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VICE Loves Magnum: Chris Steele-Perkins Can’t Let Go of England 

Chris Steele-Perkins studied psychology before turning to photography. His early work focused on social ills in British cities, at the time working with the EXIT collective. His time with EXIT culminated in a book by the group called Survival Programmes. In 1979, he released his first solo book, Teds, examining the British Teddy Boy subculture of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. After that, Steele-Perkins started to travel more widely, photographing Africa, Afghanistan, and later Japan. A Magnum member since 1979, we talked to him about all that and his obsession with England.

VICE: Your background seems pretty varied, having studied things like chemistry and psychology. Has that informed your work at all?
Chris Steele-Perkins: I’m not sure about that. I was obviously searching for something that I wanted to do, so I started off with chemistry and I soon figured out that wasn’t where I wanted to be. Psychology was interesting and fun, but again didn’t feel right. It was during that time that I got to working for the student newspaper as a photographer and that kind of got me going. When I finished my degree, I realized that was the route I wanted to follow.

Going back to the psychology bit, it feels like you have a strong connection to the personal aspect of photography. Clearly you’re shooting a lot of people, but you seem to really get to the soul of a lot of personal issues. Do you think studying psychology made you more easily connect with people and their plights? 
I think that’s more to do with common sense, honestly. I could argue that the best connection psychology offered was the fact that it wasn’t nuclear physics. It was a relatively easy course, I must say, which gave me a lot of time to develop my photography. I think my interest indeed is, without meaning to sound pretentious, the human condition. How people live around the world and in the world. I was also hugely influenced by the great humanist photographers; Kertész, Cartier-Bresson, Eugene Smith, people like that. They were a powerful influence early on, when you’re most influenced.

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Work seen at Photolucida

Pasab ©Dima Gavrysh


Dima Gavrysh just celebrated the birth of his first child, a wonderful milestone after years of focusing his lens on the difficult subject matter of war.  He has approached this subject in a variety of mediums and produced a number of compelling series in collaboration with charitable organizations such as Doctors Without Borders.  Dima has also been embedded with the US Army in Afghanistan numerous times creating projects such as Soldiers of Zerok and  Inshallah (which went on to receive Top 50 honors in Critical Mass , 2010).  The body of work that he brought to Photolucida was all captured in stunning black and white using a mobile phone.  Dima has a remarkable ability to capture the tension and charged experience of war with an artist's eye. 

Dima received his
MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in June 2012.
He obtained his first degree in Kiev, Ukraine in 2000 as a Director of
Photography in Motion Picture Imaging. For the past 12
years Dima has worked as a documentary photographer with major publications and
news agencies such as New York Times, Associated Press, and Bloomberg News. Dima was been the recipient of numerous awards and recently has a solo exhibition of this work at the Pictura Gallery. He is currently working on publishing his first book.


Inshallah
Inshallah (God willing in Arabic) is a project that explores the Soviet and American occupations of Afghanistan, and draws on my childhood fantasies that romanticize the military and intertwine with my past and present personal conflicts.

Zerok #1©Dima Gavrysh


As a Ukrainian who was born and raised in the former Soviet Union, this is the
second time that I live in a country that is fighting a war in Afghanistan.

Ambush ©Dima Gavrysh


I create a dark fairytale filled with my fears and dreams, based on my fascination with the army’s strength and order, set on the front lines of what has become America’s longest running war in history. Mesmerized by the complexity of the Afghan chaos, I strive to better comprehend my personal relationship to these wars: two empires, two mentalities, same battlefield, twelve years apart.

 Finch ©Dima Gavrysh

IED ©Dima Gavrysh

 Suicide Bomber ©Dima Gavrysh

Khost #3 ©Dima Gavrysh

 Larry ©Dima Gavrysh

EOD ©Dima Gavrysh

Tangi #2 ©Dima Gavrysh

Kandahar #2 ©Dima Gavrysh

 Paktika #2©Dima Gavrysh

 Brothers ©Dima Gavrysh

August 12th ©Dima Gavrysh

 Paktia #1 @©Dima Gavrysh

Kandahar #1 ©Dima Gavrysh

Zerok#2 ©Dima Gavrysh

Khost #2 ©Dima Gavrysh

Air Assault #2 ©Dima Gavrysh

Concussion Dust ©Dima Gavrysh

BAF ©Dima Gavrysh

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Yesterday marked World Refugee Day, as the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, António Guterres, visited Jordan to highlight the 1.6 million registered people who have fled the ongoing conflict in Syria. The UN refugee agency, which was set up in 1950 to aid those still displaced after World War II, reports that there are some 10.5 million refugees worldwide. -- Lloyd Young ( 29 photos total)
Afghan refugee children, swim in muddy water created from a broken water pipe, on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, on June 17. Pakistan hosts over 1.6 million registered Afghans, the largest and most protracted refugee population in the world, according to the UN refugee agency. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press)     

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burn magazine

Emerging Photographer Fund – 2013 Recipient

 

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EPF 2013 WINNER

 Diana Markosian

My Father, The Stranger

play this essay

 

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.

 

Related links

Diana Markosian

 

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Graduation season is well underway, with kindergartners, high schoolers, college seniors and graduate students alike donning caps and gowns to celebrate their achievement. With their diplomas, graduates also get words of wisdom from a commencement speakers and a good excuse to celebrate. -- Lloyd Young ( 31 photos total)
US Naval Academy graduates throw their hats at the conclusion of their commencement and commission ceremony, attended by President Barack Obama at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on May 24 in Annapolis, Md. (Michael Reynolds/European Pressphoto Agency)     

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