I was honoured to be invited to be a juror again for year two. This year I was in the company of photographer Hiroshi Watanabe; Director of Galerie Camera Obscura, Paris, Didier Brousse; author, curator, and former Chair of the Department of Photography at The Art Institute of Chicago, David Travis; Anne Biroleau, Curator of Photography, Bibliothèque Nationale de France; and Alexandre Percy, Director of ACTE2 Galerie, Paris. The competition was sponsored by the Paris-based DeGroot Foundation. The Grand Prix de la Découverte winners' prizes included a trip to Paris for the opening of the exhibition; each won cash, are exhibited at Paris Salon de la Photo, and have been accepted into the prestigious collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. C'est magnifique!
"The first photographic encounter renowned New York street photographer Harvey Stein had with Harlem was when he documented the annual African American parade on Malcolm X Boulevard in 1990. Swept away by the spirit and humanity of the legendary neighborhood and its inhabitants, Stein continued to photograph Harlem for 23 years from 1990 to 2012. His close-up, evocative portraits of the people of Harlem are published for the first time in 'Harlem Street Portraits' (Schiffer Publishing, October 2013). Accompanying the photographs are essays by African American activist, writer and teacher Herb Boyd, and writer and third generation New Yorker, Miss Rosen."
"No amount of words can deliver what one glance can, and chances are that one glance into Harvey's book and the engrossing images will lead to another. And if you look with enough love and introspection, I will not be surprised if you find something personal, something reminiscent of places you have been and people you would be glad to know." - Herb Boyd
Harvey will be signing copies on Wednesday, October 15th, 2013, at Rizzoli, NYC.
There are Kickstarter campaigns that leave a person so disinterested, you have to wonder why the pleaders are wasting their time. Then there are brilliant, engaging people like young photography master Nick Brandreth. Nick is the Historic Process Specialist at George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film and he is setting out to photograph areas in New York State that will be irreparably changed by fracking. I'll let him make the pitch:
"Far too often, energy companies have been responsible for crippling the delicate balance of our natural world... drilling and mining in extremely sensitive ecosystems has been done with little care for the environment and the people inhabiting these areas. It's been argued that fracking will help bring financial stimulus into struggling areas of the country; however, recent history has demonstrated the short shortsightedness of this approach. The initial capital gain is a stark contrast to a painful crash that renders an area worse off than it was before. Economics and damage to the soil aside, fracking also affects well water and consequently animal and, ultimately, human life. With this project I hope to join the ranks of concerned citizens who are taking a stand to help protect our natural resources and the people of New York State.
"Over the next eight months I will create a body of work that will stand as a historical document of the landscape. All photographers create their work with the camera, but for this important work I will actually be making my own gelatin based photographic plates and final prints. For the past year I have been studying and perfecting my skills in dry plate making. Using natural gelatins, silver nitrate and bromides I will make my own emulsions, and coat glass plates negatives using dry plate technology popularized by the Eastman Dry Plate Company [know afterwards as Eastman Kodak Company] in the 1880s."
Julio Jean Pierre, a host on Télévision Nationale d'Haïti (TNH), being made up a few minutes before going on air. Behind him, a bust of Alexandre Pétion, president of the Haitian Republic from 1806 until his death in 1818, one of the fathers of the nation.
I am happy to publish a selection of images from World Press Photo award winner and INSTITUTE artist, Paolo Woods. "With journalist Arnaud Robert, he tracked down Haitian society's
invisibles, its absurd flaws and hidden aspects. He investigated the
economic elites, NGOs, the profusion of FM radios, American evangelists.
Month after month, he came to realize that all the substitution powers
that had come to save Haiti were actually replacing Haitian authorities.
And yet, in a country whose leaders have failed ever since it was
founded, the population's desire for a State remains unaltered."
This colourful, insightful long-term project on the situation in Woods' adopted home of Haiti has been collected into a book to be published by Photosyntheses this month. Woods will exhibit at Photoville 2013 in Brooklyn, NY (September 19-29), and for three months at the Musée Elysée, Lausanne, opening September 20.
Can't make it? Enjoy this selection.
Radio Lumiere 90.9 FM. This is one of the oldest protestant radios. It has stations all over the country and is financed by the American and German Baptiste churches. Pastor Emile Alnève has just read from the Bible and is about to lead the listeners in prayer.
Radio Paradis 92.3FM. William is spinning from a building still under construction a few meters from the sea in the village of Tiburon, while his friends have come to check on him. The equipment for the radio has been paid by a 'Diaspora' - a Haitian living in the US. The radio is powered by solar panels and broadcasts ten hours a day.
The construction of 3,000 houses, 15 kilometers north of Port-au-Prince. The project, whose cost is evaluated at $44 million, is managed by the government and financed by the Venezuelan 'Petro Caribe' fund. Morne à Cabri.
Tent city on a soccer field that belongs to a church. After the earthquake, inhabitants of makeshift districts (Jalousie, seen in the background) sometimes pitched tents in the camps to benefit from NGO help. The most visible camps in public squares were dismantled. Pétion-Ville.
The American religious organization Global Compassion Network supplies houses built from grain silos, a gift of the Monsanto company. Torbek.
In Port-au-Prince's Notre Dame Cathedral, a man looks for iron to recycle from the ruins of the earthquake.
A game of dominos among police officers who are in charge of the security for the president. The losers of the game are designated as 'dogs' and forced to wear something that attracts the ridicule of passersby. Here, they are tied together with electric wire. Presidential Palace, Port-au-Prince.
The Croix-des-Bossales Market, where pèpès, second-hand clothing from the United States, is sorted, resized and sold wholesale. Port-au-Prince.
Mario Andrésol, though he left the Haitian National Police, still enjoys continuous protection supplied by the Ministry of the Interior. Belleville, Pétion-Ville.
Eric Jean-Baptiste, owner of Père Eternel, Haiti's second biggest lottery. Lottery, or Borlette as it is called in Haiti, is ubiquitous in the country and according to one estimate Haitians spend as much as $1.5 billion per year on the Borlette making it the biggest industry in the country. The son of one of Papa Doc's Tonton Macoutes, Jean-Baptiste has utter contempt for the mulatto elite that rules the core of the Haitian economy. Port au Prince.
Michel Joseph Martelly in front of the presidential palace destroyed by the January 12, 2010, earthquake. Port-au-Prince.
A borlette office. Haitians invest two billion dollars every year in these private lotteries - nearly a quarter of the GNP. They are often referred to as "banks" since the poor invest their money in them. Camp Perrin.
Last year's Photoville was impressive, and loads of fun, and this year it promises to be even better. There are dozens of talks and workshops, exhibitions and projections, representing 260 artists. I will be presenting the photography of two subjects from social documentary photographer J A Mortram's series Small Town Inertia, as well as co-presenting, along with Stella Kramer:Personal Projects, Long-term Commitment, and appearing, nervously, on the Future of Copyright hosted by Photoville partners Photoshelter. aCurator web designer (who is also my husband) Mike Hartley of bigflannel has courageously decided to open himself up to questions in an hour-long session titled Ask A Web Designer. Another mention must go to Carl Saytor of Luxlab who is not only generously supporting the production of Small Town Inertia, but is hosting a self-curated group show, Rebels. Last for my incestuous list is River Gambia: a 1044 km African Odyssey wherein photographer Jason Florio and producer and curator Helen Jones-Florio take us to the source of the River Gambia and through three countries to where it meets the ocean, in a compelling, crowd-funded expedition.
There's loads more happening so if you're remotely local, have a good look through the listings on the Photoville website. Photoville is FREE to the public. Spread the word and we'll see you there! Brooklyn Bridge Park, September 19 - 29, 2013.
'Life through the Lens' Participatory Photography Project is organised by the UK registered charity Basti Ram which is looking for support through camera and SD card donations, among other things.
"The project was developed to give young people from a developing country the chance to show their lives to the world in an honest and uplifting way. Too often we see 'poor' people's lives through the eyes of Western photographers who, even with the best of intentions, are often biased in the way they see. Too often, poverty looks hopeless and defeated. This project aims to offer a new perspective. It strives to demonstrate that young people living in deprived circumstances (in this case, boys from the Boys Destitute Home in Rajasthan, India); can have strength and passion for their surroundings and their lives. In the images the boys create, they depict their own lives and interests, and enhance them with their own written observations.
Basti Ram exists to help these communities realise their own potential, and to enable ordinary people to do extraordinary things. By mentoring the boys through the basics of photography, the self-funded volunteers who join this project offer the foundation for a new skill set. Such new skills can provide a genuine alternative to the hazardous occupations many boys face once they are 18, such as mining in local marble mines. With an alternative set of skills and a good command of the English language, the boys are now in a much more favourable position to find work in the booming local tourist industry."
The current theme is "A Human Touch" and will be judged by Julia Fullerton-Batten. It's $10 a punt for a $400 prize, along with an exhibition and other bits and pieces such as potential publicity in photography blogs! Deadline is May 31st.
Life-Framer hit my radar a couple of months ago and I remember emailing my old man: "Interesting model?" Now they have held their first monthly theme and announced winners, and are looking for entries for the next. Here's the deal:
1. Take some photos for each monthly theme
2. Upload them and pay (1 image = $10, up to 3 = $20, up to 5 = $30)
3. We narrow it down to our 10 favourites each month, from which a special-guest judge picks their winner and runner up
4. You get some great monthly prizes and exposure
5. We exhibit all of the winners and runners up in a special end-of-series exhibition in London
Life Framer is crowd sourced; "both the content and the funding to run an exhibition at the end in a London gallery, theprintspace. We hope it's a little different from the myriad of other awards that are out there, and is of real value to photographers."
Although this is judged by photographers, and I do worry about photographers being stuck in a feedback loop, I do think there is value in the online and offline exposure and, well, a bit of cash, which some competitions don't offer and which is always nice. There's no rights grabbing, they'll sell prints for you without a commission if you're in the exhibition - it seems like a straight-up, fairly appealing arrangement.
Much-adored, multiple-award-winning, all-singing, all-dancing, writer-speaker-educator-photographer Louie Palu made this great broadsheet recently. It is extremely well executed, if you'll pardon the expression.
"This is a concept newspaper; it has no headlines, competing articles or advertising. Instead, it is an editing project that uses photographs from Mexico. These photographs were taken during fieldwork and research on the drug war in Mexico. The newspaper can be dismantled and reedited to your view of what you thin the story should look like. It is also an exhibition that can be displayed anywhere you choose, You are the editor and curator. On one side of each page there is a drug- or violence-related image and, on the opposite side, is an alternative view of Mexico covering a broad set of subjects. Explore the possibilities. This concept was inspired by Will Steacy's 'Down These Mean Streets.'" Louie Palu.
Wow, wow and more wow. Jacques Lowe's negatives were destroyed in the World Trade Center collapse in 2001. Jacques himself had died earlier that year. However his contact sheets were stored elsewhere and the Newseum has managed to clean them up and make prints. It is amazing and beautiful what we can do these days. I had the opportunity to represent Mr. Lowe, my agency licensed his gorgeous jazz photos and his surprising, delightful pictures of children; I remember my right-hand, Kellie, going to hang out with him while he signed prints, books, he was packing away the whisky I believe, and they got on famously.
Jacques Lowe was larger than life, and it's only right that his work on one of our largest politicians should be rejuvenated. Visit the Newseum in DC, opens April 12th.