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Lorenzo Meloni

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The year 2012 is coming to an end today and I’m sure you have seen plenty of ‘best of ‘ lists already (If you haven’t, you can find a lot of them here), but I couldn’t resist adding one more by sharing my selection of top ten photographs of the year. Trying to make such a tight edit of all the great photojournalism I’ve seen this year was challenging, but I thought ten was a good round number. So here are the top photographs of 2012, as chosen by me, in chronological order.

Lorenzo Meloni’s photograph of two menacing looking militiamen, one in shades and one wearing a balaclava, patrolling the streets of Benghazi in January 2012 stuck in my mind as soon as I saw The Telegraph Magazine run it double truck in May (The tearsheet here). The picture perhaps gains certain extra power also from the fact that we know what went on in Benghazi later on the year.

LorenzoMeloni

Photo © Lorenzo Meloni

Libya. January 2012. – Militiamen patrolling the streets of Benghazi.

Stephanie Sinclair had a great photo essay on Yemen in National Geographic magazine’s September issue (See it here). One of the last photographs of the feature is of a young boy without eyes, cradled by his mother, of whom we don’t  see much more than the very body parts the son is missing. Sinclair’s photo, reminiscent of Samuel Aranda’s World Press Photo of the Year 2011, is powerful in how it shows not only trauma but also love and care.

StephanieSinclair

Photo © Stephanie Sinclair

Yemen. March 2012. – Cradled by his mother, Saleem al Hazari lost both eyes to a sniper. The 12-year-old was shot when he joined antigovernmental protesters in Sanaa in 2011.

I find Dominic Nahr’s Sudan photo of a soldier lying immersed in oil in Heglig, one of the most striking images of the past year, not only visually but contextually, capturing something very essential of the conflict the two Sudans had in the oil-rich region. (See the photograph larger here)

DominicNahr

Photo © Dominic Nahr – Magnum for TIME

Sudan. 17 April 2012. – A soldier of the northern regime’s army, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), lies dead, immersed in oil next to a leaking petroleum facility after heavy fighting with southern SPLA troops after they entered Heglig.

Timothy Fadek had a photo essay on Greece’s economic turmoil on the Foreign Policy website in June (See the series here. NB You might have to create a free login.). The opening picture of drug addicts shooting up in broad daylight shows in strong detail one of the more extreme examples of the human toll the country’s downturn has caused.

TimothyFadek

Photo © Timothy Fadek

Athens, Greece. May 2012. – Scenes from a failing economy. Heroin addicts shoot up behind the Athens Cultural Centeron Akademias Street in central Athens.

Egypt has continued to play a big role in the international news. In June, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy was announced as the winner of Egypt’s first democratic presidential election. Below frame, by Daniel Berehulak, of Egyptians celebrating Morsy’s election win, is the one picture with its flags and fireworks, that I remember the most. (See it larger here.)

DanielBerehulak

Photo © Daniel Berehulak – Getty Images

Cairo, Egypt. 24 June 2012.- Egyptians celebrate the election of their new president Mohamed Morsy in Tahrir Square.

Pete Souza has been doing incredible work documenting President Obama’s first term, and it’s difficult to choose his best photo from this past year, but I thought the below picture of Obama sitting in a White House cabinet meeting is an extraordinarily quirky portrayal of the President, taken from an unusual view-point. It shows little more than the chair with a badge identifying who it belongs to, and the President”s back of the head . But I’m sure the head (and the ears!) would be recognisable even without the badge on the chair, but the metal tag does give an air of authority. Amusingly, The Obama campaign tweeted the photo after Clint Eastwood’s infamous empty chair speech at the RNC, with the words ‘This seat’s taken’. I also like how the roundness of the President’s head matches the curves on the wall on the other side of the room.

PeteSouza

Photo © Pete Souza / The White House

Washington D.C., United States. 26 July 2012. – A view from behind of the President as he holds a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House.

Nicole Tung did several trips to Syria in 2012 to document the civil war there. Time Lightbox showcased her work on number of occasions. The opening picture of her Aleppo photo essay ‘A Syrian Tragedy: One Family’s Horror’ shows a horrific scene of a group of men carrying a 15-year-old boy, Hatem, who had been trapped under a rubble following an airstrike on 6 August. Hatem later died in the hospital. His father, mother, younger brother and sister and two younger cousins were also killed in the same attack.

I and Olivier Laurent interviewed Nicole Tung about her work later the same month. You can read the interview here.

NicoleTung

Photo © Nicole Tung

Aleppo, Syria. 6 August 2012. – Men carry Hatem Qureya, 15, after he was trapped under rubble following an airstrike in the neighborhood of Bustan al-Qasr in Aleppo, Syria.

Moises Saman has been doing terrific work in Cairo throughout the year. Above, I shared Daniel Berehulak’s picture of Egyptians celebrating their new president. Saman’s photo below shows a very different kind of flag-waving scene, this from the anti-Muslim YouTube video sparked riots directed at the U.S. Embassy in Egypt’s capital. Antonin Kratochvil once said ‘every photographer should have their own version of The Scream’, referring to the similarity of one of his own pictures to the famous Munch painting. If that’s true, I believe Moises Saman now has his. I can see and feel, real raw energy in the young man’s scream below. (See the picture larger here.)

MoisesSaman

Photo © Moises Saman – Magnum

Cairo, Egypt. September 2012. – Protestors shout and raise a flag above a burned-out car near the clashes.

I’ve seen two versions of the below scene. One by Narciso Contreras, whose coverage of the Syrian civil war has probably been the strongest and most comprehensive of any photographer out there, and the one seen here by Javier Manzano. Both are striking photographs, but I just happen to prefer the Manzano one, perhaps as the rays of light are slightly more pronounced in his photo due to the darker exposure.

JavierManzano

Photo © Javier Manzano / AFP

Aleppo, Syria. 18 October 2012. – Two Syrian rebels take sniper positions at the heavily contested neighborhood of Karmal Jabl in central Aleppo.

Out of all the photographs done done during hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, there’s no question in my mind that Iwan Baan’s aerial photograph of the Manhattan powercut, which ran on the cover of the New York Magazine, was the most remarkable and memorable. You can read about the shoot here.

IwanBaan

Photo © Iwan Baan

New York City, United States. 1 November 2012. – Superstorm Sandy aerial shot of Manhattan powercut.

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Lorenzo Meloni

Moonlight Yemen

play this essay

 

Walking around the streets at night gives the feeling of travelling back in time, to a place where time has stopped.

The infrastructures here are few and the electricity is scarce – at night it is possible to see the stars on the horizon.

Mountains shield from the scorching desert wind and the muezzin’s chants from all the minarets strike you with strength and melancholy, reminding you that you are in a place where religion still dictates ordinary, everyday life.

Yemen is a Muslim country, a charming reality which goes un-noticed when reading about terrorism and kidnapping related chronicles in the newspaper.

During Ramadan, before dawn, you can still eat and smoke a cigarette on the misty tops of the Haratz mountains or in the Gulf of Aden, gazing at the red sea.

At sunrise everybody goes home to shelter from the heat. People stop chewing khat in order to halt the amphetamine intake, otherwise sleeping would be difficult.

At sunset, everybody gets together again – the streets are now filled with people. Jobs are few and staying at home means dealing with screaming kids and bossy elderly. It is more pleasant to be outside and meet someone to eat Salta with, or to chew khat, or to complain about the
president.

When Ramadan ends, daytime activities return as do daily issues – young adults looking for employment to support their children and wife; wives walking miles to fetch non-existent water; a man going to the market to buy an AK-47, angry because things never change.

 

Bio

Lorenzo Meloni was born in 1983 in Rome, studied at the “Scuola Romana di Fotografia” for three years, focusing his interests on the Middle East and the Italian youth underground scenarios. H
e has reported on major world issues such as those regarding Palestinan refugees and Yemen. Other works include retrospectives on the Italian techno-rave and hip-hop youth scenarios.

Related links

Lorenzo Meloni

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After a Rave. Dead City, Rome 2009

Lorenzo Meloni (b.1983, Italy) studied at the Scuola Romana di Fotografia for three years. He has reported on Palestinian refugees and Yemen where he is planning to relocate. Other works include retrospectives on the Italian techno-rave and hip-hop youth scenarios.  Lorenzo’s work has been exhibited at: The Luigi Pigorini National Ethnographic Prehistoric Museum in Rome and the Fotoleggendo Festival. His photographs have been published in L’Espresso, La Republica  and TIME.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was shot during an illegal rave party on the outskirts of Rome, in an area known as the ‘Dead City’. These three young people are regaining mental clarity after a night dancing under the effect of drugs and alcohol. The music, blaring out of a 20,000-watt sound system, still hasn’t worn them out and to chat, they have to speak in each others ear. The silence of the woods surrounds them, but the mix of drugs and alcohol, continues to keep them close to the vibrations of the music. This photo is part of a project on illegal raves that I have been following for the last two years. The purpose is to tell the story of a non-place, where there are no rules; an unfettered realm, where the conventions of the real world don’t exist and illegality and drugs are the only means to find pleasure.”

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Features and Essays 

London’s been burning…

The Atlantic : In Focus: Riots in London (The Atlantic: August 9, 2011)

Monday’s NYT slideshow on the London riots opened with a strong frame by Getty’s Dan Kitwood about a community looking at the ruins…summed up a lot…saw the photo also used on the front page of The Independent…

NYT: Rioting in Tottenham (NYT: August 2011)

Boston Globe : The Big Picture: London Riots (Big Picture: August 9 2011)

Some of the back story to London riots by Mishka Henner and Liz Lock?

Mishka Henner and Liz Lock: All That Life Can Afford (Panos: August 2011) Hackney: London

Brilliant series by Simon Roberts about Brighton sea front in Saturday’s Telegraph Magazine…

Simon Roberts: Along the Prom (Saturday Telegraph Magazine: August 2011)

Getty’s Mario Tama has done a panoramic series by the World Trade Center site…Shot with some lomo I’d imagine…

Mario Tama: 9/11 (MSNBC: August 2011)

Related..

Peter van Agtmael: Thoughts on 9/11 (Chronicle: August 2011)

Robert Nickelsberg: The Al Noor School (Reportage by Getty Images: August 2011)

Alex Majoli: African Refugee Crisis (Magnum: August 2011)

The Independent had some of Ed Ou’s Somalia photos…the ones I linked to last week…Includes interview…

Ed Ou: Surviving Somalia (Independent: August 2011)

Sanjit Das: Drought in the Horn of Africa (Photographer’s archive: August 2011)

Brian Ulrich: Copia—Retail, Thrift and Dark Stores (PDN Photo A Day: August 2011)

Lorenzo Meloni: A Dark Descent: The Streets of Yemen (TIME LB: August 2011)

Tessa Bunney: Pooled Resources (FT Mag: August 2011)

Ross Taylor: A Chance in Hell (HamptonRoads.com: 2011)

Gabrielle Micalizzi: Mean Street of Athens (NYT Mag: August 2011)

Barton Silverman: On Long Island, Disappearing Lobsters (NYT Lens: August 2011)

James Mollison: Where the Children Sleep (NYT Lens: August 2011)

Zackary Canepari: Aquadettes (Panos: August 2011)

Some of Don McCullin’s lost negatives of the construction of the Berlin Wall were in last Friday’s TIME magazine and you can see them also on Lightbox….

Don McCullin: The Berlin Wall : The Lost Negatives (TIME LB: August 2011)

Dustin Aksland: Sound of the Soil (TIME LB: August 2011)

Laura Levene: New York Rocker (New Yorker: August 2011)

Ben Lowy: iLibya (Reportage by Getty: August 2011)

Ben Brady: Losing Life and Limb in Afghanistan (GlobalPost: 2011)

Thomas Dworzak: Caucasus (Magnum in Motion: August 2011)

Mishka Henner: Dutch Landscapes (Panos: August 2011)

I really like the NYT Mag’s What They Were Thinking feature…

Kalpesh Latigra: The End of the Wedding, London (NYT Mag: August 2011)

Michael Kirby Smith: Plexiglas New York (NYT Lens: August 2011)

Richard Sandler: 80s: When Greed Was Good (TIME LB: August 2011)

Patrick Zachmann: Summer in Lampedusa (Magnum: August 2011)

Interviews and Talks

 Amy Weston : London riots: photographer speaks of mayhem after taking dramatic shot (Guardian: August 20110 Amy Weston captured image of woman leaping from a burning building in Croydon used on five national front pages

Tyler Hicks : Stark images of misery in Somalia spark action (CBS: August 2011)

Pellgerin profile on CPN…

Paolo Pellegrin : Canon Ambassador profile (CPN: 2011)

Canon Ambassadors: Advice to Young Photographers :  Michael Nichols,Gary Knight,Ziv Koren,Frits van Eldik,Paolo Pellegrin (CPN: 2011)

Maggie Steber : Joop Swart Masterclass address (TP: 2011)

Joao Silva : The Unstoppable Man (WNYC: August 2011)

John Moore  on his famous Arlington Cemetary photograph (APS: 2011)

Kathy Ryan : Very Familiar Faces, Far Out of Context (NYT Lens: August 2011)

Spencer Platt (MSNBC: August 2011)

Arnold Newman (Strobist)

Henri Cartier-Bresson died seven years ago… Charlie Rose interview via @JamesPomerantz

Henri Cartier-Bresson (Charlier Rose)

Steven Shames : A Lens On Life For Boys In The Bronx (NPR: August 2011)

Jim Goldberg & Todd Hido on Larry Sultan (PDN: August 2011)

Stanley Greene on Robert Capa (Dailymotion: 2011)

Antoine D’Agata (Gommamag: 2011)

Articles 

Lot of talk about a Tyler Hicks photo from Somalia last week…

On Aug. 2, when most U.S. papers ran a front page photograph of congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ return to the House, The New York Times went with Hicks’ photo from Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia. – NPR

NPR: Photo Brings Somalia’s Famine To The Front Page (NPR: August 2011)

Huffington Post: New York Times Runs Graphic Photo Of Starving Somali Child (HP: August 2011)

Salon: Can a photograph still change the world? (Salon: August 2011) NYT editor explains why the paper ran an unforgettable photo. But will it effect change?

Related on LA Times’ Framework blog about a Barbara Davidson frame..

LA Times Framework: Back story on a ‘haunting’ image of famine in Africa (LA Times FW: August 2011)

Time Lightbox: Desperate Leap of Faith in London: The Riot Photo That Has the World Buzzing (TIME LB: August 2011)

Guardian: London riots: photographers targeted by looters (Guardian: August 2011) Serious muggings and beatings suffered by photojournalists covering the civil disorder

BJP: London memorial planned for Anton Hammerl (BJP: July 2011)

Thames and Hudson blog: Magnum Contact Sheets: Commissioning #1 (TH blog: August 2011)

Guardian: Sean Smith’s Frontlines war photographs (Guardian: August 2011)

Guardian: Featured Photojournalist: Adrees Latif (Guardian: August 2011) Related

Guardian: Cindy Sherman models for MAC, the makeup company of outsiders (Guardian: August 2011)

Bagnewsnotes: Picture from Iowa (BNN: August 2011)

CPN: Mike Nichols launches iPad App (CPN: August 2011)

On Newsweek’s slightly unflattering/’controversial’ cover portrayal of Michele Bachmann….Storm in a tea(party)cup, I say….

Huffington Post: Newsweek’s Michele Bachmann Cover Raises Eyebrows (HP: August 2011)

The Atlantic Wire: Bachmann Was Not Blinded by a Lighting Test (theatlantiwire.com: August 2011)

NYT: The Trivialities and Transcendence of Kickstarter (NYT: August 2011)

NYT Lens: Tender Moments in the Maelstrom of War (NYT Lens: August 2011)

FStoppers: Annie Leibovitz’s Lighting, from the eyes of a Photo Assistant (FStoppers: 2011)

Verve: Gilles Sabrie (Verve: August 2011)

Verve: Lurdes R. Basolí (Verve: August 2011)

TIME LB: Rothstein’s First Assignment (TIME LB: August 2011)

Foto8: Book review: Leonie Hampton: In The Shadow of Things (Foto8: August 2011)

NYT: The All-Seeing Eye (NYT: August 2011)

BJP: Vimeo is now offering a professional video hosting plan for photographers and videographers (BJP: August 2011)

Videos

Nike Women “Make Yourself” Photo Shoot

Photographers

Gael Turine

David Brunetti

Quinn Palmer

Awards, Grants, and Competitions


Canon AFJ Award winner

CPN Editor’s Choice 3 Launches

Magnum Expression Award

The Frontline Club Award and the Frontline Memorial Tribute Award for excellence in journalism 

Vattenfall Fotopreis

Eyewitness Photography Competition

NPPA short grant applications

Jobs

Tip: follow @Fiona_Rogers if you aren’t already… She’s always posting jobs…

V&A Exhibitions Coordinator

Magnum Photos New York are looking for a Print Sales Manager

Photography job in Nepal  via @anastasiatl

Whitechapel Gallery job vacancies

Wycombe College are recruiting Photography Course Leader

AP interactive producer in New York

Rights and Clearance Project Manager Getty Images – London, United Kingdom 

To finish off…

If you can’t make photography pay, fancy trying cleaning sewages? NYC sewage treatment workers’ minimum salary: $34.97/hour…the application form… by @dbrabyn

Also….did you you know – “That’s a WRAP” at the end of film shoot actually means Wind Reel And Print. An analogue terminology still used in digital era… via @ZarinaHolmes

You saw Move already, right? Gulp. is pretty cool too…

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