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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.”

Sven Zellner April 30, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mongolia.
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Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 2014

Sven Zellner (b.1977, Germany) received his diploma in cinematography from the University of Television and Film, Munich in 2010. His work moves between film and photography, and between art and documentary practice. In 2012 he received the ARTE-Documentary Film Award for his debut documentary film Price of Gold, a portrait of Mongolian nomads illegally prospecting for Gold in the Gobi desert. His photographs have been published in: GEO, Terra Mater, DAS MAGAZIN, Leica Fotografie International, and VIEW. Sven lives in Munich and lectures at the HFF, Munich and the University of Applied Science, Darmstadt. He is currently working on projects in Romania, Greenland, the USA, and Mongolia.

About the Photograph:

“In the autumn 2013 I began my project Mongolian Disco focusing on the urban life in Ulaanbaatar. A rush for natural resources like coal and gold has filled pockets in Mongolia, one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. But the country is also facing rising inequalities. Members of the upper class in Ulaanbaatar enjoy a luxurious life-style while two-thirds of the population live on the outskirts in massive yurt districts.”

“I took this photo when it was still dark when I woke up. Through the window I could see that there was fresh snow. I got out and walked through the darkness some kilometers north into the yurt district to take photos. I was on my way home when I came to this place with these tracks curved through the snow, the fences and the construction site in the back. A girl was walking next to me on her way to school. I climbed on a sandpile to take the photo of her crossing the tracks. I was lucky that there was a pile to climb on and that she didn’t look at me. After I took the photo I had to rush back because at that time I was in Ulaanbaatar for the shooting of an independent movie by the Mongolian-German director Uisenma Borchu. I was the cinematographer for that film and I had to be at the set in time. The title of the film will be Don’t Look At Me That Way.”

Aaron Sosa April 27, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Venezuela.
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Caracas, Venezuela 2007

Aaron Sosa (b. 1980, Venezuela) is a freelance photographer based in Panama City where he works serving agencies, international editorial and corporate clients. His work has been exhibited in over 100 gallery showings across Europe and Latin America. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards for his documentary work and has served as an ambassador of the arts throughout Latin America on speaking tours and through teaching University-level workshops, most notably with the Latin American Kaleidoscope Project. In between assignments and travels, Sosa may be found roaming the streets with his Holga, up to his elbows in fixer in his darkroom or working with children’s NGOs to teach photography to disadvantaged youths in the slums of Caracas.

About the Photograph:

“The photo above was taken on April 14, 2007 during a rally of Chavez supporters and shows members of the army seen in the foreground against a health food store located in Puente Llaguno. It was the very same place where five years earlier a slaughter occurred during a rally against the government of Chavez. During his time in office, his supporters were called in to take part in demonstrations, The military police and national guard were a fundamental part of these concentrations. While Chavez was in power it was mandatory for public employees to attend meetings wearing red colored clothes as a way to express their support for the government.”

Tommy Ellingsen April 23, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Norway.
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Børge Hansen on his boat in Vesterålen, Norway 2014

Tommy Ellingsen (b. 1986, Norway) works for several major Norwegian newspapers and magazines. He is part of the European documentary collective, Project Sea Change, where 13 photographers have been documenting European youth. He has photographed young people in the small country of Iceland. Being half Icelandic, this assignment has been very personal. In 2012 Tommy won the award for picture of the year in Norway for a picture of the Norwegian prime minister mourning the Utøya massacre. Tommy is a member of a creative collective in Stavanger, and was a Nikon ambassador for two years.

About the Photograph:

“I shot this photo for DN Magasinet, a Norwegian business magazine together with journalist Toril Risholm. It’s the sound of money, the fisherman says while he aims for the cod with his gaff. The razor sharp steel sinks into the head of the cod as it appears on the water surface. Then he pulls the fish over the gunwale and into the boat. Børge is one of the few traditional fishermen who still goes out alone in his small boat to fish for cod in Vesterålen up in Northern Norway. The industry has been taken over by rich businessmen who buy the quotas from small boats and make a big profit using large trawlers. The new generation growing up don’t want to be fishermen. They want to work in the offshore oil industry or do something else. Fishing is one of the most dangerous professions and is in the process of disappearing. According to Børge, in ten years, there won’t be anymore traditional fishermen left.”

Daniel Traub April 19, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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Guangzhou, China 2012

Daniel Traub (b. 1971) is a Brooklyn based photographer and filmmaker. Since 1999, he has been engaged with long term photographic projects in China including Simplified Characters which explores the transformation of China’s cities, and Peripheries which looks at the border region where urban and rural China meet. Daniel’s photographs have been exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, the Print Center in Philadelphia, and are in public and private collections including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. His work has appeared in publications including Aperture, European Photography and The New York Times Magazine. His first monograph, North Philadelphia, was published in 2014 by Kehrer Verlag.

About the Photograph:

“Xiaobeilu is a immigrant neighborhood in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. It is home to internal Chinese migrants as well as tens of thousands of Africans, primarily Nigerians. The Africans, in particular, work largely as traders buying fabrics, electronics and machinery produced in the Pearl River Delta, and selling these products in Africa. Since 2009, I have been photographing the people and activities on a pedestrian bridge that runs through the neighborhood.

“On this bridge, I also came across a group of Chinese migrants with cheap digital cameras selling their services as photographers to Africans who might want a souvenir of their time in China. The Africans would hire them to make a portrait for 10 RMB ($1.50), which were then printed on a portable printer. I approached one of the photographers, Zeng Xian Fang, to have a look at the images and found them compelling. Zeng was taking the photographs purely as a means of survival, he would erase the camera’s memory cards at the end of each day. So I asked Zeng, and later  another photographer Wu Yong Fu, if they would be willing to allow me to collect the images and put them together in book form. They agreed so I bought them both portable hard drives. To date, I have collected over ten thousand of their images. The project as a whole, which consists of my photographs, the collected images and a film, offers insight into the complex and deepening relationship between China and Africa. Little North Road will be published in Fall 2015.”

Gaia Squarci April 16, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Gay Pride LGBT Parade, New York 2013

Gaia Squarci (b. 1988, Italy) is a photographer and cinematographer based in Brooklyn. She studied Art History at the University of Bologna and photojournalism at ICP. Since 2012 she’s been working on Broken Screen, a project about blindness, driven by her interest in the way physical perceptions influence people’s way to interact with one another, and within society. Gaia has also been documenting the activities of the Living Theatre, the oldest experimental theater group active in the USA, and the personal life of Judith Malina, who founded the company in 1947 with her husband Julian Beck. Gaia also shoots documentary video for personal projects and commissions. Her clients include the New York Times, the New Yorker, TIME Magazine, Vogue, the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC and Reuters.

About the Photograph:

“Just a few days before, the Supreme Court had ruled that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits. The Gay Pride LGBT parade was blasting meters away. Downtown Manhattan was loud, and overflowing with people. I tried to take photos that could represent that moment in time and its meaning and also preserve a dignity of their own if taken out of context. I had stopped at a corner when the girl with the orange nails came by, framed by a food truck. I was hit by something timeless in her grace. We didn’t talk. I don’t know whether she and the other women in the photo were at the parade because of their life history, or because they simply supported the values that were bringing people to the street. Like many that day, they were both spectators and part of what was happening, not far from the Stonewall Inn.”

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