July 22, 2016

Friday Round Up - 22 July, 2016

This week legendary photojournalist Tim Page is back with another collection of unpublished images and an essay, this time from the Vietnam War protest in New York City in 1967.

In exclusive monthly installations, Tim will showcase images from his vast archive and share his experiences with Photojournalism Now's readers.  

Special Feature:
Tim Page Archive - Protest New York City 1967 

"New York City is always a weird blast when you first alight there. So big, so tall, so intense - madness is some form of organised mayhem. The inhabitants almost a separate race with a distinct argot, beyond intriguing, beguiling, seductive. For a photographer it was entrancing and that was after a long summer in France and Paris - a pay back for two years in the ‘Nam. It was the fall of ’67 and the war had seriously escalated causing the first waves of the anti-war movement.

It started mid-town outside the Hilton where Dean Rusk, Secretary of State was in residence for his daughter's marriage to a black dude; double contentious. The anti-war folk blockaded the NYPD cavalry that blocked access to the foyer. So easy to cover, it was three blocks from TIME/LIFE where they had thrust a brick of Tri-X at me and a “go get”.

It remained peaceful until fledgling mobs broke off to stop traffic and climb on cars. The police gloves came off and the cavalry started breaking up the demonstrators. Billy clubs and police vans followed, folk went home, the message well broadcast as virtually all the networks and papers were within blocks of the action. 

Daybreak found the whole contingent back on the streets, this time downtown around the armed forces induction centre on Canal Street. There was a turnout of thousands, mostly older folk. Concerned mothers, old veterans, business types. The younger part of the crowd contained the same radical elements that went feral the previous night. For an hour or so there was a running skirmish in lower Manhattan as the majority peacefully blockaded the draft centre preventing its opening and the next lot of cannon fodder from joining the armed forces.

The power of the anti-war movement escalated parallel to that of the conflict, a movement that the North Vietnamese and Liberation Front played to: the swell against the war now took in blacks, gays, hippies as well as having the sympathies of more than half the populace. It would be a key factor in Johnson not running again, Robert Kennedy’s assassination and Nixon’s demise. Public opinion plus other global protests contributed heavily to the cessation of that misguided adventure in neo-colonialism." Words and pictures by Tim Page

July 15, 2016

Friday Round Up - 15 July, 2016

This week on Friday Round Up the winners of the inaugural Magnum Photography Awards and some interesting weekend reading; 'Surviving Suicide in Wyoming' with photos by Daniella Zalcman, stories about that Baton Rouge photo and 'Horses and the Palestinians who raise them' with beautiful images by Daniel Berehulak for the New York Times.

Magnum Photography Awards

Magnum Photos and LensCulture have announced the 44 photographers who have been chosen by an international jury for the inaugural Magnum Photography Awards. You can see all the winners and finalists on LensCulture, but here are my favs. Such diversity. Just wonderful.

Dougie Wallace (UK) - Harrodsburg
Category: Series - Street

Mauricio Lima (Brazil) - Refugees
Category: Series - Documentary


Jens Juul (Denmark) - Six Degrees of Copenhagen
Category: Series - Portrait

Sandra Hoyn (Germany) - The Longing of the Others
Category: Series - Photojournalism

Kajol with a customer. She thinks she is 17 years but does not know her exact age. She was married for 9 years. Her aunt sold her to the Kandapara brothel. She has a 6-month old son, Mehedi. Two weeks after the birth, she was forced to have sex again with customers. Because of the baby, her business has not been so good. © Sandra Hoyn. Photojournalism Series Winner, Magnum Photography Awards 2016.

Used condoms outside the brothel in Tangail. © Sandra Hoyn

Pakhi,15 years old, with a customer in her room in the brothel. She has lived for one year in the brothel. She was married when 12, but then ran away from home. A man picked her up from the streets and sold her into the brothel. © Sandra Hoyn.

Weekend Reading:
Surviving Suicide In Wyoming

Kenny drives back to his ranch from Bighorn National Forest. A box of 9mm cartridges in his truck.

I came across this story on Fivethirtyeight about the prevalence of suicides in middle-aged men living in the USA. Written by Anna Maria Barry-Jester with pictures by Daniella Zalcman, it uncovers how you can spiral into the darkness of depression, and how you can make it back to the light. It's a great read that addresses important issues around self-esteem, but also how societal 'norms' impact individuals. Daniella's images capture the isolation found in the landscape, and also the lifestyle, both of which can become insurmountable burdens.

"As a middle-age white man living in the mountains of the Western United States, Kenny (Michelena) is among the demographic of Americans most at risk for suicide in the country. With a suicide rate of 44 per 100,000, men in this age and geographical group have more than three times the risk of dying by suicide than the national average. In Wyoming, approximately 80 percent of suicides are men; a quarter are men ages 45-64." Read the full story on Fivethirtyeight

Can a photograph become instantly iconic? 
According to various publications, yes and below are a couple of articles about this photo. While I don't dispute its power, I'm not convinced that the word 'iconic' is being used in the right context. We, as in the media, tend to rush to label images and push a particular message. Again, I'm not arguing the validity of the protest, I'm questioning the need to claim an iconic status.

BBC - Baton Rouge killing: Black Lives Matter protest photo hailed as 'legendary'
Petapixel - Photo Editors Weigh In on Jonathan Bachman’s Iconic Protest Photo

Horses and the Palestinians who raise them  
New York Times with photos by Daniel Berehulak

July 08, 2016

Friday Round Up - 8th July, 2016

This week on Friday Round Up four diverse exhibitions - Mongolian Lens 1 (Melbourne), Mind the Gap Kristian Laemmle-Ruff, (Perth) The Agricultural Shows of Australia Louise Whelan (Sydney), and Post Script, Rachel Boillot (New York).

Exhibitions: Melbourne
Mongolian Lens 1 - Group Show

This exhibition, curated by RMIT lecturer Jerry Galea, presents works by a number of emerging Mongolian documentary photographers providing "a close-up and intimate view of the social change and tensions of this extraordinary nation, as its traditional ways of life become unsustainable”.

Mongolian Lens 1 forms part of Galea’s research, ‘Exploring Mongolian Society in Transition through Documentary Photography’ in which he examines the cultural significance of the photograph in Mongolian society. “My work focuses on a shift in photography practice where the Mongolian herders go from idle to active participants, so that taking photographs themselves gives them a new way to understand their world in pictures,” he explains. 

“I’m excited to showcase these new emerging documentary photographers. Mongolia is in the throes of change and this exhibition gives Mongolian photographers an opportunity to express their opinions to an international community.”

Around thirty selected images are on show at Melbourne’s Magnet Galleries until 23 July.

Magnet Galleries
Level 2
640 Bourke Street

Exhibitions: New York
Post Script - Rachel Boillot 

This is a really interesting series from American documentary photographer Rachel Boillot that captures the fallout from the closure of 3653 rural post offices run by the US Postal Service. 

Many of these post offices were located in the south and were the focal point for communities. Their closure has meant more than the loss of a Zip Code and regular postal deliveries. Another by-product of the ascendency of digital communication at the expense of human values. 

(C) All images Rachel Boillot

Opens 19 July
The Half King
505 West 23rd Street
New York NY 10011

Exhibitions: Perth
Mind the Gap - Kristian Laemmle-Ruff

"Mind the Gap is a somewhat dark and politically charged meditation on the gap between Australian cultures. It is not asking us to close the gap, to homogenise or assimilate; rather it asks us to acknowledge the gap, nurture the gap, celebrate the diversity rather than deny its existence. It encourages us to question and hold ourselves accountable for our actions as global citizens. The work aims to highlight colonial mannerisms and differences between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal ways of understanding and valuing land. Mind the Gap encourages us to imagine a future with deeper reconciliation and stronger acknowledgment of our true history rather than having our heads in the sand." Kristian Laemmle-Ruff

The Conversation & The Cycle
I first wrote about Kristian two years ago when his book In the Folds of Hills was released. It was an incredibly mature and insightful work for someone in their mid-twenties and I was curious to see how this talented Australian photographer would develop his eye and his work.

In 'Mind the Gap' my questions have largely been answered. This is an extraordinary body of work that is created with a deep understanding of the role of storytelling in photography. Yet it is far more than a collection of photographs drawn together through narrative. It is a highly intelligent coupling of creative thought and practical skills that allows the work to be presented in fresh and interesting ways that are instantly engaging and thought-provoking.

I love the way Kristian has incorporated layers into the work that advance the story and also allow the viewer to be part of the conversation. 'Mind the Gap' is intriguing as each of its components come together to create a powerful, complex narrative that when stripped bare, is essentially about our connection to the Earth, about our humanity. 

Pictured here are images from The Generation Series, Pine Gap, and an installation The Conversation & The Cycle (above).

In The Generation Series frames are filled with the red earth from Roxby Downs and Olympic Dam, (South Australia) - “the most horrible, traumatic places I have ever experienced” - and juxtaposed against a photograph of the luminous dusk sky of Lake Eyre. The earth and sky create an intriguing backdrop to the portraits Kristian took of those living in Fukushima city, following the tsunami and the subsequent radioactive contamination. 

Pine Gap: This panoramic shot captures Pine Gap, the second most important US base outside of the USA, locally known as a 'spy' base, from which the US monitors and controls military activities via satellites. This “terror facility” as Kristian labels it, is located in the centre of Australia and is shrouded in secrecy. Few photographs have been taken over its 50 year history.  

The Conversation & The Cycle is an installation. A multilayered photograph The Conversation combines three images - the Mound Springs in South Australia owned by BHP Billiton, the sacred scar tree near Dubbo (New South Wales) and a boardroom dressed with the colours of the empire. This symbolic image is displayed above a plinth on which two melted and burnt laptops (The Cycle) sit, evoking thoughts of destruction, decay and a return to the Earth. 

22 July - 21 August
Perth Centre for Photography
Opening night 21 July
18 Colin Street
West Perth

Exhibitions: Sydney
The Agricultural Shows of Australia - Louise Whelan

There's a lot to like about this series by Sydney photographer and oral historian Louise Whelan. The Agricultural Shows have played an integral part in rural communities, as well as the capital cities, for more than a century. Most of us have childhood memories of going to the 'Show', seeing farm animals, buying showbags, queuing up for rides that made you dizzy and sick, and enjoying the atmosphere of the carnival. 

In Australia there are around 600 Agricultural Show societies. Louise says these Shows "present an opportunity to reflect on the paddock to plate relationship, the value of our farmers and the value of the Australian food bowl. The images in this series explore many aspects of the ”Ag Show” including competition, food production and land management, community and social practices, genetics and modification, entertainment, competition, coming of age, nostalgia, time, intergenerational careers and employment, farming practice, architecture, the sideshow life and tradition".

For the first time since 1823, the Agriculture Show is under threat. This year The Castle Hill Show (NSW) announced its closure after 130 years of continuous operations due to lack of funds and redevelopment in the area. Let's hope this is an isolated incident. 

13 July - 14 August
Moran Prizes
Juniper Hall
250 Oxford Street