Monthly Archive for March, 2018

Anton Polyakov & Anna Galatonova – Mahala

 

Anton Polyakov & Anna Galatonova

Mahala

In the early 1990s, when the Soviet Union was about to collapse and Moldova proclaimed its independence, one of the regions of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic decided to go another way. Self-proclaimed republic of Transnistria is an approximately 200-km-long sliver of territory along the left bank of the Dniester river running between Moldova and Ukraine. For over 27 years the republic has had an indefinite status, none of the countries recognizes the transnistrian independence except Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh which are also unrecognized republics. During this time, the whole new generation, which identifies itself as “Transnistrians,” was raised. 

 

 

The protagonists of story are young people who live in the rural north of Transnistria. It seems at first that they have an idyllic life in the midst of rocks and hills covered in thick woods. They have a close relation to earth, nature, and farm animals, they are used to hard labor and love their native land. However, except the fact that their state is unrecognized, there is one more problem — the village is dying out. There are very few paid jobs, entertainment, or growth opportunities in their villages. That’s why at some point young people have to choose: stay in the village or leave their home to look for a better life. 

 

 

The title for story — Mahala — was borrowed from the local dialect of Moldavian. This word names an isolated part of the settlement populated by people who are generally friendly towards each other and feel that together they form a kind of a community. Our protagonists are also living their own secluded lives, are separated from the rest of the world and form a community that in the general sense is “mahala”: they have known each other their whole life, help each other with farming, celebrate holidays and grow up together.

 

 

Bio

Photographers Anton Polyakov & Anna Galatonova (both born in 1990) are among the first generation who identify themselves as “Transnistrians”. Their date of birth coincides with the date of establishment of the Republic of Transnistria, a small country between Moldova and Ukraine, that isn’t recognized anywhere. They both graduated from the Transnistrian State University, Anton – studied Geography, Anna – journalism. Currently photographers are interested in the topic of historical and cultural memory in the region in which they reside, as well as younger generation of people who were born in the unrecognized republics after the collapse of the Soviet Union: the question of their personal identification, the influence of the uncertain status of the country and what they face in their daily lives. 

 

Related Links

anton-polyakov.com

 

 

Juan Pablo Bellandi – Endless Countenances

Juan Pablo Bellandi

Endless Countenances

[ EPF 2017 – SHORT LIST ]

Countenances because the wheel of the imminent is so brutal that the “Great Picture” is sterile in front of the overwhelming human tragedy. Mothers waiting for murdered sons at the gates of overcrowded morgues under the Caribbean heat. Who find their own unhuman pain in the faces of the other mothers.
People allow themselves to go out to the street, only because they have already convinced each other long ago that death is awaiting at the next corner. And then it all becomes more believable.
Common and organized crime, narco and freak, corrupt and powerful.
Broken tiles, hands holding helmets, cocaine in a key, crack in a can.

 

 

The sound of motorcycles from military, police or gangsters are known to every one. Jump, skip, hide. Protest or throw stones, the power will shoot back with Glock or Russian made AK-47.
During the nights, gunshots are heard at the distance like the happy melody that sweetens our cities. Speed, speed, gunshot and internet.
The black boot and the red beret play the theatre of the absurd and grim, whilst the queue of hunger and death sweeps.
The violence as system
How to tell a story without a lesson but terror?
It is the dark hour of my land, Venezuela.
Aching Countenances, breaking point countenances.
Rumor has it that better hours will come, trace is the one who protests, writes and portrait.

 

 

Short Bio

Juan Pablo Bellandi was born in Mérida, Venezuela in 1990. He studied photography at the Escuela Argentina de Fotografia in Buenos Aires, majoring in photojournalism. The political situation in his homeland is the theme of his long-term projects: ‘En la Intimidad con el Levantamiento’ (Intimate with the Uprising) documents the demonstrations of Venezuelans against their government. The series was short-listed for the 2015 Ian Parry Scholarship, and was exhibited in London. In 2016, Juan Pablo was one of the 12 photographers as a finalist in the Leica Oskar Barnack Award with his work Chasing HAMPA. Additionally, he won the mentorship grant of the first masterclass organized by MeMo Agency. In 2017, he was a nominee for the Joop Swart Masterclass of World Press Photo. His work has been published by The Sunday Times Magazine, Photonews Germany, LFI, DOC!PHOTOMAGAZINE, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, and Gatopardo mx.

 

Related Links

 

@juanpablobellandi

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The Emerging Photographer Fund is supported by generous donors to the Magnum Foundation

Magnum Foundation

Patricia Morosan – Sun Stands Still

Patricia Morosan

Sun Stands Still

[ EPF 2017 – SHORT LIST ]

“Every photo is a ghost story.”

The images in the photoseries “Sun Stands Still” were shot during the years 2014-2016, while traveling through my homecountry Romania, as well as through Poland, Portugal and Germany. But the concrete places dissolve in this work and they become my own personal metaphorical space. In this space and through this images, I tell stories both of intimate encounters, as well as from a brief glance at the little stories I met along the way, which may have happened, or will still happen while passing by. And in doing so, images came along and have been found (again); as if they could arise from my memories, hunches and dreams. The images in ‘Sun Stands Still’ are therefor seen as momentary reliefs, which may be found in reality as in a dream.

 

 

Short Bio

Patricia Morosan studied Film and Art History in Bukarest and Berlin, and Photography at the Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie und Gestaltung in Berlin. After working in film production, she began to photograph and curate art exhibitions in 2014. She organized and curated the exhibition ‘DEVOUR! Social Cannibalism, Political Redefinition and Architecture’ in Berlin (Freies Museum, Lichtblick Kino) and Leipzig (KunstKraftWerk). She also curated the photo exhibition  ‘Welcome to my Dark’ in Kunstraum Bethanien/ Berlin. Since 2016, she has taught photography workshops for refugee women in Berlin. Her photos have been shown at the Lodz Fotofestival in Poland, in Berlin at Ostkreuz group exhibitions, JK Gallery, Filmrisz Gallery, Aff Gallery and Alte Feuerwache Gallery, in Leipzig in anderthalb Gallery, in Athens at TAF Metamatic, and in Bolzano at Foto Forum. Her photoseries  ‘Sun Stands Still’ was published by dienacht Publishing. She is part of the fotocollective “Temps Zero.”

 

Related Links

patriciamorosan.com

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The Emerging Photographer Fund is supported by generous donors to the Magnum Foundation

Magnum Foundation

 

Gabi Pérez – Our Mind; A Weapon

Gabi Pérez

Our Mind; A Weapon.

[ EPF 2017 – SHORT LIST ]

My father often talked about wanting to end his life. He felt trapped on Earth, in his body, but mostly in his mind—our most powerful tool and weapon. My relationship with him had always been a tough pill to swallow, but I was determined to understand his ruthless battle with bipolar disorder.

I took on the challenge of studying my father and his condition, by photographing his daily endeavors. The intimacy in which the photographs occurred, speak to my father’s generosity in sharing his life with a public audience. He, who suffered greatly from emotional instability, has gifted us the opportunity to peek into the emotions that one may face when living with and confronting a mental illness.  

During our journey, my father learned about, and introduced me to Project Semicolon; a “non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and love for those who are struggling with mental illness, suicide, addiction, and self-injury.” We joined the movement, and I held his hand as he got his first tattoo, a semicolon on his left arm. I have no doubt that, even on the darkest days, my father fought relentlessly for his life. However, the ending to his story was traumatic and unexpected.

Post Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico became paralyzed for months. The government failed in its ability to help its people, and chaos dragged on for much longer than it should have. During this time, calls were on the rise at Linea PAS, Puerto Rico’s only suicide prevention hotline. This brought much attention to the island’s severe mental health crisis, which is significantly overlooked. During this same time, I noticed a major downfall in my father’s behavior due to the inaccessibility of doctors and medications, which he heavily relied on to survive. 

 

 

When I was first informed that my father was in the hospital due to burn wounds, I wondered if his injuries had been self-inflicted. I later found out that they had been caused in an unforeseen accident. While transporting a propane gas tank in his car, my father lit a cigarette, and a small gas leak caused the cabin to catch fire. Witnesses say they saw him jump out of the window crying for help, but at that point, 64% of his body had already suffered 3rd degree burns.  

 

 

I knew my father wasn’t going to make it. Not because he wasn’t strong enough to pull through, but because this would be the perfect chance for him to obtain the peace that he had long been searching for on Earth. With a broken heart, I told him to go find his freedom, and he gave himself permission to move on. 

Shortly after, with his ashes in my suitcase, I traveled to Ecuador, his favorite country in the world. I very literally carried his weight on my shoulders through a physically grueling hike to a volcanic crater in the Ecuadorian Andes. I spread his ashes overlooking the Quilotoa Lake and it was absolutely breathtaking. I have never felt more accomplished and at peace in my heart. I was given the opportunity to provide support and get to know Papa through my art, and that has been the greatest gift of all. 

 

Short Bio

Gabi Pérez-Silver was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She lived on the island until she moved to Upstate New York to study photography. Her first experience living through the four seasons inspired her to make work about adapting and adjusting to new environments. Ever since then, she has been fascinated with documentary photography, which has become necessary for her to comprehend our world. She has dipped her toes into several creative industries in New York City, as well assisted multiple Magnum Photos photographers, as an editorial, production, and personal assistant. Gabi is currently based in Puerto Rico where she works in the film industry as a freelance photographer.

 

Related Links

 

gbiprz.com

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The Emerging Photographer Fund is supported by generous donors to the Magnum Foundation

Magnum Foundation

Ryan Casson – Deconstruction

Ryan Casson

Deconstruction

[ EPF 2017 – SHORT LIST ]

I want to believe. I want you to believe. Something. Anything. Crave it. Authenticity. The real. Feeling. To me, this is what is most important. For the absence of the real is fiction. I point the camera outward–and inward–as I frame and re-frame my reality–and yours. Choices. A coming to an understanding. This is what my deconstruction feels like. Yes, deconstruction.

 

 

Short Bio

Ryan was born in the United States in 1985. He is based in Florida and works as a lawyer and photographer. He hopes to publish in the upcoming year his first book, Deconstruction.

 

Related Links

 

ryancasson.com

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The Emerging Photographer Fund is supported by generous donors to the Magnum Foundation

Magnum Foundation

 

Tomasz Laczny – Disappearance

Tomasz Laczny

Disappearance

Artist Statement

The feeling of loss and longing are the main theme of autobiographical photobook of Tomasz Laczny who based his story on his own experiences while gradually losing the contact with his children after divorce. Tomasz Laczny guides the viewer through a dream world built of autobiographical and fictional elements. Composed with elements of joy, sadness, humor, melancholy and sometimes horror with expressionistic twist the author creates the world where questioned are issues of identity belonging and connections.

Bio

Tomasz Laczny was born in Poland, studied art, design and philosophy. In his works he deals with complex issues of identity,belonging and connection. He is interested in creating photo books mainly. He published a photobook “40” about refugee camps and conflict in Western Sahara which received honorable mention in 2016 DummyAward Kassel competition. He is currently working on his next photobook “Disappearance”. He lives and works in London.

Related Links

Tomasz Laczny