Tag Archives: Universality

Medium Festival: Jamie Johnson

Featuring photographers seen at the Medium Photography Festival in San Diego….
Once in a while, a photographer has that light bulb moment, where they see something in their work they never noticed before, and then they see it again and again and all of a sudden they realize that, without their knowledge, they’ve been building a body of work–in the case of Los Angeles photographer, Jamie Johnson, quite a profound body of work at that.
I’ve known Jamie for many years and she’s the hardest working photographer I know.  Jamie has a family and children portrait business that keeps her busy seven days a week, year round, but one month out of every year, she explores a part of the world, often on her own, where she leaves the “platinum pacifiers of Bel Air” behind and refreshes her appreciation of humanity.
She has won awards from Prix De La Photographie Paris , Women in Photography International, the Gold Award at Color Magazine and shown at The Fowler Museum in Los Angeles, amongst many exhibitions across the country and online. 
One World 

I cover many terrains as a photographer. I work as an editorial and portrait photographer with an emphasis on family and children portraiture, I am drawn to the simple quality of just being in the world. A simple passion that lured me to travel around the globe and I make work as a way of exploring other cultures. With no particular direction, my two worlds suddenly became one. It started with an instant of recognition, of familiarity of a gesture, an expression, or a person, and I began to see that we are much more one world, than individuals. 

I began to see clearly that we are all experiencing the same joy, the same sorrow, the same routines, the same commitment to family and I began to see the universality of being human. My series, One World, features two photographs, captured years apart without any connection to the other image. The surprising similarities within images that I have been creating over the years, speaks a powerful truth and lesson about who we are.

Alexia Foundation Winner: Tim Matsui

A young woman in a Phnom Penh slum. Investigators later found her mother
was pimping the drug-addicted girl nightly to upwards of 10 Cambodian
men.©Tim Matsui
Congratulations to the Alexia Foundation for hosting the first Women’s Initiative grant of $25,000 and to winner Tim Matsui, the recipient of the  grant to document Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in Seattle and King County, Washington.

A recent study by the City of Seattle found that prostitution often starts at the age of 13-14 years. The research identified 238 prostitution involved youth and estimated 300-500 in the city at any one time. A movement has begun in the area to address Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking with a victim centric, aftercare focused, and utilizing all of the Federal and State laws available, and even creating new laws. Matsui will be documenting the situation of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in the area, as well as efforts to combat it. 

According to Executive Administrator James Dooley, Matsui’s proposal highlighted a growing and serious problem that is an issue in nearly every city large or small throughout the United States. Dooley further noted that, “it is our hope and goal that Tim’s photodocumentary project will open people’s eyes to better understand the damage and harm being done to young women and girls and will help bring about changes to curb the practice.”

Founder Aphrodite Tsairis commented, “Tim’s proposal focuses on sex trafficking in Seattle, yet, there is a universality in his message. This gross violation of female rights occurs all over our country.” 

Matsui is an Emmy-nominated multimedia journalist and producer with over ten years’ experience in documenting editorial news, features and producing non-profit and corporate communications.

Throughout his career, Matsui has been helping battle sexual abuse of minors using his documentary abilities.

He founded Friends Educating Against Rape Project, a non-profit that used documentary multimedia to create a dialog about the lasting effects of sexual violence on individuals and communities. Following upon this, Matsui began to document sex and labor trafficking, producing Cambodia: Srey Neth, a victim and survivor story in Cambodia.

“Tim has professional stature and a long term commitment to this subject. He documents, he becomes an agent of change and he provides hopeful solutions.

Andrew Jackson

I think some of the most meaningful work that a photographer can create is about personal history.  As photographers and artists, we can bring a nuanced way of seeing to our storytelling, and more often than not, that storytelling becomes a form of personal discovery and therapy.

Andrew Jackson has been exploring notions of identity and representation in his photographs, and his most recent work, From a Small Island, examines the legacy of post-war migration from the Caribbean to Britain by his own family members. Andrew was born in Dudley in the West Midlands of the UK. He completed an
MA in Documentary Photography at Newport (University of Wales) and has since
embarked on both commissioned and personal works. His work is held in
both private and public collections and he was recently nominated for the Prix
Pictet photography Prize.

From a Small Island

“No-one on that ship…thought
we’d be leaving home forever, but when my father hugged me on the dockside, for
some reason, I knew I’d never see him again…I still see my father; you know, in
my mind at least… after all these years…but I can’t see his face….no matter how
hard I try…I never see his face.”  
Amy Jackson
From a small island is a work in development that examines the legacy of migration via the experiences of my parents who came from the Caribbean to work in the factories of Britain. It seeks to examine the shifting patterns of power that has taken them from the rush of youth and self determination, to the universality of ageing and the loss of who they were.

Alford and Amy Jackson, left Jamaica, one by plane, the other by ship; both unknown to each other, and yet, both destined to meet at the end of their travels that would see them leave behind all that they knew and loved – fathers, mothers and brothers – never to see them again.  Yet, for those who travelled with them, on the long journey to the Motherland of Britain, no monuments will be built to bear their names and no wreaths will be laid to remember the hardships or intolerances they faced as they helped rebuild what war had broken.  This is why I have chosen to photograph my family, if only to make a mark that says that they were here and that they cannot be forgotten. There is of course much more work to be done on this series, work that will explore the spaces their lives touched in Britain and the spaces too that they left behind in Jamaica. 

Time though is not ours to own, as we are all powerless to prevent its passage and powerless too to prevent our march into infirmity and the loss of whom we once were.  But, as we all march on upon this inevitable journey, across the sea of life, from cradle to the grave, all that we can hope for is that our mark has been made and a legacy of our passing remains long after we are gone.

A Life Alone

A Life Alone

Video by Maisie Crow

A Life Alone is a beautifully poignant video by New York-based photographer Maisie Crow. It tells the story of Tom Rose, who after 63 years of marriage finds himself living on his own, forced to reengage with his community and battle with his bittersweet memories. Tom is unflinchingly honest in his expressions of love and fear, and his willingness to share his perspectives on life, and Maisie treats this honesty with the respect it deserves. The film is a compassionate look at life-long love and companionship, and the vacuum that it can leave. It's honesty gives it a universality, reminding us of ourselves and our loved ones, while touching on the danger in contemporary western societies of old age becoming solitary.

Produced in 2009, while Crow was working toward her master's degree, the piece is one of the best recent examples of a multimedia film created by an independent journalist, made more impressive by the fact that stills, audio, video and production were produced by the photographer herself. Visually and sonically innovative, it is a stunning piece of personal multimedia storytelling and a significant example of how powerful this new medium can be. — Anna Stevens