"We are on a search for the spiritually significant, the magic in every day. What will we find that’s worth passing down? What will we conjure?"—Scott Alario
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"J’ai encore présent à l’esprit de nombreuses gravures illustrées de John Tenniel, de Cornelis Visscher, d’Émile Bayard, de Léon Benett, de Gustave Doré ou de Thomas Johnson. Je dois beaucoup à ces illustrateurs qui m’ont rendu avide des écrits de Jules Vernes, de Jean de La Fontaine ou de Miguel De Cervantès. Par ailleurs, il m’ont donné le goût des récits d’aventures, d’histoire et de documentaires anciens comme le Petit Journal par exemple.
Les illustrations ont fait entrer dans ma caboche des dizaines de récits visuels sans trop d’effort. C’est la force des images, n’est-ce pas ? Les images font entrer les idées essentielles dans l’esprit avec une grande aisance. Pour l’enfant que j’étais, ce moyen pour retenir certaines choses me convenaient parfaitement. Une cascade de mots ou de chiffres, c’est parfois trop abstrait pour l’imagination. L’image s’efface difficilement de la mémoire." - Serge Bouvet
"Vous êtes un chef d’entreprise, un leader visionnaire ? Il faut sauter sur l’occasion de montrer des gens singuliers, de vendre aux gens singuliers. Le dilemme est là : continuer à parier sur la masse ou sur l’individu. Croyez-moi, il y a plus d’occasion à saisir en défendant le singulier et en s’en faisant le porte-parole.
Le gamin a dû quitter son village d’enfance, sans même avoir eu la possibilité de dire au revoir à sa mère. Avec son père, ils commencent à parcourir les routes du nord de l’Inde. Cela pourrait être le début d’une belle histoire riche en péripétie qui se terminera le jour où ce gamin devra rester debout tout seul… Son père lui a appris à jongler, à battre le tambour, à faire sembler de pleurer ou de rire. Ils n’ont jamais le même toit au-dessus de la tête. Mais cela reste toujours un toit d’étoiles. Parfois, c’est la constellation du Capricorne, parfois celle du Sagittaire. Ensemble, ils sillonnent l’Inde en gagnant leur vie en donnant des représentations théâtrales et musicales. Dans le bidonville de Kathputli Colony, à new Delhi, ils retrouvent leurs pairs, d’autres artistes de rue. Ensemble, ils sillonnent de concert les rues de New Delhi pour égayer la vie citadine.
For photographer Dina Oganova, each and every aspect of her country is precious and unique. In her series I Am Georgia, Oganova chronicles the daily facets of the homeland she has always treasured. Here we see children at play, the elderly at prayer, and everyday familial celebrations.
Made up of only four million residents, Georgia has existed as a sovereign state for a little over a decade. Bordered by Russia, Turkey and the Black Sea, the country faced civil war the same year it declared independence from the Soviet Union.
A land of refugees and with a history of conflict, Georgia’s people attempt to hold on to traditions while plunging into the future. In this relatively new and foreign landscape, I Am Georgia is a personal and spirited testament to who the country is and to who it is becoming.
Lu Nan’s Trilogy of Men: China’s Catholicism & Forgotten People, and 4 Seasons in Tibet
Influential Chinese Photographer Lu Nan 呂楠 is a man of mystery, shying away from cameras, the public and publicity. Lu has also been known to hide his name and movements under various pseudonyms. He applied for membership at Magnum Photos under the name Mao Xiaohu.
And while Lu once said it didn’t matter who the photographer was that took the pictures (good or bad), it is hard to ignore and not attribute to him his immense body of work, namely the ‘Trilogy’ series which took 15 years to complete. First in the trilogy were Lu’s photographs of patients at China’s mental hospitals titled ‘The Forgotten People, the state of Chinese psychiatric wards’.
This was followed by a documentary of the catholic church in China and pilgrimages made by its followers. The last were photographs of peasants in Tibet called ‘Four Seasons’, rumoured to be made whilst Lu was on the run from ‘unfriendlies’. In 2009, Lu also made controversial photographs of prisoners in Northern Myanmar camps.
Photo report's insight:
"Human lives should not be labeled. Labels cover our eyes and make many things invisible to us," Lu Nan said.
Legendary Chinese photographer Lu Nan shook the world with his pictures of people living on the edge of despair.
I discovered photography when I became a father in 2008. Yes, it is the birth of my daughter that led me to buy my first camera, a Canon 40D. It is in 2010 that I had for the first prestigious client, the Courts of Auditors, a quasi-judicial body of the French government, to photograph the First President, Didier Migaud.
This little overview to the past, duotone black and white is necessary for me as a stylistic evidence. This gallery is not complete, more pictures will be added gradually.
Anders Petersen is noted for his intimate and personal documentary-style black-and-white photographs. He studied photography under Christer Stromholm in Sweden, 1966-1967. In 1967, he started to photograph the late-night regulars (prostitutes, transvestites, drunks, lovers, drug addicts) in a bar in Hamburg, Germany, named Café Lehmitz, and continued that project for three years. His photobook of the same name was published eight years later, in 1978, by Schirmer/Mosel in Germany, and then appeared in France (1979) and Sweden (1982). Café Lehmitz has since become regarded as a seminal book in the history of European photography.One of the photos from this series was later used as the cover art for Tom Waits' 1985 album Rain Dogs.
In 1970, he co-founded SAFTRA, the Stockholm group of photographers, with Kenneth Gustavsson. At the same time, he taught at Christer Stromholm's school. He has been director of the Göteborg School of Photography and Film. He began to photograph for magazines, and he continued his personal photo diary work, which continues to this day. He has photographed for extensive periods of time in prisons, mental asylums, and homes for old people.
In 1978, Petersen received a grant from the Swedish Authors' Foundation. In 2003, he was elected Photographer of the Year at the Recontres d'Arles. In 2007, he was one of four finalists for the £30,000 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.
Petersen has published more than 20 books, mostly in Sweden, and has had solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe and Asia.
Photo report's insight:
"With the civil war ongoing, Syria's Christians have, just as their brethren in Iraq, been caught in the crossfire: endangered and largely forgotten, they have become victims of someone else’s war. At the time of writing, only the Christians in the north-eastern Kurdish areas are still living in considerable safe conditions. The town of Qamishli, unofficial capital of the syrian Kurds and located directly at the turkish-syrian border has become one of the last safe havens for Syria's Christians and will be the focus of my documentation." - Andy Spyra
Countless photographs have been captured along Brooklyn’s Coney Island and Brighton Beach. From Lisette Model and Weegee’s famous images of bathers on into the present, sun revelers have been an endless source of inspiration to photographers. Spanish photographer Salvi Danés takes us tohis Coney Island in a series he calls Sunday Morning Sports. In one image, a bather descends down jagged rocks into the water, his body engulfed by the textures around him—water, rock, light and body becoming one. The men ofSunday Morning Sports, active and invigorated, are less worried about life than they are about living. We recently caught up with Danés to find out more about this community.
“They are neighbors who have always lived together in “Barceloneta”, a neighborhood in Barcelona. They are acquaintances, friends, even relatives, who since they were teenagers, have spent their time having fun doing exercise outdoors and enjoying the sun that the beach offers them.” - Salvi Danes
"It was a trip I had always wanted to take; The legendary journey along the Trans Siberian Railway.
Denmark, my native country, you can cross in five hours by train, but in Russia the distances are huge.
I was curious if the connection between people and places would feel different considering the fact that I would pass every tree, every house and every village on my way to Beijing.
The first chock came already when I entered the train. It was completely empty.
The whole idea of the project had been to meet people on the train and make intimate stories from the train compartments. But riding this ghost-train, I had to change the concept:
The intimate work had to come from my encounters with people in the cities and the train became the read thread connecting Moscow, Ulaanbaartar and Beijing.
On the train I ended up with my camera glued to the window photographing the change of landscape as we were let along the russian forests, the mongolian desert and through the mountains to Beijing.
But it was not only Russia, Mongolia and China that was unknown land to me - so was my equipment. It was my first time using a digital camera. Everything was new, but then again, my ambition is always the same; to use the camera as a tool to create contact, closeness and intimacy. I want to meet people, to connect with the cities, to make the places mine, even if it’s just for a short while.
I had the greatest experience in Mongolia, when I ran into a group of Mongolian hunters who invited me to join them on a trip through the mountains that surround Ulaanbaatar.
This reminded me of my life in Greenland. When I was 23 I lived in a small settlement of the East Coast of Greenland, where I was trained as a hunter. The relation you create to nature as a hunter has had a big influence on my life and my work.
Meeting the Mongolian hunter, I immediately felt like putting the camera on a shelf and picking up the riffle. When he shot and slaughtered a deer, we drank the warm blood and ate the raw liver together." - Jacob Aue Sobol
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to the deadliest war in the world today. An estimated 5.4 million people have died since 1998, the largest death toll since the Second World War, according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
IRC reports that as many as 45,000 people die each month in the Congo. Most deaths are due to easily preventable and curable conditions, such as malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, malnutrition, and neonatal problems and are byproducts of a collapsed health care system and a devastated economy.
The people living in the mining towns of eastern Congo are among the worst off. Militia groups and government forces battle on a daily basis for control of the mineral-rich areas where they can exploit gold, coltan, cassiterite and diamonds.
After successive waves of fighting and ten years of war, there are no hospitals, few roads and limited NGO and UN presence because it is too dangerous to work in many of these regions. The West’s desire for minerals and gems has contributed to a fundamental breakdown in the social structure.
Photo report's insight:
Marcus Bleasdale was born in the UK to an Irish family, in 1968. He grew up in the north of England and initially studied economics and started work as an investment banker. Although he was a director in a large international bank he resigned in the mid 1990s and began to travel through the Balkans with his camera.
He returned to study photojournalism at the prestigious London School, during which time he won the Ian Parry, Young photographer Award for his work on the conflict in Sierra Leone. He has established himself as one of the worlds leading documentary photographers concentrating on Conflict and Human Rights.
He has been awarded many of the worlds highest honors for his work and continues to highlight the effects of conflict on society. He is a member of the photo agency VII. He lives with his wife Karin Beate in Oslo, Norway.
In 2000 I was travelling through Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union developing a project on the transmission of HIV through intravenous drug use. I stumbled upon a group of young kids who were being chased from a McDonalds restaurant by a very aggressive restaurant manager. I intervened to prevent the manager beating the kids on the street. The kids had been removing leftovers from empty tables. This act led me into an underground world where young children live and die in the most squalid and horrible conditions I have ever experienced. Orphans, runaways, wee broken souls fending for themselves in a cruel and unforgiving world.- David Gillanders
The centre of Athens, as I first remember it, was full of life. During the period before the Olympic Games, there was great development. New hotels appeared in order to host the visitors, shops, restaurants and cafes kept sprouting out, it was full of people everywhere. All this happened within a few years. It was as if the city put on new clothes. During the days of the Olympics, the city was clean and well-guarded. You would not see street-merchants, drug-addicts or immigrants, just tourists and people who came in order to have a good time. In my eyes, it looked like another place. As time passed, the city started deteriorating and gradually recovered its previous character. Time passes fast.
The city is now fading. Some people abandon it due to the crisis. Many shops and hotels have shut down, the centre is now almost deserted. People fear they will get ripped-off, they hear that this happens all the time.They even fear seeing all the poverty and destitution, they drug-users who will rip you off for their shot, the women prostituting themselves. But for me, those people were always there. I found them all there when I first arrived as a 9-year old child. They were always there when I was growing up. They are somehow trapped in their lives. The immigrants live in small rooms that they rent, many of them together, without much hope.
The women prostitute themselves even in the streets for 5€. Yet, hanging around with them has been my daily routine. This way, it was easier to approach them. They are sensitive people with a lot of problems, with ruined families behind them. Sometimes they give the impression that no one has cared for them. As if they want someone to talk to, as if they want to get out of the misery they are in. For some of them I had the sense that they were almost looking for someone to open up to and take it all out. Like confessing. What made an impression on me was that they often opened up and talked as if they knew me. I would only shoot when I sensed that they were more comfortable, after some time had passed. The images I have selected are stronger for me, because I know the story behind them. -
Photo report's insight:
Photographer Enri Canaj documents the heart-wrenching decline of a once-prosperous city in his series 'Shadows of Greece.' Plagued by poverty, crime, sex trafficking and the political protests of fascist and anti-fascist groups, Athens no longer offers its citizens a safe environment. Canaj, who migrated to Athens at age 11, takes a special interest in the city's immigrant populace and the agonizing conditions and treatment they are subject to.
L’art est terrifiant parce qu’il remet en cause le statu quo.
Un artiste est un homme libre. Pour l’artiste, la liberté est un défi. La liberté, ce n’est pas, aux yeux de l’artiste, la capacité de faire ce que l’on veut. La liberté, c’est la volonté de faire ce que l’on veut. Cette liberté favorise le changement. Le monde, hélas, déteste la remise en cause du statu quo. Il déteste le changement. C’est pourtant cette remise en cause qui lui permet de progresser.
L’art est une transgression ostentatoire
Le photographe Joël-Peter Witkin est remarquable. Joël-Peter Witkins est libre et courageux. Il transgresse. Il respecte les lois mais il ne respecte aucune règle sinon les siennes. C’est un artiste. Un novateur. Un créateur. Un visionnaire qui franchit en conscience le Rubicon de la normalité et de la bienséance. Est-ce que sa vision dérangeante du monde est un obstacle à la notoriété de ses photos. Non. A l’instar d’Elmut Newton, ses photos se vendent très bien, la valeur de ces photographies, se chiffre en million de dollars.
Les artistes courageux bafouent les règles ostensiblement. En effet, l’artiste libre est ostentatoire. Son art est visible. Son attitude est remarquable. Dali fut ostentatoire. Karl Lagerfeld est ostentatoire. Serge Gainsbourg fut ostentatoire. Steve Jobs fut ostentatoire.
Le créateur est un hors la loi qui transgresse les règles pour être visible, pour être identifié comme un dissident du statu quo.
Règle : Pour être remarquable, soyez transgressif.
Photo report's insight:
MANIFESTE DE LA TRANSGRESSION
Minor Miners is my ongoing investigation into child labour in Indian coalmines and broader socio-economic realities that force families to use their children as full-time breadwinners doing hard labour. I explore not just the day-to-day conditions of life imposed on India's weakest and most vulnerable, but also the extensive socio-economic institutions that create these dire situations. India has the largest number of child labourers under the age of 14 in the world. With an estimated 12.6million children engaged in hazardous occupations, India's seemingly impressive economic growth of hides the crushing poverty that remain a harsh reality for millions of her children. I have been photographing the working/living conditions of child miners along India’s ‘coal-belt’ and will continue by traveling to the children’s origins, probing the core desperations they confronted, pushing them to taking these steps. Problems like displacement and loss of livelihood in their homelands can lead illiterate, unskilled communities into extreme poverty, driving them to migrate to nearby industrial towns and finally to such desperate measures as selling their children to the mining mafia.
For his 1960s project on children’s dreams, legendary photographer Arthur Tress visualizes the subconscious fears of the innocent mind. While working with educator Richard Lewis of The Touchstone Center, he observed an exercise in which young people were asked to construct poems and paintings of their dreams; inspired, he began collaborating with children to create haunting silver gelatin photographs.
Influenced in part by the concept of Jungian archetypes, the images represent both the anxieties of the individual and the collective dread of the transformative decade. Here, domestic life and its mundane chores cease to provide comfort, and the home—and by extension, the mother figure herself— becomes irreversibly corrupted and decayed. Uprooted literally and figuratively from the safe space of wakefulness, the children must navigate a landscape riddled with a perversion that they do not yet comprehend.
As the virtues of childhood fade the reveal the sins of a hopelessly adult world, the threat of punishment and humiliation is ever-present, in the form of a dunce cap or in a vengeful flood brought by some unknowable deity. Ultimately, the impulse to grow and mature with the times is met with the irresistible urge to retreat, to pinch oneself and to awake from a nightmare that seems inescapable.
Junku Nishimura live in small coal-mining village in the Yamaguchi Prefecture. His father is now old and Junku’s dream was to pass the last years with him growing and harvesting rice in their family paddy fields. He had left years ago to become a salaryman in big city Japan.
Anyone who knows Junku knows he has three great loves – Photography, Music and Whiskey. He found his love for music and whiskey while moonlighting as a DJ in bars serving customers from the US Military Base. He found photography while snap-shooting his blue collar peers in his early days in Japan’s building industry.
A friend of Junku’s recently got married and invited him to the wedding ceremony. He asked if it was okay to go without a suit because he didn’t own one. He quit his suit for a camera years ago. The friend replied “Yes, as long as you don’t smell.” Junku showed up, with his signature, heavily stitched and patched fisherman hat. Vintage Junku!
I’ve always believed the notion that every photograph is a portrait of the photographer. Here is a selection of Junku’s photographs of Japan – a portrait from a Larrikin Ex-salaryman.
Photo report's insight:
More from Junku Nishimura: www.flickr.com/photos/junku-newcleus
Most people hear the term “poaching,” and they think of hunters gunning down endangered species like elephants and rhinos on the plains of Africa. But in many ways the heart of the illegal wildlife trade is not in Africa, but in Asia. It’s in rising countries like China, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia where the demand for illegal wildlife products is strongest, driving the hunting and the trafficking. And it’s in Asia where poaching is still going on in the forests of countries like Burma and Laos, in the last scraps of wilderness in one of the most densely populated parts of the world. Every year it’s estimated that up to 30,000 primates, 5 million birds, 10 million reptile skins and 500 million tropical fish are bought and sold in Asia.
That bloody trade is revealed by Patrick Brown’s stark black-and-white photographs, published in his new book, Trading to Extinction. The Bangkok-based Brown spent more than 10 years documenting the underbelly of the illegal wildlife trade in Asia, from ill-equipped rangers patrolling the forests of Thailand to markets in southern China, jam-packed with threatened species. He shows the shadowy smuggling routes that take wildlife products across poorly guarded borders, and shines a spotlight on the sheer inhumanity of man’s treatment of majestic animals like the endangered Indochinese tiger. Brown prowls the markets of Bangkok, where massive ivory elephant tusks—almost surely taken by a poacher—sit in a store window, mute symbols of a murderous trade. Another photograph shows a pile of tiger and snow leopard skins—worth three-quarters ofa million dollars—seized in Thailand’s Chitwan National Park.
Money is what drives the illegal wildlife trade, which is now worth as much as $10 billion globally. Brown notes that a poacher who kills a rhino and removes its horn in India gets $350, but that same horn will sell for $1,000 in a nearby market town, and as much as $370,000 once it reaches dealers in Hong Kong, Beijing or the Middle East. It’s little wonder that international criminal syndicates have gotten into the wildlife trade, which is now estimated to be the fifth most lucrative illegal enterprise in the world. Some of that money flows to international terrorists as well, making wildlife trafficking a security threat, as well as a conservation one.
The good news is that the world is beginning to get serious about wildlife trafficking. On Feb. 11 the U.S. announced a new national strategy for combating poaching, as well as a ban on commercial imports and exports of ivory. Last week British Prime Minister David Cameron hosted the London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, the highest-level summit ever on wildlife trafficking. Bringing a halt to poaching will require a commitment from developed nations like the U.S. and England. But as Patrick Brown’s moving photographs show, the battle will be fought in Asia.
Photo report's insight:
Patrick Brown is a multi award-winning English photographer based in Thailand. His work focuses on critical issues across the Asia region. Trading to Extinction is available through publisher Dewi Lewis.
La mise en valeur d’un visage lors d’un portrait en noir et blanc, impose un traitement gouverné par le choix d’un contraste soigné. L’attrait de la photo se mesurera à l’équilibre de la composition dépendante du style, du contour et de la forme. Pour vous causer de mon approche, je vous propose en outre de télécharger 3 préréglages de qualité du logiciel Adobe Lightroom1 que j’ai conçus pour mes travaux de photographie en noir et blanc. Allons à l’essentiel, téléchargez maintenant gratuitement ces 3 templates Lightroom
Photo report's insight:
(...) Un autre exemple d’application du preset Vintage Duotone Portrait BW – Hight Contrast avec un effet « lost and found » – enjeu esthétique
Tout ne doit pas être éclairé. Bien souvent, il est mieux de suggérer que de montrer quelque chose. C’est ainsi que l’imagination peut se mettre en route. Pour la photo suivante du jeune Jaîn que j’ai prise dans le nord du Rajasthan, j’ai accentué le vignettage et le contraste pour simuler l’effet « lost and found » conceptualisé par Jimmy Wong Howe.
Une partie du sujet se fond dans l’obscurité. Le low key, dans son mouvement qui consiste à cacher des éléments de la figuration dans des noirs profonds, sert le portrait avec richesse et structure, par sa forme, de véritables leitmotivs. L’épure par le noir isole les parties claires en les rendant essentielles à la composition du plan et à la lecture de l’image. Leur importance, leur pouvoir expressif s’en trouvent renforcés en laissant l’excédent figuratif, parfois superficiel, disparaître dans des zones d’obscurité partielles ou complètes.
L’effet « lost and found » immergeant le sujet dans un lieu d’indétermination sombre composée de hautes lumières et d’ombres, renforce le mystère du Jaïn. (...) - Serge Bouvet
A body, used as a canvas, every inch of skin filled with sacred text and figures of mythical creatures, all forming a protective shield. A boxer, a monk, a construction worker, a police man, a soldier, a taxi driver, a shipyard worker, a shaman, a tattoo master; men, women and their inked protection from evil spirits and bad luck. Enter the world of Thailand’s spiritual “yantra” tattoo tradition. - Cedric Arnold
Emerging photographer Andy Spyra (1984, Germany) is currently focusing on two personal, long-term projects in the Kashmir Valley, the location of the longest unresolved conflict in the history of the United Nations. Today, over 700,000 Indian soldiers and paramilitary forces are stationed in the region. This makes Kashmir the most highly militarised zone in the world.
I came to Bangkok for the first time in the spring of 2008. It is a city that has one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, yet it is also a place where the gap between the poor and the rich is increasing rapidly.
Photo report's insight:
Jacob is a member of Magnum Photos. Yossi Milo Gallery in New York, Rita Castelotte Gallery in Madrid and RTR Gallery in Paris also represent him. Jacob was born in Denmark, in 1976 and grew up in Brøndby Strand in the suburbs south of Copenhagen. He lived as an exchange student in Strathroy, Canada from 1994-95 and as a hunter and fisherman in Tiniteqilaaq, Greenland from 2000-2002. In Spring 2006 he moved to Tokyo, staying there 18 months before returning to Denmark in August 2008. He now lives and works in Copenhagen.
After studying at the European Film College, Jacob was admitted to Fatamorgana, the Danish School of Documentary and Art Photography in 1998. There he developed a unique, expressive style of black-and-white photography, which he has since refined and further developed. In the autumn of 1999 he went to live in the settlement Tiniteqilaaq on the East Coast of Greenland. Over the next three years he lived mainly in this township with his Greenlandic girlfriend Sabine and her family, living the life of a fisherman and hunter but also photographing. The resultant book Sabine was published in 2004 and the work was nominated for the 2005 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.
In the summer of 2005 Jacob traveled with a film crew to Guatemala to make a documentary about a young Mayan girl’s first journey to the ocean. The following year he returned by himself to the mountains of Guatemala where he met the indigenous family Gomez-Brito. He stayed with them for a month to tell the story of their everyday life. The series won the First Prize Award, Daily Life Stories, World Press Photo 2006. In 2006 he moved to Tokyo and during the next two years he created the images from his resent book I, Tokyo. The book was awarded the Leica European Publishers Award 2008 and published by Actes Sud (France), Apeiron (Greece), Dewi Lewis Publishing (Great Britain), Edition Braus (Germany), Lunwerg Editores (Spain), Peliti Associati (Italy) and Mets & Schilt (The Netherlands) In 2008 Jacob started working in Bangkok and in 2009 in Copenhagen. Both projects will be published as books in 2013. Jacob is currently working on the project Arrivals and Departures - a journey from Moscow to Beijing - in co-operation with Leica Camera.
Every ecosystem has its fragile balance. That much we have already learnt. Scientists routinely now seek to document the excesses that will lead to imbalance, even where they can do nothing about them. And sometimes, just sometimes, legislation and implementation and eventually protection may follow.
"Paul Mann, and Marie Ward are living in desperate poverty in one of the remaining high rise block of flats in the Gorbals, Glasgow. The council accommodation they live in, which is scheduled for demolition, is riddled with dampness causing illness to their children. Both Marie and Paul are long term, third generation unemployed and are completely dependent on the state, not just for benefit but for help in caring for their 4 children. The family have since be relocated to a newly built townhouse in the Gorbals but continue to struggle." - David Gillanders
Albania is a small country in the heart of the Balkans. Despite its rich culture, people outside do generally not know much about it. It is also my homeland, the place of my early childhood. I grew up seperated from it, and returned later to pick up the threads that were left behind.
What I found was modernity and tradition living together. I traveled a lot and started to know my birthplace, the people, their mentality, and their traditions. I felt very welcome, and was fascinated by all the people I met. They were kind, friendly and curious about my work.
I made this journey together with my wife. When people realized we were a couple, they were very open, they welcomed us inside their homes and extended wishes, blessings and congratulations. Marriage is very important in Albania. Everyone has to get married, it is considered to make men stronger and more respected in society.
In this photographic project I would like to show the everyday lives of Albanian people – the big picture, as well as the small, seemingly insignificant moments. What impressed me most was the strong family union, the connection among people. I found it everywhere – in married young couples and their babies, at a funeral ceremony where relatives shared their pain, at a wedding party, or when a son accompanied his father at work. I didn’t see any lonely people. -ENRI CANAJ