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Stacy Kranitz

The Other

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My project engages with history, representation, biography, personal narrative, and otherness in the documentary tradition. Each year in Pennsylvania, 500 people come together to reenact the Battle of the Bulge. During the reenactment, I portray Leni Riefenstahl and behave with soldiers, as she would have. I am intrigued by the complex story of a woman with a problematic set of morals. My work aims to understand people beyond the constraints of good vs evil. I have inserted myself into the Nazi reenactor photographs to subvert the viewer’s instinct to dismiss these people as different from themselves. This allows me to reflect upon atrocity, delve into my own relationship with my Jewish heritage, and contemplate the camera’s ability to re-imagine history.

Much of our conception of history is based on images. Historical images have been filtered through media and propaganda. These images become history as generations pass. Images are the dominant force that shape the public imagination. My images of the reenactment are part of the deconstruction process by which images first represent and then replace history.

The next phase of this project will explore Riefenstahl’s life between 1962-1977 when she lived with the Nuba in Sudan. I will visit the same Nuba tribes to focus on the disjunction between her fetishized images and my own exploration of the Nuba’s complex modern reality. The Nuba were victims of genocide during a recent civil war and it has deeply impacted their culture. They were forcibly relocated to camps and Islamicized. Hundreds of thousands died from warfare and starvation.

My project asks how we live in a world where genocide takes place in continuum? It reflects on the history of the documentary tradition as it poses new ways of expressing identity in relation to ‘otherness’. This project deconstructs the notion of the photograph as document, its power as a tool of propaganda, as a witness to history and a call for change.

 

Bio

Stacy Kranitz studied film and photography at New York University. Her work focuses on the ways we express aggression and violence in our daily rituals, habits and pastimes. Additional themes in her work include the relationship between music and culture, the emotional growth of children and environmental racism. She is interested in the theoretical underpinnings that bind together the evolution of the documentary tradition. Her work looks to explore important social issues while commenting on this tradition and challenging its boundaries.

Her clients include Adbusters, Dwell, Elle, ESPN, Entertainment Weekly, Forbes, Fortune, Men’s Journal, Mother Jones, Metropolis, Newsweek, New York Times Magazine, People, Rolling Stone, Spin, Vice, Wall Street Journal and Wired.

She was awarded a Young Photographers Alliance Scholarship Award and also received a Story Project Grant from the California Council for the Humanities. She has shown her work at galleries in NY, CA, LA and FL.

 

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Stacy Kranitz

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MEN VS. WOMEN
MEN VS. WOMEN: Villagers smeared themselves with color during the Lathmar Holi festival in Barsana, India, Friday. During the festival, the women of Barsana, the legendary hometown of Radha, consort of the Hindu god Krishna, attack the men from Nandgaon, the legendary hometown of Krishna, with wooden sticks when the men try to put color on them. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images)

IRAN ELECTION
IRAN ELECTION: A woman filled in her ballot during Iran’s parliamentary election at a mosque in southern Tehran Friday. The vote, which will determine which conservative faction dominates the parliament for the next four years, had a relatively lower turnout than usual. (Raheb Homavandi/Reuters)

HUNGER STRIKE
HUNGER STRIKE: Supporters helped South Korean opposition lawmaker Park Sun-young, center, at a protest near the Chinese Embassy in Seoul urging China to stop repatriating North Korean defectors. Ms. Park fainted on the 11th day of her hunger strike over the issue. (Lee Jin-man/Associated Press)

ALL IN A ROW
ALL IN A ROW: A hostess lined up chairs before a news conference of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Thursday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (Zuma Press)

EYE ON THE BALL
EYE ON THE BALL: Lee Westwood of England lined up a putt on the 13th hole during the second round of the Honda Classic at PGA National Friday in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

AFFORDABLE VEGETABLES
AFFORDABLE VEGETABLES: Residents crowded around a farmer selling cheap potatoes on the campus of the University of Thessaloniki in Greece Friday. Academic staff and students arranged for a group of farmers to sell products at nearly a third of supermarket prices. (Nikolas Giakoumidis/Associated Press)

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Today is Valentine's Day, a day set aside for expressions of love and affection. The traditional western holiday has spread to many countries around the globe, despite some efforts by religious and cultural groups to fight its adoption. Valentine's Day spending in the U.S. this year is expected to reach nearly $15 billion -- $2 billion of it on flowers alone. Ninety percent of the flowers Americans will give to their sweethearts are imported, and nearly all of those imports originate in Colombia and Ecuador. Included in today's posting is an 18-photo series depicting the voyage of the roses from South American farm to florists worldwide. [37 photos]

A couple kisses during a flashmob organized by a local television station on the eve of Valentine's Day in the Russian city of Stavropol, on February 13, 2012. (Reuters/Eduard Korniyenko)

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This month tensions between Iran and the West escalated in a standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. The death toll rose in bloodshed touched off by protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s rule. Meanwhile in the U.S., Republican candidates faced off on the campaign trail and in a series of primaries as the GOP convention inched nearer.

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The New Year began violently in Afghanistan, with three bombings killing 13 people in one day in Kandahar. In addition, the French Defense minister told soldiers he backed US efforts to open peace talks with the Taliban, and President Obama was in talks about defense priorites as the US military readied for challenges from China and Iran while downplaying any future counterinsurgency efforts like the ones in Afghanistan or Iraq. Meanwhile, the foreign troop withdrawal process continued, as more responsibility was transferred to Afghan security forces. The goal is a complete withdrawal by the end of 2014. -- Lloyd Young (41 photos total)
Afghan policemen march during the transfer of authority from NATO troops to Afghan security forces in Chaghcharan, Ghor province, west of Kabul, Afghanistan on Jan. 4. The security responsibilities of Chaghcharan, the provincial capital of Ghor province is handed over from the NATO forces to Afghan security forces. The process of taking over security from over 130,000-strong NATO-led ISAF forces by Afghan troops would be completed by the end of 2014 when Afghanistan will take over the full leadership of its own security duties from US and NATO forces. (Hoshang Hashimi/Associated Press)

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The Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund has made an exclusive announcement to LightBox disclosing the winners of its 2012 grants. The fund, which began in 2009, awards the annual prize to photographers from around the world who use their cameras to shed light on underserved issues and communities.

This year’s winners are:

Evgenia Arbugaeva for
Tiksi, the Far North
Rena Effendi for
Capturing Coptic Life: Egypt’s Sectarian Struggle
Eric Gottesman for
Baalu Girma
Sebastian Liste for
The Brazilian Far West
Benjamin Lowy for
iLibya: Libya’s Growing Pains
Justin Maxon for
Murder That Goes Unsolved and Unheard
Donald Weber for
War is Good*
Paolo Woods for
Poor Rich

The eight grantees were selected from a field of nearly 100 photographers nominated by ten professionals (including, in the past, TIME’s own director of photography, Kira Pollack). The winners will receive, along with funding, editorial guidance and research support to continue their work, which explores such diverse topics as peasant works in China and violence in the Pennsylvania projects.

The Emergency Fund, which was founded to counteract the shrinking of opportunities for long-form, socially-conscious photographic storytellers, is now in its third year of granting prizes. The program continues to grow, says Emma Raynes, the Emergency Fund’s program director. “We’ve been able to put more energy into helping photographers put depth into their work,” she says. Increased integration of social media has also made a difference; the Emergency Fund had already used Kickstarter to add to its power to help photographers, but the organization has expanded its presence on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

Raynes says that this year’s winners tended to step away from traditional documentary and photojournalism styles and put a new emphasis on creative visual language. Benjamin Lowy, for example, made use of the Hipstamatic iPhone app in his photographs of Libya. “We wanted to invest in projects that were incredibly ambitious,” says Raynes.

In addition to funding the work of established photojournalists, the Magnum Emergency Fund awards scholarships to emerging photographers from nonwestern countries, for them to attend a 5-week summer program about documenting human-rights issues.

The 2012 Human Rights Fellows are:

Poulomi Basu, 29, of India
Arthur Bondar, 28, of Ukraine
Liu Jie, 30, of China
Pooyan Tabatabaei, 28, of Iran

And for all its support of photographers, the Emergency Fund aims to do more than help them do their work. The Foundation wants “to reach beyond the photography community into communities that are concerned about the issues,” says Raynes. “The main goal of our program is to get the work seen.”

Read more about the Emergency Fund on LightBox here.

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Coal occupies a central position in modern human endeavors. Last year over 7000 megatons were mined worldwide. Powerful, yet dirty and dangerous, use of coal is expanding every year, with 2010 witnessing a production increase of 6.8%. Around 70 countries have recoverable reserves, which some estimates claim will last for over a hundred years at current production levels. Mining for coal is one of the world's most dangerous jobs. While deadliest in China, where thousands of miners die annually, the profession is still hazardous in the West and other regions as well. Our mining and use of coal accounts for a variety of environmental hazards, including the production of more CO2 than any other source. Other concerns include acid rain, groundwater contamination, respiratory issues, and the waste products which contain heavy metals. But our lives as lived today rely heavily on the combustible sedimentary rock. Over 40% of the world's electricity is generated by burning coal, more than from any other source. Chances are that a significant percentage of the electricity you're using to read this blog was generated by burning coal. Gathered here are images of coal extraction, transportation, and the impact on environment and society. The first eight photographs are by Getty photographer Daniel Berehulak, who documented the lives of miners in Jaintia Hills, India. -- Lane Turner (48 photos total)
22-year-old Shyam Rai from Nepal makes his way through tunnels inside of a coal mine 300 ft beneath the surface on April 13, 2011 near the village of Latyrke, in the district of Jaintia Hills, India. In the Jaintia hills, located in India's far northeast state of Meghalaya, miners descend to great depths on slippery, rickety wooden ladders. Children and adults squeeze into rat hole like tunnels in thousands of privately owned and unregulated mines, extracting coal with their hands or primitive tools and no safety equipment. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

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