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Mark Hartman October 31, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Panama.
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Casco Viejo, Panama City 2009

Mark Hartman (b. 1981, United States) studied photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology. His work has been published in Esquire, Spin, Monocle, Men’s Fitness, Penquin Books and the Village Voice. Mark’s personal photography has been featured in several blogs and magazines including The British Photography Journal and CNN. In 2012, Mark was included in PDN’s 30. He is currently based in New York City.

About the Photograph:

“This  image was shot in Panama while photographing a personal project. I saw some kids jumping off this abandoned building in Casco Viejo and wanted to get a better look so I managed to break into the building with my Hasselblad and tripod and find my way to the kids. During my time in Panama, I was constantly meditating on how Panama is geographically separated from South and North America, and how so much of Panamas culture, rich folklore and history has been increasingly compromised by American influence. In this picture you can see the new skyscrapers in the background and to me it alludes to what is in store for Panama’s future. Panama city has become more and more developed over the past few years much to a lot of Panamanian’s disgust. This photo really speaks to me on the transience. I see it as a historic document because the building has since been knocked down.”

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert October 29, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Japan.
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Anti-nuclear protest. Tokyo, Japan 2011

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert (b. 1969, Scotland) received the gift of a camera on his 13th birthday. A few years later he subsequently became a UK based freelance photographer for editorial, corporate and NGO clients. His work has appeared in TIME, National Geographic, Italian Geo, Le Figaro, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, and many others. For the past 12 years Jeremy has been one of the principal photographers for Greenpeace International. For the past nine  years he was based in Tokyo but has recently relocated to Scotland. His assignments have taken him to over 40 countries and his personal and commissioned work has been widely published and exhibited in Europe, USA, and beyond. Jeremy is one of the three founding members of Document Scotland, a collective aimed at promoting documentary photography within Scotland.

About the Photograph:

“It was another anti-nuclear protest in Tokyo against TEPCO- the owners of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant which suffered multiple explosions and meltdowns in the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The TEPCO plant operators  had through various investigations, panels and inquiries, been found to have been negligent in their disaster response and as such the nuclear disaster was put down to being a man made catastrophe and not a direct result of the earthquake or tsunami, although they obviously played their part. The anti-nuclear demonstrations were frequent in Tokyo at this time but sadly were usually small in number of participants, but I attended as many as I could, to show my support but also to continue documenting what I thought was still an important story. The nuclear legacy of the Fukushima disaster will remain for a long time, and it was important that the protests be seen and heard.” (more…)

Alejandro Kirchuk October 26, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Argentina.
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From his series on Alzheimer’s disease, “Never Let You Go” Buenos Aires, Argentina 2009

Alejandro Kirchuk (b.1987, Argentina) graduated from the Asociación de Reporteros Gráficos de la República Argentina (ARGRA) in Buenos Aires. His work has also been recognized by POYi, Ian Parry Scholarship, Magnum Expression Award, Terry O’Neill Award, PhotoEspaña, Save the Children and the Lumix Foto Festival. Alejandro’s photographs have been published in: The New York Times Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine and The Guardian Weekend Magazine. He is a fellow at the National Endowment for Arts in Argentina, working on a long-term project about football as a social phenomenon in Argentina. In 2012 he won the First Prize at the World Press Photo contest in the Daily Life Stories category for his project about Alzheimer’s disease.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph was one of the first pictures I made from this project. When I started to photograph my grandparents, it had been three years since she had been diagnosed. Even though my grandmother was already affected by Alzheimer’s disease, she could move and walk, mainly with the help of my grandfather, who in that moment started to feel the consequences of taking care of his wife by himself. This is the only picture from my project ‘Never Let You Go‘ in which my grandmother is moving, as well as it’s the only one in which they are having direct physical contact. Alzheimer’s disease is a very complex illness. It doesn’t only affect the patient; the most affected is the caretaker, not only physically, but also emotionally— slowly losing the person with who you shared all your life. They were married for more than sixty years. She passed away in July 2011. As it can feel from the picture, my grandfather was always very proud of taking care of his wife, but he was also exhausted.”

Misha Friedman October 24, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ukraine.
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Coal Miners, Eastern Ukraine 2010

Misha Friedman (b. 1978, Moldova) received his masters from the London School of Economics in 2000. From 2005-2010 he worked for Médecins Sans Frontières documenting the humanitarian crisis in Northern Uganda, urban violence in Nigeria, Kala Azar in India, and civil war in Darfur. His recent projects deal with corruption in Russia, the tuberculosis epidemic in the former Soviet Union and illegal migration into the EU through Ukraine. Misha’s works have been recognized by: POYi, PDN’s 30, Critical Mass Top 50 and the Forward Thinking Museum — Artist of the year. His work has recently been published in: Le Monde Magazine, New York Times, Le Figaro and Human Rights Watch. Misha is represented by Cosmos Photo in Europe and is based in New York.

About the Photograph:

“Inspired by German and French Romanticism, this ongoing project from Ukraine is my attempt to show how Nature and Man have learned to live within the industrial complex. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, much of Eastern Ukraine ended up ruined. Many mines and massive factories are lying abandoned, people are unemployed or earn just enough to survive  and nature is taking over in full force. For decades this land was a symbol of Soviet rationalism and victory over nature, but it did not take long for all of that to crumble, leaving behind ruined lives. I like this image because to a certain extent it goes against how third-world coal miners are normally presented: perpetually unhappy and miserable, forgetting that most of the time they have other emotions. Here, for instance, we enjoyed a good joke and some seriously poisonous moonshine.”

Lexey Swall October 22, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Haiti.
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Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Ville-Bonheur, Haiti, 2010

Lexey Swall (b. 1977, USA) has been a photojournalist for the past ten years. She recently quit her staff job at the Naples (Fla.) Daily News to form GRAIN, a photography collective, with fellow documentary photographers, Greg Kahn and Tristan Spinski. Lexey grew up in Bakersfield, California, an oil and agriculture town at the bottom of the San Joaquin Valley known for country music and dust storms. She studied photojournalism and women’s studies at San Jose State University. She has garnered awards from POYi and NPPA Best of Photojournalism competitions, including an honorable mention for the 2006 Photographer of the Year (small markets) in BOP.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken in July 2010 during the annual pilgrimage to Saut d’Eau in Ville-Bonheur, Haiti. It was seven months after the magnitude-7.0 earthquake that killed more than 300,000 people and left about one million Haitians homeless. Every year, Haitians flock to Saut d’Eau to be blessed under the sacred waterfall and worship in the town church. The church was filled to capacity during each of the Catholic masses held throughout this particular day. I was waiting to enter the church – crushed between dozens of people behind me pushing to try to enter and hundreds who were trying to exit. The police tried to control the flow through the doors so no one was injured. I had other images that I shot while holding my camera above my head to try to show the density of crowd. But, this image, to me, feels more like I felt in that moment. It was cramped. There was no such thing as personal space. I can’t count how many photos I’ve seen come out of Haiti where people are in lines pushing against one another. I finally understood what it felt like to be in that situation. I didn’t know at the time that the man in this photo looked at me when I photographed him. But, when I saw it later, I felt it made this photo even more authentic to the moment. There is an intimacy with making eye contact.”

Massimiliano Clausi October 19, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in India.
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Christian community in Orissa, India 2008

Massimiliano Clausi (b.1979, Italy) is a freelance photojournalist represented by Laif agency. He attended the Danish School of Journalism in 2006 and the same year he was awarded the Canon Young Photographers Scholarship. Since then Massimiliano’s work has been published in TIME, Newsweek and Courier International. He has also partnered with Action Aid, Terre Des Hommes, Amnesty International and UNICEF in promoting their campaigns and raising awareness around human rights issues. He has been a finalist for the Anthropographia Award and a nominated photographer at UNICEF POY in 2011. Massimiliano is based in Genoa and Milan.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken in Bhubaneshwar, in the state of Orissa, India, in 2008. I was covering the aftermath of a violent onslaught on the local Christian community by the radical Hindus. I had already visited the affected villages, witnessing the destruction they left behind. The broken houses, the burnt churches and obliterated huts of the poor. I had also listened to the many accounts of rape, murders and miraculous escapes by shocked displaced families. Finally I came to this small refugee camp in the capital, Bhubaneshwar, where a few Lutheran families had been brought in the first days of the assault. Mass was being said  in a small classroom of a primary school building that was turned into a dormitory. No one really took notice when I stepped into the room, they were so deeply absorbed in prayer. The audience were sitting on the bare floor and I walked towards the very middle of the room were I stood standing. That was the time when the man on the left side of the picture raised his hands to the sky as if pleading for help from above. I took the picture and thought bitterly that nobody had been listening so far.”

Mackenzie Reiss October 17, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ireland.
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Avilla Park, a Traveller neighborhood on the outskirts of Dublin, 2010

Mackenzie Reiss (b. 1989, United States) got her first job as a reporter at 17, and has been hooked on visual story-telling ever since. Mackenzie studied photojournalism at Syracuse University, where she spent a semester abroad in London and Ireland to further her education in photography. The self-ascribed travel junkie has been to Ireland, South Africa, Serbia and Kosovo pursuing her dream of bringing awareness to social and humanitarian issues. Her work has been recognized by the National Press Photographer’s Association, College Photographer of the Year, the Alexia Foundation for World Peace, and the Hearst Journalism Awards Program.

About the Photograph:

“This image was taken during the first of many trips to Dublin. I first came to the city on a school trip, where we visited a Traveller’s rights center called Pavee Point. Initially, I just wanted to interview a Traveller named Michael Collins for a paper I was writing. Roughly half-an-hour into our chat, he asked if I wanted to see Avilla Park- a Traveller neighborhood on the outskirts of Dublin. He drove us there in a big white van, circling the neighborhood itself and pointing out the cracks in the stucco walls, the ethnic slurs graffitied on playground structures, and the general degradation of the place.”

“I noticed a lot of children playing in the streets, and pulled my camera out of my bag. I wanted to capture the paradox of Avilla Park: youthful faces among such a sad, gray environment. At first they were quite inquisitive, asking who I was, where I was from, etc. But when the novelty of “the American” wore off, they went back to their games and that’s when I shot this frame. I played a lot with windows in this series, and the idea of being on the outside, looking in, and vice versa. Although discrimination against the Travellers isn’t nearly as bad as it was, say 50 years ago, they are still isolated and looked down upon by the greater Irish community. I wanted to show that isolation through symbolism and mood, further emphasized by the black and white processing.”

Pauline Beugnies October 15, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Egypt.
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Iftar, Cairo 2011

Pauline Beugnies (b. 1982, Belgium) studied journalism at the Institut des Hautes Etudes des Communications Sociales in Brussels, where she took her first step in documentary photography. Her work has been published in Le Monde Magazine, Telerama, Liberation, L’Express, The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Soir, among others. She was awarded a grant from the  Foundation de la Vocation (Belgium) in 2007 and was one of the recipients of the Open National Photography Prize in 2010. Her work has been shown at the Photography Museum in Charleroi, Belgium. She is currently based in Cairo.

About the Photograph:

“I took this photo of a young girl seen at Iftar, organised by the Muslim Brotherhood in Medinat Nasr during Ramadan. The sisters attended the call to prayer that marks sundown. They had just eaten a date and drunk some water before prayers and breaking fast. In post-revolutionary Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood represents the main organized opposition force and, judging by the first results in the general election, the future party in power. Having been severely oppressed during Mubarak’s regime, they have now stepped into the limelight. Women are present too, in the heart of the organization, and are active in the Brotherhood’s three pillars : preaching, social work and politics through the Brotherhood’s new Justice and Freedom party. Agents of the Egyptian revolution in their own right, they want to take part in the emergence of a modern Islamic society.”

Alvaro Deprit October 12, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Spain.
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From the project “Dreaming Leone”. Almeria, Spain 2011

Alvaro Deprit (b.1977, Spain) has been living in Italy since 2004 and divides his time between Rome and Istanbul and is particularly interested in Turkish culture and its modernization, changes in post-Soviet South Caucasus, and immigration in Europe. Alvaro has exhibited his photos in Rome, Barcelona, London and New York. His clients and publications include: Newsweek, Internazionale, Vanity Fair, Viva Magazine, El Periodico, Yo Dona, Glamour, Sette, Altari, L’Espresso among others. In 2012 he was selected for “PHotoEspaña Descubrimientos” and won the  “PHotoEspaña OjodePez Human Values Award”.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph is part of a work about the world of Western films made in the south of Spain. The restaurant is located in the square where they filmed the final duel of the movie “For a Few Dollars More”. I waited for the moment in which the frame of the film coincided with the image of the painting of the wall. In the 70s and 80s, the Tabernas desert near Almeria became the Hollywood of Westerns. It was here that legendary filmmaker Sergio Leone made movies like “Once Upon a Time in the West”, “For a Fistful of Dollars”, and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. In the 90s, filmmakers stopped making movies in Almeria mainly because the conditions were no longer affordable. The film sets were turned into fairgrounds or were abandoned, and the people who worked and lived around the cinema circuit, such as stuntmen and extras, dedicated themselves to doing Western performances to attract tourists. The economic crisis in Spain has also affected this industry, which is yearning for the glory days of Western movies.”

Fara Phoebe Zetzsche October 10, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Germany.
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From the project Hoard and Clutter. Germany 2009

Fara Phoebe Zetzsche (b. 1984, Germany) studied photojournalism at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hanover, Germany. Since 2006, she has been working as a freelance photographer for different newspapers and theater productions in German prisons and served an internship in the picture editing office of the Franfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In 2011 she studied at the Danish School of Media and Journalism. Her work has been exhibited in the Galerie im Turm in Jena, Photokina in Cologne, the Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism and the Promenades Photographiques de Vendôme in France. Fara’s long term project Hoard and Clutter received honorable mentions at the UNICEF Photo of the Year, the New York Photo Awards and the International Photography Awards. In 2011, she won the Mark Grosset Prize. Fara is based in Germany and Denmark.

About the Photograph:

“This picture is from Hoard and Clutter, a story about the daily life of a family who suffers from compulsive hoarding syndrome. ‘We will never live a normal life’, say the parents of the 14-member extended family. Due to the littering of the rooms the parents have been deprived of custody in 2009 and 2010. Four of twelve children remained temporarily in an orphanage. The relevant youth department is overcharged with the subject. The urgent understanding is lacking. Nevertheless, the family struggled within their means, cleaned up, to get the children back. Today, only one child is living in an orphanage. The circumstances under which the children grow up have an impact on them. Within the past year my story became more and more about them. I am interested in how they develop and diverge. The children are outsiders and often beaten up or bullied by other children simply because of their parents. The reputation of the family is very negative and the kids have to fight with the prejudices of others every day.”

Nadia Sablin October 8, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Russia.
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A six-letter word for…, Russia 2010

Nadia Sablin (b. 1980, Soviet Union) and spent her adolescence in the American Midwest. After completing an MFA degree at Arizona State University, she now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and St. Petersburg, Russia. Her photographs have been shown at the Griffin Museum of Photography, Wall Space gallery and Jen Bekman gallery among others. In 2011 Nadia was one of the winners of the Magenta Flash Forward Emerging Photographers Competition, as well as receiving the SPE award for innovation in imaging. She was recently awarded the Puffin grant in photography for her work on the Two Sisters project. Her photographs are part of the permanent collection at the Philadelphia Art Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

About the Photograph:

“The Two Sisters project explores the lives of two unmarried sisters living in Northwest Russia. The two women, my aunts, are in their seventies, but carry on a traditional way of life, chopping wood for heating the house, bringing water from the well and making their own clothes.  As they get older, they are less and less able to perform the grueling tasks of running their small farm and spend more time resting. My photographs of them are a meditation on aging, family and a sense of belonging. The house in which Aleftina and Ludmila live was built by their father, my grandfather. The rugs are weaved by their mother. They contribute to the home as well, with new wallpapers, hand-sewn curtains, quilts and lace. Handwritten recipes are folded to contain seeds for planting, or rolled up balls of stray hair. I took this photograph after showing up, unannounced, after being away for a year. So absorbed were they by their task, that they had to finish the puzzle before making tea and catching up. I gladly offered my help.”

Myriam Meloni October 5, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Argentina.
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Laura and Belén on the day of their Quinceañera celebration. Buenos Aires, 2011.

Myriam Meloni (b. 1980, Italy) received her Law degree from the University of Bologna, specializing in criminology and penal execution at  the University of Barcelona. After moving to Argentina in 2009, she specializes in photojournalism and documentary photography in the Association with Graphic Reporters of Argentina (ARGRA).  In 2010 Myriam received an award for best portfolio at the forth Biennial of Photography Documentary Tucumán and was selected for the review of Transatlantic Portfolios section of Photoespaña in Managua. In 2011 she was a candidate for the Joop Swart Masterclass with World Press Photo. Her work Fragile is part of the author’s Book Fair presented at the Biennial of photography in Lima. She is currently based in Buenos Aires.

About the Photograph:

“One year ago I met Jhonni, driver and proprietor of an electric blue limousine in Buenos Aires. This 40-year-old Colombian, previously a tennis coach and gym owner, left it all behind when offered the chance to buy a 1972 Ford Fairlane. With its eight seats, four doors and cream leather interior, Jhonni has added a table, a hefty sound system and a horn that simulates the sound of a mewling cat. For the last ten years Jhonni has offered his services for birthday parties, bachelorette parties, wedding celebrations or simply city tours.”

“I started taking pictures of people who rented the limo, attracted by the desire to explore a limited space in which many diverse things can happen. More than superstars, the people I shared the limo with were everyday types: romantic boyfriends and middle class office workers pretending to be rock stars for a night. In this photograph the twins Laura and Belén are being driven to their Quinceañera party—a celebration of being fifteen years old. Its origin is from the Aztec and Mayan civilizations, and represents for the woman, the transition from adolescence to adulthood.”

Titus Simoens October 3, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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From the series “America, America 2009

Titus Simoens (b. 1985, Belgium) graduated from the Karel De Grote University in Antwerp, in Audiovisual Techniques and Photography in 2008.  For his thesis “Close to Romania” Titus was  awarded with the exhibition ‘Screenworlds’ at the Flemish parliament. In 2009 he traveled across America for two months where he made the video documentary Miles Away and a series of photographs about two young cowboys in Idaho. His photographs have been exhibited in Belgium and abroad. His work has been published in GUP magazine (The Netherlands), EXTRA (FoMu Belgium), PDN magazine (New York) and BBC news. In 2012 his work “Blue, see” won the Nikon young photographer award and the best in show award in the Foto8 summer show in London.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph was taken at the Grand Canyon. In 2009, I traveled across America for two months, searching for the real American cowboy. The image above is a result of the impressions I felt during this trip. Taking the picture happened quite spontaneously. Just when I was about to drive away from the Grand canyon, I saw three Amish girls walking down the path to watch the view. I followed them to the rail and didn’t say a thing. I just asked their father for permission to take their picture. For me it’s a timeless image that defines the feeling I have about America and the impressions it gave me.”

Benedicte Desrus October 1, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mexico.
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Federico Gomez Children´s Hospital in Mexico City 2012

Benedicte Desrus (b. 1976, France) is 
represented by Sipa Press and covers breaking news for Reuters. Currently based in Mexico City, she has worked throughout Europe, East Africa, the United States and Latin America. Her work has appeared in: The New York Times, Harper’s magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Time, Courrier International, Le Monde, Marie Claire and The Sunday Times Magazine among others. She has earned numerous awards including the Open Society Institute’s Moving Walls exhibition (2011), the XIV Luis Valtueña International Humanitarian Photography (2011) Award and NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism (2012).

About the Photograph:

“Ubaldo Alexis Garcia Lopez is treated by doctors at an emergency room in the Federico Gomez Children´s Hospital in Mexico City for symptoms related to severe morbid obesity. Mexico holds the first place worldwide in childhood obesity and public health officials are increasingly alarmed by the rapid rise in child and youth obesity. About one-third of children in Mexico are now classified as either overweight or obese. Recently diabetes, of which obesity is a contributing factor, has become the number one cause of death in Mexico. Like many people I thought obesity was an epidemic only in developed countries, but it soon became apparent that it’s a global epidemic, one that will have a profound effect on society, economy, and most of all humanities health. The increase in obesity is happening faster in developing countries than in the developed World. “

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