Monthly Archive for April, 2013

Eduardo…

edoardo
Eduardo climbs in Cantagalo community of Rio de Janeiro.

Hanging out at a kiosko in Rio.

rio
If you are in Rio join me tonight at Atelie da Imagem in Urca. I will be signing gratis copies of a large format magazine version of my book (based on a true story). Payback pay forward. Works!

Return to Rio

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Return to Rio….

 

I am heading tomorrow for Rio… Yes, again… For me, there will always be an “again.” Love the place. The ambiance, the life, the people, the whole “theater” that is Rio de Janeiro. For a storyteller, a dream come true.

Sure all cities have all kinds of life. Yet Rio has something special. Perhaps it is the pure physicality of it. It looks like an amphitheater geographically. The city is like a Shakespearean stage. Set between mountains and sea. The kaleidoscope of cultures spilling down on to the stage, the rich, the poor, the good, the bad, the lovers, the haters, the buyers, the sellers, the chosen, the lonely, and everything in between all blended together rather compactly on to this crescent beach. If you cannot find a story here, then you may just have no stories to tell. I swear with Rio you just can’t miss.

So I return for several reasons. First of all, I have no problem admitting that I can simply sit under an umbrella at Posto 9 and sip caipirinhas for the better part of an afternoon. Lazy as hell. No problem. Normally, I cannot sit very long on any beach without getting bored quickly, except for Rio where there is just too too much to see. Too much to feel. Too much to shoot.

The main reason I am going now however is to play out the promise that I made to this audience and to my Carioca friends. We have indeed printed a “magazine” version of my book (based on a true story), which is sold out.

A large format magazine version of the book will be distributed gratis by my BurnBooks team in Rio, primarily in the favelas where I did so much shooting. As a payback and pay forward gesture to the Rio community.

I was able to work inside of every disparate demographic group in Rio. All of them allowing me “in.” I was allowed in with official Rio and unofficial Rio. I had no agenda nor mandate other than to document each sub culture with integrity and honesty. I think they felt this, because they let me do it. So my appreciative payback time. As promised.

I always make prints for the people I photograph, or at least email them a photo. This I have done for 40 years wherever I was shooting. Rio was no exception. However, over the years, I was always shooting for mostly NatGeo and I had no way ever to actually distribute what I had done. A hard copy of my work in their community was always not really available for most of the people.

Now I can. Now I will. So we, my BurnBooks team, Eva-Maria Kunz and Candy Pilar Godoy, and my Rio friends Roberta, Renata Tavares and “Tonico” Monteiro (all characters in the book by the way) will create a few events in the next two weeks and give for free 2,500 copies of the  large format magazine version of (based on a true story). This is exactly half of our press run. The rest of the run will be sold at the lowest possible price to help us cover our costs for the giveaway in Brazil.

This whole process of creating (based on a true story) should I think be some kind of model for photographers who are confused about a future in photography. Not the details, just the idea of independence. We did this book 100% independently. We created the online “join us in Rio” for a buck99 for the shooting of the “character” part of the book, we built the book, designed the book, printed the book in Italy and then distributed it here on Burn at an ascending price range for collectors. Sold out. Why?

Well it was hand assembled, crafted to use the very best materials, innovative design, and with a unique story to tell. Sure BurnBooks is a “mom and pop operation”. A boutique store so to speak. Yet I personally will always feel compelled to not make anything elitist. Sure the book is crafted for collectors (I see myself as an artisan) and yet also either for free or for low cost to everyone else who might be interested. A win win game I think.

The big winners here should be you.

We are looking now at various projects by a variety of photographers to produce their books. BurnBooks is a very very small brand yet we have done now 5 books and sold them all out and taken some accolades along the way. So for sure we will now do books for other photographers. (based on a true story) was the only book we have done of my own work. I will make rare cameo appearances on Burn. I began BurnBooks by mentoring and promoting the “Yakuza” book project by my Burn colleague Anton Kusters, and following up with Burn 01 and Burn 02, “One Goal” by Allison O’Keefe (PDN award winner, Diego Orlando producer), and producing now “Beer, Bait, and Ammo” by Michael Loyd Young. We also did a special edition of Mike’s “Changes In Latitude”.

Soon you will be I hope pleasantly surprised to see several new books being produced by BurnBooks. Some from iconic photographers you well know, and others by my reason for being here emerging photographers who deserve to be iconic.

So stay tuned. My (based on a true story) is about to become a true story.

-dah-

 

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Todd Danforth – Portrait of a Family

Todd Danforth

Portrait of a Family

I sat on the hospital bed beside my grandfather and watched as he took his dying breaths. Aunt Beth walked into the room and quietly sat next to me. She glanced at her father for a moment and then back to me. “Life is funny, huh?” she said.

I looked at her and then back to my grandfather. His cheeks were no longer full and his body almost lifeless. A machine beside his recliner supplied oxygen to his lungs and I could not help but imagine myself at age seventy-­‐eight. Will I have his wrinkles too, I thought? His head full of white hair, not a bald spot to be found. And then I began to wonder about our non-­‐physical characteristics and the similarities my aunts and uncles share with my grandparents.I began to think about his memories and accomplishments and what value those hold now that he remains helpless. Who will continue this legacy he began? Who will tell his story after he goes, because afterall, we are the only ones who can.

 

 

These family portraits tell the photographic journey that I began in pursuit to understand the emotional struggles that bond my family together. After my Grandmother’s passing in 2004, my Grandfather became the patriarch of the family; but more importantly he was the aging bond that weaved my family’s legacy. As time has it, nothing lasts forever-­‐ his illness worsened, his memory faded, and as I ushered a final farewell to my last semester of college, my Grandfather took his final breath.

This portfolio was created over a four year period from 2009-­‐2013. The subjects of the work are my family and it is photographed in Massachusetts. Some photographs were taken in Florida on a road trip we brought my Grandfather on in 2011. Some of the photographs were featured in a German typography publication Slanted.

 

 

Bio

Todd Danforth grew up along the West River in the heart of the Blackstone River Valley, the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution.

He was born into quite a large family with an astounding family history. His lineage can be traced back toJudge Thomas Danforth, the Deputy Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1679-­‐1686, who also sat on the Superior Court sessions during the Salem Witch Trials. Todd’s current photographic work focuses primarily on family and the ties that bond these close relationships together.

He currently resides on the South Shore of Boston, Massachusetts and holds his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University.

 

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Todd Danforth

 

 

Enri Canaj – Shadow in Greece

Enri Canaj

Shadow in Greece

ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT

The centre of Athens, as I first remember it, was full of life.

During the period before the Olympic Games, there was great development. New hotels appeared in order to host the visitors, shops, restaurants and cafes kept sprouting out, it was full of people everywhere. All this happened within a few years. It was as if the city put on new clothes. During the days of the Olympics, the city was clean and well-guarded. You would not see street- merchants, drug-addicts or immigrants, just tourists and people who came in order to have a good time. In my eyes, it looked like another place.

As time passed, the city started deteriorating and gradually recovered its previous character: the everyday life that we all knew, with the junkies, the street-merchants, the the immigrants and the prostitutes.

 

 

Time passes fast. The city is now fading. Some people abandon it due to the crisis. Many shops and hotels have shut down, the centre is now almost deserted. People fear they will get ripped-off, they hear that this happens all the time. They no longer feel like going out and wandering about like before. They even fear seeing all the poverty and destitution, they drug-users who will rip you off for their shot, the women prostituting themselves.

But for me, those people were always there. I found them all there when I first arrived as a 9-year old child. They were always there when I was growing up. They are somehow trapped in their lives, subsisting in terrible circumstances, in squalid houses with insufficient hygiene.

The immigrants live in small rooms that they rent, many of them together, without much hope. The women prostitute themselves even in the streets for 5€. You don’t want to run into them in the street. Yet, hanging around with them has been my daily routine. This way, it was easier to approach them. They are sensitive people with a lot of problems, with ruined families behind them. Sometimes they give the impression that no one has cared for them. As if they want someone to talk to, as if they want to get out of the misery they are in. For some of them I had the sense that they were almost looking for someone to open up to and take it all out. Like confessing. What made an impression on me was that they often opened up and talked as if they knew me. Sometimes they talked about difficult things, about what they were experiencing, as if they were talking about someone else. Almost as if they felt better this way.

I would only shoot when I sensed that they were more comfortable, after some time had passed. Sometimes, unexpected things happened, and made me change the plan I had in mind. Other times, things just happened spontaneously, and I was just following along. The images I have selected are stronger for me, because I know the story behind them.

I have been working on this project since 2011. My work is still in progress. When others looks at those pictures I want them to feel respect and dignity for the subjects. Like I do.

 

 

Bio

Enri Canaj was born in Tirana, Albania, in 1980. He spent his early childhood there and moved with his family to Greece in 1991, immediately after the opening of the borders. He is based in Athens and covers stories in Greece and the Balkans.

He studied photography at the Leica Academy in Athens. In 2007 he took part in a British Council project on migration, attending a year-long workshop with Magnum photographer Nikos Economopoulos.

Since 2008, he has been a freelance photographer for major publications such as Time Magazine Lightbox, Newsweek, Le monde Diplomatique (German edition),TO VIMA, TA NEA, Tachydromos and VIMAGAZINO. A sample of his work has been exhibited at the Cultural Foundation of the National Bank of Greece in Athens and Salonica, at the Bilgi Santral in Istanbul, the European Parliament in Brussels and the Athens Photo Festival.

He has been working in the Balkans, mainly Kosovo and Albania, as well as Greece, focusing on migration and the recent crisis.

 

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Enri Canaj

 

Martina Cirese – Asankojo

Martina Cirese

Asankojo

What happens when a circle begins? You know the circle will end. The matter is how is it gonna end. (The matter is, how can you know how is it gonna end?). A photographer meets an subject, not that she thinks he his, but it’s the only thing he deserves to be. And he knows it, and he likes it. Skin is a boundary [then] skin is an opportunity.

I met Asan in Paris. I was caught by his mental universe of anxiety, straying and questioning. With him, I felt immediately messy but complete. I entered his nomadic life and his persistent tension with spaces. I found myself in it. I started to take pictures hanging over him, in every street, light or wall he was leaning in. But he kept asking for more. He was viscerally attracted to me. He was obsessed with me.

For over one year, I denied him but I came back in an endless and tense tango. Following him across Europe and Asia, in a bipolar courtship, I was led into intertwined, overlaid worlds: erratic, liquid cities, revealing then hiding themselves; and Asan, more as an entity than a person, a mentor, a spiritual guide. As we chased each other, he took me away. When I found my own vision and language through our photos, I was already gone from his life, as he from mine.

 

Bio

Martina Cirese was born in Rome in 1988.

From 2008 until 2009, while studying History at “La Sapienza” University of Rome, she also enrolled at the institute of photography “ISFCI”, collaborating at the same time with the “AGF” photojournalistic agency and with the organization “Shoot4Change”. Completed her Bachelor’s degree in 2010, she has moved from Rome to Paris to finish her studies, winning a scholarship to do her thesis abroad and receiving her Master degree in Contemporary History in 2013.

Her first publications have been about the student movement: in 2008 on “PeaceReporter”; in 2011 on the book SpringTime: The New Student Rebellions by Verso Books; in the German magazine “Rosa Luxembourg” and in the Italian newspapers “La Repubblica” and “Alias – Il Manifesto”. In 2012, her first reportage assigned and her first cover were published in the Italian magazine “L’Espresso”, with an inquiry about the power of Taxi’s lobby during the Italian economic crisis.

Between 2011 and 2013 she has been working about the human search of identity: with this project, named “Asankojo”, she has been selected as finalist for the “Emergentes DST 2012 Award” and the “WinePhoto International Contest 2012”. She has won the scholarship for the “MasterClass 2012” held by Enrico Bossan, head of photography department in Fabrica.

This year, she has been selected in the “New York Portfolio Review”; she was among the shortlist of the “Bourse du Talent Reportage” and of the “Prix Pixpalace-Visas de l’Ani”. “Asankojo” was also nominated as “Honorable Mention” in the “Photographic Museum of Humanity Grant 2013”, and awarded with the first prize of the student category in the “Fotoura International Street Photography Awards 2013”.

 

Elevator

elevator
Dubai. A city of elevators. I love to shoot when the door first opens or is about to close.

Dubai.

cricket
Sunset sandlot cricket match ends in Al Satwa neighborhood. After one month in Dubai I could not help but be fascinated by the confluence of business and culture here in the Emirates.

Zaida Gonzalez Rios – Primera Comunion

Zaida Gonzalez Rios

Primera Comunion

ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT

My intention is to critique the traditions and social references of Western culture, as well as use irony in questioning certain canons, such as the idealization of the body in advertising and media, the role of gender, and a consumer based existence due to globalization and individualism in an environment that is marked by an increase in the disposable.

I seek to show something different: that which is not well regarded or accepted, an escape from what we have been taught to “behold and admire.” This is manifested with ordinary models, average people who would not otherwise be photographed for an advertising campaign.

With the inclusion of dead and deformed babies in the photographs, I intend to rescue people that were abandoned without a proper farewell. I want to dignify them, transporting them into a picture, surrounded by objects and symbolism to leave them history so that they do not go unnoticed or ignored. I confront the viewer with the truth, one that weighs on the conscience of agricultural industries, since the indiscriminate use of toxic pesticides every year cause children to be born with and die from physiological and physical deformities. This fact is hidden from society by companies that have economic power in our country.

With the lighting techniques used in the images (black and white pictures painted by hand) and small format, I intend to create a break between the form and substance, softening and dislodging the message.

 

 

Bio

1977, San Miguel, Santiago de Chile.

Photographer and veterinarian.

Zaida received her degree in commercial photograhy but has since dedicated herself exclusively to personal projects, exhibiting her work in various group and solo exhibitions in Chile.

Her work has been featured internationally in Colombia, Argentina, USA, Belgium, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, Venezuela, Spain, France, Portugal and Mexico.

She currently teaches photography in the Escuela de Comunicaciones Alpes and works as a freelance veterinarian.

She has authored 3 books to date: “Las Novias de Antonio” (La Revista, 2009), ” Recuérdame al morir con mi último latido” (2010) and “Zaida Gonzalez De Guarda” (2013). Her last two books were published independently with the help of her brother, designer Marco Gonzalez.

She was the recipient of four photography scholarships from Fondart (2005, 2008, 2009 and 2011) and was a resident of fine art photography for Nelson Garrido in Valparaiso (2010).

In 2007 and 2011 she was nominated for the Altazor award for her work “Conservatorio Celestial” and “Recuérdame al morir con mi último latido,” respectively.

In 2012 she won the Rodrigo Rojas De Negri award and national recognition in emerging photography.

In 2013 she was awarded a grant from the DIRAC for a residency she completed with the NGO (Organización Nelson Garrido) in Caracas, Venezuela.

 

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Zaida González Ríos

 

 

Miguel Angel Sánchez – Ulu Pamir

Miguel Angel Sánchez

Ulu Pamir

Miguel Ángel Sánchez traveled in 2012 with his studio to Ulu Pamir, Turkey, a far place in the middle of Turkish Kurdistan, hidden between mountains with very hard winters and connected by a tortuous path to Van Lake. 30 years ago, this land was the witness of the arrival of a group of unusual people with unusual features.

 

 

These people, originally from Kyrgyzstan, came walking from far away, from Pamir, with the promise of a better and safer life hosted by the Turkish government, avoiding the war with USSR.

30 years later, people from this place fight against the government´s abandonment and harassment of the PKK guerrilla warfare.

Miguel Ángel portrayed the inhabitants from this small village and their will to preserve their roots and traditions despite being far away from their original land.

 

 

Bio

Miguel Ángel Sánchez (Madrid 1977), Spanish photographer based in Cairo since 2009.

For years he combined his development as an artist with his work in a commercial photography studio, until, in 2009, he decided to completely turn over to his creative side and opened his own photography studio in Cairo (Egypt).

His studio in Cairo is the base where he works and prepares projects developed in Egypt for the last four years, but he is also a study itinerant photographer who takes his workspace to any corner of the world: Asia, Middle East or black Africa. The Gaddafi war in Libya, the Ulu Pamir besieged by the PKK in Turkish Kurdistan, the Gaza Strip after Israel bombing and Lebanon after Hariri are some of the ports reached by Studio Al Asbani.

Miguel Ángel Sánchez also combines his work as a studio photographer with photojournalist and cameraman in conflict zones where he covered the war in Libya, the Egyptian revolution and the Gaza Operation Pillar of defense, among others.

His work has been published by national media such as El País, and international as The New York Times, Le Monde, New Yorker, Photo Raw, La Lettre de la Photographie, etc.

 

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Miguel Ángel Sánchez