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Uliana Bazar September 30, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Ukrainian Church during the Baptism ceremony. Brighton Beach, Brooklyn 2012

Uliana Bazar (b.1986, Ukraine) recently graduated from the Corcoran College of Art and Design with a Masters in New Media Photojournalism. While in school Uliana completed a 6-month internship with the National Geographic Book Division and now works with them regularly as a freelance photo editor. Her work has been published by National Geographic Books, The Washington Post, NPR, Hemispheres & GO magazines, and exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. In 2013, she was recognized by both FotoDC and the Magenta Foundation. She is based in Washington, DC.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken while I was working on my Masters thesis at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. It’s part of a series for which I spent about one year, on and off, documenting the Little Odessa community in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. The Little Odessa neighborhood has a population consisting primarily of Russian, Ukrainian, and Eastern-European immigrants. Because I am originally from Ukraine I was able to get very intimate access to this community. Eventually I was accepted as family, and my subjects and I could relate to each other on a very personal level.”

“While working on this project I photographed numerous social and religious events for the community. I was always welcomed and my photography was warmly embraced. This particular image was made during a baptism ceremony in a Ukrainian Orthodox church. At the moment I made the image the baptism was taking place and these two boys were standing awkwardly and slightly bored in the back of the chapel. In Little Odessa there are many boys about this age who are eager to serve in their church, much to their parent’s pleasure. These two, however, seemed to mirror my own slightly awkward feelings I was experiencing as I watched this special ceremony unfold. It’s interesting how, after almost five years away from Ukraine, my very own culture starts to feel exotic and far away.”

Michael Hanson September 27, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Dominican Repepublic.
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San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic 2011

Michael Hanson (b. 1981) has been a professional photographer based in Seattle since 2006 after playing shortstop with the  Atlanta Braves for a number of years. His documentary work has taken him to over 27 countries. He drove a short school bus around the US for a book on Urban Farming (Breaking Through Concrete, 2011) and recently paddled 542 miles from North Georgia to the Gulf of Mexico for a film about the Chattahoochee River (Who Owns Water, 2014). His clients include The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Outside, Patagonia, NPR, and the Gates Foundation. In 2013, he was named one of PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers. He is currently working on projects documenting Dominican Republic baseball players and Amish communities in the US.

About the Photograph:

“The Dominican Braves had just defeated the Dominican Blue Jays as an afternoon storm was approaching. Religion and baseball are on equal footing in the Dominican Republic. After every game, the players meet and pray. This one was sped up a little in hopes of getting on the bus and heading back to the academy before the rain came. After signing a contract with an MLB team, the players move from their homes to live full time at a baseball academy. If they succeed, they take the next step to the United States and start climbing the ladder of Minor League Baseball.”

Geoffrey Hiller Burma Book Project Update September 22, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Burma, Myanmar.
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Novice Monks, Bagan, Burma, 1987

About the Project

We are almost halfway into the Kickstarter campaign to publish “Burma in Transition”. The outpouring of support on social media has been wonderful! Great to see momentum building from the international photo community, especially in Europe.  It’s a great feeling to see over100 backers supporting the project. Each time someone new pledges, whatever the amount, it’s a huge pat on the back. But the fact is, it will take more than good wishes to pay the printer in Croatia. If you have been waiting on the sidelines, now is the time to contribute. Thank you.


Bagan, Burma 1987

About the Photographs

I made these photographs during my first trip to Burma in 1987. Back then foreigners were only issued a visa for seven days. It was a marathon trip covering the Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan triangle on night trains and buses. The day we arrived in Pagan there were large processions for young boys who were entering the monastery as novice monks. The boys were led into the temple by horse or carried by their families so their feet wouldn’t touch the ground. Inside the boys were blessed by the monks. In Burma it is common for Buddhist men, and many women, to spend part of their childhood as monks or nuns in order to receive a religious education, study Pali, and gain merit. In the mural behind the novices, the white elephants are revered symbols of power and good fortune.

The second photograph is of a snack food vendor outside of the same temple, waiting for customers as the crowd mills around. Bagan is a magnificent site with thousands of Buddhist pagodas built by the kings between 1100 and 1400, spread out on the arid plains. When I was there, the tourist town was a rustic village with dirt streets and thatched huts that served as guesthouses and food stalls. In 1990, the military generals forcibly moved the whole town to another site miles away where they built luxury hotels. Now for a few hundred dollars, visitors can fly above the ancient ruins in hot air balloons.

Aechath Adam September 19, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Maldives.
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Thilafushi garbage dump, Maldives 2012

Aechath Adam (b.1985, Maldives) graduated from the University of Sydney in 2011 with a masters in Documentary Photography. Her fascination with imagined homelands and perceived identities stems from a childhood split between the UK, Hawaii and the Maldives. She currently works as a freelance documentary photographer with a dedication to long-term projects on social issues. She was recently featured as part of the Asian Women Photographer’s Showcase for her personal project Garbage Men of Eden. Her work has been shown by Private photo review and Time Machine and projected at the Angkor Photo Festival. Aechath is currently based in the Maldives.

About the Photograph:

“I had been walking around the dump yard the whole afternoon interviewing Bangladeshi workers when one of them invited me to have a look at their accommodation block. As I waited for him I noticed a group of men rinsing themselves off right in the middle of the dump. When I asked them about it they told me the plumbing at the accommodation was not working and this was the only alternative for the time being. I like this image because it shows their resilience and ability to adapt to any hardships that come their way. Little has changed for these migrant workers during the past few decades since Thilafushi has been in operation. The facilities are falling apart as more and more waste is being produced. This image is part of my long term project investigating the state of waste management in the Maldives.”

Amanda Berg September 16, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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From a project on Teen Binge Drinking, Henrietta, NY 2010

Amanda Berg (b. 1989, United States) is a documentarian based in North Carolina. She graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a BFA in Photojournalism and is currently pursuing an MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts at Duke University. She spent seven months interning at the Fayetteville Observer before going back to school. Her work has been recognized by the Alexia Foundation, Eddie Adams Workshop, Pingyao International Photography Festival, North Carolina Press Association, featured in TIME Online and exhibited at 25 CPW Gallery. Her current projects explore women’s football, the crossroads of military and civilian life and her own familial memory.

About the Photograph:

“This picture is from a project I began during my junior year of college about the gender dynamics of undergraduate binge drinking. The series is meant to question gender-neutral drinking norms by taking into consideration recent studies that have shown an increase in female drinking and higher rates of the negative side effects associated. I took this particular picture early on in the project at a St Patrick’s Day Party my roommates held at our apartment. It was one of the first times I can remember watching a moment unfold behind my camera, waiting for the women’s dancing legs to reveal all three of the men’s faces. I waited so long I ran out of space on my memory card, snuck away to my bedroom to replace it and came back to continue photographing the scene.”

Geoffrey Hiller Burma Book Project on Kickstarter September 9, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Burma, Myanmar.
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Yangon 2012

Editor’s Note: Exciting news, I’ve just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to publish my book on Burma. My life-long dream has been to see my images in book form, to feel the weight of the pages and to share this experience with viewers.

A wonderful team is in place to help. Professional editors/designers, Natasha Chandani and Lana Cavar have begun working with me to produce a high-quality 192-page book of color photographs. Essays by prominent Burmese writer Dr. Ma Thida, a political activist and herself a former political prisoner, and journalist Francis Wade will accompany the images. The book will be in print by April 2014.

Please check out my Kickstarter page and help to make this project a reality. Your donation will pay for the costs of producing and printing a beautiful book. Among the rewards are limited edition prints and a signed copy of the book. Remember, Kickstarter crowd-funding is all or nothing- we need to raise our entire goal or the project won’t be funded.

Thank you so much for supporting this important work and spreading the word to colleagues and friends!

Troi Anderson September 5, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Venezuela.
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Healing Ceremony, Mount Sorte, Yaracuy State, Venezuela 2012

Troi Anderson (b.1975, USA) is a fine art, documentary and commercial photographer based in Portland, Oregon. Troi began his career working in film for Magnolia Pictures and later as a Merchant Marine sailing throughout Asia and the South Pacific. He is the author of two books, Shadows of Time and Decay (Mark Batty Publishers) along with numerous photographic essays. His work has been published in Geo France, The Oregonian, Communication Arts, Eyemazing, as well as being profiled and featured twice in Black and White Magazine. His commercial clients include Apple, Nike, HP, and  T-Mobile. He has worked for the humanitarian organization CARE in Haiti. Troi’s photography has been exhibited in the Blue Sky Drawers program, as well as being held in private collections.

About the Photograph:

“Espiritismo, the practice of communication with ancestral spirits through trance possession is found throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. In Venezuela, a mythological goddess figure of ancient indigenous legend -Maria Lionza- is the focal point for gatherings in the mist-laden jungle of Mount Sorte. This magico-religious movement is composed in perfect reflection of Venezuela’s own multicultural history. It is a syncretic, mestizo blending of African, Spanish and Indian traditions and beliefs. Theatrical healing ceremonies and colorful pageantry blend wildly to bring forth a knowledge of the esoteric passed down through spiritual caravans, pilgrims, known as the Marialionceras.”

“For the past several years I have embarked on a process to discover and document the religious desire and its elemental expressions throughout the world. This photograph focuses on a group of Marialionceras, who have gathered before a makeshift alter in contemplation and to pay tribute to Venezuela’s national heroes, Simon Bolivar, Jose Antonio Paez and Francisco de Miranda. One of the key elements in the practice of Maria Lionza is the smoking of the cigar. It is both an invitation to the spirits, as well a method to invoke introspection in the participant. There are dozens of these alters throughout the jungle, each created for a specific spirit or power. Before President Hugo Chavez died, I was told by many at this pilgrimage that ‘if he dies, then his Spirit will be here next. It was rumored that Chavez, himself a follower of Maria Lionza, had dug up the bones of Latin America’s great liberator, Simon Bolivar, and was using them in his own magical ceremonies.”

Jeroen Toirkens September 2, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mongolia.
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toirkens_russia2
Dukha Herders in Mongolia, Hövsgöl Aimag, 2007

Jeroen Toirkens (b. 1971, Netherlands) studied Photographic Design at the Royal Academy for the Visual Arts in The Hague. Since 1995 has been working as a freelance photographer. He has published photo essays in Air France Magazine, Monocle, Le Monde Magazine, De Morgen and several other Dutch and International newspapers and magazines. In 2011 his book Nomads Life was published by Belgian publisher Lannoo. Since 1999 Jeroen made eleven trips Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, the tundras in Northern Siberia and Alaska and to the taigas in Southern Siberia and Northern Mongolia. In 2012 he was awarded the CANON prize for the best innovative photo story for his project Nomads Life.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was taken in Northern Mongolia where the Dukha, a small group of reindeer herders, live under extreme circumstances in the wooded Taiga. During the winter months, the temperatures can fall to 50 degrees (centigrade) below zero. On Baruun (Western) and Zuun (Eastern) Taiga, there are still about forty-one families. They travel along with the reindeer that go in search of food and move ever further into the Taiga. They relocate their camp on average of  five to eight times a year. In this picture the young girl called Tool, is holding two fully grown reindeer. It shows how domesticated the Dukha’s reindeer are. They use the reindeer for transport when they move from one camp to another. The picture is taken on the first of June, the night before half a meter of snow fell.”

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