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Posts by: Elizabeth Sulis Gear

What the Lives of Strangers in Old Photos are Like Now

The son of Polish parents, who “went on a journey to hell and back” before settling in England in 1947, postwar, Chris Porsz now lives in Peterborough, England. In the late 70s’ and 80s’, he took candid photographers strangers he brushed shoulders with both in his hometown and in Cambridgeshire. His subjects were punks, couples, public servicemen and siblings—they belong to the era in which they are portrayed.

14 Influencers Talk about Their Most Popular Image on Instagram

© Christopher Anderson

Christopher Anderson
“To be honest, this IG thing confuses me. Some images I am convinced will be crowd pleasers don’t generate interest, and then some that I almost don’t post because I think they are not good enough, will get loads of likes.

I picked this image because it is an image that I do like, and it did seem to resonate with people. I guess it is easy enough to read while still having a certain mystery. There seems to be a story that holds the viewer’s attention, but I guess there is enough pretty color to get attention in the first place. I am always encouraged when an image that I think is a strong image resonates. It gives me hope that it’s not just about loud color”.

© Alice Gao

Alice Gao 
“This is an image of a friend’s angora bunny. Her name is Cleo and she has quite the fan base herself. Our generation seems to love animals on social media, and videos often go viral when they feature animals doing funny/silly things. Cleo’s wearing a pair of human glasses in this, so it makes the image particularly humorous. This is by no means my best photo or even necessarily a good photo in terms of composition or lighting, but the subject was enough to engage the audience. I think many of the comments are just people tagging their friends as a way of sharing the image with them. It also helps that Cleo is rather unique looking and everyone wants to know what kind of bunny she is!”

Photographer Reflects on the Realities of Animals in Captivity

“This series is not about polar bears” says Taiwanese photographer Sheng Wen Lo—which might come as a surprise given the title ‘White Bear’, and the appearance of polar bears as the protagonist in every image. The artist’s intention was instead to reflect on the controversy of keeping captive wild animals on display, the discrepancy between our intention as zoo-goers and the overall cost to the animals’ wellbeing. This theme is confronted with focus on one particular species which he believes stands at the crux of this issue.

Paul Nicklen Captures the Beauty and Fragility of the Polar Regions

To counter contemporary political discourses denying climate change, we need only turn our heads to the polar regions to understand the urgency of protecting these fragile yet beautiful ecosystems. Canadian-born Paul Nicklen is a photographer, marine biologist and conservationist. He knows that the Arctic region is warming up twice as fast as anywhere on the planet, and has witnessed and documented the staggering effects of this rise in temperature firsthand. Glaciers are receding, wildlife populations are struggling to adapt to their new environment, urban areas are threatened by rising sea levels—an oil spill could prove catastrophic, both for the animal and human inhabitants of these vulnerable regions. In his book Polar Obsession and the corresponding exhibition organized by National Geographic at the David Bower Centre, the artist hopes to dispel myths and encourage others to enjoy, treasure and help protect these lands and creatures.

The Forgotten History Of The Koreans Of Mexico And Cuba

To many it might come as a surprise to learn that there are Korean-Mexicans and Korean-Cubans, though with this revelation it becomes imperative to come to terms with the largely forgotten tragedy which befell their ancestors. In 1905, 1,033 Koreans boarded the SS Ilford to Mexico. It was imagined and portrayed as a journey towards prosperity in the new world—a departure from what was then an impoverished country, and in the same year was already falling into the clutches of Imperial Japan. The reality that awaited these migrants was a life of indentured servitude in the Henequen plantations of Mexico, harvesting an agave that was then known as “the green gold” of Mexico. Many fled to Cuba with dreams of getting a foothold in the then lucrative sugar cane industry, though by the time they arrived the industry had already plummeted. Their homeland already a Japanese colony, they were again destined to hard labour in Cuban henequen plantations.  Argentinian-American-Korean photographer Michael Vince Kim pursued this story as a natural progression from his previous work focusing on language, identity and migration, entitling the series Aenikkaeng, (Korean for ‘Henequen’).

Rare Photographs Of The Dancing Devils Of Liberia

“It is said that if you photograph the Bush Devils (of Liberia), the pictures won’t come out” says British photographer Conor Beary, “whether or not there is any truth to that I don’t know, but I’m not to keen on the initiation process so thought I’d skip that and document the Dancing Devils”.

Ghostly Relics from the Soviet past lost in the snow

Headquarters of Communist Party, Bulgaria, Yugoiztochen region, 2015

Looking at Moscow-based Danila Tkachenko’s photographs that constitute Restricted Areas is a chilling experience. Technological feats that were once regarded as innovative and futuristic during the Soviet rule lie eerily forsaken surrounded by the snow that disorientates; utopian ideas and monuments denoting imperial ambition are cast aside as their creators realize their inherent flaws. The artist elaborates: “I tried to create a metaphor of the post-technological apocalypse and show the other side of the technological progress which often leads to the failure and brings about destruction”.

The Secret World of the Street Cats of Kazakhstan

‘I have always been around cats” writes Kazakh photographer Evgeniya Gor. She admires cats for their natural grace and independence and is forever observing, rescuing and looking out for strays when not at home with the two feline friends of her own—Masha who she rescued from the streets 17 years ago, and her kitten Chaus, who is now 9 years old. Most of the cats portrayed in her images have no home and must endure Astana’s harsh winters, where the average temperature is 14.2 °C (6.4 °F).

Photographer Captures Feeling of Homesickness in China

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Solastalgia, as opposed to nostalgia, is loosely defined as the distress felt by an individual when their home environment is under assault, or has changed beyond recognition and does not recall their memories. In short, it is the homesickness one experience when one is still “at home”. “When I came across this word I was so curious” says photographer Yangkun Shi, who employed the term as the title of his final project while studying at the London College of Communication (LCC). “There is no Chinese translation, and yet it is what I experience every time I return from studying abroad or in another province. Every time I return I realise my past memories and the currently realities don’t match. China is undergoing a very fast-paced period of development and it’s hard to keep up”.

A glimpse into the little-known world of ski in Iran

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Scattered skiers and a dog are photographed at the Tochal resort in the Alborz Mountains north of Tehran. Iran. December 29, 2014

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Clients and a worker are photographed in the restaurant of a chalet in Tochal, Alborz Mountains, North of Tehran. December 29, 2014

The clichéd image of the Middle East brings to mind an arid desert and dry heat. It does not include snowy mountains, but they do exist in this region, and skiing is a common pastime in Lebanon, Turkey, Israel and Iran. Milanese photographer Gaia Squarci—who has skied from a young age in the European Alps—headed to ski locations just North of Iran’s capital with writer Laurence Cornet, who introduced her to the scene. On the slopes, in the hotels, restaurants and surrounding facilities, the artist recognised a microcosm that offers the viewer a glimpse into Iranian society—“ski became for us a way to get a little closer to understanding some of its dynamics” she writes. Her resulting series Ski in Iran offers the viewer a window onto this microcosm.

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