Posts tagged: documentary photography

Greetings from Uzbekistan, the Country that Grows Cotton in the Desert



London-based photographer Marco Barbieri has always been interested in countries where politics and religion play a central role in people’s lives. He decided to travel to Uzbekistan after seeing images from the disappearing Aral Sea, but his initial plan became much more than he thought it would. His photo series Water in the Desert places water in the country’s broader context, and reveals how a dictatorship can turn logic upside down and make the absurd an acceptable part of daily life.

The Dreams of Homeless People in San Francisco

Mike was the first person to be in this project. He came from Ohio, but he had to leave because he used to smoke weed and was arrested. He is now rebuilding his life, has a place to stay, and started work, thanks to an organisation from San Francisco.

Honey run away from home because of her violent husband. She slept in her car, but it broke dow. The police took it, so she had to sleep in the park. She learned how to play the ukulele by herself. She is called Honey because of her sweet voice. She had her first performance at the hotel where I photographed her.

Few people’s lives turn out exactly as planned. Horia Manolache’s series The Prince and the Pauper portrays homeless people from San Francisco, as they are now and as the people they once dreamed they would become.

All the Things Refugees Left Behind, in Photos

Fabric doll with vinyl face collected 21 May, 2016 © Gideon Mendel

Fifty-four toothbrushes Collected 21 May, 15 September, 27 October and 28 October 2016 © Gideon Mendel

In many ways, it all started with three words: “You fucking photographers.”

South African photographer Gideon Mendel was at the refugee camp in Calais, France, sometimes referred to by the media as the “Jungle.” As he snapped a few frames, one individual confronted him about the ongoing media presence: “You come here and you take our photographs, and you tell us that it’s going to help us, but nothing changes.”

One Photographer’s Fearless Look at Eating Disorders

C. decided that the burn marks on her belly function well as a symbol for her experience: “I am always cold. Always…that’s why I never sleep without a hot-water bottle. Sometimes it’s just too hot, though, and then it leaves these marks…”

J. is a young student living in Vienna, Austria. She suffered from Bulimia for almost 6 years but finally succeded in overcoming the illness after a long-term stay in a local clinic. She regularily attends a self-help group to talk with others who are currently struggling with eating disorders. Listening to her optimistic and strong statements often gives the other participants the courage to work further towards self-appreciation and acceptance. J. is an inspirational person for many of them. She preferred to remain anonymous on the photographs. J. has a very strong connection to water, which is why we decided to have her photographs taken in a swimming pool.

Vienna photographer Mafalda Rakos understands that eating disorders are often cloaked in a shroud of silence and shame, but she also knows that talking about these illnesses is the only way to heal.

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”.

The Power and Paranoia of Washington, DC, in Photos

A white van on the National Mall, Washington, DC. © Mike Osborne

The residence of Dick Cheney, McLean, VA. © Mike Osborne

Global conspiracies, secret dossiers, Russian hackers, terrorist plots; if the United States seems like it’s experiencing a nationwide panic attack right now, its most fervent hyperventilations might be best observed in Washington, D.C., where power and paranoia live in close proximity, reinforcing one another’s potency.

“I don’t think I’d be alone in saying there’s kind of a collective meltdown taking place,” says Austin-based photographer Mike Osborne, whose series White Vans & Black Suburbans serves as a kind of funhouse mirror for this sensation, reflecting the nation’s psychosis back on itself in a manner that’s by turns amusing and disturbing. Osborne moved to D.C. to teach at Georgetown University in 2012, but didn’t start taking photos in the capital and the surrounding area until two years later. Once, as he set up his tripod in a Crystal City parking lot to photograph a nondescript building he’d noticed near Reagan Airport, two camouflaged security officers confronted him. Did he know he was on government property? Did he know that his car, had it been laced with explosives, could bring down a nearby hotel, and by extension, the building they were guarding?

Hanged, Stabbed and Abandoned: the Horrific Fate of Greyhounds in Spain

It is not difficult to find people who remember that, after the hunting season, galgos were hanged, rotting in the sun, in dozens. Nobody took them down, they were nobody, and weeks would pass.

All galgos go to heaven. That might be true. But it is a real hell what many galgos live on earth. Individuals left alone, invisible. Trained, traded, stolen, bred and killed in ways I wouldn’t believe were true when I started the film. Or maybe I didn’t want to as it was too hard to acknowledge that collective failure. A society that allows so much cruelty dressed in a sport robe, in tradition and ritual. Galgos are hung, stabbed, burnt or abandoned to die.

Filmmaker Yeray Lopez Portillo has a Spanish greyhound named Bacalao. She rides with him on a cargo bike everywhere he goes. “In a way, she saved my life,” he says, referencing a period of depression she helped him overcome. As it happens, he probably saved her life too.

Every year, somewhere between 50 and 100 thousand dogs just like Bacalao are abandoned or killed. Some estimates place that number at 200 thousand. When hunting season ends, the greyhounds, known as galgos in Spain, are hanged from trees, dropped down wells, and left by the side of the road without access to food or water.

One Photographer’s Astonishing Depiction of Inequality

Papwa Sewgolum Golf Course, Durban, South Africa

Santa Fe, Mexico City

In 380 B.C.E. the Greek philosopher Plato wrote in Book IV of The Republic, “Any city, however small, is in fact divided into two, one the city of the poor, the other of the rich.” More than two millennia later came the invention of the drone and a photographer named Johnny Miller, who set forth a similar proposal in pictures.

Photos of the New Orleans Neighborhood That Disappeared

Waiting, 2011

Feeding, 2009

Stephen Hilger didn’t photograph what became known as “Lower Mid-City,” New Orleans, in hopes of saving it. He photographed it after it could no longer be saved.

Joel Sternfeld’s Colorful and Ironic America

Kansas City, Kansas, May 1983 © Joel Sternfeld, courtesy Luhring Augustine Gallery and Beetles + Huxley Gallery

McLean, Virginia, December 1978 © Joel Sternfeld, courtesy Luhring Augustine Gallery and Beetles + Huxley Gallery

In the early 1970s, Joel Sternfeld traveled the country in a Volkswagen camper with his large format camera. For years, he stopped over in small towns no one had ever heard of and saw them for what seemed like the very first time. In 1987, he published American Prospects and became one of the earliest photographers to legitimize the use of color.

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