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Bob Miller May 31, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Kenya.
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Caribbean Crew Youth Group. Nairobi 2011

Bob Miller (b. 1986, United States) is a photographer and multimedia storyteller with roots in America’s deep South. His work has been recognized by the National Press Photographers Association, College Photographer of the Year, the International Photography Awards, American Photography and the Alexia Foundation for World Peace. He has also exhibited in solo and group shows both nationally and internationally. Having a background in graphic design, Bob returned to graduate school in the summer of 2010 to study photojournalism at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications. He currently works as the photographer and filmmaker for the Slaughter Group.

About the Photograph:

“Members of the Caribbean Crew Youth Group wash cars and 14-passenger Matatus at the entrance to Kibera slum in Nairobi. The money earned from their labor is consistent but minimal says acting secretary Abdallah Juma, 23. Financial instability is the group’s primary hurdle to reaching the long term goal of seeing fewer youths unemployed. “We are the founders of this country,” Juma said. “Even without government intervention, we as youth can do it ourselves.” Caribbean Youth was begun in 2008 as a result of the post-election violence, and since then has adopted over 60 members. In addition to the car wash, the youth gather manure for compost, sort plastics to sell for income and organize a conflict management and peacekeeping team.”

Dave Yoder May 28, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Italy.
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Fashion Week, Milan Italy 2009

Dave Yoder (b.1964, United States) spent his youth in the USA and Tanzania. His interest in photojournalism began at university while studying journalism. Dave’s work has been published in National Geographic Magazine, Smithsonian, National Geographic Traveler, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time, and Newsweek among others. His photo essay on bounty hunters was exhibited at Visa Pour l’Image in Perpignan, France. He is in the process of completing a four-year project for National Geographic Magazine on the high-tech search for a lost Leonardo da Vinci painting, which is currently featured on a television program on the National Geographic Channel. Other projects include a children’s circus in Peru, Indiana and travel stories for National Geographic Traveler. Dave is based in Milan.

About the Photograph:

“Raquel Zimmerman is in this photo, at a Pucci show, shortly before she is sent out onto the catwalk. Like most of the models, she was very friendly, intelligent, and worked very hard. Fashion weeks are grueling, and there is no room for a prima donna. I shot backstage on and off for four years, and had gone into it with the usual stereotype expectations. They were soon dashed. Each show is a miracle, each of them involving scores of people working their asses off. I never saw any drugs or temper tantrums, and soon developed a respect for what I eventually called the hourly miracle that is fashion week.” (more…)

Antonio Bolfo May 24, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Police Officer on Vertical Patrol, New York City 2010

Antonio Bolfo (b.1981, United States) attended the Rhode Island School of Design. He majored in Film/Animation/Video and became the senior animator at the video game development company Harmonix.  After leaving the video game industry he attended the ICP Photojournalism program in 2009.  He is the recipient of the New York Times Foundation Scholarship, 1st place winner in the 2011 NPPA Best of Photojournalism, winner in the 2009 World Wide Photography Gala Awards, and 2011 participant in the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass. Antonio’s work has been published in the New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, MSNBC, American Photography, and Communication Arts. He is based in New York City and is represented by Reportage by Getty Images.

About the Photograph:

“I made this photograph of a rookie cop sizing up a housing project that he is about to enter, also known as a Vertical Patrol. As standard operating procedure, the NYPD puts the newest, most inexperienced cops in the city’s most crime ridden neighborhoods. With only six months of Police Academy training, these rookies hit the streets running and learn the ropes through a trial by fire. I have been working on this photo project since the autumn of 2008. As a former police officer, it has been a personal journey and a means of closure for a period of my life. It’s a story that I lived and something I feel that needs to be told. I hope this project will offer a glimpse into the reality that is often veiled behind the curtain of TV shows and action films. It was not the politics, or the social statements, or the action that attracted me to this project, but the story of the people who learn to be police officers at one of the most pivotal stages in New York City’s history.”

Julien Goldstein May 21, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Belarus.
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School near Minsk, Belarus 2010

Julien Goldstein (b. 1979, France) decided to pursue a career as a photojournalist  working as an assistant at Magnum. Drawing on his Romanian origins he explored its history and it’s transition from a socialist republic to a democratic state. He then went on to explore the  former Soviet Republics, a report later exhibited in Visa pour l’image in 2003. Being particularly interested in Turkey and the geopolitical issues related to the Kurdish people, he completed a five-year project entitled ‘Kurdistan, The Anger Of A People Without Rights’, for which he was awarded a Lagardere Foundation grant in December 2009. A book of this work was released in January 2012. His photographs are regularly published in the French and international press, including: Geo France, Le Monde,  The New York Times, Newsweek, Spiegel and others. He is represented by Reportage by Getty Images.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was shot during an assignment for Geo in Belarus. The general idea of the subject was to update the situation of the country on the eve of presidential elections in December 2010. This country is led by Alexander Lukashenko, long dismissed as the last dictator in Europe. His methods are annoying and intriguing the European Union and Russia. I went to a village near Minsk, to photograph a kolkhoz (agricultural cooperative where land, tools, livestock are shared). The kolkhoz was hardly a model example. My presence in the agricultural farm was quickly banned, so I decided to visit the village school which is also managed collectively. After I was forced to take a tour of the school, I entered a kindergarten classroom where the children were preparing to take a nap.”

Ken Schles Invisible City iBook May 19, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Chazz and Melanie, East Village, NYC 1985

A Special Weekend Post: Photographer Ken Schles and Matthew Johnston from the Photobook Club present the iBook version of Invisible City. You can download it for your iPad from the link below. It contains all of the original photos and text plus additional material. 

DOWNLOAD – Ken Schles: Invisible City from the iBook store.

Ken Schles (b.1960, United States) studied photography at the Cooper Union graduating in 1982. His books include: Oculus (Noorderlicht 2011), A New History of Photography: The World Outside and the Pictures in Our Heads (White Press 2008), The Geometry of Innocence (Hatje Cantz 2001) and Invisible City (Twelvetrees Press 1988). A reprint of Invisible City is forthcoming from Steidl. His work is included in private and public collections such as MoMA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum and The Art Institute of Chicago, among others. Ken is an adjunct teacher at ICP and is currently a blogging correspondent for FOAM, the photography museum in Amsterdam.

About the Project:

“In 1978, when I was still 17, I moved to NYC’s East Village where I went to art school. The neighborhood was a hotbed of sociological and cultural change and we were witness to cultural phenomena that eventually would transform and dominate the larger world: AIDS and performance art; punk and hip-hop; the no-wave and new-wave movements; squats; the gay-rights movement; the downtown art scene. Upon graduation, I found my home deep within the ghetto, on Avenue B, an avenue that was dominated by a huge heroin trade. There was an insanity to the nihilistic abandon we were all feeling and trying to make sense of at the time. It was a world my friends and I embraced as our own. I struggled to come to terms with this reality I desperately needed to make sense of—if only for survival’s sake. And it was there, in that struggle, that I found my invisible city.”

“Nearly twenty-five years later I’ve come to revisit the work. Invisible City was a short run photographic book in the pre-internet age. While critically acclaimed in its time, the nature of its limited physicality left few admirers. New technology and new ways of communicating overtook that era, even while incorporating its legacies. So I feel the time is right to find new ways to share this legacy and bring this work to a new generation and a larger audience. The Photobook Club and I found each other and we both share a determination to explore technological possibilities to communicate ideas. The i Book they devised as a study of Invisible City formally presents another piece of that puzzle.”

Gwenn Dubourthoumieu May 17, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in DR Congo.
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The Child Witches of Kinshasa 2011

Gwenn Dubourthoumieu (b.1978, France) became interesting in photography while working in Africa for NGO’s. He has worked in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 2007. He recently moved to Paris and joined the Myop agency. This year, his work “Turkana Warriors” has been short listed at the Sony World Photography Awards and his feature about the child witches of Kinshasa has been awarded the jury’s special prize at the Eight Days Japan International Photojournalism Festival. In 2011, the same work was awarded the jury’s special mention at the Roger Pic Prize and the investigation prize at the European Journalism Festival. Gwenn received the Getty Images Grant for Good for his work “Raped Lives” about sexual violence in the DRC.

About the Photograph:

“I took this photo at an open center for street children in the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Between 20,000 and 50,000 children live in the streets of Kinshasa. Organized in gangs, they get by, sometimes thanks to theft or prostitution. More than a third of them were chased away from their home in the pretext that they were child witches and responsible of all the troubles of the family (death, unemployment, disease, etc.). The majority of the people in Kinshasa believe they are cursed. More than one hundred new child witches are discovered every month and thrown out in the streets. The faith in witchcraft is profoundly rooted in the Congolese culture, but the phenomenon, which consists in abandoning children by accusing them of witchcraft increased only since the end of 1990′s. In this immense over populated shanty town that is Kinshasa, where 95% of the population live below the poverty line, the children are unproductive mouths to feed.”

Pete Pin May 14, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Cambodia, United States.
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Cambodian Wedding, Bronx, New York 2011

Pete Pin (b. 1982, Cambodia/Thailand) is a documentary photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. He was born in a refugee camp on the border of Cambodia and Thailand after the Cambodian genocide and immigrated as a refugee to California in the mid 1980′s. He received his BA at the University of California at Berkeley and later enrolled in the Documentary and Photojournalism Program at the International Center of Photography, where he was awarded the Allan L Modotti Scholarship. Pete purchased his first camera months before embarking on an eight-year PHD program at Berkeley in the Social Sciences and abandoned his doctorate studies to pursue documentary photography. He is a Fellow at the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund and is an Emerging Talent under Getty Reportage.

About the Photograph:

“The photo above is of the wedding of Molly Sopouk and Todd Prom in the Bronx, New York. The image stood out for me for two reasons. First and foremost is this struggle to maintain one’s cultural identity. The unique circumstances of the Cambodian genocide severed the cultural continuity over generations for members of the diaspora community. However, in spite of this, there is an incredible resilience by Cambodian Americans. Second, and this speaks to me personally, I am interested in the physical and cultural space we inhabit as refugees and immigrants. What’s striking about this image, for me, is the boundary between the wedding couple and others, demarcated via the rug in which they are occupying.” (more…)

Alejandro Cartagena May 10, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mexico.
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Ciudad Juárez, Mexico 2009

Alejandro Cartagena (b. 1977 Dominican Republic) lives in Monterrey, Mexico. His work has been exhibited and published internationally, and is in several public and private collections in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, and the United States. He is the recipient of several major national grants, numerous honorable mentions and acquisition prizes in Mexico and abroad. In 2009 Alejandro won the Critical Mass Book Award, and was named one of PDN´s 30 emerging photographers. He was also a finalist for the Aperture Portfolio Prize, selected as an “International Discovery” at the Houston FOTOFEST,  a featured artist at the Lishui International Photography Festival in Lishui China and the Contact Festival in Toronto. He is currently on the Faculty of Visual Arts at the University of Nuevo Leon and is represented by Circuit Gallery in Toronto.

About the Photograph:

“This image is the last photograph of my Suburbia Mexicana book. It’s project dealing with the Mexican suburbanization of the past decade and how peoples aspirations of home ownership have transformed the landscape in the periphery and other urban structures of Mexican cities. I developed the work in five different stages which broadly addressed causes and effects of these new suburbs. After doing the portraits for the project I decided to do a picture of the houses. I felt that it could be a great point of comparison between the images of these houses when they are new and what happens to them over a period of three or four years. I used to work in that suburb years ago and saw the subtle changes occur and once I starting taking pictures I felt I could represent my thoughts on this “process of progress”. So in the book you start with almost pristine looking suburbs where everything is brightly painted and clean and you finish with houses that are not houses anymore; a sort of humanization of architecture.”

Xavier Comas May 7, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Thailand.
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Narathiwat, a Province in Thailand’s Deep South 2011

Xavier Comas (b. 1970, Spain) graduated from the University of Barcelona. His work has been published and exhibited in Asia and Europe and seen in the Spain’s La Vanguardia newspaper edition, the Japanese art magazine ‘Quotation’, Courrier International and the Asia Literary Review. The Singapore Art Museum exhibited his installation ‘Pasajero’ as part of Transport Asian 2009. His work ‘Tokyo up, down’, a random photographic exploration in elevators, was exhibited at the Noorderlicht Photo Festival in 2011 and by the Museum of Estonian Architecture in Tallinn, Estonia. The House of the Raja : Splendor and Desolation in the Deep South of Thailand will be published by River Books in 2012. Xavier is based in Bangkok.

About the Photograph:

“On a journey to Narathiwat in Southern Thailand, I was taken by local inhabitants to a huge rambling wooden and brick structure, once the magnificent Palace of Tengku Samsuddin, the Raja of Legeh and one of the last Melayu rulers who paid tribute to Siam. I made use of the myth of the house as a vehicle to tell a story using the poetic language of magical realism. An atmosphere of dignified solitude inspired me to photograph a loose narrative of images tracing memory and identity across generations. Fiction and non-fiction overlap here, presenting the ordinary and mundane as extraordinary and fantastic. The House of the Raja looks behind the clouded veil of conflict to celebrate one of Thailandʼs most historic regions and tell its untold story.”

Kai Löffelbein May 3, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ghana.
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E-Waste Dump, Accra, Ghana 2011

Kai Löffelbein (b. 1981, Germany) majored in political science and in 2008 began his studies in photojournalism and documentary photography at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hanover. Since 2007, he has been working as a freelance photographer for different NGOs and several newspapers. Kai traveled through various countries in South America, Asia and Eastern Europe. Meeting people who have to fight for survival on a daily basis raised his desire to grab his viewers attention and make them take action. Kai has received several prizes including the First Prize, Unicef photo of the year award (2011), Eight Days Japan International Award (2012), First Prize, Canon Pro Photo Award (2012). He was also nominated for the Joop Swart Masterclass (2012).

About The Photograph:

“This photo is part of my reportage about e-waste in Ghana. According to a United Nations evaluation, up to 50 million tons of toxic electronic waste accumulate annually in the whole world. With the voluntary ratification of the Basel Convention in 1989, the countries are forbidden by law to further export toxic electronic waste to countries that are not members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Ghana is, apart from China and India, one of the countries to which most of the electronic waste is being shipped. This dump is situated in the midst of Accra, in Agbogbloshie. Here, electronic appliances that are no longer functioning are being recycled by hand in the most primitive of conditions. Small boys dismantle electronic items day by day.” (more…)

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