Posts tagged: documentary photography

Photos by a Pediatrician Who Traveled the World



Portland photographer and pediatrician Calvin Chen’s life is punctuated by a thousand tiny moments of revelation. In both of his professions, he has examined child’s play with the delicacy and earnestness, allowing the imagination of his subjects to fill in the frame.

Life in the shadow of a nuclear power plant in France



“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”.

The Hip Hop Artists Who Changed the World, in Photos


Darryl McDaniels, D.M.C. in New York, USA, 2014. He is a founder of RUN D.M.C., the first hip hop band on the cover of music magazine “Rolling Stone” and the first to achieve a golden album and a platinum album. D.M.C. is a pioneer in the hip hop movement and is inspiring and empowering younger hip hop artists, giving them courage.


Sister Fa in Thiara, Senegal. She addresses the youth, because they can make the difference by getting enough information about their rights. She wants to create consciousness towards social and political issues, focussing on women’s rights in Senegal and Western Africa. She was the first woman to produce her own hip hop album and became well-known for her music in Senegal.

When photographer Sascha Kraus asked the Tunisian rap artist Hamada Ben Amor (aka El Général) why he wrote the song Rais Lebled, the answer was simple: “I took the risk because no one else did.” The song was directed at then-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali; the rapper spoke of police brutality, poverty, violence, and free speech. After it was released on Facebook, El Général was arrested. Rais Lebled became the battlecry of the revolution.

Kraus’s book FORTHRIGHT – Stronger than a weapon is an ode to all the hip hop and rap artists who have risked their safety to say what’s on their mind, often in verse. The photographer devoted six years of his life to traveling and recording stories at home in Germany, in the United States, in Africa, Europe, Asia. The book is designed like an old fashioned album booklet, with lyrics, pictures, and in-depth interviews between Kraus and his many subjects.

A Photographer’s Courage at the Frontline in Syria

YPG Fighters in Damaged Garage

Two YPG fighters stand in a damaged garage in the Sheikh Maqsood District of Aleppo, Syria on April 20, 2013. The YPG (Popular Protection Units) of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) considers itself a popular democratic militia with the mission of maintaining order and protecting the lives of those in the primarily kurdish districts of Syria. In March of 2013, the YPG and FSA began to cooperate in the conflict against the Syrian Regime.

Ahmed Ibrahim

The body of Ahmed Ibrahim, 25, before his burial in the Cemetery of Martyrs, Aleppo, Syria. Ahmed was an FSA fighter killed in clashes with Regime forces on April 23, 2013.

While documenting a war-torn Syria, photojournalist Nish Nalbandian has seen countless buildings perforated by bullet holes. He’s seen rockets illuminating the night sky. He’s also encountered body parts— limbs and torsos blown off by artillery shells.

The Mysterious World of Underground Wrestling in Europe


“On the weekends they are superheroes or villains,” Ghent photographer Kevin Faingnaert says of Europe’s underground wrestlers, “during the week, they are postmen, carpenters and office employees.”

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



“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.

Two Photographers Turn Their Lens On One of the Most Violent Areas of Naples


This young kid from the Spanish Quarter in Naples plays with a replica gun firing plastic bullets in one of the small alleys of the neighborhood. His gestures are mostly inspired by the successful TV series “Gomorra,” taken from the best-seller book. Stories of criminals and mafia gangs in Naples are the cornerstone of each episode. Since many non-professional actors, casted from the streets, are featured in this TV series, kids are very much attracted by the opportunity of becoming stars of the small screen. For that reason, they start to carry themselves like real gangsters. Real-life criminals are also seen by kids as successful and generous people who managed to escape from the poorest communities of the city.


Paco is a rottweiler, the “mascot” of a gang based the Spanish Quarters in Naples. This group of men ranges from the slacker to the wheeler-dealer, involved in all types of traffic. They usually hang in the street, smoking or eating, always patrolling the area with an expert gaze. They all are very kind and welcoming with strangers. They can afford a very relaxed attitude, being high-ranking among the gangster entourage. The owner of the dog is nicknamed Al Pacino as a tribute to the movie “Scarface”.

Rome-based photographer duo Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni’s latest project, Forcella, came about after they first met four years ago. Caimi was working on his first book Daily Bread and asked Piccinni – who was then working as an art curator – to edit down the mass-accumulation of negatives from the project. “We soon found that our ideas and photographic approaches could be entwined,” says the pair, “and eventually decided to start a series of projects together.”

The Forgotten Female Workers of Côte d’Ivoire


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.


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.

When the Priest Comes to Visit in the North of Transilvania


In traditional communities in the North of Transilvania, accompanying the local priest on his visits gives you a privileged kind of access into people’s lives. That’s what Romanian photographer Remus Tiplea discovered during the two years he documented the relationships between two priests and the families in their parish.

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.

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