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This week; A man visits the graveside of his son—killed by Gaddafi loyalists—in Tripoli, three thousand flags commemorate the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, a plane flies through the “Tribute in Lights” in lower Manhattan. gas pipeline explosion in Nairobi, gunmen open fire on a school bus in Pakistan, Israeli embassy attack in Cairo, Brazilian forest fires, Damien Hirst’s sculpture Legend, New York fashion week, Novak Djokovic wins the U.S. Open, and the painted “Tiger Men” of India’s “Pulikali” Tiger Dance festival.

See last week’s Best Pictures of the Week.

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Known for her unflinching self-portraits, Israeli-American photographer Elinor Carucci has always used her body and her relationships as the primary subjects for her work. When she became pregnant with twins, she again turned the camera on herself, recording the raw and intensely physical process of becoming a mother as well as the intimate and messy details of caring for small children.

Carucci has been a photographer since she was 15. Her images of private moments with her parents, her husband and her struggle with pain are simultaneously unsentimental and luminous. While Carucci is comfortable revealing her most private moments, the series, Born, which opened in New York this week, was something new. ”I was pointing my camera at the pregnancy because it took over me, it was the focus of those nine months. Of course, [I was] functioning, I was working, it was a very dramatic event. I felt very different than how I usually do.”

Born is the first chapter of Carucci’s chronicle of motherhood taking her through 2008 when her twins were toddlers. “In Eden and Emmanuelle the first month, you really get the tradition of what we’re used to seeing—motherhood as portrait, Madonna and child. You really see those beautiful magical moments where you cannot believe the connection and the physical warmth of the baby in your hands. On the other hand, you go through the difficult times—you’re tired, the constant need to breastfeed them. This I feel is less documented in photography and I am shocked by how those moments live side by side.”

Elinor Carucci—Sasha Wolf Gallery

Come over here and apologize!, 2010

Her relationship with her husband Eran has been central to her previous work (Closer and Crisis) so his near absence from Born is striking. He appears only in one image, Feeling me, 2004. “Like many women, motherhood really took over me,” she explains. “It was very much about me being a mother and [the] strong, unusual bond with the kids. Even though Eran really helped me—he’s a big part of my work technically and conceptually—I felt it was more about me and the kids, the three of us as one unit.”

Her children are now school age and Carucci continues to record their lives (an image from her more recent work on the right). “I am still photographing the kids, but it is in a different stage. Some of the images I am working on now have been shot outside. I moved outside because they’re moving away from me. I am following them into America.”

For the first time in New York, a solo show of Carucci’s Born is on view the Sasha Wolf Gallery through November 15. More of Elinor Carucci’s work can be viewed at her website, www.elinorcarucci.com.

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There were to be no “gotcha” moments during Platon’s photo shoot with Rick Perry, the Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate, who appears on the cover of this week’s issue of TIME. Which is not to say the photographer didn’t strive for the revelatory.

“I want your soul,” he told Perry. “Give it to me.”

Ever the politician, Perry pushed back: “Well, you can’t have that.”

Platon responded, “You don’t realize it. But I’ve already got it.”

The playful exchange set the tone for the entire sitting between Platon and Perry, which took place on September 13 in Miami, one day after a GOP debate sponsored by CNN and the Tea Party Express. From his inflammatory remarks on Social Security to his HPV mandate, Perry took punches from nearly all his opponents on stage that night, which led Platon to ask the Governor how he deals with failure.

“He told me that from the time he was six, he’d been using this metaphor of riding a horse—probably because he’s from Texas—that when you get knocked off, you get back on,” Platon said. “He said it with this very relaxed smile, and I thought, ‘That’s it?’”

Many now consider Perry to be the frontrunner to capture the nomination in the 2012 Republican primary. But Platon says he tried to capture “a human picture, not a political one.” To that end, the photographer and subject talked more about music and pop culture than policy and politics. Platon, a lifelong Beatles fan, asked the Governor to name his favorite song by the band. “Perry told me it was ‘Here Comes the Sun,’ so I wasn’t sure if he just knew the greatest hits, or if he was a real Beatles fan,” Platon said. “So I tested him a bit, and he knew George Harrison had written it. He knew it was on Abbey Road. He even told me which track on the album it was.”

Of his cover image, Platon says it represents a man fully committed to his beliefs, both personal and political. “You can criticize or agree with Perry’s policies, but in that moment on the cover, he’s 100 percent committed to what he’s talking about,” he said. “You can see belief in his eyes. It’s a magical thing that happens in a shoot. I always strive for it, but I don’t always get it.”

Platon

Selected images from Platon's book Power.

That last sentence would be considered an understatement by anyone but the photographer himself. With images published in magazines from the New Yorker to Rolling Stone, Platon is one of the most accomplished contemporary portrait photographers.

And on Thursday evening, some of Platon’s most famous images will be sold at the Matthew Marks Gallery in New York City to benefit Human Rights Watch, an organization the photographer has worked with for the past year and a half. From photographing Burmese refugees to setting up a portrait studio in the middle of Cairo’s Tahrir Square amid the Egyptian revolution, Platon says he tries to humanize the statistics reported by Human Rights Watch. “My job is that of a storyteller. It’s not that 800 people were killed. It’s who those 800 people were—they had families, they had children. They were children themselves in some cases.”

The images for sale and on display are culled from Power, Platon’s book of portraits of world leaders. “It’s a kind of an ironic situation—selling images of the powerful to try to empower the powerless,” he said, before quickly adding, “But it’s all the same. No one’s more important than anyone else. That’s one thing I’ve been trying to show.”

Feifei Sun is a reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @Feifei_Sun or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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What are the names that pop to mind when you think of ’80s rap? The Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, LL Cool J—all essential hip-hop artists, all signed to Def Jam Records. If you know just one thing about the history of Def Jam, it’s probably the story of its birth: created in an NYU dorm room by Rick Rubin, a young, white musical wunderkind. The first EP with the Def Jam logo was for a band called Hose, a punk-“artcore” outfit in which Rubin played guitar. Several years later, at a party in downtown New York, Rubin crossed paths with Russell Simmons—an artist manager (and older brother of the Run in Run-D.M.C.) who had helped Kurtis Blow land his first record deal—and Def Jam Records as we know it today was born.

Adler Archive

Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin, New York, 1984

Half oral history, half photo portfolio, the coffee-table book Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label (October, Rizzoli) sketches out the tales of a record label that became one of the greatest forces in American pop culture. That is not an exaggeration. Def Jam spread hip hop music far beyond its black New York roots, pushing it deep into the bedrooms of white suburbia—the one place any music needed to grow a fan base were it to become a late-20th century phenomenon. That it did. Former New York Times music critic Kalefa Sanneh, who writes the introduction for this book puts it simply: hip-hop went from being underground to being “the country’s definitive youth culture.”

That arc is made clear through the testimony of those who experienced the rise of Def Jam as well as photos of them. Near the front of the book is a picture of a young, shaggy Rubin in a powder blue puffy coat, wearing sunglasses, holding a drink from Blimpie’s sandwich shop, and a gun (Is it real? Is it fake? Hard to tell). In the back is a shot of Rubin (with his unforgettable Moses beard) and Simmons, tuxedoed out at this year’s Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

In between is a visual feast for anyone who’s listened to popular music in the past three decades: early shots of Public Enemy, which remind us how groundbreaking they were and how Flavor Flav was once someone who didn’t look like a clown all the time; LL Cool J in the Ivory Coast, wearing a tank top, gold dollar-bill rings, and a tribal robe; the pirate-patched Slick Rick in a tender shot with his mother/manager; Redman covered in mud smoking a cigar; enough busty photos of Foxy Brown to make you look around and confirm that no one is watching; and enough Jay-Z, Kanye and Rihanna shots to keep the younglings pleased. “Who would have thought, back in the ’80s, that we’d ever see a coffee-table book about rap,” writes former Def Jam chairman Lyor Cohen. Well, here it is, with enough boomboxes, gold chains and Kangol hats to please newbies and devotees alike.

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On April 5, 2011, South African freelance photographer Anton Hammerl disappeared while covering the revolution in eastern Libya. For weeks his family, and the world, held out hope that he was alive, believing he had been captured by the Gaddafi regime. Then on May 19, Hammerl’s family discovered through eyewitness accounts that he could not have survived injuries he sustained while photographing a battle between rebels and Libyan soldiers.

Unai Aranzadi

Anton Hammerl at work in Brega, Libya.

Last week, a fundraising website, Friends of Anton, was launched in an effort to raise money for Hammerl’s family. Renowned photographers, including João Silva, David Burnett, Kenneth Jarecke, Bruno Stevens, Yunghi Kim, and Todd Heisler, have donated prints in support of their fallen colleague. The photographs can be purchased through the Friends of Anton website.

Hammerl, 41, a former picture editor and photographer for The Saturday Star in Johannesburg, South Africa, is survived by his wife Penny and their three children: Aurora, 11; Neo, 7; and 6-month-old Hiro.

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