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KC Ortiz January 31, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Laos.
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Three Generations of Hmong in their Hidden Camp, Laos, 2010

KC Ortiz (b.1978, USA) is a self taught freelance photojournalist with a split base between Chicago and Western Thailand. His interest in photography grew while serving time in prison where he absorbed any and all photographs he could get his hands on, mostly through dated newspapers and magazines. After a year and a half of working in construction and then as a graphic designer, in 2008 he bought his first camera and began his work, with a focus on under reported issues and over looked people. His work has appeared in A-magasinet, Global Post, The Independent, The Irrawaddy, Juxtapoz, Time.com, and others. He has exhibited in Canada, Korea, the UK, and the USA.

About the Photograph:

“In late 2009 through early 2010 I spent time with the jungle Hmong in Laos, where this photo was shot.  The Hmong living in the jungles of Laos are the left over remnants of a war long ago fought and finished.  They were recruited by the CIA during the Vietnam war to fight Vietnamese and Laotian communist forces in Laos on behalf of the US in what is known as “The Secret War”. After the Americans pulled out of the region in defeat, they left the majority of the Hmong behind to fend for themselves.  While the rest of the world has forgotten about the Hmong, the Lao People’s Army (LPA) has not, they hunt them to this day in retribution for the Hmong having sided with the USA.”

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William DeShazer January 27, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Marching Band Members, Illinois 2009

William DeShazer (b. 1981, USA) is a Photojournalist currently working for the Chicago Tribune. He graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2007 with a degree in Photojournalism. William has held internships with The Idaho Statesman, The Flint Journal, The Herald (Jasper, IN) and The Dallas Morning News. He has freelanced for The Courier-Journal, The Star-Ledger, and Golf Week and was  a staff photographer with the Concord Monitor. William has been recognized by College Photographer of the Year, Photographer of the Year, and the National Press Photographers Association. In 2006 he  earned First Place honors for Photojournalism in the National Hearst Journalism Awards Championship. William also won first place for the 2009 Illinois Photographer of the Year.

About the Photograph:

“Marian Catholic High School color guard member Jasmin Weaver, bottom right, puts her make-up on with other members of the color guard before the bands final performance at Bands of America Regional Championships. In situations like this I always find myself circling the individuals or group and just keeping my eyes open for something a little different. The color guard makeup was so elaborate I knew I wanted to make a photo that involved it to fit the story. The Marian Catholic Marching Band has been to the Grand Nationals and won more than any other school in America.  They have won seven times and are the only school to win three years in a row. This is from an essay following them through the State Competition, the Regional’s Competition, and the Bands of America Grand Nationals Championships during their 2009 season.”

Shaul Schwarz January 24, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Israel.
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“Gush Katif” a Jewish enclave in the Gaza Strip, 2005

Shaul Schwarz (b.1974, Israel) began his photographic career in the Israeli air force. After finishing his service he began to cover news in Israel and in the West Bank before relocating to New York in 1999. His work has regularly appeared in Newsweek, Time, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Marie Clair, Geo, Men’s Journal, Paris Match, Stern, among others. His coverage of the conflict in Haiti in 2004 granted him two World Press Photo Awards. In 2006 Schwarz won the highly acclaimed Visa D’or in Perpignan for his work on Uprooting Settlers from the Gaza strip. He has recently covered the aftermath of the Kenyan elections for Newsweek and worked with CNN’s Christiana Amanpour on her new film to be released at the end of the year. He has recently started teaching workshops at the International Center of Photography in New York. Shaul is represented by Getty Images.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken as part of a project following Jewish settlers throughout the 2005 Gaza disengagement when 9,000 Jewish settlers were uprooted from their houses and the lands were finally given back to the Palestinians in August 2005.  Covering the story I decide to live with the settlers through the last three months of their existence. For the most part the settlers went on a campaign of denial and in order not to cooperate with the state of Israel they decided to simply continue on with their life: even continuing to plant their fields. In the picture we see a group of Hassidic Jews who were visiting the beach enjoying a moment of tranquility. I think this picture shows some of what my project was about, capturing life before the storm of the pull out.”

Mona Simon January 20, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Germany.
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Roma Community, Transylvania, Romania 2009

Mona Simon (b. 1979, Romania) is a freelance Photographer based in London and Germany. Photography was part of her studies in Media and Graphic Design at the University of the Arts Bremen, where she graduated 2006 with a BA under the guidance of photographer Peter Bialobrzeski. During her BA she spent one semester abroad in Havana, where she studied and photographed her first major Project ‘In the land of Revolution’. After graduating in Bremen she worked as a graphic designer and freelance photographer in Germany and later continued with an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at LCC London, which she finished with distinction in 2008.

About the Photograph:

“The image was taken in Transylvania as part of a long term project which accompanies a group of traditional Roma people. This couple are the oldest belonging to this community which settled down after communism collapsed on the brink of a former Saxon village. They produce handcrafted copper work which they sell in front of their houses and also at national and international fares. Despite globalisation and negative attitudes toward the Roma, they continue preserving their traditional values, which I admire and respect.”

Bryan Thomas January 17, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ohio University, United States.
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Nelsonville, Ohio 2010

Bryan Thomas (b. 1982, USA) is completing a master’s degree at Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication. Bryan graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in English, in 2005.  Following college, Bryan worked on the editorial at GQ Magazine for over two years; ultimately, returning to school in the fall of 2008.  He has  since taken classes at the School of Visual Arts, the International Center of Photography, and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Bryan interned at The Concord Monitor and attended the Eddie Adams Workshop in 2010. He’s been recognized by PDNedu, Sportsshooter.com, and The Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar. His work has been exhibited at the Getty Images Gallery in London. In January 2011, he’ll begin a six-month internship at the St. Petersburg Times.”

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken in Nelsonville, Ohio during the winter of 2010.  After driving around with a group of teenagers looking for a fight, Sean Stump was leaning out the window of a friend’s car to see if his opponent was going to show up.  During that winter, I’d begun a project “The Things We Did While You Were Gone” about growing up in the town of Carbondale, Ohio.  Carbondale, like many towns in Southeast Ohio, was a former coal town that, after decades of relative success, had fallen into decline and disrepair since the extractive industry had left town. The odds facing these kids were staggering. At least one-third of Carbondale was living below the poverty line, the median age of a household was only 26 (ten years below the national average) and a combination of drug-addiction, crime, and/or disability had effected almost all of the households where I spent time.” (more…)

Daniel Berehulak January 14, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Pakistan.
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Floods in Muzaffargarh. Punjab, Pakistan 2010

Daniel Berehulak (b.1975, Australia) is a New Delhi based photographer for the Getty Images News Service covering the South Asia region and beyond. A native of Sydney, Australia, Daniel studied History at the University of New South Wales. He joined Getty Images in 2002 in Sydney and relocated to London as a staff news photographer in 2005. Daniel’s photos have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, Stern, Time, Newsweek and many more. Daniel’s recent awards include: Photograph of the year, three gold prizes, one silver and one award of excellence. China International Press Photo Contest. First Prize News Folio of the Year, The Press Photographer’s Year Awards. (2010) Honorable mention, UNICEF Photo of the Year (2009). Third  prize People In the News category, World Press Photo (2007).

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken in a flood relief camp run by the Pakistan Army for flood affected victims from Pakistan’s biggest flood in the country’s history, in August 2010. I had been covering the floods for a few weeks now and came across a large size camp near on the outskirts of Muzaffargarh in Punjab, Pakistan. The children in these photos were the lucky ones, whose families has been accepted into the relief camp. Millions of people had been displaced by the flooding and over 20 million affected. I had seen so many others on the sides of roads begging for food and waiting for handouts from passing motorists. These children had been waiting over two hours in a queues, waiting with their empty pots, waiting to get a few spoon-fulls of soup for their dinner.”

Reed Young January 12, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Barrow, Alaska 2010

Reed Young (b. 1982, USA) is a freelance photographer based in New York.  After graduating from Brooks Institute in 2005, he was awarded a year long residency at FABRICA, the Communication Research Center of Benetton Group in Treviso, Italy. At FABRICA he worked for a number of publications while finding his voice in journalistic portraiture. He has worked for publications including New York Magazine, Dwell, Fast Company, Inc., Wired Italy, GQ Italy, Colors Magazine, Ventiquattro, D La Repubblica, and Apollo. In March he was selected as one of 2010′s PDN 30 up and coming photographers to watch.

About the Photograph:

“In April of 2010 I traveled 300 miles north of the arctic circle to the small town of Barrow, Alaska. I wanted to focus on this town for many reasons, but the most interesting to me was that over 40 percent of the residents are non-native people who have immigrated to Barrow with the hopes of making more money than they did back home. To do this I needed to learn both sides of the story and I was lucky to meet the Panigeo’s, a native family who live at the edge of town. This is a photograph of the head of the family, Mabel Panigeo. Only recently have modern amenities like the Internet, television and brand-name clothing become available in this isolated town. Like most of the older natives, she hand made this traditional Eskimo parka from a pattern that has been passed down for more than 1,000 years. Mabel is concerned that her grandchildren’s generation will lose the traditional Inupiat values and customs if she doesn’t continue to reinforce their integrity.”

Jackie Dewe Mathews January 10, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Brazil.
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Capital Penitentiary for Women. Sao Paulo, Brazil 2010

Jackie Dewe Mathews (b.1978, England) worked in the film industry as a freelance camera assistant on feature films and commercials. Her continued interest in cinematography has informed her photography practice which she was able to develop during an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication in 2007. Her work has been published in the Saturday Telegraph, the Sunday Times, the Guardian, Stern and other European Magazines. In 2008 she was awarded the Joan Wakelin bursary for a social documentary project from the Guardian newspaper and the Royal Photographic Society. In 2009 she was selected by the Magenta Foundation for emerging photographers. In 2010 she was a runner up in the Ojodepez and Julia Margret Cameron awards.

About the Photograph:

“This picture is from a series of portraits of foreign women imprisoned for drug trafficking at Sao Paulo’s Capital Penitentiary for Women, where foreigners make up over half the prison population. Their numbers have seen a huge increase in recent years, as Sao Paulo Guarulhos International airport has become the main exit point for drug mules carrying cocaine from South America to the rest of the world. Many of the drug mules, have never committed a crime before. If caught, they face long sentences of three to fifteen years in a foreign jail with the right to just two phone calls a year. This Portuguese girl, of Cape Verde descent, was tricked by a friend into taking her place as a drug mule on a trip to Brazil. Her friend had asked her for help and she felt she couldn’t say no. The explanation is often as innocent as that. It was the first time she had ever seen drugs. She has been in prison for ten months and is still awaiting her sentence.”

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