Tag Archives: Origins

An iPhone in the DRC: Photos by Michael Christopher Brown

Like many photojournalists,Ive beenshooting with myiPhone for a while.Using a mobile phone allowsme to be somewhat invisible asa professional photographer;people see me as just anotherperson in the crowd.Invisibility is particularly usefulin the eastern part of the DemocraticRepublic of Congo, wherea potpourri of armed groups andgovernments have used conflictminerals as the latest way to helpfund the warfare, atrocities andrepression that have afflicted thearea for more than a century.

The electronics industry isone of the main destinations forthese minerals, which include tourmaline,cassiterite and coltan.They are used to make criticalcomponents of mobile phones,laptops and other gadgets. So it isfittingif ironicthat I shot thisentire essay with my iPhone.I arrived in Congo in earlyAugust to document some of themines in an attempt to highlighthow the minerals travel out of thecountryand the trades effecton the lives of the workers whohandle them along the way. At acamp for internally displacedpeople in Kibati, the phonehelped me shoot scenes unobtrusively.Taking photographswith a phone also raises myawareness as a photographer. Insteadof concentrating on camerasettings and a large piece ofequipment, I am better able tofocus on the situation beforeme. It becomes more about howI feel and what I see.

In Congo, the effects of themineral trade on every personslifeeven the lives ofpeople who arent working atthe minesare palpable. At aHeal Africa clinic in Goma, Imet an emaciated teenage girlwho had been gang-raped bythree Hutu militiamen allegedly funded by profits fromthe mines.Im not advocating givingup our gadgets. The causes ofproblems in Congo are far morecomplex. There are industry sponsored programslike Solutions for Hope, whichtries to monitor coltan. Butauditing the origins of theseminerals is complicated by inaccessibilityand danger. Id likepeople to pause when they lookat these photographs, takingtime to think about where thematerial for modern technology comes fromand what lives are affected before they get into thephones in our hands.

Michael Christopher Brown is a photographer based in New York City. Directory Submission . His photographs appear in this week’s issue of TIME. See more of his work here.

Photographer #443: Myriam Abdelaziz

Myriam Abdelaziz, 1976, is a French photographer of Egyptian origins and born in Cairo. Her career started in the marketing field in which she worked for seven years after having studied Political Science and Journalism. She decided to pursue a career in photography and graduated from the International Center of Photography in New York in 2006. Since then her work has been published in prestigious magazines as Newsweek, Time Magazine and Eyemazing. She is mainly working on documentary and portraiture stories in the Middle East and Africa. Her work often focuses on current matters as the hardships of the people from Darfur living in Egypt and the revolution in Egypt. She concentrated on the horrific effects of the Rwandan genocide on its survivors who were merely children at the time they were mutilated. She heard the upsetting stories of the victims but was equally shocked by the lack of response from the world community as they are still not getting surgery or psychiatric help. The following images come from the series Egyptian Revolt, Portrait of a Genocide and Darfuris in Cairo.


Website: www.myriamabdelaziz.com

Chicago Astronomer Joe Guzman shows what the naked eye cannot see during Beyond Visibility

Last week, we invited you to come out and see stars with us in Grant Park. This week, Chicago Astronomer Joe Guzman posted his photos of the event, which was held in conjunction with the MoCP’s current exhibition, Our Origins. If you haven’t seen it yet, Our Origins runs through Saturday.

If you’d like to see more photos of the event, visit Guzman’s blog. In the meantime, thank you all for coming out and enjoy the photos!

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All photos courtesy of Joe Guzman

Plenty of Stargazing at the Opening Reception for Our Origins

Some of the earliest humans theorized about our origins by gazing up at the cosmos.

Tonight, we will continue this time-honored experience at the opening reception for the museum’s current exhibition, Our Origins, which attempts to trace our shared human past beyond recorded history.

Join us for one (or all) of three opening events:

4pm: Sit in on a gallery discussion between exhibiting artists Alison Carey, Ken Fandell, Jennifer Ray and Alison Ruttan, which will be moderated by curator Allison Grant.

5 – 7pm: Mingle with exhibiting artists, enjoy free hors d’oeuvres and take in a public viewing of Our Origins.

8pm: Join us in Grant Park for stargazing with astronomer Joe Guzman.

Admission for each event is free and open to the public. No RSVP necessary. For more information, visit our website, check in with our Facebook page or give us a call at 312-369-7104.

Plenty of Stargazing at the Opening Reception for Our Origins

Some of the earliest humans theorized about our origins by gazing up at the cosmos.

Tonight, we will continue this time-honored experience at the opening reception for the museum’s current exhibition, Our Origins, which attempts to trace our shared human past beyond recorded history.

Join us for one (or all) of three opening events:

4pm: Sit in on a gallery discussion between exhibiting artists Alison Carey, Ken Fandell, Jennifer Ray and Alison Ruttan, which will be moderated by curator Allison Grant.

5 – 7pm: Mingle with exhibiting artists, enjoy free hors d’oeuvres and take in a public viewing of Our Origins.

8pm: Join us in Grant Park for stargazing with astronomer Joe Guzman.

Admission for each event is free and open to the public. No RSVP necessary. For more information, visit our website, check in with our Facebook page or give us a call at 312-369-7104.

Receiving and Reporting on a New Installation from Thailand

Even with Our Origins in full swing, the MoCP staff is keeping their eyes focused on new and influential works for future exhibitions. Last week, that future included a shipment of new artwork from Thailand.

The work by Thai artist Sutee Kunavichayanont is currently on extended loan to the MoCP from the “FarEastFarWest” collection, based in Hong Kong. Like all artwork received by the MoCP, each piece from this installation needed to go through a rigorous condition report process after being shipped from Bangkok last month.

Take a look at the photos below to watch our process for unpacking and reporting on the condition of one large-scale installation, including multiple photographs, booklets and a lightbox. And stay tuned to learn when you can expect to see this or similar artwork at the MoCP!

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The work arrives at the MoCP storage facility.

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Mike Gamis, Storage Coordinator of ICON Group, and MoCP’s Collections Manager, Kristin Taylor, carefully remove the artwork from its crate.

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Gamis and Taylor unpack and arrange each piece of artwork.

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Finally, each piece is individually photographed and inspected, and documented to ensure each piece arrived to Chicago in the same condition as it left Bangkok.

For more information on future exhibits at the MoCP, check out the Exhibitions page on our website or find us on Facebook.

Receiving and Reporting on a New Installation from Thailand

Even with Our Origins in full swing, the MoCP staff is keeping their eyes focused on new and influential works for future exhibitions. Last week, that future included a shipment of new artwork from Thailand.

The work by Thai artist Sutee Kunavichayanont is currently on extended loan to the MoCP from the “FarEastFarWest” collection, based in Hong Kong. Like all artwork received by the MoCP, each piece from this installation needed to go through a rigorous condition report process after being shipped from Bangkok last month.

Take a look at the photos below to watch our process for unpacking and reporting on the condition of one large-scale installation, including multiple photographs, booklets and a lightbox. And stay tuned to learn when you can expect to see this or similar artwork at the MoCP!

blog1.jpg
The work arrives at the MoCP storage facility.

blog2.jpg
blog3.jpg
Mike Gamis, Storage Coordinator of ICON Group, and MoCP’s Collections Manager, Kristin Taylor, carefully remove the artwork from its crate.

blog4.jpg
Gamis and Taylor unpack and arrange each piece of artwork.

blog6.jpg
Finally, each piece is individually photographed and inspected, and documented to ensure each piece arrived to Chicago in the same condition as it left Bangkok.

For more information on future exhibits at the MoCP, check out the Exhibitions page on our website or find us on Facebook.

Gabriel Spitzer to Moderate Discussion at the MoCP about the Links Between Humans and Non-Human Primates

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Alison Ruttan, Mullet, 2006; Courtesy of the artist

Gabriel Spitzer, host of WBEZ Chicago’s popular program Clever Apes, will moderate a conversation about evolution and links between humans and their primate ancestors at the MoCP at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 25.

The conversation is being held in conjunction with the museum’s current show, Our Origins, which uses a combination of scientific analysis and artistic expression to answer questions about human nature and evolution as well as our place within the cosmos.

Spitzer, who covers science, health and the environment for WBEZ Chicago, will moderate the discussion between artist Alison Ruttan, whose work explores the links between humans and primates, and Dr. Laurie Santos, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Yale University.

Santos’ research focuses on the ability of non-human primates to possess precursors to human thought, such as how to use reason to make decisions. Just last summer, Santos presented some of her finding in a TED Talk about how primates mimic human’s common economic decisions.

Admission to the event is free and open to the public. For more details, take a look at the exhibitions page on our website or keep posted via Facebook.