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SKIN: Photos Bohdan Warchomij October 23, 2017

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Oceans of Subculture: Smith & Köppen October 19, 2017

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Portraiture from beyond: Smith & Köppen
Smith & Köppen
Photographers duo Smith & Köppen travel to the world’s most breath-taking music festivals, events and nightclubs with their mobile studio, giving a glimpse into an ethereal cast of unique personalities they encounter.

Smith & Köppen

They create portraits that allow others to dip their toes into the oceans of subcultures around the world. Their art explores the heights and depths of human imagination and creativity.

Metaphor Images has been following the duo’s journey as they venture across the globe and bring back portraiture from beyond.

What we love is the celebration of diversity and creative expression. Even if most people would never find themselves in these places, we want our audience to view the images and consider the subject’s experiences and imagining the pulses of the music in the background. These moments we show are often transformational If you want to see the latest fashion or music you should go to a festival because that’s where it’s all happening right now.


The duo are based in Amsterdam and discovered their niche while exploring the nightlife around the city.

Amsterdam is a city with thriving subcultures. The people here are free to be who they want to be, and that personal liberty creates this incubator for these collectives and groups of individuals to come together. At the surface you see the drug culture, the Drags, but that is just the beginning. It’s the world’s capital for house music, there’s hip-hop culture, influences from mainland Europe, America, the Caribbean, Indonesia — it’s all here and mixing together.

Over the past year, Smith & Köppen have travelled across Europe with their mobile studio, to extraordinary places such as the Milkshake festival, a LGBT music festival hosted in a park in the heart of Amsterdam, and night-club events surrounding the voguing dance community, in converted industrial spaces at the heart of Paris.

Exploration and discovery are key elements of their practice. In September 2017, they made their first trip to the USA to capture portraits at the Fulsom street fair, a BDSM festival in San Francisco.

They are currently collaborating with the performance theatre Thuishaven, on the outskirts of Amsterdam to produce a series of portraits centred around its touring DJs and giant circus family, who is rooted deeply inside the electronic music scene.

In photography, you are exposed to so many different worlds.. the best and the worst. It doesn’t matter what camera body you have, what lens you use.. what is most important is to never lose your curiosity with the world around you. Everywhere we go, we are constantly amazed by people’s creativity and passions, they get to be who they want to be, and we want to show their humanity.

Recently, Smith & Köppen exhibited with the YiPArt (Young in Prison) group show, the Netherland’s largest photographic art auction, featuring over 40 photographers at Gallery 533 inside the art’otel Amsterdam.

Their photographs are currently on display at UPdate Berlin 2017 at the Titanic Hotel, as winners of the Portrait category (Public) for the 2017 GoSee Awards. (https://www.gosee.us/awardsportfoliospublic/portrait/2017)

Instagram: @smithkoppen


Swan River Festival of Lights October 15, 2017

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Photo Bohdan Warchomij

The Swan Festival of Lights (SFOL) has become a key event on the Perth cultural calendar, eagerly anticipated each year by a crowd of over 25,000 people who flock from overseas and interstate and from the many diverse communities that live in Perth and Western Australia over its three day duration. SFOL has become a flagship event on the Perth cultural calendar having gained a reputation as a distinctive, high-quality event, noted especially for its inclusiveness and friendliness.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

The Festival of Lights which is a key festival and celebration observed by Indians worldwide. Deepavali is a festival symbolising the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. Many mythological explanations exist for this festival.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

At SFOL, Deepavali stands for the reaffirmation of hope, a renewed commitment to friendship, religious tolerance, and a celebration of the joys of life through the presentation of Indian fine arts and culture to the public of Western Australia while also promoting Western Australia’s multiculturalism through Perth’s rich, diverse and renowned performing artistes. SFOL has become synonymous with Deepavali amongst the Indian diaspora in Perth and is widely considered by all Perth communities and the Government agencies as a key Indian festival event for the celebration.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

The Totally Huge New Music Festival 2017: Rehearsing for Breaking Out October 15, 2017

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The Breaking Out concert is a proud tradition of the biennial Totally Huge New Music Festival that celebrates emerging Western Australian composers and performers. Audiences are invited to an evening of interesting and inspiring compositions from graduating students from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and the University of Western Australia’s School of Music, as well as those spreading their wings beyond the institutions.

Embracing the Irrational: The Sonic Arts in a Post-Factual World
Keynote Speaker: Anne LeBaron (CalArts)

Over the last century art movements such as Dada, Surrealism, Fluxus and Neoisms such as the Luther Blissett movement and Australia’s Ern Malley hoax responded to the world around them by embracing the irrational as the basis of their creative agendas. In a media-rich contemporary environment in which facts are displaced by feelings, emotion and intuition – previously the lowly province of the arts  and “soft sciences” – where do composition and sonic art practices stand? How are composers, music creatives and sonic artists responding to the new century of “post-truth”?

The Totally Huge New Music Festival Conference is presented by Tura New Music, in association with the University of Western Australia, and with Edith Cowan University, including the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. The conference is supported by the State Library of Western Australia.


The Plight of the Rohingya: October 15, 2017

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Chris Steel Perkins Magnum Photos 1992

Less than five years ago, President Barack Obama stood in front of cheering crowds at Rangoon University and hailed Myanmar’s “remarkable journey” to democracy. But while he praised the Southeast Asian nation’s desire for reform, he also referred to communal violence between Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists in the western state of Rakhine that had left more than 100,000 people displaced that year. “The flickers of progress that we have seen must not be extinguished,” the American president warned.

This summer, those rays of light rapidly dimmed. On August 25, a Rohingya insurgent group launched attacks on a series of security posts that killed more than 100 people. It sparked brutal “clearance operations” by the military, which—according to survivors— has included burning entire villages to the ground, as well as mass rape and murder. Since then, more than half a million ethnic Rohingya Muslims have fled the Buddhist-majority country and crossed into Bangladesh. That’s close to half of Myanmar’s entire Rohingya population. Tens of thousands remain displaced within the country, lacking access to vital humanitarian aid.

It’s not the first refugee crisis to affect the region. As Magnum photographers have documented for more than 25 years, the Rohingya have long faced discrimination and violent repression.  Since independence in 1948, successive governments, including the military junta who ruled from 1962 to 2011, have viewed the Rohingya as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. (In fact, some Rohingya can trace their roots back centuries, when thousands of Muslims came to the former Arakan Kingdom, while others arrived during British colonial rule in the 19th and early 20th centuries.)

Under civilian rule, the Rohingya’s plight has only worsened and they are now one of the world’s largest stateless populations.  Effectively denied citizenship since 1982, the Rohingya have steadily been stripped of basic rights, facing restrictions on their movement around the country, their education and employment, as well as on marriage and family planning.

Tensions between the Bengali-speaking Muslims and Buddhists have erupted periodically. Between May 1991 and March 1992, more than 260,000 Rohingya fled the country following human rights abuses by the Burmese military, including forced labor, torture, rape and murder. With the help of the United Nations and NGOs, the Bangladeshi government sheltered the refugees in nineteen camps—but planned to repatriate them as soon as possible. (Then, as now, Bangladesh was not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention.) In 1992, Burma-born Chris Steele-Perkins photographed these refugee flows, which bear a striking similarity to the images coming out of the region over the last year. Most crossed by land into Bangladesh but as with the more recent refugee flows, hundreds have drowned in boats trying to reach Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

Chris Steele Perkins Magnum Photos 2104

These Magnum photographers are not alone in documenting the crisis. Australian photographer Patrick Brown, long time resident of Bangkok has added his voice to the crisis.

Photo Patrick Browne

Photo Patrick Browne

Photographers in Focus: Mustafah Abdulaziz on Nowness October 12, 2017

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 Berlin-based photographer Mustafah Abulaziz has spent the last five years in a singular exploration of the world’s relationship to water. Returning to his Brooklyn roots, an exhibition of his work has launched as an illuminating series of lightboxes in Brooklyn Bridge Park beside New York’s East River—as part of annual photography festival Photoville. A collaboration between NGOs Earthwatch, WaterAid, WWF and HSBC’s global water programme, Abulaziz’s Water Stories—a series that forms part of his wider project about water—sheds light on the human and environmental impacts of the earth’s most precious resource.



International Residencies Program: Australia Council for the Arts October 12, 2017

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The International Residencies Program has been developed through sector consultation and research. Council has forged partnerships with some of the best residency providers in the world to deliver a suite of residencies that enable the development of individual artists, arts mediators, groups and organisations.

International residencies provide a unique opportunity for artists to effectively immerse themselves in a new arts context, market, community and culture. The experience enables artists to articulate their practice within a global context and build knowledge, networks and partnerships that support future international arts activity.

Outcomes for an artist on residency can include:


EYE CONTACT An exhibition by Phil England with the personal stories of 20 homeless West Australians October 11, 2017

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EYE CONTACT, is a photographic exhibition shining a light on the face of homelessness in Perth by photographer Phil England.

Phil England is seeking to change the way society views homeless people.

The Perth photographer has captured the stories of 20 homeless West Australians in his Eye Contact exhibition.

England forces onlookers to confront the issues his subject’s face, depicting their life views on larger than life portraits.

Former Governor Ken Michael  launched this exhibition on 10 October, to raise much needed funds for Homeless Healthcare. It will then go on public display in Cloisters Square from Thursday 12 until Friday 20 October 2017.

Field’s Avenue Angeles City Dave Tacon Photographer Margaret Simons Writer ABC October 10, 2017

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In 2015 writer Margaret Simons and photographer Dave Tacon worked together on a powerful story about the children of Australian sex tourists.

They wrote about the shattering poverty of these children, and how it exists in contrast to the glitz of Fields Avenue, where their mothers work the bars.

The story Margaret wrote and the photos Dave took touched a lot of hearts. As a result some of the children found sponsors in Australia who send them regular money. Now, they’re back in the Philippines again, this time with ABC radio producer Heather Jarvis in tow. The three meet up with some of the children whose lives they have been following and who they have come to care about.


Sanne De Wilde Photography on the Micronesian Island of Pingelap October 9, 2017

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On the Micronesian island of Pingelap, more than 5% of the population cannot see colour; shooting their world, Sanne De Wilde used photography to question our visual perception

Congenital achromatopsia is a hereditary condition in which the eye cannot detect colour – the cones in the retina do not function, leaving the vision to the rods alone, which only detect shades of grey. In most places the disease is rare, occuring in less than one in 30,000 people. But on the Micronesian island of Pingelap it’s much more common, present in more than 5% of the population.

The islanders have many theories as to why. According to one, the disease came from Dokas  wife of the 19th century ruler Nahnmwarki Okonomwaun, who had two achromatopic children said to have been fathered by the god Isoahpahu. Another myth references an angry missionary, who cursed Nahnmwarki Mwahuele; yet another warns pregnant women off walking on the beach at noon, lest the blazing sun partially blind their unborn children.

Whatever the cause it’s an extraordinary phenomenon – and one that immediately gripped Belgian photographer Sanne De Wilde when she heard about it back in 2015. “I was invited onto a radio show to talk about my project Samoa Kekea, about albinism on the Polynesian islands of Upolu and Savai’i,” she says. “Afterwards I was contacted by Roel van Gils, a Belgian man who has achromatopsia, who said ‘I have a story for you’. I met him and was immediately very interested. I felt I had to do it.”

“Sometimes an idea sparks your mind and lingers, glowing in the dark in the back of your head, like a shiny thought-sparkle,” she writes in the afterword of her new book, The Island of the Colorblind. “That is how Pingelap came to me. I was told the island-tale and instantly felt I had to pluck this shooting star out of the sky, hold on to it, care for it and let it guide me.”

She is one of  three emerging image-makers with an edgy take on documentary photography to join the prestigious agency NOOR as nominees.

NOOR, the prestigious photo agency and foundation, has signed up three new nominees – Sanne de Wilde, Arko Datto and Leonard Pongo. Hailing from Belgium, India and Belgium/DR Congo respectively, all three are known for their cutting-edge work, rooted in documentary but pushing the aesthetic boundaries of image-making.

Sanne de Wilde graduated from Ghent’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in June 2012 but is already known for several outstanding projects – Snow White, a study of albinism shot in distinctive bleached-out colours; The Dwarf Empire, a study of small people and voyeurism; and, mostly recently, The Island of the Colorblind, an investigation of achromatopsia that was published as a book this summer, presented at the Voies Off in Arles by the Festival Circulation(s), and given a cover feature in BJP.