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Geoffrey Hiller/ Daybreak in Myanmar Book Launch December 11, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Burma, Myanmar.
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Editor’s note: I’ll be out of the country this January in Myanmar and will resume showcasing new photographers on February 2, 2015. Hard to believe that Verve Photo has featured close to 1,000 photographers from over 80 countries during the past seven years. Happy New Year to all of you out there!

Listening to a transistor radio in a Yangon tea shop, Myanmar 2013

These images are from my new book Daybreak in Myanmar. I’ve returned to Burma several times since my first trip in 1987. The country was frozen in time until a few years ago when the government announced a democratic opening. Most of the visible economic and social changes have occurred in Yangon, but in the villages change is slower. On-going trouble in the border areas with ethnic minorities (including the Rohingya) continues to flare. The Burmese people know that there is still a lot of political uncertainty going forward.

Students near the university, Yangon 2012

The book is 192 pages with 170 color photographs printed on 157 gsm matte art paper. Trim size is 18.5 x 25.5 cm. It’s sequenced by time of day showing Burmese daily rhythms and includes six short interviews with leading Burmese writers and activists by UK journalist Francis Wade. Order a copy of the book here $29.95 + shipping. Thanks for supporting this project. By doing so you are supporting documentary photography and all of the work that has gone into creating Verve Photo.

River shrine, Hpa-an 2000

Vincent Catala December 8, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Brazil.
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Central do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro 2014

Vincent Catala (b. 1975, France) lives and works between Europe and Brazil. In 2000 he graduated from McGill University with a Masters Degree in Intellectual Property. He became a photographer in 2006 after having various jobs. Vincent often photographs for urban planning and architecture clients. He also does portraits for music labels and the press. Since 2012 he has been involved in a personal research focusing on the evolution of the city of Rio de Janeiro. His work has been the subject of various exhibitions in Paris, Amman, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Tbilisi, Braga and was awarded several prizes and has been published in Le Monde, Télérama and The Sunday Times Magazine. He is represented by Agence VU.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was taken in April 2014, next to the bus station Central do Brasil, in Centro. It was raining and this guy looked lost and a bit crazy. Normally I do my personal work with a large format camera, but in this situation I took the photograph with a 6×7 camera. It’s part of my current work about Rio de Janeiro because (contrary to what many people think) I feel there a lot of loneliness/emptiness here. There is probably in that vision a lot of my personal story, and this is why I always shape my work taking into consideration the space as well as the individuals, trying to extract from their interaction a common sense (place in the world, freedom). I love to work in Rio when the weather is gray and rainy (also because in color, when it’s sunny, the light proves often too harsh for me). There is no sadness in this kind of picture for me, rather a quest about oneself and the place surrounding us, searching a sense and an order.”

Elena Chernyshova December 4, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Russia.
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Norilsk , Russia 2012.

Elena Chernyshova (b.1981 USSR) is a self-taught photographer who after two years of work as an architect left her job and bicycled from Toulouse to Vladivostok and back again: 30,000 kilometers, 26 countries and 1,004 days. The trip led her to decide to become a photographer. In 2011 she received a grant from the Lagardère Foundation to create the photo documentary ‘Days of Night – Nights of Day’ about the daily life of the industrial city of Norilsk, located 400 kilometers north of the polar circle, in Siberia. Elena’s work has been published in National Geographic, Le Monde, Internazionale, Days Japan, A/R magazine, Newsweek Russia, and Ecology and Life. Her awards include: World Press Photo 2014; Days Japan Awards and others.

About the Photograph:

“I was attracted by this couple and wanted to do a photo without disturbing them but at the last moment the girl noticed me and glanced in my direction. We spoke a bit after. They were both born in Norilsk. Their parents came in the 1970’s, attracted by high salaries and economic advantages. They planned to work for five years and leave, but ended up staying. A typical Norilsk story. Now the young are dreaming of leaving Norilsk to build their own lives in other parts of Russia. There are no green areas in Norilsk so people have to travel 30 kilometers by bus and walk for about four  kilometers to reach nature.”

Pierfrancesco Celada December 1, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Japan.
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Shibuya Station, Tokyo 2011

Pierfrancesco Celada (b.1979, Italy) has a PhD in Bio Mechanics but is currently working as a freelance photographer. In 2011 he  interned at Magnum Photo and won the Ideastap and Magnum Photographic Award for his project Japan, I wish I knew your name, his current book project. Pierfrancesco’s work has been exhibited internationally and published in Newsweek, Times Lightbox, Amica, D-LaRepubblica. He is currently working on the second chapter of Modern Megalopolis: People Mountain People Sea about  life in Chinese Mega-cities.

About the Photograph:

“The Japanese megalopolis is a strip of land that stretches on the east side of Honshu Island through Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo. More then 80 million people live in close contact, making it one of the most densely populated regions in the world. This photo was shot outside Shibuya station in Tokyo, a few hundreds meters away from the well-known Shibuya crossing. Behind the glass is a smoking area where thousands of commuters stop for a cigarette. The space is narrow and the chances for interaction are high, but people choose not to interact.”

“My goal was to look at the difference between rural societies where people have more of an active role, with multiple connections and greater effect on the community compared to cities where people often struggle to communicate with each other. The aim of the project is trying to answer questions such as: Is it still important to be, or feel, part of a group? Are we alone in the crowd? My book project Hitoride is currently being featured on the crowd funding site indeastap”

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