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Marco Kesseler December 19, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Albania.
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On the walls of Krujë, Albania 2012

Marco Kesseler (b. 1989, England) is a young documentary photographer with a focus on long term, in depth studies relating to social and political issues most recently in The Balkans and the Middle East. Marco graduated in 2012 with a First Class Honours Degree in (BA) Press & Editorial Photography from Falmouth University . Since completing his degree Marco has been the 2013 recipient of The IdeasTap Photographic Award for work documenting life under the dictatorship in Belarus. In 2012 he exhibited work at The National Portrait Gallery, London, and the New York Photo Festival, which followed his project about the ongoing blood feuds of Albania.

About the Photograph:

“I had been living in Albania for a couple of months working on a story about the traditional laws of blood feuds, which allows the revenge of blood in a like for like manner. Part of the tradition states that people cannot be killed on their own land, I had been living in hiding with a number of families in the mountains and during my stay I watched each day repeat itself – the men could not leave their compound or work so would spend hours at a time sitting and reflecting on their lives. A couple of days before leaving the country I traveled up to the fort town of Krujë, which has been a site of resistance throughout history. This man who stood on part of the walls whilst airing the carpets of a local church. He seemed pensive, looking out across the seemingly peaceful valley stretching below us. I stayed for a few minutes watching, then took a couple of frames. The whole time the man looked out and didn’t say a word.”

Editor’s Note: It’s hard to believe that we are nearing the sixth year anniversary of Verve Photo. Since 2008 I have showcased the work of over 800 photographers. It’s important to emphasize that the images posted here are not isolated photographs. If you click on any of the photographers’ links, I guarantee that you will be inspired by the vision and the variety in each one’s considerable body of work. Marco Kesseler, a young British photographer is proof of that. What a joy to explore the images on his site. In this age of smart phones and non-stop social media activity it’s been my intention to showcase photography that causes the viewer to slow down and reflect for more than a few seconds. Happy Holidays to all. We will resume posting the first week of January 2014.

Julia Cybularz December 16, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Christmas, Philadelphia, 2012

Julia Cybularz (b. 1978, United States) earned her MFA from The School of Visual Arts and holds a B.S. in Photography from Drexel University. Her photography and video work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. In 2007, Julia was the recipient of an Aaron Siskind Memorial grant as well as The School of Visual Arts’ alumni grant. Julia studied under notable photographers Mary Ellen Mark, Andrew Moore and Tina Barney. Her work has been featured in American Photo, on the HBO series “How to Make it in America”, PDN and on Lens Culture. Most recently, she has been selected as a finalist for the Hasselblad Masters, Fotovisura grant, Critical Mass competition and Magenta Flash Forward. She was also presented with the Griffin Award for her series “Breaking the Girl”.

About the Photography:

“This photograph is part of an on-going series titled “The Mathematician” which focuses on my cousin Slawek, a Polish émigré, who is developmentally delayed and has lived with schizophrenia for over twenty years. I made this image of Slawek playing monopoly with his niece during the Christmas holidays. Games, especially children’s games, that involve some form of math, are one of Slawek’s favorite activities and obsessions. The use of photography in this series explores how relationships can be challenged and strengthened through everyday dealings with this sickness. Instead of being singularly explanative, the photographs provide glimpses and fragments, which add up to a collective narrative. One of the focal points of the project is to provide a portrait of Slawek and his relationship to his closely knit family. Children play an important role in Slawek’s life. Children are his playmates and closest confidants. They go on incredible journeys together, sometimes real and other times imagined.”

Patrick Brown December 12, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bangladesh.
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Bhola, Bangladesh 2012

Patrick Brown (b.1966, England) spent a nomadic childhood living in the Middle East, Canada and Africa before his family finally settled in Perth, Western Australia. Patrick relocated to Asia in 1999 and has since made Thailand his base. He is the recipient of the 3P Photographer Award, World Press Award, Days Japan Award, Picture Of The Year Award, New York Photographic Book Award and NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism Award. His work has been exhibited at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Tokyo, and Visa pour l’Image in France. His recently published book Trading to Extinction is about the devastating impact of wildlife trafficking in Asia. Patrick is represented by Panos Pictures.

About the Photograph:

“Freak weather patterns are only part of the reason for floods becoming an ever-greater menace. Deforestation, dam building upstream, the building of cities on floodplains and the poor maintenance of flood levies have all contributed to the havoc wreaked by rising waters. I planned a week documenting the island of Bhola, Bangladesh’s largest offshore island territory on a personal project, to see how locals were dealing with the ever-present threat of rising waters. However I was only able to get one day shooting in before falling seriously ill, losing more than 4 kg in 2 days.”

“Putting all that aside this is nothing compared with what happened in 1995, when half of Bhola Island, became permanently flooded, leaving 500,000 people, mainly farmers, to become the world’s first climate refugees. Scientists predict Bangladesh will lose 17 percent of its land by 2050 due to flooding caused by climate change. The loss of land could lead to as many as 20 million climate refugees from Bangladesh. This isn’t just a developing world problem. Louisiana loses about 65 square kilometers (25 square miles) to the sea every year. Most land is eroding near the Mississippi Delta.”

Michele Palazzi December 9, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mongolia.
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Gobi Desert, Mongolia 2012

Michele Palazzi (b.1984, Italy) earned his masters degree in photography at the Scuola Romana di Fotografia. In 2009 he received the Enzo Baldoni Prize for his project 3:32am on the earthquake in Abruzzo. Between 2010 and 2011 he worked on the project Migrant Workers Journey which was a recipient of the Project Launch Award 2011 at Center Santa Fe and exhibited in the New Mexico Museum of Art. It was screened at the Visa Pour l’Image 2012. In 2013 he won the Environmental Photographer of the Year Award from CIWEM in the UK. Michele’s project Black Gold Hotel was exhibited at the Format Festival (UK) in 2013. His work has been published in The Guardian, The Telegraph, The British Journal of Photography and National Geographic (Italy). He lives in Rome.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph was taken while I was living with a nomad family in the Gobi desert, Tuvshinbayar, the father, is playing with his children during a sandstorm. It’s part of the project Black Gold Hotel, a journey in the daily lives of a few families from the Gobi desert, where the pasture which has been the main livelihood for centuries has been disappearing in the past few decades. On one hand, those who chose to continue the tradition of the steppe despite all difficulties, on the other those who preferred to take their chances in the large cities, unfortunately facing the reality of a space which is deteriorated and invaded by unreachable western cultural models.”

Oksana Yushko December 5, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Chechnya.
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yushko_chechnya
Victory Day. Grozny, Chechnya,  May 9, 2010

Oksana Yushko (b. 1975, Ukraine) started working as a professional journalist in 2006. She won the Burn Magazine EPF grant in 2013 and was the Grand Prize Winner of Lens Culture International Exposure Awards in 2011. Oksana’s work has been published in Russian Reporter, The New York Times, Financial Times (UK), Le Monde, 6Mois (France) and VISION (China). Selected exhibits include: Moscow Museum of Modern Art, exhibition of “Ward Number Laughter” project, The Browse Foto Festival Berlin, ‘Grozny: Nine Cities’ project, Tbilisi Photo Festival, exhibition of ‘Beslan Identity’ and ‘Grozny: Nine Cities’ projects and OjodePez Photo Festival Barcelona, installation of ‘Grozny: Nine Cities’ project, Barcelona, Spain. She is based in Moscow.

About the Photograph:

“It was my third trip to Grozny while working on the Grozny: Nine Cities project with my photographer colleagues. Nowadays in Russia and other post-Soviet countries Victory Day is celebrated to commemorate the Red Army’s victory over the Nazi forces in World War II. There were government officials and security people everywhere. There were also cadets from the Suvorov Military School in Grozny. Most of them are war orphans. Besides their school work, boarding school provides them with a military discipline. I was photographing the cadets standing in line while they were listening to the Presidents speech. They were under the control of the officers the whole time. The moment when one of officer’s placed his hand on the boys head I knew I had the shot that captured the whole situation in Chechnya under Kadyrov’s regime.

James Morgan December 2, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Gabon.
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From a story about the Illegal wildlife trade in Gabon 2012

James Morgan (b. 1986, England) is a photojournalist and filmmaker based in London but works mostly across Asia, Africa and South America shooting in-depth features and advocacy campaigns for the WWF, BBC, Sunday Times, New York Times, Guardian, USAID and many others. Recent work has included an investigative report on the election race in Papua New Guinea and a group of indigenous female wrestlers fighting back against discrimination in Bolivia. Having traveled to over sixty countries, James can speak Malaysian, Spanish, Icelandic and Indonesian. He is an ambassador for the underwater housing manufacturer Aquatech and represented by both Panos Pictures and Getty Images in London.

About the Photograph:

“This image is part of an advocacy campaign I shot for WWF last year on wildlife crime, and particularly on the link it has with terrorism and international security. Mba Ndong Marius, an eco guard, is holding seized Ivory tusks in front of a pile of confiscated weapons in Gabon, Central Africa. The tusks and weapons are waiting to be taken to the capital Libreville, where the Gabonese president, Ali Bongo Ondimba, is about to burn over ten million dollars worth of confiscated Ivory in an effort to send out a strong anti-poaching message to the world. Of course supply follows demand in illegal trades and until the demand for elephant ivory is eradicated we will keep losing elephants. Last year was the worst ever for elephant poaching, conservative estimates put the number of elephants killed for their tusks at around 35,000.”

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