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#FacesOfPhotography – Teil 85: Jordi Busque aus Barcelona

Jordi Busque ist Astrophysiker und Fotojournalist. „Gestrandet“ in seiner Heimatstadt wartet er darauf, seine Freundin irgendwann nach Monaten wieder sehen zu können. Und er wünscht sich, wieder zu reisen… Aber die Zeit des strengen spanischen Lockdowns hat er gut genutzt. Das und einiges mehr hat er den #FacesOfPhotography erzählt:

How have you and your photography been doing in the last weeks and months?
Luckily nobody in my family has got Covid-19 but still the lock-down has been a challenge. Me and my girlfriend have been „trapped“ in different countries and have no idea when we will be able to see each other in person. I usually spend most of my time in Latin America working on different stories but the lock-down caught me visiting my family in Catalonia, so I have been unable to return to work the usual way. Here the lock-down has been very strict (for several months it was forbidden to be outside home except to go buy food). I really enjoy being outside in nature, doing long term hiking and camping, so it has been a challenge to be indoors for so long. Still, thanks to the Internet, I’ve been able to keep active. I’ve been spending this time doing research for future stories, writing for future articles and book projects, and pitching stories about science (I’m an astrophysicist) using photographs that I had already taken. I have also started to learn Arabic, which has been in the back of my head for some time. Doing stories in South America has shown me how better positioned I am to go deep in comparison to, say, an American photographer who would only speak English. So I am trying to add new languages to improve my ability as a photojournalist. And in order to satisfy my need for nature and as a way of doing something to keep my mood positive in the midst of so much bad news, I started sprouting tomato seeds and now I have planted them in my mom’s house garden.

How much is the photographic industry in Spain generally affected by the crisis?
I think it is quite bad, but it was so before the crisis anyway. The thing that has gotten really worse is for photography related to promoting the country as a tourist destination, for obvious reasons. I’ve also heard of photojournalists being rejected to work in public hospitals because they didn’t want the horrible images happening there to go public. Also this obsession the media have of going mono-thematic have not helped. It seems the only stories worth publishing now are about the virus.

What do you think, how does the future of the industry look like?
I’m not very optimistic. There are a lot of talented photographers and this is really good, but the opportunities to sell our stories have been shrinking for many years. And it’s difficult to imagine that the coming general economic crisis will increase those. The only thing we can do is to give our best and try to be imaginative to create new opportunities.

And that of photography in general?
The future of photography looks quite good. I think there are a lot of talented photographers and no shortage of stories to be told. Technology has also improved a lot so even with inexpensive cameras you can take technically good images. A problem that I’ve been seeing for a long time is a tendency for many photographers to converge in style. So I think the landscape of possibilities is still mostly unexplored, so photographers who like exploring in that sense they have a bright future I believe.

What do you wish for your photographic future?
I wish that soon we can travel again safely. Personally a big part of the joy of my job is to travel and know all these different worlds, and then use photography and text to explain them. It also would be good for publications to become more wide and diverse in their subject matters, and also be more about who publishes the story better rather than who publishes the story first.

Website von Jordi Busque
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#FacesOfPhotography – Teil 84: Claus Lehmann aus São Paulo

Claus Lehmann interpretiert seine (Teil-) Quarantäne poetisch, schwarz-weiss und analog. Und denkt, dass neben Qualität auch Menschlichkeit eine Rolle in der Fotografie der Zukunft spielt. Mehr dazu hat er den #FacesOfPhotography erzählt:

»Mir geht es gut. Bin seit drei Monaten zu Hause und gehe nur raus, um Lebensmittel kaufen oder um Jobs zu fotografieren. Obwohl Brasilien momentan im Schatten einer großen administrativen Krise steht und wir Freien viel weniger arbeiten, habe ich noch Aufträge für brasilianische und internationale Kunden hauptsächlich aus Europa und den USA.
Die übrige Zeit verbringe ich mit meinem Sohn und mit freien Projekte – ich habe wieder mehr mit meinen Schwarz-Weiss Labor experimentiert, mehr studiert und unsere Quarantäne poetisch interpretiert (bin noch dabei).
Da ich eher Portraits und Menschen in ihrem Arbeitsumfeld fotografiere, denke schon das die künftigen Zeiten anders sein werden. Ich denke das immer mehr Kunden persönliche Statements suchen werden – ganz sicher fotografische Qualität, aber auch eine gute, menschliche Beziehung, Respekt vor der Umwelt und vor allen Respekt vor den Menschen (in allen Facetten). Und das ist gut, es ist Zeit für die ganze Welt sich als eins zu sehen. Jetzt haben wir die Gelegenheit, neue Gewohnheiten zu entwickeln.«

Website von Claus Lehmann
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#FacesOfPhotography – Teil 83: Obie Oberholzer aus Natures Valley

Obie Oberholzer wird die Zeit der Krise nutzen, um Material für sein fünfzehntes Buch zusammen zu stellen – mit Bildern aus 50 Jahren seiner Fotografie. Darüber und über die Zeiten der Pandemie in Südafrika haben die #FacesOfPhotography mit ihm gesprochen:

Obie, how are you in these strange times?
I guess, at my age one must take extra care, eat healthy and stay fit. Just before the tough lockdown here in South Africa, I had completed all the images for a coffee table book on TOKARA, one of the finest wine estates on this earth. (Situated near Stellenbosch) So, I had ample time to work on the editing, text and captions.

If we weren’t in crisis, what would you be working on?
I had planned to travel to the Netherlands to work with a Dutch publisher. In South Africa there are eight places named with Dutch origins. I had already photographed some of the villages all around South Africa. The intended plan was to travel to The Netherlands and shoot towns and cities with the same names. So… C’est-la-vie, we will have to see what happens down here and over there.

What are you working on instead?
I have started to collect all my travel images and stories for a my new book. I might title it, ‘WONDERER’. This will be my 15th coffee table book. Sadly, one of the magazines that I work the most for, ‘Country Life Magazine’ has ceased to publish. Many other hang in the balance.

Is it already clear what the crisis means for photography industry in the SA?
Hard to say. I think that young photographers that are just starting out, will have to find alternative work to survive. All we really have at the moment is hope.

Do you think that ways of seeing and visual languages will change against the background of the crisis?
This Covid-19 crisis had smashed the life out of so much in South Africa. The hardships for most of the population are almost unimaginable. My wife and myself are few of the fortunate ones. We live in Natures Valley, a small coastal village on the Cape south coast. It is completely surrounded by a national park.

What is your personal photographic wish for the time after the crisis?
I have been in this photographic business for almost 50 years. I will return to do what I do best —- tell stories about people and places in Southern Africa. “Follow that dream”, I’ve always called it. That dream changes with age, time and circumstances, but I will always follow it, wherever it takes me.

Website von Obie Oberholzer
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#FacesOfPhotography – Teil 82: Kristian Gehradte aus Melbourne

Einen kompletten Lockdown hat es in Zeiten der Pandemie in Australien nicht gegeben, so dass Kristian Gehradte die ganze Zeit weiter gearbeitet hat. Trotzdem ist die Krise nicht folgenlos geblieben – Kristian hat den #FacesOfPhotography einen kleinen Einblick gegeben:

Kristian, how are you?
Its been an up and down emotional period for me thats for sure! At the start of the breakout here it was stressful as it would of been everywhere across the world. Currently pretty good considering we are very fortunate of our outcome here in Australia.

How is the crisis currently affecting Australia?

As of Late June its nearly been eradicated in some of our states only the bigger cities like Melbourne and Sydney still having cases. Even though its very low with cases in 20 or 30 a day.

Is it already clear what the crisis means for photography industry in Australia?
Good question, obviously larger campaigns have halted but theres still been a lot of other work we could still work on. Smaller portraits shoots etc. I have been very lucky to been able to shoot through the pandemic as we haven’t had a full lockdown.

What are you currently working on?
Commercially most of the work has been in there corporate world with some industrial projects too. Personally I am working on a series that I will share as I go on my instagram page – as my artistic response to the crisis…

At the beginning of the pandemic in Australia a truly mystifying thing took place. People were going absolutely nuts about toilet paper! Hoarding it in copious amounts, ravaging supermarket aisles of the precious paper. Fights broke out for the product it was terrifying . Was this our first response to the crisis? Fear and panic can do strange things to some people.


What is your personal photographic wish for the time after the crisis?
Like everyone would be nice to just go back to normal even if it is a new normal for now.

Website von Kristian Gehradte
Facebook-Profil von Kristian Gehradte
Instagram-Feed von Kristian Gehradte
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#FacesOfPhotography – Teil 81: Gregg Segal aus Los Angeles

Die Krise hat das große neue Projekt von Gregg Segal gestoppt. Vorerst. Anstattdessen hat er seit Jahren das erste Feature Script geschrieben und denkt über virtuelle Realitäten nach. Über all das und noch mehr hat er mit den #FacesOfPhotography gesprochen:

Gregg, how are you in these strange times?
I’m hanging in there. Between the pandemic, staggering unemployment, and the
demonstrations and social upheaval, the past couple of months feel like the
opening montage of a dystopian movie about the unraveling of America.

If we weren’t in crisis, what would you be working on?
An ambitious project on water quality in the US that requires working with many
people and shooting around the country with a very large prop. Unfortunately,
Covid makes it impossible to pursue this project now. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get
underway next spring. I’m also developing a book project in collaboration with a
French food anthropologist which entails photographing around the world, so this
will have to wait to go forward as well.

What are you working on instead?
The upside of the pandemic is being released from the constraints of time and
having the chance to explore mediums I otherwise would have been too busy to
pursue. Lately I’ve been writing and painting. I wrote a feature script for the first
time in about 28 years (since I’d gotten my master’s in dramatic writing from
NYU). I also have a number of exhibitions in Europe and elsewhere this summer,
fall and into next year which are going ahead, so fingers crossed, we won’t be
forced into quarantine again!

Is it already clear what the crisis means for photography industry in the US
especially in California?

It’s harder to make a living certainly. Editorial photography was already
challenged prior to Covid. Now, more so than ever. The photography business is
a microcosm of the society at large, where the gulf between the haves and havenots
is widening and only a select few are able to make a handsome living.

Do you think that ways of seeing and visual languages will change against the
background of the crisis?

We may see a stronger push toward virtual imagery and a ramping up of virtual
reality as the reality we once knew becomes more precarious. We’ll likely see
many personal, introspective stories and projects, since we’re not able to freely
travel and interact with the outside world. At the same time, photography plays a
critical role as an instrument of social justice and that visual presence has been
key to the demonstrations for social justice not only here in the US but worldwide.

What is your personal photographic wish for the time after the crisis?

I’d like to be able to realize the water project mentioned above – and several
other ideas I have in the pipeline.

Website von Gregg Segal
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#FacesOfPhotography – Teil 80: Ricardo Wiesinger aus Hannover

Ricardo Wiesinger hofft, dass die Krise nicht zum Brandbeschleuniger einer negativen Entwicklung in der Berufsfotografie wird – sieht er die Rolle der Fotografie doch als eine sehr wichtige in diesen Zeit an. Darüber und über einiges mehr hat er mit den #FacesOfPhotography gesprochen:

Was ist Dein fotografischer Schwerpunkt?
Mein Schwerpunkt liegt auf dokumentarischer Fotografie und Portraits. Beruflich bin ich in den Bereichen Editorial und Corporate für große und kleine Unternehmen, Agenturen und Magazine unterwegs. Außerdem studiere ich in Hannover Fotojournalismus und Dokumentarfotografie.

Wie waren die letzten Wochen und Monate für Dich – fotografisch betrachtet?
Das Jahr startete sehr gut für mich und ich hatte einiges vor. Das Virus fühlte sich dann an, wie in Zeitlupe gegen eine Wand zu fahren. Ich habe ehrlich gesagt ein paar Wochen gebraucht, um mich an diese neue Lebensrealität zu gewöhnen und geplante Projekte entweder zu verschieben oder erst mal zu begraben. Anfangs spielten natürlich auch Existenzängste und Sorgen um meine Familie eine Rolle. Wann ist man auf so vielen Ebenen mit so viel Ungewissheit konfrontiert? Das hat mich fotografisch erst mal gelähmt. Gleichzeitig wurde ich von der Flut an Corona Tagebüchern und Projekten ein wenig erschlagen.
Mittlerweile sieht es glücklicherweise wieder besser aus und ich hatte auch wieder zu tun. Und sobald man die Zwangspause akzeptiert, hat sie große Vorteile. Ich habe endlich wieder mehr Zeit für Studium und Recherche. Und dann gibt es ja auch noch ein Leben neben der Fotografie, das ich im Moment sehr genieße.

Was denkst Du: Wird sich die Fotografie, die Branche, die Rolle der Fotografie mit der Krise ändern?
Ich hoffe sehr, dass diese Krise für Berufsfotografen langfristig nicht als Brandbeschleuniger für eine Entwicklung wirkt, die auch ohne Corona schon schlimm genug ist. Mittelfristig fordert sie aber ihre Opfer, wie das Krisen eben leider so an sich haben. Wie sich das langfristig auf die Branche auswirkt kann ich noch nicht einschätzen. Ich zweifle daran, dass aus einem neu entstandenen Umweltbewusstsein heraus Aufträge mit weniger Flug- oder Autoreisen verbunden sein werden. Aus Kostengründen sicherlich. Aber sobald die Budgets es wieder hergeben wird man sehen, ob die Krise insofern etwas bewirken konnte. Darin liegt jedenfalls eine große Chance, die ich nicht durch Pessimismus klein reden will.
Gleichzeitig spielt die Fotografie im Moment gesellschaftlich die wichtige Rolle die sie in Krisenzeiten seit ihrer Erfindung immer inne hatte. Man liest und hört jetzt oft, dass man noch in X Jahren von Corona sprechen und sich erinnern wird. Das ist und bleibt ohne Fotografie unvorstellbar. Ich glaube nicht, dass diese Krise die Rolle der Fotografie grundlegend verändern wird. Da waren Dinge wie die Digitalisierung sicherlich bedeutender.

Wird sich Deine Fotografie ändern?
Langfristig weiß ich das noch nicht. Während der Krise aber auf jeden Fall. Allein ein Portrait zu machen während man selbst eine Maske trägt, ist eine ganz neue Herausforderung. Ansonsten nutze ich die Zeit zur Recherche, studiere intensiver und bereite mich auf ein Projekt im Ausland vor. Ich denke jetzt mehr darüber nach ob ich Ziele im Ausland nur mit dem Flugzeug erreichen kann oder ob es gute, emissionsärmere Alternativen gibt.

Was ist darüber hinaus Dein persönlicher fotografischer Wunsch?
Auch nach der Krise mehr Zeit mit eigenen Projekten zu verbringen.

Website von Ricardo Wiesinger
Facebook-Profil von Ricardo Wiesinger
Instagram-Feed von Ricardo Wiesinger
LinkedIn-Kanal von Ricardo Wiesinger

*Das Foto von Ricardo hat Sabine Findeisen gemacht.

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#FacesOfPhotography – Teil 79: Nabil Salih aus Baghdad

Nabil Salih ist in Baghdad aufgewachsen, hat Anschläge, Menschenrechtsverletzungen, Gewalt und Angst gesehen und erfahren. Mit Covid-19 hat eine weitere Krise aktuell Einzug in den Irak gehalten. Über seinen Werdegang und seinen aktuellen Blick auf die (fotografische) Situation hat er mit den #FacesOfPhotography gesprochen:

You live in Baghdad, Iraq – What is the current situation? Also in times of Covid-19.
As a journalist and a native of Baghdad, I fear summarizing how the situation is like here in a few lines may omit so many things that are bad and give rosy thoughts to your readers. But I am not in the business of giving false statements.
A couple of nights back, the wire which feeds our house with electricity from a private generator in the neighborhood was cut. We were in total darkness for about three hours. There are routine state-power outages, and we regularly use motor pumps because water supply is meager. High-end shopping malls, restaurants and beauty clinics spring up here and there, there are some nice bars too. But concrete blast walls still line bumpy-streets and confiscate others. Poverty rate is constantly on the rise, and our health system needs years of development.
No more car-bombs ripping through local markets these days, but armed groups still shell military camps, government buildings and foreign embassies – terrorizing and traumatizing locals every now and then. The U.S.-led coalition also continues to assist Iraqi forces bombing positions of remnant Islamic State (IS) militants in rural areas. While no civilians are perished as “collateral damage”, violent scenes continue to be a staple in the news, occupying TV screens as they have done for three decades. Also, worth mentioning is that armed soldiers manning security checkpoints and never-ending traffic jams have been part of everyday life since the invasion of 2003.
In the past few weeks, COVID-19 has spread rapidly, with local health authorities so far announcing 24.254 patients infected and 773 others dying from disease. It’s worrying, considering Iraq’s health facilities suffered decades of sanctions, war and corruption. More worrying is that our society lacks health awareness and most people I see on the streets are not abiding by protective measures.
However, people are accustomed to curfews and lockdowns. Iraqi families repeatedly had to cramp in one room to shelter from bombing or armed clashes. So when authorities first imposed a curfew in response to COVID-19, it saddened me to see the city empty, and reminded me of all the times we were under lockdown because of war and its consequences.

What does the photography scene in Iraq look like?

The photography scene in Iraq is dominated by local photojournalists who have worked for international news agencies for now near two decades. But in the past few years a young generation of independent photographers started to rise. Of course, some of them are brilliant and have covered the October Uprising with such dedication and bravery. But on the other hand many tend to give the world a rosy image of an Iraq that is prosperous and stable by focusing solely on capturing photos from beautiful areas in the country. Of course, every human has the right to see and do things in their own way. But the night landscapes, albeit still important, don’t show the flocks of homeless people hovering on almost every intersection. And this is my opinion on written stories as well.

A boat man stands on a boat moored against the bank of the Tigris river in Baghdad, Iraq on May 13, 2020.

How do you see the national and international networking of the Iraqi photography scene?
Well, social media is well instrumentalised by local photographers to showcase their work, connect with international journalists and reach as many clients as possible. Especially wedding and graduation photographers – it was a flourishing business before Covid-19 hit the country. And the language barrier some may have when freelancing let’s say with a particular international media outlet is bypassed by fixers.
Still many western media outlets who have no bureau in Iraq arrive with their photographers and TV crews, and independent foreign photographers secure contracts before arriving here. I would say that other than the local photographers working for the leading international news agencies, it’s rarely that you see a photo on a prominent international media outlet credited to an independent Iraqi photographer. The same goes for press, most of the reporting coming out of Iraq is done by foreign journalists. That, I argue, has more to do with how the market is than the quality of the work done.

What does photography mean to you personally
It connects me to other people and their stories. With my camera in hand, I often take long solitary walks in the city. I stroll old meandering alleyways where rarely ‘outsiders’ show up, stop, and look. I meet people and have brief sometimes funny conversations with. Sometimes I am invited for tea at local tea houses and people ask if I need help reaching a certain area. Photography connects me with people and introduces unfamiliar areas to me. It opens my eyes, teaches me to be patient, and gives me opportunities to learn and meet people.

A man holds up a piece of bread during a protest on Baghdad’s al-Tahrir Square on October 25, 2019.

How did you get into photography, writing, journalism?
We have to go back a decade ago, when the streets of Baghdad were engulfed by angry protests at the misery begotten by a dysfunctional system. I used to translate the news posted by prominent Iraqi Facebook pages when foreigners asked questions. Later journalists asked to have phonecalls with me to explain how life in Iraq was like and why people were protesting. In the following few years I frequently appeared on TV and radio shows like the BBC’s World Have Your Say, providing insights into life in Baghdad. But my first ever published piece came as I was protesting again in 2015 at Baghdad’s al-Tahrir Square (where protesters are still camping today). I used to send updates on my twitter feed when the editor of a digital magazine called ShakomakoNET contacted me. He simply asked me to write them a piece and said “sure”. With great deal of help from him, I made my first step into journalism. I would then start writing more stories for them and then for The New Arab, discovering that journalism is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life instead of engineering, of which I hold a Bachelor’s degree.
As for photography, I always loved going through the family albums where pictures from as early as the 1970s are stored. Not much from the 1990s though, the UN imposed sanctions had an effect on every aspect of Iraqis’ lives and people couldn’t afford films and even sold their cameras along other belongings to survive.
For years I have enjoyed taking pictures with my smartphone, mostly random photos from the streets. But then I got my first camera in early 2019: a second hand bridge camera from Canon. I was lucky to have worked along a professional photographer for 10 months. Khalil al-Murshidi, who worked for several international news agencies for near two decades, guided me to the right path of photojournalism. I was also inspired by the work of the late Iraqi architect and photographer Rifat al-Chadirji, whose black and white photos from the 1970s and 1980s are a treasure.

What is your photographic focus, how do you work and who are your clients?
Most of the time I focus on the misery around me, on the consequences of war and corruption on humans and their surroundings. Since I have the means to share the stories of Iraqis with the world, then it is a duty to focus both my writing and photography conveying what it’s really like here to the world.
The first photos to be published for me last summer from the northern city of Mosul, where blood was spilled at every corner of the old town, and most homes, mosques and churches still lay in ruins in the aftermath of the devastating war against the Islamic State (IS) group.
Then came October of last year and millions took to the streets of Iraq in what’s known today as the October Uprising. I was covering the protests for Xinhua News Agency, but also writing for The New Arab and Jadaliyya. My photos from the protests were published on Jadaliyya, The New Arab and the Romanian newspaper Libertatea. I was mostly focusing on the victims of the state crackdown on the protests, which killed around 600 protesters and wounded around 20,000. Many journalists were assaulted, wounded and some were even assassinated for covering the protests. It was a historic period in Iraq’s history, which I am honored to have documented.
I then joined Doctors Without Borders in November that year as their media manager until as early as late April. Among other many things I was did was taking photographs, mostly to patients lingering in the beds of the hospitals the organization runs.
Recently I wrote a piece through which I took the readers for a stroll through central Baghdad. Through my words and the accompanying photos I tried to remind the world of many of the things that are wrong here. Prior to that, I also wrote a piece on the anniversary of the invasion, with photos focusing on the scars of that war on the cities infrastructures.

Local kids walk past century-old columns in al-Rashid street in Baghdad, Iraq on April 27, 2020.

What are you currently working on?
I am currently on the look for an opportunity where I can put my skills in both writing and photography in use, and further develop them. It is not easy considering the number of foreign journalists working here, and the security the power of their passports provide.
On the other hand, I have been thinking of a book documenting life in Baghdad in photos. If the circumstances allow, the project will see the light in the near future.

What role do you ascribe to photography – especially in times of crises?
Since I was a child, I became an eye witness to some human right abuses. The consequences of war and violence were present in my surroundings for the most years of my life. They are still today: you can see them on the faces of humans and the walls of their homes. I only wish I had a camera in hand growing up, to document what I have seen, the changes in my neighborhood and my city.
The news was part of my upbringing in Iraq. So was photojournalism. Pictures from Palestine or the wars Iraq has fought – so many! – were constantly on the screen. This I think has seeded an understanding of how powerful photography is in telling stories. You can read about a woman mourning a child perished in an airstrike, but it’s the photograph that shows you the tears glittering in her eyes, give you a sense of the anguish she’s drowning in.

What is your personal photographic wish for the future?
Simply to grab my camera and roam the streets of Baghdad freely again, not having to fear for my health or that of the people around me. I also hope that I can visit some of the cities that I have never been to or did not have enough time seeing when I did, such as the southern port-city of Basra, which I visited briefly earlier last year, and the western countryside on the Euphrates river – I long to spend enough time outside, to rotate the focus ring and let the camera lead the way.

Website von Nabil Salih
Instagram-Kanal von Nabil Salih
Twitter-Feed von Nabil Salih

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#FacesOfPhotography – Teil 78: Caio Guatelli aus São Paulo

Caio Guatelli glaubt – trotz oder gerade wegen – in den harten Zeiten der Pandemie in Brasilien an die Kraft der Fotografie. Mehr dazu hat er den #FacesOfPhotography erzählt:

How are you?

What ist you photographic main focus?
My main focus is to remove the blindfold from society’s eyes, and to show, with some little poetry, that everyone is responsible for the worst human disease, the social inequality. Somehow, I believe that the impact of strong photography can play a hole in finding the cure.

How is the crisis currently affecting Brazil?
Here in Brazil we have three big crises working together to knock down people’s hope.
One is pandemic — the New Coronavirus.
The second is epidemic — Brazilian current government.
And the last, and maybe the hardest one, is endemic — most of our population are born with no condition to fight our worst disease, the high social inequality. It is a fact since 1500, when Portugal colonised this land.

Manaus – Brasil – June 11 of 2020: Manaus was the most affected city in Brazil. This image shows Manaus cemetery, which saw the average number of burials grown from 26 to 130 burials per day.

What have you experienced professionally since the beginning of the crisis?
Those two local crises have been transforming the pandemic crisis into a boxing ring for political matters. So, what I feel, is a divided nation crossing a fragile moment. The New Coronavirus is magnifying the tensions between ideological beliefs. During the pandemic coverage, I have been feeling people polarised by misinterpretation, by political characters, of what this crisis is really about.

Manaus – Brasil – June 13 of 2020: Although the number of Covid19 infected people is decreasing, Manaus Field Hospital still sees its ICU operating at full capacity. The number of incoming victims has been decreasing. In the other hand, four days after the end of quarantine, emergency paramedics are finding new cases appearing in the city.

What are you currently working on?
As no one knows how this chaos will be overcome, I’m shooting a documentary without a script, with no date to finish.

What do you think is the task of photography in these times?
For an immediate purpose, photography can act in social defense (see George Floyd’s episode. It wouldn’t have reach that level without the photographic technique). But it also has many other tasks, like transforming the fear into hope, emptiness into poetry. All these tasks cooperate to illustrate the pages of our history.

Sao Paulo – Brasil – June 04 of 2020: One death every minute. This was the average death toll for Covid-19 lon June 02 in Brazil. This image shows the burial of a Covid-19 victim, at Vila Formosa cemetery. São Paulo, Brazil.

Do you think that ways of seeing and visual languages will change against the background of the crisis?
I believe this crisis is confirming the tremendous power of a language that is still in its puberty. Many populations, the majority, are still visual illiterates. At least they are now aware that, if they don’t want to be manipulated, they have to learn the visual and audiovisual languages.

What is your personal photographic wish for the time after the crisis?
To keep living as a photographer.

Website von Caio Guatelli
Instagram-Feed von Caio Guatelli

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#FacesOfPhotography – Teil 77: Ronaldo Schemidt aus Buenos Aires

Ronaldo Schemidt arbeitet als festangestellter Fotograf der Agentur AFP in Buenos Aires. Sein aktuelles Thema ist natürlich die derzeitige Situation der Pandemie. Welcher Moment ihn dabei am meisten berührt hat, hat er den #FacesOfPhotography erzählt. By the way: Ronaldo hat DAS World Press Photo des Jahres 2018 fotografiert:

Ronaldo, how are you in these strange times?
I’m ok, trying to stay calm amid these unexpected events. Above all, I keep a strict security routine to avoid getting infected, because that would mean not being able to work.

How is the crisis currently affecting Argentina?
The situation in Argentina is under control for the moment. There are few cases and a relatively small number of dead patients. But as the pandemic is still at an early stage here, we will have to wait to see how it evolves.

You are affiliated with the agency AFP – how and on which topics are you currently working?

Yes, I am a staff photographer of AFP since 2006, and as most as my colleagues, the main subject I am working on right now is the coronavirus pandemic.

What do you think: What is the role of photography in times like these?
As always, the role of photography will be to document the events, to leave a historic record of the situation we’re living, and to tell the society what is going on around.

How has the crisis affected your personal photography?
In general, I haven’t changed that much my way of work. I can’t think about photojournalism if it isn’t getting close to people.
Actually, what I find the most difficult is to picture some of the effects of the pandemic, like the censorship and control of some governments on our work as journalists.
Also, when I work in areas of high risk of infection, I get worried about the possibility of getting sick.

What was the most moving moment you have experienced photographically lately?
The most moving scene I have experienced lately is COVID patients saying good bye to their families as they are moved out their homes to the hospital. Also the people suffering from poverty that have to face the pandemic without a house, on the streets.

What is your personal photographic wish for the time for the future?
I wish to keep working on social issues, documenting what happens around me. I also wish a wider freedom of press, more security for my colleagues that work in conflict and risky areas, and that media were more engaged with the responsibility and ethics that come with our work.

Website von Ronaldo Schemidt (AFP)
Instagram-Feed von Ronaldo Schemidt

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#FacesOfPhotography – Teil 76: WillingHoltz aus Hamburg

WillingHoltz, das sind Paula Holtz und Yannik Willing. Mitte Mai ist ihr zweites Kind zur Welt gekommen, in der Zeit der Zwangspause hatten und haben die beiden also alle Hände voll zu tun. Beruflich ist in der gleichen Zeit ihre Auftragslage um 80 Prozent eingebrochen, langsam geht es ein wenig bergauf, aber ein mulmiges Gefühl für die kommenden Monate bleibt. Darüber und mehr haben die beiden mit den #FacesOfPhotography gesprochen:

Was ist Euer fotografischer Schwerpunkt?
Wir fotografieren hauptsächlich Menschen für Unternehmen und Magazine. Dabei liegt der fotografische Schwerpunkt immer mehr bei Portrait- und Situationsaufnahmen am Arbeitsplatz. Eine authentische Bildsprache ist uns dabei sehr wichtig.

Wie geht es Euch – vor allem auch als frisch gebackene Eltern – in dieser Zeit?
Wir freuen uns sehr, dass unser zweites Kind Mitte Mai gesund zur Welt gekommen ist. Das ist für uns erst einmal das Wichtigste. In der Zeit des Lockdowns hätten wir unser Geschäft also sowieso etwas reduziert. Der Zeitpunkt hätte demnach, so blöd das klingt, auch noch schlechter für uns sein können. Wir konnten uns voll auf die Familie konzentrieren. Es bleibt aber natürlich ein mulmiges Gefühl, wie sich die Auftragslage in den nächsten Monaten entwickeln wird.

Wie ist es Euch beruflich seit Beginn der Krise ergangen?
Wir haben seit Beginn der Krise einen Auftragsrückgang von 80 Prozent im Vergleich zum Vorjahreszeitraum. Immerhin gab es ein paar Portraitaufträge für Unternehmen, einen Magazinjob und Lizenzverkäufe. Einige der abgesagten Aufträge wurden erst einmal nur verschoben. Ob und wann diese wirklich stattfinden ist vorerst nicht klar. Jetzt im Juni kommen wieder mehr Anfragen, aber es gibt natürlich noch längst keine Normalisierung.

Was hofft Ihr, wie es beruflich für Euch weitergeht?
Es macht uns immer wieder großen Spaß, unsere Bildsprache zu verfeinern und uns ständig zu verbessern. Darauf werden wir uns weiterhin fokussieren. Außerdem probieren wir gerne Neues aus. Die Verbindung von Fotos und Videosequenzen in einer einheitlichen Bildsprache ist etwas, was wir momentan sehr spannend finden. Da gibt es allerdings einige technische und auch praktische Hürden, an denen gearbeitet werden muss.

An welchem Thema würdet Ihr Euch gerne mal versuchen?
Die Arbeiten der amerikanischen Fotografen Alec Soth und Joel Sternfeld haben uns immer sehr fasziniert. Beide sind unter anderem bekannt für Portraits von Fremden, die auf Road-Trips durch Amerika entstanden sind. Es muss ja nicht immer die große Reise sein, aber das Konzept vom Unterwegs-Sein und fremde Menschen zu portraitieren schwirrt schon länger bei uns im Hinterkopf herum. Durch unsere familiäre Situation wären vor allem „Mikro-Trips“ in der näheren Umgebung interessant. Der Film „The Straight Story“ von David Lynch wäre dafür eine Inspiration und die Arbeit „Horizonville“ von Yann Gross.

Website von WillingHoltz
Instagram-Feed von WillingHoltz

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