burn is an online feature for emerging photographers worldwide. burn is curated by magnum photographer david alan harvey.
Rosa by Charlotte Whalen
After La Violencia
What up mate..
We have a pirates convention
Next week in Venice beach..
You better show up..
Now ,regarding the sky on the upper corner…!!!
it’s like a hole on a box full
of milk.. It spills the milk out..
Drags the attention away..
It messes it up..
I won’t sleep until I find that
Quick “milk” suggestion..
How about turn the sky “black”..
Not cropping though..
Just chocolate milk…
and speaking of chocolate…
I’ll be there. :)
If you make it back from the great Northwest that is…
Don’t cry over spilled milk Panos, the picture looks pretty static to me without it. I like the fact that my eye bounces from the top, to the girl, to the puddle on the left. Way more interesting that way.
Unicorns are hard to find, I’ve only ever found one.
I will call if I ever make it
back from the warm and sunshiny
We will meet up in Venice ..
Bring an extra credit card just in
case mine misbehaving again!!!
(..ahh tough times even for pirates
these days.. Laughing…)
if you click on Charlotte’s link, you can see that she is only interested in Guatamala, and the picture caption says “Nebaj” which is, as i am sure you know, quite a famous indigenous town in Guatamala….i also wrote the picture was taken in Nebaj in my original comment…
I have heard some talk about captions but have yet to figure out how to see them.
If the caption says Nebaj that answers my question.
thanks so much for your generous and insightful comments. I’ve read most of Bolano but not 2666 yet – though I have a close friend who’s a Bolano scholar and has narrated/read most of it to me. It’s one of the next things on my list. I’m also going to have to find a copy of Wisconsin Death Trip, which I didn’t know but looks extraordinary and excellent – and I love the connection you made to the photo of the horse. I also promise to go find some Moya, who I don’t know. So – thank you for all of that. You’re on to where I’m going, even though I’m not there yet.
unfortunately I only saw today that my photo had been posted, so I missed out on the dialog! – but I’m glad the photo generated discussion. I hope some of you who wanted clarification will find this post.
The photo is indeed part of the after la violencia project. There are a whole host of issues I could discuss that would illuminate how/why it does/doesn’t fit with what is displayed on the project site. Part of it has to do with the question David Bowen raised above regarding fundraising on the web, “however does this bring about a new aspect to working, which does not require commission nor solid conclusion but rather allows the work to evolve naturally and as an ongoing concern?”
I can say it definitely does change things – not necessarily toward more natural evolution. Though what is natural these days? For me it means putting some of the work out in the very early stages, before the project has solidified. This means that the edit on the site is provisional and not representative (also due for an overhaul that I’m working on). Right now I’ve chosen not to put any black and white work up because I began the project in color and have not figured out how to deal with beginning to work in black and white.
I haven’t worked in black and white for a long time. I’ve been getting pulled back to it in part for intrinsic reasons of missing the physical process and visual characteristics. But also because of the challenge of working for long periods of time in the field without being able to see what I’m doing. There simply isn’t anywhere in Guatemala to develop color 4×5 film (if anyone can correct me please do!). And photographing for weeks/months at a time in a process as taxing and costly as color 4×5 without being able to evaluate progress is, for me at least, extremely difficult. I also find it preferable to be able to show people I work with the work as it progresses. Right now I’m putting some serious thought into how to deal with this – give up color, and the work I’ve done so far in color? Come to terms with a way to combine both? I haven’t got any answers yet, and for now I’m keeping the black and white in abeyance.
The other complicating issue is that what’s presented as one project on the site will probably ultimately be several discrete series. The photograph here will be part of a series on violence against women. How integrated or discrete the thematic threads I’m working with will be is continuing to evolve.
When complete none of this work will be presented without context. Not just my context, in writing and editing, but the context of interviews I’m doing. But while history and text are integral to what I’m trying to do, I also hope that in the final edit I’ll be selecting photos that “stand on their own,” so I’m glad this one does for some people. I am after all a photographer, for better or worse! That said, it’s clear from comments – as if we didn’t all know already – that there are many ways for a photograph to stand, and that its apparent posture owes much to the mind that perceives it.
As Bob rightly notes, I’m not really a photojournalist. Part of me is, but other parts aren’t. So it’s really interesting for me to be included in this forum.
On a final note, I agree about the sky being unfortunate. I saw how different and how much stronger the photo was without when I scanned it. I may ultimately crop, which might work or not. I agree that this is an -almost- great photo. But I will defend myself somewhat from David’s comments on this in the sense that, for me at least, a holga photo would be much more mannered overall. Particularly when working with people I feel very uncomfortable composing photographs in anything approaching a formal manner. My approach is something closer to expository, though that can be a complex term too. I could go into a lot more detail about this, and about working with a view camera, and all this in the context of conflict and post-conflict photography, but don’t want to get too wrapped up in an already lengthy post. Ultimately I think the photograph becomes formalist in appearance because it’s so uncomposed. When I took the photo I could feel that it both had and lacked whatever would make it great. Part of the reason I didn’t try to crop the sky is that as Paul Treacy says, it’s there for a reason. I let it happen. And perhaps it’s there to provide discomfort.
Thanks so much to everyone for the comments – and thank you David for choosing to post the photo.
Best to all-
ps – if anyone wants info on the pros and cons of working with fiscal sponsorship for long-term projects along the lines of David Bowen’s post I’d be happy to share.
So great to read your comments and what a pleasure to hear you speak on your pic, your series and the process/ideas that are fomenting and contextualizing this work. As i tried to write above (and else where on this blog as well as under my own essay) it is critical that viewers take the time and opportunity to think about work and try to dig (archeology of a sort) the context and story that’s contained within the photo(s) or story(ies). Your photo hit me on an immediate and visceral level and it seemed clear to me that it was one recalling the dead, or suffering or abuse or difficulty. Definitely definitely read Wisconsin Death Trip. It’s a wild and brilliant and iconoclastic book (i think the writer was some obscure philosophy or history prof from Ohio) about photography, history, and the strange synchronicity of tragedy. The pictures are haunting (i see often think of the horse and pictures of the children who’d died) but the story of the town is just heartbreaking. That’s also wonderful about Bolano and i totally encourage you (in the most passionate way) to read 2666, particularly since you’re moving toward the issue of abused women….the pivotal core of the book as well as history, and i think it will be great food to chew upon to see how Bolano deals with this issue and with history (read: our) collective and individual responsibility. Mayo required reading for all things c.american.
I hope and trust that viewers/commentators will see this pic anew in light of your comments and return back to the project. You have touched upon several important issues that I think not enough photographers wrestle with, particularly photographers who are ‘documenting’ a place, a time, a people…critical critical to stem deep the ideas of story and our responsibilities in that.
i will follow the development and your work and wish you all the best of success and especially for the people of Guatemala.
David, thanks so much for your interest and for having posted the photo. I’m sorry I missed out on the dialog. I’ve posted a longer comment below, including about the sky. But in addition would love to hear more about when you were in Nebaj. The highway from Quiche was completely paved a few years ago, and now the town is filled with cars and motorcycles. It’s changing very fast.
yes, i am so sorry you missed out on the dialogue as well…but, all selected singles and essays are always “on”, so you may still respond to whatever you want…
it has been many years since i was in Nebaj…once for quite a long time in the late seventies i think for a piece on the Maya and then again in the early nineties documenting refugees etc etc..i remember driving into Nebaj late one night with no place to stay with my whole family…we asked around and finally ended up on the floor of someone’s home…it was an amazing experience along with so many in the highlands of Guatamala…it is hard for me to imagine Nebaj as a “busy town” with cars and motorcycles….i do hope we meet someday and can share our experiences….please keep up all of your fine work…
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