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Adam Huggins June 30, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in India.
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Workers in Howrah, India making manhole covers for Con Edison. 2007

Adam Huggins (b. 1981, Canada) became interested in photography in 2000. Since then he has been traveling and taking pictures that document society and the world we live in. His photography has been exhibited at : Centre Pompidou, Paris, La Triennale di Milano, The Shanghai Art Museum, and Shiodomeitalia Creative Center in Tokyo. He has worked with numerous publications including: The New York Times, ELLE, Der Spiegel, COLORS, and the International Herald Tribune. In late 2004 he witnessed the devastation caused by the South Asian Tsunami to numerous fishing communities along the southern coast of India. The theme of fishing developed in his latest exhibited work.

About the Photograph:

In late 2007 The New York Times published Adams story and excellent multimedia piece about how New York City’s ubiquitous manhole covers are made at a foundry in India and soon after, it became a widely debated topic of conversation in numerous newspapers’ commentary and opinion pages around the world. The photo-essay drew attention to the alarming lack of safety protections in place for the Indian workers that endure extremely hazardous working conditions in order to produce manhole covers for New York and other municipalities throughout the United States, calling for State legislatures and prompting Con Edison, one of the private utilities companies that purchases these items, to rewrite their future international contracts to include safety requirements. He was subsequently awarded a Certificate of Special Merit at the 2007 Human Rights Press Awards in Hong Kong for this body of work.

Mads Nissen June 27, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Peru.
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Iquitos, Peru, Amazonas 2007

Mads Nissen (Denmark, b 1979) has worked on photographic projects about the food crisis in Niger, a children’s home in Ghana, Revolutionary Carnival in Cuba and daily life in the tallest building in Denmark. Two recent works include a story about overpopulation in Manila and a personal voyage into the Amazon rain forest. He graduated from The Danish School of Journalism. In 2004-2006 he was staff photographer at the Danish national newspaper Dagbladet Politiken. His awards include: Winner of the Best Danish Press Photo of the Year and POYi: Issue Reporting Picture Story/ Award Of Excellence both in 2007. His clients include: Newsweek, Stern and several NGO’s including Care International. He is currently based in Shanghai, China and is represented by Getty Images.

About the Photograph:

The houses in the shantytown of Belen Bajo in Peru are built on rafts or tall poles because of the ever changing water levels of the Amazon, which floods the area by several meters for four months every year. On its long journey from the Peruvian Andes to its mouth in the Atlantic, the Amazon takes up an area as large as that of Australia. It is the largest river in the world and within the rain forest are 40,000 species of plants and over 30 million kinds of insects.

Holly Wilmeth June 25, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China, United States.
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Kisses from Rhode Island and China

Holly Wilmeth was born and raised in Guatemala. As the daughter of a farmer, she spent half her time in the city and the other half in the dense jungles and agricultural landscapes of Guatemala. A freelance photographer based in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, she holds a degree in Political Science and Languages. She has traveled to over 45 countries as a cultural observer and avid hiker, living with nomad families in the Tibetan mountains as well as remote corners of East Asia and the far north of Mongolia. Her work has been published in National Geographic Adventure, Houston Chronicle, CARE, USAID, PBX, Christian Science Monitor and Time Magazine.

About the Photograph:

“The kiss series started with one picture of Russell Monk blowing a kiss that I sent to Peter Dennen at Aurora Photo and then to Susan Welchman at National Geographic. They were all a huge influence and motivator for the series. I did this because of the light subject as opposed to the other stories I always tend to work on. I knew I would also be traveling to over 13 countries in three months so it would be something I could shoot on the side. They are beautiful close-up shots of people from all over the world and different ethnicity’s.” Holly’s words about the project echo my exact same reasons for selecting this series.

Kate Brooks June 24, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Lebanon.
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From the series “Divided Lebanon.” Beruit, 2008

Award-winning photojournalist, Kate Brooks aged 27, of Polaris Images, began working as a photographer in the former Soviet Union while documenting systematic child abuse in state-run institutions. The photographs formed the visual core of the Human Rights Watch report, “Abandoned by the State: Cruelty and Neglect in Russian Orphanages.” Following 9/11 she moved to Pakistan in order to cover the impact of U.S foreign policy both there and in Afghanistan. Since the invasion of Iraq, Brooks has worked extensively in the Middle East. Her clients include Smithsonian, The New York Times Magazine, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report and UNICEF. She is currently based in Lebanon.

About the Photograph:

Lebanon on the Brink: Hezbollah fighters carried out attacks on Mount Lebanon in predominantly Druse areas two days after Druze leader, Walid Joumblat’s, Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) members killed eight Hezbollah fighters upon entering the Druze area of Ras el-Jaba to set up a checkpoint. Residents in Shweifat suffered significant damage to their property and several people were killed in the fighting. Fadi Al Suki was killed in the fighting. His wife holds his hand before burial.

Victor J. Blue June 23, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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One Year After Katrina, New Orleans. 2006

Victor J. Blue is a San Francisco based photojournalist. He has worked in Central America since 2001, concentrating on social conflict in Guatemala, as well as photographing stories in Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras. In the US he has documented news stories and social issues including Hurricane Katrina and it’s legacy in New Orleans, prison overcrowding in California, and the lives of illegal immigrants. His photographs have appeared in Time, Newsweek, Le Monde, the San Francisco Chronicle and on the Discovery Channel. His work has been exhibited in solo and group shows at the Powerhouse Gallery in New York City and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. In 2008 he was awarded a first place in the NPPA Best of Photojournalism contest and an award of excellence in the SFBAPPA News Photography competition. He is currently a staff photographer at The Record in Stockton California.

About the Photograph:

“I was in New Orleans in August of 2006, a year after the storm, on an assignment about a health clinic. When I wasn’t shooting that story I got out and photographed in the neighborhoods, I wanted to capture something of the feeling in the city. The recovery was still painfully slow, much of the New Orleans was still empty. Life seemed to be coming back in fits. I ran into this second line procession making it’s way through a neighborhood, and I followed along. It was incredibly hot, the dancers and musicians were covered in sweat. As they danced and laughed and sang and played, they projected a kind of haunted, macabre joy. Their city had been destroyed, they had survived, now they had been forgotten, and now they were going to dance through the ruins. They marched, dipping and turning under parasols in starched white shirts and pressed slacks, while the band moaned and shouted, stopping every so often so the gathered could sing out the song’s refrain: “Won’t you stand, stand by me.”

Justin Guariglia June 20, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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Two Portraits from “Planet Shanghai” © Justin Guariglia

Born in 1974 in Maplewood, New Jersey, Justin Guariglia has lived and worked in Asia for nearly a decade before returning to live in New York City in 2006. He is the author of the critically acclaimed photography book SHAOLIN: Temple of Zen, which the Aperture Foundation has turned into a 100-piece internationally traveling photography exhibition. Guariglia is a regular contributor to Smithsonian magazine, and is a photographer and contributing editor to National Geographic Traveler magazine. He has been nominated for the International Center of Photography’s Young Photographer Infinity Award, selected as a Fotofest Discovery of the Meeting Place, received several photo of the year awards, and was named one of the “30 Young Photographers under 30″ by Photo District News. His book Planet Shanghai was recently published by Chronicle Books.

About the Photograph:

“While I love Beijing, the cultural capital of China, I quickly became enamored with the character, and characters, of Shanghai’s back streets. There seemed to be a greater sense of pride, joy , and cohesion among the inhabitants here than elsewhere-as if they knew they were part of the club- the club of the real and everlasting. Like the artwork in Venice’s churches and pallazi, here the Shanghainese seem to be art in its original setting. The setting is the streets, and the art is the people themselves, living life in an urban alfresco, and often clad in silk to boot.” (more…)

Dina Kantor June 19, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Finland.
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Jaakov, Helsinki, 2006 from the Finnish & Jewish series

Dina Kantor is a Brooklyn-based photographer who began her career photographing for the Minneapolis City Pages. She received her MFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in 2007, and her BA in journalism and studio arts from the University of Minnesota. Dina’s photographs have been featured in various publications including Photo District News. She was named to Heeb Magazines Heeb 100 list in 2007 and has received grants from both the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Finlandia Foundation National. Her photographs have been exhibited nationwide.

About the Photograph:

At the time that this image was made, Jaakov had recently graduated from the Jewish day school in Helsinki and had moved on to a public high school. Jaakov is the son of an American Jewish father, and a Finnish mother who converted. This photo is from a series of portraits that I have been making of the members of the Jewish community in Finland. Finland has a population of 5.3 million people, with only an estimated 1,500 Jews (and just two synagogues). I am interested in how such a small community maintains its cultural identity. (more…)

Munem Wasif June 18, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bangladesh.
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Holi Festival, from the series “Old Dhaka: Belonging”

Munem Wasif (Bangladesh, b. 1983) graduated from Pathshala- The South Asian Institute of Photography in Dhaka. He began his career as a feature photographer for the Daily Star, a leading English daily of Bangladesh. After that, he worked two years with Drik international news photo agency as a staff photographer. He is represented by Agency VU in Paris. In 2007, he was selected for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass in the Netherlands. He won an “Honorable Mention” in the All Roads Photography Program by the National Geographic Society for his extensive work on Old Dhaka. His work is exhibited worldwide including the Angor Wat Photo Festival in Cambodia, International Photography Biennial of the Islamic World in Iran, Fotofreo- festival of photography in Australia, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Japan and Getty image gallery in England.

About the Photograph:

Wasif’s introduction from the Old Dhala series: “A sense of belonging to the people, the place, the innocuous values of small town life -the closeness of it all- came bundled with the person that was to start a new journey in the city. The days of nameless acquaintance was fixated with forgetfulness. Homesick for my mother and sister, the nights were crossed with bouts of restlessness. To make the best out of such a turbulent time, my uncle admitted me to a photography course. While the medium had not appeared in any formal mode before, growing up in a visually explosive country with riots of colors all around, it instantly grabbed my attention…days of frenzied fermentation of variant frames were followed by equally fantastic nights of soul searching within those newly discovered worlds.”

Véronique de Viguerie June 17, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Afghanistan.
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Day Laborers. Kandahar, Afghanistan

Twenty-nine year old French photographer Véronique de Viguerie has produced a wide array of features for World Picture News, including the “Madrassas of Pakistan” and “Afghanistan’s Fiercest Policewoman.” She covers many types of subjects ranging from hard news to reportage. Based in Afghanistan, de Viguerie narrowly escaped death in 2005 in a Kabul café when caught up in a suicide bomb blast; the man next to her was killed. In 2006 she was winner of the Canon Prize for Best Female Photojournalist at Visa Pour l’Image. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, LIFE, Geo, Stern, The Times, Le Figaro, Le Monde, Libération among others.

About the Photograph:

“I took this picture in Kandahar. I was doing a story on the growing influence of the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. I was told that the Taliban were using poor people to work for them. So early morning we went to the market where all the men were waiting for day work. They do anything you need for a few dollars. This “main d’oeuvre” is used by the insurgency to carry explosives, arms etc.”

Preston Gannaway June 16, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Carolynne St. Pierre watches her son EJ play. Concord, NH

Preston Gannaway is a staff photographer at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, CO. Until recently, she was a photojournalist for the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire (2003-2008). Gannaway’s documentary story on the St. Pierre family, Remember Me, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography in 2008. She was named the NPPA Region 1 (New England) Photographer of the Year in 2005 and was runner-up in 2006 and 2007. Before working for the Monitor, Gannaway interned at the Santa Fe New Mexican and the Bangor Daily News. A native of North Carolina, she began her career at the Coalfield Progress in rural southwest Virginia after earning her Bachelor of Arts in fine art photography at Virginia Intermont College

About the Photograph:

“This photograph was taken as part of a larger documentary project titled Remember Me. Carolynne passed away in February of 2007. I’ve spent almost two years following the family, both before Carolynne’s death and afterwards.”

“When this image was made, I had stopped by their house to spend a little time with them as Carolynne’s husband Rich was leaving for a business trip. I knew that Carolynne, whose strength was quickly diminishing, was worried about taking care of EJ. After shooting for a while, I hesitated leaving the house because I was concerned to leave them alone. The next day, Carolynne fell while carrying EJ down the stairs. It was a turning point for the family when they realized that Carolynne couldn’t care for the kids on her own. I think this photo illustrates that turning point. Watching Carolynne and EJ that day, I started to understand the strain that sickness was putting on their relationship.”

Timothy Fadek June 13, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mexico.
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Dance Hall. Juárez, Mexico

Timothy Fadek is a photojournalist based in New York City. He began his career in December 1998, covering the presidential campaign and election in Venezuela, on assignment for the Associated Press. Since then, he has photographed conflicts in Iraq, Lebanon, Kosovo, Macedonia, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Haiti, the 9/11 attack in New York and regularly covers important political and social issues. His photographs and stories have been published in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, German Geo, Le Monde, and Stern, among others. He has won a number of awards, including Pictures of the Year (POY), NPPA Year in Pictures, the CARE Prize for Humanitarian Reportage, Communication Arts photo annual, American Photography annual, and recently, American Photo named him a hero of photography. Timothy also teaches photography as an adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph was made inside a dance hall, with women lined up and waiting for men to ask them to dance. The women charge 5 pesos, approximately 50 cents (U.S.) for a dance. I was wandering the streets one night, trying to capture the sleaze and atmosphere of the city. I had heard about Ficherias (dance halls), wandered in, sat down, had a beer, and observed the scene.”

There is a saying in the area that, if you want to find Juárez, located just across the border from El Paso, Texas, just follow the crosses. Fadek made several trips to the troubled Mexican border town Juárez, to document a ghastly legacy — the murders of hundreds of women over the past decade. “Once you get into the grips of the Mexican authorities it’s a black hole, and you can simply disappear. You just want to be invisible. You can’t trust anyone in this city. Every journalist who ever does this story eventually becomes paranoid. Every person on the street becomes suspicious.” Most Americans are unaware that this city has been the center of an epidemic of horrific crimes against women and girls. Since 1993, more than 450 young women, many of them workers at U.S. and foreign assembly plants, have been murdered in this tough Mexican-border factory city. Hundreds more women have disappeared. The victims are kidnapped, raped, and mutilated before being killed, their bodies then dumped in the dusty fields in the surrounding desert areas of the city.

Przemysław Pokrycki June 12, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Poland.
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First communion of Tomasz Wypasek, Poland 2006

Born in 1974, Przemysław Pokrycki is a Polish press photographer. He works as a freelancer and is a regular contributor to Polish magazines. Przemysław graduated from the photography department at the Film School in Łódź, Poland in 2002. In addition to his editorial work he has been part of several group shows including: International Discoveries, FotoFest. Houston 2007, The New Dokumentalists, Warsaw, 2006 and Poland Now, Schindler’s Factory, Cracow, 2006. His solo exhibits include: Rites de Passage, Starmach Gallery, Cracow, 2007 and Laborers, Luksfera Gallery, Warsaw, 2004

About the Photograph:

From the series Rites of Passage. “All my projects are based in Poland. The subjects are either friends or people I meet when photographing for the press. With my pictures I describe the world around me. This reality is very familiar but sometimes very surprising. There so many photographic projects to be done in Poland. I want to photograph here. I don’t look for extreme situations such as war, hunger or disasters. Society in itself is most interesting for me especially the changing life styles and standard of living after the transformation in 1989. I regret I didn’t start my projects 20 years ago.”

Adam Ferguson June 11, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in India.
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Outside a brothel in Manipur, India. 2007

Adam Ferguson was born in Australia in 1978 and graduated from Griffith University with a Bachelor of Photography in 2003. In 2004 he was awarded a Peace Scholarship from Griffith and travelled to South East Asia to document Peace Art Project Cambodia, a European Union public awareness campaign aimed at curbing small arms. After working for regional newspapers in Australia and Mexico, he moved to Paris in 2006 and interned with VII Photo Agency. In 2007 he moved to New Delhi, India, where he is currently based as a freelance photojournalist. Adam’s work has been published in Time Magazine, Newsweek, The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, The Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg News, Courrier International, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian.

About the Photograph:

With the ‘Golden Triangle’ stretching between Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and China, a porus Indian border leaves India’s northeastern states like Manipur vulnerable to an illegal heroin trade. Ongoing tribal insurgencies, corruption and a disregard for India’s northeastern states from New Delhi, render communities like Churandchanpur in Manipur politically volatile and economically stifled. High unemployment and minimal opportunity cause a high number of youth to turn to drugs to escape poverty. But with Myanmar as a rogue neighbor, and corruption making the stifling of the heroin trade almost impossible, heroin trafficking goes on and little hope is left for any action to stop the free flow of heroin that devastates lives in India’s volatile northeast.

Anderson Schneider June 10, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Brazil.
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Barradas Alho, 86 years old. Leper Colony, Brazil. 2005

Anderson Schneider is an independent Brazilian-based photographer represented by WpN and Grazia Neri. Working self-assigned, as well as for newspapers, magazines and international organizations, he strongly believes that a camera, a photograph, a news page can make the world a more real place to live in. Anderson is 33 years-old and was nominated twice as a finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Grant (USA, 2006 & 2007), received the Special Prize for Humanistic Photography at the IV Pleven Biennial of Photography (Bulgaria, 2005) and also two prizes at the NPPA Best of Photojournalism (USA, 2005 & 2007). He lives in Brasilia with his wife Adriana and his new-born daughter Anna.

About the Photograph:

During almost all of the 20th century, the treatment for leperosy in Brazil was understood as the total confinement of the patient in a sanitarium. These people were taken from their homes and families, many of them under gunpoint by the so-called Sanitary Police, and locked up in small isolated communities, usually forever. After 1976, due to the changes in the policy for the treatment of this disease, these colonies were partially or totally deactivated and the patients were abandoned without any policy for social reintegration. Without any place else to go, they were confined to these archaic structures until now, dying one-by-one, slow and silently. (more…)

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