All posts filed under: Photobooks

Mihai Șovăială’s portrait of a disused airstrip in Romania

This article was originally published in issue #7893 of British Journal of Photography. Visit the BJP Shop to purchase the magazine here. In 2014, an airstrip was constructed a few miles to the west of Braşov, in central Romania, as the inaugural stage of an international airport. Yet half a decade later, the airport remains unbuilt. The Leipzig-based Romanian photographer Mihai Șovăială — a native of Braşov — initially followed the airport’s travails from afar. After construction halted, the semi- abandoned runway became thronged with activity. “There were agricultural machines using the land strip to cross the fields, and speed lovers came for car racing,” recounts Șovăială. “Children from the nearby town, Ghimbav, came to play. For me, it was a very utopian vision. This is how my project started.” The aptly titled Holding Pattern is named after an aerial manoeuvre whereby pilots circle around an airport until they can land. Between 2016 and 2019, Șovăială repeatedly returned to Braşov to circumnavigate the site, capturing the surrounding ground, and the structures and objects that litter it. Initiated by …

2020-05-21T16:24:16+01:00

Massimo Vitali: Short Stories

“For me the beach is the perfect place to observe people,” wrote Massimo Vitali on his blog back in July 2018. “In other words, we go to the beach to take pictures of people, not to take pictures of the beach. The beach is the most suitable place to observe human beings’ behavior, the existence of us human beings. How do people share the space on the beach, how are they staring at each other, or are they looking the other way? This is more important than geographical elements.

His new series, Short Stories, features plenty of beach scenes, often shot in his native Italy. Born in Como in 1944, Vitali studied photography at the London College of Printing and worked as a photojournalist in the 1960s and 70s before becoming a cinematographer for TV and film in the early 1980s. He started to shoot large format photographs in 1993, finding fame with his work Beach Scenes in 1995. He’s also shot crowds in other landscapes though, including in nightclubs, and the new portfolio includes these other social spaces as well as beach scenes.

2019-03-22T13:25:22+01:00

Those who eat fish from the cyanide lake improve their sex life

In 2013, a proposal to initiate Europe’s largest gold and silver mining project in Roșia Montană, Romania, sparked a series of anti-government protests in dozens of cities across the country. The proposal is still awaiting a parliamentary decision, but among its many contentions are the long-term health effects ofcyanide poisoning – a potentially deadly chemical used to extract gold – and the suspicion of fake documentation, prompted by vested interests within the government. Belgian photographer Tomas Bachot travelled to Romania in 2015, intending to create a documentary project about the state of the mining conflict. After months of travelling through several cities, one of his couchsurfing hosts reacted negatively to his photographs, and said she was unable to support his vision of her country. “I was shocked, because as an image-maker you’re always open to hear feedback, but you’re also scared,” says Bachot. “I realised what I really needed to do, rather than just observing the place and the situation. I realised that what I was doing was a very limited way of meeting people …

2019-03-19T15:33:36+01:00

BJP Staff