1Picture of the Week
by Renzo Grande
2W Eugene Smith, The Photographer Who Wanted To Record Everything
In April 1977, the photographer W Eugene Smith sat in a wheelchair in 23rd Street in New York and oversaw the loading of his vast archive into two removal trucks by a team of young volunteers. Among material carried out of his loft and transported to the Center for Creative Photography in Arizona were several hundred thousand photographic prints and negatives, hundreds of notebooks filled with his writings, boxes of cameras and accessories, 25,000 LPs and 8,000 books. His entire archive filled a high-school gymnasium, floor to ceiling, and weighed about 22 tonnes.
Like many photographers, Smith was obsessive in the pursuit of his vision, but fuelled by alcohol and a long-term addiction to amphetamines, his compulsive behaviour had over the years become extreme. Among his archives were several boxes containing photocopies of all the letters he had ever written.
3Celebrating The Best Travel Photography
Photographer Marsel van Oosten: “Kayaking amongst the giant cypress trees on a misty morning on one of the countless bayous of the Atchafalaya basin, the largest US wetland. In my photography graphic shapes and lines are very important, and so is the absence of clutter. However, the swamps in Louisiana are exactly that – cluttered.”
Travel Photographer of the Year at 10 Stockwell Street opens at Greenwich in London on 4 August and runs until 3 September 2017.
View the Full Collection
4Jewels Of Early Indian Photography
The surge in popularity of photography from the mid-1850s in India means that a vast number of works remain uncredited. The Photographic Society of Bombay, founded in 1854, boasted more than 200 members within a year, prompting other societies in Madras and Calcutta to emerge soon after
5An Annual Compendium of Black Photography that Was a Revolutionary Act
RICHMOND — In 1973, a small band of black artists published a book that changed the history of photography in America. The Black Photographers Annual [BPA], Volume I, presented the work of nearly 50 distinguished African-American photographers, past and present. It was a revolutionary act. The worlds of art and photojournalism had largely ignored black photographers, despite the thousands of important images they had made ever since daguerreotypist Jules Lion opened his New Orleans studio in 1840. The first volume of the BPA and the three that followed over the next seven years showcased the work of scores of contemporary black photographers and brought the history of their predecessors to the fore.
All of the BPA photographers were part of what Leigh Raiford calls photography’s “critical black consciousness.” For a century and a half, African-American photographers had been creating a counternarrative of style and purpose that challenged conventional ideas about what photographs could look like and what work they could do in the world. Frederick Douglass, writing in the mid-nineteenth century, was the first to identify the ways in which photography’s black consciousness challenged racism and other forms of inequality. He believed that photographers, like poets, were prophets of justice, who saw “what ought to be by their reflections of what is, and endeavor[ed] to remove the contradiction.” The BPA compellingly illustrated the extent to which standard histories of American photography, as well as exhibitions in galleries and museums, had evaded the challenge of this critical consciousness.
6Photographer Patience Zalanga uses Her Lens to Spark Conversation Around Ethics in Media
“If you asked me what I was gonna be when I was like 20 [years old], photography was not something I would have said,” recalled artist Patience Zalanga.
Yet in 2014, her life trajectory would change when she picked up her camera and headed to Ferguson, Missouri, after a grand jury failed to indict officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. This wasn’t her first time in Ferguson, Zalanga had spent time in Ferguson earlier that year in the days after Brown’s death and returned to the city just hours before the non-indictment charge was handed down. Initially too scared to bring her camera in case it got confiscated or damaged during the protests, or if she got arrested, this time Zalanga brought her camera.
“When I was on the ground with organizers, seeing the way the movement was working, it really changed my perception,” Zalanga said. I saw the media had played a significant role in the way it shaped what I thought what was happening. I was very confused at the time. I always wanted to be a journalist, but when I went there [Ferguson] it was definitely a different scene than what I had seen.”
7Ein Tag in Berlin – Exhibition
Some news from myself. The exhibition “Ein Tag in Berlin” had a tremendous beginning and great echo in German media. One image of mine is also featured on the walls and the exhibition runs until September 22nd.