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Lukas Berger May 31, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Pakistan.
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Lucky Irani Circus. Punjab, Pakistan 2012

Lukas Berger (b. 1989, Austria) studied photojournalism & documentary photography in Hanover, Germany and is currently based there. His photographic work brought him to places like Pakistan, Burkina Faso, Uzbekistan, Ethiopia and many European countries. The project Circus was published as a book by the German publisher Kettler and at TIME Lightbox. Lukas is co-founder of the art space/gallery BOHAI in Hanover.

About the Photograph:

“These are the clowns Mohammed & Tareq. When I tell the story about those two I always talk about good cop and bad cop. I had lived in Pakistan for almost one and a half years when I came across the Lucky Irani Circus. It fascinated me to find such a big circus in a country you mostly associate with political issues and natural desasters in daily media. The clown Tareeq, the one on the left side, enjoyed being photographed by me and showed me some of his clown tricks. Since my Urdu was good enough to communicate basic manners at that time, he told me his story how he came to the circus. As a midget it was difficult for him to stay with his family or get a usual job. So he decided to join the circus and start a new life there. Mohammed was the bad cop, he never talked much with me and often looked angry. Twice I went on stage with them to perform a number, where they beat each other up and Mohammed was very much after me. Of course, only on stage.“

Joel Hawksley May 28, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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From a story about returning Vets, Carbondale, Illinois 2014

Joel Hawksley (b.1990, United States) is a freelance photographer and web application developer based in Providence, Rhode Island. A former newspaper photographer at The Roanoke Times, his clients include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, and AARP. His work has been recognized by College Photographer of the Year, Hearst Journalism Awards, and the National Press Photographers Association, among others. Joel is also the creator of SoloFolio.

About the Photograph:

“Shooting sometimes as many as five assignments a day during my time at The Southern Illinoisan, a small paper in Carbondale, Illinois, often meant little time to linger and wait for the right moments. Thankfully, my editor did his best to give me the time I needed when I asked for it, and this photograph is a direct result of that understanding. As the local VA hospital was an important part of the community, our staff spent a lot of time covering veteran’s issues, including many efforts to help those with war-related injuries live healthy and meaningful lives. For this assignment, we were invited to spend time with a group of veterans as they visited a hunting club on a cold, late-November morning. Just as the last fog was lifting, I crouched in the hunting blind with Ryley as he eyed a duck across the pond. We both got the shot.”

Luca Catalano Gonzaga May 24, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Indonesia.
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Ijen Kawah volcano in Eastern Java, Indonesia 2014

Luca Catalano Gonzaga (b. 1965 Italy) has a degree in Economics. In 2008 he became a full-time professional photographer, focusing mainly on social issues and portraits. He was awarded the Grand Prix Care du Reportage Humanitarie in 2009 for a feature on child labour in Nepal, which was shown at Visa Pour l’Image. 2010. He co-founded Witness Image, a non-profit association developing photographic projects on human rights issues. Luca received funding from the Nando Peretti Foundation, to carry out the project Child Survival in a Changing Climate (2011) and in collaboration with UNPO (Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization), for the project Invisible People (2013). His work has been published in Geo, The Guardian, New York Times and the Washington Post. Luca is based in Rome.

About the Photograph:

“Sahron, 20 years old, has been mining sulfur for five years. He climbs the vulcano daily with a load of almost 70 kg of sulfur carried in reed baskets, a path he makes twice a day for 10 euros. On his way up he stops to catch his breath again and alleviate the pain caused by the overload. He works inside the womb of the Ijen Kawah volcano in Eastern Java. Every day three hundred men leave the base camp at the slopes of the mountain to reach the top of the volcano. They climb up three kilometres and then head downwards until the opening of the crater where the sulfur crystals lie. Nine hundred meters deep towards hell, defying the unbearable heat, rarefied air, without any protection. The sulfur slabs are broken with the help of a metal pole and then carried in reed baskets that weigh between 70 to 90 kilos.Then begins the return path of the 21st century sulfur picker, heading towards the volcano’s entrance, in a precarious balance, carrying a huge load that deforms the spine, bends the legs and produces ulcers on his shoulders. A very hard kind of work which will end soon – the average life expectancy of the sulfur miners does not go beyond 50 years.”

Michael Santiago May 20, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Zoilo Santiago, Luz Santiago and Emma Santiago. Pomona, NY 2013

Michael Santiago (b. 1980 USA) is a documentary photographer based between New York and Oakland. Michael’s work focuses on issues concerning people of color and their communities; obesity, cancer, race and identity, family relationships, healthy eating, youth empowerment and more. A senior at the San Francisco Art Institute, he studies documentary photography and brings a strong cultural awareness to his work. He is the recipeint of the 2015 Alexia Foundation student grant for his project Stolen Land, Stolen Future a body of work focusing on Black farmers of California and his long term projects A Promise, 250 and Michael.

About the Photograph:

“On the weekends when my older brother has to work my mother Luz watches my niece. Around this particular time my father’s health began to steadily decline. His energy would be depleted faster than usual especially on days after dialysis. He often would doze off at any given moment. With my niece being sick this day, she was not as rambunctious as usual and with my father napping my mother took this quiet moment to just gather her thoughts and relax. My father Zoilo at this point had been battling prostate cancer since 1998 and was also dealing with kidney failure. At the time that this photo was taken I had been photographing his daily life for six months and it was around this time that my mother let me photograph her and include her in my work.”

Dario Bosio May 18, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Brazil.
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Police raid. Altamira, Brazil 2013

Dario Bosio (b.1988, Italy) obtained a degree in Journalism at Florence University and graduated in both TV-Documentary and Photojournalism at the Danish School of Media and Journalism. In 2012, together with an international community of authors, he founded PanAut Collective, a platform for visual narrative projects. In 2013 he interned at NOOR Images in Amsterdam and joined the iPad magazine About Photography as part of the editorial staff. He later moved to Rome where he worked as a project coordinator, co-curator and production assistant at 10b Photography until July 2014.  His projects have been published and exhibited internationally. He is now based in Napoli and moving to Kurdistan to work at Metrography photo agency as a picture editor and project manager.

About the Photograph:

“Due to the huge immigration rate Altamira is experiencing a crime wave that the police are struggling to fight. Drug traffic, prostitution and robberies have increased since the construction of Belo Monte began. I was in Altamira, in the state of Parà, Brazil, for a project about the Belo Monte Dam, which is being built right now on the Xingu River. The construction of the massive dam, the third largest in the world attracted  thousands of immigrant workers from all over the country. One night, I was following the Military Police during a night raid in one of the favelas and, after they arrested a guy with a revolver in a bar nearby they stopped again and stormed this brothel. I entered in the brothel right after three policemen stepped in with assault rifles and asked everyone to line up and face the wall. I was actually quite amazed by how calm the situation looked despite the tension of the moment. It was really silent, as two agents – male and female – searched the customers and the staff one by one before asking them to wait outside. In the meantime, two other officers looked for drugs in the rooms and the toilets. I shot this photo while the police was questioning some of the customers and three agents armed with rifles kept an eye on the suspects that were still lined up against the wall, waiting for their turn.”

Ioana Cîrlig May 14, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Romania.
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Factory worker in Atelierele Centrale factory.  Gura Barza, Romania. 2013

Ioana Cîrlig (b. 1987, Romania) studied Cinematography in Bucharest. Since 2012 she has been working on independent long-term documentary projects and the Post-Industrial Stories project traveling around the country and documenting life in Romania’s mono industrial communities. Her photographs have been published in LensCulture, Inge Morath Magazine, F-Stop Magazine, Feature Shoot and Archivo. Her work has been exhibited in Romania (Bucharest, Cluj, Bistrita) and at the 2014 Architecture Biennale in Venice.

About the Photograph:

Post-Industrial Stories is a documentary project started in 2012 by photographers Ioana Cîrlig and Marin Raica. The project is a long term study of life in Romania’s mono- industrial communities in a post-industrial era. The two photographers lived in two small mining towns and traveled around the country. Romania was heavily industrialized during its 40 plus years under Communism. Every town had an industrial center and people were moved all over the country to these areas to work in the mines and factories. These workers became the country’s pride, portrayed as idealized heroes. The complexes themselves changed the rural landscape completely. During the transition from Communism to a market economy, these mono-industrial areas have been affected the most dramatically. Today, many of the country’s former industrial centers have been either closed or severely downsized, leaving whole communities jobless and adrift. I took this picture when I was living in Brad, a small town with a long history in gold mining. The mines have been closed since 2006. I really loved the atmosphere in the factory where I took this portrait. It reminded me of when I was little and was visiting my father at the factory where he worked.”

Dan Eckstein May 10, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in India.
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Azadpur Market. Delhi, India 2013

Dan Eckstein (b.1980, United States) spent four years studying photography at Skidmore College in the foothills of the Adirondacks. After graduation, he moved to New York City to assist renowned photographer Steve McCurry. He later worked with Magnum photographer Bruno Barbey in Paris. Dan’s work has been widely published and exhibited and he was included in The Collector’s Guide to Emerging Art Photography. He was recently awarded Best Photo Essay in PDN’s World In Focus photo contest and included in American Photography 30. For Dan’s latest project, he drove 10,000km over the course of three years documenting the trucks, drivers and roadside culture of India. He is  based in Los Angeles and Brooklyn, NY.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken in Delhi’s Azadpur market which is the biggest wholesale fruit and vegetable market in Asia. The market is filled with brightly decorated trucks bringing goods to be bought and sold from though-out India and I was there photographing them for my book project, Horn Please: The Decorated Trucks of India. Most of the action at these markets happens in the morning and I was there towards the end of the day so the workers were cleaning up and this guy was having a rest after a hard day’s work.”

Birgit Püve May 7, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Estonia.
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Marianne and Mariette, Pärnu Estonia 2013

Birgit Püve (b. 1978, Estonia) is a portrait and documentary photographer currently based in Tallinn, Estonia. Since she started working on her own personal projects, her works have won several awards. In 2012, the picture editors of The Sunday Times Magazine’s Spectrum, UK, named Birgit the Spectrum Emerging Talent. The initiative was launched to seek out today’s freshest photography.In November 2014 she won the 3rd Prize at the major international competition, The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize organized by The National Portrait Gallery in London. Her works have been exhibited in USA, Canada, UK, Russia, Austria, Germany, France, Latvia, Poland etc and published in publications such as The Washington Post, TIME Lightbox, PDN Magazine, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, GEO, Ryanair Magazine, Newsweek Polska, L’Express, among others.Her first monograph “Elada mitmuses/Double Matters”, portraying more than 80 identical twins and triplets living in Estonia, was published in winter 2013.

About the Photograph:

‘This image is from my photo book Double Matters/Elada mitmuses (Hea Lugu Publishers) that I finished in autumn 2013. I drove thousands of kilometres to photograph more than 80 twins and triplets living in Estonia. It’s always fascinating – when there are two or more identical persons standing in front of you – that nature can create something so unbelievable and magical. There’s a secret in them that we, single-borns, don’t have. I wanted to explore the meaning of similarity and shared identity in a world that so much celebrates and adores uniqueness. How do twins and triplets act regarding the idea of ‘another me’ and how that affects their relationship? I found out that environment is a big part of their shared identity, so I tried to photograph the pairs in their private environments like homes, backyards or simple everyday locations. I found these girls through a local family magazine and instantly liked their physical presence. It was a cold and windy autumn day in October 2013 in their home town Pärnu when we met. They turned out to be big personalities and that added an extra layer to the portrait. This frame is one of the last ones we did that day. They were already tired, it was even colder and they forgot to pose – what I was waiting and looking for. Later, as it turned out, they also became the cover girls of the book.’

Annalisa Natali Murri May 4, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Brazil.
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Villa Madalena, Sao Paulo Brazil 2013

Annalisa Natali Murri (1982, Italy) approached architectural photography at the age of 27, while studying building engineering at Bologna University. During her PhD studies, she started to devote herself to photography with more conviction and interest. Soon she started to feel the need to focus on documentary projects, using her vacation time and savings to fund self-assignments and personal projects. Her works have been awarded in several international contests, including 70th and 71st POYi. In 2014 she was selected as an attendee for LOOK between mentorship program. She’s currently based in Bologna, Italy.

About the Photograph: 

“I was on a self assignment covering the bustling street art environment in San Paulo, Brasil. That night I had just finished my shooting in Villa Madalena, a neighborhood in San Paulo once known only for its violent crime but which recently decided to change things around. I think Vila Madá has been able to completely transform itself and its own identity, creating what is now considered one of the most exclusive areas of the city, a popular hangout young creatives and artists of all kinds. I was wandering there, looking for a cab.  Across the street there was a beautiful girl with curly hair and amber skin, who was cheerfully talking with a friend. I was attracted in some way by this couple in front of one of the most colorful building of Vila Madá. I loved the way the red lights of cars stopping at the crossing illuminated the hair of the girl on her back. Then the street light turned green. I would have had to cross the road, but I stopped to take this last shot, when the green light finally lit the girl’s face.”