3 Episode results for "Lauren Walsh"
Lost Rolls America Telescope into the Past
"You're listening to the beach Taga fee podcast for over forty years being h has been the professional source for photography. Video audio and more for your favorite gear news, and reviews, visit us at B H dot com or download the bien h app to your iphone or Android device. Now, here's your host, Alan White's. Greetings, and welcome to the beach photography podcast. A few months ago at photo Ville, two thousand eighteen we had the pleasure of speaking to today's guests, Ron Haviv and Lauren Walsh about a project. They're working on cooled loss. Roles America, Ron Aviv is an EMMY nominated award-winning photojournalist, and co founder of the photo agency seven he's been dedicated to documenting conflict and raising awareness about human rights issues. He's worked in over one hundred countries covered more than twenty five conflicts and along the way has published four books, including blood and Honey, a Balkan war journal Afghanistan, the road to Kabul and Haiti twelve January two thousand. Ten his most recent book lost roles led to the project. We're going to be discussing today lost roles America. Lauren Walsh, should we also had the pleasure of speaking with it photo Ville is a writer and professor at both the new school and NYU. We, she's the director of the gallatin schools. Photo journalism lab Lauren is the editor of Macondo a photo book, documenting the long-term conflict in Colombia and co editor of the collection, the future of text and image. She's also the co editor of the millennium villages project of photography book on efforts to relieve extreme poverty, and sub Saharan Africa her latest book conversations on conflict, photography examines, the value of documenting war, and humanitarian crisis in the contemporary moment. She's also currently co directing with Rana Vive biography of a photo, a documentary film about two iconic images of conflict that have shaped the course of history. Welcome, lauren. Welcome Ron great to see you. Is again, like earned having us this project. We were talking just before the show started up, we've been reviewing it lately, and it's more than just pictures from rolls of film that people have finding it's an incredible insight into people's connection to photography. Before we start talking back bring us up to date about how this project started with two hundred rolls of film, and how it got to where it is today. Well, it started actually with a conversation with Dan Milner, a photographer, large in amazing expert on photography who works with blurb, the on demand publishing covering and blurb had just come out with new technology to do on traditional press photo books, and they were looking for people to work with to show how great the quality of these books were sedan came me today. Do you have an idea for a book, and I kinda thought about it, and we're kind of batted around snidey as and I said, you know, Dan, I've got, like thirty forty rolls of film in. A ziplock bag in my studio that I shot I don't really know what's on it. Maybe we should take a look at that. And said, sure, you know, we'll pay for the processing, which is obviously expensive, especially for freelance photographer, like myself. So I was like, okay great. It was sent off the film, and we got the pictures back, and it was like, oh, this is kind of interesting. It was a mix of personal and professional and sedan is kind of interesting. You know, I have another sixty seventy rolls of film. Okay. Come on. Let's let's do that one. We did that in law, this really getting interesting. So, Dan, you know, I have another hundred rolls that I found kind of basically going through my studio, and finding bags where former assistant to sort of talk them into filing cabinets and so on stuff. I didn't even know where it was collected as much as I could find and we processed all the film. And what kind of started out is one, a exercise, just get film developed, and then to kind of all of this could be come a gimmicky kind of thing all of a sudden turned into something much more serious. And as Dan and I started to look at the work as kind of came across and started to answer the question me about some of the photographs which were connected, of course, to my life about my memory, what I remembered, what I didn't remember and how we were looking at a number of the images had actual physical mold on it, and color shifts. And it was it was a mix of everything from processing. Coda chrome. In the black and white process lab to color nag to slide film that, you know, the greens shifted, and so on and, and other stuff like black and white film, Triax came out, like the shot twenty years ago, it was perfect, and that those sort of changes on the decoration, the film, started to mirror, my all sort of degradation my memory as I'm getting older. I was starting to realize that I wasn't remembering everything, and I was starting to look at photographs, and I would not know where these photographs were taken, I knew people were, I know what was happening and one of the things for throughout my career having documented, so many historical moments from nineteen eighty nine till present that people would often come to me and say, do you have a diary, or do you take notes and say, like, no, I don't because I know that whenever I look at a photograph I can tell you what's happening in that for rap what happened before. What happened after insanely couldn't I realized by not having? That connection of processing, the film within a certain period of time after shooting it, I lost that that bond between or the meta data creation. I lost it and this became one very disconcerting to me, again, kind of talking about my own kind of memory, but also the, the fascinating kind of exploration, and there were also like all of a sudden photographs, kind of appearing, all of a sudden of, of great friend allies on Boola, who was one of the founders with me at seven, who passed away a few years ago, and all of a sudden, she pops up on the screen at a wedding, and it was like all of a sudden these like bitter sweet like I'm so happy to see her she's smiling. She looks beautiful, but at the same time kind of ignoring the loss of a friend, or there was another series of photographs of these people middle-aged couple or maybe a little bit older. Looking at me, like I'm family. It was a kind of one of those family pictures. I had no idea who they were I went around to my family. Nobody else. Who, who they are to this day? And no idea why these people are on my phone, and then I wasn't your and it was your film, though. It was yes because there were other images on that role. I recognize but not right. Were there any chance that there would have been an incredibly important photograph in any of these films? I mean so, so happens a word on there were a few photographs primarily because, basically, I guess people the first questions people as a professional photographer. How did you wind up with so many roles that you never do out and actually cheesy? But also just to explain it, so basically. That's two hundred rolls of film is from twenty five years. Right. So you're talking about less than ten roles a year and what actually happened was, especially in the beginning of my career where was so expensive to process. I would go and shoot something on spec. Then I would pitch it and if nobody was interested, I would just put the rolls aside and said later, when I have money, I'll develop it, and they never happened. And then as I got more successful, I would say off to incitement for the New York Times, magazine and Kathy Ryan and say, okay, we want to shoot it this way in colored, I would doubt put all the energy into that. But it also have a two and a quarter black and white camera just to shoot gave her an option. And sometimes the editor weather's Kathy somebody else will say, yeah, we'll process it and other times it say now we're not really interested in also kind of put it aside. Or now, I know this is like again going way back to the days of film. But there were times when you're shooting in advance in New York, you're inside shooting, a press conference, you're shooting, tungsten, three twenty and all of a sudden you have to run outside. You've only shot five frames on that role. You rewind. I'll shoot it later, you put it in the bag. Then you go to the airport five times, you realize, oh, that we'll film is still there. I'm not going to give that to anybody put that aside. So it was kind of all these mix of different things and then stuff of my family or, or girlfriends, or so on kind of all getting kind of mixed up into pile, so that eventually winds up into this amalgamation of a lot of roles and kind of these little snippets of, of my life. And it was so this, this book, the loss roles became the sort of fascinating conversation about memory about the end of the analog error about my own life and the first thing that. This sort of conversation on the bigger picture was asked Loren Loren. I had met, we, she interviewed me for her book conversations on conflict photography in Lawrence, an expert, a memory and photography. So I asked her to write one of the essays in the book the book was published, and they went out on this book tour. And as I traveled around the United States, I would ask people who here has a roll of film undeveloped, in undeveloped, roll of film, that's exposed sitting in the camera box and almost always more than fifty percent of the audience would raise their hand and say, I don't know what to do with it. The phone amount is gone. I have no idea what to do this film, or there's no place to do it. Or we just put it aside and start shooting where their iphone or whatever or before that the instamatic. So there are all these different variations of things that replaced kind of traditional negative film shooting, and at that point, I was like, wait a minute. This is really interesting in that I started to hear stories like one friend of mine came to me and said. My father just passed away. My sisters went to the house to start cleaning up in he arrived, a day later or something like that. And he asked him like, what did you guys do they, and they said, oh, yeah. We found a bunch of film will obviously, there's nothing to do with it of film, so we threw them away. Oh. And that's not an unusual story that people think like this is basically useless that are start throwing away their film and all sudden it's like, wait a minute. This could be a real opportunity, a call to action like to save these memories that are locked away. Exactly, like what happened with me. So basically that was the sort of the birth of loss, roles America, and then basically asking Lauren to get involved in Robert peacock on to get involved on. We decided to expand this and most importantly, we brought Fuji film America on board who are processing scanning the film, free. I mean, this is all for free, and then we're cricketing to crack otherwise. Major piece. So this is a huge part. In Lauren talk a little bit more about the value of this public archive because it's pretty it's pretty unique. I think one fast question I do have you when you start asking people if they had rules of film is about fifty percent of the audience would have film ranges, from Eleni all to up. Okay. So there'd be millennials who's like when they were fifteen were given a camera and shot it. And then just toss it aside to what percentage of these people said, I don't even know it's on this role compared to people said, you know, I have is film. I know it's on it, but I never developed any idea what the ratio between unknown mysteries. And I'd say the majority did not know what they say. I'm really not sure what's on new based on what I read in the archive description. Okay. So just immediately put out, which is obviously the first the next question, somebody will ask is, I don't want you looking at my. So we set up a system, another important partner in the project is photo shelter, and so what photos, the film gets scanned at CRC labs here. New York sent over to photo shelter to secure website that only the viewer can see viewer then chooses. The one one or two images are right about they can download the scans the negatives again. Then get returned to them. And basically, we don't we don't go and look at the work is completely Mitch determined by by the so you haven't used that you end up keeping with it. They ended up donating to the project who owns those pictures. Is it a shared copyright, you own them how we have the rights to use the photographs it's part of the agreement? Okay. Submit to use the photographs in relationship to anything connected to loss roles America. Gotcha. But we can't I can't go and give the extra Getty or sell it to coke Farren. I would immediately goes, I'm a photographer. I'm obviously. The Tigers and you don't take a look at the, the other the only they choose the ones they want and the rest are unknown to you guys pretty and how do you feel about that aspect of it? And wondering as a photographer and editor, whoever, you know what if there's something much better on that role and what's more interesting or that's of no concern? It's really their memories and there, it's a power of that archive and learn go more into it. It's exactly what it is. I think it's a different way of thinking about what is better or best when it comes to Darby, it's not about the composition, or the visual per se. But it's, it's the combination between what you're looking at and the, the memories in stories if people decide to share. So I think often I mean, I don't know what else is on those roles in film, and I don't know what stories don't get shared. But there are some incredibly heartwarming and devastating and powerful and important stories that have wound up in the archive anybody's, you know what I don't wanna share any of these. Is that happened? Yeah. There have been people who've submitted roles and then not uploaded to the archive from. And have conversations continued with these people afterwards about this stories. I mean obviously long enough to document them and get them in the archive, but have they? I don't know. Have they gone further than what you thought they might have some of these stories in the relationship of the people. Well, there's run per is a few that we've started to follow up on one particular one, it's the oldest photographs in the archives from nineteen fifty and after it was submitted an appeared in the archive, we recognize this is special it's, it's really a it's a very old photograph. And so we reached out to the woman who had submitted it saying, we'd like to learn a little bit more. I think she initially submitted it and she wrote a post World War Two or something should get kinda vague date, but we wanted to know the specifics of it, because normally people try to get a specific as possible, and she did a little bit of research spoke to family members, and it, basically opened an entire world of family lineage to them. So she came back with the date of nineteen fifty and then started telling us things like this is a photograph of my mother, when she was eighteen years old. She survived the war. It's the last photograph ever taken of. Her in Europe before she came here, as an immigrant to the United States, and I'd always heard this story, but I'd never seen the image of it. And then she started learning about her own family history, and connecting with family members shedding spoken to so that was one story that we dug into this info more than will come out like that. No. Can I go back to your quick second about the lost roles your left rolls? Did you find difference in terms of your memory of photos that you had that were personal photos and photos that were work related or coverage related in terms of how you could remember or what came back to you? Why did remember all the girlfriends so that was? All right. But yeah, yeah, it was nice to family photographs or other things photographs, some photographs that I had remembered taking but could never find. There's one photograph while I was a Newsweek photographer at the White House and during Clinton years. And I remember photographing in the Oval Office the carpet with eagle, and I was like, where's this photograph where I where what happened to the fixture and also now it kind of popped up in, in one of these roles? So that was it was kind of interesting 'cause sorta, like some memories kind of became complete and we're we're finished. And then all of a sudden, other ones were broken and answers will most likely never never come about. Photograph like used mansion. You shot for Newsweek in the White House. And now you suddenly have this picture after a zillion years, who actually owns the picture now is, that's still considered a Newsweek photograph or if this is a freelance, photographer Ibos on the. Copyright dole canework? All right. That's okay. And did you find anyone who in our in our in Las was America who didn't develop the, the role of film for a specific reason, like they didn't want to develop it because they might have been something on there, that would have been too painful to remember. Or was it more about? Mistakes are things that were overlooked, or the switch to digital. And in those areas, there was one person who we have spoken to interviewed, and he had a roll of film from nineteen sixty nine hundred sixty nine he didn't say, specifically. I don't wanna see what's on it. But it was from when he was eighteen years old. And he had just finished a his final tour in Vietnam. And which had, of course, been a a mixed bag for him. And he was not sure he couldn't remember what was on that roll of film, whether it was the final final period in Vietnam or his first roll of film, shot back home in California, kind of beach party. And then he seemed to just kinda delay like I don't know what it is. I don't necessarily want to see some of this any held it for a really long time in. We didn't exhibition in California, and he read about it in the newspaper came. Over to see us in handed us his role of film. Whoa. What did he what was the takeaway for them was stuff that he wanted to see at the end of the day? Or do you don't know is interesting story will were shooting a series of films on, on low souls, America's starting off with the, the story of the, of the immigrant coming to America in the second film will be a story about this about this marine and the role? What happened with that role of films, or I think we're gonna leave it as a. This is a fantastic story. That's great. But what you touched on the subject that you are now working on a film project based on the archive. I think it's an amazing idea. I think you're right. And I think this has been proven we've done now to, to physical exhibitions of lonsdale's America. We have these, the exhibitions were designed in part by Roger Corman also designed, the loss, roles book, and we, we had this concept basically came out of the conversation by law romano's from UPI, the people that produce photo Ville, Laura, suggested us having this retro camper like kind of this representation of Americana. And so at photo Ville, and later at the month of tiger fee, we took we got campers. We gotta white picket fence, we got astroturf lawn pink flamingos. Picnic tables also thing designed inside, the, the camper, with lawsuits, America's staff, one of the most interesting things that we did was that. Well, I the prints we have prince all around the camper on the fences and so on, and the prince would they have the photograph the name of the photographer and a quote from what they wrote in an inside we recreated, what people wrote in terms of like photo journals and letters, and so on. And we had people go into the camper and sit there for forty five minutes reading all the stories. I mean forty five infotel where there true dozens of exhibitions, and so on? There was a line times, waiting to get inside the camper to sit there and read and flip through the photo albums, and the journals and saw. And I think it is just. It is an incredible. And the same thing happened in I tell tell the story about the guy in LA. There was one person who showed up to the camper that we had set up there. And he was he was with someone who's the friend, and they were walking, we had a bunch of the prince hanging on the outside of the camper, and they were walking around methodically reading everything. But they're moving very slowly. So I went up to introduce myself to them and to ask them how their experience was an attorney that one of the two of them was blind, but he wanted to see the exhibition anyway. So he went with a friend who described every single photo to him and read every single quote world. Yeah. Yeah. That was the pros by a lot of the people, and I'll be like the questions that you have, you know, you ask them about what, what they think other people will think of this image and a lot of them alive. Just think it's boring or whatever. But it's it's not playing it's actually kind of fascinating when you dig into it, and I found myself. Yeah, I thought I was done. I want to click on that one. And then I want to click on this one, but do you. Everything that gets submitted and chosen up on the archive, or is this, or will it be, or do you guys decide? Okay. You know what we just wanna keep this certain amount or how much? Rating. It's publicly curated. So one of the things that we really treasure about the archive is, if you think, historically, the way archive's work. They're, they're traditionally, run by some one or some few people like whether it's a curator or a historian and that person has the decision making power to say this goes into my archive and that does not want America. So something's get marginalized or never seen, or thrown away from history. So we wanted to return that decision making power to the public. So we have no say, over it in that sense. It's a completely democratized archive where anyone who submits gets to pick how they're represented what gets represented about them, and to, to tell the story in their own voice is the order. When you opened up the side, obviously, this the first pictures seen keep going down. Is there any method to that order, as at this point is chronological? Okay. So the ones you see. I are the last ones that have been okay. Have you discovered? Any rolls of film net. I just dropped it amazing as far as being amazing photographs of people who should have maybe been celebrated. But it just just photographers on their own. It'd be like Vivian Maier Japan or anything like that. I mean, just anybody who syfy go. This is just amazing. I think there have been snatched mental pictures. We only see ever one or two by anyone Petar her. I really loved that photograph of the little girl that's taken in Spain. It's quite beautiful. That's as nice as anything you'll see in the museum, and it's a Disney see the hell of it was it was at a Triax rule held that seems to been preserved have you noticed kind of lack of wind holds up from nineteen fifties? One twenty Triax try excellent nineteen fifty and it's like the blacks were punchy and what format do except in. Don't accept in is any obviously coda chrome, but almost everything else CRC can can do. And then for few specialty. Places. We found a lab in Pennsylvania. That's got a few barrels of specialty in quality chemicals that they're a few unique types of films. So we've been pretty pretty lucky almost almost all roles, but if anybody is questioning whether they should send in the film, just send us an Email will double check make sure we can process. It's kind of erotic that coda chrome, which is probably the most stable color process in the planet that ever existed. You can't do anymore. But, I mean, I've seen KOTA crumbs from World War, Two that are still spectacularly. So think the ice oh six or something like that would three ridiculous. But the colleges still bowl, they hold up utilizing act crew in the sixties and seventies forget about it Siobhan and how much would you say this is about nostalgia? And I don't necessarily mean that negative way. But in the style for the film era, nostalgia, for the life that, you know, someone used to have. I mean love photos, aren't that old there from the two? Thousand so we're not talking about, you know about two thousand. Nineteen years ago. Yeah. That's quite a quite a ways if you think especially in the world of tiger. I wouldn't. I'm not sure I would put this season a Stelter project, I think obviously memory kinda crosses into that, but it really is kind of this exploration of people in the way that they remember their own lives, and be self identify with something from certain period of time. I mean, there's some incredible things that are have been written our members is willing very simple nights that are out of a woman at a fountain black and white photograph from nineteen sixty nine in the in the guy's writing like this is this is me-meeting my wife, the last fifty years of just been the most incredible times in my life. And that's like that's the beginning of their relationship. And then on the flip side, there's really heart wrenching on tax from the woman photograph, it's like a bad flash photograph for holding a baby with her husband, and she's writing. Basically, every decision she meant she made went wrong and the love there was gone, and you have no idea like, what, like what happened that there's I think one one photograph from a picture of a woman standing at the edge of the cliff, and the and she writes writes, in paraphrasing, some the point of subunits picture unless you know what happens next. Well, so. So you want to know what happened when she doesn't say right right, right? Right. Actually. And whatever learn about memory in relation to, to photograph from this, obviously, you study this, and this is your, your field of, of expertise, but as I'm getting older, too, you know, I realize a lot of my memories are really just photos that I've looked at over the years. You know, I don't even know. I can't even distinguish between, you know, my fifth five year old birthday party and the one photo that's left from it. So are we, you know, kind kinda forever doomed to, to pass to give up the control of our memory to two images? We have to see it as forever doomed. I think they can be helpful because memory it, you can't retain everything. So it's, it's nice to have these external tools that will help you hold onto pieces of it, and what you're describing with over time. The, the photo itself kind of replaces the experiential memories is really common. I think one of the things that's so nice about this process is. Aside from some of the photographs leading toward these wistful on or sad? Moments what I often notice is that there's something magical happening because these aren't the photos that people have looked at again. And again, and again and again, the point and instead they get this glimpse into some moment from their past that they probably haven't thought about in a long time in all of a sudden there, it is before them, and there does seem to be a flood of memories that come back once they're looking into the Pat. I mean it's kind of for me, it seems like this telescope into the past. It's really remarkable, especially photographs. You look out and you're like, what, what is this? There's like a photograph of flash photograph of feather, on a floor now willow branch willowbrook. Yeah. Good. Really sad. The picture of like, like pussy will it was like lying on the wooden floor. And I looked at it, and I, I did I confess. I was like, why did they submit this one? It just looked boring in strange. And then I read her the photographers memories. And she again, it was, it was a moment of like the past coming back to her. And she says something along the lines of our remember snapping that branch and running my fingers over the little pussy, willow the bud and feeling its softness and thinking, how could something so soft and fragile existence such a terrible world, and it was the day that someone she knew had died. So brought back in brought back sad memories for she wrote very beautifully about it. But when you read her words alongside the image than all of a sudden, the image is tremendous image. It's wonderful. You just triggered a memory for me of a photograph. Many, many, many years ago decades ago. I went back to the neighborhood where my mother grew up in Brooklyn, and is able to get into the building was a four story. Walkup on sixty Fifth Avenue or something like that. And. I remember going there as a kid 'cause my it was my grandparents. They lived swiped spin weekends there. And it was the old time stairways with the marble warned marble steps in the la- black and white tiles. And it was just pure nineteen forties. And I took a picture with window lay. There was a window in the hallway just hitting those stairs. And I took a picture of it, and I had shown it to my mom that a week later and she started crying. She goes, those are the steps between the second and third floor going to my mom's apartment. Right. Grew up. That's right. Sat and cried when my sister went for an operation, I thought I'd never see her again. She has that picture hanging in room. Now today, she's ninety five but that picture just stopped her in through into tears and was like, wow. So there's a lot of power to photographs. Yeah. That's exactly it is this archive is another conversation about the power of photography. And what it means to us. As, as people on his tool of capturing our memories, reminding us being there as the storm markers for certain points over live, which is why I think this project is so important, because a lot of this film slash these memories are being lost and attempt to could to remind people not to throw out there film come come to office is not find a lab. Don't let it just disappear as he though, kind of regarding this point, you've taken, obviously some historic photos and powerful photos. And in another sense, has this project kinda force you to kind of re reassess what a power of an image can be, or is this something you kind of always knew? And you're just kind of seeing it now in individual cases. But maybe when you're young, you, you know, you know, I need to make this dynamic utilise immeasurable show, everybody, what's going on in a certain place in powerfully blow blow them away. But it doesn't you know, it could be a photo of a of a willow branch. Yeah. Absolutely. I think I'm not sure reassessed, but certainly, I think appreciate the, the range, I teach a lot. I teach a lot of workshops in often apt to remind students that they don't have to go to some warzone or use political story to be able to tell a story that will have impact that can be in their house, in their backyard, and so on. And this is kind of along those lines again, kind of the range of power that photography can have. We're going to take a short break in combat with more about lost roles America. Stay tuned. We hope you're enjoying this edition of the H photography podcast. Send us a tweet at be h photo video Pash tag, h photo podcast. Okay. We are back a few more questions. We have here, do you think this project could work with digital images? I mean, obviously, there are we take a lot of images and some of them, we may never look at so to some degree. They're forgotten their set aside. And we may I mean I don't know about you guys. But sometimes I do school through my my phone. I, I see a photo that I didn't remember taking or from two or three years ago, and my kids are a little younger, whatever. So do you think that, that this is idea this project is tied to, to film, necessarily it's interesting because typically the way people talk about digital photography. Is that you see the picture immediately Z? Don't you necessarily don't have the same kind of delay that you have with analog film? And we were really interested in what happens when it's not just the typical delay of I, I finished this role film, and I got it processed right away, but the delay becomes five years or ten years or fifteen years or twenty years, I don't know, maybe lost market two point oh and some point in the future. You could think about that. But we're pretty tied to the idea of film for me, one of the big differences. Analog individual is, is the mandate, and especially if you're taking photographs on your phone, or through, or using newer cameras that have wifi GPS in base, like. You're always gonna most likely know the date. Yeah. We'd probably also get no location. If you're using face recognition through apple or something else, you could chances of people often photograph identified once. So this kind of idea about digital having images, you've really have no idea what's going on, like nothing is almost impossible, as opposed to the fact that most people were finding film in their closets. Or. You know, drawers whatever would there's nothing written on. It doesn't say anything that there's no meditated have no idea. They might remember which camera was that's about it or the like. So is that great aunt, so and so or, you know, there's and that's you know, the whole family kind of aspect the family album, even forget about even film unprocessed some most people can identify the people in their family albums. Unless somebody realm. Everything's so I think it's kind of this concept is, is while can be there can be morphed ideas within within the digital world, it really is his commentary about kind of the analog, the sort of even though there's a resurgence of analog film, it's obviously never going to be what it used to be. And so it is trying once again, come this, this rescue operation for all these rolls of film that are out there. I think the ultimate rescue. I've heard about took place about twenty twenty five years ago. There was a family out in the mid west that was selling off the family on that had been in the family for like four generations and up in the attic. They found a box camera brownie from the early nineteen hundreds and it was a roll of film in it. And somebody had the thought processing, let's send this to Kodak and see what they can do. And in fact, the gotta response that we did a little clip. There's something on that we might be able to salvage his and see what's on it. We just gonna do it. With the backstory, was that the great grandmother of the of these kids were selling with family farm, when she was about twelve years old was given a brownie for her birthday. This is like nineteen o nine nine hundred ten whenever these cameras, I came out, and she gathered everybody on the front porch of the farmhouse and took a picture, and then put away the camera. And then there was a wedding or graduation, or somebody was born, and she would gather everybody and took another picture. And the film was never developed, and they are able to develop the film and actually make prince and they sent all the survivors, leather bound, albums of essentially their ancestors, who they were then able to identify based on the fact, that's grandma taking the picture, and that's a mom and her grandmother and that and grandma, never even saw these pictures, but a great grandkids did. And I think that's probably the most unique story I've ever heard about salvaging role the film, we've had in the couple of years ago. A guy who has called the rescued film project. Okay. And we also had Kendra from the Vietnam, slide project, that little different, but similar, and have you come across other folks, that are doing similar things, and you see, like kind of this common, and of desire to look back at, at the analog era and reevaluate some degree. But is really I think what rescue film projects doing is really noble. And great. And there are few other other projects, are you find garage sale? You find film or something like that. There's another, there's a guy in China's collecting negatives found in dumpsters doing says, really some very cool things going on. But very specifically for loss foles America. This really is about that personal relationship to the role. So can't we're not interested if you found. Roll of film weird orphaned felony yet. Senate rescue that's their what they do really well. But if it's your film of your family's from you have a connection to it because as much as we're interested in the photograph, we're interested in very interested in, in feel, very importantly, connect twos, that memory. And that's it's the commentary is the memory. That's what I think, I think more degree is what makes this project unique amongst a connection between. There's you're writing about right. And what does this mean for you? Let me as though I mean, the, the people are selecting their photo, and then you go up into the archive, but you guys are I mean, in terms of the exhibition, somebody must be selecting those images. I I'm assuming that's not just a random selection. Right. I mean so some sort of curation is going on. At least when you're exhibiting, the exhibitions, we tried to incorporate every single photo you do in some form. Am I guess my question was really more about this idea that with degradation? Sometimes an of course, there's a history of experimental photography and film where, you know, burn. The film or some kind of destruction to the film is part of the, the art. Have you come across you know an image that is maybe you can't even tell who's in it. But it just has this beautiful color or shapes or forms that are separate from the memory and you want include that or based on what you just said. That's we're not. We're not choosing. Right. But people are choosing images like that, and writing about whatever they think happened that day zone, but even for myself the cover of loss roles it's a photograph from a protests in the West Bank and the negative is covered with mold. And when you scan it comes with his trindon's, beautiful, sort of golden Brown, and kind of the, the photo, God's blessed this negative because they basically just sort of frame around the, the, the main protester in a way that, you know, away, basically, when I show it to people, they're like such a cool filter. How did you do that? Perfect. So. Using things that are happening in creating these different experiences through through the film, especially through with with degradation. Yeah, yeah. And I guess, in some way, there's, there's no way to get away from the digital. If there's a scanning involved or digital printing involve, and there may be some, some change to the image. This was a very big concern of ours. So what we did what I did for my book, and what we're doing for on the exhibitions Bhagat, one of the best free touches in the country, Becky Manson from a company called the post office, and she would look at each negative, and she would say is a lot of the stuff he could make perfect in Photoshop. Yeah, and she said, no, this is the damage of the negative. And this is as far as you should go, because this is what it really looks like as opposed to let's just fix it all, which would be like kind of the auto Matic feel so she examines each negative and says this is this is the correct representation. I respect that because I'm in the process of scanning zillions of coda crumbs, I shot over the years. And I got to a point where mice scans were better than the originals in some ways, I'm opening up shadows. I'm holding back the highlights in I'm doing control that I know that when these pictures were taken, they would never be reproduced that will either print or in a magazine. There's no toys about it. So I get what you're saying, and I think that's important that the scanning and the restoration process. Okay. Should they kept to what it should look like back then? So there's scratches there's dust. Yeah. I mean, not does created by the processing, but something embedded in, like, that's it. And people are like no can't can't we clean this up like, no, you can't. But it's touchy. Want want we wanted to be represented as, as it is. And you find a difference in, in responses, and, or the comments that come from folks who are photo professionals are in the photo world as opposed to, you know, somebody who isn't a regular person in that sense, or when it comes to these kind of did. Yeah. Yeah. But professional or amateur, it's same. He didn't know the professional by name, you would not be able to tell based on the comment, but other coded remembers. Yeah, it's, it's they're not writing as professional photographers. They're writing as a person with an intimate connection to a photo. They haven't seen ever before very much like a diary. Yeah. It reads very much like a diary, it's age of. Yeah. Yeah. And that's the beauty of it. I think it's one of the real, nice things that I really like about the archive that requires that connection between photographer and image that specific to lost roles America is that when you zoom out, and you look at a breath of images in the archive, you start to see you start to see the way America wants to represent itself. Right. If when you turn over the power of who are you and how do you want to be remembered historically, then you see how the population sees itself. And so we see trends in the archive, they're less dominated by the visual aspects of what makes a good, quote unquote. Good photo and their dominated more so by themes. So some of the things that you can look back over decades in the things that people will self select our family childhood travel pets loaves, yet, loss loves of it's really nice to see, like who is America. How does America wanted to find? Itself. Like what these don't go down in the history books, but they're so important. There's no interest in in at this point. Anyway, in blending roles from some someone was another country or another culture necessarily know but there will be Israel's Japan Ross roles Europe loss, wells, yeah, for sure. I mean, this is not a film, the Sylmar film situation is not unique to America in the what is. But what is interesting to follow up on lorrimore saying is kind of like the next generation of our national tour is basically inspired by this very idea. So I was standing in front of one of the exhibition 's and looking at a photograph of two two young kids playing with a quote from the mom, Heather to white kids in the African American woman, walked over and looked at it. And she goes, yeah, those are my kids, that's, that's what it's like to be a mom, and it was right there, where registered to me, like what loss was America was representing was this idea. Area of being American how in actuality were actually more like than different and given today's political climate where you're red? I'm blue I'm anti, you're pro in actuality using what Lauren just said about these shared experiences, where Christmases in holidays. All these different things that people can kind of look at and see themselves in is something that we're really going to explore the ideas for, for when the, the next tour is that will will say to the next city that were coming to in a few months. Hey, we're coming to your city, sending your film. They'll send in their film. We'll have a dedicated portion of the exhibition, which will be just for that place. And then we're going to invite people that sent in their film to come and speak with each other, not their experiences based on film. So I was talking to teenager democrat talking Republican, but not talking about politics is talking about family shared exactly, like what's so cool about this photograph or growing up here, whatever, and I think it's I think it could have such a really incredibly positive effect on on the communities that we're going to go visit Tony. I looked at sorry, the one of a set of kids, and I guess it was the Philadelphia marathon. I don't know why that one's struck me so much. I just read. The comment, and it was just a, you know, mom remembering that day and looking back at her kids and talking about how they've grown and come to where they are now. And it just had touched me, etc. You, you know, it's weird how these little things will get the, you know, it really is, again, going back to the amount of time that people spent at the exhibitions this resonates surprises anything that you didn't even it didn't even Joe on on you up front, that might be coming out of all of this, the peop-, the people are, are so interested in, in stories that on the surface, you would think were like. And margin Monday. And they're just like no. This is like, wow, in interesting connected. This is me and this is my cousin and this is this, this that and also this opportunity for them to express the people that contributed, we have the contributors who also viewers, and then we have just the viewers and kinda that interaction between those groups are for me been incredibly fascinating to watch. I think the pictures themselves are, again, mostly mundane, but the comments are just as rich as they get and to me, that's it's a photographic project. But to me, it's more about reading and getting into people's heads. And just seeing how people should buy me out and cameras have been in. They've been a part of American culture for over a century there in home. So they they're they're, and they're documenting all the, the quote unquote unseen moments and those moments all add up to this history that, that doesn't usually get paid attention to. And I think. I guess it's kind of what we've been saying, but I, I think that for me is really remarkable that people want to know other people's stories, they want to share their stories, and they see connections between themselves and others and wanna know other people's stories, which was, which was why we have sort photo wings, who gave us a grant to develop a curriculum for high school students on which Lauren can expel bit more about is the photo wings supporting this. It's a national high school curriculum. I am working on it with generation human rights, the phenomenal organization that does educate material works really smartly with visual materials, and the thought is okay, we've got this rising generation that doesn't even know what a film based photograph is actually we had a bunch of third graders. I think visit us at photo Ville. And they loved it. They came inside the camper, and they sat down. They looked at the pictures. There was one picture of a bunch of corgis dogs, and they were all like, oh, I love dogs. And so I started talking to them about their family photo albums. And they said what else? They said, what's an album, but they love the experience of looking at photographs. They really sat there for a long time. They look through the book just as all the adult visitors do. So the curriculum is with that generation in mind, and it's a, a bit on history of photography. But it takes loss roles of architects the archive as a starting point for what is an archive. What's the value of documenting our own lives? How do we document those lives? What's the value of photography will kind of histories, can you learn from photography? What kind of how can you tell your own story? You're family story, your generation store your community story using photography such a it's such a magical compelling medium from that these third graders who didn't know what a photo album was wanted to know. More. Can you talk about what we mean? What plans in hopes you have for the project coming coming up with forward? Not necessarily will please tell talked about the tour anything else. But, you know going to Japan we're at opening it up in another. Entry or monetize ING it. Or what, what thoughts are they're going forward? All those okay. I think I mean their curriculum hopefully it will be finished soon. And then I think we're they're expecting it to be available for schools for twenty twenty twenty time. And the tour the tour is intended does that is that something that you then present to the schools as an option? Would you like to incorporate this curriculum into your social studies class or you're you're arts class? And then they say they'll purchase it or something. So it's for free. Yeah, it's, it's generation human rights dot org. And that's where this schools are teachers can locate it and it does meat high school core standards, so that it's, it's, it's a great curriculum, but it's also fulfilling what students need to be learning. It's Wilson but gathering these random rolls of film. Yeah. We are asking students to work with their families to look backwards at what their own family archives are like, but it's, it's also meant for a rising generation, so it's not too. We're not throwing away the digital right in a lot of students will use computers in use their views. But it's thinking about the value of photography archives with a starting point of understanding where did start for to photography star in what is analog film, what's its relationship to today in, what's the role of memory in history, and, and very much the, the average person, the average person is part of this role of documentation tour, as well, as I mentioned before we're gonna. Try to engage in these community discussions and go from place to place as well as to continue to build to build the archive, which I think needs needs to grow more, and more. And I think be as more as representatives America as, as possible, and to have to have some impact, and then I think we'll simultaneously start to use this idea overseas in, in other countries on, I think it'll be really interesting to whether we have to decide would be whilst rose zero in was the concept of European or would it be per country on? So that's, that's a discussion that we're having now is also the fact that there a resurgence in analog in film, I mean, as you can tell by walking through, you know, most neighborhoods in Shirley, whoever you know what I mean. But so we'll see how that plays out to in the years to come. I before we get to maybe talking some nuts in Bolton and how we can kind of ask some of our listeners if they want to control. Bute. How does does does this project? Give you a similar sense of satisfaction than, as might, you know, going out on assignment and coming back with some, some great photos. I mean, is that it's interesting because, you know, both biography photo, which is looking back at the three of two photographs over the course a more than thirty years, and how they impacted the world and this is kind of all related to memory and what's happened, the power, the power of photography. And so, and then aspect I think it's for me been certainly very satisfying. I still without question enjoy going out and photographing in showing the world mind petition of molasses Simon was going working on the key doing the caravan. So those, those things are so incredibly important to me. I kind of wish I just had which was a couple of extra days of the week. So they're more time to to do things. But I think you know, by having specially for this project. By partnering with Fuji film, with photo shelter with photo wings and then working with people like Lauren just enables us to, to really have some pretty important impact. And I think having impact is, is, is really important and is something that you've always kind of considered and thought about, as you were, you know, young photographer working on assignments, this idea of memory and what were these photos mean in thirty years or not, if I if I had thought of that I would have written things down. So, so tell us then, you know. Any of, you know, the, the requirements that people need or what they can submit, how it works. I know it's out on the website. But if you wanna throw it is open to any American or any or anybody that has photographed in America. And if you go to loss roles America dot com there and you look at purchase under the participate tab it will give you a list of, of what you need to do. But it's it really is pretty simple on, there's basically a sheet to download you fill that out. You send it in it goes to, to photo shelter where Sophia Adams who's working with us will will collect your film and bring it over to Searcy lab, where it'll get processed scanned and uploaded back to photo shelter. And then we will contact you by Email will kind of keep you each stage. You'll be alerted. What's how, how often do you get a roll film come in there? Got. Got costly because coming kind of thing. Yeah, this is very much like what they used to call time capsules where they'd stick bunch of things into a metal tube in buried under the flag pole in front of the school for twenty thirty forty years, except it's happening in real time. But it is the past, and it's an interesting dynamic where it's a time capsule. That's evolving all the time in growing in jet fan volume at the same time and ain't going to get lost. And then you ask before what are something that we can looked at new or thought about a new in one of the things I absolutely love about the project is just getting to see life through all these different perspectives. It's just it's, it's pretty incredible. You get to step into other people for random as it gets too. Yeah. It's really nice. So we definitely encourage all your listeners. He'll go check out the closet, the drawer. Ask your parents going going home for holiday to dig in the attic. I mean it's amazing like how many times we've heard from people now have no film. And then they come back a couple of days later. Oh, yeah. We've found roll of film that kitchen Rory Eban thinking all the time. We're, we're could sign of these films for myself is really amazing after I did the book after the book came out, I opened up a door filled with cameras. I picked up a camera context g to, and I went and I realized I still have one more roles. Yeah. Yeah. Holding onto. I have six cameras at home, and I think three of them have film in it. I don't even know what you're feeling. Today you go. Join us. I definitely will. Okay. By the way, all of this information will be on our website and be easy to access. In the meantime, before people can get there. If, if people wanna start getting jump stowed on things. What websites should they go to loss souls? America dot com Orleans ructions, or there, send in the film. And when you know few weeks if not sooner will will be sending you scans and win. We'll be seeing the first episodes of the video or the film versions of this Wednesday can start happening, the film should be finished up pretty soon. It was done with the grant from Solberg institute on a migration at the new school because it's a film about it's that immigrants male. Uh-huh. So the new school may be the first screening of it. And then the fall, right. Ideally, and then the film series goes forward from there. Rica moment. They look at it picture just randomly and said, wait a second. I have a connection to this just somebody who didn't not send a picture in, but they're going through the site and they go. Hey, wait a second that sort of college age girl shows up, and she says, I'm looking for a particular photo. Did you finally locates it ends a picture of a three year old girl sitting on a horse, and she said, oh, that's me? My mom told me to come find this. The caption is, is very sweet. I'm going, I'm not going to remember it. Exactly. But it's something along the lines of it may be like on the day. The picture was taken the three year old girl was fussing and the mom was having a hard time, and she said, I thought it was stubbornness, but I realized it's actually her Tennessee, and she's grown up over the years. I really admire her as today, Shas person. And then, so she posed next to her, three-year-old, self from. We took a picture. And she sent it to her mom. Be really, you know, the memories of the photo taker, and in this case, the mom compared to the daughter and, and, you know, obviously memories from person to person can change a lot. But it's interesting to hear these stories that's for sure. Engagement on Instagram to kind of nice. Dining room at lost roles America. Okay. And those aren't always people who are in the archives. So it's nice to see conversations about photos from people who aren't the submitter or the subject. The polluting okay, Lauren Walsh, front of thank you so much. Great talking to you guys again. And again, all of the information will be on the site if you wanna follow up on this, it's well worth following up on, it's a terrific series. And you lose yourself a few hours looking at these photographs and reading the comments that go along, and there's some fabulous stories going on in here. Meantime, if you're not a subscriber to the beach, photography podcast, it is never too late. You can subscribe on apple podcast, Google podcast, Stitcher overcast and Spotify, and you can always find this on the being h explorer website, not to mention the being h photography podcast, Facebook group, which is growing every day and till next show on behalf of chase. And John and myself. Thank you so much for tuning in today.
"You're listening to the beach Taga fee podcast for over forty years being h has been the professional source for photography video audio and more for your favorite gear. News and reviews. Visit us at bien h. dot com or download the an h app to your iphone or Android device. Now, here's your host, Alan White's feedings and welcome to the bean photography podcast unto starry skies. We return this year to Brooklyn Bridge park and photo Ville. Two thousand eighteen photo villas a two week photography festival that features Thawra of gallery shows and exhibitors. Most of them situated in repurpose shipping containers. It mission is absolutely free, though donations are greatly appreciated. Once you enter, you can listen in on lectures, watch videos a learn about taking tin type portraits from the nice folks over at the pin number foundation. There's also a food and beer garden and photographs are everywhere, but a majority of the exhibitions are housed in shipping containers. And like last year we wanted about the events speaking with the Taga Fers editors and exhibit curator's first up, we're going to speak with Michael Lorenzini of the New York City municipal archives who alone with Matthew minor organized a show from the archive of the WPA federal writers project. We spoke with Michael about this impressive collection and his thoughts about the mission of the municipal archive, which he's been part of for over two decades. We stay in the new cruise. We speak with teachers and students from to New York City high schools, the high school of fashion industries, and my alma mater the high school of art and design. We had a chance to talk about the long standing photography programs and their current exhibit telling a story and selling an idea from there. We head over to an exhibit consequences slash consequences, which was organized by photographers from Shabbat Mexico. After a short break, we're going to return with Ron Viv and Dr Lauren Walsh of the seven foundation. Exhibit the focus of our chat is their upcoming film. Biography of a photo which traces the impact of two photographs. Ron Aviv took early in his career which have left indelible marks on the countries in which they were taken not to mention pretty much everybody who's viewed these photographs. Our next stop is to contain a curated by the authority collective and their exhibit the littlest thirty under the radar photographers. Here we're going to speak with members of the collective and photographer Arlene Geraldo whose work is included and we wrap up this visit. Fota Ville two thousand eighteen by speaking with curator Krista Dick's from the Los Angeles based gallery wall space, creative about their exhibit internal ballistics. Let's start with Michael Lorenzini from the New York City. Municipal archives with Michael Lauren's Zini with the WPA archive. We got some amazing black and white photographs. They go back decades specifically from the w. Which the nineteen thirties, correct? Yeah. The WPA was part of the Roosevelt's new deal Depression-era ways of battling unemployment. They had a number of different projects, and one of the largest ones involved the arts was w pay federal writers project. Now you said writers photographers. So the there was the federal art project, and there was the federal writers project, and there was federal music and theater and all these things. But the federal writers project had units in states which are forty eight states at the time, and they had a New York City unit, which was the largest of the units, and they collected photographs from the federal projects, and they also had their own staff otographer is that they sent out to document a lot of those photographs. Once that most peop- a lot of people are familiar with this notable photographers want to rattle off a few names. Well, I, I mean the in this exhibit the names, people are going to recognize. Is Dorothea Lang and Bernice Abbott, and we do have an number Abbott prints in the in the collection and couple of Dorothea lines. But I think what's interesting about the show is a lot of the other photographs are by either. We don't know, took them or their by photographers. The general public hasn't heard heard of before. How many were there. They're all together. We have never been able to compile a complete list of all all the photographers. Because like I said, some of them are are not lie on not listed in the in the New York City unit, though. I think we've been able to at least two dozen photographers and in that collection but the and but then he also collected, like I said, photographs on the federal art project and for commercial photographers. I think what's interesting is that a lot of these photographs, if you look at them, they're almost snapshots and they're kind of you'd even say mundane in many, many ways, the ordinary yet when you look at them, they are record of some of things that people in places that don't exist anymore. And they say an awful lot. You look at one photograph you seeing architecture, seeing the way people are dressed. You seeing automobiles, you're seeing occupations that don't even exist anymore. You don't see too many push cards now now. So the inspiration for the show is a one thousand nine hundred show that was done. It was at a by Bergara Milstein who is. Curator at the Brooklyn museum for many years, and the regional show is one hundred and twenty inches, and it was really sort of like a grab bag of different types of styles and photographers. And when we decided to relook at this and decided, maybe it needed a new, a new edit. One of the things we really wants focused on, it's just WPA photographers with no commercial photographers just hire who are working for the WPA. But also we started to whittled down to a certain aesthetic and what we're really drawn to is this sort of street photography, straight documentary aesthetic because it was so much more truthful and gave you much more of an impression of walking out into the nineteen thirties, New York City. And also these were taken at a time when photography was rather unique these days. I mean, everybody's photography of everyone's taking pictures, but a lot of these photographs here. Especially where people are aware of the camera, having picture taken was more of an event at that point. I think some of these people and some of these people might be the only first time they might. They actually been photographed. It's possible. Yeah, certainly. If you were a fish peddler, pushcart vendor, something like that you'd probably was not something people were normally taking photographs. So I mean, there's, you know, the person who's tried the most famous person in the show is Charlie Wagner who is a famous tattoo artists on the Bowery. So he may have had his photograph taken before, but honestly. I've not seen that many photographs of even of him and I know people who've done research. Can you talk a little bit about the the musical archives, maybe the history of a bit, the size of the scope of some of the interesting collections yet. Well, the New York City Munis bark is the archive of the city government of New York City established in the nineteen fifties and are collections go back to the sixteen hundreds though to the Dutch colonial era. We have photographic collections dating back to the mid eighteen hundreds, but really the the bulk of our collection start around nine thousand nine hundred hundred which is when the city really started using photography to document projects that they were involved in. So ninety nine percent of our photographs come from city employed photographers who are working for different city agencies. The WPA is one of our few exceptions where we accession this from from a federal agency, but. Collections, or is it all by donation. Yeah. Now we have know we have no acquisition budget. It's it's an and are collecting policy is really just to collect a the government records graded by government where there's a show here now from the summer of nineteen seventy eight New York Times her dog reversal. When there was a newspaper strike, they went to work for the parks department, correct, right. He radically those photos. Thirdly, those guest should be in our. But then they will, and they will be someday. You're, you're conservation and storage techniques. And most of these, I assume store our from original film. Yeah, medium format film. Well, in this. There was a number of different formats and film that the WPA photographers use. So so we have in this show, things that are originally on eight by ten negatives to thirty five millimeter negatives and everything in between. The original negatives have been in frozen storage for many years. Location, what he's doing. Well, our offices at thirty one chamber street. It's a surrogates court building, and that's where those particular negatives are stored. But we also have a warehouse in Brooklyn at industry city where we have a freezer farm of of negative storage. But we're, we're in the process of building out a new climate controlled warehouse space out at industry city with a big walk in freezer box. So which is my dream come true. So photos are still being added to this collection yo, yeah, yeah. When I I've been there for twenty one years, and when I started, we used to say we had a million photographs that we took in some other like huge film collections. And now we have about five million photographs and other any photos, let's say, well, we may call famous photos or I conduct photos that are house than owned by the municipal archives, something that regular person which is back well, I mean the most iconic Scott to be the Eugene to salad MAC photograph of the workers. The painters on the Brooklyn Bridge cables which so he was he was totally unknown until nineteen ninety nine, which is actually when I discovered that collection and the archives and did the research that brought them to light. And we did a book in two thousand and seven on him, but but that photograph have been known and had been. Published. But again, he was just an anonymous city photographer. I come from a photo editing background at aperture, and when I was looking at that collection, I realize this isn't a collection. This is a body of work. This is all one. I one photographer, thirty years, you know, and that was haven't made a discovery quite like that since then, but it that was a good one. But yeah, I mean, and there are other other icon images in the in the WPA collection in one or two collections that really stand out just gems. Well, that one, so that collection is the department of bridges, plant and structures collection, which is the same agency that changed their name from the permanent bridges, the department of plant structures at some point. But and that's twenty thousand glass plate negatives and ten thousand vintage prints, and that's really superb collection. This is about five thousand images total the WPA collection and again, another standout, but we have a lot of other ones, borough president, Brooklyn right now or digitizing the bird president queens collection, which is from the starts in the late twenties and goes through the forties. And it's again amazing. Amazing collection of probably have a ton of pictures from the world's fair from back in sixty four hundred. You know, the world's fairs were not quite done to say projects. We have this one collection that was done by photographer who is a retired news photographer, and he'd daughter donated that collection to us. But but other than that, we don't have a lot of cities stuff. A fair amount of thirties, world's fair, because I think as mayor LaGuardia was heavily involved in any any gaps, any major major gaps. You know, it's one of those things like right now I don't have. We don't have very much control over what agencies are going out and photographing and I, and when I hear about the different things going on in the city of different projects, I just keep thinking help some good photographers taking photographs of that. But I, I really have no control over whether that's happening. What percentage of the pictures that you've seen really stand out to you saying these are? These are exceptional photographs. He's a lot of them are just pictures a lot lot of absolutely with a lot of the of those municipal elections, a lot of them. It's just like somebody had to go out and and and and shoot a photograph of this document. This is straightforward. You know, technically may be good, but. Every once in a while you see a picture of nature stopping. How often does that happen? The exhibit we did last year was on the HP photographers, housing preservation development, and they had three really good photographer who worked for them over the years. One was Larry resi opo who sort of well known in your entire fy circles. But there was other photographer, Paul rice and Leonard boykin who I was really surprised. I was looking at these photographs and it's like. Lee Freelander like, you know, where did this guy come from? And why was he working for this agency. School the paycheck. Exactly. And health benefits I work for today. Is the white PD forensic stuff in in. Yeah. So I t in two thousand eleven. I hope taken the NYPD Manhattan photography unit collection, which went from eighteen ninety eight to about nineteen eighty. One hundred forty thousand images. So we take. Well, we've just finished processing it all and we digitize around thirty thousand images, but we haven't put them online yet, but there's, yeah, there's, that's another amazing collection that helps. That's going to be my next book project. What percentage of your photos you have have been digitized? Because that's a major undertaking on its own. Well, we're, we're right now. We're about to complete a real long term dream of ours, which is to digitize the nineteen forties tax photographs, which was another WPA sponsor project, which was they went around and photographed every single building and nineteen thirty nine through nineteen forty one using Lycos and thirty five millimeter film and the fiber rose. So it's over seven hundred thousand images, and we went back to the original nitrate film and we all the images have now been digitized. They're they're still doing QC and processing on them. And we hope by the end of the year, that's gonna go online and that's going to be pretty amazing in that will put what's we have digitized online close to two million images. So these all these images are easy to access online by anybody. Yeah. Oh yeah. We, we have a archives dot NYC. Well. Or you can go to NYC dot gov, slash records and will direct you to our gallery. We are at filter Ville two thousand eighteen, and we're with students from the high school of art and design and the high school of fashion industries, and it'll PS past graduate of high school of Orton Zayn many decades ago. The focus of this show is telling his story and selling an idea, and it features students from the high school of organization and the high school of fashion industries, and it's amazing, wonderful, black and white pictures here. Speaking with Ben Russell and Brennan McLaughlin with several students talk about this show. I Ben tell us a little bit about this exhibit how it came to be and the background to. Okay, so Brennan, I are both high school teachers teach photography, and we got together and decided to collaborate on an exhibition and show our students work from two different perspectives. Her students work is digital color work, and it's the idea of selling an idea. So our schools are schools career and technical education springs. So we're teaching our students photography and art, but we're also teaching them job skills, things that they could use in a career. So her work is as focused on assignments, fashion, assignments, commercial editorial assignments. And then my students work is focused more on documentary, work class, kind of photo, journalism work. And then the other difference is her work is digital and the work from my sentences, black and white film Pataki. So my school where privileged, we're one of only a few schools public schools left in. City where we have an actual working dark room and the students are given Pentax k one, thousands as much film as they want, and we teach them how to shoot and process film and make prints the darkroom now he complained about having to shoot film fashioned. No. Well, why don't you. That's one of them I'm saying. I'm saying that you'll just because honestly, I think if you could learn how to shoot film, you could shoot anything, and that's a beauty of you learn control and everything else. It's more than point and shoot. That's really, really great. They do complain about it though because it's messy, chemical smell, and they get on your hands and your clothes. And it's it's difficult and it's slow. But what I found is a teacher is that the process and the tedium and the difficulty and everything results in the kids being more invested in the results. That's absolutely true. Can you talk a little bit about how you set up the production side of making these shows? We're very lucky to have a full commercial studio. So half of it is a digital lab, half of it as a commercial studio, and the students utilize their work based learning skills and have jobs and facilitate photo. Shoots where they partner with the other majors. We have seven other majors at our school. Is photography and some of the work that's being exhibited is collaborations between fashion students at our design and photography students at our design. So chance to go to professional commercial studio and assist, and then take a look at that base learning internship program allows students to it's an application process. It's a little more individualized as opposed to an entire class, but they go through an application process and they, we have professional photographers, we partner with so they can see the fantasy both collaborative issue. I think that's really important. We didn't have that back in the day we've talked for is, and there was no interaction with the other departments. And I think if you're going into commercial work, that's really important because you don't work alone. If you're going out commercial, you are working with other people and you have to learn to collaborate notorious about where in a moment in public education where we're moving towards group base and project based learning. NG and people are looking at art teachers to see what that looks like because it's just so natural for project based learning to happen in the art room because so many subjects attached to it. So you can see the connections that are made between each subject area. Your name is. Erica. So what's your background? Did you enter in his own knowing that you wanted to be photography? What did you also come in with a different interests and after the first year of going around to all the specialties chose photography, I came into the school wanting to though to cartooning, but after hind did a photography project during my history class and my designed foundation, I fell in love with photography. 'cause I love the use of composition color and then the editing techniques as well. Okay. And what grade are you in now? I am in my senior year. We're also senior what he wanted to get out. What's your goal? What direction do you want to go? I'm interested in being a commercial photographer, falen any specific type photography? I think like maybe forensic. The interesting. Okay. All right. We've actually had, for instance, photographers on our show before it's an interesting profession. It's stop your name, this killing at Sierra. Oh, okay. I go to fashion in the face. Chase. And so for my artwork being someone who has families who are immigrants, I want to speak on that and show and demonstrate the shows of that. Yeah. Did you go into school intending to be a target for what? Did you also have a different inches before you got into school? Actually, my inches was to go into fashion industries as an artist, like physically in drawing traditionally. So when so when they gave me on black and white film for tariff, I was kind of frustrated because I didn't want to focus on that, but the way Mr. Russell said that this is the once in a lifetime, you're never going to get a chance such do this. Like who else is going to be having a black, a dark room in their room or somewhere else for us to do it. So I'm like, you know what I mean, open up my mind to this and take a chance. And so even till now I'm doing digital photography, I'm actually getting more into photography. So I want keeping you fine, art? Yes. Okay, good. Yeah. When the two? Yeah, I am. I'm thinking of like, oh, it's for some of the projects. I'm going to add like some traditional drawings onto lake actual film photography. I'm very, and the school that I go to is art and design high school. Okay. So you're senior also? Junior. Junior, okay. All right. I have to find. Did you did you enter art design thinking you're going to be a photographer? Or did you also come with the different specialty. I thought I was going to go into cartooning architecture. Then when we were in freshman year, when we were doing our design foundation course, we would. You know, taking the courses of every major that was in the school, and once we did the photography project, I was like, oh my, I sorta like this danger this like, Yup, Yup. Yup. Yup. During my head and I was like, that's what I wanna do. I wanna pursue in that. That's great. That's wonderful. So so the the photo that we're looking at here is light spiral, call it late painting. Maybe what was the task that was presented to you? So miss McLaughlin was teaching us was to study the emphasis of motion, and so I decided to do was used light painting as a way to describe motion so many takes to get to get the shot one. Yeah. My dad was helping me hold down the shutter open, so it would time the spiral that the lights were going in. I just decided 'cause late stick is very expensive nowadays, and I decided to get a wooden stick and some fairy lights from Michaels, and I taped it altogether and then just circle. Cameras, you guys use them. We're using cannon rebels. Wispy was Mona Islamiah nice to need you. So tell us about your work. My pictures are mostly based on family, so the first one I have my sister and the other one have my grandmother. This one is one of my favorite that I've done because represents my culture, my sister, she's she was getting ready for a modeling job, and she was representing our culture which is being vanish using traditional jewelry. And I just thought to capture the moment. It's great. Now, did you interschool thinking about photography, was that your goal or ju also have a different specialty before you? I didn't have any specific defense special teams. I knew that I want to do something that made me feel good, and that was sending a message out to the world and I wanted to get into journalism. And so when I got into Potocki I was looking more into photo journalism, and that's what I'm heading towards currently. Aren't you got a good start here. You've got a very nice compositions and all that to north. Thanks guys. Thank you so much. Okay. We are in another container. This one has a new theme. It's called consequences and we're with Pablo fiery fiery us and Isaac Guzman and nice to have you guys did some amazingly strong black and white imagery here. Can you gentlemen tell us about what we're looking at here. Consequences is an exhibit about the history of photography Chapas in the south of Mexico and how it connects the traditional film and silver gelatin printing work that historically has been so important in Mexico, going back decades to the more current digitally bays photography us for creating stories about community events and building memory, and that capacity for connecting people to they vents in their surroundings. So photographers in Mexico have taken on this tradition of many years of work in photography and adopted it and adopted it to make it part of their storytelling and creation of Bischel narrative San. What we wanted was to show how significant. Disconnection is in Chiapas which is the lowest incomes state in Mexico. Mostly indigenous state very much in the history of the Mayan people in in Mexico and one that has had a long trajectory of traveler photography is so going back to the eighteen forties, not with photography, but with the 'lustration Stevenson Catherwood date of the Mayan ruins that were here in Madison Square Garden in the late eighteen forty s when people would go into this. Large scale dioramas to visit the world before 'international traveling happen to the photos of more lean. The eighteen eighties that we're all in glass negative. Large format cameras, and so many photographers of the twentieth century that as travelers photograph the indigenous lives that culture the the very dramatic imagery of the tropical areas and the Mayan culture of Mexico, but building from that, we wanted to show how much people have adopted photography and have really created a culture of photography that is rooted in community and that with the journal photography now it becomes much more accessible. And so people like santiz. Are an indigenous woman from Tokyo. Maya community in Japan is using photography to explore the changes in the traditions and culture of took seal indigenous community that aren't gonna lose, which is a collective of Dogra Fers and his can speak more to that because his part of Tacoma lose is using photography to create a collective sense of house also changes developing in Mexico. And of course, who was for many years, an assistant and a student of Manuel Alvarez Bravo the best known iconic Mexican photographer and continues to print the work of Alvarez Bravo with Mexico working for peace archive brains, the learning that he developed working with Alvarez Bravo and other Mexican photographers to us to a new generation of dog refers how when when we just collection. Brought together. Initially. He said it goes back over one hundred years. A lot of these images. Well, this visitors, no these images go back to the nine thousand nine hundred eighty s and how many photography's represented here today about it. How? Well ten when counts the Tacoma loose collective. So it's two photographers. The portfolios of them patacula Negus the black at wide silver, gelatin prints. Roach scientists with her prints of traditional knowledge and culture, and then the Tagami lose collective, which is eight photographers out of a collective group that I is more contemporary. Gonna lose is a collective of givers from Chiapas working to. Represent their own community. Is that fair to say? Yeah, one of the main reasons that collective begin is to share photography in public spaces. The proposal was seventeen years ago to take photographs to the streets besides galleries. So that's how begin began the collective. Yourself people on. I'm fairly new. I have five years now, but there are friends that they started it. One of the things that we have is that the collective is really open and one of the main compromise that we have is to do pictures with people now not just after people, and that's how we work. We work like, and we recognize our selves as a free media kind of, as you know, in Mexico, you may know there are a lot of people that works for a specific newspapers or agencies, but we work from the community or work is more based in social problems and also on things that need to do with politics and art. Of course. We are showing here eight of us, but we really are twin around twenty members of the collective and is. Huge diversity of the people that works with a collective. Can you give us a couple of examples of some positive outcomes from people seeing these photographs because taking pictures and showing them as terrific, but is there anything concrete you could point to that has come about it? 'cause of these photographs, from my point of view, is that a lot of people like the idea of doing photography with many people, they practice off autograph iw as a collective is now is not new, but is in Mexico a way to do it. We believe because as you may know, the process of doing a news or being photojournalists in Mexico is every day more dangerous. So working as a collective, it gives you a more safeness also give you different bills. You can work on a theme and work differently. Actually, most of the members of the collective we are. You know, I'm reconized myself as the commentary photographer, but some of my friends, they do other things besides photography, they use photography with people, but we have paramedics nurses and writers. So there is a huge diversity Nicole active, and that's the richest -ness of the collective. How'd you get the photo Ville. Well, so we created this platform combat she lab. We have recognized that photographers have a talent in terms of how to get the work out and that more resources were needed in order to help them organize portfolios. We help them Brent helped him prepare their work and have it not only be present in Facebook or in Instagram, but be physically present, does photographs. So we can. I started this platform two years ago, Betsy Lavin setup printing lab, digital printing lab, and darkroom. Analog printing, so to speak and have organized a set of exhibits and prepared photo books. So we basically work with the photographers to help put their work out in print fair to say, I think you did answer it earlier, but in general, that the fundamental point of of the collective and of is is to get the image of Chiapas out. But from the point of view of people from GM's, yes, as opposed to the image we've seen over the past twenty five years. The poverty and the strife and war. Yeah, that's I think that's really important I from. I mean, even though the participants are not born in Chiapas, but they been living in Chapas since many years. So they are dashed to the context. So what we believe that is really important to show. They were from photographer leaving share that leave the reality that we live there, you know. I think that we can have amount of indigenous talk for swell. Yeah, actually in or collective. There are some of them members are indigenous most of these photographs digital or analog because I would imagine animal film in developing and he's kind of exotic where you're working. Well, yes, it is. But I would say I've been photographs will kill killer analog their film photographs developed by Hotan Kilani sock and printed in the dark room. And these are all silver gelatin print. So one third of what is here is completely analog film photography and printed in silver gelatin. The rest is digital. Can we speak. Higest crowd easier also. Can you your role in this project share? I just recently got on board with Pablo any sack. And basically since they're mostly based in Chapas, they wanted some feet on the ground in New York, and I did my master's thesis in Chapas about five years ago and studied anthropology and human rights. And I've just been really interested in how many different layers. There are to tell the story of Chavez through every single generation, and there's just been a lot of polarize views, and a lot of as Pablo is saying reclaiming of the indigenous narrative there and sort of celebrating, but also trying to adapt that narrative into the way. Mexico is evolving as a nation. We're familiar with your work. When you were there at working on your degree. I was familiar with track. I'm gonna this. I know I know bunch of people there. Yeah. Pretty interesting like we didn't know how to expect with like their resolve the people looking at the pictures because the pictures are not pretty are more document. Some of them I really strong in the sense of why they were present. So we were, you know. Winston corrected, many of them are very strong and looking around, you're not so many. So what did they know how to spec how people will be e? Yeah, so so far is so interesting that we are having connections with people that are interested in Tijuana's and some of them, they just remember places or even though photo efforts that are in this exhibition. So has been really amazing. I just say that Chapas is a place that if you've been there, it really takes a hold of you. And so the people that you know have come by that have had any sort of contact with the region are just so excited to see the stories here in New York. We believe in the power of the image as an element to that been shaping a reality in the sense of memory, I have learned from kill to print and from his follows from his history. So that's the image that connected us and we are connected now with this project. And we trying to connect more people with a pictures with four of us with history. Bill is a great opportunity for all of working in Chiapas to connect to the larger world of autocracy. That's why we came. That's why we organized this exhibit because we know here in New York. There's such a strength of organizations and work in photography, and we think that it's worth for people to know about what's happening down in the south of Mexico, not just in Mexico City, but also for folks down there to connect to the organizations and the activity of photography. New York stood good job here. Thank you. Thank you very much. We hope you're enjoying this edition of the h. photography podcast. Send us a tweet at be h photo, video Pash tag h photo podcast. Okay. We speaking with Ron her div and Lauren Walsh of the seven project, and the pictures here are pretty startling who'd like to tell us about a little overview of the film and then Ron can give you some background. So it's a film about two photographs. One was taken in Panama thousand nine hundred nine. The other one was taken in Bosnia in one thousand nine hundred two, and they are both autographs by Ron one depicts the Panama photographed two picks and elected vice president being beaten by a paramilitary thug of the then dictator Noriega. And the other photograph from Bosnia depicts three. Serbian paramilitary soldiers standing over the bodies of three people who've three civilians have just been executed. So both autographs are the most iconic in the part of the world where they were taken. That's Latin America and the Balkans, and we became really interest. Stated in understanding. What happens to a photograph after it leaves the camera, and especially what happens to a photograph that is the most iconic in it's part of the world. What kind of life does it lead? What kind of impact does it have? And it turns out that they have enormous impact in many spheres of society. So they filter, they've started journalism and they move into art, they move into propaganda, they move into education. They move into kind of commercialized kitsch as well. The around absolutely lives. Yeah. So let me let Ron tell you some background about the moments when he took those photographs and then follow up. We're standing here in the container of the seven foundation, which has multiple projects. One of which is supporting biography of a photo of the documentary about these two photographs, and basically the photograph from Panama sort of launched my career was my first foreign assignment was my first experience in conflict. And this photograph while end up on the cover of time magazine Newsweek and US news all in the same week and immediately had some impact. But it was not really until the United States invaded Panama seven months later where the real impact was seen when the president of the United States spoke about the photograph as one of the reasons for the invasion that took place, which is far as we know is probably one of the few times where photograph was referenced in military action by by the United States, and what was really interesting as we were doing this film, we interviewed the current president of Panama, and he said to us that this photo. Has an impact that gave Panamanians back. It's democracy, which is like an incredible thing to say about about a photograph and then on the photograph from Bosnia. This was the first real photographic evidence who up litter became known as ethnic cleansing in the civil war in Bosnia very quickly. This photograph that came a symbol for the Bosnians. They used it as a recruiting tool for people to come and fight on their behalf. And eventually when the international criminal tribunal was used to indict war criminals, this photograph has been used in multiple trials to indict and convict war criminals. And so today now twenty six years after the photograph was taken. The daughter of one of the women that's lying dead in the photograph is using this photograph as the sole piece of evidence to indict the three men in the photograph and one of the men, the men with his foot back with a cigarette and sunglasses is actually a famous techno DJ in Belgrade. So they're really trying very hard to to get him indicted. And what about the other to the other? Two are set to be policemen, so everybody's alive. Everybody is still there, and she feels even though this photograph is convicted, the politicians and the commanders, the actual footsoldiers. No one has been indicted yet. So the daughter wants there to be Justice for her for her loss family. I gotta ask you one question you. You said that this photograph one taken in Panama is. Was your first combat experience or was my first foreign trip? My first trip involving tear gas and bullets, and so on. When you hit the shutter, did you understand what you had captured there and what was going through your mind? Because I personally don't know how are they reacting to that? Well, this is the day. This is the elected vice president. The election results have been nullified the day before they, he, the other victor's came out onto the streets to start an uprising. So I had an understanding a little bit of what was going on, but in the chaos and what was going on. And actually when he was eventually dragged out of the car and he's covered in blood, some of the blood is his, but most of the blood from his bodyguard who was killed, trying to protect him. I didn't even recognize who he was. So it's sort of following the moment. So I didn't really understand what was going on. And in the beginning for me was very exciting as a career. I got the cover of the magazines. Nobody knew I was, but really when the United States president's spoke about the picture, I started to understand the role of photography and the fact that we can. Play a part in conversation, play a part and giving information for people to make decisions. It wasn't whether or not I agreed with the invasion was that understanding that my photograph played a role in that process, which I found incredibly fascinating. These photos have a life, but they have a life inside you to write for these years. What over the years have have you thought of these photos and how often do you go back to them? Either. You know, you made a movie about him, but physically look at them or even mentally to think about these boats and how much. How big a part of your own photo career do you think of them professionally, but also. Internally in the weight of photography and the role of photos playing well, professionally, I'm tied and connected to these photographs and the photographs have since they've taken are published, I would say at least every month, if not more since they've been publishing in various ways, the photographs, in fact, the photograph in Panama has been adopted by the country where the might credit doesn't even appear just says archive and it's published feeling and similar to photograph in Bosnia. So I'm proud of that connection, but the the personal was very much in that the first photograph taken nine hundred eighty nine. What I saw the impact that it had I not being completely naive, but a little bit more believing that photography can't help and can play a role three years later when the photograph was taken in the same ministration the US wasn't power. And this photograph I felt was visual evidence of what was going to happen. If the world didn't intervene and the photograph was. Completely ignored. And then I started to understand that sometimes a photograph can't do anything, but it has other lives. It has other ability to have impact, which is what we explore in the film. So there's both kind of personal hope for photography in this work, but also reality and also the understanding that it's up to people like myself and seven and other people to continue to remind people about what the power of the tacos. You can be so environment the photo while it is about my photographs. The film really does talk about this amazing power of photography and what what can happen with with images. Have you ever been frustrated with how it's been construed or how it's been used by the powers that be? You know, one of your photos when Russian dated Ukraine, a few years ago, a very, very powerful Russian blogger took this photograph change. The caption said that the assailant the aggressors where Ukrainian and the Vic. Items were Russians and the photograph went viral. All over all of Russia. Millions is cable news. It was complete fake news and I was like, oh my God, I put out a statement, but I had no reach to this audience and it was quite amazing. You know the way that photography can play a role today. Now, all these years later shot, many conflict zone. Since then, do you still feel the strength of what you can do? Do you still feel a positive impact? Positive impact, but you still feel what you're doing is worthwhile? Absolutely. I think there's without question still power in the photographers that are working today, whether myself or others working in Syria Iraq so on, because even though in our world of oversaturation and images, the really powerful images, important images eventually wind up to the top. And most importantly, even the Nord in terms of kind of having impact immediately, photographs stand is evidence stand is a record and they stand to homeless all accountable for our actions and our inactions. And I think they're always going to be very, very important to the documentation of. Of of human history. So you think the truth prevails eventually, eventually we'll come out eventually we'll have impact a lot of the work that you see here in the container has been incorporated in curriculum in high schools and other places. So visual elements are very, very important. Well, tell me about the movie and when we can find it where we can find it and it'll be released in theaters. The film is in progress. It'll be out next year twenty one thousand nine hundred and you can watch the trailer on biography of a photo dot com. Thanks very much. We are at the container of the authority collective and we are speaking with my name is Mary Kay, hang on thirty collective board member, and my name's Elaine crummy also board member of the thirty. My name's Arlene Mahad alla and I'm part of the littlest thirty. So of Thursday, collective is grip of woman fans, trans numb binary and gender, non-conforming people of color, reclaiming their authority in photographic film and the r. a. our industries, our mission is to empower marginalized artists resources and community and to take action against systemic systemic and individual abuses in the world of lens based aditorial that mentally and commercial visual or white. So you got together about a year ago in Los Angeles and from there. You've you've created this group. All right. And where did you go from there? How did you what happened between that meeting and us meeting here in a container in Brooklyn. So what of the original founding board members? Their aim is Oriana Koran, and this was their idea. The littlest was part of their idea. So on that journey from when they when the group was first founded till now. Oriana had. Put out a call for underrepresented marginalized photographers, and that's how we have the list. And so it's a group of it's a show of thirty photographers. And it's that was probably one of the biggest. The biggest actions, our biggest works of stuff from the authority collective or one of our larger real Jack. Yeah, it was. It was a goal of ours this year since it's been our first year. We've really set. Just a couple of things in mind to try to get to try to get going into be sustainable after the first year. And so this is one of them. We had a, we had a talk at Moquegua in l. a. the month of photography in LA at the beginning of the year. And I think we were just trying to build community as our as our one of our biggest things that we're trying to do between I forming, and now the shirt to show seems to be sort of stylistically pretty diverse. Yes. So I think our lean can probably speak more about her reasoning behind what photos that she chose. Yes. So being a part of the lit list thirty, it was interesting because it did bring together photographers at our Silas sickly, very different that are pursuing different areas of the field. So there are some that are more aditorial photo. Journalists, I myself I'm a photojournalist so I appreciated that there was like the space where. You know a collective exists that is kind of like a cheerleader or like a hype, man like something that we maybe didn't know we needed tobacco us up or to be behind us as we're like trying to make it in the industry. And also as we're like trying to build the, I guess, confidence to tell her stories also in a culture that maybe doesn't let us be centered or often we're like more on the periphery you're on the sidelines. So something like a collective really helps to bring that language just like center ourselves and create stories, and also have an avenue for having our work actually seen. And I think for me, like if a thirty collective hadn't existed, I don't know if I would have been a part of photo Ville being from Los Angeles and just so like it's nice to have this access to like the New York photo community, which I know respects photography very much. And, and to be able to me all of these Tigers from all over the world and and also be able to connect and find a little bit of that like comfort in like identifying with each other and saying, oh yeah, I'm going through the same kinds of struggles. I'm not the only one and like it breaks up that isolation that we can experience as photographers, women of color. And so, yeah. Have you had your photo shown at all prior to this. I, I, I have had photography my photography show, and I've had a solo Zabid. I've shown at the Charlie James gallery in LA galleries in Texas, but this is my first time showing my work at New York, and that's a big deal because I've always looked to New York for a lot of my photo references and and a lot of machine photographers are from New York. And so I think also being new to the industry like now that I've been coming to New York more like going to places like the open society or like you know, learning more about magnum photographers or the international center of tug v. like I'm really starting to understand how how our work can reach a level of respect that I think deserves that we, you know that we have an have access to these really great spaces and so- photo villes a nice Bennett. Nice bridge for that so far. Can you anybody here point to anything concrete that has come. To fruition since you've come together and started doing this body of work. For me, I feel like I've been getting contacted with more assignments, so it's letting me work and it's bringing income, and it's bringing opportunities. So maybe it's not directly correlated. But I did notice that when the list was published that right away, I started getting more emails from different media platforms and news sources that have asked me to do assignments and like you were saying, there's it's not just people. It's not necessarily people that look like me, but in general, just having the opportunity to tell all kinds of stories because I don't only want to photograph people that look like me or tell stories that are of mind because I think that's pointless like I wanna be trying to find a way to be a mirror for the world and be a storyteller visual storyteller. So like you were saying a lot of all the work here technically sound. It's very talented photographers. We've been creatively soon too. Yeah. Yeah, and definitely creatively sound, but it's exciting. It's like, you know, these new voices and emerging. Storytellers. And I think the working here is very dynamic and vivid. Cool. Thank you. Guess will with Krista and the show here is probably one of the more interesting ones. It's called internal ballistics. Could you explain what real looking at here is this differently? Sure. It's three different artists looking at the object and impact of bullets instead of talking about guns, which is so commonly done, I'm talking about what comes out of the gun instead sort of flipping the idea on its head to talk about gun control. Okay. What was the seed of this? There was an interesting Cup of coffee that would this was hatched over. I'm assuming in two thousand fourteen, there was a mass shooting that got me started thinking about how I could talk about what happens emotionally and physically when a shooting happens instead of talking about the guns, which we get immune to how do we talk about the impact of what happens through that? And this is what came up with that. Deborah as work. I have three artists here in the container. Deborah bay who's one of my represented artists had created the series called big bang and those are bullets that are being fired into bulletproof plexiglass. So we started with that. We added Sabine Perlman's cross sections of bullets so that we can see the actual object -ness of the bullet. And then Garrett Hanson created shooting targets, replicas of shooting targets, etched into mirror. So not only could we look at ourselves, but we can see where we would lose our lives if we were shot at because. Holes in the targets are heart inner head, and I think it's important to note that there is zero bloodshed or gore in this. It's metaphorical in some ways. It's beautiful. In many ways. It's beautiful and disturbing all at the same time. It allows you an entry way to be able to think about what exactly happens at the end of that below. Do you think most people get that. What I mean with people walk in here, do you see Har or do you see all in their face? I see a little bit of everything there. People that really understand it really get it on a really impacted by it. There are people that are more curious about it. They're people that try to talk their way out of it. They're more people that question my decision, whether I am a pro second amendment or anti second amendment person, I could see that it's yeah, so it it becomes an interesting conversation, and that's all really, I'm asking for, okay, you're creating a dialogue. Exactly because it certainly in fighting when you walk by here. It's almo-. It's very inviting. It's decorative. It's almost it's almost a celebration. And even the bullets are works of art, especially you line them all up the different projectiles shapes and everything. It's a science. It's an art, it's architecture almost. Then you realize what it is. Right? We actually have Deborah bay here. Happy to talk about and you did the plexiglas or the like the the bullets that are captured in a plastic glass and Bullock foot lasts. Okay. What made you, what was the seat of that for you? What made you think about that? What brought this project to version just bind plexiglass intellect to do some framing, and I had a little display with some bulletproof. Well, like just to demonstrate how effective bulletproof plexiglass at bay. And so they were like three or four different kinds of bullets that had been shot into the plastic and capture there. And so they're all these interesting trajectory lines and you could see the. Know the shadow pieces of plastic that were captured within the panel, and I thought, well, let's just visually so interesting. And then once you think of what it actually is and see the damage that it can read, you know, when you imagine something like that hitting muscle and bone versus being in the middle of a sheet of hard plexiglass. It was really very compelling. Yeah. Did you from there? Did you actually commission? What did you actually take pieces of this plexus and fire different caliber shells into it? What did you just happen to have access? So. So shooting up, Lexi that was actually did take took a while to figure out logistically how is going to do that. And it turned out it worked out really well because I ended up calling. The police academy at one of the local community colleges in Houston and the head of the operation there said, well, come on, we'll talk about it. And so they had access to a lot of different kinds of guns and ammunition that you know, probably regular people wouldn't have because I, some of them are actually assault bullets and things like that. So it was. It was interesting. You just wanna mess around with bullets and plexiglas like this because he could come back at you. Definitely. Yes. Whereas curious better. Okay. Now, whenever I gave talks do tell them, don't try this at home. Wall spaces based out of California. Can you explain how the process worked to to come to photo Ville? Did you apply? And how did that process work briefly? Well, I have been a fan of photo Ville for years now, and I wanted to find a way to come and showcase work earlier this year with the parkland shooting. We wanted to bring up this topic again since we had shown this now four years ago. So the submission period for photo villa was open. So I submitted the project to photo and went through their review process chided with them on the phone. And then they sent me a note saying that I've been accepted to photovoltaic the village. So you get a sense of damage with the plexiglas types, but in terms of the the innards of the bullets, is it more showing like the potential damage where you're trying to get at one of the big questions that comes up always when people look at the actual cross sections, are they real? Because the concept of a bullet is just powder and a projectile. There's no knowledge of the fact that so many bullets can be designed so many different ways to do so many different things to maim and kill in different ways. So this is more an object nece to show and display just how much science and effort and control. We try to take in generating that one object of killing. Thanks a lot. My pleasure. Thank you very, very much. Thanks to all of the photography's and organizers we spoke to and to the folks that continue to put together this wonderful photography festival for John Jason myself. Thank you so much for tuning in today.
Shahidul Alam - Politics Cannot Be Separated from My Art
"You're listening to the H.. Photography podcast for over forty years being H has been the professional source photography video audio and more for your favorite Robert Gear News and reviews visited dot com or download the beach up to your iphone or android device. Now here's your host. Alan White's greetings things and welcome to the beach. Photography podcast our guest today as shah dual allom. He of course is a photo journalist. He's also the founder of a photo agency a photo academy and a photo festival in his native Bangladesh. He's a writer and educator writer activist and one of time magazines persons of the year for two thousand thousand eighteen. This time they got right show Dulas in New York to celebrate an exhibit of his photography at the Rubin Museum of Art. The show Schaja allom truth to power open on November eighth and will run until May fourth twenty twenty. It's a wonderful exhibit and provides a glimpse into his four decade career. We also I WANNA thank the Rubin Museum for inviting us to see the exhibit and we also welcome our second guest. Dr Lawrence Walsh Repeat Guest. Lorne is an author and a scholar. Her latest book is conversations on conflict. Photography a powerful exploration of public responses to photographic coverage of war and humanitarian crises. In the book she profiles none other than our guest today shadow alarm as well as many other photographers. And Editors Walsh also runs the photo journalism lab at the Nyu Gallatin School of individualized study and is director of lost roles America a National Archive of Photography and memory which he discussed is with us on a previous show. Welcome back okay. Before we start a little bit of background. China was born and raised in Dhaka. Bangladesh he studied in Liverpool Report and earned a PhD in chemistry from London University. All while taking up a newfound hobby photography he returned to Bangladesh in one thousand nine hundred four with the goal of using his photographic and public speaking skills to cover protest movements and advocate for social justice in one thousand nine hundred eighty nine. He helped to establish the award-winning DRIK. Picture Library and majority World Picture Agency and later the Path Shala South Asian Media Institute and Jobe Mila International National Photography Festival. His photographs have been published in the New York. Times Time Magazine and National Geographic and he's exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art the tate modern and the Pompidou Centre his book. My journey as a witness has been described as being the most important book ever written by a photographer. He's the recipient of Lucie Award and she'll Piccolo Award which is the highest cultural award given to Bangladeshi artists as well as the only person of color to have chaired the prestigious international jury of world. Press photo it is an honor to have you here on our show today. Delighted to be here. My first ARISS question is in. I'm opening this of the both of you. What are some concrete steps that could protect journalists from the kind of repercussions of free speech? That you've suffered or in order or to ensure that any detained journalists gets the attention needed to grant their release. I think what happened is a very clear indicator of what can be done Before I was arrested several very high profile people had been arrested in Bangladesh or sent abroad and exile title made ineffective in other ways and gotten gotten away with it in my case suddenly hold world protested tested. They were protesting the streets and people in Bangladesh to greater risk. It was more dangerous for them. I think the fact that you can mobilize people at that level. The the the public solidarity and that international networking is very much part of the resistance. But somebody who doesn't quite have the high the profile filed that you might Is it fair to say that. They're not going to get that kind of attention. And therefore they the release the came or is this something that Absolutely true I think which is why. I think sure we as photographers do what we do. But building those networks is part of the strategy. The one has to have if if one has made a choice of becoming an activist one is going to walk through through power. You recognize that they will be powerful enemies that he will pick up up along the way as we need to learn how to use a camera how to use words we also need to be able to recognize that that part of social activism listen is part of the deal sets up needed I think it also just goes beyond journalism. I think the public needs to better better understand the value of journalism. So that when we hear the President United States responding to legitimate legitimate reporting calling get fake news. We need to push back against that I mean the committee to Protect Journalists among other organizations has tracked and his telling us that imprisonments are at record highs and I think we have to listen to this and learn from other things also helped today my facebook will yesterday my facebook account got hacked. And it's something that's been happening when I got arrested. The police got hold of my laptop my mobile phones and they had access assist to all my social media. I be able to recover most of them twitter. Sadly of not Perhaps they can cont- intervene here but it's there are told. There's an active team dedicated to hacking me constantly. So you need to counter at many levels on really have a much broader brought a team working before going real quick just backup. We're talking about that. You were arrested Two thousand eighteen. Could you give the background of what led up to your arrest and what you were ceiling. Who'd you take off on the twenty ninth of July two students meme on Raji Were run over by bus force. It very sad but what it led to was a countrywide protests. And I feel it was because we were on a tinderbox People were enraged with the corruption nepotism with repression the looting of the banks all the things that are going going on and this is a spot that led to it now. People get hit by blesses every day in what was different about this event. It wasn't so much that it it was different. It was a that it happened when it did and be the response. The the minister lofted off He said exactly sent people get run over every day. What's the big deal? And that was really the thing that lit That enraged the people but what happened in return was actually very very interesting. The students took to policing the streets. I'm brought order into streets that we've never for had ordering. They found that ministers. Were driving around with unlicensed vehicles Policemen went around. Who didn't have driver's licenses? Awesome things like that and what they did was they ensured that ambulances got through. VIP's didn't if they didn't have the right authorization and they pointed pointed fingers to the government in the sense that if untrained students in the streets with zero resources can run the streets. Well what Mrs Got Mentoring so I was reporting on that and then the gut macaques turned violent. They started attacking the students. I was documenting that too. So that's when I got attacked on the fourth of August I got beaten. My Pin smashed up I continued reporting on the fifth of August. Two thousand eighteen. I gave an interview to Sarah. I was at that time alone in the flat talking to the BBC because because I was going to do a report for them falling day The doorbell rang. I answered the door and suddenly hold talk about. I don't really know but I'm told that around thirty security people came in. I know what happens in my luggage on because I was was alone in the flat. I want to make sure that I didn't go quietly so I made as much noise as I could. I resist it as much as I could. And perhaps that those extra minutes. It's that I gained was what saved my life. You're talking about being on facebook at that point and we were just talking about these out ideas of what about this idea of pressuring these giant organizations twitter as you mentioned and facebook to to do their part to ensure the safety give journalists that are using their platforms completely. I mean I think they are not only social media platforms their publishing platforms today And therefore they can be used used and abused and they are abused. What for me is very worrying is what I hear the fact that our government have relationships with some some of these big organizations where they are allowed the back door so in our case it's particularly worrying because very recently there's been these reports through Pegasus that activists have actually been targeted using surveillance technology? And this is one of my bones of contention. I mean wild. We have governments which talked about freedom and democracy. It's the same governments out of selling surveillance technology to my government which is preying on activists. Obviously it's alive question right now especially with facebook. Will they at some point down the road be legally responsible for user generated content because they are just a platform they are a publisher as well. I mean I think until then the cyber training for journalists is incredibly important because harassment. It happens And there aren't really there are organizations that are putting together guidelines and standards like echoes alliance. But there aren't a lot of there aren't international standards for cyber security standards it we can take a step backwards a little bit I wanted to ask a bit about your education and training in the hard sciences And maybe you can give a little bit of background on how that transition happened into photography. And where in your life at that point. The Role of activism played but Is there anything from that training that that you've kept with you all these years That affects or enables you photography or or something you utilize photojournalist. There's two segments to question. I'll split them up the first about how it happened. I'm from amid glass. Home and young men from middle class. Homes are expected to get respectable professions. which at least according to my parents outcasts a My Mom's proud doctors engineers lawyers whatever you know been. My mum discovered. I was going to be a photographer of a bride for a main concern mother. Why the same concerns so You know that's through so I got into university getting into united studied biochemistry and genetics at Liverpool University then I started my PhD Organic Chemistry. But while I was doing that I got involved with the Socialist Workers Party and it was while I was with them that I began to be the involved in race rights gay rights inequality issues and a whole range of things which were about social justice and at that time it was the political SOLIDARNOSC Movement for the Liberation of Poland. And I could see how they were using images to maximum effect and I thought hey this as a tool yeah I began to think does does Bangladesh need yet. Another research chemist. But I thought with a camera I could probably chief something something that would bring about a change so that was my conscious decision about doing what I was doing. And you but your thoughts always worked to go back to Bangladesh regardless of how easily. Yeah completely I mean that's home that continues to be my home. I'm out on bail. I still face potential jail sentence fourteen years. But that's where I'm GONNA go I have the options that But in terms of what it does I think it's not so much the the technical skills that you learn but the process the fact that you recognize problem solving that you have an Ireland ethical. Approach that you can deconstruct truck to situation reduce it to elements that are needed. You can identified the weak links you can identify the rate limiting steps. Those zero standard parameters that apply across the board on Education always has a value. What was your contact with Bangladesh while you're overseas And basically getting your education and everything else. How often do you go back? And did you monitor. It was going on it. 'cause there's something to be said about being able to step back look at the situation more globally but there's also value to be right up front and looking at it from a macro point of did you have a good balance or was it just hunch haunch. I didn't have a good balance. I'd left home when I was seventeen And this was before into that And I certainly didn't have the money to go back home in between so I he's working my way through. I was working as a laborer day. Labor trying to find my way through university but of course lettuce still existed and I stayed in touch watch what was very important for me was the fact that I been through this war of liberation and they were these people back there who had left behind I knew what so many people had sacrificed their lives for a pseudo. There was that hunger to go back and play my role. I stayed in touch obviously in whatever way I could but there was a gap. There were very very important. Transition is and because of that gap when I came back in nineteen ninety four and discovered that a general had taken over my country. I thought this is not the country we fought for on. It was imperative for me to bring it back back story that the camera that you first started shooting with with something you bought for a friend and is obviously I mean. This was while I was at university. Freddie Laker introduced Laker Airways. which is the budget airline You could get a flight from London to New York on what they call the sky train for ninety pounds. I thought you know I'm a poor student. This is my chance to go to the United States so I was about to buy that ticket and this friend of Mine Not University said the Dole is low the. US IS A good place to buy cameras. Why did you buy me one so I turned up? This was before being h I still found the cheap shops which sell good days and cameras coverage so I bought a new slogan. Sorry so I bought an the Nikkei fem a rickety tripod a flash cut deeping by an attempt. I hitched round the united. Those were the days. You could still each ser. So I hitched around the United United States and Canada took some pictures with me. I came back to London. My Mate didn't have the money to pay for the camera sites that I was very happy accident. I'd say Jason say so we're elements so learn. You written a book conversations on conflict photography and and so he is One of the people you profile. Can you maybe speak a little bit about the conversations that you had and maybe distinguish it a bit from some of the other photographers that you spoke to For the book. Sure so the book. It's a series of interviews with this photographers. Who've covered conflict around the world and then photo editors and then also I did interviews with major human rights and humanitarian organisations because they're leading funders and distributors distributors of Conflict Imagery in terms of distinguishing? The perspectives I mean. It was very important to me to have a diverse breath of voices in the book. I mean really what I wanted to do was give voice to the people who make and distribute this kind of imagery and I wrote a few essays that contextualized I realize it but I was looking at it from a an American or western point of view and thinking about how do we respond to images as of crisis or suffering war that come to us from far away so I wasn't looking at domestic conflicts And I with that in mind is the the history of photo. Journalism is more male the not and more Western than not so. This book was very conscious in saying. I WANNA speak with male and female practitioners. I WANNA be. I WANNA have western and non Western voices so the the anecdotes and experiences that the photographers relate late They carry some of these differences with them. I can speak to Shahidullah about what does it mean to be a local photographer. And what what were your experiences when you talk to me about the cyclone and what happened with coverage for New York Times And then I would ask similar questions of American carvers carvers to say. Well what does it mean for you to fly to somewhere in Africa. Document a famine or war so it was each interview is distinguished insofar as it. What is the role of conflict imagery from that one person's experiences and perspectives and because everyone brings is a different perspective? You get these. It's really a polyphony of voices and experiences and I I spoke to people who've been covering for up to forty years so it's kind of also also a history of the world Inside three hundred pages and and is it fair to say that we are seeing. Maybe a change toward toward A photo journalism that that that respects the locals who are doing you know who actually involved with the the event Previously photographers might have been flown in to cover Or is that something that still needs a lot of work. I think if we look back over the decades they're absolutely more more local photographers. Who are working? And there's a number of reasons for this The gear is is not as hard to get. We also have the rise of Citizen Journalism which opens a whole set of questions because then are you trained in the same journalistic standards that had news? Doing audience would expect. I still think there's a definite imbalance In terms of especially and Shahidul and I were talking about this who has the ability to get there. Let's say images for talking sheriff you images out through some of the most powerful media entities in the world I mean I think some of the wire services are working a lot more with local photographers but then that it opens a whole set of questions of Local photographers face greater risks. Any precautions if you have an American passport for you can leave a country if things go really wrong. It's a lot harder if you're the local Afghani photographer or the local Mexican photographer. uh-huh so I yeah I think there have been many strides forward and I think there's still quite a bit of work to be done that same note. Do you find that your experiences overseas with higher education and exposure to Europe and the United States is helping you go back now as opposed to somebody of equal skill to you who's never left Bangladesh. Who doesn't have the worldliness that you do have of course I think it's I'm here talking to you on today. Because of some of those connections there are perfectly competent. Great photographer out there is work is never been seen scene. One of the things we've done is built an archive and within that collected the work of great photographers whose work should be known and What many people do not know about for instances that the war of liberation of nine hundred seventy one was not only a seminal event in terms of world history but also seminal event in terms of welfare graphic history? The crates of photojournalism. Were there Mary Ellen. Mark David Bernez Don mcallen Bruno. BARBADE dipoto Ruggeri Abbass. Rashid thought GA percents. They ruled that yet. It's this typically collection of that work. There's never been an exhibit until we began collecting it. The this had never been assimilated and that has has many reasons. I mean I'm cynical. It's an at times and I think got independent at the wrong time. Gone Independence on the sixteenth of December. which it was just too close to Christmas? Well I mean in the middle of a war in Southeast Asia. Obviously you know this is before for the Internet digital and analog days page spreads and things are set up and it takes a lot of doing to dislodge Christmas. That's can we talk a little bit about but but the drik picture picture the library and and when you realize that was something that was kind of fundamental to the to the purpose that you were going for as opposed to just taking your own pictures and doing your best to get them out there. I I was having a show in Belfast And I was staying with friends in newry. which is a town close to Belfast? And they they didn't have big house. Oh so they had a little daughter Karina five year old And Corinna went to mom and dad's room to make room fun culture heater so I'm there I come in from the show one day and empty my pockets putting some coins on the table and Corinna standing in the doorway usually she runs up to me jumps to my op. We tell each other stories but that day she just stood there and I said what's the matter Carina. She says you got money. I said yes. Got Money and goes but but you're from Bangladesh. She could make it fit and got me thinking about the sort of social political cultural space within which a five year old throws up wishes incapable of seeing a Bangladeshi as anything other than an icon of poverty. And I got to think you know it has to do with who controls the narrative And there is this beautiful African expression. Rico's something like until the lions find their storytellers stories. Stories about hunting will always glorify hunter. I thought well it's about time the lines found storytellers. And I knew by. Then I'd work with with agencies overseas and I knew how the dissemination worked and I thought okay. We need to build up an agency but we decided not to open open it in the conventional spaces of Paris London New York but to set it up in Bangladesh. Because that's where photographers were. But they were challenges. Alan just to go with art as well as I say this way before internet or whatever so what. Many people don't realize we introduced email to Bangladesh in the early nineties. Because we having decided we would be in the backwaters. We then needed that light line. So we actually introduced email and built a south-south at south but globally through which could disseminate our oil. Okay we spoiled. We are definitely spoiled. Uh I was going through Lawrence Book and the Texas Amazing and the photographs are very very powerful. And you've been working on this project for about ten years now and you're looking at a lot of photographs of conflict and they're not always pretty and I'll open this question. Both of you have these pictures effect. You have to well you have to step back because it could really become powerful to look at this stuff. I just sitting here going through the book for ten minutes. I was moved. Good ways and bad ways you live with this. Do you need to take breaks from it. Or how do you process. All of us So the book was for years. But I've been working in this time on on this topic. Broadly conflict photography for about ten Yes I I have gotten more able to look at got some kind of quote unquote hard images and usually that means graphic or violent images and I I think of it akin to it's the way officer. A surgeon grows overtime rates. You start out as a medical student. At some point you have to do a dissection of a human body and I imagined that that is is very difficult the first time you have to put a scalpel to skin and I imagine it's difficult the second time and then it gets easier and easier and if I needed to have surgery I don't want want a surgeon who isn't capable of doing it in a very confident not squeamish way right. They have to get used to what they're doing. So in that sense MM-HMM I think there are some images that other people would find very graphic and it's easier for me to look at them some kinds of Like certain kinds of let's say a gunshot wound The images that for me never seem to lose that punch to the stomach are when I see pictures of children in enormous pain or severely malnourished or when I see pictures of children who are dead and the parents are somewhere in the frame of the of the in that same frame because the parents her almost always if not always the agony is is written into their faces. It's it's just seems the most devastating thing that could happen to someone so I find find those very they continue to be powerful images and I thought about this In putting together the book. There's a balance between some hard graphic imagery. There's there's beautiful images in this book as well there's beautifully serene images including one by Shahidullah. Where you have to understand it in context to realize actually this is very a very haunting the crossfire photograph so in terms of how do you deal with it? I think recognizing that images can be painful and talking. I mean I'd certainly we talk to colleagues and Photographer friends about I find that. Actually just talking about it and acknowledging it is helpful for me and unhelpful for others in. Because I don't want to in fact become numb to someone else's pain I don't WanNa ever get to a point where I can look at. Someone's his extreme suffering and say it doesn't matter to me anymore and you talked about that somewhat being seed for the book itself responses from students. Can you show them you know painful images and they just didn't want to bother. The entire book started because of an episode and one of my classes at. And why you where we were. It was of course on conflict imaging and ethics Until we were asking questions like what does it mean to look someone else's suffering and we were studying a famine that happened in Sudan in the early nineteen nineties and so the students read about the history of it there at about the political forces they looked at the photographic coverage of it and they read the critiques of the coverage and they came into class and I was just about to start the lecture and I put up the first image which was from their assigned work. And it's a photo is black and white. It's at A feeding center in Sudan and it shows a man who is severely severely emaciated you really skin and bones. And he's too weak to stand so he's crawling on the ground and I think it's a I think it's an image that Sh- really confronts you with what can happen into the human form like in a in a very terrible circumstance and so I was just about to start. Speaking in a student raised his hand and said professor. I know why you're putting that picture trope. It's such a Downer and I have plans tonight and I don't feel like I should be made to feel by looking at it. I have nothing to do with his suffering so the book then became a I I initially. I froze I didn't know what to do Because I'd never had students that it's not it's not even a required class like they all have elected to be in that class But I thought about his response more and more and it was actually after Having a conversation with the photographer friend who covers conflict around the world and telling him the anecdote and I thought he was going to say something. Like millennials are so selfish or that was so obnoxious and he said the opposite acid- he said. I'm not sure why you're surprised. It's not provocative. I hear this all the time so that was when I thought okay. Well if that is a response then the first question I was asking was then. What's the point of this kind of imagery and I personally think there is tremendous value to documenting conflict And so so then. The book became This endeavor to understand. How do you do this? We're speaking giving voice to the practitioners. How do you do this work? Why you you do this work? What successes and failures do you encounter? And I was very interested in continuing the line that had started in my classroom which was thinking about all the ethical all components of work. Especially when you're in settings that are in in some cases life or death in in your book you have. The photograph is picture in particular of the Boston. Marathon breath on bombing one of the survivors. Being wheeled off his foot is straight out and below the knee you just see. A Shin Bone sticking out and some muscle and the was published just cropped just before the knee because the editors thought that was just a little bit too graphic and a little bit. Two bloody How do you deal with that? I mean where do you draw a line. How do you push maybe just jump in here? Look at to say that I mean in your exhibit. There there are very few violent images. You're torturing conflict and war and social unrest Do you you feel. Do you find that it's necessary to show the abject violence in order to make the point you WanNa make an and over the years of seeing how your photos have been reacted to do you find one an or another doing more as it were well. Lauren was referring to a particular body. What called crossfire? Which is about extrajudicial killings and when I started doing the work I considered what should be the imagery because would showing more bodies Actually add to either our information or our response to it We decided to take a very different position position. They were tactical reasons as well. I mean in the sense. I live in work in a very repressive environment and I want to make sure that my work can a slip in That I can actually show my way. So we did extensive research And then we decided to produce images based on what we assumed would be the last site off the dying person but we did some certain things which contextualized for instance All the debts all the killings had taken place in at night. Several photograph was taken at at that point in time early as the morning. Whenever the killing taking place we talked to the family members who survived and he said well the first thing we saw with these torches being shown on my face so every picture has been lit by torchlight so there are very subtle things which it's only when you begin to deconstruct that image? You realize is that element within it but that show has until until now being the most successful show I've ever had including the fact that when the government closed it down we took the government to court and we we were able to get the show reopened it's been shown in major festivals being. It's been on the front cover of amnesty human rights. Watch and it. It has been a tool for activism for many people who've begun to use it. Now I remember having a conversation with Christian cajole I think it was in Barcelona where he was talking about how we were wondering whether had Eugene Smith Been Alive today he would. He would have photograph Pittsburgh the same as he did. Then we don't know for sure but I I would like to think that he would have found a different way of telling the story. Because the landscape the media landscape is shifted the language of choice Sir and Shakespeare and Dickens and Salman Rushdie an entity. Roy are all very very very different each appropriate for a particular point in time yet as photographers. We've often felt that bb purist and this is the only way hey to render and produce image the fact that people respond differently that the environment is different is something we need to respond to to come back to your. Oh question about What is happening? I think what drives me. It's the knowledge that while we hear sitting in this lovely studio it'd be an H.. There are people dying there that are people being disappeared. There are people facing horrendous consequences for standing up for their rights. Her and while that is happening this is not an academic exercise. It is not an exhibition or a project of some sort. This is about people's lives and if that's the case that keeps you the adrenaline I think just on that point though I mean the questions that you're asking Alan Alan. Those are some of the things that I really wanted. An it comes up a lot in the section of interviews with the photo editors right what is too graphic and how do you define defined quote unquote. Too graphic are you giving more dignity to let's say the American victim versus the black or brown body from another part of the world how you're treating the subjects in the photographs And these kinds of questions of what we see and what we don't see so that's all kind of connected to the question you raise as before and in terms of graphic imagery you know the photograph of The victims named from the Boston Marathon bombing is Jeff Bauman and it really. He is a very graphic photograph And if one of your goals is as a news entity is to get people to engage with to look at the image and read about it with with very graphic imagery you do run the risk of revulsion. It's too much and people then and you've lost your news reader. I I personally think there are times when The the very graphic image should still be taken right and it may not. We need to be published in the newspaper but The interview. Let's say with Human Rights Watch talks about this. Or there's a photograph by Ron Haviv in the the book. The picture of ethnic cleansing mates it's para-military standing over the bodies of executed civilians. And it's a photograph that will that one was published quite widely. But it's also a photograph that came back later on to be used to prosecute to indict in prosecute criminals. And I think in that sense sometimes. The graphic imagery The graphic imagery. That isn't let's say used. Initially as journalism can be used as evidence in courts of law conscience Kupuna Reno which photograph if you're referring to him and also about your sh the show crossfire and this idea that you know the the viewer needs to understand the context and therefore is engaged more with this the series and therefore it might be more effective simply because they are engaged as opposed to that very graphic image that they may look for a second look away you know what I I mean. So obviously the viewers key to any kind of activism to go beyond that and and I speak as an activist activists. You know. I'm not trying to produce the perfect image I'm trying to produce the most effective image And at the end of the day it is not merely the image but how it is used on with crossfire for instance. We've had it in conventional magazines that British Journal of Photography and other traditional photographic outlets. But it's also going to museums. It's gone to galleries. It's it's been used by activists in the streets streets and it's been used on the cover of amnesty and Human Rights Watch so that multiplicity of use is not something that lends itself off to every image and perhaps certain images are better able to overcome those barriers. I also I I I just I found it so fascinating and I think it's really worth pointing out That because the book covers the history of the world I worked for the fact Checker To to fact everything we learned in the process that after he duels crow show crossfire was up in Bangladesh. The number of extrajudicial show killings by this killing force went down shine a light question. Russian that has slightly do this These newspapers traditional even online news agencies are are the most effective way still For underrepresented stories to be told you spoke about a show at a mosque and You have a museum and obviously there many now uh nontraditional. Let's say ways to get images out there even a poster on a street that somebody carrying. Do you think that the were kind of over this this kind kind of the mass. Let's say mass journalism Is it still effective is still useful for the types of stories that you want to tell. I don't think there is one answer. I I think that in itself is what needs to. You need to take every situation and work best to it. And I think we need that plurality. Not You know. The online space. Is the traditional spaces social media word of mouth. All of that are valid Some but better in certain situations than others I I work in an environment where let's say in Bangladesh for instance. The printed newspaper is still increasing circulation. which is exactly the opposite of what's happening out here and it will change? There will be a time when that will shift but until it does I will recognize the imminent. Will your photos or photos of your colleagues that you respect who are working in these these stories. Will they find their way into into a Bangladeshi newspaper. That will depend very much upon what what how we've arranged to it because some of of it is not even about the newspaper. This you may know of this various famous Pulitzer winning picture of Michelle Laura of the banning of the Biharis in Bangladesh. Now Russia Talukdar. One of our photographers also took a very strong picture that time he never published it because publishing it would be equivalent to signing his own death warrant. The people who did the banting was still very much in control. It was only in Nineteen ninety-three three twenty two years later. I was able to convince him that it was now safe to publish that picture. So those are part of what happens you you know you. You need to negotiate that space. But I think one of the things where we have lost out as photography's we to solarge extent have felt that the photograph images all there is to it. I think many other things happen to happen. Be Around contextualising. It is important. I I think it's vital that photography writers I think we I still retailers need to find multiple ways of telling stories of engaging and once we're able to do that our work then becomes so much more usable by by the media itself. It's when it's a uni-polar in a Polish single image standing on its own it has limited potential when we were at the museum earlier. EU brought up Sunday. It was kind of interesting where you will be putting a show in a mosque. And you're getting a lot of pushback about that and the way you explained things to them change these things around. Can you go over that again. Because I thought that was very amazingly very tactically us will I I live and work in Bangladesh where many many people think fed graphs are haram. You know For instance if there's a funeral the photographs will be turned a ten round because it's not considered proper for photographs to be there in religious situation. I had chosen synagogues and churches and temples at never shown in a mosque. Because was it was considered impossible to and I'm very conscious off Islamaphobia of xenophobia and the perceptions about Islam and I want to dress that at the same time I also wanted places like musk's to become known for what their true the potential is So the first challenge was convincing the mosque that I can show work in it. It's a very beautiful must by the way at one dollar kind of what your tech Designed by a woman land is to mate donated by her grandmother so those elements to it as well And I took photographs but before he nice started taking photographs. I spoke to the mosque committee until them why I wanted to do it and I reminded them mm of how Prophet Mohammad had used his. Musk the fact that his mosque in Medina was an education center. A Cultural Center into a community center A hospital it sheltered women met state dignitaries in the mosque but there it was an art troupe from Abyssinia who came and said to the Prophet where can be show. We have no place to show our work and he said show it. In My mosque it became a gallery. If during the prophets time ago a musket have such a wonderfully diverse range of usage. Why have you reduced? And it's not just for true from us. It's true of places of prayer. In a sense I think religion and has been reduced to very clinical actions about which have to do with praying and proselytizing and older set of things whereas it is part out of human life and be forgotten that so that is a show. I'm now trying to show. Wildest Ruben shows going on perhaps in moss around the country speaking of the show. Can we talk a little bit about that. And how you organize that you mentioned that It is organized as a kind of trilogy. Is that true or really one show within within not aspect. I mean it. I don't know if it's what I expected. Necessarily the whole show. I mean there's kind of a retrospective aspect But there's also you're dealing with certain particular stories within this. Can you talk a little bit about a couple of those The Ruben show it's billed as a retrospective. There's only so much you can show so there. There are significant chapters which are not there for instance crossfire. But what we've tried to do a a two things. One is look at the trajectory of my attempt for social justice which is underpinned underpins the entire show but also the various vocabularies that I've tried to us from traditional black and white photo repertoire as Magnum and other agencies would have done to find out conceptual chill work and places where I've ensured that the politics of my work is embedded within the artwork itself because one of the things that had happened happened in the very first body of work which I did which is called the struggle for democracy I was looking at politics The resistance to generally shot and there is a sequence of pictures which are about a flood that take place it was them biggest flooding in a century. An juxtaposed without is these are the photographs of wedding a hugely opulent wedding. That had taken place. It was the daughter very powerful minister now. The juxtaposition the position made it very stock. Here was this wedding taking place out of time with the nation is really under those floods That made it difficult because that was what scared off my sponsors versa and I stopped getting out. None of the galleries would be prepared to show the work. So that ah led to a whole different set of things towards you a lesson yes we built gallery. You know. It's it's looked at politics with appea- but also Class divides gender shoes environmental issues military occupation a whole range of things but covered. It did not work but later on I've looked at things like disappearance Be talked about the crossfire. Show the The show about the culpeper culpeper Chuck Norris Indigenous. A woman who was picked up at the military on the twelfth of June nineteen. Ninety six works for me was very significant because we had fought our war for the right to speak our language yet within our own nation. Be Denying other people to speak. There's that for me would so staggering. The word indigenous is something that cannot be used. It's is being banned by our Constitution. You cannot use the word indigenous in English so I began on the twelfth of June two thousand thirteen gene and the next two years on the twelfth of June producing a new body of work. The first body I did was using forensic technology technology to look look at what I considered the silent witnesses so I collected objects along the path of a last journey and photograph in the clarify. This was the young woman who was disappeared. She she was. She was picked up by the military on the night of the twelfth of June nineteen ninety six and what was her offense. She was an activist. She wanted rights for her people. Okay a so on. The investigation is still ongoing going. I thought well if you've got to do an investigation. What do you do right at the beginning? You do the forensic study the words of bungalows like me and the military were taken into account for the Bihari Voices. Whenever heard so? I thought I would interrogate the silent. Witnesses and it's. It's work that I did in initially in Bangladesh than in Britain Germany eventually in Australia And produce those High magnification images through fluorescent photography. I then did other body of work where I tried to show the person and we were talking earlier on about how you felt that there was actually a person then Dan yes I still WANNA go back. I'm I'm convinced there was somebody. I don't care what you see. On the next body of work was about the champions Champions of culpable the people who've carried on the fight which includes my partner which includes Sara Hussain. WHO's the lawyer who who stood up for me one of his jail on CIDER gourock again? Someone who I've been working with for a long time class. What sorry to interrupt up at the the motivation to take on this story in this manner with the forensic photography styling was as something that you felt was born from the story itself or was it something that you said you know what I this is something? I'd like to do as a photographer. I'd like to investigate in this terms and use a different set of skills. Well my my partner actually asked me a very pertinent question She said let me ask you a silly question. Isn't it all in the imagination you say. Of course it was in my imagination but I felt through that imagination. I could unlock some doors. AUSE and there were two things I wanted to do. One point out that the process of investigation was flawed seriously flawed. But also. Here's a person and there are no photographs of this woman This has happened at when I was doing the work had happened. What Sixteen years ago seventeen years ago you know. What am I going to photograph seventeen years after the event and I thought there are still people? There are still objects that can speak to me and of course as a photographer. I need something visual so I need to find a visual way of rendering story story. So that's how I began then. I thought the other challenges we need to bring her live. This is a woman who is flesh and blood who was picked away taken away from us. This is my sister who no longer exists. I need to bring back by sister. So the next body of work which is where you thought that she was there she is. I'm sorry so in that sense I've been success with the third one which was on the straw mats actually had to do with a broader range of issues because we have now begun a campaign called no more as the name suggests suggests these are things we think society should not tolerate and we began it with south work about the government accidents that are taking place in Bangladesh. We didn't in confident Chatman. We've continued with crossfire. And all these other things so in that particular story we want to include something about the garment industry within the work and the process of doing the work itself was significant. Because something had happened very early on when I showed that I work doc on struggled for democracy you know the there's a wedding pictures and there's a flood pitches and everyone turns it down. There was a magazine that published a review. You might get out of that work. Interestingly the owner of the magazine was the wife of the minister. I thought what's going on. Here this is this this minister critiquing and whatever his wife does and it was a beautiful review. But then you take a step back and you find in the review. They talk about the artistry by work. DOC The compositions subtlety the strength of my blackened mind photography completely obliterating the political hunter. They're going to an art show. We'll exactly exactly and this is the trap that B. Find Ourselves in you can be your Nice. Little artists will give you some funding will give you a nice gallery. Will you'll have a great show. Let's leave the politics out of it. And I decided I would ensure that my politics could not be separated from art and in this final work. Queer eye produce the work in a manner where the fire that burned. Those villages is used to burn those Straw mats. The carbon a not straw-mat is my pixel an entire process also involves the garment industry in older set of things. So when you look at that image in China understand that image you take all of that political background in you know. As we mentioned earlier you spent a couple of months in jail last year. And it's almost a almost a year to the day since your release I guess this is kind of a big question that I'll break down into a couple of things how was it to be in some sense. The focus of the news the story of the News as opposed to somebody covering the news How did that work for you And how was it to not be able able to document with a camera in the time that you were in jail or even the time afterwards. I'm assuming took a little bit to get your gear back somehow or get it new gear and then obviously maybe a year later any any kind of stop the second question. I When I was a student you you had money problems? Have Money Problems There's were analog days yet to buy me a protest film it was expensive cameras expensive today but at that time the actual actual film itself So I used to go round taking pictures without film in my camera. I would take pictures all day. I've done that and of course you went as you need to. uh-huh gymnast needs to train himself or herself. A musician need to do the vocals do you you practice the cords. This is part of the gymnastics photography needs to do you look at images you breathe images. Look Imagine the images that you've missed out and all those side would go around all day taking pictures without single film. Now that when I began my work I did these stories on the missing on the disappeared. Now photography's very good at rendering. What is in front of the visual? It's not as good at photographing the missing the invisible It's not a natural medium for photographing what is absent. But it can be done and I. I was doing that for some time. While it's jail. The camera itself was missing so then I had to find a way of. How do I tell the story when it's not there itself? The two things I did the I had nothing and to do with me. I managed to convince Not I own my own together. With other prisoners we may able to convince the warden's to allow paint brushes and paint and the prisoners painted murals. Eighty five huge murals. It's like a museum inside the jail it's dramatic But I began to use words. I I mean I do right by. I interviewed extensively while I was there. I made copious notes but when I came out I started working with my niece. Sophia Kareem as an architect to producing three D models off Off The the Jalen of the situations I've been in based on my memory. We decided not to do it from architectural drawings Google maps but use my memory which is a more focus On that that Amorphous Nature I felt was part of it because this these two artists talking to one another models are very exacting. I was looking at them and I'm surprised to hear you. It's from your memory. It looks like they were taken from actual line drawings of the plans. That are very interesting. Things in there. For instance there are the sparrows I used to feed and that was what I had. The sparrows were free. They had flight. They were outside And I I started feeding them and we didn't have anything there so fellow prisoners smuggled in cardboard boxes which I cut up to make a little platform for them and I would save a little a bit of my breakfast for the sparrows and they come in and fleet inside. I took down the mosquito net from my window to allow them in. I I was preventive. PUT UP WITH MOSQUITO BITES. I have my sparrow friend so there are those little details but all of that is there and there is for instance another element which is me collecting flies because my partner would come every day other people would come really. It's the people outside who suffered a lot more than I did. I think but they would bring me things. I had nothing to give back side would collect flowers in the morning and give them those flowers. That was my gift back. That is also part of the show. Wonderful I didn't answer the other bit. No I did. Yeah I think you and I mean well maybe just this this idea of the media looking back at you as opposed to around July. And I've been doing this for a very very long time. So over. The years is Built bug eyed students across the globe. public speaker I write. I take pictures. I work at many levels and part of that I think resulted in in this very widely orchestrated very powerful movement I thought it was people. Power is fantastic. You know show of People Power but in terms of having the spotlight on me. It's true that spotlight was on me. But I look at everything I do as part of my social activism a a now that the spotlight was in me I decided I would use that spotlight and I my being here. Today is part of that because what I'm also talking talking about is not me as such but what I represent and I think through this today. You know your viewers out there. We'll know about what is happening in Bangladesh and for me one of the questions to ask it not merely what my Bangladeshi government is doing but what international governments during the fact that you sell weapons to my government the fact that you sell surveillance equipment to my government on not despite bite the rhetoric of democracy and freedom. Most foreign governments have far more interested in working with applying dictator than a messy. Democracy is something thing I want to remind the average citizens and I believe the onus is upon you to ask those hard questions to your government to ensure that your tax money isn't used the wrong way good points I will say on that exact note one of the things that I worked very hard to do in the book especially in these essays as by me which are trying to describe what is the contemporary landscape of journalism but also What are some of the critical questions we as viewers should be asking asking of images? It is one of my hopes that someone who reads the book will then be able to look at a photograph and not just say. I'm seeing suffering in Yemen or I'm seeing suffering in whatever location. It is where the picture was taken but will then ask the question. Chen of and what role do I play in this home connected to the yeah exactly Maybe just to take a little different direction What camera do you use with your favorite Lens? What what what do you find important about The gear use anything. I use the camera have with me. Okay all right phone. These phone wasn't in fact within the show. You had an iphone. Yes I I use it quite a lot. I use it extensively in fact a lot of the reporting I was doing. I was doing with my iphones at that time the reporting for which I went to jail wis because of my iphone photography That was for a practical reason. You know we it meant I could work at a level which perhaps would be less under the great more under the radar got phone. Yeah But of course I still got caught out Decrepit got smashed. I got beaten up and I continue. She needs to work what the police have today on my iphones and my macbook pro. They didn't know you get another one. I Guess I uh-huh you've been doing this for forty years. Can you point anything concrete. That's come as positive that you'd say okay. I know that my work made aide. This happened made this positive change. Can you point to anything in particular. Hala Corey referred to something very tiny. I left home in seventeen seventeen. I came back when I was twenty nine. I didn't really know my parents as adults and I wanted to know them. These were very special people but I knew it was going to be very difficult. I'd lived a very independent life and here I was twenty nine year old living at home. You know there's gotTa that'd be problem so there were problems but one of the things I hadn't anticipated was in middle class homes in Bangladesh. You have home help. NOPE and there was a young boy. Called Meson who used to clean the rooms babies to watch television And we would sit there and and what television. He would sit outside the room to television through the door. Not Very far away but politically socially miles apart. One of things we've done is we've used our calendar for activism as well whereas calendars before we used had. I used to have pretty pictures. Flowers landscape pretty women. We decided to use social documentary as the content of calendar. An an I in in the calendar I think it was in one thousand nine hundred. Eighty eight published a picture of musone watching TV. I give a copy to Meson. I gave a couple of my mother over the next day. Meson satisfied that trump to TV with us a very tiny think perhaps but very succinct and may may very tough and it was your parents that do you think that it was and this is maybe a broader question than this situation but was there the awareness. It just wasn't there until the photo was shown to them or the photo itself. Force them to kind of re to say you know what I I have to. I have to address this. Does it fish. No it's a motor. I mean we are surrounded each one of us have so many prejudices and biases which we are not aware of overlooked only when we confronted by it and here here was a a very liberated educated Progressive Woman Who's being confronted by WHO own son About what was happening thing in her home every day and this is going to lead me to. I guess maybe our last questions with you spoke of people who are disappeared or people came back to Bangladesh but then they lost their voice voice You are middle class man. Who Studied Chemistry? What why do you still have your voice? Why are you able to go back? Time meantime again and speak and create institutions. That will continue to speak. I think firstly I'm not alone I mean I am physically here talking. But there risk a huge group of people around me and it's a collective struggle one of the things I began to. It was a conscious decision to make as a photographer I got into photography because I wanted social change and I had to think of how best that social change might be affected. Certainly through photography and writing was one one but I felt if you've got to fight a war you need warriors and you need to build warriors so I the agency was a platform on which Sean through which we could work. I set up the school so they were now. There are so many other young bright photography's from Manga. They doing work. Then I set up the festival itself and while I'm not a politician I am engaged in politics and I. I have two areas of interest in three areas of intervention media education and culture and I ensure that with that tripod I exert pressure sure upon the political spacesuit politicians cannot get away what they used to getting away with and in terms of having the voice I think it is a collective voice yes and sure this is a phenomenal movement. You know they were over a dozen Nobel laureates world celebrities campaigning for me but there were people people on the ground and people in Bangladesh taking uterus to be doing it and I don't think this is my voice. I think it is our voice. I'm just happy that I'm able to carry it. Okay then a wrap of a fascinating show if I may say so myself and speaking shows we'd like to remind everybody that Shadow allom truth to power will be on exhibit at the Rubin Museum of Art. That's here in New York City through May fourth twenty twenty. The museum is located at one fifty West Seventeenth Street which is just down the street. From one of the original locations of being h photo Daulat listeners would like to catch up on more of your work which websites instagram. Where could they go to see more of your work? Dot Com three three dot net. That's my own site in the agency but I also run a blog shade. The News Dot Com So those would be good but there is the show coming up at the Vienna Next month in the later this month in thirteen thirty in London. And we'll have all of this information in our show notes And as a book should be buying looking at you should now have arrived at the Rubin on Steidl which is fabulous publisher of books. Folks I mean Hera came to a festival in March. He said I wanted to your book. I said you know I've got a show at Rubin in November Says Keeping The manuscript is August. I'll give you a book. And he did it was I just came from going in and the work incredibly hard all shifts weekends and I've just been told that the book has physically arrived. It's called the tide will turn it's edited by. Vj Shot but it also has a beautiful letter by the great writer around the Roy. Okay all right Lauren. Your new book is conversations on conflict. The target fee and it's available now right. Yes it's been out since early October. Okay and I was just flipping through the early and it's it's a powerful book that I definitely want to go back and Revisit Fisher. Thank you really really good and if people want to catch up on more of what you're up to can they go to Lauren. Walsh DOT COM easy. Okay and again all this will be our show notes as well Lauren. Welcome back against against always great having you as a guest here Shell pleasure honor having you here in our studio It was a fascinating discussion. Thank you so much this you again. Some type LIMP. Are you not a regular subscribe to our show. If not all you have to do is head. On over to apple podcast Google podcast stitcher overcast or spotify and sign up. It's absolutely free. Tell Them L.. Sent you In the meantime My name is Alan Whites and on behalf of Jason and John Fine. Thank you so much tuning into today