thanks to Chole Aftel's blog, I discovered the work of Vivian Maier. It's a fascinating story of a young woman who worked as a nanny in Chicago and spent her free time roaming the streets taking photographs.
One of the most striking new bodies of work I’ve seen recently is a series of photographs made by the 30 year old photojournalist Jehad Nga. Taken in a Somalian café and lit only by a single shaft on sunlight, the images illuminate their subjects in the clandestine manner of Walker Evans’ subway pictures or Harry Callahan’s “Women Lost in Thought”.
Nga was born in Kansas, but moved soon after, first to Libya and then to London. In his early 20s he was living in Los Angeles and taking courses at UCLA, when he came across the book “Digital Diaries” by Natasha Merritt. The book, a collection of sexually intimate photos made with a digital point-and-shoot, convinced Nga that he could become a photographer. One year later he was traveling through the Middle East taking pictures.
We enter Laura El-Tantawy’s book through the tiny door, after swallowing the bitter potion of History. As in a dream, the almost illegible images of the first pages gradually become clear as we pass from a small format to double-page spreads which draw the reader into the whirlwind that has devastated Egypt over the past ten years. We follow the emotional chaos that El-Tantawy experienced upon her return from the United States, in 2005, against a background of political decadence.