Too Young to Wed: The Secret World of Child Brides – Stephanie Sinclair

Stephanie Sinclair is amazing.

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Every year, throughout the world, millions of young girls are forced into marriage. Child marriage is outlawed in many countries and international agreements forbid the practice yet this tradition still spans continents, language, religion and caste.

Over an eight-year period, photographer Stephanie Sinclair has investigated the phenomenon of child marriage in India, Yemen, Afghanistan, Nepal and Ethiopia. Her multimedia presentation, produced in association with National Geographic, synthesizes this body of work into a call to action.

Stephanie Sinclair’s images are featured in a story on child marriage in the June 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine.

How to help: National Geographic has compiled a list of organizations that encourage families to delay marriage and give girls an opportunity to reach their full potential.

Learn More HERE

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Why You Are The Future of Photography (The Guardian)

Why You Are The Future of Photography

by Sean O’Hagan for The Guardian

note: photos added by me

A new show suggests that webcams, Google Street View and a cat named Nancy Bean are set to change the world of photography as we know it.

Their manifesto begins: “Now, we’re a series of editors. We all recycle, clip and cut, remix and upload. We can make images do anything. All we need is an eye, a brain, a camera, a phone, a laptop, a scanner, a point of view.”

From Here On is the title of this manifesto-cum-group show unveiled at last week’s Arles photography festival. It is, the curators insist, a glimpse of the future of photography. Or to be more precise, several glimpses of several possible photographic futures based on the premise that photography as we know it – whether reportage or documentary – is no longer the most viable way to make sense of a digitalised and increasingly atomised global culture.

The manifesto was created by five people: Clément Chéroux, a historian of photography and a curator at the Pompidou Centre; Martin Parr, photographer, collector and all round dynamo; Eric Kessels, founder of the KesselsKramer communications agency; Joan Fontcuberta, an art photographer; and Joachim Schmid, an artist who works with found photographs.

The internet and the cheap digital camera, they say, are radically altering how we see the world, and what we do with what we see. No arguing with that. The fast-forward momentum of digital technology “changes our sense of what it means to make” and “results in work that feels like play, work that turns old into new, elevates the banal. Work that has a past but feels absolutely present.”

The elevation of the banal is one thing that the internet specialises in – from dancing pets to live webcasts from the living rooms of ordinary people leading ordinary lives. Sure enough, the show includes a cat photographer – that’s a cat who takes photographs rather than a person who photographs cats. Nancy Bean is a three-legged ginger tabby from Devon who has been fitted with a camera timed to snap an image every minute. The results are variable, as one might expect: lots of views from under cars and out of windows. It is street photography, but not as we know it. Elsewhere, there are real live chickens in cages courtesy of prankster Thomas Mailaender, whose installation, Chicken Museum, is like an edition of Vice Magazine made flesh.

Chicken Museum. Thomas Mailaender

There are also a couple of series based on Google Street View images –Jon Rafman‘s blown-up, grainy evocations of the everyday, and a series of images of ordinary people pulling faces for the cameras of showroom computers. There are photographs that have been tampered with, added to, edited and manipulated. All the tropes of the digital culture writ large, then. Most of it, perhaps unsurprisingly, already feels all too familiar.

Jon Rafman

Among the slapdash, the crudely innovative and the downright nihilist, there are some interesting artists. Surveillance and appropriation are two of the key themes. Jens Sundheim‘s images, often photographs of himself taken on webcams, are painterly in a spectral way, which hints at something darker about a digitalised world of connection and disconnection. Corinne Vionnet finds snaps of well-known tourist sites – the leaning tower of Pisa, Mao’s mausoleum – on photo-sharing sites on the web, then layers one on top of another until she reaches an impressionistic photo-painting.

Corinne Vionnet

The results are both real and ethereal – just like the mass tourist experience. Pavel Maria Smejkal’s FATESCAPES take found historical images of war and devastation and strip them of all human figures. Here, photography is sampling its own past in much the same way that hip-hop did in the early 1980s, but without its heated debate about ownership and royalties.

1989 Beijing, China. Pavel Maria Smejkal

Monica Haller’s book project, Riley and his story, is an unapologetically serious work of political testimony. A collaboration with her college friend, Riley Sharbonno, who served as a nurse in Abu Ghraib prison, it is a brilliant diary-cum–memoir of war, trauma and loss.

Monica Haller

These artists stand out amid a welter of the throwaway, the juvenile and the nihilistic that reflects the From Here On manifesto. “We’re making more than ever, because our resources are limitless and the possibilities endless … We want to give this work a new status,” the manifesto concludes. “Things will be different from here on …”

My immediate thought was: well, not that different if it takes a bunch of established curators and photographers to curate – and canonise – the work. Surely this is exactly the kind of cultural commodification that digital culture was meant to undermine, not encourage.

As I wandered, a little dazed, through From Here On, I found myself longing for more curatorial selectivity, more quality control. I was reminded of some words of warning from the internet-historian, Andrew Keen, in an intriguing forthcoming film on digital culture called PressPausePlay. Keen speaks passionately about the downside of digital democratisation: “When you leave everything to the crowd, where everything is democratised, when everything is determined by the number of clicks, you are by definition undermining the seriousness of the artistic endeavour,” he says. “There is no evidence that we are on the verge of a great new glittering cultural age, there is evidence that we may well be on the verge of a new dark age in cultural terms … where the creative world is destroyed and where all we have is cacophony and self opinion, where we have a crisis of democratised culture.” There was a glimpse of that possible future in From Here On. It was not a pretty sight.

Found HERE.

Posted in Contemporary Art, Gallery Openings | 7 Comments

Ryan McGinley Sued In Copyright Case – Artnet Magazine

Artist Janine “Jah Jah” Gordon has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against photographer Ryan McGinley for copyright infringement, arguing that 150 of McGinley’s photographs, including several used in an ad campaign for Levi’s, a co-defendant in the suit, are “substantially based” on Gordon’s original work.

Janine Gordon
Ryan McGinley

Read the article HERE.

Posted in Contemporary Art | 4 Comments

NOOR Images Photo Agency Accepting Portfolio Submissions For Membership

DEADLINE: Friday 5 August 2011

We invite photographers to apply to join the NOOR Photo Agency and NOOR Foundation.

Applicants should demonstrate an ability to identify and produce stories at the highest standards of journalistic and ethical integrity. We are looking for photographers with a distinct signature and visual excellence, who share the ideals and mission of NOOR: to contribute to a growing understanding of the world by producing independent in-depth visual reports.

As a group, NOOR respects the marketplace as it is, but neither takes direction from it nor bases its decisions solely upon its demands.

The NOOR Foundation is an international non-profit organization creating and distributing compelling photojournalistic works with the aim to raise awareness and to contribute to the visual history of mankind. The foundation’s mission is to provide the impetus to undertake documentary photography and educational projects.

NOOR members are Nina Berman, Philip Blenkinsop, Pep Bonet, Alixandra Fazzina, Jan Grarup, Stanley Greene, Yuri Kozyrev, Kadir van Lohuizen, Jon Lowenstein, Francesco Zizola and Claudia Hinterseer (managing director)

NOOR’s members own NOOR. New members will spend one year with NOOR before full membership is offered. All members are obliged to purchase shares, attend annual meetings and contribute dynamically and responsibly to the NOOR foundation and to the business of the agency to collectively and actively promote and sell.

Portfolio submission:

– You should write an explanation in English for your desire to join NOOR;

– You should send us a selection, no more than 50 images, of your work, including several feature stories;

– Submit your work no greater than 1024 pixels wide with embedded captions and story introductions via our FTP (the address for submissions is available upon request via office@noorimages.com)

For more information, please visit our website or reach out to Claudia Hinterseer, managing director NOOR.

Your submission should be entered no later than Friday 5 August 2011. The members of NOOR will consider new candidates during the annual meeting in Amsterdam, at the end of August 2011.

Noor Members:

Alixandra Fazzina
Blenkinsop Noor aphotostudent
Philip Blenkinsop
Jan Grarup
Nina Berman
stanley greene aphotostudent
Stanley Greene
Kadir Van Lohuizen
Yuri Kozyrev
Jon Lowenstein
Pep Bonet
Francesco Zizola
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Aman Mojadidi

ARTIST STATEMENT
We are all at conflict. Whether with others or ourselves, with our own ideas, thoughts, desires, history, present, future. We are all at conflict as we try and navigate ourselves through a life we understand only through our experiences, through our confrontation both internal and external with social, political, cultural, and personal strife. My visual arts work in multi-media assemblages, sculptures, 3-D collages, mise en scene photography, and installations, are always inspired by a negotiation through these conflicts, a negotiation between worlds and the multiple experiential landscapes that shape them. My recent work in particular is based largely on the dialogue between the external, contemporary experiences of conflict and the internal – mental, spiritual, and emotional – responses to it that continue to shape the understanding of my own identity and the world I live in. Through and across the different works, one can find threads of cultural tradition (be it real, imagined, invented), identity, politics, diasporas, war, and reconstruction weaving reflections, often contradictory, of humanity; a humanity which finds itself in a post-modern world that is simultaneously globalizing and fracturing, forcing us to confront each other and ourselves in ways we have yet to learn or understand. Complementing this work are my anthropological studies (B.A., M.A.) which provide a strong grounding in the debates around conflict, cultural change, post/colonialism, third-world development, and the representation of culture; while my continuing experience working and creating in Afghanistan provides the contextual richness that leads me down the path of trying to identify and understand not ways for resolving conflict, but rather ways in which we accept conflict as a life-long experience. Creating art as an aspect of, rather than response to, conflict is ultimately an exercise in dissecting the human condition in order to expose the sometimes fragile, sometimes durable, but always shifting relationships we have with each other, with ourselves, and with the conflicts we must endure throughout our lives. In order to do this, it will be necessary to see that condition as a place where external conflicts tied to global processes and internal battles tied to our own experiences are blurring into each other, becoming confused, indistinguishable, and equally personal.

BIOGRAPHY
Growing up in a war, where the bombs were 12,377 kilometers or 7,691 miles (or 6,683 nautical miles though Afghanistan is land-locked so perhaps not as relevant) away.  An Afghan-American suburban dream punctuated by weekend sleepovers, Saturday soccer games, fist-fights with racist children of the Confederate South, and religio-nationalist driven demonstrations chanting “Down with Brezhnev!”, “Long live Islam!”, “Down with Communism!”, and “Long Live Afghanistan!” before I even knew what that meant.  It is what I was fed growing up, in between southern-fried chicken and garlic mashed potatoes, cumin-scented meat and basmati rice…

In his work, Aman often uses contemporary, post-modern ideas of conflict and globalization combined with traditional narratives rooted in culture, belonging, and identity. He collects the materials and inspiration for his work from his internal and external landscapes, including growing up Afghan in the Confederate South of the United States and spending the better part of the last decade living and working in Afghanistan.

He has exhibited his work in galleries, independent spaces, and cultural centers in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Singapore, Cairo, Hong Kong, and Kabul.

Aman currently lives, works, and creates in Kabul, Afghanistan.

A Day in the Life of a Jihadi Gangster:

Out of the Conflict Bling installation emerged the character in these images, the Jihadi Gangster, as I continue to explore the idea of globalized gangster styles and iconography while exploring my own dual cultural heritage as an American-born Afghan with strong familial ties to politics in Afghanistan, including jihad.

After a Long Day's Work (A Day in the Life of a Jihadi Gangster Foto Series) edition of 5 c-print on dibond 75 x 78 cm

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183:

Inspired by real events which led to the death and disappearance of 183 family members in Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion.

183 glass bottle, plastic, anti-aircraft shell casings, 183 self-portraits 30 x 24 x 8 cm
183 glass bottle, plastic, anti-aircraft shell casings, 183 self-portraits 30 x 24 x 8 cm

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Kandahar:

The first in a line of mobile furniture for conflict environments developed by Emeric Lhuisset and Aman Mojadidi, with support from designer Pierre-Francois Dubois.

Kandahar (nomadic furniture line for belligerents) fabric, wood, steel, paper (assembly instructions) 60 x 100 x 60 cm (assembled), 70 x 10 cm (packed)

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Jihad Gangster Afghan Parliamentary Campaign:

The final culmination of the Jihadi Gangster, a faux run for Parliament in Afghanistan.

Jihad Gangster Afghan Parliamentary Campaign Poster c-print on dibond 59 x 84 cm

SLOGAN – “Vote for Me! I did Jihad and I’m Rich”
FACE – “Your favorite Jihadi Face Here”

Jihadi Gangster Afghan Parliamentary Campaign Street Installation:

Parliamentary Campaign 6 c-print edition of 10 28.5 x 42 cm

Be sure to check out Aman’s site HERE or click on any of the photos above to see more from the series.

Posted in Contemporary Art | 2 Comments