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Josh Birnbaum April 30, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ohio University, United States.
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Mary Christy,  Ohio 2009

Josh Birnbaum (b. 1985, USA) is a photojournalist and rocket scientist currently living on the southeastern edge of Ohio. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Aerospace Engineering (and a minor in Mathematics) and is now finishing up his graduate degree in Visual Communication at Ohio University.  He has worked for the Oakland Tribune, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Omaha World-Herald and the Peoria Journal Star, and will complete his final newspaper internship this summer at the Dallas Morning News. Recent awards include College Photographer of the Year Competition Award of Excellence in Sports Feature (2009); NPPA Honorable Mention Sports Picture Story in Best of Photojournalism (2009).

About the Photograph:

“I met the Christy’s in the fall of 2008 at a bluegrass jam in Millfield, Ohio.  We became friends immediately.  In the springtime, I was invited to photograph them at their home. Mary was showing me her new bass and playing a song  for me, so I made a portrait of her in the living room.  Since this picture was taken, my relationship with the Christy’s has developed further: I have photographed them taking care of their great granddaughter in the multimedia piece, Raising Krissy. The Christy’s have become like grandparents to me.  I go over regularly for coffee and to watch westerns on TV, to play with their granddaughter Krissy,  listen to their stories and to play music with them.  Joe is trying to teach me to play banjo now.  They are wonderful, generous, and loving people and I hope to be a part of their lives for a long time to come.”

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Brigitte Grignet April 28, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Chile.
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Isla Meulin, Chiloé 2007

Brigitte Grignet (b. 1968, Belgium) moved to New York in 1996, where she turned to photography in 1998 and studied at the International Center of Photography. Her pictures have been published in Newsweek, Double Take, Visionaire,  Libération, Le Nouvel Observateur, Days Japan and other publications. She received the Marty Forscher Grant for Emerging Photographer in 2001, and the Circuit Vlaanderen from the Charleroi Museum of Photography (Belgium) in 2003. She was an artist-in-residence in Niort and Marseille (France). Her images have been exhibited in Europe, USA, the Middle East and Japan and are included in the collections of the Kyosato Museum of Photography and The Museum of Photography in Charleroi.  She currently teaches at ICP and is a visiting artist at Parsons School of Design (New York). Her work is distributed by L’Agence Vu (Paris).

About the Photograph:

“This beautiful day is still very vivid in my memory.  We left the house in early morning to walk to the other side of the island of Meulin,and visit Aunt Carmen, who lives there alone with her dogs. It was hot and sunny, after days of continuous rain, as often happens in Chiloé, even in the middle of the summer. When the light was low and beautiful we brought the radio and danced in the fields. Carmen was crying from happiness and Ercilla was falling asleep from too much Chicha. Candelaria was happy to spend the summer with her mother, who was working on a different island. Women often have to leave their children with the grandparents when they find a job outside. It felt it was one of those rare moments when we don’t wish for anything else but are just there in the present.”

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Doug DuBois April 26, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ireland.
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Birthday Party. Cobh, Ireland, 2009

Doug DuBois (b.1960, USA) has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, The National Endowment for the Arts, SITE Santa Fe, Light Works and The John Gutmann Foundation.  His work has been exhibited and is in the collections of The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Fine Art in Houston, the Library of Congress in Washington DC and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Doug’s photographs have have been published by The Friends of Photography, The Picture Project and in magazines including Double Take, The New York Times, Details, Black Book and The Telegraph (London) among others. A monograph of his photographs titled, All the Days and Nights was published by Aperture in the spring of 2009.

About the Photograph:

“Kevin and Erin were born one day apart. On my last day in Ireland, Kevin’s family threw a party to celebrate their eighteenth birthdays.  The tattoo belongs to Kevin’s brother. He’s saving up to add some color and a few more details, but is proud of it nonetheless. He readily hiked up his shirt for the photograph and the crowd in the backyard stepped back to make room for my camera. Erin wore her new dress, got drunk and fell asleep. Before she passed out, Erin exclaimed to no one in particular, It’s my last day at seventeen!  Kevin, whose capacity for alcohol belies his skinny frame, lasted well into the night, long after I left the party to pack for my flight home.”

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Tanya Habjouqa April 23, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Gaza.
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From the series “Women in Gaza”, 2008

Tanya Habjouqa (b. 1975, Jordon) received her masters in Global Media and Middle Eastern Politics from the University of London SOAS. She spent the last seven years documenting for media and NGOs inside Iraq, Darfur, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territory.  Currently based between Jerusalem and Amman, she is working on personal projects exploring socio-political dynamics and subcultures of the Levant. Tanya received the 2007 Clarion Award for Press Photography for her coverage of the Israel-Hezbollah war for Bloomberg media and the 2006 Global Health Council award for humanitarian photography with her coverage of Darfur. She has been published in the Washington Post, New York Times, Boston Globe, Focus, Jerusalem Report and others.

About the Photograph:

“In places like Gaza where the devastation is almost unimaginable, I am fascinated by the community spirit and elegance that prevails. Women are continuing to care for their families, strive for education, and pursue careers. This photo was made in the home of Dr. Jamal Al-Shareef, a literature and linguistics professor of Al Azhar university. I nick named him the Dead Poets Society of Gaza as his classes are very popular with the female students of the campus. He holds conversational classes twice a week that are jam packed, and chooses topics like “should women be allowed to go educate in west on their own” or ” why do you choose the fashion you do? Is fashion for you or society” and pushes them to think. Sometimes when they fall into speaking Arabic they become so passionate and he guides them back to English. The girls tell me that this is the only space they have to be creative publicly in an increasingly conservative and difficult Gaza.”

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Michael J. Mullady April 21, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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American Nightmare: The Foreclosure Crisis, Antioch, California 2009

Michael J. Mullady (b. 1983, United States) is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University where he studied Photojournalism and Anthropology while interning at various newspapers. He is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and has been published domestically and internationally in numerous publications. Michael’s work was recognized in the 2009 PDN Photo Annual and was awarded the Marty Forscher Fellowship for Humanistic Photography from the Parson’s School for Design in NYC. In 2008 and 2009, his portfolio was awarded College Photographer of the Year from The White House News Photographers Association. Recently, with representation from Redux, Michael worked in both Haiti and Chile covering the social effects of natural disasters. He is  based in San Francisco but is currently in Peru, working on a personal project.

About the Photograph:

“Following nearly a decade of exponential growth in the housing market, in recent years the United States faced one of the biggest financial crises of the past half century. Declining home values and sharp interest rate resets have combined to drive foreclosures to record levels. California, which saw some of the greatest increases in housing prices, was hit particularly hard by the foreclosure crisis. California has the second highest foreclosure rate in the country, with one filing for every 88 households. In Antioch, CA, many of the homeowners most affected by the crisis are immigrants, who got locked into bank loans and are now fighting to keep their homes. After ten years of living in the house he made into a home, Jamie Silahua and his family were forced out by their bank after failing to keep up with the minimum payment. In this image, with the eviction date closing in, Jamie Silahua moves his belongings from the home he purchased nine years ago while his daughters Aimee and Emily play in the living room.

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Mark Powell April 19, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mexico.
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Mexico City, 2008

Mark Powell (b. 1968, United States) has a B.A. in Latin American Literature from the University of Michigan. His career includes shows at: The New Museum and the Queens Museum in New York, El Museo Archivo de la Fotografia in Mexico City, Ten Haaf Gallery in Amsterdam, Foto España in Madrid among others. Mark is the subject and/or author of books and articles, including Very Important Person, (Diamantina, 2006) and Street Photography Now (Thames and Hudson) to be published in late 2010. He is currently working on his second monograph sponsored by The Televisa Foundation entitled Mexico XXI and also working on his first documentary as a cinematographer in a film (Bellas de Noche) depicting the Mexican Cabaret stars from the 1970’s and 80’s.

About the Photograph:

This was taken in the Iztapalapa barrio of Mexico City. It was a shoot for the album cover of a Tijuana singer known as Faca for the Nuevos Ricos record label. We crossed a part of an Iztapalapa intersection that reminded me of a border  town feeling- it really could have been Tijuana. A kid rode by on his BMX bike and I asked him if I could quickly borrow it. Faca straddled the bike as the sun was going down. It gave it all an illusion of scale and formality of personality that fit well with her music project. She improvises long distance with a DJ in Argentina and the electric wires gave it the extra boost of symbolism of long distance communication.”

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Chloe Dewe Mathews April 16, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in England.
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Banger race. England, 2008

Chloe Dewe Mathews (b. 1982, London) studied Fine Art at the Ruskin School, University of Oxford. After graduating she worked in the commercial film industry for three years. Both inspired and frustrated she turned to photography, as a more immediate and intimate creative process. Working with people in their natural environment enabled her to engage with the world more directly.  She has exhibited in London, Birmingham, Buenos Aires and Berlin and has been published in the Times, the Independent, Burn Magazine and Dazed and Confused.  She is currently travelling from Bombay to Britain overland, gathering material for her next major project.

About the Photograph:

“I took this photograph at a Banger race, held in a racetrack surrounded by woods on the outskirts of London.  For a year, I followed this small community of people around South East England, who invest all their time and money in doing up old, useless cars, only to smash them to pieces at the end of the week.  Alex, on the left, used to wreck 50 cars a year, but told me he got bored when the drivers stopped “hitting as hard”.  The raw machismo of Alex and his friends was infectious, and the strange clash of resourceful creativity and reckless destruction really appealed to me.  I managed to persuade one of the drivers to tow his written-off car into the gallery where I showed the series at the end of last year.  Hopefully people looked at the photographs as well as the car.”

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Tomasz Gudzowaty April 14, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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Wuqiao Circus School, China 2008

Tomasz Gudzowaty (b.1971, Poland) obtained a degree in law at the University of Warsaw. For the last few years he has been focusing on developing a style for shooting sports photography. He is particularly interested in non-commercial sports, and also those that are not present in the media, sports that are exotic, atypical or somehow outside the mainstream. His photos have been published in Max Magazine, L’Equipe, The Guardian, Newsweek, Forbes, Time and Photo and he is also the author of several albums. He is a multiple winner of the most important photography contests, among others the World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year, NPPA Best of Photojournalism. He works with Focus Fotoagentur in Hamburg and Warsaw’s Yours Gallery.

About the Photograph:

“The Wuqiao district in Hebei province is considered the cradle of Chinese acrobatic art. The tradition, dating back to the 5th century AD, is a way of life for the locals, but for some it’s also their main source of income. There are more than a hundred circus troupes and acrobatic schools here, with about 20,000 of Wuqiao’s 270,000 inhabitants working or studying there.  Parents send their children to these schools for the rigor and responsibility associated with this kind of education. The day begins at 5:30 a.m. with morning training just before breakfast. Students warm up by walking on their hands and standing on their head before moving on to more difficult postures. Each motion of an acrobat has to be repeated hundreds of times. Acrobats who finish four years of education can join local circus groups, but only the best will be accepted into the prestigious Wuqiao Circus School where graduates prepare for very promising careers.”

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Rania Matar April 12, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Brittany 19, Boston 2010

Rania Matar (b.1964, Lebanon) moved to the U.S. in 1984. Originally trained as an architect at the American University of Beirut and Cornell University, she worked as an architect before studying photography at New England School of Photography, and at the Maine Photographic Workshops. Rania teaches photography to teenage girls in Lebanon’s refugee camps with the assistance of non-governmental organizations. Her work has been exhibited and published widely in the US and internationally.  She recently won 1st prize at the New England Photographers Biennial Honorable Mentions at CENTER, Silver Eye Center for Photography. In 2008 she was selected one of Top 100 Distinguished Women Photographers by Women in Photography. Rania’s first book titled “Ordinary Lives” has just been published.

About the Photograph:

“I met Brittany at a yoga class and approached her as she was leaving class to ask if I could photograph her.  There is something very sweet and innocent about her that defied my preconceived perception of tattoos and piercings.  When I asked Brittany what she thought was unique about herself, she said her tattoos.  One represents the date of birth and death of her grandfather who she was very close to, and the others are the paws of her dog, who is her best friend. As a mother of a teenage daughter I watch her in awe, her passage from girlhood into adulthood, with all the complications that it entails. As I observed her and her girlfriends, I became fascinated with the transformation taking place, the adult personality shaping up, an insecurity and a self-consciousness that are now replacing the carefree world the girls had lived in so far.”

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Jens Olof Lasthein April 9, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Romania, Russia.
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Arkhangelsk, Russia (top) & Gurahont, Romania from the book “White Sea Black Sea”

Jens Olof Lasthein (b. 1964, Sweden) lives in Stockholm and is working as a freelance photographer for magazines as well as with self initiated projects.  He graduated from the Nordic  Photography School in 1992. Jens has had about thirty-five solo exhibitions at galleries, museums and festivals in Europe and Asia, and has participated in several group shows. His book Moments in Between (2000), with pictures from the wars in former Yugoslavia, was selected by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger for The Photobook: A History, vol II (2006). The pictures above are from his book White Sea Black Sea (2008).

About the Photographs:

”Since my first travels in Eastern Europe during the early eighties I’ve understood that the feeling of homecoming has nothing to do with one´s geographical origin. During the years 2001-2007 I traveled to areas along the new eastern border of the European Union, from Arkhangelsk on the White Sea to Odessa on the Black Sea photographing the daily life of the people I met. Basically the idea of these pictures is to take the viewer on a visual journey through the borderland between European East and West. Not claiming any kind of truth, the conditions are decided by myself alone, in relation to my own internal boundaries: What is it like being European? An attempt to open up some borders – my own, and maybe even others.”

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Ryan Gauvin April 7, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Tibet.
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Tibetan youth in Lhasa, 2008

Ryan Gauvin (b. 1983, Canada) is a documentary photographer based in Vancouver.  He holds a BA in Geography from Simon Fraser University, and an MFA in Documentary Media from Ryerson University.  Ryan also attended the Eddie Adams Workshop in 2009.  In the past he has partnered with the International Campaign for Tibet, and his work has been published internationally.  Ryan was recently recognized at the 2009 New York Photo Awards and 2009 PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris for his work in Tibet.  He has also completed projects on golf course greens keepers in Canada and is currently in the research stage of a documentary photography project on the use of depleted uranium warheads in the Balkans. Ryan shoots with Kodak Tri-X film for all of his personal work

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken in a common room adjoining a pool hall on the outskirts of Lhasa in November 2008.  China’s PLA soldiers in riot gear were constantly pacing up and down the alley just outside, the remnants of the popular uprising and subsequent crackdown earlier in the year.  In general, the Tibetans I met in Lhasa didn’t want to speak about these troubled times for fear of being overheard.  Only here, in the perceived safety of this small room did conversation begin to open up: about the discontent, the uprising, the unemployment, living under Chinese occupation, escaping to India, and any other number of things that were not to be spoken about in public.  Even after I returned home and began seeking publication for my work, most people were less interested in these stories of Tibetan reality than with stereotypical photographs of monks and mountains.”

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Allison Shelley April 5, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Haiti.
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Church of the Immaculate Conception. Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 2010.

Allison Shelley (b. 1972, USA) is a freelance photographer based in Washington D.C.  Most recently a staff photographer at the Washington Times newspaper, she is now represented by Polaris Images and covers the White House, Capitol Hill and international humanitarian issues.  Assignments have taken her from the research stations of Antarctica to the U.S. Presidential campaign trail. Her work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Rolling Stone and TIME.  She has received numerous awards from the White House News Photographers Association and National Press Photographers Association and is co-founder and co-director of the Women Photojournalists of Washington.  Allison is in Haiti until mid-April working on a project about child amputees.

About the Photograph:

“Even more than a month after the devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, it seemed that everywhere I walked in the city I stumbled onto a church service.  Far from ceasing operations after being flattened, churches were inundated with worshipers, who knelt outside among the rubble to be led in prayer.  At this particular service, outside of a Catholic chapel on the grounds of the General Hospital complex in downtown Port-au-Prince, this woman made a particularly tragic impression on me.  Elderly, alone, but in a perfectly pressed summer dress.  I could imagine how hard the tile must have felt on her knees and how difficult it probably was for her to keep her bandages clean.”

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Andrei Pungovschi April 2, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Romania.
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National Day, Bucharest, Romania, 2009

Andrei Pungovschi (b. 1980, Romania) is a photojournalist based in Bucharest, Romania. He received a BA in journalism from the University of Bucharest and then went on to study photojournalism at the University of Missouri, on a Fulbright scholarship. His American experience also included an internship with the Associated Press in Seattle and participation in the Missouri Photo Workshop and the Mountain Workshops. His work has been recognized by Pictures of the Year International, College Photographer of the Year, The Missouri Press Association and the Northwest Regional Emmy.

About the Photograph:

“Every year on December 1st Romanians celebrate their National Day with extensive military parades. Hundreds of soldiers from all over the country were brought in last year for the parade in Bucharest, which tends to be extravagant. I shot the parade and was heading for my car with another photographer when, a few blocks down from where the action had taken place, we ran across these old buses packed with soldiers of the Romanian Navy. After being ordered around all day long, these guys were finally left to their own thoughts. I liked this image better then the parade shots, as this was probably the only moment that was not directed and planned for.”

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