Menu

Mesmerizing Gifs of Traditional Nigerian Women’s Hair Styles

In 2015, Francois Beaurain traveled to Lagos Photo, where he met Medina Dugger. Inspired by the work of late photographer J.D. Okhai Ojeikere and Nigerian hair color trends, they launched Chromatin, an on-going collaboration that transforms Dugger’s photographs of traditional Nigerian women’s hair styles into a series of mesmerizing gifs that are rooted in fractals, the very heart of African design and art.

Fractals are a curve or geometric figure where each part has the same statistical character as the whole, creating a never-ending pattern on an on-going feedback loop. While the West came to understand and name this phenomenon in 1975, fractals have been an integral part of African culture daring back to ancient Egyptian times, and can be seen in cultures in Sub-Saharan Africa writ large.

With the invasion of the continent by Euorpean imperialists for centuries, a great deal of the traditional cultures were destroyed and erased — with the exception of hair braiding. “African hair designs are among the last remaining remnants of an ancient African cultural pillar that has been almost completely annihilated by centuries of colonization and cultural domination,” Beaurain and Dugger note. 

New Photo Book Breaks Down Stereotypes of Muslim Men in the UK

“We are all in this together. And in the long term, revenge and violence will not work against extremists. Terrorists want us to huddle in our houses in fear, closing our doors and our hearts. They want us to tear open more wounds in our societies so that they can use them to spread their infection more widely. They want us to become like them: intolerant, hateful and cruel.” -Deeyah Khan at TedxExeter talk ‘what we don’t know about Europe’s Muslim kids.”

I look to the blurb of You Get me? for an introduction about what I am about read and the photographs I am about to look at; in gold, capital letters reads “MUSLIM THUGS BURN POPPIES. Sickening scenes on British streets—Daily Star, 12th November 2010. This headline is followed by many others like it. Is it any wonder young Muslim men often feel disenfranchised?

British-born artist Mahtab Hussain’s new photobook You Get Me? provides an introspective portrait of the community of young Muslim and/or Brown men caught between two worlds. “In the UK they are constantly stopped and searched, labelled as a terrorist or an extremist, and told England wasn’t their home. When they returned to their homeland, they were told they didn’t belong there either. “In a way, You Get Me? is all about hiding,” explains the artist, “pretending to be someone else, something else and then having to face the reality of who one truly wants to be.”

Timeless Photos of the American Midwest

Somewhere near Stoughton, Wisconsin, there’s a white townhouse on top of a hill. It’s alone up there, surrounded by sky. Years ago, it survived a tornado that ravaged much of the landscape. Middleton photographer Michael Knapstein doesn’t know who lives in the house, and that’s alright with him. “I can picture what the owners look like, even though I have never met them,” he tells me.

Alec Soth’s Iconic ‘Sleeping by the Mississippi’ 13 Years Later



Alec Soth, ‘Peter’s houseboat, Winona, Minnesota’ from Sleeping by the Mississippi (2017). Courtesy of the artist and MACK

Alec Soth, ‘Maiden Rock, Wisconsin’ from Sleeping by the Mississippi (2017). Courtesy of the artist and MACK.

“Over and over again I fall asleep with my eyes open, knowing I’m falling asleep, unable to prevent it. When I fall asleep this way, my eyes are cut off from my ordinary mind as though they were shut, but they become directly connected to this new, extraordinary mind which grows increasingly competent to deal with their impressions.” -Charles Lindbergh, aviator (epitaph to Alec Soth’s Sleeping by the Mississippi)

“I live near the beginning of the Mississippi and have always felt a pull to it,” Soth tells writer Colin Pantall of the British Journal of Photography. “I used to run away when I was 5 or 6, pack a suitcase with books and run away from home. I’d only get a few blocks but it was the whole Huck Finn process, where the north is home and the south symbolises the exotic.”

Photos of An Old Nuclear Launch Center Capture the Anxiety of the Trump Era

Rocket refueling suits worn by propellant transfer technicians were hung up on the wall outside of the cableway tunnel that leads to Titan II missile silo.

A blast door that would have sealed a two-person crew inside the underground launch control center at the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in South Dakota.

Just off Interstate 90 in South Dakota, on the edge of the Badlands, stands a nondescript ranch house. Eight men once lived and worked there. Deep beneath the house, behind a four-ton blast door made of steel and concrete, lay a restricted Air Force control center capable of launching a battery of intercontinental ballistic missiles powerful enough to lay waste to the Soviet Union.

Known as Delta, the launch center in South Dakota controlled ten Minutemen, the most common missile in America’s nuclear arsenal. Thousands of Air Force personnel cycled through the facility over the 28 years it was operational, and its security detail played board games in the rec room while they waited for signs that intruders— from Russian spies to the more frequent culprits, jackrabbits— had breached the perimeter.

Photographer Adam Reynolds traveled to the facility in January. Decommissioned in 1991, it is now a national park. “These are shrines to an Armageddon that didn’t happen,” Reynolds says. But with Donald Trump bringing the United States ever closer to the “fire and fury” of nuclear war, Reynolds’s images also serve as a cautionary tale—a reminder of the last time world leaders pushed us to the brink of total annihilation.

Read the rest of Laura Reston’s article on Adam Reynolds’s photographs at The New Republic.

Whimsical Photos of Over-the-Top Acrylic Toenails

When photographer Amy Lombard was a little girl, she visited South Carolina, where she saw a woman with extraordinarily long fingernails— “the kind that curl.” The memory has followed her into adulthood, lingering in the background throughout the years.

When nail art became a mainstream, Instagram-fueled obsession, NAILS (2015) was born, and now, Lombard has followed it up with NAILS Part 2, a series of images focusing exclusively on extravagant toenails.

A Glimpse at Life in Kyrgyzstan

“Today, no one has time for feelings, they’re all out making money. The discovery of money hit us like an atom bomb…”

Svetlana Alexievich, Secondhand Time: An Oral History of the Fall of the Soviet Union

The citizens of former USSR belonged to one of the most powerful forces in the world, and now they don’t. The Russian language, and the Soviet culture that accompanied it, were all many of them knew. As the USSR dissolved, changes came fast, leaving many feeling lost in the new world in which they found themselves, mourning the world to which they were born. In his latest series A Shaded Path, Parisian photographer Elliot Verdier portrays the generational disparities between those in Kyrgyzstan who are nostalgic for the abolished USSR, and the youth who are forging a new cultural identity for themselves.

Andres Serrano’s Unnerving Photography Series, ‘Torture’

“Fatima”, was Imprisoned and Tortured in Sudan, 2015. 60 x 50 inches.

Scold’s Bridle IV, Hever Castle, Kent, UK, 2015. 60 x 50 inches.

Last August, the unthinkable occurred. Just as the very first civil case involving CIA torture was about to go to trial, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced a settlement in the lawsuit against two psychologists, James Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen, who designed and implemented the agency’s brutal program.

The ACLU brought the lawsuit on behalf of Suleiman Abdullah Salim, Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, and the family of Gul Rahman, who froze to death in a secret CIA prison. The three men were tortured and experimented on using methods developed by Mitchell and Jessen. Although the full terms of the settlement agreement are confidential, the outcome shows that those who engage in torture on behalf of the United States government can and will be held responsible.

The Rohingya Crisis: Beyond the Numbers

“We are citizens of Burma. Aung Sung Suu Kyi can save our citizenships and keep us in our land but she gave power to the hands of the Army Chief Min Aung Hlaing, and in doing so gave him the power to kill us. When the military find us in the open, they shoot brush (indiscriminate) fire at us, old people, children, women, everyone gets hit by the bullets. They raped them. They raped the women. They burnt our villages to the ground. The villages are gone. We are Rohingya, our home is Arakan. We will only go back if they (the Burmese government) can accept us as Rohingya.” – Noor, 32

“A while back the Burmese government gave us assurance that they will give us citizenship rights, but they lied. We demanded that the citizenship rights should be granted to our Rohingya identity but they denied it and they tortured us cruelly for it. We cannot have our Rohingya identity in Burma, but others outside accept us as Rohingya. Burma has always been our home. And now as we ask for the right to our identity again, the government launches attacks on us again. They burn our villages, they force us to leave our land, even Aung Sun Suu Kyi does not accept us our rights despite supporting her in previous years.” – Nur, 72

“The Burmese military burnt my house down and then told me that Burma is not my country. They told me to get out of their land, but I don’t know anywhere else that is home. Now me and my family don’t know where else we can go.”

Over half a million Rohingya men, women and children have fled their homes in Rakhine, Myanmar, since August this year. They have poured into Bangladesh in large numbers, numbers that have dominated every news report since then. Tens of thousands, half a million, hundred thousands – all words that gradually grow abstract with each new statistic detailed. The Rohingya, as we refer to them, are a group of people, that comprise of individuals, each with their own real story of loss, fear, violence, persecution and discrimination. It maybe impossible to hear all these stories, but one photographer decided to attempt to document their voices, their words, and not just the portrait of a people in a major crisis, or a major humanitarian emergency, in the words of a UNHCR statement. While it is crucial to understand the scale of this horror, it is equally important to go deeper and hear their voices.

Birds, Cats, and Landscapes: Our 25 Most Popular Instagram Photos of 2017

1. Photographer James Needham (@jamesneedham) captured this moment while visiting Cusco, Peru. “The little girl was chasing after her older siblings as they played among the market stalls in the village square,” he remembered. 11,946 likes. Photo © James Needham

In 2017, we posted over 2700 images on the @featureshoot Instagram feed. Collectively, those photographs received more than 6.7 million “likes” from a following of 170,000. As we stepped into 2018, we took a look back at the most popular photographs posted on our feed throughout the year.

These top 25 images span genres, from landscape to travel to portraits, but there are some recurring themes. For instance, flocks of birds appear in four separate images, and there are a total of three cats. Loney people feature prominently, and visual jokes, like the man with a horse’s head (Philip B. Poston, #8), the hidden butterfly (Rizky P. Soedarsono, #9) the dress in the road (Jimmy Marble, #12), and the swimmer with fish-eyes (Kevin Meredith, #15), have also struck a chord. An air of mystery pervades the imagery of 2017, from Arnaud Montagard’s solitary man on a ferry to Jared Lank’s girlfriend, seen through the window on a rainy day.

Thanks to all the photographers who made 2017 a great year. Enjoy.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get some visual inspiration into your day!