Archive for the ‘Humanitarian Causes’ Category

© Kari Collins

The “New Documentary Award” from the Julia Dean Photo Workshops for a long term project in 2006 was fiven to Kari Collins, for her moving multi-media presentation on the care-givers of an Alzheimer’s patient. Her presentation is available here.

Florence Abel, 89, of Owebsboro, Ky., has spent the majority of her life caring for others. Suffering the final stages of Alzheimer’s, Florence now depends greatly on her family and caregivers for comfort and support. This story documents her final journey; one filled with love, compassion, and strength. While her ability to care has become full circle, her strength in the final stages of her life is greatly supported by the compassion of those she once cared for, as well as the people her kind spirit has touched in the process.

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The frontlines of contemporary wars are right where people live. –James Nachtwey

James Nachtwey was awarded with the TED price 2007. You can see his TED talk online or download the videopodcast here. Like all other winners he gave a talk about his work and made a wish:

Help me to gain access to a story that needs to be told, and develop a new, digital way to show these photos to the world.-James Nachtwey

His work was also recognized recently (2006) with the 12th Heinz award for Arts and Humanities. James Nachtwey was recognized for transcending photojournalism with emotion-laden artistic images. You can see a video interview with Nachtwey at the Heinz award site.

As a photojournalist James Nachtwey has created art, not art that offers a new technique, but art that powerfully exposes man’s inhumanity to man. – Teresa Heinz

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© Jose Cendon (An inmate of the Neuro-Psychiatric hospital of Kamenge in Bujumbura, is held in an isolation cell. Burundi, 24 March 2006)

© Jose Cendon (An inmate of the Neuro-Psychiatric hospital of Kamenge in Bujumbura dribbles inside an isolation cell. Burundi, 24 March 2006)

The Picture of the Year (POY 64th) awards have been announced. Among the winners, I wanted to highlight the impressive work of Jose Cendon, Spanish photographer who won the first price in the category of “Magazine issue reporting picture story” for his work entitled “Fear in the Great Lakes“. Jose Cendon won a World Press Photo Award in the category of Contemporary Issues for the same body of work. Jose Cendon is a freelancer photojournalist that is frequently published around the work

The pictures show moments in the life -if we can call this a life- of inmates at the Sosame (Soins de Sante Mentale) neuro-psychiatric hospital in Bukabu (Democratic Republic of Congo). Sosame is the only psychiatric centre in the South-Kivu province of Congo, which has a population of 3 million spread over an area of 69,000 km2. Every day, about 50 patients are taken care of in the out-patients section of the hospital. In addition, the hospital has a capacity of sixty beds for patients who have to stay for a longer period.

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© Phil Borges from “Tibetan Portrait: The Power of Compassion, about the endangered people of Tibet”

I was inspired by Irving Penn’s classic portraits of native people, taken in front of seamless backgrounds. Although I usually include the background, it’s always secondary. These pictures are portraits of individuals, not representatives of some exotic group.- Phil Borges

One of the most fascinating aspects of photography is the transfer of a message, the opening of a communication path between the artist and the viewer. This is what I call the intent and the purpose of a photograph. Sometimes the message is clear, sometimes it is not and sometimes the interpretation can be different and perhaps even more exciting that the original intent of the image.

Humanitarian photographers always have a clear purpose and intend with their work: to influence people, societies and cultures. But even when their images are quite persuasive, they become inspiring when you listen to the story of the image, the purpose and the intent, as explained by the artist.

I make this statement because I wanted to point you to a talk (video) by one of the greatest humanitarian photographers today: Phil Borges. At the amazing TED conference in 2006, he described some of the images of a body or work that defined his career: photographs of Tibetans who fled to Nepal, including the Dalai Lama. Even when I am sure that you have seen the images before, listening to the story will probably increase your appreciation of them.

Other inspirational humanitarian projects by Phil Borges include “Enduring Spirit” for Amnesty International, “The Gift”, documenting dental, cliff lip and burn marks surgery for underprivileged children done by volunteer American doctors and recently the fantastic “Women Empower” with the non-governmental organization CARE, as part of a tribute to the impact of women in societies and the role they play to lead their families out of poverty into a prosperous future. In commemoration of the International Women’s Day, March 8th, Phil Borges presented the story of Abay, a young woman who transformed her community with CARE’s support.

You can see more images of Phil Borges at the masters of fine art website. The best way to understand Phil’s purpose if to read his mission statement. He will be teaching a workshop this coming June at the Julia Dean Workshops in souther California, USA.

Congratulations Phil, thank you Phil, for your impact.

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This image is one of the most powerful pictures from the last World Press Photo 2006 awards. Illegal immigrants, hiding in the shadows, with fear in their eyes, after risking their life for a better future wait for an uncertain future. The picture was taken by spanish photographer, Arturo Rodriguez from the Associated Press, who won two World Press Photo 2006 awards with images covering the topic of illegal immigration in Spain. This image won second price in the spot news section.

The second image is from a series covering same topic, and shows tourists in Tenerife helping migrants that had just reached the beach in a patera. Hungry, weak thirsty, but fighting for hope. Powerful images that show the contrast between people enjoying leisure time and try to forget their “normal” life and people risking their life to get a “normal” life. These images were awarded with the second price in People in the News series category.

Spain is the entry door for millions of immigrants from impoverished parts in Africa into Europe. Traveling in the night, hiding across the African continent, these people will risk their life crossing the last part of the trip in fragiler pateras. Thousands have lost their lives.

In the Spanish language, a patera is a type of boat. In current usage it refers to any of the floating devices used by African people smugglers to transport illegal immigrants from Africa to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands (more recently also to Gran Canaria and Tenerife) or across the Strait of Gibraltar to Andalusia. The poor state of the boats, overcrowding, and lack of sea experience often result in massive drownings. Patera operators have been known to intentionally throw their passengers overboard if they need to flee the coast guard.


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© Spencer Platt /Getty Images

This year the winning image of the World Press Photo of the Year Award is different from the past. Yes, it is about war, but rather than just showing a tragic scene of human suffering it conveys the contradiction and stupidity of war conflicts. The conflict between Israel and Hezbollah achieved nothing and will not stop the progress of the Lebanese society nor will bring peace to the Middle East and Israel. Kudos to the jury of the World Press Photo (see the names of the jury members bellow). You will find other winning images here.

Description of the Image: Affluent Lebanese drive down the street to look at a destroyed neighborhood August 15, 2006 in southern Beirut, Lebanon. As the United Nations brokered cease fire between Israel and Hezbollah enters its first day, thousands of Lebanese returned to their homes and villages.

“It’s a picture you can keep looking at. It has the complexity and contradiction of real life, amidst chaos. This photograph makes you look beyond the obvious.”- World Press Photo jury chair Michele McNally

Like each year the images will tour the world. See sites and dates here.

Spencer Platt is a contributor to The Digital Journalist. If you have time to read more these are two interesting articles by Spencer with examples of his work: “A Pair of Eyes“, “Media Boot Camp“, “Bolivia“, “Bunia:Congo” and “State Funeral“. (more…)

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(Iraq, Brooklyn) by Danni Goldfield

First project, new photographer. Danny decided on the project before even having a camera. He purchased a camera to take a picture of children from every-country on earth living in New York City. This project, his first picture project, his first set of images, landed-on the cover of Life magazine in June 2006. Quite a remarkable achievement, quite remarkable work indeed.

I was driving cross-country with my girlfriend at the time and we met this guy from a Sikh community. We met him because we were introduced by a friend and what I knew before we met him is that three days after 9/11 his older brother was planting a tree in the memory of the victims and someone drove by and shot him dead in cold blood because he was wearing a Sikh turban and a beard. We knew this during the interview, a horribly tragic thing to talk about. What we found out during the interview is that 11 months later a second brother was shot to death while driving his taxi in San Francisco. All his money was left in the pocket; it was clearly another hate crime. Here was a guy who lost two brothers by hate crime within a year after 9/11.

He then said something that was the inspiration for the project. He said that he knew it was important for him to do the effort and get out of the house to meet his neighbors because he though that if the neighbors knew him it would reduce the danger for him and his family to be victims of a hate crime.

I said myself that when I get to New York I am going to photograph a child of every country in the world so all can meet the people through the photos and get to know the neighbors and cultures of the people living in New York.- Danny Goldfield


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