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Philanthropy in Perth Photos Bohdan Warchomij October 22, 2018

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Leo Sayer dances with Telethon children Kaide Stratton and Charlotte Meredith

Incoming Telethon chairman Richard Goyder has promised to keep building the fundraising beast that has again triggered a philanthropic emotional response from  generous West Australians. It also attracted people like Lady Kitty Spencer, Leo Sayer, Anna Coquerel from Home and Away, Sam Frost, David Koch, Magicians Adam and Selina Murby and many others who contributed to the energy and drive that inspires the people of West Australia to invest in medical research.

Lady Kitty Spencer Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Selina and Adam Murby Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Raising the roof Photo Bohdan Warchomij

The two children who graced the stage at the Perth Convention Centre and inspired us all were 10 year old Kaide Stratton who was diagnosed with mucopolysaccahridosis) and 6 year old Charlotte Meredith who was born with Congenital Heart Disease, diagnosed with Pulmonary Atresia with a hypoplastic right ventricle.

Kaide Stratton and Charlotte Meredith Photo Bohdan Warchomij

At just eight days old was the first time Charlotte was handed over to the cardiology surgical team for her first of several heart operations. At 10 months of age Charlotte returned to Princess Margaret Hospital for her second surgery and her first open heart surgery. Another surgery at 1 and ½ and in November 2016 at almost 5 years old had the completion of her Fontan.

Kaide was diagnosed with MPS IVA (or Morquio syndrome), probably the least severe of the spectrums. Morquio syndrome is a genetic condition where parents are carriers but show no signs. It’s a degenerative and progressive condition with no known cure and very rare impacting 1 in 250,000 births.

 Mr Goyder said a key initial driver for Telethon’s contribution to WA’s health sector under his watch would be a tribute to the benefactor he has replaced, Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes.
 Mr Goyder said a key initial driver for Telethon’s contribution to WA’s health sector under his watch would be a tribute to the benefactor he has replaced, Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes.
Mr Goyder said The Kerry M. Stokes Chair of Child Health — established by Curtin University, the Channel 7 Telethon Trust and the Telethon Kids Institute — would be a world-class research program for the benefit of children and the adults they would become.

Sam Frost Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Anna Coquerel Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Enypiastes Eximia October 22, 2018

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A previously unseen species called Enypiastes Eximia , originally seen in the Gulf of Mexico has been photographed on a revolutionary video  camera by the Australian Arctic Division for long line fishing in the Southern Ocean. Resembling a sea cucumber and foraging on the ocean floor at depths to three kilometres it reminds me of the wonders and mysteries of our world.

Bohdan Warchomij Editor

The video camera used to record Enypiastes Eximia in the Southern Ocean. It is also used in marine conservation.

HOT POTATO: A photo by Kevin Abosch October 10, 2018

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Check out this photo of a potato. It may look like a rather ordinary photo, but it’s one of the most expensive photos in the world: it sold last year for a staggering $1,000,000+.

The photo, titled “Potato #345 (2010),” is by photographer Kevin Abosch, who charges huge fees to shoot portraits of famous business people in the Silicon Valley tech industry.

Business Insider reports that Abosch’s “iconic black backdrop” portraits have become a sort of status symbol among the elites of business and entertainment — the rich and famous pay over $150,000 for a photo shoot with Abosch, and up to $500,000 if commercial usage is included.

In addition to shooting pricey portraits, Abosch is also a fine art photographer, and that’s how the potato photo came about.

“Kevin likes potatoes because they, like people are all different yet immediately identifiable as being essentially of the same species”.

“He has photographed many potatoes. This one is one of his favorites.”

This self portrait is of Kevin Abosch himself.

Tami Xiang series Peasantography: Family Portrait October 3, 2018

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Nearly 63 million children in rural China live with their grandparents or other relatives while their parents work in the cities. Others live alone. These children, known as the “Left Behind Children” suffer the emotional trauma of separation and also of a multi-generational divide. Many only see their parents once a year during the Chinese Spring Festival.

Others have even less contact like 13-year-old Tan Dong. He was ‘left behind’ when he was two years old. He lives with his elderly grandmother who has health issues. Dong’s father died while he was working away and his mother has failed to return for some years now.

Chinese-Australian photographer Tami Xiang’s series Peasantography: Family Portrait is a visual study of these Left Behind Children from an insider’s perspective. Xiang, who now lives in Perth (Western Australia), grew up in Wanzhou a district of Chongqing in the Yangtze Three Gorges region. On a visit to her hometown in 2014 she began to take family portraits of neighbours and friends.

“I realised that these ‘family portraits’ predominantly consisted of children and their grandparents, the parents were a noticeable absence.”

Since those first portraits Xiang has photographed and interviewed hundreds of children and their families creating a series of what she calls “dystopian family portraits” which comprise her body of work, Peasantography.

In Peasantography, Xiang has created an installation artwork comprising three elements. The first features a portrait of the children and their carers on one side and the parents on the other. Dividing these portraits are the actual transport tickets the parents used to return to their children. Then there are the portraits over which Xiang has woven these tickets into a pattern designed to replicate the design traditionally used in rural areas to make baskets.

And finally there is the massive floor print where hundreds of children’s faces look up at the family portraits hung on the walls, evoking a sense of the longing they feel in the absence of their parents.

Xiang says the phenomenon of the Left Behind Children touched her even more deeply when she realised it was something her own family had experienced. “My nephew was left behind when he was eight years old. It was, in fact, originally my suggestion that my financially burdened brother and sister-in-law leave him to live with my mother while they worked in ZhuHai close to Macao where there are many manufacturing companies.”

It is a familiar story in rural China where employment options are scarce and parents are forced by economic circumstances to move away for work. China’s Household Registration policy, the Hukou system, means that children have to attend school where their family is registered. In China you are either an urban or rural resident.

The Hukou system “also means that migrant workers from rural areas have little or no opportunity to become permanent urban residents,” she explains.  In December 2015 the Chinese government determined to grant residency status to a number of rural migrant workers, but this issue faces tens of millions.

Many of these ‘left behind’ children suffer depression, loneliness and other mental health issues. Xiang says these children represent an entire generation growing up without knowing the love and support of a parent. They live in underdeveloped regions where educational opportunities are limited and mental health services virtually non-existent.

This is an important story to tell from both a humanist perspective and also in relation to the ramifications for China as a growing world power. The success of any country is its people.

Alison Stieven-Taylor


Photo Bohdan Warchomij


Tami Xiang – Peasantography: Family Portrait

September 28 – October 8, 2018

Cullity Gallery (UWA Campus)

Cnr.  Clifton St and Stirling Highway

Nedlands (Perth, Western Australia).



West Coast Eagles Australian Football League Champions Photos Bohdan Warchomij September 30, 2018

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Dom Sheed gets a pat on the head from Jack Redden and a smile from Elliott Yeo for the match winning goal Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Thousands of jubilant West Coast Eagles fans gathered on Langley Park on the Perth foreshore to celebrate the team’s victory over Collingwood in the 2018 AFL Grand Final.

He said it was a very exciting day for all West Australians and was effusive in his praise for the team.

“The Eagles brought home the cup in one of the most amazing grand finals anyone has ever seen, it was magnificent, it was exciting, it was frustrating,” he said.

“That last goal was one of the greatest goals I think any of us have ever seen and it showed the team could put it together right when it counted.”

 Dom Sheed, who slotted the goal from an impossible angle to separate the two teams and ensure an Eagles victory was cheered by the crowd and his teammates.

Film-maker James Ricketson pardoned by Cambodian King, arrives in Sydney September 24, 2018

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The Australian film-maker James Ricketson has landed on home soil but has promised he will return to Cambodia, days after being granted a royal pardon.

Ricketson, 69, landed in Sydney on Sunday night just 48 hours after his 15-month incarceration in a Phnom Penh prison, where he was held on accusations of spying, ended with clemency from the Cambodian king, Norodom Sihamoni.

“I’ll be going back as soon as I can but I’ll need to recover obviously,” he told reporters. “I need to spend some time with myself and some time with my family. But yeah, I’ll be going back.”

The Australian Directors Guild co-founder deflected questions about how his release came about, but thanked the Cambodian prime minister, Hun Sen, for recommending the king pardon him “for a crime I did not commit”.

He said there was “room for improvement” in the way the Australian government handled his case.

“I’ll leave it at that for the time being; I really need to go home and go to bed now,” he said. “I do have a good story to tell but now, at the airport, is not the right time to tell it.”

Valeriy Faminsky Red Army War Photographer covers the end of World War II in Berlin Germany September 24, 2018

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Last year, photographer Arthur Bondar saw advertising on Facebook from the family of Soviet war photographer Valery Faminsky who were selling his archive, and bought the negatives. The rare photographs of WWII caught so much attention it was decided to publish them as a book. In February, Bondar is planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for it. This report was originally published in Bird In Flight magazine.

Berlin looks monumental in ruin. It is a huge and gloomy monument to the insanity of politics, as well as a reminder that a gentleman’s war is impossible.

When Adolf Hitler ordered the bombing of Great Britain in the summer of 1940, he was still hoping to coerce Churchill to negotiation. That’s why German aviation planned attacks on military and industrial objects, and pilots were warned they would be punished if they struck living quarters, even accidentally.

The technological limitations did not allow for fulfilling this requirement. On the August 24, several Luftwaffe planes got lost and killed nine people in central London. On the next night, 25 crews of the Royal Air Force were in the sky over Berlin. During the inaccurate bombing of Tempelhof airport and Siemens factory, they hit civilian homes.

Eye for an eye. Since then, both sides did not try to avoid collateral damage when planning air raids, and even aimed for it. The strategic goal was now to suppress the enemy’s will by carpet bombing.

By 1943, the US joined Britain in bombing Berlin, the next year came the French. By the end of the war, the Western allies had dumped over 68,500 tons of explosives on the German capital. The Red Army added another 40,000 bombs and shells during the assault.

Palaces, museums, places of worship, historical and cultural monuments were destroyed along with the residential homes, government buildings, and military objects. However, the most horrible photographs of post-war Berlin were taken in the city center, where 80% of buildings were destroyed. The total for all districts of the city was 33% — less than in other large German cities. Bohn was 85% destroyed, Hannover — 60%, Frankfurt — 52%, Munich — 42%.

The human casualties were also comparatively low, as for WWII. According to the estimates of German historians, airstrikes killed 20,000–30,000 Berliners. The capital was protected by a large square area, a significant distance from the enemy’s airstrips, and a powerful air defense system.

Strategic bombing did not achieve the desired results. Taking into account huge losses — Western allies lost 33,700 planes and 160,000 pilots over Europe — some historians claim that the air campaign was a failure.

German industry was seriously damaged, but the production of military goods was growing in Germany till mid-1944. Although after the war 91% of surveyed Germans said that the bombardments were the most difficult for them, the country fought until the fall of Berlin and the capitulation of the government.

Before the war, the population of Berlin and its suburbs reached 4,700,000 people. In 1943, the German government decided to evacuate people who were not involved in production and government away from the bombardments. Women, children, and the elderly were taken from Berlin to the countryside. Many of them returned home secretly, and soon the city was also flooded by refugees from East Germany. The population grew — and then decreased again, when people were fleeing to the West as the Red Army got closer.

By May, when Nazi Germany capitulated, there were 1,700,00 people in the capital. The main problem for the Soviet administration was to save people from starving to death. In May, they introduced a five-level food rationing system. The most food was given to scientists and artists, the least — to the elderly and housewives. Their rations were called ‘Friedhofskarte’, a ‘ticket to the cemetery’. At the time, an average Berliner weighed 6–9 kilograms less than the normal average weight.

For every living Berliner, there were 30m³ of garbage and debris by the end of the war. The Soviet administration thought it would take 12 years to fully clear the city. Three weeks after Berlin was liberated, 60,000 women aged between 15 and 65 were drafted to clear the debris. Trümmerfrauen, women of the ruins, received 12 marks a day and, much more importantly, food according to the second level of rationing.

The revival of Germany was both fast and slow. During WWII, the country lost 18% of its resources, but gained plenty — huge military investment into the infrastructure and stimulation of the economy by refugee Germans from other countries. Already in 1950, goods made in Germany were massively exported.

The restoration of the capital, which was divided into the Eastern and Western zones, was still underway in the 1980s. In West Berlin, the destruction of entire districts and the need to re-plan the city encouraged the development of modern architecture. In East Berlin, where the socialist state allocated much less costs to reconstruction, some of the buildings still have bullet holes and shelling damage on them.

The fall of the Berlin Wall prolonged the reconstruction for another three decades. What should Berlin be like — this is still a hot issue. It seems that the citizens enjoy the very process of constant renewal.

Culture of Confrontation by Maxim Dondyuk A Kickstarter Campaign September 19, 2018

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Today Ukrainian photographer Maxim Dondyuk has launched a second Kickstarter campaign for his first photo book ‘Culture of Confrontation’. After three years of hard work with Zhenya Anfalova, a designer from Germany, and a great writer in Simon Shuster the project is ready for publication.

This is going to be a self-publication of an important facet of Ukrainian history and there is an opportunity  to participate on this Kickstarter campaign.

The work of Maksim Dondyuk has been acknowledged and received awards internationally and this is a great opportunity to bring it to reality and to add an historically important book to your bookshelves.


Photos from the project ‘Culture of Confrontation’ were exhibited in solo and group exhibitions around the world: Musée d’Art Moderne (Paris), Somerset House (London), MAXXI, National Museum of XXI Century Arts (Rome), CAB Art Center (Brussels), International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum (Geneva), Voices Off Festival (Arles), Visa pour l’Image (Perpignan), Checkpoint Charlie Museum (Berlin), during the Biennale of Photography “Fotográfica Bogota”(Colombia), and others.



FAKE NEWS: Russia’s Defense Ministry unveils its latest MH17 denial September 19, 2018

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Russia’s Defense Ministry unveils its latest MH17 denial

From Meduza
06:53, 18 september 2018

On September 17, the Russian Defense Ministry presented more claims that it wasn’t responsible for supplying the weapon that destroyed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014. Based on “declassified archives,” Russian officials once again said the missile that downed the plane was fired from territory controlled by the Ukrainian military. The Defense Ministry also played an excerpt from an audio tape where a man identified as a colonel in the Ukrainian army discusses bringing down “another Malaysian Boeing.”

Unfortunately the crash area was controlled by Russian speaking separatists that I photographed on site after responding to a phone call from News Limited photo editor Jackson Flindel to cover the story for the Sunday Times and travelling from Mariupol by taxi to do so. The open source intelligence group Bellingcat’s analysis of the Bukh rocket launcher’s movements and the internet recordings of separatists reporting on the attack make denial almost meaningless.

Finally, Russian military officials accused foreign investigators on the Joint Investigation Team of doctoring video footage to produce evidence that the “Buk” missile system responsible for the MH17 disaster was delivered from Russia and then snuck back across the border.

Eliot Higgins, the founder of the open-source intelligence group Bellingcat, responded to the Defense Minstry’s new claims, tweeting, “I expect some very stupid people will be very excited about the Russian Defense Ministry’s MH17 press conference.” In subsequent tweets, he explained that Moscow was merely “misinterpreting the shadows and objects” in video footage, and concluded that “Russia’s ‘experts’ don’t have a clue what they’re talking to, and don’t have access to the same original source material we have.”

In an official reaction, the Joint Intelligence Team said it would review Moscow’s new materials, but pointed out that information supplied by Russian officials in the past “was factually inaccurate on several points.” The JIT also restated its conclusion that the missile that downed MH17 was brought from Russia, returned to Russia, and fired from an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images

Rafal Milach 2018 Nominee Magnum Photos September 15, 2018

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Rafal Milach from Black Sea of Concrete

“A key focal point of my current artistic practice is the clash between non-heroic gestures and ostensibly neutral spaces, which are in fact set against a political background of current events. The oppressive nature of the areas I investigate is reflected in architecture, objects, and suitably formatted social structures.”

- Rafal Milach

I first met Rafal Milach in Perpignan at Visa Pour L’Image circa 2005 when he was practising photojournalism and interested in conflict.

In 2004 he met Agnieszka Rayss and Jan Brykczynsk. Two years later they founded Sputnik Photos. They were all from central-eastern Europe and wanted to tell stories from the region they came from and could relate to. Another common denominator was the experience of transition from communism to so-called democracy. Milach and his cofounders somehow felt that their voice would be stronger as a group. After ten years of collaboration they have became one organism. Sputnik is handled from Warsaw, though they have international members, with photographers from Belarus, Slovakia and Czech Republic. About this time he became more interested in the art of resolution and in art per se. Both he and Sputnik have grown into an international force in photography. He has travelled on from the nostalgia of “Black Sea of Concrete”.

Rafal Milach on his development:

Rafal Milach

‘— I always thought that I started photographing late but now I think that was a perfect time. I was a student of graphic design at the Academy of Fine Arts. This is where I met a great teacher and photographer, Piotr Szymon, who assured me I had some photographic talent.

When I graduated from the Academy, I started working on personal projects. It was around this time I started to travel east. A majority of my family comes from what today is Belarus and Ukraine. I have some Russian roots as well, with some relatives living near Lake Baikal. In the beginning my background was very much a pretext to go there. I knew that I had relatives in Eastern Europe and Russia but till 2004 I wasn’t so interested in it. It came with the interest in photography. For me it was a good opportunity to go and experience something that was beyond the eastern border of Poland. On my first trip to Russia my ultimate goal was to meet my relatives but while there I got interested in the entire region.’

I was thinking about the idea of borders and how abstract and fragile they had become in recent years, especially for this region.

I started to work on Landmarks during heightened tensions between Russia and other Eastern European countries. After the annexation of Crimea and war in eastern Ukraine, the Baltic States seemed to be next target. Russia was reported to have been regularly violating the airspace of Baltic countries at the time. I started to think what the borders meant for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. I was thinking about the idea of borders and how abstract and fragile they had become in recent years, especially for this region. Despite solid proof of their existence they can be easily removed, changed or simply ignored.’

Rafal Milach

Rafal Milach is a visual artist, photographer, and author of photo books. His work focuses on topics related to the transformation in the former Eastern Block. Graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, Poland, and the ITF Institute of Creative Photography of the Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic (currently lecturer at ITF).

His award-winning photo books include The Winners, 7 Rooms, and The First March of Gentlemen. Rafal Milach has received scholarships from the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Magnum Foundation, and European Cultural Foundation. Finalist of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2018 and winner of the World Press Photo competition. Co-founder of the Sputnik Photos collective.

His works have been widely exhibited in Poland and worldwide, and can be found in the collections of the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, the ING Polish Art Foundation, Kiyosato, the Museum of Photographic Arts (Japan), and Brandts in Odense (Denmark).

Rafal Milach

Milach joined Magnum as a Nominee in 2018.