Our pick of the key stories from the past week, including interviews with World Press Photo-nominated photographers, details of Bangladesh’s Chobi Mela festival, plus Piero Percoco on his wildly successful Instagram The Rainbow is Underestimated
Our pick of the key stories from the past week, including the World Press Photo and MACK First Book Award nominees, and interviews with Iain McKell, Tommaso Rada, and Mona Kuhn
A shortlist of six images have been announced for this year’s World Press Photo of the Year, and three photographers shortlisted for a new award that celebrates visual storytelling – the World Press Story of the Year.
The six images shortlisted for World Press Photo of the Year are: Victims of an Alleged Gas Attack Receive Treatment in Eastern Ghouta by Mohammed Badra (Syria); Almajiri Boy by Marco Gualazzini (Italy); Being Pregnant After FARC Child-Bearing Ban by Catalina Martin-Chico (France/Spain); Covering the Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi by Chris McGrath (Australia); Crying Girl on the Border by John Moore (United States); and Akashinga – the Brave Ones by Brent Stirton (South Africa).
The three nominees for the World Press Story of the Year are Marco Gualazzini (Italy), Pieter Ten Hoopen (Netherlands/Sweden), and Lorenzo Tugnoli (Italy) – making Gualazzini the first photographer to have been nominated for both the World Press Photo of the Year and the World Press Story of the Year.
The World Press Photo Foundation has announced the six talents from North and Central America in its ongoing 6×6 Global Talent Program. Aimed at picking out under-recognised visual story-tellers from around the world, the 6×6 programme is now on its fifth region, out of the six identified around the world. This time, the talents picked out were: Dylan Hausthor, USA; Ian Willms, Canada; Mariceu Erthal García, Mexico; Nydia Blas, USA; Tomas Ayuso, Honduras; and Yael Esteban Martínez Velázquez, Mexico.
Each talent has been picked out for two stories: Hausthor, for example, submitting a project called Past The Pond, Setting Fires, about arson in small-town America; and Wood Grain Lick, a documentary and fictional look at life on the edges. Willms’ projects are As long as the sun shines, a story about oil sands extraction in northern Alberta, Canada, and its effect on the local community; and We shall see, about the death of his biker father. Mariceu Erthal García’s projects are Iriana, shot on a holiday in Cuba; and Letters to Gemma, about a young Mexican woman who disappeared seven years ago.
“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.
“When 9/11 happened, I was four, so obviously I didn’t really know what was going on. But in terms of now, of how Muslims are portrayed in the media, I think it’s a very one-sided story. We’re all terrorists, evil, who want to take over this country. I mean, thinking back now, I was only four, so all I’ve experienced is that this country hates me.” So says one of the sitters in Mahtab Hussain’s You Get Me?, a series of portraits shot over nine years in Birmingham, Nottingham and London. It shows young, working class, British Asian men, a group which has been negatively depicted in the media since 9/11 but which Hussain hopes to portray in a more nuanced way.
Long before the public sat up and took notice of the staggering number of refugees risking everything to make their way to Europe, Alessandro Penso had made migration to the continent the focus of his work. Since 2009 he has been documenting the conditions of refugees who have attempted to cross borders in search of safety and the hope of a better future for themselves and their families. Beginning with detention centres in Malta, which many migrants had mistaken for Penso’s homeland of Italy, the photographer then travelled to Bulgaria where, between 2012 and 2013, the number of refugees surged from 1700 to 10,200. He followed migrant agricultural workers in Italy as they moved from one harvest to another. He also accompanied young adults from the Middle East trying to make their way from Greece (which refuses the majority of asylum seekers’ applications), to its neighbouring countries and beyond, capturing the moment when one, Mostafa El Mouzadhir, was deliberately hit by a car in a hate crime, sustaining multiple injuries. When Penso visited him in …
“It’s time to leave! If you must die, die in the open sea! You must not return. If any of you come back you’re dead. If any of you come back and report me, you’re dead. If you have to die, you die all together! Now go!” With these words, Aly Gadiaga, one of the migrants portrayed in Daniel Castro Garcia’s Foreigner project, describes his journey from the Libyan coast to Italy. Gadiaga tells his story in a long interview recorded by the artist and included in his exhibition at London’s TJ Boulting, his prize for winning the BJP‘s International Photography Award 2017. The work on show is delicate and sensitive, a far cry from the sensationalised accounts often offered up in the press. “We are all foreigners,” says Castro Garcia, adding that he hopes to inspire respect rather than pity. “It’s not just about respecting those in the photographs – the audience also deserves respect,” he says. “At the heart of this work was the desire to create a dignified response to this humanitarian …
In September 2016, BJP published a special issue focused on the European migrant crisis which, over the last couple of years, has seen a surge of people entering the continent. Many are refugees fleeing conflict, with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees stating that in 2015 49% of those arriving from the Mediterranean came from Syria, 21% came from Afghanistan, and 8% from Iraq. Even so, attitudes in Europe have hardened, and photography has played a sometimes dubious role in fostering that colder climate. We interviewed image-makers such as Sam Ivin, whose defaced portraits reflect the sense of abandonment among his subjects, migrants seeking refuge in the UK; we also spoke with Patrick Willocq about his work for Save the Children, which aimed to help child refugees in two African camps express their thoughts and experiences. This issue also included interviews with Alessandro Penso, David Molina Gadea, Seba Kurtis, Daniel Castro Garcia and Dario Mitidieri on their work with migrants. In light of recent events we are offering free digital copies of this issue, …
The exhibition, which closes 27 November, offers a different perspective on forced migration.