Mario Cruz: Talibés, Modern Day Slaves

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© Mario Cruz -Talibés, Modern Day Slaves

Mario Cruz spent six weeks immersed in the grim reality of some abusive West African Koranic schools. Cruz’s investigation centered on abused children, the talibés, who are supposed to receive a traditional Koranic education, and the criminal activities of the involved marabouts, as the teachers are called. Continue reading

Sim Chi Yin: Dying to Breathe

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© Sim Chi Yin – Dying to Breathe

Sim Chi Yin’s story Dying to Breathe is about He Quangui and his wife, Mi Shixiu. He has terminal silicosis from his years as a gold miner in small, illegal mines. Dying to Breathe is as much about human condition and love as it is about the state of hundreds of thousands of Chinese men doing lethal jobs to survive, to provide for their families. Continue reading

Douglas Bernardt: Gabriel

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© Douglas Bernardt - Gabriel

© Douglas Bernardt – Gabriel

In Gabriel, Douglas Bernardt introduces us to Gabriel Neris, a 16-year old Brazilian para-athlete.
Neris became famous in the Paralympics Circuit for his determination during a competition in São Paulo. Running in the 100m, he fell and lost his prosthesis after only 25 meters. Continue reading

Poulomi Basu: A Ritual of Exile

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© Poulomi Basu - A ritual of Exile

© Poulomi Basu – A Ritual of Exile

In this series, Poulomi Basu exposes a ritual of compulsory exile, a primitive Hindu custom still enforced in parts of western Nepal: Chaupadi.
This practice prohibits women from participating in normal family activities during menstruation, or after giving birth, because their loss of blood make them “impure”, according to Chaupadi. Continue reading

Nadia Sablin: Aunties

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© Nadia Sablin - Aunties

© Nadia Sablin – Aunties

Nadia Sablin is a Brooklyn-based free-lance photographer. Born in St. Petersburg, which was then named Leningrad, she moved to the U.S. when she was still a child. For seven years in a row she went back to Russia every summer to visit her two aunts, Alevtina and Ludmila, to document their seasonal daily life. Continue reading

Patrick Fileti: Real Destination

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© Patrick Fileti – Real Destination

Visual storyteller Patrick Fileti and cinematographer Ross Giardana brought together content and aesthetic to produce Real Destination, an emotional piece about an omnipresent profession. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, long-distance truck drivers are ubiquitous, eliciting feelings and perceptions that vary according to the part of the world where they thread their ways. Continue reading

Sandra Hoyn: Fighting for a Pittance

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© Sandra Hoyn – Fighting for a Pittance

Sandra Hoyn‘s story Fighting for a Pittance, about Muay Thai, was shot in Thailand and is about martial arts fighters who do not make the front pages: children. Sandra, who is from Germany, studied photography and graduated in 2005 from the University of Applied Sciences, in Hamburg. She then started to work as an independent photojournalist for magazines, newspapers and NGOs. Continue reading

Ian Derry: Johanna Nordblad, Under the Ice

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© Ian Derry | Nowness

© Ian Derry | Nowness

Ian Derry is a photographer and director based in London. In Johanna Nordblad, Under the Ice, he takes us to the underwater world of this Finish art director, who lives on Lauttasaari Island, near Helsinki.
She never considered free diving in ice water, before a downhill mountain biking accident. Her leg was so badly broken that doctors first left the wound open for ten days, to avoid necrosis, and feared that she might lose her leg. Continue reading

Ivan Olita: Muxes

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© Ivan Olita - Muxes

© Ivan Olita – Muxes

Los Angeles-based director Ivan Olita decided to realize Muxes after attending a seminar conducted by Werner Herzog, the German screenwriter, film director, author, actor, and opera director. During the seminar a short film was shown, about a Muxes parade – the inspiration for Olita to do his documentary. Continue reading

Mark Bennington: America 2.0

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© Mark Bennington - America 2.0

© Mark Bennington – America 2.0

When a thoughtful portraitist uses his skills to take a stand against xenophobia and intolerance, the result is America 2.0, a series by Mark Bennington.
The photographer’s recent work raises social awareness in a way that induces us to think about humanity, about the diversity of the next American generation. Shot in the controlled environment of a studio, the photographs go from an emblematic portrait of a young woman using a flag as a scarf to the joyful archetype of the happy shopper. The subjects are young Muslim adults living in New York City, future professionals, leaders, artists, doctors, neighbors who have to deal with frequent instances of Islamophobia. Mr. Bennington’s subjects contributed to this series by sharing their experiences, thoughts, hopes, needs to have a voice and anxiety about what might lay ahead. Continue reading

Jordi Pizzaro: Bura Sapna

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© Jordi Pizarro - Bura Sapna

© Jordi Pizarro – Bura Sapna

Jordi Pizarro titled his current ongoing project Bura Sapna. The words mean nightmare, in Hindi. Looking at his pictures, this could be taken literally. Considering the whole project, it may well be what comes to mind when one tries to identify with what the most disenfranchised Indians go through when needing medical attention.
A Spanish native now based in India, Jordi Pizarro is building a body of work focusing on social and environmental concerns, particularly those affecting remote or isolated rural communities. For Bura Sapna, he also worked on a one-of-a-kind medical facility: the hospital train. Continue reading

Magnus Wennman: Where the Children Sleep

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© Magnus Wennman - Where the Children Sleep

© Magnus Wennman – Where the Children Sleep

Born in 1979, Magnus Wennman started his photojournalist career early. At 17 he was already shooting for Dala-Demokraten, a Swedish newspaper. We are all aware of war in Syria, how the last five years of mayhem have been covered, from fighting to ruins. Wennman’s approach has been different. He concentrated on the most vulnerable: the children. Continue reading

Susan S. Bank: Cuban Reality

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© Susan S. Banks - Piercing the Darkness

© Susan S. Bank – Piercing the Darkness

Looking at Susan S. Bank‘s pictures of Cuba is discovering the country’s people. No clichés there. No 1950’s American cars rendered in flashy colors. No sugar cane croppers, no images of beaches and landscapes with the flavor of a tourist brochure. Ms. Bank works in black and white, and rigorously composes her images. We all read about Cartier-Bresson’s leitmotiv “the decisive moment”, which is what most of her pictures exude. Continue reading

Ragnar Axelsson: Arctic Cultures

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© Ragnar Axelsson – Last Days of the Arctic

Icelandic photographer Ragnar Axelsson knew early in life what he wanted to be. He started his formal training when he was 16 years old, working and learning in a  studio of photography.
Two years later he became a staff photographer for Morgunbladid, a major Icelandic newspaper. Axelsson, who also goes by the nickname Rax, still works for the newspaper, having the license to take long trips to shoot documentaries and long-term projects. Continue reading

Alain Kaiser: Front Polisario

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© Alain Kaiser - Front Polisario

© Alain Kaiser – Front Polisario

Alain Kaiser is a French photographer based in Boersch, north-eastern France. An eclectic photographer, with a passion for documentaries, he taught photography at Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, in Strasbourg, while conducting workshops for photojournalists in Paris. As President and member of the programming committee, he is also actively involved with Stimultania, a powerhouse not-for-profit organization exhibiting and promoting original photographic works. And he still finds the time, and energy, to shoot the international productions of the Strasbourg National Opera. Over the years Kaiser has created a remarkable body of work by covering the Polisario Front activities, a North-African nationalist organization, whose main goal is the independence of Western Sahara. He traveled there for the first time in 1979, embedding himself with a Polisario commando, Continue reading

Luc Novovitch: The Japanese 1980-2005

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© Luc Novovitch - Ginza, Tokyo.

© Luc Novovitch – Ginza, Tokyo.

Luc Novovitch, was born in Casablanca, Morocco, raised in Switzerland and educated in France. A former news photographer for Reuters, AFP and Gamma agencies, he moved to far West Texas in 1998. The image presented on narratives21 is from the series The Japanese 1980-2005.  After more than two decades working as a photojournalist in Europe, Africa and the U.S., Novovitch decided to concentrate anew on documentaries and fine art photography. Continue reading