In 1997, a document titled A Study of Assassination was released by the CIA as part of the Freedom of Information Act. It is believed to have been created in 1953 with the purpose of instructing agents on how to kill, and was released with a collection of files relating to the 1954 CIA-backed overthrow of the-then newly-elected leader of Guatemala, Colonel Jacobo Arbenz Guzman. The operation in Guatemala was lobbied for by United Fruit Company, an American corporation that traded in tropical fruit, mainly bananas, and which wielded huge power in Central America at the time.
When he found out about these documents, George Selley was instantly captivated, and his new project, A Study of Assassination, combines pages from the manual with archival press images, banana advertisements and Cold War propaganda. BJP caught up with the recent London College of Communication MA graduate to find out more about this project and his approach to images.
“We do see that our industry is male-dominated, world-wide – though not within NOOR,” say the photographers of the NOOR agency, via their current president Andrea Bruce. “We are encouraged by the current discussions happening throughout the photo world around abuse of power. These are sometimes painful, but necessary.” Photojournalism is still male-dominated, that much is undeniable. But does it have a macho culture, as World Press Photo’s MD Lars Boering has said? Do male photojournalists and picture editors abuse their power? And if so, what’s being done about it? In the wake of the #metoo movement, and in particular after the recent allegations against Patrick Witty, one-time deputy director of photography at National Geographic, and Antonin Kratochvil, one of the founding members of VII, these have become key questions in photography, and the big agencies are getting on board. For David Kogan, as for Bruce, it’s a work in progress. He’s executive director of Magnum Photos, which introduced a Code of Conduct for both its photographers and staff at its last AGM in June. …
Paulien Oltheten has won the Arles New Discovery Award with her series La Défense, le regard qui s’essaye. Rencontres d’Arles will now buy €15,000 of her work, and add it to the festival collection.
La Défense, le regard qui s’essaye encompasses a video essay, a photo series, and a collection of objects, and was shot mainly in the La Défense financial district in Paris. Recording people going about their everyday lives, the series creates imaginary links between them, adding a fictional element to a documentary project, and a layer of poetry to the otherwise unremarkable. Born in 1982 in Nijmegen, Netherlands, Oltheten studied at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, and is now based in Amsterdam and Paris.
Oltheten was selected from the ten photographers who made it into the Arles New Discovery Award exhibition this year – Sinzo Aanza, Monica Alcazar-Duarte, Christto & Andrew, Anne Golas, Chandan Gomes, Thomas Hauser, Anton Roland Laub, Ali Mobasser, Feng Li, Aurore Valade, and Wiktoria Wojciechowska.
Since its inception in 1970, Les Rencontres d’Arles has been a major influence in disseminating the best of world photography, becoming a springboard for photographic and contemporary creative talents. Taking place in Arles, South of France, Les Rencontres d’Arles is set among the town’s crumbling Roman treasures, shady squares and bountiful pockets of Camarguais culture. Immortalised in hundreds of Van Gogh’s works, Arles has always inspired artistic sentiment.The festival plays on this, hosting exhibitions across its much-loved, instantly recognisable heritage sites, with 12th-century chapels and 19th-century industrial buildings transforming into bustling photographic stages. Now in its 49th year, Les Rencontres d’Arles promises a breathtaking, celestial photographic journey that looks to the past while facing the future. Acknowledging photography’s unique position to reveal hard truths, Sam Stourdzé, director of the festival, writes of how “photography is often the best-placed medium for registering all the shocks that remind us the world is changing, sometimes right before our eyes.” The series of exhibitions relate to formative events that have taken place throughout the last century, seeking to parallel …
Europe boasts more than a hundred photography festivals, but few match the scale and ambition of Photo España in Madrid. This year, the organisation behind it, La Fábrica, celebrates the festival’s 20th edition with a typically eclectic summer season of activities throughout the Spanish capital, encompassing the work of more than 500 artists across dozens of venues that range from the small to the iconic. “The festival is a collective project with a wide variety of institutions, both public and private, supporting it,” says director Claude Bussac, who is hoping that the 2018 edition will “push forward both the formal and geographical boundaries of photography… We aim to celebrate our 20th anniversary questioning photographic meaning and inviting photographers from every continent.”
Tackling excessive consumption and its parlous effect on the environment and on mental health, Excessocenus uses brightly-coloured, staged images rather than the gritty photojournalism more familiar in this field. “On one hand we wanted to point out the culture of excess that is driving the planet to a total collapse, but on the other hand we also wanted to make a point about how this dramatic situation is normally presented to the audience,” says its creators, Cristina de Middel and Bruno Morais
Back for its eighth edition, the theme of this year’s LagosPhoto is Regimes of Truth. It’s exploring divisive events such as the Nigerian Civil War and its representation, and the influential Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture held in 1977; it’s also including Kadir van Lohuizen’s Where Will We Go? – Rising Seas, an exploration of climate change that shows how the world’s less wealthy will disproportionately suffer its effects.
This October photographers have taken over the popular Art on a Postcard fundraiser run by The Hepatistis C Trust. Over 1000 unique works will be available for £50, with big names such as Jim Goldberg, Martin Parr and Wolfgang Tillmans joining in alongside less-familiar talents. In total 1200 lottery tickets will be available, with the postcards assigned at random to ticket-holders on 30 October. The images will go on show at theprintspace, Shoreditch from 12-24 October, with a private view on 12 October; in addition all the images, and a full list of the participating image-makers can also be seen at www.artonapostcard.com/photo-postcard/ Tickets are bought online at www.artonapostcard.com/shop/ and all money raised will go to The Hepatitis C Trust’s campaign to eliminate hepatitis C from the UK by 2030.
BJP is proud to present the Book Dummy Award, a new competition run in partnership with La Fábrica and Photo London.
The award offers one winner the chance to have his or her book published, in a print run of at least 1000 copies, and have it showcased through La Fabrica’s sales catalogue, presented an exhibited at festivals and fairs such as Photo London 2018 and PHotoESPAÑA 2018, and submitted to the most important photography competitions around the world.
Each year the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition opens at the National Portrait Gallery, showing off the shots that most impressed the judges in this prestigious worldwide prize. Since 2015 the gallery has also hosted a simultaneous In Focus exhibition, highlighting a new body of work by an internationally established photographer. Last year, the honour fell to Pieter Hugo; this year, Spanish photographer Cristina de Middel will present images exploring the sex industry in Brazil’s capital Rio de Janeiro. As one of the main prostitution hubs in Latin America, Rio has seen the business flourish in recent years – particularly with the added attraction of the Fifa World Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Rather than focusing on the prostitutes, de Middel homed in on their clients, placing a small ad in the local newspapers in June 2015, asking them to come forward and take part in the project. “I was surprised by the response, but Rio is a very relaxed city when it comes to sex,” says de Middel. “There is …