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Inside the Kitsch Rooms of a Sex Hotel in Colombia

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When Mexico City-based photographer Kurt Hollander arrived in Cali, Colombia, he made a beeline for the elusive Motel Kiss Me, a 180-room chateau for lovers. He lived for two weeks in a resident suite, with free reign to wander the halls, where behind closed doors, couples engaged in sex acts of all sorts against the backdrop of a themed installation of their choosing.

Humor, Lightness, and Bright Beach Parasols on the Coast of Italy

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“Italian summer is the season when Italians can express their lightness of being and their love for life.”

Lorenzo Grifantini has lived in London for 10 years. It is this distance from his native Italian culture which has afforded him the means to view it objectively, tracing its patterns with the lens of his camera. “I can finally see my cultural traits spread on the beaches of Italy and that evokes strong childhood memories of the long summers I spent there.”

Ethiopia’s Emerging Skate Scene Shot from the Hip

Ethiopia Skate a grassroots skateboarding community on the stree

Henok the most talented skater in Ethiopia, doing what he always does – crazy stuff – kickflipping down a Container.

The Berlin-based photographer Daniel Reiter headed to Ethiopia in January 2015 to work on a documentary assignment, though knew he also wanted to dedicate some of his time in the country to a second, more personal project. Ahead of the trip Daniel discovered Ethiopia’s emerging skate scene via ethiopiaskate.org, exchanged some emails with skaters, and immediately saw the potential of this story, he explains: “One of the best things about skating is how it illustrates, perhaps more so than with other sports, just how strong and tough these kids are. They move with unstoppable courage, and if they fall they just get back up again”.

The Killing of Women in Juarez, Mexico

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Jose Luis Castillo is arguably the most vocal and controversial activist in the Juarez anti-femicide movement. He can be seen all over the city wearing a set of homemade banners with the image of his daughter Esmeralda Castillo Rincon. Esmeralda disappeared in 2009 at the age of 14, just before her quinceañera. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Nov. 2, 2014.

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 7.34.34 AMInside one of the many bars where prostitution is practiced openly. It is in places like this that many of the young women are last reportedly seen alive. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Nov. 2, 2014.

Femicide, broadly defined as the killing of women, is alarmingly common in the border town of Juarez in Mexico; according to Amnesty International, between 1993 and 2005 around 370 women are reported to have suffered violent deaths, and this figure has doubled between 2005 to 2011. Often motivated by robbery, gang wars, and sometimes coinciding with sexual assault, Ana Güezmes, the local representative of United Nations Women told Al Jazeera that “Femicides are a pandemic in Mexico”. This phenomena has gained international recognition in recent years, largely down to the absence of government intervention, though it was a topic which lacked visual representation until recently. Growing up in the Los Angeles area, photographer Gabriel Romero had for years known about the murders of young women in Juarez, though he hadn’t visited the place personally until 2014. It was then that he started to learn about the horrific reality of femicide in this part of the world. The families of the deceased are desperate for information from a government that has done very little to stop this culture of violence.

3 Photographers, 3 Different Approaches to the Photography Website (Sponsored)

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Niki Boon’s Squarespace website

We recently introduced you to two brand new website templates by Squarespace geared specifically towards photographers. It’s always exciting to see how different kinds of photographers—ranging from big-time commercial image-makers to photojournalists to fine artists—take the sophisticated and constantly evolving portfolio templates Squarespace has built and make them their own.

We asked three photographers with diverse backgrounds to tell us a bit about why and how they have used Squarespace to create websites that are unique to their personal visions. Niki Boon, Kat Malone, and Colin Miller use three of Squarespace’s classic templates—Avenue, Bedford, and Wells— to tell vastly different stories.

The Photographer Who Fell in Love with Her Genderqueer Muse (NSFW)

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“BJ and I fell in love the first time we took the pictures,” says New York City-based photographer Lissa Rivera of her bond with her partner and muse. As her friend stood before her dressed in women’s clothing, she was startled by a pinprick of feeling and the initial pangs of yearning for someone who had previously been a platonic friend.

The Man Who Photographed Wall Street and the Sexual Underground (NSFW)

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Gay cruise party in NY harbor, 1973. © Charles Gatewood, courtesy Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley and Robert Tat Gallery

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Wall Street © Charles Gatewood, courtesy Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley and Robert Tat Gallery

“He was very anxious that his work be seen and preserved,” says San Francisco gallerist Robert Tat of the late photojournalist Charles Gatewood (1942-2016).

Platon’s Unflinching Photos of War and Its Cost

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Saying goodbye before deployment on the USS San Antonio

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Elsheba Khan at the grave of her son, Specialist Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan

Platon is an internationally-esteemed photographer. Widely known – especially for his intensely intimate portraits of world leaders – his work blends the political with the personal, resulting in striking images with tangible sociopolitical consequences beyond the merely illustrative.

Cindy Sherman Releases First New Work in 5 Years

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Untitled, 2016 © Cindy Sherman, Courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures

There might be more anecdotes about Cindy Sherman than there are about any other living photographer, but perhaps the best one is Ira Glass’s account from an exhibition five years ago, when the artist released her last large body of work.

African Women Reconnect with the Past Wearing Inherited Clothing

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Appolo tribe, Akan ethnic group

“Soukeyna studies Marketing in Bordeaux (France). She is wearing her great grandmother’s outfit. To be able to bring it to the studio, she and her mother had to ask the permission from the current King of Grand Bassam and promised to return the clothing and jewelery to the royal court right after the photo shoot. The outfit was worn by the Queen, her great-grand mother in the 1930s. Soukeyna came to the studio with her mother, who posed for the project as well. She was wearing a miniskirt and Converse sneakers. Just by wearing the outfit she felt like a different woman. Her manner changed. Her mother was in tears, impressed by the resemblance between Soukeyna and her great-grandmother. They came to the photo shoot with a portrait of the great-grandmother aged 17, in this exact same outfit”.

Resilience is the ability to return to your original form after being bent, compressed or stretched; it’s elasticity, the ability to recover from adversity” says photographer Joana Choumali from the Côte d’Ivoire, discussing her latest project. Joanna’s paternal grandmother had passed away years before, but it wasn’t until 2013 that Joana realized the magnitude of the loss; a large part of her personal story had also gone with her. Resilience is Joana’s attempt to reconnect with the past while remaining in the present and celebrating African beauty in its diversity.

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