Hoshitango Imachi © Reed Young
From another of Reed Young
's intriguing photo series, we bring you Life After Sumo. "They're chefs and bar owners, but also hip-hop singers and TV comedians. After retiring from the ring, the road for champions of the legendary Japanese sport divides. But their second life, to be invented, is built precisely on discipline and hard work. Only to discover that the spirit of fighting is in their blood and always will be. I strongly recommend you visit this series on Reed's website
where he writes extensively about sumo wresting, and interviews some of the ex-wrestlers that he photographed. Good stuff.
Above: Hoshitango Imachi is a 44-year-old Argentinean who moved to Tokyo when he was 21 to attend the University of Chuo. After arriving he become a sumo wrestler so he could support his family back home. Now he's an official Japanese citizen and works as a professional wrestler for the Japanese company DDT (The Dramatic Dream Team).
Konishiki Yasokichi is a 45-year-old retired sumo wrestler and one of Japan's most recognizable celebrities. Now that he's retired from the sport that made him so popular, he's become a hip-hop artist and host of his own children's television show. He was the heaviest sumo wrestler of all time weighing 580 pounds (264 kg). Two years ago he underwent gastric bypass surgery and has lost much of the weight that previously threatened his good health.
Yoshitoku Tashiro is a 33-year-old retired sumo wrestler who now works as a writer. He recently published a best-selling book about the real life of a sumo wrestler, including topics such as how to meet a girl, how wrestlers travel, what they eat, and what they do in their spare time. He originally wrote the book with the intent of teaching young wrestlers about the kind of life they might lead, but it ended up selling more to the masses out of curiosity for a sport that is rarely covered with a personal viewpoint.
Yasuyuki Hirose is a 32-year-old retired sumo wrestler who's become famous in Japan for his part in a comedy trio that performs on TV. His obesity related difficulties are often the topic of the group's jokes. In particular he's known for being able to drink a two-litre bottle of orange Fanta in only ten seconds.
Naoki Hino is a 32-year-old Chanko restaurant owner. Chanko is a stew that's eaten in large amounts by sumo wrestlers to gain weight. Because of Sumo's popularity, Chanko restaurants are becoming extremely successful among the general public. But Naoki's restaurant has the advantage of being one of the few owned by a real sumo wrestler.
Sanyutei Utamusashi is a 41-year-old retired sumo wrestler who practices the art of Rakugo, a form of entertainment that involves complicated yet comedic storytelling. Every day at noon hundreds of businessmen and women fill the plastic covered seats of this auditorium to eat their lunches while watching him perform.
Bateys are company towns where migrant sugar workers live. They can be found in Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
According to Wikipedia, very year since 1933, seasonal immigrants from Haiti have arrived to work the sugar harvest in the Dominican Republic. Photographer Reed Young had an eye-opening experience after he was invited by a friend to visit a batey in the DR. Read his story below.
"Lost in the vast sugarcane fields of the Dominican Republic, there are hundreds of small villages called Bateys. These underdeveloped towns were established in the beginning of the 20th Century to house migrant Haitian workers during the sugarcane season. The Bateys were intended to be seasonal towns. But in the last 40 years, the Dominican Republic has become a symbol of hope and prosperity for the Haitians. Because of this, more and more Haitians have discontinued going back to Haiti after the season and have started families in the Bateys.
In theory, this sounds ideal. But the infrastructure for a permanent population remains unmet in the Bateys. The schools have little to no funding; there is no running water or plumbing; and trash collection is obsolete. Another problem plaguing these small communities is the lack of legal documentation of citizenship. Without the basic rights as a citizen, most of these people are denied education and healthcare. This has created a significant social status problem, which will only improve with the help of humanitarian organizations.
My good friend Rachel has been doing volunteer work in a small Batey called Las Pajas for the last six months. Every day she works in the community, attempting to establish sustainable outlets for the people to overcome the horrendous living conditions. She has begun a women's group and she also works regularly with the children to educate them about the importance of planning for a more prosperous future.
A few weeks ago, Rachel invited me to Las Pajas, an eye-opening, unbelievable experience. Even though the problems plaguing the Bateys are similar, each person had a unique story to tell. They were so proud when I asked them if I could take their photograph. Most of them have never seen themselves in anything but a mirror, so each night I downloaded the images to my computer and did slideshow for the people I shot. They all screamed, laughed and yelled things to each other in Creole that I didn't understand. But it was obvious they were very excited and honored.
In the end, I was the biggest beneficiary of all. I was honored to learn about their lives. Despite having nothing but each other, they are more content than most people I meet in the more developed world. I also discovered that money alone isn't the solution to helping impoverished people. What they need more is education, healthcare and correct nutrition.
I was struck by how these Haitian people view themselves as extraordinarily lucky compared with their families back home. Although the conditions of the Bateys are deplorable, they're nothing compared to those that exist in Haiti where the current food crisis affects 60 percent of the country's people.
Who would think that people with no education, no access to healthcare and terrible sanitary conditions would consider themselves lucky? These are the lucky Haitians."
After clocking up some thousands of kilometers, Dan Eckstein
has completed his lovely project about long distance truck drivers on India's vast motorways, full of colourful characters and customized vehicles. I'm pleased to report that the book of the series launched this week - "Horn Please: The Decorated Trucks of India" is out now via PowerHouse Books
""Horn Please" could be considered the mantra of the Indian highway, and some version of the phrase is written on the back of practically every truck on the road in India today."
See the previous post about this project, from 2012, here in the aCurator blog
Reverend Billy Graham, by Yousuf Karsh
Horn Please: The Decorated Trucks of India by Dan Eckstein, published by powerHouse Books.
Billy Graham is in the news a fair amount, mostly just because he is still alive. Mr Graham celebrated his 96th birthday last month. Here are just a few of the gorgeous Karsh portraits of the evangelist, taken in 1972.
All images © Yousuf Karsh
A new book from the archives of the one and only Jim Marshall
, made posthumously, but as he had outlined in a notebook that was found after his death. I count myself damn lucky to have shared a glass of wine or three with Mr Marshall a few years ago, thanks to my mentor and pal, another one and only, Jim's close buddy and peer, Baron Wolman
"Woodstock showed the world how things could have been, and for this reason it's important that we never forget this experience, this place, this time, this dream that came true, if only for three days..."
The road to Woodstock © Baron Wolman
was Rolling Stone magazine's first photographer, working with stars such as Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and all the greats of the day. Living in the Haight in its heyday, he photographed some of the musicians in his home studio. In 1969 he was on the road photographing music festivals around the USA on assignment for Rolling Stone magazine when word started to trickle through about a major musical event happening in upstate New York. Joining the long traffic jams, Wolman made it to Woodstock, along with, ultimately, hundreds of thousands of other people.
His latest book, Woodstock
, (Reel Art Press
) is filled with Wolman's photos of the atmosphere and events occurring around and beside the live bands at this, the most famous music festival of all time.
Revisiting his contact sheets for the first time in years, he was pleasantly surprised to find he had enough material to complete a book dedicated this time not to the musicians but to the crowds.
"Woodstock" is beautifully printed, with rich blacks and lush gold tone. It includes a foreword by Carlos Santana and features an extensive Q&A with Baron Wolman and Woodstock creator, Michael Lang.
There's a great bookstore edition but it also comes as a limited edition
that includes a print of these chilling cows, and an actual, rare, original Woodstock admission ticket.
In the blurb for the book, Baron says "The thing to remember about the 1960s, even near the end in '69 was that everything was totally different, the behavior was new and unexpected. Plus, the 1960s were simply wildly photogenic in every way imaginable. The changes that were taking place in the heads of the people were visually manifested. I mean, how could you not take pictures?"
"No one could have predicted the enduring influence of the Woodstock experience. Yes, the bands were first rate and there were many of them. And the setting... was picture perfect and tranquil, a bucolic setting for relaxing with friends and listening to music and getting high. But in unexpected ways, Woodstock became more than a concert for all of us. I ended up spending most of my time out in the wild with the crowd because what was happening 'out there' was just too interesting not to explore."
All images © Baron Wolman
Tokyo-based photographer Kuraya Takashi
describes the images in his missing pets project as "once just records of normal days" that now have another role: to jog people's memories and locate the lost.
I feel much the same way he does: "The story of the subject pleases me, with aches and tint of guilt at the same time."
I was fortunate to meet Chris Bartlett at New York's Photoville this year and see for the first time his important Detainee project
. I am so pleased to present this series in aCurator and encourage you to share this story and help us all not to forget.
"Over three hundred former Iraqi detainees have filed or are filing federal lawsuits against private contractors CACI International Incorporated and L-3 Communications (formerly Titan). These are the two companies whose employees participated in torturing people held at detention facilities in Iraq, including the notorious Abu Ghraib prison."
All of the former detainees whose portraits and stories are included in this feature were part of a lawsuit that was dismissed.
"The torture cases had mixed results. Approximately half of the victims obtained compensation; the others did not. The difference arose from the lawsuits being filed in different jurisdictions, and from the Obama Administration Solicitor General filing a brief advocating that the Supreme Court not overturn the negative decision." Susan L. Burke (Read more in Burke's Wikipedia
The portraits were made in Amman in 2006, or in Istanbul in 2007.
The installation at Photoville, September, 2014. Photo by Chris Bartlett
"For Photoville, it's going to be a photo show about torture that has no pictures of torture. My goal is to get people to think about the issue and not walk in and see a horrible picture and be turned away because they don't want to think about it. It's the same manipulation, for lack of a better word, as from when I started with still life photography. I want to draw people into the issue and make them think about the issue. This is a policy that was thought out, planned, carried out, directed on a corporate level by our government. It wasn't just a handful of rogue soldiers who did this." Chris in an interview with proof.org
Born and bred New Yorker Arlene Gottfried
is one of the city's finest: a splendid person
, with an equally-splendid archive of New York characters. Previously a jobbing freelancer she now teaches and lectures, and sings
! Arlene has been exhibiting her prints from the 70s and 80s: she has a solo exhibition opening November 6, 2014, at Daniel Cooney Fine Art
in Chelsea, NYC; "Sometimes Overwhelming" will include 30 vintage prints of images made in Brooklyn, Soho, Lower East Side, Riis Beach, Rikers Island and more.
is a documentary and portrait photographer; he has covered events from Super Storm Sandy in New York to flooding in the Peruvian Amazon. In 'Princess to Queen' he contemplates how those of us benefitting from Indian labor are inadvertently supporting violence against women in that country.
"Four Indian women have been raped and hung in recent months, drawing headlines across the world. Many more have suffered in silence as the vast majority of violence against women goes unreported.
Absent from the discussions about the recent wave of hangings in India is the hand that globalization has had in the increasing levels of sexual violence. Globalization and its attendant commercial values and material expectations are transforming social relations in India and, in doing so, stoking the brutalization of women."