Li-Han Lin is a Taiwanese-German photographer who was born and raised in Hilden, Germany before moving to the States where to study photography at the Art Center College of Design. He has worked in Los Angeles , New York City, Shanghai and Taiwan. His work reflects his unique background, exploring themes of identity, friends and family . He has contributed to Monocle Magazine, Vogue Japan, GQ Japan, Nulon Japan. He has also shown work at the S+S Gallery in Taipei and recently was a winner of the Samsung NX project 2012. Currently based in Berlin where he is working on a stop motion animation short film.
For Angela Williams, the routine was the same each day. She would leave her apartment, shuffle through a dark hallway and down a concrete stairwell, and stand in line for freeze-dried military rations handed out by Red Cross workers. The wait could last an hour. Williams, 45, would drop food off at her mother’s place a few buildings over, then push through her rheumatoid arthritis to hike the six flights back up to her apartment. There she would sit in darkness, trying not to go insane.
Its like were living in an abandoned building,” says Williams. “No hot water, no heat, no nothing.
Even in ordinary times, life in the Redfern Houses wasnt easy. The complex stands in the northeastern section of Far Rockaway, Queens, not far from the runways of JFK Airport. Inside nine faded-brick towers are 1,780 people in 604 apartments. Residents pay an average rent of $472 a month to the New York City Housing Authority. The architecture screams projects; so do the rusted trim and scuffed linoleum lobby floors. A security system includes 141 high-tech cameras designed to be triggered by the sound of gunshots, installed by the city after a three-day wave of shootings in 2008 left two people dead and five injured. And yet, many residents have made Redfern their home, working hard to keep their apartments immaculate inside regardless of the projects dingy exterior.
Then came Sandy. A little after dusk on Oct. 29, the storm piled water from Motts Basin over Beach Channel Drive and submerged the low-slung wrought iron fence surrounding the towers. Around 8 p.m., the lights went off. Elevators throughout the six and seven-story buildings were halted; heat went out, and appliances shut down. You looked out the window and it was so dark, you didnt know it was water until you seen it moving, says David Stephens, who lives on the fourth floor. As quickly as it came, the water receded, leaving the wet grounds covered in darkness.
For many in Sandys path, the storm itself was terrifying. On Staten Island, houses collapsed, crushing people underneath; in Breezy Point, families fled blocks of homes in flames. But in Redfern, the real struggle began the next day, when it became clear that power wouldnt return for weeks. seo marketing . For people who felt forgotten to begin with, warehoused in a housing project at the farthest corner of the city, it became easy to think that they are last in line for repairs.Engineers from the Army and Air Force have been pumping sand and saltwater out of the buildings’ basements, only to come back the next morning to waterlogged utility rooms they must pump out again.
The lack of power forced Sheree Pinders four children to sleep huddled in the living room under piles of blankets because the two bedrooms were so cold they could see their breath freeze. Rebecca Glynn, a hospital secretary, returned to work, but every night a bus ferried her home to the blackout zone, which she describes as a daily trip back into hell.
Still, most in Redfern count their blessings; the buildings suffered no structural damage. Late Sunday night, 14 days after the storm, electrical companies had finally hooked up every building to a generator, which means lights in the hallways, but still no heat in peoples apartments. You have your moments. Maybe three days ago I came out of the building and just started crying, Williams says. I never disrespected the homeless, but I look at them in a totally different light. Were in the same predicament.
Finlay MacKay is a regularcontributorto TIME.
I already shared a link with a photo to Paolo Pellegrin’s National Geographic feature, Cuba’s New Now, in the last Features and Essays post,but I also want to show how good the opening spread looks in the actual magazine. blog comment . Stunning.
Paolo Pellegrin (b.1964. Italy) is a Magnum photographer who lives in Rome and New York City.
The 1939 edition of Robert Frost’s Collected Poems contained an introductory essay that wasn’t in the first edition. In that article, entitled “The Figure a Poem Makes,” Frost wrote, “Like giants we are always hurling experience ahead of us to pave the future with against the day when we may want to strike a line of purpose across it for somewhere.”
Though he didn’t know it at the time, acclaimed photographer Joel Meyerowitz began hurling his own experiences ahead of him in 1962. While working as an art director at an advertising agency, Meyerowitz met photographer Robert Frank who was shooting a clothing brochure. Meyerowitz watched Frank move while he photographed, and he had an incredible epiphany. On the way back to the office, Meyerowitz walked the streets of New York for more than an hour. “I felt like I was reading the text of the street in a way that I never had before,” he says.
When he returned to the office, Meyerowitz told his boss, Harry Gordon, that he was quitting. He wanted to be a photographer. Gordon then asked him a crucial question: did he have a camera? The answer was no, so Gordon lent him a 35mm camera and Meyerowitz embarked on the great journey of his life.
Over the next 50 years Meyerowitz exhibited at the MoMA, received a Guggenheim Fellowship, published books and taught photography at Cooper Union. But there was always one place where you had a chance to run into him and become immortalized in his gargantuan body of work. Meyerowitz is, first and foremost, a street photographer. Though he has shot street scenes in France, Germany, Atlanta, Ohio and dozens of places in between, the chaotic streets of New York City make up his favorite studio. “Fifth Avenue is my boulevard,” he says. “No street in the world, and I’ve traveled a lot, has for me the kind of sexy, improvisatory collisions between elegance and lowness. You can see bike messengers and models, billionaires and hustlers, and it’s all out there every day.”
That first day with Robert Frank served as more than just a catalytic inspiration; it laid the foundation for how Meyerowitz would record street life. He bobs and weaves through the throngs of people, searching for that serendipitous moment that becomes a great photograph. “The way someone makes a gesture on the street or the way couples react to each other or the simultaneity of two things happening at the same time and the relationship between them,” are some of the elements he looks for. “It was the wonder of human nature and this incredible capacity for things to keep showing themselves to me,” he says.
When he is shooting on the street, there isn’t much time to contemplate each moment. “Photography takes place in a fraction of a second,” Meyerowitz says. “There isn’t a lot of time to think about things. You have to hone your instinct. You learn to hone that skill and timing so you’re in the right place at the right time.” Although he has made images that have moved audiences for decades, that has never been his true motivation. “I’m not out there to make another ‘great picture,’” he says. “I’m really out there to feel what it feels like to be alive and conscious in that moment. In a sense, the record of my photographs is a record of moments of consciousness and awareness that have come to me in my life.”
This year, the 50th anniversary of when he first took up the camera, Meyerowitz compiled hundreds of his favorite images for the two-volume collection, Joel Meyerowitz: Taking My Time (Phaidon Press). The project isn’t just a greatest hits collection. “It’s easy to make a book of your very best things and not necessarily have a narrative arc,” he says. “I wanted to stick strictly to the chronology as precisely as I could and show my own development.” The result is a visual biography of an artist who for half a century has snapped moments–fractions of seconds–and preserved them forever. Each tells a unique story that Meyerowitz has used to pave his life. Through the images of people and places and tiny moments in time, one can see a remarkable line of purpose he has created, one that runs fluidly across the experience of his life.
Joel Meyerowitz is a New York City-based photographer. Beginning Nov. 2, his work will be displayed in a two-part solo show at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York.
LightBox previously featured Meyerowitz’s photographs of the destruction and reconstruction at Ground Zero.
Working from different locations across the Atlantic seaboard, they captured ordinary people getting ready to greet the superstorm. And when Sandy made landfall the night of Oct. 29, they braved rising floodwaters, high winds and driving sheets of rain to photograph the storm’s impact on several communities.
Keep following @TIME on Instagram for the latest photos filed by our photographers, and check back on LightBox for more of our storm coverage throughout the week.
For the latest news on superstorm Sandy, follow TIME’s live coverage.
Rachelle Mozman grew up in New York City, and New Jersey and currently makes work between Brooklyn and Central America. As an artist working in photography and video her practice intersects document and narrative tendencies. Mozman is fascinated with ideas of ethnography and her work engages themes around family, class and gender divides. In 2012 Mozman will exhibit Casa de Mujeres at Catherine Edelman Gallery. In 2012 she was awarded an AIR at The Camera Club of New York. In 2011 Mozman participated in The (S) Files Biennial at El Museo del Barrio, she received a Lens Culture 2nd Prize Award and was an AIR at Smack Mellon. In 2010 Mozman exhibited her series Costa del Este through En Foco’s Traveling Exhibition program and she participated in 31 Women in Art Photography. A selection of photographs from her Costa del Este series were published in the Light Work annual Contact Sheet as well as Humble Foundation’s, The Collectors Guide to New Art Photography Vol. 2. She is a Fulbright Fellow and her work has been exhibited nationally and abroad. She lives with her husband, musician Caito Sanchez, their son, and cat.
An Irish Catholic upbringing contributed to photographer Shannon Taggarts lifelong interest in the rituals and art of religion. After photographing Spiritualistspeople who believe they can communicate with the deadin upstate New York, Taggart has since been documenting the Haitian religion of Vodou since moving to Brooklyn in 2005.
Taggarts project began when she met a Mambo, or female Vodoupriest, named Rose Marie Pierre, who runs a temple in the basement of a nondescript storefront in the working class neighborhood of Flatbush. It was here that Taggart made these images of priests and laymen undergoing possession by the Loapowerful spirits that act as intermediaries between humankind and Vodous distant god, Bondye. Most Loa are benign, some are malevolent, but every spirit has a distinct personality, role in the world and set of demands and services. In their different ways, practitioners believe, these spirits determine our fate and must be consulted and appeased.
Beckoning the Loa requires elaborate preparations unique to the particular spirit desired. Practitioners indicate the Loa they want to call upon by drawing its vever, or symbol, in cornmeal sprinkled on the floor. They place offerings on an altar and perform particular songs and dances. When the Loa possesses the worshiper Taggart says the scene becomes wild, very physical and intense. Though she works with black-and-white still images, Taggart is able to convey the noise and energy of these rituals.There is screaming and thrashingsometimes [congregants] run around the room as if confused. It can happen suddenly, so it’s often jarring. People immediately gather around the one possessed and assist them with what they need and catch them if they collapse. Practitioners say the experience induces short-term amnesia; Mambo Rose Marie is always surprised (sometimes shocked) to see my documentation of what has taken place while she was possessed, recalls Taggart.
Popular culture often depicts Vodouas dark and menacing, but fails to understand its more unusual elements. One example, animal sacrifice, exists to rejuvenate the Loa after exhausting ceremonies. Taggart says that the chickens, pigs, goats and cows are killed humanely and eaten immediately. In Haiti, where there was no safe way to store meat, the practice provided people with a regular source of safe nourishment, Taggart explained.
Another often misunderstood practice is the presence of weapons in Vodouceremonies. A man in slide #2 is shown possessed by a warrior spirit named Ogou. He holds a large machete symbolic of that Loa. But as Taggart explains, weapons like these are not used to harm others. Instead, they are relics of Haitian slavery that Vodoupractitioners have appropriated as symbols of their faithmuch as the cross is a relic of Christian persecution that Christians have turned into a symbol of their faith. These exercises, born of practical and psychological necessity, are far from the spooky behavior that appears so often in film and folklore.
This December, several of these Brooklyn practitioners will undergo a two-week long initiation rite in Haiti. Accompanying them will be Mambo Rose Marie and Taggart, who will photograph the ceremonies. Blog Commenting . I don’t know what I will find there, but I am assuming it will be a special experience, she says.
Shannon Taggart is a Brooklyn-based photographer. See more of her work here.
Mustafah Abdulaziz (b. 1986) is an American documentary photographer. Over the last three years he has taken road trips across the United States to work on a series of pictures called Memory Loss. By using road trips as the vehicle to leaf through chance encounters, he attempts to craft a short story solely from the pages he relates to. His work invites the viewer to land on his page and address a commonality in how we live and what we think is important. He has been a member of the international photography collective MJR since 2008. In 2010 he worked as the first contract photographer for The Wall Street Journal. In 2012 he was named one of PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch. He is currently developing two other projects from where he is based in Berlin, Germany.