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Juan Herrero January 23, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Yemen.
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Huthi wedding in Old Sanaa Yemen, 2012

Juan Herrero (b. 1984, Spain) received his BA in International Economics and Development from Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 2010. After a two month course in documentary photography at the CEV School of Image in Madrid he started working on development projects in Cuba and Indonesia, while also contributing to the Cordon Press agency. In the summer of 2012 he relocated to Sanaa, Yemen. He covered the ongoing hunger crisis in the west and Yemeni daily life after the Arab Spring which nearly became a civil war. His work has been published in Paris Match and Der Spiegel, among others.

About the Photograph:

“In the days after the US embassy riots in Sanaa, Yemen, which arose in reaction to the American-made Islamic video that swept the Muslim world in September 2012, a friend invited me to a Huthi wedding in Old Sanaa. The Huthis are a Zaidi Shi’ite insurgent group based in northern Saada, where they have fought six wars with the government since 2006. They are considered a violent opposition to  western policies. I was a bit unsure how my presence was going to be received, as anti-western sentiment had become more than noticeable in Sanaa since the embassy attack. I received several threats to my face walking around the streets during those few days. As always, at Yemeni weddings there are lots of guns and khat (leafy plant chewed as a drug). In the end, it all turned into a warm welcome. Everyone was happy, and so was I.”

Alex Potter July 20, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Yemen.
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Checking a voting register in Sana’a, Yemen 2012

Alex Potter (b. 1989) is an emerging photojournalist who has worked primarily in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Yemen. After graduating university with a nursing degree she decided to follow her calling rather than the advice of others and turned to a life in photography. She has been selected as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, shortlisted by the Lucie Foundation Emerging Photographer scholarship, and has been published by Reuters, JO Magazine, Boreal Collective, and a variety of small Midwest features. Alex has been chosen for the 2012 Eddie Adams Workshop.  She is currently in Minneapolis finishing a long term project and hopes to return to Yemen soon.

About the Photograph:

“A Yemeni man checks his name on the voting register in Sana’a, Yemen. On February 21, 2012, after a year of bloody protests and civil conflict, President-elect Abed Rabbo Mansur Hadi took office. A peace spread over the major cities: Sana’a, Aden, and Taiz, but this one-man election was a far cry from democracy. I went to Yemen to document the elections, but was so captivated by the country and the people that I decided to stay. While the influence of the militant Ansar Al Sharia in the south is undeniable, Yemen is so much more than the daily news reports. The south is shouting for separation, thousands are displaced by internal conflict, a famine is looming over the western provinces, and Sana’a may run out of water in less than ten years. Yet through my work in Yemen, I hope to show not only the struggles, but more importantly, the strength and resilience of the country. The driving force in Yemen lies not in the daily news but in the beating hearts of its citizens and their undeniable hope for freedom.”

Jonathan Saruk December 15, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Yemen.
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Demonstration at the University of  Sana, Yemen 2011

Jonathan Saruk (b. 1979, USA) graduated from the International Center of Photography where he was awarded a scholarship from The New York Times. In September 2011, Jonathan joined Reportage by Getty Images as a Featured Photographer. Jonathan’s still images have been published in The New Yorker, Newsweek, The Times of London, Le Journal Du Dimanche, among others. His video work has been broadcast on HDnet’s World Report. Jonathan was named a selected winner for the Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward 2009. He attended the Eddie Adams Workshop in 2008 where he won an award from the Associated Press and was honored by International Photography Awards in 2009 for his work in Afghanistan. He also holds  an M.A. in print journalism from New York University. When not on the road, he lives in Malmö, Sweden.

About the Photograph:

“The photo was taken in March 2011 during a protest in Sana, Yemen. The demonstration outside the University of Sana was in high gear when I arrived. Crowds were cheering, vendors were hawking a variety of local cuisine many of the males already had a cheek full of Khat (an amphetamine-like stimulant). Just off to the side of the main stage where various individuals were constantly rallying the crowd, an area was cordoned off for women. Luckily, male members of the press were allowed to mingle amongst the women. At one point, I stumbled across this group of young girls, who I believe later made an appearance on stage. Despite their age, they appeared very aware of the situation and the uncertainty of their country’s future.”

Editor’s Note: Since it’s inception almost four years ago, Verve Photo has showcased the work of close to six hundred photographers from around the world. Back in early 2008, I could hardly imagine how broad an audience it would reach. Verve Photo is tracked by editors from leading publications and curators world-wide in search of new talent. We will resume posting on January 2, 2012. Until then, a healthy an happy new year to all  far and wide.

- Geoffrey Hiller, Phnom Penh

Maciej Dakowicz May 23, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Yemen.
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Aden, Yemen. 2007

Maciej Dakowicz was born in Poland in 1976. He has been living in Cardiff, Wales since the end of 2004. He previously lived in Hong Kong while working at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University shortly after graduating from university in Poland with a Master degree in Computer Science. He is a member of the Wide Angle photo agency and a frequent contributor to Need magazine. Maciej has worked with various international NGOs and organizations and his photos have been published by numerous international magazines. He is planning to become a “full-time photographer” by the end of this year, after completing his PhD, which he started before getting into photography.

About the Photograph:

“The image with the head sticking out of the sand was taken on a beach in Aden, which is the largest port in Yemen. One of the things people do there, besides women swiming in full clothing, is that men like to be buried in the sand completely, I stayed a couple of minutes with one of them, a crowd gathered around and that’s when I got my photo. Yemeni men enjoy being photographed.”

“I went to Yemen in December 2007 for three weeks and hoped to get an assignemnt, but no luck, so I was just a traveler. Yemen is a wonderful country, definitely one of the friendliest and most interesting places I have been. There are very few tourists and people are concerned about their safety, but I felt very safe. The people are very friendly and welcoming. I felt like their guest.”

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