Category Archives: IM Magazine

A monthly presentation of new work by invited young women photographers.

Alice Smeets: Growing Up in Haiti

Alice Smeets (Belgium): Growing Up in Haiti
Inge Morath Award Finalist, 2008

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In 1804 Haiti drew attention by becoming the first black republic to declare independence, while today it attracts attention for its struggles with poverty and corruption. Even though in the past Haiti’s individualism symbolized the ambitions of the world’s enslaved people, they made no effort to inspire or to help other slave rebellions because of the fear that the great powers could retaliate against them. For the sake of national survival, nonintervention became a Haitian tenet. As a result it is nowadays the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere and has witnessed many corrupt leaders as well as substantial exploitation by foreign governments, especially by the United States and France. The country has always been considered as a place where anyone enriches himself of the backs of the poor, whilst major powers supported dictators to maintain their dominance in order to continue exploiting the country. It is the archetypal example of a system that sees the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

It is perhaps no surprise that Haiti has been ranked as the most corrupt country in the world by Transparency International in 2006. The nation has lost faith in their leaders. Continue reading Alice Smeets: Growing Up in Haiti

Rena Effendi: Pipe Dreams

Rena Effendi (Azerbaijan): Pipe Dreams, A Chronicle of Lives Along the Pipeline in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey
Inge Morath Award Finalist, 2007

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Pipe Dreams evolved from a long-term documentary project documenting my country’s post-Soviet turmoil in which I saw how corruption, poverty, and war were all related to and fed by oil and gas. Over the past two years the story has developed into a chronicle extending across three countries, through five active conflict zones, and links governments, oil corporations, and the citizens of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey in an experiment not only in engineering, but manipulation of human lives.

Refugees, unemployment, ethnic and religious friction, corruption, poverty – this is the reality which surrounds the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. Stretching more than 1,700 kilometres, its complex route was determined by delicate maneuvering through a minefield of unresolved conflicts and competing geopolitical agendas. Continue reading Rena Effendi: Pipe Dreams

Newsha Tavakolian: Iran, Girl Power!

Newsha Tavakolian (Iran): Iran, Girl Power!
Inge Morath Award Finalist, 2007

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Bio:
Photojournalist. A self-taught photographer, Newsha began working as professional photographer in Iranian press at age 16. She started with the women’s daily newspaper Zan, and she later worked with nine reformist dailies, all since banned. She began working internationally, covering Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, Yemen, Azerbaijan , India. Her works have been published in Time Magazine, Newsweek, Stern, Le Figaro, Colors, New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Der Speigel, Le Monde 2, and NRC Handelsblad and many others. Her photo essays include, The Day I Became a Woman, Mothers of Martyrs, War Pilgrims, Girl Power, and the Pakistani earthquake, as well as other work in Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia Yemen, Lebanon. She is particularly known for her attention to women’s issues. Represented by Polaris Images photo agency, New York. She was founding member of EVE (Evephotographers) with five other women photojournalists.

Jessica Dimmock: The Ninth Floor

Jessica Dimmock (USA): The Ninth Floor
Inge Morath Award Recipient, 2006

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The Ninth Floor documents a group of heroin users that were living in the apartment of a former millionaire turned heroin user, Joe Smith, 63, in the flatiron district of Manhattan. Joe, the lease holder of the apartment, had allowed one of his young tricks to take a spare bedroom in his 3 bedroom apartment several years ago.

By the time that I met them in the fall of 2004, nearly 15 people were living in the apartment at a time – Joe had given up his bedroom and stayed on a dirty sofa in the living room opting to take a teaspoon of methadone, a daily bag of dope, a beer or several cigarettes in exchange for rent. Electrical cords snaked through dark hallways to fill each room with the light of one lone bulb, bookshelves and tables had been stripped of all potentially valuable items to be sold on the street to get money to feed habits, the dead cat found in the bathroom took more than 2 weeks to remove, and the people moved through the halls, past each other, wearing their addictions like chipping armor while their personalities and character remained further and further unearthed and unfed. Continue reading Jessica Dimmock: The Ninth Floor

Dana Romanoff: Wife of the God

Dana Romanoff (USA): Wife of the God
Inge Morath Award Finalist, 2006

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“Wife of God” is about a controversial practice of African traditional religion, known as Trokosi, amongst the Ewe people in Ghana, Togo, and Benin. Ewe families suffering misfortunes bring females to shrines to reconcile with a god who is angry because of a crime committed by an ancestor. The females, often young virgins, live at the shrine and “marry” the deity to atone for the crime and appease the angry god. The women and girls are called fiashidi, which in the Ewe language means “wife of god.” Christian based organizations, internationally and in Ghana, say the fiashidi are slaves. Continue reading Dana Romanoff: Wife of the God

Mimi Chakarova: Sex Trafficking in Eastern Europe

Mimi Chakarova (USA): Sex Trafficking in Eastern Europe
Inge Morath Award Recipient, 2005

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I had already begun investigating the subject in Eastern Europe, an area I’m familiar with since I grew up in communist Bulgaria and immigrated to the U.S. after its collapse. Nevertheless, the U.S. State Department estimates that each year approximately 800,000 to 900,000 people are trafficked across international borders worldwide and that “no country is immune from trafficking.” The central question of method arose: how to document and interpret a unique manifestation of a widespread phenomenon? My goal in telling these complicated stories in photo reportage is to gather information truthfully, present it in a cohesive manner that would allow a multifaceted public to react in ways that encourage a democratic and international discourse. Continue reading Mimi Chakarova: Sex Trafficking in Eastern Europe

Jessica Dimmock: The Ninth Floor

Jessica Dimmock (USA): The Ninth Floor
Inge Morath Award Recipient, 2005

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The Ninth Floor documents a group of heroin users that were living in the apartment of a former millionaire turned heroin user, Joe Smith, 63, in the flatiron district of Manhattan. Joe, the lease holder of the apartment, had allowed one of his young tricks to take a spare bedroom in his 3 bedroom apartment several years ago.

By the time that I met them in the fall of 2004, nearly 15 people were living in the apartment at a time – Joe had given up his bedroom and stayed on a dirty sofa in the living room opting to take a teaspoon of methadone, a daily bag of dope, a beer or several cigarettes in exchange for rent. Electrical cords snaked through dark hallways to fill each room with the light of one lone bulb, bookshelves and tables had been stripped of all potentially valuable items to be sold on the street to get money to feed habits, the dead cat found in the bathroom took more than 2 weeks to remove, and the people moved through the halls, past each other, wearing their addictions like chipping armor while their personalities and character remained further and further unearthed and unfed. Continue reading Jessica Dimmock: The Ninth Floor

Shannon Taggart: The Spiritualists

Shannon Taggart (USA): The Spiritualists
Inge Morath Award Finalist, 2005

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I asked these spirit figures if I was seeing them or if I was seeing what was in my own brain. They answered “both.”
-Eileen Garrett, twentieth century medium

Spiritualism is a loosely organized religion based primarily on a belief in the ability to communicate with spirits of the dead. I first became aware of Spiritualism as a teenager after my cousin received a reading from a Spiritualist medium. This woman revealed a strange family secret about my grandfather’s death that proved to be true. Since then I have been deeply curious about how someone could possibly know such a thing. Continue reading Shannon Taggart: The Spiritualists

Yue Ren: Gay Scene in Beijing

Yue Ren (China): Gay Scene in Beijing
Inge Morath Award Finalist, 2005

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One of my good friends is a gay, whose emotional life is very complex. There are several times he want to suicide. I don’t know how to help him, but to be more close to him, so I begin to document his life use my camera. I do this work for two years, and the story broadened out. I know many this kind of people, when we become friends; I decide to continue this work as my long-term project.

Although china became more and more open, gay in china still has a difficult life because they are not being understand. Gay are still not accepted in Chinese society, not even in Beijing. Although April 20, 2001, Chinese Psychiatric Association issued the third edition of “standard of classify and diagnose for Chinese psychosis ”, and dropped homosexuality from a list of psychiatric disorders, Public opinion is still prejudiced against gay. So they are afraid of telling their families and friends the truth. Being “in the closet” causes emotional instability, and the gay bars of the Chinese capital are the only place to meet likeminded people. Every weekend, 200 to 300 gays gather in On Off, Beijing’s biggest gay meeting place and the starting point for many one-night stands. The other problem for them is the AIDS. One survey in 2001 shows that there is 5.9% of the gays in china have infected AIDS. Continue reading Yue Ren: Gay Scene in Beijing

Claudia Guadarrama: Before the Limit

Claudia Guadarrama (Mexico): Before the Limit
Inge Morath Award Recipient, 2004

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“He who has seen hope, will never forget it. He seeks for it under every sky and among all men. And he dreams that one day he will find it again, He doesn’t know where maybe among his own kin. In each and every human being is the possibility to be or more accurate, to be again another man.” – Octavio Paz

Every day hundred of undocumented migrants mostly from Central American countries try to cross Mexico on a journey fraught with danger, risking their lives to fulfill the dream of a better life as workers in the United States. This journey through Mexico begins in Chiapas at the shared border between Mexico and Guatemala, where migration controls are minimal; being a very rough geographic zone where migrants can easily cross illegally. There are no official records about the number of people crossing the Mexican border illegally everyday; the only official data is the number of migrants detained by Mexican authorities and send back to their original country. This year, 96,013 illegal migrants were caught crossing the Chiapas border, 44.5% of the total amount of detention in the whole of the Mexican territory. Continue reading Claudia Guadarrama: Before the Limit