FRU Archive

Due to a technical glitch Friday Round Up is now located on the Home page of this blog as of 14 June 2013

Friday Round Up - 7 June 2013

This week's Friday Round Up features interviews with photojournalists David Burnett, Adam Ferguson, Andrew Quilty and Ed Giles, all of whom are involved in this year's Reportage documentary photography festival currently underway in Sydney. And don't forget to check out Tim Page Unseen where this legendary photojournalist shares his unpublished work exclusively with Photojournalism Now (see tab at top of blog).

David Burnett - Soul Rebel An Intimate Portrait of Bob Marley

American David Burnett is probably best known as a conflict photojournalist whose seminal work on the 1979 Iranian Revolution still stands up today as cutting edge photojournalism. “I had a few exclusives,” he said of the heady days flying around the world covering major events for international publications. “In Iran I talked my way in to see the Ayatollah Khomeini after he’d been in Paris. The first picture I took was of him putting a teacup back on the tray. That was a moment that showed a whole other side to that leader at the time”.

Burnett, who has been shooting for forty years, is also the co-founder of New York’s Contact Press Images. His oeuvre is vast spanning a diversity of topics, which is evidenced in a new book published by Reporters Without Borders "100 Photos for Freedom of the Press" featuring “a whole career's worth” of Burnett's work.

Selecting images to exhibit when you have thousands to choose from must be a daunting task. I ask Burnett why he chose his photo essay on Bob Marley for Reportage. “He’s a lodestone figure, he crossed all cultures, all languages, politics. He is seen as a very special figure,” he explained.

Burnett said when he first went to Jamaica in 1976 “I don’t know if I’d even heard of Bob Marley. We had a long interview with him for Time magazine in Kingston. I was hopping around the room shooting Bob while he was being interviewed. I’ve been an available light guy my whole life. There was something magical about shooting on film, when we didn’t know we had a picture…I didn’t really listen to the interview, my concentration was going through the viewfinder, but what I did hear, I kept thinking there’s something really special about this guy”.

“I remember thinking at the time, I am about the same age as this guy, and he’s so wise. He had a wisdom born from having paid attention to so many things that had happened in his life. That was the most interesting impression I had of him. Intelligent, knows how to synthesize all he sees, poverty, politics and all that he knew”. A year later Burnett was on the road with Bob Marley and the Wailers in Europe for Rolling Stone magazine. “I was happy to be there”.

Talking to Burnett about his archive it is clear he laments the passing of film. I ask him what he thinks of the trends in photography today and whether the traditional role of the photojournalist is still relevant.

“Ten years ago photographers needed to know what an f-stop was and shutter speed, but nowadays you don’t seem to need to understand the technical aspects of photography in the same way,” he said. “Everyone is a photographer, everyone has a phone with a camera, so there is an explosion of pictures. But finding pictures in the giant morass of imagery that is online, just trying to swim through it as a viewer is very tough”.

“We may end up with the most amazing visual generation ever because they are unencumbered by the issues we had to deal with. A lot of photographs are taken now that couldn’t have been done before, but the downgrading of the discipline of photography, waiting for the right moment to shoot, blending your eye with technology and technique, knowing that less is more, and that it is not all about speed and how fast you can upload an image, these are the real shifts.”

Burnett said he comes from the “old Life magazine” philosophy of visual storytelling, where the objective is to capture images that will shed light on events and situations that “the forces of darkness want to shut out. But if we are going to rely on having free societies then these stories need to be told and I think there is great value still in having professional journalists including photographers to tell them”.

Soul Rebel: An Intimate Portrait of Bob Marley’
Blender Gallery
Until 22 June
16 Elizabeth Street Paddington Sydney

Burnett is also exhibiting “The Presidents: From JFK to Obama”
Australian Centre for Photography
257 Oxford Street, Paddington
June 1-August 18
Link to David Burnett's website

Adam Ferguson – Iraq’s Legacy
On the day I talk to Adam Ferguson, an Australian photojournalist based in the US, he is in San Antonio, Texas working on a story on war dogs and their handlers for National Geographic. He’s been on this story for over a year, and this fourth visit marks the end of the journey. From Texas he’s heading to Sydney for Reportage. “I am very excited about exhibiting on home soil as I’ve never exhibited a set of my pictures at home. I am also excited about exhibiting this body of work that I’ve called Iraq’s Legacy”.

Ferguson has carved a name for himself as a conflict photojournalist, but he says after hitting burn out working in Afghanistan “I started to feel disillusioned with the whole military machine and the response from the general public about the presence in Afghanistan. The counterpoint to that for me was going to Iraq. I hadn’t covered Iraq during the occupation and I watched this whole community migrate to another war zone and there were so many conversations where people mixed up Afghanistan and Iraq. So I was thinking what more do I have to say and what impact is it having (the work in Afghanistan)? I didn’t have those answers. For me to make sense I decided to go to Iraq. I wanted to see what this landscape was like after the US’ departure.”

Ferguson “hassled the New York Times” for whom he shoots regularly, to send him to Iraq, and they finally capitulated. He spent a month on what he termed “a dream assignment. I had a road trip around the country and did my own thing essentially. I went back again just recently and did the same thing again for a couple weeks. Iraq’s Legacy was very much about navigating a landscape and a people and interacting with that to come up with a much more lucid narrative than the one around the military that I’d developed in Afghanistan. And it was looking at the toll and cost of war and this legacy a nation has post-US occupation”.

Asked what he hoped the audience would walk away with after viewing his work, he said “I hope they understand that the war wasn’t won, it was much more complicated than winning or losing. And I hope that I photographed enough intimate moments to get an insight into what it means to live in an environment where you have experienced so much trauma. And everyone in Iraq has witnessed an incredible amount of trauma. I think it is important that that’s not forgotten”.

We turn to one particular image in Ferguson’s photo essay that resonated strongly with me; that of a young girl with roller skates, evoking the sense that child’s play is universal. “Yeah in many ways it was kind of too good to be true coming across a scene like that,” said Ferguson. “Sometimes as a photographer I feel like we just pump out these kind of poetic clichés especially when we are focusing on people who have lived through a lot of agony. When I took this shot it was snowing and these two young girls were playing on the street. One of them picked up her roller skates and started making her way down this dirt road in the snow and to me it was a metaphor for the country really. Here was this young girl, with this kind of technology on her feet and not really the surface to use it properly in adverse weather conditions. And it was beautiful and kind of gracious”.

Link to Adam Ferguson's website

Andrew Quilty - Fire, Water and Wind: After the Storm
Andrew Quilty, an Australian photojournalist based in New York, said Festival Director Stephen Dupont’s reputation “was a big factor in choosing to be part of Reportage. The quality of participants is incredible. I think Reportage is aiming to branch out to an audience beyond photographers and photojournalists and the locations that Stephen has selected for the exhibitions and talks will do that. Bringing photojournalism to the Museum of Contemporary Art is a real feat. In Australia photojournalism as art struggles in comparison to places like New York where there is a real respect for photojournalism, not just retrospectively, but in the present. Anything that promotes photojournalism like Reportage does, is important and this year the Festival is aiming sky-high”.

Quilty, who is a multi-award winner, is also a member of Oculi, a collective of Australian photographers, who have a group show this year with the theme of “Home”. With the group show Quilty said, “There are no photo essays as such, but we’ve all responded in our own ways to the theme home. There’s around eighty photographs in the exhibition and we are giving audience members the opportunity to select forty photographs which they can assemble as they wish in a personalised book that is being produced by Blurb. So we are putting the process of editing into the hands of the audience and I am really keen to see how that works”. 

He also has work in the Reportage projections, black and white images of the Australian landscape ravaged by bushfires. “I wanted to explore that beauty in destruction which is something that is a pretty vexed issue in photojournalism particularly with people like Salgado and Nachtwey who are often accused of beautifying tragedy. I don’t subscribe to that line of thinking and with the bushfire landscapes I was looking at taking advantage of a situation where human suffering is somewhat removed. That was a personal decision too because at the time I shot that work I wasn’t really interested in engaging with people photographically. This was an opportunity to explore a subject, an important issue, that I had never really looked at before”.

Quilty chose to shoot in black and white, which he said was “entirely an aesthetic choice. I went with a preconceived idea to show that contrast of the trees and baked earth and smoky skies, to show the monochromatic landscape left after the fires”.

Oculi Collective: HOME
Cleland Bond Building, Reportage Festival Hub
Until 13 June

Link to Andrew Quilty's website

Ed Giles - Aleppo, Syria
Australian photojournalist Ed Giles is based in Cairo, and has returned home to Sydney as the technical editor for Reportage’s projections programme. Giles, who is represented by Getty Images, has extensively covered the Arab Spring and the work he has on show at Reportage includes recent images shot in Aleppo, Syria.

In November last year Giles travelled with a unit of the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo, with the intention of telling a more “human story, which ended up being in the context of the katiba, an army unit,” he explained. 

Of his visit to a city that is fraught with danger for international journalists and photographers, Giles said luck played a big part in the success of his tour. “I travelled and worked with a very good Egyptian friend of mine who is an activist and video journalist in Cairo. He worked with me as my translator, and he was doing his own work too. In that environment it was incredibly fortunate to work with someone I know very well and trust, as often in these situations I could have ended up with a random Syrian person working as a fixer, someone who speaks English, but whom I didn’t know”.

Luck held with them from the start as the pair made their way into Syria through Turkey via a “relatively safe route with good people”. Then finding a katiba that was active, “doing interesting things and happy to talk on camera” delivered another lucky break. “I’ve had friends go in with a unit and sit in an apartment for days without going out, and without getting them on camera. So I got really lucky and nothing really awful happened while I was there in the immediate vicinity so it wasn’t a particularly bad experience in terms of the level of risk”.

The photo essay Giles shot in Aleppo forms part of his greater body of work on the Arab Spring conflicts. Capturing the images in “On the Front Line with Aleppo's Martyrs of Truth” involved going out on night patrol, climbing through hollowed out buildings to avoid being on the street and exposed to snipers, and living with the katiba in the apartments appropriated by the Free Syrian Army for their bases.

The katiba Giles worked with was based in “a very nice upper middle class area of Aleppo”, where there had been beautiful parks and apartments full of memories of lives well lived. We talk about a photograph where the leader of the katiba, who was killed only days after Giles left the city, is praying. In the apartment are photographs of children and the personal belongings of those who have fled. It is a stark reminder of the toll of the conflict on the citizens of the city whose lives have been upturned.

Giles said it was an odd experience to camp in someone’s home, and clearly that sentiment was also held by members of the katiba. “As you move through these apartment buildings with the katiba there’s all sorts of graffiti on the walls of the stairwells. Some are messages to the people who own the apartments saying the Free Syrian Army didn’t do this to your house, we are sorry to damage your property, but we have to in order to save Syria. They know they are occupying peoples homes”.

The Free Syrian Army comprises many who have defected from the government’s troops and there were a few in the katiba Giles travelled with that were uncertain of Giles’ objectives and reluctant to go on camera. “But the three guys at the top of the katiba wanted us there to tell their story so the standing order was to welcome us”. As a result Giles has captured a series of images that allow the viewer to see the human side to these fighters who lie hidden in an ancient city which has seen it all before. 

Link to Reportage Festival Website - Reportage is on in Sydney at various venues until 13 June.

Have a great weekend wherever you are.

Friday Round Up - 31 May 2013

This week's Friday Round Up delivers a visual feast of images from three major festivals - Sydney's Reportage Documentary Photography Festival and Head On Photo Festival, and PhotoMed on the French island of Bendor (near Marseilles). There are a lot of images this week that deserve attention. Please take the time to look at each. Have a great weekend wherever you are.

Reportage - Documentary Photography at its Best  

Censored - Scarred man after Rwandan genocide (C) James Nachtwey

This week the photojournalism community has demonstrated its collective outrage in regards to the actions of Destination NSW in censoring photographs in the Reportage documentary photography festival, which this year falls under the Vivid Festival banner, an annual event owned and managed by Destination NSW.

With claims that images of “dead babies” would upset the general public, Destination NSW ripped through the works of 39 photojournalists, slapping the “too distressing” label on internationally acclaimed photographers including James Nachtwey, Paula Bronstein, Yuri Kozyrev, Antonio Zambardino, Francesco Zizola, David Burnett, Tim Page, Jack Picone, Michael Coyne, Andrew Quilty, Ed Giles, Raphaela Rossella, David Maurice Smith, Conor Ashleigh, Alex Webb and Jodi Bieber, who withdrew her work from the festival entirely.

The censorship was indiscriminate with images of burned out landscapes, flooded towns and children living without electricity, part of the cull. As for the “dead babies,” which CEO of Destination NSW, Sandra Chipchase said was the impetus for the censorship, they were harder to spot. In fact I couldn’t find an image that blatantly featured the offending “dead” baby. (You can see some of the images below which were culled).

More offensive than any of these images is the ignorance demonstrated by Destination NSW. As highly awarded, and respected, photojournalist Jack Picone said the act of censorship is “the work of oppressive regimes, mad dictators, oligarchs and police states”. You can read Jack’s erudition on the issue here.

Reportage exists because of a handful of photojournalists, including the members of the photojournalist collective Degree South, who are committed to bringing documentary photography to a wider audience. In 2010 I wrote a feature for Pro Photo on Reportage’s Tenth Anniversary. At the time Michael Amendolia, one of the founders of Reportage, said the idea for the festival came from “the lack of real acceptance in Australia to show the deeper dimensions of the photo documentary essay. Photojournalists were travelling and doing stories on their own accord. Newspapers would show one photograph, and cover stories that involved parochial concerns. There were few forums to show the work in any depth…” Unfortunately it seems that nothing has changed. You can read the full story on Reportage’s Tenth Anniversary in 2010 here, to understand that this festival has had a life long before the bureaucrats at Destination NSW became involved.

The level of visual illiteracy displayed by the supposed premier tourism body for NSW as to the nature of documentary photography is appalling – it seems unfathomable that they are so clueless as to what documentary photography and photojournalism involves. No Ms. Chipchase it isn’t about photos of what you had for dinner or how cute your dog is.

The censorship of Reportage paints Australia as a cultural backwater, an image that many of us involved in the arts work hard to alter. Thanks to Destination NSW, that task is now made even harder pushing us back to the narrow thinking of the fifties. No wonder so many talented Australians leave our shores.

Visit the Reportage website for a full listing of all the exhibitions and events here

The images below are a sample of what was censored by Destination NSW. Let me know if you can see the "dead babies":

(C) Alex Webb

(C) Alex Webb

(C) Andrew Quilty

(C) Andrew Quilty

(C) Francesco Zizola

(C) Francesco Zizola

(C) Francesco Zizola

(C) Jack Picone

(C) Antonio Zambardino

(C) Antonio Zambardino

(C) David Burnett

(C) David Burnett

(C) David Burnett

(C) David Burnett

(C) Ed Giles

(C) Ed Giles

(C) Conor Ashleigh

(C) Michael Coyne

(C) James Nachtwey

(C) Paula Bronstein

(C) Paula Bronstein

(C) Raphaela Rosella

(C) Raphaela Rosella

(C) Tim Page

(C) Yuri Kozyrev

(C) Yuri Kozyrev

(C) Yuri Kozyrev

Reportage – This Weekend  
David Burnett in Conversation
David Burnett Talks About His Amazing 40 year career Sunday 2nd June, 2pm-6pm Museum for Contemporary Art, Sydney

All images (C) David Burnett

A Retrospective Journey with David Burnett will cover the course of a life’s career discussing his work from the Iranian Revolution to Bob Marley and to the documentation of the U.S Presidents from JFK to Obama. He will also discuss the origins of Contact Press Images together with Co-founder Robert Pledge, the challenges and success in founding a successful and prestigious photo documentary agency. I had the pleasure of interviewing David about his Bob Marley exhibition, which is also part of Reportage. He is extremely engaging and has some terrific tales to share. Tickets are $15. Buy here.

Leysis Quesada Vera – An Interior View

(C) All images Leysis Quesada Vera

Born in 1973 in Cienfuegos, Cuba, Leysis Quesada Vera said “I began seriously taking photos in January 2000. Light for me is like a symbol of hope, a piece of hope that illuminates the people and places that pull me in to document them and suggests to me that there is the possibility of improvement for people to have a better life. I came from a very poor family, so I am sensitive to the struggles of the poor and their problems, their way of life drives my work because is part of my personal story”.

‘An Interior View’ is on show at Sydney gallery, Black Eye as part of the Reportage Festival, where more than 20 large format black and white photographs are on exhibition. ‘An Interior View’ delivers an “intimate” look into Leysis Quesada Vera’s world. Here she has captured the nuances of Cuban life as only a native can.

Black Eye Gallery
3/138 Darlinghurst Rd Darlinghurst, Sydney
Until June 9 

Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb
Violet Isle: Two Visions of Cuba - closes 1st June

(C) Rebecca Norris Webb

This is the last chance to see Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb’s inaugural Sydney exhibition of their work from Cuba. The exhibition features a selection of images from their best-selling book ‘Violet Isle’, which began as independent projects that became complementary. The Webb’s Cuban work explores a country that they described as being in an “economic, political, cultural and ecological bubble…outside the world of globalization”. The Violet Isle, which is a “little-known” name for Cuba captures life on the streets, Alex’s focus, as well as Rebecca’s “surprising discovery of unique and sometimes mysterious animals”.

Violet Isle: Two Visions of Cuba
10x8 Gallery
Level 5 / 56 - 60 Foster St Surry Hills 

Head On - Sydney Until 23 June

While attention has been on Reportage for all the wrong reasons, Sydney’s other photography festival, Head On, is also currently in full swing with a programme that features more than 100 exhibitions. Next week more exhibitions from Head On will be profiled on Friday Round Up.

Paul Blackmore - Artist Talk
On Saturday 1st June multi-award winning photojournalist Paul Blackmore will give a free Artist Talk at the Stanley Street Gallery in Darlinghurst where his exhibition 'New Beirut' is on display. Click here for more details.

(C) All images Paul Blackmore

PhotoMed - France Until 16 June

© Le Plongeur, 1951, Nino Migliori

2013 marks the third installation of PhotoMed, a festival designed to “improve visibility to Mediterranean photographers”. The festival features both renowned as well as emerging photographers. “Art, especially the photographic medium is a means to overcome the limitations imposed by partisans issues. PhotoMed takes you on a varied, amazing, surprising and rewarding photographic journey in, on the island of Bendor and at the Hotel des Arts in Toulon”. 22 exhibitions, photographic workshops, portfolio reviews and various installations combine to “give this festival a global dimension.” So if you are lucky enough to be in France, PhotoMed is on until 16 June.

© Fouad Elkoury / Signatures

Série "Gens d'Emiglia", 1957 © Nino Migliori

Série "Portés Disparus", 2006 © Bostjan Pucelj

Série " Perdre la Vue", 2012 © Caroline Tabet

Série "Escaliers", 2012 © Danica Kus
Le Présdent Allende, 1971 © Costa-Gavras

La cathédrale engloutie, 2012 © Didier Massard

"Tcup 8", 2012 © Lara Zankoul

Grèce, Santorin, 2012 © Guy Mander

"Seules", 2012 © Tanya Traboulsi

Valencia, Espagne, 1998 © Gabriele Basilico

Friday Round Up - 24 May 2013

This week's Friday Round Up features excerpts from Alison Stieven-Taylor's coverage of Head On Photo Festival Sydney on Le Journal de la Photographie.  Head On runs until 23 June with exhibitions and outdoor events held throughout the harbor city. Click on each of the links below to read the full stories and interviews. Next week Friday Round Up features interviews from Sydney's documentary photography festival, Reportage, which opens this Saturday and runs until 13 June.  Have a great weekend.

Head On Photo Festival - Alison Stieven-Taylor's Picks

Paul Blackmore - New Beirut

Acclaimed Australian photographer Paul Blackmore’s series New Beirut shows a city and its people in celebration, providing a different view of Beirut and shifting perception on a city that after years of civil war evokes thoughts of conflict and devastation rather than beach parties and glamor. Read more here

Vlad Sokhin - Crying Meri

Vlad Sokhin is a Russian/Portuguese documentary photographer who is based in Sydney. His exhibition, Crying Meri – Violence Against Women in Papua New Guinea documents the violence against women that is rife in Papua New Guinea (PNG). According to statistics, two thirds of the female population of this Pacific nation suffers abuse at the hands of their partners and fifty per cent are victims of sexual assaults. Read more here

Darren Jew - Liquid Light

Four times winner of the Australian Science, Environment and Nature Photographer of the Year Award (Canon/AIPP), Darren Jew is one of Australia’s most respected environmental and underwater photographers. His exhibition Liquid Light explores the interaction between life, light and water in the undersea world capturing the diversity of the marine life from the crystal clear tropical waters of the Pacific to the depths of the icy Southern Ocean. Read more here

Tracie Williams - Beauty

American photographer Tracie William’s exhibition Beautyexplores themes around self-perception, societal expectations and innocence. In this series Williams documents her younger sister’s involvement in the American beauty pageants where parents spend thousands of dollars on their young daughters’ clothing, make up and hair in the hope to win, and be crowned the most beautiful. Read more here

Ben Lowy - Interview

(C) Alison Stieven-Taylor

When Ben Lowy first began shooting with his iPhone in 2010 it was all about having fun, using the iPhone camera instead of his professional camera gear as a way of differentiating photography as work and as leisure. Three years on and Lowy has built a huge following on social media and now integrates his iPhone photography with his professional work, the iPhone becoming another tool in his kit. Read full interview here

Shahidul Alam - Interview

(C) Alison Stieven-Taylor

Bangladeshi photographer, journalist and activist Shahidul Alam was in Sydney for the opening of his exhibition, Crossfire and took time out to talk with me about how the project came about and the ongoing impact it is having in his country and beyond. Read full interview here

Ingvar Kenne - CITIZEN

This year’s Momento Head On Photo Book of the Year Award winner, CITIZEN features a collection of images that photographer Ingvar Kenne said came together in an organic fashion rather than being premeditated. Read story here

Friday Round Up - 17 May 2013

This week's Friday Round Up comes from Sydney's Head On Photo Festival. 

Last night hundreds of photography professionals and enthusiasts attended the official opening of the fourth Head On Photo Festival in Sydney at TAFE Ultimo. In a steamy room that rumbled with the chit chat of friends and colleagues, Festival Director Moshe Rosenzveig told the crowd it was “scary how big the festival is each year”. With over 900 photographers participating in the five week extravaganza, “there is something for and by everyone; photography is inclusive”.

The winners of the Head On Portrait Prize were announced along with the Momento Head On photography book award winners and the inaugural Head Off Landscape Award. Both the Portrait Prize, which this year attracted more than 2400 entries, and the Landscape are judged “blind” so as to award the prize “based purely on the power of the photograph rather than the celebrity of the subject or photographer. Anyone can enter and win.” The Portrait Prize winning entries are on show at the State Library of NSW as are the winning photography books. The Landscape entries are on show at Paddington Reservoir Gardens.

“Every year I’m surprised by the sheer number and the amazing quality of the entries and this year was no exception. I was very excited to see how much interest there was in the Landscape category which received such a diversity of entries,” said Rosenzveig.


The Head On Portrait Prize winners were announced by Kevin Cooper of Fujifilm, one of the Festival’s major supporters.

1st Jonathan May – “A powerful image of the resilience of the human spirit despite the tragedy of his life. Juxtapose the harrowing experience he endured and the innocence of childhood and playfulness.”

2nd Brian Cassey – “Simple and traditional yet powerful and direct image. A formal portrait in an informal setting.”

3rd Matt Reed – “Taken moments after the official portraits, a joyous unexpected image. A portrait of a person through his family. Candid yet stylised.”

Landscape Prize winners:

1st Tim Levy – “Juxtaposition of a man-made landscape sterile environment and the natural landscape. A layered image with different elements.”

2nd Phillip Klaunzer – “Ethereal other-world; no definitive scale; textured low key tonal range. Moody, sense of abandonment.”

3rd Ashley Mackevicius - “Simplicity of composition and disappearance of fence and lake. Fence is like a scar in the landscape.”

Momento PhotoBook winners:

Book of Year - Ingvar Kenne - CITIZEN portraits 1997 – 2012
Runner Up – Michael Kai – The World Is Yours
Photojournalism & Documentary – Dan O’Day – Ginger & Pearl, Two Lives, One love, A Retrospective
Landscape and Travel – Robert Cameriere – Scillia
Portrait - Ingvar Kenne - CITIZEN portraits 1997 – 2012
Open - Michael Kai – The World Is Yours

Friday Round Up - 10 May 2013

This week on Friday Round Up two exhibitions from Sydney's Head On, a new gallery for photography lovers, Requiem opens at the Human Rights Festival in Melbourne and new Tim Page Unseen from Cuba. Also a photograph taken by Bangladeshi photographer Taslima Akhter of the garment factory collapse in Dhaka on April 25 that has touched hearts around the world. Enjoy the Round Up and your weekend.

Exhibition - Head On Festival:
Gilbert Bel-Bachir - Looking Through Glass

Moroccan born photographer Gilbert Bel-Bachir’s exhibition Looking Through Glass features photographs shot by Bel-Bachir from the windows of Sydney’s buses. Taken over four years, Bel-Bachir “uses the graffiti, scratches and marks left by the commuters as his Photoshop.” 

(C) All images Gilbert Bel-Bachir

Looking Through Glass
Opens 22 May until 17 June
Alliance Française de Sydney
Level 13, 257 Clarence St, Sydney
Visit Bel-Bachir's website for more details

Exhibition - Head On Festival:
Marnya Rothe - Women in Uniform

Marnya Rothe is a Sydney-based photographer who uses her camera to explore themes of feminism, sexuality and voyeurism. In her exhibition Women in Uniform, which is part of Head On Festival, Rothe “presents portraits of powerful, beautiful women attempting to break the glass ceiling of traditionally male dominated careers such as pilots, trades, the police force and the defence force. The images challenge and explore sexual connotations imposed on women who happen to wear lipstick with their hard-hats, or heels with their suits”. Opens tomorrow.

Gallery: Arthere
126 Regent Street, Redfern
11-23 May
Opening Saturday 11 May 2-5pm
Visit Rothe's website for more details

Exhibition and New Gallery:
Tom Evangelidis - Black Eye Gallery

New Sydney gallery, Black Eye, opens with a dramatic exhibition, Façade, by photographer Tom Evangelidis featuring iconic architecture from some of the world’s most visually stunning cities including Prague and St Peterburg. 

(C) All images Tom Evangelidis

Evangelidis said his large format photographs “are not romantic, stylised commercial representations of architecture but rather community streetscapes complete with the aberrations and flaws travel photography would typically avoid.”

Façade features work taken over a ten-year period and builds on previous exhibitions on a similar theme. There is also a book available of the work.  Black Eye also stocks high end photographic books. 

Black Eye Gallery Darlinghurst

Black Eye Gallery
3/138 Darlinghurst rd Darlinghurst
Façade is on until 19 MayVisit Evangelidis' website for more details

Requiem - Curated by Tim Page

The exhibition Requiem, which features images from the book of the same name by war photojournalists Tim Page and Horst Faas, opens at the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival in Melbourne today. Requiem commemorates the work of all the dead and the missing, from all nations, who were lost in the thirty-year struggle for liberation in Indochina. Requiem the exhibition is now on permanent display at the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City and Page has curated a version of the exhibition for the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival.
Yarra Gallery until 19 May
Federation Square Ground Level Yarra Building
Human Rights Arts & Film Festival
Visit the Festival Website for more details

This week new "unpublished" photographs from legendary Tim Page, this time from Cuba. Page visited Cuba three times over 1988/1989. Please click on this link or at the top of the blog to see more photographs.

A Single Photo Speaks for the Dead:

This photo taken by Bangladeshi photographer Taslima Akhter of the garment factory collapse in Dhaka on April 25 is what photojournalism is all about. In one image the photographer has captured the human toll of rapacious corporate greed seen in the last embrace of those who perished. These people were not cared for by their employers, they were simply workers, not someone’s daughter or son, mother or father, lover or friend. They were just cheap labour exploited by corporations and by their own government. Taslima said, “As a witness to this cruelty, I feel the urge to share this pain with everyone. That’s why I want this photo to be seen”.

Friday Round Up - 3 May 2013

The week on Friday Round Up a new book from writer/photographer John Ogden, Slightly DangerousSebastião Salgado in interview for Genesis; and an exhibition on the Yakuza features in this year's Head On Festival in Sydney.

Book Review:
John Ogden - Slightly Dangerous

There’s something very seductive about Cyclops Press’ latest book, Slightly Dangerous, by writer and photographer John Ogden, which comes with a warning on the cover: “this book contains explicit reference to sex, drugs and rock-n-roll”. But beyond the titillation that a warning always evokes, this book is a work of art in itself that takes the reader on an unorthodox journey through the 1950s until now. 

I am a great fan of the printed book, and the opportunity to curl up with this one was anticipated from the moment I saw the early PDFs. This book is a visual and erudite feast that starts with Ogden’s dedication on page one “to all those who stray from the narrow path…” From that moment I was lost in the sharply written prose, the thoughtful observations, and the passion of exploration, discovery, contest and challenge that move the story along and are signposts of a life well lived and lived well beyond the parameters of the norm.

The book is peppered with journal-style entries and photographs taken by Ogden throughout his career. Ogden has had a mixed, and at times lauded, career, but photography and storytelling have always been at his core. In the 1970s he worked as a photojournalist, and also studied anthropology and history. In the 1980s he turned his hand to film and later went on to become an award-winning Director of Photography (DOP) for feature films and documentaries. He also worked in advertising and with MTV. But “riding the gravy train” wasn’t spiritually fulfilling and when he lost an eye to surfing and then went blind in the other due to cataracts, he took it as a sign and decided to embrace something more meaningful. Publishing seemed like a good idea and once he’d had eye surgery and regained his sight, he threw himself into Cyclops Press, which is where he is today. 

Legendary photojournalist Tim Page, whose unpublished work is featured on this blog, has written the foreword and I couldn’t think of anyone more tuned into the essence of this book. Page’s history most definitely shows that he has lived his life away from “the narrow path”. In his elucidation of Slightly Dangerous he says “This is a life well travelled, of a baby boomer who surfs an existential path across six decades, waxing the best of nostalgia against the odds that are self mitigated by the excesses of those times. It is a heritage of the hippest, most gonzo ‘down-under’ attitudes, rendered by images we all wish we had snapped. As if Hunter S. Thompson and Richard Neville shuffled photo cards with Robert Frank’ian images throughout the deck”.

Sexy, stylish, seductive – the three s’s of success – sums up Slightly Dangerous, a brave, insightful, demanding and ultimately uplifting read that reaffirms that the world would be far less interesting if it weren’t for the likes of John Ogden.

Slightly Dangerous is available now. Contact Cyclops Press for more information.

An exhibition of the works contained in the book is also on display until 2 June at Manly Art Gallery and Museum.

Sebastião Salgado talks to Alison Stieven-Taylor

Sebastião Salgado is an icon to photographers around the world although this incredibly unpretentious man, who has created some of the most extraordinary, and important, imagery of our time, would probably not identify with that label.

In March I had the enormous privilege of interviewing Salgado about his latest epic project: Genesis, which is both a book and touring exhibition. To me, Salgado is like the Mick Jagger of documentary photography, so the opportunity to speak to someone whose work I admire enormously was at once exciting and somewhat nerve-wracking. But his deep passion for the work quickly dispelled any sense of celebrity.

Genesis is an eight-year project that has taken Salgado to 32 countries in his search for the most “pristine locations” left on earth, and for the people who are still living in harmony with nature, as they have done for millennia.

There has been a hiatus of several years between the creation of this work and his last long-term project, Migrations, a collection of images spanning 40 countries; profound visual evidence of humankind’s will to survive, and also of a cruelty beyond measure. He tells me that after the emotional weight of Migrations he required time out.

“I spent six years working with refugee and migrant populations in very tough situations. In Rwanda I saw so many incredibly violent things, brutality at a level you cannot imagine, such total violence. I started to become sick. I saw so many deaths that I started to die.” It is more than a decade since Migrations was completed, but the tremor in his voice is still evident as he recalls experiences that have left him deeply affected.

Salgado says he and his wife Lélia Wanick Salgado, who is his partner in all aspects of his life, “retired a little bit in our place in Brazil on land we had received from my parents. This big farm is where I was born, and it had been more than 50 percent rainforest, but when I received what was left, it was less than half a percent of rainforest. All my region had been destroyed in order to build the modern Brazil, destroyed as humanity has done everywhere on the planet. Lélia had an idea of replanting the rainforest that was here. So we started our environmental project to restore our forest not knowing that we were becoming environmental activists”.

They consulted a friend who was knowledgeable in forest restoration and he estimated that 2.5 million trees of more than 200 species would be required to revive the ecosystem that had existed previously. Salgado says, “we are not rich people, so we began to raise money from many different places and we transformed this land into a national park”. Over the next three years hundreds of thousands of trees started to grow, and the water came back, as did birds, mammals and other rainforest animals.

He tells me that the restoration of the rainforest is now almost complete with two million trees in the ground as at December last year. “We now have more than 177 species of birds in our forest, and the jaguars are coming back. Our forest in Brazil has become one of the biggest environmental projects in the country. We have also created an educational centre, Instituto Terra, and the biggest nursery for native plants of our region with a capacity to produce about one million seedlings a year of more than 100 different species. It has become an incredible project. And now our publisher Taschen is going to offset the carbon it takes to produce our book so we can do even more. This project started as an accident...” he trails off and I can hear in his voice that he is still amazed by what they have achieved.

As Salgado watched the rainforest recuperate he says, “the life started to become stronger in us too. And I had an idea to go back to photography, but no more did I want to photograph the only animal I had focused on all my life, us. I had an idea to photograph the other animals and to photograph the landscape, and yes to photograph us, but us from the beginning when we lived in harmony with nature. We wanted to do a new presentation of the planet to show the people how incredible our planet is and so I spent eight years to tell this story”.

The logistics behind Genesis are almost as impressive as the final outcome, a feat Lélia describes as a “marathon”. A mixture of donkeys, boats, planes, balloons and trucks afforded transport. Many journeys had to be done by foot and timing was worked around small windows of good weather – summer in Antarctica and the Artic, before the rains in Indonesia or the floods in Brazil. Salgado travelled in two-month blocks making four trips a year for eight years. He, Lélia and the team at Amazonas Images, the Salgado’s company, worked tirelessly researching to plan the scope of Genesis. Next came funding – a project of this scale is expensive – and many editorial partners and organisations were enlisted to support it. Finally in 2004 Salgado was ready to make his first trip for Genesis, to the Galápagos Islands, which Lélia says was “a logical starting point for a look back at our planet’s earlier life”.

After each trip Salgado would return home to Paris with 10,000 images. Shooting on both film and digital, each image was assessed, without the aid of a computer – he doesn’t use one. The end result is an extraordinary collection of more than 200 black and white photographs (he doesn’t shoot in colour). Taschen has published Genesis, the book, with the exhibition of the same name currently showing in London at the Natural History Museum. Lélia is once again editor, curator and designer of the collection, which is divided into five sections: Planet South; Sanctuaries including The Galápagos, Indonesia, Madagascar and Papua New Guinea; Africa; Northern Spaces and; Amazonia and Pantanal.

Planet South – “Twice the size of Australia, Antarctica seems even larger on maps because its landmass lies hidden beneath a vast frozen blanket that stretches hundreds of miles into the southern oceans. The coldest, driest and windiest of the world’s five continents, Antarctica’s fierce ecosystem reaches as far as the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and the southern mountains and coasts of Argentina and Chile. And yet in this harsh environment, the cycle of life goes on”. 

Sanctuaries – “Isolated islands offer ideal conditions for the development and survival of endemic flora and fauna. As a result, unique animal and plant species are often concentrated in small geographical areas. Their principal threat is the encroachment of human settlements. While some ancient tribes still live “inside” nature much as their forebears did this harmony is also often disturbed by modern man. Thus, in what were once safe refuges, ancestral ways of life, rare animals and unique plants are inescapably threatened with extinction”.

Africa – “Since my first visit to Niger, in 1973, I have always felt a deep attachment to Africa. Even when assignments meant confronting crises of famine, drought or war, I jumped at the chance to return. With Genesis, however, I had an altogether happier experience - that of recording a seemingly eternal Africa, one of ancestral tribes, majestic landscapes and breathtaking wildlife. The continent may be vast and varied, yet its many ecosystems remain uniquely African”.

Northern Spaces – “The North Pole stands on ice, surrounded by hundreds of kilometers of frozen ocean, but the Arctic Circle itself is ringed by the northernmost regions of the Americas, Europe and Asia. As a result, the Arctic ecosystem reaches well into Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia and Russia. In some areas, the ice gives way to permafrost and tundra; in others, volcanoes, glaciers and canyons recall the geological convulsions that marked the formation of the earth. Yet, for all this, tenacious animals and peoples have chosen to live there”.

Amazonia and Pantanal – “From space, the Amazon River and its tributaries resemble a giant tree of life. Indeed, the entire Amazon basin represents life in myriad ways: as a global lung, as the source of 20 percent of the world’s fresh water, as home to uncounted species of flora and fauna, and as a refuge for scores of Indian tribes. On its peripheries, though, logging, cattle farming, mining and urbanization are slowly eating away at the jungle. Burned forest and cleared land have now left vast scars on what was once an uninterrupted carpet of green”.

In addition to the majesty of the photographs is the narrative. This textural analysis gives Genesis an even greater richness that combined with Salgado’s “eye” becomes a document of significant historical value. In viewing this book one cannot help, but be moved by the extraordinary beauty of nature and to understand what we stand to lose should we ignore the reality of our species’ impact on the planet.

In thinking about the highlights of this eight-year opus, Salgado recalls the 850km trek he made from one of the holiest cities in northern Ethiopia, Lalibela, to the town of Gondar, situated at 2300m and famous for its castles and church architecture. “The walk took about two months through the mountains,” says Salgado. “It was a unique experience and I walked because there are no roads. These tribes live as they did in Old Testament times and produce everything they consume, including food, textiles and farming tools. After the first week of walking I was very far from any towns and roads, and I was inspired to be part of this society that was completely living in another era, and in harmony with the land. They have very sophisticated agricultural practices and artisans and craftsmen are very important in this society. It is so beautiful and walking there you understand how these lands, these rivers all ran to Egypt and made the glory of Egypt, it was incredible”.

He tells how at the end of a long day’s walk he was so tired, and someone took off “my shoes to wash and cleanse my feet in the oldest symbolism of the humility of the Christians, you know, it was incredible. For me it was the most fabulous walk, you cannot imagine how beautiful it is really, the most pristine and beautiful place of the world”.

There were, of course, explorations that left him frustrated. He says he has no pictures of the Himalayas, but not for lack of trying. “I did a walk along the border of Butan and China, more than 550 kilometres across very high mountains and it was raining, monsoonal. Two months in the rain, that for me was very tough, it was a very long walk, and I became very tired with no pictures. That was the most difficult for me in this sense, but I wanted to see the most pristine places on the planet and they are not easy to access. If they were easy, we would have already destroyed them”.

Surprisingly there were few interruptions to his voyages - in a forest in Irian Jaya, Salgado fell ill with malaria and had to cut short that trip. And deep in the forests of Papua New Guinea, Jacques Barthélemy Salgado’s assistant had to be evacuated after his leg became infected from a bee sting – but much of what was planned went ahead without too many aberrations and Lélia and their son Juliano, a filmmaker, joined Salgado where possible.

At one point there were concerns over funding “when part of our original editorial partners could no longer sustain Genesis”, but VALE, a Brazilian company that is also a supporter of Instituto Terra, stepped into the breach and Genesis continued as planned.

We digress from talking about Genesis for a moment to discuss the future of documentary photography in the wake of the decline of print editorial. “I believe the future is there for the committed documentary photographer. With the Internet, humanitarian organisations and NGOs who have magazines that need pictures, and editorial work, we have a base that is now probably bigger than before, but it is challenging,” he concedes. “Lélia and I teach documentary photography in a school in Japan and we are seeing a lot of young photographers becoming very strong. When a young photographer tells me they want to do documentary photography, I tell them they must go back to University, study a little bit of sociology, anthropology, geopolitics and economics, in order to understand this planet and their society, so they can create a life of photography based in historical knowledge”.

The breadth of a project like Genesis wouldn’t have been possible without an understanding of the cultural and environmental issues that exist in the contemporary world. Genesis is a book that you will return to over and over again as the grandeur of the content is such that each picture requires its own time for reflection. For me the power of the still photograph is in allowing the viewer time to explore the image at their leisure, to revisit the familiar and to uncover the new. I ask Salgado for his thoughts on still photography.

“The still photograph is very important, more so than documentary video or film,” Salgado tells me. “I have a son who is a filmmaker and I see what he does and it is very interesting, but film shows history from the beginning to the end. Documentary photographs are different. Each photograph is a single image that must represent all the emotion, and all the light; it must show the life being captured in that photograph. When you do a stop in photography, that photograph becomes a kind of symbol, it is much more powerful than a full series of images that compose a video, which is a different way to tell a story. We need the still picture in the sense that we look to them and we don’t need translation, we don’t need text, we don’t need anything. I believe this is the power of the still image. And now with the Internet and the style of using a lot of images, the symbolic picture, the single image, is very powerful”.

We turn back to Genesis. After eight years immersed in this project, I ask him how he feels now it is completed. “ I want to go again,” he laughs and it is immediately obvious that Genesis has indeed rejuvenated his soul. “Because you see for Genesis I am finished, but I want to do a few things more. I’ll give you an example. I work a lot in the south of the planet and I want to complete that. I have a big wish to go to New Zealand, to the islands and to complete my set of pictures of the landscape in the south. I worked a lot for the Genesis project there, and I had worked before in this area. But I want to go back to see the mountains, I want to walk on that ground again. I saw so many incredible things that I want to connect with the planet and the environment, to me that is life”.

He says he’s always had a connection to nature. “Absolutely always. I was born on this farm in Brazil, I tell you I was born in a paradise, I had long walks in the forest and swam in the rivers with Caimans (a large aquatic South American reptile) and always in my life, look at my pictures, the best of my pictures they are of the countryside, so country for me is very important. For Genesis I walked a lot, climbed a lot, in my search for pristine locations. What I did for myself in going to these marvelous places is the biggest gift a person can receive”.

Whereas Migrations was “a very disturbing story”, Genesis is a celebration of the wonders of nature, but he cautions that “it is also a warning, I hope, of all that we risk losing. I hope that the people who see Genesis will understand we have an incredible planet, a planet that we must respect and protect. We must also have respect for our species and for the other animal species. We destroy too much and give too much to the modern part of our society. If we want to continue to live here we must restore order to what we have destroyed. Everything is alive on our planet. We must integrate again with our planet, or one day our planet will push us out completely, and we will disappear as a species. We are breaking this essential link that we have with nature. We are nature, but if we come back a little bit to nature we can be integrated with the planet I am sure”.

Earlier in the interview Salgado had told me he was not a rich man. Perhaps in the way the Western world views riches that may be true, but in the things that we should hold dear – compassion, humanity and respect for ourselves, other creatures and Mother Earth - he is abundant. 

Genesis is published by Taschen.  All images (C) Sebastião Salgado Amazonia Images

Sydney - Head On
This week starts Friday Round Up's coverage of Australia's largest photographic festival, Head On, which runs from 17 May to 23 June in Sydney. This year around 900 photographers are participating in the festival. More details to come. But for now, Anton Kusters photo essay on the Yakuza...

Anton Kusters - Yakuza 

After negotiating with the Yakuza for nearly ten months, Anton Kusters spent two years documenting a Yakuza family in Japan, an experience he describes as "walking on eggshells". His exhibition of this work is part of this year's Head On festival in Sydney which opens 17 May. Yakuza is on exhibition at The Muse, TAFE Sydney Institute. Click here for more details.

Have a great weekend wherever you are.

Friday Round Up - 26 April 2013

Alison Stieven-Taylor's story in March, "Death of a Festival" about the demise of Foto Freo, Australia’s most successful and longest running photography festival, hit a nerve with the directors of Australia’s other major photography festivals, namely Ballarat International Foto Biennale and Sydney’s Head On. 

This week Friday Round Up looks at the future of photography festivals in Australia with commentary from Jeff Moorfoot, director of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale (BIFB) and Moshe Rosenzveig director of Sydney’s Head On as well as Alasdair Foster, ambassador for the Asia Pacific Photo Forum.

Jeff Moorfoot at BIFB'11 (Photo: Marty Williams)

Maggie Diaz Artist Talk BIFB'11 (Photo: Marty Williams)

Both Moorfoot and Rosenzveig are concerned that their festivals could well go the way of Foto Freo if long term support from funding bodies, industry and patrons isn’t forthcoming.

All photography festivals in Australia rely on a mix of government, corporate and private funding in order to mount comprehensive creative programs that in turn, attract the audience numbers required to attract financial support. Despite the fact that many of the people who “work” for these festivals are volunteers, or have vastly reduced their professional fees in order to see the festival get up, it still costs tens of thousands of dollars to mount a festival of the calibre of BIFB, Head On and the axed Foto Freo.

Moorfoot and Rosenzveig tell me audience numbers are high and increasing each festival, as was the case with Foto Freo. But that’s still not enough to get the funding bodies to commit to future events. The lack of support for visual arts is not new, but when you think you’ve ticked all the boxes – high audience numbers, quality exhibitions, workshops, international artists, media coverage et al – confusion as to where to go next and which circus act you might need to perform, rules the day. 

Rosenzveig says that while Head On has attracted funding again this year, it is almost impossible to secure any kind of long term commitment despite last year’s festival pulling in 600,000 visitors. Each Festival it is a matter of jumping through hoops all over again. He says there is a whole range of issues including the commercial objectives of major industry players and the jostling for position in a small market, that are impacting all the photography festivals in Australia.

Head On is one of the largest photographic festivals of its kind in the world. More than 300 exhibitions will be mounted this year, and around 900 photographers are participating. While there are the big international names attached to the Festival, Head On also provides a platform for lesser-known photographers to exhibit their work as well as programming workshops that explore new concepts. Head On, like BIFB, has a proven, successful formula, but that’s seemingly not enough to secure any kind of future for these festivals. 

I’ve invited Alasdair Foster of Cultural Development Consulting to also make comment on the state of the festivals in this country. Foster is an ambassador for the Asia Pacific Photo Forum, an international consortium of professional photography festivals and is well versed in the issues that face the visual arts. He says the survival of festivals is not just a matter of finances, but of the community (photographers and their audiences) supporting these events.

Alasdair Foster: “The issues of sustainability facing photo festivals here and overseas turn on a number of factors, of which the most important is the need for active and meaningful support by all those who benefit from them.

In the visual arts austerity simply takes on a different face from decade to decade. Of course, large museums and biennales soak up cash in the same way the major performing arts do. They have the big end of town to lobby over cocktails and lift the phone to their political equals. But the smaller and more specifically dedicated initiatives fare less well. Which is a problem, because it is they that truly engage the international with the local in ways that empower the individual, valuing each person as more than simply a bum for a seat: metric data.

It’s no good blaming bureaucrats for the decisions made or their political masters, however ‘arm’s length’ they are supposed to be. They operate out of the self-interest of staying on top and, given we live in a democracy that self-interest is sensitive to what is coming back at them from the community. If we want photo festivals – or any other kind of cultural or social benefit – we must fight for them.

There are very many photographers who have benefited from Australia’s remarkable photo festivals; an even larger number of the interested public who have been uplifted, challenged and inspired by what they have seen. These are the people who should now be putting pressure on the powers that manage the public purse. Sadly, however, the community seems to find it easier to take what’s on offer and move on, than work to ensure a sustainable future for the events that have, and could continue to, support and enrich them.

The photo community should recognise they have a choice: pull together and support these remarkable events, or wake up one day and find there are simply no opportunities available any more. It is so easy to destroy what we have by neglect; it takes effort to sustain something culturally nourishing. Luckily we have the men and women in these organisations willing to take on the workload necessary to stage our photo festivals. But do we have the community to support them?”

Jeff Moorfoot also agrees with Foster’s sentiments and hopes that those who benefit from the festivals will show their support by becoming members as he says in his open letter below.

“How can lovers of photography get behind events such as Ballarat to ensure they don't go down the same path as Foto Freo?

It seems arts funders, philanthropists, state and federal governments, the photographic industry, educators and professional bodies, corporates and major local businesses, have little interest in supporting photography events such as the BIFB. Strange indeed on the part of the photography bodies given that their livelihoods depend on strong public interest in the medium!

With the importance of BIFB growing with each event in terms of tourism and international profile, as a huge economic generator and builder of the social fabric of Ballarat, as a mechanism for the support and career development of hundreds of artists, as a world quality arts and culture event that meets the highest critical acclaim and attracts a whopping audience, one would think that ongoing financial support would be a given. Right?

No so! On all those factors that mark the success of an event BIFB ticks all the boxes and continues to grow in scope, popularity and professionalism. Yet our funding support decreases proportionally. Go figure!!

So what can you do, you our supporters? You our audience that grows with each successive festival? What will you do for your photography fix when we are no longer? When Head On is no longer? When the Queensland Festival of Photography is no longer? Don't think it can't happen because the event is too big or too popular. Look at Foto Freo!

It's not enough any more for you to appear simply as a statistic on our chrome clicker counters. Those who dole out the cash seem little concerned with numbers. The only way you can make sure events such as ours live for another event is to put your hand into your pocket and support what we give away to our audiences for free.

BIFB'11 saw 63,400 visitors through our seven main venues during the 30 day festival period, yet we seem to be unable to grow our member base much past 100. At a cost of just $40 for membership per festival [plus a $15 joining fee for first time members] - that's only $20 a year. It's less than what most would pay for parking on a single night out in Melbourne. Your support is minor in comparison to our costs, but major in terms of our ongoing viability. A membership of 1000 would put us well along the path of covering what it costs us to stage our Core Exhibition Program.

Four years ago there were five festivals of photography in Australia. Vivid in Canberra has gone. Foto Freo has gone. How many of us will exist in 2014 if you don't support us? Please visit our website to find out what you can do to help."

If numbers are any indication one has to presume that the photography-loving public wants these festivals. The question is, are they willing to pay for them in order to ensure their survival? 


Friday Round Up will be back next week with new unpublished works from Tim Page in Cuba, and more great photo essays and exhibitions. Have a great weekend.

Friday Round Up - 19 April 2013

This week Friday Round Up features a photo essay by Vlad Sokhin, book reviews on new works by Anthony Karen and Hans-Christian Schink, an exhibition by Robert Rooney The Box Brownie Years and more unpublished images from legendary photojournalist Tim Page.

Photo Essay:
Vlad Sokhin - Child Slavery in Haiti

(Above) Lesli (34), the English teacher from Port-au-Prince, takes a cold beer from the tray held by his restavek, 12-year-old Judeline. Judeline has been living with Lesli’s family since 2009 and must always be within a hearing distance from the owners to fulfill any of their orders. 

Russian/Portuguese documentary photographer Vlad Sokhin, who is based in Sydney, commenced his project about child slavery in Haiti, "Restavek" in 2012. Vlad said today “ there are 300 000 children, who are victims of domestic slavery. In Haitian Creole they are called “Restavek”, from French “reste avec” – “stay with”. Many parents, who live in poverty, are unable to feed their children and give them away to more affluent families, hoping that their child will live in better conditions and will be able to get an education. But, with few exceptions, Restavek children become slaves, working in the homes of their owners from early morning till night. Most of the Restaveks are not permitted to go to school and very often exposed to domestic and sexual violence”.

A boy looks at the mirror of a street hairdresser in Tapis Rouge slum area of Carrefour Feuilles neighborhood, Port-au-Prince. After the earthquake of 2010 many children became homeless and were given by their parents to be restaveks in rich families.

François-Jessica (11) with her brother and François-Samuel (7) inside the house of their "owners". Their mother gave them to slavery after the earthquake of 2010 and since that time they have been serving a poor family of four people, living in a dwelling of the slum area of Morne L'Hospital, Port-au-Prince.

A street of the Cité Soleil Slum in Port-au-Prince. According to MINUSTAH, (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti), Cité Soleil is one of the poorest and the most dangerous places in the country, but even here people have slave children, who do all the work in their houses. 

Viviane (11, left) helps her sister Islande (13) to clean tea-things in the house of their "owner" Jullienne. The sisters have been leaving in servitude with the host family since 2008, after their mother gave them away. They are constantly subjected to physical and verbal offences by the members of the host family.

Judeline (12), a domestic slave in a family of an English teacher, is sweeping the floor while her “owner” Geshly (34) is checking the messages on her mobile phone. Many women in Haiti ask their husbands to find restavek children to shift all the household chores on them. 

Victoria, 15, a former restavek, lives with another eleven girls in the Transitional House that was built by the Restavek Freedom Foundation to provide shelter for the girls who were subjected to extreme abuses by host-families. The residents of the Transitional House live in high security environment and attend one of the best schools in Port-au-Prince. 

Etienne (11), lives as a slave with Ivene, the 32-years-old a grocery and liquor store owner in the Slum of Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince. Etienne works in the shop from early morning until night and is constantly exposed to beatings and other offences from his "owner". 

Focused on covering social, environmental and cultural issues around the world, including post-conflict and natural disaster zones, Vlad, who has received numerous awards, has been published widely in international magazines and has exhibited in the US, Russia, Portugal, Georgia, and Turkey, and at the Visa Pour L’Image photo-festival in Perpignan. He also has a show in Sydney’s Head On Festival opening 15 May. For more information on his work please visit his website. (C) All photos Vlad Sokhin.

Book Review:
Hans-Christian Schink - Tōhoku (Japan)

Two years ago, in March, Japan drew the world’s attention with millions of viewers glued to their television sets in disbelief as images of the tsunami that engulfed a 400 kilometer swathe of the country’s coastline were beamed into homes around the globe. The sheer scale and horror of the natural disaster was incomprehensible. A wall of water blackened by debris moved at staggering speed destroying everything in its path. Whole communities were washed away, and thousands lost their lives.

Photographer Hans-Christian Schink travelled to the region of Tōhoku a year after the tsunami to document the aftermath. The result is a collection of photographs in the book, Tōhoku. 

In these images Schink captures a landscape in mourning. Beautiful, yet haunting, these photographs remind us that while our lives have moved on, and the trivia of daily life that burdens us has reclaimed focus, this land still grieves; for the lives that were lost, for the absence of laughter and joy, and for the things we all take for granted, that indefinable essence that creates communities. The elderly, the young, lovers, married couples and single people all once populated these landscapes. I look at the photographs in this book and I can feel the quiet, the deep emptiness that exists in scenes that are riven by tragedy. There is profound sadness in the stillness of these photographs.

(C) All photos Hans-Christian Schink

This is an important book because it forces us to remember that while life proceeds apace for many, that in Tōhoku, and by extension other parts of Japan affected by the tsunami, the aftermath of such devastation is still very real. Tōhoku is published in German/English/Japanese by Hatje Cantz
To find out more please visit this link.

Book Review:
Anthony S. Karen - White Pride

Anthony Karen’s photo essay on the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in the US is disturbing on a number of levels and I have to admit I found this work somewhat distressing. In the tradition of photojournalism, Anthony’s photographs ripple with the undercurrents of society, in this case the bias and racism that inspires people to join the KKK. Personally it is difficult to look at these photos and suppress dismay at the overt bigotry and hatred that still exists in 2013 in the US; it's not a revelation but it is subject matter that is nevertheless confronting.

If I were to choose one emotion that these images evoke it is sadness; for the children who grow up in an environment through which they have little hope of seeing another view of the world. As a journalist I support the concepts of freedom of speech and freedom of choice unreservedly. Everyone has as a right to make choices and believe what they want. But surely freedom necessitates knowing both sides of the story and making an educated decision. I don’t see the children in these images being given that benefit, and it is the blind acceptance of any philosophy, that leads to the intolerance of others. 

(C) All photos Anthony S. Karen

Anthony said his objective with this work is to “offer another perspective into a world that’s often closed to outsiders. I’d be thrilled if it proved useful on a sociological level”. Ignorance breeds fear. In this respect viewing Anthony’s photo essay provides an insight into the thinking and motivation of those in the KKK.

This is a brave work on a topic that is divisive, but like all great photojournalistic works, this is food for thought and in publishing this book FotoEvidence is living up to its charter “to continue the tradition of using photography to draw attention to human rights violations, injustice, oppression and assaults on sovereignty or human dignity wherever they may occur”. White Pride is available on iTunes.

FotoEvidence is currently accepting proposals for digital photo books to be published during 2014. If interested please send a statement about the work and a link to selected images for our review. Deadline for proposals for this year is June 30th, 2014. To find out more visit the FotoEvidence website. 

Robert Rooney - The Box Brownie Years

Black and white photographs taken by Australian artist, photographer and musician Robert Rooney back in the 1950s, when he was an art student, are the cornerstones to the exhibition “Robert Rooney - The Box Brownie Years 1956-58” now on at the Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) in Melbourne.

These photographs have been revived and brought into the contemporary world, scanned and output as inkjet prints. But their modern presentation doesn’t detract from the aesthetic of the original format in which they were taken. Their filmic quality, the contrast and shadows of a black and white world, transport the viewer back to an era that is vastly different to the present in many ways, and yet familiar. The children pictured are perhaps defined in a period of history by their clothing, haircuts and surrounds. But the machinations of child’s play, of teenagers jostling for position in the playground, of jocular actions masking angst and petty rivalries, of boys bored and throwing rocks, of children playing games on the sidewalk, are common themes of childhood that span generations. 

Rooney captured these scenes with his trusted Box Brownie while wandering the inner city suburbs, and they are reflective of archetypal street photography. The rediscovery of these photographs by Rooney, allow the imagination to wander through the streets of Melbourne in an era that is now long past, swallowed by the urban sprawl, and to conjure moments of one’s own childhood. There is an innocence about these black and white photographs that draws the viewer into the image at which point a more visceral story is revealed.

On display for the first time, the ‘Box Brownie’ photographs are exhibited at CCP alongside four of Rooney’s paintings. A short film he shot in 1956 ‘The Quadrangle’ also forms part of the exhibition, and it too has been delivered into the contemporary world with its music composed and performed by Rooney in 2009. Rooney is now in his seventies and has worked with curators, Patrick Pound and Maggie Finch, to bring this collection together. (C) All photographs Robert Rooney.

Robert Rooney – The Box Brownie Years 1956-58
Until 19 May, 2013
Centre for Contemporary Photography
404 George Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne
Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Friday 11am-6pm
Saturday & Sunday 12noon-5pm
Visit the Gallery website for more information.

 Tim Page Unpublished Photographs

Don't forget to check out Tim Page Unseen Please click here or at the top of the blog on the Tim Page tab.

(C) Tim Page - Afghanistan 2009

Have a great weekend wherever you are.

Friday Round Up - 12 April 2013

This week Friday Round Up is jam packed with great photography starting with an amazing, and disturbing, photo essay by young American photographer Sara Lewkowicz, a review of the book "If You Knew Me You Would Care," a new photography gallery opens in Sydney and more photographs from iconic photojournalist Tim Page as part of the Tim Page Unpublished series exclusive to Photojournalism Now. Enjoy the weekend wherever you are.

Photo Essay:
Sara Lewkowicz - Domestic Violence 

Donna Ferrato, a photojournalist of international standing and a veteran in the industry, ran a story on her blog, Unbeatable, a website "dedicated to people against domestic violence", in March this year that is worth sharing. The photo essay by a young photographer, Sara Lewkowicz depicts a man beating his partner in front of their child. The images are shocking in the way that good photojournalism should be.

Ferrato said Lewkowicz had "taken pictures with power that could shake the world out of a stupor about violence against women". Ferrato worked with New York LensBlog's James Estrin and photography director Karen Mullarkey to "birth Sara's story about a battered woman who didn't go back". This is powerful and disturbing photojournalism that everyone should see. To see the full photo essay and read the whole story, please click here. All photos (C) Sara Lewkowicz.

Book Review:
If You Knew Me You Would Care
Written by Zainab Salbi
Photographs by Rennio Maifredi

If You Knew Me You Would Care is a collection of personal stories and portraits that come together to tell a powerful tale not only of survival, but also of life regained and the strength of the human spirit. 

Published by powerHouse Books New York, the stories in If You Knew Me You Would Care are from women who have survived the most horrific experiences that come as a result of conflict, violence, and poverty in places such as war-torn Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Author Zainab Salbi is a women's rights activist and founder of Women for Women International, an organization that provides tools and resources to women survivors of conflict and poverty. In the book each written story is juxtaposed with a portrait of the storyteller taken by Italian photographer Rennio Maifredi. Known largely for his work in fashion, Maifredi’s portraiture also has a distinct style. These portraits are striking. Shot on a white background and composed tightly, there is no other place to look than at each woman’s gaze. With this book Salbi’s premise to “create a compelling, global, first-person account of what it means to be a powerful, female survivor” is realized. 

"The women in this book are an inspiration to all of us who aspire to triumph over adversity. It is a personal peek at the most intimate stories as told by women who have survived war. It is a tribute to them, to their survival, their achievements, and their dreams. I hope people everywhere will take away the powerful message of survival this book inspires," said Salbi. 

With forewords by four iconic, contemporary women - Meryl Streep, Annie Lennox, Ashley Judd and Geena Davis - If You Knew Me You Would Care, invites us into the lives of these strangers who are scattered around the world. As I read, the tragic circumstances that have brought these faces to these pages almost become secondary to the courage, hope, faith and resilience of these women. By the time I reach the end of this book, these women are no longer anonymous victims and the sentiment behind the book’s title is obvious. 

While reading the stories – there are more than 60 women featured - I often felt compelled to refer back to the portrait so I could look at the woman who was sharing these distressing, and intimate details of her life. In these portraits I saw boldness, pride, openness and a determination to survive. In the book Meryl Streep said of the photographs by Maifredi, that “The sitter is not robbed of her soul; she has expanded it out into the larger world, where we who are lucky to lock eyes with her, have the privilege to pay attention, give respect, and connect”. 

Maifredi said, “It is my hope that you see what I saw in the women’s eyes…Sometimes all we need to do is to listen in silence to what women are communicating to the world. It is with that attitude and with the spirit of utmost respect and profound appreciation for who they are that I took their portraits”. 

Salbi’s intention with the interviews was “to look past that person’s victimhood and see their personhood,” and she has achieved this with stories told in the first person that are frank, at times frightening and ultimately uplifting, if only by the sheer determination of the victim to refute that label. These are the stories of women who were given into marriage to settle debts, one only six years old at the time; of women who have been betrayed by husbands, beaten by family members, and left at death’s door by marauders. These are the stories of women who are innocent bystanders, and casualties of war, and their stories remind us that there are countless other women who are not seen or heard. 

In closing using the words of Geena Davis, “Looking at these photographs, reading these women’s words, hearing their powerfully moving stories, one realization blazes brightest: these extraordinary women are not merely survivors of the unfathomable cruelties...they are flourishing”. 

powerHouse Books 
To purchase book, or for more information, please click here.

10x8 Gallery – New Gallery Opens in Sydney 

(C) Andrew Quilty

(C) Marco Bok

(C) Donna Bailey

(C) James Brickwood

(C) Raul Canibano

(C) Stephen Dupont

(C) Alexia Sinclair

(C) Rennie Ellis

(C) William Yang

Sydney’s newest photographic art gallery, 10x8 in Surry Hills, opened yesterday with a group show by nine “cutting-edge” photographic artists - Australian photographers Donna Bailey, Marco Bok, James Brickwood, Stephen Dupont, Rennie Ellis, Andrew Quilty, Alexia Sinclair and William Yang, and globally renowned Cuban master photographer Raul Canibano. 

Entrepreneurs and committed photography enthusiasts Meg Hewitt and Paul McDonald are behind 10x8 Gallery. Hewitt says the Gallery’s focus is: “To showcase the work of established and emerging photo-media artists from Australia and internationally in an environment that understand photography’s growing importance as a genuine art-form.” At the opening last night L-R: William Yang, Marco Bok, Meg Hewitt, Stephen Dupont, Paul McDonald. For more information on 10x8 please click here.

New Work:
Alexia Sinclair - Archetypes
I first wrote about fine art photographer Alexia Sinclair last year when I discovered her Regal Twelve (below) and Royal Dozen series, images that depict some of the most ruthless and fascinating royals and aristocrats dating back two millennia, in rich, sumptuous and fantastical style. 

Sinclair’s new series 'Archetypes', explores archetypal woman throughout the ages. Her first collection focuses on 18th Century French Queen Marie Antoinette, who was “devoted to fashion and received daily advice form her genius dressmaker, known as her Minister of Fashion. The two women’s designs lay the foundations for haute couture. Her famed hairdresser’s wildly innovative headdresses, called the pouf, inspired the Queen and her followers to wear their lofty coiffure as much as three feet high. Marie Antoinette reportedly wore her hair six feet high”. My neck and shoulders ache at the thought of carrying such a weight. Such is the price for fashion. Included in the Group Show at 10x8 Gallery is Sinclair’s La Coiffure Oiseau, pictured above in the 10x8 Gallery story. To see more of Alexia's work visit her website.

More from Tim Page...

This week's entry on Tim Page Unseen features the final instalment of photographs from Tim on Afghanistan - The Men. The next theme is Cuba, coming soon. To check out all the Tim Page Unseen images please click here or at the top of the blog on the Tim Page tab. Below is a small selection.

All images copyright Tim Page

Friday Round Up - 5 April 2013

This week Friday Round Up features a photo essay from Philippe Schneider "Where We Live Matters," Anastasia Taylor-Lind's The National Womb exhibition opens in Madrid, Kyotographie festival makes its debut, and a reminder to check out Tim Page Unseen - unpublished photos from legendary conflict photographer exclusive to Photojournalism Now. Have a great weekend.

Photo Essay:
Philippe Schneider - Where We Live Matters
Photojournalist Philippe Schneider shares some images from his photo essay, Where We Live Matters, on this week’s Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up. Read his statement below.

Of his project, Philippe says: “We often perceive slums as dark dens of poverty and despair, where criminals, juvenile delinquents, and squatters wander aimlessly amongst ramshackle, makeshift structures. We draw a clear distinction between the slum dwellers and ourselves: they are the “other”. This is how slums across the world have long been portrayed in most discourse. 

In 2007, for the first time in history, the world’s population was more urban than rural. Of this urban swell, one out three– one billion people around the world – lives in a slum. Urban development now appears to be synonymous with the growth in urban poverty where the gap between strata has become starkly evident in the majority world. This is a world in which slum dwelling has become the most prevalent form of urban settlement. 

“Where we live matters” is the story of the residents of the Paga Hill slum in Port Moresby, the capital city of the southwestern Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea, in which 45 percent of the population lives in slum neighborhoods. On 12 May 2012, one hundred police officers armed with assault rifles and machetes descended on the Paga Hill slum with the aim of driving out its residents and demolishing one of Port Moresby's oldest neighborhoods. This forced eviction was carried out to make room for Paga Hill Estates, an “exclusive” residential development project overlooking Port Moresby bay. By the time the evictions were brought to a halt through the intervention of the PNG opposition Leader Dame Carol Kidu, twenty-one families stood homeless. 

The images presented in this project seek to put human faces on Paga Hill's residents, telling their stories rather than leaving them relegated to statistics, stigma and prejudice." Philippe Schneider. To see more images please visit the FotoEvidence website here.

(C) All images Philippe Schneider

Anastasia Taylor-Lind - The National Womb 
Anastasia Taylor-Lind’s photo essay, “The National Womb,” documents the ‘birth encouragement program’ instituted in 2008 in Nagorno-Karabakh. The program provides cash payments to newlyweds for each child born, in a bid to repopulate the community following the devastation of the 1991-1994 war. 

(C) All images Anastasia Taylor-Lind

“Since its introduction 4 years ago, the 'birth encouragement program' is credited for an increased birthrate of 25.5% from 2007 to 2010. The program is administered by the Department of Social Security which oversees the payments to married couples of approximately €575 at their wedding. They are then paid €190 for the first baby born, €380 for the second, €950 for the third and €1350 for a fourth. Families with 6 children under the age of 18 are given a house. These payments are quite substantial in a region where the average monthly salary is €35.” 

Until May 31, Cero Galería 
Madrid, Spain
Anastasia is with VII Photos. To view more of her work please click here.

KYOTOGRAPHIE International Photography Festival - Debut

April 13 to May 6 2013

“KYOTOGRAPHIE is an invitation to question the fundamental values and artistic nature of photography. By raising a number of critical issues related to present-day photography and society, KYOTOGRAPHIE intends to stimulate contemporary photography trends and creativity. Originally inspired by Les Rencontres d’Arles, KYOTOGRAPHIE will include a wide selection of heritage sites and contemporary spaces, some of which will feature exhibitions curated in Arles”. Below are three of the artists on exhibition:

Tadashi Ono 
Born in Tokyo. Ono lives and works in Kyoto and Paris. He is currently working on the transformation of the landscape in Tohoku, the region devastated by the tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011. 

(C) Tadashi Ono

Malick Sidibé 
Born in 1936, Malick Sidibé is a Malian photographer, famous for his black and white pictures of popular culture in the 1960’s in Bamako. In 1958, he opened Studio Malick in Bamako and specialized in documentary photography, focusing on the youth culture of the capital. In 1970 he turned towards the making of studio portraits. In 2003 he received the prestigious Hasselblad Award and in 2007 the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion for lifetime achievement. 

(C) Malick Sidibé 

Nicolas Bouvier 
Nicolas Bouvier (1929 – 1998) was a Swiss traveller and writer as well as an iconographer and photographer. He discovered Japan in 1955-56 and spent time in Yokohama, Tokyo and lived in Kyoto. 

(C) Nicholas Bouvier

For more information about KYOTOGRAPHIE please click here.

Grants and Awards:
Burn Magazine - Emerging Photographer Fund 
Applications are now open for the $15000 Magnum Foundation Emerging Photographer Fund. Instituted by Magnum Photos David Allan Harvey, and in association with Burn Magazine, which is published by Harvey, the Emerging Photographer Fund will award three prizes ($10,000 and two $2500). Past winners have included Sean Gallagher and Davide Monteleone.To find out more click here. Closing date 5 May.
PROOF - Emerging Photojournalist Award
PROOF: Media for Social Justice is offering three awards for emerging photojournalists to assist in developing projects that promote social change and human rights. The winner receives $2500 and mentoring from Ed Kashi, VII Photos with second and third place recipients to receive mentoring with established photojournalists. The top three entries will also be exhibited at VII gallery New York. Judges this year include Ed Kashi and Stephen Mayes of VII Photos. Applications close 1st May. Click here for details.

tIMpAGE Unseen

Don't forget to check out the Tim Page unpublished photos exclusive to Photojournalism Now.
Please click on the tab at the top of the blog "Tim Page - The Unpublished Photographs" or click on the link here.

(C) Tim Page Afghanistan

Friday Round Up - 29 March 2013

This week Friday Round Up is dedicated to the exclusive launch of a new section on Photojournalism Now: Tim Page Unseen. 

Tim Page is known as one of the iconic photographers of the Vietnam War. His pictures have appeared in newspapers and magazines around the globe over a career that has spanned five decades. Infamously reputed to be the inspiration for Dennis Hopper’s outlandish character in ‘Apocalypse Now’, Tim has had a lauded, and at times, immensely dangerous career that has left him at death’s door on more than one occasion. Through his lens he has shown the world images that define generations and his photographs can be seen in museums and galleries around the world, and within the pages of books. 

Now he generously shares with Alison Stieven-Taylor photographs that have never been published, images that capture the lives of ordinary people struggling for the right to live their lives with dignity and free from harm, to care for their children and to seek what we all want, a life of peace. Since hanging up his battle-ready camera, Tim has turned his focus on people suffering the aftermath of conflict. Over the coming months he will share a series of photo essays that will be published here, on Photojournalism Now, for the first time commencing 29th March, 2013.

Please click on the tab at the top of the blog "Tim Page - The Unpublished Photographs" or click on the link here.

Friday Round Up - 22 March 2013

This week on Friday Round Up photo essays from Michael Biach, Anne Ackermann and Camille Léage, Head On announces Benjamin Lowy as special guest, Donald Weber to host workshop in Sydney and discussion on the notion of creative people, writers and photographers in particular, being asked to work for free. Have a great weekend.

Photo Essay:
Michael Biach - Made in Bangladesh

A few weeks ago I posted about Austrian photographer Michael Biach’s photo essay shot in Košice, Slovakia, which documents the lives of the inhabitants of the Lunik IX apartment complex where several thousand Roma people live in the most squalid conditions.

Again this photographer’s work has caught my eye. His photo essay Made in Bangladesh tells of the exploitation of local workers, many of them children, in the country’s bid to compete with other markets (China and Vietnam as examples) to make clothes cheaply for the West – clothes that aren’t sold cheaply in Europe or the USA, clothes that feed into the greed of the giant corporations who continue to disrespect basic human rights in the name of profits.

These workers are paid a pittance, less than 20 Euros a month, and they work six days a week, twelve hours a day. This is an important story from one of the most insightful young photojournalists working today. While the Bangladeshi government sees this income stream as vital to the development of its country, the West is culpable. We, as consumers, have the ultimate power. If we stop buying these goods and demand better conditions for the souls who toil in conditions that few in the West can imagine, nothing will change. To see more of Michael’s work please visit his website here. (C) All photos Michael Biach.

Donald Weber - Grant Writing Sydney

Calling all Australian Photographers – Learn to Write Grants from Donald Weber

Here’s a great opportunity to learn how to write a grant submission following techniques that have proven successful for Donald Weber, a member of VII Photos and an award-winning photographer. Weber has received grants from numerous sources including a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Lange-Taylor Prize, The Duke & Duchess of York Prize, and the Magnum Foundation’s Emergency Fund Grant amongst others. Weber has applied this funding to create works “on his own terms and own time”. Weber will be in Sydney to run a one-day workshop on June 8. Please click here for details and to register.
Head On Festival:
Benjamin Lowy - Special Guest

Benjamin Lowy National Geographic

(C) Benjamin Lowy

More than 900 photographers are involved in this year’s Head On festival to be held in Sydney. The full program will be launched on 8 April, but the Festival confirms Benjamin Lowy will be a special guest. Lowy’s work has been widely exhibited at galleries such as the Tate Modern (London) and MOMA (San Francisco). His subject matter, which has focused on conflicts in Libya, Afghanistan, Haiti, Darfur, Indonesia, China and Papua New Guinea, has won him numerous awards. For Head On Lowy will participate in workshops, exhibitions and talks. Visit the Head On website for more information and program updates.

Photo Essay:
Anne Ackermann - Gulu Youth

Above: Irene, 29, prays a lot. She lost one of her legs when she stepped on a landmine 12 years ago 

German photographer Anne Ackermann lives in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Of her photo essay, Gulu Youth, she says her intention was to “capture moments in the daily lives of young people” in Uganda to show how this post-war generation is still being affected by the aftermath of conflict. Anne says in Uganda young people are subjugated by high unemployment, “trapped in a void between dreams of a westernized and modern lifestyle they mainly experience through media and the violent past of their own cultural identity”.

Nelson and his friends meet every afternoon to chew leaves, drink and smoke. Chewing makes them feel good about themselves, giving them confidence and self-esteem.

Lady Sharia is 24 years old and a well know musician in Gulu. In her songs she sings about equality of men and women and female empowerment. Few people know that she was abducted to be a child soldier with the LRA and has born two children in captivity.

Angel does occasional jobs like cleaning and working in bars. She dreams about meeting a white man to marry her. She goes out at night hoping to find this person.

This is a work in progress and part of a bigger project about Gulu, which is supported by a grant of VG Bildkunst, Germany. To see more of Anne's work please visit her website. (C) All images Anne Ackermann.

Would you work for free?
Every freelance writer and photographer should be interested in this story. The move to digital platforms by media companies hasn’t been the financial windfall they hoped for. Rather than cutting costs at the top-end of their structures, creative people are expected to wear the cost of the media companies’ diminishing profits by working for free. I’d like to see the people who are running these companies do their jobs, pay their bills and feed their families, without getting paid.

Until the media business model changes, and news corporations go back to reporting the news, textural and visual, profits and shareholders and bean counters’ salaries will continue to take precedence over quality content. In PEW’s State of the Media Report 2013 it was revealed that more than 30 percent of American’s had abandoned newspapers because of lack of integrity in content. How long before the industry implodes? You do the math.

Here is a quote from an article on the Photoshelter Blog by Lauren Margolis. It’s worth reading in full.

In response to not paying freelancers The Altantic editor Alan Taylor said:

“It is true that I am not budgeted to pay for outside photographers, but that’s because almost all of my budget goes to pay for existing agency contracts. So there is significant money going out our door for photography, just not directly to the photographers…So I am now in a position (like anyone else) to either ask for more budget (which I have done), or cut down or eliminate one of our contracts, to free up money for freelancers.”

To read the full story please click here.

Photo Essay:
Camille Léage - One more story about India

Many hold a fascination for India, its chaotic cities teem with life, creating a visual and aural melting pot. Based in Paris, Camille Léage says, “no one can fail to be impressed at the enigma that is India, a country which has the ability to inspire, frustrate, thrill and confound at all once”. She says her photo essay on India “functions as a journal that catches some fragments of the unique beauty of the country. It depicts the underlying strength of its everyday life from the hidden valleys of Ladakh and Muslim Kashmir to the Hindu holy cities along the River Ganges”.

(C) All images Camille Léage

Friday Round Up - 15 March 2013

This week on Friday Round Up a new iPad book from John Vink, new iPhone images from Michael Coyne, Franco Pagetti opens an exhibition in New York with a panel discussion and for something completely different, take a look at Lisa Tomasetti's quirky on the street photographs of the Australian Ballet in New York, Paris and Tokyo. And if you didn't get to it last week, please take a moment to read the feature article on the Death of a Festival. This story has ramifications for all the photography festivals in Australia and in the coming weeks there'll be more musings on this topic. But for now have a fabulous weekend wherever you are and enjoy these images.

iPad Book:
John Vink 

Belgium born John Vink has worked as a photojournalist since 1971. During his career he has won numerous awards including the Eugene Smith Humanitarian Award, and is a full member of Magnum Photos (1997). Based in Cambodia since 2000, Vink has published numerous books and has recently moved to the iPad platform. Last year he published Quest for Land on iPad. Now the first in his Mono series for iPad is available – the eBook ‘Same Saᴟe’. 

Vink says “I am happy to announce that the first two titles of ‘Mono’, my series of e-books for the iPad, are now available on the iBookstore for the price of a hamburger (last time I checked in the Western world they were at $3.99). ‘Same Saᴟe’ contains a set of paired photographs, taken at least 10 years apart. A reflection on predestination in photography”. Below are screen grabs from the iPad book and you can purchase a copy by clicking here


iPhone Images:
Michael Coyne

Australian photojournalist Michael Coyne is probably best known for his photographs of the Iran Iraq War in the 1980s, a period in which he was incredibly prolific and a time when his photographs made the covers of international magazines. Coyne, who has spent much of his life traversing the globe with camera in hand, has recently returned from Papua New Guinea where he was working on his long-term photographic project about the world’s villages.

This time while he was out in the field he experimented with his iPhone. “I was a bit skeptical about using it as a camera, but in the end the iPhone is just the same as any other capturing device. I was working on my village book going from village to village and decided I’d use the iPhone to capture random moments”. 

The result is an engaging collection of informal portraits of villagers including, a headhunter, mask makers and a village elder, whose voice runs over the series of photos. Coyne says the elder “was singing a song. We discovered that he was the last of his clan who knew the traditional language of his people and that it would die with him”.

To see the full collection and hear the recording please visit Coyne’s site here. Sound recording Michael Silver and upload Greg Tinkler. All images (C) Michael Coyne.

Franco Pagetti - Flashback Iraq

VII Photos Franco Pagetti opens his exhibition at the VII Gallery New York on Tuesday 19 March, the day former US President George W Bush declared war on Iraq ten years ago.

At the opening Pagetti will be joined by National Geographic’s Alice Gabriner, 
Jamie Wellford, co-curator
 of the Flashback Iraq exhibition and Michael Kamber from the Bronx Documentary Centre as panel members for a discussion forum to be held at 6.30pm. Please click here for more details. And to see more of the VII Photos' photographers images from Iraq please visit the website.

(c) All image Franco Pagetti


Lisa Tomasetti - Behind the Scenes: The Australian Ballet

(C) Lisa Tomasetti - Times Square New York

Beauty, grace and athleticism meet the grit, chaos and noise of some of the world’s largest urban cities in these stunningly beautiful, and quirky photographs of the Australian Ballet’s finest dancers.

Shot over the past eight years in Paris, Tokyo and New York by photographer Lisa Tomasetti, also an Australian, there is something almost surreal about photographs of ballerinas in their tutus and satin point shoes “dancing” on hard road surfaces or across bridges and through railway stations. But the photographs are incredibly engaging and you can’t help but smile when you see the locations that these dancers are in; certainly not where you’d expect to see professional ballerinas.


Cygnets on Sixth Avenue New York

Brooklyn Bridge New York

Lisa Tomasetti
Behind the Scenes: The Australian Ballet on the International Stage
7-30 March
James Makin Gallery, Melbourne
For gallery details please click here

A reminder to read:
Death of a Festival - Foto Freo "discontinued"
Alison Stieven-Taylor 8 March 2013

"Rumors have been circulating that Australia’s long-standing biennial photography festival, Foto Freo, was on shaky ground. Last week the worst was confirmed when the Festival board announced that Foto Freo was being “discontinued”, as if it were a supermarket line that was no longer popular as opposed to an important, and respected photographic event on the international calendar... "Alison Stieven-Taylor spoke to the founding members - Bob Hewitt, David Dare Parker, Graham Miller and Max Pam about the demise of this world-class on the link at the top of this blog, Feature Articles, to read the full story.

Friday Round Up - 8 March 2013

This week's Friday Round Up is dedicated to Foto Freo, Australia's biennial photography festival that was earlier this week "discontinued". Please read the article which can be found at the top of this blog under Feature Articles, or by clicking here. Below are a random selection of images from Foto Freo's colourful history. This indeed marks a sad day for photography in Australia. 

Death of a Festival - Foto Freo "discontinued"
Alison Stieven-Taylor 8 March 2013

"Rumors have been circulating that Australia’s long-standing biennial photography festival, Foto Freo, was on shaky ground. This week the worst was confirmed when the Festival board announced that Foto Freo was being “discontinued”, as if it were a supermarket line that was no longer popular as opposed to an important, and respected photographic event on the international calendar... "Alison Stieven-Taylor spoke to the founding members - Bob Hewitt, David Dare Parker, Graham Miller and Max Pam about the demise of this world-class Festival.

Antoine D'Agata Foto Freo 2006

(C) Claire Martin Foto Freo 2010

(C) Claire Martin Foto Freo 2010

(C) Amy Stein Foto Freo 2010

(C) Amy Stein Foto Freo 2010

(C) Narelle Autio Foto Freo 2010

(C) Narelle Autio Foto Freo 2010

Jean Chung (Photo: Bodhan Warchomij) Foto Freo 2010

(C) Raghu Rai Foto Freo 2012

(C) Raghu Rai Foto Freo 2012

(C) Raghu Rai Foto Freo 2012

(C) Martin Parr Foto Freo 2012

Co-Founders Brad Rimmer, Graham Miller, 
David Dare Parker and Max Pam Foto Freo 2012

Co-founder and Festival Director Bob Hewitt Foto Freo 2010

Robert Pledge, Edward Burtynsky and 
Paolo Pellegrin Foto Freo 2008

Philip Blenkinsop Foto Freo 2002

(C) Edward Burtynsky Foto Freo 2008

(C) Edward Burtynsky Foto Freo 2008

Friday Round Up - 1 March 2013

This week Friday Round Up features a host of workshops by leading photojournalists held around the world in exotic places, plus two photo essays with environmental themes that show the beauty of nature and the devastation that “progress” is reaping. Also if you haven’t done so already, and you are interested, please support the campaign, A Day Without News? and all those journalists and photojournalists who risk their lives to bring us the news.

Peter Turnley - Cuba, Sicily and Paris  
These are just three of the workshops multi-award winning photojournalist Peter Turnley is running this year. If learning with one of the most experienced photojournalists, who has shot for virtually every magazine worth shooting for, is not enough to entice you, then surely an up-close-and-personal view of these exotic locations will get you over the line.

(C) Peter Turnley - Cuba

C) Peter Turnley - Cuba

C) Peter Turnley - Sicily

C) Peter Turnley - Paris

Originally from the US, Turnley lives in Paris and his Streets of Paris workshop will provide unique insights that only a “local” can reveal. In Sicily the Easter festivities and processions will provide a canvas of moments ready to capture. And Cuba, with its vibrant culture is a visual feast. Turnley has photographed in over 90 countries. Participants will have the opportunity to create a portfolio of photographs. Places are limited so if you are keen please check out the link here.

Sicily 27 March – 2 April
Cuba 17-23 April
Paris 19-25 May

Ron Haviv and Michael Robinson Chavez - Peru
(C) Ron Haviv

Another two highly respected and award-winning photojournalists, Ron Haviv and Michael Robinson Chavez, will lead the workshop - Capturing the Sacred Valley of the Incas - in the stunning region of Cusco in Peru. Billed as “ideal for savvy amateurs with a good working knowledge of photography and professionals who enjoy traveling and want to take their narrative photography to the next level” this is another workshop to tempt you. Details here.

May 24 – 30, 2013
 Cusco, Peru 

Leica Workshop with VII Photos Maciek Nabrdalik - Warsaw
(C) Maciek Nabrdalik

Haviv’s VII Photos colleague Maciek Nabrdalik will be running two workshops in Warsaw, Poland with the Leica Academy in March. Learn how to “conceptualize and present important topics in visual narrative and reportage photography”. Details here.

March 2-3 and March 23-24, 2013
Leica Academy
Warsaw, Poland

Jack Picone and Stephen Dupont - Nepal
Workshop leader Jack Picone

Internationally renowned and award-winning photojournalists, Jack Picone and Stephen Dupont, work in tandem to run masterclass workshops and share their passion, and knowledge, for the documentary genre. The pair is back again in 2013 with their workshop program which kicks off in July in Kathmandu. Please visit Jack’s website for more information. These workshops tend to book out fast, so get in early. 

Photo Essay: 
Environmental Migrants: The Last Illusion - Alessandro Grassani

Italian photographer Grassani began this project in 2011 to document "the life of people forced to migrate because of climate changes".

Grassani said “the last illusion refers to the hopes of the environmental migrants who escape from environmental stresses and look for chances of a better life in the city. However, once they get there, because of their lack of resources, education and opportunities, their dream of a favorable future turns into the last of their illusions.” 

Over the last two years Grassani has photographed these environmental refugees in Ulaan Baator – Mongolia, and Dhaka – Bangladesh. The next stage is to cover Nairobi–Kenya. Grassani is hoping to raise funds for the final stage of his project through kisskissbankbank. Please check out the project here. There are ten days left to support it. (All images Alessandro Grassani - top two Bangladesh, bottom two Mongolia).

Photo Essay: 

Lake Baikal - Marco Pighin

Photographer Marco Pighin’s photo essay on Lake Baikal, Russia is as visually interesting as the statistics on this body of water are startling. He says, “It is a deep, old living museum that contains 20 percent of the world’s fresh water with 80 percent of its flora and fauna’s species endemic. Referred to as the “Galapagos of Russia” Lake Baikal’s unique ecosystem could be lost forever due to the industrial activities and exploitation of natural resources that are eroding the fragile balance of this Lake”. (All images Marco Pighin). To view more of this photo essay please click here.

A Day Without News?
Last Friday the campaign, A Day Without News? launched in support of the many journalists and photojournalists who risk their lives on a daily basis to bring us news from war zones around the world. The campaign's launch was held on the first anniversary of the deaths in Syria of journalist Marie Colvin and photojournalist Rémi Ochlik, two of the 90 journalists killed in the past year. In the last week French photojournalist Olivier Voisin also lost his life in Syria. Please click here for more information: A Day Without News?

Friday Round Up - 22 February 2013

On this week’s Friday Round Up the campaign A Day Without News? launches, VII Photos’ Our World at War, photo essays by Michael Biach and GMB Akash and a beautiful, tranquil landscape exhibition by Soumitra Datta. Many of this week’s images are a sobering reminder of the daily struggle for survival and the hardships faced by peoples of all races. These images are further evidence of the importance of the role of photography in bringing stories to our attention that might otherwise not be told, and of the dedication of the photojournalists who are committed to giving a voice to those who are silent.

A Day Without News?
Many journalists and photojournalists risks their lives on a daily basis to bring us news from war zones around the world. The campaign, A Day Without News? launches today, 22 February, on the first anniversary of the deaths in Syria of journalist Marie Colvin and photojournalist Rémi Ochlik, two of the 90 journalists killed in the past year.

The purpose of the campaign is:

To draw sharper attention to the growing numbers of journalists who have been killed and injured in armed conflict, in some cases as a result of direct targeting by the belligerents;

To develop a public diplomacy, institutional and legal agenda to combat this more effectively; and

To investigate and collect evidence in support of prosecutable cases in this area.

The ultimate goal is for A Day Without News? to generate grassroots support within the community that will further the work of the Committee to Protect Journalists , Reporters Without Borders, Human Rights Watch, and other invaluable organizations who are dedicated to this issue. A Day Without News? is working closely with these organizations to ensure that this campaign serves their missions – hopefully by building public support through publicity; increasing pressure for change through diplomacy; and facilitating the identification, investigation and prosecution of war crimes committed against journalists.

Please spread the word. A Day Without News?

Our World At War - Profiles of Suffering and Survival
Our World At War is a worldwide campaign designed to raise awareness of today’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. The campaign marks the 150th anniversary of the Red Cross. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) worked with five VII photographers who travelled to eight conflict-affected countries to examine up-close the suffering caused by war and violence.

Franco Pagetti (Lebanon and Columbia), James Nachtwey (Afghanistan and Philippines), Ron Haviv (Haiti and Congo), Antonin Kratochvil (Caucasus) and Christopher Morris (Liberia), bring us images of the wars and conflicts that are ravaging our planet and of the people who are living in unimaginable conditions and situations as a consequence. 

(C) Antonin Kratochvil

(C) Christopher Morris

(C) Franco Pagetti Columbia

(C) Franco Pagetti Lebanon

(C) James Nachtwey Afghanistan 

(C) James Nachtwey Philippines

(C) Ron Haviv Congo

(C) Ron Haviv Haiti

To see more images from Our World At War please visit VII Photos.

Photo Essay: 
Lunik IX - Michael Biach
Austrian photographer Michael Biach’s photo essay shot in Košice, Slovakia documents the lives of the inhabitants of the Lunik IX apartment complex where several thousand Roma people live in the most squalid conditions. Once home to middle-class families, Lunik IX is now derelict, its population impoverished, with no hope for employment or the chance to change their lot in life. Biach’s images show how the complex has been turned into a giant rubbish tip where children scavenge for any item they might sell. Here there is no childhood, and families exist in rat infested apartments that should be condemned. 


All images (C) Michael Biach. 

To learn more about Lunik IX and to view more of Biach’s work, please visit his website.

Photo Essay: 
Inescapable Jungle - GMB Akash

Those who dwell in the world’s largest mangrove forest in the Sundarbans on the India-Bangladesh border, live in fear of increasing threats of attacks from tigers that are preying on these communities driven from the jungle in search of food. Photographer GMB Akash has documented the suffering of these people whose lives are reduced to a battle for survival amidst the widespread flooding that has destroyed the natural habitat forcing locals to venture further into the jungle also in search of food. These people are easy prey for the tigers that are hunting further afield. Those who are attacked and survive, live with horrific injuries often rendered unable to work and shunned by their community.

Marium Begum is one of the 3000 “tiger widows” living in the Sundarbans.

This man was horrifically injured by a tiger in an attack in 1995.

Faizun shows her scars which are permanent mark in her head.
All images (C) GMB Akash. To view more images and read GMB Akash's story please click here.

Silent Miracle - Soumitra Datta

Indian photographer Soumitra Datta’s landscapes will be on exhibition at Drik Gallery from 24 February. The collection of 58 images reflect Datta’s connection with nature and his desire to create a greater awareness of the beauty and tranquility found in our natural surrounds. 

Datta says of his work “Life of a landscape lives beyond the limit of time where the inner heart of it is revealed and experienced above its physical reality. When the picture is taken with the eye, mind, heart and spirit together, it looks beyond the apparent beauty of nature, to give that extra energy and feel of that particular moment at that place, creating an image which stands the test of time.

"Through the images, my humble effort, I hope to also promote awareness for taking care of our planet to preserve the pristine nature of our Mother Earth. Translating the spirit of nature into the rectangular frame is a contemplative meditation where one “loses” the self and merges into all that is and all that is yet to be.” 

All images (C) Soumitra Datta

Drik Gallery
Dhanmundi, Dhaka, Bangladesh
24 February - 5 March
Curator: Reza Rahaman
Exhibition to be opened by the Italian Ambassador 6pm, 24 February
For more information please see Soumitra Datta's website

Wherever you are in the world please enjoy your weekend.

Friday Round Up - 15 February 2013

This week on Friday Round Up Robin Hammond wins 2013 FotoEvidence Book Award, Matilde Gattoni’s photo essay The Swallows of Syria, PEACE opens in Melbourne and Portraits from Jaffa by Bar Am-David. Enjoy the weekend wherever you are.

2013 FotoEvidence Book Award Recipient - Robin Hammond

Svetlana Bachevanova, publisher of FotoEvidence, announced today that 37-year-old New Zealand photojournalist Robin Hammond has been granted the 2013 FotoEvidence Book Award for "Condemned: Documenting the Treatment of the Mentally Ill in Africa". 

(C) Robin Hammond

(C) Robin Hammond

The annual award recognizes a photographer whose work demonstrates courage and commitment in the pursuit of social justice. FotoEvidence will publish Hammond’s body of work, Condemned, as a book, and the works will also be shown in a group exhibition at VII Photo Agency Gallery, New York in October. Finalists for the 2013 Award included Andrea Reese, Fabio Bucciarelli, Jon Lowenstein and Massimo Berruti.

With “Condemned” Hammond hopes to draw global attention to “the extreme injustice of the treatment of the mentally ill in these societies, so ignorance will no longer be able to be uses as an excuse for inaction”.

“Condemned” was shot over two years across seven countries and documents the plight of the mentally ill in Africa. I saw this work at Visa pour l’Image last year and it featured in my article on Visa for Pro Photo, as one of my selections from the festival. You can read the story here. Hammond is the recipient of four Amnesty International Awards for Human Rights Journalism and was also awarded the prestigious Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award (2011). Hammond, who currently resides in Paris, is with Panos Pictures.

The 2013 FotoEvidence Book Award jury included award-winning photographer Maggie Steber, the director of Visa pour l’Image Jean- Francois Leroy, British Journal of Photography photo editor Olivier Laurent, TIME International desk photo editor Patrick Witty and Bachevanova.

“Photographers are driven to cover these issues because they never go away", said Steber. "The challenge before us…is to make people stop and think and realize that very fact: these issues do not go away…Photographers may not be heroes but we can make heroic images and a heroic effort to make the world a better place.”

About FotoEvidence
FotoEvidence is a publishing platform for documentary photographers whose work focuses on social justice and violations of human rights. Founded in 2010 by Svetlana Bachevanova, a long-time photojournalist, FotoEvidence continues the tradition of using photography to draw attention to assaults on human dignity wherever they may occur. Annually the FotoEvidence Book Award recognizes a photographer, whose project documents evidence of social injustice, with the publication of a hard copy book.


Photo Essay: 
The Swallows of Syria - Matilde Gattoni

“Somaya left Homs after finding the corpse of her tortured son in a sewage ditch; Zaynab escaped with her family when she discovered that Syrian soldiers had kidnapped, raped and killed three of her schoolmates; Aziza fled after both her husband and sister-in-law were killed by snipers” - Matilde Gattoni

This photo essay by Italian photographer Matilde Gattoni documents the lives of women who have fled Syria. Each photograph features a detailed caption telling the woman’s story. Steel yourself, for these are horrific tales that show the impact of war on civilians, stories of lives torn apart and of nightmares many feel they will never awaken from. But underlying the tragedy is the strength of these women and their resolve to get on with their lives. 

Matilde Gattoni: “I went on an assignment to Northern Lebanon for the first time to cover the incredible number of Syrian refugees that were escaping the War. I came back very frustrated, because nobody wanted to be photographed in fear of repression. These people were so damn terrified that they were terrorized even on the other side of the border! One woman suggested that she could be photographed, but only if her face was completely covered and nothing of her could be recognized. I took her portrait and when I came back home I thought this could be the story… It was worth going back and trying to do more portraits, meeting more women and seeing if some were willing to be photographed the same way.

“Every woman I met refused to be photographed at first. It was a hard task convincing them to take portraits; the women were fine with the interview, but petrified to have pictures taken. Slowly some of them accepted, even though they were shaking during the shoot, sometimes crying, and some even decided to hide their hands in fear of being recognized by them. It took several months and several trips back and forth; I was living in Beirut at the time. I’m not sure the project is finished; I might go back and add more portraits. I feel as though my heart is still very much attached to the story and there might be more to tell. I decided to portray them in what felt like the most feminine part of the place where they lived- to show that even in misery and fear women have the strength to recreate a warm environment. They did not give up; they fight for life, no matter what”.

All images (C) Matilde Gattoni
To see more images and read the women’s stories please visit Le Journal de la Photographie

Photo Essay: 
Portraits from Jaffa - Bar Am-David

Photographer Bar Am-David brings another view of life in Israel with his photo essay, Portraits from Jaffa. He says, “Jaffa is the most celebrated place in Israel, where Israelis and Arabs live in peace together despite the conflict. My purpose was to examine the lifestyle of this particular place and to look at how ordinary people survive in their extraordinary circumstances. These photographs do not pose solutions but serve as a reminder of enduring spirit through the most challenging adversity”.

All images (C) Bar Am-David

More images can be found at OurManyStories

PEACE - Degree South - opens tomorrow
The photography collective ˚South’s (Degree South) exhibition, “PEACE”, opens at the Monash Gallery, Melbourne this Saturday featuring works from the Vietnam War through to present day.
Degree South photographers Michael Coyne and Ben Bohane will discuss the work at 2pm before the official opening by Australian actor Jack Thompson at 3pm. 

(C) Ben Bohane

(C) Michael Coyne

Degree South photographers - Tim Page, Michael Coyne, Jack Picone, David Dare Parker, Ben Bohane, Stephen Dupont, and Ashley Gilbertson - have selected photographs they believe reflect their notion of peace. The exhibition also includes photographs from Sean Flynn, who is listed as missing in action in Cambodia since 1970, and whose archive falls under the Degree South banner.

Monash Gallery, Melbourne
8 February 2013 to 28 April 2013 (Bookings are required for the opening – contact Monash Gallery)
Natalie Naccache from Beirut
If you missed the feature article on Natalie Naccache last week, please take time to check it out by clicking on the Feature Articles link at the top of this blog.

(C) Natalie Naccache

Friday Round Up - 8 February 2013
This week on Friday Round Up Is China Destroying Tibet?, Climate Fury, The Big Picture, Don McCullin, World Press Photo, feature interview with Natalie Naccache and more. Enjoy the weekend wherever you are.

Natalie Naccache from Beirut
(C) Natalie Naccache

Born to Lebanese parents, photojournalist Natalie Naccache grew up in London and after studying fine art and then photography, she relocated to Beirut where she is now based. I spoke to her in January via Skype about three of her photo essays that caught my eye – No Madam, Glamorous Lebanese Weddings and Kteer Jeune (Very Young) – powerful essays that could be the work of a much more experienced photojournalist. (Please click on the Feature Articles tab at the top of the blog for the full story) 


Is China Destroying Tibet? Inquire Magazine

Jessica Trevis’ special report in Inquire Magazine is a haunting portrayal of a country under occupation. Compassionately and intelligently written, this article is further evidence of the caliber of stories Inquire is publishing. Please click here for the full story.

Climate Fury: Devastation in the Sundarbans The New Yorker

Bangladeshi photographer Ismail Ferdous has documented the impact of cyclonic weather on the Sundarbans on the India-Bangladesh border where he says “There is water everywhere, but not a drop to drink”. This is a powerful collection of photographs that capture the devastation to these communities where once water was a natural part of the ecosystem of the world’s largest mangrove forest and where wide-spread flooding now threatens the livelihoods of thousands. To read the story on the New Yorker and view more images please click here. (Images: (C) Ismail Ferdous)

Don McCullin - The Scotsman 

Arguably the most famous war photographer of our time Don McCullin is expected to be at Visa pour l’Image this year to celebrate the festival’s 25th Anniversary. Here is an excerpt from a recent interview with The Scotsman where he talks about returning to war at 77 years of age (he was recently in Syria), and the stories that still haunt him. 

“In an upcoming and often unbearably sad film documentary about photographer Don McCullin, he talks about how he is done with war. “I’m just going to photograph the English landscape,” he says, wandering his beloved Somerset, a lone septuagenarian treading through virgin snow with a tripod and camera. He only photographs here in winter. He has never liked the sun. Instead he captures brooding monochrome landscapes characterised by an atmosphere of quiet, questioning despair that makes you feel you’re not so far from his war photography after all. And neither is he. Even in gentle Somerset, where as a boy he was an evacuee from war-torn London, and where he returned some 30 years ago “to see out my days”, McCullin still finds himself hearing distant gunfire and expecting blood…” (from The Scotsman, Chitra Ramaswamy) To read the full story please click here 

Photo Gallery: 
The Big Picture - Sky
Our fascination with weather can be seen in these stunning images of the "sky" taken around the world and now showing on The Big Picture. Please click here to see more fantastic images that celebrate the power of nature, but also reflect humankind's impact on the planet.

The sunset animates the sky on February 1, 2013 in Rustenburg, South Africa. (Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images) 

A storm formation tinged with red dust travels across the Indian Ocean near Onslow on the Western Australia coast on January 9, 2013. (Brett Martin/

A cyclist pedals during severe pollution in Tiananmen Square on January 29, 2013 in Beijing. (Feng Li/Getty Images) 

Burma 1992-2012

Currently on show at 2snakestudio, Philip Blenkinsop’s gallery in Bangkok, is Burma 1992-2012, featuring the works of Blenkinsop, Gary Knight and Daniel Schwartz. If you are in Bangkok, this is a fantastic collection of works by three brilliant photojournalists. 

2snakestudio until 7 March, 2013 
By Appointment Only – Contact:

Kashmir - Chiang Mai Documentary Arts Festival

(C) John Vink

(C) Robert Nickelsberg

The exhibition ‘Kashmir’ is just the beginning of a much greater initiative led by Emaho magazine founder Manik Katyal to bring Kashmiri photography to the world and to elevate the genre locally. Alison Stieven-Taylor's interview with Katyal is on Le Journal de la Photographie. Please click here  to read the full story and view the picture gallery.

World Press Photo - Reporting Change

Applications are open now for photojournalists and documentary photographers from Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia to apply for the Reporting Change Photo Storytelling course, part of a joint initiative of World Press Photo and Human Rights Watch. 24 participants will have the opportunity to improve their photojournalistic, storytelling, and editing skills, by learning from established international photographers and photo editors. 

Trainers are: 
Magdalena Herrera, France/Cuba, director of photography Geo France 
Jenny Smets, the Netherlands, director of photography Vrij Nederland 
Donald Weber, Canada, photographer VII Photo Agency 
Michael Zumstein, France, photographer Agence Vu 

For more details please visit World Press Photo

Until next Friday, wherever you are in the world enjoy the weekend.

Friday Round Up - 1 February 2013
This week on Friday Round Up PEACE comes to Melbourne, Pablo Bartholomew at Chobimela, Dhaka, and photo essays from veteran photojournalist Tim Page and Cairo-based Virginie Nguyen.

PEACE - Degree South
The photography collective ˚South’s (Degree South) exhibition, “PEACE”, will open at the Monash Gallery, Melbourne on 8 February. This collection features works from the Vietnam War through to present day. 

“PEACE”, which follows Degree South’s WAR exhibition and book, features photographs from the Collective’s members - Tim Page, Michael Coyne, Jack Picone, David Dare Parker, Ben Bohane, Stephen Dupont, and Ashley Gilbertson - who have selected photographs they believe reflect their notion of peace. The exhibition also includes photographs from Sean Flynn, who is listed as missing in action in Cambodia since 1970, and whose archive falls under the Degree South banner.

(C) Ashley Gilbertson

(C) David Dare Parker

(C) Sean Flynn

(C) Jack Picone

(C) Stephen Dupont

Michael Coyne says, “Each of us has spent numerous years covering war zones in different parts of the world. When we did the first collection for WAR, we drew from our archives. With PEACE we are balancing the perspective and it’s been a very interesting process to look at images taken in times of conflict to find those that we think define our own meanings or sentiments around the concept of peace”. 

(C) Michael Coyne

Coyne has chosen images from his work with the Jesuits, which he shot over a four-year period across continents. During his time with the Jesuits he says, “I learned a lot about peace and spirituality, and that these states could be achieved even in the most atrocious of circumstances“.

The Jesuit Order has been fighting for the rights of those oppressed for centuries. In the time Coyne worked with them, “seven were killed for their beliefs. These people were prepared to give their lives to stand up for others. I was witness to some extraordinary acts of kindness and devotion by the Jesuits as well as incomprehensible cruelty inflicted on them. But in all the horror, they still held to the calm that their beliefs gave them and that was a powerful lesson. So for me, peace is found in the spirituality of people”.

Monash Gallery, Melbourne
(C) Ben Bohane
8 February 2013 to 28 April 2013 
For more information please click here

Outside In-70s and 80s-A Tale of 3 Cities - Pablo Bartholomew
New Delhi’s Pablo Bartholomew is a multi award-winning photographer with a career spanning four decades. He tells me his exhibition ‘Outside In – 70s and 80s – A Tale of 3 Cities’ predominantly features works from Delhi and Bombay, with a reference to Calcutta. “It is like my teenage diary. This is the work I did between the ages of 15 and 25. I first started to photograph when I was very, very young because my father had a darkroom”.

The works in this collection suggest that Bartholomew was ahead of his time when it came to social documentary and street photography. There are many strong pieces. “I’ve had a very varied and rich career graph,” explains Bartholomew who has shot for NGOs as well as Bollywood and international magazines. “But in the beginning I only photographed for myself, and that’s the work shown in this exhibition”. (All images (C) Pablo Bartholomew)

Outside In - 70s and 80s - A Tale of 3 Cities
Chobimela VII
Drik House, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Until 7th February 
Pablo Bartholomew Website

Photo Essay: 
CNVLD Battambang Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team - Tim Page

In recent years veteran photojournalist Tim Page, whose work is also included in the PEACE exhibition, has spent time in Cambodia working with various groups including CNVLD for whom he shot the Battambang Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team; certainly different subject matter for Page who began his career in Vietnam and since then has returned to the region many times. “I love Asia because I learn about myself all the time. I find it a mirror on myself,” he tells me. 

While he has no desire to go to war again, he is still actively shooting and will until he drops, he says, his love for the medium undiminished. “Still photography is possibly the most Zen of things. It is like throwing a piece of clay onto a wheel, or creating the perfect note and making the perfect brush stroke. That 125th is the perfect Zen moment. For me that is what photography is about”. To see more of Tim Page's images please click here.

(C) All images Tim Page

Photo Essay: 
Cairo Clashes - Virginie Nguyen

Photojournalist Virginie Nguyen’s photo essay on the current unrest in Egypt is somewhat surreal in comparison to the general issue of news photos we have been flooded with. I particularly like the irreverent attitude that Nguyen has captured as well as her choice of time of day. Protesters in silhouette; scenes darkened with smoke; and the eeriness of three shadowy figures juxtaposed against a city skyline. You can see more photos here on Egypt Independent website. Nguyen is one of the founding members of the collective HUMA, that emphasizes social issues through photojournalism.

(C) All images Virginie Nguyen

Wherever you are this weekend, stay safe and enjoy.

Friday Round Up - 25 January 2013

This week on Friday Round Up Head On Festival Sydney calls for entries, a new show for Queensland Centre of Photography, Irina Popova's photo essay Moscow as a Trap, and more. Enjoy the weekend wherever you are.

Head On Portrait Prize - Call for Entries
Australia’s largest annual photography festival, Head On, is set to grow even further in 2013 with the addition of the newly instituted Head Off Landscape Prize. The prestigious Head On Portrait prize and the Head On Momento Photobook Awards complete the competition aspect of a Festival that features more than a hundred exhibitions held across Sydney, as well as workshops, this year to be conducted by Magnum Photos.

Entries are now open for the Head On Portrait and Landscape prizes and details can be found on the website by clicking here.

The Head On Portrait Prize will be announced on the opening night of the Festival at the State Library of New South Wales. Last year Sydney photographer Louise Whelan won the judges choice in the portrait prize for her entry, Millie #2, a poignant portrait of her five-year-old niece, Millie, who had recently lost her father (winning entry pictured below). 
(C) Louise Whelan
Whelan says of the photo, “We were in her bedroom and she was showing me her things. Suddenly her mood changed and it was obvious she was thinking about her Dad. With this photo and others, I am trying to create some dialogue around death in our society. As westerners I don’t think we deal with death as well as some other cultures, there is a lot of fear around death. Millie’s father left behind four children. Death is something that happens to all of us and it’s not a topic I think should be pushed under the carpet. Children don’t conceal their feelings. This portrait of Millie is very intimate and honest”. 

Head On Festival Sydney 17 May to 23 June, 2013 

Unsafe Haven - Abdul Karim Hekmat
Queensland Centre for Photography until 17 February 

In this photographic series, Hekmat, who now lives in Australia, returns to his homeland of Afghanistan after fleeing the country over ten years ago, to share the story of his people after the Taliban period. Despite being deemed ‘not to be in need of international protection’, the Hazara people still live in fear of persecution from Taliban and from rival ethnic groups says Hekmat. All images (C) Abdul Karim Hekmat.

Queensland Centre for Photography 
Cnr. Cordelia & Russell Sts, South Brisbane
QCP website

Photo Essay: 
Moscow as a Trap - Irina Popova
Russian-born photographer Irina Popova’s photo essay “Moscow as a Trap” gives a fascinating and raw portrayal of a city that has grown at an exponential rate at the expense of its inhabitants. In Moscow money talks, but there is a staggering divide between those who have it and those who just scrape by. Irina has kindly shared her images and story with Photojournalism Now, and her photo essay features this week under Feature Articles (click on tab at top of this blog).

(C) Irina Popova

Photo Essay: 
Our Many Stories
Our Many Stories – a forum for visual storytelling - is fast becoming one of my favourite sites. Our Many Stories a forum for the creative collaboration of photographers from around the world. It is yet another avenue for photographers to promote their work to new audiences and to tell stories that perhaps otherwise would not be given an airing. Two stories that are currently on "show" are Aaron Clamage's Dachau and G.M.B. Akash's Dawn to Dusk in Smoke & Ashes.

(C) Aaron Clamage

(C) GMB Akash

Friday Round Up - 18 January 2013

Continuing my mini retrospective, this week’s Friday Round Up revisits the exhibition WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and its Aftermath, Magdalena Solé’s Mississippi Delta exhibibition and Michael Wolf’s book, Tokyo Compression. Plus there’s a short story on David Alan Harvey’s (Rio) ‘based on a true story’ book and a new post on the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art exhibition now on in Brisbane.
(Rio) 'based on a true story' - David Alan Harvey

(C) David Alan Harvey

In May 2012 David Alan Harvey’s exhibition and book (Rio) ‘based on a true story’ and the Burn 02 exhibition, which he curated, were on show at Sydney’s Head On Festival. A member of Magnum Photos, Harvey has enjoyed a long career on the international stage. In recent years he has turned his attention to running workshops and publishing – Burn magazine is one of his titles.

The ‘based on a true story’ novella was shot in Rio. Harvey calls this a 'real' book, published and distributed in hard copy, 3D, analogue and interactive! Bound only with a string, the book comprises a series of A3 double sided photographs that have been folded together one image melding with the next to create new images. It's a clever concept devised by his son, filmmaker Bryan Harvey. The book comes with a 'map' of images so the viewer can mix and match to create new stories and then put it back together as it was intended. 

David and Alison Stieven-Taylor

I have a signed copy, his name scrawled in fluorescent yellow ink. Harvey signed it for me at book’s launch in Australia. Harvey is a gregarious, talkative and knowledgeable character. His irreverent style and his Brazilian entourage add to the cache of rock star photographer. He is friendly, insightful and articulate. Funny and direct, he has successfully migrated from photographer to publisher with his hugely successful magazine Burn, which comes in both hardcopy and eBook versions. He told me ‘based on a true story’ would be worth more if he didn’t personalize it. But I don’t care about its worth in that sense. Its part of the memorabilia of my life, and a welcome addition to my bookshelves, which are already heavy with photography books. I have no intention of selling it. For me, books are to keep. I am selective, I know what I love, and this book is a treat. 

To find out more about this book please click visit Burn Magazine

7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art - Australia

Queensland’s flagship contemporary art exhibition – the Asia Pacific Triennial (APT) Series – celebrates its 20th anniversary with the mounting of the most ambitious and comprehensive exhibition to date.

The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT7) features works from 75 established and emerging artists from 27 countries and occupies the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) spaces. The APT Series is the only major exhibition series in the world to focus exclusively on the Asia Pacific region including Australia and New Zealand. 

This year APT7 includes various photographic works and photomedia installations by a number of photographic artists from Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka. 

(C) An-My Lê 

(C) Dayanita Singh

(C) Michael Cook

To mark the twentieth anniversary, artists were invited to interpret archives from across the region. Photographer Torika Bolatagici (Australia/Fiji), poet Teresia Teaiwa (USA/Kiribati/New Zealand), and illustrator Mat Hunkin (New Zealand) teamed up to create the joint project {disarmed} imagining a Pacific archive that explores the militarization in the Pacific through photography, spoken word and illustration.

Photographers include Vietnamese photographic artist An-My Lê who is based in New York, Australian Michael Cook, Dayanita Singh from India, Dominic Sansoni from Sri Lanka, Indonesian Edwin Roseno and New Zealanders Greg Semu and Graham Fletcher. 

You can read my article on the exhibition for Le Journal de la Photographie and view the image gallery here .

WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and its Aftermath 
This unprecedented exhibition that “explores the experience of war through the eyes of photographers” features works by more than 280 photographers spanning 28 nations and 165 years of conflict. The exhibit includes photographs as well as books, publications, photo albums and equipment.

Until 3 February 2013
Museum of Fine Arts
1001 Bissonnet, Houston, Texas
To find our more please visit the Museum website

Mississippi Delta - Magdalena Sole
New York based photographer Magdalena Solé, who I met in Perpignan at Visa pour l’Image last year, has a second exhibition of her show, “Mississippi Delta” on in New York this time at the Leica Gallery. If you missed her earlier show Mississippi Delta is on until 23 February. To find out more about Magdalena's work visit her website here.

All images (C) Magdalena Sole

Enjoy the weekend wherever you are.

Friday Round Up - 11 January 2013
Happy New Year

Friday Round Up began in August 2012 and since then there’s been regular posts each Friday, save for a quick holiday with my family in Italy, and the Christmas/New Year break, which for many living in Australia, heralds the start of an extended summer holiday.

As I write today’s missive, it is a hot 37°C in Melbourne, strong northerly winds propelling the dry, gritty air. There are bushfires in most states and to the west of the state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, there is a massive forest fire cremating thousands of hectares and threatening small communities. Australia is without doubt a land of climatic contrasts, but at this time of the year the entire continent is sweltering under a ‘dome of heat’, as the weather forecasters have labeled it. For the next few days temperatures will stay in the low 40s in numerous regional towns, that’s more than 108°F, and the grasses and underbrush that have dried off are now like a giant tinderbox. Everyone is nervous after the devastating fires of Black Saturday, February 2009, when temperatures soared to 47°C in Melbourne…but enough of the weather, and its strange fascination.

Before I turn to what’s happening in 2013, I have decided to take a quick look back over the last few months of 2012 to recall some of the stories that caught my attention. While the Internet is a fantastic communication forum, its transience adds to a disposable lifestyle where images and words are glimpsed momentarily before a new feed of information relegates them to the great cyber archive. Some stories are worth revisiting, worth remembering long after they have fallen from the front pages of news services. Throughout January I will post a mini-retrospective. Here is the beginning of a potted summary….

September 3 – November 2
I spent most of September in Europe and coverage centered round my trip, which began with Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan – my first visit to this fantastic exposition of photojournalism (and it won’t be my last). Then it was onto London to view the massive exhibition, “Everything Was Moving”, which is on at the Barbicon (until 13 January). By the end of September I was back at my desk in Melbourne penning my article on Visa for Pro Photo and sifting through all the notes and contacts I made…

Viva Visa Pour L'Image - Jean-François Leroy
Excerpt from my Pro Photo feature article December 2012 

“The notion that photojournalism is dead was certainly refuted at the 24th Visa pour l’Image, the International Festival of Photojournalism held in September in Perpignan, France. More than 800 photojournalists from all over the world came to network, exhibit, watch screenings, show their work, sign books, and hear industry experts talk about everything from how an agency like VII is pioneering in the face of dwindling editorial commissions, to academic David Campbell’s iteration on the new media economy.

If anything is dying it is the mass-market print media model created by multi-national media organisations. Weighed down by massive corporate structures that are run by accountants, not news people, these models are no longer sustainable in the wake of the decline in advertising spend. This is of course affecting photojournalists in the way that stories are commissioned, but even though the money is no longer flowing like it used to, it hasn’t impacted the genre itself.

There were many emerging photojournalists and novices who were in Perpignan to explore opportunities, learn from their elders and meet with agencies. While the news model has changed and there is more emphasis on photojournalists multi-tasking – workshops, exhibitions, books and multi-media – there is still enormous energy for the craft of storytelling with photographs.

Visa pour l’Image’s creator and director general, Jean-François Leroy spoke to me about his unwavering passion for the Festival and why he believes that regardless of shifts in technology, or the media economy, a true photojournalist will always find a way to tell a story. 

Jean-François Leroy

Asked what is the future of photojournalism, a question that has been asked at various times throughout the history of the genre, Leroy says, “I don’t know, nobody knows. But photojournalism is still kicking and more and more young photographers are showing up every year and producing many, many excellent, overwhelming pictures”.

To the idea that technology has made it easy for anyone to take a picture he says, “I don’t care about the future of the digital bla bla bla, I care about the eye. I care about the way to look at the world. Who cares what kind of camera Nick Ut used for his iconic picture of the small girl running in Vietnam? Nobody cares. You know, the eye, the eye, the eye, the eye, the eye - that’s the future”.

He continues. “It is not because I have a technically good image that I am a good photographer, it is the way to look. You know if Eugene Richards and I are in front of something very important, his picture will be better than mine, always. The same can be said for Stanley Greene, Paolo Pellegrin, Robin Hammond and Sebastian Liste for example, because they have the eye. Period”. Leroy is not afraid to admit that he isn’t the best photographer, but he clearly knows what good photography is. So he has ‘the eye’ also.

Twenty-four years ago Leroy started the Festival to celebrate the genre. He says at the time he was “fed up with all the other festivals that believed unless you were part of Magnum you were nothing. I thought about the talented photographers with AP, AFP, Reuters, SIPA, Network and many other agencies. So my goal, my point of view, was to make a gathering point for all those talented and passionate photographers who were never shown anywhere because they were just photojournalists. I said it is because they are photojournalists that we have to do something for them”.

His face breaks into a grin as he tells, “I was really pretentious 23 years ago when I was saying we will become the Cannes for photojournalism. And we did become the Cannes,” he laughs heartily. But there is also humility in the recognition that his idea really did take off. He tells me Australian photojournalist Jack Picone was one of the first to exhibit at Visa pour l’Image, demonstrating that the Festival has always thrown a wide net and canvassed the world for the best work in photojournalism. 

(C) Stanley Greene

(C) Stephanie Sinclair

(C) Nik Wheeler

(C)  Ilvy Njiokiktjien

Next year is the 25th Anniversary of the Festival. I ask if it will be different. He is shy about revealing the “surprise” that is coming, but at the end of the Festival’s Professional Week he announces that Don McCullin will be in Perpignan.

“The 25th anniversary will be special for me and for my staff, but the festival will not be different for photographers because you know, I don’t know what will happen in Syria, I don’t know what will happen in Japan, in Somalia, Iraq, Iran, and so the guys and girls who will take some risks to show me the real world will get the space in Perpignan next year, like every year.”

While there is no decline in the number of photojournalists showing up for the Festival, he has seen a drop in agencies with many no longer in existence. “But I am still able to make a festival with 28 exhibitions, I am running more than 100 features in my screening show and so my program is the same quality”.

After a week in Perpignan it seems obvious to me that this is a little slice of Mediterranean heaven, but I have to ask why he chose this small southern French town near the Spanish border as the location for the International Festival of Photojournalism. His eyes smile brightly. “In 1988 a friend told me that Perpignan was thinking about launching an event to promote the city. So we met and I fall in love and I’m still in love”….

To read this article in full please click here Reality&Illusion

Book Review:
Bhopal Second Disaster by Alex Masi 
2012 FotoEvidence Book Award Winner 

Excerpt from my review for Le Journal de la Photographie

“Many had never heard of Bhopal until the 3rd December 1984 when news of the Union Carbide pesticide factory gas disaster put this central Indian city on the world stage for all the wrong reasons.

The Union Carbide (now DOW Chemical) accident happened in the early hours of the morning, a lethal cloud of toxic methyl isocyanate gas (MIC) settling over Bhopal's residents while they slept. Thick as fog the gas permeated the decrepit structures that populate Bhopal’s large slum colonies. Chaos and panic ensued as half a million people were exposed to the noxious cloud. Thousands collapsed, and many died on the streets, life choked from them as they inhaled the deadly fumes. Within days more than 8000 people had perished, and still thousands more were left seriously ill.

Now nearly three decades later more than 30,000 people live in colonies that are still affected by the toxic waste that has never been cleaned up and continues to pollute underground water reserves. Birth defects, neurological illnesses and other severe health issues burden a people that have largely been ignored by the outside world.

This is where Alex Masi’s book, Bhopal Second Disaster, is such an important work, for this young UK photojournalist has put the spotlight back on what is regarded as the world’s worst industrial accident, and shown its continuing human toll.

In April 2009 Masi visited Bhopal for the first time. Having completed his degree in photojournalism at the London College of Communication a couple of years earlier, he was keen to explore subjects of injustice and specifically children’s rights. After photographing projects in South Africa and Israel he headed to India. Masi says he had heard of Bhopal, but wasn’t aware of the fact that restitution had not been made and as a consequence its inhabitants were still exposed.

Over a period of three years Masi made eight separate visits to Bhopal where he collaborated with the NGO Bhopal Medical Appeal (BMA), its dedicated staff working tirelessly with the people still suffering from this disaster. BMA provides support through the free health clinic, Sambhavna Trust, and the Chingari Rehabilitation Centre for children born with severe birth defects.

Emotionally impacted by the plight of the Bhopalis, Masi says, "Bhopal is a story where it's impossible to be impartial. The facts are stark, the existence of the toxic waste is not something that can be disputed, nor that Union Carbide didn't care about the people living near the factory…I want to make images that will touch the emotions of people who see them". And in Bhopal Second Disaster he has certainly achieved this.

With Masi’s images there is no ambiguity to the suffering these physically and intellectually disabled children and their families endure on a daily basis, and Bhopal Second Disaster is a poignant reminder of the monstrous legacy handed to generations of Bhopalis….”

To read this review in full please click Le Journal de la Photographie 

Photo Essay: Sean Gallagher
Sean Gallagher, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
China's Three Rivers, Asia's Threatened Headwaters 

(C) Sean Gallagher

(c) Sean Gallagher

Photographer and videographer Sean Gallagher, a grant recipient of the Pulitzer Centre on Crisis Report, has created an important photo essay that looks at how the changes to the Tibetan Plateau will "directly affect the millions of people throughout China and Southeast Asia who (rely) upon the water from this region…The Yangtze, Mekong and Yellow Rivers all originate on the Tibetan Plateau. Rising temperatures are threatening the sources of these major waterways that serve millions who live downstream.” Visit the Pulitzer Center to view Sean's photo essay and to read in detail his article that looks at the "western development strategy" for one of the few regions left in the world where nomads still live like they have done for centuries. How long this can continue in the wake of environmental degradation and commercial development is one of the issues posed by this thought-provoking collection of images and words. To view more images from this photo essay please click Pulitzer Center

Photo Essay: Karen Robinson

Roma in Romania

“The Roma are protective of their traditions, their way of life and each other. Independent and self reliant, they are detached from the outside world. 'You can not become Roma, you are born Roma” – Karen Robinson, photographer

All images (C) Karen Robinson

Karen is a freelance photographer based in London. Her reportage work spans diverse topics from the street kids of post-Ceausescu 
Romania to the nomadic Arab tribes 
people in Israel, 
the Inuit of northern Alaska and ted 
villagers in drought-stricken Tajikistan. 
She has worked with Amnesty International, 
Anti-Slavery International, Unicef and Panos 
Pictures to document the sex trafficking of Lithuanian women in the UK and 
Lithuania. Here her work with the Roma people in Romania documents a life of poverty and discrimination, yet there are strong family ties, which she says “go some way to compensate for the grinding poverty of day to day life”. To view more images please click Karen Robinson Roma

Interview: Maggie Diaz

In the 1950s American photographer Maggie Diaz picked up a camera and began a life long love affair with photography. She migrated to Australia in the early sixties and took up residence in Melbourne where she’s lived ever since. Maggie is now in her late 80s and her works have recently been acquired by the National Gallery of Australia and the State Library of Victoria – long overdue recognition. I interviewed Maggie over a number of sessions for my feature article in Pro Photo magazine. To read her story please click Reality&Illusion

(C) Maggie Diaz

(C) Maggie Diaz

Photo Essay: Shiho Fukada 
Japan’s Disposable Workers: Lost in Global Unemployment

(C) Shiho Fukada
Japanese photojournalist Shiho Fukada's work on Japan's Disposable Workers highlights the plight of those who work without security, in temporary jobs where they are considered "disposable". But this label extends beyond to the workforce to their personal lives where many live in isolation and poverty shunned by wider society. At a time when the economic models around the world are failing and governments and businesses have forgotten that people should come before money, this photo essay is a sobering reality and perhaps even more poignant given its setting - Japan - which has in the past been admired for its values, which are being lost to that country’s economic meltdown. Shiho is a Pulitzer Grantee. To see more images click Pulitzer Center

Wherever you are in the world, have a safe and happy 2013.

Friday Round Up - 21 December 2012

This is the last Friday Round Up for 2012. This week on Friday Round Up my interview with Valeriy Klamm coordinator of the Russian photo blog Birthmark on the Map; Photographer Rob Hornstra and writer Arnold van Bruggen explore Abkhazia on the Black Sea, a country struggling to define its future; and Stefano De Luigi's Photo-Berlin workshop in March.

Birthmark on the Map - Valeriy Klamm
‘Birthmark on the Map’, is a community blog project capturing rural Russia with a focus on Siberia. I spoke to Valeriy Klamm the project’s coordinator in Sydney earlier this year at the Head On festival where the project’s group show was on exhibition. You can read the full story by clicking on the Features Page tab at the top of this blog or click here.

(C) Valeriy Klamm

Photo Essay:
Empty Land, Promised Land, Forbidden Land - Rob Hornstra

(C) All images Rob Hornstra

Photographer Rob Hornstra and writer Arnold van Bruggen have spent the past four years exploring “the unknown country of Abkhazia on the Black Sea”. In 1992/93 after a intense civil war, Abkhazia gained its independence from Georgia. Since then it has struggled to gain international recognition of its independence. With a depressed economy, and a diminished population, the government is now trying to rebuild the country, but there are few incentives to live here in the current conditions. To see more of the photo essay please click here.

Stefano De Luigi - Photo-Berlin

Photo-Berlin is a series of workshops provided by international master photographers focused on using visual storytelling to explore the complexities of Berlin as both an historical and an innovative city.

(C) Above - Stefano De Luigi

Following the theme, “Cinema and Berlin,” participants of the March workshop will be guided by award-winning VII photographer Stefano De Luigi, to develop a reportage about film sets in Berlin. The workshop will draw on Stefano’s experience with his long term project, ‘Cinema Mundi’ an exploration of World Cinema that looks at the thriving, independent and sometimes bizarre world of alternative filmmaking.

7-10 March Berlin
Details here

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
This is the last Friday Round Up for 2012. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the posts as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. Friday Round Up will be back on 11th January, 2013, so until then, please have a safe, happy and fun festive season wherever you are. 

Friday Round Up - 14 December 2012

This week on Friday Round Up my interview with Canadian photographer, Edward Burtynsky; Raghu Rai opens new photography school and Cédric Gerbehaye's workshop in Paris.

Edward Burtynsky - Redefining the Landscape
"A river of molten red snakes its way through a desolate landscape. On either side of its banks the land is harsh, trees blackened, vegetation sparse, evoking an apocalyptic vista. At first the river seems a curious act of nature, or the stroke of an artist’s brush, but in reality it is a man-made landscape, an industrial memory from the age of mining.

(C) Ed Burtynsky - Nickel Tailings, Ontario

This photograph features in Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky’s collection "Tailings" shot in Ontario 1996. Taililngs is one of many celebrated collections that map the course of a 30 year career..." to read the interview and see more of Burtynsky's fantastic photographs, please click on the Feature Articles tab on this blog or here

Raghu Rai Opens School in New Delhi

(C) Rohit Gautam

I had the pleasure of interviewing Magnum Photos Raghu Rai in March this year. This week he opened a new school for photography in New Delhi with his son Nitin Rai. The inauguration attracted photography professionals and enthusiasts alike. Raghu intends the school to “be an institute to promote photography in the right direction. Both in people aspiring to be professionals or serious amateurs”.

Courses on offer vary from a three month basic to a three year degree. In addition to the main curriculum, the Center will also run workshops and a photography club. The main focus for the Center is to promote “photography as an art form” and to tie in with other educational facilities and museums in the USA and Europe.

(C) Rohit Gautam - Nitin Rai (L) and Raghu Rai

For more information on the School please click here
To read my Bearing Witness feature story on Raghu Rai please click here

Agence Vu with Cedric Gerbehaye
(C) Cedric Gerbehaye

Limited to 12 participants this workshop is run by one of the leading photojournalists in the world, Cédric Gerbehaye. Gerbehaye is most well known for his work in the Congo, in particular the body of work “Congo in Limbo” which has been exhibited internationally and won multiple awards. Gerbehaye, who is from Belgium, is also working on a new series focused on his country of birth and the first installment was exhibited at this year’s inaugural Photoreporter Festival of Saint-Brieuc.

This is an interactive workshop and a fantastic opportunity to learn from one of the masters. For more information on this workshop please click here

Cédric Gerbehaye Paris Workshop
22-24 February
Agence & Galerie Vu

Whatever you do this weekend, enjoy.

Friday Round Up - 7 December 2012

This week on Friday Round Up, emerging photographer Kiana Hayeri's "May god be with you my daughter"; Steve McCurry in Rio and Genova, environmentalist and photographer Dave Walsh's new book The Cold Edge and Sean Gallagher on China.

Photo Essay:
Kiana Hayeri - May god be with you my daughter 

All images (C) Kiana Hayeri

Iranian photographer Kiana Hayeri’s ongoing photo essay - May god be with you my daughter - follows several young Iranian girls who, like herself, left Iran in their teens to migrate to other countries, often without their parents. Hayeri says, ‘May god be with you my daughter…’ is my own story of migration through the lives of other Iranian teenage girls who are taking the path that I took years ago. As a girl who immigrated in the middle of teenage-hood, like many others, I faced the battle of fitting into the culture and social environment of my adopted country. A passage from girlhood into adulthood, with all the other complications that it entails, took place within a new culture and environment. As I observe newly arrived teenage girls, I become more and more fascinated with the transformation taking place, with the adult personality shaping up, with an insecurity and a self-consciousness that are now replacing the carefree world the girls had lived in so far. A person on the edge between two worlds, trying to come to terms with this transitional time in her life and adjust to the person who she is becoming. (Iran, Australia, Canada, United States - 2010 to present)"

Hayeri will be sharing updates with me in the coming months. To see more of her work please visit her website. Hayeri is represented by Reportage, Getty Images Emerging Talent.   

Sean Gallagher - Land of Tobacco: China's deadly addiction
Photographer Sean Gallagher has turned his hand to video to shoot Land of Tobacco: China's deadly addiction. Check out the video here - there are some startling statistics. Video by Sean Gallagher and Sonia Narang, produced with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. 

Another photo essay by Gallagher is Desertification in China. “By traveling on China's 'desertification train' on the K117-T69-K886 route that dissects China's major northern deserts (The Gobi, Taklamakan and Badain Jaran) from Beijing, on the east coast of China, to Kashgar, on the western borders, photojournalist Sean Gallagher reports on the various implications of desertification on people's lives across the breadth of China”. Supported by Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. To see more of Gallagher's work click here

(C) Sean Gallagher

Steve McCurry
Voyage autor de l’Homme

Two hundred photographs spanning 30 years of travel by Magnum Photos' Steve McCurry is on show in Genova at the Palazzo Ducale until 24 February. For more information click here.

All images (C) Steve McCurry

McCurry also shot this year’s Pirelli calendar, a somewhat left of field assignment for McCurry who chose to shoot the models clothed, for the first time in the calendar’s history. Here’s a video on the shoot in Rio with some great insights from McCurry. Click here for the video 

The Cold Edge - Dave Walsh

A completely different view of the planet comes from photographer Dave Walsh, “a photographer, writer and environmental campaigner from Wexford, in the south east of Ireland. Walsh has sailed on board numerous Greenpeace expeditions to far-flung places, including several trips to the Arctic and Antarctic, where he has produced a number of breathtaking images”. In his book The Cold Edge, Walsh shares his fascination with this wild landscape and its inhabitants. You can purchase the book here

All images (C) Dave Walsh

Wherever you are in the world this weekend, enjoy.

Friday Round Up - 30 November 2012

This week on Friday Round Up, three very different photography books – John Ogden’s Saltwater People of the Fatal Shore, Irina Popova’s Native Soil and Michael Wolf’s Tokyo Compression Three plus Angkor Photo Festival opens and the China India: Imaginings and Transformations exhibition is on show in Sydney.

Saltwater People of the Fatal Shore - John Ogden

Iconic Australian actor, Jack Thompson, will launch Cyclop Books’ Saltwater People of the Fatal Shore on Saturday 1st December Saltwater People of the Fatal Shore looks at the “extraordinary coastline stretching from Bondi and Cronulla. Sydneyʼs beaches are recognized as the birthplace of Australian beach culture, but few realise that the coastal clans of the Dharug, Eora and Dharawal Nations, who lived along this coastline for tens of thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans, were the custodians of the beaches and the many creatures who inhabited this interface between land and sea. Their rich culture and sustainable lifestyle holds many lessons for the current Saltwater People in addressing the environmental issues confronting the ocean beaches” – John Ogden, author, photographer and publisher.

3pm Saturday 1st December
Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre
728 Kingsway, Gymea Sydney 

To buy this book and the companion, Saltwater People of the Broken Bays please visit Cyclops Press

Native Soil - Irina Popova

This new book by Russian photographer Irina Popova forms part of her ongoing project about her motherland. In “Native Soil” Popova says she is trying to “separate official patriotism from the personal memories to define what this land means to me”.

The book combines Popova’s childhood memories, family history and “sad and funny stories” in text and images that portray Russia from “different geographical points and times, from different stories and reportages, which I have united under both metaphorical and epical ideas of this Country”. Native Soil is created with the support of the 2012 Rijksakademie residency in Amsterdam where she is currently based. (Above - page from Native Soil). The book can be purchased from Blurb

Tokyo Compression Three - Michael Wolf

All images (C) Michael Wolf

“With "Tokyo Compression" Michael Wolf struck a nerve. His portraits of people who are on their way in the Tokyo subway, constrained between glass, steel and fellow travelers, have won many awards and were shown in exhibitions around the globe. The topic kept haunting Wolf. Again he returned to Tokyo in order to immerse in the subsurface insanity. "Tokyo Compression Three” features many unreleased images and an entirely new "hidden track" at the end of the book…Wolf leaves out all accessories, focusing just on faces and figures. With his radical aesthetics he creates enormously intensive pictures that in a distressing, shocking manner directly aim into the portrayed people’s inner life. With his accompanying essay - Tokyo Subway Dreams - Christian Schüle delivers a gloomy diagnosis to the mass loneliness in modern megacities.”

This series fascinates me and makes me thankful that I don't have to experience what I think of as the "Tokyo Crush". Available through Peperoni Books

Angkor Photo Festival
The 8th Angkor Photo Festival opens tomorrow, 1 December, in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The first festival of its kind for Southeast Asia, this year Angkor Photo Festival presents works from more than 130 photographers, including 60 Asian photographers, 10 exhibitions and nightly screenings.

Festival Director Françoise Callier has curated the exhibition program which features ten shows in all including 2011 Reminders Project Asian Photographers Grant winner, Andri Tambunan's work on HIV/AIDS in Papua as well as Mario Algaze's Portfolio, a retrospective of his work in Latin America; Labyrinth, an exhibition featuring the work of six Japanese photographers; Energy [r] evolution, presented by Greenpeace International exploring green energy projects in China, Thailand and India; and Women, the Aftermath of Violence presented by Médecins du Monde, an exhibition featuring works spanning seven countries.

(C) Thierry Falise

(C) Laura El-Tantawy

(C) Sohrab Hura

The slide projections features works from over 110 photographers - the organisers this year received an unprecedented number of submissions - a massive 1200 sets of works from 67 countries. Slideshows include work from Laura El-Tantawy (VII Mentor Program) In the shadow of the pyramids (Egypt); Thierry Falise Burmese Shadows; Sohrab Hura, Ma and Elsa (India); Australian Liz Loh-Taylor's I am Muslim and I'm not a terrorist; Peter Pin (Magnum Foundation) Displaced: The Cambodian Diaspora; and winner of 2012 FotoEvidence Book Award Alex Masi (Corbis), Bhopal Second Disaster (India). For more information on the Angkor program please click here

China India: Imaginings and Transformations
This exhibition features artists Pablo Bartholomew, Kate Beynon, Shobha Broota, Dongwang Fan, Li Li, DLN Reddy, Sangeeta Sandrasegar, Xu Wang and Guan Wei.

China/India: Imaginings and Transformations explores how the economic and political growth of China and India “is influencing and transforming artistic and cultural works produced at home and abroad”. The only featured photographer is Bartholomew, who also has work on show at Angkor Photo Festival. A selection of his images are below (all images are courtesy of the artist).

For more information please visit the Gallery’s website here.

China/India: Imaginings and Transformations exhibition on show at Macquarie University Art Gallery Sydney until 15 December.

Wherever you are in the world this weekend, enjoy!

Friday Round Up - 23 November 2012

This week’s Friday Round Up is focused on two exhibitions PEACE - a new exhibition from the Australian photography collective, Degree South, and Magdalena Sole's exhibition in New York, Mississippi Delta. It seems appropriate at the end of a week where we've seen such madness in the Middle East that PEACE opens - spread the word.

PEACE - Degree South
Today the photography collective, ˚South (Degree South) launched its latest exhibition, “PEACE”, at the Tanks Arts Centre in Cairns, in Far North Queensland, Australia.

(C) Tim Page

“PEACE”, which follows Degree South’s WAR exhibition and book, features photographs from the Collective’s members - Tim Page, Michael Coyne, Jack Picone, David Dare Parker, Ben Bohane, Stephen Dupont, and Ashley Gilbertson - who have selected photographs they believe reflect their notion of peace. The exhibition also includes photographs from Sean Flynn, who is listed as missing in action in Cambodia since 1970, and whose archive falls under the Degree South banner.

(C) Ashley Gilbertson

(C) Ben Bohane

(C) David Dare Parker

(C) Jack Picone

(C) Michael Coyne

(C) Sean Flynn

(C) Stephen Dupont

Collective members Tim Page, David Dare Parker and Michael Coyne were in Cairns for the launch. Coyne said, “Each of us has spent numerous years covering war zones in different parts of the world. When we did the first collection for WAR, we drew from our archives. With PEACE we are balancing the perspective and it’s been a very interesting process to look at images taken in times of conflict to find those that we think define our own meanings or sentiments around the concept of peace”.

For this exhibition, Coyne chose images from his work with the Jesuits, which he shot over a four-year period across continents. During his time with the Jesuits he said, “I learned a lot about peace and spirituality, and that these states could be achieved even in the most atrocious of circumstances“.

The Jesuit Order has been fighting for the rights of those oppressed for centuries. In the time Coyne worked with them, “seven were killed for their beliefs. These people were prepared to give their lives to stand up for others. I was witness to some extraordinary acts of kindness and devotion by the Jesuits as well as incomprehensible cruelty inflicted on them. But in all the horror, they still held to the calm that their beliefs gave them and that was a powerful lesson. So for me, peace is found in the spirituality of people”.

Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns
November 23, 2012 to January 10, 2013

Mississippi Delta - Magdalena Sole
New York based photographer Magdalena Sole, who I met in Perpignan at Visa pour l’Image this year, has an exhibition of her show, “Mississippi Delta” on at Sous Les Étoiles until 30 November. Sole will be on hand to sign books on Thursday 29 November from 6-8pm.

Sous Les Étoiles Gallery
560 Broadway #205
New York NY 10012
(C) All images Magdalena Sole
To all wishing you a safe and peaceful weekend.

Friday Round Up - 16 November 2012

This week’s Friday Round Up looks at the work of three photographers – Australian Ed Giles who is currently based in the Middle East, Svetlana Bachevanova in New York and Zhang Kechun, China. Plus the International Photography Festival in Lodz is calling for entries and the Harold Feinstein retrospective is now on in Boston. And with Paris Photo in full swing, check out Le Journal de la Photographie  for all the news.

Photo Essays:
Ed Giles: Syria - new photos from Aleppo

(C) Ed Giles

Australian photojournalist and videographer Ed Giles was in Syria recently documenting the Free Syrian Army in their fight for freedom. In doing their job, photojournalists like Giles often take great personal risks to bring us a view of events we may not ordinarily see, stories that we can watch from the comfort and safety of our homes, stories that should prompt us to call for change. Giles, who is with Getty Images and also freelances, has been published in international magazines and online news services. And he is known for his multi-media work also. Check out his website here 

Svetlana Bachevanova - Hurricane Sandy, Breezy Point New York
An award-winning photographer, Svetlana Bachevanova is also the publisher/president of FotoEvidence and a resident of New York. Following the devastation reaped by Hurricane Sandy, Bachevanova ventured down to the tiny beachfront neighborhood of Breezy Point in Queens where residents, volunteers and US army soldiers are helping to clear the mountains of debris left after 110 homes were burned and then flooded, and another 80 destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Here is a selection of images. To see this powerful collection of images in its entirety please visit Bachevanova’s website  here.

(C) All photos Svetlana Bachevanova

Zhang Kechun - Yellow River
Chengdu-based photographer Zhang Kechun's photo essay on the Yellow River in China took him the best part of two years to complete. It is an extraordinary collection of images that raises issues about development and the environment and shows the adaptability of a people impacted by the ebb and flow of this mighty river. Check out the full story on Lightbox Time here 

(C) Zhang Kechun


Grand Prix FOTOFESTIWAL 2013 is calling for submissions for next year's festival to be held in Lodz, Poland in June. Closing date for entries is 10 December. Organized by the Foundation of Visual Education, FOTOFESTIWAL began in 2001 and attracts around 20,000 visitors. For more information please click here

Harold Feinstein: A Retrospective
(C) Harold Feinstein - teenagers Coney Island 1949

At the Panopticon Gallery in Boston Harold Feinstein: A Retrospective is on until 8 January 2013 – the exhibition coincides with the release of the book of the same name. “Feinstein was born in Coney Island in 1931. He began his career in photography in 1946 at the age of 15 and within four short years, Edward Steichen, an early supporter, had purchased his work for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). He joined the Photo League at 17 and became a prominent figure in the vanguard of the early New York City street photography scene where he exhibited at Helen Gee’s Limelight Gallery and was a designer for historic Blue Note Records.” You can read the full article here on Le Journal de la Photographie 

Whatever you are doing this weekend, have fun and be happy.

Friday Round Up - 9 November 2012

On this week's Friday Round Up Syria in focus - extraordinary and disturbing photographs from Syria's bloody civil war, Jake Price's Fukushima Kickstarter project cpm-703, a month of photography is in full swing in Paris, Gregory Crewdson's exhibition Melbourne, Bruce Gilden's New York workshop and Magnum Foundation's Human Rights Fellowship Grants.

Hot Topic: Syria in Ruins  
On today’s The Atlantic InFocus are some of the most moving, horrific, and damning photographs on the Syrian civil war. The people of Syria need the world’s help, but “leaders” and I use that term loosely, and the UN, whose power seems diminished, continue to allow the people of Syria to suffer. This is incomprehensible, inhumane and must stop. Whatever the politics, let’s call on our humanity to help the innocents of conflict and put an end to suffering and misery.

And thank you to the committed photojournalists who have risked their own safety to bring us these stories.  

(C) Zac Baille AFP/Getty Images


(C) Tauseef Mustafa AFP/Getty Images


Kickstarter Project:
cpm-703: Fukushima disaster fallout 
cpm-703, Jake Price's film and eBook project on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant disaster documents the ongoing effects of the meltdown on the Fukushima community through the eyes of Shimpei Takeda, a visual artist from Fukushima who has been living in New York for the past decade. After the tsunami Shimpei returned to his hometown approximately 40 miles from the Plant, where the ground is alive with radiation. Here children are forced to stay indoors for much of the day for fear of contamination and the once fertile fields lay fallow robbing inhabitants of their livelihood and much more. 

Once stories fall from the front page of news services it is easy to forget those who continue the daily battle in the bid to restore their lives, lives that have been irrevocably changed by events beyond their control. If you would like to support this project, please visit Jake’s Kickstarter site here 

Above images (C) Jake Price

Paris - This month the City of Light becomes Photography Central
(C) Alison Stieven-Taylor

November and Paris is buzzing with photography exhibitions and events, with around 500 in total. Paris Photo opens on 15 November for four days with more than 150 exhibitors and 1000 artists - there will be exhibitions, book signings, showcases, workshops and more. Plus the announcement of the Paris Photo Aperture Foundation Photobook Awards. Le Journal de la Photographie has all the news on Paris Photo – check in for regular updates or subscribe here 

Lens Culture FotoFest Paris is held prior to Paris Photo where 161 photographers from 37 countries will have their portfolios reviewed. There is also a ‘meet the artists’ event on 13 November.

Gregory Crewdson - In a Lonely Place - Melbourne - last chance

© Gregory Crewdson. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery

This is the last weekend to see the hyper-real photoart of American photographer Gregory Crewdson in the exhibition "In a Lonely Place", which is on show at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, 404 George Street Fitzroy (Melbourne) until 11 November. I recently wrote an article on this exhibition for Le Journal de la Photographie which you can read here 

Bruce Gilden New York 
Magnum Photos Workshop in New York with Bruce Gilden 10-14 December. Visit Magnum for more information. This is an extraordinary opportunity to shoot in one of the world’s most photogenic cities with one of the best photographers in the business.

(C) Bruce Gilden

Human Rights Fellowship, Magnum Foundation

Magnum Foundation has announced there will be five Human Rights Fellowships in 2013 available under the New York University (NYU)-Magnum Foundation Photography and Human Rights Program. The Human Rights Fellowship will enable five photographers to undertake the six-week summer program in Photography and Human Rights at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.
Applications close on 17 December and are open to those who permanently reside outside of North America and Western Europe. Pre-requisites are written and spoken English. For more information visit Magnum Foundation

Wherever you are this weekend enjoy and stay safe.

 Friday Round Up - 2 November 2012 

(C) Robert Herman - The New Yorkers

On this week's Friday Round Up two new exhibitions  - "Your Wounds will be named Silence" by Robin Hammond and WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, a panel discussion on free and independent photojournalism in society, photo essays by Robert Herman and  Shiho Fukada, the 2013 FotoEvidence Book Award and VII Photo holds first Pop-Up Workshop in New York.

Your Wounds will be named Silence - Robin Hammond
Robin Hammond’s body of work entitled ‘Your wounds will be named silence’ was shot in Zimbabwe between December 2011 and April 2012 and documents the victims of oppression. Hammond who won the prestigious Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award for this work, was held in a Zimbabwean prison for three weeks earlier this year for trespassing, but thankfully was released. His exhibition will open in Paris next week. 

(C) Robin Hammond

Your Wounds will be named Silence 
9 November to 9 December 
Chapelle de l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des beaux-arts 
14, rue Bonaparte 75006 Paris

WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and its Aftermath
This unprecedented exhibition that “explores the experience of war through the eyes of photographers” features works by more than 280 photographers spanning 28 nations and 165 years of conflict. The exhibit includes photographs as well as books, publications, photo albums and equipment, more than 500 items in all.

“The earliest work in the exhibition is from 1847, taken from the first photographed conflict: the Mexican-American War. Other early examples include Roger Fenton’s iconic The Valley of the Shadow of Death (1855) and Felice Beato’s photograph of Fort Taku in China during the Second Opium War (1860). Among the most recent images is a 2008 photograph of the Battle Company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade in the remote Korengal Valley of Eastern Afghanistan by Tim Hetherington, who was killed in April 2011 while covering the civil war in Libya. Also represented is Chris Hondros, who was killed with Hetherington. While the exhibition is organized according to the phases of war, portraits of servicemen, military and political leaders and civilians are a consistent presence throughout, including Yousuf Karsh’s classic 1941 image of Winston Churchill, and the Marlboro Marine (2004), taken by embedded Los Angeles Times photographer Luis Sinco of soldier James Blake Miller after an assault in Fallujah, Iraq. Sinco’s image was published worldwide on the cover of 150 publications and became a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist.” 

11 November 2012 – 3 February 2013 
1001 Bissonnet, Houston, Texas 

Transforming Society Through Photos
Transforming Society through Photos: The Role of Free and Independent Photojournalism – a panel discussion. Join Magnum photographers Larry Towell and Peter van Agtmael, this year’s W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography winner, in a discussion on “free and independent photojournalism in society” at the Corcoran Gallery and College of Art and Design in Washington. The Washington Post’s director of photography MaryAnne Golon will facilitate and Delphine Halgand, D.C. Director of Reporters without Borders will MC. 

(C) Paolo Pellegrin Magnum Photos

If you are in Washington this is a great opportunity to hear the latest thinking on a topic relevant to all who are interested in the role of photojournalism. 

14 November 7pm 
For more information please contact Corcoran

Photo Essays:
Robert Herman: The New Yorkers 
This collection of colour photographs by native New Yorker Robert Herman will be released as a book next year, but if you want to see a preview check out the post on Lenscratch - reminiscent of Robet Frank's The Americans, Herman captures life on the streets of New York in all its human forms. I am looking forward to adding this book to my shelf. 

Above Photos: (C) Robert Herman

Shiho Fukada - Japan's Disposable Workers: Lost in Global Unemployment 
(C) Shiho Fukada

Japanese photojournalist Shiho Fukada's work on "Japan's Disposable Workers" highlights the plight of those who work without security, in temporary jobs where they are considered "disposable" a situation that makes their very existence a tenuous one. The "disposable" label extends beyond the workforce to their personal lives where many live in isolation and poverty shunned by wider society. At a time when the economic models around the world are failing and governments and businesses have forgotten that people should come before money, this photo essay is a sobering reality. And its message is perhaps made even more poignant given the setting - Japan - which has in the past been admired for its values, that are being lost in the global economic meltdown. Shiho is a Pulitzer Grantee and you can see her essay on the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting website.

FotoEvidence 2013 Book Award - Submissions open 
Submissions are now open for the FotoEvidence 2013 Book Award and close on 15 January 2013. The 2013 jury comprises Jean-Francois Leroy, Director General Visa pour l'Image, multi-award winning documentary photographer Maggie Steber, the British Journal of Photography's news editor Olivier Laurent, Patrick Witty the International Picture Editor for TIME and award-winning photographer and FotoEvidence publisher Svetlana Bachevanova. For more information visit FotoEvidence

2012 FotoEvidence Book Award Winner is Alex Masi for Bhopal Second Disaster. You can read my article on Masi's book on Le Journal de la Photographie 

VII Photo Pop-Ups

VII Photo will hold the "first of many" pop-up workshops where participants will get to work with one of the fantastic VII photographers - this is a great opportunity to learn with the best. These one day events will be held around the world. The first is 10 November in New York. Visit the link here for details. With pricing starting from $150, how can you resist?

Wherever you are in the world, enjoy your weekend!

Friday Round Up - 26 October 2012 

On this week's Friday Round Up two new exhibitions for Melbourne - Polarized and On Sacred Ground, the inaugural Photoreporter Festival (France) and Davide Monteleone's "Red Thistle – the Northern Caucasus Journey" winner of 2011 The Aftermath Project Grant to be published in War is Only Half the Story Vol.5.  

On Sacred Ground - Maggie Diaz

All images (C) Maggie Diaz

In the 1950s American photographer Maggie Diaz picked up a camera and began a life-long love affair with photography. She migrated to Australia in the early sixties and took up residence in Melbourne where she’s lived ever since, becoming one of that city's iconic female photographers. Maggie is now in her late 80s and an exhibition of her black and white photographs will open at Graze on Grey in St Kilda on 1 November. I interviewed Maggie over a number of sessions for my feature article in Pro Photo magazine and she's one hell of a gal. To read her story please click here.

On Sacred Ground 1 November 2012 to 3 January 2013
Graze on Grey, Grey Street, St Kilda (Melbourne)

Presented by the Queensland Centre for Photography (QCP), Polarized features a number of works by photomedia artists including Paul Adair, Kate Bernauer, Priscilla Bracks, Eric Bridgeman, Ray Cook, Nathan Corum, Gerwyn Davies, Fiona Foley, Pete Johnson, Peter Milne, Henri van Noordenburg, Liam O’Brien, Luke Roberts, Sancintya Simpson and Jay Younger. On Saturday 2nd November Ray Cook will give an artist talk also.

“From punk to disco, gothic to pop and everything in-between, Polarized gives a snap shot of the politically charged photomedia works made in Queensland from the 1980s until today". QCP says this exhibition “is a unique opportunity for Melbourne audiences to experience the strategies that created a distinct visual language based on humour and irony, that are now part of the vocabulary of contemporary Queensland practitioners”. 

(C) Ray Cook

(C) Sancintya Simpson

QCP is run by artists. QCP mounts exhibitions, international programs, publications, public programs and the biennial Queensland Festival of Photography (April 2014). 

Polarized 1 November to 1 December
409-429 Gore Street, Fitzroy (Melbourne)

International Festival Photoreporter makes its debut  
Now until 11th November
Saint-Brieuc Bay, France

This is the first time the International Festival Photoreporter (IFP) has been held. Set up to assist in the funding and production of work by photojournalists, the IFP attracted submissions from more than 300 photographers from 40 countries with the final selection coming down to 15 exhibitions.

Alexandre Solacolu, the Festival's Director says IFP aims to be a resource and "to be useful to the photographer". The Festival's Artistic Director is Didier Rapaud, a former director of Gamma Agency and former chief photo editor for Paris Match. 

Didier Rapaud and Alexandre Solacolu (C) Yan Morvan

The selection jury for the inaugural event comprised Jean-François Leroy, director general of Visa pour l’Image (Perpignan), Ruth Eichorn, Photo Director of Geo Magazine Germany and Guillaume Clavières, Paris Match photo Director.

An international line-up features in the final program with exhibitions by:

Jim Brandenburg, Claudine Doury, Gwen Dubourthoumieu, Cedric Gerbehaye, Gary Knight, Olivier Jobard, Pierre-Yves Marzin, Sonia Naudy, Zeng Nian, Pierre Terdjman, Tomas Van Houtryve, Gaëll Turine, Ami Vitale and Franck Vogel.

To see the IFP program in French and English please click here.

War Is Only Half The Story Vol 5 - The Aftermath Project
Annually The Aftermath Project, a non-profit organization, awards grants to photographers who are focused on creating projects that tell stories about the aftermath of war – stories about those who are putting the pieces of their lives back together, uniting to rebuild communities and working towards healing the scars left by years of conflict and destruction, both physical and metaphorical scars. 

Italian photographer, Davide Monteleone was the 2011 Grant winner and his project “Red Thistle – the Northern Caucasus Journey” will feature in Aftermath’s fifth book in the series “War Is Only Half the Story”. This book will also include work by the 2011 grant finalists - Lara Ciarabellini and Massimo Mastrorillo (Italy), Elizabeth D. Herman (USA), Miquel Dewever-Plana (France) and Carlos Javier Ortiz (USA). 

C) Davide Monteleone

Part of The Aftermath Project’s charter is to also broaden the communication channels for these photographic projects through alliances with educational institutions, libraries and other non-profit groups as well as international travelling exhibitions. 

Closing date for 2013 Grant applications is 5 November. For details visit The Aftermath Project 

Friday Round Up - 19 October 2012 

On this week's Friday Round Up the winners of the W. Eugene Smith 2012 Grants, FotoEvidence Book Award, VII Photos Incarceration Project, spotlight on Aleppo, Syria, and more.

Spotlight on Aleppo, Syria  
Issa Touma the creator and director of the Aleppo International Photo Festival in Syria continues to celebrate art and culture despite the shocking and inhumane bombardment of this ancient city. Touma's home has been badly damaged by gunfire, but he still had the heart to put on the Festival and to host a symbolic opening at his gallery. 

On the Festival's Facebook page is a quote from Touma - "every day when we walk out of our hidden corner to see cultural activity it's a new victory for life for art and for culture it's the best prove war cannot win". Such a wonderful outlook.

Photos from the launch

Inquire Magazine Issue 4 - Aleppo
The next issue of Inquire Magazine (formerly Auto de Fe) is out on 1st November and features “an exclusive report from Sebastiano Tomado from the front line of Aleppo's bloody struggle.” 
Check out Inquire here

VII Photos - Ending the Stigma of Incarceration project
This multimedia campaign by four of VII Photos photographers - Jessica Dimmock, Ashley Gilbertson, Ron Haviv and Ed Kashi – has been created in partnership with Think Outside the Cell a US-based non-profit advocacy group formed to highlight the issues that those who have been incarcerated face when they are released.

“Each year 700,000 men, women and children are released from prisons and jails to face modern day laws and attitudes that marginalize them and limit their abilities to build new lives.” 

You can read interviews with the photographers at Prison Photography and check out the photos on the VII Photos site.

Photos (C) Ed Kashi

W. Eugene Smith Award Recipients 2012 
Magnum Photos’ Peter van Agtmael is the recipient of this year’s 2012 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography for his body of work “Disco Night September 11…an American view of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan”, subjects he has focused on since 2006. The Grant of $30,000 will enable van Agtmael to continue his work. Click here to see his winning submission.

(C) Peter van Agtmael

Massimo Berruti was awarded the $5000 W. Eugene Smith Fellowship for “The Dusty Path,” a documentary focusing on the “violence and political corruption that has enveloped once peaceful Pakistan”. 

The W. Eugene Smith Fund was “established in 1979 to seek out and encourage these independent voices”. Since its inception the Fund has awarded more than 30 recipients from 14 different countries.

FotoEvidence Book Launch and Exhibition

Bhopal Second Disaster by Alex Masi 

The 2012 FotoEvidence Book Award exhibition and book launch will be held on 25th October at VII Gallery, Dumbo in Brooklyn. 

Alex Masi, the winner of the 2012 FotoEvidence Book Award, will be on hand to talk about his winning entry - Bhopal Second Disaster – published by FotoEvidence. I will be writing a review of Alex’s book and posting that on my blog soon. VII Gallery - 28 Jay Street, Dumbo, Brooklyn

Christian Blanchard's film to be shown in Paris
(C) Christian Blanchard

And now for something completely different - Australian  photographer Christian Blanchard’s short film “Tomorrow’s Lovers” promoting young Melbourne fashion designers, is the only Australian film to be selected for the "A Shaded View on Fashion Film" competition to be held at the Pompidou Centre in November. This competition was launched in 2008 with the objective of “encouraging both emerging and established artists to reconsider the way that fashion is presented and for challenging the conventional parameters of film”. 

Blanchard is always pushing creative boundaries. I interviewed him in 2011 and have followed his career since. You can read my story here and check out his short film here.

Best wishes for a safe and happy weekend.

Friday Round Up - 12 October 2012 

On this week's Friday Round Up two photo essays - one from John Stanmeyer, VII Photos, on the Yida refugee camp in Sudan and the other from London-based photographer Karen Robinson on the Roma of Romania. Sydney's Head On Festival, the largest annual photography festival in Australia, calls for submissions, and Brussels' Second Life Festival is on again this month.

Photo Essays:
John Stanmeyer - Sudanese Refugees Battle for Survival in Yida 
(C) John Stanmeyer

In August VII Photos co-founder and photographer John Stanmeyer travelled to the refugee camp in Yida in South Sudan to document the devastating conditions the camp’s 60,000 refugees face on a daily basis – inadequate sanitation, dirty water, hunger and disease. These refugees have fled from that country’s South Kordofan State to seek safety only to live in atrocious circumstances. Here Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is working against the odds with inadequate supplies in conditions that defy belief, as its doctors try to care for those in dire need. Statistics claims that more than five children a day are dying in this camp. 

Please take a moment to view Stanmeyer's photographs on the VII Photos website and if you are able, please support Médecins Sans Frontières and the amazing work of these doctors.

(C) John Stanmeyer

Karen Robinson - Roma in Romania
“The Roma are protective of their traditions, their way of life and each other. Independent and self reliant, they are detached from the outside world. 'You can not become Roma, you are born Roma” – Karen Robinson, photographer.

(C) Karen Robinson

Robinson is a freelance photographer based in London. Her reportage work spans diverse topics from the street kids of post-Ceausescu 
Romania to the nomadic Arab tribes 
people in Israel, 
the Inuit of northern Alaska and 
villagers living in drought-stricken Tajikistan. 
She has also worked with Amnesty International, 
Anti-Slavery International, Unicef and Panos 
Pictures to document the sex trafficking of Lithuanian women in the UK and 

Here her work with the Roma people in Romania documents a life of poverty and discrimination, yet there are strong family ties, which she says, “go some way to compensate for the grinding poverty of day to day life”. To view the full story on the Roma in Romania, and Robinson's other work, please visit her website.

(C) Karen Robinson

(C) Karen Robinson

Sydney's Head On 2013 Festival Calls for Submissions 

Image (C) Lisa Hogben, 2012

Head On Photo Festival is on again in 2013 from 17 May - 23 June. The largest annual photography festival in Australia comprises exhibitions, events, seminars, and workshops held over 5 weeks. The program features both Australian and international photographers.

Submissions are now open for professional and emerging photographers for the 2013 festival exhibition program. To find out more please email Head On

NEW – In 2013 Head On will offer an exhibition grant for the first time. Contact Head On for more information. Applications for both categories close 31 October, 2012.

Second Life Festival, Brussels

Brussels photographer Christine Rose Divito’s photo essay, “Father said I was a bitch” is part of October’s Second Life Festival in Brussels, Belgium to be held on Saturday 20 October from 3pm. This monthly festival, with free entry, features photography, music, vintage clothing and more.

All photographs (C) Christine Rose Divito

To view more of Divito’s work please visit her website.

Enjoy the weekend whatever it holds for you :-)

Friday Round Up - 5 October 2012 

It has been another big week in the world of photojournalism and social documentary photography. On this week’s Friday Round Up find out who won the Open Society Foundation’s grants for social justice or human rights photographic projects, view Sean Gallagher’s Pulitzer Center project on the climate crisis facing the Tibetan Plateau, discover why Magnum Photos is embracing the online platform, and which books have been shortlisted in the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Photobook Awards 2012. 

And the winners are - Open Society Foundation Grants 

Winners of the 2012 Production Grant to Individual Photographers from Central Asia, the South Caucasus, Afghanistan, Mongolia, and Pakistan, have been announced: 

Congratulations to Fraidoon Poya (Afghanistan); Fardin Waezi (Afghanistan); Arthur Lumen Gevorgyan (Armenia); Inna Mkhitaryan (Armenia); Sitara Ibrahimova (Azerbaijan); Dina Oganova (Georgia); Daro Sulakauri (Georgia); Darya Komleva (Kazakhstan); and Elyor Nematov (Kyrgyzstan). 

These Grants support photographers in documenting a social justice or human rights issue in their home country or region. To find out more please visit Open Society Foundation

Fraidoon Poya (c)

Sean Gallagher, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
The threats to the Tibetan Plateau

Both photos (C) Sean Gallagher

Photographer and videographer Sean Gallagher, a grant recipient of the Pulitzer Centre on Crisis Report, has created an important photo essay that looks at how the changes to the Tibetan Plateau will "directly affect the millions of people throughout China and Southeast Asia who (rely) upon the water from this region…The Yangtze, Mekong and Yellow Rivers all originate on the Tibetan Plateau. Rising temperatures are threatening the sources of these major waterways that serve millions who live downstream.” Visit the Pulitzer Center to view Sean's photo essay and to read in detail his article that looks at the "western development strategy" for one of the few regions left in the world where nomads still live like they have done for centuries. How long this can continue in the wake of environmental degradation and commercial development is one of the issues posed by this thought-provoking collection of images and words. 

Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards Shortlist 
David Alan Harvey's (based on a true story)

Thirty books have been chosen this year for the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Photobook Awards for Photobook of the Year and the First Photobook prizes. The winners will be announced on 15 November at the opening of Paris Photo. 
The ten books shortlisted for Photobook of the Year are: 

History Repeating 
Photographer: Ori Gersht 
Publisher: MFA Publications, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 

Retinal Shift 
Photographer: Mikhael Subotzky 
Publisher: Steidl 

Rachael, Monique 
Photographer: Sophie Calle 
Publisher: Xavier Barral 

(based on a true story) 
Photographer: David Alan Harvey 
Publisher: Burn Books 

City Diary 
Photographer: Anders Peterson 
Publisher: Steidl 

Book of Books 
Photographer: Stephen Shore 
Publisher: Phaidon 

Two Thousand Light Years From Home 
Photographer: Pietro Mattioli 
Publisher: Kodoji Press 

Table of Power 2 
Photographer: Jacqueline Hassink 
Publisher: Hatje Cantz 

Photographer: Lise Sarfati 
Publisher: Twin Palms 

A Head with Wings 
Photographer: Anouk Kruithof 
Publisher: Little Brown Mushroom 

For the second year Paris Photo will be held in the Grand Palais where more than 150 French and international galleries, photography art dealers and publishers will have works on display. Paris Photo attracts around 50,000 visitors from around the world. 

Paris Photo 15-18 November 
Grand Palais Avenue Winston-Churchill, Paris

Couverture provisoire de l'ouvrage "101 photographies.
Davud Lynch" © Nadav Kander

Magnum Photos - The Only Way Up is Online 
Magnum Photos is stepping up its online strategy. This week CEO Giorgio Psacharopulo spoke to the British Journal of Photography’s Olivier Laurent about this collectives' bid to stay relevant in the wake of diminishing print media commissions and the rise of online audiences. To read the full story please visit BJP. The role that online platforms will play in the future of photojournalism is still open to discussion and this is a great story to continue that debate.  

Friday Round Up - 28th September 2012

From London

On this week's Friday Round Up, three very different photographic exhibitions - two in London and another in Paris. Enjoy the weekend.

Everything Was Moving 

Barbican Art Gallery, London
Until January 13

I saw this exhibition in London this week and was particularly moved by photographs by Ernest Cole, a South African photographer who dared to document the brutal repression of black South Africans in the 1960s. His book, 'House of Bondage', has become a damning record of the atrocities committed under apartheid, and many images in this exhibition are taken from this collection. Sadly for Cole he had to flee his homeland in 1966 fearing for his life and never returned. He died in poverty and exile in New York in 1990 at 50 years. The exhibition also features footage of Cole in interview. 

Eager to learn, a young boy squats in a classroom where there are no desks, or chairs, sweltering in the airless room
Photography: Ernest Cole
Everything Was Moving: Photography from the 60s and 70s comprises more than 400 photographs and at times the sheer volume was overwhelming as was the consistently sombre theme. I would have liked to have seen other images from those decades to also celebrate the cultural shifts particularly in music and art and to give a more balanced view of the period. This desire however takes nothing away from the import, relevance and power of the images on display.

Many photographs are on display in the UK for the first time and include works by Bruce Davidson, William Eggleston, David Goldblatt, Graciela Iturbide, Boris Mikhailov, Sigmar Polke, Malick Sidibé, Shomei Tomatsu, and Li Zhensheng.  For more information please visit Barbican Art Gallery
If you are in London it is definitely worth a few hours of your time.

Hanging Out 

The Library Space, 108 Battersea Park Road, London
Until October 5

The setting for this exhibition of photographs by Carinthia West is almost as engaging as the works that depict the likes of Mick Jagger, Eric Idle, Helen Mirren, David Bowie and Robin Williams at home and at play. West, a former journalist, model and actor, says she always carried her camera with her and describes many of her photographs as snaps for her scrap books. It is the casual ease with which her subjects pose that conveys the intimacy of these private moments and while there are many photographs of these celebrities floating around the world, West's images give an insiders view. Hanging Out, West's first exhibition, has done the rounds since 2010, but if you haven't seen it, it is definitely worth a visit. As is the venue with its soaring ceilings, dark wood panels and stunning lead light windows.

Ronnie Wood and Mick Jagger (C) Carinthia West

Vernissage Magnum Exhibition - Paolo Pellegrin 
Until October 13

Magnum photographer Paolo Pellegrin's exhibition is currently on show in Paris. I interviewed Pellegrin in 2008 about his exhibition As I Was Dying. Pellegrin is one of the worlds most respected photographers and one of the most humble. His distinctive style captures the essence of the human condition in times of conflict and distress with great respect and dignity.

Copyright Paolo Pellegrin

Friday Round Up - 14th September 2012
From Paris

Don McCullin to attend 2013 Visa Pour L'Image 
At the close of the Professional Week of Visa Pour L’Image 2012 festival director Jean-François Leroy announced that legendary photojournalist Don McCullin is to be a very special guest at next year’s festival to celebrate the 25th anniversary!!

Is Instagram credible in a professional context?
Founding member of VII photo agency, John Stanmeyer has shot extensively for Time and National Geographic magazines amongst others and is one of the world’s leading social documentary photographers. This week he posted on his blog an insightful article on Instagram drawing on an interview he did with the British Journal of Photography’s Olivier Laurent. An excerpt from his post – 

“A camera (any camera) is a tool, no different than a paint brush, hammer and nail or cooking pots. It is to be used to do something, to create something. Nothing more, nothing less. Mark these words deep into your conscious — within the next five to tens years (likely less), most professional photographers will be primarily using a camera which is indeed located within something as portable and ubiquitous in our purses/pockets as an iPhone. I relish the day when the kit used to document the world around me all fits into the palm of my hand. More so, the power — and the purpose of photojournalism and photography in general — is not the camera, it is what we do with a camera (any camera) in regards to COMMUNICATION.” 

To read the full post please visit John Stanmeyer Blog 

Two exhibitions - London and Paris
Two exhibitions are currently on that are definitely worth attending if you are in either London or Paris. 

London – Everything Was Moving: Photography from the 60s and 70s 
Barbican Art Gallery 
13 September to 13 January 

This exhibition features more than 400 photographs a number of which are on display in the UK for the first time. Photographers include Bruce Davidson, William Eggleston, David Goldblatt, Graciela Iturbide, Boris Mikhailov, Sigmar Polke, Malick Sidibé, Shomei Tomatsu, and Li Zhensheng.  For more information please visit Barbican Art Gallery

Paris – The Human Condition, Peter Turnley 
La Galerie Agathe Gaillard 
3 Rue du Pont-Louis-Philippe 75004 Paris 
12 September to 3 November 

Turnley, who has lived in Paris since the 1970s, has been photographing the human condition for more than forty years. He’s covered conflict and its impact on people from Chechnya and Haiti to Rwanda and the Middle East. The work in this exhibition represents what Turnley said is the “preoccupation of my…visual heart”. I was fortunate enough to see the exhibition this week, and the images are incredibly powerful and moving. Turnley has been described as the “archetypal photojournalist”, a photographer who has worked across the globe chasing stories that have often seen his photographs as frontpage news. He calls himself “a correspondent of life” and this exhibition is rich with the best and worst of humanity. For more information please visit Agathe Gaillard

Photos Peter Turnley (C)

Thanks to everyone for reading Friday Round Up. Next week I'm offline so the next Friday Round Up will be on 28th September. 

Friday Round Up - 7th September 2012

This Friday's Round Up comes to you from Visa Pour L'Image, Perpignan where I am attending the Professional Week of the international festival of photojournalism, now in its 24th year.

There are literally hundreds of photojournalists here this week from all over the world, along with photo editors, agencies, and press (like me). In the coming weeks I will be posting my interviews with a host of people including Visa Pour L'Image's director Jean Francois Leroy, as well as academic, and practitioner, David Campbell who yesterday spoke on the "revolution" in news photography and reportage that we are in the midst of. One salient point Campbell made yesterday was that the life of a photojournalist has never been easy, even in the perceived halcyon days of Life magazine, it was always a struggle to tell stories that were meaningful, and commercially accepted. VII's Nick Papadopoulos' presentation on the new approaches to making a buck out of photojournalism was also invigorating and timely.

And the winners are - Getty Grants 2012 Last night at Visa Pour L’Image, Getty Images announced the recipients of this year’s Getty Grants for Editorial Photography - Bharat Choudhary, Kosuke Okahara, Paolo Marchetti and Sebastian Liste
These four photographers were chosen from a field of 328 spanning 60 countries. Each will receive $20,000 to further their projects. 

Bharat’s The Silence of Others, investigates the societal issues faced by Muslim youth in France. Paolo will use the grant to expand his project FEVER – The Awakening of European Fascism, which he has been working on for four years. Kosuke’s winning project is Fragments/Fukushima, which reports on the aftermath of the Japan earthquake last year with specific reference to the Fukushima nuclear plant, and is part of a wider body of work exploring the concept of disaster. Sebastian’s project The Brazilian Far West, looks at Brazil’s powerful landowners and the desperate lives of those who work the land under their control. 

These are powerful photo essays and multi-media projects that continue to reinforce the importance of photojournalism in telling stories that otherwise would not be heard.

Today VII's Stephanie Sinclair will present her Too Young To Wed project, which concerns the child brides of Afghanistan, Yemen, Ethiopia, Nepal and India. And there is a round table discussion with Elle magazine on women and the Arab Spring. Plus book signings, tonight's screenings, which attract hundreds the queues filling the narrow streets of Perpignan, and more interviews.

Friday Round Up - 31st August 2012

This Friday's Round Up features a couple of festivals I am very excited about, a new photography magazine for iPad, an interesting portrait project and the highs and lows of running your own photo agency. Enjoy the weekend wherever you are!


Visa Pour L'Image Perpignan
Next week I head off for Visa Pour L’Image in Perpignan, France. This international festival of photojournalism takes over the town with exhibitions, launches, and screenings. I am very excited to be attending for the first time to report on this fantastic event. Check out the program here 

Outdoor Screenings at Visa Pour L'Image

Pingyao International festival of Photography 
Held in the historical area of world heritage town Pingyao, in the Shanxi Province of China, this festival has grown to become one of the more significant in the region. This year FotoFreo FutureGen winners will be part of the Festival also furthering the ties between these two events. Throughout the month long festival visitors can view works “from professional and amateur photographers frome very continent”.  For more information visit China Highlights

Pingyao Festival

Month-long Photography Festival Berlin
5th European Month of Photography Berlin 19 October to 25 November.
Put this in your calendar if you are in Berlin during October/November. This is the largest photography festival in Germany featuring over 7500 images, 500 photographers and 100 venues. Exhibitions span all genres and this year include Helmut Newton: White Women/Sleepless Nights/Big Nudes at Helmut Newton Foundation and Elina Brotherus at Gallery TAIK as part of the series "Artists at Work", as an example of the diversity on show.
Helmut Newton: Maxims Paris

Elina Brotherus

Auto de Fe - new photography magazine for iPad
Auto de Fe Magazine launched this month and is available as an iPad App. Auto de Fe, Spanish for Act of Faith, has this week launched the Inquisitive Photography Prize. From their website – “ADF magazine is passionate about the survival of in-depth story telling and we’re constantly thinking of ways that we can give back to the storytelling community. Although we really value our talented writers, we think ADF magazine is driven by quality photojournalism and the backbone of our publication is strong photo-essays”. To find our more click here

Behind Photographs
Behind Photographs is a project by photographer Tim Mantoani. Tim is photographing other photographers for his 20x24 Polaroid Project "Behind Photographs" - it's an interesting idea and these portraits are engaging. It is also worth checking out the Behind the Scenes link on his website.

PDN Pulse - Ups and downs of running your own photo agency
PDN Pulse has an interesting article on LUCEO and NOOR Images, two photo agency co-operatives run by photographers. Seems it is not as easy to run an agency and work on your own projects at the same time. This is a problem for many creatives regardless of discipline - how to make ends meet and satisfy heart's desire at the same time. Read the story here.

Friday Round Up - 24th August 2012

Inspired to read

I found this website while looking at listings for bookshops in Paris where I’ll be next month following Visa Pour L’Image in Perpignan. Such glorious architecture and ambience. Combining two of my favourite things, architecture and books, this site features some of the most extraordinary bookstores around the world. Below is a bookstore in Holland and another in Buenos Aries and there are two images of Paris' famed Shakespeare and Company.

Shakespeare and Company, below, was started by George Whitman as Le Mistral in 1951, “later renaming it after the previous Shakespeare and Company owned by Sylvia Beach, which in the 1920s was a gathering place for writers including Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce. In the 1950s the shop became a hub for the Beat generation of writers living in Paris, including Alan Ginsberg, William Burroughs and poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Over the following decades, Shakespeare and Company played host to generations of young writers who flocked to Paris for literary inspiration and were invited by Whitman to stay in beds he set up among the stacks. In recent years it has remained much as it has always been - a cluttered labyrinth of bookshelves and alcoves spread over two floors of a twisting 16th-century building” (ABC News 2011). 

Check out other fantastic bookstores here

Terra Cognita
Catalogue Photofestival 2012

“The 19th Noorderlicht International Photofestival Terra Cognita is a photography exhibition about the relation between man and nature. How do we experience nature, and what is its value for us? Our romantic longing for pure nature is diametrically opposed to the practical desire to control the world and cultivate it. The catalogue of Terra Cognita looks at nature far away and close by, as a dream and as reality – nature in our genes, and in our minds. Work by 115 photographers from 36 countries has been selected for this Festival. The photography is diverse, and flows across the limits of genres. Whether the work is documentary or staged, nature appears to be a vital source of inspiration for photographers. Their visual statements take us along on a journey through a fantastic world.” From the Noorderlicht website. Click here for more information

Times LightBox
iPhone photography - Democratic Republic of Congo - Michael Christopher Brown

“Like many photojournalists, I’ve been shooting with my iPhone for a while. Using a mobile phone allows me to be somewhat invisible as a professional photographer; people see me as just another person in the crowd. Invisibility is particularly useful in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where a potpourri of armed groups and governments have used conflict minerals as the latest way to help fund the warfare, atrocities and repression that have afflicted the area for more than a century”. From Time LightBox. To see the full story please click here

Seventies Child - Carol Jerrems a Celebration 

A weekend forum, including screenings, talks and events focusing on Carol Jerrems' achievements and legacy. Sat 8 Sep 9.30am – 5.30pm and Screening Sunday 9th - Girl in a mirror: a portrait of 
Carol Jerrems National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Book here

Jerrems's (left) talents as a photographer were widely recognised. With her camera 'firmly pointed at the heart of things', she produced a body of photographs that symbolised the hopes and aspirations of the counter-culture in Australia in the 1970s.  




  1. Photographic festivals are great but the problem I see is the lack of a sustainable secondary market for photography through auction houses. There has to be the perceived investment factor, i.e there is the potential for a return on ones investment. Its ok to like the work of up and comings and buy works one likes but the potential to be able to profit drives art investment. Even so called 'photographers' demonstrate ignorance when one drops the names of Cazneaux, Hurley, Kaufmann, Dupain etc. Without the foundation of art history photography in Australia is left mainly to the institutions. I recognise the success of Bill Henson, Tracey Moffatt, Helmut Newton, David Moore and more recently Trent Parke. Without international recognition which then places works beyond the average collector photography as an investment in art in Australia is unsustainable. There has to be a perceived value factor in supporting photography as an art from ground roots up. That comes from having a sustainable secondary market. Institutions know the value when auction houses dont and they love donated works but that does not encourage the market to flourish. Its no good photographers putting prices on their works which is not going to be reflected in a non-existent secondary market. So one might say what good are festivals without auctions to reflect potential for investment. Lets be capitalist about this and not exist in fairy land.

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