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Marco di Lauro September 29, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Gaza, Israel.
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Kerem Atzoma, Gaza Strip, 2005

Marco Di Lauro (b.1970, Italy) took his first photograph at the age of 14 during a vacation in Egypt. His mother taught him how to use the Olympus OM-10 and frame his first  landscapes. He studied  journalism at Boston University and  1993 returned to Italy and received a diploma in photography from the European Institute of Design in Milan. After working as photo assistant-editor at Magnum in Paris Marco paid his own way to the Kosovo in 1997 where he was one of the few photo-reporters on hand when the ethnic cleansing began. Marcothen became an AP staff photographer and covered the 2000 Jubilee of the Catholic Church from Rome. In 2002, Marco began working under an exclusive  contract for Getty Images, covering the Middle Eastern conflict in the Gaza Strip and spent almost all of 2003 and 2004 in Iraq, documenting the American invasion and the drama of the Iraqi people.

About the Photograph:

Angry Jewish settlers are seen on the front door of their house raising their hands in the air as they employ Nazi-era imagery – including stars of David on their T-shirts – in protest against their forced removal by Israeli troops from their home, before they are walked out of their front door to a waiting bus in the Kerem Atzmona illegal settlement outpost in the Gaza Strip. The 12 resident families and hundreds of their supporters were forcibly evicted under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan.

Simon Roberts September 26, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Russia.
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Port officials, Vladivostok, Far East Russia, 2004

Simon Roberts (b.1974, England) graduated from The University of Sheffield (1996) followed by a Distinction in Photography from the National Council for the Training of Journalists. His photographs have been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai and are held in a numerous collections. He has been published in Granta, The Sunday Times Magazine,  Details,  Esquire, Der Spiegel, Le Monde and others. Simon received the ‘Ian Parry Award’ (1998), a ‘Getty Grant of Editorial Photography’ (2006) and the ‘Bright Spark Award’ from the Magenta Foundation in Toronto (2006). He was a student at the ‘World Press Photo  Masterclass (2003) and identified by PDN’s 30 Emerging Artists (2004). More recently he received a grant from the Arts Council England to support “We English.” Motherland, his first monograph, was published in March 2007 by Chris Boot Ltd. He is represented by The Photographers’ Gallery in London and Klompching Gallery in New York.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph was taken three months into my year’s journey across Russia. Vladivostok, literally ‘Lord of the East’, is located less than 100 kilometers East of the Chinese border, and just across the Sea of Japan. It is the home port of the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet. I came across these port officials early one morning during their patrol of the port and asked them to pose for a portrait. It was a fleeting moment, they weren’t able to stop and talk. However, in this split second, the photograph has captured their formal postures and apparent pride in their work. I’m particularly taken by the details in the image, note the over sized hat and jacket of the man on the right.”

Espen Rasmussen September 24, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Colombia.
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Carnival, Bogota, Colombia 2007

Espen Rasmussen (b. 1976, Norway) has been working with Médecins Sans Frontières since 2004. He has traveled around the world, covering events such as the Maoist conflict in Nepal, the Tsunami in Asia, the earthquake in Pakistan and conflict in Somalia. Espen’s photographs has appeared in National Geographic, Time, The Economist and Der Spiegel, and in newspapers such as the New York Times and Financial Times. He has won prizes in the World Press Photo, Picture of the Year International and “PDN’s 30 under 30 Emerging Photographers”. Espen is represented by Panos Pictures and currently works as a photo editor with VG, Norway’s largest daily newspaper.

About the Photograph:

“This picture is from the Soacha neigborhood in Bogota, Colombia. I was on my way further into the slum area with an NGO, when I saw this carnival approaching. Soacha houses between 500.000 and 800.000 displaced Colombians, fleeing from violence in their home country. The carnival is an annual event and offers the kids from the slums a break from poverty. I was in Colombia, working on a long term project about internally displaced people and refugees. For the last five years, I have traveled around the world, documenting people on the run. So far, I have been in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Thailand and Darfur in Sudan. It’s a huge problem that newspapers and broadcasters are showing their audience only a small piece of what war and political instability is causing. I hope my documentation will be a counterbalance to this.”

Amy Toensing September 22, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ohio University, United States.
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Harry and Doug Odom. Monhegan Island, Maine

American born photojournalist Amy Toensing has worked on assignments for publications such as National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times, Newsweek, Time Magazine and The Boston Globe. She  began her career in 1994 as a staff photographer at her hometown paper in New Hampshire and later worked three years in Washington D.C. covering the White House and Capitol Hill for The New York Times. In 1998, Toensing left D.C. to receive her Master’s Degree in Photography at Ohio University. Since 2000, she has been freelancing for editorial publications and private organizations. In 2003 Amy was named the Photographic Alumni Fellow at the SALT Institutute for Documentary Field Studies in Portland, Maine where she continued a long-term project on Muslim teenage girls living in western culture. She recently finished her ninth story for National Geographic.

About the Photograph:

“Harry and Doug Odom turn in beneath each other’s portraits while their dog Taxi keeps watch. It’s a good life, says Harry. The Odoms have been Lobstermen, merchants, and island benefactors for some 60 years. Monhegan Island, home to lobstermen and painters and a popular destination for tourists is twelve miles off the coast of Maine. Ringed by high, dark cliffs, its interior a mix of meadows, marsh and spruce groves, Monhegan is one of just 14 true island communities left off the coast of Maine. The island has a 65 permanent, year-round residents and the population grows to around 200 in the summer, with day-trippers adding several hundred more. “

Peter Dench September 19, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in England.
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From the Series “Drink UK”

Peter Dench (b. 1972, British) is based in London  A distinctive and often quirky style has guaranteed regular commissions from a range of respected international clients. Solo shows include Finding Faith at the Ourhouse Gallery in Brighton. Others include screenings at Visa Pour L’Image; Ethnic London (2006), Britain’s Rain (2005) and Drinking of England (2003). The latter achieved a World Press Award in the People in the News Stories Category. Peter also participated in the World Press Joop Swart Masterclass and had work selected for the PDN Photo Annual 2008.

About the Photograph:

“For me this photograph encapsulates drinking in England. Have a few and you may get lucky with a girl. One too many and it’s a disaster. It was a scene in the car park at the Epsom Derby horse racing. I saw the shot from a distance and as I shoot on a wide lens had to run before the couple stopped kissing. I managed one frame. The bald man turned and slurred ‘That better never be published’ – it was exhibited in over 80 venues world-wide as part of the 2003 World Press Photo Exhibition. Britain has become a nation of binge drinkers. The statistics are alarming- 121% more alcohol is being consumed than 50 years ago. The British are drinking younger, longer, faster and more cheaply than ever before. Binge drinking followed by public order problems are becoming increasingly common in towns and cities.”

Bill Crandall September 17, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Belarus.
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Outside Minsk Belarus, 2000

Bill Crandall‘s formative years in Washington DC were spent with a guitar instead of a camera, but eventually photography became his mode of expression. His photos balance art and documentary, using an intuitive, personal approach. His images have appeared in magazines such as  Newsweek, Le Figaro, New York Times Magazine and PHOTO among others. He has also worked for newspapers such as the Washington Post and New York Times on a regular basis. Bill has received two grants for his long-term ‘East’ photo project and won awards from the National Press Photographers Association. From 2000-2002 Bill also worked as photo director for the former Balkan Times website. In 2006 he was curator for a major photo exhibition on the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, which was presented at a US Congressional event and at the United Nations. Crandall is a founding member of Metro Collective, a group of 12 photographers worldwide who work in the artistic documentary tradition.

About the Photograph:

“This image is from Kuropaty, the former killing fields on the outskirts of Minsk. Every year people come to memorialize the up to 250,000 people killed there in Stalin-era purges. Bodies are still being found. The event is seen by authorities as a rallying point for the opposition, so the KGB usually tags along and films everyone. Like most demonstrations in Belarus, there is risk for those who attend. It was taken on the last day of my first visit to Belarus in 2000. I was exhausted and almost didn’t go, especially considering that it involved a 15km march from the city center to the site. I remember towards the end the light was fading fast, my young fixers were urging me to leave with them. I’m glad I hung around a little longer, for me the image reflects the stoic nature of the people there and their deep sense of history and memory.”

Philippe Dudouit September 15, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Niger.
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Touareg Rebels in Northern Niger, 2008

Philippe Dudouit (b.1977, Switzerland) graduated from the Vevey School of Photography in Switzerland in 2000. Since then, Dudouit received second place in the Swiss Press Photo in 2003 and in 2004. Dudouit’s images have also formed a part of several exhibitions including: Resfest Festival Swiss Selection (2005), the Hip-Hop Film Festival-Berlin (2005) and the Wordless Festival (2005). In 2004 he was the recipient of the KieferHablitzel Art Award and in 2005 he was invited to participate in the World Press Photo Master Class. He is represented by Contact Press Images.

About the Photograph:

“The MNJ, Nigerien Movement for Justice. is a Saharan rebel group founded in 2007. It’s a Tuareg group, based in Northern Niger. Their major claims are for greater economic development and a share of the region’s uranium profits. As you may remember from the buildup of the war in Iraq and the Wilson/Plame scandal that followed, Niger has uranium reserves. Between 2004 and 2007, the market price of uranium has multiplied by 10. In the case of Niger, it accounts for 72% of the country’s exports, and is mined in the areas where these rebels operate. The mining concessions belong to French Areva, and Chinese SinoU, which the rebels have attacked after claiming they were looting the mineral resources of the region. The Nigerien Government has labeled the MNJ a terrorist group, and has falsely linked it to Al Quaeda, while their links appear to be limited to other Tuareg armed groups in Mali and Chad, whose claims towards their respective central governments  are similar. The conflict with the Nigerien army, whom Human Rights Watch has accused of war crimes, threatens the livelihoods of tens of thousands of civilians.”

Annie Tritt September 12, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Jordan.
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Jordanian Wedding Celebration, 2007

Annie Tritt picked up a camera in 2002 after a long hiatus from college where she studied art. She has been working professionally since 2005 and has recently been photographing for The New York Times as her main client. “I want people to see themselves in my photos, to see that those who they perceive as “others” are not so different and perhaps this realization will spur them to care about the “human rights” issues that may seem distant to them.”  “I love the process of developing my skills. I find it is a similar to yoga or mediation but has the added benefit of bringing something new and perhaps beautiful into the world.” Annie had worked in Mexico, Cameroon, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Israel and plans to go overseas in the fall.

About the Photograph:

“I had been working on a story about Iraqi Refugees in Jordan. I got very close to one of the families I was photographing and went with them to meet their uncle. When we were walking back to their apartment we came across this celebration before a wedding. The  party was only for men- I was not able to enter the center- and they had fireworks and dancing all night, with pictures of the king gracing the whole event. It was exciting for the children of the family I was with since they had to spend a lot of time indoors because it was dangerous for their parents to be seen outside. We all watched together, a brief moment of relief for the kids as their parents stayed out of sight in the back. That family is now safe in Australia.”

João Pina September 10, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Portugal.
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Former Portuguese Political Prisoner

João Pina ( b.1980, Portugal) started working as a photographer at the age of 18. In 2002 began working in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba and Paraguay. In 2004-2005 he decided to go back to school and enrolled in the Documentary Photography program at ICP. His work has been published in The New York Times, Newsweek, GEO Magazine, El Pais, Days Japan, Expresso and Visão among others. He has exhibited his work in New York (ICP and Point of View Gallery), London (Ian Parry Award), Tokyo (Canon gallery), Lisbon (Casa Fernando Pessoa). Since 2007 he has been based in Argentina, where he continues to document the remnants of a military operation named Operation Condor aimed at destroying the political opposition to the military dictatorships in South America during the 1970s. He is a member of the Portuguese collective Kameraphoto since 2003.

About the Photograph:

“This project about Portugal’s former political prisoners means much more to me than just photography. It is about my own heritage as a young man. It is about me, even if it happened many years before I was born. It is about a very small group of people that were arrested, tortured and sentenced to many years in jail because they thought differently. Both my grandparents were part of this group. My grandmother Albertina Diogo and my grandfather Guilherme da Costa Carvalho (who died in 1973) were members of the Portuguese communist party and fought with their ideals against a fascist regime that lasted for 48 years in Portugal making it the longest dictatorial regime of western Europe in the 20th century.” (more…)

Ziyah Gafic September 8, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bosnia.
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Ziyah Gafic was born in Sarajevo and graduated from  Sarajevo University. He regularly contributes to magazines and newspapers such as: Liberation, Le Monde 2, La Republica, Photo, Telegraph Magazine, The   L’Espresso, Newsweek and TIME among others. His work has been widely exhibited in Perpignan, Arles, Amsterdam, London, Tokyo, and Geneva  His photo essay about the aftermath of the Bosnian war was published in the book “Tales From Globalizing World”. Honors include: The Ian Parry/ Sunday Times Magazine award and also won 2nd prize of the World Press Photo contest, 2001.  Kodak award for young reporters at Visa pour l’Image, 2002. PDN’s 30 emerging photographers, 2003. Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography, 2007. Grant from OPA for his project “Muslims of New York”, 2008. His other projects focus on societies in transition; from Bosnia to Rwanda and Chechnya to Iraq.  Ziyak is represented by Getty Images.

About the Photograph:

Growing up in besieged Sarajevo and witnessing the war from the point of view of someone to whom the war was actually happening but not being able to take part in it left me deeply frustrated. Photography allowed me to be on the other side of the event. Frustration grew into determination to document the long and painful aftermath in post-war Bosnia. It was the reason for me becoming a photographer. I knew how reduced and distorted the image of my homeland had become to the rest of the world and I felt obliged to give my best and change that image. I had this extraordinary experience to be on both sides: to be part of the news and to be storyteller myself which gave me a rare inside-out look which determined and shaped my approach to storytelling.

David Rochkind September 5, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Peru.
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Bertha Luz Andrade, La Oroya, Peru, 2007

David Rochkind is a freelance photographer who has focused on Latin America for the past five years while living in Caracas, Venezuela. His work generally focuses on the point where economic and social needs of communities meet and how that balance affects the overall well being of the population. His clients include The New York Times, Time Magazine, Stern, Glamour and CARE. In 2008 he was named as one of Photo District News’ “30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch” and was also awarded an International Reporting Project Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.

About the Photograph:

“Bertha Luz Andrade had cancer and died a few weeks after this photograph was taken in her home in La Oroya, Peru. La Oroya is one of the most polluted places on the planet, owing to a metal smelting plant that has emitted toxic gases for more than 80 years. This pollution is having a devastating effect on the community nestled next to the plant. According to a study by the University of St. Louis nearly all of the children in the town have lead poisoning and local doctors say that the health problems include other forms of metal poisoning, like arsenic, and higher incidences of cancer. The town of La Oroya grew up around the plant and is economically dependent on the very industry that is poisoning them. (more…)

Jared Soares September 3, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Jared Soares was born in Santa Cruz, California in 1982. He grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City, dreaming of playing pro soccer until he tore his ACL at the age of 17.  A year and a half later he found his mom’s Canon AE1. Jared studied literature and creative writing at The University of Kansas.  While in college he worked as a part time staffer at The Lawrence (KS) Journal-World, an intern at The Hays (KS) Daily News, and as a lab tech at the Kansas City Star. He has been with The Roanoke (VA) Times for the past two years after starting as an intern there in the summer of 2006.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph was made at The Lighthouse, a church in Pulaski, Virginia during a youth worship service. Vicky Akers, the woman on the right of the image, was in charge of the youth ministry program at The Lighthouse. She would travel to neighborhoods around the town, picking up children to take them to a youth worship service twice a week. Akers worked as a waitress at a diner but she also felt the need to be an active voice among the youth of Pulaski. I have always been interested in the role that faith and religion play in a person’s life. Vicky Akers has since moved to North Carolina but this photo was the catalyst for an in progress project about faith in Pulaski. I visit Pulaski often to seek out how faith influences the the lives of the people that live in the town.”

Christian Keenan September 1, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China, Tibet.
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Christian Keenan (b. 1973, England). ” After leaving school I joined the British Army for several years. It gave me the travel bug and an interest in the world around me. After leaving the army I spent  a few years figuring out what to do with myself.  A family member gave me a camera and once I developed my first film I was hooked. I suppose the only thing that really interested me with regards  to photography was the ability to tell a story. So after a while of teaching myself how to use a camera I got a job with a local paper for a few years after which I moved to Hong Kong and spent several years documenting China. During this time I won a world press photo award for my work on the Uighurs of Kashgar as well as a few other awards. I am currently working out of Jersey, Channel Islands.

About The Photograph:

“I wanted to document the old Tibet and not Tibet as we know it today, I had heard about this place called The Labrang Monastery in Xiahe and how it was a bit off the beaten track and not frequented by hoards of tourists. The Monastery was a delight to document and it seemed as though I was the only foreigner there, which was great as it opened so many doors. Pictured here are a Tibetan family preparing to offer scarves during their pilgrimage to the Monastery. Many Tibetan families travel for days to visit the Monastery.”

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