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Aaron Huey April 30, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Pakistan.
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Sufi shrine in the city of Multan, Pakistan

Aaron Huey grew up in a small town in Wyoming on the edge of a field that grew both beets and barley, alternating each year to enrich the soil quality. Huey escaped small town Wyoming only to find himself living in an old Communist apartment complex in Bratislava, Slovakia, where, at the age of 18, he studied as a Rotary Scholar. For his work on Pine Ridge Indian reservation he won second place from POYi and was shortlisted for the Alexia grant in addition to being featured at the Festival Visa in Perpignan. Aaron was named PDN’s top 30 emerging photographers in 2007 and was recently awarded a National Geographic Expedition Council Grant to hitchhike across Siberia.

About the Photograph:

“These images were taken during a month long trip through the shrines of Pakistan in 2006. I hope that these photographs can begin to balance out all the images of burning effigies, violent Anti-American protests, IED attacks, and suicide bombers, that consistently appear on the covers of our newspapers and magazines. These images over time, will become a window into a world of music, dance, poetry, and above all LOVE in Islam, something we rarely see in the western press.”

This essay begins in Pakistan and will expand through 2008 and 2009 to include a look at Sufism all over the world. Sufism, or Mystic Islam, is a school of Islam that transcends the division of Sunni and Shia, offering a message of Peace and Love through Music (Qawwali), dance the dervishes in their many forms, and poetry the poetry of Hafiz, Rumi, and countless others.

Bevis Fusha April 29, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Albania.
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Porto Romano, Albania

Bevis Fusha was born in 1976 in a family of photographers. He has a degree in Philosophy and Sociology from the University of Tirana, Albania. He is currently freelancing and is based in Tirana, Albania. He is a member of the Anzenberger photographic agency in Vienna and also affiliated with Metro Collective in Washington DC. His photographs have been published and exhibited in Europe.

About the Photograph:

From the project titled Slow and Motionless Death. The 15,000 residents of Porto Romano, located near the Albanian harbor city of Durres, live with an ongoing environmental catastrophe. The United Nations Environmental Program has declared Porto Romano the most toxic “red zone” in the Balkans due to pervasive contamination by industrial chemicals such as lindane and benzene chloride. The majority of the residents moved to the area from poor regions in the north of the country after the fall of communism in 1992.

Elin Berge April 28, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Sweden.
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berge_vails_3.jpg Veils, Sweden 2006

I thought this would make an interesting post following the one from yesterday.

Elin Berge was born in Stockholm, Sweden, She began her career in 1999 as a photographer for a local newspaper. Elin continued working as a feature photographer at the Swedish Daily News and in 2006 joined Moment. As a freelancer she has been published in most of Sweden’s major newspapers and magazines. Elin is also working on long-term book projects and exhibitions.

About the Photograph:

“The question if the Muslim veil was going to be allowed in public schools caused a huge debate in Sweden in 2003, when two young girls in Gothenburg came to school dressed in their black niqab. Is the veil a symbol of female oppression? Everyone seemed to have an opinion. This is a story about the girls everyone was talking about. I took the photos between 2003-2005. It became my first photo book and a touring exhibition that has been shown in seven cities in Sweden so far. “

”When I was fourteen I took the veil off for eight months. I wanted to try something new, change myself a bit. It was after I’d been to Lebanon; I was so affected by the girls there. Most of them didn’t wear the veil and they were even more into fashion than the girls in Sweden. I wanted to feel how it’s like to be all about the looks myself, like other young people. People said I became wilder without the veil, and I did stuff that’s not allowed within Islam. I knew it was wrong. Mom got sad, and dad too, but they couldn’t force me. When I took the veil off, it was like the protecting wall I had around myself just collapsed. I experienced things that I’d never experienced before. Things that other girls experience all the time. Once there was some guys that said: Look at the sex object! when I passed by. I felt nude, not free. But still, I wanted to be dressed like that because I thought it was sexy and cool. I wasn’t happy. Something were missing, I felt like there was a whole in my heart.” — Zena 15 years old

Jacob Silberberg April 27, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Iraq.
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Iraqi Army Sgt. Bushra Jabar, Baghdad

Jacob Silberberg is a freelance photojournalist represented by Panos Pictures. From 2003 through 2005 he lived in Nigeria and photographed stories including the genocide in Darfur, oil and insurgency in the Niger Delta, and the Liberian civil war. His work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and London’s Sunday Telegraph. Originally from New Hampshire, he graduated from Tufts University with a degree in International Relations.

About the Photograph:

Pounding her Baghdad beat, wrapped in a bullet-proof vest and brandishing a pistol, Sgt. Bushra Jabar definitely stands out in the new Iraq. She’s the only woman in the Iraqi Army unit patrolling the Kharkh district in the heart of the Iraqi capital. “Sometimes women on the street think I’m a man, from my uniform and gun,” says Jabar, 34. “The other soldiers use a man’s version of my name to call me.” Her day starts with a ride to her base in the back of a military pickup truck. Occasionally she waves her pistol at other vehicles to get out of the way.

J.Carrier/ Metro Collective April 26, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Darfur, Sudan.
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Waiting for Aid. Darfur, Sudan

After graduating with a degree in biology, J. Carrier went on to become a drummer for a punk band, recorded a couple of albums and toured throughout the US and Europe. It was after living in Ecuador as a Peace Corps volunteer that he began his career as a photographer. Since then he has worked as a freelance photographer, and is currently based in Kenya. In addition to his editorial work J has traveled extensively for Save The Children most recently covering the drought in Ethiopia. His publication credits include: The Washington Post, The New York Times, Fortune and Le Monde.

Metro Collective is an international coalition of independent photographers. What unites us is shared dedication to the expressive documentary spirit, where authorship and a personal visual aesthetic are grounded in humanistic stories and themes. While all our members make a living with photography – whether it’s news/editorial assignments, commercial work, NGO jobs, etc – this website is an ongoing compilation of features and portfolios that represent the individual visions of Metro photographers and their commitment to particular subjects. A common home for our best and most personal work.

Alfonso Moral April 25, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Lebanon.
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Druze leader Cheij Abu Suleiman Ali Al-Kademi, Funeral 2007

Born in Valladolid, Spain in 1977, Alfonso Moral graduated from the University of Valladolid and worked as a staff photographer for the Spanish newpaper El Norte del Castiliano. He later moved to Syria and began focusing on the Middle East from where he covered Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq in addition to elections in Afgansthan and the Hezbollah movement in Southern Lebanon. Moral won the Revela photojournalism grant for his work on the Palestinian refugees. His photographs have been featured in El Pais and Newsweek amongst other publications. He is currently based in Barcelona and is represented by Pandora Foto in Spain and Cosmos in France.

About the Photograph:

“I arrived in the town of Rassaye with the intent of photographing the daily life of the Druze from southern Lebanon. It seemed difficult because the day was typical of December in that part of the country, very cold and rainy. Nobody was eager to go out on the street. Throughout the journey from Beirut all villages were empty. A few kilometres from Rassaye there was a procession of hundreds of Druze in vans and minibuses. When I asked one the drivers he said the night before one of great leaders, Cheij Suleiman Abu Ali Al-Kademi, at the age of 111 years was going to be buried. The funeral brought together the highest Druze religious authorities and many neighbors who sang while waiting the arrival of the coffin. The photograph was taken while awaiting the arrival of Cheij. Perhaps the most striking are the Druze dresses, with their distinctive white caps. If placed as points of light forming lines that contrast with the austere space.”

Alfonso’s comment drives home how often strong work can result from the way the photographer reacts to the situation they are in. Maybe this quality is just as important as being able to compose such a fine image? What do you think?

Lynsey Addario April 24, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bhutan.
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Monks at a monastery in Wangdi Phodrang, Chencho, Bhutan

Throughout her career, Lynsey Addario has focused on human rights issues, ranging from the effects of the Castro regime in Cuba to life under the Taliban in Afghanistan to the war in Iraq. She has documented the human and psychological toll of the U.S. occupation in Iraq, while also shooting news features on the crisis in Darfur, women in Saudi Arabia, the lifting of sanctions in Libya, and the democratic movement in Lebanon. In 2005, Addario was awarded the Fuji Prize at Perpignan for her work on wounded soldiers in Iraq, amongst honors from the National Press Photographers Association for her work in the Sudan. In 2002 Addario was named Young Photographer of the Year by the International Center of Photography, and one of the Thirty Best Emerging Photographers by PDN. Lynsey doesn’t stop moving. Just these past couple of weeks between assignments in the Congo and the Moroccan desert she is on her way via her home in Istanbul to speak at ICP in New York tomorrow.

About the Photograph:

“I spent a total of two months in Bhutan for National Geographic, and was surprised at how even a closed-off Buddhist kingdom at the foothills of the Himalayas is being influenced by western culture. I shot this picture in one of the monk’s bedrooms inside of a monastery, and laughed when i saw a coca cola fridge. Bhutan opened to its first foreigners in 1974, and the government allowed satellite TV in 1999 for the first time- opening a pandoras box of influence from the outside world.”

Ilan Godfrey April 23, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in South Africa.
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Hillbrow Housing Projects, Johannesburg

Ilan Godfrey (b. 1980) was born in Johannesburg and is currently based in London. He holds a BA in Photography and a MA in Photojournalism from the University of Westminster. He is the recipient of the David Faddy Scholarship and the Ivan Kyncl Memorial Photography Placement. His work is held in several private collections and has been exhibited in numerous group exhibitions in London, including the Getty Gallery, Guardian Newsroom Gallery and at the Photoplus Expo, New York. Ilan has won a number of awards including first prize, West Photography Award and at the Magenta Flash Forward. His work has also been featured in the HP/CARE ‘I am Powerful’ campaign.

About the Photograph:

“I recall my visits to Hillbrow as a young boy as an exciting day out. But as the years past it became a no go area. Today Hillbrow has become one of the most dangerous parts of the city of Johannesburg where crimes are on the rise. Part of the reason is that criminals and illegal immigrants come from other regions of Africa to take advantage of South Africa’s economic stability and make areas of Hillbrow their home. A friend of mine that works in Johannesburg was able to contact several people living in Hillbrow. Without knowing someone living within each building I could not gain access due to security precautions. As the project gained momentum, the word spread and we began contacting other people that invited us to see where they lived.”

Corey Arnold April 22, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Arctic Fisherman

Corey Arnold is a photographer and Alaskan crab fisherman. During October, January, and February you will find him working and photographing aboard the f/v Rollo in the Bering Sea. You may have spotted him aboard the Rollo during season two of the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. Now he keeps his things in Portland, Oregon – my hometown – after spending the last five years commuting from Oslo, Norway. Corey graduated with a BFA in Photography from the Academy of Art College, San Francisco. In 2005 he received a grant from the American-Scandinavian Foundation to photograph fisherman and whalers in Northern Norway, a project that continues to this day. Recent interviews and/or photo features can be found in publications such as Artweek, Outside, Italian Rolling Stone, Juxtapoz, Adbusters, Norway, Popular Photography and Men’s Journal, etc. Corey has been nominated for the Aperature West book prize for 2007.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken during my first King Crab season in the Bering Sea, Alaska. I’ve been a deckhand on the F/V Rollo for six years now, working and taking pictures along the way. What I predicted would be a two year career as a crab fisherman has extended itself indefinitely and turned my photo project into a lifelong pursuit of fishing culture around the globe. In this photo, my crew-mates are waiting for the go ahead from the captain to set a baited pot. We are running “in the ditch” which means broadside to the 20-25 foot seas. During these conditions, a smoker can usually only make it halfway through his smoke before it drowns in the rain. I use duct tape, two gallon ziplocs and a good lens hood and filter to keep my camera alive in the torrential downpour of seawater. So far the cameras have survived the water but several lenses have been broken by the violent motion of the boat.”

Pieter Ten Hoopen April 21, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Pakistan.
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Aftermath of Earthquake in Balakot, Pakistan. 2005

Born 1974 in Tubbergen, Netherlands Pieter Ten Hoopen moved to Sweden 1999. He studied photojournalism at Nordens Fotoskola and has been working for four years as a photojournalist. He has been published extensively and teaches photojournalism in Scandinavia. He is represented by Agence VU in France and Moment Agency in Sweden. His work was awarded first price in the daily life stories for World Press Photo 2008 in addition to being Press Photographer of the Year in Sweden twice. His work from Pakistan was also shown at visa pour in Perpignan, 2006.

About the Photograph:

“This image was taken about one month after the earthquake in Pakistan. People were still coming down from the mountains trying to find shelter and were suffering from trauma. Winter was on the way and the need for shelter was urgent. This father with his child had been collecting food. I spent ten days in Balakot documenting the situation after the quake. People were still digging for their family members.”

Elyse Butler/Aevum Photo April 18, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Peru.
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Elyse Butler, Peru

Both Elyse Butler and Aevum Photo typify the best of the new voices in documentary photography today. In large part born from the development of digital technology and the power of the web, this group of young photographers bring a passion, depth and strong visual sensibility to their work

About Aevum:

We are witness to places foreign and familiar. Our cameras are our passage into the lives of people from all walks of life, used as a tool to find answers. Our images are visceral, and a visual search of expression. We believe photography is a privilege; one that allows us to give a voice to others and a chance to voice ourselves as well. We are drawn to each other by our unified belief in photography; its ability to express ideas and emotions, and promote change. Each of our passions are unique. Our purposes are unique. We have come together to expand the potential of the individual.

Michael Rubenstein April 17, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bangladesh.
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Bodybuilding in Bangladesh

Michael Rubenstein is a documentary photographer relocated from Portland, Oregon to Mumbai, India. He is represented by Redux Pictures. His clients include the New York Times, W+K, Nike, Time Magazine and Paris Match.

About the Photograph:

“The photo is from Bangladesh. It’s one of the oldest weight lifting gyms in Old Dhaka near Sodhorghat, the port. A lot of the guys that work out there are trying to become Mr. Bangladesh. A quick way out of one of the poorest parts of an incredibly poor city in an incredibly poor country.”

Geert Van Kesteren: Why Mister,Why? April 16, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Iraq.
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Iraqi Prisoners, Tikrit. August 2003

Why Mister, Why?

Born in Amsterdam, Geert Van Kesteren, first worked as a photojournalist in Iraq during Operation “Desert Fox” in 1998. He returned to Iraq in April 2003 and spent several months working on assignment for Newsweek and Stern magazines. His work has been published in many other international magazines, and has led to two books: Mwendanjangula! Aids in Zambia and Why Mister, Why?, about his experiences in Iraq. In 2004, he received the Visa d’or at the Festival Visa in Perpignan. He joined Magnum the following year. He believes that the quality of independent journalism is an index of the quality of democracy in a country. His latest book Baghdad Calling reveals everyday life in the Iraq of 2006 and 2007 through the eyes of Iraqis themselves.

About the Photograph:

“It was in an unbearable heat. Heavily armed soldiers with bullet proof vests and kevlar helmets were cramped together in a Bradley vehicle. When they opened the hedge they ran into what appeared to be a farm in the desert. A young woman wanted to hand over the keys, but the soldiers did not understand arabic and impatiently grabbed her arm, dragged her out and then kicked in doors. Insurgency was hardly active by then, but the haunt for Saddam was at full speed. A field phone and some guns were found, completely normal in the US and in Iraq. After the war I saw endless lines of grenades, bullets and other armory packed inside warehouses and schools. The US military had, by then, no interest or manpower to collect. But what could these soldiers do? They had no translator with them, could not interrogate nor understand these farmers, so they arrested all men present. You never know.” (more…)

Krisanne Johnson April 15, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ohio University, United States.
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German Baptist Community, Ohio

Krisanne Johnson (b 1976) is a freelance documentary photographer based in New York City. She completed her BS from the University of Colorado and her MA from Ohio University. Her clients include: US News and World Report, The New York Times, Comedy Central and Politiken. Johnson’s work has been awarded by World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International and the Best of Photojournalism. Her photo essay on Kwaito culture in South Africa is featured in the March 2008 issue of The Fader.

About the Photograph:

“I grew up near the community and started work on the German Baptist project during grad school. I still visit them whenever I return home to Ohio. This photo was taken after a game of touch football on a beautiful summer evening. I was already lying in the grass and then everyone sort of joined me.

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