Editor’s Showcase: Indian Women and Children of Rural and Financial Backward Areas – Ranita Roy

Name
Ranita Roy

Submission Title
Health Care issue – Indian Women and Children of Rural and Financial Backward areas

Country
India

Photographer Bio

Ranita Roy was born in Andul, a small town near Kolkata, India. She is a documentary photographer and visual artist.

She completed Hostile environment awareness training (HEAT) at Jakarta, nominated by Thomson Reuters (2020). Whose work has been published in various media publications including Reuters, The Washington Post Magazine, The New York Times, The Caravan magazine, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, The National (UAE), DW News, The Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Feature Shoot, BBC.

In 2019 Ranita joined Reuters as a freelance photojournalist and also joined WaterAid India as an Empanelled Photographer in 2020. She has worked on numerous personal projects including Old Age Happiness, Sleep Paralysis (Research work)), Flood and cyclone-affected areas, Child Labor, Health care issues, Animal rights, and many more. She has won numerous scholarships including the Scholarship from NOOR Images, Timothy Allen Photography Scholarship 2018, and VII Academy (2019). Her work has been recognized numerous times including by UNESCO (Climate change). She received the 7th National Photography Award (India), an Honorable Mention in Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award and she was a top 10 finalist of the International Women Photographer Award 2017. in 2019 she bagged a fellowship from WaterAid India. She is currently a 2020 Women Photograph mentorship program mentee.

Ranita completed a Master’s degree in Environmental Science from Asutosh College (Kolkata). She has also gained advanced knowledge in narrative photography from New Directions by Sohrab Hura (Magnum photos Photographer), and National Geographic Photo Camp (Kolkata)2018. In 2019, she attended the 7th annual New York Portfolio Review organized by The New York Times in New York.

Submission Information

In spite of India’s name for respecting women, history tells that women were mistreated or neglected in varied spheres of life across religions, regions, and communities. The Indian society is obsessed with a male child, and hence, women are often forced to get pregnant for want of a son. Even though everyone is aware of a woman’s nutritional needs during pregnancy, it is not meted out to them, a very irresponsible attitude shown by their husbands and family members, and numerous pregnancies, abortions even in case of female child and closely spaced births, adds to deteriorating health and nutritional status. Men are found very casual and they don’t even bother about their wife’s or child’s health. It is also observed that the dietary intake of rural pregnant women was lower than the recommended level. The desired support from family and their husband is always missing. Usually, low weight infants are born to mothers with under nutrition and poor health. The incidence of anemia was found to be highest among lactating women followed by pregnant women and adolescent girls. Unawareness on health care and negligence from their husband during pregnancy results in negative outcomes for both the mother and the child. Even men never show interest to take mother and the child to the health centre. People from health centre, either visit their home for treatment on a regular interval or they take them to the health centre. As a society, we need to actively work towards providing our women with good health because a healthy woman ensures a healthy family. Women are not the weaker sex; society has made them so. We need more awareness drives, camps that educate rural women on the issues mentioned above, campaigns and projects that will help change mindsets and help save our women!

Website or Social Media Links
https://www.ranitaroy.com/

Editor’s Showcase: Flowers and Poisons – Chim Sis

Name
Chim Sis

Submission Title
Flowers and Poisons

Country
Laos

Photographer Bio

I was born in France in the ‘80s from a Laotian father and a Vietnamese mother. I am a self-taught photographer, photography is my mode of self-expression. I started my photographic work in 2010, with my series “Rooted”: an introspective journey through Laos in search of my very own roots. My whole artistic work is intimately linked to my life, to what resonates deeply in myself, to the quest for identity and humanity.

Submission Information

It was in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, that I met Bo and Chimmy for the first time. Very quickly we developed a relationship of trust and sincere friendship. Bo and Chimmy are “kathoeys”. Together, they overcome the hardships of life that we endure when we are different and rejected. This series of black and white photos recount their life, their loneliness, their suffering, their vulnerability, and reveals their dignity, their sensitivity, their deep humanity.

Website or Social Media Links
https://www.chim-sis.com/desfleursetdespoisons

Editor’s Showcase: Uninvited Dreams of a Bitter Response – Ritam Talukdar

Name
Ritam Talukdar

Submission Title
Uninvited Dreams of a Bitter Response

Country
India

Photographer Bio
Ritam Talukdar, is a freelance photojournalist and a story teller. Through various visual narratives, he uses while depicting the daily emotions of people. After having worked as a product photographer and children’s photographer, he developed a strong passion to find out the day to day happenings of life all around in the form of stories. He left his job and got into this wide creative field to document the daily emotions and expressions that build up a life and document the news of lost cultures to the outside world.

Apart from being a photographer, he keeps a keen interest in the field of Performance Art and has till now participated in three International Artist Residency Programs held within India. He has been featured in The Edge of Humanity Magazine, Kiosk of Democracy, Frame Press Magazine, F Stop Magazine, SDN, Spazio Fotocopia and Zeke and he did his group exhibitions regarding his photography and Digital Arts in Germany, Venice, UK, USA, Romania, Turkey etc.

Submission Information
The considerable change of situation in terms of the season getting colder and having shorter days is like experiencing the same seasonal patterns of major dejected episodes during a specific time of a year. The static resonance of the conscious effort to maintain a significantly jovial mood is dampened at every turn when the winter makes its mark. It’s a strange phenomenon that occurs in conjunction with changes in the season, especially during the arrival of the chilly winds. My love for this season have always been a priority, but I have always managed to extend my effort to explore the emptiness that the surrounding has to offer, resembling a part of the deserted feeling that I familiarise with. I photographed the hollowed resonance that rules the milieu, experienced by a depressed person, in terms of the landscapes and the habitants, amidst the mist that clouds your existence.

Winter generally stands for the time of carnivals, holidays; get together parties with reunions of families and close ones, but for most of the Winter, I was away from home. The feeling of staying within a packed up routine of work, often made me sum up the expressions together to give rise to an emotion that cannot stay hidden away from the general opinion of human agony. Moving far away from the urban cultures of the cityscapes, these subtle emotions are clearly visible and the solidarity can be felt more beautifully. As we embrace the gloomy presence in full glory and the tired eyes only make an attempt to regain the their consciousness with much ingratitude.

This particular attempt to bring in an emotional set of imagery comparing them with the misty landscapes, trying to depict the unsaid sadness was almost like experiencing a reverse nightmare staying as a prisoner trapped within his personal history. This is indeed something more that one can comply with.

Website or Social Media Links
https://www.instagram.com/ritamtalukdar_88/

Interview: Frenetic City – Zhou HanShun

In this interview, Hon Hoang talks to artistic photographer Zhou HanShun.

With the unknown, our mind fills in the information gaps while we seek out what we believe to be true. There is beauty in that mystery and need of resolution. The sensation of the unknown is familiar to photographers. The need for exploration and resolution, whether within the world on within our minds. It is a familiar feeling for photographer Zhou Hanshan. In this interview, we discuss his career, path to photography, and the frenetic unknown when compared to the stagnation of the familiar.

Zhou is currently working on a kickstarter to fund his upcoming photo-book Frenetic City.

What were some of your early experiences with photography? Did you know in those moments that photography would be your career?

My first contact with photography was during my early teens, when I played with my father’s Minolta Super SRT. When I went onto art school, I chose to major in photography during my final year at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.

I kind of knew early in life that I wanted to do something that revolves around “art”. But later on, I realised that making a decent living with fine art would be terribly difficult, especially in a tiny country like Singapore. That’s why I enrolled in the graphic design programme in art school, instead of fine arts. I took up photography “seriously” when I was in art school, while studying graphic design. Back then, photography was taught through the design programme, and not in the fine arts programme. In the 2nd year of the 3 year course, I decided that I would do photography as a major. So I guess that’s when I decided that it was something that I wanted to do. But interestingly enough, after graduation, I went to work in the advertising industry as an Art Director, instead of being a “Professional” Photographer. I guess that I would rather work on personal projects and photograph on my own terms, instead of someone else’s. Being in the creative industry also allows me to see various forms of photography. But having to work full-time means that photography actually took the backseat, until around 2010. While I was getting recognition for my advertising work, somehow, I realised that something was missing in my life. That was when I started to photograph “seriously” again, and have been working on my personal projects again and getting my work exhibited ever since.

Whether through formal education or self-taught, how did you develop your style as a photographer? Are there any photographers that influence you in particular?

There are lots of photographers whom I admire. Example: Harry Callahan, Lee Friedlander, Daido Moriyama, Henri Cartier Bresson, Masahisa Fukase, Josef Koudelka, just to name a few. These are photographers who did things their own way, with their unique vision, without being influenced by what the majority of the work during their time. I think that’s important for creators. To do our own thing. Even if it might not be widely accepted. To be safe is to be boring. Although I went to art school and majored in photography, I don’t really like to restrict myself to a particular style of photographing. But I do prefer to create work in B&W though.

Please tell me more about your upcoming book Frenetic City. How did you find yourself in Hong Kong and how did you go about starting this project?

I lived in Hong Kong from 2014-2017. When I first landed in 2014, I was quite overwhelmed by the intensity of the crowded streets and the chaotic nature of it. Frenetic City was a photographic reaction to it. I wanted to create the feeling that I felt in the photographs. I am currently crowd funding on Kickstarter to publish Frenetic City into a book. My first monograph. The campaign ends on 30th May 2020.

What can you tell me about your time photographing Hong Kong? What are some things you learned about the people and the city as you worked on the project?

Hong Kong is a very dynamic and energetic city. Coming from Singapore, I must say that I do miss its energy sometimes. It’s also a very “photograph-able” city. When I first arrived, I was quite overwhelmed by the chaotic and stressful environment, especially the crowded streets. Compared to other cities, Hong Kong for me feels much more intense. While Singapore is also a busy city, the pace of life here is somewhat less “hurried.” An example would be that I can easily sit at a cafe for an hour or two, while in Hong Kong, the bill would come as soon as I was almost done with my food. In general, I think Hong Kongers are trying really hard to make ends meet (given the astronomical price of property there).

Being born and raised in Singapore, what is it like to photograph people native to your country compared to the projects you take on abroad?

Being born and having spent most of my life in Singapore, it can be quite “difficult” to find inspiration to photograph here. Having said that, I am currently working on a project that explores life and landscapes along the edge of this island-state. Somehow, I find myself much more productive when I am working on projects abroad or based on other cities. Maybe it’s the initial freshness that comes with visiting or living in a new environment.

As a creative, what is the importance of pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone? Do you notice a difference in the quality of your photographs when you’re comfortable versus when pushing yourself?

I think it is very important to push myself to experiment or try new ways of photographing. I’m not exactly a fan of having a particular style of photographing. For me, it depends on the project that I am working on. Some projects that are more “documentary”, then I would employ a more documentary way of working. If it’s more “conceptual”, then I would use a more conceptual way of creating the work. So in that sense, when I look back at the resulting work, I do see a difference. Some work might look aesthetically “nicer”, while others might look more like snapshots.

If you had to start all over again, what advice would you give yourself?

If I could advise my early self, I would tell myself to start working on my personal projects much earlier on in life and not get tied down by the constant pressures or worries of making a living.

Would you have any advice for aspiring photographers?

Create work that is important to yourself and not get influence by style. Ultimately, photography, like all art forms, is about what you are trying to say or the work that you are portraying.

Interview: About Dream – Suki Lui

In this interview, Hon Hoang talks to photographer Suki Lui.

Photography isn’t always about what we see in front of us, but a medium of expression for what we have inside. The conceptualization of thoughts and feelings fabricated into light forms can be cathartic in the best of times. In these days of uncertainty, we have to explore what is hidden within, in all sense of the word. In this interview, I speak with photographer Suki Lui about her experiences and work. How she approaches her art from conceptualization and exploration of life experiences to production of photographs.

What were some of your early experiences with photography?

My parents do not have any art or photography background. They were refugees from rural China who came to Hong Kong in the 1970s. They did not own a camera or have a family photo album either. They only possessed one photo of themselves from their life before coming to Hong Kong.

Having the chance to have a photo taken was thus a very precious experience for me. I remember all early family photographs were taken by relatives or our neighbours. They then sent them back to us when the films were developed. It was in fact a very intimate act and it was how people connected with each other back then. The other early experience that I can recall is my father enjoying taking my mother, me and my four brothers to have a proper family portrait taken at photography studio once every couple of years – those traditional family portraits where everyone sits or stands formally just like those you normally do for school year book. I remember the family portrait was taken in a studio with an English rural landscape backdrop which I believe had not been changed for more than a decade. This association of photography with intimacy and relationships has stayed with me.

I started taking photos at sixteen. My early experience of taking pictures was not very structured; it was only a way for me to record daily moments I spent with friends and family. The early photographs I took were all with the analogue cameras I had been given: disposable cameras, some toy cameras from Lomography like LC-A 35mm film camera.

 

What does time mean to you and how does this definition affect your photography?

I believe the concept of time is always at the back of my mind when taking photographs. Henri Cartier Bresson and Saul Leiter were definitely some of the early influences on my photography. Capturing ephemeral moments was one of the main objectives of my early photography practice.

I am also sensitive to time in that I am sensitive to changes in light. Capturing particular light is one of the most important elements in my photography.

Also, using film instead of digital data forces me to reflect carefully on the particular moment I am capturing when pressing the shutter. I also enjoy spending time developing films in the darkroom alone. I enjoy the focussed concentration and having full control over my work process; it is in fact very therapeutic. Awareness of the amount of work required to develop analogue photographs helps you to cultivate an attitude of carefulness and meticulousness when taking photographs.

As a creative, what is the importance of pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone? Do you notice a difference in the quality of your photographs when you’re comfortable versus when pushing yourself?

I think it is important to not let yourself stay in your comfort zone. I find it tedious to constantly work on the same style unless the process is intended to help me advance my technique. I think a lot about my work and the possibility of developing new techniques by working differently. My experiences teach me that I can always discover new things which surprise me when I step away from my comfort zone.

My ongoing photo series About Dream was a new challenge to me. My photography is usually portrait-oriented. Working on About Dream let me have chance to pay more attention to my surroundings and mundane objects instead of people, and allowed me to explore new ways of playing with light.

 Do you plan most of your projects or do they grow into one as you take more images? If planned, what is your process like?

I do plan some of my photo projects. It depends on the nature of the project. For commercial works, it is necessary to make a plan beforehand. I do research, which includes finding visual or literary materials, as well as having conversation with friends (this is particularly important). Apart from that, I find it very useful to discuss with my creative team (if I am working in a team). However, in my experience no project works exactly as planned.

By contrast, most of my personal projects mostly start from one image or idea before developing into a coherent project. I think the process grows quite naturally. In fact, I believe it is sometime essential to let the process lead the way.

 

Are there any long-term personal projects you’re hoping to explore or are currently working on?

Yes. During my masters studies in London, I started working on a project which explores modern consumerism by focussing on how signs are manipulated and meanings are created and played with in the process of consumption. With my background as the only daughter in a relatively conservative family, I realized how different expectations for every aspect of life have been placed on me. Female experience is thus a central subject matter for me. In this project, by recontextualising mundane objects juxtaposed with female models, I intend to reflect on the stereotypical way of representing women in modern consumerist culture.

How much of yourself do you put into your photographs?

I frequently take self-portraits, but for me this is less about myself and more about capturing a particular moment in time and reflecting on broader themes of change, intimacy and gender.

 

If you had to start all over again, what advice would you give yourself?

I would tell myself to have the confidence to go to places and situations where I might not feel entirely comfortable, but which would help to push my practice further.

 

Would you have any advice for aspiring photographers?

I would say it is important to stay with people who help and support you to create, whilst opening up yourself to work with different creative people. Most importantly, I think, you have to be honest to yourself and pursue what you care about and find interesting.

Interview: Hours of Gold – Kris Vervaeke

In this interview, Hon Hoang talks to Kris Vervaeke, a portrait, commercial, and street Photographer.

Physical exploration abroad can bring about much left unexplored within one’s own mind. Many questions that people are not confronted with are presented to the foreground as we move across the globe, finding ourselves in different yet familiar places. Observing those that breathe the same air and bleed the same blood yet noticing the subtleties and idiosyncrasies that make us unique. The ability to observe and even admire these quirks are necessary as a North Star for most photographers. Guiding them towards their subjects and creating stories through images. Photographer Kris Vervaeke presents his work with realism yet accompanies it with a tinge of wonder as he’s guided by this sense of direction.

What were some of your early experiences with photography?

Just taking a few snap shots here and there during my travels when working for a steel company. Nothing special.

China Factory
China Factory

Whether through formal education or self-taught, how did you develop your style as a photographer? Are there any photographers that influence you in particular?

After many years working in an industrial environment, I switched careers completely. Did some evening school and I’m still self-teaching me with every experience. Photography is what I do now. I think I developed my style by just wandering around, looking and trying out different things.

Some old and classics: e.g. Cartier-Bresson and August Sander,  Lee Friendlander.  Martin Parr, Alec Soth,  also  Larry Sultan. Kadir Van Lohuizen, Misrach… but I also can get inspired by some starting photographers.

China Factory
China Factory

 

Being born in Belgium, what is it like to photograph people native to your country compared to the projects you take on abroad?

To be honest I have not really photographed many Belgians yet… and if so it would not be that different I assume. I probably will adjust in some details here and there but in general, the way I approach and connect with the street and with people would be the same.

 

You spent 13 years living throughout Asia. What can you tell me about your first year there and how did it compare to your last?

As I was just new in the photography business with no experience, I started with variety of small jobs from shooting 1500 wine bottles to silly portraits for a little local magazine. With each job I learned more and added on experience. Over the years you get to know the region better and I started doing more personal projects towards the end.

6 Chinese Cities
6 Chinese Cities

Can you tell me a bit about your House Full of Gold series? How did the project start?

The title refers to the name of a fortune tellers booth. When living in Hong Kong, I visited this temple taking pictures of the Chinese New Year rush. This is when I first saw those fortune tellers in the back building and became interested with them. I didn’t pursue any images with the fortune tellers at the time, but it always was in the back of my mind.

House Full of Gold

A unique place of worship and wishes, 160 fortune tellers concentrated in one building, neatly lined up in tiny offices; waiting for customers to come by for good fortune. They invite you in their little sanctuaries, stacked to the roof with knowledge and paper and history. They read from ancient shading books, from the cracks of your smile and from the shape of your jaws. They juggle with jostle sticks and birth day numbers and find the future in your hands and forehead while you sit on hard wooden chairs. I found myself going back many times. I started talking to them and eventually had my hand and face read by some. This gave me a better understanding of these fortune tellers and the traditional art of fortune telling. It made me want to document this unique place.

House Full of Gold

So I started to take portraits of the fortune tellers and their empty booths when they did not want to be photographed. It is only later on that I decided to do something with it. That year I participated at a photography workshop organized by Magnum. I wanted to re-create these rows of fortune tellers and the bizarre atmosphere that is at the same time religious, superstitious, carnival, shopping mall, historic site, temple and theme park, all packed in one. Allowing you to see the shops and its interior from the outside makes you a visitor choose your fortune teller. I also included detail images of the interior , plus quotes of the fortune tellers about my own fortune.

House Full of Gold

Are there any particular moments or stories from this project that has stayed with you?

When doing the interviews, one fortune teller said ‘Once I told a customer she would become a prostitute and she did. I’m not sure if my prediction led her into it.’ I smiled, sometimes people put too much trust in others. As mentioned for this project I had my hand and face read several time . One fortune teller (an ex fireman) advised me ‘OK, Mr. Kris , you pay first’ ‘You have long ears. You can be famous, but you are stubborn. Keep good Feng Shui. This year, put some fresh flowers every day at the north side wall in your house. This will help you become famous’. Well, I tried this but it did not help. Another one said ‘Your career is like a river, like it cannot stop. At 65 you’ll still have a career.’ So now I guess I’ll keep my faith in that one…

House Full of Gold
House Full of Gold

 

Do you have an image in mind before you take a photograph? How much do you allow the moment and your emotions to dictate the direction compared to what you have planned?

I work very intuitively. I often find my inspiration in daily life or on the street. I like to take pictures of what I think is somehow intriguing, bizarre, senseless, curious or surreal. Sometimes it is so bluntly ordinary that I find it becomes queer, daft or surprisingly entertaining. For my new project where I take images of objects in a studio I do have the image in mind and work with more structure.

 

How much of yourself do you put into your photographs? What is it about your subject that makes you want to create a photograph?

Unconsciously I put a lot of myself in my photographs. I see subjects, I see stories. With an eye toward storytelling, I use my camera to take you to some strange and wonderful places that you may not experience in your own day-to-day life. I love to make photo stories that capture some of the humanity and goofiness I discover.

6 Chinese Cities
6 Chinese Cities

Are there any long-term personal projects you’re hoping to explore or are currently working on?

My personal work tends toward in-depth projects that become books and exhibitions Currently I’m working on a project called ’98 objects found in my mother-in-law’s-basement’ I photograph objects found in people’s basements. A surprising collection of prosthetic devices, dysfunctional tools, tooth brushes, 20-year-old cans of food, old toaster, decapitated toys, to a single shoe. Through these kept items a portrait of an era emerges, everyday objects as a capsule of time of society

 

If you had to start all over again, what advice would you give yourself?

I should have started with photography much earlier…

6 Chinese Cities
6 Chinese Cities
6 Chinese Cities

Would you have any advice for aspiring photographers?

Follow your instinct, don’t be afraid to throw yourself into it and own your project. It’s advice I still need to give myself.

 

House Full of Gold

Photos Courtesy of Krisver Vaeke

www.krisvervaeke.com

Instagram: @krisverv

Editor’s Showcase: Dubki- Performances in Contact with the Ganges – Santasil Mallik

Name:
Santasil Mallik
Submission Title:
Dubki- Performances in Contact with the Ganges
Country:
India
Photographer Bio:
Santasil Mallik, 22, is from Kolkata, India. Currently I am pursuing a Masters Degree in English Literature, but I am more interested in exploring the theoretical approaches that investigate the notions of fictionality and representation in art and literature. I firmly believe all works of representation are fictional, the coexistence of representation and non-fiction is a myth. My relationship with photography, therefore, tries to work beyond the idea of documenting and representing reality. Photographs act as futile traces of the memories, reflections, and actions associated with my interactions with different circumstances. They serve as testimonies to things that cannot be accommodated in the photographs themselves. This love and hate relationship with photography, precisely because of the limits of representation of the medium, induces me to keep on exploring this marginality. I am certain that I can never fixate myself to a signature photographic style of my own because my relationship with photography is always in the state of becoming and flux.
My photographs and writings have appeared on several platforms like National Geographic, Private Photo Review, Bright Lights Film Journal, F-Stop Magazine, Entropy Magazine etc. I was selected for a storytelling workshop by National Geographic Society and was also a part of an International Exchange Programme in photography with Counter Foto, Dhaka. But most of my time is spent on my conversations with myself.
Submission Information:
Wrapped in a heavy windcheater, as I dipped my bare feet into the crystal blue waters of the Ganges they went numb in seconds. The biting December winds blowing around me at Haridwar mocked the afternoon sun that shone over the sacred town, but the scene at Har Ki Pauri, the largest ghat in Haridwar, looked no less like a beach on a fine English summer day. Every day thousands of devotees from various parts of the country gather at this ghat, where Lord Shiva stepped upon during the Vedic age, to take their much-anticipated dip (Hindi: dubki) in the river. According to mythological accounts in Hinduism, the waters of the Ganges can refurbish one’s lost energy (Atma-shakti) caused by negative actions; this, if not similar, is close to the idea of purging one’s sins. On another front, people are also aware of the scientific studies and historical records that have demonstrated the self-cleaning and anti-bacterial properties of the Ganges near its source.

The river rushed briskly at turns and became relatively calm near the wider banks, indifferent to the swelling crowd taking dips in the ghat. A range of unexpected activities, emotions, and body movements emerged when individuals confronted the river in all its turbulence and spiritual density. I started photographing various people at that precise moment when they made their decisive dubkis into the water. An infant baby immediately burst out crying as she was dipped into the bone-chilling water for a purification ceremony by her father, muscle-flexing tourists failingly grappled with the flow and coldness of the water as they dipped themselves, some of them hung on to fixated chains and railings to instantly thrust their heads into the water and come out, while others descended slowly with lips mumbling with prayers. Many Dalit children, on the other hand, curiously dived deep into the river to fish for coins and brass utensils thrown by devotees.

The photographs reflect the conviction, determination, and bodily dispositions that accompanied the people as they took their first dubkis in the river. After a week of photographing the same phenomenon, I began to notice a common bodily habitus that guides the dubkis, as well as remarkable exceptions in an individual’s approach towards the Ganges. It is impossible to locate the thoughts and intentions working at the precise moment of taking the dive; several factors traversing across personal, social, religious, and even physical circumstances dictate the way they dive into the river, are they taking dubkis for the atonement of some guilty past? Are they looking for something underwater that might make their lives better? Or are they just enjoying a refreshing bath with their friends? As an onlooker, one can at most revere those specific performances that arose due to their contact and interactions with the river. These photographs are a testimony to those short-lived moments of communication.

Editor’s Showcase: The Refugee Fishing Boats – Tanvir Ony

Name:
Tanvir Ony
Submission Title:
The Refugee Fishing boats
Country:
Bangladesh
Photographer Bio:
I am a hobbyist photographer focusing on documentary and life style photography. My photography is related to people’s lives and the information that can be portrayed to help teach about a society.
Submission Information:
This project focuses on the Rohingya community, who are now refugees in Bangladesh, and their daily activities of fishing. The hard and tough work they do in order to survive.

Resources: Prix Elysée by Musée de l’Elysée

We’ve been considering for a long time on how to better present photographers with resources to help them improve their craft and move forward in their careers. In this contemplation we decided to create a Resources section for the web page. On it, we will post opportunities like calls for submissions and resources such as helpful websites.

To kick off our first entry, please see the call for submissions for Prix Elysée by Musée de l’Elysée.

The Prix Elysée is open to promising photographers or artists using photography, regardless of nationality, who have already enjoyed their first exhibitions and publications. Photographers must be recommended by a reputed professional in the fields of photography, contemporary art, cinema, fashion, journalism or publishing. There is no imposed theme or preference for any particular photographic genre or technique.

Applications for the Prix Elysée 4th edition are open from January 1 until March 9, 2020 and are free to apply.

To learn more, we will be working to produce some exclusive interviews from photographers nominated in previous years.

For links to their applications and for more details, please see the links below.

Apply here

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Editor’s Showcase: Faces of Khlongtoey – Tim Russell

Name:
Tim Russell
Submission Title:
Faces of Khlongtoey
Country:
Thailand
Photographer Bio:
Originally from Coventry in the UK, I’ve been in Bangkok since 2012, prior to which I lived in Vietnam for just short of a decade. I’ve been a keen amateur photographer since about 2009, and am particularly keen on street and travel photography.
Submission Information:
Home to over 100,000, and a no-go area for many more others, Khlongtoey (aka Khlong Toey, Khlong Toei) is one of the last remaining parts of ‘Old Bangkok’ within the central business district. There has been a port here since the late 1930s, and people from all over Thailand – and beyond – have flocked here ever since to live and work, many of them living in tiny shacks within easy reach of the port and market. This is the Khlong Toey ‘slum’, as it’s locally known, and which I put in inverted commas as it’s not really a fair description – it’s certainly not as squalid as the slums you’d find in, say, Mumbai or Manila, and most of its residents are as houseproud as their circumstances allow. But nevertheless it is a marked contrast to the nearby skyscrapers and shopping malls of Sukhumvit and Silom, an area of poverty, drugs, crime and ill-health that Bangkokians tend to avoid, seeing it only from the flyover that passes above the shacks. This project began with my first visit to the slums in 2015, following several visits to the market. I’d begun following the local football team – Port FC – in 2014, most of whose fans come from Khlong Toey, and their friendliness convinced me that a visit to the slums might not be as bad an idea as one might think. And I was right – yes, I found an area that was poor, run down, even squalid in places, but I also found the friendliest people I’ve met anywhere in the city; people always happy to have a chat, pose for photographs, and share their drinks with me (usually beer or Thai whisky). Since that first visit I’ve been back at least 40-50 times, either on my own or escorting visiting photographers, and that first impression has never changed – I’m always made welcome. Sadly, the news for Khlong Toey’s residents is not good, with the area due to be levelled to be replaced by yet more condos and shopping malls within the next couple of years, and the locals moved out to who knows where. To better conditions perhaps, but at the expense of what strikes me as a strong community spirit and an area that, for all its negative points, has bags of character. I’ve set up this website to put my favourite Khlong Toey images in one place and to show another side to the area, one that will hopefully persuade others to visit and experience this unique part of Bangkok before it disappears for good.