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Kevin Kunishi January 19, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Nicaragua.
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Victorio & Marcos Alaniz Benavidez,  Northern Nicaragua 2010

Kevin Kunishi (b.1975, USA) received his BA in History from University of California Santa Barbara in 2001 and his MFA from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco in 2011. Following his undergraduate studies, he traveled for six years, circled the world twice and explored 21 different countries. It was during this time that his fascination for the alchemy of photography flourished and became an all-consuming passion. In 2011 Kevin was awarded first place in The International Photography Awards and was the recipient of The Blue Earth Prize for Best Project Photography. His work has also been recognized by The New Yorker, American Photo Magazine, the New York Photo Festival, PDN, CMYK magazine, Photographer’s Forum and Prix de la Photographie, Paris (PX3).

About the Photograph:

“This photograph is from a larger body of work entitled “Los Restos de la Revolucion.” The series consists of portraits of the Sandinistas and their opposing Contra veterans, as well as artifacts and landscapes significant to the civil war that took place in Nicaragua during the 1980’s. After missing a Sandinista meeting at the local school in El Charcon, Victorio was arrested for suspicion of being a Contra collaborator. He spent a month in prison in the city of Jinotega. The cells were built underground and flooded almost to the ceiling every other day to torture the prisoners. He endured leeches; beatings and having bags filled with lye placed over his head until he couldn’t breathe. Interrogations were performed every night. He was told his family would be killed if he didn’t cooperate. When finally released, too weak to stand, he was dumped naked on the side of the road outside of Jinotega. Headlights appeared in the distance; miraculously, it was his neighbor driving by in a truck. The neighbor said, ‘Victorio you’re alive!’ Victorio responded, “Am I?”

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Kuni Takahashi November 18, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Rosary Higgins, from the the project: Illinois’ Hidden Poverty

Kuni Takahashi (b. 1966, Japan) came to the United States in 1990 and studied photojournalism at the Maine Photo Workshops, the New England School of Photography in Boston and the Eddie Adams Workshop in New York. He joined the Chicago Tribune as a staff photographer in 2004 after spending eight years as a staff photographer at the Boston Herald. Takahashi has covered major domestic and international events and won many photography awards, including  competitions by World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International (POYi), National Press Photographers Association. He was also named as Boston Press Photographers Association’s Photographer of the Year in 1996 and 2003. He is currently based in Mumbai.

About the Photograph:

“Sixty-nine-year old Rosary Higgins was one of the subjects for the project, “Illinois’ hidden poverty”. Rosary, who has no income aside from a monthly Social Security check of $650, barely scrapes by with food from the pantry and getting her rent discounted by picking up litter around her building. She was a very patriotic person. She wore an American flag scarf all the time – her trademark. She often talked about her concerns and sympathies for U.S soldiers but she was very angry at the government for its health care and welfare policies.One late afternoon, I was spending time with her outside her apartment. As the late afternoon sunlight was slipping through between the trees, she began to talk about how angry she was about the government not taking care of poor seniors like herself who are stuck in poverty despite their efforts to get out. At one moment, she put her head down and held her forehead as if she had annoying headache. I made a few frames.”

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