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Kirsten Luce March 29, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mexico.
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Funeral in Cieneguilla, Mexico, 2007

Kirsten Luce (b. 1981, USA) freelances in Brooklyn where she is a regular contributor to the New York Times. She graduated with  a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Georgia and received the NAFTA Journalism and Globalization Grant to study in Colima, Mexico. Kirsten was a staff photographer for The Monitor on the Texas/Mexico border. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Associated Press, Bloomberg News, CARE International and National Geographic Adventure. She is the coordinator for the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop, a non-profit documentary workshop held in a different country each year.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken on assignment for the Monitor, a newspaper in McAllen, Texas, along the Mexican border. We were reporting the story of a young man named Moises who had died of dehydration while avoiding a border patrol checkpoint along the highway to San Antonio. In South Texas, these checkpoints are situated about 60 miles north of the border on all highways heading north. Migrants face two major obstacles while crossing the border: first is the Rio Grande River, which is relatively easy if you know how to swim, and the second is a long walk through the hot, remote brush land to avoid the checkpoint. Although these casualties occur with regularity in the Monitor’s coverage area, they were typically reported as statistics or briefs since little was known about the individuals themselves. I wanted to tell the story of one of these people and shed light on their individual circumstances and motivations.” (more…)

Amani Willett March 26, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Chinese New Year Parade, New York 2006

Amani Willett (b. 1975, Tanzania) was recently featured in the books “Street Photography Now” and “New York in Color” and is a long-term member of the iN-PUBLiC collective of street photographers. His photographs have been widely published in print including in National Geographic Traveler, Newsweek, and The New York Times. Amani’s photographs have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among other spaces. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn.

About the Photograph:

“For a time, I was frequenting public events with the specific purpose of photographing anything but the event itself. I found these occasions to have all the ingredients for great image making: crowds, energy and a constant dose of the unexpected.  On this particular occasion, I was photographing the Chinese New Year parade in Manhattan’s Chinatown.  I hadn’t made any images that excited me and I was just about to leave when I got thrust into the middle of a very packed crowd on the street. I looked over and saw the boy framed perfectly through the balloon and knew immediately it was the image I had been looking for all day.”

Evzen Sobek March 22, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Czech Republic.
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Aquatic Park, Jihlava, Czech Republic, 2004

Evzen Sobek (b. 1967, Czech Republic) discovered photography shortly after finishing his studies in mechanical engineering. His documentary work is usually based on a subjective view and personal impressions of reality, presented in a series combining clearly defined themes from concrete settings (Gypsies in Brno City, Life in Blue) with looser motif and theme collections (Ecce Homo, Home Sweet Home, Hidden Landscapes, Blue Dream). His photographs have been exhibited in Europe, the United States, Israel and Japan where they are also included in public and private collections. His last series – Life in Blue – has been awarded an  honorable mention in the Lens Culture Award in 2010 and was published by Kehrer Publishing, Germany in 2011.

About the Photograph:

“After the fall of the Berlin Wall  Central and Eastern Europe has changed dramatically. It was not only political changes but also economical growth which has had the decisive impact on everyday life and habits of the nations. So it was in the Czech Republic – growing vegetables in their own gardens and spending summer time at cottages have been replaced by flying to seaside resorts and buying goods in huge hypermarkets. Supported by aggressive advertising campaigns Saturdays and Sundays turned into the daylong “trips” to shopping centers and passive entertainment in amusement factories that have become one of the most common weekend activities. Focusing on the wide spectrum of the leisure time activities the Home Sweet Home series (2003 – 2005) brings my personal impression of a nation experiencing its freedom and dreams.”

Daniele Mattioli March 19, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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Chongqing, China 2007

Daniele Mattioli (b.1964, Italy) is a self taught photographer who began his career in Asia and Australia where he was based for five years. Since 2000 he began focusing on China and has since relocated to Shanghai for the past seven years. He is represented by the Anzenberger Agency and his reportage on Chongqing was featured in the book East edited in 2008. His photos from Shanghai were included in Inside China produced by the National Geographic and in Shanghai: a History in Photographs, 1842 – Today published by Penguin. His editorial clients include: The New York Times, National Geographic, Newsweek, Vanity Fair Germany, Marie Claire, GQ, Amica, Focus, Brigitte (Germany), Panorama, Corriere Magazine among many others.

About the Photograph:

“I made this photo of office workers in downtown Chongqing jogging during a break from work. Chongqing is considered the largest mega-city in the world. Endless suburbs, speckled with fallow land of concrete. Chongqing is intended to adopt its share of the 150 million Chinese who are part of the economic giant’s largest rural exodus in history. My approach to photography has always been graphic, interested in people in their environmental, to translate society into colors, shadows, graphic elements. Photographing in China is very difficult, rarely can you see truth photojournalism here. Most of the foreigners who visit are following western editorial needs: the same stories over and over. Living here, I see the complexity of a such vast country. China is like an onion for me with many layers, each time you remove a layer tears come down.”

Jeremy Nichol March 15, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Russia.
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Putin Supporters. Moscow, Russia

Jeremy Nicholl (b.1957, Northern Ireland) bought his first camera, a Kodak Instamatic, when he was eight years old. Some 16 years later he finally went professional, working first as a freelance at the Times, Sunday Times and various UK magazines, then as a contract photographer at the Independent. After working throughout Europe, in Africa and the USA, he has since 1991 specialized in the former Soviet Union, and his work from there has been widely published and exhibited, and won a number of awards, including at World Press Photo. He believes he was fated to work in Russia: he took his first pictures there on a school trip aged thirteen, with that Kodak Instamatic.

About the Photograph:

“It’s politics, but not as we know it. Nashi [meaning "Ours"] is a pro-Kremlin youth group dreamt up by Vladislav Surkov, Putin’s chief ideologist. Essentially they’re a remodeled version of the Komsomol, the old Communist youth movement, and are wheeled out whenever the authorities need some socially acceptable patriotic youth on the TV news. On this occasion 70,000 of them were dressed up as Dyed Moroz and Snegurichka [Father Frost and the Snow Maiden] at a rally to wish happy new year to veterans of World War Two, or the Great Patriotic War as it’s known in Russia. It was of course all very controlled: city center streets sealed off, entrance only to those with an invitation, dozens of state TV cameras in prime positions to capture the onstage action with the veterans. Most of this was ignored by the kids: many are bussed in from out of town, so for them it’s largely a free day out to the big city. Here they’re just leaving past the rows of riot cops who would of course be arresting them if this wasn’t an officially approved demonstration.”

Alessandro Grassani March 12, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mongolia.
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Ulaan Baator, Mongolia 2011

Alessandro Grassani (b. 1977, Italy) graduated in photography from the Riccardo Bauer Institute in Milano. His work has been published in Time Magazine and The Sunday Times and exhibited in personal and collect shows including at the Photography Festival of Arles. In 2010 he began a long-term project called, “Environmental Migrants: The last illusion” documenting  life of people worldwide forced to migrate because of climate change. He was awarded at Premio Internacional de Fotografia Humanitaria Luis Valtuena (First prize, 2011) IPA, International Photography Awards (Third prize, 2011),the  SOFA Global World Photo Award (special mention, 2011), and the Memorial Mario Giacomelli (special mention, 2010). Alessandro is represented by Luz Photo.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph is part of the Environmental Migrants project. It was shot under the staircase where the Jigjjav family live. Jargalsaikhan a former shepherd, sits with his family: his wife, two daughters (one of them, Dyun Erdene, 26 year old, is beside him in the picture) and his four year old nephew playing on the stairs. His wife is an apartment guard and so they  live in a space under the staircase in the building where my wife works. The family  moved to the city after the Dzud -the more extreme Mongolian winter – killed their 150 sheep. Now, they live off the meager earnings brought in by his wife, who works as an apartment guard in the building. She is the only one with a job.” (more…)

Jonathan Lewis March 8, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Turkey.
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Istanbul, Turkey 2010

Jonathan Lewis (b.1969, Wales) has been based in Istanbul for the last two years. From there he covers the region for various international media. He is a contract photographer for The Open Society Institute’s Eurasianet, documenting current news events and features through Central Asia. His photographs have appeared in numerous publications from the Guardian, Telegraph, Politiken, Der Spiega and the New York Times. Jonathan has exhibited at the Bursa International Photo Festival. He has a particular interest in issues relating to housing, urban regeneration and social migration which he has been exploring through his long term project about the central Istanbul district of Tarlabaşı. He is represented by Polaris Images.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph was taken of a salepci (literally “salep man”) walking through the streets of the threatened central Istanbul district of Tarlabaşı selling salep, a hot drink brewed from the roots of the orchid and served up since Ottoman times in Turkey and Istanbul. Tarlabaşı is an area that prior to subsequent waves of forced expulsions of it’s ethnic Greek and Armenian population was home until the 1960s to a prosperous community of craftsmen and skilled working class, occupying Levantine-style homes in the center of the city. Following the pogroms of 1955 the district acquired a not undeserved reputation as a center for crime. Tarlabaşı is now a community for many of Turkey’s minority groups. African immigrants waiting to get to Europe, Roma evicted from their homes in redevelopment projects elsewhere and transsexuals on the margins of Turkish society.”

Max Sher March 5, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Russia.
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From the Series Amerika. Kemerovo, Russia 2011

Max Sher (b.1975, Russia) was raised and educated in Siberia and France. Since 2006 he has been photographing in various Russian regions (Caucasus, Siberia, Urals, Astrakhan, etc.) as well as in Belarus, Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Kazakhstan, China, Turkey, Tajikistan, Ukraine as part of his personal projects and on commissions. His work appeared in Courrier International, Monocle, Esquire (Russia), le Monde, Libération, Ogoniok, Independent Magazine, Afisha, Bolshoi Gorod, Russian Reporter, Snob, GEO Traveler, Foto8, Private, Der Spiegel, Forbes.ru, Newsweek Japan, etc. and was exhibited in St.Petersburg, Vienna, Moscow, Bratislava, among others. Max was nominated for KLM Paul Huf Awards in 2008. He is currently based in Moscow.

About the Photograph:

“The idea of the title was taken from Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment – one of the characters before shooting himself says to the person present at the scene: ‘If anybody asks you tell them I went to America”. In the Russian literature, the imaginary, celestial ‘Amerika’ is synonym for escape, nothingness, imagination, ‘emigration’ from life into the super sensual world of ideas and imagery. My Amerika has no story behind it, it reflects a certain state of mind and soul during my stay in Siberia, where I had lived from the age of 11 to 23 – a difficult and formative period in my life. I went back to my old home after a long absence during the most melancholic season to come to terms with that period and to photograph.”

Oscar Durand March 1, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Peru.
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Lima, Peru 2011

Oscar Durand (b. 1979, Peru) became interested in visual storytelling while studying engineering in Lima, Perú – his hometown. Upon graduation, Oscar moved to the United States where he enrolled in the the photojournalism program at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. Since launching his freelance career, Oscar’s work has been featured in publications such as the Newark Star Ledger, New York Times, Dallas Morning News and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He has also worked in South America with non-governmental organizations. In 2010 Oscar moved back to Lima, Perú, to focus on stories related to social and environmental issues in Latin America.

About the Photograph:

“I took this photo a few months after returning to my home country, Peru. I was away for almost nine years and since then many things have changed. This made every photography outing, every assignment twice as interesting, an opportunity to discover the world around me again. In my early teens I did some skateboarding. Though I never got too serious about it, I always found this culture fascinating. This photo was taken at a new skate park in Limal. The person photographed is the skate park designer, test riding the ramp the day before the inauguration. It was part of an assignment to illustrate a story about sports on wheels in Lima, a growing pastime for Limeños.”

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