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Lori Grinker July 31, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Cambodia.
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Chheng recovers after stepping on a landmine in the hospital in Kompong Speu, Cambodia

Lori Grinker (b. 1957) began her photographic career in 1981. Her work has earned international recognition, garnering a World Press Photo Foundation Prize, a W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund fellowship, the Ernst Hass Grant, The Santa Fe Center for Photography Project Grant, and a Hasselblad Foundation Grant, among others. Her photographs have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions around the world a including: ICP, The Jewish Museum in New York  and the The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Between editorial assignments and personal projects, Grinker lectures, teaches workshops, and is on the faculty of the ICP in New York City. She is represented by the Nailya Alexander Gallery in New York and has been a member of Contact Press Images since 1988.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is from a series called  After War: Veterans from a World in Conflict. We hit the mine, four of us, Chheng told me. Now I sometimes get confused and think I have two legs. When I realize that I lost my legs, at first I feel upset. Then I see my friends who also have no legs and I think it is normal.”

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Peter Kayafas July 29, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Jackson, Mississippi 2007

Peter Kayafas (b.1971, USA) lives in New York City where he is the Director of the Eakins Press Foundation. He has traveled and photographed extensively in the United States, Europe, Cuba and Romania. He has exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum of Art; Sasha Wolf Gallery, NYC; Ariel Meyerowitz Gallery, NYC among many other venues. His new book, O Public Road! Photographs of America (2009) and The Merry Cemetery of Sapanta (2007), are both available from the Purple Martin Press. His photographs are in numerous collections of the MOMA, New York, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In addition to overseeing operations at the Eakins Press Foundation, he teaches photography at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and is an Executive Director of the Corporation of Yaddo.

About the Photograph:

“Crowded events, like state fairs, carnivals and parades, provide ideal cover for the photographer who is interested in making photographs of people without their knowing that they are being photographed. Clearly the boy with his arms folded is making eye contact with the camera, so is the boy in the lower right, but neither has had time to react. In that sense, they appear as they would had there not been a camera present. When it comes to photographing people, I have always tried to be as unobtrusive as possible in order to preserve some sense of the way that people actually look.”

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Masaru Goto July 27, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Sri Lanka.
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Masaru Goto (b.1966, Japan) photographs social and human rights issues in Asia and South America. In 2002, he won the Fifty Crows Foundation award for his photos essay on “Got rights? Human Rights in Colombia”. His images of Kashmir received “The Ueno Hikoma Award”, also images of HIV/AIDS in Cambodia won two of the category, “LOVE” and “ILLNESS” for “the River of Life” (WHO) International photo competition. And 2005, he received “The Grand Prize” for his book “Smile in Despair: Stories from a Cambodian AIDS ward” from Sagamihara city in Japan. He has published “Smile in Despair: Stories from a Cambodian AIDS ward”(Mekong Publishing/Tokyo 2005), “Between Worlds: Twenty Years on the Border “(TBBC/Bangkok 2004), “My Journal in Cambodia” (Mekong Publishing/Tokyo 1999).

About the Photograph:

“I visited  a village where many war widows live in Southern Sri Lanka. I met this sister, both were married with government soldiers, and both of them lost their husband by war. Widows were still young. I asked them if they want to get married again, they simply said no, because they still love their husband. Sri Lankan civil war ended in May 2009. I decided to visit because I wanted to see the aftermath. Over 25 years, 80,000 people were killed and thousands more disappeared. War is over, but there are unknown numbers of war wounded, widows, orphans and war-affected children living silently all over the country. Victims become invisible to the rest of the world and they suffer their war scars alone”

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Leah Nash July 24, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Tom Hazel, Longview, Washington, 2009

Leah Nash (b. 1975, USA) is a Portland-based photographer with a passion for documenting the normal and the extreme, which she often finds are one and the same.  She holds a Master’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia where she was awarded a Fulbright Grant to photograph AIDS in India in 2004.  She was awarded the Marty Forscher Fellowship for Humanistic Photography and the NPPA Kit C. King Scholarship in 2003 and has been honored by PDN, the Magenta Foundation, the Eddie Adam’s Workshop and by CPOYi.  Her clients include Mother Jones, GEO Magazine, The Fader, The New York Times, Der Spiegel, Stern, and The Washington Post.

About the Photograph:

“I shot Tom Hazel while on assignment for Mother Jones Magazine for a piece about people who had been screwed out of their retirements.  Tom had worked for an aluminum plant almost 30 years before the company closed and took with it his promised pension and medical benefits.  When I met him his wife had just recently passed away and he was raising his grandson by himself. Despite all this, Tom was an utter joy and we ended up having a great day together.  He gave me total access, regaling me with stories about his wife and where she had found the items that decorated the wall above his head.  He was also a total natural in front on the camera, not a hint of self-consciousness.  Afterwards I received this email from him… ‘I had a good time during the photo session. The picture you have of me on your web site is great. It really says a lot about me. Thank you for making our day together a time to remember.’ It was one of the best compliments I have ever received.”

Chris Keulen July 22, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Burkina Faso.
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Two exhausted cyclists at the end of the tour. Burkina Faso, 2000

Chris Keulen (b.1959, Netherlands) makes personal documentaries in the Netherlands and abroad, often in Africa. In 2001 Keulen received a World Press Photo first prize sport-series award for his cycling photos of the Tour du Faso. ‘Hot splinters of glass’; le tour d’Afrique, his photo book about cycling in Central Africa, was released in April 2008. Keulen’s work has been published worldwide.  He has exhibited  work from Burkina Faso, Congo DRC and his latest project on African cycling were shown at Visa Pour l’Image in Perpignan amoung other venues. Chris is represented by Hollandse Hoogte (Amsterdam), Panos (Londen) and Laif (Cologne).

About the Photograph:

“In 2000 I followed the cyclists for the first time through the Burkina Faso savannah. Cycling in 45 degrees, deficient equipment, meagre accommodation and hygiene.  The duration of the course didn’t interest me as much as the dream of the sportsmen who want to make something of their lives.  My respect grew with the day and I was spellbound by the passion for cycling. Between 2000 and 2006 I photographed the most important courses of Burkina Faso, Senegal, Cameroon and Eritrea.  Six thousand kilometres on roads that lead to nowhere, but which repeatedly arrived somewhere: in villages bursting with life.”

Kate Cunningham July 20, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Dinner, New York, 2008

Kate Cunningham (b. 1970, United States) lives in New York City.  She received her BA in Journalism from N.Y.U. and her MFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts, where she was the recipient of the Paula Rhodes Memorial Award and an Aaron Siskind Foundation Scholarship.  She was selected for the Art and Commerce Fesitval of Emerging Photographers in 2004 and 2005.

About the Photograph:

“There are rhythms to a kitchen in a fine dining restaurant that conjure dance, theater or sport.  I have recently begun to photograph an intense New York City restaurant kitchen and its staff, observing the high energy moments of choreography during service, as well as the quiet, individual moments of concentration during the many hours of food preparation.  I am interested in how it all comes together – how each member of this highly disciplined kitchen crew works efficiently within the larger team in order to create a singular culinary experience for diners, most of whom will remain unaware of the myriad details or minute efforts made to create it.”

David Butow July 17, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in India.
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Bangalore, India 2008

David Butow (b. 1964, United States) has been a photographer since his high school days growing up in Dallas. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Government he moved to California where he worked for a few years as a newspaper photographer before starting his current work as a freelance magazine photographer.  David specializes in news, social issues and travel photography, and has covered assignments from Baghdad to Shanghai. He is a member of Redux pictures and was a contract photographer with US News and World Report for over 10 years. He’s won various awards from World Press Photo, POY, and Communication Arts among others. As a photographer working in the journalistic field he hopes his craft contributes to an understanding of the impact of public policy on ordinary people, social evolutions, and the connections that exist between people around the world.

About The Photograph:

“This picture was taken in Bangalore, India in 2008 when I was on an assignment about Americans who go to overseas hospitals to save money on elective surgeries. One evening, after I’d finished shooting at the hospital, I took my camera as I wandered around some neighborhoods, including this park in the middle of the bustling city. These guys were just hanging around. I’m not going to speculate what they were doing, and it doesn’t really matter anyway. Having spent most of my career working as a photojournalist, where the point is to present a clear message about what’s happening in the picture, I’ve lately been drawn to scenes that are more ambiguous. Even in the context of taking pictures to go with a assignment, I like to find some complexity or mystery that makes the viewers project some of their own ideas about what’s happening. These pictures don’t often get published with the original story, but I think sometimes they’re more true to life.”

David Degner July 15, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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Xinjiang, China 2008

David Degner (b. 1983, USA) graduated from Western Kentucky University with majors in philosophy and photography in 2007.  He has interned at The Augusta Chronicle, The Press-Enterprise, and The St. Petersburg Times. His won awards in College Photographer of the Year, Hearst, and the American Diversity Project Fellowship.  His work has also been published in TIME magazine. David is currently  photographing weddings in Florida, saving up money and researching for his next project on Sufism.

About the Photograph:

“I was interning at the St. Petersburg Times when I stumbled across the story of Uighurs.  I knew the Olympics would be an ideal time for their separatist movements in Xinjiang to make a statement.  So, when my internship ended, with no jobs on the horizon, I flew to Beijing and took the long route to Xinjiang.  I lived there for about six months learning the language and exploring the oasis towns.  As the Olympics approached there were rumors of arrests, crackdowns, and protests. While confirming one of these rumors of a protest in a small village the police picked me up and kicked me out into Kazakhstan.  This particular photo is from the southern border of Xinjiang where it borders Tibet.  The teen was at a dried-up levee drinking with his girlfriend and screaming at the world.”

Andrew Miksys July 13, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Lithuania.
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Spartak, Lithuania, 2006

Andrew Miksys (b.1969) is a native of Seattle, Washington. His photography has been shown internationally including exhibitions at the New Orleans Museum of Art, Contemporary Art Center (CAC/SMC) in Vilnius, and De Appel Contemporary Arts Center in Amsterdam. In 2002 he was selected by Photo District News (PDN) as one of the “top 30 emerging photographers ” and in 2006 he was featured in Slate magazine as Slate’s “Artist of the Month”. In 2007 he published, BAXT, a book of photographs from his series about the Lithuanian Roma (Gypsy) community. Miksys has also been the recipient of grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2000), the J. William Fulbright Program (1998 and 2002) and the Aaron Siskind Foundation (2009). He currently divides his time between the USA and Vilnius, Lithuania.

About the Photograph:

“BAXT is a Roma (Gypsy) word that translates to English as fate or fortune.  This is Spartak (Spartacus). I photographed him in a very small Lithuanian village where there is only one Roma family.  I had set my camera up to photograph the doorway of the house with the lace curtain and little heart drawings on the door, when Spartak stepped in front of my camera wanting to be photographed.  I really liked the contrast between his tough guy poses and the flowered curtain and hearts.  I ended up shooting several rolls of film.  Spartak was named after a soldier sold into slavery to fight as a gladiator but escaped to lead a successful slave rebellion against the Romans.  During the Soviet Union this was a popular name, a metaphor for the working class which was also freed from its “chains.”  Of course, the Roma are another historically beaten and battered people, but their pride and strength has helped them survive and keep their culture alive.”

Corine Vermeulen-Smith July 10, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Chavo with his ‘83 Cutlass Supreme. Detroit, 2008

Corine Vermeulen-Smith (b. 1977, Netherlands) currently lives and works in Detroit. She completed an MFA in photography at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan, and holds a BFA (Cum Laude) in graphic design from the Design Academy Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Her work has been exhibited in the United States and Europe, and most recently in Beijing, China. Her photographs are also part of the Midwest Photographer’s Project at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. She has twice been the recipient of project grants from the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (Fonds BKVB). Corine is also a 2009 Kresge Artist Fellow.

About the Photograph:

“I moved from the Netherlands to Detroit, Michigan about three years ago.  My main mode of transport there was a bicycle and it wasn’t until last year that I bought a car and obtained a driver’s license. While learning how to drive in the parking lot behind my house I met and began photographing a group of Lowrider enthusiasts. Photographing the cars and their owners allows me to examine cultural identity and ethnic pride as defined by the vehicles. The car is one of the most powerful symbols of American identity. I seek to explore the role of the car in contemporary Detroit.  Is it a high value consumerist item? Is it a fetishized object of personalization? Is it an outdated form of modernist transportation?  Is Detroit car culture fragmented along ethnic lines, like the city itself? Up to this point I have primarily focused on Lowriders but I am currently in the process of photographing and indexing many more car subcultures like Donks, Old Schools and Tuner Cars.”

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Dhiraj Singh July 8, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in India.
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Pushkar Camel Fair in Rajasthan, India

Mumbai-based photojournalist, Dhiraj Singh, (b. 1980, India) is a graphic designer by profession. He turned to photography to explore the world around him. His work has been published in Newsweek, Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, L’Espresso, Respekt, The National Post, The Age and others. Dhiraj recently won the third place in  the ‘war and disaster’ category at the China International Press Photo Award-2009 and third place in Spot News at “The Asia Media Award” which was held in conjunction with IFRA’s Publish Asia 2008. His work has  been exhibited at Global Gallery in Sydney, Australia and The National Maritime Museum in Finland. His pictures of the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 were also part of a group exhibition titled, ‘Bearing Witness’ held in Mumbai in 2009.

About the Photograph:

“A woman walks past a make-shift photo studio at the Pushkar camel fair, held each year in the desert state of Rajasthan. What struck me about the picture was the beautifully painted screen depicting a palace in the background while this woman walked past oblivious to the decorated opulence. Perhaps she was deliberately choosing not to even glance at the dream sequence, perhaps she saw it everyday and it no longer fascinated her, perhaps to live in such a palace was her secret desire…the questions tumbled one upon the other in my head as I saw real life intersect with ‘reel’ life before me…one India crossing paths with another India, a slice of time my shutter caught. It would be amiss of me if I didn’t give credit to photographer Raghu Rai for his unintentional contribution to this image. The ornate screen was the backdrop that Raghu Rai had especially made for the project he was working on and I was simply standing there admiring the photographer at work. While Rai went to talk to someone nearby, I saw this woman pass by and simply pressed the shutter.”

Ilse Frech July 6, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in France.
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Henriette, Mantes-La-Jolie, France, 2006

Ilse Frech (b. 1972, Netherlands) graduated from the Royal Academy for Fine Arts, Architecture and Music in The Hague in 1994. Since 1997 she has worked on projects about refugees from Bosnia in the Netherlands, Muslim children of traumatized mothers from Tuzla (Bosnia, 2000), and a series on young Russians infected by HIV (2002, 2005-2007). Ilse was selected in 2003 for the World Press Photo Masterclass. Her awards include:  ‘De Zilveren Camera’ and ‘PAN-L’ in the Netherlands. Her  book “I Am. Paradox Identity” had its premiere at the Institut Néerlandais in Paris in December 2008. It was included in “The Best Photography Books of the Year at Photo Espagna” 2009 and LOOK 3 books exhibits and considered one of the best designed books published in the Netherlands in 2008.

About the Photograph:

“I wanted to see her with my own eyes, this young Muslim woman living in the outskirts of Paris, so different from the media cliches. I wandered through the suburbs, through the Cités, between blocks of flats and high-rise buildings, searching streets from North to South, East to West. And as I did, I felt her presence almost within myself. Her world took on more and more unusual colors. I used a variety of media for this project. From 2005 to 2008, I struck up acquaintances, sometimes difficult, sometimes intense and close, with several dozen young women; then photographed them and followed them in the wider Parisian area. I also made a 50 minute documentary “I Am. My Islam. My France” and created a sound landscape of 40 hours of interviews, which explores the intimate lives of these young women of Northern African, Turkish or African origin.”

Rodrigo Cruz July 3, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mexico.
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The Day of the Dead

Rodrigo Cruz (b.1974, Mexico) is a photographer based in Mexico. His work is included in the exhibition and editorial project Labyrinth of Glances: Frictions and Conflicts in Iberoamerica of Casa America Catalunya and AECID. His pictures have been published in National Geographic – Latin America edition, Enjeux Internationaux, Calgary Herald and others. Rodrigo has received awards in Mexico and was awarded a grant to participate in the Program of Formation of Photo-Essays 2007-2008, summoned by Regional Fund for the Culture and Arts of the Central Zone and CONACULTA, Mexico. He is a member of the Mexican collective Mondaphoto.

About the photograph:

“Between 2005 and 2008 I documented the rituals and daily life of indigenous people in Southern Mexico including Nahuas, Mixtecos and Tlapanecos. This photograph was made during one of the most important celebrations in the country, where every November 2nd, the communities celebrate the Day of the Dead.  On this day the deceased come back to visit and share with their relatives who have the privilege to be alive. It is a communitarian festivity where the people go to the cemetery during the day and night bringing along band music, candles, flowers, food, alcohol, cigarettes, prayers, songs and fireworks to offer and share with their deceased relatives.”

Venetia Dearden July 1, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in England.
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At The Firs, Somerset, England

Venetia Dearden (b.1975, England) grew up in Somerset, England and has traveled extensively documenting peoples and their environments. Her has been  published in Vogue, Wallpaper, The Sunday Times Magazine, , W Magazine, Harpers Bazaar, Stern Magazine among others. Her project about Somerset continues to develop and has been recently published as her first book, “Somerset Stories, Fivepenny Dreams”, by Kehrer Verlag in Germany. The work has featured at the National Portrait Gallery, was part of a group show at the New York Photo Festival and will be shown in fall 2009 at the M&B Gallery, L.A. Venetia lives in London and is represented by Santucci&Co.

About the Photograph:

“I spent my formative teenage years in Somerset. This long-term connection – and recent disconnection – with Somerset has allowed my passion and curiosity for it to grow while simultaneously motivating a personal and creative photographic  journey. This project is about the people of Somerset, whose story is replicated across the western world. Somerset is a county in Great Britain 200 miles west of London. I have been exploring this area to document the efforts and intentions of individuals and families living a life they believe in – one that reflects their ethics, voices, identity and individuality. What stood out in their relations was the inheritance of values motivating choice as well as providing a source of solace. A younger generation is responding and adapting to their parents’ ideas of progress in the face of the apparent economic and ecological global changes.”

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