Agency VII - Questions Without Answers
Alexandra Boulat - Modest: Women in the middle east 2004-2008
Alexandra Boulat visited the Middle East – including Afghanistan, Iran, Syria and Gaza – over several years. She discovered that in order to understand women in this region, she had to set aside western cultural and social values, especially those relating to women's rights and freedom. Women of the Middle East, against a background of political and economic struggle, are forced to face issues such as Islam, fundamentalism, war, domestic violence and lack of education. Few women are inclined to embrace western influences. In each country, they are condemned by laws or moral codes if they try to escape traditional responsibilities, where family and honour are held to be the first and only rule. Each woman who agreed to be photographed has her own story to tell: from mother to pilgrim, to teenager, to policewoman, Boulat's images reveal their attitudes, their rituals, their frustrations and their joys.
Women police in training at the shooting range, Tehran, Iran, November 2004.
Shafiqa, 60, mother of 15 children, arrives in Kabul, Afghanistan, from Mazar-e Sharif for medical treatment, September 2004.
Women's day in Mazar-e-Sharif's Hazrat Ali shrine.
Below. Heading to a wedding party in Kabul, women of all ages wear a variety of fashion styles, from traditional burka to pink tutu, July 2008. Overleaf. Women praying in Pakistan.
Alexandra Boulat - Iraq through the fall 2003
When Alexandra Boulat arrived in Baghdad in Iraq at the end of January 2003, she had little idea of what was about to unfold before her very eyes. Over a period of three months she kept a journal that began with Saddam Hussein's dictatorship and ended with the invasion of Iraq by the US-led coalition forces. Her first impressions were that Baghdad, far from being third world, was full of educated and open-minded people, whose way of life was in many ways western. She witnessed the mood of Baghdad's 5-million-strong population changing as US forces gathered. Some people left for Syria or Jordan; a few started digging trenches. American troops formally took control of Baghdad on 9 April 2003 after two weeks of bombing. The overriding feeling was relief that the air strikes had stopped. By the end of April, when Boulat returned home, Baghdadis had started hunting for relatives who had disappeared under Saddam's regime in order to give them proper burials.
Armed with toy Kalashnikovs, schoolboys wait beside the Tigris River in Baghdad to greet a busload of foreign peace activists, March 2003, who had come to act as human shields in anticipation of the invasion. The boys performed songs praising Saddam Hussein in a little parade.
A military parade in Tikrit, a town northwest of Baghdad on the Tigris River, before the invasion of Iraq, February 2003.
Alexandra Boulat - Gaza‘s Struggle
Following Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Palestinians living inside the densely populated territory were hopeful that an end to years of misery and suffering may finally be at hand. But the dismantling of Jewish settlements proved a false dawn for the roughly 1.5 million Palestinians – more than half of whom were refugees – crammed into the narrow strip of Mediterranean coast between Israel and Egypt. After Hamas won the 2006 elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council, militants stepped up their rocket attacks on Israel, who still controlled Gaza's borders. Israel responded with air strikes which often killed bystanders. Western countries classified Hamas as a terrorist organisation so their sympathy for Gaza's civilians was muted. Although there were improvements in law and order under Hamas, the territory witnessed almost daily kidnappings and frequent clashes between armed factions of Hamas and its main political rival, Fatah. Alexandra Boulat photographed the struggle in Gaza and captured a population trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of conflict and pain.
A Palestinian crawls inside an 800-metre-long tunnel at Rafiah, on the Gaza–Egypt border, February 2007. The tunnels are used to smuggle goods, weapons and militants from Egypt into Gaza. Israel claims large quantities of weapons have passed through the border since Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.
A Palestinian man returns to Gaza via the checkpoint at Erez, on the border between Israel and Gaza, May 2006. Israel's controversial security wall looms large.
Alexandra Boulat - Yves Saint Laurent's Last Show 2002
Yves Saint Laurent and his dog Moujik in his Paris stusdio, a day before his final haute couture show, 21 January 2002.
Ron Haviv - Haiti Earthquake 2010
On 12 January 2010, an earthquake magnitude 7.0 struck the impoverished nation of Haiti. With little resistance from the poor infrastructure, the capital Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas were destroyed. More than 220,000 people were killed and 1.5 million people were made homeless. Emergency aid was hampered by a wrecked airport and obstructed roads. In the capital, shortages of food and medical supplies triggered looting and some violence. Before the earthquake struck, more than 70 per cent of the country's population were living on less that $2 per day; half the people in Port-au-Prince had no toilets and only one third had access to tap water. Now there are 19 million cubic metres of rubble in the capital and 1.5 million people are living in camps. It is estimated that it will take five to 10 years to rebuild Haiti. Ron Haviv arrived in Haiti the day after the earthquake hit to document the aftermath.
Bodies are piled up outside the morgue at the main hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. They were eventually loaded onto trucks and taken to a mass grave on the outskirts of the city.
A patient receives stitches at a clinic in Port-au-Prince.
Ron Haviv - The road to Kabul 2001
In October 2001, in response to the 11 September attacks on the United States, the US Armed Forces and its allies – the British Armed Forces and Afghan's Northern Alliance – launched its joint operation against Afghanistan's Taliban regime. It took three months to oust the Taliban from power in Kabul and most of the rest of Afghanistan. In December, an interim government was set up under President Hamid Karzai. Ron Haviv was with the Northern Alliance forces during the war and witnessed their work on the ground, vital for grasping control from the Taliban, while the United States bombed the Taliban's strategic positions in a bid to force Osama bin Laden out of hiding. Since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, followers of the hard-line Islamic movement have regrouped. Amid increasing levels of violence and resurgence of the opium industry, the Afghan government struggles to assert its authority beyond Kabul and to build national unity.
A Northern Alliance tank in the centre of Kabul several days after the Taliban fled the capital, November 2001.
Northern Alliance soldiers guard the front line at the Salang Tunnel, in the Hindu Kush, which is vital for access to northern Afghanistan, November 2001.
Ron Haviv - Blood and Honey 1991-1998
Blood and Honey (Kan and Bal in Turkish) explores the violent confrontations that took place during the dissolution of Yugoslavia. It was formed of six republics: Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia (including the autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina) and Slovenia. By the late 1980s, nationalisms were stirring, in particular that of the Serbian leader, Slobodan Milosevic. Slovenia, Croatia and Macedonia declared independence in 1991. War broke out in Croatia as its Serbian population tried to separate: in 1992, the same happened in Bosnia as Serbian nationalists tried to create a 'Greater Serbia' by ethnically cleansing Muslim areas. By 1993, the Bosnian Muslim government was besieged in Sarajevo. Major atrocities eventually forced NATO to intervene and impose the 1995 Dayton Agreement, which ended the war. In 1998, the issue Dayton ignored – Kosovo – flared up as the ethnic-Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army rose up against Serbian rule. NATO intervened, but its air strikes could not prevent thousands of refugees fleeing the province. Eventually, Milosevic was deposed in 2000, and in 2001 he was put on trial at The Hague for crimes against humanity and genocide.
Serbian paramilitary leader Zeljko Raznatovic, known as Arkan, poses with his unit and a baby tiger that he captured from a zoo in Erdut, Croatia, 1 September 1991. Arkan's Tigers were responsible for a large part of the ethnic cleansing that occurred at the beginning of the Bosnian War.
A Serb survivor finds his home in ruins, 1 September 1995. He is standing on what is believed to be a mass grave, which includes members of his family.
Serbian paramilitaries walk past the dying bodies of Bosnian Muslims during the first battle of the Bosnian War in Bijeljina, 31 March 1992.
Survivors of the Serb attack on Srebrenica, Bosnia, learn of the fall of Tuzla, a United Nations 'safe haven', 15 July 1995. More than 7,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed and tens of thousands were forced to flee during the Srebrenica massacre.
Kosovar Albanians, who had fled to Drenica in Kosovo, prepare a baby for burial, autumn 1998. The five-week-old had died of exposure in the Kosovo mountains. Thousands of Kosovars were internally displaced during the early Serb offensives in the war for Kosovo's independence.
Ron Haviv - The United States election
US President Barack Obama and Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton embrace on the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to his supporters after winning the Primary at his election night watch party at the Executive Court Banquet facility on February 9, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Ed Kash - Indian Highways
India is the world's largest democratic nation and, second only to China in the world's most populous countries, it has an estimated 1.2 billion inhabitants. While approximately 70 per cent of people live rurally, the rest have migrated over the past few decades to over 200 towns and cities across the country; its urban population has risen by 32 per cent. This rapid metropolitan increase is a potent sign of India's economic progress and the 5,847-kilometre (3,633-mile) Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) highway, which links the four major municipal centres of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, is accelerating the young nation's growth. Until now, India's dilapidated system of roads has impeded the country's pursuit of modernization. However, the technologically advanced GQ highway has been met with some concerns as it challenges age-old traditions and tests the nation's founding principles of idealism and austerity as clashes over land use and enterprise zones persist. Ed Kashi's images provide a visual exploration of India's turbulent journey from Gandhi's vision of spiritual, bucolic tranquility to a dominant global marketplace.
The Golden Quadrilateral Highway project is one of India's largest and most ambitious infrastructure projects ever. It was started in the mid-1990's and the plan is for it to be finished by 2007. It will connect the four major cities of India together with a super highway; New Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta), Mumbai (Bombay) and Chennai (Madras). This project is a metaphor for how India is entering the 21st century and modernizing itself to be a dominant player in the global economy. Scenes from The Forum Mall, in central Bangalore, which is only 3 years old but a magnet for couples, kids, young people, families and shoppers. There are currently 11 more malls of this size under construction in Bangalore.
The wrapped body of a deceased driver's assistant, 15, lies in an underpass of the GQ highway in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. The young boy had run away from his home just a few days before and was killed when his driver, drunk at the wheel, crashed into a parked truck.
Children play in a suburban street by their homes in Palm Meadows, an exclusive, gated community in Bangalore. The community consists of 550 houses, each selling for an average of $1.5 million. Developments like these are increasing as the nation's economy grows and new consumers want elite products.
A transgender sex worker, or hijra, engages in paid sex with a client at the hamam in Madanayakana Halli. Hamams have employed eunuchs and transgender sex workers for centuries, unthreatened by modernization. Today, the main clients are the 5,000 truck drivers who come each day via the GQ highway.
Ramgarh Takri, a slum housing a mainly Muslim community, overlooks the newly constructed GQ highway in Mumbai.
Ed Kashi - Ageing in America 1997-2001
Ranging from geriatric incarceration, to vitality in ageing, love and loss, and reinvention in retirement, these images aim to challenge the western culture of ageing. A rallying call to our elders-to-be to consider what kind of world we want to live in, there is a common responsibility among us all to remake this society in the image we desire for ourselves. Ed Kashi's sequence of photographs inspires us to learn more, prompts us to get involved and creates a chance to step back from our frenetic lives, slow down and take a moment to reflect on how we can make a difference for ourselves and our elders. Throughout several years of travel across the United States, Kashi and his wife, writer/filmmaker Julie Winokur, have collected scores of personal histories that, when seen collectively, challenge the culture of ageing in America. These images are a journey across the topography of ageing, investigating the truth of what it means to attain 'a good old age'. Negotiating the experience of our elders, from the 'wellderly' to the elderly, we are provided with a series of intimate vignettes of people who are living the new old age.
An older Floridian resident watches a group of people socializing at Deerfield Beach, Florida, 2001.
Truman Purdy, 61, lifts weights in the Hamilton Aged and Infirmed prison exercise yard in Alabama, 1997. His 25-year sentence for sexual abuse and sodomy began in 1992. Over time, older inmates become more of a medical burden than a security risk, costing the state three times more than younger inmates.
Gerald Gross and Ricky Caminetti fell in love in their eighties. She refused to sleep with him before they got married, so he proposed within a week of their first date. Their wedding, in Miami, Florida, 2000, was attended by over 200 guests.
Ed Kashi - Curse of the Black Gold 2004-2006
Ed Kashi visited the Niger Delta four times between 2004 and 2006 and investigated the profound cost of 50 years of oil exploitation in the region. Since 1958, more than $700 billion of oil and gas wealth has been pumped out of the fertile grounds and remote creeks of one of Africa's largest deltas and the world's third largest wetland. Uninterrupted gas flaring and oil spillage has caused devastating pollution, destroying the traditional livelihoods of the Niger Delta, while the juxtaposition of the oil industry's phenomenal wealth against the abject poverty of the local people has triggered the deterioration of political and social cohesion. Kashi's photographs recount the daily life of the Niger Delta's inhabitants, revealing the disparity and despair of the region. The images bear witness to frustrated expectations, widespread indignation and the unprecedented unease between local communities and oil companies on the one hand, and the state and federal governments on the other.
Oil-soaked workers take a break from cleaning up a spill in the swamps near Oloibiri, the Niger Delta, 2004.
A boy carries a freshly killed goat through the black smoke of burning tyres, used as fuel at the Trans Amadi Slaughterhouse, Port Harcourt, 2006.
In the oil town of Afiesere, indigenous Urhobo people bake tapioca in the heat of a gas flare, 2004. Since 1961, when the Shell Petroleum Development Company first opened its flow station, the local community has lived this way. Life expectancy is short for the Urhobo, as pollutants from the flares cause serious health problems.
Militants of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) accompany a Shell worker, recently released from hostage, to freedom, 2006. Nigerian military boats later ambushed the group and killed all nine MEND members and the Shell worker.
Gary Knight - Amongst The Poor 2007-2009
Gary Knight made a number of journeys through India over a period of two years, exploring issues related to poverty. Understanding that the representation of poverty using photography can be very prescriptive, Knight wanted to avoid stereotyping vulnerable people and trivializing their lives. He documented the poorest communities in context, intent on not focusing solely on their material conditions and not portraying poverty as an illness to be pitied. In India, despite the recent economic miracle, two thirds live on less than $1.40 a day. When people are hungry, they also get angry. 'We will fight,' says one Indian farmer, 'all we need is a leader.' Among the poor, to be impoverished is more than a lacking of assets; it spawns generational despair and endemic hopelessness.
Daily life in a Delhi street, March 2009.
A man works at a stone quarry near Jodhpur, Rajasthan, February 2009.
Herding goats in Chaurmauni Settlement, Nepal, May 2007.
Gary Knight - The Bridge
'Incoming rocket-propelled grenades burst in the sky above our heads and a Marine screams that they are coming from some houses 400 yards (365 metres) away. The tanks fire and. 50 cal machine guns and assault rifles spit in reply, the smell of cordite drifts through the palm trees and the once silent grove is now smoking and animated… I jump out of my car with a camera and… run past the Marine command post up to Kilo and India Companies parked at a road junction firing grenades and 50 cal into houses 200 yards (185 metres) away. The Marines are advancing on foot to take Diyala Bridge. The battle for the Diyala Highway Bridge, about 15 kilometres (9 miles) southeast of Baghdad, was one of the first of the major assaults of the Iraq War. The 3rd Battalion 4th Marines captured the bridge on 6 April 2003, before pushing on into central Baghdad and taking part in the toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue on 9 April. Gary Knight documented the run-up to the action in his journal and photographed the combat over three days.
The battle for the Diyala Highway Bridge, southeast of Baghdad, Iraq, 6 April 2003.
Antonín Kratochvíl - In Person 1995-2009
Charles Baudelaire wrote 'A portrait! What could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound.' With his portraits, Antonin Kratochvil turns his camera away from the destruction he has documented in Eastern Europe to reveal another side of modernity: the broad-reaching spectrum of the entertainment industry. Unlike the candy-coated imagery so prevalent in today's fashion and film magazines, his work underscores the physical and psychological intensity of the creative men and women who have sat before his camera, with images not designed to flatter but to seek out something, possibly hidden, below the surface. Similarly, the portraits of entertainment icons Iggy Pop and Matthew Williamson, captured by Christopher Morris and Franco Pagetti, respectively, reveal their unique personas. Likewise, Joachim Ladefoged portrays the unwavering determination of one of the world's most famous conductors, Valery Gergiev.
Liv Tyler, Tuscany, 1995.
Bernardo Bertolucci, New York, 1996.
Jean Reno, Paris, 1997.
David Bowie, New York, 1997.
Antonín Kratochvíl - Crossing America 2007
On assignment for a photo-essay about America in 2007, Antonin Kratochvil crossed the United States from coast to coast, driving 14,500 kilometres (9,000 miles) over the course of one month and casting his critical eye over whatever he encountered. From the bright lights of Las Vegas to the monumentality of the nation's capital, Washington, DC, and passing through an Indian reservation in South Dakota and the final resting place of bull riders in Arizona, Kratochvil presents an unsentimental and prescient look at the country he has called home for the past 35 years. Kratochvil settled in New York in 1972, having lived as a refugee in Europe following his flight from Czechoslovakia in 1967. He is an outsider but, like many fellow émigrés, he understands the United States despite giving the impression of never really belonging there.
A poster displayed at a US Army recruiting centre in St Louis, Missouri.
A painting of George W. Bush in a diner, Crawford, Texas.
Coach travellers, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Antonín Kratochvíl - Global Financial Crisis
In September 2008, Wall Street faced its biggest crisis since the Great Depression. The collapse of Lehman Brothers and the Bank of America's emergency purchase of Merrill Lynch were followed by bankruptcies, massive job losses and fear of an economic depression. Investment banks, which once ruled high-end speculative finance, crumbled as hundreds of billions in mortgage-related investments went bad. The US government seized the nation's largest insurance company and largest savings and loan company. In October 2008, a collapse was headed off by the US Congress's bailout plan and actions by the Federal Reserve to pump money into the system. Although financial meltdown was avoided in the United States, the crisis spread around the globe, forcing countries in Europe to seek emergency aid from the International Monetary Fund. The turmoil in Wall Street was mirrored by pandemonium in the City of London, Europe's financial capital.
A Jaguar sports car on display at the Motorexpo held at the World Financial Center, New York, September 2008.
A man holds his head in his hands while sitting on the steps of the Federal Hall National Memorial, adjacent to the New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street, New York, September 2008.
People walk past the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, September 2008.
Antonín Kratochvíl - Vanishing 1994-2005
For over a decade Antonin Kratochvil has observed humankind's destruction of the globe, collecting evidence of endangered life forms, ruined environments and worlds that might recover or might be lost for ever. These photographs are not intended as a sermon but a record of what the eyes have looked upon that may be lost forever. Despite man's ever-threatening presence, the images seem to speak on behalf of life, as a warning or a plea to all of us to look beyond our own narrow lives and to consider the effects of our behaviour on a planet that is shared by us all.
Pollution in the Caspian Sea, 1998. Oil lying on the sea's surface prevents evaporation and so the sea floods the land.
Former government soldiers wounded by mines, Luanda, Angola, 2001. The number of land mines in Angola is estimated between 10 and 20 million, or up to two land mines per person.
Earth poisoned by cyanide used in gold mining, Mahdia, central Guyana, 1998. Cyanide solution is blasted against rock; the supertoxin removes everything of worth.
Killing fields, Cambodia, 1996. Dictator Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge began the genocide of the Cambodian people in 1975. During their four-year rule, an estimated 2 million people died, with most victims disposed of in huge tracts of arable land, known as the killing fields.
Joachim Ladefoged - Lost in Tokyo 2004
During April 2004, Joachim Ladefoged visited Tokyo, a city that is considered an archetype of the modern metropolis and that offers a case study in extremes and contradictions. When night falls, electronic billboards cast fluorescent light over the city. Tokyo's multiplicity of scales, at least to the foreigner's unaccustomed eye, presents a kaleidoscope of impressions: neon ads flash incomprehensible messages, street vendors' tiny stands lie at the feet of majestic fashionable shops, young women's mobile phones capture images and become toys, just like any other fashionista's accessories. Amid the restlessness, as though protected by the never-ending reminder of human presence within the city, the ones who are tired of it all take a break by managing to cuddle in deserted stairways and corners. Isolated in a moving crowd, the tourist's perceptions are blurred as he alternately endures and participates in the city's pulse.Shibuya district, Tokyo.
Red-light district, Kabukicho, Tokyo.
Subway tunnel restaurant, Shinjuku district, Tokyo.
Train station in the shopping district of Harajuku, Tokyo.
Red-light district, Kabukicho, Tokyo.
Joachim Ladefoged - The Albanians 1997-2000
Joachim Ladefoged documented the history of the Albanians during a critical period, from 1997 to 2000. The poorest country in Europe, Albania was one of the last to emerge from communism and in only two years made the difficult and rapid transition into a multi-party democracy. With the collapse of the economy in January 1997, widespread rioting and looting broke out. The military was helpless as army supplies were plundered. Many weapons were smuggled into neighbouring Kosovo, a majority Albanian province in southern Serbia, to the 2 million ethnic Albanians living under the tyranny of Slobodan Milosevic. The volatile mixture of ethnic conflict and fresh supplies of weapons gave birth to the guerrilla army known as the Kosovo Liberation Army. NATO's bombing of Kosovo in 1999 caused a mass exodus of around 850,000 ethnic Albanians. On their return to Kosovo in mid-1999, many sought revenge, killing innocent and aged Serbs who had had no connection with the war.
A young Kosovo Albanian boy dives into an artificial lake outside Gnjilane, southeastern Kosovo, June 1999.
The youngest brother of two young Albanian men cries as he accompanies the wagon that carries their bodies to their funeral, Kosovo, June 1999. The brothers were buried within four hours of their death, caused by a mine that detonated while they were herding the family's cattle.
Joachim Ladefoged - A Vanishing Way of Life 2003
During June 2003, Joachim Ladefoged lived with the La Poile fishing community on the island of Newfoundland, off the east coast of Canada. For generations, families in such communities have survived off the bounties of the ocean. The family trade was passed from father to son. Now it is a way of life that has all but vanished. As a result of the Canadian government's ban on northern cod fishing in the early 1990s and subsequent quota controls, now there are no jobs and only a small number of fishing communities survive.
The fishermen in La Poile use the traditional hook and line to catch halibut, using herring for bait.
A fisherman and his son head out to check their lobster pots in the bays near La Poile.
Christopher Morris - Cartier International Polo day
Held each July, the Cartier International Polo Day sparkles as the crown jewel of the British social season. Drawing crowds of more than 30,000, it is the calendar's most glamorous and prestigious event. In 2008, Christopher Morris uniquely documented the full spectrum of glamour and prestige that filled the fields at the Guards Polo Club situated in Windsor Great Park. Among the multitude of attendees enjoying the summer sunshine, and caught on camera by Morris during the course of the day, were Prince Charles, burlesque performer Dita Von Teese and Harry Potter star Emma Watson. Alongside the privileged guests, members of the paying public took in some of the most ferocious and exciting polo in the world, although all in all there was probably more mutual people and fashion-watching than attention on the sport itself.
The Cartier International Polo Day at the Guards
Polo Club in Windsor, England, July 2008.
Christopher Morris - In Fashion 2009
During his career as a photojournalist, Christopher Morris has directed his lens on the brutality and unpredictability of war, turned it on the sterility and staged nature of politics, then redirected his attention to an apparently incompatible subject: fashion. Although his subjects appear contradictory in nature, Morris's ability to capture beauty in often overlooked details remains a constant. Morris sustains his all-encompassing view, covering projects that range from reportage to portraits and fashion – 'stories that have enabled me to continue with the straight and modern anthropological style I have grown so fond of'.
Christian Dior, Haute Couture Autumn 2009 Collection, Maison Christian Dior, avenue Montaigne, Paris.
Louis Vuitton, Spring/Summer 2011, Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace, Aéroport de Paris-Le Bourget. Suzie Bird in the first-class lounge.
Louis Vuitton, Spring/Summer 2011, Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace, Aéroport de Paris-Le Bourget. Ophelie Rupp in the control room.
Christopher Morris - My America
Christopher Morris produced a series of photographs over a period of five years called My America while on assignment to cover the first and second administrations of US President George W. Bush. From a privileged vantage point close to the centre of American power, Morris documented a personal and critical vision of Republican America, which he saw as being at the intersection of patriotism and control, politics and devotion. His aim is that we should 'see what I saw and feel what I felt – a nation that has wrapped its eyes so tightly in red, white and blue that it has gone blind. This is "My America".'
Washington, DC, 2005.
New York, New York, 2004.
Christopher Morris - George W. Bush
Christopher Morris documented George W. Bush's presidency over a period of eight years. Bush served two consecutive terms as the 43rd President of the United States and, only eight months after he was inaugurated in 2001, his presidency was marked by the September 11 attacks and the subsequent global War on Terror. Morris, who had spent the previous 15 years photographing wars around the world, followed Bush behind the scenes as well as during high-level meetings. Morris describes the experience: 'What I discovered was a people in love with their country and their President, a culture of American society that had found a “divine” Bush … I'm often asked what it was like to photograph President Bush and for me he was a fantastic subject. He was controversial. He was animated. He was loved. He was hated, misunderstood and most of all he was our President.'
President Bush in the Oval Office, the White House.
President Bush, before an afternoon cycle ride, at a secret service training facility near Washington, DC.
President Bush starts his day at the Oval Office early in the morning, with his dog Barney by his side.
Christopher Morris - The United States election
Republican National Convention, Cleveland, Ohio.
Franco Pagetti - US Embassy Attack: Nairobi 1998
On 7 August 1998, the names Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda were thrown into the international spotlight when suicide truck bombs were simultaneously detonated close to the US embassies in Nairobi (Kenya's capital) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania's capital). More than 200 people, including 12 American citizens, were killed, and an estimated 4,000 people were injured. The bombings appear to have been in retaliation to American involvement in the extradition of four members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, who had been arrested in Albania and renditioned to Egypt in the two months prior to the explosions. Three years later, the world would learn that the attacks on the US embassies in East Africa were but a prelude to a murderous strike against the United States.
Crowds flock to the site of the bombed US Embassy to help dig out survivors.
An injured man is helped away from the scene of the bombing at Nairobi's US Embassy.
A body is discovered inside a bus wrecked by the truck bomb attack on Nairobi's US Embassy.
Franco Pagetti - The Iraq war
brief flowering of hope after ousting Saddam Hussein, the rise of rebel groups and the inexorable descent into sectarian civil war. The invasion (March–May 2003) saw the fall of Baghdad. On 19 March, coalition forces began 'Operation Iraqi Freedom', bombing Iraq in order to end Saddam Hussein's regime. Although coalition forces were hampered by sandstorms and smoke from burning oil wells, the Iraqi government and military collapsed within three weeks. Following the regime's collapse, Shi'a and Sunni Islam factions began fighting for dominance. By April 2004, US forces were confronted by large-scale resistance against the occupation, led by Shi'ite followers of Moqtada al-Sadr. In November, the coalition mounted 'Operation Phantom Fury' against insurgents in Al Fallujah, one of the fiercest battles yet. In 2007, amid escalating violence, thousands of additional US troops were sent to Iraq in order to strengthen security in Baghdad.
Soldiers from the 'Smash Platoon' (2nd Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division) guard a family during a target raid on a house in Samarra, September 2007. They arrested two men suspected of being Al Qaeda terrorists.
A family bury their father at Baghdad's Baratha cemetery, March 2003.
US Marines search houses on an offensive against rebels in Al Fallujah, November 2004. Al Fallujah, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Baghdad, had been the centre of an insurgency that dogged US and Iraqi forces for over a year, and where it was believed terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was based.
Smoke fills the air on the battle-charred streets of Tall 'Afar, September 2005.
Soldiers of the 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborn Division, from combat outpost, COP, Callahan, arrest a group of suspected Madhi Army members in the Shiite district of Shaab, Baghdad, Iraq on May 28, 2007. According to intelligence evidence, the men have been accused of kidnapping and killing a Sunni man. One of the men is a snipper who shot three U.S. soldiers from COP Callahan. The portrait is of Husayn ibn Ali, a revered Shiite Imam, who is the grandson of the prophet Muhammad and son of Ali.
John Stanmeyer - Food Crisis 2008
In 2008, riots broke out globally because of rising food costs, and Egyptians are still queuing up every morning for governmentsubsidized bread. Flooding in North America caused commodities to spike, resulting in basic food items becoming too expensive across the globe, while changing weather patterns in the Indian Ocean spread drought through the Horn of Africa, spawning a famine in Ethiopia. Families in Bangladesh and the Philippines fed themselves with little or no money – and still today, nearly 1 billion people live on $1 per day. These factors are delicately linked, intertwined on a global scale, affecting our world food supply. With a projected global population of 9 billion by 2050, producing enough food is critical as we move towards an end of plenty. In 2008, John Stanmeyer visited nearly every continent to chronicle the causes and effects of rising food prices. With a rigorous documentary approach, Stanmeyer exposes a subject never before so acutely studied, researched and photographed; this work delves into the myriad of layers that affect how we feed ourselves.
Pork on sale at a market in Guangzhou. China's meat consumption is rapidly rising. Soybeans are imported from the USA, Brazil and Argentina for animal feed.
Deforestation in the upper Mato Grosso state, Brazil, where farmers are burning rainforests to make way for more farmland to raise cattle and soybeans.
In the Philippines, women select viable grains of rice for store at the International Rice Research Institute to ensure that all hybrids are available in case of crop failure anywhere in the world.
Women and men jostle to collect bread from a distribution centre in Nazlet el Samann in Giza, Egypt. Forty-five per cent of Egypt's population lives in poverty, which forced President Hosni Mubarak's government to subsidize bread for decades. In 2008, riots erupted over the rise in food costs.
Momina Mohammed, 34, tries to nurse her son, Ali, who is acutely malnourished, in an Eritrean refugee camp in Suola, Ethiopia, near to Eritrea. Momina, who hasn't eaten properly for months, can no longer produce breast milk. Droughts have caused thousands to lose their animals and rising food costs prohibit buying food.
John Stanmeyer - AIDS in Asia: sex, drugs & death
Southeast Asia experienced a rapid spread of AIDS during the mid-1990s, and it is still continuing today. As half the world's population lives in Asia and some Asian countries are still ignorant about how HIV is contracted, the implications are devastating. Between 1998 and 2004 John Stanmeyer travelled to over 14 countries in the region and witnessed at first-hand the issues and complex social and political layers that have allowed the virus to spread across borders. His work focuses on the migratory pattern of HIV, the explanations, people's lifestyles, its prevention and the search for a cure. He also traces the tragic personal outcomes, governments' unwillingness to fund crucial programmes and even denial on the part of the authorities that HIV/AIDS exists.
A sex worker with clients in a bar frequented by truck drivers outside Manila, 2001. Truck drivers are a primary conduit for the spread of HIV/AIDS across the Philippines.
A man dying of AIDS at a hospice in Lop Buri, Thailand, 1999.
John Stanmeyer - Lost Lives 2003
Although Asia's emerging economies, including China and Indonesia, are leading the way out of recession and the political climate in the region has generally stabilized, their governments and international organizations have not addressed Asia's alarming mental health crisis. Stigmatized, forgotten and often locked away, thousands of mentally ill people are left to founder in hellish conditions, no better than those of animals in a zoo. John Stanmeyer spent much of 2003 documenting the treatment of mental health patients across Asia, including China, Indonesia and Pakistan. His alarming social commentary illustrates the dire need, long overdue, for the authorities to provide greater funding and support action for the proper care of its people, who still today are imprisoned, drugged, malnourished and generally neglected.
Due to the Pakistani government's lack of funding of mental health care, overburdened foundations such as Edhi Village try to fill the gap in provision.
A man is restrained to prevent him hurting himself and other patients at the desperately underfunded Dr Marzuki Mahdi Hospital in Bogor, Indonesia.
At Edhi Village, outside Karachi, Pakistan, children sleep on the floor and none of the boys have shoes.
At the Panti Bina Laras Cipayung Centre, Jakarta, men and women are mostly naked and given little medication. A facility for 150 people now holds twice that number. Increasing patient numbers partly stem from homelessness caused by Indonesia's economic problems.
Overcrowding at the government-funded Panti Bina Laras Cipayung Centre leads the authorities to keep the 300 men and women in prison-like conditions
John Stanmeyer - Malaria 2006
Malaria remains one of the leading causes of death and illness worldwide. It is endemic in 107 countries and infects up to 500 million people annually. In Africa alone, nearly 3,000 people, mostly children under five, die from malaria each day. According to the World Health Organization, these figures have worsened over the past 10 years. Drug-resistant strains of the disease, lack of basic health care, war, poverty and insufficient funding for research and prevention have thwarted improvements. During 2006, John Stanmeyer travelled to five countries on three continents to document not only the harsh realities of one of our world's biggest killers, but to delve into the issues surrounding the spread of malaria: urban environments, human encroachment into the Amazon, which is causing staggering increases in malaria cases, education and prevention – and solutions to help put an end to this plague that kills over 1 million people each year.
Edwin Malesu, four, is afflicted with cerebral malaria. His mother Maybel Kazhina and grandmother Estridah Chimbimbi are by his side at the Kalene Mission Hospital in Kalene Hill, northwest Zambia. This is the second time that Edwin has contracted malaria but the previous bout was not so severe.
A taxi marooned in the flooded Heysham Road in the Bhawanipur district of south central Kolkata, India. This area is often plagued by malaria. Clogged drains filled with rubbish cause severe urban flooding; the stagnant water left lingering in this taxi will become a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
'Malaria Is Not Acceptable' performed by a theatre group in Lugoba, a remote village 110 kilometres (70 miles) northeast of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Sponsored by Population Services International, the campaign shows through street theatre how malaria is preventable with simple precautions such as mosquito netting.
In Jugipara Bylane, located within the maze-like area of Rajabazar in Kolkata, Kashi Songkar, 27, is confined to bed with malaria in his home that he shares with six relatives. This is the first time he has contracted the disease but his wife, Usha Songkar, 20, has been struck twice.
Sarker Protick - Of River And Lost Lands
This story has two primary characters, a river that represents nature and a community representing the humankind. Here, all these different people have a same voice, the same state. The narrative evolves between men and river and their relationship. It’s intimate and it’s ruthless. We find dependency and destruction at the same time. It’s a contradictory affair. The river gives so much to its people and at times it takes away everything. Riverbank erosion generally creates much more suffering than other natural hazards like flooding; as while flooding routinely destroys crops and damages property, erosion results in loss of farm and homestead land. In the winter of 2011, I travelled to the villages near Ishurdi district. Padma, the largest waterway of Bangladesh flows right beside. At first the place seems abandoned. Drowned and broken houses, floating trees are all that remains. These are traces of life that was once here. Slowly I discover life in the villages. People who are still living here, many as refugee in others land. They have lost their house, farmlands almost everything. Some has left the places as they ran out of all the options.While a global warming, climate change is still being questioned, here, like many other places is facing consequences. Over the years the river changed it’s course. While doing it, it has taken so many. When the monsoon arrives and the river runs fast. The lands get washed away and disappear. Places I have photographed do not exist any more. River erosion continues with dire consequences for this land and community.
Danny Wilcox Frazier - A Lost Nation
Willow performs at the World Famous Astro Lounge, a strip club in the oil fields of Wyoming. Well payed oil workers fill bars and clubs after long hours of hard labor in the oil fields.
Snowstorm, Iowa City, Iowa.
Bison, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota. Plains Indians depended on buffalo for food, shelter, and spiritual guidance before the great herds, estimated between 30 and 200 million animals, were exterminated with the support of the U.S. government in the 1800s. Military leaders expressed their desire to eradicate the buffalo to deny Indians of their own source of food.
Danny Wilcox Frazier - A Detroit Requiem
Detroit…the word alone incites many emotions within America’s conscience. Detroit was the epicenter for financial equality in the U.S., the home front for the ideal of well-paying jobs for the masses and a political force behind a strong middle class. Henry Ford made Detroit a boomtown. Five decades after he started, the boom began to bust. Many reasons are at the heart of Detroit’s decline: postwar industrial policies, urban planning, the 1967 race riots, UAW and auto industry management, Detroit’s political cronyism, Clinton era trade deals, and quite possibly the mobility of the automobile itself. It was the 1950’s when Detroit began the long decay that has brought the city to its present state, a time when Detroit, and America, was at its peak. Today, Detroit is America’s poorest large city. To avoid being the nation’s perpetual murder capital, the police began cooking stats. In 2008, they claimed 306 homicides – until The Detroit News discovered that there were actually 375. In more than 70 percent of murders in Detroit, the killer got away with it. Detroit’s East Side is now the poorest, most violent quarter of America’s poorest, most violent big city. The illiteracy, child poverty, and unemployment rates hover around 50 percent. The shooting death of seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones by police on Detroit’s East Side brought national attention to this quarter over the summer of 2010. But as the spotlight faded, the killings continued. With 103 kids and teens murdered in Detroit between January of 2009 and July of 2010, I was sent to cover the failure of political and civil leaders in Detroit, the failure of industry in Detroit, the failure of the federal government in Detroit, the failure of America in Detroit.
Danny Wilcox Frazier - The United States election
Journalists outnumbered voters at Hillary Clinton's first campaign stop at a community college in Monticello, Iowa on April 14, 2015.
Donald Trump addresses the 2016 Republican National Convention on the final night in Cleveland, Ohio. The Republican National Convention transformed downtown Cleveland into a maze of steel and concrete barriers constructed to protect Quicken Loans Arena from assault or protest. Law enforcement on bikes, horseback and in rapid response squads occupied much of the city. Side streets appeared empty and many restaurants and bars were quiet. In places, downtown Cleveland felt void of life, the lockdown scaring all but the most faithful away.
Sim Chi Yin - Dying to Breathe
China/Shaanxi/Henan/by Sim Chi Yin / VII Mentor Program / personal project/2011-2013/ Ever since former gold miner He Quangui, 41, became ill 10 years ago, his wife Mi Shixiu, 36, has had to take care of his every need and the family. When he is too sickly to walk, she carries him, even up flights of stairs. Mr He, who once weighed 65kg, is now barely 44kg. They have a very close relationship, and are "still like two teenagers who just fell in love", as a relative put it to me. They sing and horse around together, tease each other and banter. "I don't hope that he will be well enough to work again, but if he is just there every day when I get back, just to chat with me, I'm already very happy," says Madam Mi, who has been married to Mr He since she was 18. Dying to breathe: former gold miner He Quangui is slowing dying of silicosis - a irreversible but preventable disease he contracted from years of working in small, unregulated gold mines in the Henan province, central China. Ten years after he was diagnosed with silicosis, he is fighting for his life, fighting to keep breathing. In this illness, a type of pneumoconiosis - China's most prevalent occupational disease afflicting millions - silica dust sucked into the lungs during years of blasting rock causes the miner's lungs to harden and eventually fail. Workers who can get good health care and remove themselves from the harmful environment -- particularly those who worked for state mines -- can live a normal person's lifespan. But most of the growing number of victims in China today are migrant workers like Mr He, with no insurance, good healthcare or legal recourse. They typically die in their 30s, leaving families with no sole breadwinners, wives with no husbands, children without fathers.
Jocelyn Bain Hogg - The Family
Teddy Bambam, his henchman Rocky and 'J' outside the Beauchamp bar in Knightsbridge, West London
Mitch Pyle in a limo with friends on his birthday
Jocelyn Bain Hogg - British Youth
Trinity Hall garden party ‘Suicide Sunday’ Cambridge University May Week. By this Sunday, all students have finished exams but most of the results have not been published, so it is traditionally a period of nerves and suspense. The name, however, ironically refers to the celebration that students haven’t committed suicide due to stress of exams. Georgianna (20):“May Week is a weird representation of what Cambridge is like as a life. It’s very much a week of extremes, but extremes of something that doesn’t really go on much during the rest of the year because everyone is working their butts off for most of it. And then they completely burn out.”
Notting Hill Carnival, London. Dave (23), apublican: “I find the Carnival to be one of the most brilliant aspects of being in London. It is two days in the year where it is just constant partying, it is a celebration of life, of culture, of drinking, of everything.”
Ashley Gilbertson - Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot
Polish peace keepers' sun is momentarily blocked by an American helicopter carrying General Hertling, Ed and me into the camp on the outskirts of Karbala.
Marines run for cover after white phosphorus was accidentally fired at them by another company when Bravo was somehow mistaken for a band of insurgents. No one was hurt, but a 4000 degree briquette burnt right through Dexter's backpack. It was horrible taking cover on the ground lying face up-- face down meant I couldn't dodge the pieces falling from the sky.
Marines rest in a mosque after a heavy night of house-to-house fighting and an ambush that killed one marine and wounded seven more. To the right, Brown and Miller sleep. They were both killed by the end of the week.
Iraqis go about their everyday lives in front of the embattled Government Center. Marines have very little contact with locals whom they are not shooting or arresting. Corporal John Rios does twenty-four hour shifts defending the building from attacks by insurgents.
An Iraqi tries to extinguish a flaming van with a bucket of sand.
US Marine slides down the marble handrail in Saddam's extravagant palace built in his home town of Tikrit. The Palace is not only enormous, but contains rugs worth hundreds of thouasands of dollars, a river was re-routed to pass the palace amongst many other examples of the Hussein families show of wealth.
Maciek Nabrdalik - Postcards from Tchernobyl
Tomas van Houtryve - Cuba
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Jessica Dimmock - The Ninth Floor
The Ninth Floor documents a group of addicts who moved into the apartment of a former millionaire in a wealthy neighborhood in downtown Manhattan. Joe Smith, in his mid 60s, allowed a young addict to move into a spare bedroom in his large three-bedroom apartment in hopes of gaining rent. Several years later, a fully addicted Joe no longer had a bedroom and as many as 12 to 15 young addicts stayed at any given time. All electricity and hot water had been turned off and anything valuable had long been sold to feed habits. This project documents the residents of this space leading up to their eviction and follows several of them after as they face jail and sickness, fight and love, attempt to get clean, sink deeper into addiction, go to jail, start families and struggle to survive
Stefano De Luigi - Visions of Blindness
This body of work is part of a five-year project documenting the condition of blindness throughout the world. Aimed to raise awareness of the daily battle an estimated 45 million people worldwide face, the photographer Stefano de Luigi, in collaboration with CMB Italy (Christian Blind Mission), started the project – and his long journey – in 2003. Over the course of the next five years, he photographed blind people in Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Thailand, China, Laos, Vietnam, Bulgaria and Lithuania.
There’s a story about a photographer who for years worked throughout Asia. She‘d arrive in each new country with her bags of equipment and find a local fixer to take her to meet her subjects. In each new language she learned the words „Don‘t Smile!“, which she‘d bark at her subjects before she shot their picture. After all-smiling is contagious, outwardly carefree, and may remove sentiments of objectivity or hard-hitting news value. There is something about a smiling subject that could suggest inauthenticity or a lack of gravitas in the moment; the very act of smiling seems to soften the drama of an otherwise weighty situation. A cursory search of archival images by world-renowned VII Photo agency photographers seems to show we often frown upon smiles in our photographs. The Smile exhibition brings together images of people smiling - most often a taboo expression in photojournalism − into a collection of powerful images gathered during the most important historical events that have shaped the past thirty years. Compiled as a group, they reveal the astonishing range of human behavior that smiles represent. Pride powers a smile, power emboldens a smile, we smile to seduce or be seduced. But we also smile when we lie, when we‘re scared or anxious. In fact, just one variant of the eighteen different smiles recognizes enjoyment, and it‘s this universal variant that unites us as human beings. Smile explores how a seemingly simple action manifests in our world; from the most depressing, violent, dysfunctional and poverty stricken conditions to the warmth and security of joy, affection, love and home. And between those two worlds − of fear and contentment − is the smile we give to the cameras of expression.