However, one piece of news that will definitely have a bearing on the time I spend on this endeavour is the fact that as of tomorrow, I'll be leaving the U.S. where I have lived for the past 5 years to relocate to Singapore. Things for me will (hopefully) be pretty busy so I doubt this blog will get noisier anytime soon. It's a shame, as I've enjoyed trawling through the world of photography and spouting my opinions on things. But there are people who do that more frequently and much better than me. I may occasionally use this as a forum to post something I wish to say or share, and maybe one day I'll get round to writing those long rambling posts that I keep meaning to write, but probably not anytime soon. I hope you've enjoyed the blog and the archive is of course always there (until I delete it or we advance over to holographic computing and all Google's server's get junked). But for now, it stays. There may be something worth looking at in there, you never know!
Anyway, until the next post. Farewell.
The symposium itself is on June 11th. More info here. There is also a series of public events, check the website here for details.
Check it out.
Curated by Minny Lee
Vicky Amian Azcoitia, Alejandra Ugarte Bedwell, Sieglinde Cassel, Tara Cronin, Christian Erroi, Rachel Gardam, Sarah Girner, Sheila Griffin, Becky Holladay, Daniel Kukla, Minny Lee, Ruben E. Reyes, Liz Sales, Erica Silberstein, Yasmine Soiffer, Brendon Stuart, Hiroshi Sumiyama, Alessandro Vecchi, Tom White, and Ann Woo
Nature Within features the recent works of twenty photographers from diverse backgrounds comprising ten different countries. Their photographic genre ranges from documentary and photojournalism to conceptual and all have had their prior works featured in galleries throughout the world.
In a world and society faced with monumental environmental issues and crises, our concern for nature grows by the day. This concern and cognizance of the gravity of the problem are at odds with society's needs to keep up with our increasing population and big businesses' desire to increase the bottom line. Nature Within is an exhibition that attempts to rethink our relationship and existence within nature. The exhibition takes us to a personal space and place embedded within our experience with it.
Many of the photographs in the exhibition do not have an overt human presence. In the subject matter, however, there are trace elements of society. Some photographs were taken on a familiar American city street or Local Park, while others were taken in places as geographically distant as Bolivia, Israel and South Korea. Whether the photographers produced work locally or while traveling abroad, nature is omnipresent in the photographs, and the images unveil how we live within it and in respond to its power.
Congratulations to my good friend Gabriele on reaching the $6000 goal to finish his project on refugees in the U.S. alongside writer Juliet Linderman. I've followed this work since he started it almost 5 years ago. It's good stuff. There's still a few days left if you want to pledge some money and pre-order your copy of the book that will result. I'm hoping to sit down and have a chat with him about it for this blog, if we can ever both find the time at the same time, if you know what I mean...
Now I'm a big fan of the Wind In the Willows story, with it's straight moral compass, it's yearning for a simpler time and it's obvious love for the British class system. No, seriously, all that aside, I do love it. Watching the old TV episodes with my kids I came across one where Toad sets up his own newspaper, and I just had to share this little clip. This is one for all you journalists out there.
This Thursday, April 21st will see an auction event in NYC that I'm pleased to be a part of. The auction will raise funds for Architecture for Humanity's efforts in the rebuilding of Japanese communities affected by the Tsunami.
There was some talk during planning of donating the funds to something other than just the relief efforts in Japan, but eventually we settled on Japan and specifically Architecture For Humanity as the original suggestion came from New York based Japanese photographer Shiori Kawasaki and we wanted to do something that would directly benefit these communities in a unique way.
It is true that Japan is regarded as a rich country, and that there are many other desperate people in need of help, but for me it's not about this. This was about a friend of mine wanting to help her home country in the wake of a natural disaster, and enlisting her community to help her achieve that. It's about bringing together people and organisations to do some good. When you have lost your home, your livelihood, maybe even friends and family, it matters not to me what your situation was before. You need help. For me this is an opportunity to help rebuild and improve. That is why the choice of AFH as the target of the fundraising effort is fitting. Their work is not just about buildings, it is about making improvements to the quality of people's lives through better design. That is something I am happy to support.
So, enough of the preamble and justification - here is the information.
WA PROJECT PRESENTS:
Japan Tsunami Relief
April 21, 2011 6-9pm
25CPW, 25 Central Park West, NYC
Advance tickets $20 - http://tiny.cc/waauction
Wa Project is pleased to announce a photographic exhibition and auction benefiting Architecture for Humanity’s rebuilding efforts following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
The auction will be held at the 25CPW gallery in New York City on April 21 2011.
100% of the funds raised will be donated to Architecture for Humanity's work in rebuilding devastated communities in the affected area. Partnering with Nuru Project, 25CPW and Sombra Projects, with contributions from the Magnum Foundation and Friends Without Borders, this auction event has already gathered support from the Japanese and photographic communities in New York and beyond. The night will be a celebration with a display of photographic art, music from Koto player Yumi Kurosawa, American folk band Thomas Wesley Stern and Japanese cuisine from Blue Ribbon as well as Soba-ya and Robata-ya of the T.I.C. group with liquid refreshment from Sapporo and Ito En. In addition, all ticket holders will be entered into a raffle.
Architecture for Humanity is a non-profit design services firm founded in 1999 working to build a more sustainable future through the power of professional design. By channeling the resources of the global funding community to meaningful projects that make a difference locally, each year 10,000 people directly benefit from structures designed by Architecture for Humanity. Advocacy, training and outreach programs impact an additional 50,000 people annually. From conception to completion, all aspects of the design and construction process are carefully managed. Clients include community groups, aid organizations, housing developers, government agencies, corporate divisions, and foundations.
The donated auction prints follow the theme of 和 (Wa). This ancient name for Japan also describes a cultural concept which underpins much of Japanese society. It has no direct translation in English, though the closest term that could be applied would be the idea of 'Harmony'. We are pleased to feature prints from a diverse range of photographers who have interpreted this theme in a variety of ways and provided us with a unique collection.
Last year Lucy Helton, Tiana Markova-Gold, and myself set up Sombra Projects as a platform for documentary photography and socially conscious art. This in itself was born out of numerous collaborative projects with our immediate community and was our attempt to create a formal organisation for these efforts. While we three are the current administrators, our inaugural exhibition at the New York Photo Festival involved the hard work of many people, and this is the spirit in which we aim to continue. Our goal is to facilitate projects that are not just showcases, but collaborations where the viewer, the subject and the photographer/artist/journalist are all part of a community and involved in the discussion. Recently we have started producing a series of projects updated monthly and available as pdf downloads from our website.
Our latest pdf is of Tiana’s recent work with The Fondation des Jeunes Haitiennes Optimistes in Haiti, a country she has a long standing relationship with both photographically and personally. The FJHO was founded in September 2009 by Jocelyne Firmin to help Haitian girls develop leadership skills, build self-esteem and reinforce their human dignity.
Direct link to the PDF download:
With an eye to the future, we are always keen to link up with people for possible collaborations – you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also sign up to our mailing list – email@example.com – to receive updates and regular downloads of our featured projects.
My wife and I subscribe to the paper edition, as we got an introductory deal which meant that daily home delivery worked out cheaper than buying the Sunday paper every week (which is what I was doing - plus I'd often buy it at least one other day to read on the train or something, cos I don't have an Ipad, and I hate squinting at a mobile phone screen). The price will go up when our 12 week offer runs out, but then we'll probably just juggle the subscription to a weekend delivery or something, which will still be cheaper than buying it on the news stand on Sunday and also give us unlimited digital access. If we didn't live within spitting distance of NYC then I wonder if we would still subscribe...
Anyway, this rambling explanation of my news consuming habits has a point. Yesterday I was reading the paper on the train. The business section to be exact. Now, I rarely check out the business news when I read the NY Times online, but in it's physical form, I at least flick though and scan every single page of every single section. And here's the thing, I discovered 3 articles in the business section relating to, in turn, long-form online journalism, social media & activism and online mapping, all of which I found interesting and all of which I would probably have missed had I been only using the website. Online, I often am looking for something specific, rather than browsing. Only if someone recommends an article to me, or if it's on the front page of the website, or linked to from an article I am reading, will I check it out. Never will I go through every new published article online. And this is habit, and my defense of the printed page. Now I fully expect the printed edition of newspapers to become less than daily not far into the future, but until then, I will continue to pick up the paper, and scan every page, and discover some gems I may have missed.
Oh, and those articles? Here, here, and here. Enjoy.
On one of these afternoons (they were rarely mornings...), I was introduced to Karen. I cannot remember for the life of me the content of that afternoon's conversation, but I do remember it was wide ranging and enjoyable. Our paths crossed many times while I lived in London, we shared many close mutual friends and it was always a joy to see her and catch up. Karen is one of those rare artists whose conceptual approach is as practical as it is intellectual.
After the recent global news events it was an absolute joy to hear of her latest project. So, if you are, like me, currently reeling from what she calls 'the brutality of reality' then please check out the video below.
Karen will be opposite the Houses of Parliament, between 1-4pm on the 22nd & 29th March for a series of happenings and she's exhibiting at the Bird's Nest, 32 Deptford Church Street, SE8 4RZ until Sunday 3rd April. That's a pub, by the way...
There are issues that have been raised in relation to accountability and integrity when basically asking the public to fund a journalists work, and there is the issue of the mainstream media seeing crowd funding as a way to avoid using their own budgets, but these problems - though important - are ones that already exist with the current/previous financial model. Corporations want to buy products, not pitches. It is a rare thing to get a cheque up front. Integrity and accountability should always be scrutinised, no matter where the money is coming from, and in some cases, especially because of where the money is coming from.
One thing that troubles me though is the audience. Where will the work be shown, and to what purpose? Does crowdfunding only stoke the fire that turns photojournalism in on itself so that we end up with a situation where work is being funded by the photojournalism community, produced by the photojournalism community and distributed amongst the photojournalism community with little regard to those outside of this little world? An analogy might be a church congregation, with the plate being passed around during a service and a pastor preaching to the choir.
Of course, we should support our colleagues and our community - the congregation in the church of journalism let's call it - but those who we really need to reach are the ones who currently spend their money on the gossip rags, the producers of entertainment and celebrity tittle tattle who call it news and the advertisers who want us to buy their products without question or even thought. If crowdfunding can bring us together, make us stronger both in terms of community and finances so that we may take on the producers of dross and distraction then I am all for it, but if I can get my project funded, only to have it displayed as thankyou prints in the homes of my backers and at a photojournalism festival, then I am doing no more good than if I had put the whole thing on my credit card myself.
Let's use these tools to spread the word and look for sources of income beyond our peers, not to turn inward and bleed ourselves dry while no one notices.
On 22nd February a violent 6.3 magnitude earthquake brought widespread
destruction across Christchurch. Lyttelton was the epicentre of this
devastation. Hundreds of homes, historic buildings, and virtually all
businesses lie in ruin. Many have lost their livelihoods and still
more are displaced, disorientated, or left grieving for the loss of a
family member, friend or colleague. As the ground continues to rumble
we focus on the now, on each other, taking small steps into an
As each day dawns the realisation of what we have lost sinks in a
little more, but as each day dawns we also stand a little taller,
together, and realise that the inspiration and strength of this
community is not in its bricks and mortar but in its people, their
passion and compassion, their energy and spirit and that has not been
broken. Together we dare to look to the future.
Before 22nd February Lyttelton was an exciting vibrant little town,
taking bold steps towards sustainability, exploring new ways to create
and nurture community. Lyttelton had created an invaluable community
radio, highly successful farmers market, thriving volunteer network
and time bank, community garden, grow local co-operative, information
centre and supportive local business network to mention but a few
initiatives. All these are in jeopardy as a result of last week’s
Already, only days after tragedy there is talk amongst this resilient
community about not just rebuilding what we have lost but of using it
as a chance to create something new. Already minds are whirring,
imaginations sparked and hearts focused on creating a sustainable,
bright, better place, a Lyttelton of and for the future.
If you feel moved to be part of this creation, if you are able to help
us regenerate in a clean, green, sustainable, community focused way,
then please follow this link and donate to Lyttelton today.
You can also find us on facebook... search for Love Lyttelton and like
Project Lyttelton is a registered charitable trust that has been
working in and for the community for many years. Project Lyttelton
will engage the whole of the community in how best any funds are
My only complaint is that there is some repetition in the stories and that there are a lot of stories from North America, but that is a minor quibble, especially when you have so many harrowing tales of gun violence (for example) told so well. Makes you think doesn't it...
Check it out. All of it.
Check this out. These photographs may well become an important historical document of a time lost before you know it.
LAST DAYS OF THE ARCTIC, photographs by "RAX" Ragnar Axelsson, documents the vanishing Inuit hunting culture in Greenland and Baffin Island, Canada, caused by global warming, environmental, and cultural changes.
Post-production by Brooks Walker-Borealis Works.
An emotional panorama of Irpinia thirty years after the earthquake
By Francesca Cao and Michela Palermo
curated by Irene Alison
My Broken World is a novel told through images of a shuttered world. About a land that was shaken by deep quakes and chasms that haven’t been bridged. Of the suspended lives of those who have been trapped in a deaf-dumb world. It is the disassembled world of Michela Palermo, photographer, aged 30, who was born in Bagnoli Irpino in the year of the earthquake, and came back to striken zones to document the change. It is the collapsed world of Ernestina, 66 years old, upon whom Francesca Cao stuck her lens, testifying the suspended life of a woman who has been living in an asbestos temporary house since 1985, caught in an eternal waiting for a house that was promised but never came. With two different registers, one dreamier and more evocative, the other more descriptive, the two photographers are telling the same story: Michela Palermo portrays the places where the earthquake tore down everything, the scratched territory and the strange fruits of reconstruction, all the while documenting her personal world, the hurting disenchantment of one who comes from a place where injustice doesn’t disconcert or makes one indignant any more. Francesca Cao records the life of Ernestina giving voice to a fight for dignity that united many people of this grieving land.
My broken world
An emotional panorama of Irpinia thirty years after the earthquake
By Francesca Cao and Michela Palermo
February 11/ March 5, 2011
OpenMind Gallery, Milan (Italy)
Monday 15:30 - 19:00; Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 - 13:00 / 15:30 - 19:00
Here's the info from the gallery website:
here and there
by three japanese contemporary photographers
Opening Reception: February 17 2011, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Photography is a device that absorbs the various appearances of the world as light in a dark box of camera and then restores it to the world again. The trace of the light from the actual world is enclosed in the dark box. They are transformed by the artist's intentions and represented to us as another realities. The images of the altered world inevitably project the past that is similar to an old memory. Thus the photography doesn't have a sense of "Now" that the viewers can share in the duration of the work itself like movie does.
In Motohiro Takeda's 'River' series, the images are continuingly emerging and submerging from the surface of the prints as if they are a fading memory. The photographs of the lost one and the empty house suggest the time of a family life that runs over the generations from long time ago.
Yasutaka Kojima's 'Tokyo' is a documentation of the city in the period of time where our identity and subjectivity has been lost in the urban environment. The city has lost traditional meaning of the perspective structure and collapsed and expanded itself beyond men's intention.
In 'Figure', Yu Kanbayashi photographed the imprints of the cut marks on the ice skate link. The way he perceives the very surface of the subject displays a trace of time that is always passing seamlessly towards evanescence.
Although these three works seem to be very different in terms of the subject matters and the creative processes, each photographer explores the horizon of the medium and its possibility to express their visions of the world that is reconstructed in their own artistic contexts. These photographs in this exhibition manifest the new gaze towards the world, the photographs that are foreseers of the memories that we have not yet seen.
"River" is a photographic series taken at my grandparent's family house on the countryside, in Japan, which has been produced as a personal funeral for my late grandfather who past away three years ago. The images are recollection of my own childhood at the house. They have been printed very dark to allude to the way our memory works. When we try to recall something, we try to examine and investigate the fog of our unconsciousness and consciousness. The darkness of my prints is to represent the deep chaos of our minds, the place where our memories are preserved. I had given the work title "River", because in Japan the river is a metaphor for the split between life and death, and also the flow of time, which never stops and runs beyond our life.
Moving to New York City when he was twenty-one years old, Motohiro Takeda received a BFA on photography from Parsons the New School for Design in 2008. Motohiro was awarded the Tierney Fellowship Grant in 2008, and his work has been exhibited in various venues in New York, including the New York Photo Festival in Brooklyn. He was a selected photographer for Photo España Descubrimientos PHE 2010 and his work is currently a part of the exhibition traveling throughout Spain. He is one of the four recipients of the darkroom residency program in Camera Club New York in 2011
have been recording cityscape of Tokyo since 2008. The city gives me a sense of evanescence. All the cities are formed by man's lust and the depth of it decides the size of the cities. Every single thing existing in the cities is consisted by man intentionally. The cities transforms themselves every moment like the nature does. I see the future of the cities in the boundary of cities and the nature. I want to record it by photography before it disappears.
A New York based Photographer born in Tokyo, Japan. Has been awarded the Japanese Government's fellowship for artists. His works are permanent collection to Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Art, Japan. He was selected for one of the Juna 21 photographers by Nikon in Japan. Exhibited in New York and Tokyo.
This photograph symbolizes the landscape of time through ice itself and scratches on the ice.
What is time? Can we see time? We conceptualize time both subjectively and objectively. My work is an attempt to capture time as represented both in the ice and scratches on its surface. Ice includes time, because water freezes with time.
At the same time, Ice skate rink is like photography – frozen in frames. Photographs show both the present and the past. Scratches on ice also do. We always see the past as the present, the present as the past. We are in-between time.
In this work, the ice themselves and the scratches on ice embody our concept of time. The image presented is landscape of time.
Yu Kanbayasshi received a BFA of ART from Tama Art University (Tokyo,Japan) in 2002. His works were selected and exhibited as fine works by Canon New Cosmos of Photography 2003 (Canon & Tokyo Photo Museum ,Japan), by TPCC PRIZE 2003 (Tokyo Photo Culture Center,Japan), and by Tokyo Wander Wall 2009 (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo,Japan).
Yu worked for Tama Art University as a Research Associate from 2007 to 2010. He curated the exhibitions [Photo of our TIME] 2009 and [126 Polaroid] 2010, and he also edited books of those exhibitions.
October 2010, he moved to New York City as an awarded artist of the Japanese Government's fellowship.