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Posts by: Elizabeth Sulis Gear

Life in the shadow of a nuclear power plant in France

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“In Italy, nuclear energy arouses fear; nobody wants a nuclear centre as a neighbour” writes Venetian photographer Andrea Pugiotto, discussing his series Vie chez la central, which translates as ‘Life in the (nuclear) centre’. This is not the case in neighbouring France, where the Bugey Nuclear Power Plant in the Saint-Vulbas commune attracts many who desire free energy, spacious, affordable housing and large gardens. The artist spoke with a local resident, who emphasised the convenience of this unconventional paradise: “we enjoy many privileges that the rest of the population can only dream of, and the risk is the same. Life is better, here”.

Photos Reflect on Migration in Greece

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Though originally from London, Etienne Audrey Bruce feels a familial relationship to Greece, the country where her parents first met and currently reside; the place where her two brothers were born. This connection is in part what drew the photographer to produce her latest series Xenitia there. Through word and text the artist sought to put forth a more “polyphonic view of migration” to counter those we usually encounter in mainstream media.

Photographer seeks answers in a 300km journey from Chengdu to the sea

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“This water confuses me.
When I’m by the river I find myself wondering:

Who am I?
Where am I?
What am I?”

Another river by Roni Horn

Photographer Wei Wu’s final project at the London College of Communication (LCC) and resulting book is the result of a solitary walk from the source of the Funan river in her hometown Chengdu in the Sichuan province of China to its mouth. And yet, there is more to this series than the arduous 300km journey that led to its creation. Though originally pursued as a dedication to her grandparents and as a nostalgic revisiting of her past, the artist learned more about her present self than she had initially envisioned, walking through familiar and foreign terrain with the time to reflect. Meeting Myself Coming Back is about one individual’s quest for answers, our place in the world and our relationship with others. Despite its introspective nature, the imagery and evolution of thought found within the photo book’s pages touch upon an essence with which we can all likely resonate.

The Forgotten Female Workers of Côte d’Ivoire

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Parc du Pont”, San Pedro – Makandjé is the leader of the women’s association of Parc du Pont. In 1998, Makandje was the first woman to work in the production of charcoal in the area of San Pedro . She had to face the hostility of male workers. She started her activity by assisting male charcoal producers. Today, she owns an oven. She financially supports her family and encourages other women to empower themselves financially by producing charcoal. Makandje is mother of 4.

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Parc du Pont, San Pedro, 07:04 AM: Women working together to help each other early in the morning. They are collecting the charcoal. In the rainy season, the stagnant water considerably restricts their field of work. The access to their ovens is more difficult. Stagant waters facilitate the proliferation of mosquitoes and malaria.

“‘Sisi Barra’ means ‘the way of smoke’ in the Bambara language” says Ivorian photographer Joana Choumali. Her project of the same name examines the economic exploitation of the invisible women in San Pedro, Côte d’Ivoire, and the social stigma and multidimensional violence this exploitation encompasses. The women portrayed are making wood charcoal for big cooperations in order to make ends meet.

Empathetic Portraits of Juvenile Offenders in Poland

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Adrian and Andrzej

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Dominik

Imago, to those unfamiliar with the entomological term, means the final stage of development in the metamorphosis from larvae or chrysalis to fully formed insect. In this state, it has gained its adult form and is sexually mature, but still has some prolonged maturation and growth to complete. If we look at the photography series of the same name by Zuza Krajewska, this term takes on a poignant new meaning as a metaphor for that transitional phase between childhood and adulthood. The artist portrays juvenile offenders, too young for incarceration yet old enough to commit a crime, residing in the Studzieniech borstal, a Polish youth custody centre.

Portraits of Tajik Families Separated by Migration

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Faridun works at a car wash outside Moscow. In January, his wife gave birth to a baby girl. When he next sees her, she will be 18 months old.

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The Bartang Valley in Pamir, one of Tajikistan’s most isolated regions. In winter, snowfall cuts the region off from the rest of the world.

When Saint Petersburg-based photographer Ksenia Diodorava talks about the migration of people, she uses the analogy of water. It’s ubiquitous, necessary, beautiful, it has a source, but there are many rivers and some flood their banks — and flowing they become lost to the sea.

In the Cold is Ksenia Diodorava’s two-sided story about 24 families, both in Russia and their native Tajikistan. “In Russia, it is a commonly held belief that immigration strangles our cities, our schools, our subway cars. Immigration is a flood we are drowning in” says the photographer. Saddened by the discrimination aimed at labour migrants from Central Asia, the artist decided to tell the stories of those families separated by the process of migration — her objective was to show that beyond the mass statistics were individuals with feelings and experiences not too dissimilar to our own. In order to fully convey the gravity of their situation, she resolved to show the “other Tajik”. “In truth, the flood is not where these people go, but where they come from”, she emphasizes.

A quirky and honest look at the Swiss

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The Swiss is Swedish photographer Christian Nilson’s homage to the country he has come to call home, evidently Switzerland. After thirteen years spent living there and four years photographing Swiss people as an integrated outsider, his images provide an intimate and sometimes unexpected glimpse into the ordinary lives of people living in one of the wealthiest countries on earth.

Ornithological Photographs at the Intersection of Art and Science

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Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus)

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Beyond their minimalist, painterly quality, at first glance these photographs of small birds caught in mist nets might induce a certain degree of panic in the viewer. As photographer Todd Forsgren puts it, “the captured creatures appear embarrassed, fearful, angry and vulnerable.” It’s necessary to emphasize that no birds were harmed in the process of creating the series Ornithological Photographs. Todd portrayed the birds during the decisive moment in which they were caught as part of scientific studies and ornithological research — after the scientists collected sufficient data the birds were released into the wild.

The First Photo Vogue Festival Launches in Milan

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© Donna Trope, 1997

Fashion photographers and dedicated followers of fashion alike will rejoice at the news that Vogue Italia’s inaugural Photo Vogue Festival is opening in Milan this week — and that it’s likely to become an annual event.

These hybrid beasts allude to the monster in all of us

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Chimera

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Tiresias

What exactly are the hybrid creatures we see in these antique photographs? The illusion is quite convincing, but Bestiary is the fusion of Greek artist Viktor Koen’s longstanding fascination with Greek mythology and early 19th century photography. Viktor created these monsters, some of which may be familiar to classicists, using the faces of the deceased who now only exist in photographic archives.

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