Street life in Paris is something that is hard to define and has been photographed over and over again since cameras were invented. It is partially these two elements that have prompted American/Austrian photographer David Bacher to search for new ways of portraying Paris. Paris is in fact much more than its image portrayed by cliché black and white postcards. It can be full of contrasting colors and can have many faces, both feverishly happy and utterly sad. Paris has a deeply melancholic stare in the damp cold winter months and it can unleash quirky visual puns as spring and summer arrive. The city is an eclectic mix of different nationalities, all which converge on its streets creating a dynamic and challenging workplace for a photographer. David has been exploring Paris’ streets since 2004 and this is a small selection of the body of work.
Street photography is often a stage where people are unaware that they are actors playing their own comedies or drama. The real world becomes a choreography for stories or allegories, subject to different interpretations.
Moments in Between is a collection of vivid portrayals of people and places I took around the world, in which ordinary everyday life reveals compelling scenes.
When I wander in the streets and public places I like to spend time looking at faces, trying to imagine feelings, dreams or stories behind the smiles or the thoughtful expressions. It is fascinating to discover the relationships people have with each other and the stages where they move. Their accidental connections and combinations can be strong, intriguing and ambiguous.
The camera is just a tool for my research, which slows down and frames the world, making me more aware of what is going on and who the main characters are. It helps me to notice the special instants in the daily flow of the unseen events and preserve them from oblivion. Seeing through the lens might limit my eyes, but enriches my view because the ordinary becomes extraordinary.
Why are we here and where are we going? When I was a child, my religion told me that if you were not a Christian, then, ha ha, you were going to hell. That didn’t feel right to me and I put Religion away with Santa and the Easter Bunny. Later in life, as a 20-something slacker, photography and spirituality came to me at the same time, one allowing the exploration of the other. This 20-year essay is the chronological result of those explorations.
In this life, I was born in the frozen tundra of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Frozen tundra is of course redundant but so it goes. I was raised in the Lutheran tradition and after Catechism class, my Pastor pulled me aside and told me he thought I should consider becoming a Pastor. I guess he hadn’t seen me reading comic books during his sermons.
Papua is the largest province in Indonesia and it’s home to approximately 1% of Indonesia’s population. However, approximately 40% of all HIV/AIDS cases in Indonesia are located in Papua. Currently, Papua has the highest HIV/AIDS infection rate in the country, 15 times higher than the national average and the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence outside of Africa.
Indigenous Papuans are also deprived of the essential awareness of HIV/AIDS and the knowledge of how to prevent infection. Those who are suspected of having the HIV virus have restricted access to get immediate testing and indigenous Papuans already living with HIV/AIDS or ODHA are lacking sufficient care and counseling. The plight of indigenous Papuans is under documented. There are very few articles and images depicting the issue accurately and thoroughly.
The aim of Against All Odds is to produce an in depth photo essay examining some of the factors responsible for the pandemic level of HIV/AIDS among indigenous Papuans. Ultimately, I seek to be a catalyst that raises awareness of the numerous flaws within the status quo and puts out a call for immediate actions to remedy this dire situation. In the end, I want to promote the development of improved methods in preventing the spread of HIV and provide essential aid for indigenous Papuans living with AIDS.
When I arranged to meet with Sean Pevsner for the first time, I was nervous. I knew that Sean was a quadriplegic. I knew that he worked with a personal assistant to communicate and function at home and in society. I knew that he was in his final year of law school at the University of Texas in Austin.
When I first approached him, he was sitting outside on the Lamar pedestrian bridge, his personal assistant, Michael Galante, by his side. They were there to study law.
I saw before me a 32 year old man strapped to his wheelchair, arms dangling outwards and often upwards, contorted and moving sporadically, involuntarily. He struggled to bring one arm forward so that I could shake his hand. I did so. I was awed.
He spoke to me directly, yet his words made no sense; they all sounded the same—just noises. But Michael understood, if not all the words than the way in which to decipher the word by having Sean spell it out, communicating with eye blinks and nods. I looked to Michael for the interpretation.
Our conversation was brief; we exchanged very little information about ourselves. But, having interacted with what seemed like a sound mind on a body in turmoil had struck me with the sense that this life was something to be documented and displayed; more people should be awed by these circumstances and struck by the implications of this story. Sean possessed amazing amounts of perseverance, persistence, and desire to pursue a career in law under such circumstances. My curiosity had been roused.
Who was Sean? What made him fight so hard?
Nomads bring their camel to the CARE-sponsored well in Kumahumato, which means “that which supports cattle” in Somali. Jenn Warren.
Who is Jenn Warren?
I am a photographer focusing on humanitarian and development programs, primarily for NGOs and UN agencies. I always make the distinction that I am not a photojournalist. I work very closely with the communications offices of international organizations, to help tell their stories and the stories of people they are working to help. I spend a lot of time in the field visiting programs and communities, documenting living conditions and access to basic services through photography and interviews.
My work focuses mostly on health and education issues, and creating communications materials for use in the rural areas of Southern Sudan.
Karl Leonsson hold his daughter, Ronja, during a photo shoot in the Faroe Islands. Benjamin Rasmussen.
What do you understand by documentary photography?
Documentary photography helps me understand the world around me and explore the different parts of my national and cultural identity. Current project I am working on are investigating what it means for me to be Faroese, to be a male living in the American west and to be a citizen of a country so deeply involved in Afghanistan. The documentary projects are fueled by my personal exploration, but I hope to create a body of honest images that resonate with others who are thinking about these same questions.
I think that for documentary photography to be powerful it has come from a process that teaches the photographer as much about himself as about the subjects. If we want to move people with out pictures we have to be open to allow the process of capturing them to move us as well.
Beginning in 2008, I hit the road for three years to photograph America solo; living out of a tent and bringing along my dog for the ride. While traveling in Maine, I discovered a Bingo hall and it provoked a curiosity about a subculture that I was unaware of. What I discovered was a community of dedicated players who travel to the same place, set up in the same spot, and bring along the same good luck charms with the hopes that this will be the night that they win big.
As I continued my travels across America, I also kept on my quest to find hidden or otherwise unknown bingo halls. When I found a location of one, I also found a sense of community that wasn’t expected. Although many of the dedicated players may be aging, it’s something that they look forward to each week. You might feel bad or sorry for some players because they come and leave alone but as I was talking to “B” in a hall in Fort Collins Colorado, she made a point to remind me that it, “beats sitting in front of the boob tube at home!”