Tag Archive: new york city

NYPD officer faces 7 years in jail after lying about photographer’s arrest

“Ackermann’s report said Stolarik had flashed his camera in Ackermann’s face several times as police told him to stop photographing a girl’s arrest. But according to the Times, Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson’s office didn’t find any photographic evidence of a flash being used, nor did any witnesses corroborate Ackermann’s report.” -Cop Who Arrested Times Photographer Faces Seven Years in Prison, New York Magazine

The last time we wrote about New York City’s war on cameras, we showed a video of a police officer stopping frequent New York Times contributing photographer Robert Stolarik while he was taking pictures of arrests at an Occupy Wall Street demonstration. Stolarik is again at the center of a story in which police overstepped their bounds in preventing the operation of a free press. On Aug. 4, 2012, the photographer was taking pictures of the start of a streetfight in the Bronx.

According to the New York Times, police ordered Stolarik to stop taking pictures of an arrest, but he identified himself as a journalist and continued photographing the scene. One officer then grabbed his camera, he asked for badge numbers and names, and the police then took his cameras and forced Stolarik to the ground. The photographer was arrested. One police officer, Michael Ackerman, later claimed that Stolarik had deliberately used his flash camera’s flash in his face, interfering with the police officers’ duties and justifying an arrest. Yesterday, though, Ackerman was indicted on three felonies and five misdemeanors, alleging that Ackerman made up the events leading to the arrest. Evidence and witness testimony now make clear that Stolarik did not use a flash that night: his camera does not have a built in flash, his pictures from the event show no use of flash, and no witnesses report seeing bright lights. At the time of the arrest, Stolarik told New York Magazine that the charges were untrue.

The officer has been suspended without pay. Stolarik’s charges have been dismissed.

(via James Estrin on Facebook)

The New York Photography Portfolio Review: Interview with James Estrin

Yesterday James Estrin, co-Editor of the New York Times Lens Blog and Staff Photographer for the Times, announced that they are inaugurating the first New York Photography Portfolio Review, a two-day event in April 2013. It will bring together 160 photographers, in two one-day sessions, with more than 50 prominent reviewers, including a diverse selection of photo editors, agents, publishers, curators and buyers. The event will include private portfolio reviews, discussions and workshops.

They’ve also announced that the event will be free to attend for invited photographers, a step away from other major portfolio reviews in the US and Europe which can cost hundreds of dollars. The event, on April 13 and 14 at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism in New York City, is divided in two sessions: on Saturday the 100 invited photographers will all be 21 years or older, and on Sunday all 60 photographers will be aged 18-27. To attend you must submit a portfolio by February 13, and invited photographers will be informed by March 8, 2013.

This is such an interesting event that I wanted to pose a few questions to Estrin, and he agreed to fill us in.

The New York Times Lens Blog.

The New York Times Lens Blog.

Dvafoto: Whose idea was this project, and how does it fit Lens’ and the NYT’s goals?

Estrin: I’ve always thought that the web, and social media were very powerful tools for communication, but significantly different than actual human interaction. Real Analogue interaction can have important and profound consequences.

I came up with the idea for the review with Lens co-editor David Gonzalez.

We have been lucky that our marching orders, from our boss [assistant managing editor for photography for the New York Times] Michele McNally, have always been to make the very best blog we could. Make the best editorial judgements that we could make, be willing to be smart, try to be principaled and don’t worry about traffic or business. So if this event can help the photo community, and create opportunities and discussion, then it fits into our mission. There are many ways to communicate.

Why did you choose to make the event free? This surely bucks the trend of most portfolio reviews and events for photographers these days.

It’s free because we wanted to create as many opportunities for photographers, regardless of background, to share their work.
There are fine portfolio reviews that charge- most of them non profit either by design or execution. I reviewed this year at Review Santa Fe and also at Lens Culture Fotofest in Paris and I think both were very was helpful for many photographers as well as for myself as an editor. At the same time I think we all have a responsibility to our fellow photographers, particularly the youngest new photographers amongst us.

Many people helped me when I was a young freelance photographer. I wouldn’t be here without them. I always remember how difficult it was to show my work in the pre-digital era, and how alone I often felt. There is an important tradition of experienced photographers helping newer ones.

Why the age categories? Will there be a different curriculum for each session?

The age categories are because I wanted to make sure that we did the utmost we could for up and coming photographers.
All photographers 21 and older can go on Saturday and I think the opportunities will be great. But on Sunday you have to be 18 -27 and there will be many workshops as well as reviews. By the way a very accomplished 21 -27 year old photographer could apply and get in for both days.

Ultimately, we just wanted to do some good, have fun, and help our colleagues in any way that we can. So we asked what would be a meaningful thing to do.

My colleagues from the New York Times, National Geographic, Time, Aperture, Abrams books, PDN, and many museums, magazines, galleries and blogs have generously agreed to share their time. We are adding new reviewers daily.

Thanks to James Estrin for answering some of our questions and for organizing this fantastic opportunity for photographers.

The deadline for submitting your portfolio is February 13, 2013 on the entry page. Good luck to everyone applying!

Photographers, city council members sue NYC for systematic violations of civil rights during Occupy Wall Street

“The claims arise from a series of incidents in connection with Occupy Wall Street protests beginning in and around September 17, 2011 and continuing to the present day in which the City of New York in concert with various private and public entities have employed Officers of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) and others acting under color of state law, to intentionally and willfully subject Plaintiffs and the public to, among other things, violations of rights to free speech, assembly, freedom of the press, false arrest, excessive force, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution and, furthermore, purposefully obstructing Plaintiffs carrying out their duties as elected officials and members of the press, including oversight of the New York City Police Department.” -Rodriguez Et Al v. Winski Et Al. First Amended Complaint (pdf, scribd link)

We’ve written before about photographers being abused while covering protests in New York City. Now, photographers Stephanie Keith, Charles Meacham, the National Press Photographers’ Association (see their blog about the case), five NYC city council members, and others, have joined in a federal lawsuit against various New York City entities and officials, including Mayor Bloomberg, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, and a number of identified and unidentified police officers, as well as JP Morgan Chase and other businesses in the Occupy Wall Street area, alleging that they engaged in the intentional obstruction of news-gathering activities, the business of elected officials, and Constitutionally-protected protest activities. The complaint can be read in it’s entirety here. In an NPPA press release about the lawsuit, a quotation summarizes photographer Stephanie Keith’s complaints against the city and others, “I joined this lawsuit because as a working journalist I’ve been arrested, thrown to the ground, hit with batons and yelled at by the NYPD while doing my job on assignment. I have seen my fellow journalists being treated this way as well. Why should journalists be subjected to trauma inducing harassment on the job?”

(via PDNpulse)

The war on cameras continues – #OWS and elsewhere

Skip to about 1:45 in the video above to see police obstructing New York Times freelancer Robert Stolarik from taking pictures. It’s the latest demonstration of the NYPD’s general strategy of impeding the freedom of the press to cover Occupy Wall Street as it unfolds. We’ve written about states making it illegal to photograph or take video of police previously. But what we’ve seen in New York recently is a concerted effort to prevent the press from taking pictures or video of the protests and police conduct. Journalists have been arrested on a few occasions; here’s a personal account from Vanity Fair photographer Justin Bishop about his arrest. After the Stolarik incident above, which happened earlier this week, New York Times lawyer George Freeman sent a stern email to Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Brown, expressing the paper’s “disappointment” with the way Stolarik was treated. Here’s the full text of an earlier, similar letter, signed by a coalition of media honchos. In a discussion with Capital New York, Freeman described the email to the NYPD:

“We are disappointed that the result and first step of our recent meeting with Com. Kelly, the directive he issued reiterating that the police are not supposed to be interfering with the media’s doing their jobs and covering newsworthy events, has apparently not been followed or implemented on the ground. The World Financial Center video indisputably shows an officer bobbing and weaving for no other purpose than to block a Times freelancer’s ability to photograph police actions.” -NYT lawyer George Freeman, speaking with Capital New York

This isn’t the first volley between media and the NYPD and Bloomberg administration. Letters have been sent to the authorities before; various organizations have helped pressure the NYPD and other authorities, as well. Though this is not without some effect&em;in late November, NY Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly issued a memo for all police instructing them not to interfere with the media&em;the Stolarik video shows that police continue to obstruct the press with impunity.

The NYPD have also said that the best way for reporters to avoid arrest is to carry a press card issued by the NYPD (though later recanted that statement). Wired’s Threat Level blog dug into the process of getting a press card and found something straight from Orwell. “We aren’t issuing press credentials to reporters covering Occupy Wall Street,” Detective Gina Sarubbi, NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information, told Wired. And NYPD spokesman Stu Loeser admitted that arresting credentialed journalists covering Occupy Wall Street was justified. Photographer CS Muncy says that wearing an NYPD press card is akin to wearing an “arrest me” sign at the Occupy demonstrations. The Village Voice has more general coverage of the issue.

The limitations placed on photographers are limited to Occupy Wall Street, New York City, or even the US. The Committee to Protect Journalists chronicles journalists killed and detained each year around the globe. Here’s the list of journalists killed so far in 2011.

The ACLU recently sued the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in a federal suit, “alleging that the Sheriff’s Department and deputies ‘have repeatedly’ subjected photographers ‘to detention, search and interrogation simply because they took pictures’ from public streets of places such as Metro turnstiles, oil refineries or near a Long Beach courthouse.” American Journalism Review has further coverage of “the rising tension between news photographers and law enforcement officials” around the US.

And for a moment of levity, watch first half of the following Stephen Colbert clip in which is berates the Wisconsin state government for allowing guns in the state capitol building, but not cameras:

The Colbert Report – Stephen Colbert reminds us that while guns are now allowed in the Wisconsin capitol building, cameras are not
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,Video Archive

“Thank God! Cameras are dangerous. With no waiting period or background check any wack-job could just stroll into a Wal-Mart and walk out with a semi-automatic [camera]. Now for years I’ve been pressing for stricter regulations on cameras, especially around our elected officials. To many political lives have been cut short by some crazed [photo] shooter.” -Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report

Colbert’s funny, but the issues are real. We’ve linked to Carlos Miller’s Photography is Not a Crime blog in the past, but it’s worth looking at again. Here are some recent posts: Virginia Man Arrested For Recording Cops Plans Lawsuit, Blogger Must Act Like Journalist To Be Treated Like One, Man Arrested After Photographing Executive Office Building In D.C., Nashville Police Arrest Journalist Covering Protest, Former WV Senator Ordered To Delete Photos In Pittsburgh Mall, Iowa Man Convicted In Videotaping Case Needs To File Appeal, Occupy Cincinnati Activist Arrested After Photographing “Covert” Cop Car, Occupy Calgary Activist Threatens To Sue Videographer For Recording Him, and Chicago Police Delete Journalism Professor’s Video Footage Of Arrest. Sadly, Miller’s blog is never left wanting for new content.

Tim Allen - DSLR ban at UK Tube Station

Tim Allen - DSLR ban at UK Tube Station

And in the UK, there’s a particularly laughable sign that’s been erected outside the Aldwych tube station (part of the London Underground system), banning DSLR cameras. Tim Allen found the sign and posted it to a twitter picture service. The sign reads “Due to their combination of high-quality sensor and high resolution, digital SLR cameras are unfortunately not permitted inside the station.” Amateur Photographer has a bit more information, and a follow-up as officials try to justify the ban. The British Journal of Photography has continued pressure on Transport for London, including a Freedom of Information request to get all government information relating to the ban.

Still in the UK, if you haven’t seen it before, Stand Your Ground is worth a watch. A group of photographers set out on the streets of London to exercise their right to photograph that which is in public view. They were interrupted in a variety of ways by representatives of private property, but received support from London police. It’s a great video.

As always, know your rights as a photographer. There are two good online summaries for US photographers, one by Bert P. Krages, an attorney who works on photo-related issues, and another by the ACLU. If anyone knows of similar resources for photographers from other countries, please send them along or post them in the comments below.

Brad Vest’s “Adrift”

When dvafoto was in New York a couple of months ago we had the chance to meet up with some old friends, a few of whom we’ve known online for years but never met in person. Bryan Derballa is one of these folks, and over a drink we got in to a discussion of what was happening in the city and what work we had seen that was getting us excited. Derballa mentioned one project, “Adrift” by Brad Vest, and once we had the chance to look at the project we were in full agreement; the work was terrific and worthy of featuring. I asked Vest about the stories behind the project and am excited share it here. See more of this project at Soul of Athens website.

How did you first meet Travis Simmons?
It was my first quarter at Ohio University and I was pretty lost. I had a lot of ideas that I wanted to pursue but absolutely no connections yet. While driving around trying to meet people in October 2009, I saw Allen, Travis’s father, working along the Ohio River in Jackson County, West Virginia and decided to pull over and introduce myself. After shooting a few photographs we got to talking about his soon to be released son and the preparations he was making to the camper next door to his that Travis, his son, could live in upon his release. When Shelia, Travis’ mother, got home later, we talked for a few hours and got to know them and their son’s situation.
A few days later, I met Travis Simmons. He had just served five months for conspiracy to commit grand larceny and broken probation. I’d planned with his parents to be there when he got home. We talked for a while, he invited me in for dinner and we talked long into the night about why I thought it was important to tell his story; a single father, two young girls and a year of mandatory isolation while attempting to right his life and stay away from old ways.

How long have you been photographing this project, how has the focus changed over time?

Travis Simmons is the first person that I’ve really photographed for a long period of time. I’ve spent the last twenty months photographing Travis, his family, friends and lovers. It’s always tough to leave for any extended period of time, hear new things but not be able to be there to photograph, to understand in a more complete way than phone conversations and text messages. 

At the start, the project focused on confinement, how a person deals with forced isolation and raising a family within that. As I spent more time I realized that the confinement worked counter intuitively. The loneliness it created while attempting to keep him away from old friends brought an all too common human need for connection. He pursued relationships, allowed friends to visit, he let these influences into his life just to relieve his isolation. At that point, the focus of my work shifted to look at whether or not he could leave that life behind him, a life defined by addiction, in order to be the best father that he could.

What is the reaction from Simmons and his family, or the community if it has been shown there at all? 
Travis has seen all the photos from the project at some point in time or another. I’m always bringing out big stacks of prints for him and his family. After completing the story as it is now at Soul of Athens I brought out my laptop and he went through everything. He immersed himself in it from start to finish and when he finished up he looked up and smiled, “well, that’s everything isn’t it.” Travis really liked the story while at the same time acknowledging that he never wants to make the same mistakes that were currently blaring at him on a small screen.

It’s tough because what he saw and what I’ve been there is not the end of his story; it’s just a concentrated vignette into the past two years of his life. After he went through the project we talked long into the night; about the time we’ve spent together, everything Travis has been through, how I’ll be back and forth but not like it had been when I started school at Ohio University. Not like it’s been for the past twenty months. The freedom of being an hour away and with enough time to spend with him, enough time to learn his story and see it change on a daily basis. I look forward to visiting the Simmons whenever I find myself anywhere near West Virginia, I already miss that one-hour drive.

Where have you or hope to have this work published or seen?

Eventually I would love to have the resources to expand this project to encompass a more complete look at the prescription drug and heroin epidemic currently affecting Appalachia. Getting deeper into more homes in the area as well as exploring the justice system and community effects that are taking place due to the influx. I would love to see the work published somewhere that not only draws attention to the issue but helps to create understanding of an epidemic affecting a place in the United States that is often overlooked and too easily ignored.

Thanks again Brad and for the many people who let you in to their lives, this is a striking document of this family’s moment in time and of need. We hope that this may lead to more people coming in to contact with this story.

Dvafoto in New York City May 2 – May 6

Matt Lutton and M. Scott Brauer are currently in the United States and will be visiting New York City together from Tuesday May 2 through Friday May 6th. Both will be sharing recent work and new projects. We already have some fun work meetings set up and are excited to see old friends and colleagues. We are also planning to meet at The Half King on Wednesday night to see everyone. If you’re in the city, be in touch and/or check here for final details.

It has been a couple of years since the two of us been able to meet up and we haven’t been in New York together since 2005, when we were both interns at Black Star. It’ll be a nice reunion and potentially the start of some interesting collaborations.

Times Square, 2005. Matt Lutton

We already have most of our meals (Uighur! Momofuku! Matt is aching for variety after months in Belgrade) planned out and a few shows we want to see (like Revolucion(es) and Shen Wei at Daniel Cooney). And of course a pilgrammage to Dashwood Books. Any recommendations for shows happening these days that we can’t miss?

At the end of the week, Lutton is headed back to Belgrade and Brauer to Boston.

Dina Litovsky’s “Untag This Photo”

Dina Litovsky, a Brooklyn based photographer, recently sent us a look at her new project Untag This Photo, a complex project looking at the role of pictures and feminine exhibitionism in modern society. Litovsky writes: “Instead of an instrument of voyeurism, the camera becomes a welcomed participant.”

I think there are a lot of interesting issues at play here: the omnipresence of cameras and the changing perceptions of posing and being pictured, alongside what are acceptable public (or are these private?) exhibitions. These lines are blurring, and it is great to see photographers exploring this territory. I’m sure all of us who have social media accounts can relate to wanting to ‘untag’ pictures of ourselves for a variety of reasons, whether our friends took the picture or we showed up in someone else’s images.

But I think we should leave it to Litovsky’s statement and her pictures to be our introduction to this discussion. I look forward to seeing feedback on this project.

“For the last few years I have been photographing the New York City nightlife in its different incarnations- clubs, lounges and bars, as well as parties – both public and private. During this time I observed the focus of the events shift from partying to photographing the partying and became fascinated by the often exhibitionist behavior of women in this changing social context. This project is my exploration of how public behavior and personal representation have been influenced by the accessibility and availability of electronic media, specifically digital cameras, iphones and networking sites.

In one form or another, self-representation of women has been linked to exhibitionism since the Flapper age. Women’s compliance to adjust to the ever-changing ideals of beauty has been evolving hand in hand with an eagerness to showcase the results. In the digital age, this has become easier than ever. Enabled by the new technologies and encouraged by the Lady Gaga-like conception of femininity, the desire to reveal has transformed into a willingness to expose. With this, self-representation of women has reached a curious state, one where women are both in control of their image and at the same time, participate more than ever in their own objectification.

Social networks provide a perfect platform for wide and instant exposure and familiarize the mainstream audience with overtly sexualized behaviors that in the past have only been permissible in the contained settings of Spring Break or Mardi Gras. Cameras, ever more compact and omnipresent, are increasingly admitted into heretofore ‘private’ realms: late-night dance halls, erotic events, even in the bedroom. Instead of an instrument of voyeurism, the camera becomes a welcomed participant. The women photographed are not just permitting but actually performing for the camera; it connects them, the virtual exhibitionists, to a vast anonymous audience.” – Litovsky

Worth a look: Dubin at Work

Dubin at Work - The Kisseloff collection

Dubin at Work - The Kisseloff collection

Dubin at Work is a such a strange and unexpected set of photos, I almost don’t believe they exist. Harry Dubin took his teenage son around the streets of 1940s New York to take pictures of people working. Only, they didn’t photograph the workers. Instead, Dubin asked the workers if they’d be willing to lend him their uniforms and then posed as the workers. There’s Harry Dubin as a street sweeper, then as a hansom cab driver, then as a blind beggar on the street, then as a railroad worker. In each photo, he’s fully transformed as the worker and the results are a beautiful artifact of a time gone by.

The photos, 30 in all, are finding their way online by way of Jeff Kisseloff, a historian and writer, who met Dubin while researching a book on television. Dubin was the subject of a 10-page New Yorker profile (PDF) in 1947 (well worth a read) as one of the first families in the city to own a television set. Kisseloff was intrigued by the article and on a whim decided to look for Dubin in the NYC phonebook, thinking he might still be alive. Dubin agreed to an interview. When Kisseloff arrived for the interview, Dubin asked if he could reread the New Yorker piece and handed Kisseloff a small photo album titled “Dubin at Work” to look through while he waited. That happenstance turned into a 1996 special exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York. Kisseloff also wrote an article about the photos for American Heritage (PDF).

(via MetaFilter)

Visura Magazine presents the New York Photo Festival ’09

Visura Magazine - New York Photo Festival 09 special issue

Visura Magazine - New York Photo Festival 09 special issue

There’s been a lot of online coverage of the 2009 New York Photo Festival, mostly good but some bad. But, I hadn’t seen many of the actual photos from the festival. Visura Magazine comes to the rescue with a special issue devoted to the festival. So much work to look through…

I Love New York

Sorry for the lack of posting on my end, especially of things that aren’t all about me, I’ve been a bit busy on the road. I’m still in New York City, trying to stay warm and get through the gauntlet of editor meetings, and will head out for Belgrade on 2/4. I’ve had a tremendous time here so far, and am giddy to be able to hit up all my favorite restaurants, bars and bookstores. I love this city so much.
Today, for example, I had a meeting in midtown where I was treated to a good conversation and great feedback on my work all the while with a wonderful 27th-floor Manhattan view, then I headed downtown and had some Shanghai Soup Dumplings in Chinatown, a food I’ve been wanting to try for months, then off for a walk through Tribeca to my friend Alan Chin’s exhibition at Sasha Wolf Gallery, then walked up town a bit to make my pilgrimage to Dashwood Books. Where else can you do all of this in a couple of hours?

This is just one afternoon, since I’ve been back in the city since the Inauguration (gallery now on my website) I’ve also had the fortune to see the wonderful William Eggleston retrospective at the Whitney Museum, and it was really beautiful and engaging. (And a great compliment to the Robert Frank’s The Americans exhibition which I saw in DC). On Monday I also (accidentally) found myself in the middle of the Chinese New Years celebrations in Chinatown, and those are the pictures illustrating this post. I’m sure M. Scott will post some of his (wholly cooler) pictures soon.
So like I said the main reason I’m here in New York is to make connections with editors, publications and other photographers. So far, this has been a great experience and have learned a lot (about my work, about the ‘industry’), and I think it will lead to work and opportunities soon. The biggest stress has come, not surprisingly, from the production of my print portfolio. Between making one edit, getting prints made, finding out they looked like crap, then having another meeting with Alan Chin and the amazing Jason Eskenazi who encouraged me to reedit things in some drastic ways, then having the new prints take forever (and missing my complete book for my first two meetings). I am very proud of the result, I think this is my most personal portfolio to date (it includes more of ‘my’ pictures than edits for other people). As you can see below, I have come to 20 pictures from my Kosovo stories and 10 from I See A Darkness, and I am bringing along my laptop to show a slideshow of my Inauguration pictures. It was a tough decision, to leave out my Homeless in Seattle story and any singles or recent work (it was tough to leave out pictures like this). On one hand this features some of my strongest work that is related to my ‘pitch’ about living in this region, on the other it doesn’t speak to the diversity in my larger portfolio. This became an issue today when an editor thought my work was lacking a strong story; she liked I was trying to find a way to illustrate a ‘big idea’ (of ‘New York’, or ‘Kosovo’) but wanted to see me tackle a more singular issue. Absolutely this is something I need to focus on, but other pictures or stories would have shown my work on this kind of piece. Ultimately, there is no way to please everyone and yourself at the same time or to cover all possible bases. When I said this was a learning process for me, this is at the heart of it.

I mentioned that I made my trip to photo book mecca Dashwood Books and I wanted to report back on some of the wonderful things I found there. I was ecstatic to find a number of books that I have been waiting for (and searching for at all lesser bookstores), including my first encounter with an Antoine D’Agata book (Situations), Eugene Richards’ The Blue Room (which I thought was beautifully sparse and an incredible, post-silent-apocalypse vision of America. Remarkable that these pictures are from this photographer, I think it speaks a lot to his soul. M Scott wrote about this book on dva a few months ago too). I also got to see Boogie’s two new books, Belgrade Belongs To Me and Sao Paolo. His Belgrade work, as I wrote here before with mini-interview and with my big book wish-list, is my favorite work from him… great to see an ‘exile/refugee’ photographer returning home (I’m thinking Antonin Kratochvil and Josef Koudelka especially, who both happen to be from Czechoslovakia. This would be a great post … Hope I remember to write it). Great surprises too were Beaufort West by Mikhail Subotzky, which was fantastic, and last year’s European Publishers Award winning book I, Tokyo by the Danish photographer Jacob Aue Sobel, who I met in Oslo last year and was very excited to see his new work in finished form. Incredible, visceral work (like usual for him) that draws immediate connections to the iconic Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama, who happens to be a specialty of Dashwood. They even had a wonderful new, rare edition called Hokkaido. Finally, I was able to reconnect with a very important and influential book for me, Gilles Peress’ terrible masterpiece Farewell to Bosnia. As I wrote awhile ago the title alone says so much about Peress and his understanding of Bosnia: the dream of a multi-ethnic and tolerant state evaporated with the war, and his work there is evidence of this disintegration.

Now I’m off to that cauldron to see where things have progressed and what remains in ten years of post-war reconstruction. I will, if you have patience, continue to update my story here; and I promise to finally get to that ‘explaining what the heck I’m doing’ post soon. I think it would be helpful, because I have to explain the story ten times a day to friends and editors who are rather befuddled when I tell them I’m moving to Belgrade indefinitely :) Before then though I have a few more meetings and hope to make it to a couple of more exhibitions (if you’re reading this and have suggestions, please send them my way!) including maybe the opening of the latest Hey Hot Shot! edition that features friend and Dva-interviewee Donald Weber. That, and trying to repack all of my stuff into my few bags. Too many books, I just couldn’t cut back. The only thing keeping me from going even further overboard, what with the deals at Strand, is the painful memory of hauling this stuff from JFK to the Upper West Side and the muscle memory that I’ll have to do it again real soon. Think I’ve got to get to Chinatown for a massage…