Skip navigation
Help

Emily Schiffer

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /var/www/vhosts/sayforward.com/subdomains/recorder/httpdocs/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.

This SlideShowPro photo gallery requires the Flash Player plugin and a web browser with JavaScript enabled.

Hover over the image for navigation and full screen controls

Marc Shoul

Brakpan

play this essay

Brakpan is a small town that lies on the East Rand of Gauteng, sandwiched between Boksburg, Benoni and Springs. A once-prosperous mining community, today there are pawnshops, roadhouses, mechanics, mini casinos and other day-to-day shops lining the two main roads that slice through the town. Brakpan is like going back in time; so many aspects of the town remind me of old images I have seen of South Africa. Despite all the changes in nearby Johannesburg, Brakpan still goes about its business in much the same way it did before.  There is a lack of modern development. You don’t see Tuscan townhouse complexes or buildings with glass facades. It’s all very simple and straight forward – almost transparent, and this transparency can be seen in the people too. You won’t find any airs or graces, no fancy cappuccino shops, sushi cafes or organic goods in Brakpan.

The town does not seem to have benefited from its gold rush glory days, which spanned between 1911 until the mid 1950’s, and it now has very little to show for its’ past. Today, the once flourishing mining town only pulls out a small portion of gold compared to what it used to generate, and some disused gold mines now only sell rubble.

A second factor that has contributed to Brakpan’s sense of preservation is the development of Carnival Mall and Casino, which conveniently lies just off the highway a few kilometers away from Brakpan Central. All the major chains and retail shops have moved to the mall and, as a result, the town centre has been left untouched and undeveloped, stunting it economically and leaving its inhabitants with little opportunities.

And yet there are many faces to modern Brakpan. Young girls push prams while karaoke competition winners don’t get their promised prizes. Pirated DVD’s get sold on the streets, crippling the nearby video shops that rent out older movies. There is a sense of nostalgia that remains and is reflected in the buildings and in the people. This is a place where you can still enjoy school and church fete’s, rugby matches, old bars, sokkie jols, biker rallies, fishing and braaiing at the Brakpan Dam; all of which are a part of the local’s lives.

Here there is a peacefulness and relaxed country town feel, without the stress about what tomorrow may bring.  The people of Brakpan live in the now but are still bound by the constraints of the past.

The images presented here are printed on Multigrade V1 FB Fibre matt photographic paper. Exhibition prints are 40cm by 40cm in size in an edition of 10.

Bio

Marc Shoul lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was born in 1975 in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa and graduated (with honors in photography) from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in 1999. Since then, he has had several exhibitions of his work including group shows at the Arts Association of Bellville, Fusion (1999), Artscape, Mental Health, (2001) Cape Town, Month of Photography, Detour, (2002), Cape Town, Photo ZA, Obsess (2004) and Resolution Gallery, Faces (2008) in Johannesburg as well as at the World Health Organization TB exhibition in India (2004). Solo exhibitions of ‘Beyond Walmer’ were held by the Association of Visual Arts Gallery in Cape Town (2000) and Natal Society of Arts, Durban (2001).  “Flatlands” a solo exhibition was also held at the Association of Visual Arts in Cape Town (2009) with help from the National Arts Council. Shoul was also featured in the AGFA Youth International Photojournalism Publication 1999. He also reached the finals of the Absa L’Atelier 2009.  Flatlands showed at KZNSA in Durban, South Africa and Galerie Quai 1 in Vevey, Switzerland in 2010. Shoul was invited to hold a workshop at the Vevey School of Photography on the 2010. Shoul was also been included in After A at the Report Atri Festival, Italy, June 2010 curated by Federica Angelucci. Beyond Walmer is on show at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Museum June-August 2010. Brakpan (work in progress),Shoul has also been included in the Bonaini Africa 2010 Festival of Photography, Cape Town Castle of Good Hope and Museum Africa, Johannesburg. Brakpan (work in progress) was included in 10 a group exhibition at the PhotoMarket Workshop, Johannesburg, 2010. Brakpan in 2011 won the 1st prize at the Winephoto.

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Museum added “Beyond Walmer” to its permanent collection (2007).

For the last ten years, Marc has worked for various local and international magazines such as Time, Colors, Wired, Blueprint, Dazed and Confused, Design Indaba, World Health Organization, Mother Jones, Stern, Gala, De Spiegel, Financial Times Magazine, Monocle, Smithsonian and The Telegraph Magazine, He has also shot for many advertising clients and agencies.

He has recently completed a project named ‘Flatlands’ in the Johannesburg inner city.  He is now working on a new body of work in Brakpan on the East Rand where he is exploring the city’s way of life and its people.

He is interested in exploring theams of social relevance and changes within his country and further a field.

Shoul works largely in black and white, using a medium format film camera and natural light printed on Fiber photographic paper.

 

Related links

Marc Shoul

0
Your rating: None

Features and Essays 

To start off, great gallery on Lightbox,  by no other than Yuri Kozyrev…Don’t mean to always highlight Lightbox and  Kozyrev first, but the Time photo editors’ blog has been one of the best things happen this year in/for photojournalism… Great coverage…And Kozyrev has been the photographer whose work has popped up constantly in 2011 (during each of the last four years that I’ve been doing Photojournalism there seems to have been one prolific photographer who defined the  year for me.. in 2010 it was Lynsey Addario, the year before Marcus Bleasdale, and in 2008 it was Lauren Greenfield), so it’s probably suitable that this post (which might or might not be the last this year. We shall see) kicks off with yet another Kozyrev/Lightbox combo…

Time magazine decided on The Person of the Year… This year it’s The Protestor…

Yuri Kozyrev has photographed lot those protestors during the uprisings and revolutions that have occurred in the Middle East this year… He reflects back at the events and photographs…

Cairo, Egypt — February 1, 2011. Thousands of Egyptians flooded Cairo after Mubarak refused to step down.

Yuri Kozyrev: My Year on the Revolution Road (Lightbox)

Hapak made some portraits…

Peter Hapak: The Protestors (Lightbox)

It’s insane how much Kozyrev has been clocking up miles this year…. This from Tunisia…

Yuri Kozyrev: Sidi Biuzid, the Tunisian Town Where the Arab Spring Began (TIME)

More from the continuing Arab Spring…

Tim Fadek has a new website, where you can see his recent Egypt work, including the brilliant Time cover photo…

Timothy Fadek: Revolution Part II: Cairo (Photographer’s website)

Giorgos Moutafis: Arab Spring : One Year After (Newsweek)

photo: Alex Majoli

New Yorker (various photographers): 2011: Twelve Months of Protest 

Kim Badawi: Life in Tahrir Square (New Yorker)

US pulled its troops from Iraq…

Andrea Bruce: Leaving Iraq (NYT)

Andrea Bruce: Portraits of Iraqi Pride (NYT)

Kael Alford: Iraqi Voices (Msnbc photo blog)

JB Russell: Faces of Iraqs Suffering (Panos)

Tyler Hicks: The Civilian Toll in Libya (NYT)

From upcoming National Geographic Magazine’s January 2012 issue…

William Albert Allard: Northern Montana’s Hi-Line (NGM)

George Steinmetz: Africa’s Afar Depression (NGM)

Lynn Johnson: Cambodia’s Healing Field (NGM)

Very strong series by Brent Stirton on Reportage site on AIDS in Ukraine…

Brent Stirton: AIDS in Ukraine (Reportage)

Marcus Bleasdale: HIV and TB in Tanzania (Photographer’s website)

Marcus Bleasdale: Lead Poisoning in Nigeria (VII)

Anastasia Taylor-Lind is really rocking at the moment… awards and recognition left, right, and centre (Just this week Honourable Mention in the Unicef Photo of the Year for the Siberian Supermodels pic seen below the National Womb one… See info on that later in this post) and most importantly work published in great publications… Her project originally done for this year’s Joop Swart Masterclass got printed in The New York Times a week ago…

Anastasia Taylor-Lind: The National Womb (NYT) Same in Lens blog

Her Siberian Supermodels is on VII site…

Anastasia Taylor-Lind: Siberian Supermodels (VII)

Donald Weber: J-Village (VII)

Bruno Barbey: Istanbul (Magnum)

Chris Steele-Perkins: Xiangshawan, Mongolia (Magnum)

Ami Vitale: Design for a Living World (Panos)

Maisie Crow: Half-Lives: The Chernobyl Workers Now (VQR Vimeo)

Justin Jin: Tuva Reborn (Panos)

Stefan Boness: Going it Alone in Asmara (Panos) Eritrea

Damon Winter: Double Diagnosis (NYT) Lives Restored series [video]

You can see a shorter edit of Lynsey Addario’s Gaza series I shared last time on main VII site…

Lynsey Addario: Gaza (VII)

Ashley Gilbertson: Occupy Wall Street (VII Magazine)

Platon: Democracy Now : Russian Activists (Photo Booth)

Dmitry Kostyukov: Living on the Edge : Central Asians in Russia (FT Magazine)

George Osodi: Rape of Paradise (Panos)

Chris de Bode: Exodus (Panos Vimeo)

Paula Bronstein:  Myanmar’s hidden capital Naypyitaw (Getty)

Pep Bonet: El Futuro Es Sus Manos (Noor)

Spencer Platt: Inner City Boxing Gym (CNN Photo blog)

Emily Schiffer: Securing Food in Chicagoland (Lightbox)

Yuri Kozyrev: Sochi, location of 2012 Winter Olympics (NOOR)

Rob Hornstra: The Sochi Project (Project website)

Ester Jove Soligue: Encampment on New Jersey Cliffs (NYT Lens) Soligue’s website

Ton Koene: Steel Town (zReportage)

Kathleen Flynn: Fight to Recover (zReportage)

London based photographer Anders Birger has been to Syria recently… Not many photographers can say that.

Anders Birger: Living in the Shadow of Assad (Demotix)

Guy Martin: Libya’s Lost (Panos)

Jessica Pons: Garden of Ashes (Foto8) Pons’ website

Magnum Photos’ year in review…

photo: Christopher Anderson
USA. NYC. 2011. Andrew Kinard photographed at his apartment in midtown. Andrew lost his legs to an explosion in Iraq as a Marine in 2006.

Magnum Photos: 2011 : The Year in Review

Time photo editors picks of best photojournalism to appear in the magazine in 2011… Includes the below James Nachtwey photo from Kesennuma, Japan, which I remember having seen in black and white before… [You can compare the colour and monochrome versions here]

photo: James Nachtwey A lone house in an overflowed river in Kesennuma, Japan on March 15, 2011.

Time’s Best Photojournalism of 2011

WSJ: Photos of the Year 2011

photo: Chris Hondros

Getty Images: The Year in Focus

photo: Ed Ou

Reportage by Getty Images: 2011 – Year in Review 

New York Times: Year in New York Pictures (NYT Lens)

MSNBC: Pictures of the Year for 2011

Boston Globe Big Picture : The Year in Pictures pt 1 | pt 2 | pt 3 out on Friday this week

Most surprising photos of 2011 picked by Time photo editors…

A prison-transport vehicle sinks into a river after it was allegedly commandeered by escaped prisoners on the outskirts of Cairo. Several prisons saw revolts and break-ins after police retreated from most areas. Jan. 31, 2011

photo: Dominic Nahr  [The above photo looked really familiar. Realised I had seen the same scene in a Guy Martin photo. Compare the two here.]

Time magazine: The Most Surprising Photos of 2011

Time’s Best Portraits of 2011

Le Monde M magazine recently gave a carte blanche to a selected group of photographers around the world to shoot whatever they wanted in their home city…

photo: Tomas Munita in Santiago, Chile

Le Monde (various photographers): Carte blanche

Don’t usually link to travel pieces, but since this is shot by Adam Ferguson…

Adam Ferguson: In Cambodia, a Pocket of the Past (NYT)

Afghan Box Camera Project (Project website)

Clara Vanucci: Observing Holidays Behind Bars (NYT Lens)

Lisa Wiltse: Daulatdia Brothel (Visura) Bangladesh

Ciara Leeming: Elvira and Me (Issuu)

Marc Laita: American Extremes (Guardian)

Russell Monk: Open-Air Studio (NYT Lens)

Kim Jong Il passed away…Some notable North Korea essays from this and the last couple of years…

Damir Sagolj: North Korea’s Hunger Crisis (NYT Lens)

Irina Kalashnikova: North Korea (Reportage)

David Guttenfelder: Life in the Cult of Kim 

David Guttenfelder: North Korea in the Autumn (Denver Post)

Adam Dean:  All Hail the Great Successor! (Panos)

Tomas van Houtryve: North Korea: Secrets and Lies (VII)

Christopher Morris: Daily Life in North Korea (VII)

Sean Gallagher: Inside North Korea (burn)

See also…Kim Jong Phil and of course… Kim Yong-Il Looking at Things

Adam Dean: 2011 – The Year in Pictures (Photographer’s website)

Interviews  

Michael Nichols (CPN)

Stanley Green (Photo Raw)

Don McCullin (National Media Museum)

Stephanie Sinclair (NPR)

Damon Winter (NYT Lens)

David Guttenfelder (NPR)

Massoud Hossaini (AFP)

Annie Leibovitz (Newsweek)

Really nice interview with Ben Lowy…

Ben Lowy (Pop Photo)

Ben Lowy (CNN via Reportage Tumblr)

Lucia Herrero (e-photoreview)

Kadir van Lohuizen : Via PanAm part V (Nikon blog)

Alex Webb (MSNBC)

David Hurn (IdeasTap)

Anders Petersen (Lens Culture)

Bruce Davidson (New York Review of Books)

Shannon Stapleton : The Future of Iraq (Reuters blog)

Barbara Davidson : Back story on a ‘haunting’ image of famine in Africa (LA Times)

Matt Dunham : The story behind the news pictures (BBC)

Leon Neal: A year in the life of a press photographer (BBC)

Sanjit Das (PhotoShelter)

Giles Duley (PDN)

Giles Duley (5×15)

Monika Bulaj : The hidden light of Afghanistan (TED)

Sean Gallagher (Pulitzer Center)

Amanda Rivkin (National Geographic)

Steve McCurry’s One-Minute Masterclass #10 (Phaidon)

Steve McCurry’s One-Minute Masterclass #9 (Phaidon)

Timothy Saccenti : How I Got That Shot: Tricky Lights Up (PDN)

Jerry Uelsmann (NYT Lens)

Articles

Must read. BJP put the excellent Olivier Laurent post-processing report online already… Discusses Italian 10b lab and the work they do with Noor’s Yuri Kozyrev…includes fascinating examples frames before and after processing…

photos: Yuri Kozyrev . Post production: 10b Photography

BJP: Post-processing in the digital age: Photojournalists and 10b Photography

NYT: Their War at Home: Iraqi War Photographers | See also related Lens post

James Brabazon looks back at the previously unpublished final shots of Tim Hetherington…

Guardian: Tim Hetherington in Libya: witness to war

Also.

Guardian: Tim Hetherington remembered by Idil Ibrahim

Lightbox: In Memory of Photographers We Lost in 2011

CPJ: For journalists, coverage of political unrest 

MSN News: Shooting under fire: A journalist’s tale

PetaPixel: NYT Sends Angry Letter to NYPD Over Treatment of Photographer

Good.is: Where Have All the Photojournalists Gone?

Usagelicense.com: Understanding Usage Licenses

Guardian: The Month in Photography 

PDN: Top 15 Objects of Desire of 2011: A Gift Guide for Photographers

PhotoShelter: The Photo Gear Pro Photographers Want for the Holidays

PDN: Object of Desire: Schneider Optics iPro Lens System

Andrew DeVigal: Redefining Interactive Narratives & Multimedia Storytelling

On Editing (various photographers) (Hernan Zenteno blog)

BBC: Two students seeking an MA in Photojournalism: Part II

PDN: The Year in Photo News

Professional Photographer: 100 Most influential photographers of all time

Lens blog:  Kamber Looks Back on War (NYT)

Two Swedish journalists in trouble in Ethiopia. One of them is photographer Johan Persson

BBC News:  Swedish journalists found guilty in Ethiopia

Lacoste. FAIL.

PDN: Lacoste Elysée photo prize cancelled over project inspired by Palestinian push for statehood

BJP: Was the Lacoste Elysée Photography Prize censored?

BBC: A question of ethics: Photographers in the spotlight

Desmond Boylan: A photo blog without photos (Reuters blog)

Guardian: Best Photography in 2011

The Independent: Photo books of the year

Guardian:  12 best photobooks of the year by Sean O’Hagan

Top 20 Photobooks of 2011 by Alec Soth

NJ.com: Legacy of Syracuse student killed in Lockerbie bombing lives on through Alexia foundation

Jake Stangel:  is it lame to pay assistants $200/day editorial?

BBC: In Pictures: Nigerians Behind the Lens

BBC: The 75 years of pioneering photojournalism at Life magazine

PDN: What Can a Publicist Do for You?

Guardian: Ryan McGinley’s best shot

Verve: Jonathan Saruk

Verve: Jérémie Souteyrat

Scott Strazzante: iPhone Hipstamatic- still bad for photojournalism?

BJP: National Media Museum’s director steps down after news of restructuring

LeBron James. What. a. Dick.

Dead Spin: LeBron James Wouldn’t Let Walter Iooss Jr., Who Was Photographing Him For Nike, Speak Directly To Him

Videos

Shoot and Move On: A Day In The Life of Street Photographers (Youtube)

multiMedia

Life Force Magazine

Bloomberg Photos Tumbrl

Crowd Funding 

Filmmakers seeking funds for Don McCullin documentary (BJP)

Fiona Rogers is selling a Firecracker  diary to gather fund for a Firecracker photography grant…Go and get yourself a calendar…

photo seen in the diary by Dana Popa

Firecracker 2012 diary: Supporting European women photographers and the 2012 Firecracker Photographic Grant

Newsmotion by Newsmotion.org (Kickstarter)

Awards, Grants, and Competition

Unicef Photo of the Year has been chosen… Interesting detail: boy in the winning photo looks to be wearing a Barcelona shirt which of course is sponsored by Unicef

photo: Kai Löffelbein

Unicef Photo of the Year Winners | Slideshow on Der Spiegel website and on Guardian site

Hope for a Healthy World Photo Competition

 Magenta Flash Forward submissions

The 2012 World Press Photo Multimedia Contest website is now open for registration

POYi Calling for Entries

Terry O’Neill Award winners

Mikhael Subotsky is the winner of 2012 Standard Bank Young Artist Award

 2012 Sony World Photography Awards

Walid Raad Hasselblad Award Winner 2011

Agencies 

NOOR December newsletter

Noor Images Archive

Jobs

Agence France-Presse seeks photojournalist

Save The Children UK : Media Manager – multi-media (film & photography)

Photographers

Didn’t know Paul Fusco had his own website… His RFK Funeral Train has always been  a huge inspiration…

Paul Fusco

JM Lopez

Rafael Fabres

Amelia Shepherd

Ted McDonnell

To finish off…

Check out Shepard Fairey’s Obey Giant made out of a Yuri Kozyrev pic…

Several good posts by Shit Photojournalists Like  recently… Do see!

You shouldn’t miss Missy giving the lowdown on being a professional photographer either

And…Lego Pictures of the Year

And… Judge Joe Brown – Cheap wedding photographer

0
Your rating: None

I arrived in the South Side of Chicago in June 2011 anticipating tall buildings clustered together and people relaxing on stoops, similar to my Brooklyn neighborhood. Instead, the large, century-old single family homes and sprawling lawns conjured visions of suburbia. Despite the frequency of blight, the wide tree-lined streets oozed tranquility. Yet within my first days in Chicago, segregation overwhelmed me. I quickly noticed that blacks and whites rarely mix, that the systematic neglect of black neighborhoods imprisons residents, and that an unexplained white woman strolling through neighborhood streets seemed to make people uncomfortable.

I’d come to Chicago after receiving a Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund  grant to pursue a project about the city’s problems with food security and its urban agriculture movement. Around 384,000 people without transportation live more than a mile from a grocery store and have difficulty obtaining healthy options. But, because race weighs so heavily upon Chicago, I quickly became most interested the historical context of this modern day crisis. Time and again, I encountered mistrust and hostility on both sides: I swam through white entitlement on the north side, and black suspicion on the south. Still, people seemed relieved and eager to talk when I mentioned the ever-present segregation.

Chicago is one of those places where you can see recent U.S. history sprawled out before you, linear-timeline-style. From Industrialization to The Great Migration, to Redlining, to institutional segregation, to the refusal of banks to invest in black areas, to the departure of industry—the local economy, emotional empowerment, physical health and education have been stunted. Food security connects with the aforementioned issues, and is one way of examining the larger context.

The more time I spent in Chicago, the clearer it became that the solution to food security requires more than just food. At grocery stores, I saw shopping carts overflowing with processed products, regardless of whether the store sold fruit and vegetables.  Conversely, I visited community gardens and witnessed the profound power of gardening to inspire healthy living, reduce stress and connect those involved with a larger purpose.  Yet the reality is that not everyone in the community is interested in gardening or buying healthy food. Further, Chicago’s brutal winters limit the outdoor growing season to roughly three months.

Halfway through my first month of shooting, I met Orrin Williams, the founder and director of the Center for Urban Transformation. Born and raised in the South Side community of Englewood, he is familiar with Chicago’s problems and invested in finding holistic solutions. After 30 some years advocating urban agriculture and sustainable communities, Mr. Williams is convinced that building chain grocery stores won’t fix the problems. Instead, Mr. Williams has devised a holistic community redevelopment plan. Williams seeks to convert abandoned buildings into locally owned businesses that will enable the community to thrive. These entities include: year round indoor gardens, health and exercise facilities, stress-reduction centers, healthy cooking schools, community centers, arts education centers, and, perhaps most innovative, a new model of small grocery stores that provide affordable healthy food and free onsite cooking instruction.

Willing to engage me in hours of thought-provoking conversation, introduce me to people and places who add depth and breath to my project and be seen with a white woman, Mr. Williams has been an essential partner in my work.

In the next phase of this project, Mr. Williams and I are working together to create a public art installation that invites Chicagoans to visualize what a sustainable community would look like. I want my photographs to do something tangible, and I want to recognize and unite others who have done substantive documentary work in Chicago. Inspired by the belief that a collective voice is stronger than that of one person, we are seeking other photographers to collaborate with. Our images will be printed onto weatherproof material and installed on blighted buildings. Alongside the images will be text asking viewers to envision the blighted structure as a community center, grocery store or cooking school/ Viewers will be invited to voice their support by signing a petition via text messaging. For more information please view our Kickstarter campaign.

Emily Schiffer is a Brooklyn-based photographer. 

0
Your rating: None