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In November 2010 David Goldman took a trip to Addis Ababa with Salaam Garage, an organization that partners with international NGOs and local non-profits to "create and share independent media projects that raise awareness and cause positive change in their online and offline social communities." Immersing himself in the challenge of portraying hope, he returned with this positive story - a tale of renewed life for two young women who had been needlessly suffering for years. Thanks to some missionaries, the women were both taken to the Hamlin Fistula Hospital for treatment.

"This is a story of love and faith. Love because I fell for these two young women, watching them support each other; and because there are two villages full of family and friends that gave these women the courage to take a journey to the unknown in hopes of being healed. Faith, they simply must have, or they would have given up a long time ago.

The women are both from a remote area in Ethiopia known as the Bali Mountains; both lost their babies and suffered from the same affliction: an obstetric fistula. Both women were left incontinent for more than four years, and their social value had dropped with their inability to function as normal, contributing woman of the tribe. Like the thousands of women that arrive at the gates to the hospital each year they are not turned away regardless of whether they can afford to pay, and of course they cannot, they cannot even pay for a bus ride to Addis Ababa."

David decided to take them home himself.

Click through for more information on the Hamlin Hospital and how to donate.

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Getting home © David Goldman

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Martin Brink has a piece in Illiterate Gallery's The Big Picture show, now on in Denver. The print is from his new series 'Trash in Grass' which reflects Martin's usual brilliantly tongue-in-cheek observations of what's immediately in front of him.

He's been busy so there's also an interview with Urbanautica, and his book 'The Daily Round', images from which previously seen here in aCurator, is featured at Various Points.

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All images © Martin Brink

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"Here you have my heart" he said, and he took me away.

Brandan Gomez is a photographer based in Santiago de Compostela; his transcendent photographs are rooted in the spirituality of his location which is a medieval pilgrimage route dating back to the 9th century. He is interested in "religions, the sacred, superstitions, and how that can be translated into images."

"It all began in a very small coast village in the North of Portugal called Costa Nova. This place has such a special light because it has the Atlantic Ocean on the west and a water channel on the east, this land is like a needle that penetrates the sea, there is always some mist floating in the air, water acts like a mirror, light reflects in every object and somehow blinds you enough to see what has never happened."

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The sacred © Brandan Gomez

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I round out my week being most proud to have been included in Gabriela Herman's Blogger Series. Gabriela has drawn tons of press and praise, and I'm in exceptionally good company.

Portrait of aCurator, February 2011 © Gabriela Herman

Karsh_Williams_Tennessee.jpgTwas a busy week for Karsh licensing. It is the centenary of the birth of Tennessee Williams and Newsweek used this great portrait to illustrate their article. I personally had not known that Williams "choked to death on a bottle cap in a drug-fueled haze" prior to reading the 2 page spread.

Williams portrait from 1956








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The stunning Princess Grace of Monaco is being used by the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Design Museum here in New York to promote 'Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels' which is on now through May.

Grace portrait from 1956










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There's always good old Mother Teresa to be licensed. This time she's adorning an educational poster for a group in Pennsylvania.

Mother Teresa portrait from 1988

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It's also the centenary of the birth of Marshall McLuhan. Via Wikipedia - Marshall McLuhan was a Canadian educator, philosopher, and scholar - a professor of English literature, a literary critic, a rhetorician, and a communication theorist. McLuhan's work is viewed as one of the cornerstones of the study of media theory, as well as having practical applications in the advertising and television industries. McLuhan is known for coining the expressions 'the medium is the message' and 'the global village' and predicted the World Wide Web almost thirty years before it was invented. He was a fixture in media discourse from the late 1960s to his death and he continues to be an influential and controversial figure. More than ten years after his death he was named the 'patron saint' of Wired magazine.

McLuhan portrait from 1974   All images © Yousuf Karsh




Via Jiri Rezac at Greenpeace International.

In July 2010, Greenpeace-commissioned photographer Lu Guang documented the aftermath of the massive oil spill at the city of Dalian in China. A couple of weeks ago, the dramatic series of pictures he shot during this assignment portraying the death of firefighter Zhang Liang was awarded with the third prize in the Spot News Stories category of the World Press Photo
competition. In this video Lu Guang provides his personal perspective on this tragic event.

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'Close Your Eyes'

British photographer Hester Jones' series 'Call Yourself a Mother' explores "the maternal ambivalent feelings and fantasies many mothers experience towards their children" in a handful of stark and ambiguous constructions. Jones does not include the mother's face, denying us the  look that the mother would be giving and prompting us to question the action taking place.

A graduate of London's prestigious LCC and, among several other exhibitions, with work just shown at 2010 Brighton Fringe, Hester's work can be seen here in the States at the Mpls Photo Center in 'Woman As Photographer: Picturing Life as a Woman' which opens March 4th and coincides with International Women's Day.

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'Keep Still'

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'Open Your Mouth'

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'Stop Now'    All images © Hester Jones

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Klaus Pichler introduced aCurator to his work and I decided to publish from his ongoing project 'Middle Class Utopia'.

"This series focuses on Austrian allotment gardens in and around Vienna called 'Schrebergärten'. These tiny gardens were invented in the late 19th century, mainly to provide space for the working class people to grow their own vegetables and fruits. Over time, the use of these gardens changed and now they are mainly used for recreational purposes. 26,000 of these gardens exist in Vienna, not only located in the boundaries of the city. It's a special kind of people who live there - mostly older people, but also younger families who combine the advantage of urban life with the escapism of the garden colonies. Due to the strict rules of these colonies, concerning both the look of the gardens as well as the behaviour of the occupants, a special mood surrounds the gardens. The artificial idyll of the garden gets foiled by feelings of paranoia, fear and sometimes loneliness that surround the people who live there.

Nature is declared friend and foe at the same time. On the one hand, the occupants enjoy the beauty and peace of nature - on the other hand, the natural growth of the plants is seen as enemy and needs to be fought with scissors, lawnmowers and hedge-trimmers. This dichotomy leads to a slightly grotesque appearance of the gardens, looking like outdoor living rooms.
'Middle Class Utopia' is a portrait of the strange world of the garden colonies and their inhabitants - daily and nightly, throughout a whole year." - Klaus Pichler

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Visit Klaus' website to view his other projects, not least of all 'Skeletons in the Closet', a project in Austria's Natural History Museum

© Klaus Pichler

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I met Norman Borden at an ASMP portfolio review. Says he, "This is a project about smokers - people who are a vanishing breed and often pariahs but who still enjoy the nicotine rush, the feel of a cigarette between their fingers or lips, and how the act of smoking defines them as individuals." I encouraged Norman to continue this project and to photograph in other cities.

The mayor of New York City recently announced that he is enacting a smoking ban in parks, beaches and pedestrianized areas such as Times Square. Thankfully, the NYPD is not going to be collecting $50 fines; apparently the ban will be enforced by the people around you, defenders of public health and morality! "if a person does not stop when you request, then you can call 311 to report it, or you can notify a Parks Department employee or a Park Enforcement officer." I'm renaming these city employees Enjoyment Spoilers as they do a great job ensuring you don't ride your bike, smell the flowers, or just have too good of a time in a public space that you pay for out of your taxes.

We are not at all invested in preventative healthcare. We are not invested in intelligent ways to help people stop smoking. We are not invested in reducing pollution - how about all those cars idling their engines for half an hour while they wait to switch side of the street? There is no shame being attached to that, to a department store air conditioning the street in summer.

How about banning plastic bags Mayor Bloomberg?

Images © Norman Borden

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Here's an example of a more unusual portrait by Yousuf Karsh. Taken in 1967, it is of Emilio Pucci, fashion designer and politician, and his wife Baronessa Cristina Nannini. Mike Hartley of bigflannel, designer of both the Yousuf Karsh website and aCurator, says it's his favourite Karsh.

Emilio Pucci, 1967 © Yousuf Karsh

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