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burn magazine

Emerging Photographer Fund – 2013 Recipient

 

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EPF 2013 WINNER

 Diana Markosian

My Father, The Stranger

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I knocked on the door of a stranger.

I’ve traveled halfway around the world to meet him.

My father.

I was seven years old when I last saw him.

As the Soviet Union collapsed, so did my family.

I remember my father and I dancing together in our tiny apartment in Moscow and him giving me my first doll.

I also remember him leaving.

Sometimes he would be gone for months at a time and then unexpectedly be back.

Until, one day, it was our turn to leave.

My mother woke me up and told me to pack my belongings. She said we were going on a trip. The next day, we arrived at our new home, California.

We hardly ever spoke of my father. I had no pictures of him, and over time, forgot what he looked like.

I often wondered what it would have been like to have a father.

I still do.

This is my attempt to piece together a picture of a familiar stranger.

 

Bio

Diana Markosian is a documentary photographer and writer.

Her reporting has taken her from Russia’s North Caucasus mountains, to the ancient Silk Road in Tajikistan and overland to the remote Wakhan Corridor in northeastern Afghanistan.

Diana’s images have appeared in The New York Times, The Sunday Times, Marie Claire, Foreign Policy, Foto8, Time.com, World Policy Journal, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, amongst others.

Her work has been recognized by a diverse range of organizations including UNICEF, AnthropoGraphia, Ian Parry Scholarship, Marie Claire Int’l, National Press Photography Association, Columbia University and Getty Images. In 2011, Diana’s image of the terrorist mother was awarded photo of the year by Reuters.

She holds a masters from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

 

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Diana Markosian

 

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If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.”—Eve Arnold

Photographer Eve Arnold, who died Thursday morning at the age of 99, is probably best remembered for her celebrity photographs of Marilyn Monroe, made over the span of a decade from the early 1950s to those taken on the set of the movie star’s final film, The Misfits. But Arnold also traveled the world to make equally exceptional photographs of the poor and disposed.

Arnold, the daughter of Russian-Jewish immigrants, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1912. In the late 1940’s, she studied photography—alongside Richard Avedon—under inspirational art director Alexei Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research in New York. Her first photo story documented African-American fashion shows in Harlem and the project would lead directly to her being granted unprecedented access by Malcom X to document the Black Muslims and the way they worked over the next two years.

In the early 1950’s, she began working for the photo news publications of the day, first for Picture Post, then Time and Life magazines. And in 1957 she became the first woman photographer to join Magnum Photos.

She will perhaps be best remembered for her exceptional photographs of people: the famous, politicians, musicians, artists —among them Malcolm X, Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Jacqueline Kennedy and Monroe. “I look for a sense of reality with everything I did,” she once said. “I didn’t work in a studio, I didn’t light anything. I found a way of working which pleased me because I didn’t have to frighten people with heavy equipment, it was that little black box and me”

But it is the long term reportage stories that drove Arnold’s curiosity and passion. She traveled extensively to make work on regions that had been off limits to the west—to China, Mongolia, the Soviet Union, and also to Cuba, South Africa and Afghanistan. In 1971 she made a film, Women Behind the Veil, going inside Arabian harems and hammams.

Arnold continued to work for respected publications, most notably the Sunday Times color supplement. In 2003 she was honored with an OBE in recognition for her services to photography. Her work is renowned for its intimacy. Whether photographing celebrity or the everyday, Arnold’s portraits are magical, memorable and enduring.


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ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT

 

 

G.M.B. Akash

The Bitterest Pill – A new danger for child sex workers in Bangladesh

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800 women and girls live and work inside the fortress-like brothel in Faridpur, central Bangladesh. Many of them are underage, and most receive no pay because they are chhukri – bonded workers. That girl as young as 12 should be condemned to a life of sex slavery is bad enough, but they also face a new horror, one that could snuff out any chance of a future they might have had.

The horror is a steroid called Oradexon, a drug identical to one used to fatten cattle for market. The girls are given Oradexon by their madams in order to make them look older and more attractive to prospective clients. One of its side effects is water retention, oedema, which can result in a ‘plump’ look that is considered attractive by some Bangladeshi men.

The drug is highly addictive and has severe long-term health implications, impairing the kidneys, increasing blood pressure and interfering with normal hormone production.

Nodi 15, is one of many girls who use the drug. She says she doesn’t have another name – ‘I’m just Nodi – it means River’ – and she has been in the brothel for two years. Many of the girls here have been sold by their stepmother or even their own mothers – and some are second-generation sex workers, born to a prostitute and an unknown client. ‘I started taking the cow drug a year ago, and I take two tablets a day,’ Nodi says. She thinks it makes her look healthier. ‘The customers like us to look healthy. I got a little plumper when I started taking the drug.’ The existence she describes is a miserable one. ‘How can I be happy here? God knows – there is no happiness here,’ she says.

In a conservative country prostitution is will of fate. No one knows the Story of those faceless girls who may be sold by their boyfriend, husband or parents. No basic right, having no admiration for own self & torture of uncertainty made them unvoiced. Whenever I met those young girls I tried to be one of them. They have no dreams; they only live in reality which is killing them ever.

 

Bio

My journey to the world of photography began long ago. For years I have been travelling widely, covering various social issues faced by the lesser known people, particularly in my country Bangladesh.

My work has been featured in many major international publications including: National Geographic, Vogue, Time, Sunday Times, Newsweek, Geo, Stern, Der Spiegel, The Fader, Brand Ein, The Guardian, Marie Claire, Colors, The Economist, The New Internationalist, Kontinente, Amnesty Journal, Courier International, PDN, Die Zeit, Days Japan, Hello, and Sunday Telegraph of London.

In 2002 I became the first Bangladeshi to be selected for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass in the Netherlands. In 2004 I have received the Young Reporters Award from the Scope Photo Festival in Paris, again being the first Bangladeshi to receive the honor. In 2006 I was awarded World Press Photo award and released my first book First Light.

 

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G.M.B. Akash

A photojournalist’s blog

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Chloe Dewe Mathews

Caspian

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When viewed from space, the Caspian has a distinct outline, like an upside down map of the British Isles, and roughly the same size. But the Caspian is no lake, nor is it an ordinary sea; surrounded by vast tracts of desert, hovering half way between Asia and Europe – though belonging to neither, the Caspian is a sea almost lost in the land. I set out to capture the spirit of the illusive region; picking out unusual, poetic and often humorous aspects of everyday lives.
Over the centuries, nearby Empires have come and gone, each leaving its mark: first the Ottomans, then Persians, Mongols and finally, the Russians.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1993, an oil boom brought fresh prosperity to the area. Ports such as Aktau sprang up on the coast of Kazakhstan, where in the cemetery migrant workers now construct elaborate tombs for a new oil-rich middle class.

Across the water in the semi-desert of Azerbaijan, in a sanatorium town called Naftalan, people bathe in unique, chocolate-brown oil, which is believed to have therapeutic properties. It was startling to see an industrial substance so associated with international politics, power and wealth, being used for health and relaxation.

While the economic relationships between Europe and Asia change and ecological conditions on our planet mutate, so do the fortunes sift of the disparate communities who live around this strange sea. Even today, the lives of these people are tied to the landscape as never before.

Bio

My work is a hunt for moments of potency; when the clutter of day-to-day existence falls away to reveal something uncomplicated, something essential.
After a degree in Fine Art at Oxford University, I worked in the feature film industry for four years. Although it was an exciting world to be part of, I found myself questioning its extravagance. I wanted to work on something quieter, more economical, where I had room for spontaneity and intimacy with my subject.

In 2010 I traveled overland from China to Britain, hitchhiking and camping, in an attempt to experience and capture the cultural shift that takes place as one moves from Asia to Europe. During that time I shot projects on the Uighur minority in Western China, the returning waters of the Aral Sea, and the Caspian.
My work has been published in the Sunday Times Magazine, the Independent, Foto8, Vision China and Dazed and Confused magazine, and exhibited in London, Birmingham, Buenos Aires and Berlin.

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Chloe Dewe Mathews

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PJ Links is now coming from London. Moved to E15 yesterday. Feeling very optimistic. I’ve always loved visiting the city and it feels good to be actually calling it my home now. Hopefully the decision to move here proves a wise one also professionally. Very much also looking forward to making the most of what London photography scene has to offer. It should definitely be easier to meet people in person here. Was already very pleased to have met @Yumi_Goto yesterday in central London. She’s been in the UK for a couple of weeks after having come to give a talk at Format festival. Was also briefly introduced to @ZarinaHolmes from Sojournposse and Mariateresa Salvatin from Slideluck Potshow London. Hoping to get a chance to talk more with both ladies soon. The next SLPS London event, by the way,  will be in June and it will be curated by Yumi.

Now back to business…

Everyone was talking about the new Lightbox blog launched by TIME magazine’s photo department yesterday…I’m excited too. I’ve always been a big fan of their photo features..Every post I do seems to have one or two essays from their site…Lightbox looks like a brilliant addition to TIME’s photo offerings… And the best thing is, you can view slideshows without having to load each of the photographs on a new URL, like in their photo essays galleries. One of the sections of the new blog, is called In Progress, which promises exclusive look at new work… the first photographer featured in the section is Dominic Nahr and his work from Japan, where he is covering the earthquake/tsunami aftermath…See below…I saw Patrick Witty tweet yesterday that James Nachtwey is also on assignment in Japan. Would be great to see his work in In Progress too…

Features and Essays - Dominic Nahr: Amid Japan’s Devastation (TIME Lightbox: March 2011)

Japan in Boston Globe’s Big Picture… Japan: New fears as the tragedy deepens

Lightbox has an interview with one hero of mine ,  well one of all of ours..Eugene Richards..

InterviewsEugene Richards (TIME Lightbox: March 2011)

Features and Essays – Marcus Bleasdale: One Voice, One Thousand Children [part2] (VII Magazine: March 2011)

The third Prix Pictet winner will be announced  in Paris on Thursday, and the latest Sunday Times Magazine featured some of the nominees…and as @AshGilbertson mentioned on Twitter end of the week, Chris Jordan’s series really is pretty amazing…

Features and Essays – Chris Jordan: Midway: Message from the Gyre (Photographer’s website: March 2011)

Also saw the below photo , which I quite like,  by Edgar Martins in the Sunday Times Magazine, but remembering the Martins/NYT mag assignment saga relating to manipulation of his photographs, my pleasure of looking at Martins’ photo was slightly undermined by doubt that might it be rather manipulated also…

Libya…Damn.. I really thought Gaddafi’s days were numbered as a leader two weeks ago, but he held off, and it’s looking pretty bad for the rebels now…

Features and Essays - Alex Majoli: Libya at War (Newsweek: March 2011)

Features and Essays - Finnbarr O’Reilly: Rebel Portraits (Reuters: March 2011)

Features and Essays - Alessandro Gandolfi: Libya (Parallelozero: March 2011)

Michael Christopher Brown’s Libya Hipstas now on burn…

Features and Essays - Michael Christopher Brown: Libya (burn: March 2011)

Yuri Kozyrev’s Libya gallery on TIME website now up to 87 photographs.

New York Times’ Libya gallery now up to 276 photographs.

Interviews Marco Di Lauro (BJP: March 2011) Photographer tells BJP he was detained and deported from Yemen, as he tried to cover the unrest

Going through latest NGM (April 2011) features earlier…It’s 15th again, so I was pretty sure they’d have some new ones on offer…

Features and Essays - Diane Cook and Len Jenshel: New York’s High Line (NGM: April 2011 issue) New Yorkers can float over busy streets in an innovative park.

Gerd Ludwig in there too…

Features and Essays - Gerd Ludwig: Crimea (NGM: April 2011 issue) Russia’s paradise lost belongs to Ukraine—and that’s where the trouble begins.

Features and Essays – Shiho Fukada: Tension and Theater at China’s Congress (NYT Lens: March 2011)

My Canadian mate @keithvass sent me a link to this…

Articles – Toronto Star Photo Blog: Kid Goes to War (Toront Star: March 2011)

Interviews - Lise Sarfati (ASX: March 2011)

Interviews and Talks - Kenneth Jarecke and David Burnett (Jarecke blog: March 2011)

Interviews and Talks – Peta Pixel: 14 Powerful TED Talks by Photographers (Peta Pixel: 2010)

Getty Images is hiring…

Jobs - Photographers’ Agent

Forgot to mention, I also met London photographer Ore Huiying yesterday. Yumi was staying at hers…

Photographers - Ore Huiying

Photographers - Jason Wallis

PhotographersMichael T Regan

Photographers - Stuart Matthews

Photographers - Eva-Lotta Jansson

Second year BA Press and Editorial Photography student Dan Cainey from University College Falmouth was in touch about the second year students’ show opening at Calumet gallery,93-103 Drummond Street,London NW1 2hJ early next week…

Exhitions - Falmouth Progression : Private View at 6:00pm on Tuesday 22 of March

Photographers - Dan Cainey

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Baptism, Uganda

Jenn Warren (b.1980, USA) is a documentary and multimedia photographer based in Juba, Southern Sudan, specializing in humanitarian and development projects. Her work has been published in the Sunday Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, BBC News Online and AlJazeera, among others. Clients include a number of NGO and UN agencies, namely Médecins Sans Frontières, UNHCR, UNICEF, USAID, DFID, WFP/PAM, Save the Children, CARE, PSI, ICRC and Amnesty International. Jenn teaches photography, and is proficient in Arabic and American Sign Language. Her photography is exhibited and collected internationally.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is from a project I completed for The Kasiisi Project in Western Uganda. The Kasiisi Project supports rebuilding efforts for local schools in Kyanyawara and Kasiisi, an area near the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo that, until recently, was regularly attacked by LRA rebels. The program also supplies children’s books and uniforms, offers secondary and university scholarships, and has been active in the community for over 15 years. In this photograph, a Kasiisi student is baptized in a tepid pond near the primary school. Religion plays a very important role in this rural community, and children frequently spend their afternoons and weekends at church socializing.”

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