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Christian Bobst October 29, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Georgia.
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Tbilisi, Georgia 2010

Christian Bobst (b. 1971, Switzerland) originally studied graphic design. During his studies he became interested in documentary photography. Between 1998 and 2010 he worked for major advertising Agencies in Switzerland and Germany as a Creative Director. During this time he won several national and international advertising awards. He tries to combine his conceptual skills as an art director with his experience in photojournalism, providing concepts and execution for campaigns with a journalistic approach, but also does some photo journalistic essays and stories for editorial publications.

About the Photograph:

“’My country has a very rich history and culture, but nowadays there is no real development. Officials do everything to make things look good on the outside, but inside everything is rotten, the economy and the lives of people are crumbling just like our buildings.’ These are the words of Miranda, a 25 years old Georgian girl who tries to earn some money by offering guided tours to tourists in Tbilisi. I met her after I came back from a research trip to a farmers village, where we would later shoot a documentary for an NGO. My plane to Zürich was cancelled because of the vulcano eruption in Iceland and I was stuck in Tbilisi for several days. I hired Miranda as a translator and asked her to introduce me to everyday life in the Georgia – or at least to what it means to live there from her point of view. This is one image out of a photo essay about the depleted ex Soviet country. I took it when we entered a church where a mass was taking place. Killing time, hoping and praying that things will become better seems to be the only perspective for many Georgians.”

Carl Bower October 27, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Diane undergoes a bone scan. Chevy Chase, Maryland

Carl Bower (b.1966, USA) is a freelance photographer based in Denver. His personal work addresses issues of identity in the face of adverse social conditions, and his photographs have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Newsweek, and the Sunday Times Magazine of London. His project on Colombian beauty pageants was shown at the LOOKbetween and Palm Springs photo festivals, featured in Burn and the New York Times LENS blog, received the Blue Earth Alliance Prize for Best Project Photography and was a finalist for the New York Photo Festival Book Award and Photolucida’s Critical Mass Book Award. His series on one woman’s experience with breast cancer received a Clarion Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

About the Photograph:

“This image is from Diane’s Story, a series about a close friend’s bout with breast cancer, her physical and emotional recovery, and the disease’s eventual reoccurrence. When first diagnosed, she was bombarded by the details of clinical trials, conflicting advice and inspirational platitudes. She wanted a realistic sense of the experience before her as a way to prepare herself, but could find nothing. Partly to wrestle something positive out of the situation and partly for the illusion of control, we began to document her experience so that other women could have the insight Diane sought but could not find. This photo was made after her mastectomies and chemotherapy, at a time when she was in the process of reconstruction. Although Diane was deemed a “survivor”, regular tests looking for hints of metastasis were a constant reminder that cancer is forever in remission, never completely gone. She was undergoing a bone scan as her oncologist looked for suspiciously high densities of marrow, a possible sign that the cancer had metastasized. Radiology reports carried the weight of life verdicts, and she said every test felt like a game of Russian roulette.”

Toby Smith October 25, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in England.
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Sleaford, England 2009

Toby Smith (b. 1982, England) is freelance Photographer based in East London. Since graduating from the London College of Communication in 2008 he began shooting for editorial clients. He works with large format, using both ambient and his own introduced light, with no retouching to change the way we perceive the subject matter. Toby currently works from Roof Unit a photography collective that he co-founded.

About the Photograph:

“I photographed the back-roads around the fringe of Lincolnshire where the population density thins and the night sky thickens. The dark of night allowed me to create footpaths and gain vantage points that during the visibility of daylight would be off limits. Over the next five months I found myself impulsively driving to their locations this time led in by the rows of pylons, their dominant stacks or halo of safety lights. We are quick to use them as negative icons of pollution but ignorant of our reliance on the electricity they produce. All of the images in this series are captured between sunset and sunrise with colour film exposures between two minutes and two hours.”

Sergio Ramazzotti October 22, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Nigeria.
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Ego, a rural village near Benin City, Nigeria 2009

Sergio Ramazzotti (b.1965 , Italy) he has written and photographed more than two hundred stories in as many countries for most of the leading Italian and international magazines. As a writer and novelist, he published Vado verso il capo (Feltrinelli 1996), currently used as a textbook at the IULM University in Milano, where he is a regular lecturer at the Faculty of Sociology. His other books include: Afrozapping, a collection of African stories (2006), the novel Tre ore all’alba , set in Iraq (2005). His book on Afghanistan titled Afghanistan 2.0 was just published. In 2005 he won the Enzo Baldoni Prize for Journalism of the Province of Milano, and the International Photography Award (Los Angeles) in the “Editorial” category. He is one of the founders of the photojournalism agency Parallelo zero.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph is from a feature I shot in Nigeria titled ‘Stories of ordinary slavery’. Every year, at least 50,000 girls travel from Nigeria (mostly from Benin City, one of the country’s poorest cities) to Europe. A trafficker, with the help of a voodoo, or juju, priest, who makes them swear an oath of allegiance and convinces them that a decent job awaits them in the promised land. The journey is often nightmarish, trying to reach the coast of Italy or Spain on a precarious rubber boat. Many of the girls die of fatigue or drown at sea before reaching their destination. Those who make it, soon realize that the promised job does not exist: after their papers are seized by the traffickers, they are sent on the street as prostitutes. Sometimes, one of them manages to escape her captors and, back in Nigeria, to find the courage to denounce the people who trafficked her. This is the situation in the photograph: the girl on the left, barely 20 years old, is confronting the woman who sold her to the traffickers, after the police has taken both of them to the juju shrine, where the oath has been revoked.”

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Anton Kusters October 20, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Japan.
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The Bath House. Narita, Japan 2009

Anton Kusters (b. 1974, Belgium) has lived in Saudi Arabia, Australia and Japan and currently divides his time between Brussels, Tokyo and New York City. Anton obtained a Master’s degree in Political Philosophy at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium and studied Photography at the Student Art Centre (STUK), and then continued in-depth in the Academy of Fine Arts in Hasselt. In 2001, he started a web and graphic design company and in December 2008, he and David Alan Harvey started BURN Magazine, an online magazine for emerging photographers. In regards to his own photography, he specializes in long term projects, delivering immersive experiences with images, film and words.

About the Photograph:

“I’m exhausted, waiting at the entrance of the tiny bath house at the golf course near Narita. A couple of hours earlier, while we were teeing off, Soichiro told me that playing golf is a good way to really really get to know someone. It’s also one of the first things that Japanese businessmen do, and many business deals in japan are started, and finished, during a game of golf. I feel ever so slightly uneasy knowing that I am, in part, being “measured up” here… but the beauty is that this is a double edged sword: I can do my own measuring too. Tanamoto Kaicho has just finished his round, and arrives at the bath house. He gestures me to follow him in. I enter the first room, where I undress, put my clothes in one of the many little baskets, grab a small towel to scrub and proceed to the bath and shower area. I didn’t win the game of golf… not by a long shot. But somehow I felt that being able to hold my own, and at the same time talk about anything else but business, was way more important that being to focused on winning. It’s almost like the game in and of itself seemed irrelevant… and at the same time very relevant on a different level.” (more…)

Katherine Kiviat October 18, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Afghanistan.
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Kabul Police Academy, Afghanistan 2004

Katherine Kiviat (b.1975, USA) is an award winning  photojournalist who has covered diverse subjects, including American Gypsies, Indian sex workers, the first free presidential elections in Afghanistan, the Palestinian elections that brought Hamas to power and the internal refugees from the fighting in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. In 2007, Kiviat published her first book Women Of Courage: Intimate Stories from Afghanistan with International T.V Journalist, Scott Heidler. For almost three years, she based herself in Kabul, where she taught photojournalism to Afghan women and girls and focused her photography on the changing role of Afghan women.  Katherine has worked for numerous international publications, including Vanity Fair, Fortune, Time, Forbes, Newsweek, Business Week, The New York Times Magazine, The Monocle and The National Magazine.  Her photographs have been included in both solo and group exhibitions in the US, Europe and Asia.

About the Photograph:

“On this day, my husband and I were interviewing and photographing one of the police women at the Kabul Police Academy.  After shooting a portrait we went with the women to see the police cadets’ first day of AK-47 weapon training.  The training took place at a firing range near by the Policharki prison, on the outskirts of Kabul.  It was a hot and miserable day to be out in the middle of the dessert but these women showed no pain, they were fully committed to learning how to protect their people. These women, like all the women in Women Of Courage, are all agents of change in their future, in their country, trying to make a better tomorrow for themselves and their daughters.”

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Roberto Boccaccino October 15, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Latvia.
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Independence Day. Riga. Latvia 2009

Roberto Boccaccino (b. 1984, Italy) is a freelance photographer who has worked with the former Grazia Neri Photo agency for two years. His photographs have been published in Italian and international magazines including: Private Magazine, IO Donna, Stiletto and Euroman. His work has been  shown in personal and collective exhibitions and festivals in Milan, Arles and Florence. In 2009 Roberto studied “Advanced Visual Storytelling” at the Danish School of Media and Journalism in Aarhus. His project ‘Toy Town’ about the relationship between the Lego Company and the town of Billund, was selected for the Lumix Young Photojournalism Festival 2010.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph is from my  project called ‘Riitdiena’ (tomorrow). It’s about the feelings and the future outlook of the younger generation living in a country with one of  the gloomiest economic crisis in all of Europe. I took this picture in the cemetery of Riga, during the celebration of the Latvian Independence Day, on 18th November. Unlike the youth from several European countries, the ones in Latvia have a strong patriotic feeling. The decades of foreign occupation have instilled in them a love and emotional attachment that inevitably influences their behavior and choices.”

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Brian L Frank October 13, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mexico.
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Gerardo, Tepito, Mexico City 2008

Brian L Frank (b.1979, USA) studied photojournalism at San Francisco State University. During an extended break from school, he drove an old VW Beetle across Mexico, landing in Mexico City, where he lived and worked until August 2009. Based in San Francisco again, he continues to work in Mexico as well as Southern California. He was recently awarded the 2010 Global Vision Award by POYi for “Downstream: The Death of the Colorado,” and the 2009 NPPA Domestic News Picture Story of the year for “La Guerra Mexicana.” A frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal, his work has appeared in Esquire, Newsweek, TIME, Le Monde, Photo District News, The New York Times and many other publications. His archive is syndicated through Redux Pictures, New York.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph of Gerardo was the way I gained access to Mexico City’s infamous barrio Tepito. I found myself fascinated with Tepito not because it was one of the toughest neighborhoods in Latin America, but because I was fascinated with the worship of La Santa Muerte “Saint Death”, a hybrid form of ancient Aztec and Catholic death worship. In recent years Santa Muerte has grown from a fringe practice mostly followed by those involved with the crime culture, to a mainstream movement with thousands of worshipers. The most famous altar for La Santa Muerte is in Tepito. (more…)

Beth Rooney October 11, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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The Zoppé Family Circus. Addison, Illinois 2008

Beth Rooney (b. 1983, USA) is a freelance photojournalist based in Chicago.  After graduating from Ohio University in 2005 she traveled to Paranagua, Brazil with a grant from Ohio University. Upon returning to the United States she took an internship with Lauren Greenfield in Los Angeles. After working as a freelancer in Chicago for a year, Beth attended the Eddie Adams Workshop in 2007. Some of her current clients include: The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, FADER, and NPR.

About the Photograph:

“Carlo Gentile is holding his youngest child, Giulia, a year old in this photo,  in front of the tent at The Zoppé family circus in Addison, Illinois. Carlo and his family spent last summer traveling with “Zoppé, an Italian Family Circus,” which has been entertaining crowds around the world since 1842.  Carlo and his wife perform a foot-juggling act and incorporate their children into their  show. They are already teaching them to balance and feel comfortable in front of the crowd. This image is from a larger piece about the whole show. This story appealed to me because traditional circus has an energy that is mysterious and draws people in. This troupe was particularly interesting because they focus on emotional connections with the audience and work to preserve the dying art of family circus. Every year there are new acts, but the basics stay the same: entertaining audiences around the country with the simple but fantastic story of Nino the clown.”

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Theodore Kaye October 8, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in India.
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Theyyam ceremony. Kerala, India 2010

Theodore Kaye (b.1981, USA) grew up in China, India and Indonesia. While majoring in Film at Yale, he studied Uzbek and Farsi and then went to work as a newspaper editor and mountain guide in Central Asia before settling on a photo career. As a staff photographer at Rhythms Monthly, a Chinese-language geographic magazine, he has covered stories in India, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Taiwan, Japan, Ireland and Great Britain. His work has been featured by the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Asahi Shimbun and the National Film Board of Canada. He is currently pursuing personal projects in the Central Asian ’stans, Greater China and South Asia.

About the Photograph:

“Theyyam” (a rendering of the Sanskrit word for “God”) is a North Kerala rite or art form that dates back thousands of years. There are over 400 Gods – Hindu and animist- in the Theyyam pantheon. Theyyam performers don’t just portray the Gods; they actually become them, via spirit possession. The performers all come from the lowest castes- waiters, butchers, laborers and such- yet, every winter and spring, they are transformed into vehicles for deities ‘visiting’ this world. The months-long rites are sponsored by local top-tier Brahmans who reverently submit to the commands of the visiting Gods, often interlarded with screeds against caste injustice. Such a power-shift is nothing short of revolutionary in this historically caste-ridden corner of Kerala, where forms of ‘untouchability’ still prevail.” (more…)

Alex Ten Napel October 6, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Holland.
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M. de Graaff, Amsterdam 1998

Alex Ten Napel (b. 1958, Holland) studied at the School for Photography in The Hague. His work is frequently published in Dutch and foreign magazines and newspapers. Photos from the Water Portraits series were selected for the Photographic Portrait Prize 2006, the National Portrait Gallery, London; Prix Photographique BMW-Paris Photo. He has exhibited his work in New York, Moscow, Paris and Miami. Alex is currently based in Amsterdam.

About the Photograph:

“I began this project about Alzheimer’s in 1996 wanting to show the way that it affects people’s personal life and manifests itself in the human face. The portraits were published in a book and shown in an exhibition on the walls of the hospital were they lived. When the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease has smashed the mask of identity, human existence is there right for you and you can see it in its face. To see the decay of the inner self so close moved me and inspired me to make the portraits. The woman in the picture is the same. There are two years in between. When life was hard for me during the project I used to visit her. A chat always cheered me up. “

Christian Lutz October 4, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bosnia.
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Srebrenica commemorative walk. Bosnia-Herzegovina 2009

Christian Lutz (b. 1973, Switzerland) studied photography at the Art School Le 75  in Brussels and has been working on stories in the Balkans, in South America, West Africa, in the United States and in Switzerland. His work has been exhibited in a variety of places. His last story “Protokoll” was nominated for the 2007 HSBC Foundation of Photography and won the Nicolas Bouvier Prize in Switzerland. His book “Protokoll” won the German Photography Book Prize 2007. Christian is a member of Agence VU  in Paris.

About the Photograph:

“This march follows the same trail as that of the column of 14 000 men who left Srebrenica on July 11 1995 following the attack of Serbian forces and the abandonment of the “safe zone” by UN forces. It symbolically retraces the path through the main locations of past massacres between Pobudje and Potocari. It is here that each year there is a commemoration to the genocide of Srebenica. At the Potocari memorial, the coffins containing the remains of bodies identified and registered over the year are displayed before being buried.”

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Glenn Campbell October 1, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Australia.
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Levitating Blue Heeler. Urandangi, Australia 1997

Glenn Campbell (b.1970, Australia ) began working as a photojournalist in 1996 at the Townsville Buletin, after a vagabond life as a Miner, Prawn fisherman and Feral pig hunter. He was a staff photographer at the national daily newspaper ‘The Australian’ till 2004, when he abruptly left the court of the sun king to hang out his shingle in Darwin, the most northern city in Australia with an international airport. He has covered assignments in Pakistan’s North West Frontier, terrorist hit Bali, the Jihadi havens of central Java and documented  the growing pains of a newly independent East Timor. In 2009 he was appointed an official war artist by the Australian War Memorial to produce a body of work on the Australian Army’s peace keeping role in the Asia Pacific region.

About the Photograph:

“Every one says ‘Oh Man! I just love that jumping dog shot.’ Oh Gawd! It was taken 13 years ago, when (with hindsight) I knew pretty much nothing about everything… there are so many reasons why that shot drives me crazy! I made it in Urandangi, a town that no one’s heard of, of a bloke named Ray, who’s sadly passed away since. So, regardless of all I’ve done since and all I’ll do in the future, I’m the jumping dog guy. I’ll be carrying around ‘The levitating Blue Heeler from Urandangi’, publicly scoffing it , secretly enjoying it, quietly ruminating on its imperfections and wondering how good it could have been. Wanting so much to just leave it behind… Wanting even more to take a better one.”

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