October 28, 2017

Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up 27th October, 2017

This week Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up comes from New York City and features a brilliant exhibition by Debi Cornwall - Welcome to Camp America, Inside Guantánamo Bay - at Steven Kasher Gallery, as well as Flint, a story by LaToya Ruby Frazier who was a keynote speaker at Photo Plus Expo in New York yesterday.

Debi Cornwall - Welcome to Camp America, Inside Guantánamo Bay

Debi Cornwall, Compliant Detainee Media Room, Camp 5, U.S. Naval Station Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, 2014

“My goal in making this work was to invite people to look at Guantánamo again after almost 16 years. Most of us have stopped looking,” says Debi Cornwall whose first New York solo exhibition - Welcome to Camp America, Inside Guantánamo Bay - opened last night at Steven Kasher Gallery.

Welcome to Camp America, Inside Guantánamo Bay, is described as “a vivid and disorienting probe into the U.S. Naval Station on Cuba known as “Gitmo.” Cornwall was given access after eight months under strict conditions including the requirement to process and print her medium format film on the base, under the watch of military censors.

Labelled by former President Barack Obama as the place where “we tortured some folks”, Guantánamo Bay through Cornwall’s lens questions the so-called war on terror and “examines the compromises we make between decency and fear in the post-9/11 era.”

Welcome to Camp America, Inside Guantánamo Bay is a fascinating expose segmented into three bodies of work: Gitmo at Home, Gitmo at Play and Gitmo on Sale. The exhibition comprises 29 large-scale colour photographs as well as formerly classified documents.

Debi Cornwall, Comfort Items, Camp 5, U.S. Naval Station Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, 2015

Debi Cornwall, Liberty Center Band Room, U.S. Naval Station Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, 2015

Debi Cornwall, Recreation Pen, Camp Echo, U.S. Naval Station Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, 201

Debi Cornwall, Murat, Turkish German (Germany)
Refugee counselor
Held: 4 years, 7 months, 22 days
Released: August 24, 2006
Charges: never filed
Containerdorf, Refugee housing
Bremen, Germany, 2015

Debi Cornwall
Anonymous Chinese Uighur (Albania)
Held: 4 years, 7 months Transferred to Albania: May 5, 2006 
Charges: never filed
Tirana, Albania, 2015

Debi Cornwall 
Hamza, Tunisian (Slovakia 2015) 
Held: 12 years, 11 months, 19 days 
Cleared: January 12, 2009 
Transferred to Slovakia: November 20, 2014 
Charges never filed
By the River Hron, Slovakia, 2015

Panel Discussion:
Saturday 28 October 2.30pm to 5pm 
Steven Kasher Gallery and the Center for Constitutional Justice will host a panel discussion with Debi Cornwall, J. Wells Dixon and Mark Fallon. Moderated by ICP's Fred Ritchin. The panel will discuss Guantánamo Bay, art, and social justice. The event is free but seating is very limited, please RSVP here

Exhibition on until 22nd December
Steven Kasher Gallery
515 W 26th St.,
New York

All images courtesy of Steven Kasher Gallery.

Social Issues: 
LaToya Ruby Frazier - Flint

At Photo Plus Expo in New York this week I attended the keynote speech Women in Photography featuring Sue Bryce, Barbara Davidson and LaToya Ruby Frazier. I was particularly taken with Frazier's expose on Flint, Michigan where the horrendous poisoning of that community's water is literally killing its residents. Others have tackled Flint also, including Matt Black as part of his extraordinary Geography of Poverty.

The photo (below) is from a feature in Rolling Stone magazine and shows the difference between the water in Flint and the water in Detroit, both cities of Michigan. (Photographer unnamed)

(C) LaToya Ruby Frazier

I hadn't heard Frazier speak before. She gave a powerful, inspirational discussion on the power of photography and the passion that drives her was evident in her voice. Here are some of her images featured in Elle magazine's feature on Flint, a feature that Frazier said was unexpected; she never thought a women's fashion mag would have any interest in social issues. It ran over 12 pages.

October 20, 2017

Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up 20th October, 2017

This week Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up is coming from Los Angeles. I'm in the US to conduct research for my PhD on photography and social change. As well as doing interviews, and archival research, there are some amazing exhibitions to see in the City of Angels - Photography in Argentina 1850-2010 and Havana Youth. Plus PDN Photo Plus opens in New York next week Thursday 26th October.


Los Angeles
Photography in Argentina 1850-2010
Contradiction and Continuity

Comprising 300 works from 60 artists, “this exhibition examines crucial periods and aesthetic movements in which photography had a critical role producing - and, at time dismantle - national constructions, utopian visions, and avant-garde artistic trends.”

Casa de Moneda de la series Bruma/The Mint from the series Mist. (C) Santiago Porter. 

Tape Project: Sidewalk 1, 1971 (C) Jamie Davidovich

Madres de Plaza de Mayo (Mothers during their customary march) (C) Eduardo Longoni

Obelisco/Obelisk 1957 (C) Javier Agustin Rojas

El rapt de Guinnard (The Kidnap of Guinnard) (c) Leonel Luna

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Until 28 January 2018 

Los Angeles
Greg Kahn - Havana Youth

American documentary and fine art photographer Greg Kahn's show Havana Youth at the Annenberg Space for Photography reveals complexities of the young people of Cuba as they grapple with their history and the dawn of a new era.

All images (C) Greg Kahn

Until 4 March, 2018
Annenberg Space for Photography

Seminars: New York
PDN Photo Plus Expo

Next week in New York PDN Photo Plus Expo and Conference opens on Thursday. There is an amazing line-up of world-class photographers giving seminars and talks. These caught my eye:
  • Art and Advocacy: Using photography to promote positive change with speakers Clay Cook, Joel Caldwell, Michael Bonocore and Peter Dering
  • Photojournalism Outside the Box with VII featuring Ashley Gilbertson, Chris Morris, Gary Knight and Ron Haviv
  • What Photo Editors Want Right Now with Ahmed Fakher (Rolling Stone), Caroline Smith (Topic), Jacqueline Bates (The California Sunday Magazine) Joanna Milter (The New Yorker) and Toby Kaufman
  • Today’s Women in Photography and Film with Barbara Davidson, Latoya Ruby Frazier, and Sue Bryce.
Conference: October 25-28
Expo: October 26-28 

October 13, 2017

Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up - 13th October, 2017

This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up - in recognition of World Mental Health Day which was on Wednesday 11 October, this week's post features a new project designed to put the spotlight on mental health every day of the year - One Day In My World by award-winning photojournalist and activist Robin Hammond.

Special feature:  
One Day In My World - Robin Hammond & Witness Change 

On the landing page of One Day In My World, a new project by Robin Hammond, his activist organisation Witness Change and Handicap International, is a sobering statistic:

"Mental health issues affect 1 out of every 4 of us. For people living in poverty or war-torn countries, without access to a range of support, the impact of the illness is amplified." 

Despite these statistics, globally mental health is underfunded and stigmatised, even more so in countries ravaged by war and in societies crippled by poverty.

In My World combines Hammond's signature portraiture with video, text and sound. It’s a powerful vehicle through which to communicate complex stories, and to hear voices that would not usually be heard. 

Hammond’s objective is to humanise the issue of mental health, break the silence and challenge the stigma. 

Rose Muju (right) and her 15yo daughter Viola Malig who developed mental health problems after contracting malaria (South Sudan). 

One of the most impressive features is that those pictured tell in their own words how they feel and what they are dealing with, which really places these stories on a human level and makes them more accessible and relatable. Being able to tell their own stories also brings dignity as well as hope.

Hammond visited four countries - Togo, Lebanon, Madagascar and South Sudan - for this first instalment of One Day In My World, which is an ongoing project. The website invites visitors to "explore the stories of real people facing mental health challenges. See how they live, her their voices, visit In My World."

Sectioned into chapters - Faith, Suffocation, Isolation and Left Behind - each features powerful black and white photography, information on the situation in each particular country, individual tales, moving image and music.

Images and stories are not just of those suffering from mental health issues, but also carers and healthcare workers. There are also documentary photographs of the environments in which people live and the conditions that contribute to the decline in mental health and wellbeing, delivering deeper insights.

In Faith are stories from the impoverished country of Togo, where more than 80 percent of the population live in abject poverty.

Suffocation takes the reader into the claustrophobic environs of the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon where children have little opportunity to just be kids, and the oppression of an uncertain future crushes the spirit.

Isolation features stories of those incarcerated in Madagascar where opportunities for a fair hearing are virtually non-existent and children are housed with adults in overcrowded conditions where those with mental health issues are at grave risk.

And Left Behind tells stories of those living with mental health issues in conflict-ravaged South Sudan where are are few services or support mechanisms available. 

There is also the opportunity to add your voice to the conversation on the Take Action page which invites those with mental health issues to share their story, and also encourages those who can to make a donation.

The campaign was launched this month by Hammond’s Witness Change and Handicap International, who provided Hammond with access to four communities, but did not have editorial control over the images. To find out more visit One Day In My World

October 06, 2017

Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up - 6th October, 2017

This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up - Yemen's war has received very little attention from the west's media, yet millions are displaced and dying, many of them children. British photojournalist Giles Clarke recently traveled there and this week Photojournalism Now features some of his pictures and an excerpt from his story published in medium.com

I met Giles at Head On Photo Festival last year. He is one of the most committed, and humble, photojournalists and is deeply connected to the stories he covers. Please share this with your social networks as it is an important story that needs telling.

Giles Clarke - Yemen's Humanitarian Disaster

Six year old Batool, in the Stage 5 severe malnutrition ward (the worst and most life-threatening stage) in Sa’ada City, 23 April 2017.

Giles Clarke: "Batool’s family lives in a village near the Saudi border, in the northern part of Yemen. The entire family has taken to sleeping in makeshift foxholes in the desert to hide from the air strikes. When I met her, Batool had a pouch around her arm — a local potion that is wrapped in small bags and put on children’s arms to ward off the snakes and scorpions that come into the foxholes overnight.

The doctor explained that the hospital recently lost its main funding source and Government funds dried up months ago. It was a desperately sad situation for everyone there: Batool, her mother, the other children and their families, and the staff. Batool initially recovered from malnutrition with treatment, but she later died of acute watery diarrhoea. This news hits hard, and is yet a tragic example of the multiple risks facing Yemenis as a result of the conflict."

Abs IDP settlement, 6 May 2017

Above: A sandstorm approaches as residents of the Abs settlement for displaced persons collect water. 
Water is heavily rationed and only available during one-hour windows, three times a day.

Even in the midst of destruction life goes on. 



Garbage piles up on the streets of Sana'a Old City 7 May, 2017

"My last day in Yemen was spent in Sana’a’s Al-Joumhouri Hospital, where the staff were frantically planning for the new cholera cases that had started flooding in. There were new suspected cases on gurneys in the corridors, while more urgent patients were being wheeled into already packed wards. We were shown the medical supply room in the basement, where a wall of boxes of saline and crates of bed covers were being ripped open for immediate use. Unbeknownst to me, this was the beginning of the largest global cholera outbreak in recent history."

(pictures above Sana’a’s Al-Joumhouri Hospital)

All images (C) Giles Clarke

To read the full story and see more images see medium.com

Giles Clarke is a Getty Images Reportage photographer who focuses on conflict aftermath and international humanitarian issues. To find out more about his work, click here