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February 8th, 2013
January 22nd, 2013
All images © Sarah Fretwell
Sarah Fretwell’s photographs may be beautiful to look at, but the truths they reveal are not easy to digest. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), one woman (or child) is raped nearly every minute, according to the project statement on her website, The Truth Told. When Fretwell launched the project site in 2011, it was to bring awareness and funding to help prevent these atrocities, a result of the fight for resources in the mineral-rich nation where, according to Fretwell, “rape is used by rebel and military groups as a scare tactic to control and destroy local communities.” This violence, however, has sadly become a way of life for many. For a period of 50 days Fretwell teamed with humanitarian and writer Amy Ernst, and the human rights group COPERMA, to interview and photograph victims of rape in the North Kivu region of the DRC to promote healing and help the women (and family members of the women) in isolated communities get their stories out into the world. “With no immediate way to protect themselves and a dysfunctional ‘justice system’ survivors are left alone and afraid they will be attacked again,” she explains in her project statement. The image above depicts a 14-year-old young woman, named Kavira, who had to flee her family and village after being raped and ended up at a COPERMA center where she hopes to be able to rebuild her life.
To see more of Fretwell’s work, visit: www.sarahfretwell.com.
– Lindsay Comstock
January 8th, 2013
All images © Steven Laxton
Steven Laxton’s portrait series, “Circo El Salvador,” documents nomadic circus families of El Salvador who perform in rural and impoverished areas of Central America. This form of entertainment is an important escape for those who live in remote areas of the country where they face not only poverty, but also the highest homicide rate in the world. This photographic series placed in the “personal” category of the 2012 PDN Photo Annual and was the winner of the $15,000 Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture.
The 2013 PDN Photo Annual is now open for entries through January 29. With your entry you can opt to have your portraiture considered for the 2013 Arnold Newman Prize. For more information and to enter the contest, visit: http://pdnphotoannual.com
December 19th, 2012
All photos © Magdalena Solé
Documentary photographer Magdalena Solé spent a year living in the Mississippi Delta, photographing the people and places that make this area in the Southern United States so unique. A fertile strip of land that runs along the Mississippi River from Memphis to Vicksburg, Mississippi, the Mississippi Delta is rich with culture, family and community–though it has also seen its share of hardships, mostly economical. Solé captured the spirit of the region as well as its controversial history, and later collected the work in her book New Delta Rising, which won the Silver Award in the Prix de la Photographie Paris competition. Opening this Thursday, January 10, 2013, at the Leica Gallery in New York City is “The Mississippi Delta,” an exhibition of images from the series.
November 19th, 2012
© Andrew Phelps, “untitled” from the series Haboob, 2011.
“Haboob” is photographer Andrew Phelps’ follow-up project to his 2008 series “Higley.” Once a small rural town in Arizona, Higley was finally swallowed up in 2007 by the explosive growth of metropolitan Phoenix. Rural structures disappeared, and were replaced by housing development and shopping malls. Village roads became grand boulevards. But the financial and real estate crisis abruptly ended the construction boom. Now, sandstorms called haboobs, which are typical of the Arizona desert, blow through the deserted town, and symbolize the fear and insecurity of the middle class. Phelps, who was born in nearby Mesa, Arizona in 1967, is exploring from a personal perspective what remains of the American Dream in the area. The project has been published as a book called Haboob by Kehrer Verlag, and it is currently on exhibit at the Robert Morat Gallery in Hamburg, Germany until January 12, 2013.
Lena (left), sentenced for organizing a rape, and Katya, sentenced for theft. Juvenile prison for girls, Ukraine, 2009. © Michal Chelbin
Michal Chelbin‘s book Sailboats and Swans was recently released by Twin Palms Publishers. The images were made by the Israeli photographer in prisons throughout the Ukraine and Russia, and explore the idea of what it’s like to be locked up and constantly watched. Novelist A.M. Homes wrote the text for the book, an excerpt of which is below:
“The images are about a kind of discomfort–theirs, hers, mine and ours. It is like an old-fashioned staring contest–one guy looks at the other and the first one who blinks is the loser, except Michal Chelbin never blinks. Instead she captures with the click of a shutter. Chelbin is always looking, drawing what is hidden to the surface. She captures–we shudder.”