LIBERATION sans PHOTOGRAPHIE December 9, 2013Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : British Journal of Photography, Liberation , comments closed
To coincide with Paris Photo’s opening, French newspaper Libération chose to remove all images from its 14 November issue in a bid to show the power and importance of photography at a time when the industry is facing unprecedented challenges, say the newspaper’s editors
“A visual shock. For the first time in its history, Libération is published without photographs. In their place: a series of empty frames that create a form of silence; an uncomfortable one. It’s noticeable, information is missing, as if we had become a mute newspaper. [A newspaper] without sound, without this little internal music that accompanies sight,” writes Brigitte Ollier, a journalist on Libération‘s Culture desk.
Ollier is right, and by choosing to maintain the newspaper’s usual design – with its articles flowing around the spaces where images should have been shown – Libération has succeeded in its attempt to show the power and importance of photography in our understanding of world events.
The French newspaper explains its decision with these opening words, published on its front page: “Libération vows an eternal gratitude to photography, whether produced by photojournalists, fashion photographers, portraitists, or conceptual artists. Our passion for photography has never been questioned – not because it’s used to beautify, shock or illustrate, but because photography takes the pulse of our world. To choose Paris Photo’s opening day to “install’ these white images highlights our commitment to photography. It’s not a wake, we’re not burying the photographic art [...] Instead we give photography the homage it deserves. Yet, no one can ignore the calamitous situation press photographers now find themselves in, especially war photographers who risk their lives while barely making a living. And for those whose work went on show today in the Grand Palais thanks to shrewd gallery owners, we might think that the odds are in their favour, but it’s all smoke and mirrors: the art photography market is currently confused.”
Here are a series of shots of the special issue:
The back page spread lists the photos omitted from the paper’s stories.
On the BJP website there is an interesting post from Rob Tannenbaum:
So, you just purchased that awesome camera with all the bells and whistles? Congratulations and good luck pursuing that career in photography you’ve always dreamed about! But wait a second, did you NOT pay attention to all the signs in 2013 that pointed to the death of professional photography?
– In May of 2013, incoming Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said “There’s no such thing as Flickr Pro today because [with so many people taking photographs] there’s really no such thing as professional photographers anymore.” (Pssst, Marissa, who created those snazzy portraits of you, upside-down on a backyard lounge chair, that we saw in Vogue in August 2013?)
– Also in May, 2013 the Chicago Sun-Times laid-off its ENTIRE photography staff. Instead, reporters who had never taken pictures before were asked to be photographers and videographers in addition to writing. (Pssst, Sun-Times, who took those “striking, one-of-a-kind photos” in your paper’s archives that you are just now beginning to sell to the public?)
On November 11, 2013 Larry Kramer, President and Publisher, USA TODAY said, “While I used to carry four expensive Nikon cameras with interchangeable lenses when I was a news and sports photographer a long time ago, the world has changed dramatically. Much of what I could accomplish then can now be done with my iPhone.“ (Pssst, Larry, do you think legendary war photographer James Nachtway would rather enter a war zone with an iPhone or a Canon? Or famed sports photographer Walter Ioss rely on a smartphone to capture the peak of action in a baseball game?)
Sadly, there is a growing school of thought that just because nearly all of us carry cameras around (via smartphones) then we are all capable of being professional photographers. The bean counters of the slowly-dying traditional news media are betting that people will climb over each other to give away iphone photos for little-to-no money. Their idea is that the masses will now be the witnesses and documentarians of history. To me it’s nothing more than the Infinite Monkey Theorem: place an infinite number of monkeys in a room with an infinite number of typewriters and in time they will almost surely type the complete texts of Shakespeare.
Monkeys, obviously, don’t take photos and neither do cameras. People decide what moments are worthy of capture. While iphone users tend to capture moments that are important to just them, a professional studies, slaves and sometime puts him or herself in harm’s way to capture “decisive moments” that matter to everyone.
The professional will always be necessary to be our eyes when we cannot bare witness ourself. Unlike the monkey, we must evolve.
Posted by: Rob Tannenbaum
RIP Nelson Mandela December 8, 2013Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Photographer Andy Higgins , comments closed
Today the world lost one of the true giants of the past century. Nelson Mandela was a man of incomparable honour, unconquerable strength, and unyielding resolve – a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind.
As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we’ve come, but on how far we have to go. Madiba may no longer be with us, but his journey continues on with me and with all of us.
The accompanying images were taken by Andy Higgins in Johannesburg:
Ukraine’s European Union Crisis December 3, 2013Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : European Union Crisis, Ukraine , comments closed
The new uprising in Ukraine over the European Accord has many ramifications for the country and its courageous people. It has struck a dischord that has led to street demonstrations and direct conflict and battles with riot police across the country, not just in politically aware Kyiv, but also in the East and West of the country. President Viktor Yanuovych, playing with politics and the politicians of the European Union in Brussels and subscibing to Kremlin pressure has created a rod for his 2015 electoral ambitions.
Yulia Timoshenko and Vitali Klitschko UDAR PARTY have become significant again politically. They are rallying points for the people making a statement and issuing a sentiment that has been subdued since the Orange Revolution of 2004. The Ukrainian desire for independent thought and a better economic life are linked to European ambitions and Viktor Yanukovych has seriously misread his people.
“Ukraine’s aspirations for the European integration define the country’s development path. This was stated by the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in his speech at the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Ukraine contributed to the “larger” Europe, uniting interests and development goals of the east and west of the continent, said the president. He added that the anticipated signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, planned for November 2013, will benefit Ukrainians’ welfare.”
There is a world of difference between his position on the 24th of September 2013 and now.
“I strongly believe that the signing of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU in November of the current year, including the creation of a deep and comprehensive free trade area, will become an important tool for improving the welfare of Ukrainian citizens and thus will contribute to the achievement of our country’s Millennium Development Goals,” commented Yanukovych.
He emphasized that Ukraine gradually moved toward integration and worked for the Association Agreement to be signed at the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius. This was stated at the meeting with EU member-states’ Presidents Bronisław Komorowski (Poland), Ivan Gašparovič (Slovakia), Toomas Hendrik Ilves (Estonia), Andris Bērziņš (Latvia), Rosen Plevneliev (Bulgaria), Ivo Josipović (Croatia), and Borut Pahor (Slovenia). Viktor Yanukovych reassured his European colleagues, who supported Ukraine’s European aspirations, that Ukraine was consistently dealing with the issues of European integration.
At the same time he highlighted that social justice served as the main criteria for conducting necessary reforms in Ukraine. According to the speech, the Eastern European country is currently undergoing the most extensive in its modern history program of reforms, aimed at social and economic improvements, as well as strengthening democratic regime and the rule of law.
“We want to consolidate the existing positive trend of many key indicators of national development. Among these indicators – eliminating poverty, providing quality education, protecting the environment, improving maternal health, reducing child mortality, etc.,” said the president at the UN Assembly.
Notably, on September 24, 2013, EU member states agreed to offer provisional application of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which would become possible immediately after the document is signed. This decision, however, does not in any way alter the conditions the EU set before Ukraine in December 2012 for signing the Association Agreement.”
Commentary: Bohdan Warchomij
COMMENTARY WORLD AFFAIRS:
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to cancel the signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union—undoubtedly taken under pressure from the Kremlin—is yet another reminder of the post-imperial complexes of Vladimir Putin, who once infamously described the peaceful dissolution of the Soviet Union as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [20th] century.” Examples of these complexes are abundant, from the Kremlin’s previous spats with Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova to its continuing hostility toward the Baltic states.
Yet the shorthand references to Kiev acting “under pressure from Russia” and “choosing Russia over Europe,” used by many analysts and journalists in the past few days, are an all-too-familiar oversimplification. While Putin’s authoritarian and increasingly unpopular regime has indeed opposed Ukraine’s quest for European integration, Russia’s civil society and democratic opposition have backed it—a fact all but ignored by the international media.
As tens of thousands of people gathered in downtown Kiev on Sunday to protest Yanukovych’s U-turn on Europe, Russia’s opposition Solidarity movement declared its unequivocal support for “the aspirations of the brotherly Ukrainian people that are fighting for a European path for their country,” and expressed the belief that Ukrainians “will not allow [their] hypocritical and weak leaders to impose decisions that hamper Ukraine’s development.” The Republican Party of Russia–People’s Freedom Party, the country’s main democratic opposition party that achieved important advances in this fall’s regional elections, issued a statement that calls for both Ukraine’s and Russia’s “rapprochement and consequent integration with the European Union.” “We do not see any threats for Russians in the Ukrainian people’s aspiration to launch their own country’s rapprochement with the EU in a situation when Russia’s current authorities, acting against the real interests of our country’s citizens, are pursuing the course of … isolation from the EU and the West in general,” added party leaders Boris Nemtsov, Mikhail Kasyanov, and Vladimir Ryzhkov.
This week’s Levada Center poll showed that 50 percent of Russians consider Ukraine’s EU Association Agreement to be “an internal affair of Ukraine,” with only 30 percent opposing it. Meanwhile, a poll conducted earlier this month by the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle showed that 38 percent of Russians want Russia itself to join the European Union (versus 40 percent who are opposed)—a remarkably high figure given the relentless anti-Western propaganda in the state media.
There is, in truth, no choice for Ukraine “between Europe and Russia.” Both Ukraine and Russia are European countries; both of their futures belong in Europe—just as surely as Viktor Yanukovych and Vladimir Putin belong to the ash heap of history.
Author: Vladimir Kara-Murza WORLD AFFAIRS
(Reuters) – Europe’s envoys have beaten a path to Viktor Yanukovich’s door almost daily for months to clear the way for a historic trade pact between Ukraine and the European Union.
But the shock of EU leaders when his government last week pulled the plug on the deal – with only days to go to an EU summit – suggests they gained little insight into the mind of a hard-to-read president who is a riddle both at home and abroad.
EU leaders gather in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on Thursday and had expected to greet the Ukrainian there as a partner in a far-reaching accord that would extend EU democratic values deep into former Soviet territory.
They will instead face a hard-nosed, Soviet-style ruler who has turned summit preparations into a geopolitical bargaining game, keeping a weather eye on his support among powerfully rich business “oligarchs” as he aims for re-election in 2015.
The burly 63-year-old will still attend the summit despite not signing the pact. Instead, fellow leaders will hear a jarring message that can be summed up as: “If you want to keep me from doing a deal with Russia, put up more cash.”
“Candy in a pretty wrapper” is how Yanukovich described on Tuesday the financial assistance of 610 million euros repeatedly offered by Brussels. Shifting Ukraine’s economy onto European Union standards would require not less than $20 billion per year, he said.
With EU leaders on edge over the U-turn in Ukrainian policy and suspicious of what looks like crude brinkmanship, the scene is set for a testy and fraught encounter at the two-day summit, where Yanukovich will attend a gala dinner on Thursday.
The ghost at the banquet will be Yulia Tymoshenko.
Almost certainly, some EU leaders will want to buttonhole Yanukovich on his failure to release from prison the opponent he sees as a threat to his re-election. Tymoshenko, who spent her 53rd birthday on hunger strike on Wednesday, was the object of an 18-month EU humanitarian mission tied to the trade deal.
After Brussels’ negotiators failed to secure her freedom, she declared she would not eat in solidarity with protesters rallying in Kiev to demand Yanukovich embrace the EU agreement.
An electrician from near the gritty coal town of Donetsk on Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia, Yanukovich comes with all the diplomas of a tough background, including two spells in Soviet prisons for theft and assault when he was a youth.
These were struck from public record when he entered politics. He rose to become governor of Donetsk, industrial base for some of post-Soviet Ukraine’s biggest fortunes, and was later prime minister under President Leonid Kuchma.
His first big setback, which insiders say explains a lot of his political reflexes today, came in 2004 when he was elected president, only to see it snatched from him by the Orange Revolution protests against sleaze and electoral fraud.
The field marshal of those protests was the peasant-braided Tymoshenko – and the fuse was lit for an enmity that burns to this day. Narrowly beaten to the presidency by Yanukovich in 2010, Tymoshenko was jailed the following year for abusing her office while prime minister to President Viktor Yushchenko.
European Union leaders see her as a political detainee.
After his comeback, Yanukovich appeared to justify Western concerns that he might steer Ukraine closer to Moscow by agreeing quickly to extend base rights for the Russian Black Sea fleet at the Crimean port of Sevastopol until 2042.
But, with Russia still refusing to offer a cheaper price for strategic supplies of gas, he continued to pursue a path towards much closer cooperation with the European Union. The trade pact on offer would give his cash-strapped country access to an enormous market and prospects of big investment.
For all that, his body talk often still resembles that of a Soviet-era leader. Despite having poor personal relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he went to Moscow on November 9 – as the Vilnius EU summit neared – for an unexplained meeting. It only aroused EU suspicions of double-dealing.
“Yanukovich is not a person who relies on rational calculations. His style of thinking differs from Western politicians who prefer a rational analysis of the situation. Yanukovich relies on intuition, an inner voice and his own experience,” said independent analyst Volodymyr Fesenko.
“He is a classic post-Soviet politician and differs sharply from Western colleagues,” said Fesenko, of the Penta think-tank.
He is difficult to fathom, a man who plays his cards close to his chest and remains hard to read even by those close to him. “The circle of his acquaintances is very narrow and we even do not know who his closest people are, who he goes hunting with, who he plays tennis with,” said Fesenko.
One of the difficulties EU envoys have faced up to now in dealing with him on the Tymoshenko issue – a deeply personal one for Yanukovich given past grudges – is that he regards the negotiations as pressure, diplomats say.
And such pressure does not always work. “He has a strong character,” said political analyst Mikhailo Pohrebynsky. “He does not give in to pressure until he can no longer resist it.”
Effectively dismissing the long diplomatic effort by the EU to secure her release, Yanukovich said on Wednesday: “The issue of Yulia Tymoshenko should not be a hindrance to Ukraine’s European integration. What is the European Union – a court?”
If there is a mismatch in style, however, the conventional wisdom is that Yanukovich still wants to ally his country of 46 million with the West rather than pass over control of foreign trade policy to Moscow – something that would lose him the vital support of wealthy entrepreneurs.
A feature of his rule has been consolidation of the power of the oligarchs and the enrichment of an inner circle of relatives and friends that Ukrainians call “The Family” – among these Yanukovich’s elder son, Oleksander.
And it is taken as a given of political life in Kiev that his main strategic aim is to win re-election for a further five years in 2015. Given the popularity of access to the West, that means he must maintain dialogue, however difficult, with the EU.
Despite his dislike of being lectured to, Yanukovich appears steeled to being taken to task by EU leaders. Burning bridges with the EU altogether would only inflame the kind of discontent seen in Kiev this week and endanger his re-election.
“Yanukovich will show that he does not want to quit the negotiating process, that he is ready to continue,” Fesenko said. “He does not want to anger the West, or break off relations, which is important for him before the 2015 elections.”
(Additional reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Alastair Macdonald): REUTERS
SUMMER SCHOOL Perth Centre for Photography November 25, 2013Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Perth Centre for Photography , comments closed
It includes presentations and open discussions on a range of themes that influence the way we see and practice photography today.Consolations of Photography will be presented by artist and academic Dr. Juha Tolonen.
Juha is the co-author of a new critical account of landscape photography: Photography and Landscape, published by Intellect Books.
His work has been exhibited extensively in group and solo exhibitions in Australia and overseas.
a medium for the people
the passing of photography
what the fcuk is contemporary photography
the consolations of photography
Wednesday 8, 15, 22, 29 January
Celebrity chefs and the festival public were shocked as the news filtered through that a 35 year old surfer had been taken by a shark in the pristine waters off Gracetown at a surf spot called Umbies. I was heading to Dunsborough from a swim at Smith’s Beach when three police vehicles, sirens blaring, raced past me, overtaking traffic with urgency. Deepest sympathy goes out to his partner and his family.
The festival continued on a hot summer’s day in the grounds of the Leeuwin Estate winery: here are images from the festival taken on Friday night at the Meelup Beach BBQ and from Leewin Estate on Saturday.
City of Perth: Beaufort Street Festival Photos Bohdan Warchomij November 17, 2013Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Bohdan Warchomij Photographer , comments closed
Maxim Dondyuk: Rosh Hashana Project November 15, 2013Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Maxim Dondyuk, Metaphor Images , comments closed
From a project about Rosh Hashanah, Uman, Ukraine 2010
Maxim Dondyuk (b.1983, Ukraine) began collaborating with Kharkov media as a photojournalist in 2007. The same year he moved to Kiev and worked as a photojournalist in one of the country’s biggest photo agencies till 2010. He trained at the NOOR-Nikon Masterclass and also attended Magnum Photos workshop at the Leica Akademie. Maxim freelancers with the World Health Organization, Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, Foundation for “Development of Ukraine”, Kherson charitable foundations Mongoose. His work has been published in PDN, Wall Street Journal , Esquire, Forbes, Russian Reporter, Tyzhden, Focus (Ukraine), The Independent (UK), De Volkskrant (Netherlands), Berliner Zeitung, and Frankfurter Rundschau (Germany) among others.
About the Photograph:
“I went from the old Jewish cemetery to the lake, where the Hasidim usually bathe. Before reaching the lake, I heard the sound of a violin. I didn’t see a soul except a fiddler, so took some photos of him. After a while a lonely Hasid came to swim. I prepared to take a photo as the fiddler moved a little and the sun reflected in the lake. That was a lucky accident when everything coincided and I took this photo. It was during the Jewish celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the New Year.”
“Uman is an ordinary Ukranian town with the population of about 90,000 people which became one of the largest centers of Jewish pilgrimage outside Israel. During this period about 20,000 pilgrims from all the continents come here annually to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and to pray at the grave of the founder of Hasidism Rabbi Nahman from Breslav, who died in Uman in 1810. Before his death Rabbi Nahman swore an unusual oath: If anyone comes to my grave, sacrifices a coin and reads ten chosen psalms, I’ll catch his side-locks and will draw him out of the hells depth. And it makes no difference what he has done before. Every year more and more supporters of Breslav Hasidism gather in Uman, at the grave of their Rabbi. Rabbi Nahman’s charisma is so strong, that Hasids have never chosen his successor. I have been shooting the Rosh Hashanah project for five years and am currently finishing a multimedia version of the story.”
PPosted by Geoffrey Hiller:
Who pays Photographers? November 13, 2013Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Uncategorized , comments closed
Who pays PHOTOGRAPHERS?
A contribution to the issue from Tumblr.
New Photographers:Manuel Scrima: From Kenya to Milan November 11, 2013Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Manuel Scrima, New Photographers , comments closed
Manuel Scrima was introduced to photography in Kenya photographing the Masai.
He has earned an international reputation for his images of traditional Africa, working for organization such as UNESCO, Medicines Sans Frontière, UNEP, UN-Habitat, Care International and many others.
He now lives in Milan Italy and is creating images for fashion and advertising.
This post covers his work from Ethiopia and his advertising work in Milan. The words quoted below are biographical from Manuel Scrima’s website:
“IF THAT TAXI DRIVER IN BUDAPEST HADN’T MADE ME MISS MY TRAIN, I WOULD NOW PROBABLY BE A PLASTIC SURGEON… I MISSED THE CHANCE TO SIT FOR THE ENTRY TEST OF THE FACULTY OF MEDICINE BECAUSE OF HIM…”
PICTURES FROM THE END OF THE WORLD: ARNO BLAX November 6, 2013Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Arno Blax, Kevin Ballantine , comments closed
Arno Blax has an exhibition at Team Digital in East Perth that focuses
on an innocence that Australia has abandoned. Shot in black and white
they are images that are almost impossible to reenact or even relive today. Australia is a radically
different society from that witnessed at the Cottesloe Beach of 1988, Australia’s Bicentennial Year.
Sean Justice’s words from New York in 2013 sum up these memories of 1988
and the journey we have undertaken as a country since:
“The beach odes to mortality are wonderful
Slightly sexy in a pathetic sort of way.
Reminds me of caring once and of the regret of having lost the care
and the peace of later years that has wiped those cares away.
And I’m not specially old. But these pix take me someplace I’m not
familiar with and that’s kind of a miracle.
Very cool that you’re resurrecting them.”
This is an important exhibition about resurrection.