All posts filed under: Photojournalism

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Interview: Clément Saccomani, New Head of NOOR

BJP

In 2007, when many prominent voices were lamenting the death of photojournalism, nine award-winning photographers came together to form NOOR. Launched at Visa pour l’image in Perpignan, NOOR – which means ‘light’ in Arabic – was one of the first agencies to be born in the digital era, allowing its members to respond from the get-go. These photographers are at its core because, like other cooperative agencies such as Magnum and VII Photo, NOOR is owned and operated by its members. These currently include founders Stanley Greene, Pep Bonet, Yuri Kozyrev, Kadir van Lohuizen and Francesco Zizola, who were later joined by Jon Lowenstein, Nina Berman, Andrea Bruce, Alixandra Fazzina, Bénédicte Kurzen – and most recently Sebastián Liste and Asim Rafiqui, all of whom pay a monthly fee and have a financial stake in the NOOR agency and foundation. They’re an international bunch, and they have diverse visions, but share a commitment to producing independent visual reports on challenging global issues. Their main goal in starting the agency was to pool their resources, allowing them …

2016-05-10T13:29:49+00:00

A campesino in Bajo Aguan, where local farm workers are waging a war against big African Palm companies.

Dominic Bracco, the Tim Hetherington Trust Visionary Award winner: “I saw people I love do horrific things”

“I’m just a straight up, ‘shit-kicker’ kid from Texas,” says Dominic Bracco. “I wore cowboy boots every day of my life until I was 20. I was that kid.” Bracco, 29, a photojournalist now based in Mexico City, knew that he wanted to pursue photography from a young age. He grew up in Chapman Ranch, near to the Mexican border. As he neared adulthood, he became acutely aware of the deep-rooted issues of migration, drugs and cultural divides of the region. His mother was a children’s social worker; his great uncle, a human trafficker. When he was still a teenager, he was inspired by  photography series that documented the lives of two lovers addicted to drugs. Yet, even then, Bracco was already tapping into a humanistic perception of documentary photography that would come to define his style and approach. “What resonated with me was that it wasn’t just about them being heroin addicts,” says Bracco of the lovers. “It was about them and how much they loved each other. Drugs have a very charged feel next to the border. …

2016-05-05T22:46:48+00:00

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN | 2015-04-17 | M. (23), an afghan rapper and part of a duet band from Herat, hangs out at Aria Cafe on a hot Friday afternoon. Born and raised in Iran, M. is critical of afghan government and that is boldly seen in his music as well as his lifestyle.

Discovering Kiana Hayeri, winner of the Chris Hondros Fund award in the Emerging Talent category

Largely unknown beyond photography circles, Hayeri is the new recipient of the revered photojournalism award, in memory of the late Chris Hondros, who died covering the war in Libya in 2011. Hayeri was born in Iran, but moved to Canada at the age of 17 without speaking a word of English. Initially finding it hard to settle into her new home in Toronto, Hayeri spent the next few years familiarising herself with the creative subjects and a new language.  Inspired by the work of the Canadian photojournalist, Dominic Nahr, it was there that she first began to develop her photography skills, using her camera as a way to ‘bridge the gap’ between two very different cultures as a form of expression as well as communication. “I fell in love with photography because I didn’t have to speak, explain myself or write essays for it,” she says. “I was doing really well and picking up everything quickly. And I was making friends.” Nevertheless, Hayeri returned to her home in the Middle East, and began work on projects that focused on …

2016-04-26T10:06:24+00:00

Remembering Tim Hetherington, five 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 …

2016-04-21T11:18:37+00:00

Peace Signs: Photography as Nuclear Protest

It was a protest that changed history. On 12 December 1982, some 30,000 women marched arm in arm onto Greenham Common in Berkshire, aligning themselves along the entire length of the nine-mile long fence that surrounded the Royal Air Force station. Standing against a backdrop of ribbons in the shape of peace signs threaded through the barbed wire, they protested proposed government plans to turn the green into a US nuclear cruise missile base. Each missile would have four times the destructive power of the atomic bomb that pulverised Hiroshima in 1945. This was one of the key demonstrations in support of the burgeoning anti-nuclear movement of the era, and resulted in a number of peace camps being set up around Britain. What started as a series of marches in the late 1950s, was turning into the mobilisation of hundreds of thousands of protesters asserting their opposition to nuclear weapons. Half a century later, the movement continues to assert its presence. In 2013, thousands of campaigners in Scotland rallied and blocked the Faslane Naval Base, which stored …

2016-04-20T10:44:45+00:00

Magnum photographer Alex Majoli awarded Guggenheim fellowship

Alex Majoli, who was born in Ravenna, Italy, in 1971 and attended the Art Institute in Ravenna, will use the grant to continue working on his project, exploring “the fragmentation and polarisation of Europe’s identity as it grapples to come to terms with the realisation that it can no longer isolate itself from the crisis unfolding just across the Mediterranean,” Magnum said in a statement. Alex Majoli’s work “focuses on the human condition and the theater within our daily lives,” according to his representatives. Since its establishment in 1925, the Guggenheim Fellowship program has aimed to support artists and scholars in the humanities and social sciences. Diane Arbus, Adam Baer and Shelby Lee Adams are amongst previous photographers to be given funding via the Fellowship. Majoli’s career launched when he photographed the closing of a notorious mental health asylum on the island of Leros in Greece. Leros, the resultant series, his first monograph, was a mediation on the theories of Franco Basaglia, a pioneer of the modern concept of mental health, famous for having abolished the psychiatric hospitals in Italy. Majoli’s early interest …

2016-04-11T13:24:54+00:00

The Anatomy of Absence: Inside Croatia’s Only Prison for Women

Central Slavonia’s quiet Požega Valley is home to Croatia’s only correctional facility for women. Here, 130 convicts repay their debt to society for crimes of varying villainy; from year-long terms for drug possession or theft to life sentences for murder. Marina Paulenka obtained special permission from the government to photograph the penitentiary, documenting this sensitive social issue over a period of 18 months. The main prison building was first erected at the tail-end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1915, initially a correctional institution for young orphan boys driven off track by petty crime. But, with the arrival of more young girls, it became exclusively female in 1925. The institute closed for a brief period in 1941 and later re-opened as the Požega Penitentiary that it is today. Paulenka’s collection is the first of its kind. It focuses on a hinterland of seemingly banal details that form a comprehensive study of the drudgery of incarceration. The photographs have a calmness of vision that seem to possess a very Balkan minimalism. Paulenka, who doubles up as the director …

2016-04-08T13:04:57+00:00

Inside India’s newest photography festival

Indian photographer Poulomi Basu is a rising star of documentary photography. Part of VII’s mentor programme, she’s a Magnum Foundation Award winner and was nominated for the Paul Huf Award this year. Even so, she’s sometimes felt jaded with an industry she believes confines itself to a very limited audience. Determined to do something to bring it to a wider public, she joined forces with British filmmaker CJ Clarke and friends to found Just Another Photo Festival, which enjoyed its first edition last September in New Delhi. “We saw an opportunity to do something different: to change the paradigm and put the audience on a pedestal, not the photographer,” she explains.   Just Another Photo showcased work by 150 photographers from over 35 countries, including big names such as Roger Ballen, Philip Toledano and Sim Chi Yin but also grass-roots female photo collectives such as Rawiya and Foto Feminas. “We want JAPF to be global in perspective and have strived to include diverse work that shows new perspectives to an Indian audience,” says Basu. The photographers’ …

2016-04-06T14:16:38+00:00

IRAQ. Albu Ajeel. February 2, 2016. 10-year-old Sara Adnan Mohamed, draws in a room in the partially burned down house that she shares with her family in the predominantly Sunni village of Albu Ajeel, on the outskirts of Tikrit. Albu Ajeel was under the control of the Islamic State until their retreat from Tikrit in the Spring of 2015.. 

Sara and her family recently returned to Albu Ajeel after being displaced to Kirkuk for almost two years. Upon their return, Sara's family found their village mostly destroyed and their home partially burned down.

In order to help Sara and other families cope, the International Committee of the Red Cross distributes food parcels to returnees and has also rehabilitated the water supply to Albu Ajeel residents.

Moises Saman on Iraq’s civil war

Moises Saman is one of the leading conflict photographers of his generation. In recent years, he has worked in Afghanistan, Egypt and Libya. But the Spanish photographer is best known for his ongoing ability to photograph the war in Iraq, first the American war with Saddam Hussein, and then their occupation of the country, and then the ongoing civil war that still besets Iraq. In 2016, 13 years after the invasion, Iraq is no closer to being a settled, secure nation.  Following the “surge” of American combat troops in 2007, a fragile ceasefire seemed to descend over the majority of the country, a peace which sustained until the last soldiers departed in December, 2011. But, when the Americans left, they also left behind unresolved problems that, after a period of relative calm, have reared again. Now he has returned to Iraq, on commission for The Red Cross, to show displaced families unable to access the most basic sanitary needs, due to their failed state and total lack of local governance. Photographing on commission for The New Yorker (for whom he has also covered the Arab Spring and …

2016-03-31T15:55:27+00:00

BJP Staff