Category Archives: IM Mag 2010/2011

Isabelle Pateer: Unsettled

Isabelle Pateer (Netherlands): Unsettled

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The documentary series Unsettled focuses in a metaphoric way on the idea of “progress” in a case where living environment and heritage have to disappear because of industrial purposes. Within this project this international tendency is illustrated by focusing on the Belgian village Doel and the surrounding polder area. The place is threatened by vast expansions of the port of Antwerp and related nature compensation plans, which installs an artificial contrast between nature and culture.

Unsettled illustrates this actual case in an indirect way, exceeding a pure documentary approach. It shows portraits of young inhabitants alternated by landscapes which bare witness to the transformed state of the area. Leaving a sourish taste by contrasting the young with the local changes, they symbolize the international tendency of global political and economic shifts and the way they manifest themselves to the people and their surroundings. Continue reading Isabelle Pateer: Unsettled

Helena Schaetzle: 9645 Kilometres Memory

Helena Schaetzle (Germany): 9645 Kilometres Memory

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“History is alive as long as our memory is alive.”
Konstantin Isaakow, Moskau

Almost every person in Europe has part of their family history connected to World War II happenings. With the dying out of the last living witnesses of this time, we are entering an age of forgetting and overcoming our past. The aim of this project is not just to remind of that time and the remains still perceivable in today’s society, but also to close a circle of time with personal records and memories of still living witnesses in photographic and text form. Thus, to overcome prejudices and look beyond, seeing the personal experiences and memories rather than the memories and experiences of a certain nation.

In the Second World War, from 1939 to 1945 more than 50 million people were killed. Most of them were civilians or politically and racially persecuted people like Jews, homosexuals or Roma. The biggest loss happened on the Soviet side, where about 27 million people died. This was mainly caused by the cruel war strategy of the Germans, which showed in the way they treated prisoners of war or in the systematic execution of people by the SS. The “Generalplan Ost” put on to record the elimination and oppression of people from the East European states. But the high loss of Soviet people was also caused by the ruthless command of Stalin. Continue reading Helena Schaetzle: 9645 Kilometres Memory

Rachel Loischild: Estate Sale

Rachel Loischild (USA): Estate Sale

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Estate Sale is an investigation of the estate sales of New England documenting the objects and domestic spaces that remain when someone dies. Estate Sales becomes a collection of environmental portraits that tell a story about individual lives, families, and an entire generation which is quickly evaporating. Details of ones life are laid out and exposed, allowing for the examination of the physical relics of someone’s life. This work examines these domestic spaces that have been very clearly shaped by women. In doing so, I am both creating portraits of these women and examining the cultural nuances to which they subscribed, as well as comparing them to our own schema today. This can be seen in the pieces of cosmetics remaining on a dressing table and the ornamentation of a house; even the choice of wall paper reflects such subtleties. Continue reading Rachel Loischild: Estate Sale

Bieke Depoorter: Oe Menia & I am About to Call it a Day

Bieke Depoorter (Belgium): Oe Menia & I am About to Call it a Day (in progress)

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In Bieke Depoorter’s previous travels and projects, short and intense encounters have been important elements. Her images lead us to the different people she has met along way, into whose personal stories she has been absorbed during a single night. This series is a composition of pictures from two different projects. The first part (slides 1-20), oe media, was photographed in Russia, during 2008 and ’09. A book documenting this project will be released in August 2011. The second part of the series (slides 21-40) was created in America, during 2010 and ’11; this work is still progress. In April 2011 I will spend a fourth month in the United States to continue my work there.

In oe menia, for three periods of one month, I have let the Trans-Siberian train guide me alongside forgotten villages, from living room to living room. Some Russian words, scribbled on a little piece of paper, allowed me to be welcomed and absorbed in the warm chaos of a family. Accidental encounters led me to the places where I could sleep. The living room, the epicenter of their lives, establishes an intimate contact between the Russian inhabitants. For a brief moment, I was part of this. Their couch became my bed for one night. This way, I experienced transient, but very powerful, shared moments.

Parallel with this idea, I have traveled for three months to the United States. Also here, I enter the life of families I’ve met on the street. This series focuses more on the personal space of the people I meet, literally and figuratively. However, the social contact I have with these people (and the mutual trust for them to take me into their most intimate privacy) stays an important element in my work.

Liz Hingley: Under Gods. Stories from the Soho Road

Liz Hingley (UK): Under Gods. Stories from the Soho Road.

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I grew up as the daughter of two Anglican priests in Birmingham, one of the UK’s most culturally diverse cities where over 90 different nationalities now live. I was the only white child in my nursery class. I ate Indian treats at friends’ birthday parties and attended Sikh festivals in the local park. After travelling abroad and living in various other cities I became aware of the particularity of my upbringing. I developed an interest in the growth of multi-faith communities in European inner city contexts, and the attendant issues of immigration, secularism and religious revival.

Between 2007-2009, I explored the two-mile stretch of Soho Road in Birmingham, to document and celebrate the rich diversity of religions that co-exist there, and the reality and intensity of their different lifestyles. I lived with and visited the different religious communities, including Thai, Sri Lankan and Vietnamese Buddhists, Rastafarians, the Jesus Army evangelical Christians, Sikhs, Catholic nuns and Hare Krishnas. The lively bus journeys along Soho Road on a Sunday were always insightful. They took Christian individuals to church congregations meeting in a tent in the local park or a school gym hall. Continue reading Liz Hingley: Under Gods. Stories from the Soho Road

Lijie Zhang: Forgotten Victims of SARS Sequelae

Lijie Zhang (China): The Forgotten Victims of SARS Sequelae

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In 2003, an unknown virus, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), spread rapidly in the mainland of China. The high mortality and high infection rates of SARS brought tremendous panic, and many people died in the disaster.

Due to lack of experience, glucocorticoids was used extensively for emergency treatment of SARS patients, especially in Beijing, where SARS was widespread. Excessive use of hormones is widely considered the main cause of one of Sequela of SARS: Osteonecrosis of the femoral head. Many Osteonecrosis sufferers lost the ability to work; they cannot stand to walk due to the severity of its symptoms. It is difficult for them to take care of themselves in daily life, and some are forced to replace their natural joints of the femoral head with artificial ones. Continue reading Lijie Zhang: Forgotten Victims of SARS Sequelae

Boryana Katsarova: Lonely Bulgaria

Boryana Katsarova (Bulgaria): Lonely Bulgaria

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Lonely Bulgaria is the first part of the long-term documentary photography project “Balkan Peninsula.” It is about Bulgaria, a small Balkan country which is also my native land.

This project is inspired by the sadness of – and my unwillingness to accept – the heavy social reality in my country. It is my personal fight against the poverty, the loneliness, and the depopulation of Bulgaria. Mainly, it is a project about the social situation in the urban areas in the country. It is a project about the people.

Bulgaria, situated in the eastern Balkans, has been undergoing a slow and painful transition to a market economy since the end of Communist rule, 10 November, 1989. Founded in 681, Bulgaria is one of the oldest states in Europe. The country became a Member State of the European Union on 1 January, 2007. Continue reading Boryana Katsarova: Lonely Bulgaria

Poulomi Basu: To Conquer Her Land

Poulomi Basu (India/UK): To Conquer Her Land

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The border areas between India and Pakistan are like their own world. Since partition in 1947, the border has seen war, smuggling (people, arms, drugs), firing, jingoistic parades, killing, suicide bombing, fireworks, lonely tears and moments of glory.

On September 2009, India’s first ever batch of women soldiers were deployed at the country’s first line of defence, at the India-Pakistan border in Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir.

After months of doing research and gaining access I started my project in June 2009 with these women. I spent time with some of these young women at their boot camp, homes and eventually at the zero line exploring and documenting their transformation from a woman to a soldier. Somewhere during my journey I began to comprehend the acute realities of this job. They may be soldiers now, the protectors of the land, but the harshness of the desolate border and this way of life takes its toll. Stationed on a critical border, they patrol the barren lands and try to come to terms with their new responsibilities. Continue reading Poulomi Basu: To Conquer Her Land

Eman Mohammed: What Lies Beneath the Rubble

Eman Mohammed (Palestinian Authority): What Lies Beneath the Rubble/Aftermath of War in the Gaza Strip

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One of the main goals in this project is to enter deeply, creating  a connected photographic story. Unlike a single photo or a sequence of single images, which are common in photojournalism, I am trying to express an alternative kind of story telling.

What lies beneath the rubble :

Between the shattered memories of the past and the unknown misty future lie the piles of remains that used to be called “Home” by Mohammed Khader and his wife, Ebtesam, and their 22 family members. This is where they take shelter, in the ruins of a house that was targeted during the Israeli War on the Gaza Strip during 2008 – 09. Khader’s family lived for the past 12 months beneath the rubble, without electricity or supplies, relying on humanitarian aid from international and local organizations. Continue reading Eman Mohammed: What Lies Beneath the Rubble

Claire Martin: Selections from The Downtown East Side and Slab City

Claire Martin (Australia): Selections from The Downtown East Side and Slab City
Inge Morath Award Recipient, 2010

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Editor’s note: In 2010, in recognition of exceptional quality of submissions received, two applicants were selected as winners of the Inge Morath Award. Lurdes Basolí’s winning project was featured in IM Magazine in September 2010.

Both my previous works “The Downtown East Side” and “Slab City” have explored communities of people living in desperate conditions in prosperous, stable countries. The Downtown East Side is located in Vancouver, Canada. The ten block radius is home to a host of social problems including extreme poverty, an AIDS rate estimated at over 30% and the leading cause of death is overdose. Slab City is a squatters community located in the Colorado Desert in California. Residents of this community live in some of the worst conditions in the USA with no access to electricity, sewage, water or waste disposal. Mental illness, addiction and poor coping strategies are the common factors that brought these people to their respective communities. I was drawn to document these communities because the same issues have played a role in my own life. Continue reading Claire Martin: Selections from The Downtown East Side and Slab City