Vivienne © Leland Bobbé

Leland Bobbé's half-drag series is getting published around the world! The aCurator favourite (see here and here) has developed a community around this work and people just love it.

"These images are part of an ongoing series of portraits of drag queens in half-drag. With this series my intention is to capture both the male and the alter-ego female side of these subjects in one image. Through the power of hair and makeup these men are able to completely transform themselves and find their female side while simultaneously showing their male side. These are composed in camera and are not two separate images joined together."








Roxy. All images © Leland Bobbé


© Marika Dee

Marika Dee submitted her latest personal project. I myself have learned something...  "In recent years, several thousands of people, many belonging to the Roma, Ashkali or Egyptian (RAE) community, have been forcibly returned to Kosovo by western European countries. Germany is one of the countries expelling RAE families that have been living there for a long time, often 15 years or more. The deportations take place in the framework of a "readmission agreement" that Germany concluded with Kosovo, the latter being under political pressure to accept. The deportations were heavily criticized by several NGO's, the Council of Europe and UNICEF.  Most of the children were not only brought up in Germany but were born there as well. In Kosovo the families fall into a marginal existence and the children feel uprooted. In the coming years an estimated 12,000 people will be returned by Germany, half of them children.

Over the course of last year I traveled several times to Kosovo to document the precarious daily life of a few of these families."





All images © Marika Dee


© Demond Meek

More fabulous personal work: Demond Meek's series "Slum Beautiful" was photographed around his home town of St. Louis, Missouri. 

In my opinion, this compelling and haunting series is a taste of the current and impending state of the States.






All images © Demond Meek

In May, Instagram featured the series and it was really well received - follow Demond @dmeek.


© Guilherme Zauith

I'm loving this project from Guilherme Zauith documenting the London Borough of Hackney. Many of the great projects I'm seeing lately are by dedicated photographers immersed in producing straight-forward documentary series. Sometimes simple is superlative. Other work on his site includes demos last year in London, prawn fishing in Ullapool, Scotland, and a trip to Kosovo.


"E5 is a postcode district within the Borough of Hackney, East London. Chatsworth Road used to have the biggest street market in East London. After the 1970s recession the market started shrinking, with the last four stalls closing down in the mid 1990s. From then on the reputation of the area was associated with derelict buildings, street gangs and squats."


"From the late 1990s young artists and students began to move to East London, including E5, triggering the gentrification of the area. There are now coffee shops, a delicatessen, a cręperie, bars and other new businesses."


"During 2011 a Traders and Residents Association formed to bring a voice to the local community, and to re-introduce the Chatsworth Road street market. I saw a place not yet as standardized as other street markets in East London which attract high prices and tourists. Instead, it was an area with a strong community spirit, independent shops and a vibrant local economy. So I began to hang around with my camera and talk to people and discovered a colourful place with interesting characters, traditional shop fronts and stories that made me return over and over again, for the next seven months."


"This year the London 2012 Olympics will be happening only 15 minutes walk away, and the impact on this traditional East London neighbourhood can only be speculated."



A cręperie in Hackney?!

All images © Guilherme Zauith


Darth does chores ©
Julie Schuchard

Not much to add here really. Young photographer Julie Schuchard, whom I met recently at the end of a panel discussion at Adorama, "...just drove across the country to launch a new portrait series called 'Darth Across America.'"

He can kill you with a single thought.




All images © Julie Schuchard


Dorothy Tyler (High jump) © Katherine Green

This year, London will host the Olympics for the first time since 1948. (Good luck with that. I'm grateful they are not being held here in NYC.) For the past 6 years, photographer Katherine Green has been meeting and documenting the 1948 British Olympic Team.


John Peake (Hockey)  © Katherine Green

Katherine Green is a social documentary photographer, from East London, who studied postgraduate photography at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. Katherine's work often focuses on documenting communities through photography and oral history, exploring what community and a sense of belonging means to different people. Her work aims to highlight and celebrate members of the community who may otherwise go unseen.


Jimmy McColl (Football) © Katherine Green

Katherine says of this work: "At the same time as drawing parallels between 1948 and the 2012 Olympic Games, I do hope these portraits and oral histories go some way to demonstrate the knowledge and experience of a valuable generation of people who are often overlooked in our society. It has been a great privilege to spend time in the company of such interesting and modest people."


George Weedon (Gymnastics) © Katherine Green


© Sean Lotman

Sean Lotman is a native of Los Angeles residing in Kyoto. "I am drawn to individuals who, lacking means and opportunity, nevertheless convey a poignant dignity."


"They say power is seductive but in my travels I've often been drawn to the social underdog. It's easy to forget in our fast-paced, high-tech lives, how many of us struggle to make ends meet. But such striving does not go for naught, often making the man, transforming an underdog into a talented, multifaceted individual... We're talking a kind of person who can fix a bicycle chain, remove a carburetor, tune a guitar, make a fire, and speak two or three languages despite dropping out of school at the age of twelve. Many walk the fine line between chaos and order on two dollars a day and for all that economic repression, stay sane and start a family too. I've been awfully fortunate to not only meet these hardy individuals but to take their portraits as well."



All images © Sean Lotman


A wounded fighter in Lebanon © Carsten Stormer

Reporter and photojournalist Carsten Stormer sent in this story of Syrian refugees who have escaped to Lebanon.


A wounded Syrian refugee in a hospital in Tripoli, northern Lebanon. His right arm was severed in a mortar attack by the Syrian army. © Carsten Stormer

"In this backwater of terror refugees keep trickling through the porous frontier, washed up like flotsam nobody wants. Once they are in the Lebanon, their suffering takes on a new form. Here there are none of the refugee camps found in Turkey. There are scarcely any organizations ready to provide the refugees with their basic requirements, blankets, warm clothing, milk for the children, medicines; there is a lack of all these."


A wounded refugee boy in an apartment that is shared by three families. © Carsten Stormer

"They are third class refugees. Their only hope for survival lies with sympathetic Lebanese people who are ready to share what little they have with them, or take them into their homes. The northern Lebanese city of Tripoli is the epicentre for Syrian refugees. In the town's hospitals lie the victims of the war. All of them tell of massacres of civilians, of snipers shooting indiscriminately at anyone who ventures out of doors, of bombardments of residential areas lasting for days, of demonstrators being executed in public, of dead bodies being left to rot in the streets as a deterrent. Most of the refugees ask to remain anonymous, as they fear the long arm of the Asad regime even in the Lebanon. It is said that on numerous occasions members of the opposition and other refugees have been picked up by Syrian or Lebanese secret agents and sent back to Syria."


Refugees, picked up by a farmer, arrive " front of a dingy barracks. Helplessly they stand there like a herd of frightened sheep." © Carsten Stormer

"The Lebanese government finds itself in a dilemma. On the one hand it is bound to Syria by treaty, which is why it officially discourages Syrian absconders from staying in the Lebanon, but on the other hand it has no wish to alienate its other Arab neighbours by sending refugees back to Syria. Anyone who does manage to enter the Lebanon from Syria is regarded as a visitor rather than a refugee, and is allowed six months' leave to remain on that basis. In this way Lebanon manages to salvage its humanitarian reputation and at the same time avoid a diplomatic rebuke. Syrian activists in the Lebanon estimate that around 20,000 refugees have already slipped into the country. And the number is growing by the day. Despite this the Lebanese Red Cross fails to see the need for any action. Every day hundreds of people queue at official entry points for stay visas. Others are smuggled past the landmines, checkposts and army patrols into Lebanon by activists or the Free Syrian Army. They know of only one direction to go: out."


A Syrian refugee in no man's land between Syria and Lebanon. © Carsten Stormer

"Surviving on the borders of legality, these refugees are put up in private flats arranged by workers in the activist network, or in schools, commercial premises or slums on the city outskirts. Often there are as many as thirty of them in a small space, several families to a flat. Accommodation is scarce, rents are rising astronomically. Seats are in short supply in the rescue ship of the Lebanon. And life revolves around the latest news and rumours. Have there been fresh battles or onslaughts? How are the family members getting on back in Syria, are they still alive at all? Life has turned into a timeless vacuum."


Wounded Syrian refugees celebrate the anniversary of the revolution in a hospital in the city of Tripoli. © Carsten Stormer

Carsten_Stormer_refugees_08.jpgA wounded Syrian refugee in a hospital in Tripoli, northern Lebanon. © Carsten Stormer

Many thanks to Carsten for this photo and text submission, and for his amazing work and dedication. Big respect to you out there in Manila!


© Abby Ross

Delightful youngster Abby Ross, seen here in aCurator magazine last year, has not stopped growing; currently "she has been logging some hours in Africa... Congo and Somalia."

I'm very fond of this photographer, of her style and determination. Check her out.




All images © Abby Ross


© Dan Eckstein

Horn please! I love Dan Eckstein's project on long-distance drivers in India. Dan covered some 2500 km - it was worth it!


"'Horn Please' is the mantra of the Indian highway and some version of the sentiment is written on the back of practically every truck on the road. In a place where lanes are a mere suggestion, side-view mirrors are seldom used and modes of transport range from horse-drawn carts to eighteen-wheel trucks, the ever-present horn is an essential part of driving etiquette."


"Along the highway, one unmistakable feature is the brightly decorated trucks that ply the country's roads. The men who drive these trucks spend long hours on the road and can be away from their families for weeks at a time so their trucks act as a second home and they take great pride in them. The interior and exterior of the trucks are colorfully decorated with paintings, stickers, garlands, tassels and shrines, which are not only a unique form of folk art but also an expression of individualism."




All images © Dan Eckstein

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