All posts filed under: Photojournalism

Photobook: 36 Views of an ecological disaster by Fyodor Telkov

“The first time I was in Degtyarsk in 2012, I was mesmerised by this spectacle – a huge yellow ‘blade’ among the green trees around,” says Fyodor Telkov. “After some time, three or four trips, the idea of the project began to crystallise. I realised that these magical mountains were for me as Mount Fuji was for Hokusai.” Telkov scooped the first edition of the Fotocanal photography book Competition, organised by the Autonomous Region of Madrid and Ediciones Anómalas, with 36 Views. In it he shows 36 views of Degtyarsk, a Russian city in Sverdlovsk Region which was once a prosperous mine town. Today it is dependent on regional subsidies, and two huge slag piles tower over it. When the copper mines shut up shop, they left an environmental disaster behind. Liquid waste from the mines are still poisoning soil and water supply, and the waste piles release a high level of radiation. Few of the former miners are left, due to the extreme health problems caused by their work, but even so, the slag piles are viewed with affection. “For …

2017-05-25T10:39:24+00:00

On show: Sergey Ponomarev’s A Lens on Syria

“With this exhibition, I will reveal something different to what Western and British society has seen about Syria,” says Sergey Ponomarev. “Most of the visual narratives that come from Syria are shot from the rebel side – people suffering from the government shelling, suffering malnutrition or lack of water, and just recently being attacked with chemical weapons. I will show images from normal life.” The Pulitzer Prize-winner is talking about his upcoming exhibition at the Imperial War Museum London A Lens on Syria, in which he’s showing two award-winning series created in partnership with The New York Times – Assad’s Syria (2013-2014) and Europe Migration Crisis (2015-2016). His mission, he says, is “to be the eyes of society”. Ponomarev has been following the Arab Spring since 2011, when anti-government protests first started to emerge in Syria but he says that from the start, “it was clear that photojournalist with Russian background couldn’t join the rebels”. Historically the Soviet Union supported the Syrian government and that remains the case today; “when the Free Syrian army clustered into several Jihadi groups, some …

2017-05-25T10:41:25+00:00

Musuk Nolte’s Open Mourning remembers Peru’s ‘disappeared’

“I think politics affects every decision in daily life – it’s hard to remain on the sidelines,” says Musuk Nolte. “For me, photography is a visual element to work on these very complex issues. “With all the problems we have in our country, we have the responsibility to leave a visual document,” continues the photographer, who was born in Mexico in 1988 but is now a naturalised Peruvian.”I felt the desire to leave a document of what was going on, that it could serve as a visual and historical record. It was my way of relating to my country, but it’s important that this work also has an impact outside the community.” A documentary photographer focused on social and political issues, he has been just nominated to join the prestigious Joop Swart Masterclass organised by the World Press Photo, and won a scholarship from the Magnum Foundation to finish his project Open Mourning. It’s a series tackling a difficult episode in Peruvian history – the conflict between the State and a terrorist group called Sendero Luminoso between the late 1980s to the 2000s, …

2017-03-30T10:50:21+00:00

On show at Format: Poulomi Basu’s A Ritual of Exile

It’s illegal, and a tradition that puts women at great risk, but despite this has been normalised, accepted and passed down through generations. In parts of Nepal, a practice called Chhaupadi dictates that women who are menstruating, and those who experience bleeding after childbirth, must live in makeshift huts because they are considered impure and therefore untouchable. Exiled by their communities and families, the women are refused access to water and toilets and must eat food scraps, fed to them as though they were animals. They are exposed in every sense, vulnerable to rape, abduction and assault, and even death from asphyxiation caused by the fires they are forced to light in their tiny, inadequately ventilated huts. In 2013, photojournalist Poulomi Basu travelled to Surkhet District in a remote region of Nepal to meet and photograph some of these women, assisted on the ground by the charity WaterAid. Appalled and outraged by what she saw, she vowed to return. “The first trip was so short and I was frustrated because I realised the scale of …

2017-05-09T12:37:00+00:00

Festival review: what’s hot at Format

In August of 2016, at the International Geological Congress in Cape Town, one of the world’s leading scientists declared we were living at the dawn of a new geological epoch – the human-influenced age. This new era, termed Anthropocene, replaces the current epoch, the Holocene, the 12,000 years of stable climate since during which all human civilisation developed. Format International Photography Festival in Derby, the UK’s largest photography festival, opened this weekend for its eighth edition, aiming to explore this notion of the Anthropocene by asking photographers to respond to the word “habitat”. Featuring more than 200 international artists and photographers across 30 exhibitions, the biennial is situated across independent cinema and exhibition spaces such as Quad, University of Derby and the Derby Museum and Art Gallery. The festival’s flagship exhibition, titled Ahead Still Lies Our Future, is on show at art space Derby Quad, and features work by ten photographers, brought together by curators Hester Keijser and festival director Louise Clements. “I wanted to offer up experiences concerning the complexity of our existence on …

2017-03-28T11:46:25+00:00

Shortlist revealed for the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

“There was a truly global reach to the Sony World Photography Awards judging this year – the images were more diverse and broad ranging than I have ever seen before,” said curator Zelda Cheatle, who was chair of the professional jury of the competition this year. The Awards, now in its tenth year, has just announced the shortlisted photographers, who between the represent 49 countries; the shortlist was drawn from some 227,596 images entered from 183 countries, including – for the first time – Armenia, Cuba, Iceland and Saudi Arabia. The winning photographers will be announced on 20 April, with the overall Photographer of the Year scooping a $25,000 cash prize plus Sony kit. Along with Zelda Cheatle, the 2017 professional competition was judged by Aida Muluneh, (founder/director of Addis Foto Fest), Allegra Cordero di Montezemolo (curator and head of exhibitions at Mexico’s Centro de la Imagen), Denis Curti, (an Italian curator and journalist), Russ O’Connell (picture editor of The Sunday Times Magazine) and Françoise Callier (program director at Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops). The winning, shortlisted and commended images will go …

2017-02-28T14:06:04+00:00

On show – Weegee’s iconic images of New York’s seamy underbelly

Born near Lemburg in what’s now the Ukraine, Usher Fellig emigrated to the US in 1909 when he was ten. There he acquired a new, Anglicised name, Arthur, and started working as a photographer just three years later. In 1924 he was hired as a darkroom technician by Acme Newspictures (later United Press International Photos), and by 1935 – “spellbound by the mystery of murder”, as he put it – he had left to become a freelance news photographer. Centring his work around Manhattan’s police headquarters, his seemingly uncanny ability to get to crime scenes early earned him another new name – Weegee, inspired by the Ouija board (though another account traces it to his time as a darkroom “squeegee” boy). His talent for prescience was actually down to a portable police-band shortwave radio, which he got permission to run in 1938 – the only New York reporter to do so. Adding a complete darkroom in the boot of his car, Weegee was able to get his sensational images to newspapers such as the Herald-Tribune, Daily News, Post, The Sun, and PM Weekly long before anyone else. …

2017-03-28T11:52:10+00:00

Amber Bracken wins WPP award in Contemporary Issues category

Albertan photographer Amber Bracken is the 2017 first prize winner of the World Press Photography award in the Contemporary Issues category. Bracken, whose work is particularly concerned over the relationship between indigenous communities and the government in Canada and North America, has earned the high profile award for her documentation of the increasingly desperate protests against the North Dakota Pipeline at Standing Rock. “I’ve been compelled by issues of indigenous rights for some time now,” says Bracken. “Especially after Canada’s Idle No More movement. The fallout of colonisation and the ongoing betrayal of treaties is the greatest source of domestic injustice in the western world. ” The demonstrations in North Dakota began early last year, where the Standing Rock native Indian tribes and hundreds of others began to protest the construction of a water pipeline that would run from the Bakken oil fields in the western part of the state, down to south Illinois. It would cross directly beneath the Mississippi Rivers and cut straight through a number of ancient, sacred burial sites. Just a few …

2017-03-01T17:34:51+00:00

World Press Photo’s Lars Boering and the fight against “fake news”

Lars Boering, managing director of World Press Photo, joined the organisation in January 2015, just before that year’s prize was announced. It was an award beset with issues, as it emerged that more than 20% of the final-round entries had been disqualified for image-manipulation; then one of the winners – Giovanni Troilo, who had won first prize in the Contemporary Issues – Story category – was disqualified, when World Press found that an image he said had been shot in Charleroi, Brussels had been taken in Molenbeek. Boering countered with a new code of ethics for entrants, which meant that images submitted to the 2016 prize were more thoroughly checked – and were found to be less prone to manipulation. This year the issue with manipulation was at about the same level as in the 2016, he says, which leaves him to conclude that “it is still a very big media challenge”. “It’s not about World Press Photo, it’s industry-wide and we need to debate it,” he tells BJP. “It is something we feel very strongly about – there …

2017-02-13T17:31:06+00:00

WPP-winning image “a staged murder for the press” says jury chair

“It’s a great news picture in the traditional way, and obviously the photographer himself demonstrated an extraordinary amount of composure to get it,” says Stuart Franklin, chair of the 2017 World Press Photo jury, of the winning image this year – which shows Mevlut Mert Altintas shouting after shooting Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey. “But it is a staged murder for the press in a press conference, so there will be questions. It is a premeditated, staged murder at a press conference, which arguably you could put in the same envelope as the beheading of a prisoner in Raqqa [Syria]. I think that’s the dilemma one has about the picture.” And, continues Franklin, while he can’t go into detail about the judging process, “I can tell you, I didn’t vote for the photograph because of that dilemma”. “It is the moral issue that is a concern for me, personally,” he adds. For Franklin, Burhan Ozbilici’s series made a worthy Spot News winner, and he adds that “he did his …

2017-04-04T11:42:51+00:00

BJP Staff