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Juan Arredondo July 18, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Colombia.
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Medellín, Colombia 2011

Juan Arredondo (b. 1978, USA) grew up in Colombia and relocated to the USA to pursue undergraduate and graduate studies in Organic Chemistry. While working as a research scientist at a major pharmaceutical company he became interested in photography. His work has been recognized by PDN Photo Annual, PX3 Prix de la Photographie and the Magenta Foundation as a Flash Forward Emerging Photographers winner. He has been selected for the Eddie Adams Workshop and nominated for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass. Juan is a regular contributor for The New York Times. His photographs have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Herald Tribune, El Colombiano and LAN Magazine. His work has been commissioned by International Rescue Committee and Save the Children. Juan lives between Medellin and New York City.

About the Photograph:

“This image is part of a series called Barrio Triste : Sad Neighborhood. For the past three years I have documented life in Medellín, the second largest city in Colombia to understand how it has transformed from the world most dangerous city to one that is praised as one of Latin America’s safest and fastest growing cities. Barrio Triste rests in the center of the city. It was once a residential neighborhood, but over decades has been ousted by repair shops, warehouses and bars. Grease- stained streets and dilapidated buildings become alive from the commotion of mechanics and street vendors during the day. Displaced families, homeless, sex-workers and drug addicts fine refuge on the empty sidewalks at night.”

“This photograph was taken at a billiard hall where mechanics and locals go to play and have a drink. The place was adorned with several murals, mainly depicting scenes of what happens inside the place. This mural in particular struck me for several reasons. The man behind the counter is the owner of the place and his depiction is very accurate. The translation of the inscription on the Radio says Where would he be? As I was walking around the mechanic in the picture just sat to rest. Not having anything to drink or anyone to speak to, he just gazed at the street for a while. He seemed very lonely, like the drunk on the mural.”

Ben Guez February 21, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Colombia.
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Riverside bar in El Banco, Colombia. 2007

Ben Guez (b.1983, Soviet Union) immigrated to Chicago with his family at the age of nine. His first encounter with photography was in early childhood through his father, a theater and film photographer in Leningrad. After graduating with a degree in history and Latin American studies from the University of Arizona in 2006, he resumed his documentation and research of large metropolises in Latin America and isolated communities in the  Mexico and maroon settlements of the Caribbean among others). His work has been published in The City Paper, El Espectador, Need Humanitarian Magazine and has been exhibited in the Erarta Contemporary Art Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

About the Photograph:

“I took this photograph at a bar on the banks of the Magdalena River in Colombia as I waited for a speedboat to take me upriver. I had just bounced through mud and rain on the back of a 110cc motorbike for hours after leaving the town of Mompos. A forceful Vallenato was blaring from an overhead speaker, my beer was sweating, and the motorcycle driver was menacing me for more money. The scene embodies most of my experiences working and living in South America– heat of all kinds, a hint of violence, a varied rhythm, escape and a dose of hope.”

Jennifer Osborne January 18, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Colombia.
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Beauty Queen. Cartagena, Colombia 2009

Jennifer Osborne (1984, Canada) was raised on Vancouver Island in small-town Courtenay. Her career as a photographer started with a  year long work contract at Fabrica, the United COLORS of Benetton Research Center in 2008.  She has exhibited in group shows at various venues including: Arles 2010, Aperture Gallery, The Museum de l’Elysée, Studio La Città, Azzedine Alaïa, Art Basel Miami, Catalog Gallery and CarréRotondes. She was named one of Canada’s top emerging photographers in both 2010 and 2011 by the Magenta Foundation. Jennifer is also a part of the ReGeneration2 book publication and traveling exhibition. In 2012, she shot a worldwide campaign for Nikon cameras and was the recipient of the Pride Photo Award under the “Chameleons” category for her work in Vancouver, Canada.

About the Photograph:

“At the annual Reina de la Independencia beauty pageant in Colombia, young women from Cartagena’s poorest neighborhoods vie not just for a glittering crown but also for the chance to win money, scholarships, rich men, and even jump-start a career. Beauty, for Colombia, is a natural resource. During my time in the barrios of Cartagena, I was living in the small house of the candidate from Blas de Lezo. I paid her family to rent a room there, and was also able to attend all of the smaller pageants she competed in as well. We would take public transport everywhere we went and in this case were on one of the famously decorated South American buses. The candidate sat towards the back and I asked her to go farther towards the religious decal on the window of the bus. It’s interesting to see how these girls are often parading themselves around like pieces of meat, in bikinis, on catwalks, yet they are often deeply religious. It’s an interesting combination of beliefs to me.”

Boris Heger February 24, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Colombia.
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FARC combatants. Cauca Colombia 2010

Boris Heger (b.1968 Switzerland) is based in Colombia after living in Bolivia for two years. He lived in Africa for ten years, where he mostly worked for Associated Press in Ivory Coast and Ethiopia (also covering Sudan and Darfur). He has collaborated with various publications and humanitarian organizations including United Nations agencies, the International Red Cross and various NGO’s.  His work has been published: Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Miami Herald, USA Today, The Guardian, Le Figaro, VSD, Jeune Afrique, L’Express, Le Matin, La Presse, Der Spiegel among others. Boris is represented by Polaris Images photo agency.

About the Photograph:

“The FARC are one of the oldest guerrilla movements in the world, existing for 46 years. A few months ago I had the luck to be accepted for a few days by a group of FARC guerrillas with a friend in the mountains of Cauca. I say lucky because it is exceptional to be allowed to meet the guerrillas. The new President, former Minister of Defense had just been elected, partially on the ground that he had defeated the movement during his posting. It was good timing for the FARC to show they were still around and able to create trouble. Fighting in this region occurs daily and military spy planes and “Black Hawk” helicopters provided by the US fly around regularly searching for guerrillas. This group of 25 soldiers maintain pressure on army positions by attacking them regularly. For security reasons, they sleep in the field on plastic sheeting and never stay more than one night in the same place, walking in the dark, hiding under trees during the day. Some of those men have lived this way for decades.” (more…)

Espen Rasmussen September 24, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Colombia.
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Carnival, Bogota, Colombia 2007

Espen Rasmussen (b. 1976, Norway) has been working with Médecins Sans Frontières since 2004. He has traveled around the world, covering events such as the Maoist conflict in Nepal, the Tsunami in Asia, the earthquake in Pakistan and conflict in Somalia. Espen’s photographs has appeared in National Geographic, Time, The Economist and Der Spiegel, and in newspapers such as the New York Times and Financial Times. He has won prizes in the World Press Photo, Picture of the Year International and “PDN’s 30 under 30 Emerging Photographers”. Espen is represented by Panos Pictures and currently works as a photo editor with VG, Norway’s largest daily newspaper.

About the Photograph:

“This picture is from the Soacha neigborhood in Bogota, Colombia. I was on my way further into the slum area with an NGO, when I saw this carnival approaching. Soacha houses between 500.000 and 800.000 displaced Colombians, fleeing from violence in their home country. The carnival is an annual event and offers the kids from the slums a break from poverty. I was in Colombia, working on a long term project about internally displaced people and refugees. For the last five years, I have traveled around the world, documenting people on the run. So far, I have been in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Thailand and Darfur in Sudan. It’s a huge problem that newspapers and broadcasters are showing their audience only a small piece of what war and political instability is causing. I hope my documentation will be a counterbalance to this.”

Jan Sochor April 9, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Colombia, Venezuela.
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sochor_contraband.jpg
Contraband Smugglers. Colombia/ Venezuela Frontier

Jan Sochor was born in the Czech Republic. He has lived and worked in Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Spain during the past five years. His long term projects focus on the daily life, social, political and cultural issues in Latin America. Jan’s photographs have appeared in numerous Czech publications including Reflex Magazine, National Geographic CZ, Instinkt and Hospodarske Noviny.

About the Photograph:

Along the 2200 kilometres borderline between Colombia and Venezuela cheap gasoline and food flows into Colombia, cocaine and arms go the other way. It is virtually impossible to control. The flow of contraband on this frontier is managed and organized by illegal Colombian paramilitary forces (AUC) and bribed Venezuelan police (Guardia Nacional). Smuggling provides a living to hundreds of poor dwellers in communities on both sides of the frontier.

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