All posts filed under: Documentary

Figure Eight, Serra Pelada, Brazil. 1986.

Sebastião Salgado: “I had travelled to the dawn of time.”

Sebastião Salgado has created some of the twentieth century’s most iconic photography. From war zones to famine, genocide to exodus, Salgado has documented many of the world’s major events of the last 40 years in crisp black-and-white pictures. He’s also won countless prizes, including being named last week as a Master of Photography at Photo London this weekend. Now, in homage to the great photographer, the German filmmaker Wim Wenders and Salgado’s Paris-based son Juliano Salgado have collaborated on a documentary about the photographer’s life and work. The film, The Salt of the Earth, has already won a host of accolades, including an Oscar nomination, and will be released this July. In the film, Sebastião discusses some of his most famous photographs. When talking of the captivating images of 50,000 gold-grubbers scaling ladders like ants into an the Serra Pelada mine in Brazil, he says: “Every hair on my body stood on edge. The Pyramids, the history of mankind unfolded. I had travelled to the dawn of time.” He discusses his hellish images of burning oilrigs in Kuwait …

2015-05-27T12:34:52+00:00

From Ultra-Orthodox Jews Celebrate Purim in Mea Shearim 2014 © Gili Yaari

Gili Yaari photographs the Purim celebration in Ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem

When Gili Yaari was a child having a kickabout with friends, and his father walked past after a long day’s work and patted the top of his head with those giant hands, coarse from the hours spent mending leather goods in a workshop, the sadness that engulfed him wasn’t always apparent because, as a young boy, what Yaari saw was his Dad’s sweet face, his tender gaze. The fact that his father was a Holocaust survivor wasn’t immediately apparent because he was, after all, a survivor – a provider, a worker, a lover, a Dad. “I grew up in what seemed like a ‘normal’ house. My parents emigrated to Israel from Hungary, and they integrated into society, worked for their living and managed to raise a family. It was only when I grew up that I understood I was actually raised in a house where there was no happiness, where joy was illegitimate, where fear and survival were a driving force,” says the Israeli photojournalist of his upbringing in Beit-Shmesh, a suburb of Jerusalem. That …

2015-05-22T15:24:32+00:00

Getty and Instagram partner on photography grants worth $10,000

Getty Images and Instagram today launched three new grants, worth $10,000 each, to support photographers using the online photography platform “to document stories from underrepresented communities around the world”. Three winners – judged on a demonstrable body of documentary work on their Instagram account – will be selected by the Getty Images Instagram Grant. Each will be given financial support and mentorship to amplify the project, before Getty hosts an exhibition at the Photoville photography festival in New York City this September. “We are inspired every day by the work shared on Instagram by both established and aspiring photographers,” says Amanda Kelso, director of community at Instagram. “Photographers everywhere are experimenting, stretching their creativity and offering diverse perspectives. This grant captures the global enthusiasm from photographers to continue to push their craft to new levels.” “Photographers in all corners of the world use Instagram to share stories that otherwise rarely come into focus,” says Elodie Mailliet Storm, Getty Images senior director of content partnerships. “We want to reach communities that are outside of mainstream media.” The judges are Kira Pollack, director of …

2015-05-12T17:44:30+00:00

Naoto Akimoto lived in a homeless shelter in poverty stricken Japan

Naoto Akimoto is featured as part of a BJP partnership with Magnum Photos after he came top-of-the-class in a Tokyo workshop with Bruce Gilden. Gilden hosted one of three workshops in collaboration with The Nippon Photography Institute in Shibuya, Tokyo. costing 150,000 yen (£843.71) for each participant, where he provided mentoring to develop students’ storytelling through daily shoots; with the aim of gathering a project by the end of the week. Gilden selected the final portfolio of Akimoto as the best – he won a Fujifilm camera, the Fuji X100T. “Initially Naoto showed me quite pedestrian documentary photographs that I think he took at a homeless shelter in Yokohama,” says Gilden. “I told him that I thought he had to get much closer. When he showed up two days later with new images from the same place, the class and I were astounded. “He had done a masterful job: he was much closer and had exposed the men’s souls. This, combined with his hard work and dedication – he was spending all night at the shelter – make quite …

2015-05-01T16:53:46+00:00

John Conn – Signs of the Homeless

“We all see the homeless – more or less – although we often do our best to look elsewhere,” says New York photographer John Conn. “I would walk past, look at their signs and then their faces and try to match up the two – seeing if they correlate.” Framing the dual intimations of person and sign forms the basis of Conn’s 80-image series Homeless/Signs. There is no shortage of local subjects in New York; the amount of homeless people in the city recently reached the highest level since the 1930s Great Depression, with over 60,000 sleeping in shelters each night in February this year, according to charity Coalition for the Homeless. “The written word is powerful, it projects an image: these signs are the way they project themselves,” says the 66-year-old. Based in the Bronx, the north borough of New York, Conn photographed the majority of the photo essay over a two-month period in the summer of 2013 in the nearby Manhattan borough. Some people appeared in a spot one day and were gone the next, but …

2015-05-06T14:40:54+00:00

From Rapa Nui – By The Shade Of The Moai © Lorenzo Moscia

Lorenzo Moscia’s Haiti

“It was inconceivable to my father that he would end up with a son who wanted to pursue a career in the arts,” says photographer Lorenzo Moscia. Like many of his father’s generation in Italy, having lost nearly everything to the Second World War, the aftermath thrust him into manhood, and having to provide financial support to his struggling, large family of siblings. By the time his father had become a grown man himself, married, with a child of his own, he had worked tirelessly for many decades. So it’s not surprising that Lorenzo, his only child, would be raised to prize hard graft. Lorenzo’s upbringing in Rome was fairly typical, albeit lonesome – a constant quest for friendships. His parents relocated within Rome when he was 11, and he suddenly found himself starting a new school across town – the local Catholic school – surrounded by nothing but male priests. “It was the longest period of boredom I have ever experienced,” he says. This was alleviated somewhat by his parents’ purchase of a VHS camcorder in …

2015-04-22T13:31:23+00:00

Remembering Tim Hetherington four years on

The film begins with Tim Hetherington trying to describe why he risks his life to tell stories from some of the world’s most dangerous regions. Eventually, he finds the right words: “I want to connect with real people, to document them in real circumstances, where there aren’t any neat solutions.” We then cut to footage he filmed in Misrata, Libya, on the morning of 20 April 2011. The country is in the midst of civil war, and the city is under siege by troops loyal to Colonel Gaddafi. The Bee Gees’ How Deep is Your Love plays on the radio as we’re driven through the city by a rebel fighter in his early twenties, coolly smoking at the wheel, an AK-47 nestled by the gearstick and a grenade hanging from the dashboard. “Which way is the frontline from here?” Hetherington asks him, and he points straight forward. Hetherington and his photographer colleagues, Guy Martin, Chris Hondros and Guillermo Cervera, laugh at the sight of a high-rise building decimated by mortar fire. Later that afternoon, the group would …

2015-04-22T09:47:31+00:00

Diana Markosian wins Chris Hondros Fund’s first Emerging Award

Diana Markosian, the Armenian-American photographer best known for her stunning revisitation of the Beslan massacre, has been awarded The Chris Hondros Fund’s first Emerging Award. “This so much more than an award for me. Chris was a friend. He supported me from the first day we met,” Markosian tells BJP.  “I want to up my game and create something even more personal. I owe it to him. ” Markosian met Chris Hondros when she was a graduate student, before the photojournalist was killed alongside Tim Hetherington on 20 April 2011 while on assignment in Libya. She will receive a $5000 grant from the organisation, which will go toward her next project. “My work comes from within,” Markosian says of her developing photography career. “I am constantly searching for a moment of silence between myself and whatever it is I am photographing. It is an emotional process that transcends anything else I’ve experienced. It is ultimately an expression of myself: all of my feelings, revealed in a moment, in an image.” “There is a sensitivity and compassion to the …

2015-04-27T15:19:07+00:00

© Jessica Fulford-Dobson

Jessica Fulford-Dobson – Skate Girls of Kabul

BJP

In 2007, an Australian skateboarder called Oliver Percovich decided to give girls from the most autocratic and repressive societies the opportunity to skateboard. He took Skateistan to Kabul, Afghanistan, using the urban street sport as a tool for empowerment, and a hook to get children aged 5 to 18 from poor and displaced Afghan families into full-time education. It now works with over 400 children per week. Pictures of them are now on display at London’s Saatchi gallery. In a country where girls aren’t allowed to ride bikes, and where only 20 percent of women aged 15 to 24 are literate, Skateistan has made skateboarding the most popular sport for girls. “I think initially when Oliver the founder turned up in Kabul with three skateboards, he was like the pied piper – he’d lend them to children and have to wrestle them back because they were enjoying it so much,” explains Jessica Fulford-Dobson. Since its beginnings, Skateistan has established the two largest sports centres in Afghanistan and opened centres in South Africa and Cambodia. Fulford-Dobson, the celebrated British portrait photographer, heard of Skateistan one lazy …

2015-04-17T15:55:12+00:00

Lynsey Addario – It’s What I Do

Photojournalist Lynsey Addario has been kidnapped and beaten. She has also borne witness to the defining global conflicts of our time. Having received the MacArthur Genius Grant for her previous work, her new memoir, It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War, explores the role of the conflict reporter in the contemporary world. “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.” The famous quote by Robert Capa has been a decree for photojournalists, but Addario prefers to get close in a more compassionate sense. For her first comprehensive photo essay, a series on a community of New York transsexual prostitutes for the Associated Press, Addario spent six months gaining their trust before pressing the shutter. “I was thrilled with the idea of trying to penetrate this seemingly impenetrable sector of society, so it took a long time,” she says when we meet in Soho, London. “Most of the photojournalists I meet out in the field are sensitive, patient and empathetic. I think those are all characteristics you need, because ultimately it’s all about the …

2015-07-23T12:57:10+00:00

BJP Staff