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Emerging Photographer Fund – 2013 Recipient

 

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EPF 2013 Runner-up

Maciej Pisuk

Under the Skin. Photographs from Brzeska Street

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The inhabitants of Warsaw consider Brzeska Street, the very core of North Praga, the most neglected and dangerous district in the city (in my opinion the greatest local problem is stigmatization of the people living in the area). I would like to present you portraits of the street’s residents, my neighbors, acquaintances, friends, people among whom I lived for so many years. The pictures taken in this place constitute the vast majority of my photographic work so far.
I only photograph people who I stay in close touch with. The pictures are a result of the long process where the release of the shutter is essentially an element of little meaning.

The protagonists of my photographs possess something unusual: they have faces. I could risk and state that today almost nobody shows their face and there are only a few people who still have them. The face disappears under layers of masks, which are adjusted to the roles that we are forced to play. We change our masks as easily as we change our identities. In public, we only present the image that we shape according to our needs. Our contacts stop being direct. Sometimes we communicate with each other but we are not able to encounter. I like thinking of my pictures as testimonies of the encounters and I count on them to convey a particle of the experience I took part in.

Bio

A graduate of the screenwriting course at the State Academy of Film, TV and Theatre in Lodz. Works as a screenwriter. The winner of prizes and awards on Polish and international photography competitions, among others: 2nd Prize at BZ WBK Press Foto 2006 (category: society), 1st Prize at ‘Warsaw Autumn of Photography’ 2007, 1st prize in the category of Photojournalism Non-Pro-People/Personality at PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris 2008 Photo Competition, 2nd prize at BZ WBK Press Foto 2010 (category: portrait), Stockholm Photography Week 2012 – The prize for the best portfolio.
For a few years he has been working on a photographical documentary project concerning the inhabitants of the area of Praga in Warsaw.

 

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Emerging Photographer Fund – 2013 Recipient

 

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Oksana Yushko

Balaklava: The Lost History

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This project is a part of my exploration of people’s mind who were born in the USSR.

Changing people’s mind is the most difficult thing. The Soviet Union hasn’t existed for 20 years but the shadow of it lies everywhere. Things have changed but people’s minds and attitudes have not.

I made my way to Balaklava, a small town by the sea in the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine. During the Soviet era, it was a city that didn’t exist to the outside world. The town closed to the public for more than 30 years due to the submarine base that was situated there.

Almost the entire population of Balaklava worked at the base and even their family members could not visit the town without a good reason or proper identification. It was a closed society, an ambitious, privileged caste, a major league, a private club with limited membership. Officers were well paid, enjoyed special apartments and were given other privileges. It used to be like this.

After the collapse of the USSR in 1992, the Soviet army was automatically transferred to Russia’s control. It was only in 1997 that the ships and equipment of the Black Sea Fleet were officially divided between the two countries Russia and Ukraine. The process of fleet division remains painful since many aspects of the two navies co-existence are under-regulated, causing recurring conflicts.

The system collapse turned the once privileged Soviet officers into unwanted people.
Crossing the streets of Balaklava, I saw traces of this not only in the town but also on people’s faces. They still live in the past. Their attitude to the present situation is complicated, but most of them don’t want to look forward to the future.

Bio

Oksana Yushko is a freelance photographer based in Moscow. She started working as a professional journalist in 2006 and currently focuses on personal projects in Russia, Chechnya, Ukraine and other post-Soviet countries. Yushko was a selected participant of the 2011 Noor-Nikon Masterclass in Documentary Photography in Bucharest, Romania, and a finalist of the 2010 Conscientious Portfolio Competition. She was also finalist of the 2013 Chiang Mai Documentary Arts Festival, the Grand Prize Winner of Lens Culture International Exposure Awards 2011, a finalist of the Aftermath Project 2010 and a 2011 finalist of the Manuel-Riveira Oritz Foundation. Yushko’s work has been exhibited in galleries in Russia, Finland, UK, USA, and France and her work has been published by media across the world.

 

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Emerging Photographer Fund – 2013 Recipient

 

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Iveta Vaivode

Somewhere on Disappearing Path

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I’ve always been fascinated with family albums. I grew up looking at my parent’s family albums, imagining their lives before me. Trying to reconstruct the memories that I didn’t have, but at the same time living them over and over again in my imagination. Somehow I always felt that the people I saw in these amateur photographs were different from those I saw close to me every day. I felt that photographs, although connected with a certain historical past, worked better as triggers of my own imagination, rather than giving me a specific knowledge of anything else. The ambivalence of the medium of photography, its possibilities and its limitations suggest we should mistrust photography as a record of our lives and histories. Yet there are numerous photographic works that deal with the concept of memory, in which artists become poets rather than historians.

For the last year, I have documented people from a remote village called Pilcene in the Eastern side part of Latvia. My work addresses the idea of looking back as a framing device and a narrative mode. Searching for the last traces of my family in this village, I chase after the people who used to know my grandmother. Through their stories I see the life that has vanished, although most of people still live the way their ancestors used to. In a way, this place has become their lifestyle; one which I feel, is going to disappear soon.

By photographing the life and people of my grandmother’s childhood village I try to recreate the place I never had chance to know. Yet people I met now work as a mirror with a memory helping to reveal the past of my own family.

Bio

I grew up in Riga, Latvia. Having started my photographic career as a fashion photographer, for the past four years I have turned my sight towards more personal projects. In 2008, I received a BA in photography from the Arts Institute at Bournemouth (England). My photographs have been exhibited in Latvia, Lithuania, U.K., France, China and Belgium. I’m also a recipient of the following awards: AOP Student Photographer of the Year (2007); Nikon Discovery Awards (2008) and c/o Berlin Talents (2013).

 

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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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Javier Arcenillas

Jisu Ashram

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Only a hundred miles from Kolkata, but immersed in a jungle in which time seems to stand still, a Jesuit missionary group has expanded the meaning of being called “parents”.

In its mission “Jisu Ashram” hosts over a hundred children from families of agriculturists of lower castes. There are a thousand children and parents to represent the only hope for the future of a new generation of young Indians who are suffering, with concealed virulence, an abrupt transition to the modern era, the era of big cities, which work in the field and differ little from slavery.

 

Bio

Humanist. Freelance photographer, member of Gea Photowords.

He develops humanitarian essays where the main characters are integrated in societies that border and set upon any reason or human right in a world that becomes increasingly more and more indifferent.

He is a psychologist at the Complutense University of Madrid. He has won several international prizes, including The Arts Press Award, Kodak Young Photographer, European Social Fund Grant, Euro Press of Fujifilm, Make History, UNICEF, SONY WPY, Fotoevidence POYI.

Currently he is carrying out new ideas in parallel with traditional journalism to spread his projects, and he is making up Audiovisual Projects with diplomatic work.

 

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ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT

Valentina Quintano

In The Absence Of Things

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Murmansk (Russia)

The project ‘In The Absence Of Things’ explores life in darkness and the difficulties of true communication between people.

Every year the city of Murmansk (because of its arctic latitude) descends into darkness for forty days; the sun doesn’t even rise above the horizon. These are the ‘Polar Nights’.

This is not a project about Russia, it is a project about being human… and yet the fact that it was shot in Russia does matter.

It was born from an urge to explore darkness. Both the inner human darkness that sits inside each of us in different forms and shapes and moments, and the ‘real’ darkness; the absence of light, the obscurity, the experience of living in a place which is (almost) completely dark for some part of the year.

Early into the project I understood that what really mattered was how the darkness felt, how it slipped under the skin.
There is no story, it is the tale of a feeling because emotions are the unifying element of human kind. They create a bridge over the incommunicability, they allow us to overcome barriers.

The project may seem obscure and schizophrenic in the way images of interiors clash with landscapes, but this reflects the way the people are disconnected from the places, yet also part of them. The anonymity of the subjects and their facelessness was not at first a conscious choice, it happened.

The fragmentary structure of images and text reflects the nature of human existence – we all perceive the world in different ways and because of this, sometimes struggle to communicate our experience, which is influenced by our personal history, our language, our mood, our current context, as well as those of the receiver. Because of the infinite complexity that results from these myriads of factors, our communication is always a continuous process of translations. The lack of a point is somehow the point.

The 2nd part of the project will concentrate on the opposite phenomenon of ‘White Nights’.

 

Bio

Valentina Quintano (b. 1982 in Napoli, Italy), is a photographer who has worked in photojournalism since 2007.

Her work has been featured in some printed and online magazines and newpapers, in three books and in a few joint exhibitions. She has been commended for the Ian Parry Scholarship in 2011 and was among the nominees for the Joop Swart Masterclass 2011.

After having been self-thought and having learnt through assisting, she studied photojournalism in 2009 at the Danish School of Media and Journalism in Rhus, and graduated with a distinction from the MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at London College of Communication in December 2010.

She has been working on personal reportage projects since 2007, as well as on commissioned works.

 

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Ruth Prieto

Safe Heaven

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This work is the second chapter of a documentary project about Mexican immigrant women in New York. Some of them have indigenous backgrounds so that Spanish is not their first language. I decided to document their lives during their free time at their homes.

Homes have deep emotional meaning. Through their homes we get to know them, their motivations, their thoughts and aspirations along with the conditions they live in that reveal how much they have achieved and struggled. They have painted and decorated their rooms according to their own personal story and choice. I am exploring the notion of safety and confidence in relation to space. This project is a new interpretation of immigration using color as a unifying metaphor of diversity and acceptance. Each woman will be identified with a color palette so that a mosaic of color represents diversity and the beauty of it.

With these images I want to present different moments in what could be one person’s story. My motivation for this project is to create a dialogue about migration and xenophobia to develop solutions to related social issues. Through these images I go beyond the public scenario offering a deeper knowledge of the living conditions of one of the major labor forces in the US.

Furthermore I want to communicate in a level that is common to all: the bittersweet journey of life in which moments of struggle and joy take place.

This project is an extraordinary window to the live of Mexican immigrant women where they can be masters of their own world, where they can control their time and their choices, where they have a safe heaven.

 

Bio

Ruth Prieto Arenas was born and raised in Mexico City. She studied Communications and worked as a juniour account executive in visual media. Later on she worked in the film industry as a production manager and script supervisor. She was an intern in the cultural research department at Magnum photos in New York in 2011.

Ruth graduated from the program in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism at the International Center of Photography in 2012.

She has published her work at Picnic, Ojo de Pez (to be published in summer 2013) and in the book New York Stories a collaboration between the International Center of Photography, and Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie in Berlin.

I began this project with the curiosity to understand the process that Mexican migrants go through when crossing the border. Being Mexican myself, allowed me to form a bond with my subjects so that we could build a connection that translates into the intimacy of my images. I am focused on women because of their central role in the development of the Mexican family and because I look at them as icons of identity and culture. Moreover, I think it is important to create projects that motivate a dialogue about migration and xenophobia to develop solutions to current social related issues.

Currently I am still working on this project with the great support of the Magnum Foundation’s Emergency Fund.

 

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Piotr Zbierski

Love Has To Be Reinvented

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When Venasque told me about diaries of Cocteau, I came across this fragment, which deeply affected me:

“And then I realized that the world of my dreams is equally full of memories as my real life, so it is the real being and also richer, deeper, full of episodes, and more precise in many details. It was difficult to properly locate memories in one or the other world. They were extraordinary, complicated, and have become my second life, twice bigger, and twice longer than my own”.

Why? Because you have this gun with cold water when I’m turning into someone unlike.

With or without is trivial difference. Is it not the way to communicate with friends?

We are still here.

I know your deepest secret fear. And you know my deepest secret fear: egoism.

 

Bio

Piotr Zbierski (b. 1987) studied photography at National Film School.

Author of three individual exhibitions (White Elephants, Here, Childhood Dreams), participant in collective exhibitions and publications including Photokina and Lab East. He presented his works in many countries like Poland, Germany, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia. As well as magazines (Shots Magazine, Ninja Mag, Archivo Zine, Die Nacht, Gup Magazine).

In 2012 he won the prestigious prize for young photographer Leica Oscar Barnack Newcomer Award and has been shortlisted in many other prizes (Les Nuits Photographiques 2012, Terry O’Neill Award) for his series “Pass By Me”. His works has been shown at festival in Arles 2012 and are in collection of Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts. He lives and works in Lodz.

 

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Irina Werning

Back To The Future 2

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I love old photos. I know I’m a nosy photographer. As soon as I step into someone else’s house, I start sniffing for those old photos. Most of us are fascinated by their retro look but to me it’s imagining how people would feel and look like if they were to reenact them today…  a few years ago, I decided to actually do this. So, with my camera, I started inviting people to go back to their future.

Back to the Future won the Burn Emerging Photographer Fund  2011. The EPF grant allowed Irina Werning to extend and finish the project. For Back to the Future, she shot 250 pictures in 32 countries.

 

Bio

• Born in Buenos Aires

• BA Economics, Universidad de San Andres, Buenos Aires, 1997

• MA History, Universidad Di Tella, Buenos Aires, 1999

• MA Photographic Journalism, Westminster University, London, 2006

• Winner Ian Parry Scholarship 2006

• Gordon Foundation Grant 2006

• Selected for the Joop Swart Masterclass (World Press Photo Organization), 2007

• Flash Forward, The Magenta Foundation, Canada 2011

• Winner Fine Art Portraits, SONY World Photography Awards 2012

 

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Todd Danforth

Portrait Of A Family

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I sat on the hospital bed beside my grandfather and watched as he took his dying breaths. Aunt Beth walked into the room and quietly sat next to me. She glanced at her father for a moment and then back to me. “Life is funny, huh?” she said.

I looked at her and then back to my grandfather. His cheeks were no longer full and his body almost lifeless. A machine beside his recliner supplied oxygen to his lungs and I could not help but imagine myself at age seventy-­‐eight. Will I have his wrinkles too, I thought? His head full of white hair, not a bald spot to be found. And then I began to wonder about our non-­‐physical characteristics and the similarities my aunts and uncles share with my grandparents.I began to think about his memories and accomplishments and what value those hold now that he remains helpless. Who will continue this legacy he began? Who will tell his story after he goes, because afterall, we are the only ones who can.

These family portraits tell the photographic journey that I began in pursuit to understand the emotional struggles that bond my family together. After my Grandmother’s passing in 2004, my Grandfather became the patriarch of the family; but more importantly he was the aging bond that weaved my family’s legacy. As time has it, nothing lasts forever-­‐ his illness worsened, his memory faded, and as I ushered a final farewell to my last semester of college, my Grandfather took his final breath.

This portfolio was created over a four year period from 2009-­‐2013. The subjects of the work are my family and it is photographed in Massachusetts. Some photographs were taken in Florida on a road trip we brought my Grandfather on in 2011. Some of the photographs were featured in a German typography publication Slanted.

 

Bio

Todd Danforth grew up along the West River in the heart of the Blackstone River Valley, the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution.

He was born into quite a large family with an astounding family history. His lineage can be traced back toJudge Thomas Danforth, the Deputy Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1679-­‐1686, who also sat on the Superior Court sessions during the Salem Witch Trials. Todd’s current photographic work focuses primarily on family and the ties that bond these close relationships together.

He currently resides on the South Shore of Boston, Massachusetts and holds his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University.

 

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