Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – 4 May 2018

This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up part two of the Head On Photo Festival preview. Tonight is the opening of the Festival in Sydney and the announcement of the Head On Photo Awards, which I’ll blog about next week. This week check out work from multi-award winning photojournalist Paula Bronstein from her 15 year survey of Afghanistan, as well as Belgian photojournalist Alain Schroeder’s Living for Death, Japan-based American photojournalist James Whitlow Delano’s body of work Normalizing Extrajudicial Murder in the Philippines, images from Patti Boyd’s George Harrison, Eric Clapton & Me and Garrett Hansen’s HAIL.

Special Feature:

Head On Photo Festival – Part Two

Paula Bronstein – Afghanistan: Between Hope and Fear

Afghanistan - Between Hope and Fear - Credit Paula Bronstein 002

On the world’s photojournalism stage, there are few women as accomplished as multi-award-winner, American Paula Bronstein. Over a career that spans decades as both a staff photographer, most recently for Getty, and as a freelancer, Bronstein has earned her stripes in the field of conflict reportage.

Her extensive oeuvre includes a 15-year documentation of the many facets of Afghanistan and a selection of this work from her book Afghanistan: Between Hope and Fear will be on show at Head On, featuring both familiar and new narratives on a country that continues to be ravaged by war.

“Every time you see Afghanistan in the news these days it is about bombings,” says Bronstein, who was in Ukraine shooting a new personal project when we caught up via Skype in February. “That gives you a particular perception of the country, but what’s going on in Afghanistan is not that simple and I hope this exhibition imparts a sense of the complexity of the country.”

Certainly there are a number of Bronstein’s photographs that move the narrative beyond that of conflict. In particular the photographs of young women in beauty parlours and a bridegroom waiting for his fiancé in a stretch limousine shift the dial on the stereotypical image of Afghanistan. So does the line of swan paddleboats that sit against the shore of one of the lakes in the breathtakingly beautiful Band-e-Amir National Park in the centre of the country. But Bronstein’s body of work is not a soft sell on this troubled nation and there are numerous images that leave the viewer with no doubt that those living in Afghanistan are burdened by great hardships, particularly women and children.

Afghanistan - Between Hope and Fear - Credit Paula Bronstein 004Afghanistan - Between Hope and Fear - Credit Paula Bronstein 003

 

Venue: Festival Hub – Paddington Town Hall

Alain Schroeder – Living for Death

Alain Schroeder_s Living_for_Death_08

Belgian photojournalist Alain Schroeder’s documentation Living for Death explores the unique death rituals of Toraja people in Indonesia, who keep their loved ones close in life and in death. Following the rice harvest each year in August, the Toraja pay homage to their ancestors, removing them from their coffins, changing their outfits, even applying make up and accessories such as sunglasses and hats in the ritual known as ma’nene. The Toraja are not in any hurry to bury their dead either and often a deceased family member will remain in the home for years until a funeral is organised, after which the person’s death is officially acknowledged.

Living for Death

Venue: Festival Hub – Paddington Town Hall

James Whitlow Delano – Normalizing Extrajudicial Murder in the Philippines

JamesWhitlowDelanoNormalizing Extrajudicial Murder in the Philippines

James Whitlow Delano, another award-winning photojournalist, showcases work from his series Normalizing Extrajudicial Murder in the Philippines, which tells the stories of families affected by Philippines President Duterte’s War on Drugs. Delano asks, “why should we tell the story of Jasmine Dorana, a 15-year old mother left widowed after her teenage husband was shot four times in the head in front of her? Why should people care about Remy Fernandez, an 84 year old grandmother left to raise seven grandchildren after their father was executed by masked gunmen sent to the slums to kill him in his own living room? We tell these stories because we are human, because by not knowing their story and not exposing these worst of crimes, we become complicit…sanctioning these crimes with our silence”.

Normalizing Extrajudicial Murder in the Philippines - Credit James Whitlow Delano 001

Venue: Festival Hub – Paddington Town Hall

George Harrison, Eric Clapton & Me: The Photography of Patti Boyd

George Harrison, Eric Clapton & Me The Photography of Pattie Boyd - Credit Patti BoydGeorge Harrison, Eric Clapton & Me The Photography of Pattie Boyd - Credit Patti Boyd 10

 

In an exhibition of never-before-seen photographs, Patti Boyd, who was married to both Eric Clapton and George Harrison, presents George Harrison, Eric Clapton & Me: The Photography of Patti Boyd, delivering an intimate glimpse into life with these two British music legends.

Venue: Blender Gallery 16 Elizabeth Street Paddington

Garrett Hansen – HAIL

HAIL Credit GarrettHansen_Void9mmHAIL Credit GarrettHansen_Bullet 8

An unusual take on the controversy over American gun laws and ownership can be seen in the conceptual work of Garrett Hansen. In HAIL, which has four parts – The Void, The Silhouettes, The Bullets and Memorial – Hansen has created images from individual bullet holes using replicas of cardboard targets contact printed in the darkroom. His exhibition features 12 panels each of which record by the month every homicide involving a gun that occurred in the state of Kentucky. Hansen says, “The viewer is presented with images that speak to the sublime – they are both attractive and terrifying at the same time. In many ways this reflects our own opinions of guns in America, a country where the debate between rights and controls continues to rage”.

Venue: Juniper Hall 250 Oxford Street Paddington

See the Head On Photo Festival website for full programme details.

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