Tag Archives: Journalist

Alixandra Fazzina Photographs the Flight of the ‘Flowers of Afghanistan’

In 2008, photojournalist Alixandra Fazzina, who lives in Pakistan, began to stumble across stories of young Afghan refugees, children who were fleeing the country for Europe. Soon after she noticed the phenomenon, she visited a refugee camp in Afghanistan, where she witnessed the funeral of a boy who had died trying to cross from Turkey to Greece. Then, on the same visit, at a hospital, she met a boy who had lost his legs—not as she initially assumed, from a land mine, but as a consequence of having been kidnapped and tortured when trying to go west. “All the time he just kept saying he wanted to get the Europe again, despite the risks. He was just so convinced that there was absolutely no future for him as a young Afghan,” Fazzina says. The last time she saw him was in Greece, where he had again fled, the second time losing the prosthetic legs he had needed after his first attempt at emigration. “He was very lucky to survive that far, and he wasn’t done yet.”

The phenomenon that Fazzina observed first-hand was soon confirmed by statistics. The photographer noted a 64% jump in the number of underage Afghan refugees applying for asylum in Europe in 2010. With money that came that same year with her recognition by UNHCR (the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) as the first journalist to win the prestigious Nansen Refugee Award, along with the support of the Norwegian government, Fazzina began a project to document the hardships faced by young people making that journey from Afghanistan.

That project, Flowers of Afghanistan, is now about one-third completed; Fazzina is planning to continue her work in Iran, Pakistan and Italy in the coming months. “When the U.S. leaves, we’re on the brink of civil war,” she says. “It’s very important to me to be highlighting this at this point in time. It’s very important for people to realize that Afghanistan isn’t a success story.”

Although Fazzina had intended to follow the boys—and the very few girls who make the trip—along the road, photographing them, she has found that the journeys are rarely linear. Before they leave home, the boys hide their travel plans, often even from their parents; smugglers, Fazzina says, warn them that to tell will cast a jinn, a bad spirit, on their travels. And once they leave home, false starts are likely; kidnapping is frequent and deportation is a possibility even for children who seek asylum. Instead, Fazzina says she relies on networks and word of mouth, and perhaps the trust that is more easily won by a woman, to find the refugees at each stop along the way. She says that even smugglers, once they hear about her project, will reach out and provide information about their whereabouts. “Of course I want to see them traveling, but I’m not interested in photographing the smugglers themselves, so a lot of what I’ve been getting has been, in photography terms, very quiet pictures,” she says. Her photos from the series are often dark, capturing a moment of furtive rest or a person who must stay in the shadows, but stillness and gloom does not mean calm. “When I take a step back,” she says, “I often wonder if people really understand how dangerous it was.”

And the more time Fazzina has spent in that shadowy world, the clearer the patterns have become. About half the boys, she says, are fatherless due to war or sickness, thrusting them into positions of responsibility in their families. They are from the least stable provinces in the country. Recently, she met some children in Peshawar who had given up or been deported back to Afghanistan, and noticed another level of pattern. “I started to talk to them about the journey, and it was the same places, the same hotels they were held hostage in,” she says. “It’s very shocking and repetitive.”

Even though Fazzina has rarely been able to literally follow the boys she photographs, she has found that there’s a virtual way to keep track of them: through their own photographs, on Facebook. “I see a boy I’ve met and his pictures of himself in Athens, taken with fast cars and in tourist locations and in borrowed clothes, whereas the reality was he was living in a hotel, like a squat, that was being run by the smuggling mafia, full of prostitutes and drugs. It was a million miles from the pictures he showed,” she says. Unfortunately, that brave face can encourage others to try to make the dangerous journey themselves.

She once tried to make those photos that the boys take of themselves into something more true. One 16-year-old she met was passionate about photography. He was, she says, a “genius” at it. He wanted to be a filmmaker. After he survived for six days in a trucking container and arrived in Rome, Fazzina tried to get a camera to him through her colleagues in Italy. By that time he had left for Paris. They spoke by phone. He said that he had been told that he was too old when he went to a children’s home and that he was too young when he went to a refuge for adults. He was sleeping on the streets, in the winter, in the snow. She still hadn’t gotten a camera to him. He didn’t call again. “He just moved on. He disappeared. I have no idea what happened to him,” she says. “I am fearful what his fate is.”

Alixandra Fazzina is a British photojournalist. She is represented by NOOR Images and is the 2010 recipient of the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award. More information about Flowers of Afghanistan is available here.

Features and Essays | Wednesday 16 May 2012

First two little announcements…Photojournalism Links is going to go through couple of changes. As the posts have been getting longer and slightly more infrequent, I’ve decided that it’s better to post some of the different categories separately. So from now on, for instance Features and Essays will be posted on their own. Also.. for the past over four years, the site has been a one-man operation by me, but I’ve now teamed up with my friend, journalist Olivier Laurent, to work on the site together. As I’m sure most of you will know, Olivier’s day-job is being the news editor over at British Journal of Photography. The man is also very passioned about photojournalism, so it’s great to have him moonlighting here at Photojournalism Links. Olivier will be posting some of the categories, and we are also going to be introducing some original content. More of which in due course. But thou shalt not fear….the site has always been about sharing links to great photojournalism content found online, and that will continue to be the core of Photojournalism Links. But I do believe everything has to evolve to stay fresh, and I think that along with changing the way links are posted, providing some original content is the natural next step. So stay tuned….

But now to the links….

Don’t mean to always start with NatGeo links, but cannot not share these two National Geographic Magazine June issue features right off the bat as they were only put online yesterday…Especially liking the Harvey one…Looking forward to getting the June issue in the post very soon…

David Alan Harvey: North Carolina’s Outer Banks (NGM)

Mark Leong: Hong Kong – In China’s Shadow (NGM)

Seen Martin Roemers’s World Press Photo prize winning series published many times, recently also in Time Int’l, but always worth having a look again…. here’s the series from
New York Times’ Sunday Review…

Martin Roemers: Metropolis (NYT)

Two Tomas Munita series from NYT, obviously much shorter assignments than the above NGM pieces and Roemers’s project, but both with such great openers….

Tomas Munita: Honduras Becomes the Focal Point in America’s Drug War (NYT)

Tomas Munita: A Dam Clouds The Future of Peru’s Indigenous People (NYT)

Different variations of boxing have always been a popular subject for photojournalists, to the extent, you can sometimes go, ‘not a again’, after seeing one (A picture editor once remarked to me in discussion about possible topics: ” Just don’t do a project about boxing.”), but every now and then a new boxing series comes up, that you cannot but enjoy..Like this one…

Devin Yalkin: Blood, Sweat, and Illicit Bets (NYT)

Meridith Kohut: Life Inside a Brothel in Cartagena, Colombia (NYT)

Several photographers have tackled topics around Central and South American immigration to the United States  in recent years (for instance Redondo and Orlinsky come to mind), but Joseph Rodriguez’s treatment is right up the with the best, certainly one of the most long-term and intimate, I’ve seen… Hope he manages to make this into a book like he plans…

Joseph Rodriguez: Life on Both Sides of the Border (NYT Lens)

Ed Ou: Camel-Jumpers in Yemen (NYT Lens)

Bryan Denton: Afghan Soldiers Increasingly Attack American Counterparts (NYT)

Blast from the past… The below Okahara’s series is probably couple of years old, so was surprised to see it posted on NYT website… But worth seeing again…such strong work it is…and this is actually multimedia..

Kosuke Okahara: Ibasyo (NYT) multimedia

Tyler Hicks: Moto-Polo (NYT)

Mathieu Young: Illegal Logging in Cambodia (NYT Lens)

Ian Bates: Growing Up Lost in Appalachia (NYT Lens)

Jen Davis: Seeing Yourself as Others Do (NYT Lens)

Mary Beth Meehan: Immigrants in Brockton (NYT Lens)

Rian Dundon: Changsha, China (NYT)

Jiri Makovec: Unique View of New York (NYT Lens)

Really terrific set by Peter Muller…

Pete Muller: Inside South Sudan (Lightbox)

Dominic Nahr: Divided Sudan (Lightbox)

Christopher Morris: Men in Black (Lightbox)

Rian Dundon: City on Fire: A Look Inside Changsha in China (Lightbox)

David Guttenfelder: A New Look at North Korea (Lightbox)

Joakim Eskildsen: Home Works (Lightbox)

Carl de Keyzer: Moments Before the Flood (Lightbox) Series on Magnum website

Jeffrey Stockbridge: Neighborhood Blues: Kensington: Philadelphia (Lightbox)

Shaul Schwarz: One Morning at Home with John Irving (Lightbox) video

Steve Rubin: Vacationland: Rural Maine Chronicled (Lightbox)

Isadora Kosofsky : Senior Love Triangle (Lightbox)

Tom Stoddart: South Sudan (Reportage)

Justyna Mielnikiewicz: City of Women (Reportage)

Christian Holst: Myanmar’s HIV and AIDS Epidemic (Reportage)

Alvaro Ybarra Zavala: Alzheimer’s in Colombia (Reportage)

Jon Tonks: The Empire (Reportage)

Ed Kashi: Pretrial Justice in Brazil (VII)

Adam Ferguson: Myanmar in Transition (VII)

Lynsey Addario: The Criminalization of Bad Mothers (VII)

Jessica Dimmock: Jack White (VII)

Sim Chi Yin: Boxing for Burma (VII Mentor)

Giovanni Cocco: Morocco: The Southernmost Border of Europe (VII Mentor)

Giovanni Cocco: Living in Limbo (VII Mentor)

Alex Webb: Havana (Magnum)

Magnum photographers: House of Photos (New Yorker)

Dominic Nahr: Central African Republic, 2012 (Magnum)

Olivia Arthur: Jeddah Diary (Firecracker) Photos on Teleragraph website | article on Telegraph website

Zed Nelson: Hackney (Institute)

Rob Hornstra: Wrestlers (Institute)

Chiara Goia: An Indian Temple’s Golden Secret (New Yorker)

Rena Effendi: The Photographer and The Islamist (New Yorker)

Ben Roberts: Occupied Spaces (New Yorker) The book published by Here Press.

Dominic Bracco II: The Clarinetist : Music in One of the World’s Most Violent Cities (The Smithsonian) video

Alan Chin: Heavy Metal: America’s Tank Factory (Facing Change)

Michael Zumstein: Mangaize Refugee Camp in Niger (Le Monde)

Cedric Gerbehaye: Sudan in Transition (Pulitzer Center)

Ilan Godfrey: Legacy of the Mine (GUP)

Went to the Slideluck Potshow London the other week. You can see all the projected slideshows here. My favourite piece of the night..

Paul S. Amundsen: A Memoir of a Boy (photographer’s website)

Kate Holt: Emerald Valley (zReportage)

Stephen Morton: Making a Marine (zReportage)

Delmi Alcarez: The Crossing Point (zReportage)

Robin Nelson: No Labels Please (zReportage)

Sim Chi Yin: Waiting for Justice in Beijing (Newsweek)

Peter DiCampo: Cocoa in the Shade of War (BloombergBusinessweek)

Peter DiCampo: Night Vision (Foreign Policy)

Charles Ommanney: The Composition of the Secret Service (CNN)

Jon Lowestein: Gang Violence and Crime in Chicago (Newsweek)

Julia Dermansky: Detroit’s Otherwordly Decay (The Atlantic)

Dana Popa: After the New Man (Foto8)

Diana Markosian: Goodbye My Chechnya (Foto8)

Djamila Grossman: The Moons (Foto8)

Finbarr O’Reilly: Sierra Leone Architecture (Reuters)

Finbarr O’Reilly: Sierra Leone, 10 Years After (NYT Lens)

Ben Roberts: Africa’s Premier Ski Resort (photographer’s website)

Kael Alford: Erosion of a Way of Life (CNN)

Andrea Bruce: Women and the Revolution (NOOR)

William Daniels: In the Line of Fire (Panos)

Chloe Dewe Mathews: One Man and His Zoo (Panos)

Ivan Kashinsky: Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom (Panos)

Anders Petersen: Soho, London (Guardian)

Sophie Evans: Noble Ladies (The Observer)

Chloe Borkett: Stories East of the River (Telegraph)

Hazel Thompson: Mumbai Sexslaves (Politiken)

Lucy Nicholson: South Los Angeles, 20 Years After Rodney King Riots (Globe and Mail)

Brian Cassey: The Dogs of Sai Kung (Fotostrada)

Mustafah Abdulaziz: The Music Scene in Berlin (CNN)

Christian Stejskal: Zabbaleen (Cargo Collective)

Gianni Cipriano: Where Beauty Softens Your Grief (Photo Raw)

William Daniels, Edith Bouvier Arrive Safely in Lebanon

LightBox has just learned that William Daniels, who was on assignment in Syria for TIME, safely crossed the border with wounded Le Figaro journalist Edith Bouvier into Lebanon Thursday. Daniels was present in the war-torn city of Homs during a bombardment by Syrian forces that killed journalists Rémi Ochlik and Marie Colvin on Feb. 22, just one day after Daniels had arrived in the country. He was unharmed but Bouvier suffered serious fractures to her leg; the two appeared together in an online video the following day, pleading for safe transport so that Bouvier could receive medical attention. Today, more than a week later, they have finally made it out of danger. French President Nicholas Sarkozy announced publicly that the two, who are French, would be escorted to their embassy in Beirut—and TIME received a more personal confirmation of the good news: Patrick Witty, TIME’s International Picture Editor, got a text message from Daniels. “We are out,” he wrote, “and Edith is safe!”

On the Campaign Trail with Newt Gingrich

I arrived in Charlotte, N.C. early on the day of the South Carolina primary and headed straight to Tommy’s Ham House in Greenville. Newt Gingrich was giving an electrifying speech inside as a crowd milled around outside. The previous week I’d covered my first presidential primary in New Hampshire, where many events were disrupted by attention seekers and protesters. Occupy Wall Street supporters came to a Mitt Romney rally and were quickly thrown out by police. At a Ron Paul event, a man with a boot on his head named Vermin Supreme made chicken noises and claimed that if he were elected president, every American would get a pony.

South Carolina was more restrained. There were no active protesters. A lone Ron Paul supporter kept a silent vigil a respectful distance away. Tommy’s Ham House continued to serve breakfast. I didn’t try their famous ham, but their hot cakes were excellent. Gingrich left in a bus with a giant portrait of his face emblazoned on the side. It started pouring and the crowd hid under signs that read, ‘Newt 2012. Rebuilding the America We Love.’

Next, Gingrich stopped at a nearby middle school serving as a voting station. He patiently shook every hand of the assembled crowd, numbering close to a hundred. There were only a few journalists, compared to New Hampshire, where the media often ringed the candidates three or four deep.

One of the last stops of the day was a Gingrich campaign gathering at a Chick-fil-A in Anderson. Like most Gingrich events, it was packed to the brim, with supporters pressing their faces against the restaurant’s windows to get a peek. Sometimes the event locations seemed arbitrary. Why a Chick-fil-A, which was founded in Georgia, instead of a locally-owned business? Another journalist speculated it was because of the widely-promoted Christian values of its founder, Truett Cathy. All the candidates were trying to woo the evangelical base, and nearly everyone at the event was caucasian.

Gingrich would beat Romney to win the South Carolina primary that evening. The victory party that night was restrained, though 1970s and 1980s rock-and-roll classics blared in the packed ballroom. There were a few brief speeches before Gingrich arrived to thank his supporters and attack Barack Obama. Most of the attendees left immediately after the speech was over. I asked where everyone was going and was told the private parties would continue deep into the night.

Peter van Agtmael is a photographer represented by Magnum. His work from Iraq won a World Press Photo award in 2007. More of his work can be seen here.

Photo talk and show – Photography and Death with Andre Penteado and Joachim Froese in conversation with Sue Steward

“After his suicide I felt very guilty and lonely. A sense of failure and a feeling that I could have done something to prevent what happened overtook me. I felt a lot of anger towards him as well. I couldn’t believe what he had done to himself and to all of us who loved him so much.” Andre Penteado speaking about his dad’s suicide.

© Andre Penteado, Dad's Hangers

If you are south London way tonight, then why not head over to Photofusion for a talk Photography & Death starting at 18.30. Independent curator and journalist Sue Steward will be in conversation with Andre Penteado and Joachim Froese The talk tonight costs £5 (£3.50 members and students).

The exhibition brings together two bodies of work, Joachim Froese, Archive and Andre Penteado’s, Dad’s Suicide, (his father took his life in 2007) both of which are concerned with the process following the death of a parent. “Taking different approaches to a very sensitive subject, the making of the projects was a type of therapy for the photographers as they dealt with the sense of loss and grief.” Check out the talk tonight, I’ll be there too, and if you can’t make the talk the exhibition runs until 18 November.

Filed under: Artist Talks, Photographers, Photography & Philosophy, Photography Shows, Visual Artists Tagged: Andre Penteado, Archive, Dad’s Suicide, Joachim Froese, london, Photofusion, Photography & Death, Sue Steward

Photographer #339: Anoek Steketee

Anoek Steketee, 1974, The Netherlands, is a documentary photographer with a unique approach. In her series Dream City she visited, together with journalist Eefje Blankevoort, various amusement parks. She went to Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Colombia, Indonesia, China, Turkmenistan and the USA. The parks form a universal backdrop to the large differences in cultural, sociological and political contexts. She stages her subjects and her lighting is impecable. In 2011 Dream City was released as a monograph. For the series Frontstage she visited Iran on several occasions between 2003 and 2006. She wanted to explore to what extend the image of Iran had been created by the western media and the Iranian propaganda itself. She asked passersby to pose, again using flash lights and giving the people directions. By using this technique, the people in the images become individuals with a story, while the Islamic Republic and the revolutionary ideology faded into the background. The following images come from the series Dream City, Frontstage and Holy Sepulchre.

Website: www.anoeksteketee.com

Photographer #223: Radcliffe Roye

Radcliffe Roye, 1969, Jamaica, is a Brooklyn based and self taught photographer. He is inspired by the gritty lives of grass-roots people, especially those of his homeland of Jamaica. Roye first persued a career as a journalist but soon got into photojournalism. He worked as a stringer for the Associated Press. Now Radcliffe focuses on documentary photography. He works for numerous magazines and non-profit organizations. The following images come from the series My American Sojourn: A Southern Journey, J’ouvert: At the Devil’s Playground and Farmers: A Dying Breed.


Website: www.royephotography.com