Hello sailor. Photograph by Barry Christianson @thesestreetsza #shootingcapetown #shootingsouthafrica #monochrome #bnw #blackandwhite
burn is an online feature for emerging photographers worldwide. burn is curated by magnum photographer david alan harvey.
Hello sailor. Photograph by Barry Christianson @thesestreetsza #shootingcapetown #shootingsouthafrica #monochrome #bnw #blackandwhite
Raza, from Pakistan, has a chicken tikka stall on Rose Street in Bo-Kaap. Its been there for 15 years, he’s only been there for 5 though.When I lived one street up, 3 years ago, I would often buy takeaways from them.The visible gentrification in Bo-Kaap seems to have started with Haas. Now Atlas Trading will move because the owner of their building on s selling. It seems like its only a matter of time before Rose Street in its entirety gets “cleaned up”. Photograph by Barry Christianson @thesestreetsza #shootingcapetown #shootingsouthafrica #bokaap #chickentikka
The Summer of our Lives
“Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.”
– Gloria Naylor
They say that friends are the family you choose, and I believe this to be true. I have been lucky, having shared with my little family of friends ten summers running. A few years back, one of my fondest friends started an inside joke that has perpetuated itself every year. Funke – while extremely intoxicated – declared at the top of his lungs that this would be “the summer of our lives”. We laughed, but held the sentiment close to our hearts. We pinned our hopes on having unforgettable summers together, each better than the last.
And so the record spins. Every year we sing the same chorus: “This is going to be the summer of our lives.” We did our best to live it up, having taken vacations and experienced new places together, much of which I have had the good fortune to document on film. But it seems that things have now begun to change. Against our better judgement, we are becoming full blown adults. We’ve paired off, jobs turned into careers, we grew up. Alas, maturity rears its ugly head!
House parties have gradually transitioned into more meaningful events. In the last year, we’ve attended two weddings, one of which was my own. And by the end of this summer, we’ll get piss drunk and bruised up twice more at going away parties for two of our closest companions, including Funke himself. The time has come, it seems, to say goodbye…
This essay is simply entitled “The Summer of Our Lives”. The photographs it contains are very personal images of my friends, my compatriots, my partners in crime… my family. It illustrates those trips and parties, our intimacies and attractions to one another. This is my farewell to the old times and my tribute to our finest attempts at the best summers ever.
Raised in Los Angeles, California; Robert Larson began working as a small town newspaper photographer in 2007 while learning his craft and thinking about a future as a documentary photographer. In subsequent years, he traveled the world, volunteering abroad with non-profit organizations such as Mercy Ships, The Red Cross and J/P HRO. It wasn’t until after documenting the death of his grandfather in 2009, that he decided to focus on personal photographic essays and story telling – rather than single images. Robert is represented by Getty Images; his work has been featured in The New York Times, Photo District News, Los Angeles Times and Lenscratch.com.
Robert lives in Atwater Village with his wife and two dogs.
Let Me Be
When I fleetingly saw a picture of the Larung Gar monastery, I felt compelled to know more about the place. It quickly became a place I yearned to go to, especially because I felt a connection to them. After all, my homeland Korea had been under Japan?s rule before. Further research told me that the place was still being observed by the Chinese government, and that I might not be able to get into the monastery even if I went to Tibet. However, I had to go there to see the lives of these people, no matter what.
Living at an altitude of 13,000 feet, the people of the Larung Gar buddhist monastery of Tibet Autonomous ( Sertha , Kham , China) have a simple way of living. Religion is the center of their lives, and monks and nuns devote 15 years entirely into their religious education. As much as religion is important to Tibetans, this monastery up in the clouds is considered sacred. However, though it is religious, it is turning into a secretive, political symbol because of the dispute between China and Tibet. 13,000 feet above, here is truly a place that demonstrates the devotion and determination of the Tibetans.
I have never received an education about photography, nor have I worked at a photography-related job. As I majored in statistics, worked with cloth, and worked as a chef at a cake company, I could not let go of my passion for photography. I decided that I would live the life of a professional photographer while I was in India (April 2013), taking pictures, and started living my dream once I moved into the US (July 2013). For my first project, I visited Tibet.
A woman pays for goods at Atlas Spices in Bo-kaap.Atlas Spices have been on their premises for 70 years. The building owner gas decided to sell so they will be moving soon.A wave of gentrification has hit Bo-Kaap. Property prices rise, owners sell, slowly the character of the place is eroded.Photograph by Barry Christianson @thesestreets #thesestreetsza #shootingcapetown #shootingsouthafrica #atlasspices #bokaap
Prince, one of the brilliant Batista’s at Cape Town’s best coffee bar, pours a perfect and much needed americano.Photograph by Barry Christianson #thesestreetsza @thesestreetsza#shootingcapetown #shootingsouthafrica #coffee
Mshanga Carwash and Valet. I see this everyday on my ride to work. My office is at the Woodstock Exchange, 2 blocks down and a work apart.Gentrification is a thing.Photograph by Barry Christianson @thesestreetsza#shootingcapetown #shootingsouthafrica #graffiti #woodstock
Its unusual for the Northwesterly wind to blow as often this early in the year. It brought some fog to Sea Point and clean waves to Muizenberg today.Photograph by Barry Christianson @thesestreetsza #moulliepoint #capetown #southafrica #fog #scooter #shootingcapetown #shootingsouthafrica
Sometimes you see the strangest dressed people on the Sea Point promenade.Photograph by Barry Christianson. @thesestreetsza #thesestreetsza#shootingcapetown #shootingsouthafrica #capetown #southafrica #seapoint
Conversations at sunset on Signal hill.Its been a popular activity in Cape Town for decades. Nowadays tou buses arrive 30 minutes before sunset, unload droves of tourists and take them all back in 30 minutes after.You can still miss the crowds if you walk just a little farther though.My name is Barry Christianson and I’ll be taking over this account for the next week. @thesestreetsza #shootingcapetown #shootingsouthafrica#signalhill #sunset #capetown #southafrica
A Myth of Two Souls
My project aims to photograph the ‘Indian soul’ and capture the distinctive nature of this continent country, guided by the epic of the Ramayana as a common thread. My objective is to produce pictures devoided of any staging, that will reflect the imaginary realm emerging from the Ramayana and its influence in everyday life.
The Ramayana, masterpiece of world literature written in Sanskrit over 2000 years ago, is to the Asian civilisation what Homer’s Odyssey is to the European civilisation, a timeless myth that has strongly shaped the Indian identity. Its author, Valmiki, is known as the ‘Indian Shakespeare’. The Ramayana’s strength is in its apparent simplicity : it can be read as an epic tale in which humans, gods and demons encounter, covering a geographical area from the North of India to the heart of Sri Lanka. However, more than a journey, Indians draw from this text, which conveys moral and philosophical values, an ideal to which they measure their own existence.
Ramayana’s writer Valmiki had a broad knowledge of geography. The descriptions he gave about the places his characters visited has allowed the reconstitution of their itinerary and nowadays Indians visit these places to confirm the mental representation they have built up around them. But permeation between fiction and reality goes beyond geography and extends toward identity issues. The myth is ubiquitous in everyday life and its appropriation is at the core of my project.
To tell this story, I will use pictures and texts, as well as original extracts from the epic, press clipping related to modern events linked to the Ramayana and various vernacular documents. The submitted work has been done over two 3-weeks self-funded trips I did in 2013, in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. I need to do four more trips to complete the project. The Burn Emerging Photographer Grant would allow me to focus on creation, spending as much time as possible on the ground.
Vasantha Yogananthan was born in 1985 and lives and works in Paris, France. He is passionate about human stories and dedicates himself to long-term projects.
In November 2012, Vasantha Yogananthan won the Bourse du Talent Landscape. In March 2013, he was selected among the finalists of the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass. In March 2014, Piémanson’s dummy was selected among the 12 finalists of MACK First Book Award (UK). The same month, Vasantha Yogananthan was selected among the 30 photographers of the “Top 30 under Thirty” organized by Magnum Photos.
Along with his work as a photographer, Vasantha Yogananthan has co-founded a publishing house named Chose Commune. He considers the photo book to be the primary medium for research into original narrative approaches. His first book, Piémanson, was released in June 2014.
One of the most creative and kindest people I know, my little brother Ben, here back in Texas. Today I Skyped with my best friend and it reminds me of how much I miss friends and family. I think most photojournalists can relate to that feeling of missing home.Photo by @davillasana for Burn Diary, Day 7.#burndiary #lastday #home #brother #family #beautiful #light #love
For my last day on Burn Diary, I’ll be posting pictures from my personal life. This is what I see every morning when I wake up and many times it’s the racket that the pigeons make that gets me up early! Here is one of them, though not exactly the picture I wanted. After sitting for 30 minutes though it was time to get up and start my day! Photo by @davillasana for Burn Diary, Day 7. #burndiary #lastday #wakeup #goodmorning #peskypigeons #windows #mymorninglight
While working one evening, a friend stops to talk to Danuska. “[Sex work] is a complete social world. There is a network, friends, enemies, the family is there. Your real family rejects you so your family is also there,” said Ximena Salazar, an anthropologist at Lima’s Cayetano University.Photo by @davillasana for Burn Diary, Day 6.#burndiary #lima #peru #transgender #documentary #friendship #humanrights #community #chosenfamily #family
Danuska, who has received a lot of artificial implantation with highly toxic industrial silicone, struggles with body image issues and often makes jokes about how she is anorexic. Because of a transperson’s desire to match their body with the way they truly feel within, many transwomen seek to enhance their bodies either through surgery or implantation. However, without hospitals or medical care that attend to trans people and with limited economic resources, many undergo boot-leg procedures that often lead to health complications and sometimes even death.Photo by @davillasana for Burn Diary, Day 6.#burndiary #transgender #documentary #humanrights #portrait #danuska #lima #peru
Zapata Swamp, in Cuba’s southern coast and less than a hundred miles from Havana, is commonly imagined as a remote wildlife refuge for mangrove, crocodiles and exotic birds. Isolation, hard work and extreme poverty have kept the Swamp’s human inhabitants disconnected from the contemporary reality of the country, and certainly from the world beyond our embargoed shores. While the Cuban government promotes a process of ‘modernization’ and fantasies of consumption filter through these new openings, Coalmen toil in the swamp, following an ancient process to produce charcoal for export and earn their survival.
This project explores the quotidian patterns and rituals of the Coalmen’s lives, their environment and their families. Coalmen devote their days to producing wealth they’ll never see, for a system they live on the margins of, while on the other side of the Island we yearn for material possessions and modern technology. I use the camera to magnify details of seemingly unimportant moments, looking to extract some understanding of their contentment, happiness and our shared humanity. This series should not be confused for a romantic interpretation of scarcity, but an exploration of the rhythm and logic of a simple existence that responds directly to context and circumstance and is firmly grounded in the present.
This project is a reconnection to my origins as a photographer, when I developed film in my childhood bedroom during the hot nights with home-made chemicals and old equipment inherited from friends who had migrated. It’s a homage to those principled masters I learned to observe the world with, like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sebastiao Salgado, Josef Koudelka and Eugene Smith. It’s a tribute to the men that labour in the heat and humidity of the swamp, with tools and techniques from another time, producing the charcoal that will light fires and fade into embers in distant, unimaginable places.
Arien Chang Castan is an award-winning documentary photographer who lives and works in Havana, Cuba. At the beginnings of his career as an artist, he devoted himself to painting, and later discovered in photography both the expression of his personality and a way to document recondite settings in Cuba. Arien’s work focuses in areas within Cuban society that are generally ignored in Cuban documentary photography. Themes like the rodeo, gay culture, and bodybuilding are reflected in his work, always portrayed with an artistic, conceptual vision that enriches the image. Arien has collaborated with the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops and National Geographic and has taught workshops to students from CalPoly, San Jose State University, and NYU. He has traveled and exhibited his work at conferences and festivals in Cuba and around the world including Australia, China and Venezuela. Arien made his first exhibition in the United States in 2014.
Wherever Tamara moves, she always takes her collection of saints with her, often keeping a candle lit.Photo by @davillasana for Burn Diary, Day 5.#burndiary #transgender #documentary #humanrights #tamara #lima #peru #faith