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.

Bio

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
DCDC

author:  COPING MECHANISM    …coming soon!   BurnBooks

James Whitlow Delano – The Little People: Equatorial Rainforest Project

James Whitlow Delano

The Little People: Equatorial Rainforest Project

In the Eden-like rainforests that once clothed the equator, multinational corporations are quietly stealing the resources of powerless, largely voiceless indigenous peoples whose names still identify the mountains, the valleys, and the rivers from where oil, timber, gold and other valuable minerals are spirited away. Imagine one morning walking into the New York’s Central Park only to be denied entry at the gates as oil derricks can be seen rising up from the flowerbeds. You protest, that this is a public park and it belongs to everyone, but a stranger stands in your way waving an official document. Perhaps it has been written in a language you don’t speak, and in an alphabet you cannot read. This park is not yours, explains the stranger. In fact it never was, because it has always belonged to the government who has now leased your land to this corporation you’ve never heard of, from a country you have never been. Finally, he gleefully informs you, should you try to enter these grounds, he will have you arrested, or worse.

This is exactly what has happened in Borneo, where indigenous Dayak peoples have found themselves unable to enter forests their ancestors have hunted in for a millennium or more because a bureaucrat in an office in a city far away has given over the title to their ancestral homeland to a politically-connected corporation.

Most of the lands along the equator are sparsely populated, meaning that they are out of sight and out of mind to most of the industrial world, where the bulk of the end-consumers of commodities live. If you take away Singapore, Quito, maybe Manaus and Kinshasa, what you are left with are very sparsely populated environments where the impoverished tropical soils are unsuited to feeding large populations. Most of the bio-mass is above ground, unlike in our temperate zone where the thick, nutrient-rich topsoil stores much of the bio-mass. Cut down a rainforest and the bio-mass is gone. The forest cannot grow back. On the equator, you have a hyper-sensitive tropical environment more akin, in some ways, to the arctic. Independent industrial oversight becomes difficult because access is expensive. It is awfully easy to lose someone in the jungle and many activists have been “lost” doing such work.

In 2012, rainforest activists were being killed at the rate of one a week in Brazil.

 

 

Since 1994, I have chronicled indigenous human rights violations and destruction of the equatorial rainforest in Borneo, and Peninsular Malaysia, first in the form of logging and then by creating vast monoculture oil palm plantations (often by subsidiaries of the same corporation), reducing the vast majority of the local population to cheap unskilled labor in the cash economy. These are the “little people”. They are little in number, often little in stature and little in the eyes of government. I am aware of a potential pejorative interpretation but just as the term once referred to the “inconsequential, great unwashed” masses, the indigenous peoples of the equatorial rainforest are often regarded by resource extractors as little more than an inconvenient hindrance standing between the corporation and the wealth in raw materials they seek.

The challenge in documenting such issues is to intimately connect the consumer in the north with the economic affect their consumption has on people living on the far side of the supply chain. If the reportage is to be successful, it must demonstrate the direct connection of the actions of more-prosperous end-consumers on one side of our planet with billions of others who either labor in poverty or become impoverished so that the end-consumers can live better, more fulfilling lives. I like to pose uncomfortable questions about the capitalist system as it is practiced today.

Recently, I’ve expanded this project into the Guinean and Congo Basin rainforests of Africa; and into the Amazon Basin, where indigenous peoples are under unprecedented pressure confronting the corporate giants of raw material extraction or even rising global powers like China. A pattern begins to emerge: well-funded outside entities reduce the most complex ecosystems on the planet to surface and subterranean commodity storehouses waiting to be exploited with the promise of huge potential profit.

Sometimes, however, the “little people” successfully defend their forests, as was the case for the Saamaka Maroon people, Africans who threw off the chains of slavery and carved out entirely African societies, in the Amazonian forests of Suriname, when they slipped away from Dutch Colonial plantations in the 17th and 18th centuries. Suriname signed a Memoranda of Understanding in December 2010 for US$ 6 billion with two Chinese companies for mega-infrastructure projects including the construction of a deep water port in the capital, Paramaribo and a railroad which would open up its pristine, trackless interior to exploitation directly through Saamaka land, connecting the capital with Manaus, Brazil, in the heart of the Amazon. The Surinamese parliament voted down this project due in no small part to the political power of the Saamaka since the The Inter-American Court of Human Rights declared them to be indigenous people under international law. For the Saamaka, there are still a wide array of multinational timber and mining interests from China, Canada and the United States coveting the natural resources on their land.

 

 

In Cameroon, US-owned Herakles Farms and its subsidiary, SG Sustainable Oils Cameroon (SGSOC) proposed carving out a massive oil palm plantation in Southwest Cameroon in one of the last unbroken masses of Guinean rainforest in West Africa. The plan called for the creation of a vast oil palm plantation (69,975 hectares/148,000 acres) on a 73,086 hectare (180,599 acres) concession (ten times the size of Manhattan) leased for 99 years on land linking two national parks, two forest reserves and one wildlife sanctuary. After years of effort by local activists like Christopher Achobang, in concert with Greenpeace, the size of the proposed concession has been reduced to roughly 20,000 hectares (49,421 acres) leased for 3 years, that could be transformed into a 99-year lease at a later date. The concession still covers an area more than twice the size of Manhattan. Less tropical forest means fewer leaves. Fewer leaves, which absorb carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas), means accelerated global warming and climate change. It all works in concert.

For all the uncertainty in Suriname and Cameroon, those two examples represent rare bright spots in a rather bleak roster of land and human rights violations along the equator. The Ecuadorian Amazonas region seemed to be shaping up as a 21st century role model for finding balance between commerce and conservation, while balancing the greater good versus respecting human rights and the environment when dealing with the consequences of drilling for oil.

In 2011, an Ecuadoran court fined Chevron US$ 19 billion in a lawsuit brought by residents who claimed greatly elevated rates of cancer from petroleum contamination by Texaco on their land. That victory was short-lived. In 2014, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan overturned the Ecuadoran court ruling by finding the Ecuadoran plaintiffs’ American attorney, Stephen Donziger, employed “corrupt means” to win his case against Chevron, who now owns of Texaco, for contaminating the environment and health-related issues to residents living in areas affected by Texaco’s operations there, starting in 1964. Kaplan’s decision means that Ecuadoran villagers cannot claim any of the money due them from the Ecuadoran court’s ruling. After two decades of court cases, it is back to square one for the Ecuadoran plaintiffs.

 

 

What is unusual, perhaps unique, about this region is that the pristine, untouched forests are actually downstream because the population centers of Ecuador sit high up in the Altiplano of the Andes. Texaco and others started at the foot of the Andes and made their way south and east building roads where squatters settled in behind them, pushing the indigenous people further into the forest, or drawing them out of the forest altogether into the lowest, most impoverished level of the cash-economy. Contaminants from all this activity are carried downstream into otherwise pristine habitats.

President Rafael Correa proposed the Yasuni-ITT Initiative in 2007, to forbid drilling for petroleum in this core area of Yasuni National Park, if and only if international donors raised US$3.6 billion, equal to half the value of the estimated oil reserves lying below. (Oil drilling is already taking place inside Yasuni National Park, which begs the question, what exactly is a national park for, if it does protect the environment under its jurisdiction from oil drilling?) The initiative failed spectacularly, raising only US$13 million in actual donations. The Yasuni-ITT Initiative, through which the Ishpingo, Tambococha, Tiputini Rivers run, which would have forbidden oil exploration in this protected bio-hotspot, was officially terminated on 15 August 2013. Although 78% – 90% of Ecuadorans oppose oil exploration in this extremely sensitive ecosystem, the government will now allow oil companies to enter it.

These local crises, taken together, constitute a full-blown global crisis. There is a clear pattern where, even if the indigenous inhabitants ultimately win a legal battle or two, they are losing large swathes of their ancestral homelands. Sometimes they lose all of it. I have yet to encounter a project in the equatorial rainforest that has met company proclamations of inflicting minimal harm on the environment.

 

 

Witnessing and documenting “sustainable selective” logging in Borneo immediately reveals the practice is neither selective nor sustainable. Petroleum exploration in the Amazon leaves behind crude oil to contaminate the water table entering the human food chain through drinking, cooking and washing. The Bakun Hydroelectric Dam in Malaysian Borneo, which displaced about 10,000 indigenous Dayak residents, and inundated an area the size of Singapore, was designed to deliver electricity to distant cities. Electricity is even exported to Indonesia and Brunei while completely bypassing local rural residents, carried by high tension wires passing directly over Iban Dayak longhouse communities who receive no electric power from them at all. River courses in Suriname’s interior are hydraulically blasted all the way down to the bedrock, spoilt with mercury, in the pursuit of small amounts of gold. In two decades of documenting on three continents, scars and poison have been the norm. This leaves almost nothing but hardship for future generations. Something’s got to give. Far from pushing aside the “little peoples” of the equatorial rain-forests, who have lived for centuries in balance with these fragile ecosystems, the industrial north should be seeking them out to learn from them. In part, our long-term survival may depend on their wisdom.

Bio

James Whitlow Delano has lived in Asia for over 20 years. His work has been awarded internationally: the Alfred Eisenstadt Award (from Columbia University and Life Magazine), Leica’s Oskar Barnack, Picture of the Year International, NPPA Best of Photojournalism, PDN and others for work from China, Japan, Afghanistan and Burma, etc. His first monograph book, Empire: Impressions from China was the first ever one-person show of photography at La Triennale di Milano Museum of Art. The Mercy Project / Inochi his charity photo book for hospice received the PX3 Gold Award and the Award of Excellence from Communication Arts. His work has appeared in magazines and photo festivals on five continents. His latest award-winning monograph book, Black Tsunami: Japan 2011 (FotoEvidence) explored the aftermath of Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear disaster. He’s a grantee for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, for work documenting the destruction of equatorial rainforests and human rights violations of indigenous inhabitants there. In 2015, Delano founded EverydayClimateChange Instagram feed, where photographers from 6 continents document global climate change on 7 continents.

Related Links

James Whitlow Delano

Matjaz Krivic – Tribe

Matjaz Krivic

Tribe

As far as new age social utopias go, it’s doesn’t get any more spectacular than the Rainbow Gathering. With members in the tens of thousands and a long spanning tradition in every imaginable alternative lifestyle, the Rainbow tribe certainly knows how to put together a happening. It began with the counter-culture “dropout” movement in the USA and a disappointed generation searching to start society from scratch by moving to remote rural areas, far from the reach of their corrupt industrial civilization (or Babylon as the Rastafarian fraction likes to refer to it). Temporary hippy villages started popping up all over the globe to accommodate the ever growing new age nomadic community, all the while maintaining an air of secrecy and mystique – locations and dates typically spread through word of mouth and are communicated in a romanticized tribal language of full moons, rivers and mountains.

 

 

Rainbow gatherings soon developed their own ethos, rituals and fashion – the “Sioux chief meets Himalayan sadhu” image being the most popular. Although outside observers tend to dismiss the attempted split from mainstream society as nothing more than a holiday camping trip for hippies, there certainly are lessons to be learned from the Rainbow warriors. For starters, it is admirable how thousands of people manage to cohabit together peacefully for extended periods of time in extremely difficult circumstances (no electricity, no running water, no shops) without leaders, policemen or even organizers. There is no hierarchic structure, food is commonly distributed and every group action is decided upon through a process of consensus making called a “talking circle”. Not bad for a bunch of freaks. Despite these achievements in radical democracy, social relationships tend to replicate those back in Babylon, the predominantly white middle class community maintaining a conservative view on gender roles and even bursting into proud nationalist mode every now and then. Threading through the Rainbow family’s confusing culture codes can prove even more difficult a task than overcoming the rocky pathways to their remote camping grounds, but those willing to make the effort can be sure to find one of the most picturesque and surreal human settlements on the face of the planet.

 

 

  Bio

Matjaz Krivic is a Slovenian globe-trotting photographer specialising in capturing the personality and grandeur of indigeneous people and places. For 22 years he has covered the face of the earth in his intense, personal and aesthetically moving style that has won him several prestigious awards.
 He has made the road his home, and most of the time you can find him traveling with his camera somewhere between Sahara and Himalaya.

He has portrayed poor parts of the world characterised by traditions, social unrest and religious devotion. His photographs sensitively reflect the images of the marginal word – the voices of the neglected. Because of the artist’s directness and respect for individuals,
the people photographed are spontaneous, natural and open.

Their «soul» is captured and the viewer is encouraged to observe and think.

Related Links

Matjaz Krivic

 

Sarker Protick – Love Me or Kill Me

Sarker Protick

Love Me or Kill Me

[ EPF 2015 FINALIST ]

The Bangladeshi film industry based in Dhaka, and so known as “Dhallywood” has been going since 1956. Dhallywood movies have fallen out of favor among the richer classes, who prefer foreign films. The growing influence of Bollywood (Hindi cinema) films in Bangladesh has also had an adverse impact on the local industry. Yet the Dhallywood industry produces around 100 movies a year, and does still enjoy the support of many ordinary moviegoers.

 

 

“Love Me or Kill Me” is the title of a Dhallywood film, one that expresses the extreme emotions that define the genre. Love and revenge are the core ingredients of our movies. The stories do not change much: boy meets girl, falls in love, bad guy takes girl away, and hero fights to get her back. There is always similar climax and a happy ending. People love it.

When I was growing up in Dhaka, there was no cable TV except the national channel. Bangla film was for us the height of entertainment. Slowly, other films and TV channels took over. We didn’t think Dhallywood movies were cool anymore; they no longer played a part in my life. In the process of making photographs of Dhaka city I visited a film studio in Bangladesh Film Development Corporation and was captivated by the colors, the light and the atmosphere. The events and details were odd, sometimes bizarre. The costumes are flashy, the sets and effects are cheap, and the colors are daring. There seems little contact with real life but I found it full of life.

This grant will help me to continue the work and get more in depth to the story in the coming years.

 

 

 Bio

Sarker Protick was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh. As a teenager he wanted to be a musician and songwriter, but discovered photography around the age of 24. After finishing his bachelor’s degree, he enrolled at Pathshala South Asian Media Institute to learn photography. Sarker’s photographs have been published in The New York Times, GEO Magazine, The New Yorker, National Geographic, The British Journal of Photography, The Zeit and Wired, among many others.

In 2014, he was named in British Journal Of Photography’s annual “Ones to Watch”. The same year, Sarker was selected for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass. In 2015, he went on to win a World Press Photo award for his story “What Remains” and selected for PDN’s 30.

Related links

Sarker Protick

Pablo Piovano – The Human Cost of Agrotoxins

Pablo Piovano

The Human Cost of Agrotoxins

[ EPF 2015 FINALIST ]

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.

 

 

 Bio

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

[ EPF 2015 FINALIST ]

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.

 

 

 Bio

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

Emanuele Occhipinti – The Flower of Kosmet

Emanuele Occhipinti

The Flower of Kosmet

[ EPF 2015 FINALIST ]

“Kosmet” is short for “Kosovo and Metohija”, a land which has been long disputed by the Serbian and Albanian Kosovans. After the war, unleashed by Slobodan Miloevic in 1999, the UN intervention allowed for a gradual return of the Albanians who in their turn enacted a ferocious revenge against the Serbs, despite the presence of peace-keeping forces. For over a decade, Albanians forced about 200,000 Serbs to flee Kosmet and seek refuge in safer areas.The Albanians also desecrated hundreds of graveyards and orthodox monasteries; a serious insult for the Serbs, who consider these lands to be sacred because of their historic religious significance.
Due to the ongoing violence and the lack of security, Serbs now represent less than 20% of the population of Kosmet. Most of them reside in the neighborhood of Mitrovica located to the north of the Ibar River. The opposite shore, accessible across a bridge which divides rather than unites, is inhabited by Albanians. Elsewhere in Kosmet, Serbs are confined to small enclaves; extremely poor villages on the outskirts of towns, or little hamlets perched on mountainsides, with no water or electricity,no clinics, no schools. Even their freedom of movement is limited: venturing outside their “ghettos” means exposing themselves to reprisals; in some areas, when night falls, even leaving one’s home is dangerous.

 

 

During my journey through Kosmet, I visited some of these enclaves, meeting the Serbs and hearing their stories of violence and misery. I could perceive the hatred which divides them from the Albanians,a hatred that continues to be fueled and handed down from one generation to the next, so that a peaceful solution to this dreadful coexistence becomes ever more difficult to reach. My work seeks to tell the stories of these people’s lives, people who are rooted to their land, as are the bour – the local name for peonies – the flowers of Kosmet, scarlet in colour, just like the blood that has been spilt in this never-end war.

 

 

 Bio

Emanuele Occhipinti (1979) is a freelance documentary photographer. At twenty he started to travel around Europe and South America, developing a passion for photography.
In 2012 he ended his three-year Master Course at Scuola Romana di Fotografia gaining a master degree in photojournalism. Moreover he attended workshop with George Georgiou, Rob Hornstra, Lorenzo Castore, Joachim Schmid.
He is currently working on a long term project in the Balkans, aiming to analyze the political and socio-economical events in the aftermath of Kosovo’s independence from Serbia.

Related links

Emanuele Occhipinti

David Molina – Heroes

David Molina

Heroes

[ FUJIFILM/YOUNG TALENT AWARD 2015 FINALIST ]

“Heroes” is a personal body of work about my family and how my uncle’s heroin addiction and his death from overdose affected and changed our lives.

What I am presenting now is the first step of a long term project, starting on chapter 1: “The Man Who Sold the World”.

I took these photos during the first year of his absence, when I started to think about explaining our story and also trying to search for some answers.

Heroin brought and took off Santi’s life. Little part of his days, when there was music and drugs, he was like a Hero, living between sparkling little moments of happiness and madness.

And that ripped my home apart.

Afterwards and during the process of this project, I felt the need to explore other families affected by heroin in similar and different ways from mine, in order to understand and maybe bring a little light or visibility to this sometimes hidden part of our reality. This second part or chapter of my work, “Half a World Away”, is pretended to take place the following year in Paris, Tokyo and Kabul – three different cities that represent Europe, Asia and particularly Afghanistan, the country with 90% of heroin production in the world.

 

Bio

I studied arts in Massana School of Barcelona from 2009 to 2012, where I found my way of expression and I started with photography.
When I was 19 I started to collaborate in the journal of my town (Sant Cugat, Barcelona), with the city council, other organizations and particulars to work on daily news, photography of cultural and social activities, commercial work…

Last year I went to the Basque Country to live and work, moving shortly after to Belgium, where I am living at the moment, volunteering and developing my photography work. This year I collaborated with 24 portraits in the book “Humans o Post-humans”, published by Editorial Fragmenta.

As a photographer, I focus on exploring social and cultural relations within families, friends, cities and countries.
Currently I’m working on 3 bodies of work: The “Heroes” project, “Imitation of Life”, in european cities like Paris or Ghent and “Refused asylum seekers in Europe” about closed refugee centers and deportations.

Related links

David Molina

FujiFilm/EPF Young Talent Award

The FujiFilm/EPF Young Talent Award is an additional grant for photographers under 25. Using David Alan Harvey’s words “A heart felt thank you also to FujiFilm for making it possible for the EPF to keep focus on the future generations, the young ones, the ones with a vision already making a mark now… and just might make another jump soon…”

 

 

FujiFilm_Basic-Black

Mariah Leal Paes – Mom Tales

Mariah Leal Paes

Mom Tales

[ FUJIFILM/YOUNG TALENT AWARD 2015 FINALIST ]

My mother is 43 and ’til 3 years ago she used to live by herself. After my grandfather died in 2012 due to Alzheimer’s complications, my grandma broke her arm. Then she chose to never leave the bed anymore. Her feet is atrophied and mom has to take car of her. They live together in a small apartment in my hometown. Mom was never able to take care of me. I had many homes. Seeing her having to take full-time care of her own mother feels weird. Mom’s star sign is Gemini: she has a very sensitive humour. Her mood is specially bad in the morning. Maybe this is my way of justifying her behaviours.

 

 

It must not be easy to have to wipe your old mother’s diapers, feed her in the mouth, no day off, specially if you are in a bad mood. Since I was young I’ve lived with mom’s spicy mood. I never understood it, although I sensed something was wrong. I left home early: I was only 16. I moved town and since that day I try to understand and accept my mother and her way of life. Mom is a drug addict. Her whole life she has been a constant user of cocaine, marijuana and nicotine. But I only figured out that many years later. I heard someone describing a cocaine addict and my mom completely fitted the profile. She confirmed to me. I thought of photographing mom so I could deal better with the situation, as a photographer, and maybe overcome some of my issues. But it turned out to be more complicated. Registering those scenes was the hardest thing ever, because deep down those are scenes I know by heart and I have been trying my best to forget them. Perpetuate them was everything I didn’t wanted to do. Somehow I managed to overcome my fear. This is my mom’s routine. Among cigarettes, diapers, drug trips, weaknesses and bad moods, some joy, some subtlety. The pictures show y mom as she is. I discovered that the image I have of her is very different from reality. And because I still admire her very much despite of all, there is no picture of her using cocaine. I could not make it.

 

 

Bio

I am 23 and photography is quite new to me. I am still learning my way around it. I like to shoot actions, real moments. And art.

 

FujiFilm/EPF Young Talent Award

The FujiFilm/EPF Young Talent Award is an additional grant for photographers under 25. Using David Alan Harvey’s words “A heart felt thank you also to FujiFilm for making it possible for the EPF to keep focus on the future generations, the young ones, the ones with a vision already making a mark now… and just might make another jump soon…”

 

 

FujiFilm_Basic-Black

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)

 

THANK U NOTE:

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!

 

EXTRA LOVE: 

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

 

 

IMG_4675

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

order

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.