Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – 24 August 2018

This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – part one of the Visa pour l’image feature and in Melbourne Punkulture opens at Sun Studios.


Visa pour l’image – part one

The 30th edition of the world’s preeminent photojournalism festival opens in the southern French town of Perpignan on 1st September for two weeks. For those who have not attended, Visa is amazing, overwhelming, fantastic!

There are so many incredible works to view, in breathtaking venues such as the majestic Couvent des Minimes. And there are many of the world’s most renowned photojournalists and photo editors in attendance for the professional week.

It’s a long haul from Australia, but I have been fortunate to attend twice in recent years. Each time the experience has been both professionally and personally enriching.

This week part one of Photojournalism Now’s feature on Visa, with a focus on the female photographers who are featured in the main exhibition program – Paula Bronstein, Andrea Bruce, Alice Martins. Catalina Martin-Chico and Véronique de Viguerie.

Paula Bronstein – Stateless, Stranded and Unwanted: The Rohingya Crisis

September 22, 2017. Abu Siddique (90) on a hill overlooking Kutupalong refugee camp. He spent all his savings to be carried across the border. © Paula Bronstein for UNHCR 
 Kutupalong, Bangladesh, September 17, 2017.  A newly arrived family, caught in the torrential monsoon rain, is waiting for shelter. © Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
Palong Khali, Bangladesh, October 9, 2017. After fleeing their villages and walking for days, thousands of exhausted Rohingya refugees have crossed the border and are walking along rice paddies. © Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

Paula says, “since 2012 I have witnessed the discrimination and persecution of the Rohingya community, documenting their situation in Myanmar, and last year also in Bangladesh…The Burmese government has arrested journalists trying to uncover the truth. Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, still refuses to address these atrocities, while human rights organizations around the world say she cannot avoid responsibility, and describe the violence as a textbook example of ethnic cleansing, speaking of crimes against humanity, and even genocide.”

Andrea Bruce – A Place to Go: Open Defecation and Sanitation

New Delhi, India. Community facilities are one answer to the shortage of toilets in India, but with no system for maintenance and cleaning, defecation remains a health problem. These women are waiting for the one working stall to open for use. © Andrea Bruce / NOOR Images for National Geographic Magazine
Cap-Haïtien, Haiti. In city slums in Haiti, most people defecate in the narrow lanes between houses. Regular flooding brings the risk of cholera which first emerged in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. © Andrea Bruce / NOOR Images for National Geographic Magazine
Bến Tre Province, Vietnam. Dao Thanh Lam (5) using the school toilet. Much of Vietnam’s success was led by the schools. For the past ten years, new schools have been built with indoor plumbing, and handwashing has been made compulsory. © Andrea Bruce / NOOR Images for National Geographic Magazine

Having a toilet is something most living in the west take for granted. As Andrea Bruce points out, “nearly 950 million people still routinely practice open defecation, and 569 million of them live in India; and the evidence can readily be found when walking along train tracks or rural roads. 

Disease caused by poor sanitation and unsafe water kills 1.4 million children a year, more than measles, malaria, and AIDS combined…The health toll in India is staggering: every year, diarrheal diseases kill more than 300,000 children, and millions of people live with chronic intestinal disease, limiting the ability to absorb nutrients and medication. 

In Haiti, the death toll from the combination of natural disasters, open defecation and cholera has been very high. After the 2010 earthquake and after Hurricane Matthew in 2016, feces contaminated rivers and took cholera to areas difficult for health care workers to reach…More than half the population of Haiti does not have a private, hygienic place to defecate.”

Catalina Martin-Chico – Colombia: (RE) Birth

Nom de guerre: Olga. Real name: Angelina. Joined the FARC at the age of 11, thrown out of home by her mother, and after her stepfather attempted to abuse her. With the FARC she found a family, and fell in love with weapons. In the last six years, she worked in the explosives unit where she met Farid who is the father of her son. She was one of the first former female guerrillas to become pregnant while inside a jungle camp, although it was not really a planned pregnancy. © Catalina Martin-Chico / Cosmos
Dayana, now 33, was 15 when she joined the guerrilla forces, leaving behind her four-month-old baby. After 19 years without any news, she found her son and her family. Dayana chose to leave the camp to live with her partner, Jairo, in his late father’s home. She wants to farm the land and start a new life.© Catalina Martin-Chico / Cosmos
Yorladis, who is 8 months pregnant, says she has earned the right to have this baby. She is in her home at the camp for former FARC fighters, in the jungle in Guaviare. She had five previous pregnancies that were terminated, sometimes quite late. She met her partner a year ago, when he had just been released from prison. © Catalina Martin-Chico / Cosmos
Winner of the 2017 Canon Female Photojournalist Award.

In Colombia the FARC guerilla war raged for 53 years. Many members of the FARC Revolutionary Armed Forces were women. Throughout the war “there was a ban on child-bearing, and any pregnancy (was) terminated”. If babies were born they were “abandoned at birth. Since the signing of the peace agreement, hundreds of these young women have now chosen to bring life into the world. For Colombia, this is “the jungle baby boom” and a “rebirth”.  

Alice Martins – Welcome to Free Raqqa

Manbij Military Council recruits at the graduation ceremony after military training provided by US special forces. Aleppo province, Syria, November 27, 2016. © Alice Martins
An elderly man in Qayyarah graveyard. When the city was controlled by ISIS, militants destroyed all the tombstones which they considered to be “un-Islamic.” Qayyarah, Iraq, October 20, 2016. © Alice Martins
A bridal shop in Kawergosk refugee camp for Syrians. Erbil, Iraq, January 24, 2016. © Alice Martins

Alice Martins writes, “In the spring of 2013, the city of Raqqa was the first provincial capital in Syria which the government had lost to rebel forces since the beginning of the war in 2011…The mood was celebratory, and the rare foreign journalists arriving there were greeted by locals with a cheerful “Welcome to Free Raqqa”…But the joy did not last long as ISIS, slowly but surely, began to assert control over the city…In mid-2017, Iraqi security forces finally recaptured the city after a brutal US- led military operation that destroyed much of the city and killed thousands of civilians. A year on, a broken and corrupt justice system has failed to gain the trust of the people who are divided by fear and revenge attacks. Today many still see the same circumstances that let ISIS move into Iraq in the first place.”

Véronique de Viguerie – Yemen, the Hidden War

Sana, Yemen. Making prostheses. Since the conflict started, more than 6,000 people have lost limbs.
© Véronique de Viguerie / The Verbatim Agency for Time & Paris Match
Sana, Yemen, November 6, 2017. Ahmed Sagaf (13) learning to walk with an artificial limb, one month after stepping on a landmine on the frontline. He wants to return to the combat zone as soon as possible. Houthi rebels have had so many casualties that they have urged children to enroll as combatants. © Véronique de Viguerie / The Verbatim Agency for Time & Paris Match
Saada, Yemen, October 2017. The historic site in the region of Rahban was severely damaged by airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition. © Véronique de Viguerie / The Verbatim Agency for Time & Paris Match

Jérôme Huffer, the picture editor of Paris Match who commissioned this story says, “It took Véronique de Viguerie one year to get into Yemen, a country out of bounds to journalists, and where Saudi- driven anger can be heard in the skies, thundering down relentlessly on the millions of civilians trapped below…A hidden war, and an impossible report, but Véronique and her colleague and author, Manon Quérouil-Bruneel, were determined to prove that wrong.

It was obviously a high risk story, but we knew how tenacious they were, and that could indeed be their downfall. Véronique was only worried about missing out on a photo, while we saw plenty of other things to worry about. But she was determined, and would not be put off track; she wanted to see it through to the end, and to (show) the human element behind the complex geopolitical issues, breaking through boundaries, walls and barricades, to take photographs in the world’s blind spot. 

When the two journalists were in the field in Yemen, we, at Paris Match, were in constant contact, anxious about their safety. All we wanted was to see them back home, with a few shots that no one else could get. And they did come back, although later than expected, and with more than 500 photos and eight hours of video recordings. The outstanding eye-witness report saw the forgotten war become one of the main stories of the year.”

Visa pour l’image

1 – 16 September, Perpignan, France.

Exhibition: Melbourne

Adrian Boot – Punkulture: Images from a musical revolution 

Debbie Harry - London - 1979
Debbie Harry, Blondie (C) Adrian Boot

Often after viewing exhibitions at Visa I would walk outside to feel the sun on my face and breathe deeply. These are important stories to tell and to see, but they are undeniably intense and sometimes a short reprieve can help reflection and perspective. Today that reprieve is in the form of these fabulous images by UK photographer Adrian Boot, Punkulture, which opens tonight at Sun Studios.

This collection resonates also because of my own background as a musical journalist and author of Rock Chicks, which features a chapter on Debbie Harry (above).

Adrian a former staff photographer at Melody Maker magazine, shot the punk scene in its heyday in the 70s in London. This collection of 62 images is just one facet of a diverse career. He has also worked as the official photographer on various events such as Live Aid, on Nelson Mandela – Freedom at 70 and Roger Water’s The Wall in Berlin and for numerous record labels. These photographs are accompanied the words of Chris Salewicz, former writer for NME, co-founder of MTV Europe and the author of multiple books including McCartney: The Definitive Biography. 

Siouxsie and the Banshees (C) Adrian Boot
Blondie - Group - 1980
Blondie (C) Adrian Boot
Photograph of the Ramones - Johnny, Tommy, Joey and Dee Dee pose during a Fulham Studio photosession - London 1976
The Ramones (C) Adrian Boot
The Clash - Backstage London 1977
The Clash (C) Adrian Boot

Opens tonight.

Until 14 September

Sun Studios, 95 Buckhurst Street, South Melbourne



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