Month: August 2011

Blind leading the blind?

The attacks on the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001 were horrific, cowardly and unjustifiable; they were also spectacular. Drawing on dystopian fantasies of destruction from Hollywood movies such as Independence Day, the first plane hit at 8.46am, ensuring the eyes of the world were trained on the towers when the second plane struck just under 20 minutes later. At 9.37am another plane attacked the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 crashed down near Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10.03am, but it’s the World Trade Center attacks that endure, the image of the exploding twin towers living on in our visual culture. [bjp_ad_slot] “It’s widely acknowledged that, as well as causing so much death and destruction, 9/11 was also intended to be a symbolic attack on America, and the resulting images that flooded the international media were very much a part of the attack,” says Dr Jennifer Pollard, a senior lecturer in photojournalism at London College of Communication. “Many people who witnessed the attacks either first- hand or via media images used the language of movies …


The work of art in the age of digital reproduction

Michael Mack had a pretty good run at last month’s Rencontres d’Arles photofestival. The managing director of Steidl (BJP #7774) recently began his own publishing company, Mack Books, and at Rencontres, celebrated Taryn Simon’s A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters winning the Discovery Award and Lewis Baltz’s Works winning the Historical Book Award, published by Mack and Steidl respectively over the past year. [bjp_ad_slot] But while he’s committed to producing more books of similarly uncompromising quality, he’s convinced there’s a future in the digital realm, especially now that the iPad and other graphics tablets have captured the public’s imagination. So Mack Books has a digital wing, titled Mapp, which launched its first successful app back in April. Figures & Fictions accompanied the V&A exhibition of the same name (BJP #7787), and combined elements of a traditional exhibition catalogue with additional photographer interviews, video clips and exhibition layouts. It was described by Wired as “an excellent example of how to do a photographic app well on a tablet”. But the review also criticised the …


Listen in

Photographers have often combined images and audio to bring more depth to their stories. But with the development of high-speed internet and the democratisation of new media outlets such as Apple’s iPad, they can now reach larger audiences with more sophisticated audio slideshows at a fraction of yesterday’s cost. And while the use of video is on the rise, some believe that still images and audio is all you need for powerful narratives. [bjp_ad_slot] “The main reason I record audio is simple – because I work in Africa,” says Peter DiCampo, winner of BJP’s International Photography Award 2010 (#7782). “I have, basically, one ideal in my work, which is to make issue-based stories without making them into ‘poverty porn’. I could easily get some facts and figures from experts, put them into a story description, and then make photographs that illustrate the problem – but I don’t feel like the story is complete without hearing what the local people have to say about how an issue impacts their lives. Audio and video interviews allow me …


Iraqi world view

After Iraq was invaded in 2003, demand for images of the country skyrocketed. Wire agencies, newspapers and magazines sent their best photographers to cover the conflict but, as the situation turned violent in 2005, editors were relied on local photographers. Today, these Iraqis are the main source of breaking-news images from the country. Now a new agency is looking to help them move into feature photography. [bjp_ad_slot] Metrography is the first and only Iraqi photography agency to cover all 18 of Iraq’s governorates, from Basra to Zakho, says Sebastian Meyer, the British photojournalist who’s helped set up and run the agency. “I first went to Northern Iraq in late 2008 on commission from a British filmmaker, who wanted to do some stills for a documentary. That was at the very beginning of the financial crisis, which hit all of us in early 2009.” By mid-2009, Meyer was living in London and had lost so much work he didn’t know what he was going to do. “But this filmmaker commissioned me again to go back. I …



Migration has always fascinated Kadir van Lohuizen. “People move to different places for all kinds of reasons, be it economical, political or because of conflict,” says the Dutch photographer, one of the founding members of the Amsterdam-based agency, Noor. “The idea for this project came about four years ago. I wanted to do something bigger about migration issues, and I wanted to do it in this part of the world,” he says, referring to the Americas. [bjp_ad_slot] His goal is to travel from Chile to Alaska in one year. “We get very little news about Latin America, while I think it’s an incredibly interesting continent right now.” But van Lohuizen faced a familiar problem for such an ambitious undertaking – how to fund it. “As soon as you say ‘migration’ to magazines and newspapers, you don’t really get them excited, especially if it’s a long-term project such as this one.” Last year, when Apple had yet to announce the iPad but everyone knew it was coming, van Lohuizen contacted Paradox, a non-profit organisation specialising in large- …


BJP Staff