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William B. Plowman April 29, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Knights of the Ku Klux Klan at the “White Pride Festival”, Indiana 2002

William B. Plowman (b. 1969, USA) is represented by REDUX and has covered stories in Latin America, Africa, Central Asia and the United States. William’s photographs can be seen in the world’s leading news & NGO publications including: le Figaro, Der Spiegel, Newsweek, Time, The Financial Times,  CNN, MSF and Reporters Without Borders among others. He is the weekly contributing photographer for NBC’s political talk show Meet the Press and his work is featured in the film Ghosts of Cite Soleil documenting the 2004 war in Haiti. His work has been recognized by the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, POYi and the Gordon Parks Photography Competition. William is currently based in Washington, D.C. and working on a long-term project in Gary, Indiana.

About the Photograph:

“I made this photograph very early in my career in 2002. I had been researching white supremacy groups in the United States for a few months when I came across a brief mention of an event to be held on a farm in Osceloa, Indiana. It was billed as a sort of summit within the racial separatist and white supremacist communities. A three day event where leaders and supporters from around the country like the Ku Klux Klan, White Aryan Resistance (WAR) The National Socialists Party, The Outlaw Hammerskins, Blood & Honor, Aryan Nations and others would gather to meet, set goals and coordinate future events. I spent about 45 minutes on the phone with the organizer and explained my intentions as a documentary photographer. He was very skeptical, as you would imagine. In the end I was the only journalist allowed on the farm, where I pitched my tent and would ultimately photograph for three days. While I’m very interested in this moment, this photograph, for my own reasons, I’ve always liked that it allows the viewer to bring their own experience to bear in its analysis.”

Matt Mills McKnight April 18, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Morning Campfire with Light Foot Militia, Priest River, Idaho, 2011

Matt Mills McKnight (b.1980, USA) graduated from the Journalism Department at San Francisco State University with a degree in Photojournalism, and currently lives in Seattle, where he is a photo editor and freelance documentary photographer. His work has appeared with The Wall Street Journal, NBC News, The New York Times, Stern, High Country News, Southern Poverty Law Center, Wired.com, Associated Press, Reuters, NPR and many others. Before moving to Seattle, Matt was living in a small northern Idaho town working on personal projects related to fringe right-wing culture in the region. He continues to travel throughout the American West and beyond for assignments and personal work. He is represented by Redux Pictures.

About the Photograph:

“After spending about six months of attending meetings and training events with members of the 21st battalion of the Light Foot Militia, I was invited to photograph a weekend-long training session on public land near Priest River, Idaho. When I arrived to photograph them I found they had also included children in the event, an effort to share their staunch constitutionalist values and beliefs with a younger generation. ‘We’re trying to build a sense of community, not just the guys but the families also,’ said Jeff Stankiewicz, Commanding Officer of the Light Foot Militia, of opening  training sessions to families. ‘Other groups won’t do that, but we’re trying to prepare our families. Schools don’t teach our kids this stuff so we have to teach them.’ Brandy Vanderzander from Couer d’Alene, Idaho, sits around the campfire with Josiah Hoyt after a night of camping in the forest. Vanderzander’s boyfriend and Josiah’s father, Cody Hoyt, is an active member of the militia. Josiah struggled with sickness from allergies and a general fear of guns & loud noises throughout the weekend, but his family and the militia insisted he learn their ways by being present.”

Dave Anderson March 21, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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BBQ Queen”, from the project Rough Beauty, Vidor, Texas, 2004

Dave Anderson (b. 1970, United States) has been recognized as “one of the shooting stars of the American photo scene” by Germany’s fotoMAGAZIN and named a “Rising Star” by PDN. His project Rough Beauty was the winner of the 2005 National Project Competition from the Santa Fe Center for Photography and became the focus of his first book, which was published in three languages. His latest monograph, One Block: A New Orleans Neighborhood Rebuilds, was published in 2010 by Aperture Books and featured in the New York Times and Time as well as on Good Morning America and CNN. Dave is a former MTV producer and currently producing a video series called So Lost created for the Oxford American Magazine as well as a project for NPR called Southword.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken as part of a project I did called Rough Beauty. All the photographs were taken in and around the town of Vidor, Texas. One of the biggest events of the year is homecoming parade. The parade is bigger then their 4th of July celebration. There’s also an associated beauty pageant to name a “Miss Barbecue.” The key thing to remember is that there’s not just one Miss Barbecue for girls of most ages. By my memory, there’s Miss BBQ, Junior Miss BBQ, Little Miss BBQ, Mini Miss BBQ and Tiny Miss BBQ. Even Tiny Miss got her own car in the parade —even if she was just six months of age.”

“I found this girl standing around waiting for her car to be parade-ready. She was very pretty in her white dress but she was trying to hide her embarrassing black sneakers. She said, rather plaintively, “Please don’t show my shoes…” While I wasn’t able to honor that request, I did try to burn down (darken in the dark room) her shoes a bit. So the moment with her as well as the general awkwardness of the situation was quite resonant. But the other thing that I think really makes the photo is the absolute boredom of her brother, who stands sullenly off to the the side — just waiting for it all to be over.”

Shannon Taggart March 7, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Haiti, United States.
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Haitian Vodou Ceremony, Brooklyn, New York 2009

Shannon Taggart (b.1975, USA) is a photographer based in Brooklyn. Her images have appeared in publications including Blind Spot, Time, Tokion, New York Times Magazine and Newsweek. Shannon’s work has been recognized by the Inge Morath Foundation, American Photography, the International Photography Awards, Photo District News and the Alexia Foundation for World Peace, among others. Her photographs have been shown at Photoworks in Brighton, England, The Photographic Resource Center in Boston, Redux Pictures in New York, the Stephen Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles and the New Gallery in Houston.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph is part of a long term project about Haitian Vodou ceremonies that happen in a basement Hounfor (temple) in Brooklyn, NY. The host is Rose Marie Pierre, a third generation Mambo originally from Haiti. It was the first night that I witnessed a possession, the centerpiece of Vodou ritual. Possession may look frightening but it is actually a meaningful, sought after experience. The purpose of possession is to allow a personal interaction with the Loa, a pantheon of gods that are archetypal representatives of natural/moral principles. Possession is not an opportunity for self-expression, it is a blessing and a reward for service. It is also a gift one gives of themselves to their community so that others may consult the Loa for intercession, guidance and healing. The analogy used for possession is as if one’s body is being mounted like a horse, with the Loa as the rider. One cannot be man and god at once, so the individual needs to surrender their ego to the experience. A temporary amnesia then takes place and the events that occur remain a mystery to the person possessed.”

Ian Bates February 28, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ohio University, United States.
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Club-goers leaving after a fight broke out and guns were fired, Greenwood, Mississippi 2012

Ian Bates (b. 1992, United States) grew up in North Brunswick, New Jersey. In elementary school he received a cheap point and shoot film camera to bring on a field trip to the zoo, but didn’t realize his love for the photograph until later began taking photography classes in his sophomore year in high school. The images became a way to store memories with truth and without them fading away. He is now a junior at Ohio University working on his bachelor of science in visual communication with an emphasis in photojournalism and a Specialization in Sociology. He recently was awarded a Silver in both the General News and Feature categories in the 67th College Photographer of the Year awards. He has worked for The New York Times, Reuters, The Athens NEWS and The Asbury Park Press. Ian resides in Athens, Ohio

About the Photograph:

“I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to spend my summer working with freelance photographer Matt Eich over the summer of 2012. One of the first times I got to make pictures was the night this picture was made. Matt got invited to go to the club for one of the Baptist Town resident’s birthday party so I tagged along. The club was a metal, warehouse type building with mixed color lights out front. The inside was dark with back lights and a mirror across one wall of the dance floor. People were drinking, dancing and having fun as you would assume they would at a birthday party.”

“Then, all of a sudden, there was a weird tension throughout the whole room. Something was up and in less then a minute a fight broke out. Most didn’t want to get involved and backed away to where the tables and chairs were and some went outside. The security guards broke the fight up and kicked the participants out. Minutes later there were gunshots outside in the parking lot. People ran inside the club screaming, knocking over tables and chairs and then the lights were turned on. During the next five to ten minutes everyone stood around waiting to see what would happen next. Two weeks earlier the club had been shot up by the same crew that started the fight with the Baptist Town boys. We were soon ushered out by security guards into the parking lot where there were police officers waiting outside. The image above was from when people were being ushered out of the club. Just as the night began, in an instant, it was over.”

Elijah Hurwitz January 30, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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The Amish shooting hoops in Goshen, Indiana 2012

Elijah Hurwitz (b. 1979, United States) is a New York City based documentary photographer, but has only been calling himself that since 2012. Previously he worked in tech marketing for ten years but left to pursue photography more seriously. He has traveled in over 40 countries and is currently couch surfing his way across the United States working on different stories. He keeps a running photo journals on both Tumblr and Instagram and is represented by Zuma Press.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was made on the last day of shooting for my project about basketball’s imprint across Indiana which Mother Jones published. I sought a broad range of locations to illustrate the game’s far-reaching influence; especially places where I felt the sport offered an escape from the confines of everyday life. I’d visited the state prison, inner cities, trailer parks, expensive high school gyms, college season openers, and abandoned farms, but realized I’d overlooked the Amish communities. I didn’t know if basketball was allowed in most Amish households, but decided to spend a day exploring around Goshen where I found this hoop behind a horseshoe blacksmith. The woman of the house kindly invited me to take pictures, and when a few of her nine children overheard our conversation they ran outside to shoot around. I found the framing I wanted with the laundry hanging, then watched Justin, Suzanne and James play a game of horse while speaking a mix of English and Pennsylvania Dutch.”

Darron R. Silva January 21, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Double B Rodeo in Granite Falls, North Carolina 2010

Darron R. Silva (b. 1974, USA) studied photojournalism and Latin American studies at Western Kentucky University. He has worked as a staff photographer most recently at The Naples Daily News, but also at The News-Press in Fort Myers, FL, and the Tribune-Star in Terre Haute, Indiana. While in college he interned at The Palm Beach Post, The Ann Arbor News, The Grand Forks Herald, and his hometown paper, The Tallahassee Democrat. He currently works as a freelance photographer, teaches photography at Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton, North Carolina and is a member of Aurora Select.

About the Photograph:

“This is a photograph of Doug Brinkley as he carries the flag down to the arena to give to a cowgirl, who parades it about on horseback while the national anthem is played. I shot this at the rodeo he puts on at his farm in Granite Falls, North Carolina. Doug’s son started rodeo when he was in high school, so Doug built a small rodeo arena on his farm for his son to practice. That was many years ago, and these days his son has taken over most of the work of the rodeo, but Doug still helps out. It’s from a personal project about local cowboys and cowgirls. I was surprised to discover that the rodeo is quite popular in the foothills of North Carolina when I moved here five years ago. I have always been fascinated with cowboys, so I go to the rodeo a few times each summer and shoot photos for myself. The rodeos here are very small, and usually family run. It’s just local folks that enjoy riding and getting together on a summer evening. The whole thing is very old-school Americana.”

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.”

Thomas Locke Hobbs September 12, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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The Central Valley, California 2010

Thomas Locke Hobbs (b. 1976, United States) originally studied economics and only took up photography seriously in 2008 upon moving to Argentina. He studied at the Centro Cultural Rojas in Buenos Aires as well as taking ongoing workshops with Eduardo Gil and Nacho Iasparra. His work focuses on how political and economic history reveals itself through architecture and landscape. Recently he has been working on personal projects in Argentina, Peru and Colombia.

About the Photograph:

“In January of 2010 I traveled to Dinuba, a small town in California’s Central Valley where my mother grew up. My aunt and uncle were the owners of the town’s newspaper, The Dinuba Sentinel, having inherited it from my grandparents who, in turn, had inherited it from my great grandparents. Both 80 years old, they were looking to sell the paper and retire. I wanted to document a bit of my family’s history, before it disappeared. I also wanted to document aspects of the town and so I spent a lot of mornings, lost in the thick tule fog, driving around in circles, looking for images. I had been away from the United States for several years, living in Argentina. I was struck by the American-ness of the town and was constantly being reminded of classic American photographs. This particular image is of Palm Drive, an old subdivision, distinguished by the (now very large) Canary Island date palms planted smack-dab in the middle of the street.

Mathieu Young July 27, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Del Mar County Fair, California 2010

Mathieu Young (b. 1981, United States) splits his time between commercial photography, mainly entertainment advertising, and reportage projects. His photojournalism has been seen on CNN, The New York Times Lens, and in Rolling Stone, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, and Time Magazine, amongst many others. He continues to shoot commercial assignments for Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., FOX, The CW, A+E, and Dreamworks Animation. He was a student at the 2011 Eddie Adams Workshop, awarded 1st Place in the International Photography Awards, and chosen for American Photography 28. Mathieu is based in Los Angeles and represented by Weiss Artists, Inc.

About the Photograph:

“The Pledge of Allegiance, moments before the destruction began. This was from an assignment for ESPN The Magazine covering a demolition derby on July 4th at the Del Mar County Fair in California. It was a true slice of Americana: The pit area was filled with loud engines, American flags, Coors Light, and arc-welders. One young man took a hard hit in the arena and got taken away in a stretcher, but his relatives got vengeance, teeming up on the perpetrator until his car was upside down and on fire. Afterwards, they all shared some turkey legs, cotton candy and whiskey while they towed their demolished vehicles onto flatbeds to drive them home and get them prepared for the next’s month’s derby. God Bless America.”

Sally Ryan July 18, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Line Dancing, Montgomery, Illinois 2000

Sally Ryan (b. 1976, USA) received her Bachelor of Journalism degree in 1998 from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She worked for several newspapers before launching her freelance career in 2006. Sally is a frequent contributor to national and international publications and also works with a variety of private and non-profit clients throughout the United States. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Spin, Time Out Chicago, Time, Inc., MSNBC.com, The London Times, and The Onion A.V. Club, as well as overseas publications. Sally is currently teaching a graduate level photojournalism class at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Chicago and is is represented by Zuma Press.

About the Photograph:

“Linda Pasetti, a Harley motorcycle owner and Ladies of Harley member, was the featured speaker that night with plans to teach the other ladies the finer points of country-western line dancing. The initial focus of my shoot was on another woman, an ovarian cancer patient I had been photographing for a few weeks, who was also the president of the Fox Valley LOH chapter. Walking into the Veterans of Foreign Wars community room, the plastic musical notes above the wood paneling immediately caught my eye. Hoping a moment would unfold in front of that backdrop, I began photographing the meeting. After the business portion of the meeting concluded, Linda Pasetti walked to the small stage in front of the musical notes and started her line dancing lesson.”

“At the end of the meeting, I sat down with Linda to learn more about her love of line dancing. She began line dancing a couple of years earlier, and said it completely changed her life. Joining the line dancing crowds at local bars, Linda says the activity helped her lose 40 pounds. She also said instead of drinking beers at the bars, she started drinking more water to stay hydrated so she could dance longer. Linda’s photo and story eventually became the first feature in a photo column I wrote for Copley newspapers. Meeting her and learning her story inspired me to seek out other residents of the western Chicago suburbs to feature in the weekly column.”

Jeff Rich July 13, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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From the Watershed Project, Erwin Tennessee 2011

Jeff Rich (b. 1977, USA) documents water issues ranging from recreation and sustainability to exploitation and abuse.  He explores these subjects by using long-term photographic documentations of very specific regions of the United States. Jeff received his MFA in photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. His project “Watershed: The French Broad River” was recently published as a monograph by Photolucida as part of the 2010 Critical Mass Book Award.  His work has been featured in Fraction Magazine as well as Photo-Eye’s Photographer’s Showcase. Jeff was recently named as one of the winners of the Magenta Flash Forward 2011 Emerging Photographers Competition. He has shot assignments for Oxford American Magazine and The New York Times.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is of Steve Harris, at the confluence of North Indian Creek and the Nolichucky River. This is a spot on Steve’s land where he goes to commune with nature. Steve’s property is along the Nolichucky River and is less than a mile from the Nuclear Fuel Services Plant. The company processes used radioactive materials, mostly Uranium and Plutonium from reactors. Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS) has a record of accidents and spills over the past 50 years of company operations. Recent water and soil testing revealed evidence of Uranium and Plutonium pollution up to 50 miles down the Nolichucky River. He is considered an MEI, or maximally exposed individual. In other words because of his close proximity, he is exposed to the highest dose of radiation from the NFS pollution. Radioactive pollution is completely invisible and detectable only by special instruments.”

“Steve has owned his property for over 40 years. The land was reclaimed from a pit mine operation, and he created a community on the 20-acre property and has hosted numerous festivals and gatherings. Steve had plans on turning the property into an  organic farm and artist community. This project seeks to capture what Steve’s land was like before the discovery of the pollution, one man’s Arcadia along the river. The project also shows what his property has become, an empty landscape, devoid of the community that once thrived here.”

Erin Siegal July 9, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mexico, United States.
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Border fence into the USA, Playas de Tijuana, Mexico, 2012.

Erin Siegal (b. 1982) is an Ethics and Justice Journalism Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, and a Redux Pictures photographer. Erin was a 2008-2009 fellow at the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She is the author of two books, Finding Fernanda, which examines a dramatic case of international adoption corruption between the U.S and Guatemala, and “The U.S. Embassy Cables: Adoption Fraud in Guatemala, 1987-2010.” Finding Fernanda was issued a 2011 Overseas Press Club Award Citation for Best Reporting on Latin America, and earned a 2011 James Madison Freedom of Information Award. Her photos have appeared in TIME, Newsweek, the New York Times, and various other outlets. Erin is currently based in Tijuana, Mexico.

About The Photograph:

“This is where the border meets the sea, the place where México and the United States cease being separate countries. The man looking through the fence is looking at the United States. Since the U.S. Congress passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, a record number of people have been deported. Under the current law, every non-citizen convicted of an “aggravated felony”offense is subject to permanent, mandatory deportation. There’s no fighting it, and no prosecutorial discretion. The list of crimes qualifying as ‘aggravated felonies’ and trigger automatic deportation is lengthy, and includes non-violent drug offenses and even some misdemeanors. Human rights advocates as well as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights have criticized the mandatory nature of deportations under this law. In the first three years of his presidency alone, Barack Obama has removed approximately 1.2 million immigrants, more than any other president in U.S. history.”

Thilde Jensen June 25, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Jess at School, Syracuse, New York 2009

Thilde Jensen (1971, Denmark) attended the  European Film College and K.U.B.A. School of Fine Art Photography. After moving to New York, she attended the School of Visual Arts. Her work has been exhibited at the Society of Contemporary Photography in Kansas City, the New Century Artist Gallery and The Back Room Gallery in New York City, and the Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen. A solo exhibition of Canaries was previously represented at Light Work in Syracuse in July, 2011. Thilde’s photographs have appeared in: The Observer, Contact Sheet, The New York Times Sunday Review, Double Take Magazine, Newsweek Magazine, Details Magazine, and Blender Magazine among others.

About the Photograph:

“The Canaries series is a personal account of life on the edge of modern civilization – as one of the human canaries, the first casualties of a ubiquitous synthetic chemical culture. Since World War II the production and use of synthetic petroleum derived chemicals has exploded. We live in a world today where man-made chemicals are part of every breath we take and where electromagnetic emissions are beaming at us from every corner. As a result it is believed that more than ten million Americans have developed a disabling condition referred to as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) or Environmental Illness (EI). MCS is a condition in which the immune and central nervous systems go into extreme reactions when exposed to small amounts of daily chemicals like perfume, cleaning products, car exhaust, printed matter, construction materials and pesticides.” (more…)

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