November 28, 2014

Friday Round Up - 28th November, 2014

This week on Friday Round Up a moving photo essay from Andrew George, Series 5 calls for photojournalists to get involved, exhibitions in Paris and Sydney, workshops in Melbourne and Berlin and Vlad Sokhin's Crying Meri launches in Australia at Parliament House.

Photo Essay:
Andrew George - Right Before I Die


Death is the only certainty, but how we face the end is rarely spoken about in western society. I watched one of my dearest friends die too soon from Lou Gehrig's Disease (Motor Neurone) earlier this year. Over the months I visited her I saw my beautiful friend change from the party girl I'd always known her to be, vivacious, wickedly funny and intelligent, to a woman who walked with crutches, then a frame and finally a wheelchair before she was even too frail to sit in that. Even when her body failed she never lost her spirit, the essence of who she was. She fought bravely and as the end approached she became fearful of letting go - even though she could no longer move any of her limbs, or speak or even open her eyes, she still wanted to hold onto life. But on the day she died she finally let go of her terror, accepted her fate and tranquilly passed from this life.

Hospital rooms can be soulless and medical routines deny individuality often stripping people of their dignity. Once you are admitted you become a “patient,” that strange being that was always someone else. Los Angeles based photographer Andrew George's poignant and dignified portraits of palliative care individuals who are facing imminent death is a reminder that patients are people who have had a life beyond the sickness that is hastening their end. These portraits are beautiful, poetic, sad and uplifting all at the same time because on a very human level these images connect us to these strangers and their stories.

Philosopher Alain de Botton says of Right Before I Die, “We need to spend time with those who are about to die. Thank goodness for Andrew George, who took his camera into the hospices and hospitals we otherwise never dare to visit”.

“It’s a particular advantage that these are very unremarkable people, it reduces the barriers between them and us. We feel the continuity between our situation and theirs. Their story will be ours, an idea that remains almost impossible to admit to ourselves and hold in consciousness through the rounds of ordinary distractions and commitments.”

“These are the people you don’t particularly notice: the woman who works in the shop you rarely go into. The guy who works in the next office block. The woman who does the stationery. But with death close, they have something to say to all of us. Their words become like those of the prophets; they have gone ahead of us and have momentous things to report. These people, none of whom has more than a few days left to live, speak with the clarity and lack of all pretensions of the damned.”










George says, “I believe it takes real courage to accept that everything we see as so vital and integral to our lives will vanish. Some of us will have the fortitude to go beyond the fear of our mortality and confront this unknown journey bravely. These portraits convey my admiration of 20 men and women who face an impending death and do so with acceptance and peace”.

He continues. “I spent the last two years taking these photographs. Accompanying them are excerpts from interviews and handwritten letters where I asked everyone to express what they were feeling. Some were more comfortable speaking, others in writing. There are passages of distilled insights and others with a more descriptive narrative - I value one way as much as I do the other”.

“The men and women who so generously shared with me their stories and personal beliefs are profoundly different and yet very much the same. From their diverse backgrounds and situations, among the least relevant facts were their former professions and the condition or disease to which they were succumbing, so I chose not to include that. These testimonies of uniquely forged strength in facing death – and making sense of life with such brutal honesty – are something from which I believe we can all take inspiration, hopefully using it to enrich our own lives. Most of these wonderful people have passed, but I hope you will now remember them with me and treasure their perspective and wisdom.”

Right, Before I Die will be on exhibition at Musea Brugge in Belgium from late January to June 2015.

Visit Andrew George’s website here for more information.  All photos (C) Andrew George.

Get Involved:
Series 5 – Taking Photojournalism to the People

Series 5 is a global photography movement that liberates the photograph from the confines of the media and the art world. The brainchild of Australian photography curator Amelia Twiss, Series 5 invites photojournalists to host impromptu exhibitions of five images wherever they can find a space.

“We're taking it to the people, and encouraging photojournalists to exhibit their work anywhere - online, in a pop up gallery, your kitchen, the bus stop, your local park, roof tops, apartment windows, your garden – anywhere," says Twiss. “Series 5 has been created to bring people together through creativity and storytelling and to raise awareness of the work that photojournalists around the world do in witnessing our lives and creating visual history.”

Photographers everywhere are invited to create their Series 5 exhibition and send the evidence, which will be published online. "Photographers can also publish their Series 5 exhibition via our Facebook page too,” says Twiss.

The first photojournalist to participate in Series 5 is UN photographer Martine Perret, with her new series From Above shot in the Margaret River region of Western Australia. 

(C) Martine Perret

Register now at Series 5 or email or email for more information at

Book launch:
Vlad Sokhin - Crying Meri

On Tuesday 2nd December at Parliament House in Canberra Crying Meri:Violence Against Women in Papua New Guinea will be officially launched at an event hosted by ChildFund Australia. You can read the review of Crying Meri published by FotoEvidence by clicking on the Book Reviews tab at the top of this blog.

Exhibition: Paris
Paris Magnum

Bruno Barbey Paris 1968

Magnum photographers have photographed Paris for more than 80 years. Now in the exhibition Paris Magnum, 150 photographs from the likes of Cartier-Bresson, Capa, Riboud, Parr and Depardon capture the metamorphosis of Paris and its inhabitants over the decades. On show at the exquisite l’Hôtel de Ville from 12 December until 28 March, 2015. 

(C) Gueorgui Pinkhassov Paris 1996

(C) Henri Cartier-Bresson

(C) Henri Cartier-Bresson

(C) Martine Franck 1970

(C) Martin Parr 2012

(C) Robert Capa 1937

Simone de Beauvoir 1949Paris (C) Elliott Erwitt

Paris Magnum
l’Hôtel de Ville
Salle Saint-Jean
5, rue Lobau, Paris 4e

Exhibition: Sydney
Group Show - Stills 14

© Megan Jenkinson Delacroix, Crucifixion, 2009

This year the Stills Gallery annual December exhibition – Stills 14 - addresses the theme Continuity & Divergence and features 12 of the gallery’s artists - Narelle Autio, Ian Dodd, Megan Jenkinson, Michael Light, Steven Lojewski, Deb Mansfield, Polixeni Papapetrou, Trent Parke , Garry Trinh, Justine Varga. Kawita Vatanajyankur, and Beverley Veasey. 

© Justine Varga Moving out #1, 2012 

© Michael Light Command Module Splashdown Parachutes Upon Opening: Attributed to Alan Bean, Skylab 3, July 28-September 25, 1973, 1999 

© Narelle Autio Nippers II, 2014   

© Trent Parke NO 178 Candid portrait of a man on a street corner. Adelaide, 2013   

3 December - 20 December, 2014
Stills Gallery
36 Gosbell Street


Introduction to Darkroom - Strange Neighbour

Fitzroy's Strange Neighbour Gallery is running a series of short workshops on darkroom techniques for black and white printing. Email for more information

Workshop Dates:
December 6 & 7, 2014
January 10 & 11, 2015
January 31 & February 1, 2015

“A Photographer’s Guide to the Age of Post-Photojournalism”

Run by picture editor Corinna Koch this 3-day workshop is on this weekend, and next, in Berlin at Neue Schule für Fotografie.

Koch says, “Coming from the hypothesis that in our digital age, where smartphone photographs taken by amateurs and uploaded to the web represent truth, photojournalism is heading back to towards its beginnings. This workshop will analyze the historical and current significance of candid camera photography”.

To find out more visit the registration link here

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