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Iconic Photographer René Burri Recounts Some of His Greatest Moments June 30, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Documentary Photographers Who Have Appeared on Verve Photo.
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Editor’s Note. A special Sunday link. A terrific conversation with Rene Burri, one of my favorite photographers. I had the pleasure of meeting and working alongside of him during Carnival in Brazil in the late seventies. The man is like his photographs: so charming and full of grace. He has a great eye as well.

Kieran Dodds June 27, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Zimbabwe.
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Suburb of Harare, Zimbabwe 2009

Kieran Dodds (b.1980, Scotland) graduated with a BSc in Zoology before beginning a photographic apprenticeship at the Herald newspaper group in Glasgow, Scotland. Awarded the UK & Ireland Picture Editor’s Young photographer of the year he used the winnings to fund a series documenting the epic mass-migration of fruit bats in Zambia that won a World Press Photo award.  His personal work considers the role of the environment in human identity and culture focusing on the the beauty of the world and the suffering that pervades it. In 2012, he received a Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship to document China’s highland clearances of Tibetan nomads setting the story in its environmental context. His work has been published widely including The New York Times, The Sunday Times Magazine, Geo, National Geographic. Kieran is represented by Panos pictures in London.

About the Photograph:

“Elijah digs graves in a suburban cemetery of Harare. He complains of working barefoot next to the freshly buried cholera victims. Around 100,000 cholera cases were confirmed with over 4,000 deaths between August 2008 and April 2009.We came upon him in a suburb of Harare the nation’s capital. We were there with an elderly woman looking for her grand daughter’s unmarked grave. Elijah waved at me, then invited me to help him dig the graves. He was barefoot in mud trying to make room for the recent victims and he was clearly exhausted. Beside him is the row of that week’s victims, graves were filling as fast as he could dig them. In the distance, three funerals occur simultaneously, one it was said for a victim of political violence.”

“I have a great love for the peoples of southern Africa and was keen to be in Zimbabwe after the cholera outbreak in 2008. At this point it was rated as the world’s worst failed state but the UK-based non-profit Tearfund arranged incredible access through local churches and the trip ran very smoothly to everyone’s surprise. But it was not an easy journey personally, the human stories were appalling. Most shocking for me was how dignified the Zimbabweans remained in the face of such suffering and their indefatigable hope for justice. People think the dark sky is fake but the image has had very little editing. The clouds grew into another vast thunderstorm but this was the end of the rainy season. The drier weather offered hope for the end of the cholera outbreak and the greater hope that the country’s storms may be over soon too. They continue in hope today.”

Ollie Harrop June 24, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in England.
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From the series ‘All That Glitters Is Gold’. London 2009

Ollie Harrop (b.1980, Denmark) graduated from Goldsmiths College and has interned at Magnum Photo Agency was featured in the Royal Photographic Society Journal as an up and coming documentary photographer. His most recent work ‘I Love It When You Sing’, a documentary in East London, has been published by the The British Journal of Photography, The Big Issue, BBC Arts, The Guardian and Phaidon Agenda. His commercial work covers architecture, events and portraiture. Clients include the The Freud Museum, Punch Taverns and Wateraid. Ollie is also the events organizer for Contact Editions, a company that supports emerging and established photographers through print sales.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is part of a project examining a group of artists, musicians and designers who occupied a block of empty buildings in South London. Squatting at the time was legal in England, and I was interested in the creative possibilities of utilizing these spaces. I spent a lot of time with the community over a few months, and Ness was regularly there, helping sort through stock and labeling clothing, soaking everything up. I was lucky to catch her lost in her own thoughts at the back of one of the shops, which at the time almost resembled a set for a modern fairytale. It was one of those moments that can come about if you get to know a space well, and wait for the right photo to come to you.”

Anthony Delgado June 20, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Spain.
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La Cena brotherhood, Seville, Spain, Palm Sunday 2011

Anthony Delgado (b. 1954, USA) is a San Francisco based photographer, who has been pursuing a passion for photography in a more conscious manner since 2007. In the 30 years prior, he worked as graphic designer for a variety of hi-tech, food and sports clients. His work has appeared in individual and numerous group shows. A selection of his photographs from the 2009 Holy Week processions in Sicily were published in PDN.

About the Photograph:

“During Holy Week in Seville there are sixty different religious processions by recognized brotherhoods, each with their colors and symbols. The tall pointed cap—the capirote—recalls the KKK in the minds of most Americans. The actual origins of the costume date back to Inquisition, hardly a better association but are now viewed as a means of creating anonymity among the Nazarenos — that their participation should be an anonymous offering and not a prideful exhibition. This photograph of the brotherhood La Cena—The Last Supper, was taken on the first day of processions, Palm Sunday, during a pause while the procession readied itself to pass before the main viewing stands in Plaza San Francisco. The red poles they carry are candles and a typical activity for children along the procession route is to ask for wax to be dripped on to a ball —the object being to form the largest wax ball possible. Despite the initial alarming association invoked by the costumes, viewing the processions through the week helped me look past that and see them in context of Spanish culture.”

Adrian Fussell June 17, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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JROTC Army Recruits. Louisville, Kentucky 2012

Adrian Fussell (b.1989, USA) is a Panamanian-American photographer based in New York City. He grew up in Switzerland, Zimbabwe, and Guatemala, following his parents and their work as American diplomats, before returning to the U.S. at age 16. While attending New York University for degrees in journalism and political science, Adrian worked as a writer and photographer for the Village Voice and for the Black AIDS Institute. In 2012 he studied photojournalism at the International Center of Photography, where he documented the world of a high school JROTC program in Queens, NY. That same year he was the recipient of the ICP George & Joyce Moss Scholarship, the Magnum Foundation: Emergency Fund Fellowship, and the Ian Parry Scholarship. He attended Eddie Adams Workshop XXV, and currently shoots for the Wall Street Journal and for Getty Images. He is also recognized on the Emerging Talent roster at Getty Images, Reportage section.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph is one from a series titled My Name is Victory, on JROTC Army programs in public high schools in America. The subjects are drill team cadets from Francis Lewis High School, and they’re pictured training in a parking lot outside of their hotel in Louisville, KY. The team, called the Patriot Guard, was seeking it’s third consecutive national championship in 2012, but they placed second after a cadet dropped his rifle during the performance. In the foreground is cadet Jenny Chen, age 17 when this photo was taken, who was a squad leader and is giving the command for her cadets to march. Drill team duty requires hours of weapons handling practice and marching six days a week. The cadets spin and throw to each other their dummy Springfield 1903 rifles, World War 1 era weapons that weigh roughly nine pounds and are kept by the Francis Lewis JROTC officers in a locked closet on the school campus, located in Fresh Meadows, Queens, NYC.”

Antonia Zennaro June 13, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Germany.
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Safari Club, Grosse Freiheit, Hamburg 2012/2009

Antonia Zennaro (b. 1980, Italy) studied at the ISFCI in Rome and took part in a master program in the Danish school of journalism in Aarhus, Denmark. Since 2010 she has been a freelance photographer working with the journalist agency Zeitenspiegel in Stuttgart. In addition to commissioned works for magazines and newspapers she is dedicated to long term projects on social issues. Antonia’s work was show at the  Lumix Festival for Young Photographers. Her first long term project, Reeperbahn, about the remains of the famous red light district in Hamburg, was published by Prestel in February 2013.  She is currently based in Hamburg.

About the Photographs:

“Peter and Griselda. Peter is one of the last typical bouncers you can find on the party mile and red light district in Hamburg, the Reeperbahn. He is working since 1976 in front of the Safari Club, the last Sex cabaret in Germany. In this street, Die grosse Freiheit, there were over nine of such Cabarets in the sixties and seventies. Not much is left over from these time and lifestyle. The Safari Club lives more like in a time in between, and Peter is becoming the entrance to it. Griselda arrived in the eighties from the Philippines. She works as a Transvestite artist. Nowadays it is difficult to get paid for her shows so she has to travel all around Germany. Both pictures were taken as part of my long term project Reeperbahn, Griselda was one of my first pictures I was allowed to take inside the Safari Club in 2009. Since then I have returned back and spent some years with them inside their backstage cellar. Peter was one of the last pictures taken in 2012. The work and life in the Reeperbahn is hard, and the ones who earned a lot of money are old, poor and lonely today.”

Robert Nickelsberg June 10, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in India, Kashmir.
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Shah-i-Hamadan shrine in Srinagar, Kashmir 2010

Robert Nickelsberg (b. 1950, United States) has been TIME magazine contract photographer for 25 years based in New Delhi from 1988 to 2000. During that time, he documented conflicts in Kashmir, Iraq, Sri Lanka, India and Afghanistan. He was one of the few photographers who had first hand exposure to the early days of the rise of fundamentalist groups in the Afghanistan-Pakistan tribal areas and al-Qaeda, and his work provides a unique up close view of the Soviet withdrawal, the rise of the Taliban and the invasion by the U.S. Robert moved to New York in 2000 and continues to travel overseas – reporting on the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 – and focus on chronicling the devastating psychological effects of war in Kashmir. In 2008, he was awarded grants from the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, and from the South Asia Journalists Association to document and report on post-traumatic stress disorder in Kashmir after 20 years of insurgency. He serves on the advisory board of the Kashmir Initiative at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University.

About the Photograph:

“I’ve been visiting the Shah-i-Hamadan mosque for over two decades. It’s one of a series of historic shrines that lace Srinagar’s old city, built with colorful paper mache artwork skillfully placed throughout the building. Regardless of when you visit the shrine, a special peacefulness prevails whether it’s during the uncrowded early morning or mid-afternoon hours or during prayer time when the mosque’s floors are usually filled. The photograph was taken of the women’s section at the end of Friday’s mid-day Jumma prayers when women linger to recite prayers from the Koran or greet their neighbors before walking home. It’s an island of tranquility, where Sufi spirituality serves as a healing mechanism for a population effected by chronic violence and trauma. Not only do the bereaved find comfort and refuge here, but so do occasional travelers.”

“The wooden shrine was the first mosque built in Kashmir in 1395 by the Persian saint Mir Sayed Ali Hamadani. Many Kashmiri civilians suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder seek refuge in prayer and song (as well as attending medical clinics and hospitals). The numerous shrines in Kashmir provide a peaceful sanctuary to a population suffering from more than twenty-years of violence between Kashmiri Muslims, Islamic militants and the Indian Army. More than 70,000 civilians have died in the fighting beginning in 1989.”

Carlo Gianferro June 6, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Romania.
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Gypsy Interiors
Iasi, Romania 2008

Carlo Gianferro (b. 1970, Italy), is a freelance photographer based in Rome, he worked from 2004 to 2008 with the Romanian and Moldavian wealthy Roma communities, as a result of this long term project he published two books “Gypsy Architecture” by German Axel Menges Editions and “Gypsy Interiors” published by Italian Postcart Edizioni. In these years he carried on personal projects in Eastern Europe, Africa and Middle East. He’s actually working on Italian issues exploring mental illness subject. He’s interested in exiled workers and other fragile communities. His photographs document people conditions and show them in their environment where the architectural setting or backdrop is just as important as the human figures . His work was awarded 1st prize for portraits stories in World Press Photo 2009.

About the Photograph:

“I took this photograph during one of my t travels among the wealthy Roma communities of Romania and Republic of Moldova, I was shooting a series of portraits for ‘Roma Interiors’, my more successful work, documenting some Roma villages created after the 1992 fall of the Soviet regime in eastern Europe, a new generation of Roma that quickly developed its full potential, accumulating wealth using capitalist methods and expressing it by the construction of the huge houses. I wanted to show Gypsy people in a new way; no more beggars or the poor living in camps as always described in photography before. That day I was in a small rich Roma village near Iasi, Romania, I knocked the door of a villa and this woman appeared to me , she was very kind and very happy to be photographed, she conducted me in her bedroom. I prepared my tripod and my camera and when I looked at the viewfinder I saw the magic, a woman in orange in an orange room next to plastic plant. This picture as the others in the series, was photographed quickly, without prior preparation, aesthetic tricks or any special choice of clothes: what you see is what there is, what there was at the time of the shooting, what there is every day.”

Scout Tufankjian June 3, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Gaza, Israel.
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Gaza City 2005

Scout Tufankjian (b.1977, United States) has spent the bulk of her career working in the Middle East, including four years working in the Gaza Strip. Her book on the 2007-2008 Obama campaign, Yes We Can: Barack Obama’s History-Making Presidential Campaign was a New York Times and LA Times bestseller, selling out its first run of 55,000 copies a month before its release date. More recently, she has documented the aftermath of the Haitian Earthquake, and has been working in Brazil, Ethiopia and Turkey on a project documenting the Armenian diaspora. In February 2011 she covered the Egyptian Revolution covering the aftermath of the revolution, particularly its effects on the ultra-religious Salafi community. In the summer of 2012, she returned to the campaign trail as a photographer for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.  She speaks conversational Arabic and is based in Brooklyn, NY.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was taken at an old amusement park just north of Gaza City in March of 2005.  The young women were law school students on a field trip to the park for some relaxation.  In the four years I spent traveling back and forth between New York and the Gaza Strip, I tried to spend as much of my time as I could focusing on the normal parts of life in Gaza – the amusement parks, the family trips to the beach, the hip hop concerts, and the lavish weddings.  The Middle East, and especially Gaza, is too often ‘othered’ and exorcised, when it is largely made up of men, women, and children who want the same things out of life that everyone else does – a job, a roof over their heads, food on the table, school for the kids, a doctor when they are sick, and the occasional trip to the beach or the amusement park.  As a photojournalist, I think it is as, if not more, important for me to show what people have in common rather than to just highlight the differences.”

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