Monthly Archive for August, 2012

Alejandro Olivares – Living Periferia

Alejandro Olivares

Living Periferia

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How many times can a person face death in their lives?
Sense it. Feel it. Smell it. Maybe once? Twice? Four times?

The people captured in “Living Periferia” live with it every day of their lives. The violence, the drugs, the weapons, the lost bullets, which take dozens of lives every year… The fights, the battles with the police. Some barely escape. Others fall in the street law and to save them from oblivion their friends and family draw enormous pictures of them on the walls of the shantytown. It’s a posthumous tribute to their courage, their way to remember them as local heroes.

 

 

This work dives in a forgotten world, where many times not even mailmen are allowed in. It’s a world that goes beyond poverty. Wide ghettos in the further corners of Santiago where the State has managed for years to dump what they would rather not see. What investments must never see. What rich people should better keep ignoring.

Chile is now one of the richest countries in South America. The government celebrates the 4.4% economical growth in the last year and everyone claps when they say the international crisis hasn’t reached yet. But no one looks at this face of Chile when they receive the applauses. Derelict that generates more derelict. Violence that generates more violence. The toughest and more efficient school of crime. A society inside the society whit their own codes and mechanics that result inconceivable for the rest of the world. The order inside the chaos, where only the one who yells louder, the one who hits harder or the one who shoots faster can emerge. Or survive.

These photos are a personal puzzle about fragmented social representations. The foreign eyes of someone that, of all the going round, ended up being a local. But who’s look reflects the beauty of an ugly and shocking world to the eyes of whom looks from across the street.

 

 

Bio

Alejandro Olivares (1981) is a Chilean photographer currently living in Santiago, Chile. He is the photo editor of The Clinic Magazine; correspondent for foreign agencies, several international agencies and photographer for “Felicidad” Design Agency in Chile. His work is divided between press coverage and documentary essay.

He has won multiple awards including; National Hall of Press Photo (Chile), Photo of the Year in the bicentenary version of the National Hall of Press Photo (Chile), Photo of the Year in Querétaro Photo Fest in Mexico, along with the second place in documentary essay in the same festival. He was nominated for the Rodrigo Rojas de Negri award in the years 2009, 2011, and 2012 and he was selected for the briefcase visionary PhotoEspaña 2011 in República Dominicana.

His work has been featured in exhibitions in Chile, Spain and the United States and has been published in several Chilean magazines and journals including “Qué Pasa”, “Joia”, “Pound”, “Guamá”, “Artishock” and “La Nación”. He has also published in foreign medias like “Soho” (Colombia), “Internazionale” (Italy), “Focus” (Italy), “10×15” (Spain), “Piel de Foto” (Spain).

He has been honorably mentioned in the Zoom-In Poverty Contest, from the Agence Xinhua, China.

 

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Alejandro Olivares

 

Maki Maki – Welcome 2 My Room

Maki Maki

Welcome 2 My Room

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Internet is reachable by millions of people each second. They can communicate with each other, and sometimes very private things are told and shown on internet blogs through photos, videos, writings. Although initially it was not intentioned, this is what I experienced with this series called “Welcome 2 My Room”.

Usually, to take a photograph, you have to be physically in front of the person you want to shoot with your camera. It all changed on the internet with chats, webcams and other ways to meet virtually the image of people on the screen of your computer. In this photo work I experienced a new way to take photographs by taking, with an analog polaroid camera, portraits on my computer screen, chatting live with sex workers through their webcams.

The starting point of this series of photo portraits was the discovery of a website in the Philippines. A peep show with chat and webcam. Girls and boys working at home alone, or several persons together in so called “studios”. Omnipresence of precarity. At that time they were more than 300, now there are twice as much…

Sometimes links are created, other times it’s “just business”. All those gazes, those stories intersecting, including mine…

I started taking pictures of them with my old polaroid camera on my computer screen. I used to shoot people I meet, so why not do it by computer screen interposed. Sometimes the exchanges and discussions are intense. Laying bare the feelings, the lives, the bodies… Sincerity encounters with cunning. But of course there’s the money. They will do anything to make you pay. But sometimes on the spot of our conversations, emotion overwhelms… Tears of blood…

Finally thousands of polaroid snapshots (and also some black and white roll films) were taken in my bedroom in front of my computer screen during the highlights of our conversations or private shows…Trying to give a face to sex… As always image rule as a unique weapon… We play with it, we come with it …

 

 

Bio

Born and living in Marseille (France) since 1964.

He studied photography at the beginning of the 80s and is into photography since then. In 2000 he turns towards a more experimental and intimate photography.

He’s participated in solo and group photo exhibitions in Europe and Japan, and been published in exhibition catalogs, record covers, art magazines, books…

Actually he’s working on a series about Japan called “Japan Somewhere”. Some photos of this series will be published in December 2012 inside the photobook “MONO” about contemporary black and white photographers, edited by Gommabooks together with other photographers such as Antoine d’Agata, Daido Moriyama, Anders Petersen, Roger Ballen, Trent Parke…

Since 2007 he is founding member of the Collective of European photographers SMOKE.

In 2010 he created Média Immédiat Publishing, a book collection actually composed of 9 mini photobooks including photographers like Morten Andersen, Ed Templeton, Onaka Koji, Jukka Onnela, Daisuke Ichiba.

 

on the edge….

 

I have never been one to follow any “routine” for long. I always want to get as close to the creative edge as I can. The status quo tends to get boring quickly. So when asked recently to participate in the upcoming Magnum Nudes project, my curiosity was immediately piqued since I had never photographed a nude in my life. Yes, I shoot lots of women, yet always the pictures were about moment and eyes and a certain sensuality, however all of my portraits were of women fully clothed. The assumption from my Magnum colleagues of course was that I would do well with a female nude if I gave it a good try. Even with almost direct orders from Abbas (who is running the nude project) “bring me a nude from Brazil”…

Yet alas, my dearest women friends said NO. Absolutely not. My orders from Magnum were one thing, the mantra from my closest amigas was different. They said “David you must shoot a nude dude. Be challenged. Do it”.

I was totally lost. Had no idea how or what to do. Was even a bit panicked by the idea. It simply was not what I do. However, with a little help from my friends, I did it. A small piece of this work above from my rooftop in New York. I knew nudes were not easy. I remembered this from my drawing class at school. Even skimpy bikini shots from Rio it was absolutely very very difficult to get a real photograph. Sure pleasing to the eye, but to go beyond the obvious takes some work. A male nude seemed almost impossible for me. So my personal status quo was indeed challenged. So to the edge I went.

Challenges of all kinds are popping up all around me. I have three new books to publish fairly soon. One is easy. “Tell It Like It Is” will be republished soonest. “Off For A Family Drive” will take a giant leap forward with my upcoming one month drive across America, and the other one is a secret for now. My only interest in photography right now centers on books, collector prints, and mentoring. If I can possibly afford it, I will take no assignments. I have done enough assignments. I will work harder than ever, yet only on my own projects. Even my assignments in years past always had my stamp on them. Personalized them as much as possible. Yet now is the time to go back to my roots and be 100% pure on everything I do.

This will of course affect Burn. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out how to keep Burn going and yet devote myself at the same time to my own work. BurnBooks will have a very high priority, with books coming from established photographers and the emerging alike, my formula here. Our success with limited edition books takes us into a whole new arena never imagined by me when I started my Road Trips blog a few years ago (when was that?). The changing times, daunting for some, seems like nothing but new opportunities for me. I have always refused to wallow in any kind of self pity. The publishing industry has changed for sure, yet I never felt as some do that “it is all over”. No way. Sure the old way is gone which is natural evolution. The new way is surely better for those who see the light.

Burn Magazine from now on will do essays in a different way. I am dropping our Submissions button. Our current submissions system no longer serves a purpose. It creates lots of wasted time.

New essays will now come from nominations from top editors, gallerists, professors of art/journalism, workshop teachers, and those of us on Burn just being diligent talent scouts. All essays will have a mentor/sponsor/nominator attached. A statement from each mentor will be a part of the essay in addition to the artist statement. I have ideas to go well outside of photography as well. Yet that is discussion for another post.

I am at this moment in Santiago, Chile for my opening at Galería 64. I enjoyed the opening night, the show was brilliantly hung, and yet for me discovering about 6 new Chilean photographers has been the highlight. I go to enough photo events around the planet every year to gather more than enough original work, and whatever I miss can be found by the aforementioned. We will be way more involved with every essay published here on Burn. This will do two things. Give added value to the readers here, and shift some of the responsibility to my peers in the craft. The proverbial win win.

You will not see this change most likely for a few weeks. We have a nice lineup of essays already prepared and ready to go. Yet I honestly think you will like the change. At the same time we are trying to figure out how to afford a new web design which will feature our amazing archive here. Right now readers really have no sense of our deep deep archives built over the last four years. Our archives now are hard to search. This will change. With these changes Burn will go from blog to library. For sure also Burn 03, another magazine in print, will be born.

For those of you who are serious photographers, Burn should provide a new opportunity. For those of you who prefer to simply have a look and read, the content will be deeper.

As I go to my personal edge, I am, as usual, taking you along with me. When one goes to the edge there is of course the danger of falling off. Going too far. When the nude dude was on my roof, severe storm warnings were in effect. My normally summertime crowded rooftop went empty. Most ran for cover. Only three of us said “let’s do it”.

A glass of wine sitting in the middle of the table is boring. A glass moved to the edge is interesting. All of us just need to know the fine line between total stupidity and creative danger. Walking that line is the essence of LIFE. We only get one shot.

Is anything sweeter than finding that line?

 

-david alan harvey-

 

john gladdy – speakers corner

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John Gladdy

Speakers Corner

 

Hyde Park Corner, London, England.
Every Sunday since at least 1872.

Between 2009 and 2012 I became a part of the ongoing street theatre that is Speakers Corner.

Graduating, slowly but surely, from detached photographic voyeur to fully-fledged participant/heckler/occasional bit player.

I have joined a cast of thousands that have come to this place to express their views, however controversial or off the wall, over the last hundred or so years. Religion is the current hot topic, especially Islam, but over the years the area has attracted notable political and human rights activists including Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and William Morris and still hosts a very lively Marxist forum and a selection of anarchist, conservative and socialist speakers.

This piece, as it stands, is not intended to answer any big questions or reveal any deep insight into the reasons people attend this place. I am not sure I am even qualified to ask those sorts of questions. I hope only in some small way to take you on a little sensory wander around the place. A selection of tapas if you like.

Enjoy.

 

Bio

John Gladdy (b. 1964) is an English photographer living in London.

He has no formal qualifications having been expelled from high school and no formal training as a photographer. He discovered he had a talent for image making while working with the photographer Brett Walker on a community project in 2003.

He came to photography very late in life and has worked his way back from initially using automated digital equipment to now using mainly fully manual film based equipment in a variety of formats. He processes and prints his own work, wherever possible using traditional darkrooms and materials.

His portrait work is held by collectors all over the world. He is currently resting in London trying to overcome heart problems and looks forward to being well enough to travel again and find a new project.

Started at 45 years old this is his first attempt at a long form photo essay.

 

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John Gladdy

 

Joao Pina – Shadow of The Condor

Joao Pina

Shadow of the Condor

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“Operation Condor” was a 1970s secret military plan sponsored by the United States during the Dirty War years, which aimed to eliminate the political opponents to the right wing military regimes. It took place in six countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

It officially started in late 1975, when the secret services had a meeting in Santiago, Chile to define a strategy to use common resources and exchange information, man power and techniques to execute the plan. Thousands of people, mostly left wing workers and students, were arrested, tortured and executed, leading to 60,000 deaths, although a final number could never be confirmed because of the number of mass executions.

This project aims to show the scars and enormous impact left on the survivors and families of those who were killed. From the Amazon jungle in Brazil to the cold lands of Patagonia, thousands of victims still lay buried in unmarked graves, and the survivors struggle to cope with their memories.

Since the beginning of this investigation back in 2005, I have begun to take interviews with victims and families of those who disappeared, and have also visited sites of imprisonment, executions, and burials. I believe that by making these images I can help build a collective memory about the people behind this secretive operation who have never been held accountable.

I will return to the region and continue to build this body of work in Bolivia and Paraguay. These two countries still require much time to research and photograph. I will talk to survivors like Martin Almada, a lawyer who found the archives where thousands of documents prove the existence of “Operation Condor” in Paraguay.

No complete documentary project of this scope in all six countries has ever been completed, and none relying on photographs has been attempted. I hope to help generations of South Americans to know and understand the story of their countries.

 

 

Bio

Joao Pina was born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1980, he began working as a photographer at age of 18.

His images have been published in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Time Magazine, Newsweek, Stern, GEO, El Pais, D Magazine, Visão and others.

In 2007 he published his first book “Por teu livre pensamento” featuring 25 former Portuguese political prisoners. The book inspired an Amnesty International advertising campaign that won a Lion d’Or award, at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity 2011.

He has also been awarded the Estação Imagem grant in 2010 and a finalist for the Henri Nannen, Care award. Until 2010 he lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he continues to document the remnants of “Operation Condor”, a secret military operation to destroy the political opposition to the dictatorships in South America in the 1970s.

Lately he has been a privileged observer of the “Arab Spring”, traveling on several occasions to Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, while continuing his work in Latin America.

 

Myriam Meloni – Important Things Are Said Softly

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I met Leila a few months ago and the first thing I learned about her is that she was 23 years old and she was working as a prostitute.

She has two children to support. I went into her daily life and I found a strong woman, careful with her context, stubborn, generous and in fact, quite romantic.

I also witnessed her loneliness and frustration. I was wondering how she feels every time she gets undressed in front of a stranger, and what she dreams of, when I hear her humming a romantic melody.

Months went by and now I know that Leila is actually called Yesica and she is a single mother of two lively children. She strives to support her family, paying on her own skin the price of prostitution. With love and with power, she guarantees them the most important of all securities, affection, on which human chances of being happy strongly depend.

The family, as a primitive social core, has been changing and taking new shapes: the traditional concept of family has rapidly expanded to include, among others, the single-parent families, the blended families or the families made up by people of the same sex.

In “Important Things Are Said Softly,” I decided to tell the story of a mother and her two children: three individuals who live together, make reproaches, say “I love you!”, take care of each other, play, fight and grow, discovering together, day after day, what it means to be a family.

Today, about 16% of the children worldwide live in a single parent household and in 75% of the cases, they are accompanied only by the mother. Lately, in the last fifty years, families have experienced unimaginable changes, linked with the evolution of a way of thinking and also with the new forms of capitalist production as well as a new distribution of roles between men and women. However, the social imaginary keeps clinging to the classic family type, leaving the door open to the stigmatization of those who live in a different reality.

In these times of change, it is crucial to understand that the family is an active element that never remains stationary. It moves from one form to another as the society evolves.

The characteristics it takes on are endless…

 

 

Bio

Myriam Meloni (b.1980) is an Italian documentary photographer based in Argentina. She is a Law in penitentiary law from the University of Bologna. In 2004 she moved to Barcelona where she alternated her job as a criminologist at the “Modelo” jail, with her work as photographer in several Spanish magazines.

In 2010 she was nominated for the Joop Swart Mastarclass, and selected to participate at Transatlantica Photoespaña.
Her work has been exhibited in Italy, Spain, Poland, Argentina, Peru and Brazil and has been featured in many international magazines.
 She is currently combining her freelance career, working for newspapers and NGOs, with her personal projects.

 

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Myriam Meloni