Author Archive for burn magazine

Page 2 of 319

Eva O’Leary – Happy Valley

Eva O’Leary

Happy Valley


I grew up in a central Pennsylvanian town, nicknamed Happy Valley. It is home to Penn State University, a big ten party school that dominates the culture both economically and geographically. The town is homogeneous, 71% of the inhabitants are between the ages of 18-24 and 83.2% of the population is white. It is made up of two main streets, and prides itself on housing the forth largest stadium in the world. In 2008, it was named the largest party school in America by the Princeton review, and in 2012 it had the highest number of reports of forcible sex offenses on any campus in the nation (partially related to a child sex abuse scandal that made international headlines). My childhood and teen years were spent on the edge of Penn State’s campus, our home was down the street from the stadium and surrounded by student rentals. As a teenager, I had easy access to the campus and local party culture. My first experiences of adulthood were heavily impacted by the normalization of binge drinking, gendered power dynamics, patriotism and hook-up culture. For the last five years, I have been making photographs that reflect on my experiences growing up in this environment. In making this work, I’m referencing a personal archive of journals and documents from my young adult years and using this material as a conceptual map.



By constructing projects based on this material, I re-stage, re-experience and re-contextualize these events to make sense of them as an adult. Photography has given me permission to reflect on my experiences, and in doing so, study aspects of American culture I can locate within my hometown and my past. This process helps me attempt to understand and navigate larger structural and social systems that continue to perpetuate ideologies of fantasy, power and control.



Short Bio

Eva O’Leary graduated from Yale University’s masters of Fine Art program in 2016 and received a BFA from California College of the Arts in 2012. O’Leary is a recent winner of the Outset Unseen Exhibition Fund, which resulted in an exhibition at Foam, Amsterdam in 2019. She was the recipient of the Hyères Festival Photographie Grand Prix in 2018, The Vontobel Contemporary Photography Prize in 2017, and was named a Foam Talent in 2014. Her work has been featured in a range of publications, including ArtForum, Aperture, 1000 Words and The New Yorker. Her work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows both within the United States and abroad, including the CAFA Art Museum (Beijing), LTD Los Angeles (LA), Villa Noailles (Hyeres, France), l’Atelier Néerlandais (Paris), Benaki Museum (Athens), and Aperture Foundation (New York).​


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The Emerging Photographer Fund is supported by generous donors to the Magnum Foundation

Magnum Foundation

Pieter Bas Bouwman – Human & Wildlife Conflict

Pieter Bas Bouwman

Human & Wildlife Conflict


During my stay in Kenya I witnessed the difficulty of life in various ways that different groups of people and animals daily face. Often people pity the wildlife such as Elephants, Hyenas, Monkeys and Lions for being harmed or killed by locals. However, people forget that Elephants are a large threat to locals. They often see their farms destroyed and crops eaten. As a consequence, families are ripped apart and forced to work in cities. For many of these farmers, taking away the threat is a common solution, meaning wildlife will be harmed or killed. This killing can also be part of tradition. For the Kamba Tribe this is the case. For ages they hunt on bushmeat to provide for their families and honor their tradition. However, due to Western pressure hunting bushmeat is now by law illegal. As a result, you take away long-standing traditions and deny specific cultures from existing. This is perfectly exemplified in America with the Indians, the traditions vanished because of the pressure of western civilization. The same thing will happen in Kenya. You can already see the Maasai slowly disappearing. There are still Kamba Tribesmen hunting on wildlife and on the other side you find the anti-poaching units that are just like the tribes providing for their families and improving their situation. Unfortunately, the improvement of both their situations is conflicting since they both perceive wildlife differently.



By spending time in Kenya I understand the actions of both the tribesmen and the anti-poaching units. I am not approving these actions, but as an outsider I feel their burden which is partly a result of Western paternalism. The tribesmen haven’t changed their attitude towards wildlife whilst the West has caused damage over the years and tries to resolve that now. The anti-poaching units have the luxury to worry for elements in life which are secondary in nature to survival. This make the perspectives and perceptions completely different and hard to unify.


Short Bio

A central theme often explored in Pieter Bas his photos is the balance and imbalance between humans and nature. It often appears in his photographs of animals, destroyed or decayed surroundings and any other traces of human intervention. This strongly relates to the transience and fleeting character of things. More specifically, it grasps a tiny piece of the most fundamental aspects of life, involving the passage of time, of nature and the world as a whole, that is slowly disappearing due to human intervention. Contrasts become more obvious under tense circumstances. By showing the effects on a micro level, the wider imprint feels more present. The transience and fleeting characters are visually translated by a blurry suggestion of movements and dynamics. Confronted with these impressions often goes together with a certain nostalgic and melancholic feeling about everything that’s lost, and for everything that will be lost… His images are slowly and carefully composed. Compositions are attentively considered, using colors and shapes while trusting basic intuition. Although, impressions appear to be seemingly perfect, they never fully are. To Pieter Bas, beauty is to be found in the imperfection of life.


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The Emerging Photographer Fund is supported by generous donors to the Magnum Foundation

Magnum Foundation

Paul Guilmoth & Dylan Hausthor – Sleep Creek

Paul Guilmoth and Dylan Hausthor are the recipients of the 2019 Fujilm/Young Talent Award for the essay. This honor recognizes photographers 25 and under, granting them $10,000 from Fujifilm to continue the work.


Paul Guilmoth & Dylan Hausthor

Sleep Creek


Sleep Creek i​s a landscape filled with trauma and beauty. It’s a place where animals are only seen when they’re being hunted​ and ​humans balance between an unapologetic existence and an abyss of secrecy. These images manipulate a landscape that is simultaneously autobiographical, documentary, and fictional: a weaving of myth and symbol in order to be confronted with the experiential. Following the rituals of those within it, ​​Sleep Creek​​ ​is an obsession between the subject and the photographer—a compulsion to reveal its shrouded nature.


Short Bio

Paul Guilmoth and Dylan Hausthor are a collaborative artist duo based in rural New England. Their practice is primarily focused on photographic and bookmaking art; experimenting with the boundaries of both. They co-founded the publication studio Wilt Press in the winter of 2015. Both graduated from Maine College of Art in that same year and together make work that centers around the myth of place and the complexity of image-based narrative. Hausthor and Guilmoth search for the sparkling beauty found in performances given for nothing and nobody amidst the intense silence of snow-covered spruce trees. Their work is simultaneously autobiographical, documentary, and fictional : weaving together staged portraits, manipulated natural and man-made environments, and tradtional photographic documentation.


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The Fujifilm/Young Talent Award is supported by Fujifilm




Azadeh Besharati – Shima & Shiva


Azadeh Besharati is the recipient of the 2019 Emerging Photographer Fund and has been granted $10,000 for this essay. Burn Magazine revolves around the EPF and it is our most important curatorial contribution to the oftentimes chaotic landscape of photography today. Most importantly, our mission is to give recognition to the finest emerging authors out there and to provide some funding to keep going and to continue making a mark.


Azadeh Besharati

Shima & Shiva

EPF 2019 RECIPIENT – $10,000

Shima and Shiva, they fight to have a happy life, though happy life is hard to be achieved. Shima and Shiva are twins. They are 23. They were born in Masal in Guilan province, Iran. When they were one, their convulsions started because of genetic problems. They were unable to walk since then. At the same time, they lost their father in an accident. As they became older, their mother was unable to look after them so they were delivered to a nursing house for elderly and disabled. Shima and Shiva are very welcoming and friendly with the visitors because they need their help to leave the nursing home temporarily as the visitors’ guest and to see more of this world. These twins are not friendly with the staff of the nursing home because they can’t understand one and other. The nurses and the other patients can’t understand these twins because they are always planning to have fun. In addition, these twins don’t neglect their wishes and they try to fulfill them. They don’t understand the rules of the nursing home. They like sleeping late at nights and they believe this is their right to fall in love, travel, swim and ride their wheelchairs around the city in bazaars and streets. Authorities in Iran only pay attention to the basic needs of the handicaps such as food, clothing and shelter. This is the reason why these children and other handicapped babies are reluctant to think about their future. They can’t dream or enjoy their lives. Shima and Shiva are in that critical period of their lives that people become emotionally sensitive and they look for love all the time. They know that living is their obvious right and because they are twins they resist more severely not to let others topple their right. They are a combination of loneliness and togetherness. They are a combination of happiness and sadness…



Short Bio

Azadeh Besharati is a documentary photographer and poet, living in Rasht, Iran.


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The Emerging Photographer Fund is supported by generous donors to the Magnum Foundation

Magnum Foundation

The Emerging Photographer Fund 2019

The Emerging Photographer Fund 2019


Azadeh Besharati

Shima & Shiva

EPF 2019 WINNER – $10,000

Shima & Shiva speaks about two twins who suffer from a genetic disorder and are fighting for a happy life in Iran.






The Fujifilm Young Talent Award 2019


Paul Guilmoth & Dylan Hausthor

Sleep Creek


Sleep Creek manipulates a landscape that is simultaneously autobiographical, documentary, and fictional. As described by the artists, it “is an obsession between the subject and the photographer—a compulsion to reveal its shrouded nature.”





The Emerging Photographer Fund 2019 –  Shortlist


Ute Behrend

Azadeh Besharati (winner)

Pieter Bas Bouwman

Andrés Cardona

Turjoy Chowdhury

Matt Eich

Robin Friend

Jaakko Kahilaniemi

Janne Korkko

Daniel Kovalovszky

Eva O’Leary

Lavinia Parlamenti and Manfredi Pantanella

Sathish Kumar

Jansen van Staden


The full essays of all winners and shortlisted entries will be published here on BURN magazine.





The Fujifilm Young Talent Award 2019 –  Shortlist


Chris Donovan

Lila Engelbrecht

Mariia Ermolenko

Lyu Geer

Paul Guilmoth & Dylan Hausthor (winners)

Anniina Joensalo

Eleana Niki Konstantellos André

Jimmy Lee

Ingmar Björn Nolting

Andrea Orejarena & Caleb Stein

Mafalda Rakoš

Ana Zibelnik


Their full essays will be published on BURN magazine.



Emerging Photographer Fund 2018 – Judges:

(in alphabetical order)


Alfredo De Stéfano | Director of the photography festival Luz del Norte

NayanTara Kakshapati | Curator, co-founder of the Nepal Picture Library and the photography festival Photo Kathmandu

Kosuke Ohara | Photographer

Kathy Ryan | Director of Photography for The New York Times Magazine

Kevin Wy Lee | Photographer, founder of Invisible Photographer Asia (IPA)





Previous EPF Winners


The 2008 Emerging Photographer Fund grant was awarded to
Sean Gallagher for his essay on the environmental Desertification of China.

The 2009 Emerging Photographer Fund grant was awarded to
Alejandro Chaskielberg for his 8×10 format essay on the Parana River Delta ‘The High Tide’.

The 2010 Emerging Photographer Fund grant was awarded to
Davide Monteleone for his essay ‘Northern Caucasus’.

The 2011 Emerging Photographer Fund grant was awarded to
Irina Werning for her essay ‘Back to the Future’.

In 2012 three Emerging Photographer Fund grants were awarded:
one major to Matt Lutton for his essay ‘Only Unity’ and
two minors to Giovanni Cocco for his essay ‘Monia’ and to Simona Ghizzoni for her essay ‘Afterdark’.

In 2013 four Emerging Photographer Fund grants were awarded:
one major to Diana Markosian for her essay ‘My Father The Stranger’ and
three minors to Iveta Vaivode for her essay ‘Somewhere on Disappearing Path’,
Oksana Yushko for her essay ‘Balklava: The Lost History’ and
Maciej Pisuk for his essay ‘Under The Skin; Photographs From Brzeska Street’.

In 2014 two Emerging Photographer Fund grants were awarded:
one major to Alessandro Penso for his essay ‘Lost Generation’ and
one minor to Birte Kaufmann for her essay ‘The Travelers’.

In 2015 the Emerging Photographer Fund was awarded to Danila Tkachenko for ‘Restricted Areas’, and
the Fujifilm Young Talent Award to Sofia Valiente for ‘Miracle Village’.

In 2016 the Emerging Photographer Fund was awarded to Annie Flanagan for ‘Deafening Sound’, and
the Fujifilm Young Talent Award to Aleksander Raczynski for ‘Views’

In 2017 the Emerging Photographer Fund was awarded to Antoine Bruy for ‘Outback Mythologies’, and
the Fujifilm Young Talent Award to Aleksey Kondratyev for ‘Ice Fishers’

In 2018 the Emerging Photographer Fund was awarded to Shadman Shahid for ‘No Quarter’, and
the Fujifilm Young Talent Award to Tabitha Barnard for ‘Cult of Womanhood’





Editor’s note:


I cannot express my thanks enough to Alfredo, Nayantara, Kosuke, Kathy and Kevin. They worked together to finely tune their choices, looked at the finalists from every angle and awarded the EPF grants to the photographers they felt most deserving. Of course, once it got down to the finalists, choices became extremely difficult, but that is a given… and they did an admirable job. Thank you.
A heartfelt thank you also to Fujifilm for making it possible for the EPF to keep the 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.




Burn Magazine revolves around the EPF. Our most important curatorial contribution to the oftentimes chaotic landscape of photography today. By choosing a jury whose lifetimes have been spent in looking at photographs and making photographs, we try to give our Burn readers a distilled version of the best work of all that flows before their eyes every day.


Most importantly our mission is to give recognition to the finest emerging authors out there and to provide some funding to at least a few to keep going and to continue making a mark. Our previous winners prove this is not in vain.


Many thanks especially to my EPF team Anton Kusters, Diego Orlando, and Mallory Bracken. First off, they must deal with me!! Never easy. In all seriousness, they all show amazing dedication to the spirit of doing something which just feels good. To provide a platform for the up and coming.

Special thanks to Susan Meiselas of the Magnum Foundation. Nobody on the planet is more dedicated to allowing new talent to develop.
Special thanks also to Michael Loyd Young, EPF funder and BURN Magazine board member.



The Emerging Photographer Fund was created and is directed by David Alan Harvey,
curated and produced by Anton Kusters & Diego Orlando.


Oskar Alvarado – Where Fireflies Unfold

Oskar Alvarado

Where Fireflies Unfold

The majority of those born in the cities resulting from rural emigration in the 60s and 70s have a common place that unites us: our parents’ village. Deleitosa is my village.It is located in the province of Cáceres, in the region of Extremadura in Spain. Here my parents, grandparents, great grandparents and other ancestors were, going back through centuries of family genealogy. Deleitosa was the village that Eugene Smith chose to realize his photographic essay “Spanish Village” that was published in the American magazine Life on April 9, 1951.



Far from showing the perceptible appearance of Deleitosa or some of the visual references linked to what was a photographic icon of the social and economic backwardness in Spanish rural society, my gaze has some subjective nuances linked to a series of experiences, places and memories. Reminiscences that have endured as apparitions in my memory. Images that intermingle episodes that float in the collective imagination with the new realities that coexist in the village.



There is an emotional need to reflect on the territory of which we are part. To explore our identity in the echo of the places that still speak to us, or in the absence-presence of the people and beings that inhabit them. To form a visual interpretation that evokes the mystery that manifests itself in everyday rhythms, in the poetic condition that underlies the strange.



Short Bio

Born in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, Alvarado currently resides in Barcelona where he combines his work as a Photography teacher with the production of personal works. He holds a Bachelor ́s Degree in Fine Arts of the Basque Country University, from which he received a grant to develop the photographic project Conexiones in an artist residence in Arteleku Art Center in San Sebastián. Later he moved to Barcelona to study photography and a MA on Curatorial and Cultural Practices in Art and New at Media Center d’Art i Disseny MECAD, ESDI. He was one of the winners of the Helsinki Photo Festival 2018 (Finland) and his work has been selected in different international festivals such as the Voies Off Awards in Arles (France), Solar Foto Festival in Fortaleza (Brazil) and the Addis Foto Fest in Addis Abeba (Ethiopia).


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Federico Arcangeli – Pleasure Island

Frederico Arcangeli

Pleasure Island

A well-known tourist destination, in the summer period Rimini wakes up from its sluggishness of a small city lazily overlooking the sea, capable of attracting millions of people, becoming the capital of the clubs and nightlife of the Italian east coast.

“Even if the world is full of beautiful stuff, full of countries that like most of the village, as soon as the sun falls and comes in the evening, sitting in a chair who knows where, slowly inside your head, this place becomes the most beautiful place of the world. But how will you do…But how will you stay away from the village?” (from the movie Amarcord) 



Muse and inspiration of great artists that described it though their eyes, such as native-born photographer Marco Pesaresi with his black and white shots, or great director Federico Fellini, thanks to whom, in the 70’s, Rimini became famous in the whole world after his film Amarcord. A movie telling the life the inhabitants of an oneiric Rimini, perpetually suspended between childhood dreams and teenage turmoil. During the 80’s clubs and discos lived their golden age, with a large number of visitors, VIP’s and a display  of extreme luxury which led to the 90’s, where luxury and strict selection at the entrance of clubs made way for experimentation, afterhours parties and music research. Despite the fact that times have changed and several historic clubs are now shut down for good, Rimini can still charm night people who long for transgression so much.



This project by Federico Arcangeli came alive a bit by chance. Born at first more as a photo-diary of nights out going clubbing with friends, it then becomes the slice of an era, not far from its bygone splendour. Through his lens and his images he carries us to those clubs, drenched in that dreamy atmosphere that only the “Riviera” (Romagna coast) can create. Thanks to his shots we meet again those Felliniesque characters in fun and grotesque situations. We find couples dancing and holding each other, following love rituals which last a nighttime and disappear at sunrise; we find eternal youngsters who never get old, as if in Neverland. What comes out is the portrait of a sultry, sexy, charming  town which resembles a playground, where one can let oneself be tempted.

Aldo Bonomi, (Sondrio, 1950). Sociologist, teacher and founder of AASTER. Observer of the territorial forms of contemporary capitalism.


Short Bio

Federico Arcangeli was born in Rimini in 1983, small city on Italy’s east coast, where he currently lives and works as a nurse.

In 2014 He discovered his passion for photography, especially for analog photography. In May 2014, he founded the blog “People_Are_Strangers” where he publishes his shots.

He takes part in some competitions with excellent results and becomes a selected photographer of World Street Photography community.

In 2015 He becomes a member of the collective Romagna Street Photography. In september 2015 He is finalist for the Marco Pesaresi award with his project, about Rimini’s beach, “Summer Attitude”.

His photos and works have been exhibited in England, California, Florida, Germany, Spain, Ireland and Italy and they have been published on magazines and national and international art platforms.


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Margeaux Walter – Believe Me

Margeaux Walter

Believe Me

As I navigate a world of surveillance cameras, drones, social media, “smart” phones, and facial recognition software, I find myself in a constant struggle with both visibility and invisibility. Anonymity is becoming harder, yet so is being seen. “Believe Me,” a title inspired by Trump’s most frequently used two-word phrase, is a series of photographs resembling surveillance images that one might find in Google Earth.



Mimicking augmented realities, I am staging site-specific temporary installations in the environment that challenge our current post-fact world influenced by scripted and hyperbolic reality television, fake news, sensational journalism and virtual experiences. Using a drone (and camera with a wide-angle lens) for a surveillance point-of-view, I survey myself, twisting the indexicality of the photograph to depict this blurring of what is real and constructed in our contemporary political and social environment. Thinking about military camouflage, the anonymizing nature of the aerial view, and satellite imagery, I play with my own visibility as I allow myself to be seen and surveilled. The nature of this new type of extreme aerial imagery and how it’s used (for Google Maps, drone strikes, breaking news and policing), creates a certainty for the viewer and a validation of authenticity. A God’s-eye view that is taken at face value.



I have been shooting this project over the past year and a half, and hope to travel to site-specific locations to create new images. Ultimately it will exist as a larger series that is created in various historical, geographical and unseen locations around the country. My portfolio shows the beginning stages of this project, with images created in various locations over the past year, ranging from ideas of commerce, emoji culture, virtual reality, fake news, and climate change.




Short Bio

Margeaux Walter received her MFA from Hunter College in 2014 and BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts in 2006. She has received multiple honors from the Magenta Foundation, Photolucida, Prix de la Photographie Paris, International Photography Awards, and other organizations. She has been awarded artist-in-residence programs at Red Gate Gallery (2011), Montalvo Arts Center (2012), Marble House Project (2015), MacDowell Colony (2017), and Yaddo (2018). In 2016, she was selected for the New York Times Portfolio Review. She has participated in dozens of exhibitions at institutions such as MOCA, Hunterdon Art Museum, the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Montalvo Arts Center, Sonoma County Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, the Griffin Museum of Photography and the Butler Institute of American Art. She has been featured in publications including The New York Times, New York Post, Seattle Times, Boston Globe, and Blouin Art Info.


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The Emerging Photographer Fund is supported by generous donors to the Magnum Foundation

Magnum Foundation

Hubert Barre – Le Quartier St. Antoine

Hubert Barre

Le Quartier St. Antoine

Ah matočka, they are really poor! And what a mess! But it is hardly surprising: the whole family lives in a single room, divided by small screens, for their decency.

                                                                               Fëdor Dostoevskij

Jacques, Paul, Guy, Jacquot, Serge, Marie, Hamidi… only an evanescent shadow of them has remained, spat out from the memory in the form of names. Fragments of memories, which goes back to three decades ago. They all lived in Aubenas, in the Saint-Antoine quarter, the poorest in the city. Thirty years ago. Today they are no longer there and it is not hard to imagine that they are no longer even on this earth. 



To remember them today is only the memory of a few and the portraits that represent them in a daily life made of tangible poverty, of daily hardship and precariousness, of difficulty and miserable belongings. A situation testified by images that, in the absence of diachronic references, rarely offer footholds to hazard a reliable dating. The faces of Jacques, Paul, Guy, Jacquot, Serge, Marie, Hamidi, often crushed by the brutality of the flash, are timeless. Even the environments and objects around them are not of great help in most cases and could even distort the reading by a number of decades.



Of course, when one runs into an image in which a Mercedes appears in the background, today we should by now say an old Mercedes… we then realise that the counting of the decades stops at three. We are at the end of the eighties, although of many of the pictures we would be tempted to say are at least from the fifties, if not before. The atmosphere emanated by the prints is difficult to define. On the one hand the dark tones lead us to a denseness that seems to adhere to the conditions of the subjects, on the other there is energy sometimes subterranean sometimes explicit that agitates between the shades between black and white. 

If we were to frame these photographs within a theoretical grid of image reading, speaking about the contents we could not fail to notice the recurring presence of the thematic factor of the relationship. Many of these images refer to the relationships that are between the subjects, strong relationships, born from sharing little, of the mutual support in the hardship. Relationships that emanate a force, probably necessary, possibly desperate, certainly powerful. And perhaps this is the energy that is felt flowing under the surface of the paper, leafing through images that tell us about a quarter that today is no longer as thirty years ago.



The houses have disappeared. Jacques, Paul, Guy, Jacquot, Serge, Marie, Hamidi are not there. Times have changed one might say abusing without necessity of a common bourgeois place. And this cannot help us to reflect on the role of the medium of photography. If it is true that for thousands of years the human being has continued to evolve without which his image being mechanically declined as an analogon referent, it is also true that the iconic memory offered by photography represents a possible object of stimulus to the self-consciousness. The risk, however, is that in the superabundance and ease of production of the images these become… invisible to the eyes of most. In the face of images that are self-replicating in the reproduction of pre-established clichés, photographs that remind us of where we come from are important, probably because they allow us not to recognize ourselves as we see, fighting the homologation. 

And in a Western society that in spite of its globalised crises is still able to live well beyond its needs, joining with the vital energy flowing in the portraits of the inhabitants of Saint-Antoine of thirty years ago can be a valid counterpoint to our daily dissatisfaction. 


Short Bio

Born in FRIBOURG (RFA) in 1962, he attended the Lycée Technique Astier in Aubenas, to then enrol afterwards at the INSA (Institut Nationale des Sciences Appliquées) in Lyon.
Between 1985 and 1986, he worked for the press service of the French armed forces in Berlin as a photographer. In 1987 he dedicated himself to the story of the Saint-Antoine quarter in Aubenas en Ardèche, the work, which we are now presenting in these pages. Two years later, in 1989, he exhibited the portraits taken in Saint-Antoine and won first prize in the photography competition organised by the magazine Le généraliste. Numerous are the exhibitions that have taken place over the years until December 2014, when he exhibited, in collaboration with the Voies Off in Arles, at the Theatre Commedia d’Aubagne, and again in the following July at the Musée de la Légion Étrangère. On the occasion of the 2016 edition of Voies Off, he exhibited within the Arlesian event his work Clôture monastique, devoted to the life in the cloistered monasteries. Always at the Voies Off 2016 he presented us with his work at the portfolio reading and hence this article was born.


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Hannes Jung – How is life?

Hannes Jung

How is life?

Death follows life. Always. A fact that unites all and everyone of us. As a young person I expect too die when I’m old, maybe when I’m sick, but definitely not now. So much still lies ahead of me. For the ones who are left behind, suicide always raises the question of life. Why did someone choose death over life?

The suicide rate in Lithuania is nearly three times as high as the average rate in the European Union. It is even among the highest in the world. Looking at the bigger picture, suicides occur more frequently in bigger cities. Whereas in rural areas, less people lose hope in life since social ties are still stronger. In Lithuania, on the contrary, more people commit suicide on the countryside. Especially men between 40 and 50 years of age are at a high risk to commit suicide. Alcoholism, unemployment, no perspective, and many other cases with reasons that are hard to find and even harder to understand.



The reasons for each suicide are different. They are not an expression of personal freedom, but often affected by hopelessness and diseases. Outer, social and environmental factors also play a big role among them. Since World War II and starting with the Soviet occupation the suicide rate for men, at times, grew from ten suicides per 100,000 inhabitants to 90 annually. Experts speak about a collective trauma and loss of identity – influenced among others by forced collectivization of the farms in rural areas through the Soviets. But the reasons for each suicide are always more complex and personal and can not mainly be related to the countries trauma.



My story “How is Life?” is not just about photography. I worked together with the protagonists and asked them to write down their personal story. These statements (see the captions) are an essential part of this project.

I photograph life not death because death cannot be seen. Maybe you can’t take pictures of the wind. But you could try to catch the consequences of the wind, bending trees and rolling waves.


Short Bio

Hannes Jung (b. 1986) is a freelance documentary photographer currently based in Berlin. He studied photography and photojournalism in Munich, Hannover and Valencia and attended the Eddie Adams Workshop. Hannes is represented by Laif photo agency.
His work was recognized with Gold in the categories Documentary and Interpretative eye by the College Photographer of the Year award (CPOY) and he recieved several prizes like the n-ost Reportage prize, Prix Mark Grosset, South Tyrol Media award or Canon Profifoto promotion award. His work was supported with several research grants from n-ost, the Robert-Bosch-Foundation and VG Bildkunst. Hannes work was shown in several exhibitions and festivals around Europe.


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