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Samantha Reinders May 7, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ohio University, South Africa.
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Port Elizabeth, South Africa 2006

Samantha Reinders (b.1977) is a freelance photographer based in her native Cape Town, South Africa. She moved back to South Africa after completing her MA at Ohio University, and interning, in 2005, for US News & World Report magazine. She is not 100% certain when her career actually began – but thinks it was either somewhere in the hills of Appalachia, or sandwiched between two other photographers in the press pool in the Oval Office. Either way, she’s glad it did because it has, among other things, allowed her to chase penguins, fly on Air Force One, swim with sharks and meet a collection of interesting people – from business men to homeless men, and from grannies at a bake-sale to a triple murderer behind bars. In this way she thinks the profession of photojournalism is a privilege. Some of Samantha’s clients include: US News & World Report, Time, The New York Times, L’Express, Der Spiegel, Park Avenue, The Chicago Tribune, SLAM, National Geographic Books, Smithsonian, Readers Digest and The London Financial Times.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph is from a larger essay on Township Tourism in South Africa – a phenomenon with increasing popularity since the countries first democratic elections in 1994. What is today a million-dollar industry has been the center of much controversy over the years. Is it a voyeuristic, making poverty into a theme park – or does it do much to bring money, jobs and opportunities to areas that need them most? This 2006 image shows a Dutch couple that had visited New Brighton Township in Port Elizabeth in 2000. Overwhelmed by what they encountered, they spent the next few years fundraising back home and sent several ship container loads of furniture and school equipment back to the township. Here they visit one of the schools and meet some of the students. “

Ilan Godfrey April 23, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in South Africa.

Hillbrow Housing Projects, Johannesburg

Ilan Godfrey (b. 1980) was born in Johannesburg and is currently based in London. He holds a BA in Photography and a MA in Photojournalism from the University of Westminster. He is the recipient of the David Faddy Scholarship and the Ivan Kyncl Memorial Photography Placement. His work is held in several private collections and has been exhibited in numerous group exhibitions in London, including the Getty Gallery, Guardian Newsroom Gallery and at the Photoplus Expo, New York. Ilan has won a number of awards including first prize, West Photography Award and at the Magenta Flash Forward. His work has also been featured in the HP/CARE ‘I am Powerful’ campaign.

About the Photograph:

“I recall my visits to Hillbrow as a young boy as an exciting day out. But as the years past it became a no go area. Today Hillbrow has become one of the most dangerous parts of the city of Johannesburg where crimes are on the rise. Part of the reason is that criminals and illegal immigrants come from other regions of Africa to take advantage of South Africa’s economic stability and make areas of Hillbrow their home. A friend of mine that works in Johannesburg was able to contact several people living in Hillbrow. Without knowing someone living within each building I could not gain access due to security precautions. As the project gained momentum, the word spread and we began contacting other people that invited us to see where they lived.”

Joakim Eskildsen April 10, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in South Africa.
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South Africa, From the book iChickenMoon

Joakim Eskildsen was born in Copenhagen in 1971 where he trained with the Royal Court photographer Rigmor Mydtskov. In 1994, he moved to Finland to learn the craft of photographic book-making with Pentti Sammallahti at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki, graduating with an MA degree in photography in 1998. His recently published book The Roma Journeys encompasses his seven year odyssey through seven countries gaining insight into the life of the Roma. Other books include Nordic Signs (1995), Bluetide (1997), iChickenMoon (1999), which was awarded Best Foreign Title of 2000 in the Photo-Eye Books & Prints Annual Awards. Spending time on Eskilden’s site reminded me of why I became a photographer and why photographs mean so much to me.

About the Photograph:

Eskildsen says this about his work: “The people I photograph are usually persons who I admire, and from which I wish to learn something. I mostly try to live with the people for longer periods of time in order to get a better understanding of everything, and to be able to photograph more peacefully. Usually, I am working closely together with writer Cia Rinne who is very gifted with languages. Without this cooperation it would be impossible for me to live and communicate with the people I photograph.”