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Graeme Williams July 29, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in South Africa.
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Concordia, South Africa 2005

Graeme Williams (b. 1961. South Africa) was contracted by Reuters to cover South Africa’s transition to ANC rule in 1989. Two years later he began working with the Southern African documentary collective, Afrapix and later went on to become a founding member and manager of South Photographs Agency. His work is housed in permanent collections around the world including; The South African National Gallery, The Rotterdam Museum of Ethnology, Duke University and The Finnish School of Photography. He has staged solo exhibitions in Johannesburg, New York and Paris and has contributed to many combined exhibitions including the 2011 Figures and Fictions exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Four books of his photographs have been published and he has worked for publications worldwide, including National Geographic Magazine, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine and Photography magazine (UK).

About the Photograph:

“This photograph was taken in Concordia, a small town in a dusty, semi-desert area in the north-west of South Africa. It forms part of a body of work called The Edge of Town. I traveled to more than one hundred towns throughout South Africa over a period of more then four years. This photograph and the others that make up the series, use a layering effect, in which multiple activities are captured within the frame. This montage of activities intentionally creates a tension and a sense of distorted space but also mirrors the multi-faceted process of change within the country.”

Pari Dukovic July 27, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Turkey.
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Edirne, Turkey 2010

Pari Dukovic‘s (b.1984, Turkey) first connection to photography was through his father who gave him his first camera when he was about nine and later the work of Turkish photographer Ara Guler. In 2002 Pari moved to the United States to complete his undergraduate studies. After graduating from the Rochester Institute of Technology he moved he New York City where he started developing several bodies of work and focusing his photographic style. His work has been published in Cent Magazine, Lee Jeans and has been exhibited at The Woodstock Center of Photography (NY) and Revel Scalo d’Isola Gallery, Milan. In March 2011, he was named one of the PDN’s 30 Emerging Photographers.

About the Photograph:

This photograph was taken during the Kirkpinar oil wrestling festival in Edirne, Turkey. Kirkpinar is the oldest sporting competition in the world and a fascinating subculture. It is a tradition with a 650 year past. Wrestlers train for this festival for a whole year and their dream is to finally attain the Gold Belt. To the participants it is not just a sport but a way of life: discipline and dedication. In this image, the wrestlers are waiting in the cage area watching the matches taking place on the grass. I have been working on this project, all shot on film, since June 2010. By using my camera as a way of capturing their energy and freedom I, in turn, am able to capture my own.”

Hiroyo Kaneko July 25, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Japan.
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From the series “Picnics”. Aomori, Japan 2007

Hiroyo Kaneko (b. 1963, Japan) received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BA in French Literature from Maiji Gakuin University, Tokyo. Her work has been exhibited extensively in the United States and Japan at spaces including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Headlands Center for the Arts, the San Francisco Art Commission Gallery, the Nagasaki City Library and the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo. Hiroyo was also a recipient of the Santa Fe Prize for Photography in 2009. She currently resides in San Francisco.

About the Photograph:

“People bask under the cherry blossom trees in the northern part of Japan once a year to gather and enjoy the blooming. The experience imparts a mixture of spiritual uplift and relief.  Flowers blossom and fade within a few days, and then shed their petals. This brief glorious blaze seems to be a reminder of selfless sharing. Since this natural habit is inherited from a distant past, we share these moments over time and space. The sense of sharing suggested by the status of ever-changing is what my photographs try to depict and convey. This series will evolve through the different seasons around the area where I was born. In that part of Japan, people work on apple farms and survive huge snowfalls. I hope to present their humble living through moments of work and leisure, and occasionally, sparks like the blooming of the flowers.”

Carrie Will July 22, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Rikki and Carrie, Nyack, New York 2007

Carrie Will (b. 1979, United States) received her BFA from SUNY Purchase College in 2001 and her MFA from Syracuse University in 2008. Carrie’s work has been displayed in many group exhibitions and featured in online galleries Most recently her work was displayed in 100 portraits – 100 photographers, a night gallery projection on the Corcoran Gallery in conjunction with Fotoweek, DC 2010. Her work can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery in a showed entitled, Close To Home, Photographers and Their Families, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC and in an upcoming show, The Summer Show Project in New York City at The Foley Gallery.

About the Photograph:

“This image is from the series entitled, I am redundant, half of a whole, a freak, identical and lucky. The series is about the relationship I have with my twin sister, Rikki, which is tightly woven, beautifully strange and difficult to explain. This has led me to explore a visual language that articulates the intimacy and the oddity of being a twin. In this photograph, we sit in the dining room at our father’s house. My sister and I have not lived in the same town since we were in high school but we talk everyday. Our meeting place is often our father’s home. Being a twin is amazing but it comes with some confusion, like where does she end and I begin? When she is away from me, I miss her, when she is with me I sometimes miss myself. Rikki and Carrie, Dining Room, represents the fact that we are identical twins, separate yet eternally connected.”

Ian Martin July 20, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in South Africa.
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Sonskynhoekie Care Centre. Guateng Province, South Africa 2007

Ian Martin (b. 1972, USA) is a photojournalist who predominantly works in black and white. He is a 2008 recipient of a Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography and his work has appeared in publications including Newsweek, The New Yorker and Rolling Stone. He is a former staff photographer for The Virginian-Pilot newspaper. Ian received the Getty Images grant to continue his project “Invisible People: Poor and White in the New South Africa,” a documentary he began in 2007. With the Getty Images funding, he spent over three months photographing in South Africa in the fall of 2008 and 2009. The resulting body of work was recognized as a finalist for the World Understanding Award in the Premiere Division of the 2010 Pictures of the Year International (POYi) competition.

About the Photograph:

“I took this picture at a poverty shelter north of Pretoria. I had just started out on this project a few weeks before and wasn’t aware that South Africa had poor white people. I needed a photo that acknowledged South Africa’s white-supremacist past. (The man on the right told me he believes white people and black people are equal. He says that he got his swastikas, three of them, after seeing a World War II movie in the 1970’s and liked the way they looked.) This photo feeds the stereotype that South Africa’s poor whites are bitter racists. Some certainly are. But as with all groups of human beings, assumptions fall apart under closer examination. After I took this picture, I worked to balance it with other pictures that show poor whites who are open-minded. On my most recent trip, I took a photo of a black woman cradling a white little boy while sitting with a white woman holding a black baby. The women were waiting in line at a soup kitchen.”

Serge Van Cauwenbergh July 18, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Russia.
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Olga, Chernobyl, Russia 2006

Serge Van Cauwenbergh (b. 1973, Belgium) is a documentary and humanitarian photographer covering social issues, creating photo essays for ngo’s and humanitarian aid organizations. He is mainly a self-taught photographer, but also completed a degree in Photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. He is interested in how people are dealing with the circumstances they have to live in; how are they handling new opportunities or changes in today’s society; how are they coping with the consequences of a disaster, depression, decease or dementia. He focuses on elements in their life that are perishable, details that are often overlooked and will otherwise be forgotten in time.

About the Photograph:

“In 2006 I visited Ukraine and the Zones of Exclusion to work on a photo essay about Chernobyl and the aftermath of the disaster.  I was introduced to several elderly people who are still living in Chernobyl and the surrounding areas. They witnessed everything up close and returned to their houses weeks and months after the nuclear disaster, some even claim they never left the area. Olga is one of them. Her house is located just outside the town center of Chernobyl. The moment I entered the porch she told me that photographers and film crew regularly visit the area, some even dare to shoot in her yard without asking permission first.  She has always been a housewife, her husband was working for the community service. He passed away a few years ago. About the disaster itself she remembers that everything went very chaotic and information was scarce. At that time the true scale of the disaster was concealed, she says. From all of my visits in the area I learned that these people are still very disappointed how the government dealt with this disaster.”

Stefano De Luigi July 15, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China, Tibet.
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Qinghai Province, China 2009

Stefano De Luigi (b. 1964, Italy) is a contributor to international magazines including Stern, Paris Match, Le Monde Magazine, Newsweek and The New Yorker. His long term projects include “Pornoland” (winner of the Marco Bastianelli Prize in 2005) and “Blanco,” visions of blindness, published by Trolley in 2010. Blanco has been produced with support from World Health Organization, Vision 2020 and the 2007 W.E. Smith Fellowship. In 2006, he started a new project called “Cinema Mundi,” which was transformed into a seven minute short film that screened at the Locarno International Film Festival. Stefano has won the World Press Photo three times in different categories (1998, 2007, 2009), the Moving Walls of Soros Foundation in 2009 and Days Japan International Photojournalism Award 2010, Getty Grant for editorial photography 2010. Since 2008 is represented by VII/Network.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was was taken on the road along Koko Nor lake known in China as Qinghai Hu in the Qinghai Province. I was traveling from Bejing to Lhasa on a reportage about the ‘sky train’ and wanted to stop in Xining, the town that is the door to the Tibetan Plateau. This lake is considered sacred by Tibetans and is the largest lake without a river outlet in central Asia. It’s 3,200 meter above sea level and very cold and windy. When I saw this car on top of the pole I was quite amused that in a place like this somebody could have an idea to advertise his own business in a such strange way. My interpreter explained that the car was put as a warning. There are traces of false blood all around the car to alert drivers of the many car accidents that occur on the highway.”

Martina Bacigalupo July 13, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Burundi.
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Jeanine and Odette, 11, Gitega, Burundi, 2008

Martina Bacigalupo (b.1978, Italy) studied photography at the London College of Communication. In 2005 she won the Black & White Photographer of the Year Award, then worked for photographer Giorgia Fiorio in Paris, where she joined the Reflexions Masterclass. For the past three years Martina has been working in Burundi, East Africa, focusing on human rights issues. She worked for the UN and is now collaborating with international NGOs such as Human Rights Watch, Care, and MSF. Her work has been published in the Sunday Times Magazine Jeune Afrique, Le Monde 2 among others. Martina was selected for the 2008 World Press Photo Master Class and won the Amilcare Ponchielli Grin Award in 2009. She was awarded the Canon Female Photojournalist Award in 2010.

About the Photograph:

“This picture is part of a project which explores the relationship of the self and the other, through the relationship of identical twins. The title of the work comes from the Japanese ideogram used to represent the human being (Hito) two lines, which represent two people, leaning one on another. For them, what makes human is to stand together. If one steps back the other falls. The children’s mother in this photograph was poisoned a few years ago. They now live with their elderly father. In class the other children tell them that someone will come one day and kill them just like all other albinos, so they stay together the whole time and never leave each other. In Burundi there are approximately 620 albinos. Ignorance and superstition has made them the minority of minorities and they have to fight for survival against nature and man. The majority of albinos in Africa have no means to protect themselves and many have skin cancer. Skin diseases have a serious impact on people’s quality of life, causing discrimination and therefore lost of productivity at work and school.”

Yoray Liberman July 11, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Kosovo.
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Graduation at the American University, Kosovo 2008

Yoray Liberman (b. 1975, Israel) began his professional work in 1997 as a freelance photographer for Gamma and AFP, covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 1999, he moved to feature and documentary photography and relocated  to New York.  In year 2000 he moved to Paris and worked with the French agency Editing. He continued traveling regularly to cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Moldova-Transnistrian conflict (for GEO magazine), the Zapatistas in Mexico, and the conflict in Afghanistan (Der Spiegel). In 2004, he relocated to Istanbul, Turkey, where he did projects on secularism and religion in Turkish society – youth and nightlife in Istanbul, Muslim Sufism, Sunnite Ramadan and more. Yoray  currently lives in Israel.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is part of my project on Kosovo. I  photographed the first graduating class in the new country at the American University of Kosovo. That university offers education with American standards and gives Kosovo youth a chance to boost their country towards an independent democracy. Since February 2008 Kosovo is a self declared  state recognized by 65 out of 192 sovereign United Nations member states. in the new path of becoming a nation and liberating from their past the  youth in the country tries to build itself – they are the future of Kosovo. Nightlife and places to hang out are being built and the standards raise as more and more young Kosovars are coming back to the new country after two decades since their parents fled the Balkan war.”

Bieke Depoorter July 8, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Russia.
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Vladivostok, Russia, 2009

Bieke Depoorter (b.1986, Belgium) graduated  from the Royal Academy of Arts in Ghent in 2009 with a Masters degree in photography. She mainly works on personal projects, in which she looks for the intimacy of families where she’s part of for one night. In 2009, she traveled through Russia for her project «Oe menia» (With me), which won the Magnum Expression Award. In Autumn 2011, she will publish her first book with Lannoo (The Netherlands) and the designers Mevis and Van Deurisen.

About the Photograph:

“I took this picture during my second trip through Russia in the winter of 2008/2009. I met the woman a few days before, in the train, on my way to Vladivostok. We managed to meet again when I crossed her little village. As always, she didn’t speak English and I didn’t understand Russian but the moments with her were very quiet, intense and powerful.  I spend the night on her coach in her small old house. We watched pictures from the past and she invited me for a walk in her neighborhood. It was dark and freezing cold. We had to walk arm in arm because of the ice. She gave me one of her old bags to put my camera in, to protect me against thief’s.  In a little cold cafe that looked down over a frozen lake where some people where doing slipping tricks with their cars, we drank tea and walked back home.  Back in the warm house, she gave me a flowered pajama, watched the Russian The bold and the Beautiful and went to sleep.” (more…)

Roberto Guerra July 6, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Peru.
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Gold miner and Dredge, Madre de Dios, Peru 2010

Roberto Guerra (b. 1973, USA) is a photographer who focuses on humanitarian, environmental, and social issues around the world, with a focus on Latin America. He works regularly with indigenous and immigrant populations, as well as with progressive non-profit organizations working for human rights and the environment. His photo essays and images are published by the BBC, Orion Magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Boston Globe Magazine, NPR Digital, OnEarth, and many others; and his work has been exhibited in the USA, Spain, Mexico, and Norway. In recent years, Bear has been a finalist for a National Magazine Award in Photojournalism (2010), and the recipient of funding from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting and Project Word. A native of San Antonio, TX, he is currently based in Southern California.

About the Photograph:

“I made this image while on an assignment near Peru’s Southeastern border with Bolivia, where unregulated gold mining is spreading into the jungle at an alarming rate and leaving behind severe environmental consequences, including massive deforestation and mercury-contaminated waterways. With the price of gold at an all time high on the international market, as well as open-door trade policies and lax regulation by Peruvian president, Alan Garcia’s, administration, there has been an explosion of the extractive industries in Peru’s resource-rich Amazon basin in the last few years. It was very difficult to gain access to mining settlements deep in the jungle where I found widespread deforestation and gaping pits in what only months before was pristine jungle; and immigrants from the Andean highlands and Brazil wrecking the environment, their own bodies, and the health of their families in the hope of eking out a better living than they could at home.”

Brian Harkin July 4, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Google Headquarters, New York 2010

Brian Harkin (b. 1983, USA) is a freelance portrait and documentary photographer in New York City. Brian has an undergraduate degree in philosophy from The University of Missouri and began his freelance career in Dallas after an internship at The Dallas Morning News. He spent the first half of 2009 in Mexico City before relocating to New York, where he shoots regularly for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. His other publication credits include: AARP, Smithsonian Magazine The Fader, The Financial Times, National Geographic Kids, NPR, among others.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is from an afternoon I spent at the Google headquarters in New York City on assignment for The Wall Street Journal. The story was on their huge new building, at 111 Eighth Ave, which spans the entire avenue block and was recently acquired in a nearly two billion dollar deal. Inside, the company offers a host of amenities (scooters, snacks, game rooms, etc.) to its employees, who seem to be an easygoing, diverse and productive group of people. I spent most of my time photographing these “Googlers” at their desks, and I found their idiosyncrasies to be a suitable contrast to the Google’s new architectural behemoth.”

Ferit Kuyas July 1, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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“Chinese Smokers” Chongqing, China 2005

Ferit Kuyas (b. 1955, Turkey) studied architecture and law in Switzerland and graduated in jurisprudence from the University of Zurich in 1982. Working mainly on personal projects, he published several books. After visiting Shanghai for commissioned work, Ferit’s travels brought him often back to China. His most recent body of work is City of Ambition with large cityscape’s from the megalopolis Chongqing, China published in October 2009. Ferit’s photographs have been shown in museums, galleries and festivals in Europe, America and Asia. His work is represented in private, corporate and public collections in the United States, England, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and Turkey. He received a number of awards, among them the Kodak Photobook-Award, the Guatephoto Award and the Hasselblad Masters.

About the Photograph:

“In 2005 I started photographing the City of Ambition project. I used a 4×5 camera on a tripod. Sometimes there was waiting involved when making a photograph. I often walked around and looked for interesting artifacts on the ground. Doing this I discovered Chinese cigarette packages. They were everywhere and looked very beautiful. I found them in all conditions: mint, crushed, withered, etc. One day after lunch I found an interesting pack on the road in front of the restaurant Tang Sifu (Soup Master) in Chongching.  The man in the photo interfered by saying: ‘Don’t photograph that one, it is dirty. Photograph my fresh pack of cigarettes.’ I told him that I would love to but only if I could portray him together with his pack of cigarettes. At first he didn’t want to but I convinced him saying that I would position him in front of the characters of Sifu, which has a very positive meaning in Chinese. The picture you selected is the initial photograph of what later became the Chinese Smokers series.”

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