July 15th, 2010

Conflict in Pink

Posted by Ben in Africa, Photojournalism

What if conflict wasn’t always in khaki, but pink? Check out this series of photos by Richard Mosse from Eastern Congo shot using Kodak Aerochrome infrared-sensitive, false-color reversal film… Very strange and beautiful…

See also the New Yorker and DVAFoto articles on this.

[Via Scarlett Lion]

September 28th, 2009

JR’s “Women are Heroes” in Kibera

by JR

I’ve written previously about JR’s projects in the Kibera slum of Nairobi. I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly makes his work appealing, but I just think it’s pretty cool. There’s now a rather-nicely shot video clip of his work – make sure you watch it fullscreen and stick with it until after the 2min mark, it all makes sense then.

[via The Click]

April 8th, 2009

Liberia – long story, bit by bit

Posted by Ben in Africa, General, Photojournalism


As someone who photographed the climax of the Second Liberian Civil War, siege of the capital Monrovia, and downfall into exile of then-president Charles Taylor who is now on trial for war crimes by the Special Court for Sierra Leone sitting at the Hague, I have always been utterly fascinated by Liberia and have watched its progress from bloody civil war to relative peace and economic progress.

I was therefore excited to learn that last year’s World Press Photo winner Tim Hetherington (see interview about his winning photo) has a new photo book coming out shortly which focuses on Tim’s extensive work covering recent Liberian history, entitled Long Story, Bit By Bit

Tim had a unique perspective on that conflict being one of the few journalists, along with James Brabazon (see interview), to cover it primarily from the (geographical) side of the LURD rebels, so I’m very much looking forward to seeing this new publication, which Tim tells me is already printed and will be launched in early June.

His website says the book launch will take place on June 3rd at the Umbrage Gallery in Dumbo, New York, an exhibtion of the work will be on show there from May through to June, and Tim will give a talk about the project in the gallery space on May 16th. The exhibition will then move to the Lincoln Reade Centre in New York to accompany the Human Rights Watch Film festival that runs from June 10th to 29th

If you want to learn more about the fascinating history of Liberia I also highly recommend you watch these two films:

Liberia – America’s Stepchild (PBS documentary on Liberia’s long history, produced before the fall of Charles Taylor)
Liberia – An Uncivil War (documentary by Jonathan Stack, James Brabazon, and Tim Hetherington on the Second Liberian Civil War and fall of Charles Taylor)

Also see this previous post I wrote about an exhibition of Tim’s work in Liberia and a selection of his photos from that exhibition here

…and if you want to see a selection of the photos I took during that conflict go to my photo galleries page and select one of the two galleries entitled “Liberian War”. There’s a brief one of 15 images, and a longer one of 70 images.

Glenna Gordon has an interesting new interview with Tim about the book, conducted while he was recently in Monrovia.

Long Story Bit by Bit – some links
Publishers page
Press Release [PDF, 216kb]
Amazon US pre-order
Amazon UK pre-order

February 4th, 2009

JR’s art in the Kibera slum of Nairobi

Posted by Ben in Africa, Photojournalism


There’s some very cool photos now out of the latest activities of photographic artist “JR” from his Women Project in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya.

To see more of them go to the 28millimetres website.

[via the Wooster Collective]

August 11th, 2008

Pieter Hugo’s “Nollywood”

Posted by Ben in Africa, General, Photojournalism

© Pieter Hugo

Pieter Hugo, who won a World Press Photo Award for this photo of a Nigerian hyena handler, has some new work on the subject of Nigeria’s always-booming film industry known as Nollywood.

Having lived in West Africa for a few years and having spent some time in Nigeria I’m well aware of how wildly popular these films are throughout the region. They’re mostly traded around on worn-out videotapes or VCDs and watched in makeshift cinemas charging a small fee and consisting of a crowd of people gathered around a flickering TV set. For the countless numbers of West Africans living in poverty it’s some of the only entertainment accessible to them.

Pieter apparently adopted a creative approach to this project, rather than pure photojournalism, but it fits the subject well and the photos are just great:

“His first attempt to photograph on film sets documenting these scenes failed to produce pictures that fully mirrored the intensity of the situations. He then decided to bring his interpretation of these staged realities into another realm by assembling a team of forty actors and assistants. He asked them to recreate the stereotypical myths and symbols that characterise Nollywood productions, reproducing the dynamic of movie sets.”

You can see a selection of Pieter’s Nollywood photos here.

And if you want some good Nigerian music to listen to as you view the photos, go here.

[via The Click]

October 7th, 2007

Two exhibitions – Delahaye & Hetherington

Posted by Ben in Africa, General, Photojournalism

Two photographers I’ve met briefly whose exhibitions I’d like to see….

Luc Delahaye’s panoramic photographs of world events which are currently showing in the J. Paul Getty Museum are the subject of this LA Times article (sorry, registration required) and small photo gallery.
I’ve always loved Delahaye’s work, after being switched on to his Russian road journey book Winterreise by my friend Jeremy (check out his excellent blog btw, and article in this month’s Digital Journalist).
I ran into Luc whilst covering the recent fighting at Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in Lebanon earlier this year. Frankly, I didn’t recognise him and was perplexed as to why someone would be running around a conflict zone with a large format camera – it is somewhat unusual. It was only near the end of the conversation, on a rooftop watching shells land on the camp below, that I realised it was him and I wish I’d had a bit longer to chat. There’s some more pictures here and an exhibition brochure to download here, but of all the work that needs to be seen printed really large on a wall, this is probably it.

Tim Hetherington recently had an exhibition entitled “No Condition Is Permanent: Liberia in Transition” at the The Alice Austen House Museum in Staten Island, NY. Tim and I both covered the Liberian civil war of 2003 although from different sides – he travelled with the LURD rebels throughout whilst I was in the besieged capital Monrovia – and we only had the chance to meet briefly at the end when it was all over. He, James Brabazon, and Jonathan Stack turned their incredible footage into the documentary film “Liberia: An Uncivil War“. So I’d have been very happy to see this exhibition of his photos of Liberia covering the period 2003-2007 – but unfortunately I’ll have to make do with the slideshow.

January 12th, 2007

Michael Kamber website

Good friend and NY Times photographer Michael Kamber has a newly designed website showcasing some of his work from the last few years.

Mike has worked extensively in Africa from east to west, as well as Iraq and Haiti, and has strong material up there well worth a look. Mike is one of a handful of photojournalists I know who also writes news reports on assignment – which is no mean feat when you are filing photos on a daily basis – and some of these reports are readable on the site.

I particularly like his “Children of War” project: (from his description)

“I never set out to photograph children of war, I simply looked at my photos one day and saw how many images showed children caught, often literally, in the crossfire”

Michael Kamber website

March 1st, 2006

Michael Kamber in Chad

As noted in Harts Big Picture, my good friend and colleague Michael Kamber has a nice multimedia piece on the New York Times website about the refugee situation in Chad caused by the Darfur conflict in Sudan. The NYT uses some extremely nice flash work to present their multimedia galleries, but those looking to create a similar (albeit not quite so sophisticated) effect might want to try the SoundSlides software I wrote about previously.

October 21st, 2005


Posted by Ben in Africa

419 scammers

The L.A.Times has a good exposé of Nigerian 419 email scammers entitled “I will eat your dollars” showing what their background is, how they accomplish their work, and the people who actually fall for the scams – in depressingly large numbers. It’s a story that’s been done before many times but this is one of the better ones.

September 3rd, 2005

On A Mercy Ship

Posted by Ben in Africa, Photojournalism

Mercy Ship exhibition

As reported in this Wired article, photojournalist Scott Harrison has made a very interesting photo project entitled “On a Mercy Ship” about the work of Mercy Ships – a fleet of hospital ships staffed by volunteers that provide free surgery to needy people around the world.
Scott served a year onboard the Mercy Ship Anastasis in West Africa as a volunteer photojournalist and his project focuses on the help they give to the disfigured through advanced, life-changing maxillofacial operations. Note that some of the photos are somewhat graphic (in a medical way). Interesting project shedding light on some very worthy work.

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