ChatterArtists April 2011 – war – Allison Wright

With this month’s theme being “War” it was a perfect opportunity to show you photographers who are photojournalists. I have so much admiration for the work they do and the images they capture. For instance, many of you may have seen the recent NY Times Blog post “You Might Die Tonight” on the four photojournalists who were captured in Libya.

It is a terrifying read, and yet, not long after their safe return, one of them, and the only woman of the group Lynsey Addario, said she’s sure she will cover another war – “It’s What I Do!” More power to her!

And now for this month’s photographers, ladies first!

Alison Wright

First up is Alison Wright, a photographer I met through my friend Keith Barraclough, and I was very taken with her beautiful, bold work. When she’s not traveling the globe on behalf of National Geographic for example, she spends time working on her non-profit foundation “The Faces of Hope Fund” about which she says, “As a documentary photographer, I regularly travel world-wide and bear witness almost on a daily level to the dire needs and situations of the children of each of these countries. When you hear that over 230,000 were killed in an earthquake, the numbers are almost too much for us to comprehend. But when you look into the eyes of one child, the situation becomes more personal. My aim is to not only bring a face to the place and raise social conscious awareness, but to also see if there’s some financial assistance I can bring to the communities that I’ve worked in that have touched me so deeply.” Another of the projects Alison is involved with is “Ripple Effect Images” whose mission is to raise awareness and funding to help empower women and girls in emerging nations around the world. Ripple Effect’s extraordinary team of journalists includes not only Alison, but also Lynsey Addario (already mentioned in my introduction above) Ami Vitale and Annie Griffiths, to name but a few. Great work ladies!

Afghanistan, © Alison Wright

Karen Kasmauski

Next up we have another talented National Geographic photographer Karen Kasmauskiwho, when I emailed her about this month’s theme responded, “I don’t do wars, I end up doing the aftermath of disaster whether it be man made or natural.” No problem, I said, so in keeping with the recent earthquake in Japan and the compromised Fukushima nuclear plant, Karen suggested we check out her recent Blog post showing a couple of images from when she covered the Kobe earthquake, and being contaminated by the Chernobyl disaster two years after it happened. And as I write this bulletin, the latest on the Fukushima disaster is that the Japanese have begun dumping thousands of tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean! So besides her Blog be sure to check out Karen’s prolific body of work on her website as well.

A survivor of the 1995 earthquake in Kobe Japan anxiously waits as rescue workers search for her relatives.

© Karen Kasmauski

Radhika Chalasani

Continuing on with the ladies for a moment, we have photographer and a client of mine Radhika Chalasani. When we first met, she had recently completed a wonderful project called “Hurricane Graffiti: Katrina strikes the Gulf Coast” which can be seen on her website. The images she sent us for this bulletin however, are from the civil war in Rwanda. From her website, Radhika says, “Thousands of Rwandan refugees, who fled camps on the Rwanda-Zaire border at the start of the civil war in Zaire, rest in the jungles of Kisangani after a nearly six-month trek through the country. They made makeshift camps along the side of a dirt road where the UN and other aid agencies were able to reach them to provide food, medical aid and some kind of shelter. After more than two years as refugees they were finally ready to go home and waited for the UN to organize a way out of the jungle and the war and a return back to their homes in Rwanda.”

Rwandan Refugees

© Radhika Chalasani

And now for the guys!

Jason Florio

Some of you may recall Jason Florio’s work from a previous bulletin, but this time we are honored to showcase some of his very recent work, seen here for the 1st time by anyone! Entitled “The Longest Fight” Jason says, “Sixty two years ago in Karen State, Burma, the Karen people were forced into a David and Goliath conflict against the powerful authoritarian Burmese military regime who have been transfixed on eliminating them through a brutal and systematic policy of murder, rape, forced labor and the wholesale destruction of their villages. Six decades on, and now considered the world’s longest current running conflict, the Karen people continue to be brutalized in an ongoing pursuit to cleanse them from their homeland. Working on assignment in Karen State in 2010 I was enamored by the calm resilience of the Karen people, both soldiers (who are all non-paid volunteers) and civilians who all seem to possess a quiet determination backed up by their motto ‘never surrender’. So moved by the stoic and yet serene nature of Karen and horrified at their stories of the human rights violations against them, I decided to returned in February 2011, self-funded, to bring the face of the Karen people, and their highly under-reported struggle to survive against the brutal Burmese junta, to a greater audience in the hopes of affecting some positive change.”


Karen rebel fighters in Burma

© Jason Florio

Evan Abramson

Next up we have photographer and filmmaker Evan Abramson, who was introduced to me by Jason Florio, and whose film project is also mentioned in the ChatterNews section this month. These images Evan sent us are from Haiti, and on his website he says, “Before January 12th, 2010, there were more than 10,000 humanitarian and charity organizations registered in Haiti. Billions of dollars and donations later, the international presence is stronger than ever. Yet six months after the quake, 90% of the rubble still has not been removed, and women and children are being raped across the street from the government palace on a nightly basis. This series pairs night-time portraits of orphans from one of Haiti’s thousands of orphanages with images of destruction from the center of Port-au-Prince.”

Haiti, Post-earthquake

© Evan Abramson

Jared Katz

Next up is Jared Katz, who originally came to me as a client through Agency Access back in 2009. Currently, he is working in Bangkok at the UN World Food Programme, and he was able to send us some great images from the Bangkok protests. Be sure to go to his website to see the entire series along with his other work.

Anniversary of a coup, Bangkok

© Jared Katz

Daniel McCabe

And last, but by no means least, we have Daniel McCabe, whom I met along with his brother Michael, through Darryl Strawser at the Miami Ad School. Some of his images from the 2008 Kenya election violence were pretty graphic, but in the end we went with this one of a group of protesters displaying their weapons in Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum. This is about as good an illustration of Aries, and the God of War i.e. Mars, as it gets! And I want to commend Daniel along with all of the other photojournalists for their continued dedication and contribution.

Kenya election violence – 2008 – Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum. Protesters display weapons.

© Daniel McCabe