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"This is what fracking looks like from the surface. The pipes leading into the well head are connected to the trucks in the background. These trucks force water mixed with proppant - sand and tiny ceramic balls that keep the cracks propped open (hence the name) so that oil can flow towards the well pipe - and chemicals down into the well at 10,000 PSI." - John Mireles

The Bakken formation is a rock unit from the Late Devonian to Early Mississippian age occupying about 200,000 square miles of the subsurface of the Williston Basin, underlying parts of Montana, North Dakota, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Oil was first discovered within the Bakken in 1951, but past efforts to produce it have faced technical difficulties. Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies have caused a boom in Bakken production since 2000 and the area has emerged in recent years as one of the most important sources of oil in the United States. 

Oil production has now outstripped the capacity of the pipelines to ship the oil out. It was Bakken crude oil carried by train that caught fire in the Lac-Megantic derailment in Quebec last year.

In John Mireles' series he combines portraits, landscapes and documentary imagery to tell us about this oil boom in North Dakota.


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Carnival ride, Pontotoc, Mississippi © Betty Press

A decade ago, after many years of living in Africa, photojournalist Betty Press moved to Mississippi. Around 2011, still struggling to feel truly at home, "and being a liberal in politics and religion, I decided the best way to deal with this unease was to explore the state, mostly rural and agricultural, through a series of road trips."

"I started by visiting small communities listed in Mississippi Atlas & Gazetteer, with unusual names like Love, Darling, Expose, Dogtown, Midnight. Often there was very little going on and sometimes it was hard to find the place. When I did, I would look for people out and about. Southern hospitality and politeness are still important and I was welcomed, even as an outsider. Other times I would visit local festivals celebrating music and culture like the Juke Joint Festival and Redneck Festival."

Betty Press is best known for her photographs taken in Africa. We previously published some from the delightful collection "I Am Because We Are - African Wisdom in Image and Proverb." 


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Lilya and Pasha, 2008 © Irina Popova

In 2008, Irina Popova was on assignment looking for a story about 'feelings.' "I met Pasha and Lilya the day after getting the assignment for the project. You could say that I got lucky. Last year I shot a similar couple that kept their child in the basement."

This controversial photostory has now been published as a book by the Dostoevsky Photography Society. Since I don't have my copy as of writing, here's the blurb from the preface.

"This fascinating book tells the story of Irina Popova's stay with a family of drug-users in St. Petersburg, Russia. The photostory - focusing on a small child living in shocking family circumstances - has provoked an explosion of criticism on the Internet, directed towards the parents as well as at the photographer. The book reveals the documentary evidence during the development of the story, including the previously unpublished photos from the archives of the photographer herself and the characters, the web pages of blogs with comments, the private letters and the diaries. It attempts to analyze the consequences of the photographer's actions and the degree of responsibility of the photographer. The multivocal storytelling in the book forms the screenplay for a real-life drama. This is the first time this frequently discussed topic of the supposed responsibility of documentary photographers has been analyzed so consistently and comprehensively in book form. This book is therefore more than simply a documentary photo book depicting the deplorable situation of a drug-addict family - it is an essential document dealing with the question all documentary photographers may be confronted with at some time in their careers: can I continue working or should I stop and try to help solve the problem I am witness to?"

Read an extensive article in The Guardian about what happened when, having been shown in a well-received exhibition offline, the photographs subsequently hit the internet.


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Disappear with us into the odd, enchanted world of Bear Kirkpatrick. 

Bear Kirkpatrick and I bonded, over his portfolio at the PhotoNOLA reviews last December, and thereafter. This is my favourite of his series and the images have grown and grown on me the more I examine them. Playing around in the studio, the photographer found that covering a model's usually visually dominant hair, he could create a wild yet ethereal image. 

I'm really pleased to present these portraits in full screen. Prints, they look gorgeous, but I'm particularly loving these back-lit in the mag.

Bear is a poetic, astute and highly amusing sort of chap. In the past, he has gone to great lengths to create his multifaceted imagery; the Wall Portraits were more of a happy accident (and remind me of Yousuf Karsh's story of pulling down the curtains to make his gorgeous portrait of Betty Low.) 

Aged 5 Bear was diagnosed as deaf; his hearing was repaired, and he says "I have been transfixed, fascinated, and frightened ever since by things that reveal their power to change shape or that contain multiples within." 

I can't really say it anywhere near better than Brian Kubarycz writing on the photographer's website:

"This madness to hazard contact with the wild is constantly acted out in the art of Bear Kirkpatrick. His project is to experience and question what it means not merely to bide time in the worldly state, but far more actively and intimately, to have and to hold an only world, unto death, but in the expectation of new living creatures of awful energies. Kirkpatrick's art, from its first conception to the full arrival of its finished form, explores the ongoing adventure of creation one must take up and sustain in order to inhabit a world of one's own, the sole world worth inhabiting."


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© Estate of Leonard Freed - Magnum Photos (Brigitte Freed)

This Is the Day: The March on Washington, was published by Getty Publications to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the march which took place August 27, 1963. Magnum photographer Leonard Freed traveled to Washington that day and photographed the event that culminated in Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech.

'Black in White America,' an exhibition of Freed's work, is on now through February 22nd, 2014, at the Leica Gallery in Soho, New York.

View the full screen magazine photo feature.

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© Marianna Francese & Jaad Gaillet

This series was shown at Rencontres Photographiques du 10e in Paris last year.
Photos and text by Marianna Francese & Jaad Gaillet. "This joint project is part of the desire to represent the interior of a district of Istanbul, Tarlabaşı. This area is facing a process of urban renewal, the houses are emptied and destroyed in favor of the construction of hotels, offices and residences.
 
Tarlabaşı is a historical district that dates the 16th century and is the area where a very heterogeneous population is concentrated. Migrants from the east, Kurdish, Gypsies, Africans, Turks, Armenians and Greeks who live together and share their wealth and their poverty." 


"The first homes in the area date back to the 1530's when the non-Muslim diplomats began to settle in the Ottoman imperial city. But it was not until the 1870's that Tarlabaşı became the place where the lower middle class of non-Muslims lived: Greek craftsmen, Armenians and Jews, shopkeepers, employees serving businessmen and diplomats around the 'Istiklal Caddesi' today the main boulevard for the shopping. Today, very few of the original non-Muslim residents remain in the area. In the early 1950's, waves of rural-urban migration from Anatolia led to profound demographic and socioeconomic changes in Istanbul. After the military coup of the 1980's with the consequent migration of Kurdish and the subsequent implementation of neo-liberal policies in Turkey, radical urban restructuring in Istanbul leaves its mark on Tarlabaşı. As in other major cities, the heart of Istanbul is destined to become the place for the exclusive upper classes, trade and business, and a paradise for tourists. Social diversity and cultural heritage, which are still the charm of this district, are doomed. 

Located a few minutes from the famous Taksim Square and Gezi Park, it was in the labyrinthine streets of Tarlabaşı that the protesters refuged from the police during the last months of protests. Yet urban planning in Tarlabaşı has not generated the same enthusiasm of the people to defend this place, perhaps simply because many do not like this neighborhood because is dirty, dangerous... But the choice to defend Gezi Park - it is environmentally friendly, it is mostly symbolic face to the urban renewal campaign that hits Istanbul. 

If Tarlabaşı is still a popular area with all its stereotypes, it creates a new situation that is more and more paradoxical. The tourist attraction it offers, including its proximity to Taksim or Istiklal or even the history of the place is of a big interest for those, the streets and people, authentic and proud still continue their activities as if the district will never change and others who determine the new wave of tourism and Tarlabaşı is torn between its complex identity, and the one imposed."

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Giles Clarke is a social documentary photographer based in New York City known for his work in Haiti, Bhopal, and with the Occupy movement. We met at Photoville in Brooklyn this summer and I am honoured to publish his work. His diverse career includes producing TV segments for Channel 4, and tour visuals for Paul Oakenfold. Clarke began his serious work and dedication to activism with a 6-week stint in Bhopal, India where he filmed and photographed the victims of the Union Carbide gas tragedy. Clarke continues working closely with the Bhopal Medical Appeal on raising awareness. An image from his series 'Prison Pit' made in El Salvador was featured in CNN's A Year In Pictures.


Driving through the gates of the Louisiana State Penitentiary, or "Angola," is a chilling experience. This is the "Alcatraz of the South," a Manhattan-sized compound in a remote area north of Baton Rouge. When we arrived, we tuned into KLAS 91.7 FM--the only prison radio station in the country--and an inmate DJ proceeded to string off a long list of trivia about the prison. We learned that Angola is the largest maximum security prison in the country, that it has the highest percentage of prisoners serving life without parole, and that it's so big that it's the only prison with its own zip code. It also has its own fully functioning rodeo.

Angola opened in 1901 on a former plantation estate, quickly establishing itself as one of the toughest penal institutions in the country, responsible for overseeing the hardest criminal elements in the South, in a state with notoriously rigid laws. Conditions up until the early 70s were often described as "medieval and squalid," and prisoner protests were common. The current warden, Burl Cain, operates Angola as a "working farm," one of the most efficient in the state, stressing that "keeping inmates busy and working is the most important thing we try to do."

"The rodeo, which was first started in 1967, continues on because we see it as a vital tradition and good reward for the inmates who deserve to be here today. It's a big privilege to be allowed to take part in the rodeo, and they know that," said Warden Cain. "It also allows us to raise much needed funds for our rehabilitation programs." Photos and text by Giles Clarke.
Assisted by Lawrence Sumulong.


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Rituparna Banerjee is a photographer based in New Delhi. Here is her story about the approximately 1,200 residents of what is essentially a two-square-mile slum at the Yamuna Bazaar in Delhi.
"A walk into these very spaces reveals a grim reality. Vials of familiar anti-allergic medication, syringes and needles lie littered about in the dirt; huddles of small groups of men, women and children with their backs to you; their decaying bodies and reddened eyes, are a clear giveaway. We approached one of them. "I have been using drugs since I was 12...it's been over 14 years now, my wife left me. I continue to live like this", says Siddharth. When asked how he can afford it, he narrates with interest how begging and picking pockets are popular sources of income. "Each packet of crack costs me about four hundred rupees ($7), it keeps me high for about two hours; I take it 2-3 times a day. I can't live without this," he adds. Siddharth is one of the hordes of homeless people in Yamuna Bazaar whose life, income and expenditure revolve around the intoxicating chemicals he consumes every day.    

Half the addicts encountered are children. Their days are spent in the nearby railway area of the Wazirabad cargo depot. Moreover, their addiction continues well into adulthood, as testified by Siddharth. The children often turn to violence in desperation to get their hands on chemicals to cause intoxication. Chintan, a minor barely thirteen, shows the slash marks of a razor blade on his friend's chest. They are both from Darbhanga in Bihar. Holding a the tube of rubber solution used by cobblers and packers as glue, a 10 year old says, "I inhale this all day," with most of his face concealed beneath a cloth towel doused in the substance.
 
Substance abuse has been reported in many instances to reach uncontrollable proportions, and these images essay the condition of occupants of the Yamuna Bazaar area. Their peculiar situation makes them unqualified for any government benefits and the societal life applicable to other underprivileged city occupants. With the authorities having a blasé attitude towards a huge responsibility, the addicts occupy a crack in society and governance and continue to waste away as prisoners to their own addiction."


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At a funeral. Tirana, Albania, 2012 © Enri Canaj

Thanks to Enri Canaj for this heartfelt story.

"I was born in 1980, in Tirana, Albania. My family lived near the Enver Hoxha residence, (the Communist leader of Albania from 1944 to 1985), the most developed part of the city, during that time. I remember the beauty of that place: the parks, the shops, well-dressed people strolling around. When I turned 11, we came to Greece because of the political, social and economic situation that my country was going through.

Albania is a small country in the heart of the Balkans. Despite its rich culture, people outside do generally not know much about it. It is also my homeland, the place of my early childhood. I grew up separated from it, and returned later to pick up the threads that were left behind. What I found was modernity and tradition living together. I traveled a lot and started to know my birthplace, the people, their mentality, and their traditions. I felt very welcome, and was fascinated by all the people I met. They were kind, friendly and curious about my work.

I made this journey together with my wife. When people realized we were a couple, they were very open, they welcomed us inside their homes and extended wishes, blessings and congratulations. Marriage is very important in Albania. Everyone has to get married, it is considered to make men stronger and more respected in society.

In this photographic project I would like to show the everyday lives of Albanian people - the big picture, as well as the small, seemingly insignificant moments. What impressed me most was the strong family union, the connection among people. I found it everywhere - in married young couples and their babies, at a funeral ceremony where relatives shared their pain, at a wedding party, or when a son accompanied his father at work. I didn't see any lonely people."



Breezy Point, Queens, November 4, 2012 © Natan Dvir

Over the course of five days beginning October 22, 2012, a storm developed in the Caribbean Sea that would ultimately kill at least 286 people in seven countries. Hurricane Sandy hit New York on October 29, and New York-based Natan Dvir photographed the immediate aftermath. The Weather Channel recently sent Natan back to the exact locations, at similar times of the day, to show what has happened since.

Some of Natan's photographs are on show as part of 'Rising Waters,' an exhibition on now through March, 2014, at the Museum of the City of New York.


Award-winning photographer Natan Dvir was born in Israel, and now lives in New York. He "focuses on the human aspects of political, social and cultural issues." Dvir is widely published and exhibited in the US and abroad.

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