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Tim Dirven February 11, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Grafton, West Virginia 2003

Tim Dirven (b.1968 Belgium) studied photography at the Saint Lucas Institute in Brussels from 1988 till 1992 and at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. In 1994 Tim began working as a freelance photographer, and since 1996 he has been working full time for the Belgium newspaper ‘De Morgen’. He has made reports all over the world, on assignment for magazines and newspapers, the Belgium Red Cross, Medecins sans Frontières,  Handicap International, National Geographic or as personal projects.  Tim won a World Press Photo award for his report about refugees in Afghanistan. Since 2000 Tim Dirven has been a member of the London based agency Panos Pictures. His  book “Yesterday’s people” was published in 2006 by the museum of photography of Antwerp.

About the Photograph:

West Virginia is one of the poorest states in the USA. This photo of Derrik and Kim, a construction worker and waitress is part of a series on survivors called Yesterday’s People in the “Land of the free.” They say Grafton is dead, and all young people want to leave because they hate the place. But after ten years they return, they miss home.”

Editors Note: I find it interesting to see another point of view in the way that European photographers (or ones from other parts of the world) see America. It’s been fifty years since “The Americans” was published and if there was one book that shaped a generation of photographers it was Robert Frank. Viva la difference.

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