Tag Archives: Complexities

Review Santa Fe: Daniel W. Coburn

Over the next month, I will be sharing the work of photographers who attended Review Santa Fe in June.  Review Santa Fe is the only juried review in the United States and invites 100 photographers to Santa Fe for a long weekend of reviews, insights, and connections.  
When I first started writing about the genre of Photographing Family some years back, there were only a handful of image makers capturing the pathos of domestic interactions in a significant way.  Phillip Toledano, Doug DuBois, and Elizabeth Flemming, to name a few, brought a sensibility to telling stories that were at once personal, yet universal.  Photographer Daniel W. Coburn is following in those footsteps with his beautifully executed project, Next of Kin.  Daniel gives us a sense of place and of people. His proximity allows for an ability to be a participant observer where he is able to capture the intangible essence of family, interpreting those he loves with a lens that honors, explores, and understands.

Daniel received his BFA from Washburn University and is currently an instructor and graduate student at the University of New Mexico.  His work his held in public and private collections, and he has published and exhibited widely.
In Next of Kin I use craftsmanship and beauty to engage my viewer in
a dark family narrative.  After a
yearlong hiatus from my hometown, I returned to reexamine my relationship with
immediate family. I use the camera to describe the powerful personalities of my
parents, and the complexities of their relationship. I photograph the children
in my family to revisit my own childhood, which exists only as a set of
fleeting, enigmatic images in my aging memory.

 Next of Kin records the interaction of a working-class family living in Middle America, and the anxiety that occurs within the confines of suburban dystopia. The viewer is encouraged to contemplate the complexities of these relationships in dialogue with their own family experience. How the imagery functions in conversation with the viewers personal family narrative becomes paramount and its value is ultimately determined by its transformative potential.

Photographer #400: Moises Saman

Moises Saman, Spain, 1974, Spain, is a very productive photojournalist based in New York City. He studied Communications and Sociology at California State University. Between 2000 and 2007 he worked as a staff photographer at the New York Newsday before going freelance in late 2007. For his photographic work he has traveled to countries as Pakistan, Nepal, Cuba, Lebanon and El Salvador to name a few. In his extensive portfolio we find stories that cover the earthquake aftermath in Haiti, Afghan boys who enter Europe fleeing from poverty and violence in their home-country, problems with drug cartels in Peru, the conflict in Congo that has cost the lifes of millions as well as multiple stories in Iraq focusing on an intense drought, the war and the complexities of the conflict by looking at the three major cities. He also concentrated on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Mara Salvatrucha gang in El Salvador. He released the books Afghanistan: Broken Promise (2007) and This is War (2004) as well as providing the images for the book Howard Zinn: Just War. In 2010 he became a Magnum Photos nominee. The following images come from the series Rivers of Coca, Peru 2009, The Lost Boys of Afghanistan. Greece 2009 and La Vida por las Maras 2007.

Website: www.moisessaman.com

Douglas Stockdale

I first became acquainted with California photographer Douglas Stockdale through the blogoshere. At one time, he was involved in four blogs and making his own work, all will holding down a full time job in the “real” world. He still produces the blogs Singular Images, The Photo Book, and The Photo Exchange.

In his sliver of free time, Douglas has created a new book, Ciociaria. Ciociaria, about a region in central Italy, is having its European launch in conjunction with FotoGrafia Festival Internazionale di Roma, this September in Rome, Italy. The Festival runs from September 23rd to October 23rd. Edizioni Punctum will be distributing the book in Europe and Douglas will be handling the distribution in the US, and taking pre-sale reservations on his site or blog.

Ciociaria: This project is an investigation into complexities of familiarity, ambiguity and displacement, about an underlying discomfort with your surroundings in which it seems you belong, but do not fit in. It is about being a stranger in a vaguely familiar place.

My project took place in a loosely defined region in central Italy that encompasses places called Anagni, Pigilo, Fuiggi, Morolo, Acuto, Torre Cajetan, Ferentino, Fresinone and Porciano. The people of this ancient Latin region have adopted a traditional name, Ciociaria. This name is derived from a particular ancient leather sandal, the ciocie, worn long ago and yet still today by a few. This region is without a known history and this has intrigued my imagination as the terrain and environment remind me of my home in Southern California. I am drawn to investigate the similarities and contradictions I sense about this region, and it is a metaphoric place for the dichotomy of belonging while yet feeling a sense of alienation.

As an American, I have only the slightest ability to converse in the local Italian language. I was neither raised in this region nor can I claim to be very knowledgeable of the culture or customs, I am truly an outsider who is looking in. Although I observe events that I relate to, nevertheless, these same events also make me feel uncomfortable, as I can never be sure of the true meaning of what is unfolding before me. This region remains an allusive mystery to me and reveals many hints of a complex and multi-layered culture that elicits familiar memories of home.

Photographer #282: Justin Maxon

Justin Maxon, 1983, USA, is a documentary photographer who focuses on long-term projects that examine the complexities of human struggle. In his ongoing project Streets is Raw he concentrates on the highly impoverished Tenderloin district in San Francisco where he photographs and documents the various issues, drug addiction, mental health issues and the threat of disease and death, that the people are facing in this region. His project Children of Agent Orange focuses on the second and third generation of people in Vietnam that are affected by the Agent Orange poisoning. The chemicals sprayed by the US on Vietnam during the war have tremedous effects on young Vietnamese people today. Mui and Pha is a story of a mother and her young son living homeless in the streets of Hanoi. Justin has received numerous awards as the first prize in the 2007 World Press Photo Daily Life singles category and he was named one of the PDN’s 30 emerging photographers to watch. The following images come from the projects Streets is Raw, Children of Agent Orange and Mui and Pha.

Website: www.justinmaxon.com