Monthly Archive for February, 2010

marcus bleasdale – the rape of a nation

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Marcus Bleasdale

The Rape of a Nation

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The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to the deadliest war in the world today. An estimated 5.4 million people have died since 1998, the largest death toll since the Second World War, according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

IRC reports that as many as 45,000 people die each month in the Congo. Most deaths are due to easily preventable and curable conditions, such as malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, malnutrition, and neonatal problems and are byproducts of a collapsed health care system and a devastated economy.

The people living in the mining towns of eastern Congo are among the worst off. Militia groups and government forces battle on a daily basis for control of the mineral-rich areas where they can exploit gold, coltan, cassiterite and diamonds.

After successive waves of fighting and ten years of war, there are no hospitals, few roads and limited NGO and UN presence because it is too dangerous to work in many of these regions. The West’s desire for minerals and gems has contributed to a fundamental breakdown in the social structure.

 

Bio

Marcus Bleasdale was born in the UK to an Irish family, in 1968.  He grew up in the north of England and initially studied economics and started work as an investment banker. Although he was a director in a large international bank he resigned in the mid 1990s and began to travel through the Balkans with his camera. He returned to study photojournalism at the prestigious London School, during which time he won the Ian Parry, Young photographer Award for his work on the conflict in Sierra Leone. He has established himself as one of the worlds leading documentary photographers concentrating on Conflict and Human Rights. He has been awarded many of the worlds highest honors for his work and continues to highlight the effects of conflict on society. He is a member of the photo agency VII. He lives with his wife Karin Beate in Oslo, Norway.

 

Related links

Marcus Bleasdale

www.anthropographia.org

www.viiphoto.com

 

Editor’s note:

Comments are open on this essay… If you have any questions, feel free to ask Marcus, he will be jumping in on the comments soon…It is with great pleasure that I present Marcus Bleasdale on Burn through Matthieu Rytz from Anthropographia… Marcus Bleasdale is the recipient of the Anthropographia Award for Photography and Human Rights… Many thanks Matthieu for your ongoing efforts…

… david alan harvey

marco simola – metro

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Marco Simola

Metro

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Metropolitan (Subway): “means of transportation, urban, on rails, characteristic of big cities; it joins the urban center with the suburbs and lies on a site that is proper to it, generally underground, on the ground or on an elevated surface”. (definition).

I define it as a place.

A place where people, all people without distinction, the poor and the rich, the doctor and the sick, the employee and the laborer, the commuter and the tourist, he who eats three times a day and he who eats every three days, he who takes a cruise across the Mediterranean and he who crosses in the hope of reaching Lampedusa (Italy’s southernmost island) meet and walk by each other several times a day, they brush past each other, sometimes talk to each other, sometimes say hello, sometimes recognize each other, other times ignore each other, run into each other, smell each other, like each other or disgust each other, fall in love with each other or break away from each other.

In this place where some are born and some die, some laugh while some cry, some play an instrument and others sleep. Here, life flows under artificial light, it flows fast.

Because they all have somewhere to go to, a final destination …. and, curiously, are always running late.

 

Bio

I’m Italian, 44 years old, and I’m based in Lima, Peru, since 2007.

I made these images between 2003 and 2005 in a period where I was working in Milan, and every day of the week I spent around 40 minutes on the tube in the morning and other 40 in the evening. After a while I noticed that people in the metro look different than when they are outside of it. In the metro many of the passengers seem to be bored, sad and afraid, looking at empty space in a sort of open eyes dream. I tried to catch the expressions, the movements, the thoughts of these persons. I’ve organized the presentation like a subway travel, from the entrance on the metro, the waiting of the train, the transportation, the stops, the arrival and the way out.

These photos where first published in October 2006 at Spazio 10 Gallery in Ivrea, Italy during a personal exhibition.

 

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Marco Simola

 

jacopo quaranta – naomi

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Jacopo Quaranta

Naomi

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Naomi was my neighbor, and the first person in London to say ‘hello’ to me. A strange woman, I thought… Yellow eyes, violent mood swings, desperate cries, and a lot of anger. She allowed me to photograph her.

She was always drinking and talking to herself: an internal monologue about war, rape, and her family who didn’t want her anymore.

Her dad had said ‘call me when you’re sober, otherwise don’t bother’. Only her older brother Thomas still passed by to take care of her.

She had a six year old daughter, who had been taken away, and now lived with her father. She had not been allowed to visit her since. She loved her, had her pictures on the walls… and looked at them all the time.

On April 23, 2008, Naomi died. She got hit by a van. Thomas sent me an e-mail:

‘Hi Jacopo. Naomi is dead. She died earlier today on Brixton road. She was hit by a Courier van and died instantly. I just thought you might want to know. I will post you details of her funeral to see if you can make it. all the best, Thomas Benjamin.’

 

Bio:

I graduated from a Technical Commercial high school in Rome in 2002. I have been involved in street theatre and experimental work by following the guidance of Lisa Ferlazzo Natoli. She has been an important figure in my development. With her guidance I had the opportunity to experiment with the theatre’s details, short backstages, and a reportage about her completed works.

In 2003 I joined the ISF-CI (Istituto superiore di fotografia e comunicazione integrata), where I took workshops with photographers as Antoine D’agata, Patrick Zachmann, and Letizia Battaglia. I graduated in 2006. In 2007 I spent a long time in London, where I made the project about Naomi’s life. Once back in Italy, I did an internship in the 10b Photography studio of Francesco Zizola and Claudio Palmisano, assisting with different work in the studio. I’m currently in New York attending a full year program in Photojournalism and Documentary photography.

 

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Jacopo Quaranta

 

noah addis – sempre jardim edite

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Noah Addis

Sempre Jardim Edite

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The Jardim Edite favela, located at the foot of the landmark Estaiada bridge in an affluent section of Sao Paulo, Brazil, was once home to more than  550 families.  Most are gone now, as the government of Sao Paulo has forced them to leave their homes to make room for a new development.

Many of the residents of Jardim Edite came from the countryside, many from poor rural communities in the North, seeking opportunity in the bright lights of the city. They built their homes first out of scrap wood and cardboard and whatever else they could find, but over the years some of the homes have grown into reinforced concrete structures with running water and electricity.

The neighborhood was home to several bars and restaurants, a barber shop and beauty salon, a bicycle repair shop and several other businesses. Other residents supported their families working for businesses outside the favela, many worked long hours collecting recyclables to take to a nearby sorting facility.

City officials have long wanted to remove the ramshackle homes that make up Jardim Edite to build a modern housing development. In September of 2008, a court order sealed the fate of this tight-knit community when a state tribunal judge said the project could go forward and the occupants should be evicted.

An architectural drawing, posted in the window of a nearby building used as a base for the social workers, demolition crews and others hired by the government to work on the project, shows eight new buildings with a park in the center. Government officials declined repeated requests for interviews about the specifics of the planned development project or a proposed time frame for its construction.

Some residents, those who were previously registered with the city as official occupants of the favela, are eligible for rent subsidies or cash payouts if they leave their homes.  But these payouts are often not sufficient to find suitable housing , so many families end up moving to other favelas.  Meanwhile, the neighborhood, where some have lived for more than 30 years, is slowly being demolished.

This story will be part of a larger project focusing on life in the world’s urban squatter communities. While much is written about the crime and poverty endemic to squatter settlements, the realities of everyday life are often lost in the headlines. Many squatters are hard-working citizens who, through lack of education or poor job opportunities, are forced to work in low-paying jobs and do not earn enough to rent or purchase a legal home. The vast majority are not criminals and are merely looking for a safe place to live. As one squatter living under high-tension power lines in a favela in Sao Paulo told me, “my dream is to have a legal address”.

Bio:

Noah Addis is a freelance photojournalist based in Philadelphia, PA. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Drexel University in Philadelphia with a degree in Photography in 1997. He worked as a staff photographer for the Star-Ledger newspaper in Newark, NJ from 1997 through the end of 2008.

He has covered such stories as the growth of Christianity in Africa and the war in Iraq. Noah has won numerous regional and national awards including the New Jersey Photographer of the Year award three times. In 2001 he was the runner-up in the portfolio category of the National Press Photographer’s Association Best of Photojournalism contest and he has won General News and Feature awards in the Pictures of the Year International contest. His work has been shown in galleries in New York and Philadelphia.

 

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Noah Addis

 

Editor’s note:

Please only one comment per person under this essay.. Further discussions should take place under Dialogue..

Many thanks… david alan harvey

david bowen – derry

Marty getting the drinks in, 2005

Marty getting the drinks in, 2005

 

Sandinos Bar during the 'Celtronic' festival, 2004

Sandinos Bar during the ‘Celtronic’ festival, 2004

 

“Derry” by David Bowen

Over the past 12 years, since the Good Friday Agreement was signed in Belfast, Northern Ireland by British and Irish governments, a thriving electronic music scene has flourished in the city of Derry, due to the extraordinary efforts of the ‘Deep Fried Funk’ Promotion Team. Their inclusive attitude and passionate love for music and people, has helped to regenerate the music scene, and bring some of the freshest sounds from around the world to the city for the ‘Celtronic’ festival.

 

Jamie drags on a cigarette past dawn leaving an after-party, 2006

Jamie drags on a cigarette past dawn leaving an after-party, 2006

 

And so, as president Barack Obama, following the most recent anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” on January 30th, hails the latest steps in the ongoing Northern Ireland Peace Deal, it is well worth mentioning that young people have been ahead of the politicians in uniting both sides of the river Foyle. Intimate and compelling events, where an open attitude and a fierce desire to get along regardless of the past, are paving the way for greater understanding across the generations to come.

 

Bio

Since 1998 my main project has been to document the worldwide electronic music scene as it has evolved from free-parties and illegal raves in the U.K. to one of the highest selling genres of music. Today young people are united around the world by a music which transcends language barriers and borders.

I’ve been visiting Northern Ireland since 2004 to document the revitalization of the music scene there, and this is a continuing project.

 

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David Bowen

 

Editor’s note:

Comments are open for these photographs as per requested  by David Bowen… thanks, dah

roger ballen – boarding house

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Roger Ballen

Boarding House

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“It is difficult to explain this place except that I think it exists in some way or another in most people’s mind.” –Roger Ballen

These photographs are like images from a waking dream: compelling and thought-provoking, with layers of rich details, flashes of dark humor, and an altered sense of place. Blurring the boundaries between documentary photography and art, my work is both a social statement and a complex psychological study.

BOARDING HOUSE is a space of transient residence, of comings and goings, of people sheltered in a place they are using for their immediate survival. Basic and fundamental, the structure is furnished with objects necessary for an elementary existence, decorated with evocative drawings, and littered throughout with animals. Remnants function there as physical symbols of events that have occurred in the space; broken pieces of a functional reality exist as the leftovers of scenarios that have been played out there. The altered sense of place of this temporary abode creates a sense of alienation, which acts as a jumping off point for the imagination to run wild.

 

Bio

Roger Ballen was born in New York in 1950. Since 1982 he has been living and taking photographs in South Africa.

His work is represented in many museums including Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Ballen’s work has been recently exhibited in numerous museums in Europe and the United States.

 

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Roger Ballen

 

Editor’s note:

Comments are open on this essay… If you have any questions, feel free to ask Roger, he will be jumping in on the comments soon…It is with great pleasure that I present Roger Ballen on Burn…

… david alan harvey