All posts filed under: Photojournalism

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

Andre Kertesz, Henry Moore Sculpture with Woman Reading, England, 1980. The Estate of Andre Kertesz 2015, Courtesy James Hyman Gallery, London

James Hyman on André Kertész in Europe

On the third floor of a small building nestled amid bespoke tailors and the nearby Royal Academy of Arts, the James Hyman gallery hosts a rare exhibition of unseen work from the influential André Kertész displayed until the 13th of June. The Hungarian born photographer struggled to gain success and recognition during his career. Unlike his friend and compatriot Brassaï, he was a poor self-publicist and turned down many commissions on the principle that they were against his ideas and creativity. He is now regarded as a pioneer of modern photographic composition, laying the foundations for photojournalism as it is known today. Henri Cartier-Bresson once said: “Each time André Kertész’s shutter clicks, I feel his heart beating.” In 1964, the American photography writer and curator John Szarkowski wrote: “Kertész’s work, perhaps more than any other photographer, defined the direction in which modern European photography developed.” The art dealer and curator of this exhibition, James Hyman, is a specialist in 20th century British fine art and photography. It took him five years to gain access to the archive of …

2015-05-19T15:03:00+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

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

James Nachtwey – The Improviser

James Nachtwey stretches his arms across the sofa and pauses to think. He’s just declined to answer whether he ever has nightmares, and now he’s fielding a question that every war reporter has faced; has he ever truly feared for his life? He recalls covering the civil war in Sri Lanka. He was embedded with one of five rebel groups, but the Tamil Tigers, the main insurgent group, were taking out their opposition one by one. He was on an island off the Jaffna peninsula, hiding out. The position was being over-run, and the native New Yorker was completely isolated, unable to get out. He found a Catholic monastery, and hid. In a church in outer Sri Lanka, he found a copy of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and he read it. He stayed there for three weeks, trying to focus on Shakespeare, until he found the chance to escape back to the mainland and to safety. “That was the first time I really thought I wasn’t going to make it,” Nachtwey says, his voice even. “Parts of my life I’d thought I’d …

2015-05-20T12:31:39+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

Lynsey Addario – It’s What I Do

BJP

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 …

2015-04-21T15:15:59+00:00

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“Ma’am, could you back up please? Could you give him some air?”

BJP

When I started thinking about this article, my focus was set to be on Oscar Grant, the 22-year-old black Californian who was shot to death — while unarmed, and held face down — by a white transit cop on New Year’s Day, 2009. The fictionalised story of Grant’s final day was turned into an award-winning film, Fruitvale Station. It’s a powerful work, confidently directed by first-timer Ryan Coogler, and it boasts a moving turn from Michael B. Jordan as the tragic Grant. Fruitvale Station is notable for opening with real, raw cameraphone footage of the incident, sourced from one of the many bystanders who made use of lightweight, mobile technology to capture this instance of appalling institutional dysfunction. This directorial choice casts a dark shadow over the remainder of the film, and seems to acknowledge the importance of authenticity over fictional reconstruction. It’s a bold move from a young filmmaker making his “calling card” picture, but it reflects a key truth at the heart of the matter: Oscar’s slaying was one of the first such …

2015-04-17T18:47:41+00:00

Kürşat Bayhan – flight of the Yazidis

According to local legend, it was the final resting place of Noah’s Ark. Sinjar Mountain is a tall, craggy range of rock in northern Iraq on which the Yazidis – an ethnic minority descending from Iraq and Syria’s most ancient roots – escaped. Last summer, as the group that call themselves ISIS began to circle, around 130,000 Yazidis of Sinjar district fled their homes. Some made it to the safer enclave of Iraqi Kurdistan, or over the border to Turkey, where they lived in tent cities; the most desperate fled to the mountains near their home. The terrorist group who call themselves ISIS were sweeping through their land, denouncing, executing and enslaving anyone they found, for the crime of ‘devil worship’. In what resembled a parable from the Old Testament, the Yazidis began to starve. As August began, a loose coalition of regional powers, led by Turkey, cobbled together a security corridor. Turkey’s Prime Ministry of Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) began delivering aid packages by Iraqi helicopter, and many of the Yazidi gained safe passage from the ISIS threat. On the scene, with his …

2015-04-17T14:03:45+00:00

August cover. Image © Adam Ferguson

BJP #7827: This is War

This year is the centenary of the start of World War I – the war to end all wars that unfortunately didn’t. Like many others, we’ve decided to mark the occasion with a special issue of BJP devoted to images of war. In our August issue (#7827), This is War, we’ve focused on contemporary conflict rather than the Great War, and deliberately avoided the kind of images familiar from the news. Instead we look at the everyday experience of war – as it’s experienced by soldiers fighting it, civilians caught up in it, or those watching from the relative security of the sidelines. In this way we hope to investigate how war becomes an everyday fact of life, normalised to the extent that we accept it. We begin our investigation with Melanie Friend’s photographs of British air shows, which take on a sinister tone, and continue with three portfolios that portray everyday life in the extraordinary circumstances of war: Edmund Clark’s images of Bagram Airfield, the US military’s largest enclave in Afghanistan; Emine Gozde Sevim’s series, Embed …

2015-04-23T18:25:01+00:00

BJP Staff