All posts tagged: USA

Desire in the American South in Gravity is Stronger Here

“Most people I meet are not satiated or fulfilled and desire more. Desire to be heard. Desire to be seen. Desire to connect and matter,” says Phyllis B. Dooney, the American photographer behind the photoseries Gravity is Stronger Here. The project, which started as an exploration of the American South, centres on a Greenville family trying to negotiate life in middle America. Their needs and wants are the same as those across the country: to be heard, to be seen, to be accepted.

2017-08-25T15:29:43+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 …

2015-08-21T13:25:48+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

Allyson Anne Lamb – Beefcakes

“In America, cattle are seen as food,” says 26-year-old Allyson Anne Lamb. “People don’t see them as anything other than burgers. But there is a lot more that goes on with animals. I wanted to create a fantasy world where cattle aren’t just food. I wanted to show a relationship between the animal and human.” In Beefcakes, Lamb, who graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York four years ago, photographed herself naked with cattle at ranches in Texas, Maine and Maryland in the US. “I was already making self-portraits to explore my identity as a young woman, and wanted to have the same conversation about cattle and identity,” she explains. “Cattle are much more rigidly purposed than I am – cows are used for breeding or for their milk their entire lives, for example. I wanted to show a woman physically on or next to a cow to say, ‘Look, here they are at the same time.’” Currently based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Lamb worked on the project from July to December last year. “I looked …

2015-10-19T10:50:01+00:00

Alec Soth – Songbook

BJP

On my way out from interviewing Alec Soth, navigating the stairs from his publisher’s office, out into the rainy late-November evening outside, it seems appropriate – significant even – that it happened on London’s Denmark Street. This tiny diagonal lane on the flanks of Covent Garden has been a draw for musicians since Dickensian times, when the music halls and theatres nearby bought sheet music in bundles from the terraced shops on its route. Later, in the 1950s, it was host to a flourishing music publishing industry, becoming known as the British ‘Tin Pan Alley’, and later still The Rolling Stones and David Bowie sang into microphones in recording studios on their upper floors. These days, most of what’s left of that illustrious, sing-song past is a clutch of guitar shops and specialist music retailers – all under threat of redevelopment – the brassy-yellow light from their windows reflecting in the sheen of wet, gum-dotted pavement. Soth is here in London to lay the ground for a retrospective of his photography opening at Media Space …

2015-10-06T14:54:03+00:00

“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

BJP Staff