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.
All images © Laura Noel
Another notable submission we’ve received recently is Laura Noel’s Fiction, an introspective meditation on postmodernism and the self. Noel is an American photographer based in Atlanta, Georgia, who originally pursued her BA in Public Policy Studies and later graduated from the University of Georgia with an MFA in Photography.
Noel has developed a unique way of working with her images, the reasons for which she expands upon in her statement about Fiction:
“My photographs are like the first sentence of a short story, only the ending can never be certain. I pair images together to enhance the narratives I sense and build up in my mind while working in the street surrounded by strangers I can never really know, but feel a connection to. I am fascinated by the strong emotions that emanate from people isolated on the streets and in social settings. Occasionally the presence of manmade objects is powerful enough that people become superfluous and do not appear in the image.
I fracture these incomplete stories into diptychs so the line where the two images meet becomes the seam between fact and fiction, reality and longing, the universal and the personal. The structure of the image supports the concept behind the picture. The major theme running through Fiction is the struggle to maintain individuality in an increasingly homogeneous society. This is something I feel acutely in my own life and see reflected in others.
Through photography my life becomes intertwined with the people and places I see. By focusing my camera on certain people,I am making them a part of my life. These people catch my attention, because their appearances and actions touch something in my past or confront some of my concerns. It seems natural that these images be diptychs joining my real life with the imagined lives of others.”
Noel has clearly been very active, and aside from working as an adjunct professor at Emory University, she has exhibited internationally including festivals, galleries and museums in China, the US and Germany.
Her photographs have also notably appeared in on-line and in print in Photography Now, Photography Quarterly, PHOTONEWS (Germany)and Lens Culture.
For more of Fiction, other projects and information on Noel visit www.lauranoel.com