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Alberto Paredes May 30, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Spain.
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Galicia, Spain 2009

Alberto Paredes (b. 1973, Spain) graduated in Journalism from the Universitat Autonoma in Barcelona and has attended photography workshops with Antonin Kratochvil, Ferdinando Scianna and David Alan Harvey. Since 2000 he has worked as a freelance specializing in social and travel features. Alberto’s photographs have been published in magazines and newspapers such as The New York Times, The Observer, El País Semanal, L’Equipe, Viajar, Frommer, La Reppublica. In 2002 he was awarded a first prize in Euro Press Photo Awards by Fuji. He is currently based in Madrid.

About the Photograph:

“For the past two years I have walked 2.500 kilometers following different routes of the The Camino de Santiago de Compostela, also known in English as The Way of St. James. Pilgrims from all over the world have come to Spain on foot since the Middle Ages. In addition to people undertaking this religious pilgrimage, there are many travelers and hikers who walk the route for non-religious reasons. Instead of making a feature quickly, driving my car, with pictures of pilgrims and landscapes for commercial travel magazines (my regular income), I decided to become a pilgrim myself and photograph what a pilgrim sees. Most of the photos are about my feelings than merely descriptive. This is the beginning of an ongoing project about rural Spain. I feel comfortable taking pictures where apparently nothing happens. Old villagers are open to speak with strangers about themselves and their environment, and that makes me feel I have a better understanding of what I am shooting.”

Jonathan Taggart May 27, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Canada.
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British Columbia, Canada 2008

Jonathan Taggart (b.1985, Canada) is a Vancouver-based photojournalist and a founding member of the Boreal Collective. He received his BFA in Photography from Ryerson University in Toronto and has since exhibited internationally, and in Canada with the support of grants from the Arts Council of Ontario. He is a Scotia Bank Magnum Workshop Scholarship recipient and a National Magazine Award nominee, and has worked for the likes of Greenpeace Canada and Free The Children. Jonathan continues to document social and environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest, with particular focus on those impacting First Nations communities. His current work on Indigenous Foster Care was recently featured on the New York Times Lens Blog.

About the Photograph:

“In 2008 I was working with a First Nations (one of many names adopted by Canada’s indigenous peoples) group a few hours north of Vancouver. Their communities were spread out along 200-odd kilometers of flood-prone logging road that could be traveled at about 40km/h, tops.  The isolation faced by these reserve communities is tremendous – the hamlets littered with broken vehicles that are cheaper to replace than repair – and they remain incredibly poor despite numerous hydro power and forestry operations in and around their territories. Walker (above) is waiting by his VHF radio for a call from his uncle – there’s no cell phone reception and no power grid, so this is how they are forced to communicate between their communities. It’s a long-term project: there is a treaty being negotiated that will (in theory, anyway) improve living conditions in this valley, and I intend to go back to document how things have changed when self-governance is in place.”

Angela Shoemaker May 25, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Holland, Ohio University.
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Nursing home, Amsterdam 2010

Angela Shoemaker (b. 1978, USA) is a freelance photographer based in Louisville, Kentucky. After pursuing a master’s degree at Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication, Angela was awarded a Fulbright grant to complete a long-term documentary project in Amsterdam. The project focused on a nursing home for aging drug addicts. Some of her other work includes award winning projects on prison nurseries and families struggling with homelessness. She is currently in Kenya shooting video about underground music in overlooked corners of the world.

About the Photograph:

“While the United States was in the midst of the national health care debate, I was photographing a fringe element of the socialized health system in the Netherlands—the residents of a nursing home for aging drug addicts. The institution was tucked away at the outer edge of Amsterdam, thousands of miles from Washington, but the discussion remained about our medical system. The residents were perplexed by the issue and asked if it was true that Americans died because they had no access to health care. This was in comparison to their own health care, which allowed them to continue their unconventional lifestyles, consumed by drug abuse, without denying them access to the care they needed. I was there for several months shooting a documentary about the lives of these residents, some of who have been using heroin and crack cocaine for over 20 years.”

Anna Maria Barry-Jester May 23, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Nicaragua.
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Chichigalpa, Nicaragua 2009

Anna Maria Barry-Jester (b. 1981, USA) is a documentary photographer focusing on the social and political determinants of health. She holds a BA from New York University in Latin American Studies and a Master of Public Health from Columbia University. She is also an editor with Burn magazine and has written for Utne, Connections magazine and taught photography courses for high school students at the Museum of Modern Art. Her work has been exhibited at the Noorderlicht Festival and she was an invited participant at LOOK Between in 2010.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was taken in a farming community near Chichigalpa, Nicaragua. At night, in the glow of the Toval family’s single light bulb and nine inch television, the kids are whisked away by telenovelas. Over the last few years, I have spent time photographing this family and community, locally nicknamed “La Isla de las Viudas,” The Island of Widows. An epidemic of kidney failure has killed thousands over the last decade, people as young as 23. The Toval children’s father died a few years ago of kidney failure, after 20 years working in the fields, and before reaching the age of 40. The community blames pesticides and working conditions in the nearby sugar cane fields, and the company says it’s genetics, environmental conditions, and alcoholism. But the certain reality is that almost every family in La Isla has lost someone in this epidemic. I plan to continue following this community, and documenting the lives of the children that are the next generation of cane cutters.”

Ivan Kashinsky May 20, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Bolivia.
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Lucha Libre, El Alto, Bolivia 2007

Ivan Kashinsky (b. 1977, USA) is a freelance photographer based in Quito, Ecuador. His work has been published in National Geographic, Time, Smithsonian, The New York Times, and Geo, among others. Ivan has traveled from El Alto Bolivia, documenting Lucha Libre for National Geographic to the Bogota Savannah, where he explored the mammoth flower industry for the Smithsonian. Kashinsky’s photography has been recognized in several photo contests and has been exhibited in New York, London and Quito. In 2009 Kashinsky completed an epic journey from the Equator to Tierra del Fuego, the southern tip of South America. The trip culminated in the book Historias Mínimas, published by Dinediciones, and an exhibition at the Centro Cultural Metropolitano in Quito Ecuador.”

About the Photograph:

“Documenting the Cholitas, the Bolivian female wrestlers, was no easy task. I went into the assignment confident and pumped. I had spent years documenting the indigenous fiestas in the Ecuadorian Andes and figured that covering Lucha Libre in Bolivia would be a similar type of challenge. Not. It was incredibly difficult to gain access and slip into the daily lives of the Cholitas. Phone calls weren’t returned. The wrestlers ditched me on the chaotic border between Peru and Bolivia. There were days I spent in my hotel room just waiting for them to get back to me. Slowly I worked my way in. I visited the women in their homes without shooting a single frame. I gained their trust. It was only then that I could finally work freely and capture the kind of images I needed. When I left, we were friends, and I was finally accepted into the bizarre world of Bolivian Lucha Libre.”

David Clifford May 18, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Albania.
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Bektashi Ceremony, Mount Kruje, Albania 2004

David Clifford (b.1974, Canada) graduated from the Art & Visual Communication Centre in Lisbon and shortly after began freelancing in 1997. The following year he was accepted for an internship at Público newspaper, one of the main Portuguese newspapers. In 2005 he became photo editor of Público. His work has been published in: Visao, Expresso, Grande Reportagem, Libération, Le Monde and Bloomberg. Along with commissions for governmental institutions David’s photographs have been exhibited at the Centro Cultural Belem, Lisbon Portugal and FNAC Galleries (Lisbon, Porto, Paris).

About the Photograph:

“I drove from Portugal to Albania – a depressed and forgotten country lingering in the suburbs of the European Union. The bearded old man is “Baba” Haxhi Reshat Bardhi, the head of the Bektashi, a Sufi order that derived from the Shia Muslims. The Baba went outside to greet the people and they would kiss his beard. Locals would later enter a room, eat a sweet and share a brief moment in the presence of the Baba. There was silence most of the time but once in a while the Baba would speak short sentences to the people sitting around him. He sat against the wall in front of the paintings of Iman Ali on one side and the first Bektashi of Albania on another. Everyone seemed to enter a dreamy state. On top of the mountain things looked pure and beautiful.”

Pascal Shirley May 16, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Oakland, California 2005

Pascal Shirley (b. 1980, USA) began his photographic studies at Prescott College and the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He received his MFA at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. During this time he studied under Larry Sultan and Jim Goldberg and graduated in 2006. He was awarded a teaching position the following fall at California College of the Arts, but left soon after to pursue a career in photography. Pascal assists with several NYC and LA based photographers while continuing his own work. He recently shot for TIME magazine and has been included in group shows in Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. Pascal currently resides in Los Angeles.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is part of a series on youth in and around the Bay Area.  The 13-year-old boy lived with his mother in Oakland.  I photographed him three separate times and it was the third time when I got this picture. I remember him opening up to me about how his father had left when he was young and his dog was his best friend. Their house was very cluttered and I could barely move throughout the rooms. His mother told me there were evil spirits in the house. I asked him if he wanted to go out in the backyard. He moved throughout the yard like it was foreign to him. It seemed like it had been years since he had played out there. He was an only child entering adolescence and I felt his unease.”

Eric Lafforgue May 13, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Papua New Guinea.
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Singsing Festival, Mt Hagen, Papua New Guinea 2007

Eric Lafforgue has always been fascinated by travel. When he was ten years old he spent time in Africa, unknowingly retracing Monfried and Joseph Kesselʼs footsteps in Djibouti, Ethiopia and Yemen. He started taking photographs in 2006 and in 2008, his work on the people of Papua was shown at VISA photojournalism festival in Perpignan. Since then his work has been published in: Time, National Geographic, New York Times, CNN Traveler, Discovery Channel BBC, and the Sunday times among others. Eric is represented by the French photo agency Rapho.

About the Photo:

“Once a year in Mount Hagen, in the highlands of Papua New Guinea tribes from all around the country come to show their culture and rituals. Dancing contests and ceremonial exchanges are the  highlight of these festivities, aimed to honor and renew the relationship with ancestors as well as maintaining each clan’s prestige. When decorating themselves, Papuan’s use everything they find in nature : grass, flowers, natural pigments, animal teeth and pig tusks. The headdress they wear is made by old wise men who keep the feathers like a treasure in old suitcases. Each feather is packed in a page of newspaper, to protect it from insects, and one by one, the man will build the headdress. It takes hours. They start at six in the morning and lasts into the night.”

Larysa Sendich May 11, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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From the Series “Between Waves”, 2010

Larysa Sendich (b.1979, Ukraine) spent her childhood in the American Midwest and on the East Coast, between the American culture she was born into, and the Ukrainian one her immigrant family came from.  This division of cultural circumstances fueled a life-long pursuit for the meaning of ‘Home’. Since the beginning of her career Larysa has been engaged in a long-term exploration, across cultures and generations, of the search for this fundamental human need. In 2010 Larysa  graduated from the International Center of Photography Documentary Photography program in New York. Her photographs have been published in F- Stop Magazine, NPR, and  100 Words. She lives in New York.

About the Photograph:

“This image, taken on the sound in Milford, CT, is part of a larger body of work called Between Waves. By concentrating on two distinct generational waves of Ukrainian and Russian immigrants residing on the east coast of the United States the images aim to capture the struggles of preserving cultural heritage while adapting to new social environments. Luba, the woman in this photograph is a product of the third wave, the largest and most permanent, that came escaping political exile as a direct result of World War II.  The work poses questions of what can be lost in transition, evoking a sense of isolation, confusion, friction and dislocation.”

Arindam Mukherjee May 9, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in India.
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Bhagawan Das, New Delhi, India 2009

Arindam Mukherjee (b.1974, India) is a freelance photojournalist based in Kolkata. He began as an advertising photographer but from the very beginning was more interested in street photography; which later brought him  to photojournalism. He has worked with The Times of India and as the chief photographer and assignment director for EyePress photo agency based in Hong Kong. His photographs have been published in: Le Figaro, Stern, Der Spiegel, The Sunday Telegraph, Le Monde, Liberation, Le point, De Volkskrant, Forbes, Traveler Magazine (UK), Marie Claire among others. His awards include: National Media Fellowship in 2003 for his work on India coal miners and the B. Bangoor Endowment Fellowship for his work on Indian Sex workers in 2006. Arindam is represented by Sipa Press , Landov Llc  and OTN Reportages.

About the Photograph:

This picture is a part of a story called Alley of Magic in the Kathputli colony, a slum in New Delhi. Though underdeveloped and overpopulated like any other Indian slums, Kathputli colony is different. All its residents are traditional folk artists and magicians. Some of them have traveled throughout the world to perform in concerts and festivals. A few artists in this disadvantaged community have enough money to move out to a better place with better living conditions but don’t want to. They feel that this slum is a part of their identity. The children of the slum community also want to carry forward their lineage as artists. One of the main things that separate the colony residents from dwellers of other slums is their emotional attachment and dedication towards their art form. I was traveling through one of the narrow alleys inside the slum and I heard a song coming from one of the small houses. After going inside I found singer Bhagawan Das and his group practicing. They were friendly people and gladly accepted my intrusion. I stayed for more than three hours listening to the songs, spell bound.”

Eirini Vourloumis May 6, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mexico.
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Mexico City 2007

Eirini Vourloumis (b.1979, Greece) is a freelance photographer focusing on features and reportage. Her work has focused mostly on exploring Islamic communities in the United States. She is currently a contributing freelance photographer to the New York Times and has relocated to Greece from New York to document the ongoing current economic crisis. She is also a contributing writer for Lens, the New York Times photojournalism blog. She is a graduate of Parsons School of Design and of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York. Her work has been published in the New York Times, New York Magazine, The Financial Times Magazine, and The Daily Independent, among others. She has also worked as a photo assistant at Life Books and Life Magazine and as a freelance photo editor at Newsweek.

About the Photograph:

“Mexico City has nearly two million underprivileged children and young adults who live on the streets; some 240,000 of these are abandoned children. Most are addicted to paint thinner and glue sniffing. I decided to document these issues through Casa Transitorio, a shelter for young boys who are in the process of reforming from street life to a more positive and stable daily routine. Run by El Caracol, a non-profit organization, they are given a home with an open door policy where they are provided medication to help wean them off drugs, taught different working skills and are offered basic classes in subjects ranging from reading to music. This photograph was taken on our way to a wholesale grocery market where the boys transport food to their shelter. This image reflects the daily life and struggles faced by countless youths in Mexico City mirroring the aspirations of those in the bus who used to be in the same position but are hoping and working towards a better future.”

Björn Steinz May 4, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in South Korera.
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Election Campaign, Gwangyang, South Korea 2010

Björn Steinz (b. 1970, Germany) began his photographic career at the age of 15 for the local newspaper in his village close to Frankfurt. After working as a volunteer in refugee camps during the war in former Yugoslavia and traveling for several months in Latin America he decided to study photography in Prague where he finished his MA at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts. His work has appeared in: Du, The Financial Times, The Independent, Der Spiegel, Newsweek, among others etc. Björn is represented by Panos Pictures. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Keimyung University in Daegu in South Korea and working on a book about his host country.

About the Photograph:

“This image is part of a book project about South Korea. That day we reached the city entrance at Gwangyang located in the Jellonam-Do province in the southern part of the country there were local elections taking place. This group of young people in the middle of the main road, dressed with a blue shirts and the party logo “one” bowed in front of every car that passed to show their respect. After talking with them I found out they were students earning a little spare money from campaigning. I have received so much kindness and hospitality from the Koreans. The society is very different in terms of social structures, ways of thinking and behavior from the west.”

Aaron Vincent Elkaim May 2, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Israel.
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West Bank Checkpoint, Bethlehem, Israel 2007

Aaron Vincent Elkaim (b. 1981, Canada) is a freelance photographer based in Toronto, Canada. He has a degree in Cultural Anthropology and a diploma in Photojournalism and focuses his documentary work on exploring cultural issues in the modern world. His first long-term project is rooted in his own family history and explores the remnants of a once large Jewish community in Morocco. His work has been acknowledged internationally, garnering awards and recognition at the New York Photo Festival, American Photography 26, ONWARD 11, PX3 2010, PDN Photo Annual, the News Photographers Association of Canada and the Ontario Arts Council. He is an Eddie Adams Alumni and was recognized as an Emerging Photographer in 2008 by Photolife Magazine. Aaron is also a co-founder and member of the Boreal Collective.

About the Photograph:

“This image was taken at the West Bank checkpoint of Bethlehem. It is one of many checkpoints where hundreds of Palestinians line up daily to cross into Israel and Jerusalem for work. This image was part of a project of discovery early in my career. I sent three months traveling throughout Israel and Palestine attempting to gain some understanding of the situation there, photographing as I went. I had no story or angle in mind, I simply wished to see what was happening, how people were living, and gain a sense of the place that holds the minds and faiths of the world.  To me this image represents the daily life of the Palestinian people, its quiet and alludes to a sense of normalcy in an abnormal situation.  While the peace sign signifies hope, the routine of the repression makes this image hopeless, a feeling I was left with after this trip.”

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