Friday Round Up – 7 June 2013
This week’s Friday Round Up features interviews with photojournalists David Burnett, Adam Ferguson, Andrew Quilty and Ed Giles, all of whom are involved in this year’s Reportage documentary photography festival currently underway in Sydney. And don’t forget to check out Tim Page Unseen where this legendary photojournalist shares his unpublished work exclusively with Photojournalism Now (see tab at top of blog).
American David Burnett is probably best known as a conflict photojournalist whose seminal work on the 1979 Iranian Revolution still stands up today as cutting edge photojournalism. “I had a few exclusives,” he said of the heady days flying around the world covering major events for international publications. “In Iran I talked my way in to see the Ayatollah Khomeini after he’d been in Paris. The first picture I took was of him putting a teacup back on the tray. That was a moment that showed a whole other side to that leader at the time”.
Burnett, who has been shooting for forty years, is also the co-founder of New York’s Contact Press Images. His oeuvre is vast spanning a diversity of topics, which is evidenced in a new book published by Reporters Without Borders “100 Photos for Freedom of the Press” featuring “a whole career’s worth” of Burnett’s work.
Selecting images to exhibit when you have thousands to choose from must be a daunting task. I ask Burnett why he chose his photo essay on Bob Marley for Reportage. “He’s a lodestone figure, he crossed all cultures, all languages, politics. He is seen as a very special figure,” he explained.
Burnett said when he first went to Jamaica in 1976 “I don’t know if I’d even heard of Bob Marley. We had a long interview with him for Time magazine in Kingston. I was hopping around the room shooting Bob while he was being interviewed. I’ve been an available light guy my whole life. There was something magical about shooting on film, when we didn’t know we had a picture…I didn’t really listen to the interview, my concentration was going through the viewfinder, but what I did hear, I kept thinking there’s something really special about this guy”.
“I remember thinking at the time, I am about the same age as this guy, and he’s so wise. He had a wisdom born from having paid attention to so many things that had happened in his life. That was the most interesting impression I had of him. Intelligent, knows how to synthesize all he sees, poverty, politics and all that he knew”. A year later Burnett was on the road with Bob Marley and the Wailers in Europe for Rolling Stone magazine. “I was happy to be there”.
Talking to Burnett about his archive it is clear he laments the passing of film. I ask him what he thinks of the trends in photography today and whether the traditional role of the photojournalist is still relevant.
“Ten years ago photographers needed to know what an f-stop was and shutter speed, but nowadays you don’t seem to need to understand the technical aspects of photography in the same way,” he said. “Everyone is a photographer, everyone has a phone with a camera, so there is an explosion of pictures. But finding pictures in the giant morass of imagery that is online, just trying to swim through it as a viewer is very tough”.
“We may end up with the most amazing visual generation ever because they are unencumbered by the issues we had to deal with. A lot of photographs are taken now that couldn’t have been done before, but the downgrading of the discipline of photography, waiting for the right moment to shoot, blending your eye with technology and technique, knowing that less is more, and that it is not all about speed and how fast you can upload an image, these are the real shifts.”
Burnett said he comes from the “old Life magazine” philosophy of visual storytelling, where the objective is to capture images that will shed light on events and situations that “the forces of darkness want to shut out. But if we are going to rely on having free societies then these stories need to be told and I think there is great value still in having professional journalists including photographers to tell them”.
Soul Rebel: An Intimate Portrait of Bob Marley’
Until 22 June
16 Elizabeth Street Paddington Sydney
Burnett is also exhibiting “The Presidents: From JFK to Obama”
Australian Centre for Photography
257 Oxford Street, Paddington
June 1-August 18
Adam Ferguson – Iraq’s Legacy
On the day I talk to Adam Ferguson, an Australian photojournalist based in the US, he is in San Antonio, Texas working on a story on war dogs and their handlers for National Geographic. He’s been on this story for over a year, and this fourth visit marks the end of the journey. From Texas he’s heading to Sydney for Reportage. “I am very excited about exhibiting on home soil as I’ve never exhibited a set of my pictures at home. I am also excited about exhibiting this body of work that I’ve called Iraq’s Legacy”.
Ferguson has carved a name for himself as a conflict photojournalist, but he says after hitting burn out working in Afghanistan “I started to feel disillusioned with the whole military machine and the response from the general public about the presence in Afghanistan. The counterpoint to that for me was going to Iraq. I hadn’t covered Iraq during the occupation and I watched this whole community migrate to another war zone and there were so many conversations where people mixed up Afghanistan and Iraq. So I was thinking what more do I have to say and what impact is it having (the work in Afghanistan)? I didn’t have those answers. For me to make sense I decided to go to Iraq. I wanted to see what this landscape was like after the US’ departure.”
Ferguson “hassled the New York Times” for whom he shoots regularly, to send him to Iraq, and they finally capitulated. He spent a month on what he termed “a dream assignment. I had a road trip around the country and did my own thing essentially. I went back again just recently and did the same thing again for a couple weeks. Iraq’s Legacy was very much about navigating a landscape and a people and interacting with that to come up with a much more lucid narrative than the one around the military that I’d developed in Afghanistan. And it was looking at the toll and cost of war and this legacy a nation has post-US occupation”.
Asked what he hoped the audience would walk away with after viewing his work, he said “I hope they understand that the war wasn’t won, it was much more complicated than winning or losing. And I hope that I photographed enough intimate moments to get an insight into what it means to live in an environment where you have experienced so much trauma. And everyone in Iraq has witnessed an incredible amount of trauma. I think it is important that that’s not forgotten”.
We turn to one particular image in Ferguson’s photo essay that resonated strongly with me; that of a young girl with roller skates, evoking the sense that child’s play is universal. “Yeah in many ways it was kind of too good to be true coming across a scene like that,” said Ferguson. “Sometimes as a photographer I feel like we just pump out these kind of poetic clichés especially when we are focusing on people who have lived through a lot of agony. When I took this shot it was snowing and these two young girls were playing on the street. One of them picked up her roller skates and started making her way down this dirt road in the snow and to me it was a metaphor for the country really. Here was this young girl, with this kind of technology on her feet and not really the surface to use it properly in adverse weather conditions. And it was beautiful and kind of gracious”.
Andrew Quilty – Fire, Water and Wind: After the Storm
Andrew Quilty, an Australian photojournalist based in New York, said Festival Director Stephen Dupont’s reputation “was a big factor in choosing to be part of Reportage. The quality of participants is incredible. I think Reportage is aiming to branch out to an audience beyond photographers and photojournalists and the locations that Stephen has selected for the exhibitions and talks will do that. Bringing photojournalism to the Museum of Contemporary Art is a real feat. In Australia photojournalism as art struggles in comparison to places like New York where there is a real respect for photojournalism, not just retrospectively, but in the present. Anything that promotes photojournalism like Reportage does, is important and this year the Festival is aiming sky-high”.
Quilty, who is a multi-award winner, is also a member of Oculi, a collective of Australian photographers, who have a group show this year with the theme of “Home”. With the group show Quilty said, “There are no photo essays as such, but we’ve all responded in our own ways to the theme home. There’s around eighty photographs in the exhibition and we are giving audience members the opportunity to select forty photographs which they can assemble as they wish in a personalised book that is being produced by Blurb. So we are putting the process of editing into the hands of the audience and I am really keen to see how that works”.
Quilty chose to shoot in black and white, which he said was “entirely an aesthetic choice. I went with a preconceived idea to show that contrast of the trees and baked earth and smoky skies, to show the monochromatic landscape left after the fires”.
Oculi Collective: HOME
Cleland Bond Building, Reportage Festival Hub
Until 13 June
Ed Giles – Aleppo, Syria
Australian photojournalist Ed Giles is based in Cairo, and has returned home to Sydney as the technical editor for Reportage’s projections programme. Giles, who is represented by Getty Images, has extensively covered the Arab Spring and the work he has on show at Reportage includes recent images shot in Aleppo, Syria.
In November last year Giles travelled with a unit of the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo, with the intention of telling a more “human story, which ended up being in the context of the katiba, an army unit,” he explained.
Luck held with them from the start as the pair made their way into Syria through Turkey via a “relatively safe route with good people”. Then finding a katiba that was active, “doing interesting things and happy to talk on camera” delivered another lucky break. “I’ve had friends go in with a unit and sit in an apartment for days without going out, and without getting them on camera. So I got really lucky and nothing really awful happened while I was there in the immediate vicinity so it wasn’t a particularly bad experience in terms of the level of risk”.
The photo essay Giles shot in Aleppo forms part of his greater body of work on the Arab Spring conflicts. Capturing the images in “On the Front Line with Aleppo’s Martyrs of Truth” involved going out on night patrol, climbing through hollowed out buildings to avoid being on the street and exposed to snipers, and living with the katiba in the apartments appropriated by the Free Syrian Army for their bases.
The katiba Giles worked with was based in “a very nice upper middle class area of Aleppo”, where there had been beautiful parks and apartments full of memories of lives well lived. We talk about a photograph where the leader of the katiba, who was killed only days after Giles left the city, is praying. In the apartment are photographs of children and the personal belongings of those who have fled. It is a stark reminder of the toll of the conflict on the citizens of the city whose lives have been upturned.
Giles said it was an odd experience to camp in someone’s home, and clearly that sentiment was also held by members of the katiba. “As you move through these apartment buildings with the katiba there’s all sorts of graffiti on the walls of the stairwells. Some are messages to the people who own the apartments saying the Free Syrian Army didn’t do this to your house, we are sorry to damage your property, but we have to in order to save Syria. They know they are occupying peoples homes”.
The Free Syrian Army comprises many who have defected from the government’s troops and there were a few in the katiba Giles travelled with that were uncertain of Giles’ objectives and reluctant to go on camera. “But the three guys at the top of the katiba wanted us there to tell their story so the standing order was to welcome us”. As a result Giles has captured a series of images that allow the viewer to see the human side to these fighters who lie hidden in an ancient city which has seen it all before.
This week’s Friday Round Up delivers a visual feast of images from three major festivals – Sydney’s Reportage Documentary Photography Festival and Head On Photo Festival, and PhotoMed on the French island of Bendor (near Marseilles). There are a lot of images this week that deserve attention. Please take the time to look at each. Have a great weekend wherever you are.
Reportage – Documentary Photography at its Best
Censored – Scarred man after Rwandan genocide (C) James Nachtwey
This week the photojournalism community has demonstrated its collective outrage in regards to the actions of Destination NSW in censoring photographs in the Reportage documentary photography festival, which this year falls under the Vivid Festival banner, an annual event owned and managed by Destination NSW.
The censorship was indiscriminate with images of burned out landscapes, flooded towns and children living without electricity, part of the cull. As for the “dead babies,” which CEO of Destination NSW, Sandra Chipchase said was the impetus for the censorship, they were harder to spot. In fact I couldn’t find an image that blatantly featured the offending “dead” baby. (You can see some of the images below which were culled).
More offensive than any of these images is the ignorance demonstrated by Destination NSW. As highly awarded, and respected, photojournalist Jack Picone said the act of censorship is “the work of oppressive regimes, mad dictators, oligarchs and police states”. You can read Jack’s erudition on the issue here.
Reportage exists because of a handful of photojournalists, including the members of the photojournalist collective Degree South, who are committed to bringing documentary photography to a wider audience. In 2010 I wrote a feature for Pro Photo on Reportage’s Tenth Anniversary. At the time Michael Amendolia, one of the founders of Reportage, said the idea for the festival came from “the lack of real acceptance in Australia to show the deeper dimensions of the photo documentary essay. Photojournalists were travelling and doing stories on their own accord. Newspapers would show one photograph, and cover stories that involved parochial concerns. There were few forums to show the work in any depth…” Unfortunately it seems that nothing has changed. You can read the full story on Reportage’s Tenth Anniversary in 2010 here, to understand that this festival has had a life long before the bureaucrats at Destination NSW became involved.
The level of visual illiteracy displayed by the supposed premier tourism body for NSW as to the nature of documentary photography is appalling – it seems unfathomable that they are so clueless as to what documentary photography and photojournalism involves. No Ms. Chipchase it isn’t about photos of what you had for dinner or how cute your dog is.
The censorship of Reportage paints Australia as a cultural backwater, an image that many of us involved in the arts work hard to alter. Thanks to Destination NSW, that task is now made even harder pushing us back to the narrow thinking of the fifties. No wonder so many talented Australians leave our shores.
Visit the Reportage website for a full listing of all the exhibitions and events here.
David Burnett Talks About His Amazing 40 year career Sunday 2nd June, 2pm-6pm Museum for Contemporary Art, Sydney
A Retrospective Journey with David Burnett will cover the course of a life’s career discussing his work from the Iranian Revolution to Bob Marley and to the documentation of the U.S Presidents from JFK to Obama. He will also discuss the origins of Contact Press Images together with Co-founder Robert Pledge, the challenges and success in founding a successful and prestigious photo documentary agency. I had the pleasure of interviewing David about his Bob Marley exhibition, which is also part of Reportage. He is extremely engaging and has some terrific tales to share. Tickets are $15. Buy here.
Leysis Quesada Vera – An Interior View
‘An Interior View’ is on show at Sydney gallery, Black Eye as part of the Reportage Festival, where more than 20 large format black and white photographs are on exhibition. ‘An Interior View’ delivers an “intimate” look into Leysis Quesada Vera’s world. Here she has captured the nuances of Cuban life as only a native can.
Black Eye Gallery
3/138 Darlinghurst Rd Darlinghurst, Sydney
Until June 9
Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb
Violet Isle: Two Visions of Cuba – closes 1st June
(C) Rebecca Norris Webb
This is the last chance to see Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb’s inaugural Sydney exhibition of their work from Cuba. The exhibition features a selection of images from their best-selling book ‘Violet Isle’, which began as independent projects that became complementary. The Webb’s Cuban work explores a country that they described as being in an “economic, political, cultural and ecological bubble…outside the world of globalization”. The Violet Isle, which is a “little-known” name for Cuba captures life on the streets, Alex’s focus, as well as Rebecca’s “surprising discovery of unique and sometimes mysterious animals”.
Violet Isle: Two Visions of Cuba
Level 5 / 56 – 60 Foster St Surry Hills
Head On – Sydney Until 23 June
While attention has been on Reportage for all the wrong reasons, Sydney’s other photography festival, Head On, is also currently in full swing with a programme that features more than 100 exhibitions. Next week more exhibitions from Head On will be profiled on Friday Round Up.
PhotoMed – France Until 16 June
2013 marks the third installation of PhotoMed, a festival designed to “improve visibility to Mediterranean photographers”. The festival features both renowned as well as emerging photographers. “Art, especially the photographic medium is a means to overcome the limitations imposed by partisans issues. PhotoMed takes you on a varied, amazing, surprising and rewarding photographic journey in, on the island of Bendor and at the Hotel des Arts in Toulon”. 22 exhibitions, photographic workshops, portfolio reviews and various installations combine to “give this festival a global dimension.” So if you are lucky enough to be in France, PhotoMed is on until 16 June.
This week’s Friday Round Up features excerpts from Alison Stieven-Taylor’s coverage of Head On Photo Festival Sydney on Le Journal de la Photographie. Head On runs until 23 June with exhibitions and outdoor events held throughout the harbor city. Click on each of the links below to read the full stories and interviews. Next week Friday Round Up features interviews from Sydney’s documentary photography festival, Reportage, which opens this Saturday and runs until 13 June. Have a great weekend.
Paul Blackmore – New Beirut
Vlad Sokhin is a Russian/Portuguese documentary photographer who is based in Sydney. His exhibition, Crying Meri – Violence Against Women in Papua New Guinea documents the violence against women that is rife in Papua New Guinea (PNG). According to statistics, two thirds of the female population of this Pacific nation suffers abuse at the hands of their partners and fifty per cent are victims of sexual assaults. Read more here
Darren Jew – Liquid Light
Four times winner of the Australian Science, Environment and Nature Photographer of the Year Award (Canon/AIPP), Darren Jew is one of Australia’s most respected environmental and underwater photographers. His exhibition Liquid Light explores the interaction between life, light and water in the undersea world capturing the diversity of the marine life from the crystal clear tropical waters of the Pacific to the depths of the icy Southern Ocean. Read more here
Tracie Williams – Beauty
American photographer Tracie William’s exhibition Beautyexplores themes around self-perception, societal expectations and innocence. In this series Williams documents her younger sister’s involvement in the American beauty pageants where parents spend thousands of dollars on their young daughters’ clothing, make up and hair in the hope to win, and be crowned the most beautiful. Read more here
Ben Lowy – Interview
Bangladeshi photographer, journalist and activist Shahidul Alam was in Sydney for the opening of his exhibition, Crossfire and took time out to talk with me about how the project came about and the ongoing impact it is having in his country and beyond. Read full interview here
Last night hundreds of photography professionals and enthusiasts attended the official opening of the fourth Head On Photo Festival in Sydney at TAFE Ultimo. In a steamy room that rumbled with the chit chat of friends and colleagues, Festival Director Moshe Rosenzveig told the crowd it was “scary how big the festival is each year”. With over 900 photographers participating in the five week extravaganza, “there is something for and by everyone; photography is inclusive”.
“Every year I’m surprised by the sheer number and the amazing quality of the entries and this year was no exception. I was very excited to see how much interest there was in the Landscape category which received such a diversity of entries,” said Rosenzveig.
The Head On Portrait Prize winners were announced by Kevin Cooper of Fujifilm, one of the Festival’s major supporters.
1st Jonathan May – “A powerful image of the resilience of the human spirit despite the tragedy of his life. Juxtapose the harrowing experience he endured and the innocence of childhood and playfulness.”
1st Tim Levy – “Juxtaposition of a man-made landscape sterile environment and the natural landscape. A layered image with different elements.”
Book of Year – Ingvar Kenne – CITIZEN portraits 1997 – 2012
Runner Up – Michael Kai – The World Is Yours
Photojournalism & Documentary – Dan O’Day – Ginger & Pearl, Two Lives, One love, A Retrospective
Landscape and Travel – Robert Cameriere – Scillia
Portrait – Ingvar Kenne – CITIZEN portraits 1997 – 2012
Open – Michael Kai – The World Is Yours
Gilbert Bel-Bachir – Looking Through Glass
Looking Through Glass
Opens 22 May until 17 June
Alliance Française de Sydney
Level 13, 257 Clarence St, Sydney
Visit Bel-Bachir’s website for more details
Marnya Rothe – Women in Uniform
Marnya Rothe is a Sydney-based photographer who uses her camera to explore themes of feminism, sexuality and voyeurism. In her exhibition Women in Uniform, which is part of Head On Festival, Rothe “presents portraits of powerful, beautiful women attempting to break the glass ceiling of traditionally male dominated careers such as pilots, trades, the police force and the defence force. The images challenge and explore sexual connotations imposed on women who happen to wear lipstick with their hard-hats, or heels with their suits”. Opens tomorrow.
126 Regent Street, Redfern
Opening Saturday 11 May 2-5pm
Visit Rothe’s website for more details
Tom Evangelidis – Black Eye Gallery
New Sydney gallery, Black Eye, opens with a dramatic exhibition, Façade, by photographer Tom Evangelidis featuring iconic architecture from some of the world’s most visually stunning cities including Prague and St Peterburg.
Façade features work taken over a ten-year period and builds on previous exhibitions on a similar theme. There is also a book available of the work. Black Eye also stocks high end photographic books.
Black Eye Gallery Darlinghurst
Black Eye Gallery
3/138 Darlinghurst rd Darlinghurst
Façade is on until 19 MayVisit Evangelidis’ website for more details
Requiem – Curated by Tim Page
The exhibition Requiem, which features images from the book of the same name by war photojournalists Tim Page and Horst Faas, opens at the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival in Melbourne today. Requiem commemorates the work of all the dead and the missing, from all nations, who were lost in the thirty-year struggle for liberation in Indochina. Requiem the exhibition is now on permanent display at the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City and Page has curated a version of the exhibition for the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival.
Yarra Gallery until 19 May
Federation Square Ground Level Yarra Building
Human Rights Arts & Film Festival
Visit the Festival Website for more details
This week new “unpublished” photographs from legendary Tim Page, this time from Cuba. Page visited Cuba three times over 1988/1989. Please click on this link or at the top of the blog to see more photographs.
A Single Photo Speaks for the Dead:
This photo taken by Bangladeshi photographer Taslima Akhter of the garment factory collapse in Dhaka on April 25 is what photojournalism is all about. In one image the photographer has captured the human toll of rapacious corporate greed seen in the last embrace of those who perished. These people were not cared for by their employers, they were simply workers, not someone’s daughter or son, mother or father, lover or friend. They were just cheap labour exploited by corporations and by their own government. Taslima said, “As a witness to this cruelty, I feel the urge to share this pain with everyone. That’s why I want this photo to be seen”.
The week on Friday Round Up a new book from writer/photographer John Ogden, Slightly Dangerous; Sebastião Salgado in interview for Genesis; and an exhibition on the Yakuza features in this year’s Head On Festival in Sydney.
There’s something very seductive about Cyclops Press’ latest book, Slightly Dangerous, by writer and photographer John Ogden, which comes with a warning on the cover: “this book contains explicit reference to sex, drugs and rock-n-roll”. But beyond the titillation that a warning always evokes, this book is a work of art in itself that takes the reader on an unorthodox journey through the 1950s until now.
The book is peppered with journal-style entries and photographs taken by Ogden throughout his career. Ogden has had a mixed, and at times lauded, career, but photography and storytelling have always been at his core. In the 1970s he worked as a photojournalist, and also studied anthropology and history. In the 1980s he turned his hand to film and later went on to become an award-winning Director of Photography (DOP) for feature films and documentaries. He also worked in advertising and with MTV. But “riding the gravy train” wasn’t spiritually fulfilling and when he lost an eye to surfing and then went blind in the other due to cataracts, he took it as a sign and decided to embrace something more meaningful. Publishing seemed like a good idea and once he’d had eye surgery and regained his sight, he threw himself into Cyclops Press, which is where he is today.
Sexy, stylish, seductive – the three s’s of success – sums up Slightly Dangerous, a brave, insightful, demanding and ultimately uplifting read that reaffirms that the world would be far less interesting if it weren’t for the likes of John Ogden.
Slightly Dangerous is available now. Contact Cyclops Press for more information.
An exhibition of the works contained in the book is also on display until 2 June at Manly Art Gallery and Museum.
Sebastião Salgado is an icon to photographers around the world although this incredibly unpretentious man, who has created some of the most extraordinary, and important, imagery of our time, would probably not identify with that label.
In March I had the enormous privilege of interviewing Salgado about his latest epic project: Genesis, which is both a book and touring exhibition. To me, Salgado is like the Mick Jagger of documentary photography, so the opportunity to speak to someone whose work I admire enormously was at once exciting and somewhat nerve-wracking. But his deep passion for the work quickly dispelled any sense of celebrity.
Genesis is an eight-year project that has taken Salgado to 32 countries in his search for the most “pristine locations” left on earth, and for the people who are still living in harmony with nature, as they have done for millennia.
There has been a hiatus of several years between the creation of this work and his last long-term project, Migrations, a collection of images spanning 40 countries; profound visual evidence of humankind’s will to survive, and also of a cruelty beyond measure. He tells me that after the emotional weight of Migrations he required time out.
“I spent six years working with refugee and migrant populations in very tough situations. In Rwanda I saw so many incredibly violent things, brutality at a level you cannot imagine, such total violence. I started to become sick. I saw so many deaths that I started to die.” It is more than a decade since Migrations was completed, but the tremor in his voice is still evident as he recalls experiences that have left him deeply affected.
Salgado says he and his wife Lélia Wanick Salgado, who is his partner in all aspects of his life, “retired a little bit in our place in Brazil on land we had received from my parents. This big farm is where I was born, and it had been more than 50 percent rainforest, but when I received what was left, it was less than half a percent of rainforest. All my region had been destroyed in order to build the modern Brazil, destroyed as humanity has done everywhere on the planet. Lélia had an idea of replanting the rainforest that was here. So we started our environmental project to restore our forest not knowing that we were becoming environmental activists”.
They consulted a friend who was knowledgeable in forest restoration and he estimated that 2.5 million trees of more than 200 species would be required to revive the ecosystem that had existed previously. Salgado says, “we are not rich people, so we began to raise money from many different places and we transformed this land into a national park”. Over the next three years hundreds of thousands of trees started to grow, and the water came back, as did birds, mammals and other rainforest animals.
He tells me that the restoration of the rainforest is now almost complete with two million trees in the ground as at December last year. “We now have more than 177 species of birds in our forest, and the jaguars are coming back. Our forest in Brazil has become one of the biggest environmental projects in the country. We have also created an educational centre, Instituto Terra, and the biggest nursery for native plants of our region with a capacity to produce about one million seedlings a year of more than 100 different species. It has become an incredible project. And now our publisher Taschen is going to offset the carbon it takes to produce our book so we can do even more. This project started as an accident…” he trails off and I can hear in his voice that he is still amazed by what they have achieved.
As Salgado watched the rainforest recuperate he says, “the life started to become stronger in us too. And I had an idea to go back to photography, but no more did I want to photograph the only animal I had focused on all my life, us. I had an idea to photograph the other animals and to photograph the landscape, and yes to photograph us, but us from the beginning when we lived in harmony with nature. We wanted to do a new presentation of the planet to show the people how incredible our planet is and so I spent eight years to tell this story”.
The logistics behind Genesis are almost as impressive as the final outcome, a feat Lélia describes as a “marathon”. A mixture of donkeys, boats, planes, balloons and trucks afforded transport. Many journeys had to be done by foot and timing was worked around small windows of good weather – summer in Antarctica and the Artic, before the rains in Indonesia or the floods in Brazil. Salgado travelled in two-month blocks making four trips a year for eight years. He, Lélia and the team at Amazonas Images, the Salgado’s company, worked tirelessly researching to plan the scope of Genesis. Next came funding – a project of this scale is expensive – and many editorial partners and organisations were enlisted to support it. Finally in 2004 Salgado was ready to make his first trip for Genesis, to the Galápagos Islands, which Lélia says was “a logical starting point for a look back at our planet’s earlier life”.
After each trip Salgado would return home to Paris with 10,000 images. Shooting on both film and digital, each image was assessed, without the aid of a computer – he doesn’t use one. The end result is an extraordinary collection of more than 200 black and white photographs (he doesn’t shoot in colour). Taschen has published Genesis, the book, with the exhibition of the same name currently showing in London at the Natural History Museum. Lélia is once again editor, curator and designer of the collection, which is divided into five sections: Planet South; Sanctuaries including The Galápagos, Indonesia, Madagascar and Papua New Guinea; Africa; Northern Spaces and; Amazonia and Pantanal.
Planet South – “Twice the size of Australia, Antarctica seems even larger on maps because its landmass lies hidden beneath a vast frozen blanket that stretches hundreds of miles into the southern oceans. The coldest, driest and windiest of the world’s five continents, Antarctica’s fierce ecosystem reaches as far as the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and the southern mountains and coasts of Argentina and Chile. And yet in this harsh environment, the cycle of life goes on”.
Africa – “Since my first visit to Niger, in 1973, I have always felt a deep attachment to Africa. Even when assignments meant confronting crises of famine, drought or war, I jumped at the chance to return. With Genesis, however, I had an altogether happier experience – that of recording a seemingly eternal Africa, one of ancestral tribes, majestic landscapes and breathtaking wildlife. The continent may be vast and varied, yet its many ecosystems remain uniquely African”.
Northern Spaces – “The North Pole stands on ice, surrounded by hundreds of kilometers of frozen ocean, but the Arctic Circle itself is ringed by the northernmost regions of the Americas, Europe and Asia. As a result, the Arctic ecosystem reaches well into Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia and Russia. In some areas, the ice gives way to permafrost and tundra; in others, volcanoes, glaciers and canyons recall the geological convulsions that marked the formation of the earth. Yet, for all this, tenacious animals and peoples have chosen to live there”.
Amazonia and Pantanal – “From space, the Amazon River and its tributaries resemble a giant tree of life. Indeed, the entire Amazon basin represents life in myriad ways: as a global lung, as the source of 20 percent of the world’s fresh water, as home to uncounted species of flora and fauna, and as a refuge for scores of Indian tribes. On its peripheries, though, logging, cattle farming, mining and urbanization are slowly eating away at the jungle. Burned forest and cleared land have now left vast scars on what was once an uninterrupted carpet of green”.
In addition to the majesty of the photographs is the narrative. This textural analysis gives Genesis an even greater richness that combined with Salgado’s “eye” becomes a document of significant historical value. In viewing this book one cannot help, but be moved by the extraordinary beauty of nature and to understand what we stand to lose should we ignore the reality of our species’ impact on the planet.
In thinking about the highlights of this eight-year opus, Salgado recalls the 850km trek he made from one of the holiest cities in northern Ethiopia, Lalibela, to the town of Gondar, situated at 2300m and famous for its castles and church architecture. “The walk took about two months through the mountains,” says Salgado. “It was a unique experience and I walked because there are no roads. These tribes live as they did in Old Testament times and produce everything they consume, including food, textiles and farming tools. After the first week of walking I was very far from any towns and roads, and I was inspired to be part of this society that was completely living in another era, and in harmony with the land. They have very sophisticated agricultural practices and artisans and craftsmen are very important in this society. It is so beautiful and walking there you understand how these lands, these rivers all ran to Egypt and made the glory of Egypt, it was incredible”.
He tells how at the end of a long day’s walk he was so tired, and someone took off “my shoes to wash and cleanse my feet in the oldest symbolism of the humility of the Christians, you know, it was incredible. For me it was the most fabulous walk, you cannot imagine how beautiful it is really, the most pristine and beautiful place of the world”.
There were, of course, explorations that left him frustrated. He says he has no pictures of the Himalayas, but not for lack of trying. “I did a walk along the border of Butan and China, more than 550 kilometres across very high mountains and it was raining, monsoonal. Two months in the rain, that for me was very tough, it was a very long walk, and I became very tired with no pictures. That was the most difficult for me in this sense, but I wanted to see the most pristine places on the planet and they are not easy to access. If they were easy, we would have already destroyed them”.
Surprisingly there were few interruptions to his voyages – in a forest in Irian Jaya, Salgado fell ill with malaria and had to cut short that trip. And deep in the forests of Papua New Guinea, Jacques Barthélemy Salgado’s assistant had to be evacuated after his leg became infected from a bee sting – but much of what was planned went ahead without too many aberrations and Lélia and their son Juliano, a filmmaker, joined Salgado where possible.
At one point there were concerns over funding “when part of our original editorial partners could no longer sustain Genesis”, but VALE, a Brazilian company that is also a supporter of Instituto Terra, stepped into the breach and Genesis continued as planned.
We digress from talking about Genesis for a moment to discuss the future of documentary photography in the wake of the decline of print editorial. “I believe the future is there for the committed documentary photographer. With the Internet, humanitarian organisations and NGOs who have magazines that need pictures, and editorial work, we have a base that is now probably bigger than before, but it is challenging,” he concedes. “Lélia and I teach documentary photography in a school in Japan and we are seeing a lot of young photographers becoming very strong. When a young photographer tells me they want to do documentary photography, I tell them they must go back to University, study a little bit of sociology, anthropology, geopolitics and economics, in order to understand this planet and their society, so they can create a life of photography based in historical knowledge”.
The breadth of a project like Genesis wouldn’t have been possible without an understanding of the cultural and environmental issues that exist in the contemporary world. Genesis is a book that you will return to over and over again as the grandeur of the content is such that each picture requires its own time for reflection. For me the power of the still photograph is in allowing the viewer time to explore the image at their leisure, to revisit the familiar and to uncover the new. I ask Salgado for his thoughts on still photography.
“The still photograph is very important, more so than documentary video or film,” Salgado tells me. “I have a son who is a filmmaker and I see what he does and it is very interesting, but film shows history from the beginning to the end. Documentary photographs are different. Each photograph is a single image that must represent all the emotion, and all the light; it must show the life being captured in that photograph. When you do a stop in photography, that photograph becomes a kind of symbol, it is much more powerful than a full series of images that compose a video, which is a different way to tell a story. We need the still picture in the sense that we look to them and we don’t need translation, we don’t need text, we don’t need anything. I believe this is the power of the still image. And now with the Internet and the style of using a lot of images, the symbolic picture, the single image, is very powerful”.
We turn back to Genesis. After eight years immersed in this project, I ask him how he feels now it is completed. “ I want to go again,” he laughs and it is immediately obvious that Genesis has indeed rejuvenated his soul. “Because you see for Genesis I am finished, but I want to do a few things more. I’ll give you an example. I work a lot in the south of the planet and I want to complete that. I have a big wish to go to New Zealand, to the islands and to complete my set of pictures of the landscape in the south. I worked a lot for the Genesis project there, and I had worked before in this area. But I want to go back to see the mountains, I want to walk on that ground again. I saw so many incredible things that I want to connect with the planet and the environment, to me that is life”.
He says he’s always had a connection to nature. “Absolutely always. I was born on this farm in Brazil, I tell you I was born in a paradise, I had long walks in the forest and swam in the rivers with Caimans (a large aquatic South American reptile) and always in my life, look at my pictures, the best of my pictures they are of the countryside, so country for me is very important. For Genesis I walked a lot, climbed a lot, in my search for pristine locations. What I did for myself in going to these marvelous places is the biggest gift a person can receive”.
Whereas Migrations was “a very disturbing story”, Genesis is a celebration of the wonders of nature, but he cautions that “it is also a warning, I hope, of all that we risk losing. I hope that the people who see Genesis will understand we have an incredible planet, a planet that we must respect and protect. We must also have respect for our species and for the other animal species. We destroy too much and give too much to the modern part of our society. If we want to continue to live here we must restore order to what we have destroyed. Everything is alive on our planet. We must integrate again with our planet, or one day our planet will push us out completely, and we will disappear as a species. We are breaking this essential link that we have with nature. We are nature, but if we come back a little bit to nature we can be integrated with the planet I am sure”.
Earlier in the interview Salgado had told me he was not a rich man. Perhaps in the way the Western world views riches that may be true, but in the things that we should hold dear – compassion, humanity and respect for ourselves, other creatures and Mother Earth – he is abundant.
Sydney – Head On
This week starts Friday Round Up’s coverage of Australia’s largest photographic festival, Head On, which runs from 17 May to 23 June in Sydney. This year around 900 photographers are participating in the festival. More details to come. But for now, Anton Kusters photo essay on the Yakuza…
Anton Kusters – Yakuza
After negotiating with the Yakuza for nearly ten months, Anton Kusters spent two years documenting a Yakuza family in Japan, an experience he describes as “walking on eggshells”. His exhibition of this work is part of this year’s Head On festival in Sydney which opens 17 May. Yakuza is on exhibition at The Muse, TAFE Sydney Institute. Click here for more details.
Have a great weekend wherever you are.
Alison Stieven-Taylor’s story in March, “Death of a Festival” about the demise of Foto Freo, Australia’s most successful and longest running photography festival, hit a nerve with the directors of Australia’s other major photography festivals, namely Ballarat International Foto Biennale and Sydney’s Head On.
All photography festivals in Australia rely on a mix of government, corporate and private funding in order to mount comprehensive creative programs that in turn, attract the audience numbers required to attract financial support. Despite the fact that many of the people who “work” for these festivals are volunteers, or have vastly reduced their professional fees in order to see the festival get up, it still costs tens of thousands of dollars to mount a festival of the calibre of BIFB, Head On and the axed Foto Freo.
Moorfoot and Rosenzveig tell me audience numbers are high and increasing each festival, as was the case with Foto Freo. But that’s still not enough to get the funding bodies to commit to future events. The lack of support for visual arts is not new, but when you think you’ve ticked all the boxes – high audience numbers, quality exhibitions, workshops, international artists, media coverage et al – confusion as to where to go next and which circus act you might need to perform, rules the day.
Rosenzveig says that while Head On has attracted funding again this year, it is almost impossible to secure any kind of long term commitment despite last year’s festival pulling in 600,000 visitors. Each Festival it is a matter of jumping through hoops all over again. He says there is a whole range of issues including the commercial objectives of major industry players and the jostling for position in a small market, that are impacting all the photography festivals in Australia.
Alasdair Foster: “The issues of sustainability facing photo festivals here and overseas turn on a number of factors, of which the most important is the need for active and meaningful support by all those who benefit from them.
In the visual arts austerity simply takes on a different face from decade to decade. Of course, large museums and biennales soak up cash in the same way the major performing arts do. They have the big end of town to lobby over cocktails and lift the phone to their political equals. But the smaller and more specifically dedicated initiatives fare less well. Which is a problem, because it is they that truly engage the international with the local in ways that empower the individual, valuing each person as more than simply a bum for a seat: metric data.
It’s no good blaming bureaucrats for the decisions made or their political masters, however ‘arm’s length’ they are supposed to be. They operate out of the self-interest of staying on top and, given we live in a democracy that self-interest is sensitive to what is coming back at them from the community. If we want photo festivals – or any other kind of cultural or social benefit – we must fight for them.
There are very many photographers who have benefited from Australia’s remarkable photo festivals; an even larger number of the interested public who have been uplifted, challenged and inspired by what they have seen. These are the people who should now be putting pressure on the powers that manage the public purse. Sadly, however, the community seems to find it easier to take what’s on offer and move on, than work to ensure a sustainable future for the events that have, and could continue to, support and enrich them.
The photo community should recognise they have a choice: pull together and support these remarkable events, or wake up one day and find there are simply no opportunities available any more. It is so easy to destroy what we have by neglect; it takes effort to sustain something culturally nourishing. Luckily we have the men and women in these organisations willing to take on the workload necessary to stage our photo festivals. But do we have the community to support them?”
Jeff Moorfoot also agrees with Foster’s sentiments and hopes that those who benefit from the festivals will show their support by becoming members as he says in his open letter below.
“How can lovers of photography get behind events such as Ballarat to ensure they don’t go down the same path as Foto Freo?
It seems arts funders, philanthropists, state and federal governments, the photographic industry, educators and professional bodies, corporates and major local businesses, have little interest in supporting photography events such as the BIFB. Strange indeed on the part of the photography bodies given that their livelihoods depend on strong public interest in the medium!
With the importance of BIFB growing with each event in terms of tourism and international profile, as a huge economic generator and builder of the social fabric of Ballarat, as a mechanism for the support and career development of hundreds of artists, as a world quality arts and culture event that meets the highest critical acclaim and attracts a whopping audience, one would think that ongoing financial support would be a given. Right?
No so! On all those factors that mark the success of an event BIFB ticks all the boxes and continues to grow in scope, popularity and professionalism. Yet our funding support decreases proportionally. Go figure!!
So what can you do, you our supporters? You our audience that grows with each successive festival? What will you do for your photography fix when we are no longer? When Head On is no longer? When the Queensland Festival of Photography is no longer? Don’t think it can’t happen because the event is too big or too popular. Look at Foto Freo!
It’s not enough any more for you to appear simply as a statistic on our chrome clicker counters. Those who dole out the cash seem little concerned with numbers. The only way you can make sure events such as ours live for another event is to put your hand into your pocket and support what we give away to our audiences for free.
BIFB’11 saw 63,400 visitors through our seven main venues during the 30 day festival period, yet we seem to be unable to grow our member base much past 100. At a cost of just $40 for membership per festival [plus a $15 joining fee for first time members] – that’s only $20 a year. It’s less than what most would pay for parking on a single night out in Melbourne. Your support is minor in comparison to our costs, but major in terms of our ongoing viability. A membership of 1000 would put us well along the path of covering what it costs us to stage our Core Exhibition Program.
Four years ago there were five festivals of photography in Australia. Vivid in Canberra has gone. Foto Freo has gone. How many of us will exist in 2014 if you don’t support us? Please visit our website to find out what you can do to help.”
If numbers are any indication one has to presume that the photography-loving public wants these festivals. The question is, are they willing to pay for them in order to ensure their survival?
Friday Round Up – 19 April 2013
This week Friday Round Up features a photo essay by Vlad Sokhin, book reviews on new works by Anthony Karen and Hans-Christian Schink, an exhibition by Robert Rooney The Box Brownie Years and more unpublished images from legendary photojournalist Tim Page.
Vlad Sokhin – Child Slavery in Haiti
Russian/Portuguese documentary photographer Vlad Sokhin, who is based in Sydney, commenced his project about child slavery in Haiti, “Restavek” in 2012. Vlad said today “ there are 300 000 children, who are victims of domestic slavery. In Haitian Creole they are called “Restavek”, from French “reste avec” – “stay with”. Many parents, who live in poverty, are unable to feed their children and give them away to more affluent families, hoping that their child will live in better conditions and will be able to get an education. But, with few exceptions, Restavek children become slaves, working in the homes of their owners from early morning till night. Most of the Restaveks are not permitted to go to school and very often exposed to domestic and sexual violence”.
A boy looks at the mirror of a street hairdresser in Tapis Rouge slum area of Carrefour Feuilles neighborhood, Port-au-Prince. After the earthquake of 2010 many children became homeless and were given by their parents to be restaveks in rich families.
François-Jessica (11) with her brother and François-Samuel (7) inside the house of their “owners”. Their mother gave them to slavery after the earthquake of 2010 and since that time they have been serving a poor family of four people, living in a dwelling of the slum area of Morne L’Hospital, Port-au-Prince.
A street of the Cité Soleil Slum in Port-au-Prince. According to MINUSTAH, (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti), Cité Soleil is one of the poorest and the most dangerous places in the country, but even here people have slave children, who do all the work in their houses.
Viviane (11, left) helps her sister Islande (13) to clean tea-things in the house of their “owner” Jullienne. The sisters have been leaving in servitude with the host family since 2008, after their mother gave them away. They are constantly subjected to physical and verbal offences by the members of the host family.
Judeline (12), a domestic slave in a family of an English teacher, is sweeping the floor while her “owner” Geshly (34) is checking the messages on her mobile phone. Many women in Haiti ask their husbands to find restavek children to shift all the household chores on them.
Victoria, 15, a former restavek, lives with another eleven girls in the Transitional House that was built by the Restavek Freedom Foundation to provide shelter for the girls who were subjected to extreme abuses by host-families. The residents of the Transitional House live in high security environment and attend one of the best schools in Port-au-Prince.
Etienne (11), lives as a slave with Ivene, the 32-years-old a grocery and liquor store owner in the Slum of Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince. Etienne works in the shop from early morning until night and is constantly exposed to beatings and other offences from his “owner”.
Focused on covering social, environmental and cultural issues around the world, including post-conflict and natural disaster zones, Vlad, who has received numerous awards, has been published widely in international magazines and has exhibited in the US, Russia, Portugal, Georgia, and Turkey, and at the Visa Pour L’Image photo-festival in Perpignan. He also has a show in Sydney’s Head On Festival opening 15 May. For more information on his work please visit his website. (C) All photos Vlad Sokhin.
Two years ago, in March, Japan drew the world’s attention with millions of viewers glued to their television sets in disbelief as images of the tsunami that engulfed a 400 kilometer swathe of the country’s coastline were beamed into homes around the globe. The sheer scale and horror of the natural disaster was incomprehensible. A wall of water blackened by debris moved at staggering speed destroying everything in its path. Whole communities were washed away, and thousands lost their lives.
Photographer Hans-Christian Schink travelled to the region of Tōhoku a year after the tsunami to document the aftermath. The result is a collection of photographs in the book, Tōhoku.
To find out more please visit this link.
Anthony Karen’s photo essay on the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in the US is disturbing on a number of levels and I have to admit I found this work somewhat distressing. In the tradition of photojournalism, Anthony’s photographs ripple with the undercurrents of society, in this case the bias and racism that inspires people to join the KKK. Personally it is difficult to look at these photos and suppress dismay at the overt bigotry and hatred that still exists in 2013 in the US; it’s not a revelation but it is subject matter that is nevertheless confronting.
If I were to choose one emotion that these images evoke it is sadness; for the children who grow up in an environment through which they have little hope of seeing another view of the world. As a journalist I support the concepts of freedom of speech and freedom of choice unreservedly. Everyone has as a right to make choices and believe what they want. But surely freedom necessitates knowing both sides of the story and making an educated decision. I don’t see the children in these images being given that benefit, and it is the blind acceptance of any philosophy, that leads to the intolerance of others.
This is a brave work on a topic that is divisive, but like all great photojournalistic works, this is food for thought and in publishing this book FotoEvidence is living up to its charter “to continue the tradition of using photography to draw attention to human rights violations, injustice, oppression and assaults on sovereignty or human dignity wherever they may occur”. White Pride is available on iTunes.
FotoEvidence is currently accepting proposals for digital photo books to be published during 2014. If interested please send a statement about the work and a link to selected images for our review. Deadline for proposals for this year is June 30th, 2014. To find out more visit the FotoEvidence website.
Robert Rooney – The Box Brownie Years
Black and white photographs taken by Australian artist, photographer and musician Robert Rooney back in the 1950s, when he was an art student, are the cornerstones to the exhibition “Robert Rooney – The Box Brownie Years 1956-58” now on at the Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) in Melbourne.
These photographs have been revived and brought into the contemporary world, scanned and output as inkjet prints. But their modern presentation doesn’t detract from the aesthetic of the original format in which they were taken. Their filmic quality, the contrast and shadows of a black and white world, transport the viewer back to an era that is vastly different to the present in many ways, and yet familiar. The children pictured are perhaps defined in a period of history by their clothing, haircuts and surrounds. But the machinations of child’s play, of teenagers jostling for position in the playground, of jocular actions masking angst and petty rivalries, of boys bored and throwing rocks, of children playing games on the sidewalk, are common themes of childhood that span generations.
On display for the first time, the ‘Box Brownie’ photographs are exhibited at CCP alongside four of Rooney’s paintings. A short film he shot in 1956 ‘The Quadrangle’ also forms part of the exhibition, and it too has been delivered into the contemporary world with its music composed and performed by Rooney in 2009. Rooney is now in his seventies and has worked with curators, Patrick Pound and Maggie Finch, to bring this collection together. (C) All photographs Robert Rooney.
Robert Rooney – The Box Brownie Years 1956-58
Until 19 May, 2013
Centre for Contemporary Photography
404 George Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne
Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Friday 11am-6pm
Saturday & Sunday 12noon-5pm
Visit the Gallery website for more information.
Tim Page Unpublished Photographs
(C) Tim Page – Afghanistan 2009
Have a great weekend wherever you are.
Friday Round Up – 12 April 2013
Sara Lewkowicz – Domestic Violence
Donna Ferrato, a photojournalist of international standing and a veteran in the industry, ran a story on her blog, Unbeatable, a website “dedicated to people against domestic violence”, in March this year that is worth sharing. The photo essay by a young photographer, Sara Lewkowicz depicts a man beating his partner in front of their child. The images are shocking in the way that good photojournalism should be.
Ferrato said Lewkowicz had “taken pictures with power that could shake the world out of a stupor about violence against women”. Ferrato worked with New York LensBlog’s James Estrin and photography director Karen Mullarkey to “birth Sara’s story about a battered woman who didn’t go back”. This is powerful and disturbing photojournalism that everyone should see. To see the full photo essay and read the whole story, please click here. All photos (C) Sara Lewkowicz.
If You Knew Me You Would Care
Friday Round Up – 5 April 2013
|(C) Tadashi Ono|
|(C) Malick Sidibé|
|(C) Nicholas Bouvier|
|(C) Tim Page Afghanistan|
Friday Round Up – 29 March 2013
Friday Round Up – 22 March 2013
Michael Biach – Made in Bangladesh
A few weeks ago I posted about Austrian photographer Michael Biach’s photo essay shot in Košice, Slovakia, which documents the lives of the inhabitants of the Lunik IX apartment complex where several thousand Roma people live in the most squalid conditions.
Again this photographer’s work has caught my eye. His photo essay Made in Bangladesh tells of the exploitation of local workers, many of them children, in the country’s bid to compete with other markets (China and Vietnam as examples) to make clothes cheaply for the West – clothes that aren’t sold cheaply in Europe or the USA, clothes that feed into the greed of the giant corporations who continue to disrespect basic human rights in the name of profits.
These workers are paid a pittance, less than 20 Euros a month, and they work six days a week, twelve hours a day. This is an important story from one of the most insightful young photojournalists working today. While the Bangladeshi government sees this income stream as vital to the development of its country, the West is culpable. We, as consumers, have the ultimate power. If we stop buying these goods and demand better conditions for the souls who toil in conditions that few in the West can imagine, nothing will change. To see more of Michael’s work please visit his website here. (C) All photos Michael Biach.
Donald Weber – Grant Writing Sydney
Calling all Australian Photographers – Learn to Write Grants from Donald Weber
Here’s a great opportunity to learn how to write a grant submission following techniques that have proven successful for Donald Weber, a member of VII Photos and an award-winning photographer. Weber has received grants from numerous sources including a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Lange-Taylor Prize, The Duke & Duchess of York Prize, and the Magnum Foundation’s Emergency Fund Grant amongst others. Weber has applied this funding to create works “on his own terms and own time”. Weber will be in Sydney to run a one-day workshop on June 8. Please click here for details and to register.
More than 900 photographers are involved in this year’s Head On festival to be held in Sydney. The full program will be launched on 8 April, but the Festival confirms Benjamin Lowy will be a special guest. Lowy’s work has been widely exhibited at galleries such as the Tate Modern (London) and MOMA (San Francisco). His subject matter, which has focused on conflicts in Libya, Afghanistan, Haiti, Darfur, Indonesia, China and Papua New Guinea, has won him numerous awards. For Head On Lowy will participate in workshops, exhibitions and talks. Visit the Head On website for more information and program updates.
Anne Ackermann – Gulu Youth
Nelson and his friends meet every afternoon to chew leaves, drink and smoke. Chewing makes them feel good about themselves, giving them confidence and self-esteem.
Lady Sharia is 24 years old and a well know musician in Gulu. In her songs she sings about equality of men and women and female empowerment. Few people know that she was abducted to be a child soldier with the LRA and has born two children in captivity.
Angel does occasional jobs like cleaning and working in bars. She dreams about meeting a white man to marry her. She goes out at night hoping to find this person.
This is a work in progress and part of a bigger project about Gulu, which is supported by a grant of VG Bildkunst, Germany. To see more of Anne’s work please visit her website. (C) All images Anne Ackermann.
Every freelance writer and photographer should be interested in this story. The move to digital platforms by media companies hasn’t been the financial windfall they hoped for. Rather than cutting costs at the top-end of their structures, creative people are expected to wear the cost of the media companies’ diminishing profits by working for free. I’d like to see the people who are running these companies do their jobs, pay their bills and feed their families, without getting paid.
Until the media business model changes, and news corporations go back to reporting the news, textural and visual, profits and shareholders and bean counters’ salaries will continue to take precedence over quality content. In PEW’s State of the Media Report 2013 it was revealed that more than 30 percent of American’s had abandoned newspapers because of lack of integrity in content. How long before the industry implodes? You do the math.
Here is a quote from an article on the Photoshelter Blog by Lauren Margolis. It’s worth reading in full.
In response to not paying freelancers The Altantic editor Alan Taylor said:
“It is true that I am not budgeted to pay for outside photographers, but that’s because almost all of my budget goes to pay for existing agency contracts. So there is significant money going out our door for photography, just not directly to the photographers…So I am now in a position (like anyone else) to either ask for more budget (which I have done), or cut down or eliminate one of our contracts, to free up money for freelancers.”
To read the full story please click here.
Many hold a fascination for India, its chaotic cities teem with life, creating a visual and aural melting pot. Based in Paris, Camille Léage says, “no one can fail to be impressed at the enigma that is India, a country which has the ability to inspire, frustrate, thrill and confound at all once”. She says her photo essay on India “functions as a journal that catches some fragments of the unique beauty of the country. It depicts the underlying strength of its everyday life from the hidden valleys of Ladakh and Muslim Kashmir to the Hindu holy cities along the River Ganges”.
This week on Friday Round Up a new iPad book from John Vink, new iPhone images from Michael Coyne, Franco Pagetti opens an exhibition in New York with a panel discussion and for something completely different, take a look at Lisa Tomasetti’s quirky on the street photographs of the Australian Ballet in New York, Paris and Tokyo. And if you didn’t get to it last week, please take a moment to read the feature article on the Death of a Festival. This story has ramifications for all the photography festivals in Australia and in the coming weeks there’ll be more musings on this topic. But for now have a fabulous weekend wherever you are and enjoy these images.
Belgium born John Vink has worked as a photojournalist since 1971. During his career he has won numerous awards including the Eugene Smith Humanitarian Award, and is a full member of Magnum Photos (1997). Based in Cambodia since 2000, Vink has published numerous books and has recently moved to the iPad platform. Last year he published Quest for Land on iPad. Now the first in his Mono series for iPad is available – the eBook ‘Same Saᴟe’.
Australian photojournalist Michael Coyne is probably best known for his photographs of the Iran Iraq War in the 1980s, a period in which he was incredibly prolific and a time when his photographs made the covers of international magazines. Coyne, who has spent much of his life traversing the globe with camera in hand, has recently returned from Papua New Guinea where he was working on his long-term photographic project about the world’s villages.
This time while he was out in the field he experimented with his iPhone. “I was a bit skeptical about using it as a camera, but in the end the iPhone is just the same as any other capturing device. I was working on my village book going from village to village and decided I’d use the iPhone to capture random moments”.
To see the full collection and hear the recording please visit Coyne’s site here. Sound recording Michael Silver and upload Greg Tinkler. All images (C) Michael Coyne.
VII Photos Franco Pagetti opens his exhibition at the VII Gallery New York on Tuesday 19 March, the day former US President George W Bush declared war on Iraq ten years ago.
At the opening Pagetti will be joined by National Geographic’s Alice Gabriner, Jamie Wellford, co-curator of the Flashback Iraq exhibition and Michael Kamber from the Bronx Documentary Centre as panel members for a discussion forum to be held at 6.30pm. Please click here for more details. And to see more of the VII Photos’ photographers images from Iraq please visit the website.
|(c) All image Franco Pagetti|
|(C) Lisa Tomasetti – Times Square New York|
Beauty, grace and athleticism meet the grit, chaos and noise of some of the world’s largest urban cities in these stunningly beautiful, and quirky photographs of the Australian Ballet’s finest dancers.
Shot over the past eight years in Paris, Tokyo and New York by photographer Lisa Tomasetti, also an Australian, there is something almost surreal about photographs of ballerinas in their tutus and satin point shoes “dancing” on hard road surfaces or across bridges and through railway stations. But the photographs are incredibly engaging and you can’t help but smile when you see the locations that these dancers are in; certainly not where you’d expect to see professional ballerinas.
Behind the Scenes: The Australian Ballet on the International Stage
James Makin Gallery, Melbourne
For gallery details please click here
Friday Round Up – 8 March 2013
Originally from the US, Turnley lives in Paris and his Streets of Paris workshop will provide unique insights that only a “local” can reveal. In Sicily the Easter festivities and processions will provide a canvas of moments ready to capture. And Cuba, with its vibrant culture is a visual feast. Turnley has photographed in over 90 countries. Participants will have the opportunity to create a portfolio of photographs. Places are limited so if you are keen please check out the link here.
Sicily 27 March – 2 April
Cuba 17-23 April
Paris 19-25 May
|(C) Ron Haviv|
|(C) Maciek Nabrdalik|
|Workshop leader Jack Picone|
Friday Round Up – 22 February 2013
On this week’s Friday Round Up the campaign A Day Without News? launches, VII Photos’ Our World at War, photo essays by Michael Biach and GMB Akash and a beautiful, tranquil landscape exhibition by Soumitra Datta. Many of this week’s images are a sobering reminder of the daily struggle for survival and the hardships faced by peoples of all races. These images are further evidence of the importance of the role of photography in bringing stories to our attention that might otherwise not be told, and of the dedication of the photojournalists who are committed to giving a voice to those who are silent.
Many journalists and photojournalists risks their lives on a daily basis to bring us news from war zones around the world. The campaign, A Day Without News? launches today, 22 February, on the first anniversary of the deaths in Syria of journalist Marie Colvin and photojournalist Rémi Ochlik, two of the 90 journalists killed in the past year.
The purpose of the campaign is:
To draw sharper attention to the growing numbers of journalists who have been killed and injured in armed conflict, in some cases as a result of direct targeting by the belligerents;
To develop a public diplomacy, institutional and legal agenda to combat this more effectively; and
To investigate and collect evidence in support of prosecutable cases in this area.
The ultimate goal is for A Day Without News? to generate grassroots support within the community that will further the work of the Committee to Protect Journalists , Reporters Without Borders, Human Rights Watch, and other invaluable organizations who are dedicated to this issue. A Day Without News? is working closely with these organizations to ensure that this campaign serves their missions – hopefully by building public support through publicity; increasing pressure for change through diplomacy; and facilitating the identification, investigation and prosecution of war crimes committed against journalists.
Please spread the word. A Day Without News?
Our World At War is a worldwide campaign designed to raise awareness of today’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. The campaign marks the 150th anniversary of the Red Cross. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) worked with five VII photographers who travelled to eight conflict-affected countries to examine up-close the suffering caused by war and violence.
Franco Pagetti (Lebanon and Columbia), James Nachtwey (Afghanistan and Philippines), Ron Haviv (Haiti and Congo), Antonin Kratochvil (Caucasus) and Christopher Morris (Liberia), bring us images of the wars and conflicts that are ravaging our planet and of the people who are living in unimaginable conditions and situations as a consequence.
|(C) Antonin Kratochvil|
|(C) Christopher Morris|
|(C) Franco Pagetti Columbia|
|(C) Franco Pagetti Lebanon|
|(C) James Nachtwey Afghanistan|
|(C) James Nachtwey Philippines|
|(C) Ron Haviv Congo|
|(C) Ron Haviv Haiti|
Austrian photographer Michael Biach’s photo essay shot in Košice, Slovakia documents the lives of the inhabitants of the Lunik IX apartment complex where several thousand Roma people live in the most squalid conditions. Once home to middle-class families, Lunik IX is now derelict, its population impoverished, with no hope for employment or the chance to change their lot in life. Biach’s images show how the complex has been turned into a giant rubbish tip where children scavenge for any item they might sell. Here there is no childhood, and families exist in rat infested apartments that should be condemned.
Marium Begum is one of the 3000 “tiger widows” living in the Sundarbans.
This man was horrifically injured by a tiger in an attack in 1995.
Faizun shows her scars which are permanent mark in her head.
“Through the images, my humble effort, I hope to also promote awareness for taking care of our planet to preserve the pristine nature of our Mother Earth. Translating the spirit of nature into the rectangular frame is a contemplative meditation where one “loses” the self and merges into all that is and all that is yet to be.”
|All images (C) Soumitra Datta|
Dhanmundi, Dhaka, Bangladesh
24 February – 5 March
Curator: Reza Rahaman
Exhibition to be opened by the Italian Ambassador 6pm, 24 February
For more information please see Soumitra Datta’s website
Wherever you are in the world please enjoy your weekend.
This week on Friday Round Up Robin Hammond wins 2013 FotoEvidence Book Award, Matilde Gattoni’s photo essay The Swallows of Syria, PEACE opens in Melbourne and Portraits from Jaffa by Bar Am-David. Enjoy the weekend wherever you are.
|(C) Robin Hammond|
|(C) Robin Hammond|
With “Condemned” Hammond hopes to draw global attention to “the extreme injustice of the treatment of the mentally ill in these societies, so ignorance will no longer be able to be uses as an excuse for inaction”.
“Condemned” was shot over two years across seven countries and documents the plight of the mentally ill in Africa. I saw this work at Visa pour l’Image last year and it featured in my article on Visa for Pro Photo, as one of my selections from the festival. You can read the story here. Hammond is the recipient of four Amnesty International Awards for Human Rights Journalism and was also awarded the prestigious Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award (2011). Hammond, who currently resides in Paris, is with Panos Pictures.
The 2013 FotoEvidence Book Award jury included award-winning photographer Maggie Steber, the director of Visa pour l’Image Jean- Francois Leroy, British Journal of Photography photo editor Olivier Laurent, TIME International desk photo editor Patrick Witty and Bachevanova.
“Photographers are driven to cover these issues because they never go away”, said Steber. “The challenge before us…is to make people stop and think and realize that very fact: these issues do not go away…Photographers may not be heroes but we can make heroic images and a heroic effort to make the world a better place.”
“Somaya left Homs after finding the corpse of her tortured son in a sewage ditch; Zaynab escaped with her family when she discovered that Syrian soldiers had kidnapped, raped and killed three of her schoolmates; Aziza fled after both her husband and sister-in-law were killed by snipers” – Matilde Gattoni
This photo essay by Italian photographer Matilde Gattoni documents the lives of women who have fled Syria. Each photograph features a detailed caption telling the woman’s story. Steel yourself, for these are horrific tales that show the impact of war on civilians, stories of lives torn apart and of nightmares many feel they will never awaken from. But underlying the tragedy is the strength of these women and their resolve to get on with their lives.
“Every woman I met refused to be photographed at first. It was a hard task convincing them to take portraits; the women were fine with the interview, but petrified to have pictures taken. Slowly some of them accepted, even though they were shaking during the shoot, sometimes crying, and some even decided to hide their hands in fear of being recognized by them. It took several months and several trips back and forth; I was living in Beirut at the time. I’m not sure the project is finished; I might go back and add more portraits. I feel as though my heart is still very much attached to the story and there might be more to tell. I decided to portray them in what felt like the most feminine part of the place where they lived- to show that even in misery and fear women have the strength to recreate a warm environment. They did not give up; they fight for life, no matter what”.
All images (C) Matilde Gattoni
Photographer Bar Am-David brings another view of life in Israel with his photo essay, Portraits from Jaffa. He says, “Jaffa is the most celebrated place in Israel, where Israelis and Arabs live in peace together despite the conflict. My purpose was to examine the lifestyle of this particular place and to look at how ordinary people survive in their extraordinary circumstances. These photographs do not pose solutions but serve as a reminder of enduring spirit through the most challenging adversity”.
PEACE – Degree South – opens tomorrow
The photography collective ˚South’s (Degree South) exhibition, “PEACE”, opens at the Monash Gallery, Melbourne this Saturday featuring works from the Vietnam War through to present day.
|(C) Ben Bohane|
|(C) Michael Coyne|
Monash Gallery, Melbourne
8 February 2013 to 28 April 2013 (Bookings are required for the opening – contact Monash Gallery)
|(C) Natalie Naccache|
Friday Round Up – 8 February 2013
Climate Fury: Devastation in the Sundarbans The New Yorker
The exhibition ‘Kashmir’ is just the beginning of a much greater initiative led by Emaho magazine founder Manik Katyal to bring Kashmiri photography to the world and to elevate the genre locally. Alison Stieven-Taylor’s interview with Katyal is on Le Journal de la Photographie. Please click here to read the full story and view the picture gallery.
Friday Round Up – 1 February 2013
PEACE – Degree South
The photography collective ˚South’s (Degree South) exhibition, “PEACE”, will open at the Monash Gallery, Melbourne on 8 February. This collection features works from the Vietnam War through to present day.
|(C) Ashley Gilbertson|
|(C) David Dare Parker|
|(C) Sean Flynn|
|(C) Jack Picone|
|(C) Stephen Dupont|
Michael Coyne says, “Each of us has spent numerous years covering war zones in different parts of the world. When we did the first collection for WAR, we drew from our archives. With PEACE we are balancing the perspective and it’s been a very interesting process to look at images taken in times of conflict to find those that we think define our own meanings or sentiments around the concept of peace”.
|(C) Michael Coyne|
Coyne has chosen images from his work with the Jesuits, which he shot over a four-year period across continents. During his time with the Jesuits he says, “I learned a lot about peace and spirituality, and that these states could be achieved even in the most atrocious of circumstances“.
The Jesuit Order has been fighting for the rights of those oppressed for centuries. In the time Coyne worked with them, “seven were killed for their beliefs. These people were prepared to give their lives to stand up for others. I was witness to some extraordinary acts of kindness and devotion by the Jesuits as well as incomprehensible cruelty inflicted on them. But in all the horror, they still held to the calm that their beliefs gave them and that was a powerful lesson. So for me, peace is found in the spirituality of people”.
Monash Gallery, Melbourne
|(C) Ben Bohane|
8 February 2013 to 28 April 2013
Outside In-70s and 80s-A Tale of 3 Cities – Pablo Bartholomew
New Delhi’s Pablo Bartholomew is a multi award-winning photographer with a career spanning four decades. He tells me his exhibition ‘Outside In – 70s and 80s – A Tale of 3 Cities’ predominantly features works from Delhi and Bombay, with a reference to Calcutta. “It is like my teenage diary. This is the work I did between the ages of 15 and 25. I first started to photograph when I was very, very young because my father had a darkroom”.
Outside In – 70s and 80s – A Tale of 3 Cities
Drik House, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Until 7th February
CNVLD Battambang Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team – Tim Page
In recent years veteran photojournalist Tim Page, whose work is also included in the PEACE exhibition, has spent time in Cambodia working with various groups including CNVLD for whom he shot the Battambang Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team; certainly different subject matter for Page who began his career in Vietnam and since then has returned to the region many times. “I love Asia because I learn about myself all the time. I find it a mirror on myself,” he tells me.
|(C) All images Tim Page|
Cairo Clashes – Virginie Nguyen
Photojournalist Virginie Nguyen’s photo essay on the current unrest in Egypt is somewhat surreal in comparison to the general issue of news photos we have been flooded with. I particularly like the irreverent attitude that Nguyen has captured as well as her choice of time of day. Protesters in silhouette; scenes darkened with smoke; and the eeriness of three shadowy figures juxtaposed against a city skyline. You can see more photos here on Egypt Independent website. Nguyen is one of the founding members of the collective HUMA, that emphasizes social issues through photojournalism.
|(C) All images Virginie Nguyen|
Wherever you are this weekend, stay safe and enjoy.
Entries are now open for the Head On Portrait and Landscape prizes and details can be found on the website by clicking here.
The Head On Portrait Prize will be announced on the opening night of the Festival at the State Library of New South Wales. Last year Sydney photographer Louise Whelan won the judges choice in the portrait prize for her entry, Millie #2, a poignant portrait of her five-year-old niece, Millie, who had recently lost her father (winning entry pictured below).
|(C) Louise Whelan|
Queensland Centre for Photography until 17 February
Queensland Centre for Photography
Moscow as a Trap – Irina Popova
Russian-born photographer Irina Popova’s photo essay “Moscow as a Trap” gives a fascinating and raw portrayal of a city that has grown at an exponential rate at the expense of its inhabitants. In Moscow money talks, but there is a staggering divide between those who have it and those who just scrape by. Irina has kindly shared her images and story with Photojournalism Now, and her photo essay features this week under Feature Articles (click on tab at top of this blog).
|(C) Irina Popova|
Our Many Stories – a forum for visual storytelling – is fast becoming one of my favourite sites. Our Many Stories a forum for the creative collaboration of photographers from around the world. It is yet another avenue for photographers to promote their work to new audiences and to tell stories that perhaps otherwise would not be given an airing. Two stories that are currently on “show” are Aaron Clamage’s Dachau and G.M.B. Akash’s Dawn to Dusk in Smoke & Ashes.
|(C) Aaron Clamage|
|(C) GMB Akash|
Continuing my mini retrospective, this week’s Friday Round Up revisits the exhibition WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and its Aftermath, Magdalena Solé’s Mississippi Delta exhibibition and Michael Wolf’s book, Tokyo Compression. Plus there’s a short story on David Alan Harvey’s (Rio) ‘based on a true story’ book and a new post on the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art exhibition now on in Brisbane.
(Rio) ‘based on a true story’ – David Alan Harvey
|(C) David Alan Harvey|
In May 2012 David Alan Harvey’s exhibition and book (Rio) ‘based on a true story’ and the Burn 02 exhibition, which he curated, were on show at Sydney’s Head On Festival. A member of Magnum Photos, Harvey has enjoyed a long career on the international stage. In recent years he has turned his attention to running workshops and publishing – Burn magazine is one of his titles.
The ‘based on a true story’ novella was shot in Rio. Harvey calls this a ‘real’ book, published and distributed in hard copy, 3D, analogue and interactive! Bound only with a string, the book comprises a series of A3 double sided photographs that have been folded together one image melding with the next to create new images. It’s a clever concept devised by his son, filmmaker Bryan Harvey. The book comes with a ‘map’ of images so the viewer can mix and match to create new stories and then put it back together as it was intended.
|David and Alison Stieven-Taylor|
7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art – Australia
Queensland’s flagship contemporary art exhibition – the Asia Pacific Triennial (APT) Series – celebrates its 20th anniversary with the mounting of the most ambitious and comprehensive exhibition to date.
The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT7) features works from 75 established and emerging artists from 27 countries and occupies the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) spaces. The APT Series is the only major exhibition series in the world to focus exclusively on the Asia Pacific region including Australia and New Zealand.
|(C) An-My Lê|
|(C) Dayanita Singh|
|(C) Michael Cook|
Photographers include Vietnamese photographic artist An-My Lê who is based in New York, Australian Michael Cook, Dayanita Singh from India, Dominic Sansoni from Sri Lanka, Indonesian Edwin Roseno and New Zealanders Greg Semu and Graham Fletcher.
This unprecedented exhibition that “explores the experience of war through the eyes of photographers” features works by more than 280 photographers spanning 28 nations and 165 years of conflict. The exhibit includes photographs as well as books, publications, photo albums and equipment.
Museum of Fine Arts
1001 Bissonnet, Houston, Texas
To find our more please visit the Museum website
New York based photographer Magdalena Solé, who I met in Perpignan at Visa pour l’Image last year, has a second exhibition of her show, “Mississippi Delta” on in New York this time at the Leica Gallery. If you missed her earlier show Mississippi Delta is on until 23 February. To find out more about Magdalena’s work visit her website here.
|All images (C) Magdalena Sole|
Friday Round Up began in August 2012 and since then there’s been regular posts each Friday, save for a quick holiday with my family in Italy, and the Christmas/New Year break, which for many living in Australia, heralds the start of an extended summer holiday.
As I write today’s missive, it is a hot 37°C in Melbourne, strong northerly winds propelling the dry, gritty air. There are bushfires in most states and to the west of the state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, there is a massive forest fire cremating thousands of hectares and threatening small communities. Australia is without doubt a land of climatic contrasts, but at this time of the year the entire continent is sweltering under a ‘dome of heat’, as the weather forecasters have labeled it. For the next few days temperatures will stay in the low 40s in numerous regional towns, that’s more than 108°F, and the grasses and underbrush that have dried off are now like a giant tinderbox. Everyone is nervous after the devastating fires of Black Saturday, February 2009, when temperatures soared to 47°C in Melbourne…but enough of the weather, and its strange fascination.
Before I turn to what’s happening in 2013, I have decided to take a quick look back over the last few months of 2012 to recall some of the stories that caught my attention. While the Internet is a fantastic communication forum, its transience adds to a disposable lifestyle where images and words are glimpsed momentarily before a new feed of information relegates them to the great cyber archive. Some stories are worth revisiting, worth remembering long after they have fallen from the front pages of news services. Throughout January I will post a mini-retrospective. Here is the beginning of a potted summary….
September 3 – November 2
I spent most of September in Europe and coverage centered round my trip, which began with Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan – my first visit to this fantastic exposition of photojournalism (and it won’t be my last). Then it was onto London to view the massive exhibition, “Everything Was Moving”, which is on at the Barbicon (until 13 January). By the end of September I was back at my desk in Melbourne penning my article on Visa for Pro Photo and sifting through all the notes and contacts I made…
Viva Visa Pour L’Image – Jean-François Leroy
“The notion that photojournalism is dead was certainly refuted at the 24th Visa pour l’Image, the International Festival of Photojournalism held in September in Perpignan, France. More than 800 photojournalists from all over the world came to network, exhibit, watch screenings, show their work, sign books, and hear industry experts talk about everything from how an agency like VII is pioneering in the face of dwindling editorial commissions, to academic David Campbell’s iteration on the new media economy.
If anything is dying it is the mass-market print media model created by multi-national media organisations. Weighed down by massive corporate structures that are run by accountants, not news people, these models are no longer sustainable in the wake of the decline in advertising spend. This is of course affecting photojournalists in the way that stories are commissioned, but even though the money is no longer flowing like it used to, it hasn’t impacted the genre itself.
There were many emerging photojournalists and novices who were in Perpignan to explore opportunities, learn from their elders and meet with agencies. While the news model has changed and there is more emphasis on photojournalists multi-tasking – workshops, exhibitions, books and multi-media – there is still enormous energy for the craft of storytelling with photographs.
Visa pour l’Image’s creator and director general, Jean-François Leroy spoke to me about his unwavering passion for the Festival and why he believes that regardless of shifts in technology, or the media economy, a true photojournalist will always find a way to tell a story.
To the idea that technology has made it easy for anyone to take a picture he says, “I don’t care about the future of the digital bla bla bla, I care about the eye. I care about the way to look at the world. Who cares what kind of camera Nick Ut used for his iconic picture of the small girl running in Vietnam? Nobody cares. You know, the eye, the eye, the eye, the eye, the eye – that’s the future”.
He continues. “It is not because I have a technically good image that I am a good photographer, it is the way to look. You know if Eugene Richards and I are in front of something very important, his picture will be better than mine, always. The same can be said for Stanley Greene, Paolo Pellegrin, Robin Hammond and Sebastian Liste for example, because they have the eye. Period”. Leroy is not afraid to admit that he isn’t the best photographer, but he clearly knows what good photography is. So he has ‘the eye’ also.
Twenty-four years ago Leroy started the Festival to celebrate the genre. He says at the time he was “fed up with all the other festivals that believed unless you were part of Magnum you were nothing. I thought about the talented photographers with AP, AFP, Reuters, SIPA, Network and many other agencies. So my goal, my point of view, was to make a gathering point for all those talented and passionate photographers who were never shown anywhere because they were just photojournalists. I said it is because they are photojournalists that we have to do something for them”.
His face breaks into a grin as he tells, “I was really pretentious 23 years ago when I was saying we will become the Cannes for photojournalism. And we did become the Cannes,” he laughs heartily. But there is also humility in the recognition that his idea really did take off. He tells me Australian photojournalist Jack Picone was one of the first to exhibit at Visa pour l’Image, demonstrating that the Festival has always thrown a wide net and canvassed the world for the best work in photojournalism.
|(C) Stanley Greene|
|(C) Stephanie Sinclair|
|(C) Nik Wheeler|
|(C) Ilvy Njiokiktjien|
“The 25th anniversary will be special for me and for my staff, but the festival will not be different for photographers because you know, I don’t know what will happen in Syria, I don’t know what will happen in Japan, in Somalia, Iraq, Iran, and so the guys and girls who will take some risks to show me the real world will get the space in Perpignan next year, like every year.”
While there is no decline in the number of photojournalists showing up for the Festival, he has seen a drop in agencies with many no longer in existence. “But I am still able to make a festival with 28 exhibitions, I am running more than 100 features in my screening show and so my program is the same quality”.
After a week in Perpignan it seems obvious to me that this is a little slice of Mediterranean heaven, but I have to ask why he chose this small southern French town near the Spanish border as the location for the International Festival of Photojournalism. His eyes smile brightly. “In 1988 a friend told me that Perpignan was thinking about launching an event to promote the city. So we met and I fall in love and I’m still in love”….
To read this article in full please click here Reality&Illusion
2012 FotoEvidence Book Award Winner
“Many had never heard of Bhopal until the 3rd December 1984 when news of the Union Carbide pesticide factory gas disaster put this central Indian city on the world stage for all the wrong reasons.
The Union Carbide (now DOW Chemical) accident happened in the early hours of the morning, a lethal cloud of toxic methyl isocyanate gas (MIC) settling over Bhopal’s residents while they slept. Thick as fog the gas permeated the decrepit structures that populate Bhopal’s large slum colonies. Chaos and panic ensued as half a million people were exposed to the noxious cloud. Thousands collapsed, and many died on the streets, life choked from them as they inhaled the deadly fumes. Within days more than 8000 people had perished, and still thousands more were left seriously ill.
Now nearly three decades later more than 30,000 people live in colonies that are still affected by the toxic waste that has never been cleaned up and continues to pollute underground water reserves. Birth defects, neurological illnesses and other severe health issues burden a people that have largely been ignored by the outside world.
This is where Alex Masi’s book, Bhopal Second Disaster, is such an important work, for this young UK photojournalist has put the spotlight back on what is regarded as the world’s worst industrial accident, and shown its continuing human toll.
In April 2009 Masi visited Bhopal for the first time. Having completed his degree in photojournalism at the London College of Communication a couple of years earlier, he was keen to explore subjects of injustice and specifically children’s rights. After photographing projects in South Africa and Israel he headed to India. Masi says he had heard of Bhopal, but wasn’t aware of the fact that restitution had not been made and as a consequence its inhabitants were still exposed.
Over a period of three years Masi made eight separate visits to Bhopal where he collaborated with the NGO Bhopal Medical Appeal (BMA), its dedicated staff working tirelessly with the people still suffering from this disaster. BMA provides support through the free health clinic, Sambhavna Trust, and the Chingari Rehabilitation Centre for children born with severe birth defects.
Emotionally impacted by the plight of the Bhopalis, Masi says, “Bhopal is a story where it’s impossible to be impartial. The facts are stark, the existence of the toxic waste is not something that can be disputed, nor that Union Carbide didn’t care about the people living near the factory…I want to make images that will touch the emotions of people who see them”. And in Bhopal Second Disaster he has certainly achieved this.
With Masi’s images there is no ambiguity to the suffering these physically and intellectually disabled children and their families endure on a daily basis, and Bhopal Second Disaster is a poignant reminder of the monstrous legacy handed to generations of Bhopalis….”
Sean Gallagher, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
China’s Three Rivers, Asia’s Threatened Headwaters
|(C) Sean Gallagher|
|(c) Sean Gallagher|
Roma in Romania
“The Roma are protective of their traditions, their way of life and each other. Independent and self reliant, they are detached from the outside world. ‘You can not become Roma, you are born Roma” – Karen Robinson, photographer
|All images (C) Karen Robinson|
Interview: Maggie Diaz
In the 1950s American photographer Maggie Diaz picked up a camera and began a life long love affair with photography. She migrated to Australia in the early sixties and took up residence in Melbourne where she’s lived ever since. Maggie is now in her late 80s and her works have recently been acquired by the National Gallery of Australia and the State Library of Victoria – long overdue recognition. I interviewed Maggie over a number of sessions for my feature article in Pro Photo magazine. To read her story please click Reality&Illusion
|(C) Maggie Diaz|
|(C) Maggie Diaz|
|(C) Shiho Fukada|
This is the last Friday Round Up for 2012. This week on Friday Round Up my interview with Valeriy Klamm coordinator of the Russian photo blog Birthmark on the Map; Photographer Rob Hornstra and writer Arnold van Bruggen explore Abkhazia on the Black Sea, a country struggling to define its future; and Stefano De Luigi’s Photo-Berlin workshop in March.
Birthmark on the Map – Valeriy Klamm
‘Birthmark on the Map’, is a community blog project capturing rural Russia with a focus on Siberia. I spoke to Valeriy Klamm the project’s coordinator in Sydney earlier this year at the Head On festival where the project’s group show was on exhibition. You can read the full story by clicking on the Features Page tab at the top of this blog or click here.
|(C) Valeriy Klamm|
Photographer Rob Hornstra and writer Arnold van Bruggen have spent the past four years exploring “the unknown country of Abkhazia on the Black Sea”. In 1992/93 after a intense civil war, Abkhazia gained its independence from Georgia. Since then it has struggled to gain international recognition of its independence. With a depressed economy, and a diminished population, the government is now trying to rebuild the country, but there are few incentives to live here in the current conditions. To see more of the photo essay please click here.
Photo-Berlin is a series of workshops provided by international master photographers focused on using visual storytelling to explore the complexities of Berlin as both an historical and an innovative city.
Following the theme, “Cinema and Berlin,” participants of the March workshop will be guided by award-winning VII photographer Stefano De Luigi, to develop a reportage about film sets in Berlin. The workshop will draw on Stefano’s experience with his long term project, ‘Cinema Mundi’ an exploration of World Cinema that looks at the thriving, independent and sometimes bizarre world of alternative filmmaking.
7-10 March Berlin
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Friday Round Up – 14 December 2012
This photograph features in Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky’s collection “Tailings” shot in Ontario 1996. Taililngs is one of many celebrated collections that map the course of a 30 year career…” to read the interview and see more of Burtynsky’s fantastic photographs, please click on the Feature Articles tab on this blog or here
I had the pleasure of interviewing Magnum Photos Raghu Rai in March this year. This week he opened a new school for photography in New Delhi with his son Nitin Rai. The inauguration attracted photography professionals and enthusiasts alike. Raghu intends the school to “be an institute to promote photography in the right direction. Both in people aspiring to be professionals or serious amateurs”.
Courses on offer vary from a three month basic to a three year degree. In addition to the main curriculum, the Center will also run workshops and a photography club. The main focus for the Center is to promote “photography as an art form” and to tie in with other educational facilities and museums in the USA and Europe.
|(C) Rohit Gautam – Nitin Rai (L) and Raghu Rai|
|(C) Cedric Gerbehaye|
Limited to 12 participants this workshop is run by one of the leading photojournalists in the world, Cédric Gerbehaye. Gerbehaye is most well known for his work in the Congo, in particular the body of work “Congo in Limbo” which has been exhibited internationally and won multiple awards. Gerbehaye, who is from Belgium, is also working on a new series focused on his country of birth and the first installment was exhibited at this year’s inaugural Photoreporter Festival of Saint-Brieuc.
This is an interactive workshop and a fantastic opportunity to learn from one of the masters. For more information on this workshop please click here
Cédric Gerbehaye Paris Workshop
Agence & Galerie Vu
Whatever you do this weekend, enjoy.
Friday Round Up – 7 December 2012
|All images (C) Kiana Hayeri|
Photographer Sean Gallagher has turned his hand to video to shoot Land of Tobacco: China’s deadly addiction. Check out the video here – there are some startling statistics. Video by Sean Gallagher and Sonia Narang, produced with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
|(C) Sean Gallagher|
|All images (C) Steve McCurry|
|All images (C) Dave Walsh|
Friday Round Up – 30 November 2012
This week on Friday Round Up, three very different photography books – John Ogden’s Saltwater People of the Fatal Shore, Irina Popova’s Native Soil and Michael Wolf’s Tokyo Compression Three plus Angkor Photo Festival opens and the China India: Imaginings and Transformations exhibition is on show in Sydney.
Iconic Australian actor, Jack Thompson, will launch Cyclop Books’ Saltwater People of the Fatal Shore on Saturday 1st December Saltwater People of the Fatal Shore looks at the “extraordinary coastline stretching from Bondi and Cronulla. Sydneyʼs beaches are recognized as the birthplace of Australian beach culture, but few realise that the coastal clans of the Dharug, Eora and Dharawal Nations, who lived along this coastline for tens of thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans, were the custodians of the beaches and the many creatures who inhabited this interface between land and sea. Their rich culture and sustainable lifestyle holds many lessons for the current Saltwater People in addressing the environmental issues confronting the ocean beaches” – John Ogden, author, photographer and publisher.
3pm Saturday 1st December
Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre
728 Kingsway, Gymea Sydney
This new book by Russian photographer Irina Popova forms part of her ongoing project about her motherland. In “Native Soil” Popova says she is trying to “separate official patriotism from the personal memories to define what this land means to me”.
The book combines Popova’s childhood memories, family history and “sad and funny stories” in text and images that portray Russia from “different geographical points and times, from different stories and reportages, which I have united under both metaphorical and epical ideas of this Country”. Native Soil is created with the support of the 2012 Rijksakademie residency in Amsterdam where she is currently based. (Above – page from Native Soil). The book can be purchased from Blurb
|All images (C) Michael Wolf|
“With “Tokyo Compression” Michael Wolf struck a nerve. His portraits of people who are on their way in the Tokyo subway, constrained between glass, steel and fellow travelers, have won many awards and were shown in exhibitions around the globe. The topic kept haunting Wolf. Again he returned to Tokyo in order to immerse in the subsurface insanity. “Tokyo Compression Three” features many unreleased images and an entirely new “hidden track” at the end of the book…Wolf leaves out all accessories, focusing just on faces and figures. With his radical aesthetics he creates enormously intensive pictures that in a distressing, shocking manner directly aim into the portrayed people’s inner life. With his accompanying essay – Tokyo Subway Dreams – Christian Schüle delivers a gloomy diagnosis to the mass loneliness in modern megacities.”
This series fascinates me and makes me thankful that I don’t have to experience what I think of as the “Tokyo Crush”. Available through Peperoni Books
Angkor Photo Festival
The 8th Angkor Photo Festival opens tomorrow, 1 December, in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The first festival of its kind for Southeast Asia, this year Angkor Photo Festival presents works from more than 130 photographers, including 60 Asian photographers, 10 exhibitions and nightly screenings.
Festival Director Françoise Callier has curated the exhibition program which features ten shows in all including 2011 Reminders Project Asian Photographers Grant winner, Andri Tambunan’s work on HIV/AIDS in Papua as well as Mario Algaze’s Portfolio, a retrospective of his work in Latin America; Labyrinth, an exhibition featuring the work of six Japanese photographers; Energy [r] evolution, presented by Greenpeace International exploring green energy projects in China, Thailand and India; and Women, the Aftermath of Violence presented by Médecins du Monde, an exhibition featuring works spanning seven countries.
The slide projections features works from over 110 photographers – the organisers this year received an unprecedented number of submissions – a massive 1200 sets of works from 67 countries. Slideshows include work from Laura El-Tantawy (VII Mentor Program) In the shadow of the pyramids (Egypt); Thierry Falise Burmese Shadows; Sohrab Hura, Ma and Elsa (India); Australian Liz Loh-Taylor’s I am Muslim and I’m not a terrorist; Peter Pin (Magnum Foundation) Displaced: The Cambodian Diaspora; and winner of 2012 FotoEvidence Book Award Alex Masi (Corbis), Bhopal Second Disaster (India). For more information on the Angkor program please click here
China/India: Imaginings and Transformations explores how the economic and political growth of China and India “is influencing and transforming artistic and cultural works produced at home and abroad”. The only featured photographer is Bartholomew, who also has work on show at Angkor Photo Festival. A selection of his images are below (all images are courtesy of the artist).
For more information please visit the Gallery’s website here.
China/India: Imaginings and Transformations exhibition on show at Macquarie University Art Gallery Sydney until 15 December.
Wherever you are in the world this weekend, enjoy!
|(C) Tim Page|
|(C) Ashley Gilbertson|
|(C) Ben Bohane|
|(C) David Dare Parker|
|(C) Jack Picone|
|(C) Michael Coyne|
|(C) Sean Flynn|
|(C) Stephen Dupont|
Collective members Tim Page, David Dare Parker and Michael Coyne were in Cairns for the launch. Coyne said, “Each of us has spent numerous years covering war zones in different parts of the world. When we did the first collection for WAR, we drew from our archives. With PEACE we are balancing the perspective and it’s been a very interesting process to look at images taken in times of conflict to find those that we think define our own meanings or sentiments around the concept of peace”.
For this exhibition, Coyne chose images from his work with the Jesuits, which he shot over a four-year period across continents. During his time with the Jesuits he said, “I learned a lot about peace and spirituality, and that these states could be achieved even in the most atrocious of circumstances“.
The Jesuit Order has been fighting for the rights of those oppressed for centuries. In the time Coyne worked with them, “seven were killed for their beliefs. These people were prepared to give their lives to stand up for others. I was witness to some extraordinary acts of kindness and devotion by the Jesuits as well as incomprehensible cruelty inflicted on them. But in all the horror, they still held to the calm that their beliefs gave them and that was a powerful lesson. So for me, peace is found in the spirituality of people”.
Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns
November 23, 2012 to January 10, 2013
New York based photographer Magdalena Sole, who I met in Perpignan at Visa pour l’Image this year, has an exhibition of her show, “Mississippi Delta” on at Sous Les Étoiles until 30 November. Sole will be on hand to sign books on Thursday 29 November from 6-8pm.
Sous Les Étoiles Gallery
560 Broadway #205
New York NY 10012
(C) All images Magdalena Sole
This week’s Friday Round Up looks at the work of three photographers – Australian Ed Giles who is currently based in the Middle East, Svetlana Bachevanova in New York and Zhang Kechun, China. Plus the International Photography Festival in Lodz is calling for entries and the Harold Feinstein retrospective is now on in Boston. And with Paris Photo in full swing, check out Le Journal de la Photographie for all the news.
|(C) Ed Giles|
Australian photojournalist and videographer Ed Giles was in Syria recently documenting the Free Syrian Army in their fight for freedom. In doing their job, photojournalists like Giles often take great personal risks to bring us a view of events we may not ordinarily see, stories that we can watch from the comfort and safety of our homes, stories that should prompt us to call for change. Giles, who is with Getty Images and also freelances, has been published in international magazines and online news services. And he is known for his multi-media work also. Check out his website here
An award-winning photographer, Svetlana Bachevanova is also the publisher/president of FotoEvidence and a resident of New York. Following the devastation reaped by Hurricane Sandy, Bachevanova ventured down to the tiny beachfront neighborhood of Breezy Point in Queens where residents, volunteers and US army soldiers are helping to clear the mountains of debris left after 110 homes were burned and then flooded, and another 80 destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Here is a selection of images. To see this powerful collection of images in its entirety please visit Bachevanova’s website here.
Zhang Kechun – Yellow River
Chengdu-based photographer Zhang Kechun’s photo essay on the Yellow River in China took him the best part of two years to complete. It is an extraordinary collection of images that raises issues about development and the environment and shows the adaptability of a people impacted by the ebb and flow of this mighty river. Check out the full story on Lightbox Time here
|(C) Zhang Kechun|
Grand Prix FOTOFESTIWAL 2013 is calling for submissions for next year’s festival to be held in Lodz, Poland in June. Closing date for entries is 10 December. Organized by the Foundation of Visual Education, FOTOFESTIWAL began in 2001 and attracts around 20,000 visitors. For more information please click here
|(C) Harold Feinstein – teenagers Coney Island 1949|
At the Panopticon Gallery in Boston Harold Feinstein: A Retrospective is on until 8 January 2013 – the exhibition coincides with the release of the book of the same name. “Feinstein was born in Coney Island in 1931. He began his career in photography in 1946 at the age of 15 and within four short years, Edward Steichen, an early supporter, had purchased his work for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). He joined the Photo League at 17 and became a prominent figure in the vanguard of the early New York City street photography scene where he exhibited at Helen Gee’s Limelight Gallery and was a designer for historic Blue Note Records.” You can read the full article here on Le Journal de la Photographie
Whatever you are doing this weekend, have fun and be happy.
On this week’s Friday Round Up Syria in focus – extraordinary and disturbing photographs from Syria’s bloody civil war, Jake Price’s Fukushima Kickstarter project cpm-703, a month of photography is in full swing in Paris, Gregory Crewdson’s exhibition Melbourne, Bruce Gilden’s New York workshop and Magnum Foundation’s Human Rights Fellowship Grants.
On today’s The Atlantic InFocus are some of the most moving, horrific, and damning photographs on the Syrian civil war. The people of Syria need the world’s help, but “leaders” and I use that term loosely, and the UN, whose power seems diminished, continue to allow the people of Syria to suffer. This is incomprehensible, inhumane and must stop. Whatever the politics, let’s call on our humanity to help the innocents of conflict and put an end to suffering and misery.
|(C) Zac Baille AFP/Getty Images|
|(C) Tauseef Mustafa AFP/Getty Images|
|Above images (C) Jake Price|
November and Paris is buzzing with photography exhibitions and events, with around 500 in total. Paris Photo opens on 15 November for four days with more than 150 exhibitors and 1000 artists – there will be exhibitions, book signings, showcases, workshops and more. Plus the announcement of the Paris Photo Aperture Foundation Photobook Awards. Le Journal de la Photographie has all the news on Paris Photo – check in for regular updates or subscribe here
Lens Culture FotoFest Paris is held prior to Paris Photo where 161 photographers from 37 countries will have their portfolios reviewed. There is also a ‘meet the artists’ event on 13 November.
Gregory Crewdson – In a Lonely Place – Melbourne – last chance
© Gregory Crewdson. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery
This is the last weekend to see the hyper-real photoart of American photographer Gregory Crewdson in the exhibition “In a Lonely Place”, which is on show at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, 404 George Street Fitzroy (Melbourne) until 11 November. I recently wrote an article on this exhibition for Le Journal de la Photographie which you can read here
(C) Bruce Gilden
Magnum Foundation has announced there will be five Human Rights Fellowships in 2013 available under the New York University (NYU)-Magnum Foundation Photography and Human Rights Program. The Human Rights Fellowship will enable five photographers to undertake the six-week summer program in Photography and Human Rights at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.
Applications close on 17 December and are open to those who permanently reside outside of North America and Western Europe. Pre-requisites are written and spoken English. For more information visit Magnum Foundation
Wherever you are this weekend enjoy and stay safe.
|(C) Robin Hammond|
|(C) Paolo Pellegrin Magnum Photos|
|Above Photos: (C) Robert Herman|
|All images (C) Maggie Diaz|
On Sacred Ground 1 November 2012 to 3 January 2013
Graze on Grey, Grey Street, St Kilda (Melbourne)
|(C) Ray Cook|
|(C) Sancintya Simpson|
Saint-Brieuc Bay, France
This is the first time the International Festival Photoreporter (IFP) has been held. Set up to assist in the funding and production of work by photojournalists, the IFP attracted submissions from more than 300 photographers from 40 countries with the final selection coming down to 15 exhibitions.
Alexandre Solacolu, the Festival’s Director says IFP aims to be a resource and “to be useful to the photographer”. The Festival’s Artistic Director is Didier Rapaud, a former director of Gamma Agency and former chief photo editor for Paris Match.
|Didier Rapaud and Alexandre Solacolu (C) Yan Morvan|
Jim Brandenburg, Claudine Doury, Gwen Dubourthoumieu, Cedric Gerbehaye, Gary Knight, Olivier Jobard, Pierre-Yves Marzin, Sonia Naudy, Zeng Nian, Pierre Terdjman, Tomas Van Houtryve, Gaëll Turine, Ami Vitale and Franck Vogel.
|C) Davide Monteleone|
|Photos from the launch|
Inquire Magazine Issue 4 – Aleppo
|Photos (C) Ed Kashi|
W. Eugene Smith Award Recipients 2012
|(C) Peter van Agtmael|
|Bhopal Second Disaster by Alex Masi|
And now for something completely different – Australian photographer Christian Blanchard’s short film “Tomorrow’s Lovers” promoting young Melbourne fashion designers, is the only Australian film to be selected for the “A Shaded View on Fashion Film” competition to be held at the Pompidou Centre in November. This competition was launched in 2008 with the objective of “encouraging both emerging and established artists to reconsider the way that fashion is presented and for challenging the conventional parameters of film”.
Best wishes for a safe and happy weekend.
|(C) John Stanmeyer|
|(C) John Stanmeyer|
Karen Robinson – Roma in Romania
|(C) Karen Robinson|
Robinson is a freelance photographer based in London. Her reportage work spans diverse topics from the street kids of post-Ceausescu Romania to the nomadic Arab tribes people in Israel, the Inuit of northern Alaska and villagers living in drought-stricken Tajikistan. She has also worked with Amnesty International, Anti-Slavery International, Unicef and Panos Pictures to document the sex trafficking of Lithuanian women in the UK and Lithuania.
|(C) Karen Robinson|
|(C) Karen Robinson|
Brussels photographer Christine Rose Divito’s photo essay, “Father said I was a bitch” is part of October’s Second Life Festival in Brussels, Belgium to be held on Saturday 20 October from 3pm. This monthly festival, with free entry, features photography, music, vintage clothing and more.
|All photographs (C) Christine Rose Divito|
Friday Round Up – 5 October 2012
|Fraidoon Poya (c)|
|Both photos (C) Sean Gallagher|
|David Alan Harvey’s (based on a true story)|
|Couverture provisoire de l’ouvrage “101 photographies.
Davud Lynch” © Nadav Kander
|Eager to learn, a young boy squats in a classroom where there are no desks, or chairs, sweltering in the airless room
Photography: Ernest Cole
|Ronnie Wood and Mick Jagger (C) Carinthia West|
|Copyright Paolo Pellegrin|
Photos Peter Turnley (C)
Thanks to everyone for reading Friday Round Up. Next week I’m offline so the next Friday Round Up will be on 28th September.
This Friday’s Round Up comes to you from Visa Pour L’Image, Perpignan where I am attending the Professional Week of the international festival of photojournalism, now in its 24th year.
There are literally hundreds of photojournalists here this week from all over the world, along with photo editors, agencies, and press (like me). In the coming weeks I will be posting my interviews with a host of people including Visa Pour L’Image’s director Jean Francois Leroy, as well as academic, and practitioner, David Campbell who yesterday spoke on the “revolution” in news photography and reportage that we are in the midst of. One salient point Campbell made yesterday was that the life of a photojournalist has never been easy, even in the perceived halcyon days of Life magazine, it was always a struggle to tell stories that were meaningful, and commercially accepted. VII’s Nick Papadopoulos’ presentation on the new approaches to making a buck out of photojournalism was also invigorating and timely.
And the winners are – Getty Grants 2012 Last night at Visa Pour L’Image, Getty Images announced the recipients of this year’s Getty Grants for Editorial Photography – Bharat Choudhary, Kosuke Okahara, Paolo Marchetti and Sebastian Liste.
Outdoor Screenings at Visa Pour L’Image
Helmut Newton: Maxims Paris
Catalogue Photofestival 2012
“The 19th Noorderlicht International Photofestival Terra Cognita is a photography exhibition about the relation between man and nature. How do we experience nature, and what is its value for us? Our romantic longing for pure nature is diametrically opposed to the practical desire to control the world and cultivate it. The catalogue of Terra Cognita looks at nature far away and close by, as a dream and as reality – nature in our genes, and in our minds. Work by 115 photographers from 36 countries has been selected for this Festival. The photography is diverse, and flows across the limits of genres. Whether the work is documentary or staged, nature appears to be a vital source of inspiration for photographers. Their visual statements take us along on a journey through a fantastic world.” From the Noorderlicht website. Click here for more information