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Andrea Diefenbach August 29, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ukraine.
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Andrea Diefenbach (b.1974, Germany) studied photography at the University of Applied Science in Bielefeld. She graduated in 2006.  Her project about AIDS in Odessa was published as book by HATJE CATZ in June 2008 (US: August 2008). Most of her work centers on ‘concerned photography’ and social issues in Germany or Eastern Europe and has been published in STERN, GEO, DIE ZEIT, Brigitte, NEON among many others. Her work in Odessa was also awarded at the Lumix festival in Hannover, Germany in June 2008.

About the Photograph:

“I took this picture after Natascha had visited her two children in an orphanage. She was looking forward to seeing them for a long time and than was only allowed to see them for a few minutes. It was obvious that she wasn’t going to get her children back. Natascha is one of the persons I accompanied for my project about the AIDS-epidemic in Odessa, Ukraine, in spring 2006. The Ukraine holds the sad European record for new cases of infection, and is among those nations in which AIDS is currently spreading most quickly. Odessa, the port city through which the HIV virus is presumed to have been introduced to the countries of the Soviet Union, is now one of the most heavily impacted cities. Estimates by the World Health Organization indicate that as many as 160,000 individuals are infected with HIV live in the city of one million.”

Miki Alcalde August 27, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Sudan.
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Khartoum, Sudan

Born in 1979 in Spain, photographer Miki Alcalde studied marketing in Madrid and Florida, graduating with an MBA in International Marketing by Eastern Michigan University in 2002. He joined Magnum Photos in New York for a one-year internship in June 2002, and has been traveling and photographing ever since. He has recently returned from three months in Africa (Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopi­a and Yemen) and is currently based in India. Miki is represented by Getty Images.

About the Photograph:

“It had rained all day and when I was finally able to go out and photograph, the sole reason why I was in Sudan after all, I found all the streets flooded and all sudanese trying to go on with their lives the best they could. I had to move quickly like them so that no-one was too suspicious about what I was doing. It wouldn’t have been the first time that two guys in plain clothes stopped me and took me to their headquarters for interrogation.”

Newsha Tavakolian August 25, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Iran.
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“Coffeeshop in Iran” Tehran, 2007

Newsha  Tavakolian (b.1981, Iran) began working as professional photographer with the Iranian press at age 16! She started with the woman’s daily newspaper Zan, and later worked with nine reformist dailies, all since banned. Newsha began working internationally, covering Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan in 2002. Her work has been published in Time Magazine, Newsweek, Stern, Le Figaro, Colors, New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Der Speigel & Le Monde 2. Awards include the NPPA & Missouri School of Journalism, 2003. She is represented by Polaris Images and is a founding member of EVE Photographers with five other women photojournalists. In addition, Newsha was a finalist for the Inge Morath award and chosen by World Press Photo organization with five other photographers, to attend the Joop Swart Masterclass in 2007.

About the Photograph:

“I went to a cafe, called a ‘Coffeeshop in Iran’. They don’t serve alcohol there and it’s mainly a meeting place for young people. The day before the government had decided that smoking in public places was deemed illegal. I wanted to focus on the two girls and the ventilator when this guy lighted his pipe. Iranian’s, mainly Tehrani’s often spend time in places like this where they can meet each other and smoke without their families seeing it.”

Alessandro Vincenzi August 22, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Moldova.
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From the Series: TB at European Gates

Alessandro Vincenzi (b.1973, Italy) began professional photography late in life. After a degree in biology at the University of Bologna and a specialization in tropical medicine, he joined Medecins Sans Forntieres in 2005. During his free time on his missions for MSF as a biologist, he took pictures of patients and other people in distress in various contexts and countries. As the second prize winner of a photography contest, Alessandro attended a workshop in 2006, organized by the Toscana Photographic Workshop and VII Photo Agency. In 2008 Alessandro decided to become a full time professional photographer and left MSF. He is based in Madrid, Spain and is working on 2 long-term projects, “TB at European Gates” and ” Transgender in India”.

About the Photograph:

“Moldova has one of the highest numbers of Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis patients in the world. During the Soviet Union Regime hospitals and were often running out of drugs. Due to the migration of people, TB is on the rise again where it had almost disappeared. The Moldovan story is part of one of my bigger projects, TB at European Gates. I had been following this man for a few days. At the moment of my visit he was at the end of the treatment and as it often happens (patients feels better after few months of treatment), he was not regularly following the treatment anymore. ” (more…)

Katharina Hesse August 20, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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Katharina Hesse holds a graduate degree in Chinese & Japanese studies from the Institute National des Langues et Civilizations Orientales in Paris. She initially worked as an assistant for German TV and later freelanced for Newsweek from 1996 to 2002. In 2003 and 2004 she covered China for Getty photos. Hesse is self-taught in photography and her work has  appeared in Der Spiegel, Le Monde, Marie-Claire, Stern and Vanity Fair among others. Hesse participated in the ” A day in the Life of the American Woman ” project in 2005, and won a NPPA 1st prize award in 2003. Her work has been featured at photography festivals including Visa Pour l’Image, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the Angkor Photo Festival  in Cambodia and LOOK3 (USA).

About the Photograph:

“I took a small number of portraits of the Beijing petitioners in late December 2007 as I thought they’d certainly not be allowed to stay around during the Olympics due to China’s obsession with ” keeping face” and showing off as a perfect host city. Many of these people have struggled for years in their native provinces to seek justice, therefore Beijing’s petitioner’s offices are their last recourse. Sadly, most are detained and then sent back to their native provinces. In the days leading up to the Olympics, houses were still being demolished. Recent news from a petitioner describes his situation as follows: ‘our neigborhood has been dismantled… more than 10,000 of us including homeless people live on one bowl of vegetables a day. Some of us have been beaten by officials dressed up as petitioners.’ “

Andreas Meichsner August 18, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Holland.
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From the series “Arcadia ” , Holland

Berlin based photographer Andreas Meichsner has graduated from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Hanover Germany in 2006. His latest freelance works mainly deal with the status and organization of leisure time in our society and its relationship to everyday life in our society. He works on commercial and editorial assignments. Meichsner has reached the finals of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award twice in 2005 and 2006 with projections at the Rencontres in Arles. His work Arcadia has won the second prize at the European Architectural Photography Award and was selected for the Fringe Festival Voices-Off in Arles.

About the Photograph:

“The series shows tourists socializing in Dutch vacation house parks. The peoples search for tasks in their spare time, are shown in contrast to the architectural appearence of the parks. The decision to choose a standardized copy of their everyday home, lined up a hundred times next to each other, as their vacartion destination seems absurd. Nevertheless, holiday house tourism enjoys a growing popularity in Holland.”

Jeff Hutchens August 15, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Cambodia.
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Jeff Hutchens was born in Lansing, Michigan in 1978. The son of an American diplomat, he spent his childhood throughout the U.S. and across China, South Africa, and the Philippines. He graduated from Asbury College in Kentucky with a double major in Psychology and Pre-Med but decided to follow his heart into photojournalism. After a series of internships, Jeff was hired by National Geographic Channels International (NGCI) to be their sole staff photographer. After two years with NGCI he decided to continue his career as a freelancer, allowing him to spend more time pursuing personal projects. Jeff has shot professionally on six continents, where he’s faced grizzly bears, lava floes, komodo dragons, and all manner of corrupt officials. From work on the surreality of life in China, to the emotional after effects of the Khmer Rouge regime on Cambodia, to the health of the polar bear population in the Artic. Jeff has won multiple awards in World Press Photo, the NPPA, Best of Photojournalism Competition, POYI and the White House News Photographers Competition.

About the Photograph:

The Khmer Rouge regime rises to power.  Nearly four years later, the entire infrastructure of Cambodia is destroyed.  Millions are tortured and killed.  It is the most lethal per capita genocide of modern times, a darkness that has haunted the country for the last 30 years.  But the darkness may be lifting as the United Nations Khmer Rouge Tribunal attempts to bring healing to a broken country.  The prosecution digs through the faded memories of witnesses while navigating the corruption endemic to Cambodia’s government. I wanted this image to explore the emotional undercurrent of the nation’s capital, as the country wakes from the nightmare of its history and attempts to bring to justice those responsible for the horrors of the its past.  I tried to make these images feel like memories— vague, decontextualized, moody – so this is shot through multiple panes of glass on a street corner — I photographed the situation for about forty minutes before the cop meandered through the left hand side of the frame and everything coalesced.

Yoon S. Byun August 13, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ohio University, United States.
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The Fagan Family, Ohio

Yoon S. Byun (b 1979, Korea) discovered his calling after switching majors for the 4th time as an undergrad at NYU to journalism, and by chance took a photojournalism course in his senior year on 9/10/01. “The aftermath of 9/11 in New York was something I felt an important need to document. As I learned the definitions of f-stops, shutter speeds and film ISO, I simultaneously tried to document both sides of the peace/pro-war movement. I eventually landed my first internship at the Daily Press (Newport News, VA). Dennis Tennant, the photo editor there, took a chance on me based on my weak portfolio of images. Alex Burrows at the Virginian-Pilot also took another chance in taking in a fairly inexperienced freelancer. I would say that the 9 months at the Pilot was where I first learned how to “see.” Yoon is a staff photographer at the Boston Globe. He also works with Aevum Photo.

About the Photograph:

“This project started when I went to a women in agriculture meeting advertised in the Athens News when I was in grad school.  I decided to localize the story of women in agriculture, or women owned farms by focusing on farms in Southeast Ohio.  This was during a documentary class taught by Bruce Strong – a wonderful professor who challenged much of my thinking during the class.  I found Linda Fagan, the mother of the family, with the help of a woman who was at this meeting.  Upon my first visit to the farm, I realized that there was more of a story with this family than just the women who worked there.  I asked if I could continue to photograph them, and they agreed.  I didn’t really know what I was photographing as I continued my visits.  I just knew something drew me to them.  It was toward the end of my time at OU that I realized what I so admired about this family – it was their independence.  I realized their values and lifestyle was really based upon their own definition of a purpose filled life.” (more…)

Tomás Munita August 11, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Afghanistan.
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Classroom, Kabul Afganistan. 2005

Tomás Munita was born in Chile in 1975. He began working as a photojournalist in South America in 1995. His began working for a newspaper and left to continue a long term project in Potosi, Bolivia. Later he worked for the Associated Press, first in Central America based in Panama and later based in Kabul, Afghanistan. Since 2006 he has been a freelance photographer working mostly on personal projects and for  publications such as The New York Times, Time, Geo and others. He was based in Kathmandu and recently returned to Santiago with his wife and two children. His work has won several awards, including the Leica Oskar Barnack in 2006, two World Press Photo prizes in different categories in 2006 and  the Young Photographer Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography in 2005.

About the Photograph:

“The girls are waiting for their teacher to arrive. They had their school destroyed during the civil war, so it recently moved to the abandoned remains of the Kabul theater where more than a hundred students continue their studies. It was a cold morning in 2005. But as soon as the teacher and the other students arrived they enthusiastically started  the history lessons.”

8.8.88- 8.8.08: Twenty Years On August 8, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Burma, China, Tibet.
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Cyclone Nargis , Burma, 2008

Editors note: Today is both the anniversary of 8.8.88 as well as 8.8.08, the opening of the Beijing Olympics. Twenty years ago the Burma military junta killed tens of thousands of innocent Burmese on the streets of Rangoon. Unfortunately we are not in a position to name the photographer for the reasons above.

About the Photograph:

“Hhaing The Yu, 29, holds his face in his hand as rain falls on the decimated remains of his home in the Swhe Pyi Tha township, near Myanmar’s capital of Yangon (Rangoon), on Sunday, May 11th, 2008.  Cyclone Nargis struck southern Myanmar a week ago leaving millions homeless and has claimed up to 100,000 lives.  Experts have warned that Myanmar now runs the risk of a public health crisis that could take an even greater toll, as the country’s military government has been slow to allow in international aid.


Tibetan Monks. Kathmandu, Nepal

Brian Sokol was born in the late 1970′s in the American Midwest where he grew-up pouring over back issues of National Geographic.  At university he studied writing and education before heading overseas.  After being awarded a small grant from the University of Wisconsin, Brian purchased his first camera and 100 rolls of slide film a few days before heading to Nepal for a year that elapsed into a decade.  In July 2008 Brian moved from Kathmandu to New Delhi, India in to better cover South and Southeast Asia.  He work appears regularly in publications including The New York Times, Time, Stern, l’Espresso and Der Spiegel.  He is the recipient of National Geographic Magazine’s 2007 Eddie Adams grant and was recognized as one of PDN’s 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch in 2008.

About the Photograph:

A Tibetan monk, rosary beads hanging from his hand, covers his face while sitting in solidarity during a hunger strike at a Tibetan refugee camp in Kathmandu, Nepal on 18 March 2008.  Eleven hunger strikers have been fasting in the Nepalese capital since 11 p.m. on 16 March in protest against conditions in Tibet.

Jan-Joseph Stok August 6, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in DR Congo.
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Boy Scouts of Africa, Congo 2007

Born in Holland in 1978, Jan-Joseph Stok spent most of his childhood in France. At the age of 18 he returned to his home country to study photojournalism for three years at the Foto Academie in Amsterdam. While working as a freelance photographer he was wounded in an attack near Kosovo and decided to return home, with the goal of acquiring more knowledge and expertise about the world. Stok has completed freelance assignments for international magazines and newspapers and has traveled regularly to Africa to work for a variety of international NGO’s. In January 2006, he was awarded “Best Photojournalist  of the Year Under 30” in the Netherlands and the Canon Prize. During 2006, Stok was based in London for one year, where he continued to work as a freelance photographer while completing a Masters in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication.

About the Photograph:

“I made this  photograph of the Boy Scouts of the Congo playing in the forest. Being a boy scout is a good way for the young people to avoid  joining rebel groups in the Congo. It gives them a feeling of belonging in a postive way of life. My work in Africa aims to reveal the details of peoples lives and not simply concentrate on hard news. My aim is to look deeper into the lives of often neglected people and the facets of society that few people seem to care about.”

Blogging from Bangladesh August 5, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bangladesh, Blog Info.
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From the series “Heros Never Die” by Saiful Huq

Beginning next week I’ll be posting from Dhaka. I’ll be there for five months teaching multimedia at the Independent University of Bangladesh and working on new projects. Bangladesh has over 150 million people and is about as far from Portland, Oregon as one can get. It has an dynamic photography community and will be hosting the Chobi Mela Photo Festival this January. Newsha Tavakolian, a wonderful Iranian photographer introduced me to Saiful, both of whose work I’ll be featuring in the near future.

About the Photograph:

Saiful Huq is a young Bangladeshi photographer who graduated from the Pathshala School of Photography in Dhaka. This photograph is from his series “Heros Never Die: Tales of Political Violence in Bangladesh, 1989- 2005.” Sheik Abdul Wadud was praying in a mosque when a grenade attack took his right leg and a portion of his right hand in 1999. Nine people died and numerous other people were injured.

“August is not the month of winter. Winter was yet to come. Winter would come. I would wrap myself with my dark brown shawl, I would travel on a richshaw and with a single step I would arrive at Tongi bridge. Standing on the bridge I would bend down towards the Turag river and shout out loud and listen to how far the echo reaches…This time I would go to the sea and stand on the mountain and touch the clouds. Could tears come to my eyes for once? The whole country shattered into pieces. Bombs exploded in 63 districts at once. Two people died and more then 100 were injured. That wasn’t enough, more was on the way. None of us was stupid enough to not understand this. The winter deserted me taking it’s entire aroma with it. Ah! intense winter of my youth! I had to wrap it away for an unknown future, shoulder my camera and leave my house. The whole country was my destination.”

Rafal Milach August 4, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Russia.
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From the series “Young Russia” 2008

Rafal Milach (b.1978, Poland) holds an MA in fine art from the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, and a BA in photography from the Institute for Creative Photography, Czech Republic. He is a regular contributor to Polish magazines such as Przekroj and Newsweek Poland. His international publication credits include Die Zeit, Le Monde Economie, Newsweek and The Guardian Weekend Magazine. His work has been exhibited in Poland, Austria, Spain, Germany, and Japan. Rafal participated in the World Press Photo Joop Swart Master Class in 2007 and is represented by Anzenberger Agency.

About the Photograph:

“I shot this picture of 28 year old Denis in his bed in Moscow. His main occupation is doing nothing. He used to work a lot as a young boy traveling all round Russia and Eastern Europe with her mother. He comes from Kazakhstan but has lived in Moscow since he was 11. He misses the Soviet times when people where closer one to another. Today everybody runs like crazy.” On a technical note Rafal remarked “I try to shoot all my personal projects on film because it makes me calmer. I shoot digitally for my daily commercial and editorial work so when I have chance to shoot on film I do it with the greatest pleasure. Its another way of concentration and thinking. At least in my case. You have to think very carefully what you want to shoot if you have only 10 frames on film.”

Denis Dailleux August 1, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Egypt.
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From the series ” Egypt My Love” 2007

Occasionally Verve Photo will feature the work of “old time” photographers. Such is the case with Denis Dailleux (b. 1958, France) who makes his home in Cairo. His images appear calm and are noted for their delicacy and grace. There is a melancholic quality to Dailleux’s work that comes from his relationship with the people in his photographs. I’ve been told by other photographers that Cairo is a challenging place to photograph but in Dailleux’s work one can sense a tenderness. He was awarded the Fujifilm Award in 2001, Festival Terre d’images Biarritz in 2000 and the World Press Photo Award in 2000. His work has been exhibited widely and he has published two books about Egypt. Denis is represented by Agence Vu.

About the Photograph:

Denis was reticent to comment on his images. His site describes this project as follows: “Between Denis Dailleux and Cairo there is a true love story. He has a fascination for this place, its mood, its magical lights and an unspeakable tenderness for its inhabitants. Denis has patiently constructed a unique portrait of Cairo with which he has a loving relationship. An absolute alternative to all the clichés, cultural and touristic, which clutter our thoughts.”

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