sergiy lebedynskyy – Euromaidan (2014)

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Sergiy Lebedynskyy

Euromaidan (2014)

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I couldn’t give any other answer to the situation happening in Ukraine except for this one. The feeling that I was missing something very important, which I had since the beginning of the protests in Kiev, made me come and look at the Maidan with my own eyes. This place had a unique quality – being there, you could find what you were looking for. Nationalists, or so called “banderovtsi”, making the coup d’etat attempt, or a new generation of Ukrainians, rose against the lawlessness of the government.

I was born in the USSR. Ukraine became independent when I entered schooling. The Dusk of the ninetieth, the social fall, ended with the “stability” of the two thousandth. The bottom was reached and the “Night” came. The Night mixed the soviet past and uncertain present, the people became socially passive. I started to photograph Night in Kharkiv, in the east Ukraine a few years ago. Photographs I made visually fell out from the context of the time; they left the feeling of something already seen in the past. This apparent repeat of the history showed the present time in a surrealistic way. The research I make by means of photography has a goal – I’m looking for the self-identification, I was looking for my homeland.

At Maidan I found what I was after – hundreds of thousands Ukrainian people looking for the Dawn.

 

Bio

Sergiy Lebedynskyy was born in 1982 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. In 2010 he collaborated Vladyslav Krasnoshok and Vadym Trykoz and founded the photographic group “Shilo”, continuing traditions of the Kharkiv School of Photography (Boris Mikhailov, Evgeny Pavlov, Juri Rupin etc.), known by its bold and critical view on the social processes in ex-USSR. He holds a PhD. in engineering and works as a freelance photographer.

 

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Be You

rossella nisio – estranged in iceland

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Rossella Nisio

Estranged in Iceland

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I’ve always felt a deep kinship with the character of Cosimo Piovasco in Calvino’s novel, Il Barone Rampante; as a born escapist, my selfish ideal was to find a tree to climb never to descend again. When I moved to Iceland in the midst of its financial crisis, I was eager to make it my tree and live forever in the caressing murmurs of its chill waters. At first it was pure bliss: I’ve never experienced such a perfect elation and fondness for any other place and probably never will.

With the post-crisis tourism boom, a gulf opened up: now that everybody was taking flashy pictures of waterfalls and rainbows over lava fields, I started to feel that the colorless melancholy of opaque windows, eroded boulders and seaweed suited me better. I was still trying to grasp at the essence of a territory whose ineffable nature was being assessed with cynical eye by its own inhabitants willing to sell the paradigm of perfect retreat for the cool and the well-behaved. My Iceland however was not cool and well-behaved; on the contrary, it was hushed, untamed and unapproachable. It defied the reassuring human need for acknowledgment, a need destined to remain a fleeting fragment at the mercy of the tremendous power of the elements and dissolving in forlorn light. The country I was experiencing was totally different from the one local and international media were so desperate to put on display. I started to feel stranded on unreal shores, thus growing more and more alien to my surroundings.

These photos were taken over a long period of time in different locations all over the country, although the majority was shot in the Reykjavik area. They are affectionate and schismatic mementos of an indistinct and tearing longing for a frontier on the verge of disappearing, swallowed by the growing appetites of a nation frantically looking for international attention, devoted to promoting and selling its distinctive features through loud headlines more than to protecting and enshrining them.

Before moving on, I felt the urge to make a posthumous evaluation of my Icelandic experience, to dispel some accumulated commonplaces and reassess my personal view over the strident refuses of the media. More time will have to pass before I can get at a purified and pacified perspective.

“All that remains in the inner recess of the ear is a vague murmur: the sea.” – Italo Calvino, Il Barone Rampante

Bio

RS Nisio is a graphic artist, photographer and writer currently based in Lisbon, Portugal. She studied cinema in Rome, before moving on to embrace photography and illustration as her primary vehicles of expression. She worked extensively with different media and for this reason she was able to develop an eclectic style that frequently incorporates digital montage techniques and heavily relies on creative photo editing. While she was living in Iceland, she worked as freelance journalist and concert photographer and published her work under different names in several accredited media, including Iceland’s national broadcaster RUV and MTV. She shares some of her knowledge and thoughts on mobile photography on the blog Appotography.

 

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kevin mcelvaney – agbogbloshie

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Kevin McElvaney

Agbogbloshie

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Agbogbloshie is a suburb of Accra, Ghana and a former wetland (recreation area) surrounded by the Odaw River.
 About 10 years ago it started to become a dumpsite for illegal e-waste from the industrialized countries (EU, US, UK, China, India e.g.). Nowadays 500-800 shipping-containers with “donations” reach the Tema Harbour (close to Accra) every month. About 80% of these so-called donations, second-hand products or development-aids are fake labeled, because in reality the goods are no longer usable. Most of these hazard materials end up illegally in electronic dumpsites, such as Agbogbloshie. Agbogbloshie used to be known for its market, where you could buy cheap local fruits and vegetables, but the e-waste dumping turned it into a place where youngsters between 7-25 years smash stones against TVs, disassemble PCs/ Laptops and burn cables to get the copper out of it. Agbogbloshie is an environmental, ethical and social-economic disaster, as well as a major health concern. The 40,000 inhabitants themselves nicknamed this place “Sodom and Gomorrah”.

My aim was to get a more or less subjective point of view and to show the personalities of the people that (have to) work in Agbogbloshie. I have focused on the individuals for this project as opposed to the burning and processes that takes place. After an interaction with every “model”, I told them to take a near-by device and stand on top of it and look into the camera – nothing more was influenced or controlled and the shooting just took 5-10 seconds for each portrait. For me it is important to let the viewer see that I had some interaction with the people. Many documentary photographs give the viewer a feeling of separation from the subject, but I feel that it is important for a connection to be established.

The Series “Agbogbloshie” has been published in various media including The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Fox, Stern, Zeit, De Standaard, Daily Mail, and Dazed & Confused, and was featured on international TV and Radio stations.

Bio

Kevin McElvaney was born 1987 in the north of Germany, raised by a German father and Irish mother. After his A-Levels he moved to Hamburg to serve his civil-service and to study business administration, law and sociology. To finance his life as a student he freelanced for agencies and organizations, which took him around the world. This is the reason he decided to buy a camera one day – to save his impressions of places and experiences.

He has been a self-taught, freelance photographer since 2013.

Agbogbloshie is the first series he has published.

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AGBOGBLOSHIE // STILL NOT SPONSORED