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Lars Lindqvist September 29, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Georgia.
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Fleeing the War in Georgia, 2008

Lars Lindqvist (b. 1981, Sweden) is a staff photographer at Sweden’s largest daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter. He took up photography in high school.and after graduation  left  to travel in Asia, and later the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. After nearly four years of he realized that it was possible to live on his ever-growing hobby, photography, and in 2006 he decided to try it out. Since then he has received a number of awards, including a World Press Photo, Picture of the Year International, a Swedish picture of the year award, and the PGB Photo Award. In 2008 he was one of the photographers selected to participate in the first Nordic Masterclass. Lars is a member of the Swedish photo agency Kontinent.

About the Photograph:

“I spent three weeks in Georgia covering the war with the Russians. It was the first war I ever covered and this image was made on one of my very first days in the country. The image is a part of a bigger story about what I saw and experienced in the war. It’s of a woman fleeing the war, leaving her man behind. This situation just knocked me to the floor. You know when you walk the streets taking pictures, looking for something, but you dont excatlly know what. All of a sudden something happens in front of you and you know you got your shot. This was one of these moments. The image just appeard infront of me and I knew this would be an importent part of my story. I didnt talk to them but when I see this image my imagination started to flying. Who is she? What is she thinking? I guess at this point of the war anything could have happened and I wonder what she thinks of her future in this particular situation.”

David Bowen September 27, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Bubble-gum girl, San Francisco, New Years Day 2002

David Bowen (b.1972, u.k.) is a freelance photographer based in Norway. His journey into photography began at 12 years old with his elder brothers discarded SLR, and evolved with the building of his first darkroom a couple of years later. His first long term project was shot from 1991 until 1997 documenting the westernization of a remote Tibetan village in the north of India. Following the London exhibition of this work he embarked on a second personal project looking at the fast growing youth culture scene based around electronic music. Now 12 years in, this still expanding body of work so far consists of around 60 international events in more than 20 countries. Exhibition prints from his Tibetan folio are held in the private Kodak Eastman archive and his youth culture work is currently being proposed for exhibition and book publication.

About the Photograph:

“Photographing the scene around electronic music has been an utterly consuming obsession. Working 52 weekends of the year for more than 10 years has meant rarely spending a weekend at home. For this commission I’d been in the city for five days, sleeping much of the day and submersing myself into the nightlife each evening. The last night was spent documenting the NYE gig at 10/15 Folsom, from which a handful of magazines had requested photos. By the time this shot was taken the work had been done and I was taking a final walk around the venue with my last film. It was around five or six am, and there were a couple of hours to drop by the hotel and pick up bags before catching a plane home. I took two frames of the girl with the bubble-gum. In the first a bubble had just burst and they laughed hard as I had caught her with the exploded bubble covering her mouth. I smiled back at them before beginning to move away when she blew another bubble, and  took this photo.”

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Shen Wei September 24, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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Ming, China 2010

Shen Wei (b. 1977, China) is a New York based photographer. Shen’s work have been exhibited and published nationally and internationally in many private and public collections including the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Museum of Chinese in America and the Kinsey Institute. He has received numerous fellowships, including the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Creative Artist Residency, the 2008 Urban Artist Initiative New York City Fellowship and the Light Work Residency. Shen was named one of the fifteen new generation of photo pioneers by American Photo in 2007, and was also part of PDN’s  30 list in 2008. He holds an MFA in photography, video, and related media from the School of Visual Arts and a BFA in photography from Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

About the Photograph:

“When I first saw Ming, she reminded me of drawings from the old Chinese textbooks of  the 1980’s, girls with plump red cheeks, high up ponytails, and clean crisp white shirts, an ideal image of innocence. Ming is 11 years old, being raised extremely spoiled in an upper middle class family in Shanghai; she has an unusual artless quality, pure and simple, unpolished. I took this picture in the tatami room of her home, with her grandmother holding a pink tutu ready for her to change. She was surprisingly calm and mature, lying on her pillow unwilling to pose. I especially like the exquisite shape of her eyes and her somewhat simple and reserved gaze. This portrait is part of my recent completed long-term project Chinese Sentiment.”

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Jenn Warren September 22, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Uganda.
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Baptism, Uganda

Jenn Warren (b.1980, USA) is a documentary and multimedia photographer based in Juba, Southern Sudan, specializing in humanitarian and development projects. Her work has been published in the Sunday Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, BBC News Online and AlJazeera, among others. Clients include a number of NGO and UN agencies, namely Médecins Sans Frontières, UNHCR, UNICEF, USAID, DFID, WFP/PAM, Save the Children, CARE, PSI, ICRC and Amnesty International. Jenn teaches photography, and is proficient in Arabic and American Sign Language. Her photography is exhibited and collected internationally.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is from a project I completed for The Kasiisi Project in Western Uganda. The Kasiisi Project supports rebuilding efforts for local schools in Kyanyawara and Kasiisi, an area near the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo that, until recently, was regularly attacked by LRA rebels. The program also supplies children’s books and uniforms, offers secondary and university scholarships, and has been active in the community for over 15 years. In this photograph, a Kasiisi student is baptized in a tepid pond near the primary school. Religion plays a very important role in this rural community, and children frequently spend their afternoons and weekends at church socializing.”

Sasha Maslov September 20, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Russia.
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Prisoners watching theater. Kharkiv, Ukraine

Sasha Maslov ( b.1984, Ukraine) was Inspired and taught by his father, Guennadi Maslov, and later his teacher and mentor, Oleg Shishkov, he became an aspiring young photographer who now resides in New York city. Sasha works in editorial photography and is best known for his social documentary projects around Eastern Europe, especially in his native country.

About the Photograph:

“Here at one of the penal colonies in Kharkiv, Ukraine there is depressing view of endless gray walls with barbwire on the background of even grayer sky. Time has ceased to exist these walls. It’s difficult to imagine that people would attempt to seek out something uplifting within the small reality tucked into that of another. But human nature will keep you from dropping your head completely and even when caught in the deepest shaft we can find the strength to seek out traces of light. In the fall of 2005 I documented a group of prisoners who, with the support from one of the local theaters, made an effort to organize a theatrical troupe and stage a play. The play was written by Jonathan Swift long time ago in Ireland and has very little to do with prison reality in Ukraine of 2005. It was extremely moving to observe the inmates mastering acting transitioning from prison slang to calling one another sir and lord, from wearing drab uniforms to donning wigs and bright costumes; as they transform, rehearsing and then performing for the crowd of their inmates and guards.”

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Christophe Agou September 17, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in France.
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Jean & Babette, France

Christophe Agou (b.1969, France) works in extended series, both in color and black and white.  In 2006 he was chosen as a finalist for both the W. Eugene Smith Award and le Prix de la Photographie de l’Académie des Beaux Arts de Paris in 2008. He received a ‘Mention Spéciale‘ for Le Prix Kodak de la Critique Photographique in 2009. His work has been widely published and exhibited internationally including at the Moma, Le Jeu de Paume, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The National Museum of American History, Les Rencontres D’Arles and The Noorderlicht Fotofestival. His new book, Face au Silence won the 2010 European Publishers Award for Photography will consist of approximately 75 color photographs along with a fiction piece written by acclaimed author John Berger. It will be released this winter.

About the Photograph:

“Emotions have always been the motivating forces throughout my life and my creative process. In the winter of 2002, I began documenting the lives of French family farmers living and working in the Forez region. I have always had a deep affection for this land in which I was born and lived until age 16. I traveled to the lesser-known parts of this bucolic land, where I felt inspired by the silence I found and moved by the authenticity and  charisma of the people I encountered. With time and through a gradual process of building trust and friendship, they accepted my curious eye and allowed me to photograph and film their daily existence. I wanted to go beyond  documenting their labor-intensive lives and present a deeper, more intimate portrait of their nature. This large body of work is to me a meditation on life and death and the silence and solitude that seem ever-present in our lives.”

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James Chance September 15, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in France.
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A Chance Encounter. Paris 2008

James Chance (b. 1976, England) is a British photographer currently based in Denver, Colorado. Since earning his Master’s Degree in Photojournalism at Ohio University in 2005, Chance has been working as a freelance photographer in the U.S. and abroad. He is also partners in a multimedia company, Chance Multimedia, that produces photos and videos for NGOs. James is the current recipient of the POYi Emerging Vision Incentive. The award will enable James to continue with his project Living With The Dead: Manila’s North Cemetery, which documents a community living in Manila’s Catholic cemetery. Early images from this project have also been recognized by the Grand Prix CARE du Reportage Humanitaire, the Anthropographia Award for Human Rights Photography and the Every Human Has Rights Media Awards.

About the Photograph:

“We often talk about serendipity in photography—multiple elements falling into place at the perfect time to form a compelling scene for us to capture. These elements can assemble themselves around us, but sometimes we make our own “luck.” I often spend long periods of time in one situation/location as I know the scene is right: The people, the light, the compositional elements etc. However, this particular photo presented itself to me. I was happily walking on the Trocadero toward the Eiffel Tower on chilly, overcast December morning. This was the first time I had visited Paris at this time of year and had never seen the top of the tower hidden in cloud before. It provided for a rather moody atmosphere as the tourists bustled around taking photographs and viewing the scene. As I walked down from the main square I saw the three dark cloaked figures standing on the viewing gallery. Given the dark and cloudy mood, I couldn’t believe my luck. I quietly approached and composed my shot. I probably took three images in the space of as many seconds and moved on. This isn’t the way I generally work. I am usually deeply involved in the story and subjects I am photographing. But when offered an amazing scene as this, of course I wasn’t going to pass it up. Serendipity? “

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Myrto Papadopoulos September 13, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Greece.
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“Kalé”, Muslim wedding. Didimoticho, Greece 2009

Myrto Papadopoulos (b. 1978, Athens) finished her studies in 2003 after completing a five-year Fine Arts degree in painting and photography. In 2006, she applied for a photojournalism degree at  ICP where she was granted a scholarship. She has won various awards and nominations and has taken part in several exhibitions including the Mois off de la photo 08 in Paris, the N.Y photo festival 09, the Photoquai 2em biennal du monde 09 At the Museé Quai Branly in Paris, the Look Between photo festival 2010 and more. Her clients include GEO, Corriere della sera (Io Donna), EL Mundo (Yo Dona), La Stampa, Diario magazine, National Geographic Magazine (Greece), K magazine (Kathimerini) among others. She is represented by POSSE photo agency in Milan, Italy.

About the Photograph:

“The personal project “Kalé”, exemplifies my continual effort to tell the story of a particular group of people in Thrace, on the northeast border of Greece and Turkey. I approached this subject in 2006, by exploring and photographing a very particular microcosm composed of just a few families, those of Muslim background. A large number of these Greek Muslims live in racially segregated ghettos which stand in severe contrast to the surrounding area because of the never ending disparity that is constantly growing. Today, I am continuing to photograph their multifaceted cultural identity and witnessing their transformation on the moving border between the western and the eastern world. This picture was taken at a Muslim wedding, on one of my trips to Didimoticho.”

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Jason Larkin September 10, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Egypt.
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Child Labor, Egypt, 2008

Jason Larkin (b. 1979, London, England) moved from filming documentaries to documentary photography three years ago after completing his MA in Photojournalism at the University of Westminster. Soon after this he moved to Cairo to work on large documentary projects in Egypt as well as editorial commissions, which include the Guardian Weekend Magazine, Monocle, Financial Times Magazine, National Saturday Review, Stern, and the New York Times. He’s recently been selected for the Magenta Flash Forward, and his ‘Past Perfect’ series was exhibited at the Brighton Photo Festival. He is now based in Johannesburg and a photographer with Panos Pictures in London.

About the Photograph:

“This is an image I took during one of the first features I produced after arriving in Cairo two years ago. I’d just finished my MA in photojournalism and had started to do some stringing for the Associated Press when I proposed a story on child labor in the Helwan brick kilns, south of Cairo. Amazingly, getting access wasn’t too hard as the rich owners seemed keen to show off their booming businesses, but the managers in charge of the illegal child workers, some as young as 10 years old, made life hard. This is a view from the top of one of the kilns and it instantly reminded me of L. S. Lowry’s paintings of the industrial districts of Northern England from the 1920’s. There are over 200 kilns in this area and nearly all of them illegally employee children to carry bricks in and out of the kilns for about eight hours a day.

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Emily Sciffer September 8, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Flat Tire. From the series “Cheyenne River”. South Dakota

Emily Sciffer (b. 1980, USA) received her BA in Fine Art and African American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. Two years later, she founded the My Viewpoint Youth Photography Initiative on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, where she continues to teach and shoot. Awards include: the 2010 Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Portraiture, the 2010 winner of the PDN Photo Annual Personal Project Category, the 2009 Inge Morath Award (Magnum Photos), a Fulbright Fellowship, and recognition for the Leica Oskar Barnak Award. Publications include: Smithsonian Magazine, PDN among others. Her work is in the permanent collections of The Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Japan and The Center for Fine Art Photography.

About the Photograph:

“Keegan, Demi, Destiny and I borrowed their parent’s car and drove an hour down gravel roads to their grandparent’s ranch.  As we exited the car, we noticed a flat tire. We had a problem with our spare, so we happily stayed the night, and spent the next day exploring the vast hills of their grandparent’s property. Our favorite locations on the Cheyenne River Reservation are the fields and abandoned buildings on the fringes of town, forgotten places thick with the past that lend themselves to imaginary games and textured photographs.”

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Mario Tama September 6, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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New Orleans 2007

Mario Tama (b. 1979, USA) studied photojournalism at Rochester Institute of Technology. He began shooting for journal newspapers in suburban Washington D.C. before freelancing for The Washington Post and Agence France-Presse in Washington. Mario joined Getty Images in 2001 and has since covered global events including September 11, the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the funeral of Pope John Paul II and more recently, Hurricane Katrina – before, during and after the storm. He has received numerous awards from Pictures of the Year International, NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism Competition and the White House News Photographers Association.

About the Photograph:

“This image was taken in the B.W. Cooper housing projects in New Orleans, known by locals as the “Calliope,” about two years after Katrina. The projects were always a dangerous place, yet for the people who lived there, it was home. They were a true incubator of New Orleans culture where Bounce music originated and where the Neville brothers and Master-P grew up. Most of the projects in New Orleans were torn down following Katrina in what many thought was an attempt to rid the city of poor African-Americans. Most of the people who lived in the Calliope have now been priced out of the city, as affordable housing stocks haven’t been replaced. A small section of B.W. Cooper remained open and I was fortunate enough to spend some time there. None of B.W. Cooper’s recreational areas were rebuilt after Katrina. Yet as you can see, New Orleanians are masters of improvisation. Of course, improvisation in New Orleans gave birth to jazz.”

Alex Tehrani September 3, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Backstage with Jon Stewart, New York 2009

Alex Tehrani (b. 1970, USA) developed the travel bug soon after losing his mom to breast cancer, and has since been roaming the planet making pictures of personal & political interest. “My photography education began in the darkroom of the school paper at Berkeley High, continued at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, studying with some fantastic educators and lovers of photography, and continues to this day with just about every project I take on. I’ve been the recipient of numerous awards, none with a measurable effect, but all of which I’ve been thankful for, and I continue to take editorial and advertising commissions from all types. My editorial  clients include: Details, Rolling Stone, Big, Interview and others. I couldn’t have chosen a better way to spend my life.”

About the Photograph:

“This was an unusual moment in an otherwise upbeat shoot … three days with the Daily Show for Entertainment Weekly, at a time when people were just beginning to pay attention to the show. I was young and still getting my feet wet in the editorial world, and although I was comfortable with chaos & conflict, I didn’t quite know the etiquette when it came to photographing celebrities. The best part was the atmosphere around putting a show together – the inner circle at that time consisted of Steven Colbert and others- they were all heavily involved in the writing and there was no more enjoyable part to that shoot than sitting through the writers meeting each day- the writer were hilarious, way beyond anything that actually makes it to air … a bunch of smart minds hashing out ridiculous ideas for a couple hours each day. I’m often in great situations but somehow I end up missing most of them because I’m too narrowly focused on making pictures. But this was the other way around. I struggled to make pictures through what I would have much preferred to just be a part of.” (more…)

Sarah Elliott September 1, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ethiopia.
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“The Women of Omo Valley”, Ethiopia 2009

Sarah Elliott (b.1984, USA) is a graduate of Parson’s School of Design with a BFA in Photography. Her stories include post election violence in Kenya, renewed fighting in DRC and maternal health challenges in Ethiopia. Sarah has interned for James Nachtwey and assisted Stanley Greene. Her photographs have been published in The New York Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Stern, Men’s Vogue, Monocle and others. She is a founding member of Razon Collective, an international group of visual storytellers pursuing stories independently. Sarah was chosen as a winner for the 2010 Magenta Flash Forward Competition of Emerging Photographers will be a participant for the 2010 World Press Joop Swart Masterclass which will take place in Amsterdam in October.

About the Photograph:

“The women in the photographs are from diverse ethnic groups including the Dorze, Konso, Mursi, Bume and Hamer tribes. Even with the presence of missionaries, and the growth of tourism in Ethiopia the tribes of the Omo Valley are generally isolated from the modern world and have continued according to their own unique culture, following their own customs and traditions. The Bume women wear a large number of bead strands in varying bright colors and unique designs, and the Hamer women utilize cowri shells in their jewelry and when they are married wear thick metal necklaces around their necks. As much as I was in awe of their unique decoration and adornment the women of the Omo Valley were equally as drawn what I was wearing…my zebra print Converse All-Stars, my black nail polish, and my reflective sunglasses. I couldn’t help but wonder if their interest in my ‘modern’ adornment was a metaphor for their future?”

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