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EI8HT PHOTOJOURNALISM V4N2 SEPT 05

EI8HT PHOTOJOURNALISM AFTERMATH SURVIVORS EX-SERVICEMEN CHERRIES MEMORY CHINA SEA GYPSIES CAIRO GORGES IRAQ HANDSTAND VOL.4 NO.2 SEPT 2005 £8 FOTO8.COM

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It's that time again ... and, of course, it's the passing of time that drives production and publication of this, and every other, magazine. The word “magazine” itself derives from the concept of storing and saving moments in time, a repository for features that reflect the years in which we live. Apart from originating in a photographic aesthetic, all the stories in this issue of EI8HT question time. The Survivors, as photographed by Jodi Bieber, bring with them a recollection from the past and a vision of the future through Jodi's sympathetic but unflinching triptychs. Sara Terry's Proof of Life is inextricably linked to the past, remembering the Bosnian war ten years on. Sara has been mindful not to let her work be overwhelmed by the country’s painful history, instead her images look forward and reveal a brighter future that only time can deliver. Elsewhere in this issue we discover the ex-soldiers in Stuart Griffiths’ photographs struggling to redefine their present and future; Andrew Testa’s images of the Moken sea gypsies seemingly suspended in time, holding on to an existence despite the changes wrought by a new world; and we follow in the footsteps of Rod Shone as he reads from a 1940s text to guide his impressions of contemporary life observed in the alleyways of Cairo. For us at EI8HT, photography, with the basic principles of shutter speed and exposure, presents the ultimate means to capture and depict time: uniquely, photography allows us to extract a single instance, record it and, over time, take meaning from it. Max Houghton writes eloquently in this issue's essay about the principles that photographers, editors and curators of photography archives follow to create meaningful and lasting documents. Max explores how time and memory continually shape the reading of photographs to influence our understanding of events. And, one more thing, before I run out of time… you may have noticed EI8HT’s change of address. Yes, we have moved to new premises on Honduras Street in London with roomy offices and an extra floor for a gallery. What better way to compliment our concepts of time than space! JL Editor’s Letter

Contributors Jessica Backhaus Jesus and the Cherries to be published by KEHRER Verlag. www.jessicabackhaus.net www.kehrerverlag.com

Jodi Bieber www.nbpictures.com jodibieber@hotmail.com

Editor Jon Levy Features Editor Max Houghton Associate Editor Lauren Heinz Picture Editor Flora Bathurst Intern Zoe Ryan Contributing Editors Sophie Batterbury Colin Jacobson Ludivine Morel Managing Editor Gordon Miller

Ken Griffiths Exhibition of this work at Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, 15 Sept – 8 Oct. www.kengriffiths.com Stuart Griffiths www.stuartgriffiths.net stuartgriffiths2@aol.com

Caroline Irby caro@carolineirby.com Yann Mingard www.yannmingard.ch Lucian Read/World Picture News seamusconlan@worldpicturenews.com Rod Shone rshone@blueyonder.co.uk

Reviewers Ken Grant, Bill Kouwenhoven, SSophie Wright Design Rob & Phil Special Thanks Maurice Geller Reprographics John Doran at Wyndeham Graphics Print Stones the Printers Paper Galerie Art Silk by MREAL: cover 250gsm, text 130gsm Distribution Specialist bookshops & galleries – Central Books 020 8986 4854 Newstrade – Comag 01895 433800

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Sara Terry Aftermath: Bosnia’s Long Road to Peace is published by Channel Photographics. saraterry@mindspring.com www.channelphotographics.com www.bosniaaftermath.com Andrew Testa www.panos.co.uk

Disclaimer The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily the views of EI8HT or foto8 Ltd. Copyright © 2005 foto8 Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be copied or reproduced without the prior written consent of the publisher EI8HT is published by foto8 Ltd 1-5 Honduras Street London EC1Y 0TH United Kingdom


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Contents Vol.4 No.2 September 2005

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>Moments >08 Under Water Ken Griffiths shares his view of the shrinking landscape around the Yangtze River and Three Gorges Dam >24 Head over Heels Children in a displaced persons camp in Sudan show-off their acrobatic skills to Caroline Irby >50 We Were Here Lucian Read captures the epic scale of US forces in Iraq in a single portrait

26 >Features >10 Survivors Jodi Bieber bears witness to South Africa’s victims of domestic violence >16 Proof of Life Sara Terry uncovers a glimmer of hope in the aftermath of the Bosnian war >26 Out of Line Stuart Griffiths revisits his own experiences and recounts the stories of ex-servicemen who find refuge in hostels or on the streets of London >42 Eyes Wide Open Andrew Testa swims with the graceful Moken of the Surin Islands >52 Jesus and the Cherries Jessica Backhaus welcomes us into small-town Polish life >58 In Search of Midaq Alley The sketches and photographs of Rod Shone as he acquaints himself with the back streets of Cairo >62 The Road Less Travelled Yann Mingard’s quest for the remote takes him to the untamed plains of the Silk Road 16 >Essays >34 The Wreckers An excerpt from the novel by Bella Bathurst, celebrating the work of the Gibsons of Scilly >36 Commit to Memory Max Houghton examines the role of photography as a trigger to personal or collective memory

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>Inside >68 Adrian Murrell, vice president of editorial at Getty Images, is put under the interview spotlight by Andy Steel >Reviews >71 Bosnians, Photie Man, Bleed, Exposure, The Lost Executioner, PhotoEspaña, Arles, Leisure, Afrique Noir, Invisible, Don McCullin, Diamond Matters, M2, Lee Miller’s War, Family, Temporary Discomfort >81Summer and Autumn Photography Events >Listings >82 Notices from participating picture agencies and professional resources

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>Scene >90 Hibakusha Adam Goff selects one of Gérard Rancian’s images to mark the 60th anniversary of the Atomic bombing of Hiroshima. An exhibition of this work is to be shown at the annual Visa Pour l’Image festival in France.

>Cover Survivors © Jodi Bieber 7


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>Moments Under Water Ken Griffiths

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This picture was taken during Ken Griffiths' second trip to China to document the effect of the controversial Three Gorges Dam project. From a vantage point near the village of Fei Feng Feng, Griffiths was able to capture the double horizons, divided by the immense swelling of Shennu Feng rising from the mist in Wu Gorge.

"You won't ever see this view again," says Griffiths. "Since the dam closed, the water has already risen by 141feet, and by the final phase in 2009 the landscape will be very different. My motivation wasn't specifically political or ecological, I simply wanted to show the disappearing landscape and to record man's mark on the earth."

Griffiths' project began in October 2003, when he chose eight spots along the Yangtze River to reveal the sublime environs of the Three Gorges before the dam was completed. He returned to the same riverside locations in 2004 after the damming. Griffiths plans to return in 2009, when the final phase of the project will have changed the landscape almost beyond recognition.

The story so far can be seen at The Michael Hoppen Gallery from 15 September 2005, where the full impact of the distinctive printing technique employed by Griffiths can be appreciated.

Using pigments rather than dyes, carboprinting, a technique invented in 1863, affords the work a painterly quality rarely achieved by contemporary printing. Ironically, this is the only totally permanent printing process that still exists 8


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Growing up in South Africa, Jodi Bieber witnessed the consequences of an intrinsically macho culture spilling over into overt physical violence towards women in bars and clubs. But mostly, the punching, the kicking, the strangling, occurred invisibly, at home, behind the oblique shroud of the private sphere. When Amnesty International and Medecins Sans Frontieres invited nine photojournalists to document the invidious threat to women the world over, of every race or class, it was Bieber’s challenge to capture on film what she knew for sure went on behind closed doors back in her mother country. Through the help of women’s refuge charities, she gradually gained the trust of the women we see pictured here, who have been abused, beaten or tortured by those who claimed to love them the most. In choosing the triptych format, Bieber wanted to place the woman – the survivor – at the centre, and use the outer panels to symbolise on one side her past terror and on the other her salvation. Bieber’s work has achieved international acclaim, and while it is undoubtedly encouraging that more people will spend time thinking about the appalling treatment of women at the hands of men, it is sobering to think that the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity are unlikely to be looking 8 South African statistics from the Nisaa Institute for Women’s Development Survivors Jodi Bieber

Survivors

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One woman is killed every six days by her partner. A woman is raped every twenty-six seconds. One out of four women is regularly beaten by her partner.

ROSLYN BUCHER My name is Roslyn Bucher. I am 53 years of age. Unfortunately last Wednesday night when I got home, if one can call it home, I was locked out by my husband. We’ve been married seven years, although we’ve been together 11years. We lived together for four and I’ve had this problem since the start so it’s been 11years of nonsense. My husband is an extremely abusive man. He’s aggressive. I think I’ve suffered every form of abuse from him with the exception of sexual abuse. It’s strangling, it’s kicking, it’s punching, he burns one with cigarettes, this sort of business. After the abuse he becomes very, very quiet. It’s nerve-racking. It’s unpredictable from moment to moment. You don’t know what is going to happen next. He’s threatened to kill me more times than I care to remember. I tried to get out of it but always he followed me all over, begging me to come back.

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This guy has had money at times but he refuses to provide a home. He is a mechanic and we are presently living in the workshop. I basically have been staying there in the evenings. I’m not there during the day. I just go – I amuse myself during the day. I sat in the laundromat day in and day out for four months. I am actually an institution in this place. At least it was a place of safety. My confidence, my self-esteem – everything about me in comparison to 10 years ago … I’m a shadow of my former self, if I may put it that way


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WINNIE AND HER SON My name is Winnie. I’ve been living here in the shelter for four and a half months now. I was having a problem in my home where I used to stay with my boyfriend and two kids. He was having this kind of drinking problem. When he came back home we would start fighting, beating up, chasing me out of the house with the kids. So sometimes I used to sleep out or with friends and then I would come back in the morning and it was still the same thing. I lived with him for almost five years. It started after he came back from jail, last February. His friends used to tell him that I was having an affair. I was having an affair because I was trying to get something to help myself, because I was not working and the kids must go to school. I was forced to do something about that. So that’s where everything starts. He understood but sometimes he just became very violent when he was drunk.

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He would hit me. See these teeth of mine, this is an artificial one. I was a person who was living in fear because of hitting, beating ups. Each and every weekend, when he was drunk. He beat me until I can’t cry no more. I would just sit there and watch. He would just say I need four ropes for the four of us. I just want to kill the four of us. Sometimes, I just wanted to kill myself but when I think about my kids I have no choice. I felt like I could go out there and stand on the railway station and just throw myself there but it doesn’t work, it doesn’t solve anything. That is why I have decided to leave the guy

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PORTIA MONGAKE AND SOME OF THE HIV/AIDS ORPHANS SHE CARES FOR IN ALEXANDRA TOWNSHIP My name is Portia Mongake. I have three children. I met this man when I was 19 years old. I was young with a child. My father didn’t want me to stay at home, he said I should go and look for a job so that I can feed this child. We came to Alexander Township to pay a visit and then I met this man who said he is going to marry me. I became pregnant again and then I don’t know what happened – he started having girlfriends and coming home very late. When I asked him why is he home very late he would just beat me and say, I don’t have the right to ask him where he has been. I have a big scar from our fighting and I didn’t want my mother to see . I remember one day he hit me with a pipe on the head and I was bleeding and I cut my head and I had stitches. I went home to my mother. One day I was taking a bath and my mother was saying, “how can you bath with a hat on top of your head, there is something you are covering” and I said, “no mamma, I just want to cover my head,” but I was afraid. I didn’t want my mother to see the scar.

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He was not giving me money, he was abusing me, even financially. When I wanted something for the child he would just scream. He had a car, the priority of his life was his car. He would hit me even in front of other people. He was outside on the street. I had the washing in my hands and he just hit me and hit me and hit me, he hit me without saying anything and I said, “what are you doing, you are hurting me”. He is a plumber this man so he had lots of irons, the pipes that he used. And he took an iron pipe on top of me, all over my body and he said I talk bad about him with people. I could feel there was something like a warm feeling, on my face, it was blood and then I ran. I don’t know what happened, I don’t know what happened, and then somebody came and woke me up, I was lying there on the road and then there was this car


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CASSANDRA EMMA MOYO My name is Cassandra Emma Moyo. You know our African culture, they think women are to be beaten. You can discipline a woman by beating her. So from my husband’s background, his parents, his family, they believe in beating your wife. I was stabbed with a bread knife by my husband. I was stabbed in the back through the kidney. The knife nearly came out in the front so my one kidney is not functioning properly. After stabbing me he drank poison. He forced me to drink the poison.

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I have scars all over. I can’t say I’m happy. I’m happy I’ve got myself and my child. But I don’t like these scars. When I look at them I get very angry. I could kill him. I wasted five precious years with him. I wasted my womanhood. I could have done something for myself because I have always wanted to go to school. Sometimes I think I am just ugly. I just think maybe I was stupid. He kept on hitting me, hitting me, and I kept on staying with him for no reason. Sometimes I blame myself for it

After that I was in a coma for three months and I was pregnant. You know women, we forgive, and then I took him back. He wasn’t coming home, he wasn’t bringing any money. I was doing everything, paying the rent, looking after the child and doing everything. So he started abusing me again. He even wanted to throw me out of the apartment window, on the second floor.

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MEISIE Every Friday is a problem. He gives me money to buy two beers. I am not working at the moment and every time he shouts at me and say why don’t I go out and look for work because he can’t look after both of us. I am sick and my younger sister is staying with me and she is also sick. My back… That one is very, very, painful. It’s so hard for me to speak about it. There was this coal stove and this man put me on top of the coal stove. Then I burned, and really, I burned. I managed to stand up and ran away and leave the child behind because the fire was… it was burning. Then I just had to run quickly, quickly and throw myself inside the water. And I slept in hospital for three months. There was no one who came to visit me, not even my husband.

My face… He hit me on the face with the back of his shoes and then with his fist and then held me against the wall. I fell to the ground and he kicked me in the face. He then pushed me in the door and I hit my head against the wall. I ran out and ran to the police station. They came in. My stomach… He hit me – he stabbed me with the screwdriver and then I had to go for an operation to the Baragwaneth Hospital. He stabbed me with a screwdriver. There was lots of blood. Every part of my body pains, I feel bad

8 extra: The work of the other photographers who participated in the Amnesty/MSF project is exhibited online at foto8.com/8xtra

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Proof of Life

In the summer of 2000, a million people were living as refugees as a result of the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and Hercegovina. Bosnians were dealing with the aftermath of genocide on a massive scale and only one in five of those who needed help to return home was able to get it. ‘Bosnia fatigue’ had set in and five years on the rest of the world had become impatient …

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I knew I had to go to Bosnia to bear witness, I was really pissed off at the attitude of the international community and the work that ultimately became my book Aftermath evolved from that point on. I flew out there for a month, and found a fantastic translator, a fearless woman. At first, I concentrated on the subjects I knew I had to document: the widows of Srebrenica, the exhumations of the bodies. Later, I became more intuitive, determined to capture the emotion of a moment. Early on, I was very aware of the Nachtwey tradition of showing corpses in graphic detail. I felt that images like that, strong and brave as they are, cause people to shut down. I wanted to allow the average viewer to find a threshold in considering a horrible subject. So, looking at the photographs we have here: with the picture of the Muslim woman inspecting the bodybags, searching for her husband, it wasn’t that I was trying to make it pretty, to trick anyone, but I was aware of how I was using light and motion and colour to draw people in. I took three shots and this is the final one, where she swoops down like that. The man I photographed in blue, with his eyes closed, has just helped exhume his father, eight years after he was killed by Serb neighbours in May 1992. Muslim friends who had witnessed the killing buried the man’s body in a shallow grave in the village forest, but then had to flee the village in the days that followed, so the son was unable to return for his father’s body. There’s a sorrow emanating from the picture, of course, but there’s a huge sense of peace, too. When someone asked if he was okay, he replied that it was no longer his father; he’s just left his bones here. For the son, being able to bury his father in the village cemetery is part of what he went home to do. I witnessed this desire to return home everywhere I went. I think it’s an amazing quality in human beings. It’s mainly the elderly refugees who are returning. Some of the younger generations are staying in the towns they were sent to during the war, like the mother of the little boy playing in the recently laid foundations of his grandparents’ home in Otricevo, a mountainside village in east Bosnia. After they returned, the grandparents lived in a tiny one-room structure for the whole winter. Even then, their hospitality was amazing. The sheer beauty of the landscape is breath-taking. Proof of Life Sara Terry

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It was important for me to show that the war happened to everyone, even though the majority of victims were Muslims. The little boys united in that unusual gesture were both refugees from Srebrenica; both their fathers killed in the massacre. The young girl in the school – I don’t know if she’s Serb or Muslim, and in this case, I like that. It was the first time since the end of the war that Serb and Muslim students had been brought together, putting on a programme of skits and songs for each other. Then there’s the shot of the people in the garden, who are Serbs, gathering for coffee in the village of Bocinja. I wanted to include this village specifically because it had been taken over by Mujahideen who had come from the Arab world. They were vicious and damaged houses in the village, as well as the Orthodox church in the background, which was being repaired as this photo was taken in 2002. I like the joy in the faces of the ordinary Serb people and the feelings they show towards their home. I’ve been backwards and forwards to Bosnia nine times so far in the last five years. The place has an intensity that keeps drawing you back. I’m constantly amazed by how much light and joy people see in my work and how they appreciate that. A lot of the time, when I’ve been there, I’ve felt very, very down; it was emotionally very difficult. That’s not, of course, to compare it with what the Bosnians experienced, but there was a constant feeling of heaviness and sorrow. I do remember vividly two days of complete joy, though: the day the Mostar Bridge reopened, and the day Danis Tanovic won an Oscar for his film No Man’s Land. The bridge was so symbolic for the Mostarians. The local tradition of bridge jumping continued through the war, but it wasn’t until July 2004 that they could jump from the full height of this perfectly restored bridge. I was tempted to do it myself! Some people say that the truth of humanity is that it is evil. They cite the Bosnian war as proof of evil asserting itself. I take the opposite point of view; it’s a humanity that’s been mesmerised by something evil. What endures and what we really want is to live. I felt it was important to take a position on this. And where I stand is with a woman I photographed once: she’s wearing a headscarf, gazing at a Bosnian landscape, looking up and out. She can’t return home yet, but the landscape seems to hold out the possibility of hope, of a different story for humanity 8 Sara Terry was talking to Max Houghton 18


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Aftermath by Sara Terry is published by Channel Photographics: www.channelphotographics.com

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>Moments Head Over Heels Caroline Irby I was in Khartoum, Sudan, for Care International, just after the peace deal had been signed between the north and the south in May 2004. The camp is called Daar es Salaam, which means Haven of Peace. There were 150 children in the small, lowceilinged room that housed the camp’s childcare centre. It was run by Santino Deng Annan, a refugee from Wau in the south of the country. He was incredibly committed to the children he taught, and full of hope for them. The schoolhouse was constructed by the refugees from cardboard. When I was there, there was a government initiative to encourage residents to buy plots of land and build with permanent materials. I actually saw a little boy sitting on the ground just round the corner from the school, making row after row of Legosized bricks out of mud, ordering two friends to collect water for him, like the foreman of a building site. He’d set himself a target: 20 bricks a day. The centre was created to enable mothers to go to work, but in fact there’s so little work around, the children are sent there because there’s nothing much to do in the camps. So they learn and sing and dance and play together here. I took this shot of the children doing handstands after lessons had finished for the day and they were hanging around waiting for their parents to pick them up. The cardboard boxes you can see behind them are the internal walls of the classroom, and you can see that they were aid consignments from Operation Christmas Child and Samaritan’s Purse. You realise how quickly the aid must be consumed, and what we would think of as the disposable stuff ends up being used to create a long-term structure. I remember clearly my feelings about that day and many other days I have spent in Africa: that the resilience and the humour of the people far outweighs the seeming hopelessness of their situation. It’s easy to look at them and what they endure and portray them as being absolutely knackered and dependent on aid from the West. In fact, Africans are the least hopeless people I’ve ever met. They can make houses out of boxes, they can make a meal out of the desert, they can find water in a scraggy old plant, and they can have fun standing on their hands in a cardboard room 8

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Just after this picture was taken, this ex-sailor was kicked out of his hostel for not hiding a can of Special Brew. Former paratrooper turned photographer Stuart Griffiths knows only too well the struggle ex-servicemen face when they leave the forces’ embrace

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The first thing former paratrooper Stuart Griffiths was made aware of when he was granted a room at the New Belvedere Hostel for ex-servicemen was the rules; no alcohol, no drugs. It was instantly apparent that most residents were dependent on one or both. The second thing he noticed was the blue fake-leather chairs – standard army issue. When he finally lay down his head, after months of sleeping in doorways and under bushes, the bed had a familiar feel about it too. It was a home from army home: hard but vulnerable men living in an institution with little contact with the outside world. Perhaps Griffiths was atypical in questioning his environment, which was after all, providing sanctuary of sorts. At 16, he had joined the Parachute Regiment, “desperate for a maroon beret and to jump out of planes”. He served in Northern Ireland, listened to the guys in the sergeants’ mess getting drunker and drunker and bemoaning their broken relationships, saw his mate’s legs get blown off in East Tyrone, and grew increasingly disillusioned. “I spent the 1988 ‘summer of love’ marching up and down squares, bayoneting dummies,” he remembers. Unlike the vast majority of his fellow servicemen, Griffiths was lucky and determined enough to have a transferable skill when, at the age of 21, he decided he had enough of feeling brainwashed and left the army. Like his mates, he had been shooting suspected terrorists and paramilitaries, but in his case it was through the long lens of the battalion camera as opposed to a rifle. It looked like his future would map out fine. He completed a degree in photography at the University of Brighton under the tutelage of Mark Power, sold some work to the Imperial War Museum, but then went on an ill-fated photographic mission to Congo Brazzaville, a country on the brink of civil war. During the instability in Kinshasa, Griffiths was arrested, and forced to go through a mock execution. His interpreter was tortured. Shaken by events, he would spend the next year as a potato picker in Portugal. When he returned to the UK, he had nothing – save his camera. He was eventually told about a hostel for ex-servicemen in east London, and he went along, showed them his red book, an indication that he has served, and was given a room. Remarkably, Griffiths began what would become a lucrative career as a paparazzo, lurking outside The Ivy long into the night, waiting for an “A-lister” to glide by. It was in this way he began to rebuild his life, but in talking to Griffiths, there is no escaping the fact that he knows he is one of the lucky few. He is married now, with two small children, a working photographer for the nationals ... but the majority of the men he photographed during his own time at the New Belvedere and in the following years are probably still there, if they haven’t drunk themselves to an early grave. Griffiths is sympathetic but not sentimental about the fate of the men he has photographed: “I feel saddened by these guys; of course I can relate to them. I do feel it could have been me; I certainly came very, very close. There should be much more input from the armed forces when people want to leave – even basic everyday things like how to pay bills can be problematic. There needs to be a radical shake-up so you can function on ‘Civvy Street’. “In the army, you’re built up to be a fighting person, and of course in normal life you can’t be like that. When you want to leave, there’s no support, no encouragement. My commanding officer told me how difficult I would find life if I wanted to be a photographer – that was all he said. There was a sense they were just waiting for me to join up again – my record was exemplary. And I nearly did. I went back to see my mates when I was at university and it was really hard. It was like going back to a family where everyone knows you and wants to know how you’re doing. It really blew my head because in a way it was really comforting, but it would have been like going back to a destructive relationship. Going back is the easy option – in a way you’re saying you failed, you couldn’t hack normal life. “There’s a huge problem with the culture of alcohol in the forces, like in Britain as a whole. The boozing is notorious – it’s what you do when you get an evening out, you get annihilated. When you’re in the forces, you’re marching across fields with a 50lb rucksack sweating it all out the next morning. But without that structure, that discipline, you’re topping it up all the time: ‘cotton-woolling’ your feelings with alcohol or drugs. “Dealing with emotions is difficult for squaddies, but you’ve just got to believe in yourself more. Without the structure, these guys are quite vulnerable. But then, they always were. There’s many stories I could tell you about a big, macho, hairy-arsed para listening to his Kate Bush CD at night. There’s always a flip side. They’re big and hard, but they’re really quite sentimental. “Of course, the flip side of sentimentality is turning violent. Ultimately, for these guys, it’s about letting go of their military pasts. I’ve had to – albeit with the help of my wife and with photography. It’s not easy, but I’m really glad I had the courage and determination to follow my dream” 8 Max Houghton Out of Line Stuart Griffiths

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Larry Evans, age 58 British Army number: 23994956 I’m from Rhonda Valley in South Wales. I joined the Royal Artillery and trained at Park Hall, Shropshire, but came out in 1965 because my services were no longer required. I had real problems with leaving. I had been around the forces all through my childhood with my parents, my father served in the RAF. I ended up homeless from not paying the rent and kept getting evicted because I drank all the money I earned, so I ended up on the streets and lived the life of soup kitchen runs and begging.

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There are problems with living in the hostel: the curfew is one – you have to be in the hostel for 11pm, as the door is locked and you have to wait until 6 am before you can get back in. I wear Airborne forces sweatshirts because It gives me a sense of security. When I was on the streets, the sight of a Parachute Regiment T-shirt would stop anyone giving me any hassle


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James Nicholls, age 23 British Army number: 250875529 I’m from Chipstead, Surrey and joined the Royal Artillery and trained at Pirbright, Surrey. I’d not even been in the forces a year when I left in October 1999, I got medically discharged due to my bronchitis. I lost lots of jobs and was not talking to my family. They did not want to know me because of my heavy drinking. I spent three months on the streets of London sleeping in shop doorways and comparing myself to everyone that was around me. Many times I would look at the happy families and wonder why I did not have that. I kept myself alive from getting food from the soup wagon runs. Nowadays I’m waiting to have an interview at the local Territorial Army about joining and becoming an airborne gunner with the 7 Royal Horse Artillery, as they’re needing plenty of blokes for Iraq

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James Gallagher, age 57 British Army number: 24290150 I’m from Dunbarton, outside Glasgow and served in the RAF Regiment from 1966 to 1975, 15 Para and the French Foreign Legion from 1980 to 1990. I trained at RAF Hemswell, Lincoln, and when I joined the Legion I trained at a place in the south of France called HQ Castelnaudary. I saw action most recently in Bosnia, before that Rwanda. I was working with the United Nations out there. I’ve seen action in Chad, Northern Ireland and a place called Djibouti on the east coast of Africa When you get to 40 years old, you start to think about lots of things and wonder if the grass is greener on the other side. That’s when I decided to leave the armed forces. I was full of confidence to adapt to civilian life, but no regiment in the world could prepare you to live in the East End of London. How I ended up homeless is a very broad question… but money and drink had a part to play

Keith Tyrer, age thirtysomething (below left) Would not disclose British Army number I was born in Chelmsford, Essex and joined The Royal Artillery. I trained at Colchester and Aldershot in 1992. I was medically discharged from the forces in 1996. I really felt gutted about that. I saw action on the back end of the Gulf War in 1992, served in Bosnia and Kosovo, where I was shot. When I was then discharged I travelled around, but had little money from ex-forces charities such as SAAFA and ended up on the streets. I ain't into settling down just yet

Paul Sinclair (AKA Lewis), age 41 British Army number: 24484878 My father served in the armed forces for 17 years and when he finally left, my home life went to bits. I became a problem child and I was sent to Blanford school for troubled kids. It was there that I was subjected to the army introduction course and got used to the army way of life. I joined in 1979, aged 15, and trained at Bramcote barracks, Nuneaton in the Midlands. I was one of the youngest people ever to join the junior leaders, and I remember turning up at the barracks and seeing boys my age cry, maybe because they missed their home. I could not shed any tears myself. I spent 15 months in the army, got promoted to a corporal and was demoted for going into town and shagging women. I was soon discharged (SNLR – Services No Longer Required). My family did not want to know me. When I left the army I had no home, no address and when I left the gates I cried my eyes out. I came to live in London with my brother, who turned out to be a long suffering junkie and was very hard to live with. I heard about this ex-forces charity. So I checked them out and they gave me a room... that was last week. I had been sleeping in the Holy Cross church doorway in King’s Cross prior to that

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Jason Wayne Gough, age 30 British Army number: 24955439 I’m from Balham, in south London. I joined the Worcester & Sherwood Foresters in 1994, trained at Catterick in North Yorkshire and left in 1999 because of an eye injury. I felt disgusted about leaving the forces, because I felt could go a lot further in my training. I saw some action whilst serving in South Armagh in Northern Ireland, my best mate was shot through the head. I ended up on the streets after splitting up from my girlfriend, who I got engaged to when I was in the army. I then got into drugs in a big way and started mainlining heroin. I’ve been off the gear for about a year now and I take Prozac and Methadone nowadays. I found out about the hostel from an organisation called Training for Life. I talked to an exsoldier there and I went on a course

SG: I took this picture of John who was one of the many neighbours, in the early hours after the hostel Christmas party. John used to get into rows most nights with the other ‘inmates’. I would hear shouting and fists exchanged. I stayed in my room – it got ugly at times

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Ex-Para IRA bomb victim who prefers to remain anonymous, age 39 I’m from south-west London and I joined the Parachute Regiment because my brother was in the regiment in the 1970s. I joined in 1982 and saw action in the six years I was posted in Northern Ireland. The injuries I sustained were shrapnel wounds to my head and arm and a lump in my testicles from a command wire explosion in 1989. I’ve got no skull on the back of my head now. It’s just muscle grown over a hole. I did not receive any counselling when I was in hospital, not at all. I just got the normal treatment for the injuries. I then returned to 3 Para at the end of 1990 to finish the Northern Ireland tour, back in Belfast. It was like riding a bike, once you fall off, you get back on, that’s what being a professional soldier is about. I left the Parachute Regiment in 1998 for personal reasons

SG: I got to know this guy called Carl. He told me late one night that something terrible happened to him and that’s why he is here. Later I found out what. He told me he was abused while getting into the back of a Land Rover in Northern Ireland. That was what sent him over the edge

8 extra: an informal series of pictures by Stuart Griffiths from his years in the armed forces can be seen at foto8.com/8xtra

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>Story Bella Bathurst

The Wreckers

There are two ways of shooting the sea: you can be on it, or you can be in it. Though some divers have started to exploit the potential of underwater photography for art, they usually content themselves with factual shots of coral formations or outrageous fish. Photography from on shore or on deck is a different matter. From Gustave le Gray through Harry Callahan, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Rineke Dijkstra, Joel Meyerowitz and Clifford Ross, photographers have found different ways of ordering the three basic elements of shore, sea and sky, and have learned the one essential truth about recording the ocean: no one ever takes pictures of water, they just take pictures of the light reflected off water. Down beyond the edges of mainland Britain, one family has been photographing those three elements for five generations. Instead of concentrating on naked seascapes, however, the Gibson family found a lucrative specialisation: shipwrecks. John Gibson (1827-1920) was a fisherman who taught himself how to use a camera. By 1866, he had learned enough to leave the sea and set up his own business as a general photographer who coincidentally took pictures of wrecks where and when they occurred. His sons Alexander and Herbert joined him in the business, and in time Alexander’s son James took over the studios in Penzance and St Mary’s. Frank, James’s son, succeeded him. Now he has in his turn been succeeded by his daughter, Sandra. Gibson-Kyne stands on a sunny sidestreet in the centre of Hugh Town in the Scilly Isles. It’s a quiet place with an old-fashioned ’60s fascia that doubles as bookseller, stationer and gallery. On the wall at the back of the shop are a series of 9 x 12 black and white photographs, each showing a wreck with the name and date of its demise written underneath. Most are of sailing ships, which – given that sails had been almost entirely eliminated in the larger vessels by the early years of the 20th century – makes most of the photographs impressively ancient. Many have evidently been taken by a large-format camera with a long exposure in difficult conditions. In one or two, the camera seems to have been shaken by some unseen force. The sea has been blurred to a silvery softness, sails have slapped back at just the wrong moment, and in one print the entire body of the ship seems to have been caught just at the point of dissolving into the water. In others, everything is crisp and coldly detailed. Ships with their decks almost entirely submerged sail into bays above which wait crowds of sightseers in bowler hats and pelisses, ships with their sterns already submerged, ships embayed, ships half-drowned in sand, ships apparently sailing straight into the base of lighthouses. Some look at ease in their unintended resting places, as if they’d just taken a brief stop in an unexpected mooring. Others are torn and piecemeal, their masts snapped midway, their sails slopping over the decks. What is striking about the pictures is not only their cumulative effect – enough wrecks to fill a wall – or what they depict, but their loveliness. Shipwrecks in other parts of the country generally end up with nothing more than a grainy, indeterminate shot taken in bad weather from a difficult angle by the local newspaper’s resident snapper. Usually there are rocks in the way or the storm has obscured the detail, or the ship itself is too far away to be clear. Even when the pictures do reveal more than just storm-force conditions, most 20th century shipping doesn’t exactly inspire poetry. Bespoke pleasure yachts and heritage vessels might be able to afford to make themselves look good, but a single-hulled bulk carrier or a multi-ton freighter isn’t going to bother with cosmetics. In these photographs, however, there is a kind of melancholy beauty. Not, one supposes, that the crew and the passengers of these wrecks cared much for looks as they sped towards their graves. But in showing

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these ships and the people surrounding them with such care and veracity, the photographs do give them back some final dignity. The first John Gibson built up a network of friends and informers who would let him know when and where a wreck was likely to take place. He and an assistant would set off up the coastline in a four-oared boat or a pony and trap, taking an old-fashioned glass plate camera, a tripod, and a small-wheeled cart to serve as a portable darkroom. If they were lucky, they would reach the site of the wreck before darkness, and before the ship sank. “Our people in those days had a business in Penzance,” says Frank, “and that was how they were able to get all those Cornish wrecks. It was quite a lot of work. They had these great tripods, these great massive cameras, and the boat would be rocking around. Amazing photographs for those times. Modern cameras don’t stand it like these old ones would. They didn’t have these intricate shutters, and that’s what gets damaged with salt water. They were primitive – all they had was a bellows and a back screen, and a lens stuck on the front.” Even when conditions were good enough to get a clear shot, the Gibsons’ work would only be half done. Because the silver nitrate would begin to ionise in the fresh air, the exposed plates would have to be developed within an hour, Once finished and retouched, the prints would then be broadcast to the relevant organisations. “Being down this part of the world, you were a long way from civilisation as such, weren’t you? Now, my daughter, if she gets a picture that is worthwhile, she can email it just like that. In my early days, I couldn’t do that – I had to get it over to Penzance to catch a train... you were 24 hours out of date before you even got the thing to the right people.” For a while, Frank believed that the Gibson succession would end with him. “I remember doing a television programme probably 30 years ago where I was bemoaning the fact that I was the fourth generation of photographers, and I had three daughters and what’s going to happen? And after a while, the three daughters left because there’s nothing in Scilly for them, they all went to the mainland to work, and when the youngest one got married and had children, all of a sudden, she thought, ‘Yes, not a bad place to go back to, Scilly. There’s a business there, it’d be a shame for the business to fold up all of a sudden.’ So without training, she came home, I carried her around for 18 months, trying to show her this, that and the 43rd thing, and now she’s gone past me, because she’s gone digital, computers, you name it, which I don’t want to know!” The digital age will pass Frank by, and happily so. But why did the Gibsons start on the wreck pictures in the first place? “I’ve been told but I don’t quite know if it’s right, that the shipping companies were interested from an insurance point of view. That’s what I’ve been told, but I begin to wonder – I think they were just interested in that sort of thing. You know, if you’re born in an island or around the sea, anything around the coast, it’s the first thing you notice. I think one only has to look at the number of people on any coast who will just go along to see a wreck. Not necessarily to go and pick it over, but just to go and see it.” His grandfather, Alexander, and great-uncle, Herbert, were the family members who got the best shipwreck images. Though capable of using steam, many ships were still designed and built as sailing vessels during the second half of the 19th century, and the sheer volume of shipping passing the coasts of Cornwall and the Scillies ensured a steady level of casualties year after year. Add to that the persistent hazards of faulty instruments, erratic charts, human error and a dark coastline, and it was small wonder that to the Gibsons, they were, “a different world. The (ships) were so beautiful, they were. The unfortunate thing about those sailing ships in some of the pictures we got – they were 100 days out of Australia, and that was their first landfall. What a terrible experience, isn’t it? You know, sailing for 100 days to get to England, to Falmouth and end up on the Lizard.” 36

Images from previous pages: Top, Granite State Porthcurno, 1895 Bottom, Hansey Lizard, 1911 This page, Mildred Gurnards Head, 1912 www.gibsonsofscilly.com


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And what of the wreckers? The Gibsons must have been aware of them. Those black-clad watchers in many of the photographs were not always just sightseers. “In the 1800s, I don’t say it gave them a living, but by gosh, it was essential, you know, because they were very, very poor in these islands in those days. Before Augustus Smith come, these islands were extremely poor, so shipwrecks were terribly important to people. I don’t believe the story that they attracted them to shore one bit. But if a wreck occurred, they were there as quick as lightning.” He remembers being told the story of the Schiller disaster, though it was many years before his time. “They salvaged a lot of cargo, a lot of American green banknotes, but nobody knew the value of them. All these green notes were coming ashore, dollar bills, and one particular man paid kids a shilling a bucket for them – ‘You go round, pick up all these, I’ll give you a shilling a bucket.’ Well, the kids were enjoying themselves, they thought they were wealthy with a shilling, I suppose. He built houses and God knows what on the strength of that.” The Gibsons knew of the wreckers, and probably of a great deal more besides. But their work is exceptional partly because it remains unjudgemental. They provided fine professional records of specific dates and times for insurance companies or newspapers, but their pictures also rise above those times. Whether they were taking pictures of sailing ships or oil tankers, it is their humanity and their skill at dealing with the sea’s intransigence that changes their photographs from being mere factual records into works of art. Their shipwreck images are beautiful and sad and intriguing and often just a little bit sinister, and their cumulative effect remains as beguiling as the sea itself 8 Abridged from The Wreckers, by Bella Bathurst, published by Harper Collins: www.harpercollins.co.uk 37


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>Essay Max Houghton Commit to Memory

People have long regarded the recording of the past as one of life’s essential tasks, even if, as the poet Larkin realised, we are not suited to the long perspectives open to us at each instant of our lives.1 What we choose to remember in our archive of memory, both personal and collective, and how we remember it affects how we understand our present and how we shape our future. Most important of all is having the will to remember 2 in the first place. Since its inception over 150 years ago, the photograph has been one of the most effective mediums to record and disseminate information, be it family snapshots, official portraits, news images or lifestyle shoots, or even as a tool of propaganda. In the private sphere of the family, old photographs hold together the threads of memory , especially when captioned. “Ruth, Skegness, 1977” can speak volumes when etched on the back of a fading Kodak print, its very caste and print quality harking back to another era. It is in this way our earliest recollections of a time and a place, or simply an emotion, are recreated, such is the potency of the photograph as a trigger to our own memory bank. The context of time is frequently used as an impetus for us to remember; every day is an anniversary. In seeking a visual means to commemorate the end of the war in Bosnia, we might first look back to the strongest documentary work from the time, for example, Paul Lowe, or Tom Stoddart. Sniper Alley can be remembered via their images. Or we might look to the work of Zijah Gafic, to show us the war though the eyes of a Bosnian. Gafic’s images have even more resonance as they are made in the context of his family, especially when we learn that his grandfather, who fought against the Nazis in WWII, committed suicide as the first shelling of their home town of Gorazde began. Ten years on, in this issue of EI8HT, we have chosen to publish the “aftermath” project of American photojournalist Sara Terry. She has turned her attention to the lives that continue, lives that have had to be rebuilt in wake of genocide. Out of tragedy, she has found joy and hope. In 100 years time, be it through the building of memorials, museums, or the making of films or the writing of books, our children’s children will seek new ways to remember. British landscape photographer Simon Norfolk chooses to remember what he calls “human deviousness” in his new work Bleed. With exquisite precision, he depicts secondary mass grave sites 3 in Bosnia. The beauty of the Balkan landscape captures the viewer instantly, yet it is not just their immediate aesthetic appeal which makes them so compelling; there is a thickness and a density to these images that hinges open the questioning part of the mind. The answer, to the “what” not the “why”, is provided by a brief, devastating caption. Of the metallic lake, pictured here, Norfolk says:

Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given, and transmitted from the past. Karl Marx 38


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In rocket attacks on Kabul in 1993-94, Gulbuddin Hikmetyar, a former Mujaheddin commander, destroyed the entire Kabul City bus fleet – 4,000 vehicles in total. The carcasses of most of the vehicles were hauled to Gulf Bagrami on the outskirts of Kabul where they have since been cannibalised for spares (Afghanistan: Chronotopia, Simon Norfolk) Aluminium waste pool, right, at Petkovici, part of the Karakaj factory complex. On 14 July 1995, several hundred Bosnian men and boys were taken near here and killed. Some of the bodies were thrown into the lake, the rest piled into mass graves (Bleed, Simon Norfolk)

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“I probably drove right past the lake at first without knowing anything about its significance. It’s about alloying a significance to a place on top of what that place is in itself. It’s a lake with some water in it, but when you come to it with some knowledge about its history ... you realise that remembering what happened in these places is the most important human job we’ll ever have: remembering man’s inhumanity. If you go back to these places, it’s almost as if the ground itself wants to cry out these secrets.” In Bleed, every millimetre, every molecule resonates with information, with the weight of the history that exists in this region. In this sense, Norfolk’s work defies our obsession with the context of time. The images become in themselves memorials, not to the corpses the earth harboured unwillingly, not to individual lives lost, but to man’s inhumanity to man. “Human history is not reliable because humans are not reliable. I don’t trust any of them. With landscape, if you can attune yourself, landscape will hold these things and bounce them back to you.” The 400-year-old ideas of the Romantic philosophers and poets can provide a key to a deeper understanding of Norfolk’s work. Just as Wordsworth 4 was not writing about clouds and daffodils, but the human emotion of loneliness, so Norfolk looks to the natural environment to speak truths about men. His other work deals with what he calls “the thickness of time”, owing much to the theory of ruins and the idea of the chronotope (literally chronos meaning time, topos place). A chronotope is a space where, according to literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin, who coined the term, “the knots of narrative are tied and untied”. Thus, one of Norfolk’s images of Afghanistan brings into one moment the ruins of the Kabul bus fleet; a graveyard in the foreground for people killed in the country’s recent past under the Taliban regime and the war designed to crush it; further back is a band of Adobe architecture, delineating the edge of the city of Kabul; and in the background are the Hindu Kush mountains, described by Norfolk as “the permanent, the everlasting, the infinite, the one thing that will be there after men have risen”. Here we can see that all of time exists in one place. Even without the density of a chronotope, every picture is a text, its value and meaning changing over time. In order to record its meaning, we must know the circumstances under which it came about, who took it, why they took it, and then once it exists, who wants to use it, and for what purpose? “You have to know what you’re looking at. You need captions to nail things down ... without them, any historiography of photography is 39


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dangerous. It’s also why photographs are so interesting – because they’re slippy; they’re like the Will’ o the Wisp,” says Norfolk. The task of recording history in the making falls to archivists. In compiling a visual history of his time, Benjamin Stone was one of the earliest photographic archivists, and founder of the National Photographic Record Centre in 1895. In his lifetime, he collected some 22,000 images, a great many of which he took himself, in order to fulfil his aim of recording history with his camera. Stone believed photographs to be “the most reliable, the most correct recording means, and therefore they become the most important aid in educating and obtaining instruction”. His rich archive now forms the backbone of what Pete James, head of photographs at Birmingham Library 5, hopes will become the National Centre for Documentary and Record Photography. James has a similarly robust view on the role of photography in how we remember – and learn from – history: “The importance of a visual history; and the absolute centrality of photography to that visual history is so undervalued. Photographic images have unique properties; they are historical objects and they are also artefacts, conveyors of historical information... the two things are inextricably linked. Photographs are not value-free documents of the past, but historical evidence in their own right.” As well as the awesome, to remember history, or indeed histories, we must look to the prosaic, the ordinary, the unremarkable. Documentary photographer Daniel Meadows had a specific aim in mind when he embarked upon his now famous Bus 6 project in 1974: he wanted to reclaim history from the hands of the victors. A photographer who can capture the three ages of man in a single face, Meadows’ work comes through a direct lineage from Benjamin Stone and Tony Ray Jones. He wanted to invite the invisible nation to tell us about who they – or we – are, and it was this same desire that compelled him, 20 years on, to return to his contact sheets, to try to track down the faces of the ’70s; to put names and histories to the images; to find out if his theory of why the postmistress had one fingernail clipped noticeably shorter than the others bore out. For Meadows, it is not the punctum (the fingernail which caught his attention), but Barthes’ studium 7 (the scene, the era, the suggested relationship) that holds the viewer, that has the genuine historical information to reveal. “Photographs become more interesting as time goes on,” says Meadows. “There are great photographers working today who are entirely in touch with the zeitgeist; sceptical, cynical commentators. Yet in 60 years time, people will look at their work and notice the parlous state of the pavements.” Meadows cites an example of a woman whose home he had photographed in the 1970s, who sought his pictures for a restoration project 20 years on. In the same way, Benjamin Stone’s photographs of Windsor Castle were used by English Heritage after the great fire that ravaged it in 1992. Photographs don’t need a Doctor Who-style Tardis 8 to become deft time travellers, as long as we know from whence they came. Via the fascinating juxtapositions in his book The Bus, we see the children of the ’70s now towering over their mothers, tartan shirts that no longer scream Bay City Rollers but work with a certain hairstyle to define an era. In the portrait of sisters Lyn and Stella, Lyn displayed such immense star quality, Meadows wondered if in fact she were ordinary enough for his project. It is delightful to let our imagination speculate as to the specifics of who they were and who they became, and as a purely visual record the sets of images do just that. But to know how much Lyn wanted to be a model back in those days, so much so she worked in a nightclub as a go-go dancer in a cage, and to witness the genuine sisterly warmth between her and Stella is priceless. “It’s not about Hello! magazine portraiture, as shown at the 40

Portrait of Sir Benjamin Stone, 1900

1

Philip Larkin, Reference Back, The Whitsun Weddings

2

Pierre Nora, Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Mémoire

3

The perpetrators of the genocide in Bosnia knew that their atrocities would be documented and that if caught they would have to face war crimes tribunals. This realisation caused them to return to mass graves, dig up the bodies and hide them elsewhere – in what are known as secondary mass grave sites. More of these images can be viewed at www.simonnorfolk.com

4

William Wordsworth, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

5

www.birmingham.gov.uk

6

In 1974 Daniel Meadows set off on a tour of the UK in a double-decker bus, photographing ordinary people. www.photobus.co.uk

7

Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida

8

Tardis stands for Time and Relative Distance in Space

9

Capture Wales www.bbc.co.uk/wales/capturewales/

10 Friedrich Nietzche, Genealogy of Morals


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Lyn Dansey and Stella Burras, 1974 and 1999, sisters orginally photographed in Southampton (The Bus, Daniel Meadows)

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National Portrait Gallery. Mario Testino in particular is despicably awful. You’re much more likely to find social history in the obscure archives of amateurs,” says Meadows. This chimes with what Pete James is looking for to create his national archive: “We want people’s personal collections, as much as the work of professional photographers, and we don’t just want the pictures but the contact sheets, the daybooks of photographers, the commissioning notes. A photograph can’t be understood without information about how it was possible to bring the photograph about in the first place. In terms of cataloguing, we want all kinds of information – layers and layers of it. It’s important to have a dialogue with the practitioners, otherwise all you get is the institutional point of view.” Meadows also wants to avoid the institutional perspective, so much so that he has handed the job of recording history to non-professionals – or “ordinary people” who want to tell their family stories, by way of his digital storytelling project Capture Wales 9. He is passionate about the short films people are creating, using a family snapshot to connect to a fond or profound memory. Meadows has watched and marvelled at people responding to a black and white image yet remembering pink shoes or a yellow dress “Our fellow humans are walking encyclopaedias. Ordinary isn’t boring but it requires a patience, a desire to listen. Non-professionals may not have the articulation, or the perfect soundbite, but there’s a lot to learn from them. We don’t need to reinvent how we live our lives. We don’t need the mediation of ‘reality’ TV or fashion magazines to learn how we could be.” Or, indeed, how we are. Daniel Meadows’ Bus project will always transport us to the late 20th century, but over time it will teach us different things. It may be that the work of our digital storytellers is archived for now, but its time will surely come; an archive carefully curated by a watchful attendant is a living resource . Simon Norfolk’s work is destined for major galleries and museums across the world, so its visibility should be assured. He is currently working to drag out the invisible and bring it into public view. On the rationalisation that time runs backwards and forwards, he is documenting the history of the future in his latest project, Supercomputers, which intends to show the battlefields of tomorrow, being planned at this moment on a military computer near you. Once seen, like newspaper missing persons mugshot, a photograph is often unforgettable. Such is the power of the visual that it can leave an indelible imprint in the mind’s eye. A photograph transmits the past almost magically to the present like a cave painting. Maybe that’s all they really are – the visions of one man’s eye, a product of awe and a desire to record what has been seen. Once the photograph has been seen, it has done its job. It has opened the doors to the imagination, enabling us to procure more knowledge, more information, more facts about that which has passed, is past. After the photographers, the archivists, the publishers, the curators have done their job, we must do ours. We must have the will to remember, whether we are linked via the image to global warfare, family feuds, military secrets or home truths. Photographs are triggers to our own memory archive, which we need to constantly curate in order to keep it vibrant. As Nietzsche knew, our mnemonic technique is painful – we must burn something in the mind so that we will remember: “Only that which never ceases to hurt stays in the memory.” 10 In this way, we are linked, more often than not, to our losses. We do not forget, we do not understand, we do not, save for the most pious among us, forgive. But, in the meantime, we can come closer to those other, more noble, states of grace by choosing to remember 8

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EyesWide Open


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Andrew Testa left the Balkans for a working trip to the Surin Islands off the coast of Thailand to photograph the Moken, nomadic Sea Gypsies who spend eight months of the year at sea. A month later, the tsunami struck, and although the Moken lost their homes, ancestral wisdom saved their lives. Whether it can save their way of life remains to be seen

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Once upon a time among the most beautiful islands in the world lived the Sea Gypsies. During the winter months they built bamboo houses on the water’s edge and lived happily, isolated from the rest of the world by the powerful ocean. In the long, hot summer, they would fashion boats and spend the season at sea. Each morning, the children of the Moken would rise with the sun and run out into the sea in search of fish for breakfast. With a weightless grace, they would dart through the water, eyes wide open, discerning tiny clams on the seabed which would have been invisible to you or I. The Sea Gypsies were as much a part of the underwater world as the coral reef, the manta rays and the whale sharks. The Moken people arrived on the Surin Islands off the coast of Thailand from South China some 4,000 years ago, their language passed down from mother to child through the spoken word. By the 21st century, they still did not have a word for ‘want’. As the rest of the world created new things to consume, the Moken wanted nothing, believing it their calling to remain outsiders, to be poor. As news spread of their simple way of life, holidaymakers from all over the world wanted to visit these people who were at one with nature and see this earthly paradise for themselves. Their islands were now called a National Park, and in the summer when the seas were calm, huge tourist boats would appear on the horizon. There were now officials in charge of the National Park who failed to recognise the Moken as human beings, referring to them not by their names, or as ‘he’ or ‘she’ but as simply ‘it’. The Sea Gypsies were no longer allowed to cut down trees with which they crafted their boats. They were not allowed to sell shells, the treasures of their shores, or fish they had artfully and humanely speared. The tourists liked to look at the Moken, and would bring them prizes from their societies: gifts of alcohol, cigarettes and plastic trinkets. One day during the summer months, the sea suddenly retreated, as the Moken’s ancestors had long predicted it would. All was silent. The Moken knew what to do, and as one, they ran to the feared interior of the island, seeking high ground. They knew that when the sea returned, it would be hungry and would swallow all in its wake. Some say not a single Moken died on the day Western people called Boxing Day, 2004, when the raging ocean claimed tens of thousands of lives. Other reports say one Sea Gypsy disappeared with the wave. The Moken believed that the giant wave would herald a rebirth, a sea change for humanity. It is not yet clear how that change might manifest. Although their future is uncertain, for now, the Moken children are still laughing and playing freely in the crystalline water that is their home. Freedom for them is not something that can be granted or removed; it is a state of mind. They still swim with their eyes wide open, seeing the world clearly, even underwater 8 Max Houghton Eyes Wide Open Andrew Testa

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>Moments We Were Here Lucian Read

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Lucian Read shot this picture in Najaf, Iraq, in August 2004 after weeks of fierce fighting between US forces and Shi’ite militants. The Marines were finally able to relax after holding a position of several bombed-out hotels for days. “Right on the brink of having to storm the Imam Ali Mosque, the peace agreement came together. So they won without ever having to go through with it. The commanding officer came to me and said, ‘Hey, we’d love to get a picture of everybody. Can you do that?’ So I had the entire company –156 guys – all stand

in the windows and doors, and I stepped way back and took a photograph of all of them. “I’m incredibly fond of it not only because of the visual, but also because it shows their need to be recognised. It says, ‘This is us; this is all of us, and we did this together. We all want to be in this picture, and we want it to be in a place that means something to us.' I think it’s an incredible document of that spirit and that time and that place and of how they see themselves” 8

This image is part of a travelling exhibition of Lucian Read’s Iraq story, Devil Dogs– No better friend, no worse enemy. Launched in New York at WpN guerilla galleries the show will travel to Los Angeles, CA in September and Portland, OR in October 2005


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Jesus and the Cherries Since 1993, when her German mother bought a house in northwest Poland, Jessica Backhaus has formed an intimate acquaintance with the village of Netno and its inhabitants. As she was welcomed, cautiously at first, into people’s homes, Backhaus was captivated by the colourful interiors and slightly old-fashioned charm within, confounding her expectations of post-Communist murk

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Newcomers are welcomed to Netno with baskets of blueberries. Breakfasting on coffee and apples peeled in one go, to leave a single, long, unbroken coil, or taking tea, poured into the best china, with a square of chocolate, the rituals of neighbourliness are undertaken with a quiet solemnity. The table is always immaculately laid. Summer sees the children playing in the lakes that embrace the village to the east and to the south. While many local grandmothers have never left the village, pursuing the traditional life of raising a family, the younger generation harbours desires to see beyond. A few trades can be undertaken for the good of the community – the florist and the shopkeeper will thrive – but there is not enough work to go round, and many a young man has turned to drink to while the days away. Like any rural, deeply religious village, funerals and weddings are each year’s significant markers, uniting the wider community in sorrow or joy. The village is still grieving over the untimely death of two young Netno boys after a night’s heavy drinking. If you are invited into a Netno home, and you look closely at the prettily patterned walls, you will see intricate hand-stencilling, every design unique. Two things, however, are ubiquitous in the homes of nearly all villagers: Jesus and the cherries. The fruit is preserved in glass jars for the coming winter, red as rubies, a glistening sweet memento of summer. The religious icon keeps watch 8 Jesus and the Cherries Jessica Backhaus

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In Search of Midaq Alley When Rod Shone went to visit an English friend in Cairo, he sought the guiding hand of one man to introduce him to the fascinating city of tightly winding alleys Rod Shone and long vistas of the Pyramids: that of Naguib Mahfouz. On arriving, Shone headed straight to a bookstall and purchased Midaq Alley, written by the Nobel laureate for literature in 1947. Mahfouz’s masterly evocation of the teeming city renders it a living soap opera played out on the streets. As Shone absorbed the city, he took up his usual pursuits when he is in a place he loves, and began taking hundreds of photos and filling a sketchbook. His conspiratorial images and drawings are redolent of an intimate stroll around the ancient metropolis, at once bustling and languid, as it nears the end of another extraordinary, ordinary day 8

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“He drew his hand happily over his broad chest, feeling, in so expressing himself, much the same contentment as a singer lost in the rhythm of a melody and elated with the power of his art. He continued with firm conviction: “Some consider that such tragedies afflicting apparently blameless people are signs of a revengeful justice, the wisdom of which is beyond the understanding of most people. So you will hear them say that if the bereaved father, for example, thought deeply, he would realise his loss was a just punishment for some sin either he or his forebears committed. Yet surely God is more just and merciful than to treat the innocent as the guilty. Yet you hear these people justify their opinion by God’s Qur’anic description of Himself as ‘mighty and revengeful’. But I tell you, gentlemen, that Almighty God had no need of revenge and only adopted this attribute to advise man to practise it. God had already stated that the affairs of this life should be settled only on the basis of reward and punishment. Dear and Almighty God’s own essential attributes are wisdom and mercy. “If I saw in the loss of my children a punishment or penalty I merit, then I would agree with that philosophy and be censured. But I would still be depressed and dissatisfied and no doubt protest that an innocent child dies for a weak man’s sins. And is that forgiveness and mercy? And where is the tragedy in what reveals wisdom, goodness, and joy?” Radwan Hussainy’s opinions drew objections based on both the literal texts and the scholastic interpretations of Islam. Some present insisted that what seemed revenge was in fact mercy. Many of the other men were both more eloquent and erudite than Radwan but he had not really been inviting argument. He had merely been expressing the love and joy welling up within him.” From Midaq Alley by Naguib Mahfouz

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The Road Less Travelled

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The Road Less Travelled Three men, two camels, one horse: a forbidden journey. On the trail of 1930s explorers Ella Maillart and Peter Fleming, Yann Mingard and Bruno Paulet Yann Mingard embarked on a month-long trip across one of the world’s uttermost regions. The challenging path, from Golmud to Cherchen, taking in much of the old Silk Road, is not a well-trodden one, prohibited 70 years ago for political reasons, protected now as a nature reserve. The men bought a horse in Tibet to help them achieve their goal, though this proved to be a mistake. Travelling through wildly different landscapes, different weather conditions took their toll on the horse. Like British journalist Peter Fleming before them, they tried to buy a new horse ... but no one was willing to sell. The Uighurs of Xinjiang had plenty more use for a horse than for money. Instead, the men bought two camels, and this is how the third man, Mangke, a Mongolian, joined the trip – to tend to the beasts and to navigate the next leg of the journey. The raw beauty of the salt lakes, of the Kunlun Shan Mountains, of the desert, sometimes grassy, sometimes sandy, was awe-inspiring for Mingard and Paulet. Wildlife was quiet but ever present: wild donkeys, bears, wolves and yaks. They saw very few people as they traversed this ancient land. For the most part, the only people the latter-day explorers encountered were Chinese Muslims, or Uighurs, who would willingly share their freshly killed sheep, green tea or tobacco with the Western travellers. Parts of the Silk Road are now well-travelled once more, but in towns like Issik Pakte, the Chinese soldier had seen so few occidental faces, he put them in jail for the night – one with purple walls and large green window frames – just for good measure. It turned out to be the most comfortable night’s sleep of the trip 8

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>Inside

Adrian Murrell, responsible for Getty Images editorial output in Europe and Asia, has seen more of the world than most. The former photographer talks to EI8HT about dominance, money and the future of photojournalism Interview by Andy Steel EI8HT: Tell us about your role at Getty and what it entails? Adrian Murrell: I run day-to-day operations for editorial news, sport and entertainment; my official title is Vice President for editorial Europe, Middle East, Africa & Asia Pacific. My team includes hundreds of picture editors and photographers and it plans huge operations to cover events from the Olympics to Iraq. Under me are the directors of photography, to whom the photographers report. Thankfully I have quite a lot of dealings with the photographers; I used to be one and I am used to managing them. 8: Do you favour a hands-on management approach with the photographers? AM: I think that was the feel for Getty when they took me on as a refugee from the Allsport photo agency in 1998. Someone with strong photographic and editorial experience was needed to put something back into the business and this is what I am doing today. 8: You obviously feel passionate about your job. Did you always want to work for Getty? AM: Getty gave Allsport the chance to digitise its analogue content, rather than keeping it stored and relatively unavailable to people who wanted to buy it. We were working with photographers who didn’t see the benefit of staying in the analogue world. I

recognised that many agencies were falling behind and it was absolutely the right time for aggregation. Importantly, we wanted to ensure our photographers had a better future. 8: Which specific Getty photographs have crystallised your interest in photography? AM: One that springs to mind involved a recent ambush in Iraq where Chris Hondros was in the right place at the right time; he was on patrol with a US Army unit and he absolutely captured the moment which depicted the horror of what’s going on in Iraq. There’s another Chris Hondros one in which a Liberian rebel has just shot someone and is running towards the camera: it really depicts the dramatic emotion as the scene unfolded. 8: What exactly is Getty’s $50,000 awards scheme and what benefits does it offer photojournalists? AM: It’s a grants programme launched in Perpignan last year and it’s open to all photographers, whether they work for Getty or not. The photojournalism game is a very tough field in which to earn a living – magazines and newspapers in the ’70s and ’80s used to pay photographers £5,000 or £10,000 to shoot features. But now those budgets have dried up and photographers have to deliver things differently, meaning they take on the risk of

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going to Africa to cover an Aids epidemic or something similar. Our awards scheme enables photographers to work on specific projects and supports those projects that magazines and newspapers would have previously funded. It’s really about putting money back into the industry to aid photojournalists who are struggling to make a living.

© Chris Jackson/Getty Images London, England: former Home Secretary David Blunkett cries as he leaves the Home Office for the last time

8: On what basis and criteria is the work chosen?

8: What does Getty offer photographers that other stock libraries cannot?

AM: There is an independent panel of judges who evaluate the idea and proposal of a project and the criteria is that entrants must have had their work previously exhibited or sold somewhere. Overall, the work needs to be from photographers who are working professionals. When we launched the awards scheme there was a proviso attached that Getty Images was to be the sole agent for selling the resulting images but this is no longer the

© Mario Tama/Getty Images Vatican City: the body of Pope John Paul II lies in state in Saint Peter’s Basilica

case. This rule has been relaxed and photographers are free to choose for themselves who is best to represent their project.

AM: Variety. We’re taking on some very high-end photographers who want to do some creative stuff where potentially there’s more money to be earned. A leading war photographer, recently joined us and he wants the opportunity to do features and to diversify his work. I think we can offer him the creative change he wants; we don’t like to pigeonhole photographers. But it’s not a


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numbers game and we don’t want to just get thousands of contributors under our wing. 8: If you’re offering photographers opportunity, why does Getty tie most of them into an exclusive contract? Do you not think you are closing doors rather than opening them? AM: No. We want to build a relationship with that person and promote their work, so we are helping each other. We want to create the Getty way of doing things and we are in a better position to market their pictures with our experience and knowledge. Some photographers still have contracts with other stock agencies but generally, on the editorial side, we contract photographers. On the creative side, however, we don’t like to tie photographers into a contract. 8: What is the percentage of the sale price currently received by the photographer? AM: It depends on whether the photographer is editorial or creative. Editorially, for the most part, it’s a straight 50/50 cut. Creatively, if UK contributors sell analogue images, the photographer receives 50% of the sale. If they sell their images to buyers in this country digitally via the website, Getty takes 60%; if images are sold outside of UK territory, we receive 70%. 8: The increased percentage for those selling abroad, how does this come about? AM: When a picture is sold out of the UK, there’s a different percentage because there are agents involved who take a split. Photographers are willing to pay us the cut we demand in the knowledge they’ll get their work on our site with more exposure and more sales. 8: Is there a lucrative income to be made by photojournalists who devote much of their work to stock photography? AM: Yes. We’ve built a team in the UK capable of promoting the work of photojournalists; today there is a lot of pressure on photojournalism agencies and

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Getty can channel the work of these guys because of the exposure we offer their work. Of course some photographers are better than others and the door isn’t going to open for every single person, but we do encourage them to sell through us because of the opportunities.

‘Love or hate us, financially we’re very successful’ 8: If I were a photojournalist, specialising in one specific genre, why would I come to Getty instead of going to an agent who dealt in my field? AM: Getty is an agency that’s moving forward while many others are stagnant. Love or hate us, we are financially very successful. With the success of having financial backing, which it has generated itself, the money has been used for good purposes. Other companies such as AP or Reuters often have distractions; we take and sell pictures and that is all we focus on doing. 8: How does Getty specifically support photojournalism? AM: We offer lesser known photographers opportunities and we are very passionate about young photojournalists; just look at things like our awards scheme and the fact we’re taking over things like the Ian Parry Award, which promotes the work of many unknown photographers. The Getty Images Gallery is another area where we specifically encourage people to exhibit work. It’s got white walls and lots of space from which we run about a dozen exhibitions each year – we don’t just sell pictures but we do other things, too. I don’t think any other major stock agency offers the range of products we do. 8: It sounds then like there actually are quite a few distractions for Getty from the taking and selling of images ?

AM: We try to focus on taking and selling pictures but we’re also responsible for promoting quite a lot of photojournalists. Getty sponsors many photo competitions involving sensitive reportage imagery, such as The Picture Editors’ Awards. If a photojournalist comes to us and presents a project that we feel is worthwhile, we’ll invest the money to see it through. 8: What is Getty’s unifying ethos? AM: Quality; variety; depth; energy; vision. Getty’s aim is to bring the best agencies together under one roof and organically grow them – I think the last ten years has shown they’ve done that. I very much admire Mark Getty’s vision and I like the fact he’s taken a massively fragmented industry and brought it together. When Getty began to pave the way forward, others saw our example and followed. It would’ve taken a lot longer for the industry to get to the stage where it is now had Getty not been using its innovation. When we took on companies like Tony Stone, it helped the industry to aggregate. 8: How important is the actual photography to Getty? Is it something that has to be intrinsically interesting? AM: If you don’t take the best pictures, you don’t sell pictures or get awards. Mark Getty and Jonathan Klein are passionate about the pictures we sell and the photographers who take them. We’ve won over 100 competitions in the last three years – including sports, news and entertainment – and a good example is Chris Jackson who we sent to cover David Blunkett leaving Number 10. He got a cracking shot of Blunkett crying, which won News Photograph of the Year at the recent Picture Editors’ Awards.

employed since I’ve been with Getty have strong photographic backgrounds. You can’t be in this company if you aren’t passionate about pictures. 8: Do you consider Getty’s images to be commodities rather than a means of communication? AM: Brutally speaking, everything in the photo industry is a commodity. We take pictures and someone buys them, which is business. We believe in quality and that’s the watchword. 8: Many in the industry are critical of Getty’s obsession with dominance and money and your business record suggests this is the case. Do you agree? AM: You’re entitled to your opinion; if you take good pictures, the sales will follow. But let’s be honest here – most photographers are commercially driven and we’re well positioned to sell their pictures. A lot of people who criticise Getty have been quick to come and ask if they can contribute or if they can come and be staff photographers. I believe we have built a platform to give these people the variety and career opportunities they want. And I want to make it clear that we sign photographers on the strength of their work and not their earning potential.

‘We have no desire to kill the competition’

8: Can you be a strong picture agency if the pictures aren’t the most important element?

8: Is it a coincidence that Getty Images is based in Seattle, the home of Starbucks, and should we draw any conclusions from this... does Getty follow the ‘one on every corner’ mentality?

AM: I don’t believe so. Why would Getty employ a former professional photographer such as me, rather than a qualified accountant? They know I know about photography and photographers. The people I’ve

AM: Getty moved to Seattle because it acquired Photodisc and the business model needed to be understood. America is the biggest country in the world for commercial photography and Getty needed to be there. We are

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not driven by the Starbucks approach because we are driven by quality. 8: Is it Getty’s ultimate desire to kill the competition? If so, how does that further the cause of photojournalism? AM: As a photographer I’ve always loved competition. When 50 working photographers are fighting for space it inspires them to get the best pictures. We have no desire to kill the competition. 8: Would you not agree that this is what has happenned? There are less independent agencies and libraries around now than there were five years ago. AM: There’s still a lot of competition out there. Getty has tried to raise the bar with its creative talent, but I don’t think we’re killing the competition. Editorially our share is minimal. There are all sorts of other publications out there who use

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many different images, so the competition is still huge. There are people evolving from the industry all of the time and we think healthy competition is good. 8: Is Getty Images monopolising the stock photography market? AM: We’re a big player but I wouldn’t use the word monopoly. We have a large market share but there are a lot of specialist areas we don’t cover, so there are always going to be spaces in the market elsewhere. I don’t think we have created this all-conquering monopoly that some others seem to think we have. 8: A number of independent agencies have been told by picture desks that however low they go on the price they charge for an image, they will always be beaten by Getty Images. Do you not think this poses a threat to the creative side of the industry?

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AM: One thing I’ve learnt in this business – and I’ll refer back to my Allsport days – is that I used to go to meetings where some people accused us of being the most expensive agency around. And then I’d go to another meeting where they told me we were the cheapest. So opinions differ and it’s exactly the same principle in the world of Getty, only the numbers are bigger. Of course it’s in Getty’s interests – because we employ about 1,800 people – that we’re not giving pictures away, but rather we’re trying to get the best money we can for the pictures we offer. 8: Are you optimistic about the future of photojournalism? AM: Hugely. Now is a time where celebrity photography is huge; we’ve gone through a phase of quite high and intrusive celebrity stuff and I’m a great believer that things are cyclical and I think people will always be interested in quality photojournalism.

© Chris Hondros/Getty Images Monrovia, Liberia: a militia commander loyal to the government exults after firing a rocket-propelled grenade at rebel forces at a key strategic bridge

8: So do you see Getty as a medium to publish these terrible worldwide events that perhaps don’t get the publicity they deserve? AM: Yes. I think it’s important to provide balanced coverage of these things. We were one of the first agencies into Liberia, which was very important to our philosophy. Getty maintains coverage in Iraq, which is hugely expensive operation, and has its own office and photographers operating out of Iraq. For these reasons Getty has a passion to develop photojournalism and it is a key part of what we do 8


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>Reviews >Events >Listings >Scene Bosnians Paul Lowe Published by Saqi Books www.saqibooks.com £18.99 (172pp Hardback)

Amid the dread of the many conflicts that have fractured Bosnia for more than a decade, there has been calm enough to talk about the land, about a homeland, a belonging. In a time marked by the mapping and repositioning of uneasy territories, Paul Lowe’s book draws upon photographs made during and beyond the point of war. Bosnians is a broadly historical account, authored by a photographer who is rare amongst war photographers in that he remained in the area. His book is an account of the last 10 years, of the crisis the region has endured, and of reparation. Ten years will change anyone, and time can create a rare authority. Looking through the book it seems the photographer has also made a journey with his medium. I remember in the early 1990s, Lowe wrote eloquently on the discomfort and challenges he felt, responding as a photographer to a crisis in Africa. It was a

meditation on the limits, yet also the potential of the medium he had chosen. It also conveyed something of the limits of the outsider, the visitor who roams with the pack – reaching the surface but nothing more. Bosnians then, affords us something of the temperament of the photographer. In the more oblique images, we find a photographer usefully searching for a depth of language with which to describe the unfathomable reality of contemporary slaughter. We observe the witness, reaching for strategies that describe the complexities of civil breakdown. Formally, Lowe has great reach. His pictures enliven dramas in street scenes and at the peripheries of battle. The children are photographed well, assuming stoicism whether at play in a shadow-land, or at the heart of the keening familial tragedies that pace the book. Panoramas punctuate the flow, to evoke a sense of territory and the volume of burial. Indeed, the peopled images are supported by a diversion into the bitterly disputed landscape, which is effective. A tatty river’s edge is eventually drawn into focus as an execution site; a mortar shell leaves a ghoulish carved relief within an alley floor; a man, drawn from a Grimm’s tale (except for his clinical white overalls), surrenders to exhaustion in a glade while on an adjacent page, skeletal remains are drawn from a more awkward landscape. Lowe also employs another

strategy. He catalogues key stages by means of a stream of small images. Crossing sniper alley, the water carriers, identifying bodies, the rescue of the wounded and the dead traverse double pages sporadically to suggest something of the overbearing regularity of such situations over the time of conflict. This is a useful measure, it creates momentum and tends to work, although many of the pictures are individually intriguing and could easily be bigger or alone. There are a lot of pictures here to accommodate, and on occasion there seems a gulf between pictures that simply witness and images that appear to be more urgent and profound responses to situations as they unfold. The book is a diverse survey, and sometimes the differing approaches seem tethered by the book’s shape. It differs greatly

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from the singularity of Perres’ Silence, for example, or the stormlight patina of Paolo Pellegrin’s Kosovo. There is one further device. The book accommodates a range of texts, from political and military commentaries to the purest, simplest accounts of loss. The less successful pieces encroach upon and hinder the pictures. For me, the best of the writing, by Aleksander Hemon, articulates perfectly the hell of evading sniper fire while carrying out the essential acts of daily life. The imbalance, not being able to think, thinking too much, living through adrenaline – it is a vital, tense text, transcendent and urgent, and a somehow a great challenge to photographers living in the same world. Ken Grant


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Photie Man Tom Wood Published by Steidl www.steidl.de £28 (224pp Hardback)

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seemingly no goal, clearly no agenda, but somehow a purpose and an urgency to respond, acknowledge and perhaps understand the lives of the people he lived amongst. There was a close affinity with Sudek and Sander, and the wish to build a response over time. Then came the search for colour and the gathering of chance and life of the determined street photographer. The omission from Looking for Love seemed to be the wider lives of the people in the pictures. Perhaps as an account of Wood’s work, it was singular and abrupt. It is not surprising then, that Photie Man has become a vehicle with which to liberate and realign both the familiar and the lesser-seen photographs Wood has been making since the early 1970s.

There are few templates for the kind of collaboration that photographer Tom Wood and the artist Padraig Timoney have made. Certainly there are no parallels with the many photographers who work briefly and clinically, vainly producing books or exhibitions that don’t merit publishing or hanging, “the kind of photography that just doesn’t matter”, as Lisette Model would have it. When Wood produced his first book, Looking for Love, it seemed a concise chapter in the work of a searching, persistent photographer. It was a portrayal of familiarity and love in a bar at the edge of the River Mersey in Liverpool, a drama led by a people in a difficult land. It was a meditation on staring, convincing, risking … needing. In the photographs, catharsis was both explicit and inferred. Fights spilled around the frame, never straying within. There was a sense of pressure too, of the briefest of chances for love or intimacy, with a simple flashlight holding the exchange of glances. For all its drama, the book appeared measured and formally preoccupied. Those aware of Wood’s work knew these pictures to be a partial account, one of a number of parallel projects that he had nurtured. Beyond the occasional published appearance, there was

The publications that already exist provide a spine for Photie Man. Images from the bus book, All Zones Off Peak, Weinand’s oversize People and Looking for Love conspire to become the foundation for more subtle or irreverent images. There is an abrasion in the selections – a willingness to lose detail and sharpness to gesture, light and mood. The kind of pictures often dismissed because of their untidiness – their technical abrasiveness – bed in against the most refined, tonally beautiful street portraits. At the heart of this book, there is an attempt to marry these qualities, to create a dialogue between Wood’s pictures and Timoney’s formal sensibility. For much of his time on Merseyside, Wood worked with portraiture, photographing on the streets and in the institutions of Liverpool. Portraiture is often a slow, deliberate process, confounded by the transience of the sitter. It is a temporary closeness, a gathering process, and often yielding a poor harvest – and rarely the harmonising of a photographer’s sensitivity and a subject’s independence. More, it is when something is betrayed. Those few occasions when photography becomes secondary and we are left with people, themselves in the world, shouldering that world. Wood’s

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portraits often show relationships – kinships, family bonds spanning generations or the confusions and knowingness of youth. There are the workers, young and old, the mothers and children, the mothers who are still children, too many children. The earliest portraits are black and white, perfectly rendered. They are coupled with colour pictures, a move that somehow extends their reach. For all the busyness and impact of the colour street pictures, there is the clarity of complexion, detail and purpose in the portraits, forever an anchor. Perhaps there are obvious balances too – a child on a bus with her grandfather reaches out to the photographer, in a way that the woman in the previous image, though sharing the same hair and shape, no longer seems able to in her middle age. Yet there are also occasions that constitute a leap of faith. They shouldn’t work together, but somehow they do. A middle-aged couple feed a baby in an unkempt park, and over the page a gang of children stand semi-formally after play. A hooded child withdrawn against a city wall reappears as a

struggling pupil in a classroom. It is these bridges across the book that become everything. Photography – like the city – can be tender and vulgar. Ideas can fail or progress our understanding of how we are. Sometimes it’s enough to try – as Beckett said: “try again, fail again, fail better”. Sometimes it’s enough that the pictures are in the world. KG


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Bleed Simon Norfolk Published by Dewi Lewis www.dewilewispublishing.com £75 (64pp Hardback)

Landscape photographer Simon Norfolk's latest book uses visual metaphor to depict the unearthing and forensic exploration of the hidden crimes and atrocities of Bosnia's war and its mass graves. Limited edition and luxurious in scale, this publication retains the epic quality of much of Norfolk's wide-angle images using both close up and landscape pictures. Taken at specific sites of crimes and conceptually grouped within the book, these oblique images are

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contextualised with paragraphs on the awful histories of these mundane places. Beginning Bleed with three definitions grounded in a material, factual and spiritual change of state – solution, dissolve, absolution – is a clever premise. Given the often unremarkable appearance of the locations in which the horrific events of the Bosnian war took place, Norfolk focuses on the material processes in the landscape as a metaphor for their significance. Abstracted studies of frozen water open the book: its crackles, bubbles, colours and half hidden textures hint at the intimate and the visceral. The marbled surface of excretions and sediment is recorded so close and reproduced so large as to obscure its true meaning – suggesting fossilised remains or Petri dishes of organic matter. However, these we then learn are of the snowmelt and ice covering the bottom of the 40 x 12 metre ditch at Crni Vrh, the largest mass grave discovered to date in Bosnia. At first glance, Norfolk's gentle

studies of light and the hidden forms under blankets of snow don't have enough in them as isolated images. But perhaps their lack of information is the point. The text emphasises the lengths to which the Serb perpetrators went to cover up their crimes. Secondary graves, like Crni Vrh, are unique to Bosnia. They are the remote locations to where bodies, dug up from old graves where the victims fell, were moved by the Serbs in an attempt to remove any evidence, like the snow obscures the ground beneath it. Norfolk seems happiest with his landscape images. The brackish warmth of willow bark and reeds against snow, the rich orange of naked tree branches, perhaps a visual metaphor for human remains coming to light. The structure of a rusting red basketball hoop, at Bratunac soccer stadium where men and boys from Srebrenica were held overnight and shot, stands out like a scaffold against a white field. Marking the site of mines, red paint on trees near Crni Vrh appears like wounds in the frozen

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scene, and in this book's most powerful image, an aluminium waste pond bleeds red into a snow covered landscape. As we reach a decade after the war in Bosnia, a war that Norfolk himself points out was conducted under the full glare of the media, how best should we record and memorialise humanitarian outrages through photography? Bleed offers an unusual approach to a familiar topic and a novel way to construct images of these significant, yet not necessarily particularly visually interesting sites of slaughter and mass burial. The concept behind this meditative selection is a strong and fitting one of solution and absolution. Despite its inconsistent structure, there are some outstanding images here, the indisputable facts about these sites forming the backbone. SW


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Exposure Mary Ellen Mark Published by Phaidon www.phaidon.com ÂŁ49.95 (288pp Hardback)

Most documentary photography, especially from the peripheries of society where Mark has spent so much time, offers an interpretation from an outside perspective and the work produced here is no exception. Exposure brings together her most personal photographs from the past 40 years; Mark made the selection herself, whittling them down to just 134 images. The result is a fascinating insight into many unknown and misunderstood peoples from around the globe, many of whom are from India and the United States. What unfolds cannot be read like a piece of expository journalism but, instead, each page is a benchmark in the emotional life of this photographer, as well as a mirror to what she faced when the shutter button was pressed.

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people's lives for long periods of time, forming deep emotional connections that allow her to be there with her camera for their most revealing moments. Mark's deliberate choice leaves no doubt that each picture is meaningful to the her in a special way; much of her best work is with Indian children, and adolescent girls in particular, although she's clearly adept at capturing many diverse subjects with deep understanding. But is this not just another documentary book? What's different about it? Well, for starters, Mark takes us in deeper and closer to a more personal, intimate level. From pictures of a family living in a dilapidated, deserted ranch, to intimate shots of patients at the Oregon State Mental Hospital, Mark demonstrates the diversity of her photography and the trust she instils in her subjects. Easily navigable with accompanying text for each image to aid understanding, the large and pragmatic design allows readers to absorb the rich and grainy black and white imagery with ease. What's more, captions are left until last, allowing readers time to pass judgement free of preconceptions.

American-born Mark grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and studied fine arts and photography and communications at the University of Pennsylvania. She moved to New York City in 1966 with the sole aim of becoming a professional photographer. I've never met her, but after spending just a few days flicking through the pages of Exposure, it seems as though I know her thoughts. This book is the CV of a woman who immerses herself in other

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Mark exposes herself as an intimate outsider with a beady eye for detail and extra-sensory perception attuned to the absurdities of everyday life. Humanity and skill demonstrated in a whopping, doorstep of a book: fascinating, sometimes depressing and utterly involving. Andy Steel


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The Lost Executioner Nic Dunlop Published by Bloomsbury www.bloomsbury.com £16.95 (326pp Hardback)

An estimated two million people, or one third of Cambodia’s population at the time, were “smashed”, to use Khmer Rouge terminology, in an orchestrated campaign of mass murder. Led by the infamous, enigmatic and reclusive Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge carried out the merciless slaughter of their fellow countrymen, women and children during a four-year period between 1975-1979 in the name of a peasant revolution ideologically based on an anti-intellectual communism that returned the nation to Year Zero. Incredibly, but not unbelievably, the outside world did not simply stand by to allow the sustained and systematic atrocity to occur, but at various times during the purge the governments of the United States, Britain, France, Thailand and China positively aided and abetted the Khmer Rouge. The US even helped fund the party’s revival so that, four years after the Khmer Rouge had been overwhelmed and driven into a no-man’s land on the Thai border by the Vietnamese military, it was very nearly returned to power. Were this the stuff of a novel it would be not be credible. To this day the British government, then led by Margaret Thatcher, has never admitted that SAS troops trained the Khmer Rouge in

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guerrilla fighting, weapons technology and sabotage. The international community’s complicity in the Khmer Rouge massacres is documented meticulously by the author, providing the context for a rather more personal quest: to find the lost executioner Comrade Duch (pronounced Doik), pictured right, head of the secret police and commandant of Tuol Sleng, the prison in Phnom Penh where tens of thousands of innocent Cambodians were photographed before being tortured and summarily executed. The photographs of the dead at Tuol Sleng – which is now a museum where the images are hung on a wall row upon row – is Dunlop’s starting point; finding and exposing Duch his grail. A photographer of note with a body of work behind him, Dunlop is motivated by a personal conviction to see justice upheld having spent many years living and working in Cambodia. His first encounter with the photographs of the deceased at Tuol Sleng propelled him in his quest that at time borders on obsession: “If ever we were to understand the Cambodian holocaust, and bring any measure of justice, finding Duch and others like him was vital.” At all times, Dunlop is engaged, probing, questioning and diligent; he interviews countless survivors, murderers, including Prak Khan, who personally tortured and executed thousands at S-21 (another name for Tuol Sleng) – “I had the impression I was somehow speaking to an empty shell” – and several former Khmer Rouge, some who have recanted, others who hold doggedly to their beliefs. Occasionally, Dunlop allows himself to feel rather than intellectualise his experiences, but more often than not he appears to find the interviewer/historian’s chair a more comfortable one than the emoter’s. At times, the effect is to dampen the book’s vitality, rendering it a little one-paced, enlivened only by the odd personal intrusion. We understand the experience better when he allow us in to “feel” what he does. For example, he recalls

photographing a gruesome scene and being unaffected at the time; only later on coming to edit the images does he feel nauseous. It is as if, understandably, he has become inured to feeling, a point he acknowledges himself when he admits, “Photography had become a safety net. The camera acted as a filter for what I was seeing.” Surprisingly for a photographer first and writer second (although his prose is accomplished), there are few photographs published in the book, his own or pertinently those of the murdered at Tuol Sleng that first haunted and later inspired him. Dunlop explains why: “The display of the images [of the deceased] becomes a passive act of remembrance, rather than a call for justice.” Part of a broader debate, he admits, but it also appears to be tied up with an internal struggle the author is wrestling with about the validity of photography as a medium, and therefore, as a photographer, his own conscience in continuing to practise the art. Dunlop treads on more certain ground when he

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sticks to his quest. Eventually, Dunlop, along with acclaimed journalist Nate Thayer, does track down Duch, who is using the alias Hang Pin, and is, incredibly, working for a US aid agency, ARC, and espousing a Christian belief to which he had converted. After some deliberation Duch confesses to his crimes in what Dunlop feels is a pre-rehearsed speech (he must have known in his heart that this day would one day dawn) before giving himself up to the authorities. Several years later, and to this day, Duch remains in prison awaiting a trial that increasingly looks unlikely to ever take place. Not one single person has been tried for the massacre of more than two million innocent people. Staggering. Chilling. GM


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PhotoEspaña 20 June – 1July Madrid, Spain www.phedigital.com Rencontres de la Photographie 5 July – 18 September Arles, France www.rip-arles.org

Similarly, a series of bodies of work by Martin Parr, David Spero, and Stephen Gill also presented problems. These series, of parking places, wooded huts or street churches, map readers and so on, served either as interchangeable

one offs – nice individual pictures – or as a series whose potential impact evaporated after about the fifth – of 20 – images. It is not very surprising, or interesting, that a parking space in Chicago looks like one in Dublin or Tallinn if carefully selected. We get the joke. This kind of set up seems to defeat the premise of documentary photography, if that was the original intent of PhotoEspaña or the artists, and places the work more in the context of concept art, a la ARCO Madrid or Art Basel. There were also several noteworthy retrospectives and rediscoveries. Walter Rosenblum was the subject of a massive retrospective, with Bill Owens and Stephen Shore, himself shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse prize in London, rounding out the American contingent. William Klein, that quintessential American in Paris, showed rare work related to all his cities. Perhaps the most interesting “rediscovery” to me at least, was the work of Gabriel Cualladó, a photographer of the Franco era whose work was very reminiscent of W Eugene Smith and Walker Evans in its lyrical simplicity and its ability to tell stories in the details. It was work by Guy Tillim and David Goldblatt, both from South Africa, and Bertien van Manen

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© Fernell Franco

The problem is certainly not in the concept or the execution. This year’s theme, “Ciudad” or “City” provided ample room to attract a variety of artistic positions exploring what cities mean as entities both spiritual and temporal. There were crosscultural exercises, by the Fotoleve group, for example, that explored in video one day in the life of six Mediterranean cities, and depicted the similarities of people from nearly identical milieu living in standardised social housing. Other work, by Ricky Dávila, Fernell Franco, and Oscar Mariné, looked at Manila, Bogotá, and Buenos Aires respectively. Montserrat Soto looked at Madrid’s periphery in a sound and video installation while Stan Douglas looked at his own “shrinking city” of Detroit. It all looked good and was reasonably informative and easily accessible. Indeed, most of the work here had been shown at one biennale or another, from Havana to Shanghai. This points to a problem. Why should such a fine festival as PhotoEspaña serve as a recapitulation or annointment of work that has already been shown on the festival level?

© Guy Tilliim

If success begets success, this eighth incarnation of PhotoEspaña is no exception. Massive, brilliantly coordinated and displayed, PhotoEspaña is the epitome of a perfectly run festival. The question is, is it too slick, too accomplished for its own good? Or, better put, did this year’s production values outstrip the content of the work on the myriad walls around the city of Madrid and at its satellite location in nearby Toledo?

from the Netherlands, that bridged the gaps between photojournalism, documentary photography, and art in their approaches to the city. The newer work by Goldblatt and Tillim shares much in common as it depicts the transitions in “The New South Africa”. Tillim, especially, documents the emptying out of the whiteoccupied high-rises in downtown Johannesburg and their transition to “Africa towns” and the subsequent attempts at eviction by the city authorities. Bertien van Manen, on the other hand, examines the use of photography, specifically family portraits, as keepsakes and icons of loved ones lost in war. It is a moving body of work that speaks to the

multiple roles, both sacred and profane, that photography plays in contemporary culture. Beyond the exhibitions, PhotoEspaña orchestrated portfolio reviews that were rather less than perfect for want of being pre-selected by the curators and gallerists supporting the festival. This prevented the reviewers from getting a rawer take on contemporary Spanish photography. Still, it was better than nothing. Finally, there was a series of slide and video presentations, one of which featured an homage to Madrid’s own bombing tragedy, the attacks on 11.3.04 at Atocha Station. It was surprisingly eerie, not the least because in order to get around town to see the shows, one was always popping


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© Michal Heiman

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in and out of the Metro. If PhotoEspaña suffers from an excess of slickness, it could easily be rectified by including newer, fresher work and moving away from the art fair level of representation. Everything else is in place: direction, money, marketing, and a phenomenal location. In fact Madrid has displaced Arles as the place to see work on the walls, but Arles does retain its cachet as a functional meeting place for photographers, albeit barely. What is there to say about the Rencontres that hasn’t been said before? Now, at 36 and in middle age, it seems directionless and running on nostalgia. This year’s crop of shows was notably weak. In honour of the “Year of Brazil in France” some shows were cobbled together featuring some of the finest names of Brazilian photography, Miguel Rio Branco and Mario Cravo Neto, and other lesser known photographers, Rosángela Rennó, Arthur Omar, and Olhares do Morro whose installation on Rio’s favelas was a rare highlight. A large body of work from Israel provided a very mixed bag but was illuminated by the graphic designs of David Tartakover and the media

critiques of Michal Heiman. Another featured grouping was “A World under Stress” and included the Iraq photography of Geert van Kesteren, Why Mister Why?, and a selection of images by Christien Meindertsma of items confiscated in one week at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. Joan Fontcuberta, who was the first guest curator of the Rencontres back in 1996, exhibited his photodocumentary spoof, “Miracles & Co”.’ In honour of the 20th anniversary of the Arles-based École Nationale de la Photographie there was a major group show at an abbey just out of town, about which the less said, the better. Evenings were not much enlivened by the slide and video presentations, especially that touting New York’s renowned International Center for Photography and the nauseating, glorified client pitch by Corbis Outline on celebrity photography. Nobody, of course, really goes to Arles to see the work on the walls. They go to Arles to see who wins the big European photography prizes and to network their socks off. The prize ceremonies proved to be an embarrassment; all but exceeding last year’s Robert

Wilson inspired fiasco. During the projections of winners and runners up, a pianist dabbled on the keys and skatted along or against the flow of images passing overhead. It was incomprehensible. The Arles Book Award was given to Swiss photographer Jules Spinatsch for his monograph Temporary Discomfort. Simon Norfolk received the Outreach Award for his photography of sites of conflict. Anna Malagrida of Spain received The Project Assistance Grant. The No Limit Award, for work that pushes the boundaries of photography, was awarded to Mathieu Bernard-Reymond from France for his digital montages. Miroslav Tichy won The Discovery Award for his eclectic photography of women using hand made cameras. Fazal Sheikh was winner of the newly inaugurated bi-annual Henri Cartier-Bresson International Award. Once again, the only award that made real sense was the Oskar Barnack award presented by Leica Camera to Guy Tillim for his Johannesburg project. Networking continues to be raison d’etre of the Rencontres as is already made clear in its very name. Photographers from all over, some 3,000 or so, packed the Place du Forum’s cafes and restaurants, showed their portfolios to one another and to various curators, gallerists, publishers and collectors. Arles desperately needs to do something to get back on track. After floundering around for a few years without an artistic director, last year’s festival boss Francois Hebel brought in Martin Parr to lend the show some structure. This year, without a director, Arles was a let down. As an additional comment, the press department needs a complete revamping to see that all information is available to all who need it. There is no comparison to the efficiencies in Madrid or Perpignan where everything actually works. If Arles is actually to survive, it needs to do far better both at the level of shows and information politics. The Rencontres cannot get by on charm and nostalgia alone. There are better festivals out there in the world now. BK

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Leisure Bill Owens Published by Fotofolio www.fotofolio.com $25.95 (120pp Hardback) Hayward, California, is a tolerant kind of place. “Black, White, Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Polynesian, we got ‘em all,” says Bill Owens, photographer and chronicler of this town. He points out his bank, his old brewpub, and his former house. Hayward still has a quaint village feel – tidy sidewalks, burger joints closed on Sunday and Monday, old neon signs, a cocktail lounge named Curly’s Place. “I don’t even see it anymore, I drive this street two or three times a day,” Bill comments. While Bill Owens may not “see” this particular strip of Hayward anymore, he has trained his camera on similar towns, specifically in Northern California, for more than 35 years. His most recent release, Leisure, is the fourth and final volume in the landmark Suburbia series. As in his other works, Leisure is part anthropological survey, part popular culture time capsule. Here, Owens captures Americans at their finest – having a good time. Even better, these people are having a good time in the early 1970s, big hair and all. The cover image sets the stage for this golden era of family recreation. In the ’70s, being “outdoorsy” shifted drastically from lodging in rustic tents to cruising into a national park in the equivalent of a rock star’s tour bus. The vitality and devotion to “living the good-life” is captured perfectly here. We see the cook, proudly presenting his grilled hamburger, his ribald T-shirt depicting the popular Raggedy


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Andy and Ann in a cartoon sex act. The stock-issue picnic table is set with real china, tablecloth and two formal candelabras; not one, but four Coleman cook stoves are at the ready; and anchoring the scene, the requisite RV trailer waving the American flag. Paging through the book, I detect an edge of competitiveness that lies just below the surface of these so-called leisure activities. Americans are shown busily immersed in foot races, soccer camps, Pine Wood derbies, wrestling matches, weight lifting, volleyball games, car and dog shows and even classes on how to pack the perfect suitcase. Emphasising the divide from benign amusement to bloodsport are captions like: “All they want are the trophies.” If Bill feels that America’s leisure activities seem a bit cut-throat, more like competitive races, he doesn’t articulate that judgment, saying simply: “Well, you want to be good at what you do.” No doubt, Americans want to excel – especially in their leisure time. This is where dreams of greatness are born. In a rather poetic shot of shirtless teen boys watching a distant baseball game, fingers laced through a chain link fence, you sense the youthful anticipation. With their bicycles tossed carelessly aside, you can feel the thick summer air, smell the popcorn and, oh yes, the potential.

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Bill loves America and he loves his subjects.“I make images of my life and what interests me and my interests are broad and catholic,” he says. In the non-religious sense, that is. “That’s ‘catholic’ with a small ‘c’,” he advises and reaches for the dictionary: “Catholic, as in ‘universal, liberal, tolerant, interested or sympathetic to a wide range of things’. This definition certainly sums up the work in Leisure, and Owens’ overall approach as a documentary photographer. Reading critiques and reviews of Owens’ work reveals a fascination with describing the psychological or subconscious narrative of a sexually repressed and anxious society. The fact that the images have “a particular kind of strangeness”, as Gregory Crewdson offers in the introduction, is indeed an analysis one cannot deny. However, what strikes me most after meeting him in person, is that Owens is documenting his own surroundings in a morally exposed and honest way.

jumpsuit – and that was in the middle of the day too!” In Leisure, whether we are viewing someone reading in the bathtub or visiting a strip club, Owens reveals an open society in which people can individuate based on their downtime. One photo caption sums it up: “ I do what I want to do, and I don’t care what the neighbors do.” This tolerance for having a good time on your own terms is one that Owens understands and shares. As we are about to wrap up our morning visit, Bill proffers an invitation: “Hey, you wanna go shopping with me at the 99 Cent Store?” Lucky for us, he blends in. Lillian Sizemore Afrique Noir Didier Ruef Published by Infolio Editions www.infolio.ch f39 (191pp Hardback)

Through nine countries, he observes ancient traditions and modern plagues, the former faltering while the latter gain in strength and viciousness. He gives us what we expect: Aids sufferers; amputees; gun-toting infants – but with verve and guts. Leg amputees pictured from the chest down present the faceless fallout from interminable violence. In another image, a long thin stick both supports and eerily resembles a shockingly malnourished Sudanese child. Ruef probes the sutures between old Africa and the new, Westerninfluenced world. A roll of paper money thrust through a traditionally enlarged ear piercing, which also supports a Lobb key, inverts the Western notion of accessories: this Ethiopian man has made himself into a handbag, while our essentials have become his decoration. Also in Ethiopia, a girl so young her bare breasts are buds, carries – with equal nonchalance – rocks on her head and a rifle over her shoulder.

Owens doesn’t pander, in fact he is proud of how he “blends in”. I point to the photo made at Rosie O’Grady’s Goodtime Emporium. It features a petite and very fit young woman in mid-dance spin. Heavily mustachioed men wearing open-collar polyester shirts are gratefully observing her. It’s classic Saturday Night Seventies. He enthusiastically replies: “Yeah! Look at that Is it possible to photograph Africa clearly, without sentimentality or prejudice? To frame beautiful images without compromising the dignity of individual subjects who, in many cases, are in a state of severe distress, but without patronising them either? In a slice of the world where everyone is familiar with pictures of Aids and famine victims from newspapers, it's a pertinent question that Swiss photographer Didier Ruef tries earnestly to answer. Despite the book's title, he does not conflate the countries he travels through: there are pictures of the Nhiao's traditional women's day dance, and images of Ethiopian women with lower lips

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hugely elongated by plates inserted in them. Perhaps he could have included more of this kind of picture (I certainly felt the lack of any writing by Ruef to explain why he did or did not include anything; Professor Joseph Ki-Zerbo's wellintentioned but banal preface, in French, is no substitute), but misery is prevalent and celebration localised and so this book is filled with beautiful monochrome representations of fortitude, suffering and despair.

Wry juxtapositions occur in the section on Guinea, an unpopulated photo of abandoned playing cards seems innocuous, even dull, until you glance across to the facing page where a man without hands sits. Photographed from the waist down, he casts a limbless metaphorical shadow on the neighbouring picture. A card game he cannot play without help would probably not seem so banal to him. Similarly, in Cameroon, the puzzled attention of young men as the correct application of a condom is demonstrated (on a wooden phallus) is given weight and depth by the beautiful, formally dressed woman in the opposite picture


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of the most understated photographers in the industry, remarking, quietly, on the unremarkable. This covetable book is published, tellingly, by Nobody. MH Don McCullin in Africa Don McCullin Published by Jonathan Cape www.randomhouse.co.uk £17.50 (300pp Hardback)

who appears to regard the condom with quiet longing. As well she might: she is HIV positive. It's as though Ruef attaches as much significance to the space between photographs as to the photos themselves. And this practical mastery is enhanced by an appreciation of the mystical; Ruef is not afraid to photograph the invisible, as the footprints on the cover demonstrate. After all, he is obliged to photograph vanished limbs – do vanished people not deserve as much? Perhaps he's right to avoid elaborate explanations. These pictures – heavily indebted to Sebastiao Salgado, yet remaining untroubled by that debt – can explain themselves, reinforcing one another in much the same way that a left and right eye together permit clear, threedimensional vision. Photographs need not stand in isolation any more than the people they portray. Nina Caplan Invisible Stephen Gill Published by Nobody www.stephengill.co.uk £22 (64pp Hardback)

glance. Nobody, except Stephen Gill that is, who has been watching those whose job it is to keep our city moving. Those who gather errant supermarket trolleys, empty overflowing bins, mend troublesome telecommunications networks … often those who get paid the least doing the things that those who earn the most could not function without. Disappearing up ladders, under bridges and down manholes faster than the White Rabbit, the busy commuters rarely register their presence. More than most contemporary photographers, Gill is a chronicler of our present. The unlovely London presented before us here is the city with which anyone who lives or works is intimately acquainted: one almighty traffic jam-cum-building site. The prosaic images do not evoke any latent beauty or traces of historic grandeur but simply the here and now, revealed to be unglamorous, unfinished and a little bit loveless. Throughout this subtle book, encased in a strikingly unsubtle canary yellow jacket, there is a sense of Gill himself as a fluorescent but invisible person. This fits with his persona as one

After 20 years of war, Don McCullin, connoisseur of capturing conflict, has just completed a two-year project photographing nine remote tribes in the valley of the Omo River in Ethiopia. Amid the modern world’s increasingly insatiable appetite for change, here are a people whose lifestyle has not altered substantially for millennia, where practices such as circumcision, self-mutilation and ritualistic fighting, often to the death, are commonplace. Ancient tribes adorned with modern weapons makes for an uncomfortable juxtaposition. The people possess an almost defiant dignity, offset by a stillness that lends a mood of quiet eeriness to the images. The pictures are posed and formal, with strikingly sophisticated stances. Compositional simplicity allows us to concentrate on themes of family, community and the relationships that underpin them. But the simplicity is deceptive. Scratch the surface and there is an undercurrent of violence, of something layered and knotted with tension. It is clear that a wider, more complex narrative

Look at me! Look at me! If I walked down Old Street on a Monday morning in a fetching little fluorescent orange number, I’d expect to turn a few heads (and possibly stomachs of a more delicate constitution).

exists. We gaze in fascination; they gaze back intrigued and defensive in equal measure. McCullin acknowledges the violence, rather than revealing it explicitly. No longer on the battlefields, he is documenting something just as edgy: conflict on the brink, proof if it were needed that he has lost neither his edge nor his instinct. He captures perfectly the insecurity of a people caught precariously between the possible erosion of their old life and the escalation of the new. Prefaced by diary extracts, this stunning book offers a snapshot, albeit through a practised eye, into this remote world and its tribes. “Poverty, guns and murder are poisoning them,” says McCullin, who, as an outsider, sees it clearly. Do the tribes take the same view? Frances Anderson Diamond Matters Kadir van Lohuizen Published by Dewi Lewis www.dewilewispublishing.com £16.99 (216pp Hardback) Even before opening this book I am hooked: it is bound in dark suede with a small diamond embedded in the cover. The small format is deceptive, the pictures do not feel cramped. The design has allowed them to breathe, sometimes across two pages, occasionally over gatefolds. Opening with the miners of Angola, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the book shows their unforgiving lifestyle on rough tactile paper. There are portraits of miners with short testimonies about their 28km walk to work or the rarity of finding a diamond. Interspersed with the pictures are articles telling us about the background behind the science of the precious stones or the running of a particular mine. Van Lohuizen has also photographed the diamond markets and local dealers in Africa. This is the beginning of the long line of middlemen who make money on the backs of the miners. A trader in Congo is photographed in a smart suit talking about his new BMW and

Yet hundreds of people don such eye-catching garb daily, and nobody gives them a second

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his bodyguard. As we move through the global industry we see the hierarchy repeated. Workers badly paid in bad conditions while the managers begin to make money. The last third of the book centres on the dealers of Antwerp, Paris and New York. The back rooms where values are judged and deals made and the glittering velvet-lined shop windows of the exclusive shopping streets. The final picture on the back of the book, simply captioned “Jet-set party, London”, shows a woman with diamonds glittering from her ears and the front of her dress. Taken over the last couple of years, this beautifully designed book charts the world’s obsession with the allure of diamonds. Different paper stock is used throughout to harmonise with the pictures. Rough tactile paper at the beginning, through subtly increasing grades to the high gloss of the back page. This is a thought provoking and informative book that puts a different perspective on the most precious of jewels. SB M2 Magnum Various Published by MagnumSteidl www.magnumphotos.com $24.50 (144pp Softback) Repetition, apparently, is the expression of fundamental doubt that structures the creative process. It probably sounded better in the original French, as conceived by Magnum's Paris office, to substantiate the rationale behind its latest publishing venture, M2.

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glad-handing ad nauseum, also using repetition to highlight the futility, insincerity and downright absurdity of the love-me-please rituals of an election campaign. As a method of learning, inculcation is not particularly sophisticated. Although it is understandable that the powers that be at Magnum are seeking new audiences for their work, it seems unlikely that this curious hybrid, the wayward lovechild of Andy Warhol and Jean Baudrillard, will be the vehicle to drive them in. MH

The magazine-cum-catalogue is an attempt by the world's most famous photo agency to redefine and reinvent itself for the 21st century. In its ambition to move away from Cartier-Bresson's epoch-defining “decisive moment”, Magnum is coming over all postmodern. We are searching here for the antimoment, or possibly the continuing moment, and while sometimes this method has meaning, more often the concept of repetition seems to get hopelessly confused with what is simply a series, or a narrative essay, or even a contact sheet. The Closer images of Lise Sarfati of drug-taking youth are merely repetitive and although one could make the connection that getting stoned all day every day is just that, did we need 16 images to make that point? Jumpology by Philippe Halsman has undeniable charm, but it is simply a series of pictures of famous people jumping. That they are all engaged in the same activity inspires no intellectual leap of faith. What is at fault is not the work in itself, but the increasingly spurious attempt to shoehorn the work into one box. However, some work from this collection does resonate through using repetition. Donovan Wylie's well-known The Maze prison images unnerve the viewer through relentless repetition and in this way, difference is revealed and the otherwise innocuous pattern of the curtains or angle of the folded sheets on the bed work as an unexpected punctum. Politics by Richard Kalvar reveals

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Lee Miller’s War Lee Miller Published by Thames and Hudson www.thamesandhudson.com £17.95 (208pp Softback) Lee Miller’s exceptional life, as model and muse, artist in her own right and wife to one of England’s earliest champions of Modern Art, Roland Penrose, was on display this year at a hugely successful exhibition of her photography at the National Portrait Gallery. It seems appropriate, that at a time when such a seductive and broad ranging selection of her work has been available to the public, that this concentrated collection of writing and photographs from her year as a war photographer and correspondent have been republished. Accredited to Vogue, Miller served alongside American GIs in Europe. David Scherman, her fellow photographer assigned to Life, provides the foreword and additional photographs of her, wonky toothed, grubby and

uniformed amongst the soldiers. On her first assignment, she accidentally became the first female photographer to report from the front, at the siege of St Malo. Her pictures show this old French beauty spot burning under bombardment. Her text describes the horror of the town riddled with “unexploded shells and fetid cloying smells”. Miller then found herself assigned to newly liberated Paris, where she photographed the latest fashions, as well as her artist friends, Picasso, Colette, Jean Cocteau and Nusch Eluard, and visiting personalities such as Marlene Dietrich and Fred Astaire. She subsequently travelled south recording the pattern of liberation and mass German surrenders. As the weather closed in and she moved into Germany, she photographed the figures of anxious and freezing soldiers among beautiful snow-covered landscapes and the horror of Buchenwald. Her letters – reproduced here – increasingly burn with indignation and anger. Iconic images are reproduced, such as her photograph of a recently deceased SS guard floating in the canal beside Dachau, the sun glimmering on the water, rippling over his peaceful profile and bullet ridden leather coat. Here too is Scherman’s famous portrait of a no-nonsense Miller, boots and uniform discarded, having a longawaited scrub in Hitler’s bath in Munich. A startling image, it is fitting for this remarkable woman whose lack of vanity, bravery and determination during her war service provide a counterbalance to the glam reputation that still threatens to undermine the true nature of her achievements. SW Family Published by Phaidon www.phaidon.com £24.95 (208pp Hardback) In Family, for a change photographers turn the lens inwards and we are invited to explore their own private world in an intimate way. Drawing on a large, diverse and rich style of


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the delegates were due to arrive. He has turned his camera away from the protesters and world leaders to scrutinise those responsible for the peacekeeping effort. We are presented with vacant, snow-covered landscapes in Davos, sneakily captured at night, along with glimpses of early morning at an abandoned Genoa coast.

photography, Sophie SpencerWood demonstrates her talent and savoir-faire as a picture editor; from the classic Brown Sisters by Nicholas Nixon and Maria by Lee Friedlander to the less well-known work of photographers such as Joelle Depont in her moving pictures of her son, Max. It was a pleasant surprise to find the work of one of my favourite photographers, Bernard Plossu. We are given the chance here to see Plossu’s records of his family, particularly his wife, Françoise. It is very rare to come across this work, as it is out of print and untraceable (I have tried hard!). Plossu’s work is intimate; his style dreamlike and full of sensitivity. The picture of his sleeping wife’s neck gracing the back cover is a perfect example of his gentle touch, in which the tender bond between the couple is palpable. The introduction by professor of sociology Henri Peretz offers a condensed historical background and a contemporary view on family photography. The design grants a lot of space to the pictures without crowding the pages and uses white pages and large borders to let the pictures breathe. Each photographer has an informative biography at the back of the book written by critic Margaret Walter. In an otherwise enjoyable book, the most obvious omission is a dearth of African or South American photography. It was nevertheless fascinating to look at photographers’ personal work; the work they’ve produced without the pressure of answering a brief; the images they decided

to create freely. The pictures become liberated from their imperfections and the work becomes richly empowered. LM Temporary Discomfort Jules Spinatsch Published by Lars Muller www.lars-muellerpublishers.com £45 (120pp Hardback) The G8 conference in Gleneagles may have been somewhat overshadowed but we still saw our fair share of protesters gearing up for the big event along with security sending in reinforcements. What we didn’t see in any detail was the extent to which the surrounding area, especially the landscape, was affected by the sudden influx of security personnel in an attempt to transform the zone into one suitable to house the likes of George W et al. Jules Spinatsch does not provide us with images of Gleneagles in Temporary Discomfort Chapter I-V, but no doubt he was there, forensically working on Chapter VI of his mission. This beautifully printed book with minimal black cover, that resembles more a secret dossier than a work of photography, begins in Davos, Spinatsch’s hometown, at the World Economic Forum in 2001. In recording this and the four other major WEF and G8 summits since 2001, Spinatsch took the aim of his mission to observe, surveillance-style, the intense security measures as they were put in to place just hours before

When we reach Davos for a second time, Spinatsch has chosen another angle resulting in more aesthetically pleasing and complicated pictures. His large grid pieces, spanning 20 metres long when completely assembled, are composed of hundreds of images taken from a system of surveillance cameras devised by Spinatsch. The result is a painterly, big brother comment on security and the power to meticulously capture minute details. Each image in the book is complete with data-like captions, alluding to the covert nature of these observations of key hot spots. The texts at the back of the book, reproduced on a different paper stock, provide us with the opinion of Nato official Jamie Shea and writer Martin Jaeggi on the work and context present within Spinatsch’s book. Temporary Discomfort represents yet another shift within the genre of documentary photography. Analytical repetition to the point of obsession on a certain subject such as this provides for a thorough and absorbing body of work. Hopefully there will be a Chapter VI and we will see yet another new approach at disturbing the barriers and creating further thoughtprovoking images. LH

Buy many of these books and other newly released photography titles from the online bookshop at foto8 Exclusive Discounts, Special Offers, Limited Editions & Signed Copies available foto8.com/bookshop

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Events Visa Pour L’Image, 17th International Festival of Photojournalism 27 August – 11September In its 17th consecutive year, the Perpignan festival is again expected to attract a vast range of industry professionals from all over the world. It is also open to the public in various forms such as exhibitions, meetings, symposiums and evening screenings. www.visapourlimage.com The 12th Noorderlicht Photofestival: Traces and Omens 4 September – 9 October This year, the main exhibition focuses on photography that goes beyond the transience of the moment, suggesting a story from a time gone or yet to come. As every year, the main exhibition in Gronigen is joined by numerous galleries, museums and other venues with their own shows. www.noorderlicht.com Eight Ways to Change the World 7 – 18 September Stunning exhibits from Panos’ internationally acclaimed photographers and an interactive installation, at Bargehouse, behind the Oxo Tower, bring to life the eight Millennium Development Goals, set by the UN in 2000. This challenging and engaging show, coinciding with the UN World Summit, invites everyone to do one thing to change the world. Exposure – Hereford Photography Festival Exposure 2005 will take a different route this year and instead of inviting submissions the festival will present a limited curated show of works during the month of October. www.photofest.org Frankfurt Book Fair 19 – 23 October Once again Frankfurt will host the world’s largest trade fair for books, multimedia and communications. It brings together authors, publishers, booksellers, art dealers, agents, journalists and many others. This year’s Guest of Honour will be Korea. www.frankfurt-book-fair.com Paris Photo 17 – 20 November This annual international event for 19th Century, modern and contemporary photography provides a platform for over 100 galleries and publishers from around the world to trade and offer a clear perspective on trends in the market. www.parisphoto.fr


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The woman in this photograph is Kinuyo Watanabe – she is 83 years old. Sixty years ago, on 6 August 1945, she and her fellow inhabitants of Hiroshima became the first humans to experience the full horror of nuclear fission delivered in the form of a weapon. The sheer scale and devastation of the force of this explosion is still difficult to comprehend. The egregiously named bomb “Little Boy” detonated 580 metres above the ground with force of 12,500 tons of TNT– the temperature below this explosion reached over 3,800°C; ceramic roof tiles 0.5 km from the epicentre melted; 1.5 km away the wind velocity reached a speed of over 300 km/h; 2 km away clothing was incinerated on the bodies of victims and lethal gamma and neutron rays reached ground level to drastically affect the population of the surrounding area. By December of the same year, 140,000 people had died. Kinuyo was photographed by Gérard Rancinan, in collaboration with writers Virginie Luc and Caroline Gaudriault, as part of a project that interviewed and photograped 70 Hibakusha (escapees) all of whom were within 5km of the blast centre. Several things strike me about Rancinan’s photographs. First, the subjects look contemporary but they are shot in a style that freezes them in a distinct historical timeframe. Second, they are portraits of solitary figures that convey the immense loss their subjects have experienced. In Kinuyo Watanabe’s case, and that of very many of the others, the photograph is an apparent antithesis of a family portrait – she lost her parents and her two sons to this bomb. Her loss is compounded by the fact that all photographic records of her family were destroyed in this, the most terrible of blasts 8 Gérard Rancinan’s photographs will be exhibited at this years Visa Pour L’Image Photojournalism festival in Perpignan, France 27 August – 11September 2005. Adam Goff is picture editor of New Scientist magazine

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