Why do photographers avoid photos that have eye contact? “We don’t want to exist in our pictures,” says Ed Kashi, whose exhibition “Eye Contact” opens in Brooklyn this week.
One day, I thought: “This has happened to me for 30 years. I could walk down the street anywhere in the world and my camera — I think it’s my camera, I don’t think it’s me — my camera elicits dirty looks.”
In this interview with VII The Magazine Ed Kashi talks about his years covering the explosive situation in the Niger Delta. This story has everything, big oil companies, a corrupt political situation, great wealth and extreme poverty, war and the 50th anniversary of Nigeria's independence.
Ed Kashi on his environmental photography projects in Niger delta and Madagascar
The photojournalist Ed Kashi's work chronicling oil extraction in the Niger delta, the Curse of the Black Gold, won him the Prix Pictet Commission, whereby he was invited to produce a body of work on the theme of Earth. Here he discusses the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, his work in the Niger delta and the recent Prix Pictet exhibition, Madagascar: A Land Out of Balance.
Ed Kashi was at HOST Gallery speaking in conversation with Jacobson about the various projects that have shaped his career, in particular, work on Northern Ireland, Kurdistan, aging in America and the Niger Delta.
Ed Kashi has been photographing Syria for 20 years. He has seen it change in some ways but, as a journalist, he still feels he operates under a cloud.
Ed Kashi is a photojournalist and filmmaker. He spoke with Lens last summer about “Three,” his book of triptychs. (“Kashi, Kashi, Kashi,” June 19, 2009.) His other books include “Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta” and “Aging in America: The Years Ahead.” His work often appears in National Geographic. The interview, by James Estrin, has been condensed somewhat and edited for clarity.
Kashi is a photojournalist, filmmaker and educator. His award-winning work spans from high-end print photojournalism to experimental film.
What's the greatest picture you didn’t take?
There are too many, so I choose not to dwell upon the near and far misses. Suffice it to say, like life itself, photography provides a limitless set of possibilities and we have a limited capacity to take advantage of them.
In Ed Kashi’s new book, THREE, images from his 30 years as a top documentary photographer are combined into triptychs that consciously abandon the idea of context or traditional narrative. Some of those triptychs will be part of a show opening tomorrow at FiftyCrows gallery in San Francisco (founded by liveBooks CEO Andy Patrick), so I thought this would be a good time to talk to Ed about the project. I love the book (that’s my copy getting flipped through) and find his words inspirational. Hope you do too.
When Ed came to Stanford a few months ago for an Aurora Forum on the What Matters book, I was reminded how unsatisfactory the term “documentary photographer” is when applied to someone like him. Years before multimedia became a buzzword, Ed and his wife Julie Winokur were leading the way into “multi-platform” storytelling, including exhibitions, books, websites, videos, multimedia, and educational programs. Ed explains how they are now exploring “feedback loops” between documentarians, their audience, and the subjects, so that the people in the photos and the people looking at them contribute as much to a story as the person behind the camera.
Ed Kashi Travel Notes – A return to the Niger Delta reiterates the challenges of overseas photojournalism
RESOLVE — the liveBooks photo blog » Archives » Ed Kashi Travel Notes – A return to the Niger Delta reiterates the challenges of overseas photojournalism:
After publishing Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta in 2008, Ed returned to the Delta in May for nearly seven weeks to shoot a video for the State of Bayelsa. Despite his extensive experience in the area, the experience was a constant trial. For photographers who have worked overseas, this will no doubt sound familiar — for those who look at their images, it’s a compelling glimpse into how they are made.
Showcase: Kashi, Kashi, Kashi
JAMES ESTRIN – Lens Blog:
Ed Kashi is a photojournalist and filmmaker who has spent the last 30 years documenting social and political issues. In his new book, “Three” (PowerHouse books 2009), images are stripped of their context and arranged in triptychs, relying on visual or metaphoric cues.
Ed Kashi: Three
In a world inundated by visual imagery, our ability to take in more than one image at a time has become innate. In fact, our attention span demands it. Three, a book of triptychs by acclaimed photographer Ed Kashi, plays on the visual appetite of a hectic world. These triptychs span eras and continents, challenging our notions of perspective and the individual image.
It came to me in a dream… I was laying in bed one morning and three images from a story in Brazil flowed through my mind’s eye like a cinematic strip. This idea of three images… seeing in threes… became a focal point for combing through my more than twenty years of images, looking for the visual connections, visual language and visual poetry of three.
Kashi's "Flip Book" Kurdistan Presentation Debuts On MSNBC
The video begins simply. Title cards set the stage for a story about the Kurds, the ethnic group of northern Iraq who now live in relative peace.
Then all madness breaks loose. Daily life in Kurdistan unfolds as a staccato, stop-motion dance. Cars jam a street, children play, soldiers train, nurses tend to patients – all at a few frames per second, synchronized like a ballet to instrumental music. As the frames flip by, the camera zooms in and out, hovering to line up a well-framed shot, changing brightness and focus.
The 12-minute multimedia presentation is made from thousands of still photos Ed Kashi shot on a National Geographic assignment in Iraqi Kurdistan last year.