All posts filed under: Spotlight: Festival

Hungary’s military-themed summer camps

“I’m a pacifist,” says Máté Bartha of his views on the military. “I don’t think violence is necessary, but it does interest me.” For a year and a half, Bartha has photographed summer camps organised by the Hungarian NGO Home Defence School, an institution committed to teaching discipline, patriotism and camaraderie to teenagers in a society that they believe has become slothful and disconnected. Last week, Bartha’s series Kontakt, won the annual Louis Roederer Discovery Award for emerging photographers at Les Rencontres d’Arles.  “There is a lot of discussion in Hungary about the military and obligation,” explains Bartha. Since 2016, the question of conscription has been at the forefront of public conscience, and is heavily debated by Hungary’s right-wing Conservative government, but according to Bartha, the organisers of these military camps attempt to resist politics. “They say they don’t want to get involved in politics,” says Bartha. “They believe that the younger generation is undisciplined, and that young people don’t appreciate basic values. This military approach is what they believe is missing from education.” As …

2019-07-15T09:05:52+01:00

As It Was Give(n) to Me

Stacy Kranitz has spent the last ten years photographing Appalachia, US, an area devastated by the coal industry, which took valuable resources from the land and left its inhabitants impoverished. By the 1960s, the War on Poverty was declared by the US government, and Appalachia was its poster child. “The region has this history of photographers coming in and dramatising the poverty,” explains Kranitz, “photography has created this open wound in the area”. The publicity afforded to the area and the image it perpetuated became what Kranitz describes as ‘poverty porn’, and its effects have continued to haunt the Appalachian people. “Documentary photography is a slippery slope,” says Kranitz. “You go from doing good to perpetuating stereotypes and dramatising or fetishising the problems.”  During her time shooting As It Was Give(n) to Me, Kranitz has become aware of her role as a photographer working along this slope. “One of the things I tussled with was subjectivity and objectivity,” she explains. “There were times when it felt more honest to reveal myself as a person with …

2019-07-09T11:35:54+01:00

BJP Staff