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Jonas Bendiksen October 31, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Indonesia.
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Kids playing on top of water mains. Jakarta, Indonesia, 2007

Jonas Bendiksen (b. 1977, Norway) began his career at the age of 19 as an intern at Magnum’s London office, before leaving for Russia to pursue his own work as a photojournalist. Throughout the several years he spent there, Jonas photographed stories from the fringes of the former Soviet Union, a project that was published as the book Satellites (2006). Bendiksen has received numerous awards, including the 2003 Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, New York, and second place in the Daily Life Stories for World Press Photo, as well as first prize in the Pictures of the Year International Awards. His documentary of life in a Nairobi slum, Kibera, published in the Paris Review, won a National Magazine Award in 2007. His editorial clients include National Geographic, Geo, Newsweek, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Telegraph Magazine and the many others.

About the Photograph:

In 2005, with a grant from the Alicia Patterson Foundation, Jonas started working on The Places We Live, a project on the growth of urban slums across the world, which combines still photography, projections and voice recordings to create three-dimensional installations. A book, also called ‘The Places We Live’, is being published in seven languages to coincide with the Oslo exhibition in June 2008.

Hector Emanuel October 29, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Peru.
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Peruvian earthquake aftermath

Hector Emanuel is a Peruvian-born photojournalist with a Master’s degree in physics, his photos focus mainly on social and political issues in Latin America and the US. In 2003, he was awarded by the World Press Photo Foundation (and the NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism) for his documentation of the civil conflict in Colombia. His photographs have been widely exhibited and he regularly contributes to books, newspapers, magazines (Time, Newsweek, Men’s Journal, Washington Post Sunday Magazine, Washingtonian, etc) and NGO’s (American Red Cross, Greenpeace and Amnesty International). Recently he has been applying his understated documentary style of photography to a variety of magazine portrait assignments.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken while covering the aftermath of an 8.0 magnitude earthquake in Peru for the Red Cross. The earthquake left over 500 dead and over 100,000 homeless. The people in the photo were standing by the side of the road with signs asking for food, water or any other help. Like many of the people in the area they were not only homeless and worried about their future, but also psychologically scarred. I always feel pretty useless – I don’t mean photographically – when covering this kind of story, but it’s even more obvious when shooting for the Red Cross because when one arrives in a car with the Red Cross symbol people have the expectation that you will know how to help them.”

Olivier Asselin October 27, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ghana.
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Ghana, 2008

Olivier Asselin is an award-winning Canadian photographer based in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. His work has appeared in major newspapers and magazines worldwide including: TIME, Newsweek, The New York Times, Le Nouvel Observateur, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, and The Washington Post among others. His awards include: PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris The Human Condition Photo Contest, 2008. Gordon Parks International Photo Contest Winner, Third Place IX Luis Valtueña Award for Humanitarian Photography, 2007. In October 2006, he attended the Eddie Adams Workshop.

About the Photograph:

“David Amuzu, 12, sits among his classmates in school in the town of Amasaman, Ghana. “I can’t see what the teacher is writing on the blackboard”, he says. The pigment that gives skin its color – called melanin – is also a key element in the development of the eye. Because of the absence of melanin, most people with albinism have poor eyesight, especially from a distance. Regarding the challenges of photographing in Ghana I feel that here, the only way to get access to anything is to go through someone who has credibility with the people you want to reach.”

It’s well worth checking out the audio slide show  about the Albinism in Ghana that Olivier made on this story.

Alberto Giuliani October 24, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Argentina.
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Alberto Giuliani (b. 1975, Italy) has a passion for storytelling. He has documented tragic events of our times: from the diaspora of the Tibetan people to the Afghan war, from the economical crisis in Argentina to the forced sterilization in Peru. In 2003 with the musician C. Picco, he staged a theatrical performance about Islam, called “On the way to Samarkand”. In 2003 he also realized the “P0 Photo” photographs for Pirelli, exhibited at the Palazzo della Permanente in Milan. In September 2004 he published his book titled Next to Nothing. Giuliani’s works have won several awards from Canon and Agfa. In 2005 he participated in the Masterclass of World Press Photo. He is represented by Grazia Neri.

About the Photograph:

“The two ladies chatting in this popular Milonga in the center of Buenos Aires, gives me the idea of the most ordinary, common, soft life of Buenos Aires. My point of view, behind them makes me feeling well and put me in the same condition of them. I’m whispering something to myself. I have been working in Argentina for many years. My mom was born there and she moved to Italy when she was 3 years old, with an uncle, living there parents and relatives. This is part of one of those sad family histories belonging to World War 2 time. I grew up listening about Argentina and when I went there for my first time (my mom never wanted to go back) in 1995 I discovered a beautiful country, a warm family, good friends, funny people and a big love.” (more…)

Alexandra Demenkova October 22, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Russia.
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From the series “Territory of Broken Dreams” 2007

Alexandra Demenkova (b.1980, Russia)  graduated from the Herzen State Pedagogical University with a degree in Foreign Languages. She has been a documentary photographer since 2004 and worked with Interpress Photo Agency (2003) and the New Eurasia Foundation (2006, 2007) and currently works with Agency Photographer.ru. Alexandra was awarded Best Photo Correspondent of the Year (St. Petersburg, 2004-2006) and was a the finalist of Descubrimientos, PhotoEspana in 2007. Alexandra was  part of the World Press Photo Masterclass in 2007 and was chosen as an artist in residence with Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunstenin in 2008. She participated in exhibitions and festivals in Russia, Kazakhstan, UK, Finland, Poland, Turkey and Spain.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken in Shuvaevo, about 300 km northeast of Moscow. For many inhabitants of big cities in Russia, the rest of the country simply doesn’t exist. Yet you don’t have to go far from Moscow or Saint Petersburg to find dying villages, where people live in a state of extreme deprivation with abandoned old people who have spent their lives working on collective farms; middle-aged men and women who have no jobs, rarely young people or children. Villages that used to be thriving, with shops, libraries and clubs, now number only a handful of occupied houses. There is no community spirit or social life. Instead of a bucolic rural life, there is despair, alcohol abuse, crime and solitude. This is a phenomenon of life in Russia, villages that have disappeared in a country which used to be an agricultural one. Skachok, a man who lives alone and is an alcoholic, is going to drink a cup of substitute vodka, which costs 17 rubles per half liter, less than one US dollar.

Leonie Purchas October 20, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Italy.
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Moretti family. Italy, 2006

After taking an honors degree in the history of art, Leonie Purchas (b. 1978, United Kingdom) went on to work as a full-time assistant for the British photojournalist Tom Stoddard. She followed this with a diploma from the London College of Communications in 2003. Leonie has won a number of prestigious awards including of The ‘F’ award, the Arts Foundation Fellowship, the Ian Parry scholarship and the Jerwood photography award and in 2006 she was an artist in resident at Fabrica, Italy. Her work has been featured in The Sunday Times Magazine, The Saturday Telegraph Magazine, Portfolio Magazine and Newsweek. She is currently working on a book based on her family called ‘In the Shadow of Things’ which is due to be published in 2010.

About the Photograph:

“This is a story about the Moretti family in Rome who take care of racehorses. They live above the stables in Capanelle and have done so for the past two generations. They get up at five every morning to train and attend to their animals. Their entire livelihood depends on the winnings and performance of the horses. The photo is of Denise and her grand mother, who is senile.  Despite troubled moments, her affection for her grandchild remains.” This series is part of a larger project about family around the world that is currently being funded by the arts foundation fellowship.

João Pedro Marnoto October 17, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Portugal.
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João Pedro Marnoto (b.1975, Portugal) enrolled in his first photography class at the age of 14. He later left halfway during a degree in graphic design in Portugal and went to the UK  to train as a photographer. As time progressed he turned increasingly to documentary work, with his first book called “The Rocks, The People And The Memory”  released in 2007. João teaches photography and recently received a grant from the Portuguese Center of Photography to develop a project and exhibited around Portugal. He is finishing his first video documentary and  a new book. His work was shown at the Lumix festival for young photographers in 2008 and he is currently working with the NGO: Doctors of the World.

About the Photograph:

“My working process consists mainly in wandering around and trying to make contact with the environment and it’s people. On a cold, cloudy but relaxing winter afternoon I entered this local cafe at Vila Verde in Alijó, a region situated in Northeast Portugal. The photo is part of a project entitled “Nine Months of Winter and Three of Hell”, a popular expression from the Douro and Trás-os-Montes region in Northeast Portugal. The work is about the people that live beyond the slopes of the Douro River, ingrained in the land that sustains their  hunger and the faith that points towards the skies.  One of Western Europe’s poorest regions and last frontiers of rural life this region produces the beloved Port Wine. This project also represents a human relation with nature and faith vanishing and confronted by  new social, economic and political realities. It is a visual representation of the opposite end of the chain of evolution and progress that brings with it the disappearance of past values.

Moises Saman October 15, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Lebanon.
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Lebanese border, Summer 2006

Moises Saman (b.1974, Peru) grew up in Barcelona, Spain and then moved to the USA to attend California State University. Shortly after graduating with a degree in Communications Moises moved to New York and became a staff photographer at New York Newsday from 2000-07. Since 2001 Moises has concentrated on covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as projects in Asia and Central America. In 2008 Moises’ work from El Salvador received special mention in the Overseas Press Club “Olivier Rebbot Award” and was placed 3rd in the Magazine Photographer of the Year Award from POYi. In 2007 Moises’ work from Afghanistan received a 3rd prize in the  World Press Photo contest and an Honorable Mention in the UNICEF Photo of the Year awards.  In 2004 Moises was selected for the World Press Photo Masterclass. He is based in Brooklyn, New York.

About the Photograph:

“The conflict between Israel and Lebanon in the summer of 2006 took everyone by surprise. After a brazen cross border raid by Hezbollah guerrillas in which two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped and several more killed in the ensuing fighting, Israel retaliated with a massive air and ground military campaign across Lebanon. While on assignment for New York Newsday i was asked to cover the first two weeks of the war from Israel, basing myself in the northern Israeli city of Nahariya, a city within range of the Katyusha rockets being fired on a daily basis from Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon. The Israeli Army only allowed a handful of journalists to embed with their forces as they invaded Lebanon, and gaining access to the border areas on my own proved extremely difficult.” (more…)

Amy Stein October 13, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Amy Stein is a photographer and teacher based in New York City. She has exhibited nationally and internationally at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, SMoCA and the West Collection. In 2006, Amy won the Saatchi Gallery/Guardian Prize for her Domesticated series. In 2007, she was named one of the top fifteen emerging photographers in the world by American Photo magazine and she won the Critical Mass Book Award. A monograph of her series Domesticated will be published in fall 2008. Amy was raised in Washington, DC, and Karachi, Pakistan. She holds a BS from James Madison University and a MS University of Edinburgh in Scotland. In 2006, Amy received her MFA in photography from the SVA. Amy teaches photography at Parsons and the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

About the Photograph:

“Michele is a nurse, hunter and avid gun user who lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. This image depicts Michele returning home from work before changing to go hunting. Her guns were in the car, so she brought it inside with her. The image comes from the Women and Guns series which explores women’s interest and use of firearms for professional and recreational purposes.”

Lihee Avidan October 10, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in England.
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Kelly, From the series “Home”

Lihee Avidan grew up in Israel and moved to London to follow her passion for photography. After completing her Masters in Photojournalism at the London College of Communication, she won the PX3 features Photography award, and was a finalist in Lumix young photojournalist award. Her  work- including the plight of Roma communities in Kosovo, the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, Madagascan sapphire miners and child poverty in the UK- has been published by The Sunday Times Magazine, local and international press. Lihee has produced multimedia ‘stills and audio’ for the BBC online and Channel 4 television, which prompted a move into mixed media and film-making, continuing to document the people at the heart of social and political change. She is currently shooting a series of documentaries for Channel 4 TV on migrant health care workers.

About the Photograph:

“Hassan lives with his sister Linda and their mum, Kelly in a dilapidated council flat in South London. Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe. Kelly got pregnant when she turned 15 and left school. She lives from benefits, and social services visit her regularly. The household is a chaotic place, where the lines between childhood and adulthood are blurred. Kelly has problems dealing with the responsibility of parenthood, and providing for her children’s material and emotional needs. For Hassan home is a claustrophobic place that offers little affection or warmth.”

Q. Sakamaki October 8, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Brazil.
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In Rocinha favela, gang members patrol the streets. Rio, 2007

Q. Sakamaki graduated with the MA in International Affairs from Columbia University. He has photographed New York’s political and social landscape, focusing on AIDS, homelessness, and street crime. He has covered  war-stories in Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, Algeria, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Liberia, Sri Lanka, etc. The main objective of his work is to show how war affects ordinary civilians, particularly children. His photographs been published in Time, Newsweek, Life, Stern, and L’espresso, and have been exhibited in New York and Tokyo. Sakamaka has received numerous awards, including World Press Photo- 2007, Overseas Press Club (Olivier Rebbot – 2006), Pictures of The Year International- 2007, Days International Photojournalism Award- 2005 among others.  He has published three books, including “Palestine and just released a new one about New York’s East Village in the 1980’s. He is represented by Redux Pictures.

About the Photograph:

“This story depicts the life of favelas, or shantytowns, in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, as the communities are deteriorated by gang violence. In Rio, nearly each favela has its syndicate-with drug related activity- in more than 600 favelas in the metropolitan area. Gangs control each favela with the law of violence. They are so well armed and organized, that even the paramilitary Rio police force cannot easily step into the community. I started this project in 1998 and when I returned 10 years later, the favelas’ violent landscape had deteriorated even more. It took me so long to go back and resume this project because I was traumatized after almost being killed. Meanwhile, the Brazilian government and the international community have ignored the bloody tragedy of Rio’s  favelas and the violence continues. There are so many desperate youths in favelas. The gang members know that being in a gang can be fatal and consider themselves lucky if they live to 25.”

Rob Hornstra October 6, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Russia.
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Old and New Russia, 2008

Rob Hornstra (b. 1975) is a Dutch  documentary photographer. In 2004 he graduated  from the Academy of Arts based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Previously he studied Social and Legal Services and worked as a probation officer for one year. His photography can best be seen as a combination of these two areas of study. Rob won the Dutch Photo Academy Award with his book ‘Communism & Cowgirls’. He was commissioned by the IPRN European Union to work in Iceland which was published as his second book ‘Roots of the Rúntur’. His work is represented by Flatland Gallery. He  is working on two projects currently: the changing face of the former Soviet Union and  a documentary about the district where he lives in Utrecht. Rob is also founder of FOTODOK – Space for Documentary Photography.

About the Photograph:

“Andrey (left) is heavily addicted to drugs, HIV positive, suffers open TBC and doesn’t feel his legs after he missed the artery in his groin while injecting drugs. He doesn’t get any help from state health organizations because he is a drug addict. “I am sure I will die soon. But I am not afraid. Nothing will scare me anymore” The woman on the right is an employee of the cement factory in a small suburb of the East Siberian industrial city Angarsk. The inhabitants of Cement Town once lived to the rhythm of the factory bell. There was work, the children went to school and a social services system took care of basic needs. The factory played a central role in this. In the 90s, however, everything fell apart. Rival clans fought relentlessly for control of the cement factory. The most difficult years were 1996-1998. The factory was plundered and bankrupt.”

Matt Moyer October 3, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Egypt.
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Child Labor In Egypt

Photojournalist Matt Moyer has worked on assignment for publications such The New York Times, The Guardian and People among others. He began his career with The Citizen, a small daily newspaper in Auburn, NY. He later lived in Cairo for three years learning Arabic and worked on a project about child laborers. These photographs received multiple awards in the PiOY competition. Moyer returned to the Middle East in April 2003, entering Iraq just after Baghdad fell to US troops. He spent four months working in Iraq and received his first assignment for National Geographic magazine in October 2003 to photograph the Shia of Iraq. He recently finished working on another project funded by National Geographic, looking at the private military industry and the guns for hire that make up the industry’s foot soldiers. Moyer is represented by Getty Images.

About the Photograph:

“I had been photographing an area of Cairo that was host to a number of pottery factories. They weren’t actually factories but rather mud hovels where workers made clay pots. I had spent months gaining access and befriending the workers. Child labor was rampant but many of the children working at the site were related to the men working in the factories. These families had no other choice but to have their children work at the site. If the children didn’t work, earning valuable income, then there would not be enough money to put food on the family’s table. One afternoon I was shooting and saw this little girl bathed in the late afternoon sun. At first she just stared at me but then she slowly looked off camera with eyes full of sadness.”

Andrew Biraj October 1, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bangladesh.
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People Power At Phullbari, Bangladesh

Andrew Biraj (b.1982, Bangladesh) completed a his studies in photography from Pathshala in 1999, working with a local weekly magazine, before traveling through Bangladesh to pursue his own work as a photojournalist. He has completed stories in the UK, Cambodia, Myanmar and Bangladesh, including his on going project ‘State Excluded’, a photo essay about the stranded Bihari community in Bangladesh. In 2004 he obtained a full scholarship from the University of Bolton, UK to finish his B.A in Photography. He has been selected for the World Press Photo  Masterclass in 2008. He won 1st Prize in the “Environmental Picture Story” category of “Best of Photojournalism” by NPPA; 2008. His  work have been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Observer Magazine, Saudi Aramaco World,  and Forum Magazine of The Daily Star.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph is from a project about the protests against a proposed open-pit coal mine in Phullbari,  in the North-West district of Bangladesh. Hundreds of housewives from mostly conservative Muslim families came out to the streets with their infant children and whatever household utensils they could find to protest  against granting a coal mining project to the UK based Asia Energy Corporation.”

Editors note: I’m currently based in Bangladesh and will be featuring more photographers from the region. There are a tremendous amount of talented photographers here in Dhaka. Check out my other blog called “Photographs and Notes from Bangladesh” .

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