Tag Archives: Collaborative Project

Almost Dawn in Libya: Exclusive Interactive Panorama

Almost Dawn in Libya, a collaborative project for which eight photographers raised money for four simultaneous Libyan exhibitions of photographs from the country’s conflict—as described here on LightBox—reached its fundraising goal of $40,000 and will be completed in the next few weeks. Photographer André Liohn, one of the guiding forces behind the initiative, spoke to LightBox from Misrata, Libya, where he was preparing for the installation in that city.

“That we finally have the pictures in our hands,” says Liohn, “is very exciting.”

Liohn estimates that they are about 80 percent done with printing the photographs for the shows, but the progress is dodged by remnants of the conflict that the exhibitions are intended to address. On the day before Liohn spoke to LightBox, militiamen seized control of the Tripoli airport. Elections are also on the horizon. It’s still unclear whether the other photographers who are part of the Almost Dawn project—Lynsey Addario, Eric Bouvet, Bryan Denton, Christopher Morris, Jehad Nga, Finbarr O’Reilly and Paolo Pellegrin—will have difficulty getting to Libya for the openings.

But, after everything endured by the photojournalists who captured the Libyan conflict on film, these obstacles are not overly daunting. Liohn says he’s ready to get the shows up and running, particularly because the people he meets in Libya are ready too. Despite—or perhaps because of—the trauma of war, they seem, to him, eager to help with the vision of healing through photography.

“We feel that the project is pretty much as much theirs as it’s ours,” says Liohn, citing the people who have donated both living space and expensive printing services. “To me, it’s very courageous that they are taking so much responsibility for making this happen.”

The Almost Dawn in Libya team has also provided LightBox with the panoramic view shown here, as designed by Paolo Pellegrin and curator Annalisa d’Angelo, which replicates the gallery set-up that will be seen in Libya. The lack of captions was part of the original vision for the project, meant to allow viewers to see past any divisions between Libyan regions and peoples. Although work remains to be done—unsurprisingly, considering the task of mounting four identical exhibitions across a still-scarred nation—the shows are expected to open in early July in four Libyan cities, Tripoli, Misurata, Benghazi and Zintan, with the goal of providing fodder for debate and discussion about the country’s future among those who come to see the photographs.

“They fear that Libya will not become a good country,” says Liohn. “Still they are not letting the fear keep them from making Libya into what they want.”

Learn more about Almost Dawn in Libya—and the photographers involved at their emphas.is fundraising page here.

Almost Dawn in Libya will be shown on the following schedule:

July 1 – Misurata – Goz-elteek-Hotel
July 4 – Benghazi – Benghazi Museum
July 10 – Tripoli – Dar Al Funnun  – Tripoli Art House
July 12 – Zintan – Zintan Media Center

You can also follow the exhibition’s progress at ADIL‘s Facebook page, here.

Call Out – London-based collective Jur•nl seeks online responses and collaborators for experimental research zine

Wonder Valley, California, April 2012. Photo Miranda Gavin

It’s a beautiful hot day in the UK so only a short post about a call I received from a collective asking for a contribution. I was more than happy to contribute a photo I took recently in Wonder Valley California as a stimulus. Since I sent it in, I’ve checked the website and some of the responses, both images and text, are intriguing and have got me thinking about the image again. This is the cyclical nature of work, you make it, look at it, re-look at it, have someone else look at it, and perhaps, in some small way, one’s initial response shifts.

I want to suggest to the collective that original contributor also responds to the image again so that this response can feed into the process. When I saw the photo and the images researched and quotes, I thought of a David Lynch quote from Catching the Big Fish that I would like to contribute. First, I need to find the book.

“jur•nl is a collective of five young London-based artists and photographers working together on an experimental collaborative project with professionals, whilst also engaging others in the communication between images themselves as well as creative research.

“The jur•nl concept takes a stimulus from an artist/photographer/professional and during the week, as a collective and network, they gather research in the form of images/text/video etc on their site. At the end of the week they come together as a group and create a single image in response to the stimulus. Now, the collective has widened tthe call and anyone can contribute creative research on the site, in response to the stimuli.

“From the content gathered on the site, jur•nl will create zines which will feature the public contributors work/research alongside professionals.

The creative research jur•nl is looking for can be photographs, drawings, text, video… absolutely anything in a creative or research format which relates to the stimulus of the week. So far established artists and photographers contributing have included Zed Nelson, Elina Brotherus and Emma Critchley with many more to come.

“Get in touch with your submissions and be sure to write your name when submitting so the work can be tagged with your name. Please feel free to ask questions via email, or other social networking sites.” (from the press release)

Twitter @jurnlcollective
Facebook: Jur•nl collective
[email protected]

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: art. research, collaboration, collective, David Lynch, Jur•nl, London College of Communication, Photography, Wonder Valley

Postcards From America: The Box Set

In May 2011, Magnum photographers Jim Goldberg, Susan Meiselas, Paolo Pellegrin, Alec Soth and Mikhael Subotzky, as well as writer Ginger Strand, set out from Austin, Texas in an RV. Two weeks and 1750 miles later, they arrived in Oakland, Calif.

Together, they documented their experience, the result of which is a new, limited edition book that launches this week. Postcards from America is a collection of objects: a book, five bumper stickers, a newspaper, two fold-outs, three cards, a poster and five zines, all in a signed and numbered box.

“We knew each other through Magnum, obviously, but we’d never actually tried to work together,” says Soth. “We wanted to see what that would be like, to see if we could create a kind of polyphonic sound. Hopefully the box book achieves that. It also gave us an opportunity to push each other creatively and conceptually, which I think has carried over into our individual work.”

The book does not attempt to document the American Southwest in y traditional sense. Instead, it uses the prototypically western experience of a road trip as an entry point into depicting the region. “Some of us are used to working only on immersive, multiyear projects,” says Subotzky. “Obviously this was very different. Doing it collectively brought a great energy and looseness to the work. The box, with all its moving and arrangeable pieces, really reflects that and reflects what we found on the road—a divided and often contradictory society, unsure about its identity and future.”

The Postcards from America box book, in a signed edition of 500, is available exclusively at www.postcards.magnumphotos.com 

The second Postcards from America project is scheduled to begin this April in Rochester, New York.

To read more about the project background on Lightbox click here. To read a dispatch from the project click here.

The Point by Kirk Crippens and Michael Jang

Somewhere in the virtual world, I came across The Point, a new Blurb book that is the collaborative effort of Kirk Crippens and Michael Jang. I’m a big fan of both photographers, and I love the idea of working apart and together to create a significant project. Their statement and some of the book’s imagery follows, but as this is an on going project, there is surely more to come. Congrats to both photographers for a terrific project and book.

The Point is an ongoing collaborative project between Michael Jang and Kirk Crippens. Each spread in the book spans a decade, with one unlabeled photograph by each artist. The series began in 1999 when Jang, a native San Franciscan, became curious about the often-ignored Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco. Sometimes referred to as The Point, this was the last remaining San Francisco neighborhood left untouched by developers. http://www.kirkcrippens.com/portfolio.html?folio=2011

In the process of taking pictures, Jang built trust with some of the residents and heard rumors of big changes on the horizon: the area was slated for massive redevelopment. He completed his work on the series in 2001, set aside the negatives, and per his usual practice, moved directly on to another project.

A decade later, Jang was making his way through his volumes of negatives when he discovered the Hunters Point work and began editing and printing it. During the same time he came across Kirk Crippens’ series on The Great Recession: The Dealership Wreck. He sent an email to Crippens that began, “I know you shoot change…” and he asked Crippens if he would consider continuing his Hunters Point series. It was an unusual proposition, but Jang had an intuition. So did Crippens, who began working in Hunters Point the next day.

He chose a church in the heart of the neighborhood and began attending services each week. The congregation immediately
welcomed him, making an effort to shake his hand and remember his name. Soon Crippens found himself describing the project to the pastor. Meetings were then coordinated with pillars of the community who invited him to photograph their homes and granted access to photograph some of the iconic rooms slated for redevelopment.

Although a core group of long-term residents remain, many changes have taken shape in and around the neighborhood since
1999, and the changes continue. Today, a vast wave of construction just north churns closer each day. The largest redevelopment site in San Francisco, the decommissioned Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, promises to convert 700 acres of The Point’s eastern waterfront into 10,000 residential units. Photography has also changed dramatically since 1999. When Jang completed his work in 2001 he was using film, processing with chemicals, editing on a light table, and printing at a color lab. By the time Crippens began working on the project he had the opportunity to make digital images, upload and edit on a computer, and print large format photographs in his home.

Still, much of the process Jang and Crippens employ in the creation of The Point remains the same. Relationships must be
formed, trust must be earned, and access must be granted.

Video about British photographer Simon Norfolk in Afghanistan

In October 2010, Simon Norfolk began a series of new photographs in Afghanistan, which takes its cue from the work of nineteenth-century British photographer John Burke. Norfolk’s photographs reimagine or respond to Burke’s Afghan war scenes in the context of the contemporary conflict. Conceived as a collaborative project with Burke across time, this new body of work is presented alongside Burke’s original portfolios in this well-produced 17-minute video for the Tate Channel: http://youtu.be/XXrmBhpRG2U



This engaging, insightful video has a strong political slant — but even if you don’t completely agree with Simon Norfolk’s political opinions, his photographs stand out from the flood of familiar everyday photojournalism that seems to come of the conflict areas. His photos, and this video presenation, are smart, and they make you think. You can come to your own conclusions. And you can also learn about how a dedicated photographer finds a way to make artful photographs in a war zone. His work even echoes some of the more surreal scenes from Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, including Playboy Bunnies entertaining the troops.

You can see earlier work by Norfolk in Afghanistan, and hear our audio interview with him from 2006, in the Archives section of Lens Culture.

Clare Park’s Breaking Form: Buz and Parkinson’s at National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery

Trampoline © Clare Park, photo courtesy of the artist from the collaborative project Breaking Form: Buzz and Parkinson’s

“Each of us, the fish and I, has a body that is lightweight, but like a salmon’s instinct, I possess strength of will and mind that compels/propels me continually and metaphorically upstream.”

Breaking Form: Buz and Parkinson is a photographic collaboration between photographer Clare Park, Person With Parkinson’s (PWP) Buz Williams and his wife, movement specialist Debbie Green the work uses performance and photography to articulate powerful and evocative portraits.

I first saw Park’s work at the OPEN Hereford and was intrigued by both her collaborative process and the actual work, so this is a great chance to see more as the show is on from today until 14 June. The private view is tonight, which I won’t be able to make, so I’ll be heading over there next week instead as it on at the Lecture Theatre Foyer, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN) in London, weekdays between 9-5pm, depending on lectures.

“The photos explore Buz’s responses to his family and living with the debilitating, chronic disease. He and his wife, Debbie Green, have written thought-provoking captions for each image. Buz said: “I would like people to be moved by the photographs one way or another – it doesn’t matter which way – stirred or amused, shocked or inspired. Those who have Parkinson’s start their Parkinson’s life on the day of diagnosis and then they ‘hang round’ till the illness runs its course, so the pictures altogether, as an entity, could offer others the opportunity to take another look at their illness and how they might deal with it…

“Without medication none of these photos would exist, as I am unable to move or am disabled by shaking. The polar opposite of this when on medication is, of course, dyskinesia when my movements are involuntary, uncontrollable, and often excessive – fast without focus. I lurch and spin and flail, my head and feet go in opposite directions not necessarily at the same speed!”

“Buz first met Clare through his wife Debbie, a teacher of movement for actors; the two friends originally met in their teens, whilst training as ballet dancers at the Rambert School of Ballet. Buz trained as a theatre director and the photographic imagery is derived from their shared professional backgrounds of theatre, dance and movement.

Clare said of her subject: “Buz is an extraordinary man, both humorous and wilful! Placing himself in the public sphere and gaze gives him a sense of power and self-recognition at a time when control is diminishing in his everyday life.” Buz, for his part, considers Clare to have been a great companion on this photographic journey, supplying the footholds and guidelines needed to keep the project going forward for 18 years; “she’s bang on the button.” Press release.

Filed under: Photographers, Photography Shows, Portraiture, Visual Artists, Women Photographers Tagged: Breaking Form: Buz and Parkinson’s, Buz and Parkinson’s, Buz Williams, Clare Park, Debbie Green, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, NHNN, Parkinson’s

emphas.is: Ying Ang/Agnes Dherbeys/Sarah Elliott/Benedicte Kurzen – Besieged


“Rape is horrifyingly widespread in conflicts all around the world,” writes The Economist, with a focus on Congo. Besieged is a collaborative project by photographers Ying Ang, Agnes Dherbeys, Sarah Elliott, and Benedicte Kurzen, intended to put a spotlight onto this situation. (more)

“This collaborative project is about RAPE being systematically used as a WEAPON OF WARFARE in the Democratic Republic of Congo; the large-scale persecution, damage and sexual violence to people in the DRC as a form of international blackmail and a brutal exercise of power. It is a call to attention and a way of bringing another voice to a wider social consciousness about the absolute and unacceptable violation of the human body, predatory behavior towards the vulnerable and bringing lower the already dispossessed and disenfranchised.

“There were 7,685 cases of sexual violence reported in total for the first 6 months of 2010 alone.

“We aim to add different dimensions to a plea that has been resoundingly heard, but largely unnoticed to an international audience. The idea is to emphasize the scale DESTRUCTION and to bring these violations closer to home. The value of a person’s right to live unmolested is the same, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or age. The fact that women, men and children in the DRC are being continually raped without consequence to the key perpetrators is a sign of total APATHY on the side of the international community. Political pressure must be applied to counter the framework that currently exists where widespread destruction of civilian life can lead to greater political power and legitimacy of rebel forces.

“Photographically, the intention is to create a large-scale PORTRAIT INSTALLATION of as many of the women, men and children raped over a 4-day period in Walikale of the Democratic Republic of Congo, as possible; over 300 people were reported to have been raped within that time frame, in late July, early August, 2010. The portraits will be a representation of the humanity of these people juxtaposed with the unacceptable crime committed against them in an effort to gain political leverage.

“In addition to the portraits, we will also produce a feature story with each of us investigating another aspect of the situation. Agnes Dherbeys will photograph what it means to live in DRC on a daily life basis providing background and contextualization to the war mongering in the DRC. Ying Ang plans to photograph a visual testimony on the physical damage that has been inflicted upon the victims of sexual violence, the scars that have been left behind. Sarah Elliott plans to explore the relationships between mothers and their children, who have been born of rape. Benedicte Kurzen intends to cross over from the rape victim’s testimonies to the perpetrators stories. She hopes to document court cases and Goma’s prison, to underline both the lack of commitment to prosecute rapists.

“All 4 female photographers have a personal vested interest in joining the visual discourse of the violations against women and thus humanity. Rape is a weapon that leaves scars far more complex psychologically and physically than many flesh wounds from firearms, and the legacy that is left behind in the torn fabric of the communities affected are often never repaired or reconciled. These Congolese are BESIEGED on the frontline, for the most part unarmed and unacknowledged. We hope to do something about it.” – Ying Ang/Agnes Dherbeys/Sarah Elliott/Benedicte Kurzen

emphas.is: Ying Ang/Agnes Dherbeys/Sarah Elliott/Benedicte Kurzen – Besieged


“Rape is horrifyingly widespread in conflicts all around the world,” writes The Economist, with a focus on Congo. Besieged is a collaborative project by photographers Ying Ang, Agnes Dherbeys, Sarah Elliott, and Benedicte Kurzen, intended to put a spotlight onto this situation. Find the whole pitch here.