Family. Life. sample chapter

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Š2015. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States by Edition One Books. editor Andrea Wise art director Abby Legge designers Lyndsey Jimenez, Abby Legge and Ambra Tieszen copyeditor Michelle Malia advisor Mike Davis Cover design by Abby Legge Every reasonable attempt has been made to identify owners of copyright and trademark. Without limiting rights under the copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, introduced into a retrieval system, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including without limitation photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. The scanning, uploading, and/or distribution of this document via the internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and is punishable by law.







Participating Programs and Acknowledgments


FOREWORD in poland, an elderly couple kneel and pray together before crawling into their two twin beds for the night. In Dublin, a young woman sees two pink bars on one of the countless pregnancy tests she’s collected while undergoing in vitro fertilization; she’s finally pregnant. In Iraqi Kurdistan, Syrian children link hands in a circle playing in the dusty refugee camp thousands of miles away from their war-torn homeland. In California, a young woman lays on her bed and cries; despite her efforts to get sober, she’s just relapsed and used heroin. Family. Life. shares with its contributors and readers a sense of community through visual stories that touch one common but complex and nuanced thread in each of our lives: family. In 2014, photography students around the world began submitting their work to Family. Life., a collaborative student project that touches on this significant aspect of life on the planet. In this work, from 32 schools in 16 countries, we see that some families close gaps of geographic distance, transcend bloodlines, and provide support and comfort. Other families represent struggle, difficulty, and challenge. We see that some individuals believe they are born into a family while others feel they are constantly searching for one. This is the family dynamic; at once unifying and distinguishing each of us. Family. Life. began with a vision by one man, Mike Davis, a trusted mentor who has taught me not to conceptualize possibilities by thinking only of what has already been done. “Create an environment in which people can realize their full potential,” he’ll often say about the duty of a picture editor and a teacher. From him, I have learned to believe in others (even when they don’t believe in themselves) and to do what you can to support those around you. When you do that, amazing things—like

this project—can happen. “Sometimes your job is to throw the ball up and see how far someone will hit it,” he’ll say. Most of us want to feel connected with others. It is one core aspect of our shared humanity. We want to feel our importance, our value, and we can find that in moments where our individual experiences connect with something bigger than ourselves. That is my hope for this project. I hope each student who contributed their talents toward tackling and sharing this global narrative feels the power and strength of their unique individual voices, but also feels how much stronger we are together. I hope that in contributing to this project, we can see how our individual capabilities are elevated through collaboration. Just as the notion of family differs from person to person, I hope as you look through these photographs, you form your own ideas of what this project represents. For me, this project represents a historically significant statement about the human condition. In particular, the 112 images in this book represent the progress we’ve made as a global community over the past 60 years since Edward Steichen’s landmark exhibition “The Family of Man” premiered at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. That exhibit, later turned into a book by the same name, consisted of 503 photographs from 273 photographers depicting daily life in 68 countries around the world. Steichen’s project serves as inspiration for this project. While there are obvious similarities, there are also notable differences, perhaps most remarkably that this book is populated by student work. The beauty, pain, struggle, and determination reflected in these pages are the work of photographers who are just developing their voices. That photographers only beginning their visual careers created this work is inspiring,

and it excites me to think of the projects in their futures. I look forward to following their careers as the years go on. But there are other, more subtle differences in family life on the planet now that are made that much more visible when compared to the world Steichen’s project described 60 years ago. Today, open acceptance for same-sex relationships is growing globally and their marriages are legally recognized in 21 countries around the world. That openness extends to a growing acceptance of nontraditional gender identities and household structures. While 60 years ago, family was predominantly seen as a union between one man and one woman—usually of the same race and religious beliefs— and their biological children, we now see and understand that family includes singleparent households, interracial and interfaith families, households without children, non-married partners, chosen families with adopted children, children being raised by grandparents or older siblings or aunts or uncles. We see families sharing holidays with new families begun after divorces and families welcoming in people rejected by their own biological families for various reasons. Photography can show us what we might not see ourselves, be it in scenes that take place around the world or just around the block. Photographs can open our eyes to injustice and suffering, remind us to be thankful for what we have, or move us to action. To see photographs like that in these pages is a testament not only to the talent and vision and tenacity of the student photographers who created these images, but also to the importance of the teachers and mentors who have guided them. It is powerful to be able to pick up this book from one’s home in Belfast or Seoul or New York and in the looking, share in a unifying experience. But often in a photograph, that which is absent speaks as loudly as that which is depicted. As much as I believe that this book represents the progress we’ve made as a human family, there remain myriad closed-minded and harrowing conditions for people living today. In these pages we see suffering from illnesses without cures and

the result of pain we still inflict on one another in the name of political or religious or social beliefs. However painful it is to see, these images of life as it happens can spark dialogues, inspire empathy, and further social progress. None of that can happen, however, if we don’t get to look. Despite our best efforts to recruit programs from all over the world for this project, the reality is that strong photography programs are predominantly located in the Western world, where Western visual voices receive nurturing and the opportunity to develop and thrive. These voices go on to shape the public’s world view. The absence of first-person narratives from much of the developing world is a tragedy. But there is a solution, and it is hinted at in these pages: education. By supporting photography programs, we can cultivate the kinds of voices that you see in this book. And the more we grow reliant on local photographers to report on issues and experiences affecting their own communities, the more we’ll be able to increase global empathy and understanding—and the more progress we’ll have to show as a global family in another 60 years. Andrea Wise editor

STORIES Explore all of these stories further through video and full–length photo essays at






ELISE SEARSON Brisbane, Australia 15

CLAUDIA GORI Randers, Denmark


SHUKOR SADRINA Yishun, Singapore


MARIA PRZYBYLSKA Belfast, Northern Ireland


JACLYN MOLLOY New York, United States


NATALIE CAMOU New York, United States 20

SISSE DUPONT Nuuk, Greenland 21



SARA BRESLIN Rhode Island, United States


KAROL SEKTA Studzienice, Poland



CALE SEARSTON Queensland, Australia




JACLYN MOLLOY New York, United States







TEODORA IVKOV ÄŒurug, Serbia 33

CAPTIONS PETRA THEIBEL JACOBSEN Danish School of Media and Journalism Præstø, Denmark Making a reborn doll involves numerous time-consuming steps. Artist Karin Selvig spends approximately 70 hours making each doll. The dolls are made from kits consisting of a head, arms, and legs. From there, it’s up to the artist to paint them so they resemble a human baby as much as possible. pp. 11

DEBORAH HUGHES MULCAHY St. Kevins College Dublin, Ireland Approximately one in six couples in Ireland suffer with infertility problems. It is an issue that touches all either directly or indirectly, and yet, it is a topic many have never discussed. This project aims to raise awareness and highlight the truth of the day-to-day struggles and shame surrounding infertility. I was married at 23 years old and just assumed that a family would come quickly and naturally. After two years of trying, but not really trying, we started to take things more seriously. I read all the books, started taking all the vitamins, gave up smoking, used ovulation prediction kits—I could own shares in these—and recorded my temperature daily. Nothing happened. It slowly dawned that we needed a bit more help. I remember our first visit with our fertility specialist, whom promised that age was on our side and that she could get us pregnant. I truly believed this would be our time, but another year passed without pregnancy. After all the tests had been completed, we found that I wasn’t ovulating on my own. After taking pills for four months to aid the process, I finally got those magic words: “You’re pregnant.” But I miscarried our first baby at six weeks. The pain was unbearable. It was then that I turned to photography as a way of clawing back some control. Infertility had changed me, my body, and my confidence. It made me feel so alone and isolated. After the miscarriage, we went explored other fertility treatments and sadly, I lost another baby. My husband and I finally decided that we needed to consider in vitro fertilization. I found a clinic in Athens, Greece, that brought my attention to some issues we hadn’t known about. They made an intense treatment plan to prepare me for IVF. I had lost hope, but felt I needed the closure to move on from our dream, so we pressed ahead with the treatment. We flew to back to Athens five days into my and decided on a date to collect eggs and sperm. We spent our time trying not to think about why we were there. We tried to do touristy things and relax. After the eggs had been collected and fertilized we waited for 132

the call to see how many embryos had survived. Four days later, we were told five healthy embryos survived, two of which where implanted in my womb and three that had been frozen for future cycles, if needed. We flew home the next day and tried to not think about the treatment until I was to have the blood test that would tell us if the cycle was a success. Those days I was filled with so many emotions: hope, fear, and a bitterness I hadn’t felt before. Why us? Why should it be so hard? I secretly used an early pregnancy test five days before my official test date. I had decided I wanted to be prepared for the negative, and I was shocked to see a plus sign. My first reaction was pure joy, but it very quickly turned to fear, fear of what could very quickly be taken away again. Over the next few days I tested myself every morning. I crept into the bathroom and watched as the two lines developed and grew darker by the day, finding it very hard to believe and fearing I would lose it all. I told no one—not even my husband. On the official test day I took the test again, and my husband and I watched the two lines appear. Having been through this before, there was no celebration, just a hug and a little smile. It wasn’t until our first ultrasound when we saw two beautiful heartbeats that I realized I had been holding my breath. We let down our defenses. We cried tears of joy. The pills in the image contain a high dose folic acid prednisolone, a steroid used to suppress the immune system and stop the body from attacking embryos. These were combined with a low dose aspirin to build up uterine lining and help implantation. These medicines were taken from the beginning of the IVF cycle up to 16 weeks into the pregnancy. pp. 12–3 ELISE SEARSON Griffith University Brisbane, Australia Karina, Kai, and Grace. “First Baby” explores the everyday life of a young Australian family juggling the logistics of a fly-in, fly-out lifestyle while retaining a supportive network during the motions of having their first baby. pp. 14


CLAUDIA GORI Danish School of Media and Journalism Randers, Denmark Camilla is sitting on a little chair while taking a shower. Washing her body is difficult because it includes moving her arms. Camilla Kjeldsen Nielsen has deep blue eyes and a sweet smile. Despite the physical weakness of her body, she conducts herself with confidence. When she was 3 years old her parents realized she couldn’t walk and run like other kids. After several examinations and a muscle biopsy, the doctors discovered that she was affected by muscular dystrophy. Camilla Nielsen is now 33. She lives with her boyfriend, Jesper, and three kids: Ella, 3, and younger twins, Agnes and Esther, in Randers, Denmark. Having a family changed her thoughts about her disease. “A few years ago the thought to end up permanently in a wheelchair terrified me because it would take away a lot of my independence, but now I’m thinking that if a wheelchair gives me more energy to be around my three girls and Jesper, then I can sit in a wheelchair,” Camilla says. Camilla has always wanted to experience the joy of motherhood, even though she was mindful of the possibility of her children being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. There is no way to find out if the disease has been transmitted to her daughters. For women affected by muscular dystrophy, pregnancy is a difficult choice. Several complications can occur; apart from the chances of transmitting the genes to children, pregnancy can worsen the syndrome and increase muscle weakness. Camilla’s body is in worse condition than before the pregnancies. She often gets tired, she can’t lift her children, and she needs help 12 hours each day. But when she looks back at her risky decision, she feels she did the right thing. She lives every day in the present. “I have learned to focus on the things I can change, and not the things which are impossible to change.” This is a story about being a brave and strong woman, mother, and girlfriend. pp. 16 SHUKOR SADRINA Yishun, Singapore Nanyang Technological University My mother’s room, a queen sized bed with only one occupant. 2014. pp. 17


MARIA PRZYBYLSKA Belfast School of Art, University of Ulster Belfast, Northern Ireland Our society is constantly changing. The longstanding assumptions we have had regarding the traditional structure and functionality of a modern family have been undermined and disrupted. We exist in an autonomic, fast-paced environment characterized by long workdays and persistent pressure to pursue opportunities and succeed at all costs. The consequence is that families often become fragmented, secondary considerations. It is difficult to achieve the balance between personal and work commitments. pp. 18 JACLYN MOLLOY Rochester Institute of Technology Lima, New York, United States Cooper, left, and Brody, right, climb up onto one of the cribs after their baths. The quadruplets, especially the boys, love to climb on anything they can get their hands on. Nov. 10, 2014. In the Mormon religion’s document entitled “Family,” it is written: “We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the Earth remains in force.” Courtney and Cameron Larson of Lima, New York, wanted to fulfill their religious duty and faithfully worked to have a family for a couple of years. Eventually, they tried intrauterine insemination (IUI) and the third attempt proved to be the charm—in a big way. On March 11, 2012 Courtney gave birth to quadruplets Ashlyn, Brody, Cooper, and Kylie. Today, Courtney and Cameron struggle to balance their time raising four toddlers in their “terrible twos” and finding quiet time for themselves. pp. 19 NATALIE CAMOU Syracuse University Syracuse, New York, United States Born in Afghanistan, Shakiba married her husband at the age of 11. Ten years later, after enduring daily beatings, she found out she was pregnant. When she considered an abortion, her husband threatened to kill her. Shakiba and her five children have sought refuge five times since—in Pakistan, Iran, India, Turkey and, finally, in the U.S. Each time she has had to learn a new language, adapt to a different way of living, and find a way to thrive. pp. 20


SISSE DUPONT Danish School of Media and Journalism Nuuk, Greenland pp. 21

TEODORA IVKOV University of Novi Sad Čưrug, Serbia Čurug is a village in northern Serbia with more than 8,000 residents. It’s about 100 kilometers away from the capital of Belgrade. Most people are Orthodox Christian farmers. In the summer, they swim in the Tisa River. Dogs are meant to guard houses, cats are meant to hunt mice, and pigs are meant to be eaten. On Sundays, families get together. Everybody loves Sundays. This is a story about a village in north Serbia, told through the lives of five families, families who live in the same street, the same street where I grew up. In Serbia, Sunday lunch is very important. It’s a time when everyone is home, and it’s a time for rest. pp. 22

SARA BRESLIN University of Rhode Island Kingston, Rhode Island, United States My father, Joseph Breslin, a single parent, holds an old photo of his children, Lucas and Sara Breslin, on Oct. 27, 2014. The photo of us happily playing on the beach captures the passage of time and brings back memories both for him and me. pp. 24


KAROL SEKTA FAMU Studzienice, Poland My will was to capture the intimate, familiar scenes from my grandparents’ lives in their home. Their bond, which has been indestructible for 42 years, is a phenomenon worth documenting. Thanks to the wonderful, warm relationship that my grandparents and I have formed with one another over the years, I was able to penetrate their domestic quiet without obstacles and to capture very intimate moments in all their natural charm. I’ve known these people for years and I managed to make them act naturally, to retain themselves in the front of the lens. What I have captured is just a scene from the life of people in love, people who have passion in their hearts. They have so many things in common that any differences become insignificant—that is what I wanted to portray. pp. 25

CALE SEARSTON Griffith University Queensland, Australia Mermaid Beach Surf Life Saving Club on Australia’s Gold Coast is a community for every age and all types of people, each bringing their own life experience and idiosyncrasies to an evolving story. pp. 26–7


DARIA KLIMASHEVA Danish School of Media and Journalism Nuuk, Greenland Jonas in his older sister’s room. Their father left the family. Greenland has the world’s highest rate of child sexual abuse. It has always been a taboo subject in Greenlandic society. Research from 2005 to 2007 shows that 31 percent of women and 10 percent of men in Greenland had been sexually abused before the age of 15. But the problem still remains unspoken. This project aims to cover the pain and trauma that saturate Heidi Amondsen’s life as a single parent and a victim of sexual abuse. What is there to hold on to when it’s a shame to ask for help? Maybe love can keep you alive. pp. 28

JACLYN MOLLOY Rochester Institute of Technology Lima, New York, United States Quadruplets Brody, Kylie, Ashlyn, and Cooper Larson sit at a quadruplets table, a table custom-made for families with multiple children to make mealtime easier. The table has a built-in seat for each child. pp. 29

TAMARA GYOZALYAN Tumo Center for Creative Technologies Yerevan, Armenia What a crazy morning! My mother is covered in flour, I’m covered in dust, and my father is carrying chairs over his shoulder. Hayko, my brother, in the blink of an eye you’re already fifteen. With the family gathered around Mariam’s famous cake, you make a wish and blow out the candles. The toasts in your honor wish you luck in your studies, friendships, work and life; through it all, I smile secretly. Hayko, my little brother, I wish for you the most important thing in life that you may not know of yet, something that may even cause you suffering but without which you won’t have much to talk about with your future son. pp. 30


MARIAM KARAPETIAN Tumo Center for Creative Technologies Yerevan, Armenia Family and friends toast around a lunch table. When there is a toast at a wake, we clink the fingers holding the glasses, not the glasses themselves, so that the happy ring of clinking glasses does not disturb the respectful silence. Today, though, we are clinking glasses. It is my deceased grandfather’s birthday. He is missing not only from this photo but from my life. I have no feelings toward him or memories of him, since he passed away when I was only a few months old. But this isn’t a photo of my grandfather’s absence. How can someone not attend his own birthday party? He is very much present, especially when his wife tells stories about him. “I said to him, ‘Are you crazy?’ and he said, ‘You’re the crazy one for taking this long to figure out that I’m crazy.’” pp. 31 TEODORA IVKOV University of Novi Sad Čưrug, Serbia Lunch at Loncarski’s. pp. 32

JOANNA GRAHAM Rochester Institute of Technology Lima, New York, United States Cory, left, shows Destinee how to cut up the deer meat as her father, Luke, watches. Destinee was in charge of cutting the deer meat into small pieces that will be packaged to freeze later. pp. 34


PARTICIPATING PROGRAMS ARMENIA Tumo Center for Creative Technologies

CZECH REPUBLIC FAMU: The Prague Academy of Performing Arts

NORTHERN IRELAND Belfast School of Art, University of Ulster

AUSTRALIA Australian National University FIER Institute Queensland College of Art, Griffith University

DENMARK Danish School of Media and Journalism


CHINA University of Bolton

ENGLAND London College of Communication IRAQI KURDISTAN Reza’s Visual Academy

REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE Nanyang Technological University SERBIA University of Novi Sad

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Zineb Abdessadok Nyree Abrahamian Sara Anjargolian Stan Alost Alexis Abrams Maxx Berkowitz Nina Berman Joe Blum Tim Broekema Sarah Burns Eric Breitenbach Jackie Bell Rowan Conroy 170

DJ Clark Sergio Carcamo Martin Cregg KayLynn Deveney Mark Dolan Mike Davis Steve Davis Kit Devine Kaye Davis Terry Eiler Tyler Finck Delizia Flaccavento Heather Faulkner

Dawne Fahey Denise Ferris Ruth Foote Andrew Fingerman Julie Green Eric Grigorian Violet Grigoryan Joanna Giansati Jeff Glendenning Ken Harper Roger Hutchings Alicia Hansen Rob Hart

Judy Herrmann Alan Hill Erik Johnson Whitney Johnson Mark Johnson Brett Kallusky Suzie Katz Kim Komenich Torsten Kjellstrand Yong-Hwan Lee Ken Light Paul Lowe Dave LaBelle

SOUTH KOREA Chung–Ang University TURKEY Bahcesehir University UNITED STATES Atelier Griffin Museum of Photography Brooks Institute Columbia University Davidson Day School Ohio University Rochester Institute of Technology

Laura Mueller Annu Matthews Anne Nobel Sung Park Soren Pagter Darcy Padilla Wes Pope Judah Passow Jeff Passetti Rita Reed David Rees Tim Raphael Reza

San Francisco Art Institute Seattle Lakeside School Syracuse University The Art Institute of Portland The Evergreen State College University of Georgia University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of Oregon University of Rhode Island University of Wisconsin– River Falls Western Kentucky University

Andrea Rosenthal Mike Schmidt Becky Sell Baek Seung-Hwan Alam Shahidul Emily Slack Chad Smith William Snyder Oh Soon-Hwa Loret Steinberg Björn Steinz Karin Stellwagen Chad Stevens

Renée Stevens Bruce Strong Gabriel Tate Bruce Thorsen Ivana Tomanovic Shehab Uddin Guillermo Verbakel Barry Wong John Workman Lauren Wendle Jill Waterman Lynette Zeeng


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