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Andrew Burton September 28, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Japan.
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The Kikawada family praying together at the destroyed remains of their house. Rikuzentakata, Japan 2011

Andrew Burton (b. 1987, USA) is a freelance photojournalist and multimedia producer based in New York. His work has been published in and distributed through The New York Times, Newsweek, TIME, Reuters, USA Today, CNN and The Oregonian, amongst others. He has a degree in journalism with a focus in photography from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Prior to becoming a photographer Andrew interned at Getty Images and completed a fellowship with the Carnegie and Knight Foundation. His work has been honored with awards from POYi, the Hearst Foundation and the College Photographer of the Year. He was a student at Eddie Adams XXII and has also been selected for private workshops at VII Photo Agency, and the 7th UNESCO Youth Conference.

About the Photograph:

“This image was made on March 20, 2011 nine days after the earthquake and tsunami had struck the coast of Japan. In those first days after the tsunami it had been hard to find people returning to their homes — the government had quickly set up refugee centers and were banning locals from heading back to their homes. I was traveling with two other photographers and a reporter, and most of the photos we had been making were of search and rescue crews, barren landscapes and the ruins of various towns. We were nearing the end of another long day in the town of Rikuzentakata when I came across the Kikawada family— at this point, they were the only local people I had seen return to their home.”

“I approached them quietly, obviously this was an extremely sensitive time, and I knew there would probably be a language barrier. To my surprise, they were immediately welcoming, as is the case in many of these situations. The family recognized the importance to document what had occurred. They largely ignored me while they went about praying over the home and leaving an offering of oranges, drinks, candy, cookies and fish-shaped cake. After they finished, they explained the house was where the father’s grandmother had died — a victim of the tsunami. Night was quickly descending, they were headed back to the refugee camp and I needed to find the other journalists, so we parted ways, but it was a rare and quiet moment I won’t soon forget.”

David Chancellor September 26, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in South Africa.
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Huntress with buck, Eastern Cape, South Africa 2010

David Chancellor (b. 1961, England) has exhibited in major galleries and museums, and published worldwide. Named Nikon photographer of the year three times, he received a World Press Photo in 2010 for ‘Elephant Story’ from the series ‘Hunters’. A study of his wife and son was exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery London, and the following year he won the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize, at the National Portrait Gallery. In 2011 he was a nominee for the fifth Annual Photography Masters Cup, his work was shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Organization Award, and the Freedom to Create Prize. His series Hunters, in which he explores the relationship between man and animal, will be released as a monograph in 2012. He lives in South Africa and is represented by INSTITUTE.

About the Photograph:

“This image is from my work documenting the tourist trophy hunting industry in Sub Saharan Africa today. It explores the complex relationship that exists between man, and animal, the hunter and the hunted. Josie was 12 years old when I met her. She is from Birmingham, Alabama, USA. She is an experienced hunter, and rider, and had come with her mother and father, also experienced hunters, to South Africa to hunt her first African animal. Many hunters consider this journey as a rite of passage and bring their children to Africa to hunt. I spent two days with Josie and her family documenting their hunting. The opportunities to work whilst following a hunter are brief and intense. I’ve worked a great deal with Josie’s professional hunter and he’s comfortable with me being around. I will always explain who I am and what I’m doing and then usually not speak with the hunter again during the hunt.” (more…)

Andrew Kelly September 24, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Australia.
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Rory celebrates rain falling onto his drought stricken farm in Werribee, Australia 2009

Andrew Kelly (b. 1978, Australia) studied marketing, then went on to work in finance. While traveling years later, he developed a love of photography and decided to ditch the calculator for the camera. He enrolled in RMIT’s Applied Photography program in 2006. Upon completion he was employed by Fairfax Media, a major Australian news organization where he covered news and sports. Then, on a whim in 2010, Andrew relocated to New York City. Since arriving his major client has been Reuters. Andrew’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TIME, The Chicago Tribune, The LA Times, O Globo, The Guardian and the Sydney Morning Herald.

About the Photograph:

“After ten years of drought in Australia, the struggling farmer story was becoming far too familiar. One assignment I was sent on however really hit home. It was about an educational children’s farm run by a single mother and her son. With regular farms, the animals come and go, but at this establishment, the animals had been the stars and were much loved by the two owners. However as the drought dragged on, food for the animals became scarce and one by one they were forced to give them away, which resulted in less of an attraction and therefore drew less people until they were left with a handful of their pets, a few horses and no visitors. I shot the story and left, but couldn’t stop thinking about them and their hardship that night. The next day I was covering the same area of the state when I saw the first storm clouds in months rolling in overhead. With the story fresh in my mind I raced back to the farm as the first raindrops began to fall. I ran from my car and found the mother and her son dancing in their baron field and I made this frame.”

Allison Joyce September 21, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bangladesh.
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From the series Tiger Widow. Harinagar, Bangladesh 2010

Allison Joyce (b. 1987, United States) is a photojournalist currently based in New York City. At 19 she left school at Pratt Institute and moved to Iowa to cover the 2008 Presidential Race where she worked as a campaign photographer for Hillary Clinton. The experience inspired her travels around the world covering social issues like climate change, health, and the sex trade in countries such as Bangladesh, Haiti, India, and the Dominican Republic. As a regular contributor to Reuters and Getty Images her work has appeared worldwide, including: The New York Times, National Geographic, Mother Jones, Virginia Quarterly Review, TIME, Paris Match and Newsweek.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is part of an ongoing project about climate change in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh. The Sundarbans forest in southern Bangladesh is the largest mangrove forest in the world. It has green Sundari trees, rivers, numerous species of birds, deer, crocodiles, snakes, and most famously, the Royal Bengal tiger. Spread across 9,583sq km in the Ganges delta, the Sundarbans is home to 440 tigers, and about 50 to 60 thousand people who depend on land, rivers and forest for their living. As climate changes, hurricanes and cyclones continue to affect the area, the fresh water that once irrigated farmers’ fields has turned salty, rendering the fields useless. A growing number of farmers in Bangladesh’s southern Sundarbans region have now been driven out of their fields and into the region’s mangrove forests to hunt for honey, fish, or to collect crabs, putting them at great risk for a tiger attack. The number of people killed by tiger attacks in the region is steadily rising. In almost every village there is a woman or man, commonly referred to as a “Tiger Widow”, whose spouse has been a victim of a tiger attack. The men usually re-marry within a few months, but the women do not. As most women are wed when they are still children (usually between the age of 9-14) they have virtually no skills outside the home, and end up living a life of poverty, barely able to support their children.”

“Figoja Begum’s husband, Mujiber Rahaman, was killed by a tiger. One afternoon he went honey hunting with four other people. As soon as they found the honey comb a tiger jumped him from behind and he died on the spot. The other men ran to the boat as the tiger was dragging the body away. When Firoja heard the news she fell to the floor crying and lost her mind with grief. Since the attack she is aloof and refuses to talk to anyone about what happened. Her neighbors say that she is half mad. The Sundarbans forest officials have documented more than 1,000 women who have lost their husbands in tiger attacks. Humans and tigers are now fighting for space.”

Brian Driscoll September 19, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Egypt.
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Dewaza, Gamaleya, Cairo.  2012

Brian Driscoll (b.1978, USA) is a recent graduate of the Documentary and Photojournalism Program at The International Center of Photography, where he was a recipient of the Director’s fellowship. Brian’s work has been exhibited at festivals and galleries nationally and internationally including PowerHouse arena and the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow. He was a participant at the Eddie Adams Workshop XXII, and in 2011 he was selected and featured as an “Emerging Talent” by Reportage by Getty Images. In 2012, Brian has been recognized with awards from the Magenta Foundation, New York Photo Festival Invitational, Social Documentary.net and the International Journal of Media and Information Policy. He is currently based in New York City.

About the Photograph:

“I took this photograph at the home of Nadia Shebl Ibrahim and Amm Ahmed Salama. They are the parents of Ayman Hegazy, 30, who was accused of burning the Science building near Tahrir Square, downtown Cairo on December 19, 2011. Ayman was abducted by the Supreme council of Armed Forces, (SCAF) while asleep in his bed at home on December 23, 2011. He is currently detained inside Tora security prison in Maadi, Cairo. His parents and brother await his judgment day, then a trial will be set. Some victims have remained in detention for up to a year. According to human rights groups, it is not clear how many people are behind bars in Egypt for political views and/ or actions. SCAF is using military trials as a means to restrain dissent and create a climate of fear in Egypt.”

Karla Gachet September 17, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bolivia.
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Mennonite Community, Santa Rita, Bolivia 2009

Karla Gachet (b. 1977, Ecuador) studied photojournalism at San Jose State University. In 2007 she returned to Latin America and began working on more long-term projects.These were published in December of 2009 in a book called “Historias Minimas, De Ecuador a la Tierra del Fuego” (Short stories: From Ecuador to the Land of Fire) which was recently made into an iPad App. Last year she was recognized with the third place in POYi Latin America, in the category photographer of the year. Her clients include National Geographic, Time, Smithsonian Magazine, The New York Times among others and she’s had exhibits in London, Quito, and Cuenca.  Karla is currently represented by Panos Pictures and works freelance for South America out of Quito, Ecuador.

About the Photograph:

“This picture is from the Mennonite Community of Santa Rita in the jungle of Bolivia. The story was part of a long journey I took with Ivan Kashinsky from Ecuador to The Land of Fire (tip of South America). When we got to this community, we asked people to let us photograph their lives and they all said no. Then someone suggested we go visit Cornelius Rempel, the owner of a cheese factory, they said he might be more open to outsiders. To our surprise, Cornelius agreed to let us stay with his family for a week. The Mennonite women are not allowed to speak Spanish or to have contact with anyone outside the community. For the whole family it was very strange to have us there, and because I was not white they looked at me as if I came for outer space”

“At one point they even asked Ivan to stay in the community, but not me. It was tough to be the odd one out, but little by little I stopped feeling uncomfortable and they did too and the sign language started. I learned that Mennonite women never cut their hair in their lifetime. This is part of their culture. The washing and braiding of the hair happens once a week and is a ritual in itself. Afterwards, they wear a white or black handkerchief to cover their braids, depending on their marital status. We came back to visit the Rempels three years later to show them the book we completed from on our journey. They treated us like old friends and enjoyed looking at their photos. We had all gone past being afraid of one another.”

Tadej Znidarcic September 14, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Uganda.
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Mormons in Kampala, Uganda 2012

Tadej Znidarcic (b. 1974, Slovenia) is photographer based in Uganda. After graduating from the International Center of Photography in New York City in 2007, he received a Global Fund for Children/ICP Fellowship, which took him to India, Bangladesh, and Romania to document the impact of local nonprofits on their communities. He also photographed various stories in Nigeria, Kosovo, and Rwanda. He works with NGOs and has published in The New York Times, The Guardian, Economist, D Magazine, FAZ, Die Zeit and The Observer among others. His work has appeared in solo and group exhibitions in Europe and the United States including at Moving Walls/Open Society Foundation  in New York City,  He is a contributing photographer for Redux Pictures.

About the Photograph:

“It was six pm and Elder Dangerfield from USA and Elder Chiromo from Zimbabwe were on their third visit of the day. They’d attended service in the morning and had another two families to visit before going home. As they finished studying scripture with the family, the Elders knelt down to pray. Elders Dangerfield and Chiromo are Mormon missionaries in Uganda, both just one or two years out of high school. I took this photograph while on assignment for The New York Times covering the lives of American Mormon missionaries in foreign countries. We were in a small, one-room house in Kwamokja, a working class neighborhood of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. The Mormons plow this poor section of the city, and others, looking for converts.”

“Six days a week, 52 weeks a year, from morning to evening, young Mormons hit the road in pairs, visiting homes of potential converts, explaining the Mormon religion, and making follow up visits to recent converts. They try to visit each family once a week. The visits are mostly oriented towards reading from scripture and answering questions related to their faith. They begin and finish every visit with a group prayer. When they pray, they usually thank God for the people they’re visiting and for the day, and they pray with intensity. The Mormons follow a rigorous rhythm of study, proselytizing and follow strict rules during the course of their two year missionary posting. But they also discover a lot about themselves and their values in their time abroad.”

Thomas Locke Hobbs September 12, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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The Central Valley, California 2010

Thomas Locke Hobbs (b. 1976, United States) originally studied economics and only took up photography seriously in 2008 upon moving to Argentina. He studied at the Centro Cultural Rojas in Buenos Aires as well as taking ongoing workshops with Eduardo Gil and Nacho Iasparra. His work focuses on how political and economic history reveals itself through architecture and landscape. Recently he has been working on personal projects in Argentina, Peru and Colombia.

About the Photograph:

“In January of 2010 I traveled to Dinuba, a small town in California’s Central Valley where my mother grew up. My aunt and uncle were the owners of the town’s newspaper, The Dinuba Sentinel, having inherited it from my grandparents who, in turn, had inherited it from my great grandparents. Both 80 years old, they were looking to sell the paper and retire. I wanted to document a bit of my family’s history, before it disappeared. I also wanted to document aspects of the town and so I spent a lot of mornings, lost in the thick tule fog, driving around in circles, looking for images. I had been away from the United States for several years, living in Argentina. I was struck by the American-ness of the town and was constantly being reminded of classic American photographs. This particular image is of Palm Drive, an old subdivision, distinguished by the (now very large) Canary Island date palms planted smack-dab in the middle of the street.

Ara Oshagan September 10, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Armenia.
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St. Gazantchetsots Church, Shushi, Nagorno-Karabagh, 2002

Ara Oshagan (b. 1964, Lebanon) is a photographer whose work revolves around the intersecting themes of identity, community, and memory. His first book, “Father Land” was published by PowerHouse books in 2010.  “A Poor Imitation of Death”, about the lives of youth in the California prison system, will be published by Umbrage books in the near future. Ara has had solo exhibitions at the LA Municipal Art Gallery, Downey Museum of Art and Power House Arena in New York. His work has been featured in Mother Jones, the Times Literary Supplement in London, LA Times, LA Weekly and on NPR’s Morning Edition and is in the permanent collection of the Southeast Museum of Photography, the Pasadena Armory Center for the Arts, and the MOCA in Armenia.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is the cover of my book, Father Land and was photographed in Nagorno-Karabagh–a remote, politically turbulent and unrecognized Armenian region of the former Soviet Union. A decade-long project, the work is about this ancient place but it is also about my own diaspora and identity—an Armenian living in Los Angeles and returning to the land of his forefathers for the first time. The work is about my relationship to a distant past and my ambiguous place in the continuum of history. The cover photo brings together many of the elements that underlie this work—land, faith and culture (as represented by the church), the act of witness (as represented by the kids staring at the viewer) and folded into its structure and composition is the core issue—the ambiguity of belonging and my relationship to this place and my own past.”

Simone Donati September 7, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Italy.
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From the project “Valley of Angels”, Sicily 2010

Simone Donati (b.1977, Italy) completed a three-year course in photography at the Fondazione Studio Marangoni in Florence. After an internship at Magnum Photo in New York he started working in the field of documentary photography. His work focuses on the political and social situation of Italy.
 In 2011 he was shortlisted at Fotografia Festival Roma, Voices Off in Arles and at the OjodePez Award for Human Values with his project “Valley of Angels”. In 2010 he received the Ponchielli prize (3rd place) for “Welcome to Berlusconistan”. 
His photographs have been part of solo and group shows in Italy and abroad and have been published in: Le Monde Magazine, Newsweek, L’Espresso, Vanity Fair Italy, GEO Italy and Monocle among others.
 He is one of the founding members of the collective TerraProject: a collective of Italian documentary photographers.

About the Photograph:

“This is a picture from my project Valley of Angels, which I shot in Southeastern Sicily between 2010 and 2011.  The work documents the life of Angelo, Angela and their daughters Hybla, Lua and Siria. I met them in 2008, while working on a project about the oil industry. A friend introduced them to me and we spent some time in their old home. In 2010 I remembered  them, I found their contact and asked for permission to spend some time together to document their daily life. The family chose to be careful about the food they eat and the education they give their children who were all born at home. With the same convictions, they use alternative energy sources (such as wind turbines and solar panels) that allow them to live independently of a main electricity supply. They only buy and grow organic and local food.”

“I was attracted by their choice to live a natural lifestyle. I have visited them three times, each time living with them for about a week. I tried to follow my instinct with the photographs and of course I wasn’t photographing all the time. Sometimes I lent a hand with the work of the house, preparing meals, etc. I focused my photography on the family, choosing to avoid all the people who visited them. In this picture, taken during my second visit, all the family is having breakfast early in the morning. The location is an old stall which they were using as kitchen-dining room, while waiting for their new house to be ready.”

Shannon Jensen September 5, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in South Sudan.
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Bentiu, South Sudan 2010

Shannon Jensen (b.1984, United States) is a documentary photographer based between East Africa and Washington DC. She has a B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, which she greatly enjoyed despite its questionable relevance to current pursuits. She attended the 2009 Eddie Adams Workshop and is currently featured on the Emerging Talent roster of Reportage by Getty Images. Her clients include The New York Times, Die Zeit, German GEO, Newsweek, Monocle, MSF, Oxfam and the National Geographic Society.

About the Photograph

“This picture was taken in Bentiu about one month before South Sudan voted to become an independent nation in the January 2011 referendum. Tens of thousands of ethnically Southern Sudanese who had been living in Khartoum and other urban centers of the north for decades returned to their home states, anxious to restart their lives and contribute to the development of their hard-won, soon-to-be-independent homeland. Southern cities struggled to manage the flow of returnees and many families were stranded for weeks, if not months in informal holding areas. This man had been waiting for three weeks for a bus to take him to his village, but he remained patient and optimistic about the future.”

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