Monthly Archive for January, 2011

andy drewitt – donkey shelter

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Andy Drewitt

Donkey shelter

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I began shooting this essay out of regret.

I was sick a lot as a kid and my parents bought me a donkey, named Suki, to cheer me up and get me out of the house.

And it helped. We’d play chasey, or tag, taking it in turns to run each other down through her bush paddock.

She was better at it than me. I’d be running like the world was going to end and within seconds I’d feel her pounding the ground behind me and feel her breath hot on my shirt and I’d glance over my shoulder and she’d be right there, shaking her head like she was laughing. That meant it was my turn to chase her and I’d raise my arms above my head, a donkey-eating monster, and she’d bolt off across the paddock.

But as I grew older I didn’t spend much time with her. I was 16 and there were friends and movies and girls to worry about.

She got lonely. Sometimes she’d glimpse me up near the house and she’d honk at me, long and sad. Sometimes I went down to see her, but most times I didn’t.

She also brayed at a couple of donkeys at a neighbours place and eventually it got under my skin. I gave her to the neighbours so that she’d have some company. They owned a swampy block and a year or two later she was bitten by a snake and died.

A decade passed and I was working as a journalist at a community newspaper when a lady running a donkey shelter, Dr May Dodd, rang to say she was bankrupt and would be forced to shoot her donkeys because she couldn’t afford to feed them. She had made it her mission to rescue abused, neglected and tortured donkeys from around Australia and nurse them back to health at her sanctuary, Diamond Creek Donkey Shelter, and now they were starving.

It was heartbreaking. I wrote a story and Australian TV, radio and daily newspapers picked it up and ran large features, which generated tens of thousands of dollars and saved Dr Dodd’s motley herd.

I felt good for helping. It made me feel better about Suki.

I began hanging around the shelter taking pictures, making this essay.

Emotionally donkeys aren’t very different from people. They form loyal friendships, singling out other donkeys and volunteers as favourites. They have a sense of justice and know when they’re being mistreated – abused donkeys often arrive at the shelter with mental health problems. They experience anger, jealousy, happiness, sadness.

If more people knew that I think they’d treat them better.

 

Bio:

During daylight hours Andy Drewitt is a photographer, reporter and videographer at Diamond Valley Leader, a community newspaper in Victoria, Australia.  He is also working on independent photography projects on subjects including mental illness, rabies and the Republic of Armenia.

 

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Andy Drewitt

Diamond Creek Donkey Shelter

filip przewozny – distances

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Filip Przewozny

Distances

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“Distances” is an ongoing project in which I try to depict not only the physical distance between the photographed objects, but also the personal distance created both by myself and the people I have met. These photographs represent a private space which I feel everyone is surrounded by, and a feeling of closeness (or distance) that one has towards others.

Personal space is rooted in the exploration of Proxemics – a study researching the mutual influence of space relations between people, and space relations between people and their material surroundings. It deals with psychological relations and ways of communicating. It also investigates the reverse influence and the difference between these relations in various cultures. It is a study considered to be on the border between psychology and anthropology.

 

Bio

Filip Przewozny, born 1985 in Wloclawek (Poland), works with monochromatic, analog photography. He graduated from the European Academy of Photography in Warsaw. He arranged his debut exhibition himself, adapting an empty space in one of many old tenements located in Warsaw which he has been living in since then. Currently he is working on a new series of photographs taken in the Nazi German concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau. He works as a photographers’ assistant, and runs darkroom services. In the near future he plans to open a small portrait studio.

 

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www.przewozny.com

evi lemberger – ein nichtort

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Evi Lemberger

Ein Nichtort, or the Fairy Tale of the Galoshes of Fortune

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“Heimat ist Nichtort. Heimat ist Utopie. Am intensivsten wird sie erlebt, wenn man weg ist und sie einem fehlt; das eigentliche Heimatgefuehl ist das Heimweh. Aber auch wenn man nicht weg ist, naehrt sich das Heimatgefuehl aus Fehlendem, aus dem, was nicht mehr oder auch noch nicht ist. Denn die Erinnerungen und Sehnsuechte machen die Orte zur Heimat.”

(p. 32, Schlink in Heimat als Utopie)

“Home is a Non place. Home is an utopia. You can experience in the most intense way, if you are away and you miss it; the actual home feeling is the homesickness. And even if you are not away, the home feeling nourishes itself out of the missing, out of that, which does not anymore or not just yet exist. Because the memory and the longing are turning places into homes.”

(p. 32, Schlink in Heimat als Utopie)

Transcarpathia is a region in the west of Ukraine surrounded by the natural border of the Carpathian mountains and artificial borders of the countries Hungary, Slovakia and Romania. During the 20th century the area changed countries 7 times: it was part of  Hungary until 1918 when it was occupied briefly by Romania, went back to Hungary, and then in 1920 became part of Czech Slovakia for 20 years. For two weeks it was an autonomous country, went back to Hungary until 1944, and then belonged to the Soviet Union until the newly founded Ukraine took it over in 1991. Nowadays the area is quite dismissed by the Ukraine government. The population is 80-90 percent unemployed, and most people are subsistence farmers. People of different nationalities and religions are settled in this region, and dependent on the make up of the population, the language and time is set to Ukrainian or Hungarian.

Eastern European countries, like Romania, Hungary, Slovakia or Slovenia, are all dealing with a similar problem. These countries, which were part of the large Habsburger kingdom, have been part of a sort of a game: borders changed and countries founded according to their geographical location and political interests rather than according to history, language or culture. There has been no consideration for the society and culture of the people who have to deal with the politically drawn divisions.

I traveled in Transcarpathia, visiting different places in order to find out about the inhabitants’ identities, their ideas and wishes. Talking to people from different national and religious backgrounds, I tried to find answers to this question of identity. The result is a personal account of an area and its people who, confronted with a lack of national identity and limited in personal and professional development, are drawn back into their personal surroundings: the home and the family. But at the end its just an interpretation, an interpretation of an issue I can never get even close to. In trying to understand peoples’ identity, which consists mostly of irrational and undefinable feelings, the interpretation feels like just a scratch on the surface, my surface.

 

Bio

Evi Lemberger holds a degree from the London College of Communication that included a short exchange term in Leipzig at the “Academy for Art and Design”. After finishing her degree, she worked as a photojournalist in Moscow, working on a commissioned work from the Norfolk Contemporary Art Society in Transcarpathia, Ukraine and writing for the online magazine “jetzt“ from Munich. She also completed photo essays in Hungary about Racism and Antisemitism, and most recently about the Transibirian Express from Moscow to Vladiwostok, which was exhibited in August in Dresden, Germany. She currently has a scholarship to study documentary photography at the International Center of Photography.

 

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Evi Lemberger

imants krumins – painter

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Imants Krumins

Painter

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www.imantskrumins.com
www.etrouko.com

michal novotny – street kids in odessa

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Michal Novotny

Street Kids in Odessa

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On Odessa streets, children from all over Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Prydnestovye and Russia coexist. “According to…official statistics about three thousand children live in the streets of Odessa. According to the words of the specialists it is just a top of the iceberg”, says Tatiana Semikop, Chief of Criminal Militia on Youth Affairs. No one has real data on the number of homeless children in Ukraine, but the country is overflowing with a third wave of child homelessness. During the first two waves of the Civil War and Second World War, children became orphans when their parents died. The majority of modern homeless childrens’ parents are alive. An awful concept has appeared in Ukraine: “social orphans,” children who in theory have somewhere to go, but who will go never there.

In the streets, children find refuge from parents’ aggression and violence or alcohol and drug abuse. The street is a complex environment where survival is an every day goal. Uniting into groups and searching for deserted basements, garrets and hatches, children create their own niches and tough rules. The cost of a mistake is life. In order to live one must eat. In order to get food one must have money. This chain of logic is acquired by homeless children from their fist day on the street. Some of them wash machines, work as loaders, do casual repair work. Others beg, becoming professional “homeless children,” and some steal. Kind “uncles” and “aunts” turn handsome boys and beautiful girls into sex-toys. Payment comes as a bottle or a dose. Obstinate children are beaten. Juvenile homeless children brighten up their uneasy lives however they can – cigarettes picked up from asphalt or a passers-by’s alcohol, drugs, glue…

What fruits will bear these plantlets, tremulously grown by deflected morals and severe distortion of normal human values? The street means illnesses, from “harmless” bronchitis and lice, to tuberculosis, infectious hepatitis and HIV. According to “The Way Home,” an organization working with Odessa street children, two thirds of street children are HIV positive. They die with AIDS in crude cellars and miasma hatches. Street children do not go to school, but not because they are dumb (though the glue does work its magic over time, and the intelligence of the child sustains irremediable losses). Homeless children do not go to school because they have nothing to put on, no books to take with them. But mostly they simply have no time, they have to earn a living.

 

Bio

Michal Novotny (born 1973) is based in Prague, Czech Republic and his career began at the age of eighteen when he hitchhiked to the war zone of the former Yugoslavia. Since this time he has covered major international events and feature stories in more than fifty countries, usually under contract with the national daily newspaper Lidove Noviny or Reflex magazine. He has received many national and international awards in competitions including World Press Photo, Best of Photojournalism and Czech Press Photo. He regularly works on assignment for major international newspapers and magazines. His work has been published in The New York Times, GEO, Time, Stern, DAYS JAPAN, Vanity Fair, Focus, L’Expres, L’Equipe and El Mundo magazines among others.

 

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Michal Novotny

aaron vincent elkaim – exodus: jewish morocco

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Aaron Vincent Elkaim

Exodus: Jewish Morocco

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Jews first arrived to the land now known as Morocco over 2000 years ago.  Protected under the Islamic Principle of Tolerance since the 7th century, they flourished, holding high positions in trade and government.  The Star of David was a symbol shared by all Moroccans, appearing on currency and even the national flag. During the Holocaust, when asked for a list of Jews, King Mohammed V declared, “We have no Jews in Morocco, only Moroccan citizens.”  Jews and Muslims were united by culture and kingdom.

Following World War II, Zionists recruiters targeted Moroccan Jews to populate the new State of Israel. Israel’s expansion marked the beginning of a Moroccan Jewish exodus. 300,000 Jews inhabited Morocco as of 1940; it was the largest Jewish population in the Arab World. Today, less than 4000 remain.

What remains today is a Jewish past nearly abandoned, fragments of Morocco’s Jewish culture that have been left under the protection of Muslim guardians devoting their lives to a history that isn’t even their own, yet entirely is. The majority of the remaining community now lives in Casablanca, where they choose to identify with their French past rather than their Arab heritage. Across the country amidst breathtaking landscapes lay the tombs of holy Jewish saints, abandoned relics and sacred spaces.  Within these spaces are pilgrims seeking to identify with what remains of this ancient and holy history.
This work represents a journey into the remnants of this cultural exodus and aims to reveal a history of co-existence that has been lost in the wake of Zionism.

 

Bio

Aaron Vincent Elkaim was born in 1981 in Winnipeg, Canada. He is currently a freelance photographer based in Toronto. Aaron has a degree in Cultural Anthropology and a diploma in Photojournalism, and focuses his work on exploring cultural issues in the modern world. His work has been acknowledged internationally, garnering awards and recognition at the New York Photo Festival, American Photography 26, PX3 2010, PDN Photo Annual, the News Photographers Association of Canada and the Ontario Arts Council. He is an Eddie Adams Alumni and was recognized as an Emerging Photographer in 2008 by Photolife Magazine.

Aaron began this project in 2009 while on a trip with his father to the place where he was raised. He and most of his family left Morocco in the 1960’s at the peak of the Jewish Exodus. As Aaron learned more about the history of Jewish Morocco, he realized how unique their history and co-existence was and felt it was something he needed to explore further.

 

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Aaron Vincent Elkaim

Boreal Collective

lassal – disencounters

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Lassal

Disencounters

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After two years of feeling absolutely not myself, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, a hormone deficiency. Modern medicine can supply synthetic hormones but it took me more than half a year to build up to the correct dosage. The medication made for a time of extreme advances and many setbacks so that night and day I felt completely displaced at times. I was terribly worried about straining my partnership beyond repair during this time. When I got to bed, Tone was long asleep, and when I woke up he was long gone …

I decided that I wanted to document the situation. On one hand, it was simply a good feeling to step out of the victim’s position, and on the other hand, I thought, whatever would happen, I could dedicate these images to my partner for a patience that I myself sincerely might not have had with him! So I began to take a picture of his side of the bed when I went to sleep and one when I got up. A little over 80 days later I took the last pair of images for the series.

 

Bio

Born in Germany, I grew up in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, returning to Germany in my late teens.

I studied economics, computer science and architecture in Germany, financing my studies in large part by visualizing scientific processes in a German research institute and by developing and drawing storyboards for movies, music videos and commercials.

In 2000/2001, while working on my diploma in architecture, I bought a digital point & shoot camera to document my works in progress. It was with this camera that my passion for photographic note-keeping was ignited. But it was not until the end of 2007, when I stumbled upon David Alan Harvey’s blog “road trips”, that I became aware of photography as a means for individual expression.

I am currently based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

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Lassal