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Ed Wray February 28, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Indonesia.
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Boy in Spiderman Mask, Jakarta Indonesia 2006

Ed Wray (b.1962, USA) holds a degree in International Relations, a background which has given him a special interest in understanding how the news of the day becomes history. “I’ve been fortunate to have observed and photographed over the past 12 years some of the most interesting and critical issues in Asia, from Afghanistan to Fiji: coups, people’s power movements, armed conflict, natural disasters, and the ordinary lives of people living in these rapidly changing times. One of the things that most interests me about both history and photography are the ‘in between’ states where people are affected by the energies that change a situation from what was to what will be.” Over the course of Ed’s career, his work has been featured regularly in magazines and newspapers such as Time, Newsweek, Stern, Monocle, The New York Times, Le Monde, among others.

About the Photograph:

“I’ve often wondered why so many people give up their uncrowded country lives for an uncertain existence in an urban slum. The chances of striking it rich are staggeringly small. So when I read a UN statistic showing that more people were living in cities than in the countryside for the first time in human history, I decided to have a look at what people really face when they come to a big city without any resources but abundant hope. I was working in an area of Jakarta where hundreds of very poor people raise their families in makeshift tarp and plywood homes within several feet of a busy railroad track. Its one of the few places where no one tells them they can’t live there. I had been working there for several days and was just on my way back home from the railroad tracks when I saw this young boy with his spiderman mask sleeping against a wall on a cardboard box. For me, he embodied the answer to the question of why so many leave the countryside for big cities. Simply put, the dream of a better life is a stronger pull than the reality which consumes most people who come to the big city from the countryside.”

Boris Heger February 24, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Colombia.
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FARC combatants. Cauca Colombia 2010

Boris Heger (b.1968 Switzerland) is based in Colombia after living in Bolivia for two years. He lived in Africa for ten years, where he mostly worked for Associated Press in Ivory Coast and Ethiopia (also covering Sudan and Darfur). He has collaborated with various publications and humanitarian organizations including United Nations agencies, the International Red Cross and various NGO’s.  His work has been published: Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Miami Herald, USA Today, The Guardian, Le Figaro, VSD, Jeune Afrique, L’Express, Le Matin, La Presse, Der Spiegel among others. Boris is represented by Polaris Images photo agency.

About the Photograph:

“The FARC are one of the oldest guerrilla movements in the world, existing for 46 years. A few months ago I had the luck to be accepted for a few days by a group of FARC guerrillas with a friend in the mountains of Cauca. I say lucky because it is exceptional to be allowed to meet the guerrillas. The new President, former Minister of Defense had just been elected, partially on the ground that he had defeated the movement during his posting. It was good timing for the FARC to show they were still around and able to create trouble. Fighting in this region occurs daily and military spy planes and “Black Hawk” helicopters provided by the US fly around regularly searching for guerrillas. This group of 25 soldiers maintain pressure on army positions by attacking them regularly. For security reasons, they sleep in the field on plastic sheeting and never stay more than one night in the same place, walking in the dark, hiding under trees during the day. Some of those men have lived this way for decades.” (more…)

Lianne Milton February 21, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Cambodia.
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AIDS and needle exchange center. Phnom Penh, Cambodia 2009

Lianne Milton (b.1976, USA) began her freelance career in January 2009 after she was laid off from a newspaper job, the result of challenging economic times in the newspaper industry. Prior she was a newspaper photographer for four years. Since then, she has been shooting for publications such as the New York Times, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, NPR Digital, among others. She pursues cultural and humanitarian stories,  focusing on the effects of politics on people and their environments, in places, such as, Indonesia, Cambodia, Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, as well as the U.S. Before her photojournalism career, Lianne studied international relations and languages. She lives in San Francisco, where the City meets the Pacific.

About the Photograph:

“This image is part of a story on drug addiction in Cambodia that I started in November 2009. Drug addiction is a relatively new social issue that began around the mid-1990s. Before, the country had been recovering from decades of conflict. What drives Cambodia’s drug use is the lack of effective drug rehabilitation programs, and the availability of illegal drugs – cheap methamphetamine’s and the highly potent Burmese heroin. Consequently, the government built several drug detention centers in recent years (or re-education centers) to clean the streets of “undesirables,” and rehabilitated by physical activities, such as exercises and military marches. In January 2010 I received rare access into one re-education center. Although initially I had no interest in covering drug addiction. I began to take a look at the issues around addiction in Cambodia, such as poverty and recovery; and understanding their concept of restoring morality, where as in the western world, particularly in the United States, addiction is acknowledged as a disease.”

Markel Redondo February 17, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Spain.
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Unemployed. Andalusia, Spain 2009

Markel Redondo (b. 1978, Spain) is a freelance photographer based in Bilbao, Spain. He studied photography in the United Kingdom and China where he started working as a freelance photographer for various international news agencies, newspapers and magazines. In 2008 he returned to Bilbao, where he works on commissions and personal projects. His clients include: Time, Le Monde, The Times, Le Figaro Magazine, New York Times, Monocle, Greenpeace, Wall Street Journal, Internazionale, UNESCO and The British Council. He was a finalist at Photo España 2007 “Descubrimientos”, Eddie Adams Workshop in 2007, Angkor Photography Festival 2007, Finalist “City of Gijon” International Photojournalism Award 2009 & 2010, and Photo Ireland Festival 2010.

About the Photograph:

“Eliseo, Carlos and German Barrera, are all from the same family and are currently unemployed. In Espera, Andalusia, approximately eighty percent of its inhabitants are currently unemployed due to the financial crisis. The town’s economy moved from farming to construction at the beginning of the decade and now almost all the construction companies have closed their doors, as there are no property buyers. The situation is critical. With some families having serious problems bringing food to the table.”

Rachel Mummey February 14, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ohio University, United States.
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Urban Dreams. Iowa City, USA 2010

Rachel Mummey (b.1983, United States) has spent the last two years working towards a Master’s in Photography from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Her work has been featured in Photo District News and News Photographer magazines and online at New York Times Lens Blog, The Neiman Storyboard, Multimedia Muse and Kobre Guide websites. Most recently she was awarded as the 65th College Photographer of the Year with stories placing gold and silver in the documentary category as well as gold in individual multimedia story. She was awarded the 2010 Kit King Scholarship by the National Press Photographer’s Association. Pictures of the Year International recognized her photography in 2009. Currently she’s interning at The Palm Beach Post.

About the Photograph:

“I made this image while documenting a project about youth in families who have moved to Iowa City, Iowa from Chicago. I returned to my hometown after moving away for graduate school to find myself looking at my community with an outsider’s perspective. I heard many people from my community making blanket generalizations about socio-economically disadvantaged families who were moving from Chicago. I wanted to bear witness to these families lives just to see what their lives were like. Historically, railroads, rivers and other barriers have segregated towns, like Iowa City, all across the United States. This was a program called Urban Dreams that teaches disadvantaged youth how to ride horses. The program was only up and running for a handful of weeks before it fell apart. This particular image is when Arthur first meets the horse he is going to learn to ride. Although it was clear that he and the other kids were out of their element, they protested that they knew how to ride horses already. I was trying to contrast the urban culture with the rural environment.”

David Leventi February 10, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Romania.
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Maramures, Romania, 2007

David Leventi (b.1978, USA) is a fine-art photographer based in New York. He received his BFA in Photography from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and recently exhibited at the Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, Oregon, Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans and at the Toronto International Art Fair in 2010. He was selected by PDN as one of 2007’s Top 30 Emerging Photographers. In 2008, his work was included in the Communication Arts Photography Annual and in American Photography 24, he received two Graphis Gold awards and was listed among the Critical Mass Top 50 Finalists by Photolucida. Leventi’s current project, titled “Bjoerling’s Larynx,” records the interiors of world-famous opera houses. David is represented by Bonni Benrubi Gallery in New York, Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans and Bau-Xi Photo Gallery in Toronto.

About the Photograph:

“In 2006, I began traveling to Romania to photograph my family history. I was the first member of my family to step foot in the country since 1959, when my family fled Romania at the time of a communist regime. Part of my documentation has been to capture the tension that exists between the countryside and the city—a dichotomy which has always existed, but which is more visible today since the fall of communism and the advent of capitalism in the country. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find traditional houses in the countryside as the young migrate to the city in pursuit of opportunity. Since joining the EU in 2007, many Romanians are finding work in Western Europe, leaving children behind with grandparents. They send money back to build modern houses in idyllic fairytale landscapes—abandoning generations of tradition. In much the same way, my great-grandfather left the shtetl in Barlad for Bucharest, where he eventually became a publisher.”

Bertrand Meunier February 7, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in France.
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My Mother and Father from the series “l’Homme éloigné” 2006

Bertrand Meunier (b. 1965, France) bought his first camera in 1993 and went on an “apprenticeship” for several years in SE Asia and Mexico. Since 1997, he has been photographing contemporary China, intent on showing the reality behind the economic miracle. This work has been awarded by the Leica Oscar Barnack Prize in 2001. His book Le Sang de la Chine, Quand le Silence Tue (The Blood of China, When Silence Kills) published in 2005 with the journalist Pierre Haski, was awarded the International Media Prize and the Joseph Kessel Prize. In addition to his ongoing research project in China, Bertrand has photographed in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Argentina, Peru, Syria and Iran.

About the Photograph:

“My father died on April 11, 2009. Three years prior, when I learned about his cancer, I decided to photograph my family with my father as the common thread. I needed to preserve the memory of a face and of the people my father loved; moments of joy, happiness and pain. And certainly I hid behind my camera to avoid confronting the moment when my father, with one last breath, left me to become a man. The tittle of the series is about the feeling that I knew my father was on his path to die. It was necessary for me to keep something of him and the people close to our family. I tried to face this reality which no one is prepared for. Using the camera was a way to prepare myself and be strong enough to face the death of my father.”

Anastasia Taylor-Lind February 3, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in England.
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Camilla and Amy in their caravan at The Wirral Show, England 2008

Anatasia Taylor-Lind (b.1981,England) is a documentary photographer currently based in the Middle East and working for clients such as GEO Germany, The Telegraph Magazine and Marie Claire. She is part of the VII Photo Agency mentor program, and has degrees from the University of Wales Newport and the London College of Communication. Anastasia’s work has been exhibited internationally, in spaces such as The Frontline Club, Saatchi Gallery and National Portrait Gallery in London, the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam and Fovea Exhibitions in New York. She has received a number of photography awards in support of her personal work, from a diverse range of organisations such as Canon Italy, The Royal Photographic Society, The Guardian, Channel4 and Deutsche Bank.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was taken at the Wirral showground in England in July 2008. I spent the weekend there with Camilla and Amy in their caravan, living with them and making pictures as they performed equestrian stunts for large audiences at the show. I had initially intended to make a story that focused on the amazing work that Camilla does, as one of the youngest and most promising stunt riders and horse masters in the industry, but I quickly realized that her relationship with Amy would be central to the story. I wanted to photograph Camilla because I grew up with horses and had always wanted to work with them, until I discovered photography at 16. The only thing I’ve had to sacrifice in the course of becoming a photographer is having horses in my life. So this story, which was self initiated and self funded, was an opportunity to experience in some small way what Camilla’s life might be like.”

(more…)

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