All posts tagged: Photojournalism

Photojournalist Paula Bronstein on the Afghanistan stories that don’t go away

“Let me try to explain you something,” says renowned American photojournalist Paula Bronstein. “Afghans are strong, they’re resilient. They can deal with a lot. Anybody who I know who is a fixer, translator, photographer – everyone has lost friends or relatives. Children walk around in the middle of winter in these cheap, Chinese plastic shoes without socks, when there’s snow on the ground. It’s how they grow up. They’re strong because they have to be, not because they want to be.” Born in Boston, Paula Bronstein specialised in photojournalism at the Rochester Institute of Technology before developing her career working for various newspapers in the States. She moved to Thailand in 1998, and in 2001, she was sent on her first assignment to Afghanistan. Over the years she has come to play a pivotal role in capturing some of the most striking images and stories of impoverished communities from the war-torn region. “I was captivated by the place,” she says. “It became kind of my beat, so to speak.” Some 15 years later, Bronstein has …

2016-08-18T11:03:02+00:00

Creating the new symbols of protest imagery

Protest imagery has taken on a refreshed sense of vibrancy in recent years, thanks to the rise of smartphone photography, social media and a new generation of young, politically engaged activists. But while smartphones have allowed for a wider range of representation, the rising tide of documentation has also raised all boats, including photojournalists like Natalie Keyssar who’d perhaps still be photographers in any other era. The collective appetite for dynamic photography that helps portray the raw edges of global issues has never been greater, and this sense of drama is present in Keyssar’s work, which has been seen in publications like Bloomberg Businessweek, California Sunday, The Fader and The New York Times. Newly signed by international photo agency INSTITUTE, on her website she describes herself as “primarily [focusing] on youth culture, activism, and class”, and in recent months Keyssar has focused her lens on scenes of activism and protest around the world. We caught up with her over email to ask what compels her to cover these issues.     Your recent work has …

2016-01-13T14:33:00+00:00

Keeping the flame of photojournalism alive, the Ian Parry Scholarship exhibits winning images

Launched in 1991, the Ian Parry Scholarship is an annual photographic competition for young photographers under the age of 24 or attending a full-time photographic course. Announced in July, this year’s winner Yuyang Liu, hailing from China, submitted a portfolio of images documenting the lives of people suffering with mental illness from Guangdong Province. Hosam Katan (Syria) was highly commended for his work, and Hashem Shakeri (Iran), Isadora Kosofsky (USA) and Salahuddin Ahmed (Bangladesh). An exhibition of this year’s winning and commended work, curated by Rebecca McClelland, is being exhibited this month at London’s Hoxton Gallery. The award was launched in 1991 in honour of Ian Parry, a 24-year-old photojournalist who was tragically killed whilst on assignment for The Sunday Times in December 1989 in Romania. The Scholarship comes with a £3500 grant for the production of a documentary body of work. The winner also receives a choice of equipment from Canon, has their work published in The Sunday Times Magazine, is automatically added to the final list of nominees for the Joop Swart Masterclass …

2015-12-02T17:04:09+00:00

EyeEm and VII Photo team up for Untold Stories

Founded five years ago, EyeEm has gone through several iterations – at once an online photographic community, a social network and a magazine. Their most recent and successful business model has been as a marketplace for imagery, giving photographers the chance to sell their images via agencies like Getty Images. While the Berlin company is clearly more aligned with the tech industry’s Silicon Valley DNA, they’ve been making in-roads with serious photographers. They recently held their first EyeEm festival in Germany, receiving 100,000 entries. Now, they’ve teamed up with VII Photo Agency to find the best emerging talent on their platform under the banner of Untold Stories. “It came from several discussions I had with Ed Kashi and Ron Haviv,” explains Severin Matusek, Vice President of Community at EyeEm. He was impressed with VII’s sought-after mentorship scheme which has ran since 2008, connecting young photojournalists with an experienced VII photographer for two years and gain the benefit of their knowledge and experience. “I wanted to do something similar with EyeEm, but with amateur shooters. Most people …

2015-11-17T12:02:09+00:00

Christophe Gin wins 6th edition of the Carmignac Foundation’s Photojournalism Award

Christophe Gin has been awarded the 6th edition of the Carmignac Foundation’s Photojournalism Award, winning a €50,000 grant for Colonie, his work ruminating on lawless areas in France. Created in 2009, the award has sponsored photojournalism in conflict zones and neglected regions; previous winners include Robin Hammond (featured in our latest Portrait issue) and recent Magnum Photos nominee Newsha Tavakolian. The award was mired in controversy last year, after Tavakolian contended that the foundation’s benefactor, French investment banker Edouard Carmignac began to interfere with with the presentation of her work to an “unacceptable” degree. The foundation disputed her remarks, claiming the postponing of her project was due to purported threats to the photographer’s safety, which it said Tavakolian reported. It would seem any acrimony has abated, however – Tavakolian’s work will be part of the Carmignac Foundation’s upcoming retrospective at Saatchi Gallery, London. It features 40 works produced since the award’s inception by all laureates – Kai Wiedenhöfer, Massimo Berruti, Robin Hammond, David Monteleone, Tavakolian and this year’s winner Christophe Gin. Colonie, Gin’s winning project delved into French Guiana, a region in …

2016-08-01T15:38:02+00:00

The cemetery in Guatemala that exhumes babies’ graves

When a child dies, some parents quell their pain with the belief that their child is among the angels. Others find comfort in knowing their child is at rest. They know there is a place where, in moments of quiet despair, they can drop to their knees and grieve the absence of their little body to hold. So when photojournalist Saul Martinez learned that, in his home country of Guatemala, deceased children were being exhumed from their places of rest and being disposed of in a public burial pit, it struck him as inconceivable. “I set out to find this cemetery that I had heard about. It was somewhat difficult to get access to it; the workers didn’t really want to let me see much at first. “I was so shocked when I saw the remains of children being pulled out, not only because of the fact that babies were being exhumed but because a job like this actually exists.” And so began Forgotten Children, Guatemala City, a documentary short and series of images that …

2015-10-19T12:25:10+00:00

How modern protests are harnessing the power of photography

“If you’re angry, throw your arms up,” said Reverend Al Sharpton. “If you want justice, throw your arms up. Because that’s the sign Michael was using. He had a surrender sign. That’s the sign you have to deal with. Use the sign he last showed. We want answers why that last sign was not respected.” Sharpton was speaking in August, 2014, year in Ferguson, the poverty-stricken suburb of St Louis, Missouri. Sharpton had travelled to speak in the wake of the death of the black teenager Michael Brown who – it has been claimed – was shot by a policeman while his hands were extended above his head, palms open. The #HandsUpDontShoot campaign went viral. A month later, in Hong Kong, the ‘umbrella movement’ began. Thousands of people, mostly millennials, occupied the intersection outside the Hong Kong government. At the urging of Hong Kong’s local Occupy movement, the protests spread, blocking the city’s main thoroughfares. The protest was specific, opposing a proposed election reform that would extend Beijing’s control over the former colonial province. But …

2015-07-27T10:35:02+00:00

Photographing the Patrulleros – the violent vigilantes of Guatemala

“Photojournalism allows me to get close to events on the ground, so that I may better understand them as they unfold,” says award-winning photojournalist Daniele Volpe, who left his birthplace of Priverno, a small town in Latina, south of Rome, and made his home in Guatemala. “This kind of intimacy allows me to share my reportage and maybe draw the viewers in, making them feel closer to the subjects.” Volpe, now 34, started his career as a news photographer but soon felt unfulfilled. “There’s often little continuity in covering news, because news itself doesn’t always allow for follow-ups,” he explains. “As a natural consequence, I felt drawn to reportage, which allows for a more thoughtful approach to image-making, enabling me to tell a story, to create a narrative.” Guatemala is one of three countries in the Northern Triangle buckling from the strain of the gang-related activity that permeates every aspect of society. It has long been besieged by criminality, much of it attributed to two prominent gangs – Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, and Barrio 18 …

2015-07-07T17:02:05+00:00

Gili Yaari photographs the Purim celebration in Ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem

When Gili Yaari was a child having a kickabout with friends, and his father walked past after a long day’s work and patted the top of his head with those giant hands, coarse from the hours spent mending leather goods in a workshop, the sadness that engulfed him wasn’t always apparent because, as a young boy, what Yaari saw was his Dad’s sweet face, his tender gaze. The fact that his father was a Holocaust survivor wasn’t immediately apparent because he was, after all, a survivor – a provider, a worker, a lover, a Dad. “I grew up in what seemed like a ‘normal’ house. My parents emigrated to Israel from Hungary, and they integrated into society, worked for their living and managed to raise a family. It was only when I grew up that I understood I was actually raised in a house where there was no happiness, where joy was illegitimate, where fear and survival were a driving force,” says the Israeli photojournalist of his upbringing in Beit-Shmesh, a suburb of Jerusalem. That …

2015-05-22T15:24:32+00:00

Jessica Fulford-Dobson – Skate Girls of Kabul

BJP

In 2007, an Australian skateboarder called Oliver Percovich decided to give girls from the most autocratic and repressive societies the opportunity to skateboard. He took Skateistan to Kabul, Afghanistan, using the urban street sport as a tool for empowerment, and a hook to get children aged 5 to 18 from poor and displaced Afghan families into full-time education. It now works with over 400 children per week. Pictures of them are now on display at London’s Saatchi gallery. In a country where girls aren’t allowed to ride bikes, and where only 20 percent of women aged 15 to 24 are literate, Skateistan has made skateboarding the most popular sport for girls. “I think initially when Oliver the founder turned up in Kabul with three skateboards, he was like the pied piper – he’d lend them to children and have to wrestle them back because they were enjoying it so much,” explains Jessica Fulford-Dobson. Since its beginnings, Skateistan has established the two largest sports centres in Afghanistan and opened centres in South Africa and Cambodia. Fulford-Dobson, the celebrated British portrait photographer, heard of Skateistan one lazy …

2015-04-17T15:55:12+00:00

BJP Staff