Tamara Dean – About Face – “Are you a boy or a girl?”

Tamara Dean

About Face – “Are you a boy or a girl?”

A series of portraits of people with androgynous qualities, which for me symbolize a universal sense of humanity without gender defining the individual.

Meng – I have a really cool paternal grandmother – she’s a Buddhist nun, has a shaved head, and really made her own way as a single mother in Communist China. My grandmother’s favorite story as a child was Mulan. A few months ago I watched the Disney rendition of Mulan with my mum and I struggled very hard not to cry during the scene where she cuts off all her hair to join the army. It reminded me of when I first cut off all my long, thick, black hair and my mother cried. She said to me in Mandarin through her sobs and tears, “Not boy, not girl” – a phrase she proceeded to repeat to me for over four years. I don’t think being androgynous means being neither a boy nor a girl – I think it means being able to embrace both femininity and masculinity. I think it means being comfortable with this fusion of softness and hardness, sensitivity and resilience, the external and the internal.

Grace – I was a confident child, that wore what I wanted and did what made me happy. I had no concept of gender; and the associated expectations, or an understanding of sexuality. As a child I had a strong sense of identity; it is a strange thing to lose it in adolescence only to regain it again. As a small children we played kiss and catch; I was always on the boys team and none of the kids questioned it. The environment that I grew up in was very open and allowed for self discovery and as a young girl it was acceptable to be a tomboy. I never wanted to trade in my board shorts and black harley davidson shirt for a dress, however, it had occurred to me that it was expected. I never thought people perceived me as a boy until I went to my friends house and his father asked me directly “are you a boy or a girl?”. I was self-conscious and hesitant to answer, that moment made me stop and internalise what that question meant.

 

 

Bio

Tamara Dean is an Australian photographic artist. In 2013 Dean was selected for the ArtOmi International Artists Residency, New York. Works produced during this residency won first prize in the 2013 New York Photo Awards – Fine Art series category. Dean has received numerous awards including a high commendation – 2013 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize, winner – 2011 Olive Cotton Award and winner – 2009 Sydney Life: Art & About. Her works have featured in the 2015 Sydney Contemporary, 2014 Melbourne Art Fair, 2013 Aspettando FotoLeggendo Festival, Italy; 2012 Fotofever Brussels Art Fair and 2012 Pingyao Photography Festiva China. Solo shows include Here-and-Now 2015, The Edge, 2014, Only Human, 2012, This too Shall Pass, 2010 , Ritualism and Divine Rites, 2009. Dean was a member of the Oculi photographic collective from 2001-2011. Dean is represented by Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney and Jayne H Baum Gallery, NYC

 

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Tamara Dean

Hiroshi Okamoto – Recruit

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Hiroshi Okamoto

Recruit

“I want to die.”

During February 2013, this e-mail was sent by my best friend in my university, who was doing his job-hunting then.

In Japan, more than half a million students participate in job-hunting simultaneously every year.

Students go into this frantic game with their desire and anxiety for their future careers.

“Recruit” is a personal story of Yo Toshino, my best friend from my university, and his job-hunting experience.

This is also just one of the stories amongst more than half a million job-hunters in Japan.

 

 

Bio

Okamoto was born in 1990 in Tokyo. He graduated from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University with a degree in Social Science and International Relations in 2014. After graduating, Okamoto was working as an video creator and editor at a video production in Japan. He then started his career as a photographer and film director. Hiroshi mostly focuses on East African countries and Japan in these days.

 

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Hiroshi Okamoto

Aaron Blum – A Guide To Folk Taxonomy

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Aaron Blum

A Guide To Folk Taxonomy

Appalachia pulls at me like a haunted memory. It is a place of nebulous forests, moss blankets and dark corners where secrets are kept and folklore thrives.

Human nature moves us to classify the things that make up our world. We describe our culture and surroundings through self-made dialect called folk taxonomy. This type of language and folklore helps to create and sustain regional identities and pass our existence on to future generations.

A Guide To Folk Taxonomy infuses Appalachian mystery with pseudo-scientific study as well as personal experience as a lifetime Appalachian resident. I see this place through idealized eyes of wonder. These images are my folklore.

 

 

Bio

Aaron Blum is an eighth-generation Scots-Irish Appalachian from the hills of Appalachia; which is the center of his artistic work. After graduating with degrees in photography from West Virginia University and Syracuse University, Aaron immediately began receiving recognition for his photographs including the Juror’s Choice Award at Center: Santa Fe, Critical Mass top 50, Magenta Flash Forward, and FOAM talent. His work has been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally as well as featured by the likes of Fraction Magazine, CNN, BBC and the New Yorker. His work has been included in the permanent collections of the Haggerty Museum of Art, the Houston Museum of Fine Art and Duke Documentary Studies.

 

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Aaron Blum

Simon Móricz-Sabján – Mud Country

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Simon Móricz-Sabján

Mud Country

The number of dirt roads is amazingly high in Hungary. Many people live habitually and inevitably along dirt roads in the rural of Bács Kiskun, Békés and Csongrád counties. While in Western Europe 96 percent of public roads are paved, this ratio in Hungary is only 38 percent. The difference is even greater in rural areas. The village of Csanytelek in Csongrád county is situated by the river Tisza. More than third of the population lives along dirt roads. In rainy weather the ground alongside the river becomes completely impassable. Just like in other settlements similar to Csanytelek, not only is it impossible for the ambulance to reach a patient with a heart attack within 15 minutes, it is virtually beyond any chance to find a tractor that could tow the ambulance to the patient. Depopulated boonies, migration and the spreading of poverty characterize “Mud Country”.
According to data released by the European Commission, one in every three Hungarians, that is 3,3 million people live in poverty. 1,2 million of them must endure extreme poverty, which is an extraordinarily high number for a country with a population of 9.9 million.

This essay was Shortlisted for the EPF 2016

 

 

Bio

Simon Móricz-Sabján was born in Kiskunhalas, Hungary in 1980. He has been the press photographer of Népszabadság, the largest Hungarian political daily newspaper since 2003. He has received numerous honors for his photography: first price at the China International Press Photo Contest on two occasions, second prize in the Feature Picture Story category of 73rd POYi competition and Honorable Mention at the NPPA Best of Photojournalism competition. 27-times award winner at the Hungarian Press Photo competition, including the Grand Prize, the Márton Munkácsi award for the best collection on four occasions, the best photojournalist under 30 on three occasions and the Károly Escher award for the best news photo on two occasions, as well as several other recognitions abroad and in Hungary. Three times winner of József Pécsi scholarship, and he received the Károly Hemzo Prize in 2015.

 

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Simon Móricz-Sabján

Bill Garrett

Bill Garrett

 

Bill Garrett in Cambodia

Bill Garrett in Cambodia

 

Sometimes you meet somebody who changes your life. A lead character in the play of your  adventures. A like minded soul who gets you, identifies with you,and flips a life switch.

Such a man for me was W.E. “Bill” Garrett who passed on this week to the land of editor photographers who will never be forgotten. Bill brought me into National Geographic Magazine when I was 29. This changed my life forever.

Bill ran NatGeo full on flat out full speed in overdrive don’t ever look back. A swashbuckler if ever there was one. By the time he was THE EDITOR IN CHIEF he owned the place. Yet how did he see himself? As a photographer of course. And he was. Photographer of the Year in 1968 for his coverage of the Vietnam War.

He and I were both “behind enemy lines” in the Kampuchea (Cambodia) killing fields of the murderous genocide of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Nothing fun about it for me, yet Bill could not contain his energy. He was in his element. Out in the field on assignment. Bill seemed to love almost getting killed which he did with regularity. We were both in jail once together in Mexico for shooting pictures in the wrong place, and I swear he loved every minute of it.

Yet in reality Bill was most known for and most talented as the Editor who changed the face of National Geographic Magazine. From the inside top job. Bill went real and gritty and arty and relevant with NatGeo. He was a force. THE force.

He made my career yet others were not so lucky. That is the way it goes for a man with a vision who is trying to move mountains. He totally changed the visual look of the Magazine, yet if you were not on his radar, you might not be the one to write this tribute.

Bill was a Kansas City boy. Married his high school sweetheart Lucy who was with him until the end. Bill’s career took off as a journalism student at the U of Missouri under the guidance of the infamous Cliff Edom who had started the Missouri Workshop. The first photojournalism workshop. Edom emphasized picture editing for all of his photo students. Bill was a natural editor from the get go and he got hired by NatGeo right out of school.

Bill and Lucy had two sons, Mike and Ken  who both gravitated to photography. Mike passed away a few years ago and Ken Garrett is still a photographer at NatGeo.

Yet every real life story is a real story. Rough edges are part of it. When I left NatGeo and started moving in the direction of Magnum, Bill suffered. We had been close. Both in the field, at the Magazine, and our families were friends. For Bill, I had defected. In my mind, I was growing. Bill loved the Magazine. His life. I always felt the work was more important than wherever it was published. So on this we disagreed.

Irony of ironies Bill left NatGeo, I joined Magnum, and yet continued to do assignments for NatGeo. Twists of time and fate and serendipity.

I will be front and center at Bill”s memorial in Washington D.C. To honor a man for whom I have great respect and friendship. He gave me a break. Yes I was a passionate and eager player, but Bill threw me the long ball. For this I am forever grateful.

W.E. “Bill” Garrett coined the now famous phrase regarding what it takes to make a great picture. His mantra, “Well it is just F/8 and be there”. Clearly Bill knew that was an over simplification, yet his point was etched in stone.

Bill rode high on the fast horse. I can still see him flying.

-DAH-

Photo by W.E. Garrett / National Geographic

Photo by W.E. Garrett / National Geographic

Photo by W.E. Garrett / National Geographic

Photo by W.E. Garrett / National Geographic

 

Mark Schacter – West

near Pincher Creek, Alberta

Mark Schacter

West

The creative process is a mystery. The sharpest insight I’ve ever read about it was written by Keith Richards, the Rolling Stones guitarist and songwriter. In his autobiography, Life, Richards revealed his fascination with the motivation behind artistic creation. He wrote: “What is it that makes you want to write songs? In a way you want to stretch yourself into other people’s hearts … It becomes almost an obsession to touch other people.” That’s as good an explanation as I can provide of my intentions as a photographer. I am motivated by an urge to communicate on the most fundamental level – a more profound kind of communication than is possible (for me, at least) with words. It’s about trying to do the impossible – draw other people into my own head and have them see the world as I envision it. Photography is an imperfect attempt to share my private experience. The 20 images in this essay are the result of travel in western Canada and the United States over a period of six years. They are my attempt to convey a vision of “the West” – a deliberately nostalgic and anachronistic vision of a region shaped by cowboys, cattle ranches, farms, empty spaces and small towns. Though the photographs are of the present time, my intentions were rooted in the past; rooted in a world that no longer exists, even if visible signs of it remain.

 

 

Bio

Mark Schacter was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada – a small, remote city on the western shore of Lake Superior. The surrounding landscape is rugged, empty, undulating rocky terrain covered by boreal forest and dotted with small towns perched on the edge of wilderness. His home city is filled with reminders – towering derelict grain elevators, an abandoned iron ore dock, shuttered paper mills – of a recent industrial past built on a natural resource economy that has nearly disappeared. Schacter’s family moved away from Thunder Bay when he was 16, but his photographic tendencies continue to be shaped by the environment of his childhood. He drawns to scenes of emptiness: landscapes and cityscapes where human presence seems like an afterthought. Sometimes Schacter thinks of himself as a kind of archaeologist, recording with his camera signs that “people have been here” – have struggled to made a living, build something, leave a mark of their presence.

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Mark Schacter

Bill Hess – Aġviq: Sacred Whale, Carrier of Life

Never during my original 1985-1995 documentation of Iñupiat whale hunting did I experience a day in sun so hot on skin as May 5, 2015. Aaron Milligrock. Point Hope, Alaska – Tikigaq.

Bill Hess

Aġviq: Sacred Whale, Carrier of Life

 

May 5, 2015: Rays stream from sun onto ocean to strike hunters from all angles, cooking them out of their clothing layer by layer until finally they stand bare chested at the water’s edge. I remember a beach in Mexico – but this is Arctic Alaska, where Iñupiat hunters have ventured onto Chukchi Sea ice to seek the gift of aġvik – the bowhead whale. Since Time Immemorial, aġvik has given Iñupiat not only nutrition, but the foundation of a resourceful, resilient, culture and enabled them to thrive in one of the harshest environments on earth.

Multiple threats have followed the British explorers who sailed into their home in the early 19th century, followed by the Yankee whaling industry, which decimated the bowhead. Imported diseases decimated the Iñupiat.

Both survived and slowly began to replenish their populations. By 1977, the Iñupiat had adapted to incredible change. Money to buy imported goods, high-priced food included, had become vital. Yet bowhead remained central to diet and culture. Each spring, Iñupiat ventured onto Chukchi Sea ice and paddled their bearded seal-skin covered umiaks into the lead to meet bowheads migrating to summer waters in the Canadian Beaufort.

Come the open water season of late summer and early fall, hunters again met aġvik as bowheads migrated back through the Beaufort and Chukchi to their winter home in the Bering Sea. Through intimate observation, Iñupiat knew bowheads numbered many thousands, were increasing and so were shocked when the International Whaling Commission suddenly placed a moratorium on their hunt. IWC claimed the Western Arctic bowhead population numbered as few as 600.

Iñupiat joined other Alaska Inuit, organized the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission and took their fight to an IWC convention in the UK. Greenpeace protesters waved “Save the Whales!” signs at them. AEWC secured a pitifully inadequate quota of 18 strikes to land 12 whales for ten Alaska whaling villages spread along a coastline longer than California’s. With financial support from the Utah-sized North Slope Borough, founded by Iñupiat in 1972 to tax oil company property and thus recapture a sliver of the Prudhoe Bay wealth Congress had just taken from them, AEWC launched what with support from the US and Canadian governments became the most intense, ongoing, scientific, peer-reviewed whale census ever conducted. Additional federal studies proved the deep Iñupiat nutritional and cultural need to hunt bowhead.

The most recent tally shows a best-estimate of 16,892 bowhead, growing by 3.7 percent a year. Alaska whaling villages currently hunt under a block quota of 306 landed bowhead, parceled out over six years. Future quotas will be based on future census numbers. Even Greenpeace now favors the Iñupiat right to hunt bowhead. Ailments of the modern world not withstanding, the hunt is strong.

Now the big threat is climate change, happening faster in the Arctic than anywhere else. The spring hunt in the Chukchi becomes ever dangerous as ice thins. The Beaufort late summer/early fall hunt also grows more dangerous. Huge reaches of open water allow violent storms to whip up waves that threaten hunters and shorelines alike. Polar bears have always been present to hunt and be hunted by Iñupiat, but hunted seals from plentiful icebergs and seldom bothered fall hunters.

Now, there are fall seasons when no icebergs can be seen. Polar bears need solid platforms to rest and den upon. They need to eat. They come to Cross and Barter Islands, where Iñupiat from the villages of Nuiqsut and Kaktovik hunt. Many bears now turn to the Iñupiat and the bowhead they land in their own quest to survive. Whalers must be continually wary, lest they fall to a nanuq.

From 1985 through 1995, I repeatedly returned to six whaling villages spread along the Arctic Slope from Point Hope in the west to Kaktovik near Canada to make my magazine, Uiñiq, funded by the North Slope Borough. This resulted in my book, Gift of the Whale (Sasquatch, 1999).I spent the next dozen years plus covering Native people and issues elsewhere across Alaska, but returned to the Slope enough to see the dramatic impacts climate change was bringing to the Iñupiat and their hunting way of life. I saw what looked to be pending offshore oil development – both opposed and supported within the Iñupiat community. For now, oil exploration has stopped in the Chukchi, although smaller scale, near-shore development continues in the Beaufort.

In May, 2008, I launched what I intended to be a comprehensive update but one month later fell, shattered my shoulder and got a new one. A variety of ailments and surgeries followed, but now I am at it again. Should health, life and funds permit, I hope to complete my update by the summer I turn 70 – four years from now.

Then I plan to go sit on a beach in Rio.

I joke!

I will stay here, in Alaska – most of the time.

 

Bio

When he was five, Bill Hess looked up into the ethereal shimmer of a rare display of northern lights in the Oregon night and felt a mysterious call to the north. The call persisted as his Mormon family migrated about in the land and mythology of the American West. Reality punctured myth during the two years he served on a mission to the Lakota and the five he spent as a one-man-band newspaperman and freelancer on his wife Margie’s White Mountain Apache Reservation. On July 14, 1981, his 31st birthday, he finally followed the call home to Alaska. No job awaited, no house for his family and he knew no one, yet his soul was soothed. He has dedicated his career since to learning about his home from those who know it best – the First Peoples of Alaska. He extends his thanks to them for allowing him to walk, eat and sleep upon their lands, waters and ice, for all they have so generously shared with and taught him.

Related Links

Bill Hess – Born Into Exile

Alaska Public