entire camera and try again. I looked downwind. A street sign 6 feet wide (2m) and 3 feet high (1 m) shuttered suddenly and then a gust sent it frantically flying into infinity never to be seen again. It simply disappeared.

I remember thinking throughout this storm how people sheltering in their flimsy bamboo houses would surely not survive in the Irrawaddy Delta if this storm was punishing a relatively high-sitting concrete city so brutally.

Over the next six days, I would make my way south every day. First I simply took a small boat across the river from the city but later I would travel right down to the core of the Irrawaddy Delta where the 4 m high storm surge, not the wind, claimed the most lives.

The Burmese people, ever resourceful, were on their own. Mostly soldiers were restricted to clearing trees in the former capital. Few were to be seen down in the delta and none of those soldiers, that I saw, were distributing food or water. They were clearing trees and debris.

I wrote the following account after traveling by boat to the worst effected part of the delta. Now, in large part because of what the few of us reported seeing in the Irrawaddy Delta, the military has erected roadblocks to keep foreign eyes out.

I went down with two photogs to a town called Pyapon,

about 60 miles (90km) from Yangon, we had visited the day before.

We rented a boat and headed straight in the direction of the sea

which is less than 10 miles (15 km) south.

By simply crossing over to the other side of the river, we

were able to identify the first body, blown up and bloated in the

scorching midday sun.

At first villagers pointed out bodies. We asked if they

knew these people, left discarded on the beach? They

said, that they did not know these people who had been

washed up the river from villages closer to the sea and in the

path of the storm surge.

Within 30 minutes we had counted over 30 bodies. Most

were women and three were children. One child, no more

than two years old, had a length of twine tied to its ankle,

suggesting its mother’s vain attempt not to be separated

from her beloved child. It had failed.

We left the boat and climbed up to a village named Nawpyando.

The houses were shattered. People had died from their village too.

Water had reached a level of 5 feet (1.4 meters) and people

had climbed up high into their houses hoping to survive, praying

that their houses held together. Most of the people in this

village had survived, though they were still listless from

the trauma of the storm.

Women would still do their washing of clothes in the

river, where bodies of the dead and animals bobbed.

Drinking water had to be obtained back in the town.

They appeared to have rice

but not much else. No help,

from the government, had arrived.

 

Bio

James Whitlow Delano has lived in and documented Asia for a decade and a half.  His work has been awarded internationally from the Alfred Eisenstadt Award (from Columbia University and Life Magazine), Leica Oskar Barnack, Picture of the Year International, Photo District News and others.  Delano’s series on Kabul’s drug detox and psychiatric hospital was awarded 1st place in the 2008 NPPA Best of Photojournalism competition for Best Picture Story (large markets).  His first monograph book, Empire: Impressions from China (Five Continents Editions) and work from Japan Mangaland have been shown at several Leica Galleries in Europe and Empire was the first ever one-person show of photography at La Triennale di Milano Museum of Art in Italy.  His second monograph book, I Viaggi di Tiziano Terzani (Vallardi / Longanesi) was released in spring 2008.  His work has appeared in New York Times Magazine, National Geographic Books, GEO, Newsweek, Mother Jones, Time Asia, Internazionale, Le Monde 2, Vanity Fair Italia, and others.  His work has shown in international photo festivals from Visa Pour L’Image and Rencontres D’Arles to photo festivals at Angkor, Cambodia, Lianzhou, China, Noorderlicht, Netherlands, Rovereto, Italia and Foto Freo, Australia.

 

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Editor’s Note: Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

guillem valle – states of identity

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Guillem Valle

States Of Identity

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Palestine, Kosovo, Kurdistan, Turkestan…

I now realize that since 2003 I have been documenting the same story only in different places.

These stateless nations, like my native (Catalonia), have struggled to be free of domination and oppressive violence and have shared with me an indelible visual story of both human suffering and strength. Somehow with time I have come to see more of the many dimensions that this story entails.

Since beginning this body of work, a more critical perspective has shaken my initial awe and admiration for the many liberation movements and militant groups that lead these people’s struggles.

I have become aware of the delicate and volatile nature of both identity and memory, and the creation of their often-angry orphan, the national myth. I have seen that oppressive states can engender national liberation movements. As these movements attain power they tend, more often than not, to exclude others and become oppressive themselves. This paradox and its exceptions have a visual nature I now wish to explore.

This essay has been produced in different countries: Palestine during the second Intifada, Kosovo during its independence declaration, Kurdistan region in Northern Iraq with the women of the PKK Guerrilla, in Chinese Turkestan photographing the ethnic Uyghurs and also in Lebanon documenting the life of Palestinian refugees. This essay has not been published yet.

 

Bio:

I was born in Barcelona in 1983 and became interested in documentary photography at the age of 14 when I traveled to Sarajevo on an art student exchange program. At age of 16 I started to work as a freelance photographer for local newspapers. My first international story was about the anti-globalization movement’s response and demonstrations during the G8 summit of 2001 in Genoa. While still a student at the Institut d’Estudis Fotogràfics de Catalunya, I traveled to Palestine on two occasions between 2001 and 2004, to photograph the Palestinian Intifada.

I started to work with El País in 2003, all the while maintaining a personal agenda, developing a body of documentary work on socials issues here in Spain. Since 2006 I have gone to Lebanon to cover such themes as: the war between Israel and Shiite militia Hezbollah and the conflict between Fatah Al-Islam and the Lebanese army in Northern Lebanon. These images mark the beginning of my collaboration with Sipa Press New York as a distributed photographer.

In the course of 2008 I have covered Kosovo independence, as well as beginning a body of work on the PKK in Northern Iraq and the Uygur minority of the Xinjiang region of North-western China.

 

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Editor’s Note: Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

alexander mendelevich – outside

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Alexander Mendelevich

Outside

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The project describes an “outside” state. I put the occurring in the field of fantasy, of an “incubator” – the place where emotions, pain, vulnerability and experience are naked, where situations are somewhat absurd, associative, where they echo childhood, and question female and male nature. A play implying the contact with object functions as a search, a test and discovery of various thresholds of the sensuous and an exploration of relations with one’s self and the environment. I make a kind of performance using staged photography and inserting scenes in which distortion or discomfort occurs. And my wish was to show and create by distortion, absurdity, environment cleaning, some true space where I try to exit from the standard representation of a portrait image.

The essay has been published in Japan Media Arts Festival, part of the essay in Stella Art Foundation, Moscow and part of the essay will be published in Wiesbadener Fototage in September 2009.

 

Bio:

Alexander was born in Pyatigorsk, Northern Caucasus region of Russia in 07/12/1979. After high school and three years at an institute of economy and management he moved (repatriated) to Israel in 2000, and served in the army from 2002 to 2004. From 2004 to 2008 he completed his B.F.A. study in Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem (Photography department). Alexander has held exhibitions in Israel, Japan and Russia.

 

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Editor’s Note: Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

nicola lo calzo – inside niger

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Nicola Lo Calzo

Inside Niger

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The cultural project ‘Inside Niger’ is a photographic reportage that started after a meeting with the humanitarian association African Pan Project, which is active is Niger since 15 years.

The reportage, committed by Paris city council and Conseil General de Val de Marne, is taking place for one month in the region of Tillaberi and Dosso in the Niger. Its main focus is the population that lives and works on the borders of the Niger River, where most of commercial activities take place such as universities, public work, markets, fishing, slaughter house, vegetable gardens, and tannery.

During my trip that started at the market of Yohorou and ended at the borders with Mali, I traveled along the Niger River until the city of Dosso in order to meet laborers, craftsmen and farmers who work along the river.

These photographs compose a suggestive portrait of this river universe where every person seems to find their identity through the meaning of their work, in one of the poorest countries of the world, a country known by its high rates of unemployment. As a result, every subject tried to reconsider its own photograph as a personal occasion to stress on the value of its work and of its own identity.

 

Bio:

Nicola Lo Calzo is an Italian photographer, born in Turin in 1979. After his studies on landscape architecture, he obtained a master of visual arts at the University of Turin, where he started his photographic activity.

Based in Paris since 2005, he works in the field of portrait and reportage, with a particular concentration on the identity and the characterization of the subject towards their social and cultural context.

Currently, he works between Paris and South Africa on a photographic project related to the San community in Southern Africa.

 

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Nicola Lo Calzo

 

Editor’s Note: Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

john gladdy – mr. walker

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Mr. Walker by John Gladdy

 

The Photographer Brett Walker. A Portrait.

 

Website: John Gladdy

marcin łuczkowski – snapshot on the road

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Snapshot on the Road by Marcin Łuczkowski

This picture was taken somewhere between Mietków and Milin (Poland). The image is a part of the “Everyday Snapshot” essay I started two years ago, and I will probably never finish.

In this particular image, a newly married man is standing staring in a field, while taking a break from the wedding photography session.

 

Website: Marcin Luczkowski