As attention spans continue to shrink and the cult of the instant gratification grows exponentially, material possessions hold less meaning, and no longer tether us to lands visited or memories. Cheap charlatan goods are everywhere for our pleasure, and we consume them with reckless commercial abandon. It's in this culture that Joe Klementovich found an inspirational antonym, and pursued a project around these artisans that create handmade crafts.
In a time of trade wars with China, border walls being built and sanctions being placed, it’s nice to find refuge in the studio of an artisan: a good old fashioned workshop, piled with sawdust, paint cans and scraps from long done projects. Time seems to slip away once you get inside one of these sanctuaries. In New England, there is a long and proud history of making things by hand, from scratch. For me, this project is a way of getting back to that history and appreciating the skill and effort it takes to create something from hand.
I think the first artisan I photographed was Fred Dolan. Fred carves birds from blocks of wood and makes them look real by the time he’s done. Since then I’ve been able to join jewelers, sculptors, boat builders, blacksmiths and others in their workshops. The latest was a fiddle maker in Northern New Hampshire who can tell you where each tree came from for all of his fiddles. Truly handmade.
Even with the frequently depressing and disturbing visual documentation of climate change's effects on our environment, it's often too easy to turn a blind eye to a crisis occurring when it doesn't affect you. Julia Cumes took some time between assignments in her former hometown of South Africa, and her striking images ring mental alarms. Perhaps we're safe up here in Portland, Maine, but this is a "prescient look at things to come for other urban areas as climate change and its effects take hold."
As someone who grew up in South Africa during a time when Cape Town was considered one of our wetter cities, it was painful to see the cracked, dry mud bed of Theewaterskloof dam, the lines of people waiting to fill up on drinking water at public springs, the dying vegetation and the strikingly empty public swimming pool in Mitchell's Plain where hundreds of local children usually cool off in the summer.
Last year, when Cape Town's water sources dropped to critically low levels, the city declared the possibility of a “Day Zero”, when the public water supply would largely be shut off. This would place Cape Town in the unusual position of being the first major city in the world to run out of water. While “Day Zero” has now been pushed off till 2019, the water crisis is still dire and local residents are adapting their lives to deal with it. Below are some of my images capturing life in Cape Town and its outskirts during this unprecedented time period.
Ake Ericson's book, Non Grata, is an unflinching, unadulterated look into the lives of an unwelcome people, who are discriminated against on a daily basis in many countries. With his keen eye, ability to capture poignant moments, and dedication to photojournalism, Ake's able to take the viewer extremely close to the situation. His stark black-and-white photos strongly bring to focus the harsh realities he's documenting. The book is now available for sale, and works from the book will be exhibited at gallery La Moulinette in Montmatre, Paris from the the 20th of September until the 7th of October.
For over 8 years, I have been documenting the life of the Roma people's daily life across Europe in 18 journeys. I began this project after visiting the southern part of Czech Republic where I witnessed vast discrimination. This moved me so greatly that I committed to photographing this vulnerable community of people. This commitment has taken me on a journey through Czech Republic, France, Sweden, Kosovo, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Switzerland, Spain and Slovakia to bear witness to these shunned societies. I have used photography to show the Roma’s living conditions and how they are deprived of political, economical, cultural and social rights. The other aspect of this project has been to show the difficulties the Roma have everywhere to win political influence and get a voice in the media.
In this long-term photo project, my vision is to continue to shed light on the various facets of the Roma’s life and struggles in Europe today.My genuine hope is that my photo stories can bring a better understanding to the world and help facilitate actions by politicians. My goal is to sustain this project beyond just being another Roma photo story, to dive further into the deeper stories that exist in the shadows of this community. My mission is to show not only show the tragic consequences of the Roma’s reality but also the positive aspects of the Roma being integrated into European life.
David Hanson is in the middle of a long-term documentary photo project near his Oregon home. Sherman County is a rural, sparsely populated county in the eastern rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains. It's only two hours from Portland but light years away in terms of culture, politics, and way of life. The main artery through the county is Highway 97, which runs north-south down the east side of the WA-OR Cascade Range. In Sherman County, the towns along Hwy 97 are spread out at nine-mile intervals because that is an appropriate distance for a horse to travel in a day.
Ranching and wheat farming remain the backbone of the economy in Sherman County. Kids actually stick around and take over their parents' ranches. But other than high-tech windmills on the wide-open landscape, not a lot new has come to the towns, and much of the old has gone. There are empty storefronts and the high school recently shuttered due to lack of funds. Most people have to travel to The Dalles (45 minutes) for groceries and medical care. David is beginning to collect images of the daily life in these ranches and small towns that are both timeless and fading.
Too often, we vilify industries involved in our natural resource management, judging those involved, without knowing much about their lives or even the industry itself. This holds doubly true for industries with a checkered past and those that seem to belong more to the yesteryear than the present. Michael D. Wilson spent time talking with and photographing loggers and folks in the lumber industry, people we often don't think about, but who have been vital to local economics in our home state of Maine. His beautiful portraits, best seen as large prints or in the 'zine he put together for his solo show in Portland, Maine, grant us some insight into their lives and work, and humanize this oft-maligned industry, continuing a cultural, historical and financial pillar in the region.
From the time the first sawmill opened in South Berwick in 1634, to the 1830’s, when Bangor was the world’s largest lumber port, through the mechanization of the industry in the 20th Century, to the current day’s focus on sustainability, logging has been part of the fabric of Maine. In an industry constantly changing and reinventing itself, the one constant has been the Woodsman. The faces pictured here represent in many ways Maine itself – hardy, resourceful, and determined. Keenly in tune with the land, they continue to provide, as their predecessors did, the foundational materials for building and maintaining strong communities. - Michael D. Wilson