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PRIX PICTET 2019 HOPE January 22, 2019

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Perhaps in our ability to carry on in adversity lies hope for us all. Hope that, despite the catastrophic damage that we have visited upon the natural world and upon the lives of our most vulnerable citizens, it is not too late to reverse the damage that we have done.

Kofi Annan (1938-2018), Hon. President, Prix Pictet, 2017

Patrick Brown Australia

The theme for the eighth cycle of the Prix Pictet is Hope – a theme that offers a wide range of creative possibilities and a strong set of connections to the Prix Pictet’s overriding theme of sustainability. Hope in the face of adversity. Recycling. Reforestation. Rewilding. Science – advances in medicine – and technological solutions for global environmental problems. Falling poverty levels. It is time to examine some of the positive actions on sustainability that are beginning to emerge by contrast with the alarming analysis that constantly assails us in the global media.

The next shortlist will be announced at Les Rencontres d’Arles in July 2019 and the winner at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in November 2019.

Thailand based Australian photographer Patrick Brown is one of the nominees. It has been a big year for Patrick with his work on the Rohinga crisis and his award from World Press.

Patrick Brown Australia

These are his words and a response to his nomination:

‘I’m proud and honoured to have been nominated for the prestigious Prix Pictet for this year’s theme, Hope.

When I first started working on the “Hope” project in 2009, I simply thought about the word which at first seemed full of positive connotations. After much deliberation and with little progress on what subject I was going to photograph, I decided to take a step back and examine the foundations of the meaning of “hope”. The Ancient Greeks associated the word with evil and malevolence, because of its association with the allegory of Pandora. When the box was opened all manner of evils were released to beset humanity; the only thing which remained captive in the box was hope. I found myself drawn to an essence of duality inherent in its meaning. The existence of the word “Hope” can only coincide with the word “Doubt”. The simple act of saying I’m hoping to meet my friend this evening, also implies doubt about it happening. I started to see hope and doubt as Yin and Yang. I became fascinated by these two opposing elements, the contrast of good and evil, right and wrong. And yet life isn’t simply a string of rights and wrongs, it is not simply black and white, there is the infinite/finite horizon line of life, hope sits in the grey area between these two lines. “Grey” the space between hope and doubt, the space between right and wrong – the Japanese word “Ma”. ‘Ma’ denotes the negative space between objects. It was this word that would take me to Australia in search of my own personal definition.

The vast open space of the Australian landscape is for me the place where “hope” and doubt collide. A landscape that has been abandoned by mankind, yet however deserted, its space has details, it has emotions, it has life. Most of my previous work to date retains elements of human interaction, presence, emotional implications and overtones. Yet it was the lack of human evidence in my “hope” work that has heightens its inherent sense of raw human emotion, and thus hope. Without emotions there can be no progress, no drive, and no ambition. What we humans do and why do it, satisfies our basic emotional needs. We strive to survive through hope and maybe a lack of hope leaves the door ajar for doubt to creep in. Maybe it is this fine balance between the two that shapes our destinies and gives us the strength to build on despair and joy in equal measure. This is my personal definition of “hope””

The Challenging Words of Patrick Brown: In response to receiving a First Prize in the general news singles category World Press Photo April 24, 2018

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Photo Patrick Brown

I’d like to thank the World Press Photo for this tremendous honour a 1st prize in the general news single category. I’d like to salute my fellow nominees; whose work is a testimony to their dedication to the craft of storytelling, I’m very proud to be sharing the bench with them tonight. Ivor PrickettAdam Ferguson, Toby Melville and huge congratulations to Ronaldo Schemidt.

Thank you also to my editors at UNICEF - Christine Nesbitt Hills and Jean-jacques Simon - for trusting me to follow my journalistic instincts; without the access that UNICEF gave me this photograph, and many others I took in Bangladesh, would not exist.

When I was told that this picture had been nominated for the Photo of the Year I wont lie to you I found it very challenging. I submitted this image as part of a body of work and didn’t expect it to be selected individually. The possibility of receiving an accolade for an image of dead children didn’t sit well with me. To reconcile this, I’d like to tell you about the context of this photograph and how it was taken.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called the crackdown in Rakhine State, Burma, “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. There is nothing clean about Ethnic cleansing – up close and on the ground, it’s murder, it’s rape, it’s people being slaughtered in the most systematic and barbaric way. It’s people – like the ones in this photograph. While euphemisms and diplomatic language can obscure the true horror inflicted by oppressive regimes, photography cuts through all the cold clinical terminology. Through photographs we’re forced to confront the cruel reality of what ethnic cleansing really looks like.

I was in Bangladesh on the 28th of September when I received a phone call from a colleague, telling me that a boat carrying Rohingya refugees from Burma had capsized. It was early evening but the sky was already black due to a massive thunderstorm rolling in off the Bay of Bengal. The fury of the storm was like nothing I’d experienced before and all I could think of, if you’re willing to take on the Bay of Bengal in monsoon season, what you’re running from must be truly horrific.

In this case, 15 people drowned. When I arrived at the scene, there were cars blocking the road, there were police, local and international press, and the fisherman who had helped carry the bodies up to the coast road. Amid this chaos, I looked at the bodies lit by car headlights and noticed how the rain had gently molded the fabric that covered them to the point you could make out their individual features. The resulting photograph captures a moment of stillness, which is ultimately a photograph of ethnic cleansing.

This image SHOULD upset you. It’s not the photograph itself that’s horrific; it’s what it illustrates. These children have names, a mother, a father, brothers and sisters, grandparents… They fled their home in fear, braving the Bay of Bengal in the middle of a monsoon storm. The day after this picture was taken, I photographed survivors burying them in a mass grave. Tragically, they’re just a small part of a much, much bigger story.

I’ve worked in Asia for nearly 20 years and have spent a large portion of that time documenting the conflict between the government of Burma and its ethnic minorities – not just the Rohingya, but also the Kachin, Kayin, Shan and others. They all have horror stories of war and persecution. In northern Shan and Kachin states today, there’s a full-scale war, with roughly 100,000 people displaced by fighting and the Burmese military has denied access to humanitarian organizations. This type of persecution and the attempt to prevent the story from being told is nothing new in Burma.

What’s new is the sheer scale of the crackdown in Rakhine State – its comparable to what took place in Rwanda or the Bosnian civil war. In a story this big, I believe my role as a photographer is to bear witness and to try and show the reality – no matter how gruesome, or sad, or how upsetting it may be.

By honouring all the photographers in the room tonight for their commitment to transformative storytelling, the World Press Photo helps us as photographers to draw worldwide attention to the often very tragic subjects that we document. For this, I am truly grateful.

World Press, thank you for this incredible honour.

 

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

Media Storm November 18, 2015

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Photo Patrick Brown

Patrick Brown is an Australian photographer based in Thailand.

His work on the wild animal trade in the world has been published as a book “Trading to Extinction” and a film by Brian Storm of Media Storm. Media Storm on the 16th of November celebrated ten years in business and The Atlantic paid tribute to their amazing multimedia work with a special report by Alan Taylor.

 

Marking a Decade of Quality Storytelling

ALAN TAYLOR
MediaStorm, a film production and multimedia design studio located in Brooklyn, New York,  celebrated its 10th anniversary on November 16. Founded by Brian Storm, the studio produces films large and small, targeted to many types of screens and audiences, and has picked up numerous awards over the years. I had the privilege of working alongside Brian years ago, when we were both at MSNBC.com. I was a web developer, and would hang out in the multimedia area often, inspired by the quality of the images, wondering why our competitors weren’t making  their visuals as beautiful and compelling—and I can partly trace my current career path as a photo editor right back to those days of inspiration. Photographer Ed Kashi, who has worked with MediaStorm on a number of projects had this to say, when I asked him for a few words about the studio: “From its inception, it set the standard for multimedia and today as the medium has evolved closer to short form documentary work and more video-only structures, they continue to be a leader. Their commitment to excellence and always innovating and upping the standards are hallmarks of what they do.”

http://mediastorm.com/publication/black-market

http://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2015/11/marking-a-decade-of-quality-storytelling/415629/

Patrick Brown’s book Trading to Extinction has been acknowledged by American Photo Magazine April 22, 2015

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Photojournalist Patrick Brown’s amazing book Trading to Extinction has been acknowledged by American Photo Magazine as one of the best 13 photo books of 2013.The book encapsulates an astonishing body of work

Here are the specifics as they appear on his FB post:

It’s a real honour for me that Trading to Extinction has been selected by AmericanPhoto, as one of the 13 best documentary photo-books of 2014.

For the full list of selected books click here

To order your copy of Trading to Extinction standard edition please contact Dewi Lewis Publishing visit their web site

To order a copy of the limited editing please contact my studio: studio@patrickbrownphoto.com

Book specifications

Published February 2014, by Dewi Lewis Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-907893-51-3
300mm x 225mm
168 pages, 115 duotone photographs,
150gsm Gardapat Kiara, a Hardback
Limited edition of 150 copies, with a signed and numbered 8×10 inch fiber base print.

To have a sneak preview in the book please visit Vimeo

http://www.americanphotomag.com/best-photobooks-year-2014

Instagram Moments from TIME December 17, 2014

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As Instagram hit a milestone this month, with its number of monthly active users ballooning to 300 million, TIME, in association with the photo-sharing app, takes a look back at the key moments of 2014.

The selection of images, shared by some of Instagram’s most popular and respected photographers, offers an intimate view of some of the defining events of the year: From the toll of war in Gaza to the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and from the border between Mexico and the U.S. all the way to Mongolia, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone.

“Real moments are captured and posted on Instagram every single day, from Nana Kofi Acquah’s image of a Tanzanian doctor timing a baby’s labored breathing using his mobile phone, to Brendan Hoffman’s haunting first reactions upon arriving at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine,” says Pamela
Chen, Instagram’s Editorial Director. “These are just a sampling of the powerful images shared by people around the world in 2014.”

One of the images is by Patrick Brown, formerly from Perth, based in Bangkok and author of Trading To Extinction.

http://time.com/3633777/29-instagrams-that-defined-the-world-in-2014/

Partick Brown’s TRADING TO EXTINCTION Dewi Lewis Publishing July 3, 2014

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TRADING TO EXTINCTION
PATRICK BROWN

Introduced by Ben Davies

Published to coincide with the Global Summit on illegal wildlife trade  hosted by David Cameron in London in February 2014, Trading to Extinction is a unique and devastating record of this tragic industry.

The book explores the sad truths behind this multi billion-dollar industry and is one of the most comprehensive photographic documents on the wildlife trade, spanning more than 10 years and offering a rare view into this illicit business. It is a shocking tale of cruelty, crime and human greed. This is an industry which, like the drugs trade, is fuelled by money, and whose tentacles encircle the world, from the remote forests of Asia to the trafficking hubs of Beijing, Bangkok, London, Tokyo and New York.

A poacher who kills a rhino and removes its horn in India gets $350. That same horn sells for $1,000 in a nearby market town. By the time it reaches Hong Kong, Beijing or the Middle East, the horn is worth $60,000 per kilogram, rivalling the street value of cocaine, and even the price of gold. Tiger bones are worth up to $700 per kilo. Meanwhile the price of ivory is increasing so rapidly that some people are buying it as an investment commodity. The numbers are truly staggering.

Trading to Extinction is a unique visual record through powerful black and white photographs by Patrick Brown, which is accompanied by a personal introduction by Ben Davies. The book takes the reader on a first hand journey into the seedy world of the illegal animal trade and its gruesome pursuit of profit, as well as describing international efforts to stop it.

PatrIck Brown is the recipient of the 3P Photographer Award, World Press Award, Days Japan Award, Picture Of The Year Award, New York Photographic Book Award and NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism Award. His work has been exhibited at prestigious galleries and museums, including the International Center of Photography in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Tokyo, and Visa pour l’Image in France. Patrick is represented by Panos Pictures and continues to cover social issues that are often forgotten by the mainstream media today.

Ben Davies is a Bangkok-based journalist and photographer whose work has appeared in a wide range of distinguished publications including the International Herald Tribune, the London Telegraph, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, Vogue and the BBC. He is the author of Black Market: Inside the Endangered Species Trade in Asia, which documents the multi-billion dollar trade in rare wild animals. Amongst his other books, he has written and photographed Living with Spirits: A Journey into the Heart of ThailandLaos: A Journey Beyond the Mekong and Pangasinan: A Journey into the Philippines.

ISBN: 978-1-907893-51-3
300mm x 225mm
168 pages, 115 duotone photographs,
with extensive texts.

AVAILABLE

www.patrickbrownphoto.com

Trading to Extinction Patrick Brown February 23, 2014

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TRADING TO EXTINCTION PATRICK BROWN

Introduced by Ben Davies

Published to coincide with the Global Summit on illegal wildlife trade to be hosted by David Cameron in London in February 2014, Trading to Extinction is a unique and devastating record of this tragic industry.

Photo Patrick Brown

The book explores the sad truths behind this multi billion-dollar industry and is one of the most comprehens-ive photographic documents on the wildlife trade, spanning more than 10 years and offering a rare view into this illicit business. It is a shocking tale of cruelty, crime and human greed. This is an industry which, like the drugs trade, is fuelled by money, and whose tentacles encircle the world, from the remote forests of Asia to the trafficking hubs of Beijing, Bangkok, London, Tokyo and New York.

A poacher who kills a rhino and removes its horn in India gets $350. That same horn sells for $1,000 in a nearby market town. By the time it reaches Hong Kong, Beijing or the Middle East, the horn is worth $60,000 per kilogram, rivalling the street value of cocaine, and even the price of gold. Tiger bones are worth up to $700 per kilo. Meanwhile the price of ivory is increasing so rapidly that some people are buying it as an investment commodity. The numbers are truly staggering.

Trading to Extinction is a unique visual record through powerful black and white photographs by Patrick Brown, which is accompanied by a personal introduction by Ben Davies. The book takes the reader on a first hand journey into the seedy world of the illegal animal trade and its gruesome pursuit of profit, as well as describing international efforts to stop it.

PatrIck Brown is the recipient of the 3P Photographer Award, World Press Award, Days Japan Award, Picture Of The Year Award, New York Photographic Book Award and NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism Award. His work has been exhibited at prestigious galleries and museums, including the International Center of Photography in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Tokyo, and Visa pour l’Image in France. Patrick is represented by Panos Pictures and continues to cover social issues that are often forgotten by the mainstream media today.

Ben Davies is a Bangkok-based journalist and photographer whose work has appeared in a wide range of distinguished publications including the International Herald Tribune, the London Telegraph, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, Vogue and the BBC. He is the author of Black Market: Inside the Endangered Species Trade in Asia, which documents the multi-billion dollar trade in rare wild animals. Amongst his other books, he has written and photographed Living with Spirits: A Journey into the Heart of Thailand, Laos: A Journey Beyond the Mekong and Pangasinan: A Journey into the Philippines.

ISBN: 978-1-907893-51-3 300mm x 225mm 168 pages, 115 duotone photographs, with extensive texts.

Patrick Brown Portfolio on American Photo March 24, 2012

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Patrick Brown’s work is being funded through Emphas.is. And suddenly it is everywhere.

American Photo is featuring his portfolio on the magazine’s website.

http://www.americanphotomag.com/photo-gallery/2012/03/portfolio-patrick-browns-trading-to-extinction

Partick Brown Photo: Bharatpur, Chitwan National Park, Nepal 01/2004 At the Bharatpur barracks a Royal Forestry Department Officer holds a rhino skull. The stockpile of items is 5 years old and the value is an estimated $750,000 USD.
Patrick Brown Photo: Bharatpur, Chitwan National Park, Nepal 01/2004 At the Bharatpur barracks a Royal Forestry Department Officer holds a rhino skull. The stockpile of items is 5 years old and the value is an estimated $750,000 USD.

“You ended up getting this book funded through the crowd-sourcing website Emphas.is. What drove you to go that route rather than going with a more traditional publisher?

If I had only known now what I know then. I went to NY and saw some publishers. I went to London and to Amsterdam. Most of them said it’s not a palatable subject. A couple of publishers sat on it for a while. Then the publishing climate started to change and people were asking for $30,000 to publish a book. That sounded like self-publishing to me, but they get their stamp on it and I don’t have any control over it. With the amount of money I spent on air travel and hotels and other expenses going to see these publishers, I could’ve actually published the book myself. Tina [Ahrens, co-founder of Emphas.is] saw the project eight or nine years ago. She has seen it grow and she’s always been there. She’s a dear friend as well. She approached me when they were branching out into this publishing project. I was a little bit reluctant, but it’s a new and different way of approaching the same old problem of finding finances to publish a book. They gave me great freedom.”

From a Skype interview with American Photo

Patrick Brown video on emphas.is. Publishing Project Now Funded. February 23, 2012

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