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Honduras Street Gallery

HOST is a new venue dedicated to promoting photojournalism, exhibiting photography that engages, inspires and excites the viewer.

Current show: POSITHIV+ Pep Bonet 23rd November— 22nd December

HOST believes in showing and telling stories that are as profound in their message as they are innovative in their approach. HOST works with photographers and photography that are defining the future of photojournalism. The gallery is the creation of Jon Levy, founder of foto8, and Adrian Evans, director of Panos Pictures.

1Honduras Street London EC1Y 0TH

Free admission. Opening times: Monday—Friday 10am—6pm or by appointment at other times.

EI8HT PHOTOJOURNALISM V4N3 DEC 05

Telephone: 020 7253 2770 Email: info@ hostgallery.co.uk Website: hostgallery.co.uk

EI8HT PHOTOJOURNALISM GAZA ROMA SABINE MINERS BOAT PEOPLE ESSEX POSTCARDS KATRINA MAD HORSE MELT VOL.4 NO.3 DEC 2005 £8 FOTO8.COM

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CALUMET SUPPORTS PHOTOJOURNALISM

CALUMET IS PROUD TO SUPPORT SABINE A PHOTO STORY BY JACOB AUE SOBOL

CANON, NIKON, KODAK, FUJI, POLAROID, EPSON, OLYMPUS, MANFROTTO, LEXAR

08000 964396 www.calumetphoto.com


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

EI8HT PHOTOJOURNALISM V4N2 SEPT 05

V4N2 Cover by Jodie Bieber/ NB Pictures – *MDA www.pressgazette.co.uk

As Good as it Looks

Four Magazine Design Award Nominations* Winner: Best Cover Finalist: Best Use of Photography Finalist: Best Specialist Magazine Finalist: Best Redesign-Relaunch EI8HT – The quarterly magazine of photojournalism published in London, read around the world. Telephone: (+44) 0207 253 8801— subscribe@foto8.com — 1Honduras St. London EC1Y 0TH


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Balance. We all need a little balance in our lives, I certainly know that I could use a bit more. Just a little something to help find that ultimate point of equality between the personal and the political, family and work. With so much happening at EI8HT – the launch of HOST gallery in London, a new issue in the making, four nominations for national magazine design awards and generally a busy and exciting time in photography – it is easy to forget the other more important side of life. That’s the side depicted above, family. And so how, you may ask, do 88 pages of photojournalism help determine my balance or yours for that matter? It would be simplistic, crass even, to reduce all the stories in this issue down to one theme just to fit my opening letter, so I won’t. If you look at the stories contained on these pages however, you will notice the pendulum swinging between extremes. Along the Essex coastline the environment is captured in apparent harmony, man’s imprint left on nature suggests a stasis of existence. In a more decisive sense the photographs from Gaza represent a symmetry created by departure and arrival, where momentarily scores are settled. In this small area of land it is hard to tell from these events which way things will go following such a pivotal moment. Out of the bleak but beautiful landscape of Greenland comes Sabine, a cold and hard story of survival fuelled by desire and love. On other pages the postcards we have designed for this issue, “sent” to us from “tyrannical” regimes around the world, seem to reject fundamental journalistic traditions of balanced reporting. I may wax lyrically about the underlying meaning in EI8HT’s images but there is no hiding from the brutal, the shameful and the tragic message in many of our stories. Nowhere is this more evident than in the experience of the people as shown in Cruel Sea. If this is our society coping with equality then I am truly ashamed. The sheer ugliness of it overshadows our golden sunset. Depending on your disposition, photojournalists may or may not make a pretty picture, but the images are there for you to determine your own level of acceptability. JL Editor’s Letter

Contributor Links Steve Catchpole Stevecatch1965@aol.com Nick Cobbing Nick@cobb-photo.com This image will form part of the exhibition Surface Tension. www.greenpeace.org

Glenn Hunt www.glennhunt.com.au www.oculi.com.au Karim Ben Khelifa mail@karimbenkhelifa.com www.karimbenkhelifa.com Juan Medina/Reuters www.reuterspictures.com Karen Mirzoyan demkao@gmail.com

Editor Jon Levy Features Editor Max Houghton Associate Editor Lauren Heinz Picture Editor Flora Bathurst Intern Ann-Kathrin Kampmeyer Lally Pearson Contributing Editors Sophie Batterbury Colin Jacobson Ludivine Morel

Reviewers Ken Grant, Bill Kouwenhoven, Gordon Miller, Sophie Wright Design Rob Kester & Phil Evans Special Thanks Alex Garcia, Maurice Geller, Sharon Raizada 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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Jason Orton/Ken Worpole Orton67@yahoo.co.uk 350 Miles is published by ExDRA. www.exdra.co.uk www.worpole.net Louie Palu louie@louiepalu.com www.louiepalu.com Ivor Prickett ivorprickett50@hotmail.com

ISSN 1476-6817 Publisher Jon Levy Subscription/Back Issues 8 issues, 2 yrs: £53-uk, £61-eu, £75-row 4 issues, 1yr: £29-uk, £33-eu, £40-row Back Issues from £8 (incl. p+p) subscribe@foto8.com More information W: www.foto8.com T: +44 (0)20 7253 8801 F: +44 (0)20 7253 2752 E: info@foto8.com Story Submissions www.foto8.com/drr/ Advertising rates www.foto8.com/media/

Jacob Aue Sobol Sabine is published by Politiken. www.politiken.dk www.auesobol.dk Andy Steel goldenwords@ntlworld.com Bruno Stevens www.cosmosphoto.com brunophoto@mac.com

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.3 December 2005

>Moments >06 Riding out the Storm Steve Catchpole escaped Hurricane Katrina but still managed to capture its apocalyptic skies >44 Eye of the Beholder Glenn Hunt’s long term project on horses led him to Indonesia and one particularly stunning specimen >54 Moulin Blue Nick Cobbing’s bird’s-eye view of a lake amid the melting ice sheet

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>Features >08 High Tide Bruno Stevens spent five days photographing the historic Israeli pullout and subsequent Palestinian return in the Gaza strip >18 Wish you Were Here? Karim Ben Khelifa set out to investigate a damning US proclamation and sent us these postcards from his travels to the “outposts of tyranny” >26 Cruel Sea Exposing the often tragic consequences of the wave of immigration to the Canary Islands, Juan Medina reports >38 Sabine Jacob Aue Sobol went to Greenland to experience its harsh landscape, he found it but also discovered an intense love >46 Kablare: Poisoned Earth Student photographer Ivor Prickett revisits a Roma family in Kosovo struggling to survive after seven years dumped in a toxic environment >56 Living for Today Louie Palu unveils his personal project and examines how the demise of mining in Canada continues to break communities >62 350 Miles Not renown for its exotic coastline, Essex reveals its charm to Jason Orton and Ken Worpole

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>Essays >23 Rivington Place Mark Sealy of Autograph writes about his passion for promoting culturally diverse visual arts and photography >34 Seeing and Believing Max Houghton questions the use of imagery by NGOs and the subsequent effect they have on public conscience 56 >Inside >68 Marcus Bleasdale talks to EI8HT about his career move, from banker to photojournalist, and how he uses his stories to lobby for corporate change >Reviews >71 Things As They Are, A Time Before Crack, The Ongoing Moment, Dispatches from Scandinavia, Backlight 05, Money Power Respect, Intersections, Traces and Omens, You Love Life, Walking the Line, Land of Milk and Honey, Gianni Berengo Gardin, Kultakylä, Cape Town Fringe >79 Winter photography exhibitions and events

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>Listings >80 Picture agencies, special notices and professional resources >Scene >90 HOST gallery launched in London, where photojournalism thrives!

>Cover High Tide © Bruno Stevens 5


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>Moments Riding out the Storm Steve Catchpole Dear Flora Thank you for your correspondence and I apologise in the delay in replying, my bistro gets busy on a Thurs lunchtime. I have attached the files we spoke about earlier and I hope you can do something with them. As I said I'm a bit of a technophobe and model nos and the like mean not much in my world. Ask me about King Prawns in garlic liquor and I'm your man. The camera was a Canon digital and wasn't the most expensive model on the shelf unfortunately, and I'm afraid it was lost in transit between Las Vegas and the UK so I can't give you any further info. All the pictures you see were taken whilst on route between Bourbon St and Louis Armstrong Airport. I was lucky to get the images as they are as the sky was continually changing. We were picked up in Downtown on Sun 28th Aug and as the freeways were gridlocked we thought that our journey was doomed to failure. Our enterprising taxi driver had other ideas and after a bit of haggling over the price he took us on a cross country route to our destination. I used the same method of bribery to get him to stop so I could take the photos, there were others that I took on the move but were blurry. When we left Bourbon St the weather was what you could expect of a bad storm in the UK but after only 40 mins into our journey the sky had started to change and took on a scary very violent look. The sun was also changing the skies appearance, moody looking one minute and an on fire look the next. There were many more pictures that I would have liked to have taken but the clouds would, in one instance, be giving the appearance of touching the ground and buildings and then would sort of implode and disappear as quickly as they appeared. By the time we got to the airport the wind was up to tropical storm speed 80-100mph and the rain was driving and, despite the bedlam, the journey of about 1hr 40mins (a journey that under normal circumstances would take only 20mins) was worth it and we did board a plane bound for Phoenix and then on to LA. We all know what happened next to a beautiful city. All the Best, Steve This is the content of the email sent to our Picture Editor, in response to her search for further details about these images which we had received from a number of sources via the internet 8

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High Tide Bruno Stevens

There comes a point in all disputes, territorial, theocratic, domestic, where it is no longer about which side is “good” or “bad”. The only significant factor becomes the dynamic balance between the opposing sides. To put it another way, in Gaza during August and September 2005, people left and people came. The historical significance of Israeli settlers leaving the land they claimed as their own after the Six Day War in 1967 is undisputed. The historical significance of the Palestinians returning to the Gaza strip after 38 years is, by the same token, undisputed. The scales of justice have swung briefly towards the Palestinians in this long and crippling conflict but the pull in the opposite direction remains as strong and urgent as the tide. Until a generation of Palestinians have experienced freedom in Gaza as their reality, any hope of balance can only be quixotic. At the same time, thousands of Israeli Jews have lives to resurrect, homes to re-build, children to school. In Bruno Stevens’ photographs from this high tide mark, if we see a symmetry in the prevailing mood between those leaving and those returning, this should not be so surprising. The constant spectre of death has united the Israelis and the Palestinians every bit as much as it has torn them apart. While some Israeli Jews calmly discussed the Torah as the soldiers arrived in Shirat Ayam to enforce their departure, others tied themselves together on rooftops, praying and singing. As the Palestinians arrived, thousands found gaps in the 8 metre high wall that separates the city from Egypt, and surged through to be reunited with relatives they hadn’t seen in decades. Others went in search of cheap Egyptian gasoline and cigarettes. The so-called Gaza Pullout, as the newspapers dubbed it in their first draft of history, will mean different things to different people. Ariel Sharon’s wider motives will continue to be called into question. The long-term security of Gaza under Palestinian rule will be scrutinised. And everywhere people will love and hate and live and die. In the words of the Palestinian newspaper Al Ayyam: “Both sides are defeated and victorious at the same time” 8 Max Houghton

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Shirat Ayam, Gaza strip, 18 August, 2005. A group of 38 people, mostly religious teenagers, led by Noam Arnon, a prominent settler leader from Hebron, tie themselves together on a roof, praying and singing. They were the last settlers to be evacuated from this seaside settlement

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Shirat Ayam, August (far left). A settler watches the arrival of the army

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Rafah, 14 September (left). Palestinians find gaps in the 8 metre high wall separating the Palestinian town from Egypt. For the first time in 18 years, thousands crossed the border in an incredible, chaotic rush to visit relatives – or to bring back cheap Egyptian goods such as cigarettes or gasoline

Shirat Ayam, August (above). Just hours before the evacuation, a settler studies the Torah

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Shirat Ayam, in August (left) and on 12 September (above). Within hours of the Israelis leaving the area, thousands of residents of the city of Khan Younes rush to the beach. For most of the children and teenagers it is the first time they have been able to enjoy the sea less than three kilometres from their homes

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Shirat Ayam, 18 August (top left and above). Watched by Israeli soldiers, groups of settlers barricade themselves on roofs of their houses to resist the evacuation, including the teenagers led by Noam Arnon – the last to quit, after representatives of the Israeli government officially asked the settlers to leave

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Former Morag settlement,12 September. Palestinians from nearby Rafah (bottom left) try to find anything still usable in the rubble from the settlers’ houses, destroyed by the Israeli army

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Neve Dekalim, Gaza strip, 14 September (left). Thousands of Palestinians return home from the former Jewish settlement, where a joint meeting took place by the main Palestinian resistance movements such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, FPLP

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Neve Dekalim, 12 September (above). Islamic Jihad militants wave their flags on the roof of the former Yeshiva (Talmudic school). Many thousands of Palestinians from nearby Khan Younes had entered Neve Dekalim at dawn to see the settlement for the first time

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In setting out her foreign policy stall in the days before she donned the mantle of Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice defined six “outposts of tyranny”. Karim Ben Khelifa embarked on a trip around this newly delineated axis of evil. He was intrigued by Rice’s use of language – if these are the outposts, where is the epicentre? Ben Khelifa found that the only way to gain entry to these countries was on a tourist visa. The decision to photograph only the superficial was, in a sense, made for him yet this approach seemed to mirror the analytical skills of the US administration. Having previously documented the war in Iraq, he recognised the language of terror invoked by the Bush regime. Throughout the first half of 2005, Karim Ben Khelifa travelled between his home in Paris and the six defined states – Belarus, Cuba, Burma, Zimbabwe, North Korea and Iran – searching for visible evidence of tyranny. This is EI8HT’s edit of his photographs, depicting the countries in typical tourist postcard shots 8 Wish you Were Here? Karim Ben Khelifa

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Institutionalised Diversity

Institutionalised Diversity Mark Sealy

Engaging in a dialogue about difference and diversity within the arts is a subject repeatedly ignored by policy makers and funding bodies. It’s a gap that has not been bridged for decades; institutions still tend to see difference as being fundamentally about geography alone. We are constantly invited to ‘Discover Africa’ or ‘Discover Turkey’; dialogue with difference is often very superficial. Black History Month comes to mind, as it absolves every institution of the need to engage seriously with difference and diversity. The prevailing attitude is ‘cram it all in one month – that’ll do nicely’. How have we let this ridiculous North American import penetrate our cultural institutions? Rivington Place, which will open its doors in 2007, aims to address this situation. It’s about continuing our work in making the invisible visible – about bringing recognition to artists who have been marginalised by the mainstream. It’s not unusual then to find that certain artists’ personal stories are much higher up the interest scale than others. It’s not difficult to guess why. Institutions more often than not simply reflect the concerns of people that run them. So attendance to all things western, white and male is of course prolific, unless there is an obvious economic benefit, such as the rising interest in Chinese Culture, which reflects the growing corporate opportunities that China offers Europe and North America. I keep on reading how wonderful it is that a few black artists have been nominated for major prizes, and while that’s great, people don’t necessarily see that situation is by no means representative in terms of what is happening across our national institutions. Autograph has historically supported artists like Yto Barrada. Her photographs address the national melancholia evident in Morocco today. Likewise, Clement Cooper has always tried to speak directly through his work about the condition of difference. Internationally acclaimed artist Santu Mofokeng has, from his very early photographic work, examined the complexity of issues relating to genocide and racial hatred. We will pay very close attention to keeping the dialogue open about platforms for work; it’s not simply about celebrating success but rather about unpacking issues that impact on us all. Identity politics and cultural diversity tend to get compressed into issues of social inclusion and access. It makes institutions feel better and makes great sound bites for politicians. Typically institutions employ artists to engage with the local disenfranchised school groups, residents or community groups. As if access to an artist alone is going to help people climb out of the socio-political environmental traps they are being held in. Another great art myth. As agencies working towards showcasing work from all voices of a community, much of what we have done for artists also easily becomes invisible. Its amazing how quickly curatorial and advocacy work can disappear into the ether of celebrity. In many instances we have developed projects over three or four year periods and the critical seed work is often negated once it arrives in the public realm. The impact of this means that production companies without a permanent building are often at a disadvantage when it comes to competing for funds, and that trusts and foundations increasingly support gallery programmes rather than projects. The climate within the arts is changing all the time. If we are to grow in real terms we must be recognised for the role we have played historically in supporting artists. People can then make the connection to the means of production and the means of delivery. This is very important for us, indeed, it’s why we are funded. It’s how in the future we will secure new production partners and gain better distribution and profile for the artists and issues we engage with. 23


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Invisible Man installation (this page) at the Rivington Place site, featuring the classic literature of Ralph Ellison and a projection of Emerging Man, a photograph by Gordon Parks Facing page: Yto Barrada – Hole in the Fence, Tangier 2003, Vacant Plot, Tangier 2001 Joy Gregory – Auto-portrait,1989 -1990 Clement Cooper from Primary, published by Autograph, 2000

History has taught us that we can't stand still as just ‘agencies’. If you do, you simply lose momentum – stop, fade and die. After decades of ‘agency’ it’s now time for us to take the steps towards becoming an actual ‘institution’. It’s important to address the whole idea of what ‘institution’ means, by taking on the challenge through not just naming it, but physically building it. We have just broken ground and will be constructing a landmark building, Rivington House, designed by the architect David Adjaye. It is situated in Shoreditch, in the heart of East London and we are already showing installation work – such as our inaugral show The Invisible Man - on-site. This project is not just about bricks and mortar; it represents a modest but important marker. It is a strategic shift towards greater certainty and greater autonomy for Autograph and in IVA as organisations. It will be a home for the work inIVA and Autograph ABP have been doing collectively for over 25 years and will provide a sense of place for the artists and issues we champion. Few arts organisations have attempted to build their own buildings from scratch. Taking ownership is essential. One of the most important aspects of the Rivington Place project is that it enables both inIVA and Autograph ABP to consolidate their different pasts and to build on their different futures. Partnerships have been forged across arts organisations before and we are very aware of the pitfalls. What both organisations share is a commitment to the relationship between art and social change and encouraging best possible practice. Rivington Place, I hope, will be a clear and distinctive sign of this commitment – a physical foundation that we can literally build on and secure a very important legacy 8 Mark Sealy is the director of Autograph ABP www.autograph-abp.co.uk

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Juan Medina, a Reuters photographer based in the Canary Islands, has been documenting the arrival of African migrants to the island of Fuerteventura since 1999 – a phenomenon he describes as “one of the most horrific, cruel and most important immigration movements of our time”

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If you set sail at dusk from the coast of Western Sahara in a small boat, it is possible that by morning you would reach the lighthouse at Fuerteventura, the closest of the Canary Islands to Africa. More than 7,000 immigrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa – drought-ridden places like Mali and Niger – but also from such distant locations as Kashmir, attempted this desperate Atlantic passage in 2003, and the numbers show no signs of diminishing. For most immigrants, the Canary Islands are not their final destination, but rather the first obstacle they need to overcome en route to other, bigger, richer European cities. Those who survive the dangerous voyage are served with expulsion forms as they arrive, and charged with illegal entry. It is customary for the immigrants to travel without papers – if no one knows where they came from, they cannot be repatriated. So instead, without any official status, they commence a life at the very margins of society, working illegally for exploitative employers. For women, this often means working in the sex trade as prostitutes. Yet many do not ever set foot on Spanish shores; their overcrowded handmade boats no match for the powerful Atlantic currents. Barely a week passes without a report of a boat carrying immigrants smashed on the rocks, its occupants drowned, lost at sea or washed up on the beach of the Island of Eternal Spring that represented so much hope. Those that are recovered by the Guardia Civil will be buried in cemeteries closest to the spot where they were found. Such deaths – such lives – will be commemorated by a numbered plaque 8 Cruel Sea Juan Medina

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A conversation is taking place at the moment. It’s a conversation that is long overdue and without which the prevailing paternalistic attitude towards people in the developing world will be perpetuated and will continue to dominate our perception of “them”, those overseas, less fortunate than “us”, whose stories we want to hear and whom we believe need our help, via the complex politics of aid delivered by the burgeoning non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector. While the media are a sitting target for criticism, accused frequently – and rightfully – of oversimplification, reinforcing stereotypes, and generally held to be responsible for misrepresentation of “the other”, the fact is that an enormous amount of images that appear in the press, in newspaper features and magazines in particular (this one included) were commissioned, or at least facilitated, in the first instance by NGOs. Even if the visiting journalists are there working independently or on behalf of a newspaper, it is likely that NGOs act as the “fixers” on the ground, flying them out, chauffeuring them around in gleaming four-wheel drives and accommodating them in their secure compounds. Inevitably, to a degree, the journalists and photographers are viewing “the other” through the NGO prism. Ever since the western world was moved to tears – and to making a financial contribution – by the images shot in Ethiopia by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which formed the visual inspiration behind the original Live Aid campaign in 1985 (to the soundtrack of the song “Drive” by The Cars), we have looked with pity on the starving, the dying and the helpless. A code of conduct was drawn up in 1989 by a group of NGOs, giving structured thought for the first time to the way others are perceived. Yet subsequent research has shown this code was not formally taken on board, nor was there a mechanism in place to ensure that it ever would be. In the light of the flak directed at the Make Poverty History campaigners for pedalling out the same images 20 years on for Live 8, it is not a moment too soon that the need for a new code has been picked up by the umbrella organisation for Irish NGOs, Dochas, working in tandem with aid agency Concern. Their intention is that the new code will be taken up by NGOs across the EU and will be implemented in 2006. The consultation process is taking place now, and Lizzie Noone of Concern has this to say about their almighty task: “The 1989 code needs to be revisited, and we need to do this by talking to development agencies, to the media, to people living in the South, to communities within EU countries from the South, to fundraisers, to creatives, to the public. We know we’re opening a can of worms, but there’s been a lack of engagement for so long. It will be an ongoing challenge but at least now the debate is open.” While it is crucial that such a process begins with regard to visual representation of those NGOs aim to help, they must first, individually and collectively, turn the lens inwards on themselves. Although it is not fashionable to criticise the practices of humanitarian effort trying to effect change in war-torn or disaster-struck lands, their methods and modus operandi must be subjected to as much scrutiny as the other power structures at play, be they the World Trade Organisation, the UN or sovereign states. As Michaela Wrong suggested in a recent New Statesman article, “they should be treated a little less like … Jesus.” In a recent paper, Julian Reid, a lecturer in International Relations at Sussex University, posited the idea that NGOs are complicit in facilitating the conditions that permit war. He claims that the Bush regime went to great lengths to ensure the support of a range of non-governmental actors to preplan the reconstruction effort in Iraq. It is precisely this kind of unquestioning approach on the part of NGOs that is a cause for concern. They must examine their own role within the structures of power in >Essay Max Houghton Seeing and Believing

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Abebe Balete, 13 years old, top, wants to be a driver when he grows up: “It’s my dream to become a driver. I want to drive a car. It’s a good profession and I can earn money.” Abebe lives with his two brothers, sister and mother. They are a farming family. His parents are divorced and his father lives in another city so he never sees him. Abebe lives one hour away from his school and walks there every day Students run to school, right, for the morning lessons, through enthusiasm, not because they are late. In recent years in Ethiopia, nearly five million children have been brought into primary education although 40% of children some 7 million kids - still do not attend school ©Chris de Bode/Panos Pictures

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order to be capable of helping or representing others. There can be no will for change if no one knows what needs to change, and without a deeper understanding of existing power structures, the bald truth remains that when we as a society look at pictures of people in the developing world, we may at best feel sympathy, at worst indifference. If such rigorous critique within the NGO sphere and in wider circles itself becomes possible, it would permit a new kind of thinking about how to utilise existing infrastructure in a more holistic way. Such solutions are clearly only workable in countries – like Iraq or Bosnia – where any kind of infrastructure has existed in the first place. Paul Lowe, photojournalist and lecturer at LCC believes NGOs should invest heavily in photography and distribute it through existing channels, thus creating a much needed pluralistic media in developing countries and forming a key stage in capacity building. In his work running seminars for World Press Photo, he helps train up indigenous photographers: “It’s most significant to use indigenous photographers to represent their own country when there is no local voice at all, so all we ever get is a western point of view. Local news is essential to civic nation building yet in some countries there is no concept of independent journalism or photography. Photographers are seen as the equivalent of car mechanics. A culture needs to be created in which newspaper editors begin to understand what photography can bring, and to nurture an intelligent activist photography.” But in talking to people who work with photography in what is now usually termed “the South”, there is a concern that the very language of photojournalism is a white man’s language. Shahidul Alam of Drik agency in Bangladesh expresses it thus: “Books that teach you how to be a successful photographer, the ones

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that teach you the secrets of the trade, teach essentially how to become occidental. Since the person making the most important decisions regarding the usage of a photograph is invariably the person most distant from the event itself, the photographer’s ‘formula’ for producing acceptable pictures is to regurgitate editorial policy regardless of what is observed. That is what the indigenous photographer must produce if he/she is to get ahead. That is what makes them begin to ‘exist’. The danger therefore, is of becoming a sheep in wolf’s clothing, and eventually of becoming a wolf.” Adrian Evans, director of Panos Pictures in London, feels that NGOs have a responsibility to encourage the teaching of photojournalism as part of a capacity-building effort: “You can’t simply work with indigenous photographers because it’s ethically sound if they are not skilled up enough to do the work. Reportage photography is a language and its grammar was established in the States and in Europe and in Russia in the first half of the 20th century. You can’t speak a language without the grammar. Then you appropriate that language and put your own mark on it. The African photographic tradition, for example, is studio-based, portrait-based and it has its own aesthetic.” A crop of bright new NGOs has appeared on the scene, concerned with using photography as a tool for cultural reconstruction. Aina Photo was set up in Afghanistan in 2001after the Taliban deserted Kabul. A picture by Aina photographer Najibullah Musafer of Afghan women exercising their right to vote was widely taken up by the international press, and has been cited as a symbol of renewal. Founder and photojournalist Reza Deghati explains why a new generation of NGOs is necessary: “In all countries during wartime, there are NGOs to help the casualties, to build schools, roads, bridges, but there is no organisation to look after the wounds of one’s soul. Physical reconstruction is not enough.” Added to that, as Aina’s editor-in-chief Dimitri Beck points out, there is a gap that needs to be filled: “The western media are not focused any longer on Afghanistan; it is not breaking news anymore. So it becomes essential that photographers and journalists continue to record the daily life of their country in an independent way.” London-based NGO Photovoice is also pioneering participatory photography, and has set up long term projects in such diverse countries as Cameroon, Vietnam and Bangladesh, working variously with refugee group, street children and women living with HIV. Of course, established NGOs can and do use illuminating, sensitive, profound photography. Adrian Evans recently curated an exhibition “8 ways to change the world” which via the photograph examined to what extent the UN’s Millennium goals have been achieved. Of all the work – all commissioned by NGOs – the photographs by Chris de Bode for VSO on the subject of education in Ethiopia (a response to the goal “to give all children a primary education”) were memorable, empowering and evoke not pity but understanding. Within NGOs, photography is likely to be used appropriately if the head of photography (or similar) has an intimate knowledge of photographer’s body of work and their individual strengths. Joseph Cabon, who has been in that role at Christian Aid for “decades”, understands the importance of this relationship: “We’re always looking for the right project that would really inspire and challenge the photographers, rather than having them come back with yet another set that could have been taken four or five years ago … maybe the people 36


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Top: Rebuilding livelihoods after the tsunami, top, of 26 December 2004 Christian Aid / Tim A. Hetherington Below: “I saw this my friend playing in the rain. He was a street child like me. I was so excited to take this picture, to capture the expression of freedom” © Vo Cong Thang/ Street Vision/ PhotoVoice Right: © Najibullah Musafer/ Aina Photo

See the following websites for more information: www.christian-aid.org.uk www.dochas.ie www.concern.net www.photovoice.org www.ainaphoto.org www.imaging-famine.org

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look a bit different, maybe not, but the only difference is that it’s a newer set. “There are too many people living under injustice – to use a shorthand – and too many people whose lives are being blighted by controls which are far beyond their own, so we have to be impatient for that change. We have to ensure that it comes about as quickly as possible, knowing at the same time that we have very little leverage as an aid agency.” Cabon has worked successfully with overseas photographers like Mahammadur Rahman and Orlando Barrio, but admits to being more cautious about using people he hasn’t met face-to-face. “We’re always looking for the right photographer for each project. I’d like to think that the work we’re doing now, for example with Tim Hetherington in Indonesia, is much more dynamic, creative and convincing and much less passive and illustrative.” The need for all NGOs to examine their own practice is urgent. It is to be hoped that outcome of the Dochas initiative will effect real change.While the need to document inequality, even unchanging inequality, in the world is unquestionable, every time we see a picture of a starving African on the pages of a magazine (including this one), we become complicit in their helplessness. It would be journalistically irresponsible to ignore the starving or the dying, but the way in which the resulting images are used needs searching and ongoing consideration. A paradigm shift will really have occurred when societies in the developing world are able to look at their own society and culture forensically and inspect the inner machinations of their own psyche to such a degree that they can then look away from themselves and look across the ocean to “us”. When we see a Congolese Stephen Gill or Paul Shambroom detailing with exquisite irony the machinations of a local council meeting or a rush hour crowd elbowing its way onto a bendy bus, we will know the pendulum has swung. Maybe change can only come when instead of looking to Africa as a strange, dark continent, to the Arabic world as being inhabited by veiled fundamentalists, to the Orient as an inscrutable mystery, the gaze is turned back the other way, and our own sometimes tragic, sometimes strange lives are reflected back at us 8 37


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Jacob Aue Sobol first visited Tiniteqilaaq, an Inuit settlement in Greenland, in 1999 for his first major project after art school. The experience affected him deeply and the results, he decided, did not do it justice. He felt compelled to return. And then he met Sabine

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“On my return to Tiniteqilaaq, I was staying with Hans, the priest of the settlement. He was teaching me Greenlandic and how to hunt. I took photographs for the first two weeks, but after that I began to go hunting every day. Hans taught me so much about the ice, how it moves, how dangerous it can be, and we hunted together for seals as well as trout and salmon. Sabine is Hans’s cousin, and she had been away at another settlement during my first visit. She was 19 when we met and she was very wary of me at first. She had never talked to a white man before, but I had become friends with a few people she knew and she began to trust me. Tiniteqilaaq is just a mountain with houses on it, that’s all, but there is this place where young people meet, and we’d see each other there. We swapped words, in our own languages, then we became friends and then boyfriend and girlfriend. It was very difficult in the beginning; people didn’t like this connection between us, so at first we always met at night, just us under the stars, in the snow. It sounds very romantic, but Sabine is a very practical person. Later, when we shared a house together, she would help me clean seal skins I had brought home and then we would deliver them to Great Greenland, a company that pays £40 per skin. As we began to fall in love, I stopped taking pictures altogether. I didn’t know what I was taking them for anymore. It felt so natural to be there in Greenland, hunting, falling in love … Then, after four months, I was experiencing such strong feelings for Sabine that I realised I needed a way to show this to myself and maybe to others. Every picture of her is a snapshot, taken on a very small camera. She became very comfortable in front of the camera. It became part of our life together; the camera was always with us. I wanted to photograph all the emotions we shared. Sabine blowing me a kiss in the morning as I left to go hunting, Sabine in the shower, Sabine laughing, Sabine sleeping. I stayed in Tiniteqilaaq for two and half years, beginning to understand the Inuit way of life; that it’s nature alone that determines how things will be. We experienced many storms together. The most extreme storm in Greenland is the Piteraq, which hits when warm and cold winds are blowing at the same time, then escalates, like a hurricane. You can tell it’s coming by the shape of the clouds. I loved the hunting and it felt very natural the first time Sabine Jacob Aue Sobol

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I killed a seal and took it home to Sabine and she felt proud too. The best day’s hunting was when Hans and I came back with five seals. The other memorable day was when we caught a polar bear. Their skin fetches around £1,000, so it’s a big deal. They have a rule that the person who sees the bear first gets the skin. One of the oldest men had spotted the bear at 6am in the morning, and he was yelling ‘Nanoq! Nanoq!’ – ‘Polar bear’. We all went out on a boat to catch it, and I remember thinking that if I’d got up earlier, I might have spotted it myself, but I had spent the night with Sabine. I didn’t notice the connections between Sabine’s body and the physical environment as I was taking the pictures. Now when I look back, I can see so many emotions present. The landscape was so raw, yet so beautiful, but it could also be lonely, quiet and sad. It’s actually a very rough life for the Inuit in Greenland. There’s a lot of violence there, alcohol problems, suicide. We lost three friends one spring; they killed themselves just as the light started to return after the dark winter. One of them was a father of two young children; he always seemed happy, always joking. In a community of only 150, these events have a great effect on everyone. But they have no choice but to continue. They go out to hunt the next day, and if they catch something, it’s seen as a sign of life. Sabine and I went to Denmark for three months, so she could meet my twin brother and my family and friends. She was very excited to see trees and streets, but we both knew that if our relationship were to continue, it had to be in Greenland, and I was happy to be there. For a while, I believed I could become an Inuit too. But I knew I could never really be like them, no matter how long I stayed. I see now that I was in love, but I was still lonely. We were living by this time in a small house on the edge of a fjord. We still loved each other very much, but it was becoming clear that it would be impossible to continue living together. I returned to Copenhagen in a bad state, very depressed. I hadn’t developed any film in Greenland, so now I began to look at the pictures, so that I could keep Sabine close to me. Gradually, I put together a dummy version of what is now a book, and sent it to her. She understood immediately that it was a statement of love. I was so dependent on her reaction; I would have stopped everything if she had said so. It’s funny – I had always intended to document the story of the settlement. But in the end it had to be Sabine. Sabine is Greenland” 8 Jacob Aue Sobol was talking to Max Houghton

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>Moments Eye of the Beholder Glenn Hunt This photograph, one of a series on horses Hunt has shot around the world, was taken in Sumba, Indonesia, on his second trip to document the Pasola. This warlike equestrian spectacle is held each year on the island to welcome the nyale, a multi-hued worm that arrives on West Sumba’s shores during the months of February and March. Its arrival in significant numbers is said to be a portent of a good rice harvest. The horse is decorated with a headdress attached to its bridle that is made from its cut mane. “When I saw this animal in the flesh it was stunningly beautiful and I was so drawn to it,” he says. “I shot it from every conceivable angle but looking at the negatives on my return this image stood out above the rest and encapsulates for me why cultures around the world celebrate the marvel of this animal” 8

8 xtra: To view more images from Glenn Hunt’s extensive series on horses, visit foto8.com/8xtra

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Kablare

When displaced Kosovan Roma were moved to an abandoned – and toxic – army base it was intended to be for a matter of weeks. Seven years later, as Ivor Prickett discovered, they are dying there

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Kablare: Poisoned Earth Vebbi Selimi died in the spring of 2005 of a brain tumour, aged 27. A Kosovan Roma, he was buried 24 Ivor Prickett hours after his death, according to local Muslim custom. There was no autopsy, but his family are certain that his premature death was linked to lead poisoning from the contaminated slag heaps of the Trepca mines. The Selimis, like many other Roma families, were forced out of their homes in Fabricka, Mitrovica’s established Roma quarter, in 1999 when old ethnic divisions started to ignite once more in Kosovo. Life in Fabricka had been settled, comfortable, even. The move to Kablare, a deserted former Yugoslav army base situated between the railway and toxic slag heaps was only ever intended to be temporary – a matter of weeks not seven years. In the summer of 2004, the World Health Organisation (WHO) categorised the situation in the camps as “a severe health crisis”, recommending the immediate evacuation of pregnant women and children under the age of six – yet dozens of families remain. Blood samples taken from the displaced people in the camps contained the highest lead levels ever recorded by WHO. When photographer Ivor Prickett met the Selimi family in February 2005, Vebbi, his wife, Isniga, and their three children, Nedmi, Sucreta and Greta, lived in sparse accommodation, the bright paintwork the only indicator of homeliness. That winter, they had finally got around to emptying out their ‘spare’ room, in which a good deal of rubbish had accumulated over the years. The children would spend a lot of time within the confines of one 5x6 metre ‘barrack’ room, especially during the winter, when the temperature can drop to minus 25 at night. The smallest children are prone to bouts of illness, as the immune systems of infants born in the camps are barely developed before they are four or five – another consequence of the lead poisoning from the water they drink and the food they grow and eat. Vebbi was luckier than many of his contemporaries in that he had a trade. A trained butcher, he had regular work from a Serb who employed him to slaughter the animals and paid him enough in meat to feed his family. But he was surrounded by desperate unemployment; most fellow Roma rarely left the camp, becoming ever more marginalised. Alcohol was widely used as a tool of self-obliteration, with many Roma men resorting to physically abusing their wives in frustration. Vebbi turned his frustration in on himself, cutting himself either to self-harm or to create a homemade tattoo; the family names he carved into his own skin were proof of life. Vebbi had no idea he was ill. When Ivor Prickett paid a return visit to Kablare three months later, he was shocked to discover that the man who had become his friend and confidant was dead. Isniga Selimi is now working with the Kosovo Roma Refugee Foundation (KRRF) to try to get compensation from the UN for her husband’s premature death. Ivor Prickett found that Roma custom deemed it inappropriate to spend time with a recently bereaved woman, so he has not been able to continue to document her life as a young widow, bringing up three children for whom the poisoned earth of Kablare provides their only nourishment. They have recently been tested for lead poisoning themselves: their levels were found to be dangerously high 8 Max Houghton

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Vebbi Selimi (previous page) and his wife Isniga haul a cart of rubbish through the snow in mid-February when night-time temperatures fall as low as -25C Nedmi Selimi (top left) carries her younger sister Greta. Children born in the camps do not fully develop an immune system until the age of five as a result of lead poisoning from the contaminated Trepca slag heaps Vebbi’s mother Nedmi (right) and father Ellis, live across the hallway from their son’s family

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Isniga Selimi (top) sits with her two children, Greta and Sucreta aged two and four. This room has been their home for the past two years Zyla and Ramadan (left) are neighbours of the Selimis. Zyla is 16 and already has two children with her husband

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The Roma people of Kablare and Cesmin Lug camps (previous page) are sandwiched between the railway tracks and toxic slag heaps of Trepca mines Vebbi’s homemade tattoos and selfharm scars (right) which he said he only did when he was drunk. Alcoholism is rife amongst the Roma men and is often the cause of domestic violence Vebbi (bottom) was a trained butcher. Helping a local Serb slaughter animals provided enough meat to feed his family

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The sparse interior (left) of one of the rooms of Kablare camp, a former Yugoslav army base, that now houses more than 50 Kosovan Roma Vebbi died of a brain tumour at the age of 27 caused by suspected lead poisoning. Following local Muslim custom his burial (below) was carried out 24 hours after his death. No autopsy was ever conducted

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>Moments Moulin Blue Nick Cobbing This is the shoreline of a melt lake in Greenland. A cluster of these lakes has developed on the vast ice sheet, formed by melt water filling indents in the ice. Working alongside Greenpeace International, gaining unprecedented access to the wilderness of the Greenlandic ice cap, Nick Cobbing made this photograph from a height of 300 metres while a scientist worked below in a dinghy, recording depth soundings from the cracked lake bed. He piloted his craft carefully, to avoid the current pulling him to the other side, where he could be sucked into the gurgle of water, disappearing deep into a crevasse. These openings, called moulins, channel large quantities of melt water through tunnels in the ice, to the bedrock 1.5 kilometres below. It is known that this melt water speeds up the flow of the ice sheet towards the Greenlandic coast, by lubricating the surface on which the ice slides. The contribution to global sea level rise, if the Greenlandic ice sheet were to melt, has been calculated at 6.7 metres. The lone scientist who bobbed up and down on this strange lunar landscape, is now calibrating the depths he recorded. Matching them with the varying intensities of blue in a satellite image of this lake. He hopes to calculate the quantity of water in newly formed lakes, from high resolution satellite photographs, in the comfort of his office in Ohio 8

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Canada’s mining giants, like other industrial sectors, are moving towards increasing economies of scale, which has in turn led to an ever-increasing exodus of development capital to South America and the Third World. It has forced Canadian operations to compete against overseas mines that benefit from lax environmental standards and low wages. In such operations, mountains and jungles are stripped bare by giant shovels and massive pit trucks. The original mining camps were forged by hard work, low wages and isolation. On the barren soil of these company-dominated towns, ethnic associations, sports rivalries and union activism defined the social agenda of the community. But long gone are days when the mines depended on a large pool of cheap labour. Today’s miners are highly paid specialists with wages unmatched by other blue collar or service sector jobs, their pay perhaps double that of other industries.1 But mining continues to be defined by the same stark realities understood by miners back in the days of the Western mineral rushes. What other job is there where a man spends his whole shift making his workplace safe only to blow it up at the end of the day? No other industry illustrates so clearly the direct relationship between the physical costs paid by labour to the benefit of international monetary empires. No other industry lives by the law of the mines. The good times never last. Every ton mined brings even the greatest mine one ton closer to its inevitable death. In many ways, a similar depletion of resources faces even the strongest of miners. “We eat the mines and the mines eat us,” is an expression used by South American miners. Every miner knows this. Enjoy it while it lasts. As the old miners used to say, “Drink up Mike, tomorrow you’d might get killed.” 2 And so, when these men turn off their jackleg drills and come up from the depths, in Timmins, Ontario or Schumacher or Sudbury, you’re liable to find them bombing around on the cold, deep waters of northern lakes. Brothers. Comrades. Buddies. Blaring AC/DC tunes. Bagging fish. Not worried about the next cage call into the depths. Living for today because tomorrow might be worse 8 Charlie Angus Living for Today Louie Palu

1. In 1999, average weekly earnings in the Ontario mining industry were $1,143, compared to $516 for all industries combined. 2. Quoted from a 1936 piece in the Union News entitled “From Cobalt to Noranda”, reprinted in Mine Mill: the International History of the Mine Mill and Smelter Workers Union by Mike Solski.

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“Miners are a funny breed. Even the educated miners. You get a guy who comes out of school and gets put in a drift [development tunnel] where he's making two or three hundred bucks a day. He’s never seen that kind of money. He’s on top of the world. He buys all his toys, eats in restaurants every night. When the time comes where he can’t keep up any more he’ll have nothing. No truck. Just an old car. I don't know if people are like that in other jobs, but miners know that even if it’s bad for them, they'll still do it. A miner will try and beat his own record every day and work like a fucking dog knowing it’s doing him in, knowing he's getting slower. But it’s his pride. They eat their lunch running a machine with oil mist spraying on the sandwich. That’s how these guys get stomach cancer. I’d tell these guys, don’t waste your life for the overtime. But you know what the guys say, [you can] go home sleep with my wife, drink my last beer but don’t touch my bonus.” Rick Chopp, Timmins

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“We all came to this town with nothing. We said we were going to stay two years and make a fortune. And after 20 years we left with nothing. All we had left was the memory of the good times – the dances, the bonspiels, the way we looked out for each other’s children. It’s a sense of community that I don’t think we’ll see again. The miners and their families did so much good work in that town. When you think of the miles that was walked for local charities, the money that was raised, the hospital that was built. The town now has a big Mining Museum and it tells the story of the owners. Who is going to tell the story of the miners? It was a good town. Physically it was killing us but emotionally it was such a good, good town. We were privileged to be there.” Carrie Chenier, first woman underground miner, Elliot Lake

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8 extra: More images from this series by Louie Palu can be seen online at foto8.com/8xtra

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As they worked on a study on the Thames Gateway, photographer Jason Orton and writer Ken Worpole discovered a shared fascination for the Essex coastline, and for the interplay of landscape, memory and history 63


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350 Miles Jason Orton

In the early months of 2005, Jason Orton and I walked, cycled, and occasionally drove, separately or together, much of the 350 miles of the Essex coastline, taking in the atmosphere, the landscape, and observing the abiding relationship of the land to the sea. What we found was not conventionally beautiful or picturesque. This is not surprising, for what is considered attractive or beguiling in landscape to one generation – chalk streams and thatched cottages, or moorland heather and upland lakes – is seen to lack historical veracity to another. The more we walked it, in different weathers, and at different times of the tide, the more the Essex littoral yielded in terms of a sense of place and history. The 20th century was a belligerent but also extraordinarily innovative period in British social history, and the Essex landscape was in the frontline of these changes. With its profusion of beautiful but strategically vulnerable rivers and estuaries, this coastline has provided a bulwark of English sea defences, with the foundations or ruins of many still visible. There are many layers of history to be discovered here, and each new tide brings, or reveals, something new. It is the close attentiveness to the disruptive effects of the human effort to subsist, or inhabit what are often marginal lands, that makes Jason Orton’s photographs seem imbued with life and history, though people are rarely evident. What is seen is the imprint they leave upon the land. This is particularly the case where the land meets water, and the landscape changes completely according to the time of day and level of the tide. Only by recording these landscapes in such a close manner, are we able to resist their homogenisation through poorly thought-out development, with a subsequent erasure of all historical traces. Essex has often been regarded as the worst kind of suburban landscape where American strip development meets marginal farmland, to the detriment of both. Yet one does not have to venture far from the main roads to come across lonely coastal paths, which from time to time pass a small houseboat community or boatyard. The soft marshlands and tidal reaches are often characterised by extensive networks of wooden jetties, gangways and boardwalks, giving access to the moorings. The shoreline is a Darwinian test-bed, a place where, if you are looking for something it will eventually be found, though not necessarily in the shape imagined. These coastal landscapes with their vast skies, uninterrupted horizons at the far edges, glistening mudflats and estuaries are distorting mirrors, but mirrors all the same. There are no distractions 8 Ken Worpole The combined photo-essay and literary narrative, ‘350 Miles’, grew out of a commission for ‘Thurrock: a Visionary Brief in the Thames Gateway’ for General Public Agency. www.visionarythurrock.org.uk

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>Inside >Reviews >Listings >Scene

As someone who once worked in banking, Marcus Bleasdale has brought his photojournalism to a new audience – mining companies, bankers, traders – one that is actually in position to effect change Interview by Max Houghton EI8HT: You used to be a banker – yours is quite a change of direction, to say the least. Can you talk about the thought process that fuelled the move? MB: I had always been interested in photography and used to shoot quite regularly. As I was getting more and more disillusioned with banking – I was concentrating more and more on photography and specifically photojournalism – I took some night classes in black and white printing. It was at that time a serious hobby but I had no idea I would make the leap towards being a professional. One day, while I was working, a colleague asked me how a particularly gruesome event in the Balkans would affect the exchange rate of the dollarDeutschmark, I was so shocked by his thought process I got up and told my boss I was resigning. That was on the Wednesday; on the Friday I was in Macedonia, trying to get into Kosovo. 8: Can you describe some of the practicalities involved – for one thing, presumably you went from earning a decent wage to earning nothing at all. Did you factor this aspect in? MB: Money, unfortunately for photographers, and specifically

photojournalists, is always going to be a problem. To finance this change I knew would be a problem, so I sold my flat in London which had a little equity and put that in the bank. I started sleeping in spare rooms of friends when I was in London, but mostly I was travelling. Unfortunately that money disappeared a long time ago and since I have been living off what I make from photography. 8: You have worked a lot in Uganda and Congo … do you think that the terms photojournalism and conflict go hand in hand? MB: No, not at all. Some of the most amazing work in photojournalism has had nothing to do with conflict in the basic sense of the word. Going back to Eugene Smith and the Spanish village, his work on the country doctor and the midwife, this was at that time incredibly insightful work that still resonates with most photographers today. I have to look at his stories a couple of times a month. I even take a little book with me on trips sometimes to browse through and think about the images I am trying to create and those already shot. There are also some subjects such as famine or natural disaster

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stories that don’t necessarily have a conflict edge to them although some may be caused by the conflict going on in the region. 8: For your book One Hundred Years of Darkness, you followed in the footsteps through Congo of Joseph Conrad’s creation Kurtz from Heart of Darkness. What is his enduring appeal for you? MB: What a question! Scholars have written more words about Conrad’s enduring appeal than Conrad has written himself, but I will try to answer it as best I can. Conrad and Kurtz, specifically in Heart of Darkness, demand the reader to look at their very soul and ask questions about themselves, just as Marlow (the narrator) asked himself as he was travelling up the river. Conrad’s work is all about the shadows and the guilt that rests in our mind and he challenges us to address that by using the genocide in Congo to question our values and beliefs. With Heart of Darkness, Marlow was asking himself about the horrors of colonialism in King

The death of the eight month old child of an artisinal goldminer in Mungwalu, in eastern Congo (above and page 70). The child died of anemia brought on by malaria. Marcus Bleasdale spent time with the family while producing a series on the ultimate cost of mining in conflict zones. Most of the gold mined in this region leaves Congo illegally and is sent to Uganda. Sickness and disease are rife, malaria being the biggest killer

Leopold’s Belgian Congo and how the local population was being systematically wiped out. Although it is a novel which does not forgive the inattentive reader, it is also a fundamental piece of journalism from that era. The book transcends those boundaries between fact and fiction in a very special way that now has become common for novelists. More importantly for me, his use of language is extremely visual. The pictures he creates with his writing rest in your mind and he allows you to play with these images, slowly making them more vivid and more horrific as the book goes on. His words have as much validity today in Congo as they did back then. Conrad classified


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Leopold’s work in Congo as “the vilest scramble for loot that ever disfigured the history of human conscience”. That statement is as valid today as it was when he wrote it; the colonists being replaced by international mining companies (which used to be the Belgian government in the 19th century), ineffective UN involvement (which used to be the international community, who stood by and watched between 1870 and 1910) and the corrupt leaders who one after the other personally betray their country’s people (personified by Kurtz).

complex and long-winded conflict in the south that was going through a positive, peaceful change as a result of the oil that is to be found there. Darfur has no attractive resources, and so has been left and forgotten, even now. It seems the world (UN) has played directly into the hands of the Khartoum government, who have played their game extremely well. The Darfur population have been effectively removed from their homes and villages, and the vast majority of them now live in camps either inside Sudan or on

8: In the debate about whether atrocities in Sudan should be termed genocide, you were reported as saying you had seen evidence of mass graves. It struck me that even though you had seen and photographed the evidence, no one was really listening still. Do you agree at all? And if so, does that make you feel powerless?

The media have a moral responsibility to focus on these issues

MB: Sudan and specifically Darfur was a difficult subject to tackle primarily because initially no one was listening, including the media. I tried to get a commission to go there between October and December 2003 and no one seemed remotely interested. So in January 2004 I went on my own, hoping to sell the story when I got back. It was on this trip that I saw and photographed a village with mass graves and semi-buried bodies. There were also bodies of young boys who had been left as a sign for other males to discourage them from getting involved in the conflict. The photographs themselves do not prove genocide but the overall systematic targeting of the population in Darfur does, I believe, constitute genocide. Unfortunately in today’s increasingly political world, even the word genocide has become political. The responsibilities the UN has if they use that word to describe a conflict are enormous and they are not prepared to stand up to those responsibilities in Sudan, for a number of reasons. These vary from the delicate balance between Arab nations and the West after Iraq and Afghanistan, to the financial commitment they would need while enforcing change, to the

the Chad border, and Darfur is left for the Khartoum government to do with it as they will. The UN has left the job of international policing to the African Union who are undermanned and under funded and logistically impotent to react to anything happening in Darfur. Khartoum has achieved its objective and it was not only allowed to happen under the noses of the international community, but they financed it and are still administering it. We as an international community should be ashamed that we have allowed this to continue. I think the media thought, too late, that it was an important story to focus on, and thought, too early, that it was covered and stopped focusing on it. I believe the media have a moral responsibility to focus, and continue to focus, on these issues forcing the international community to react. If that does not happen, as in the case of Darfur, we reach a deadly status quo where the only sufferers are those who are left to rot in the deserts of Darfur. Meanwhile, the reasons for not continuing the media coverage become financial and the only ones who benefit are the shareholders of the companies charged with showing the world what is happening. They are

limiting the budgets of the foreign news and concentrating on the more lucrative celebrity market. This, I feel, is shocking and shameful. 8: The images reproduced here are from your Congo work for Human Rights Watch (HRW), which has just been exhibited in a Swiss bank. Can you explain how this came about and what you/HRW hope to achieve by this kind of partnership? MB: With the goldmines in eastern Congo and the conflict for the control of those mines, I did have some publications in the UK and Germany, but that was all. So I started to work closely with HRW to try to target a more effective audience: an audience comprised of the people who were directly or indirectly responsible for the mining in those regions. These organisations consisted of mining companies, commodity traders, governments and banks – all of whom were responsible in allowing this mining in conflict zones to continue, yet were turning a blind eye to the atrocities that were being committed in the region for the control of these mines. Anglo Gold Ashanti, Metalor Industries, the Swiss government, the Ugandan government and the Congolese government all have to bear some responsibility as do many international finance companies – and the UN for failing to effectively control regions in the east of Congo. Together with HRW we have held discussions at mining conventions, banks, governmental bodies, and the UN. This not only raises awareness but helps enforce responsibilitiy on them to react and change. For example, Metalor Industries – which was responsible for purchasing most of the gold from Ugandan traders when Uganda did not have sufficient gold resources to support that level of exports: the gold was coming from Congo illegally – has ceased trading in Uganda; the gold is not being purchased at the moment. This has directly affected the finance available for the purchase of weapons in Congo and the continuation of the conflict. Anglo Gold Ashanti has reviewed its operations and has started small

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changes but still needs a little pushing, yet the Congolese government has also put in motion the renegotiation of many of their mining contracts with the companies involved. These contracts were historically corrupt and ministers received many payments to allow favourable contracts to be put in place. 8: Do you feel people in general are able to “read” a picture, or a series of pictures? MB: I think people do understand individual images and series of pictures. If you think of Don McCullin, Tom Stoddart and Eugene Richards’ work, these images have had significant impact, not just in the photography world but on the public at large. I know Tom’s work has been used to raise large amounts of money for aid agencies just through the strength of the single image. This is the attraction of the still image: the one moment of clarity or the one question raised by the work that touches people. Whether that then motivates them to do something is another question. 8: Do you feel a conflict between wanting to represent the hardship experienced by the people you photograph and wanting to represent them with appropriate dignity? MB: I think this is very much down to the photographer. I hope that I do represent and honour the dignity of the people I work with, that is certainly what I try to do when I am shooting. But the image you see on the page is a small part of the relationship I have with the subject; I do hope I capture that relationship. Yet we are photojournalists who work in areas where people have lost everything – and for some of them, that it includes their dignity. It is also important to show that. The way I work with my subjects is another way I can treat them with the respect and the dignity they deserve. I spend a lot of time helping as much as I can expanding the relationship that I have as a photographer and a human being. That sometimes involves putting your camera down for a few hours and helping them in their suffering.


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The series I took in Mongbwalu in eastern Congo of Sakura Lisi – the child who died of preventable malaria – was also a dilemma for me, how to best represent their sorrow but still allow the family and Sakura their dignity. I met two men walking down a hill each carrying a part of a child’s coffin. As I was doing a story about the ultimate cost of mining in conflict zones it was vital to capture the suffering. I spent hours with Sakura’s family during their mourning and throughout the funeral. These images are a very small part of the interaction I had with that family, on that day and subsequent days when I went back to see how Sakura’s mother was doing. So, respect of the people we work with is paramount to the success of the message you as a photographer are trying to get across, and that is where the dignity is respected while trying to portray an often hard-hitting subject. The way we treat people as we travel around is the most important part of our story

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building. If your subjects have respect for you and you for them, then I think this will be evident in the final image. 8: Has the subject of a picture or a story ever asked you what you’re doing it for? What would you say to them if they did? MB: I get this question a lot in Congo and my answer is always the same. I am there to try to show the world what is happening here. They feel forgotten, lost, and helpless and they want the world to understand and react. 8: Is there a risk that the photographs you take perpetuate the image of Africa as a helpless continent, rife with war, famine and disease? MB: I do not wish to represent the idea that all Africa is like this, but we cannot get away from the fact that a large percentage is. Me ignoring that would also be a misrepresentation and neglecting

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the responsibility that I have as a journalist.

difference do they make to you, either practically or personally?

8: When you work with NGOs, how much scope are you given to shoot what you see as opposed to what fits the brief?

MB: It is always great to feel that your work is appreciated, and with some of the financial awards such as the 3ps, Alexia Foundation Grant and the Soros Distribution Award it really does allow you to carry on with a topic you would otherwise not be able to afford to do. But I am finding it as difficult now to make it all work, even after winning Magazine Photographer of the Year in POY, as I did when I was just starting.

MB: I tend to shoot what I want for NGOs and edit towards their brief later on. I do prefer to travel on my own and shoot the way I want and then allow an edit that works for the NGO later. 8: You work was shown at Perpignan this year. Whose work made an impact on you and why? MB: Certainly the highlight of the week there was Heidi Bradner’s work from Chechnya. Her coverage of that story has been amazing over the past 10 years and her approach to the subject is often extremely sensitive in an area where such sensitivities count for very little. 8: You’ve won lots of awards recently – congratulations! What

8: Finally, which photograph, or series of photographs, of yours do you feel best represents what you want to achieve as a photojournalist? MB: I think the series of images of Sakura Lisi is the one I feel best portrays what I wanted to show in Congo. It was the most sensitive of situations yet I hope I managed to get the desperation across with dignity 8


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In the months following the ceasefire marking the end of the conflict in Vietnam which had cost over two million lives, the rap poet Gil Scott-Heron articulated something of the “snow blindness” with which superpowers manage, plunder and disenfranchise their worlds. “Whitey on the Moon” talked anxiously of living in the ghetto, of destitution, malnutrition and inopportunity in an urban America that was invited to search for something in the stars rather than in the world around them. It was a clarity of vision shared by Bruce Davidson, whose East 100th Street photographs of 1968 were made with anger and clear purpose. They reappear, as immediate and affecting as if freshly made, in a new book that

marks the 50th anniversary of the World Press Organisation. Things as They Are shares much in style with Steidl’s tremendous Kiosk book of 2001. That book, by Robert Lebeck and Bodo von Dewitz gathered picture magazine layouts from the earliest 20th century magazines up to the late Sixties, while Things as They Are takes the reins and draws on an overwhelming richness of photography from international picture magazines since 1955. It reappraises not only the formative European and American markets, but also the initiatives of key Japanese photographers. Indeed Shomei Tomatsu’s work rips apart the polite spacing and notations of 1960s European layouts, starving the page of neutral space and calling – through his own photography – for a new form of reportage “that defied traditional design and conventional formal solutions”. Daido Moriyama’s work, too, is all the more arresting when seen before a June 1969 issue of Life which breaks stylistic convention to show, with awkward monotony, “One week’s dead from Vietnam”. Perhaps this dynamic exchange epitomises the book’s ambition. It keeps at its core the world events that saturate us, yet also works to explore the more oblique strategies employed by photojournalists and their publications. The conceptual experimentation of the Colors era and Suddeutsche Zeitung magazine engage urgent issues with skill and singularity, and suggest something of the diverse

War: Colors, 1996

Things as They Are: Photojournalism in Context Since 1955 Published by Chris Boot www.chrisboot.com £45.00 (400pp Hardback)

© Mary Ellen Mark, Falkland Road: Stern, 1981

>Reviews

tactics those commissioning and placing contemporary photography on the printed page are empowered to use. Beyond the shell shock of the moon landings, the incredulity and madness of war, the book also highlights work made long after the crowds are gone. The keynote stories in the careers of Anders Petersen, Donna Ferrato and Ad van Denderen, to name just three, are related in their original and compelling forms. The photographer’s work is often resolved by the vision of the editor, and these spreads show some of the most powerful collaborations. Gideon Mendel’s Zimbabwe Aids Ward pictures sit beautifully in the Independent in 1993 while, in another world, Martin Parr’s work from Florida for W magazine hits the top note with colour. Essays by Mary Panzer and Christian Caujolle soberly contextualise the terrain upon which photojournalists so often

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have to work. Photographers negotiate events that are carefully managed, restricting access towards a chosen narrative, or embrace the dangerous independence of the freelance pursuing stories through will and determination. This book is a testimony to that strength, and also to the designers and picture editors who make the work sing. The last time I went to see Gil Scott-Heron, the band showed up but he didn’t arrive. He was lost, living somewhere in his world (which isn’t easy) and, like the best examples in this essential book, that told me something urgent about my own. Ken Grant


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A Time Before Crack Jamel Shabazz Published by PowerHouse Books www.powerhousebooks.com £19.99 (144pp Hardback)

Crack made its first appearance in Miami around 1981and over the ensuing 10-15 years spread to Los Angeles, New York and countless other US cities. Smoking rocks led to the rise of the terrifying violent drug gangs, crack whore mythology, “crack babies” and desperately fractured communities. Jamel Shabazz knew New York before this happened and captured the scene with a joyful frankness that is rarely seen today. Shabazz has something of a cult status among the photographic community of New York. A man who’d served in the military and later worked in a correctional institute, he was the only man to work so hard yet with such apparent ease to photograph New York’s boroughs through the eyes of a participant. This book, while ostensibly a document relating to New York black culture, actually has a huge amount to say to all city communities. All the images are taken between 1980 and 1985, a time that for Shabazz that was the end of era. Shabbaz walked his haunts of Brooklyn, Harlem, Flatbush and other traditionally black and Hispanic neighbourhoods taking portraits of the people and anything that fell into the trap of his curiosity. Group shots, single portraits, families, gang leaders with their posses … all were seen

through his open and democratic lens. Technically the photographs are straightforward, his style unaffected by a desire to make a statement about himself and his craft. In fact, as the accompanying essay by Charlie Ahearn suggests, Shabazz positioned his work more with the Polaroid portraitists of Times Square than with the work of Leonard Freed, which he admired. The reason his work has resonance is in part because of the reaction of the subjects to Shabazz, who manages to photograph them as they would wish to be seen. This method may have been for his own safety – photographing gangs and their generals could be pretty hairy and no doubt they expected to be shot looking “fly”. But the openness, happiness and lack of suspicion that comes from people who are being photographed by a friend, by one of their own, is what makes this book out stand out. No value judgments are placed on them. His subjects are the Puma and Shelltop-wearing hiphoppers, double-dutching girls, shopkeepers, hairdressers,

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restaurant owners, school kids – the individuals who together make a community. Shabazz identifies with the sense of being lost in your own life as he witnessed the catastrophic rise of crack in New York decimated the city. The empty eyes of the crack addict decaying in a den are not featured in this book – but as we look at these often joyous images, we wonder which of these people ended up there. A Time Before Crack documents Shabazz’s memories of the people he’s lost to a hopeless addiction, his community, his friends, his children … it’s a New York that Shabazz loved that no longer exists. Mike Trow


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© Michael Omerod/Millennium Images

The Ongoing Moment Geoff Dyer Published by Little, Brown www.twbg.co.uk £20.00 (320pp Hardback) Geoff Dyer has been on the verge of writing about photography for ages. Despite the odd stylistic disagreement (I’ve never felt comfortable with Dyer’s assertion that he is an intellectual, for example. I’m not saying he isn’t, I’m just questioning the merits of declaring his status so publicly), I’m an admirer of his work.

Until I started to read it. Dyer spends the first stretch (and I say stretch because there are no chapters, headings or any other signposting device via which us mere mortals could use to navigate such an unwieldy document) explaining his methodology. He is following the advice of Dorothea Lange, who once said that it was fine to work completely without a plan, so as not to limit oneself. As Dyer is aware, Lange was talking about the organising principles of photography, not writing. Lange may have had dozens of negatives from a days work, but she would only publish the good bits. It’s not as though the book is no good; far from it. Dyer is incapable of writing anything other than a perfectly executed sentence. And he’s passionate about photography. But the dilettante approach that has previously served him so well has hindered him here. His desire to avoid the dry, the fusty, the well-trodden path of a potted history of photography has resulted in the literary equivalent of fusion food it’s a nice enough idea but ultimately unsatisfying. His vague theming by subject – photographs of hats, of the blind, of people from behind – conjure

© Garry Winogrand, World's Fair, New York, 1964: Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

I’ve enjoyed his idiosyncratic voyages towards understanding, whether he was writing about he battle of the Somme, or jazz, or Nietzsche, he usually found something original to say and would say it well. So when news broke that he was to be writing about a subject close to my heart, the portents were good.

up the impression of his thoughts rolling into each other like so many bowling balls across a perfectly manicured green, each one graceful and perfectly formed, but never quite hitting its target. The book deals almost exclusively with American photography, bar the odd Atget reference. His central preoccupation seems to be that photographers sometimes photograph each other and that photographers recreate each other’s pictures until it becomes hard to tell them apart. We also learn, by way of gentle anecdote, quite a bit about the inner lives and loves of the American greats; Lange, Strand,

Stieglitz, Evans et al. There is a sense of spending a weekend with an elderly gentleman who had known all the old photoheroes, and is reminiscing over a bottle of vintage cognac. In the same way, I sensed a sadness emanating from this book, but maybe the photography/death interface is precisely the site of our relentless fascination with the subject.

the same images across the decades. ‘Does a coincidence have to be momentary?’ asks Dyer. ‘How long is the moment, the ongoing moment?’ Puzzlingly for me, he appears to answer this question a little later on: ‘In photography there is no meantime. There was just that moment and now there’s this moment and in between there is nothing.’

One final point; the title. The phrase ‘the ongoing moment’ with its obvious allusion to CartierBresson’s famous phrase is embedded in Dyer’s series of thoughts about photographers recognising symbols in each other’s pictures and thus making

In one sweeping statement, Dyer artfully destroys his entire premise for the book. MH

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A cluster of such festivals took place in Northern Europe recently. Dokument 05 is an annual meeting and workshop of three top Scandinavian photography schools. World Press Photo held its 50th anniversary celebration and party, and the Dutch photography festival, Noorderlicht, followed up last year’s wildly successful show of photography from the Arab world, “Nazar,” with the more enigmatic theme of “Traces and Omens.” At the same time, another loosely themed show, Backlight 05, was held in Tampere, Finland, which celebrated its own photography festival, a more art-oriented venture co-sponsored by the British Council and Gallery Hippolyte. It is important to look at Dokument 05 as an opportunity to bring young Scandinavian photographers together with others from around the world for workshops and slideshows in order to compare notes and to network. The students are exposed to such heroes as Anders Petersen and Jan Grarup, Antonin Kratochvil, Paolo Pellegrin, Heidi Bradner, Shahidul

Alam, KB Nøsterud, and Pieter Ten Hoopen. This year’s event was held in Oslo, Norway, under the auspices of Per-Anders Rosenkvist of the photojournalism programme, Oslo University College. Each of the schools works closely with local papers and magazines and has international projects and outreach programmes. In short, Dokument functions as a miniature version of World Press Photo’s Joop Swart Masterclass and its travelling projects. Work presented ranged from classically conceived imagery, beautifully framed, by Petersen and Grarup to more experimental work by Nøsterud, and Ten Hoopen. Not surprisingly, many of these students have gone on to win may prizes including Erik Refner, a graduate of the Danish school in Arhus, who won the World Press Photo of the Year in 2001. Now in its 50th year, Amsterdam based World Press Photo took the occasion to stage both a birthday bash and a colloquium on the state of the industry. Journalists, editors and agency directors bounced around ideas concerning the demise of opportunities for publication, the effects of the consolidation of the agencies, the impact of digital on photography and its implication for photojournalism. There were

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© Paul Fusco

We live in a swim of images. Not merely do the big agencies receive more than 12,000 images daily, the photography schools produce more and more good photographers and photojournalists who compete for fewer places in print and contribute to that flow. There are also more non-traditional venues to view pictures and to make an impact with photography, namely photography festivals.

© Christophe Agou

Dokument 05 4 – 8 October Oslo, Norway www.dokument05.com World Press Photo at 50 7 – 8 October Amsterdam, Netherlands www.worldpressphoto.nl Noorderlicht 4 September – 9 October Groningen, Netherlands www.noorderlicht.com Helsinki Photography Festival 7 October – 6 November Helsinki, Finland www.helsinkiphotographyfe stival.net

many “graveyard speeches”, as Agence Vu’s Christian ` that’s sick, it’s the media.” A commemorative photography show, Things As They Are, curated by Caujolle at FOAM, the Foto Museum Amsterdam, runs until 7 December and tracks the reduction in space available to photojournalists in the major weeklies, which shrank from eight or more spreads in 1950s and ’60s to the two or three permitted today. As is obvious, journalists are increasingly forced to seek other opportunities for their work to reach the public, whether through gallery representation (albeit rather unlikely when subject matter may include images of violence or despair), books – a

trade-off from 2.5 million readers for Paris Match versus 2,000 copies of a monograph, and, increasingly web-based distribution outside of the agencies. The latter will become increasingly important as competition gets tougher. There was also the presentation of a stamp set commemorating 50 years of World Press Photo prize winners and an admonition, testifying to the strength of imagery, by Jan Pronk, special representative of the UN Secretary General for Sudan, decrying late coverage of Darfur, for photographers to go out and take pictures of situations before they get out of control and end up on CNN, the BBC, or Al-Jazeera.


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more literal if sarcastic meaning of “embedded” in his depiction of political control during wartime in an age of video games.

© Vesselina Nikolaeva

The works on the wall in Groningen and elsewhere make it clear that photography is a very slippery medium. Not all reportage tells a single story. No image can have a perfectly clear message. Sometimes the allusive is more powerful than the concrete. That master of images, Henri Cartier-Bresson, once retitled his masterpiece, “The Decisive Moment”, for a friend thus: “Some Decisive Moments (maybe).” It is a most realistic statement to the power of images and the impossibility of representing truth faithfully. To quote Lewis Hine: “Photographs do not lie, but liars can make photographs.” We should be aware of these words both when we make an image and when we present it to the world. BK On a different note, this year’s 12th incarnation of Noorderlicht, the Dutch photography festival held this year in Groningen, situated documentary and art photography in a context that tested what could and could not be seen, and invoked photography’s claim to truth and its ability challenge the imagination. Under the rubric of “Traces and Omens” curator Wim Melis presented a shaggy dog of a programme that nonetheless brought out the power of documentary and reportage photography. Works like Christophe Agou’s post-9/11 imagery from his birth region in France seemed to be a celebration of the simple things in life whereas Pep Bonet’s searing work from post-conflict Sierra Leone was a testament to the effects of man’s brutality to his neighbors. Paula Luttringer returned to the prisons of Argentina where she was held during that country’s “Dirty War” of the 1970s and ’80s and depicted the traces of things that kept her and her fellow prisoners alive and sane during those terrible years. Paul Fusco’s return to Chernobyl 20 years later was a haunting reminder of the effects of invisible radiation made all too painfully visible to the survivors and their children. Australian Trent Parke presented a dark body of

work that appeared to mirror the newly doubtful and uncertain side of “the lucky country” in the wake of bombings in Bali, fires, and droughts. Joakim Eneroth portrayed Tibetan monks and nuns with the torture implements they faced in Chinese prisons. He also presented an enigmatic, Sugimoto-like series of seascapes, “Waiting”, that addressed, on a metaphorical level at least, the implications of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Indonesia and neighbouring countries. If these works presented a more or less directly metaphorical use of documentary photography, one that hinted or alluded to things, two other bodies of work took shots at the truth claims of photography. Larry Fink’s German Expressionist tablseau of body doubles representing George W Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and various corporate titans and cronies, many now in jail, amid a bevy of floozies, was originally conceived as a fashion shoot for the New York Times magazine and scheduled to run on 16 September 2001. Killed in the wake of 9/11, the “Forbidden Pictures” were unable to be presented in the United States for years. Michael Najjar’s project “Information and Apocalypse” from 2003 took potshots at a

Backlight 05 2 September – 15 January Tampere, Finland www.backlight.fi At a time when cultural globalisation threatens to smother indigenous cultural ideas, a photography festival such as Backlight 05, held every three years since 1987 in Tampere, Finland – an ex-textile town known as “the Manchester of Finland” – represents a challenge. By combining Finnish and international photography curated by Finnish and international curators, Backlight both highlights national differences and at the same time collapses them onto the same plane of photography. With 60 international photographers and 16 from Finland gathered into two main, themed shows and two parallel exhibitions, Backlight proved to be a mixed blessing. Despite its emphasis on documentary photography, the problem, in part, with Backlight lay in the ambiguity of the themes chosen by its artistic director, Ulrich Haas-Pursiainen, “Untouchable Things” at the Museum Center Vapriikki and “Spells of Childhood” at the Tampere Art Museum. The other

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two shows, a Gerhard Richter show at the Sara Hilden Art Museum and Frontal 7, an exhibition of Thomas Ruff’s students from the Düsseldorf Art Academy, enhanced by some pictures of those Düsseldorfers, par excellence, Bernd and Hilla Becher, at the photographic centre Nykyaika, had little coherence with the main event. The two main shows both featured a variety of individual exhibitions based around the theme of childhood. This delineation appeared arbitrary. A sense of dreamy romanticism hung over the “Untouchable Things”shows by Stratos Kalafatis, Vesselina Nikolaeva, Maïder Fortuné, Giuseppe Toscano, Margherita Verdi, Christina Zamagni, and Anni Leppälä—who won the Backlight 05 Award. To be sure, the concept is vague: spells are untouchable. However, their emphasis on childhood might have led them to be better placed in the museum rather than in the ex-mill space of the Vapriikki. There were several hard hitting exhibitions that did touch squarely on the notion of the untouchable including: Peter Granser’s Alzheimers series, and Harri Pälviranta’s imagery from old prison cells. “Spells of Childhood,” on the other hand, did feature some tough work, notably Soody Sharifi’s images of Iranian teenagers, a selection of Larry Clark’s Tulsa work, and Donavan Wylie’s “Losing Ground” series of down and out travellers. This work is in sharp contradistinction to classic imagery by Lewis Carroll and August Sander whose works served as a mirror to the extremes of romantic and documentary aesthetics. What Backlight 05 has to say about the state of photography is unclear. There was a lot of interesting work and some work that was less compelling. The opportunity, though, to see such a wide range of international photography is important. The real question is: for how much longer will that be possible? A festival like Backlight lets us enjoy the differences while they last. BK


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© Brenda Ann Kenneally/Corbis

Money Power Respect Brenda Ann Keneally Published by Channel Photographics www.channelphotographics. com $29.95 (144pp Hardback)

Money Power Respect is Kenneally’s very personal and powerful survey of community life in Bushwick, Brooklyn. It focuses on the complexities of family relationships and how women in this environment can turn to drugs in the belief they will thus empower themselves and improve their social status.

The project began with the Velazquez family and Tata’s chapter shows us a life governed by crack. Her story is tragic but the images command respect. We follow her as she buys a dime rock of crack from a disused building, discusses crochet with friends between hits, teaches her young son how to deal correctly and climbs back in through a bedroom window after sleeping in a hallway in order to avoid the child welfare people. The book’s layout permits a lively pace: full page images followed by busy groups of quarter-page images,

© Brenda Ann Kenneally/Corbis

The 100 black and white images – traditional black and white reportage – are accompanied by text from journalist Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, who warns: “This isn’t a street book. These aren’t photographs of the extremes of the ghetto environment observed.” Rather this is an inside look behind the blinds at the daily routines in an ordinary suburb. This book is divided into clear chapters and substories about women like Mari, Tata, Faye and Moya. The supplied biographies are important, but the language of Kenneally’s images has a far greater impact via her precise framing.

serving to emphasise the disjointed lives of the people within. In the same way that Eugene Richards in 1994 communicated through his images the transience and anxieties of a drug-affected society, Kenneally’s essay looks deep into the psyche of a troubled community. With over 10 years spent on this project (Le Blanc

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calls it “immersion work”), Kenneally has gained unparalleled access, breaking down personal barriers in ways that most editorial assignments can no longer do. Now is an important time to recall the homegrown battles that are still being fought in America’s own backyard. Rebecca McClelland


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Intersections David Goldblatt Published by Prestel www.prestel.com £35.00 (124pp Hardback)

David Goldblatt once spoke of his realisation that rather than control the South African light, it was probably wiser to work with it. The high, bare sunlight that meets the Johannesburg haze is a recurring presence in the first substantial collection of Goldblatt’s colour photographs. In presenting new work that he has been making since the late Nineties, Intersections is something of a reprise of the themes the photographer has approached with a steady urgency for more than half a century. Goldblatt’s photographs themselves share such longevity in their power. They reward scrutiny. They are graceful yet spare, often holding layers of detail, tokens of domestic and municipal histories, fragments of cultivation, and belongings. Within all of this, there is the aching dignity of a population challenged by division, frayed opportunity and the lapping tide of HIV/Aids. Territories are marked simply. They can be dry farmland marked with wire or sharply drawn walled villages where the light shines Tuscan. Goldblatt acknowledges both, alongside the fallen mills and modest plots that sit low against the land. Workers construct mechanically, yet hardly challenge the monotonous landscapes and skies of the Veldt. The dexterity of this photographer should progress the research of the writer David Campany, whose idea of late photography (the return of the photographer to a site of significance with the luxury of temporal distance) has been a

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concise yet helpful evaluation of recently exhibited photography. With Goldblatt, there is no distance and no mannerist regularity of picture making. His work has benefited from the digital refinement with which colour can now be employed. These prints suggest a new key towards our understanding of the South African experience and Golblatt’s relating of it. Half way through the book, Blue Asbestos taints a former mining area in Northern Cape. A dangerous, corrupted expanse, it speaks of a land in a slow and troubling transition. When looking at it, I am reminded of Alan Trachtenberg, searching for a distinction between the work of Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans. While Lange’s work suggested an upheaval, a temporary disaffection, Evans’ work was resonant, problematic and ultimately dealt with fate. It seems clear to me that David Goldblatt’s best photographs carry a similar weight. KG Traces and Omens Published by Aurora Borealis www.noorderlicht.com £35.00 (236pp Hardback)

“Traces and Omens” was the elected theme and subsequent catalogue title of this year’s Noorderlicht event in Groningen. Therefore, not imposing terribly strict limits on the type of work on show, around 70 photographers were chosen to illustrate this broad theme and versatility of the definition of documentary photography all together. The main issues and questions put forth in the brief by the event curator Wim Meils deal with the visualisation of time and the

complexities this entails. As a result, the work ranges from Christien Meindertsma’s collage of colourful, if harmless, items confiscated at Schiphol airport, over the period of one week, to Adrienne van Eekelen’s intimate diary of a girl from childhood through to puberty to Paul Fusco’s recent return to Chernobyl. Even with the less remarkable pieces of work – Mike Mike’s digital creation of universal faces come to mind – the theme continues to resonate. The catalogue (although it feels and reads more like a book) contains a brief glimpse of each of the photographers’ work that was exhibited throughout the northern Dutch city. Unlike countless other photography festivals of this scale, a genuine attempt has been made to publish an attractive and valuable corresponding catalogue. In addition to the photographs, we find three essays theorising on the role of memory and history in the medium of photography thereby creating a solid context in which to place these images, one which was largely absent from the actual exhibition. What makes this piece all the more attractive are the unknown photographers featured. We are not bombarded with the usual suspects, apart from a couple of veterans, yet are presented with an even-handed selection of photographers from around the globe. Perhaps, then, the main intention driving Traces and Omens can be best summed up by Bas Heijne’s definition of photography in his essay The Ecstasy of Reality – ‘an inspired search by the eye to see the world anew’. LH You Love Life Nick Waplington Published by Trolley www.trolleybooks.com £30.00 (128pp Hardback) You Love Life is an attempt to express a personal reaction to a statement attributed to al-Qa’ida that Nick Waplington read first on the Internet: “You love life as much as we love death." George Bush referred to the statement (although the wording this time

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was “You choose life while we choose death”) in a White House address a couple of months later, in an attempt to justify and galvanise Operation Iraqi Freedom. Waplington explains, “It was this dichotomy and its many possible interpretations that provided me with the inspiration to produce this work, a work about life and the choices I have made and the choices which have been made on my behalf.” The result of this is expressed here in You Love Life” a large selection of snapshots depicting Waplington’s own life, from the 1980s to the present. The work shown is even more personal than his earlier work. Sex, drugs, friendships and nightlife populate the pages. Despite some very strong, graphic images – a simple but brutal shot of a couple having sex on a rock, a woman giving birth, the sea fence of a Mexican border – the book lacks a coherence and at times it is hard to even relate its sense to the original mission statement. I can only grasp here far too few fragments of the time where Waplington was remarkably documenting the ordinary, in such bodies of work as The Living Room and Weddings. The design of the book works well enough up to a point, but it is let down by the lack of captions. The photographs published become much more captivating and powerful when accompanied by short captions; unfortunately these are hidden at the back of the book and as the pages are not numbered, the exercise is redundant. Waplington’s attempt to link the political statement to what is essentially a personal diary has proved surprisingly, and most disappointingly, clumsy. LM


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Walking the Line Richard Long Published by Thames and Hudson www.thamesandhudson.com £27.50 (328pp Softback)

The most striking impression left by this lavish monograph charting the career of Richard Long, the distinguished British landscape artist, is quite how “unphotographic” it is. Though many of its 200-plus images convey evocative, even haunting, senses of time and place, few qualify as great photographs in terms of composition. Yet, leafing through the book’s pages, it swiftly becomes clear this almost certainly isn’t the point. If, on the one hand, Walking the Line marks Long out as an indifferent photographer, it also captures beautifully the sheer inventiveness and maverick spirit that have earned him a reputation as our most singular of sculptors. Billed as a record of Long’s work since the early 1990s, the showcase actually stretches back to the ’70s, when he first became mesmerised by the formative and symbolic possibilities of leaving lines as human imprints on the natural order. In A Boot-heel Line (1970), he takes delight in sketching a maze-like outline in the dusty sands of Arizona. Elsewhere, lines are used as metaphors for the act of walking, which Long transforms, via subtle modifications of landscapes through which he passes – from Dartmoor to Japan’s Shirakami Mountains – into an art-form in itself. Some pictures focus on lines sketched onto fields so faintly that they are all-but invisible – as if their architect were some mischievous sprite, kissing the earth with the flimsiest trace of its passing.

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Others depict stone circles, deviously laid out on barren plains in the manner of our Neolithic ancestors, or transplanted from their natural environment to the anonymity of a modern art gallery. For a book whose professed purpose is to catalogue Long’s art, it is ironic that some of the best photographs are those portraying unaltered landscapes, rather than ones bearing traces of his subversive, “antiarchaeological” signature. Nowhere is this truer than in the section focusing on his 1,030-mile trek from The Lizard to Dunnet Head, the northernmost point of Scotland, in which the solitary mood pervading the rest of the book is encapsulated in the simple image of sheep shuffling across an empty road. James Morrison Land of Milk and Honey Paul Kranzler Published by Fotohof www.fotohof.at f29.00 (126pp Hardback)

Paul Kranzler's “snapshot” images presented in Land of Milk and Honey display an intimacy borne of his familiarity with his elderly subjects, next door neighbours Toni and Aloisia. Documented over a two-year period from 2001-2003 in Linz, Austria, the 100 or so b/w and colour photographs pay homage to the Richard Billingham school of photography as evidenced in his debut work Ray's A Laugh. Kranzler's images are unguarded, intrusive: we are presented with the decrepit Toni mid-spit, gob hanging from his mouth; later, expressionless Aloisia, in a snatched shot, is caught swigging from a beer bottle in her darkened bedroom. The effect rendered leaves one feeling like a voyeur to

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another’s misery; a witness to the shooting of fish in a barrel. I am troubled by what I see. Unlike Billingham, who photographs his family, Kranzler’s subjects are simply happenstance neighbours. I wonder does he have the moral right to photograph their cluttered, disordered and seemingly dysfunctional lives, how ever honest he may believe he is being in representing their daily existence? To what end is he doing it? Ultimately, is he exploiting his subjects? I think not, in conclusion. The project has integrity. In context, the images are never gratuitous, or abusive of the subjects; raw and at times nauseating and shocking, but never, finally, manipulative. In no way is Land of Milk and Honey an easy read in form or subject matter. Its subjects’ lives are seemingly light on everything that makes life truly worth living love, humour, purpose – but despite this it is a life-affirming work, never more so than in its last image. Toni – the book’s repellently charismatic central character – having cheated death (a fact of which he himself is all too aware) appears like Old Nick himself, standing, half his body in the frame, the shade of a tree’s branches fingering his face, his eyes narrowed and with a cigarette in his hand masking his mouth. If only we could see, I swear there’s a smile as wide as the Danube on his lips – and isn’t that a snake coiled around the tree branch? If this old codger, with the life he’s led, is still going strong, one feels, well, anything’s possible ... GM Gianni Berengo Gardin Published by Contrasto www.contrasto.it f65.00 (464pp Hardback) This substantial book offers a retrospective of the work of Italian photographer Gianni Berengo Gardin. Its size is representative of Gardin’s respected position in his native country, where it was first published by his agency Contrasto. It also reflects his prodigious output – 200 books and exhibitions since the 1960s. The book contains two interviews, one general, introducing the work

and the photographer, the other on his publications. The majority of the book is given over to his black and white pictures arranged in chapters serving loosely to map out his interests and the essence of his imagery – Venice (the city where he was brought up), Everyday Work, Women, Paris, Empathy, Landscape with Figures, Provincial Life. A documentary photographer in the traditional sense, Gardin describes his approach thus: “for me photography is an account” – emphasising as much as possible the objective reality of a place. His work is easily situated within modern photographic practice. His education: books by American social documentary photographers, whose work was sent to the young photography enthusiast by an American uncle friendly with Cornell Capa; his other influences – Willy Ronis, Cartier-Bresson, the Family of Man and Life. In the introductory interview, the portraits reproduced further serve to indicate Gardin’s position amongst peers – here he is alongside Bruno Barbey, Elliot Erwitt, Leonard Freed … there he is again with Roberto Koch and Ferdinando Scianna. Yet Gardin remains relatively unknown within the UK. Ironically perhaps it is his commercial success that has stopped him from becoming so widely acclaimed. Never having to struggle to establish his chosen career, Gardin published his first book on Venice in 1960 and has never looked back, finding it seems an unending stream of collaborators – publishers, writers and editors – to work with. He has worked commercially for Olivetti, Alfa Romeo and Fiat and over a long period with the publisher


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Touring Club Italiano, producing portraits of destinations in Italy and beyond. Yet he also worked for Il Mundo from 1954 to 1965 and his work sits firmly within leftleaning concerned reportage of the real and everyday. Gardin’s aim is to leave a record of his epoch through his images of his native country. This book offers an interesting introduction to his photography – it won’t make waves but is important in that it forms part of a global dialogue with other documentarists of his generation. SW Kultakylä Kati Koivikko Self-Published katik@kolumbus.fi f33.00 (131pp Hardback)

Rural life in isolated communities is difficult to comprehend for the majority of people who have never been a part of one. Kati Koivikko’s Golden Village is a book of photography that redresses the common misconceptions and prejudices of the way of life in such communities. Filled with bold imagery, it gives the viewer a fresh perspective of life and people in Luhanka, a village deep within the Finnish countryside. The photographs show the people of Luhanka in the midst of their daily activities: peeling potatoes, tending their chickens, watering their gardens and caring for their families. While Koivikko’s photographs can simply be interpreted as depictions of everyday life, at the root of her work is a strong and thought-provoking criticism of city living. Through illustrating this community, she is highlighting what is missing from life for the majority of us. She portrays a community of people where hierarchies do not exist; a community of people who talk to

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Exhibitions and Events

each other as they pass in the street; a community of people who live outside the realm of material obsessions. This subtle book becomes more compelling over time. The modesty of the lives spent against the raw backdrop of Luhanka induces a sigh of relief as disconnection from the stresses of modern, city life becomes absolute. Looking through the different images you can almost feel the crisp, clean air on your face. The space apparent in these people’s lives, both physically and mentally, is liberating, challenging the viewer to question what living is really about. Lally Pearson Cape Town Fringe David Lurie Published by Double Storey Books www.juta.co.za/doublestore ybooks/ £15 (128pp Hardback) Taking its sub-title “Manenberg Avenue is where it’s happening” from Abdullah Ebrahim’s jazz composition Manenberg, David Lurie has created a lyrical record of a discordant suburb on Cape Town’s outer limits. Located in the long shadow of the city’s picture postcard icon Table Mountain, Manenburg is a crime-ridden world away from the genteel lives of the wealthy who reside on the mountain’s slopes – the focus of a follow up work by Lurie to be published in 2006. The second part in an undeclared trilogy (Life in the Libertated Zone, 1994, being the first), Lurie spent 18 months on and off between 2001-2003 “hanging out, photographing in and around Manenberg Avenue” to create Cape Town Fringe. The result of his endeavours in published form is a remarkably intimate account of the often violent, alcoholic, and invariably poor lives of its black residents. (During the time he worked on the book 12 people he’d photographed died violently or were critically injured.) We are introduced to a world where rival gangs’ tags adorn the walls: Thug Life on one; West Side on another, in front of which

American Life 1December – 13 January This show at the Michael Hoppen Gallery marks the first UK exhibition presenting the archives of Life Magazine from New York. www.michaelhoppengallery.com

young boys play with tin cans. In other images children are prominent, often playing, noticeably smiling as yet unaffected by their surroundings, unlike the adults, whose smiles, in contrast, seem rarely induced other than by drink or drugs. The adults’ tension is almost tangible; aggression in the form of physical violence, intimidation and posturing is commonplace – never more so than in the tattooed bodies of gang members, their allegiance literally imprinted on their skin. Shot in black/white and superbly printed, Cape Town Fringe beautifully documents a harsh existence on South Africa’s margins with great integrity. GM

FOTO8 BOOKSHOP Save up to 30%. Find exclusive offers on pre-released books, as well as signed or limited editions. Buy direct from the world’s leading specialist photography book publishers. This month foto8 is happy to be able to offer our readers nine quality books priced at just £10 each! Shop online at: foto8.com/bookshop/ Read reviews online: foto8.com/reviews/

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Coalfield Stories 25 November – 21January To coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the end of the national miners strike and the demise of the pits, Photopfusion presents the work of John Davies, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen and Simon Norfolk, who have documented the post-industrial landscape of the Durham Coalfield area where the last pit closed in 1993. www.photofusion.org Diane Arbus, Revelations Until 15 January A retrospective of this legendary New York photographer covers her life’s worth of photography, including contact sheets, cameras, notebooks and letters. On show at the Victoria and Albert Museum. www.vam.ac.uk “Every Time I see the Sea.” Tsunami – Living in the Aftermath 8 December – 3 January This multi-media exhibition launched by Christian Aid features photographer Tim Hetherington and sculptress Emma Summers, who capture both the remarkable stories of hope that have emerged from the disaster as well as the magnitude of the challenge. This work will be exhibited at the Dray Walk Gallery, 91 Brick Lane, London E16QL. www.christianaid.org.uk Photo Month Lecture: Martin Parr 21November One of the UK's most noted contemporary photographers will speak about the evolution of his practice and his current interests and projects at the Whitechapel Gallery in east London. www.whitechapel.org POSITHIV+ 23 November – 22 December Pep Bonet unveils his latest work examining the HIV pandemic in Africa, and how anti-retroviral drug treatment can transform the lives of those living with the disease. www.hostgallery.co.uk Things As They Are: Photojournalism in Context since 1955 Until 7 December FOAM in Amsterdam hosts an exhibition to coincide with the release of the book, charting the history of the publication of photojournalism. www.foam.nl


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8 No gloss, no spin, just real stories in pictures

CHRISTMAS OFFER PLUS SAVE 20% OFF THE SINGLE ISSUE PRICE Subscribe to EI8HT for yourself or give a gift of a subscription to EI8HT this holiday season and to show our thanks we will send you the award-winning book, Mr Mkhize’s Portrait, as our welcome gift to you!

“It’s a deceptively simple photobook that engages the reader from the very first page. I found it impossible to put down until I finished reading it from cover to cover, and looking carefully at every photograph”. Jim Casper, Lensculture.com To take advantage of this offer simply fill out the form

overleaf and send it to us by 12th Dec for holiday delivery. “An inspirational magazine that consistently fills me with envy and admiration for the quality, depth and variety of the photojournalism it publishes”. Jane Moore, Picture Editor, Sunday Times Magazine


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These are the shots which capture the evening HOST Gallery opened its doors to the world. The launch party for Host – a joint venture between Foto8 and Panos Pictures – saw a new London exhibition space for photojournalism unveiled in Honduras Street, EC1. Cocktails from Brazil, images from North Korea and very English weather combined to ensure that art, or more accurately photojournalism, is always going to be the party 8 HOST Andy Steel Karen Mirzoyan


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CALUMET SUPPORTS PHOTOJOURNALISM

CALUMET IS PROUD TO SUPPORT SABINE A PHOTO STORY BY JACOB AUE SOBOL

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Honduras Street Gallery

HOST is a new venue dedicated to promoting photojournalism, exhibiting photography that engages, inspires and excites the viewer.

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HOST believes in showing and telling stories that are as profound in their message as they are innovative in their approach. HOST works with photographers and photography that are defining the future of photojournalism. The gallery is the creation of Jon Levy, founder of foto8, and Adrian Evans, director of Panos Pictures.

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