“This image documents a transcendental fact in the life of the person portrayed: Amadou had just been rescued from the sea by a European vessel,” says Dezfuli. “Apparently his dream is fulfilled. However, fear, mistrust and uncertainty are present, as well as determination and strength.” For his series, Passengers, photographer Cesar Dezfuli took a sequence of 118 photographs in 120 minutes as a boat load of refugees were rescued just off the coast of Libya. These people had journeyed from different countries looking for a better future in Europe.
“The exhibition just becomes this transition point. There will be new artwork created by the exhibition. I think that’s exciting: it means it becomes alive. These often tragic stories will continue living in other forms, whether through painting or through music, so it’s about making the exhibition a place of life and a celebration of that life,” says Giles Duley, the photographer who has spent months travelling Europe and the Middle East to document the refugee crisis with UNHCR. Taking images from his photobook, I Can Only Tell You What I See, the display will feature artists in residence, a soundscape from Massive Attack and will host an evening supper so as visitors can sit and discuss the work and the wider problems surrounding the refugee crisis.
“I meet people with more empathy and more care towards one another in war situations or in conflict around the world than I have ever experienced in Europe. People want to share the little they have with me because I have talked to them and shown an interest in them,” says Jan Grarup. His work has taken him to the sites of the worst conflicts – from obvious examples such as Iraq and Iran, to forgotten areas like the Central African Republic. Each place he visits, he stays to learn about the culture and customs of the people before taking their photographs. In these places of despair and destruction, Grarup often finds hope and resilience. But the Western world needs to be more active and share the responsibility to help these regions return to a peaceful existence.
Returning for its eight edition from 13 September, Tbilisi Photo is an international festival in the heart of the Caucasus which hopes to bridge the image-making communities from across Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. This year themed Fashion, the diverse programme includes a look at Guy Bourdin’s iconic oeuvre, the Dutch artist Viviane Sassen’s approach to fashion photography, and an exclusive display of Iranian fashion magazines published before the Islamic revolution in 1978.
Refugees and robots feature in the shortlisted images for this year’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, which is organised by the National Portrait Gallery.
“I have to be scared, because the moment I’m not scared it might be dangerous.” Miki Kratsman has found himself in a number of difficult and dangerous situations over the course of his 33 year career photographing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In that time, he has repeatedly changed his approach to create different narratives, showing not only the danger in the region, but those brave enough to stand up to the attacks, the pernicious nature of surveillance and latterly creating a Facebook community to share news of what has happened to the subjects of his photographs.
Now in its third year, the Sicilian photo festival is tackling big issues under a theme of “Communication in uncertainty and chaos”. The idea is telling of its locale: a crucial crossing point in the Mediterranean and an entry gateway to Europe, Sicily has been at the centre of the migrant crisis as people cross the sea in search of peace and a better life. The photographs in this series cover ideas of identity, politics, war, nationality, feminism and more.
Swedish documentary photographer Loulou d’Aki’s Make a Wish has been a long time in the making. The project, which was shortlisted for the Grand Prix at Lodz Fotofestiwal this year, revolves around the aspirations and dreams of young people across the globe, recorded in a sweeping compilation of portraits and landscapes. Shot alongside commissions for international publications such as Le Monde, The New York Times and Die Zeit, it evolved over a number of years, charting the photographer’s life on the move.
First published on worldphoto.org. British documentary photographer Rich Wiles has been based in Palestine for many years. His work explores notions of home, identity, resistance, and has been published and exhibited widely. Rich tells us more about his series Circus behind the Wall (which was shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Awards 2015) and his path into photography. With entries to the 2016 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards closing soon, now is the time to enter your work. For you, what is the purpose of photography? Photography is a medium that helps us to question the way we look at the world and what we ‘know’ or think about it. If photography can make us ‘think’ differently, then can it also encourage us to act differently? I believe that it can, and therefore the purpose of my photographic practice, unashamedly, is to be an agent for social change in whatever context that is being sought. You have lived in Palestine for many years. What brought you to the country and was photography any influence on …
When scientists first discovered neon in 1898, they knew there was something extra-ordinary within its distinctive red glow. They named their newborn gas neon after the Greek word for ‘new’ and quickly put it on the market. After being rejected by homeowners who took offence to its devilish glow, neon eventually found a place for its eye-catching self in commercial America; within the tubes of advertising slogans, strip clubs and dive bars that continue to pepper the landscape to this day. While neon continues to play out its twitching career across a jaded USA, in Saudi Arabia, the inert gas is considered as both a symbol of status and luck, says photographer Celine Stella. “The neon shapes and objects photographed here first caught my attention when we were driving through the desert at night a couple of summers ago. It was pitch dark and suddenly these kiosks appeared like balls of light in the middle of nowhere. The colours shining in the dark were beautiful, but alien. The contrast between the light and what was …