Posts tagged: documentary photography

Contemporary Stories of the Amazon and its Fringe


Valentina Del Aguila Vasquez, Iquitos, Peru
Valentina Del Aguila Vasquez is considered to be the most beautiful woman in the Amazon. She won the Miss Amazon Confraternity beauty pageant in Leticia, in which Brazilians, Colombians, and Peruvians all participate. The first prize includes an envelope with U.S. $1,000, an orthodontic treatment, and cosmetic surgery at a reputable clinic in Bogota.

Turtle shell cap, Bolivar community, Peru
After the meal, the turtle shell becomes a toy for the children. Turtle meat is a favorite dish in the communities along the banks of the Rio Curaray.

Yann Gross was the winner of the first LUMA Rencontres Dummy Book Award at Arles 2015, and the result was the publication, by Aperture Books, of his first photobook The Jungle Book: Contemporary Stories of the Amazon and its Fringe. As the title describes, Gross’ photographs explore the clusters of community that spread along the length of the gargantuan South American river. As the introduction of the book explains, the Amazon is an agglomeration of cultures and peoples due to its length and the resulting dispersal: “this land” – the Amazon as monolithic whole – “doesn’t exist.” Gross’ project is witness to the extraordinary breadth of the Amazon’s component parts, the fragments that make up a wide and ever-shifting entity.

Exposing the Shantytowns of America’s Homeless


Eddy and the New Guy
MIAMI, FLORIDA / JULIA TUTTLE CAUSEWAY, BOOKVILLE, PAROLED SEX OFFENDER CAMP. In Miami, Florida laws were passed making it impossible for paroled sex offenders to move home with their families. They were required to wear leg monitors and sleep under a bridge each night or they would violate their parole. Released convicts were dropped off at the encampment without so much as a sleeping bag. Older residents like Eddy on the right would sometimes help out the new arrivals. Eddy has a three room wooden shanty that includes a bathroom with a toilet that flushes into the bay.

Structure out of Chaos: Shantytowns of America's Homeless
Carol and Molly’s Van
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA / RESCUE MISSION CAMP Carol lived in a van with her dog Molly. She drove to New Orleans from Iowa with the hope of a milder winter. The vehicle was full of her belongings and there was no space to sleep unless she removed her valuables.. Her days were spent in a small cramped area at the steering wheel. When the temperature dropped below freezing she refused to go to a shelter because dogs were not welcome there.

Structure out of Chaos is the name given to New Orleans-based photographer Mary Lou Uttermohlen’s ongoing documentary project observing homeless people in the United States, who organize their lives by building shantytowns. As authorities strive to wipe away these communities, police conduct regular sweeps which plunge residents back into chaos. While this vicious cycle continues, Uttermohlen aims with her project to open an informed dialogue on the issues of chronic homelessness in the US and beyond.

The Ongoing Cost of the Chernobyl Disaster


Olia and Ania during their inpatient treatment in the Pediatric Clinic of Neurosurgery in Kiev. The 14-year-old Olia is affected by an osteosarcoma, the most common form of primary bone cancer. In this moment she films her same age guitar playing friend, which is hospitalized because of thyroid and ovarian cancer.

National Institute of Cancer at the Pediatric Clinic of Neurosurgery, in cooperation with the Zaporuka NGO, Kiev, 2015.


A fox roams the streets of Pripyat.
After the nuclear disaster, which spread hundreds of thousands of tons of radioactive material into the air, many people assumed that the area around Chernobyl would remain for a long time a dead zone. But meanwhile not only dense forest grows rampantly here. There have also been observed animals, which otherwise in many parts of Europe are still hard to find. Besides wolves, foxes, wild boars or deer also elks and lynxes and even bears inhabit the area in which the radioactivity according to researches is still increased by ten to one hundred times.

Pripyat, Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, 2015.

“You are facing the end of humanity.” Pierpaolo Mittica is describing his emotional reaction each time he returns to Chernobyl to work on his project, Chernobyl 30 Years After. He has visited the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (an area designated to control and limit the spread of radioactive fallout since the disaster) more than 15 times since 2002, and has been working on this particular photographic project since 2014. “Every time I go to Chernobyl it is a new experience. The feelings and the emotional level are very high, because a nuclear accident is the end of everything.”

The Frontline at Standing Rock, in Photos


Water Protector at the front lines

Water Protector stands before a large group of armed police

On Monday, November 21st, 2016, photographer Avery Leigh White was struck with a rubber bullet and tear gas as police fired at the Water Protectors of the Standing Rock Reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Her hair was frozen after being drenched by a water cannon. She was unable to see, breathe, or use her hands.

A Beautifully Honest Portrayal of Post Natal Depression



In Sour Milk, Farah Hughes explores the subject of Post Natal Depression (PND). Such emotionally isolating illnesses are often hard to put into words, and Hughes renders the condition visually through sensitive portraits of women who have experienced it, at times photographed with their children, and at others alone. Describing her own experience with PND as “one of the hardest battles [she has] had to fight”, Hughes is intimately acquainted with the subject of her project.

These ‘Shop Cats’ In Hong Kong Will Make You Smile


© Marcel Heijnen, ‘Hong Kong Shop Cats’ #5, Hong Kong 2016, Courtesy Blue Lotus Gallery, Hong Kong


© Marcel Heijnen, ‘Hong Kong Shop Cats’ #18, Hong Kong 2016, Courtesy Blue Lotus Gallery, Hong Kong

After decades of living with cats, Dutch photographer Marcel Heijnen found himself in Hong Kong without one to call his own. Then he met Dau Ding. And Ah Dai, and Siu Faa, and Fei Zai, the shop cats of the Sai Ying Pun and Sheung Wan neighborhoods.

Hunting Culture Revealed in Honest and Unflinching Photos


The Hungry Moon © Andrea Tese


Bone Saw © Jesse Burke


Hermannstadt I © Michael Tummings

Take Aim, a photographic exhibition exploring hunting culture, isn’t meant to be comfortable. For curator William LeGoullon, who is neither for nor against hunting, it’s a study in contradictions.

Empathetic Portraits of Juvenile Offenders in Poland


Adrian and Andrzej



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.

The Story of One Dying Man and the Photographer He Trusted


To Be Dressed


Degrees of Deterioration

When photographer Justine Bursoni gave birth to her son, midwife Ray Spooner stood by her, and when Ray Spooner died, Justine Bursoni stood by him.

A quirky and honest look at the Swiss



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.

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