Gabriele Orlini – I’m Africa

Gabriele Orlini

I’m Africa

You are confusing the circulatory system with this maze of meandering, twisted like cells of the brain – wire meshes and tangles, resemble memory – each with a story to hide or to be dissolved, there just behind a gauze suspended between the face and the hanging ceiling, hanging between the faces and walls.
You do not know if they are roots or hair those that sink in water, and in the sky – in the sky from where the water is more than any imagined Africa.
The sky of thick foliage, of dry logs as your crosses and you do not know if they are branches or knots of hair braiding those who see blacks under the smoky clouds. There are more signs on the ground and more signs on the water that on the blackboard, which does not pass the history of your steps, but one of the steps of foreigners on your land.
A whirlpool in the lazy river as you sleep. A run in the tall grass, cutting edges. A jump and a heavy bag on your head, the water reflects other water and the tree grows from your shoulders, soon broken up by life that your father has left the crooked stick.



This is a story.
As every story it’s made by moments, instants, people, places.
Different but indissolubly tied together by invisible and indivisible light threads.
It’s not a tale of Africa but it’s a story of men, or of a single man.
It’s the tale of a centuries-old tree with its roots – the wrinkled and strong arms of an old lady- searching for life in the depths of the river.
It’s the story of a woman who stretches the same roots to the sky as if to contrast a law of nature.
In Africa there’s nothing that doesn’t come into being from the earth and nothing that’s not raised towards the sky that dominates everything.
It’s the tale of a river that flows for thousands of years in a land that’s fighting for his identity for a thousands of years.
It’s the same river that carries along life and death, the end and the beginning.
A river able to nurture, a river able to kill.
It’s the tale of many men leaving in search of something that doesn’t have a name yet.
It’s the tale of a color in which all the colors are alike, the story of an escape towards places so far away, drawn in a map by red soil and where all the paths come together.
It’s the tale of a red soil that stains your feet and goes inside you.
It goes deep into your blood and fires it up.
And it’s useless to wash your body in the river at the end of the day: the red soil has left a mark on everything you have and everything you are.
It’s the tale of a disease without a cure.
It’s the tale of a rain that comes from the silence of a blue sky and with a din fills the buckets of the village.
It’s the tale of many other tales.
It’s the story of those who live and consume that land.
It’s the story of who has being worn out by that land.
And it’s also the tale of a ‘mondele’, a white man.
A tale of the moment in which he asked to himself: “What if I was born here?”
And then he understood the only possible answer: “I’m Africa”




Italian photographer Gabriele Orlini is enamored with visual storytelling from a humanistic perspective, including depicting its contradictions and “struggles of love with the world”.
A professional freelance photographer, Gabriele prefers to combine documentary and art photography focusing on social, anthropological and humanitarian issues, while working mostly on assignments for international NGOs.
Gabriele’s work in Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo,Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola, India, Argentina, Venezuela and the Occupied Palestinian Territories has been recognized, published and exhibited both nationally and internationally.
In 2011, he received the prestigious Author of the Year FVG – FIAF award in Italy.
After traveling worldwide, Gabriele began a personal project inspired by argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges’ poems in the Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since, he has been documenting monumental cemeteries around the world.
Gabriele is available for commissions and assignments worldwide.

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Gabriele Orlini

Farhad Rahman – Song of a Coast

Farhad Rahman

Song of a Coast

The sea changes by time. Land lost with reaming past. New story created with a new settlement. Time changes people’s lives beside the sea. Mood of coast, swinging randomly, changing its landscape.

Born in a small country like Bangladesh, with 580km of Coastal area beside the Bay of Bengal, it is always fascinating to me. The total coastal area consists of forest, beaches ,mountains and small islands which is still not come in front of people visually. My initial plan was to document the whole coast area from South-West to South-East. After making some random visits in different coastal areas I came to a place called “Kuakata” which is a bit of a touristic area situated in Potuakhali district.



I found the world I was looking for. The real life of the people by the sea. Most of them live of fishing, cultivating, farming, and their lives are strongly influenced by the extreme sea’s changes.
In recent years due to the global warming, the erosion of the Costal Lands has started and the sea has already took many forests and human structures built by the sea.

For me this was the right place to start my story about the coastal area of Bangladesh and I started documenting it. This body of work will be consider as the first chapter of the Bangladeshi Costal Area, with portraits of both Nature and People.
The project is ongoing.




Md Farhad Rahman is often preferred to be introduced as the student of “Life Around Us”. As a Bangladeshi he born in 1986, after finishing his 3 years professional course in photography from Pathshala, South Asian Media Institute he started to work as a freelance documentary photographer. Currently he is based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is mostly an observer of life and space around him. Particularly his photographs project the relation between life and space as it is in home and abroad: a positive portrait of rural to urban life, space and the nature within his reach. He developed a love for photography while he was a teenager carrying film-based camera and transited to the new generation professional camera technologies. A longtime darkroom guy is most interested in the digital darkroom now.

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Farhad Rahman

Screen Lab




October 13-17, 2015
 EXTENDED deadline: September 30th
November 10-14, 2015
FINAL deadline: October 15th

Screen Production Lab is a training and mentorship program that focuses on production and distribution of visual documentaries across media platforms.

We are building a global talent network of visual storytellers around our core team. As we are aiming to produce and distribute the best visual narratives, we decided that putting ourselves on the road twice a year and producing labs in different cities around the globe was the most effective way to achieve our goal.
We are starting with London and New York where our long-term partners are based. In the following year we aim to produce another 2 labs in different continents.
The Lab program consists of two 5-day face-to-face sessions with a group of production experts, three months apart. Between the labs we offer one-to-one project mentoring. The 1st session is focused on production issues, while the 2nd session is centered on distribution and culminates with a pitching panel in front of experts from film, broadcasting, publishing and art backgrounds. The Lab is designed to meet production, financing and distribution needs of participants’ stories. A program of public events in conjunction with our partners will be scheduled during the Labs.


We will select up to 20 participants – professional visual storytellers with a story in development or production stage, who are searching for ways to develop it creatively, financially or are looking for distribution channels.


The lab is led by award-winning stills and film editors, curators, interactive producers, distributors and programmers.


For further information:


Jorge, the son of a military commander, spends a Sunday afternoon at his aunt's house.

© Dominic Bracco II



Christian Werner – 74

Christian Werner


The Yezidi religion is one of the oldest. Since its founding years 74 genocides committed against them. The youngest and most systematic done by the IS terrorist militia. The Yazidis are more persecuted than other religious communities, because they are regarded as devil worshipers. This is because they believe in Tausi Melek, a fallen angel in the form of a peacock. Since the invasion of the IS terrorist militia in Iraq, hundreds of thousands Yazidis were uprooted and are on the run. Thousands of men and boys were shot and beheaded women abducted and sold at auction as sex slaves. In adverse circumstances they have erected makeshift shelters, where they found just enough room. Only a few have made it into the camps set up by NGOs. Most live in the reinforced concrete skeletons of unfinished houses, improvised in tents made of tarpaulins and branches or on the road.
They had no chance to prepare for the flight, nor to pack the essentials. Winter has come to Kurdistan and saps the forces of refugees who have no winter clothes or blankets to protect themselves against it. Until the beginning of the year 10,000 Yazidis were encircled in the Sinjar Mountains of the IS militia. Over 4 months, they fought with little food, little ammunition and weapons to survive until the Kurdish Peshmerga free fought a land corridor. With the story, I wish to draw attention to the situation of the Yazidis, who are the main victims of this conflict. Here I want to show a broad spectrum. The current life situation, the despair of the encircled, the struggle for survival, the war with all its horrors, the religion, the destruction of religion, individual fates and their background.




Christian Werner is a freelance multimedia/photojournalist based in Boitzum, Germany. As a teenager he developed his interest in photography while traveling to foreign countries.
In 2014 he graduated the photojournalism & documentary photography course at the University of Applied Sciences in Hannover. His main interests are social diversity and global political issues. The areas of interest is mainly the arabic world and culture.
Chris worked in various countries in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and South America.
His work has been exhibited internationally. He welcomes assignments local and overseas.
Since 2012 Christian is represented by agency Laif.

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Christian Werner

Jeff Hladun – The Father of Selfies


Michael Snow takes a selfie with Jeff Hladun’s phone.


Jeff Hladun

The Father of Selfies

Recently in downtown Toronto I bumped into Michael Snow, considered to be Canada’s best known Avant-garde artist of the late 20th century.

Introductions were made, and we discussed a work of his I’d seen in the mid-eighties at the Art Gallery of Ontario. It was “Venetian Blind” done in 1970 using a Polaroid. I asked Snow if he thought the series could be considered the first example of the selfie, with its use of the camera hand-held at arms-length. He was taken with the question and surprised that he had never thought about the work that way. He had come up with the concept on his own; he hadn’t seen anything similar prior. He concluded it could be considered the first of its kind.

To call Michael Snow the creator or inventor of the selfie portrait may be unfair and inaccurate. After all, somewhere in a shoebox could be a Polaroid taken before 1970 of someone aiming the camera back at themselves with arms outstretched. Nevertheless, forty-five years ago Snow was the first to photograph, edit and publish the idea. That makes him first out of the gate; the originator and conceptualizer of the genre.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation documented Michael Snow’s time in Venice, where he was the Canadian entrant for the 1970 Venice Biennale, while simultaneously working on the “Venetian Blind” series. Footage in the latter half of the documentary shows Snow at work on the concept; revealing a glimpse into his thinking behind it. Making what may be the very first selfies, ever.

Toward the end of the conversation I asked Mr. Snow if he’d take a selfie with my camera. He did so gladly; it’s something the way great artists make themselves available to situations. This image can be looked upon as a selfie of the Father of the Selfie, moments after realizing he was the father of the selfie. Still processing the idea that forty-five years ago he had inadvertently pioneered the most popular photographic genre of all time.

(“Venetian Blind” is currently in the collection of the Canada Council Art Bank.)

Jeff Hladun
Caledon, Ontario



Jeff Hladun, born in 1957, is a passionate, amateur street photographer wisely taught to constantly set challenges for his work. He has found labouring on today’s problem in a state of constant failure allows for the successful completion of yesterday’s quandary, and use this problem-solving technique as a means to climb the ladder of creative self-expression while remaining permanently in a productive state of rolling aesthetic dissatisfaction.
Hladun lives in Caledon, Ontario.


Related Links

Jeff Hladun’s Flickr

A Glimpse of Burn Diary

A Glimpse of Burn Diary


BurnDiary is about to have featured 100 photographers in more than two years.

Personal stories, details, places, landscapes… all through the eyes of the photographers during their daily life that week.

We have chosen photographers from every continent asking not to show their work but to share their days and moments, using BurnDiary as a personal diary.

So many images and visions that now we are glad to show every now and then as glimpsed author by author.

Diego Orlando



Ekin Kucuk

During my Instagram takeover I tried to show Instanbul, my city.

I love traveling between Asia and Europe with the ferry almost everyday and take pictures from the routes of my daily life.


Ekin Kucuk’s Website



Simone De Peak

The week of my Burn Diary take over, was a representation of my daily life and surrounds here in my hometown Newcastle, Australia. Working as a press photographer, I find even in my everyday life myself naturally observing family, friends and strangers in their environment while waiting for a moment to appear to capture. Sometimes that moment is caught on a camera, and other times I’ll just soak that moment up for a memory that hopefully stays with me.
It was great experience to take a closer look at my hometown and share the daily slices of life I love about it with Burn Diary..




Tom Hyde

During my takeover week @burndiary I transitioned from black and white observations around our little farm in the rainforest of western Washington State into the first sketches of a new personal project exploring climate change, initially set in the semi-arid Okanogan region of north central Washington State, with a few diary entries of serendipity in between.

The haze of debate surrounding the reality of climate change is beginning to clear but do we have the will to mitigated its advance and impacts?
In my mind, this is THE issue facing the planet and humanity. With a background in environmental policy and journalism, I am working to bring my own personal perspective to the issue.


Tom Hyde’s Website



Ekin Kucuk:
Kucuk was born in Adana, Turkey and currently lives in Istanbul. Photography has always been part of her life as she has a few photographers in the family. Travel is essential part of Kucuk, both physically and mentally. It is “my diary, a way for me to document my journey.”

Tom Hyde:
With a background in journalism and environmental policy, Thomas Hyde is a photographer based in the Pacific Northwest.
His photos have appeared in Le Monde, The Sun, National Parks, and Burn Magazine. His conservation efforts helped to create one of the world’s largest marine protected areas, for which he was personally recognized by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and NOAA Administrator James Baker. Hyde is currently working on personal projects involving climate change.

Simone De Peak:
De Peak is an award winning Australian Photojournalist, specialising in editorial, documentary, portraiture and magazine work. Never one to venture anywhere without a camera, in her spare time she documents the everyday life of people in their surroundings of her hometown Newcastle, Australia.
An avid collector, she is currently working towards a book from her decluttering project where everyday for an entire year she took a photo of one her many beloved kitsch items from her collection in whatever surroundings she was in on that day before parting ways with it.


Follow Burn Diary on Instagram: @burndiary

Tamara Dean – The Edge

Tamara Dean

The Edge

Tamara Dean’s practice extends across photography, installation and participatory works exploring the relationship between humans and the natural world and the role ritual plays in our lives. Natural cycles within time and space, life and death, nature and spirituality contribute to her way of investigating and engaging with the world around her.
The action of ‘going to’ and experiencing the location and subsequent ritual is as important as the photographic representation at the end. As put so succinctly by Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1884 “Art is the path of the creator to his work.”
‘The Edge’ engages with the informal rites of passage and rituals which young people create for themselves in nature. The primal urge to create rites of passage in a culture where there are very few formal transitionary markers. The initiations, the pushing of physical, spiritual and emotional limits in order to discover one’s sense of self. Jumping into the abyss and confronting fears, seeking a spiritual, transitional experience.



Tamara Dean is an Australian artist whose practice explores the relationship between humans and nature.
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.
Her works have featured in the 2013 ‘Aspettando FotoLeggendo Festival’, Italy; 2012 ‘Fotofever Brussels Art Fair ‘ and 2012 ‘Pingyao Photography Festival’, China.
Solo shows include ‘The Edge, 2014, Only Human, 2012, ‘This too Shall Pass’, 2010, ‘Ritualism and Divine Rites’ 2009.
Dean’s work is held in a number of public and private collections including: ‘Francis J. Greenburger Collection’, New York; ‘The Mordant Family Collection’, Australia; ‘Artbank’, Australia, the ‘Balnaves Collection’, Australia.
Dean’s editorial work is represented by ‘Agence Vu’. Dean was a member of the Oculi photographic collective from 2001-2011.
Dean is represented by Jayne H Baum Gallery NYC, Olsen Irwin Gallery, Sydney.

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Tamara Dean

Tasneem Alsultan – Protectors of the Mosque

Tasneem Alsultan

Protectors of the Mosque

I am a Saudi woman. Constantly being asked the same questions as: “How is it in Saudi?” “Is it true that you are slaves to men?” “But you can’t drive?” “How are you surviving in such a country?”.
Alongside many of the Saudi women, we’ve become desensitized. We repeat the same answers again and again. Always explaining that we understand that it appears to be an enigma to outsiders, we have no choice but to see it as the norm. But as the recent chaos surrounds us in the neighboring countries in the Middle East, we Saudis appreciate one thing more than ever…our safety. So as Saudis, we all become sensitive to any outsiders jab, however fair or unfair it seems.

As Saudi Arabians, we view ISIS only through television screens. Far from the reality we live in. Perhaps they live among us, created by our mindsets if not anything else, but it’s a truth we have decided to ignore as it’s very distant in space. Only a couple of months ago, ISIS members began making threats in Saudi. The first victims were 21 killed in a Shia village on a Friday noon prayer, end of May. Nothing compared to Syria or Iraq, but still the shock was great. A point to mention, that the Saudi Shia sect had been identified as Muslim, only recently during the days of King Abdullah. The nation faced its first of its kind of internal terrorist attack.

A couple of weeks later, another threat by ISIS was made to a mosque in Dammam. This too was a Shia mosque. As the previous one had been unprepared for, all the Shia mosques had asked the women to not attend the Friday prayers until further notice. What makes the scene different than any other, is that a young 25 year old Jaleel, decided to initiate and volunteer to search the prayers entering the mosque. His older brother Mohammed, younger cousin, and close friend joined him too. The four had a busy social life that included sports, video-games, and extensive traveling. No signs of a livelihood based on depression. On the contrary, Jaleel’s mother explained how her youngest son just completed his undergraduate study from the U.S. and had just gotten engaged a couple of weeks ago to a young Saudi girl that lived close by. Jaleel and his fiancee were preparing for the wedding. His older brother held several jobs that usually included volunteering for the neighborhood mosque, teaching the children Qur’an. He had 2 young sons, that he would take them to accompany him to the mosque.



Jaleel, sat playing video-games across the television screen, whilst his three brothers, sister and parents sat next to him. “Mashallah, your hands are so big Jaleel!” His sister commented. “My big hands help me catch any ball thrown at me” he told her. The next day, on a Friday morning, Jaleel and his older brother embrace their mother and ask her to pray for them, as they understand that they may not return home. The video camera at the mosque tapes a selfie taken by Jaleel and his cousin seconds before they attack the ISIS self bomber. The 4 men run towards him, with Jaleel ripping the explosive off. His big hands save more than 600 men praying in the mosque.

“I miss him more than anything. I love all my children, but I miss his humor the most. Always joking, and hugging me. He calls me everyday from the U.S. for hours. Do you know how many times he would tell me that life is great? And that he wants to make me proud…” She pauses. Jaleel’s mother, Um Tahir, sat with me for a few hours the first day I had set to meet her after viewing a YouTube video of her holding the remaining body parts of her two sons. She kept repeating: “How proud can a mother be to have not one, but two brave men?” I sat that night with my Saudi friends and we all discussed how it was unusual for any mother in Saudi to handle her sons death so positively. Naturally, we expected threats full of anger. Either way, not a calm and positive appearance in the media.

She introduced me to her two grandsons, who have been wearing their fathers cap and badge, along with whatever clothing they could find his scent in. “I don’t believe the terrorists were Sunni. They’re not muslims. They can’t be. It’s a plan you know. First they’ll attack a few Shia mosques and tomorrow they will attack Sunni mosques to spark hate between us. You wait and see” She took me to Jaleel’s bedroom, and then told me “I don’t feel sad…On the contrary, if my boys didn’t volunteer, imagine how many mothers would be weeping now?” I was in tears. I silently brushed my own, and attempted to divert the attention from my self. “I want their death to raise awareness to all the young youth. We have to unite. There was a time in Saudi when there was no Sunni and Shia resentment. But it’s easier to divide and conquer.”

The next day, was a Friday. As the men went to the mosques, I followed them later with Um Tahir and her family to the cemetery.



The bare land had only four graves standing. Immediately I could tell it was a Shiaa graveyard. With the green and black flags decorating the site, and with the women sitting alongside their relatives all reading Qur’an. The emotional view in front of me was unusual to say the least. Sunni women in Saudi are not allowed to visit any graves. Sunni religious clerics explained that it would create an emotional disastrous scene and women in Islam are not allowed to weep. Yet the Shiaa women were encouraged by their religious clerics to vent as much as they needed. “See? Because of their death, we now have a cemetery. No need to bury my sons 2 hours away from me. I have high hopes that we can now have official schools and mosques that are built by the government for the Shiaa community in Saudi” she excitedly shared with me, sitting near her sons grave.

That week, a celebration for the family of the four martyrs was held by 200 women in the Eastern Province. It was led by a group of women who have been holding summer camps for the last 10 years mostly for the young Shiaa teenagers. As expected, it was all female. The 4 men were now titled: “The protectors of the mosque” and each mother presented a speech as she was awarded as a mother of a hero. Um Tahir told the 200 guests: “I’m a mother no more than most of you here. Yet, I had one goal when raising my family. If we love everyone around us, as much as we love ourselves, then the world will become a better place” It was the look of admiration that filled the ballroom, as each woman stood to embrace Um Tahir one after the other. There are many images that I can’t share as some of the women were either showing their hair or face, when they wouldn’t otherwise. But towards the end of the event, Um Tahir concludes by telling me: “I have allowed you in my life and shared my story with you, in hopes of you sharing with the world that this is a normal Saudi family” knowing by sharing her story, that all of us understand that she is far from the norm.




Graduating with a BA and MA in Linguistics and English Literature, Tasneem decided to have her MA thesis specific as an ethnographic study on Saudi women abroad. After teaching english at Portland State University, University College of Bahrain, and later in University of Dammam, Tasneem decided to venture into Photography. Initially shooting weddings in the Arab Gulf region, she later shot many more destination weddings abroad in Europe, Asia and south America. Whilst shooting over 120 weddings, Tasneem made sure to document real emotions. The stories of culture, traditions and of course how they met. Always connecting the similarities across regions and boarders. After shooting weddings for five years, she now uses her story telling experience to document topics she’s always been interested in: women, traditions and culture. Hoping to shed light to many voices that have been subjected by the “others”.

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Tasneem Alsultan

Sipho Mpongo – Born Free

Sipho Mpongo

Born Free

The ‘Born Frees’ make up about 40 percent of the population, and the critics among older South Africans contend that they are apathetic and apolitical, unaware of the history of the struggle that made their lives better. Will they allow themselves to be defined by the scars of apartheid, or will they embrace freedom, choice and opportunity? Taking responsibility for being exactly where you are gives you the power to be exactly where you want to be. They are the future. I will focus on the future.

The ideologies of freedom in South Africa vary in almost every corner, baring in mind that South Africa is diverse country.  How then can we expect the new generation of young people in South Africa to be defined by a political term ‘Born Free’ which also suggests that before the first Democratic Election in South Africa, the young people then were not regarded as free.  What is it with the youth of 1994 that is free? Is the term referring to the black children that were born after their parents burnt dom-passes and voted for the first time in their country or does it refer to white children who could finally have a black friend without the segregation rules? Or does it mean both, if so then I think it’s fundamental that we should look at the post Apartheid system and how it has affected the lives of young people in South Africa with different backgrounds. The environment I grew up and the problems I had to face as a young person in South Africa fail to describe me as free.  I became very conscious of where I belong in this country and what I could offer to other people I  meet especially young people. I wanted to find out their definition of freedom through examining their social dynamics and their interaction with me as a stranger in their space who share the same confusion of what it means to be a born free in South Africa. My process throughout the whole journey was learning and teaching. The confusion began at calling every youth born in 1994 as free. We can all agree that the majority of white children were long free compared to the majority of black children in South Africa before the first Democratic Elections in 1994.

I allowed myself not to only look at other born frees the same way I look at myself but I was more interested in our life experiences, environmental backgrounds family problems and statuses. Most importantly what we make out of ourselves.  Through long dialogues and playing, laughing and crying a moment shared is the moment I captured through writing and photography.


Sipho Mpongo was born in the Eastern Cape in a rural village called Nqamakwe in 1993 and was raised in Langa, Cape Town. Illiso Labantu, a local photographic mentorship programme, provided the platform for Mpongo to launch into a photographic career. Sipho has recently completed a full time course in study at the Cape Town School of Photography whilst simultaneously contributing to various photographic group shows and projects in Cape Town and internationally. Most notably Mpongo recently had fundraising exhibition at Pace/McGill Gallery in New York to help children in South Africa. Mpongo recently won a prestigious  Magnum Foundation Photography and Human Right Fellowship Award at the New York University.

Related Links

Twenty Journey

Anthony Smallwood – Coping Mechanism

Coping Mechanism from Run Riot on Vimeo.   WATCH THIS!

Coping Mechanism

Anthony Smallwood 

Full disclosure: David Alan Harvey is a great mentor and dear friend and the fact that we’ve almost been arrested/killed together at various times in our travels means we’re pretty close. So, admittedly, my track to the pages of Burn was an inside one.

That being said, I hope his call is a good one and you, the Burn viewer, will enjoy this look at our obscure little subculture of skateboarding in empty swimming pools around Washington D.C.



The roots of our crew go back to the late 1990’s when a group of DC residents with surfing backgrounds  and I started to bomb hills on longboards in DC and particularly, Adams Morgan, trying to keep the flow alive while stuck inland.
Shortly after, we discovered a downhill racing pro tour in California, called EDI or ‘Extreme Downhill International’ and immediately started to fly out West for competitions. At the time, most riders belonged to, or were aligned with, some sort of team, usually based around a skateboard manufacture.

So we decided we needed a team name as well, and thus was born ‘The District of Columbia Downhill Club’ or ‘DCDC’ for short.
The DCDC was a combination of the Waikiki Outrigger Surf Club of the 1920’s and the Jamaican Bobsled team of 1980’s Olympic fame, since the Jamaicans have no snow, we have no (serious) hills. But still, like that inspiring team of misfits, we would show up and charge just because we loved it. And the Waikiki vibe came from just having fun while competing and enjoying the company of your friends. Nothing to take seriously at all.

After a few years on tour and competing in places like Europe, Canada and South Africa, the team pretty much disbanded as a competitive entity.

I continued to skate hills for fun, but my time was soon grabbed by an underground skate spot in DC called ‘Fight Club’ where I documented the scene for five years (more on that later).

While I was away from the downhill scene, it had grown immensely and I’d heard some younger guys in the DC area were charging and flying the DCDC flag. So one day I decided to hit a local downhill jam and try and catch myself up, shoot a few photos. It turned out to be a hill packed with 75 skaters, all between 10-23 years old and most not doing anything substantially exciting, besides getting dropped off by their moms.

Then all of a sudden a guy came screaming downhill in a tight, mean tuck and at full speed, threw down a 100 foot layback slide. Just a gnarly, aggressive approach.

We started talking and found out we’re both DCDC and he asks, “do you skate pools? My girlfriends dad has a pool he’s destroying and said we could empty it and skate it”. So we decided at that moment to leave the race and go visit the pool. It was filled with muck and plants and four feet of soil and it was a very hard pool to clean, but we knew it had to be done.
Shortly after, a contact told us of a pool at a house slated for demolition, located in a very exclusive Washington neighborhood.

It was such a beautiful pool, but totally on private property and on a street rife with active neighbors.
The plan was set forth. We would charge it at 9am, try and get all the water out within two to three hours, then maybe skate for twenty to thirty minutes before the neighbors called the cops. Totally worth it. Turns out the neighbors loved it and came by daily to watch and even brought us food and drinks. We called it ‘Patawomeck Pool’ after the Indian word for Potomac.
Two pools, two months.



We were now infected with the pool bug and soon turned to the internet for remedies, utilizing maps from space, real estate ads and foreclosure sales to ease the symptoms. Now the DCDC is also known as ‘District of Columbia Drain & Clean’.

The approaches are to knock on homeowner’s doors and ask permission, or, in the case of vacants, totally barge. When barging vacants, the houses are generally unkempt, with fallen mailboxes, uncut grass, old newspapers, collapsing fence etc. We then knock on the doors of the neighboring houses and let them know who we are and our reasons for being there. Explaining our motives honestly and giving the property a shiny makeover makes neighbors happy and less likely to notify any sort of authority. It makes their place look better.

The best scenario, by far, is the backyard permission pool. That’s when a homeowner allows people on their property to skate their pool, many times for years and years. This gives the skaters many visits and attempts to conquer their moves.
Pool skating goes back to the early 1960’s and there is a great photo from the era of surf icon Herbie Fletcher riding up the walls of a pool, replete with team jacket and bare feet. Years later, the advent of urethane wheels, coupled with a major west coast drought led to the creation of modern pool skating as we know it, best exploited by the legendary skaters from Dogtown, a rough, run down area encompassing Venice and Santa Monica, California.

The sheer abundance of pools and the climate keeps many West Coast pools dry and available, so guys will barge a pool, get chased away, roll down the block, skate another pool, get chased again, and do it all over the next day, without ever going back to the same pool.

For us, however, we have a limited amount of pools and none are ever empty, with most having a full 8-10 feet of muck and slime.
So it’s best to find a friendly port and anchor for a bit, try and see if we can stay awhile. That’s why we love a good permission pool.
The racial component to our actions can’t be overlooked. Most of the neighborhoods we scour are predominantly black and our crew is predominantly white, but we believe differences are easily overcome with thoughtful, straightforward dialogue. And growing up in a city with a very large black population, I’ve learned that they appreciate white guys that aren’t afraid of a simple human interaction – guys with gumption, that aren’t afraid to knock on a door. The crazy request to skate a pool can actually lead to great friendships.

To us, those that allow pure strangers on to their property to skate their pools—an act altogether reckless, dangerous and destructive—are some of the coolest, most open-minded people you’ll meet.
This project is dedicated to them.



How this book came about

As I stated earlier, David Alan Harvey is a great friend and a huge inspiration. We’ve worked together in NY, Mexico, Italy, Canada and Brazil and one year I threw him a show at Fight Club for FotoweekDC.

Fight Club was a notorious skateboard slum started by myself and skater/artist Ben Ashworth and located in a run down, abandoned warehouse that was a once a crack and prostitution complex. Ben and I both hated the name but the space looked so much like Brad Pitt’s house and fighting pit from the movie that it was the first thing people said when they walked into the place. Over it’s five year existence it hosted many sessions, contests, concerts and art shows. A skate contest with boxing theme–complete with rope, bell and roller-derby ring girls one night–David Alan Harvey or Steve Olson art show then next.

I documented the action at Fight Club for it’s five year run and accumulated fifteen thousand images and sixty hours of mini DV footage and had intended from the start to make a photography book and documentary film, knowing that something pretty special was going down.

One day I started to discuss the Fight Club book with David and he suggested we hold off on publishing it for a while. Turns out he’d been following along with our pool exploits on Instagram and decided that material was better suited for immediate release. Fight Club had been defunct for a few years at that point. We could do that project anytime.

Well, I started to panic a bit—I believed in the FC work as a project because that was my focus at that time—but I never really shot the pool stuff with any intention of creating a book—or even creating great pictures—it was always quick snaps at these pools because hey, there’s muddy work or skating to do–but how could I say no??

That means it’s a bizarre combination of landscape and still life photography, alongside art, action photography and photojournalism. It’s all over the place.

It’s probably not up to the standards of what’s considered professional skateboard photography—my deeper influence would be photojournalism–but I hope the uniqueness of the locations and the passion of the participants carries over to a satisfying experience for the viewer.

Anthony Smallwood

author:  COPING MECHANISM    …coming soon!   BurnBooks

Pablo Piovano – The Human Cost of Agrotoxins

Pablo Piovano

The Human Cost of Agrotoxins


The first survey of areas affected by glyphosate spraying in Argentina revealed that 13.4 million people — one third of the country’s population — are affected.

In 2012, 370 million liters (98 US million gallons) of agrotoxins were used over 21 million hectares, which represents 60 percent of the country’s cultivated land area. This meant that in a decade, cancer cases in children increased threefold and malformations in newborn babies went up 400 percent. So far, in spite of the weight of the formal complaints, there has not been any official systematized information.

The turning point occurred in 1996, when the Government approved the commercialization of transgenic soybeans and the use of the herbicide glyphosate. From then on, the arable lands of the country became an experimental field where dozens of scientific studies and medical surveys speak of the sanitary disaster.

Argentina approved the GMO (genetically modified organism) without conducting their own studies, taking as scientific evidence only the works published by the Monsanto Company. The transgenic soybean cultivation was authorized in only three months through an administrative procedure.



This work has been driven by my love and tribute to Mother Nature. A critical view of bad use of knowledge and technology that over time drags the “civilization” into losing memory on our ancient sacred relationship with nature.

Important media enterprises have perversely hidden the outrageous numbers of affected population, and became accomplices of those directly responsible like Monsanto, politicians, important landowners and seed pools.

That is why I decided to work to take evidence on this situation, spending long days by my own, travelling over 6000km on my own 20 years old car, and my camera as my contribution to stop this to continue.




Pablo Piovano was born in Buenos Aires on September 7, 1981. He has been a staff photographer for the Pagina/12 newspaper in Argentina since he was 18 years old.
In 2005 and 2014, he received scholarships from the Garcia Marquez Foundation.
During 2001, he documented the tragic events occurred during the social and political crisis in Argentina, and in 2002, he published the book Episodios Argentinos, Diciembre y Despues.
From 2004 to 2008, he coordinated a photography workshop for children and teenagers at risk at Isla Maciel neighborhood in the City of Buenos Aires.
Since 2006 until the present, Piovano has exhibited every year at the Palais de Glace at the ARGRA (Photojournalists Association of Argentina) Annual Exhibition.
In 2014, he presented an individual exhibition, “Portraits 2004-2014″ at the Documentary Photography Biennale of Tucuman, featuring portraits of many influential figures in the country’s politics and culture.

Related links

Paolo Piovano

Raffaele Petralla – Mari People, a Pagan Beauty

Raffaele Petralla

Mari People, a Pagan Beauty


There is a population with Finnish ancestors living in a rural area near Joshkar-ola, in the Republic of Mari-El, Russia. They are called Mari, speak a language belonging to the Ugro-Finnic and use a modified version of the Cyrillic alphabet. They settled in this area around the fifth century a.C. The current population is about 600,000 people.
The Mari are the last pagan population of the West. They live in symbiotic relationship with nature, which is celebrated as the basis of their existence. Nature exerts a magical religiosity on people. It is the mother who protects man, beneficial as long as he does not try to destroy it. The cyclical nature of the land merges with the ancient pagan practices. The faith of the Mari worships the gods of the four natural elements.



In the sixteenth century, Christianity was imposed on them by Ivan the Terrible and their territory was annexed to the Russian Empire. However, the religious subjugation was never fully accepted, they in fact retain their beliefs in a significant amount of pre-Christian elements. In the twentieth century, with the rise of the Soviet Union, it was officially forbidden to celebrate rituals and sacrifices. During the Cold War many prominent personalities of the Red Army, fascinated by their magical power, turned in secret to the Mari spiritual guidance looking for answers on the possible outcomes of their military strategies. In the 90’s the economy of the Mari, which was based on agriculture and livestock, entered a crisis with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Poverty and unemployment led young people to migrate to the big cities in search of a stable future, abandoning their villages and their ancient traditions.
In this journey back to the origins of man, in search of languages and cultures not yet disappeared, i came across this peasant ethic not yet affected by time. Among dances and forests, a pagan beauty emerges from this forgotten people.




Raffaele Petralla (33) is a documentary photographer. He graduated from the School of Roman Photograph with a three-year master in 2007. His research focuses on environmental issues and socio-anthropological. Winner of awards and honorable mentions of international level. His works have been exhibited in several important European galleries and published in many magazines.

Related links

Raffaele Petralla

Panos Skoulidas – Death In Venice

Panos Skoulidas

Death in Venice

[ The Book ]



“I love the smell of urine in the morning, it reminds me of North Venice beach. The first place in America where a woman could wear a bathing suit in public, a man could go without a hat, where a person could pee in public without being arrested. The place where Kerouac, Burrows and John Wilber spoke while Charlie Parker played saxophone, where Morrison and Krieger pondered the doorway to the other side, where Charlie Chaplin built a ginger bread court for his mother, and W.C. Fields one for himself. Where you could get alcohol during prohibition, heroin during the fifties and sixties, crack in the eighties, and Meth in the new millennium. Where art meets crime. Where Arnold made pumping iron into Gold. Where you can see a man balance a stove on his chin while juggling chain saws. Break-dancing, roller-skating, and of course skate boarding. The slum by the sea, Dog Town.”

– Robin G. Brown



“Panos did not go to Venice Beach to take pictures. He was already there. There was no escape. Locked down. Stuck. California dreaming.

Click click.

Narcissistic, sarcastic, irreverent, hedonistic, decadent, satiric, ironic, paranoid, and flat out soulful, Panos is at the center of his own photographs. This is a good sign, for he lives inside his own work. Bring the boy another beer.

Death in Venice is a collection, a kaleidoscope, a myriad of mirrors, a massive mind spinning vortex. Get a grip on it. Or not. He doesn’t care.

Click click.”

– David Alan Harvey / Magnum Photos



“Death in Venice” by Panos Skoulidas
published by BurnBooks on May, 2015
edition of 1000 copies
dimensions: 28cm x 43.2cm, 68 pages


Order “Death in Venice” here

Panos Skoulidas - Death in Venice (book cover)

Panos Skoulidas – Death in Venice (book cover)



Homer, Nietzsche, Zorba, Hunter, Theodoros, Harvey, Frida…. where do I start? EASY, David Alan Harvey, my mentor, brother, family 

BTW this book is dedicated to Scotty (vet) and all of the vampires and souls  that create the Venice vortex.

To all Pirates, you know who you are! Thanks for the couches, floors, Bong hits, love, etc..

Each of you are a part of every picture. Carry it with you, as I will forever!



Vissaria~ You are the future!!!! Maria~ Strong as a bird, Mom & Dad biggest hug, Kim my awesome wife, and Meredith, my super supportive mother in law… (thank u ALL for endless support……) LOLA~ Not last by any means. My Ghandi, my Buddha, my  meditation, my companion. BURN MAGAZINE CREW~ Anton (THANK YOU FOR OUT OF THIS WORLD DESIGN), Diego YOU DA MAN,  Haik……no words… RYAN! Oh Ryan what would I be without you? and FRANCESCA Gennari the killer associate producer…

PEACE TO ALL!!!!!!! ENJOY!!!!!!!

– Panos


BurnBooks announces the release of “Tell It Like It Is” by David Alan Harvey


David Alan Harvey

Tell It Like It Is

[ Published by BurnBooks ]


I went a little bit crazy publishing this book. Just like I did the first time. In 1967, Bryan was six months old and I was spending the last $400 of the family money to go buy film. This time around isn’t any different. I am all in on the publication of Tell It Like It Is.

I say this proudly, yet not boastfully.

My pride is based on giving a percentage of profits to the Liggins family and to set up a scholarship for a minority photographer.

We take the self-publishing idea very seriously around here. I spare no expense in the manufacturing of my work. I just want it right. This makes my books a little more expensive, yet if you look closely you will clearly see the value of a well thought out, well designed, well assembled photo book. We do our best to make each of our books a piece of art.

None of this is possible without my colleagues Anton Kusters and Diego Orlando on design and production; Kaya Lee Berne all around producer, darkroom assistant, and make me get shit done woman, Michael Courvoisier for scanning the original negatives, Michelle Madden Smith for creating our new BurnStore, and my son Bryan for making the book video (and Michelle for editing it) and my other son Erin for helping me find the Liggins family and doing video of the reunion. 



Tell It Like It Is is also a 25 print show, big 60”x40” silver gelatin prints at LOOK3, along with Haenyeo: Angels of the Sea (which is also a new book), along with NO FILTER, prints of some of my Brazil work. So I’ve got my hands full.

In short, we’ll be shipping as fast as we can, but cannot promise your package will go out until after June 15. 

But do come see me at LOOK3. It’s the best U.S. photo fest hang. Down home style. 

I put my heart into Tell It Like It Is in 1967, and I’ve put my heart into it now as well.

– david alan harvey




David Alan Harvey and assistant Kaya Lee Berne in his Outer Banks darkroom, printing silver-gelatin prints for the Collector’s Edition.
(Photo by Frank Overton Brown III)



Tell It Like It Is

by David Alan Harvey


Published by BurnBooks May 2015
Layout and Design: Anton Kusters and Diego Orlando
Image Color Correction: Paolo Lecca
Production: Michael Courvoisier, Kaya Lee Berne
Offset Printing by Grafiche Antiga, Treviso, Italy
15″ x 22.5″
Originally shot In 1967 when David Alan Harvey was just 23 and in graduate journalism school in Missouri. Tell It Like It Is was destined to be re-published. It is a photographic slice of another era, and a small piece of one family’s history in the U.S.