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An Unflinching View of Venezuela in Crisis | The New Yorker

Alejandro Cegarra’s photo series “State of Decay” is an unflinching portrait of Venezuela’s collapse. How this country went from being one of Latin America’s richest societies to one of its poorest is a disaster of bewildering proportions, one that defies easy explanation. Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, but since the 2014 crash in world oil prices, on which Venezuela depended for more than ninety per cent of its export revenues, its economy has contracted continuously, unleashing an economic crisis worse than that experienced by Americans during the Great Depression. In the past five years, three million of Venezuela’s thirty-two million people have fled the country. More than half of all Venezuelans lack enough food to meet their daily needs. The country’s hospital system has all but failed; countless Venezuelans have died owing to a lack of medical attention and the scarcity of medicines for treatable illnesses. Hyperinflation is expected to reach ten million per cent this year. On top of everything else, Venezuela’s murder rate is among the world’s highest, making it one of the most dangerous countries in the world to live in.

Capturing the Soul: Photographic Portraiture Before the Smartphone Era – The New York Times

But a new exhibit at the International Center of Photography shows that bokeh is hardly a good portrait’s greatest asset. The ad implies that anyone with the right smartphone can make a quality portrait, rendering a visit to a local photo studio obsolete. But, as is evident in the exhibit “Your Mirror: Portraits from the I.C.P. Collection,” there is a common motivation.

PhotoNOLA: Kiliii Yuyan: Searching for Home | LENSCRATCH

I always review a photographer’s website before I meet with them at a portfolio review, so I was very much looking forward to meeting Kiliii Yuyan at PhotoNOLA. His desire to document indigenous cultures comes from the personal place of his own family histories, histories that allow him to enter communities with not only a photographer’s curiosity, but a compassion and desire to bear witness to and document disappearing Arctic lifestyles. For his project, Searching for Home, Kilii looks at the people and places that most parallel his own identity.  “When I’m photographing, I’m living inside my grandmother’s stories.”

Australia’s Farmers Struggle With Its Hottest-Ever Drought | Time

“I’ve kind of given up on cleaning,” says Bullen, 36, laughing at the dust that coated her windows when TIME visited in December. Among the more pressing matters: a debt of nearly half a million dollars, an injured husband and a farm to manage alone during one of Australia’s worst-ever droughts. “We’ve had droughts before,” she says, “but nothing of this caliber.”

M.H. Frøslev – Unsettled City « burn magazine

The book is a personal depiction of a claustrophobic environment with the cityscape as framework, captured in the cities of Saint Petersburg and Moscow over the last ten years. Through ninety-five photographs in contrast monochromes and dusty colours the book unfolds the night as a motif. Here we meet bulldogs, street fights and abandoned roads alongside loving glances, intimate moments and faded buildings, all quietly standing still, waiting for the night to die down and the light to rise again. Through disquieting atmospheres and raw sensitivity Unsettled City shows us how the people of the night alternately love and fear both the city and each other. With this book M.H. Frøslev portrays feelings of alienation, inequality and pain on a par with love, intimacy and fascination.

PhotoNOLA: Rich Frishman: Ghosts of Segregation | LENSCRATCH

I had the pleasure of meeting Rich Frishman at Fotofest last March; I not only enjoyed my time with the photographer, but immediately recognized his commitment to his craft. I featured his project American Splendor this past June, showcasing photographs that are constructed of between dozens and hundreds of images. I met up with Rich again at PhotoNOLA in December and was presented with a poignant and powerful new body of work, Ghosts of Segregation. I’m happy to share that this project went on to win the 2018 PhotoNOLA Review Award which results in a solo exhibition at the New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery during the thirteenth annual PhotoNOLA festival in December, a cash award of $1000, and a complimentary year of mentoring and strategic marketing consultations from Mary Virginia Swanson.

Beyond the Wall: Traveling the U.S.-Mexico Border | Time

When photographer Elliot Ross and I traveled the 2,000 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border it was the spring of 2017. The post-election climate had enflamed a sense of cultural and political difference in the United States — much of which centered around the debate about the border wall. We set out expecting to find residents there who were fundamentally vexed by the relationship between the United States and Mexico; between immigrant, indigenous and Caucasian communities; and between border inhabitants and undocumented migrants. Instead, we found the opposite — and heard about fears largely left unvoiced.

A Portrait of Love Among the Ruins of Post-Industrial America – Feature Shoot

Artist Brenda Ann Kenneally knows how the game is played better than most, and uses her knowledge and wisdom expose the truth — rather than perpetuate the lies told and sold. In 2002, she and author Adrian Nicole LeBlanc began collaborating on a magazine assignment in Troy, New York, a once-thriving city whose fortunes have gone dark.

Martin Parr: 48 Years of Photographing the Quirky and Kitschy in Manchester – The New York Times

For almost half a century, the British photographer has captured the diversity and eccentricity of the city of Manchester in northwestern England.

The 2019 Kiss Exhibition | LENSCRATCH

On this day of professing love, I am extending my love to those who make this site what it is…the behind the scenes people like Jonas Yip and Brian Van de Wetering who solve all the glitches and Clay Lipsky who can turn around a design with record speed, the active daily promoters of the site: Val Patterson, Julia Bennett, Patty Lemke, and Paula Riff, the wonderful writers and editors: Linda Alterwitz, Daniel George, Amanda Dalgren, Megan Ross, Brennan Booker, and The States Project Editors…well, and so many more….and I don’t want to forget two people that were so critical to the site, Grant Gill and Sarah Stankey who are off at grad school making waves in the photo world. I love you and thank you and wish you the most wonderful Valentine’s Day!

The Democratic Vision of a Lost and Found Early-Twentieth-Century Portrait Photographer | The New Yorker

The sitters who moved in and out of Hugh Mangum’s view between 1897 and 1922 smiled, laughed, and daydreamed; they threw their arms around or leaned upon one another; they wore their best dresses and fanciest hats, or they wore coarse cloth and stood barefoot. In an era of racial terror, as Jim Crow tightened its grip on the South, Mangum set up makeshift studios across North Carolina and Virginia (sometimes just a tent outside of town) that were open to white and black sitters alike. A gangly white man with an appealingly unkempt mustache, Mangum often used a Penny Picture camera, designed to capture up to thirty exposures on a single glass plate. Sitters would line up and take their places in front of the camera; Mangum would charm and cajole them, shifting the plate a little bit for each new exposure. The result, inadvertent but still provocative, is a record of how much daily life and experience was shared by the people whom racist American custom and law treated as separate.

A Refugee’s Story: ‘No One’s Family Is Perfect but Mine Is Perfect for Me’ – The New York Times

Wesaam Al-Badry’s first and fondest memory of his father, Sattar, was visiting him in an Iraqi prison. Sattar had been imprisoned and tortured for being a pacifist who refused to fight in the Iran-Iraq war. There were at least 20 other prisoners in the same cell, Wesaam recalled where his father hugged him and held him in his lap.

An Afghan Photographer’s Intimate Look at Everyday Life in His Country – The New York Times

Farshad Usyan followed in his late brother’s footsteps as a photographer for Agence France-Presse. In his personal work, he focuses on the mundane struggles and simple pleasures in his homeland.

Thomas Alleman: The Nature of the Beast | LENSCRATCH

Los Angeles photographer Thomas Alleman has a legacy of looking at Los Angeles with the unique perspective of a visual hunter. As he traverses the city on foot or by car, his projects reflect the visual connections to it’s history of Noir and movie making, but he also investigates the ubiquitous visual assaults of advertising, architecture, and the land itself. His new series, Living On The Land In Los Angeles, FLORA, explores the idea that we live in a false environment with landscape that is non-native, filled with species that are invasive and damaging resulting in a terrain that has a mind of it’s own. His compositions and use of flash present an off-kilter, mess of a marriage of flora, architecture, and humanity.

Beautiful Photos of Japanese Cities Lost in Snow – Feature Shoot

The Chinese photographer Ying Yin initially boarded the ‘Wind of Okhotsk’ train in Hokkaido, Japan in hopes of seeing the the famous drift ice over the Sea of Okhotsk. Her first attempt, however, was cut short by bad weather, leading her to pursue a different subject. Following the general course of the train, she made visits to snowy cities, where she observed solitary figures going about their daily lives.

Street Photos of 1960s New York in Kodachrome by Tod Papageorge – The New York Times

Tod Papageorge was relatively new to Manhattan and photography when he set out in the mid-1960s to make his mark. While street photographers with black-and-white film darted around pedestrians and traffic, he was attracted to storefronts with their harmonized symmetry and varying shades of gold between jelly jars and cider jugs. Traditionally, black and white was the choice of street photography, and color was for commercial work. His contemporaries, Joel Meyerowitz and Garry Winogrand, urged him to use color.

A Portrait Brooklyn Before it Was Gentrified – Feature Shoot

Brooklyn native Larry Racioppo headed west for two years before returning to his hometown in December 1970. He took a job at the phone company and a class at SVA, which inspired him to start photographing the world in which he lived. Then little by little, everything began to change.

In Venezuela, Women in Prison Awaiting Trial Endure Crowded Conditions – The New York Times

Amid Venezuela’s crises, overcrowded prisons and an overburdened justice system have forced women awaiting trial — and even some convicted of crimes — to spend months in crowded cells at detention centers that were never intended for such use.

The Unseen Robert Frank: Outtakes From ‘The Americans’ – The New York Times

Only 83 of the nearly 28,000 photographs Mr. Frank made during his journeys appeared in the book, which was published in France in 1958 and then in the United States a year later. In 1978, Mr. Frank sold the rest of those photos, along with his entire archive at the time, to cover living expenses and fund his filmmaking. While some of those photographs have since been exhibited at various museums and galleries, there are still many thousands more that, with apologies to Mr. Kerouac, have been seen before on film — but never by a wide audience.

Jake Borden – In Ruins – Displaced Georgians in Tbilisi « burn magazine

On the outskirts of Georgia’s capital, Tblisi, an abandoned military hospital from the bygone Soviet era serves as a refuge to some one hundred and fifty families unable to find jobs and affordable housing. Tweny-five years after the fall of the Soviet Unions, the occupants represent a fraction of the nearly quarter million internally displaced people inside Georgia, who in 1993 were forced from their homes during government clashes with Russian backed separatists in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

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