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BLACK AND WHITE
Wonderful black and white photography
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Qajar | Photographer: Shadi Ghadirian

Qajar | Photographer: Shadi Ghadirian | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Her Qajar Series (1998-2001) consists of small studio portraits of women dressed in the nineteenth-century Qajar style. Many of the women photographed are Ghadirian's friends and family. The backgrounds of these portraits resemble those found in photographic studios of that period. However, the artist has added some modern anomalies or dissonances, such as a mountain bike, a newspaper, or a Pepsi-Cola can. Ghadirian plays with these juxtapositions and contrasts, thus expressing the difficulties women face in Iran today - torn between tradition and the modernity of globalization. These composed portraits depict women unsure to which era they belong.

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Kashmir | Photojournalist: Andy Spyra

Kashmir | Photojournalist: Andy Spyra | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

I first came to Kashmir in the early spring of 2007 at the end of a motorcycle trip across India and I fell in love with the people, the light, and the atmosphere of this remote place. But as much as I love it, the political situation of the valley continues to bring disorder and conflict. 

Currently there are two conflicts in Kashmir, and each is tightly woven into the other: The more known conflict is the international, atomically loaded border dispute between India and its archenemy, Pakistan, regarding the affiliation of Kashmir between the two states. The other, less known one, is the inner-Kashmiri conflict on the Indian side of the border (which is two- thirds of the complete territory), where the people struggle for independence from India.  I have spent the last two years documenting this conflict, most recently in the summer of 2009 when I spent two months on the Indian side.

I attended meetings of parents who have had children disappear without leaving a note or ever coming back. I was invited into homes where family members mourned the rape and murder of two young girls by paramilitary forces.  I photographed a family whose sons were shot during one of the countless demonstrations.  These experiences didn‘t differ from my last two trips to Kashmir - the political and social climate remained the same as it was when I left the region half a year prior. The slogans were also the same during the countless demonstrations against the Indian army, the symbol of the occupation of what the Kashmiris call their soil: “Ham ka chate? Azadi!"- "What do we want? Freedom!" 

Looking over the sixty-year history of this conflict, it seems highly unlikely that the people of Kashmir will gain independence in the foreseeable future and that the world will see an independent Kashmir again. This strategic region is too important for either nation to ever let it go.- Andy Spyra

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