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Laura El-Tantawy

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Too often the subjects of images of Africa seem to be reduced to symbols - viewers do not encounter them as fully rounded human beings, rarely seeing journalistic images of the middle class, artists or the cultural heritage of African countries. Peter DiCampo, with his iPhone, endeavors to address this.

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Features and Essays

I love 15th of every month as the following month’s National Geographic features hit their feature hub… Two good photojournalism pieces in the October issue…which I’m very much hoping to receive in the mail…We became annual subscribers for the first time…Time mag too… Buying single copies ends up getting rather costly…

Terrific photos by Kitra Cahana…Subject: “Moody. Impulsive. Maddening. Why do teenagers act the way they do? “…

Kitra Cahana: Teenage Brains (NGM: October 2011) Cahana’s website

Mark Leong: Ulanbaatar, Mongolia (NGM: September 2011)

If you enjoyed Leong’s essay, do also see Timothy Fadek’s Mongolia work…done last year, but definitely worth having a look, if you aren’t familiar with it…

Timothy Fadek: Mongolia: Golden Promises (Photographer’s website: September 2011)

Uriel Sinai documents life West Bank settlements as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas prepares to ask the United Nations for statehood…

Uriel Sinai: Inside West Bank Settlements (Time: September 2011)


Amnon Gutman: The Promised Land (Foreign Policy: September 2011)

Julien Goldstein: Ramallah: Portrait of a West Bank City (MSNBC: September 2011)

Stefan Boness: White City (Panos: September 2011) Tel Aviv

To other stories…

Dominic Nahr: Somalia: The Catastrophic Famine (Magnum: September 2011)

Larry Towell: Afghanistan 2011: MEDEVAC and the Taliban Close-up (Magnum: September 2011)

Denis Dailleux: Scenes from a Ghana Witch Camp (Newsweek: September 2011)

Mads Nissen: Chinese Roulette (Panos: September 2011)

Warrick Page: Pakistan Floods (Guardian: September 2011)

Seamus Murphy: 17 Years in Afghanistan (Life: September 2011)

New York Times: Repressing the Religious Majority (NYT: September 2011) Photographer’s name withheld probably for security reasons

Brendan Corr: Faithful Albion (Panos: September 2011)

Chiara Tocci: Life After Zog (Foto8: September 2011) Tocci’s website

New Yorker: Beyond Words: Photography in the New Yorker (New Yorker: September 2011)

Sam Phelps: Train Portraits Pakistan (Photographer’s website: September 2011)

Sam Phelps: Gadani Ship Breaking Yard, Pakistan (Photographer’s website: September 2011)

Steven Siewert: Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly! (Agence Vu: 2011)

Piotr Malecki: Where Meat Means Money (Panos: September 2011)

Martina Bacigalupo: Wanawake, Being a Woman in Congo (Agence Vu: 2011)

I didn’t know Ara Güler is a Magnum photographer…That’s what Guardian states anyway, and indeed his photos are in the Magnum archive, eventhough he is not listed in the members….Enjoyed these Istanbul frames…Especially since we are heading there end of November for Veronica’s 25th birthday…

Ara Güler: Istanbul (Guardian: September 2011)

Newsweek: The Mexican Suitcase: History Lost and Found (Newsweek: September 2011) Related in NYT T Magazine

Ron Haviv: Blood on the Grass (VII Magazine: September 2011)

Ron Haviv: The Making of Dan Choi (Global Post: September 2011)

Kate Brooks: In the Light of Darkness: A Photographer’s Journey After 9/11 (TIME LB: September 2011)

TIME Lightbox featured some of the great work available for purchase at Friends of Anton to support Anton Hammerl’s children…

photo: Kenneth Jarecke

TIME Lightbox: Banding Together for a Fallen Colleague: The Friends of Anton (TIME LB: September 2011)

Also available at Friends of Anton…Yuri Kozyrev’s iconic Libya photo… Remember the moment he took it?  Others running away, but Yuri still shooting behind Tyler Hicks.

It’s great so many photographers have donated prints…Now they need people buying ‘em!

More features…

Allison Payne: College Bound (TIME LB: September 2011)

Zhe Chen: Bees (Inge Morath Foundation: September 2011)

Elinor Carucci: Pregnancy, Birth, and Motherhood (TIME LB: September 2011)

Lori Grinker: Piecing Together an Ancestral Puzzle (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Greg Constantine: The Places Where Nowhere Is Home (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Andre Liohn: Arab Spring (Photographer’s archive: September 2011)

Etienne de Malglaive: Storming Tripoli (Photographer’s archive: September 2011)


Photographer Kitra Cahana talks about her NatGeo assignment about teenagers…

Kitra Cahana (NG: September 2011)

Toby Smith (MorningNews: September 2011)

Martin Parr and his fancy new camera…he seems to be pretty excited about it as you can see below…

Martin Parr (Youtube: September 2011)

Although, it’s not really his camera, is it? Magnum have partnered with Nintendo…. Related  on PopPhoto and PetaPixel

Some really good interviews on the Ideas Tap website…

George Georgiou : Photographer (IdeasTap: September 2011)

“I invest myself emotionally in the people I photograph – not just to gain their trust but also to make myself feel comfortable. I’m not a quick, brash photographer – I was encouraged at Newport to understand compassion and humility and understanding, and that’s something I’ve tried to adhere to. “- Ivor Prickett

Ivor Prickett : Photojournalist (IdeasTap: September 2011)

“Realistically, unless you’re an individual like Ryan McGinley, it’s going to take 10 years to establish yourself: five years to pay the rent and five years to hone your practice. But the beauty about photography is, if you make it work for you, you never have to retire” – David Birkett

David Birkett : Photography Assistant (IdeasTap: September 2011)

Laura El-Tantawy (Burn: September 2011)

Martin Roemers (Noorderlicht festival: 2011)

Hans Aarsman (Ted Talks video on Conscientious: 2011)

Sebastian Junger (Guardian: September 2011)

Damon Winter (APE: September 2011)

Erroll Morris :  Truth Outside Photographs (NPR: September 2011)

Doug Mills (C-Span: 2008)

Jason Howe (BBC: September 2011)

Fernando Moleres (BJP: September 2011)

Michael Mack : Mack Books: From print to the iPad (BJP: September 2011)

Platon on Perry: Behind the Scenes of the Cover of TIME (TIME LB: September 2011)

Philip-Lorca diCorcia (ASX: 2011)

Kosuke Okahara (La Lettre: September 2011)

Philip Cheung (Thisisthewhat: 2011)

Pete Brook (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Pete Brook (BJP blog: September 2011)


John Stanmeyer has written more about working for National  Geographic…

Must read. John Stanmeyer: The Amazing Yellow-Bordered Magazine, Part II (Photographer’s blog: September 2011) Side note: Noticed Stanmayer’s blog presents us a differently processed file from his NGM Girl Power story. His own vision?

Joao Silva back at work…

NYT Lens: Joao Silva at the White House (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Olivier Sarbil was injured in Libya last week…

French freelance journalist wounded in Libya as NTC battles on (Vanguard: September 17, 2011)

Olivier’s friends have shared info on Facebook that he is now back in France, at Percy Hospital in Paris – a military hospital that specializes in injuries from the battlefield. I wish him good recovery. | Olivier’s website

Very good piece on pricing your work….

Jessica Hische: The Dark Art of Pricing (Jessica Hische blog: 2011)

Guardian: Joel Sternfeld’s First Pictures: the opening chapter of a colourful career (Guardian: September 2011)

photo: Peter van Agtmael

Leo Hsu: HomeFrontLine at Silver Eye (Foto8: September 2011) the exhibition

photo: Christopher Anderson

BJP: iPublish: Photojournalists turn to the iPad to tell their stories (BJP: September 2011)

BBC: On Bruce Davidson Subway photos (BBC: September 2011)

Foto8: Preview of Jocelyn Bain Hogg’s new book The Family (foto8: September 2011)

Thames and Hudson: Magnum Contact Sheets: Design # 2 – The Jacket (Thames and Hudson blog: September 2011)

David Campbell: Who Believes Photographs (DC: September 2011)

PDN: Burmese Photojournalist Sentenced to 10 More Years (PDN: September 2011)

APE: Real World Estimates – Magazine Article Reprints by Jess Dudley (APE: September 2011)


Poynter: Daily Mail lifts from WP, then asks its reporter for help finding photo (Poynter: September 2011)

Life: Taking Great Portraits (Life: September 2011)

Huffington Post: Reuters Raises Profile With Marquee Hires, Editor Aims To Become ‘Best In The World’ (HP: September 2011)

The 14 Most Influential Cameras of All Time (Adorama: September 2011)

Guardian: Featured photojournalist: Attila Balazs (Guardian: September 2011)

Guardian: Wolfgang Tillmans’s best shot (Guardian: September 2011)

photo: Jason Lee

Reuters: Unmasking the masked boy (Reuters blog: September 2011)

NPR: A Teenager’s Photo That Helped Inspire Libya’s Revolutionaries (NPR: September 2011)

Crowd funding…

PhotoShelter : 14 Tips to Crowdfund Your Next Photo Project (PS: September 2011)

Social Media Examiner: 11 Tips for Crowdfunding: How to Raise Money From Strangers 


Epen Rasmussen : Transit : Frontline Club : 7pm Thursday : 22 September


World Press Photo Enter

Awards, Grant, and Competitions

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize shortlisted works seen in the Guardian last week… (see that bigger here)

BJP: Shortlist unveiled for Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011

International Photography Award 2011 | Deadline extended | Entries close 26th September 2011

Unicef POY 2011 (Lightstalkers)

Conscientious Portfolio Competition 2011 Winners

Congratulations to Matt Dunham and other winners at The Picture Editors’ Guild Awards… AP photographer overall winner in press photography awards |slideshow The Picture Editors’ Guild Awards 2011 (Guardian: September 2011)

BJP: Deadline approaching for Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award

Young Photographer of the Year Competition 2011 


MSF Delivers 3D film exhibition at Spitalfields market in London from 22nd to 27th September…I went to Duckrabbit/MSF 3D photofilm premiere on Monday at Royal Society of Medicine here in London, I was very impressed.


Annie Leibovitz : Life Through a Lens 

Nick Turpin: In- sight

Portfolio reviews

Roof Unit Portfolio Reviews 



Samuel Aranda

Jamie-James Medina

Scott Goldsmith

Katherine Leedale

Mary Turner | archive

To finish off… Dingle!!!!

Final end note…The Twitter feed has now 20,000 followers. Can’t be all bots,so thanks for following.I’ll try my best to keep the tweets relevant and interesting…

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Burn has just contributed $2,000. to the crowd funding effort for Laura to photograph her homeland, Egypt. This funding for Laura comes from you. From your generous contributions to Burn and by purchasing our books. This is our pay back/ pay forward. We will be doing more assignment work with photographers of all kinds, cooperating with organizations like and doing some on our own. One way or another we will do our part to get photographers working on projects of significant importance. Either in journalism or in art.

Our big push in 2012 will be to only be publishing original work done specifically for Burn. As we just did with much of the work now in Burn02. Burn readers will have the first look at Laura’s new Egypt work. Both Laura and all of us at Burn thank you for your support.

Below is an unedited skype call with Laura:

DAH: Well Laura, we’ve known each other for a long time and I know your Egypt work. We  are anxious to get involved with you on some new Egypt work. I think the readers of BURN already know a little bit about you – they’ve seen your Cairo work during the revolution, you were an EPF finalist, and they know you from the India farmers suicide project – basically  they’ve seen some of your Egypt work in general, so tell us what you’re getting ready to do if your funding comes through for What do you want to do this time?


LET: The main reason for the funding is that I want to go on a one-year trip across the country. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do – just for my own self and I think this is the best time to do it to get a sense of what’s happening in the country in terms of everything, the way people are thinking, the way the country is looking. I think it’s that phase where there is that transition happening right now and some people are thinking…they are still coping with that, what just happened with that change and has that change filtered into anything real that people can sense in their day-to-day lives and compare it to what it was before?


DAH: When you’re looking at Egypt, are you driven more by current events or are you driven more by the overall history and culture of Egypt in general – or some combination?


LET: The overall culture and history is mostly what I’m interested in precisely because I feel like Egypt has always know every photo book that I have seen about Egypt has generally been about the Ancient Egyptians and the Pharaohs, the whole archeological aspect. We rarely really see anything about modern Egypt –what people look like and what life is like in Egypt. That’s what has always intrigued me from the beginning about Egypt: I want to show that aspect to counterbalance that exotic image that we have because it’s not all exotic, that’s in our history but now it’s a different reality. Of course with the current events, well you know, I think all current events happening right now are important, but for me, the ones that are really important are like the elections, because these are decisive and they’re really going to affect what’s going to happen next. Something like the Mubarak trial, which is happening right now, while I’m in Egypt, if those hearings are happening, I’ll definitely go and stay outside the courtroom to get those pictures, because that’s part of the story. Regardless of what people are saying that the hearings maybe staged or whatever, I think it’s historic to see these people, who were realistically owning and running the country, behind bars.


DAH: well, if you were looking down the line and I know you have mentioned this to me before, but maybe our audience doesn’t know about it in general, I know that you have looked towards doing a book on Egypt, is that right?


LET: yes


DAH: The only thing I am thinking is that let’s say three or four years from now when hopefully your book will still be sitting on everybody’s coffee table around the world, how important are the current events that are happening now going to be in a book that’s sitting on a coffee table three or four years from now?


LET: It’s a good question. I think it’s all part of the history. When we look at it at that moment it’s kind of like a historical document and it’s not just the current events, but really any picture in that book because everything is changing everyday and I think any picture in that book at that moment is going to be part of the history. I think particularly those current events, like the trial of Mubarak the former President of the country for 30 years, I think it’s going to gain more relevance and importance then than it even has now, in my opinion. That’s why I wanted to go to Egypt during the revolution anyways, it was because it was important for my own history and I think that is something that I’m feeling obviously a lot more with this work than the other stuff I do because it is about me – it is about how I feel and how I feel about the country and where the country is going and the kind of memories that it brings back to me. It’s about my childhood, my future, you know, my current time. Everything.


DAH: As an outside observer looking at your work I find you to be a very lyrical photographer – you’re a very artistic image maker and at the same time I have seen you take on news events, like the revolution in Cairo, and you’ve done a brilliant job with that as well. It will be interesting for me to see which way you lean in terms of a book on Egypt – whether you lean more towards events or whether you lean more towards everyday life. What do you think?


LET: Well, I’m not going to concentrate on current events all the time, you know what I mean? I started the work in 2005 and when I started the work in 2005 it was about everyday life, mostly from a street perspective. I think what I really want to do more now is actually gain more access to people’s homes and look beyond the streets. I think the streets are extremely important because I feel like for me, the sense that I got about Egypt in terms of the turbulence, the isolation of the people and that something was about to happen – I got that from the streets. It was catalyzed by conversations I was having with my family and my friends about the situation behind doors, but the streets can give you a very good sense of what’s happening in the country. It’s the body language and everything about the people – I mean people were walking on the street talking to themselves, literally. But I don’t know. If you are talking about current events like a 50/50 balance between current events and day-to-day life, then it’s hard to say now, but knowing myself it’s going to be like 20 percent current events and the rest daily life because for me that’s what is more interesting anyways.


DAH: Well, I can’t project my feelings about your work onto what you’re getting ready to do, but if I were going to sit down and appreciate a book on Egypt by Laura El-Tantawy, I would be thinking more of everyday life rather than current events because it takes one hell of a current event picture to last more than a few days or a few weeks at least, so…


LET: To be honest with you, I don’t necessarily feel I’m really a current events photographer – like from a news perspective, I’m not sure I am somebody you can put where a current event is happening and really get one picture that tells the story. I don’t think I’m like that and I don’t really feel like I do that very well, maybe it’s a weakness, maybe it’s not, I don’t know, but I’m not really a current events photographer.


DAH: well, I think you handled the Cairo revolution very, very well. I think you did do very well with current events and you got certain kinds of current event pictures that nobody else got, so I think you can do it and I think there are some current event pictures that you have in that take that lift way beyond the current event. You know my favorite of the guy in the palm tree – you say he’s not really in the palm tree, but it looks like he’s in the palm tree, the guy standing up on top of a statue I guess is what it is with the palm tree in the background – that’s a symbolic picture that was taken at a current event but could be good anytime.


LET: yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you mean.


DAH: No, I don’t think of you as a current events photographer either, I look at you as better than a current events photographer in the sense that I think you are able to interpret the everyday life in a very special way, and so that’s probably what I would look for if I were going to buy a Laura El-Tantawy book.


LET: well, I hope I can keep that up! Actually, one of the things I should add is that I am going to also be shooting video this time. I started to do some experimenting with video when I was in Tahrir and that was actually fun and I think it added a different dimension for me. So I’m going to try to be doing that as I travel around the country.


DAH: Do you think that you’ll be able to concentrate on your normal style of photography and be able to do video simultaneously?


LET: I think in this particular situation, yes, I mean hopefully. It’s hard to say when you’re not in the situation and just projecting what’s going to happen, but I think yes – yes, even more than in Tahrir because in Tahrir you were bombarded by stuff around you the whole time and eventually it became a question of should I use my phone (I was taking video on my phone because it was the only thing I had at the time), but I was like, should I do this or should I be taking a picture? It was really a conflict at that moment, but I think on a long one-year journey like that, I’m going to have more time to reflect and think. There’s definitely more time to think about it.


DAH: That will be interesting to see how you handle that because I’m not so sure about that because you know how it is, it never seems like every picture situation seems like, OK, you’re going to have to work on this now, there doesn’t ever seem to be like long periods of time for one to reflect on things – usually you have to make a decision very quickly whether you’re going to go one way or the other…


LET: yes, but I think you are thinking of taking a video of the same situation that you’re photographing, whereas I’m thinking that the video is going to be something to compliment the pictures but not repeat them. So the video is going to be of different things that I am not really inclined to photograph, you know what I mean? I would like to really use both platforms to compliment each other rather than, OK, this is a video of the same situation that I photographed, so in that way I see more of a balance.


DAH: Yeah, well, it’s obviously the trend, it’s what more and more people are trying to do and you’re in a new, younger generation than am I, and I think that is definitely the trend. I’m still very curious to see how that’s going to work out. I haven’t seen very many good examples of where people have been able to do both  No doubt I have missed some great work out there..


LET: you’re shooting video at the moment, right? I thought you said you were


DAH: No, I’m not shooting video


LET: Ah, I thought you said at some point you were


DAH: No, I haven’t…for me, shooting video and shooting stills on the same subject would be, I think, very difficult unless I took two weeks off and just did video and then, I would probably think, oh my goodness, I wish I had a still of that situation, or the other way around. No if I’m doing video and stills I’m going to have somebody else who is doing the video just because for me it’s too big of a jump to go back and forth from one to the other. But again, as I said, you’re from a different generation and I think a lot of young photographers, just like you, are combining those two things, but I just haven’t seen great examples of that – I’ve seen people do it, but I’m always frustrated by 99 percent of what I see. Just when I’m starting to watch a video it turns back to stills and just when I get into the stills, it all of a sudden turns into a video and for me, most of the time it’s annoying, but I would love to see somebody do it right. So I’m hoping you can be that person.


LET: Well, yeah, we’ll see. It’s a one-year journey so there will be time to think about stuff. We’ll see how it goes.


DAH: Well, you’re a brilliant still photographer and I think you could do the whole thing with stills, but as I said, there’s so many people doing the video and so many people that are trying to do the video, that I think somewhere along the line somebody’s going to come up with a really interesting way of putting the two things together. But you do see a lot of it that it’s done because they can do it, rather than they should have done it.


LET: yeah, I know what you mean.


DAH: In any case Laura it’s going to be fascinating to see what you do with this. You obviously need some more funding somewhere along the line to spend a whole year in Egypt, this will just get you started and we’re happy that we can be a part of this – we were happy to be a small part of your Cairo revolution photography, where I think you really did show a very special vision of that revolution that was different from what a lot of news photographers did, and I have every confidence that you’re going to be able to do the same thing in the whole country.


LET: Thank you very much. You know, I’m wondering – just putting it out there – as a BURN reader I would be curious to know how I can get a project that is up on part funded by BURN?


DAH: That’s a very good question and yes, I think you will be the first one that we’ve sponsored through, but we got a little bit of sponsorship money for you last time, as you remember as well – somebody just saw what you were shooting in BURN and they gave you some money. But then we started thinking, wait a minute, you might be able to do much better if it’s crowd funded on and they can raise more money so that you could do more work and if we can a big piece of that, then we can publish more pictures of yours. So we thought that this might be the best way to go, so it’s a little bit of an experiment on our part but we like the people and I think, yeah, we will entertain suggestions from everybody. One thing that you don’t know is that we are changing a little bit the way that we are going to work with photographers in the future. We’re going to work a little bit more like other magazines have always worked, where we will get to know the photographers a little bit better than just having them submit work and then us reconfiguring a few pictures – we’re going to really look at their websites, really look at them and their personalities and think in terms of having at least a little bit of a cadre of photographers that work for us on a pretty regular basis. I mean you know, we can’t have a staff, we can’t have contracts or anything like that, but we can have a few photographers who we like, who like us, and we can develop a little bit of a relationship for the future in terms of working on specific projects. So I think, we’re going to be doing more portfolio reviews as a group and we’re going to be studying photographers more and spending a lot of time with them and working a little more with other people in the same way that we’ve worked with you, actually.


LET: Yeah, I think that would be great. I think a lot of people would be interested in that.


DAH: I think so, I mean we’ll see how it goes. Again, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it. We’ve been extremely successful with BURN02 as we were with BURN01 and so that would sort of spin your head around a little bit because we’re selling books at a phenomenal rate – I mean we’re selling 30 of those a day, so it’s a rather amazing thing. But just because you can do that doesn’t mean that you should do that, so that’s what we’re trying to figure out, how we manage our own personal careers and how we also help to manage other people’s careers. Yeah, we’re really kind of into career management kind of a thing with BURN, as much as, you know, putting out a book and a magazine. We’re interested in the photographers and who they are and what they want to do. We want to make it as personalized as we possibly can, which is what we’ve actually always done, we just want to even make it more so. Sorry , I digress. My enthusiasm gets carried away sometimes…


DAH: Just one other question for you, Laura. Explain to the readers one more time, you are of an Egyptian nationality and yet you have lived about 75 or 80 percent of your life away from Egypt. How does that affect you working in Egypt – do Egyptians know that you haven’t spent your whole life there? Does that have a positive effect or a negative effect? How does that affect you and how does that affect the people that you’re photographing?


LET: This is a tough one for me even to look at, to be honest with you. I don’t know – I mean when I’m in Egypt sometimes people don’t think I’m Egyptian and yet I tell them I am Egyptian and I speak to them in Arabic and their like, yeah, whatever, you’re not Egyptian. You know, I really don’t know what to make of that, to be honest with you. It’s totally confusing, even for me. I do feel that obviously I have changed a lot as a person and the way I think about stuff. I feel like I am Egyptian heritage wise, but whether the fact that I have lived abroad is a good thing or a negative thing when it comes to photographing Egypt, I don’t know. It makes me feel slightly uncomfortable, to be honest….


DAH: How do they know? Can they just tell by the way that you dress? The way you act?


LET: yeah, maybe the way you act, the way you dress, that kind of thing. I don’t really know what it is. In Egypt you see all kinds of people, so I don’t think it’s particularly that, but people know, or maybe it’s just the kind of places I hang out. I like to go to an area in Old Cairo where a lot of tourists hang out, but that’s just because it’s really beautiful and I feel it’s really Egyptian in a way, so maybe because their used to seeing tourists, they think I am a tourist as well. I’m really not sure what it is. But basically my point is, whether me living abroad as an Egyptian for so long and coming back to photograph, I think a lot of people can look at me and say, you know, what right do you have? You’ve lived away from the country for so long, so what do you really know? But in many cases I look at people who have lived away from Egypt, like myself, and they’re a lot more connected and educated about what’s happening in Egypt now than people inside Egypt themselves. You know when people live in a situation they can become completely blind to it and I actually saw that a lot during the revolution with people that I know – they were completely blinded by what’s happening. It’s kind of like they were under the spell of this place that they’re surrounded by, whereas when you live abroad and you come back you have something to compare it to. You know this is not the way it’s supposed to be and that the way people are walking on the street talking to themselves, this is just not normal. It’s a sign that something is fundamentally wrong in the country.


DAH: Do you think they might think that you’re not Egyptian just because you’re photographing as a professional photographer? Is being a woman photographer a really unusual thing to see for most Egyptians?


LET: I think it used to be, but when I was in Tahrir Square there were so many people with cameras, particularly women, so I don’t really know. I mean, yeah, it’s still sort of new trend kind of thing and yes, of course, if you are walking around with a camera, they probably think you’re a tourist, which is fine by me. I actually rather people think I am a tourist when I’m photographing  because, you’ve been to Egypt, you’ve seen immediately pointing the camera at something makes people paranoid. So in many cases I have actually played it to my advantage and pretended that I am a tourist just to that I can work. But generally, I don’t know, it’s a touchy area for me because I feel that I can comfortably talk about it but at the same time I feel like I haven’t lived there long enough and I feel uncomfortable about maybe what people are going to say. You know what I mean? I think that I have probably confused the whole question!


DAH: No, No, No. I think you have answered it well. You don’t really know exactly how that’s going to play out. I mean I have photographed in my own culture, like I was just in Iowa photographing my own culture, where my family is from,  and they knew I wasn’t from there either. My mom and dad are from there , I look just like everybody there, but they knew that I wasn’t really from there, you know. So I felt a little bit like  a foreigner in Iowa where I actually grew up as a little kid at one point and where my family’s from and I got the same ethnic mix as the people who live there, right? But I was a little bit of an outsider. I’ve also gone and spent a lot of my time photographing in countries where I have no connection –different religion, different culture, different color and been very much at home and hanging right around and taking pictures that I think are very natural to the people of that culture, so it’s an interesting equation. You can be very close even if you are from another place or you can be totally apart even if you theoretically belong.


LET: yeah, definitely . I never used to think about this. If you had asked me this question before what happened in January or February, I probably would have very comfortably said, no, there is no question, I am Egyptian and there is no problem, but I really started to question this more and more when stuff was happening in Egypt and you had these people who were protesting, sleeping in Tahrir square and they’re the ones that really instituted this change and so I started to feel like, yeah, I’m Egyptian, but I didn’t actually do what these people did – they did it. So I’m kind of Egyptian, but not really as Egyptian as they are.


DAH: Well, that’s a good honest answer and I think that’s all we’re looking for here



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Features and Essays

Tenth anniversary of the 9/11 is now passed us, but let’s start with some of the features related to it…Lot of good coverage on the New York Times’ web pages, obviously…First, Eugene Richards’ multimedia of his Stepping Through Ashes…

Eugene Richards: Stepping Through Ashes (NYT Lens: September 2011)

NYT Magazine slideshow ‘Images from a Post 9/11 World’..includes various photographers’ work… Benjamin Lowy, Lynsey Addario,Peter van Agtmael, Ashley Gilbertson, and others… also links to the articles, which their images originally illustrated…

After 9/11, National Guard and police patrols had become part of the commute at Grand Central Terminal. Security was increased further after the Madrid bombings. Related article: “Lesser Evils.”  photo: Antonin Kratochvil/VII

New York Times Magazine: Ten Years’ Time: Images from a Post 9/11 World (NYT Magazine: September 2011)

Ashley Gilbertson has some new work on the New York Times site also…

Ashley Gilbertson: Remembering Lost Loved Ones (NYT: September 2011)

Todd Heisler: The Moment Before, and After (NYT: September 2011) 9/11

Fred. R. Conrad: The Faces of a Towering Project (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Magnum: 9/11 and Aftermath (Magnum in Motion: September 2011)

Susan Meiselas: Ground Zero Artifacts and Construction (Magnum: September 2011)

Scott Goldsmith: Flight 93 and Shanksville, PA: The Forgotten Part of 9/11 (TIME LB: September 2011)

To other features…

Sanjit Das: East Africa Crisis (Panos: September 2011)

New work by last year’s Canon AFJ winner Bacigalupo, whose exhibition ‘My Name is Filda Adoch’ impressed a lot of people at Visa…

Martina Bacigalupo: Mogadishu, Somalia (Agence Vu: September 2011)

Patrick Brown: Bengal’s Burden (Panos: September 2011)

Espen Rasmussen’s In Transit project has now a dedicated website…

Espen Rasmussen: Transit (Project website: 2011)


Hipstas by Zalmai on Lens blog…

Zalmai: In Afghanistan, ‘Unbelievable Force of Life’ (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Norfolk on New Yorker Photo Booth…

Simon Norfolk: Postcard from Afghanistan : Echoes of Wars Past (New Yorker: September 2011)

Alixandra Fazzina: Pakistan: Preparing for disaster in south Punjab (Guardian: September 2011)

Mitch Dobrowner: The Storms (TIME Lightbox: September 2011)

Have another look at Medecins Sans Frontieres’ and VII Photo’s Starved for Attention campaign online… There’s a travelling exhibit going around the States this autumn…

photo: Marcus Bleasdale

MSF and VII Photo: Starved for Attention 

Andrea Bruce: Conservative Muslims in Russia (Washington Post: September 2011)

Christian Als: The Disappeared Generation (Panos: September 2011)

Moises Saman: Detained Sub-Saharan Africans in Libya (Magnum: September 2011)

Foreign Policy  have a three-part series online featuring Kate Brooks‘ work from Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, and Libya…The photos are taken from her new book

Kate Brooks: What War Looks Like (Foreign Policy: September 2011)

Kate Brooks: Those Who Face Death (Foreign Policy: September 2011)

Kate Brooks: From Revolution to War (FP: September 2011)

Johannes Eisele: The Casualties of War: Afghanistan’s Medevac Missions, Up Close (TIME LB: September 2011)

Stanley Greene: A Drop of Blood between Turkey and Syria (NOOR: 2011)

Kozyrev’s Tripoli photos now also on the NOOR site…

Yuri Kozyrev: The Battle for Tripoli (NOOR: September 2011)

Ruben Reyes: Foreign Laborers in Dubai (NYT Lens: September 2011) Reys’ website


William Daniels and Espen Rasmussen: Six Months On (Panos: September 2011) Japan

Jake Price: Japan six months after tsunami (BBC: September 2011)

Ed Kashi: Eye Contact (VII Magazine: September 2011)

Laura El-Tantawy: The Veil (TIME LB: August 2011)

Edward Keating: Blue Highway (TIME LB: September 2011)

Anthony Suau: The 99ers (TIME: September 2011) Long-term unemployed in America

Mauricio Lima: Few Treatment Options for Afghans as Drug Use Rises (NYT: August 2011)

Jean Gaumy: Climate challenge : The Indonesian case (Magnum: September 2011)

David Trattles: Girl Boxers of Calcutta (Foto8: September 2011) Trattles’ website

Jessica Earnshaw: At a Bronx Hospital, a Teenage Milestone (NYT Lens: September 2011) Earnshaw’s website


First some 9/11 anniversary related interviews…

Robert Clark : 9/11 (burn magazine: September 2011)

Lynsey Addario : 9/11 Ten Years Later (New Yorker: September 2011)

Samantha Appleton : 9/11 Ten Years Later (New Yorker: September 2011)

Joel Meyerowitz : 9/11 Ten Years Later (New Yorker: September 2011)

Meyerowitz interview also on TIME… looks like he’s working with Leica S2 here…

Joel Meyerowitz : Ground Zero, Then and Now (TIME: September 2011)

Eric Hoepker : 9/11 (CNN: September 2011) CNN’s Errol Barnett speak to photographer Thomas Hoepker who took one of the most controversial 9/11 images

Steve McCurry on 9/11…

Steve McCurry :  memories of 9/11 (Phaidon: September 2011)

Interesting thing I noticed the other day looking at some of McCurry’s 9/11 photos on his blog was that he has a frame almost exactly like one of Nachtwey’s… The two men must have stood pretty much side-by-side…The colours are different, but I presume it’s because Nachtwey was shooting C-41 and McCurry E-6…It’s fascinating how similarly the two photographers framed the scene…

Marco Grob : on the Making of Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience (TIME LB: September 2011)

Steve McCurry (Leica blog: September 2011)

Steve McCurry : Revealed – the true story behind the ‘Afghan Mona Lisa’ (Phaidon: September 2011)

Olivier Laurent’s excellent Yuri Kozyrev interview in British Journal of Photography…

Must read. Yuri Kozyrev : on covering revolutions in the Middle East (BJP: September 2011)

Kozyrev interview also on Lighbox…this about one of his Iraq War photos, one the most memorable and powerful images of the entire conflict by anyone I’d say…Couldn’t help but notice the file has been re-processed…

Yuri Kozyrev The Aftermath of 9/11: Ali Abbas (TIME LB: September 2011)

Fred Ritchin : Ritchin letter regarding the Q&A (Wired Raw File: September 2011)

Broomberg and Chanarin ( 2011)

Kadir van Lohuizen : Via Panam part 2 (Nikon blog: September 2011)

David Chancellor talks about ‘Hunters” (Polka: 2011)

Donovan Wylie : Outposts (National Media Museum Vimeo: 2011)

Donovan Wylie : Ways of Looking (National Media Museum: Vimeo 2011)

Martin Parr : Parrworld (Phaidon: 2011)

Nadav Kander (Conscientious: 2011)

Mario Tama : 9/11 (Dallas News: September 2011)

Jodi Bieber : Capturing Aisha (Montreal Mirror: September 2011)

Catalina Martin-Chico (BJP: August 2011)

Tyler Hicks : Gaddafi Family Album (NYT Lens: August 2011)

JR (The Atlantic: 2011)

Jared Soares (NYT Lens: September 2011)

Pete Brook (thoughtsonphotography: September 2011)


9/11 related articles… I particularly enjoyed reading and looking at this one from TIME Lightbox…

photo: Jonathan Torgovnik

TIME Lightbox: 9/11: The Photographs That Moved Them Most (TIME LB: September 2011)

How magazines picked their 9/11 anniversary covers…

NYT: Magazine Covers on a Topic Known All Too Well (NYT: September 2011) 9/11

NPR: Sept. 11 Through The Eyes Of VII, Magnum And Life (NPR: September 2011)

Guardian: 9/11 anniversary: photographers recall day of horror (Guardian: September 2011)

New York Times: The Reckoning: America and the World a Decade After 9/11 (NYT: September 2011

Thomas Hoepker: I Took That 9/11 Photo (Slate: 2006) Photographer Thomas Hoepker on Frank Rich’s column, and why he thought his picture was too “confusing” to publish in 2001.

David Campbell: September 11, 2001: Imaging the real, struggling for meaning (DC blog: September 2011)

Alan Chin: Pushpins on a calendar (BagNewsNotes: September 2011)

Chris Floyd: The 9/11 Patriotic American Road Trip (Photographer’s Blog: September 2011)

Peta Pixel: How Photographers’ Rights Have Eroded Since September 11th (Peta Pixel: 2011)

Other articles…

photo: David Alan Harvey

Ideas Tap: Magnum: Advice for young photographers – part 2 (Ideas Tap: September 2011)

UK Photographer’s Rights (Amateur Photographer: September 2011)

The Observer New Review’s monthly guide to the 20 best photographic exhibitions and books…includes a shout-out to Luc Delahaye at Tate Modern..only three prints on show though (installation shot I took with my phone when I visited the show in August)…I enjoyed them…

Jenin Refugee Camp, 2001. Luc Delahaye.  From the exhibition New Documentary Forms at Tate Modern, London…worth a visit also for Mitch Epstein’s American Power…not so keen on the other three…

The Observer: The Month in Photography September 2011

NY Daily News: To honor slain photojournalist Tim Hetherington, fellow photog opens docu-film gallery in Bronx (NY Daily News: September 2011)

Reportage by Getty Images: Tom Stoddart shoots the ICRC  ’Health Care in Danger’ campaign

Photo Stories: Webdoc Favourites (photo-stories-org: 2011)

BJP: Photographers’ Gallery delays reopening until 2012

BJP: Photojournalism award launched in tribute to fallen photographer Lucas Dolega

BJP: Guillaume Herbaut and Bruno Masi win the Web Documentary Award at Visa Pour l’Image

Magnum: Steve McCurry Wins First Leica Hall Of Fame Award  (Magnum: 2011)

New Statesman:  The ambiguous art of Taryn Simon (New Statesman: September 2011)

Guardian: Featured Photojournalist: Oded Balilty (Guardian: August 2011)

Verve: Stuart Freedman (Verve Photo: September 2011)

Verve: Pete Marovich (Verve Photo: September 2011)

Pete Kiehart: Once: A New Magazine Model (Photo Brigade: September 2011)

BJP: Fujifilm commits to instant photography (BJP: September 2011)

Agency Access: Agency Access Acquires ADBASE and FoundFolios to Become Most Robust Photo Marketing and Illustrator Marketing Resource

10 Famous Street Photography Quotes You Must Know (Erik Kim Photography blog: September 2011)

Pulitzer-winning photojournalist resigns rather than lay off staff

Awards, Grants, and Competitions

UNICEF Pictures of the Year Award 2011 (link to PDF)

Five finalists for the inaugural Reminders Project Asian Photographers Grant

Tracy Baran Award : $5000 grant for an emerging US female photographer

Congrats to all this year’s Foam Magazine Talents…

photo: Ivor Prickett

Foam Magazine Talents 2011

Royal Photographic Society : Annual Awards 2011

Guardian Student Media Awards shortlisted

Click About It


Kate Brooks: In The Light Of Darkness: A Photographer’s Journey After 9/11

Conversations with Photographers (Conscientious)

Out November 1…

VII: Questions Without Answers 

Ken Jarecke: Husker Game Day – Farewell Big 12 

burn 02

The Family by Jocelyn Bain Hogg

Crowd Funding

Laura El-Tantawy just launched an crowd funding campaign to help her continue her work in Egypt…go and have a look…

Laura El-Tantawy: In the Shadow of the Pyramids (


VII September 2011 newsletter

Shell Shock Pictures



British Journal of Photography : ‘From stills to moving images’ at The Social on Monday 26 September, at Barrio Central, Poland Street, London W1F 8PS


“If I don’t photograph it, it won’t become known.” Anja Niedringhaus

Anja Niedringhaus : At War : Berlin : 10 September – 4 December 2011

Chris Floyd: 140 Characters  : Host Gallery : 3 November – 17 November 2011 : press release


Pamela Chen

Robert Nickelsberg

Patrick Smith

Diana Markosian

Conor O’Leary

Magda Rakita


Danfung Dennis’ film Hell and Back Again opening in US theaters on Oct 5…

Hell and Back Again Trailer

C.J Chivers, Andre Liohn: Lethal Lessons in Misurata (NYT: 2011)

Aperture education Youtube channel


Magnum Photos workshop Munich, 10-14 Oct with Pellegrin, Dworzak & Anderson


Open Society Institute : Exhibition Coordinator

Senior Lecturer, Nottingham Trent University

To finish off…

I was reading Finnish magazine Kuukausiliite this morning which had an article about Google Street View along with some photos by artist Jon Rafman… Noticed one of the images was similar to one by Mishka Henner…Looks like Henner and Rafman have used the same Google Street View frame for these two…

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Laura El-Tantawy couldn't explain what it was that drew her to photograph the effects of suicide in rural India. But her emotional reaction convinced her to pursue it just like that: emotionally.

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I’ve had the pleasure to announce some new supporters for my blog during the last two weeks, and very happy to announce yet another one…Photo Raw magazine…check out the right-hand side bar…Photo Raw is a  quarterly magazine dedicated to the best photojournalism and documentary photography out there…published in Finland but printed in English…I think PJ Links and Photo Raw make a great match.  Their new issue will be out first week of June with features by Paolo Pellegrin, Anastasia Taylor-Lind, Natan Dvir et al….

This week’s round-up…

Features and Essays

I forgot to post links last week to these two great essays from National Geographic Magazine’s June issue…

Stephanie Sinclair has continued her project on child brides…

Stephanie Sinclair: Too Young To Wed (NGM: June 2011) The secret world of child brides

Greg Girard: Can China Go Green ? (NGM: June 2011) No other country is investing so heavily in clean energy. But no other country burns as much coal to fuel its economy.

Stephanie Sinclair also has some work in the New York Times Magazine this week… Living on the Europe side of the pond,  I’ve never actually held NYT Mag in my hand, but I saw a place in Soho the other day, where they stock Sunday’s NYT.. Think I’m gonna go and pick up a copy…Always so great photography in there…

Stephanie Sinclair: A Mind of Their Own (NYT Mag: May 2011) Conjoined twins | article

There’s a link to a great Bryan Denton interview later in the post… but since I realised I never posted the link to his last story from Libya… here it is now…

Bryan Denton:  In Misurata, Fallen Qaddafi Soldiers Receive Respect (NYT: May 2011)

Christian Als: Bunkering Down in Benghazi (Panos: May 2011)

Richard Mosse: Congo (Guardian: May 2011)

Edward Keating: A Town Lost in the Wreckage (TIME LB: May 2011) The wreckage left by the Force 5 tornado in Joplin, Mo. | Keating’s website

Laura El-Tantawy: In the Shadow of the Pyramids: Egypt (burn: May 2011)


Elin Høyland: The Brothers (Guardian: May 2011)

Ed Wray: The Masked Monkeys of Indonesia (TIME LB: May 2011)

Nicole Bengiveno: Coming Out (NYT: May 2011)

Benjamin Rusnak:  23º, Far from Paradise (Burn: May 2011)

Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday was on Tueday. Photographer Elliott Landy spoke to TIME Lightbox about the photos he made of his good friend…

Elliott Landy: Bob Dylan at Home (TIME LB: May 2011)

Petrut Calinescu: The Black Sea (Panos Pictures: May 2011)

NYT Lens blog featured Espen Rasmussen’s book In Transit. One of the pictures from the book is the below frame of a Rohingya fisherman in Bangladesh…I remember reading an interview with Rasmussen in BJP last year, when he still had the Rohingya pictures converted in black and white and mentioned he might convert them back to colour…

From BJP… “He shot thousands of digital images, editing them down to a story of just 32 shots, then converting them to black-and-white and adding text and captions.”[ …} Rasmussen often writes his own stories and, although he also enjoys working with journalists, says it’s his favourite approach. After all, he points out, the most important thing is the story, and he’s in a good position to tell it both in images and words. “I let people talk and show their daily struggle through interviews and pictures,” he says. “I don’t search for the obvious drama, I try to describe daily life.” In fact, he’s considering turning the images back into colour, concerned that the sheer beauty of the monochrome versions detracts from the Rohingya’s plight.”.

Looks like he has done…See comparison here.

Espen Rasmussen: In Transit (NYT Lens: May 2011)

Sebastian Liste: The Chocolate Factory (NPR: May 2011)

Rob Rusling: A Street in Clitheroe (Foto8: May 2011) Rusling’s website

Brandon Tauszik: Pray for Mercy (Photographer’s website: 2010)

Anton Hammerl’s final photos from Libya…

Anton Hammerl: Witness to War (Foreign Policy: May 2011)

Apparently this has been published as a 500 page coffee table book…

Venetia Dearden: Mulberry (VII Network: May 2011)

Alec Levac: Israel, With a Knowing Wink (NYT Lens: May 2011)


Must read Bryan Denton interview on Lens blog…

“To me, having training and gear is a responsibility we have to our families and friends who worry about us, our colleagues who work beside us and can benefit from our know-how if they’re wounded, and to the readers who are informed by the images we take and will cease to be if we get taken out of the game. There’s never any guarantee that that stuff will save you, but we owe it to those who love us, support our work and each other to take every precaution we can.” – Bryan Denton

Bryan Denton (NYT Lens: May 2011)

50 years ago, a young Bruce Davidson set out to document a bus ride down south – The Freedom Riders on LightBox…

Bruce Davidson (TIME LB: May 2011)

Richard Mosse (Conscientious: May 2011)

Guy Martin (Daily Telegraph: May 2011)

David LaChapelle (NYT: May 2011)

Ben Lowy (e-Photoreview: May 2011)

Anna Skladmann (BJP: May 2011)

Laura El-Tantawy (BJP: May 2011)

Brian Ulrich (Featureshoot: 2008)

Raymond Depardon (ASX)


PDN: Hetherington Memorialized by Family, Colleagues and Subjects (PDN: May 2011)

Vanity Fair: Remembering Tim Hetherington (VF: May 2011)

Excellent article on the Lens blog by NYT staff photographer Stephen Crowley…

photo: Pete Souza

Stephen Crowley: Whose Eye? What Beholder? (NYT Lens: May 2011) The problem of D.C. photo coverage goes well beyond restagings


Alex Garcia: When Photojournalists Become Visual Stenographers (Chicago Tribune Assignment Chicago blog: May 2011)

BJP: Donald Weber is funding his new book, Interrogations, with limited edition prints and books (BJP: May 2011)

BJP: Convergence between still and moving images? We speak to 6 photographers who made the jump (BJP: May 2011)

Guardian: Featured photojournalist: Mario Tama (Guardian: May 2011)

PDN: Time to quit using Twitpic?  (PDN: May 2011)

PDN: Celeb photo agency in Twipic deal has no relationship with (or obligation to) owners of the images it will license (PDN: May 2011)

BJP has taken a look at what this year’s Les Rencontres d’Arles is going to be like…

Festivals – BJP: Arles 2011 (BJP: May 2011)

Festivals – PDN: LOOK3 Preview : Goldin, Kratochvil, Vitali headline festival curated by Kathy Ryan and Scott Thode (PDN: May 2011)

Workshops - Eddie Adams Workshop deadline extended to June 3

Last call…

Awards - Canon Female Photojournalist Award : Deadline 31 May 2011

Get your work in front of Charlotte Cotton or Monica Allende in BJP’s International Photography Award…

Competitions –  BJP Photography Award

Grants - Reminders Phoject Asian Photographer’s Grant

Slideshows – Slideluck Potshow London III deadline is on Monday 30 May

Competitions – Foto8 Summershow deadline is Tuesday 31 May

HonoursAmerican Photography 27

Grants – BJP: Massimo Berruti wins Carmignac Gestion Prize of Photojournalism. He will receive a €50,000 grant (BJP: May 2011)

Spend 9,99$ and you end up in the Gulags of Carl De Keyzer’s Zona on your iPad (via @vinkjohn)

Apps – Carl De Keyzer: Zona (iTunes Store) Zona for iPad

ExhibitionsIan Teh’s new series Traces open at Flowers Kingsland Road

To finish off…geeky Photoshop fridge magnets for photographers or retouchers…(via @LucasJackson RTR)

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