Tag Archive: politics
It’s not often that a local newspaper’s fall football preview package doubles as on-the-money political satire, but Kai-Huei Yau’s portraits of high school football stars for the Tri-City Herald in eastern Washington state do just that. The spectacle and pageantry of the national presidential campaign has been distilled to its essence in these portraits of competing football players from area high schools. And what do we have in the national presidential campaign if not a high school popularity contest writ large. Just as with high school football players, the politicians have supporting team members, cheerleaders, adoring fans allied to one team or another rather than a particular player, sponsorship and recruiting deals, and parades playing to the hometown base. In one image (above #3), we have a stern looking player appearing to deliver a serious speech with the word “Bombers,” the high school’s team name and mascot, written across his chest; at the Republican National Convention last week, Senator John McCain’s might well have worn the same jersey during his war-mongering foreign policy speech. In another (see the whole series here), we have a player wearing a suit with dirty and bruised fingers standing at a podium holding a football; it’s a perfect visual metaphor for the compromises made behind the scenes that underpin the clean images that candidates present to the public.
Kudos to Kai for his work on this piece. Not all of the images are entirely successful (he’s relying on the acting chops of high school football players, after all), but the idea is right on the money. High school football coverage can be a bear to do, but this silly, over-the-top send-up of high school is creative commentary on the national political campaign process and beats the pants off of most other fall football previews I’ve seen.
Be sure to check out his blog post at the paper’s website for more images from the project and explanation of how he pulled off some of the shots.
Covering the DNC and RNC? NPPA has a handy legal and practical guide for the conventions and protestsAug 14, 2012 by M. Scott Brauer No Comments »
While covering these events police may ask to see your images, recordings or files. Be aware that you do not have to consent to such a request. They may try to intimidate, coerce or threaten you into doing so but “consent” must be voluntary. You should know that absent consent or “exigent circumstances” an officer may not seize your camera. Exigent circumstances only exist where an officer has probable cause to believe a crime has been committed AND that you have captured evidence of that crime on your camera AND that there is also a strong likelihood that such evidence may be lost if the camera is not seized.
Are you planning on covering the Republican or Democratic National Conventions at the end of August and beginning of September? You should be aware of legal and practical issues that may arise during the process of documenting both the conventions and the protests around the conventions. The National Press Photographer’s Association has a handy guide that covers the basics of covering both conventions, ranging from what to do if you’re arrested to how to stay safe in a crowd to dealing with the heat. The guide also includes a brief survey of local and federal ordinances and laws that will apply to people on the scene and educated guesses on how police may treat journalists based on recent actions of police in Chicago during the NATO summit protests earlier this year. For instance, items that could be considered weapons will not be allowed close to the convention areas and include items photographers might bring along such as tripod, monopods, and ladders.
Stay safe out there!
In May we interviewed the Serbian photo collective Kamerades and showed pictures from their group project about the Serbian elections called Dirty Season. This week Saša Čolić released his short film that is part of the same project. The film “is aimed at bringing attention and addressing the causes and reasons for apathy and desolation within the Serbian political process. This is also part of a global problem of voters disinterest and apathy in the political dialog.”
Filmed/Directed by: Saša Čolić / Kamerades
Script: Danka Sekulović
Editing: Maja Yuill and Jelena Vidaković
Project coordinator: Photography Development Center
has just published will soon release a new book, Questions Without Answers: The World in Pictures by the Photographers of VII, and it looks like a doozy. Collecting the work of all of the full members of VII (less one James Nachtwey, who recently announced he has left the collective), the book is a compendium of stories from the past 20 years relating to our current political, social, and economic atmosphere. This book follows in the footsteps of previous VII joint publications such as War: USA, Afghanistan, Iraq and other books available in the VII store.
By the way, if you buy the book through Amazon, or anything else, after clicking the links above, dvafoto will get a small percentage of the purchase price that we put toward the cost of running the site. Thanks for the support!
Living in Boston now, I’m closer than I’ve ever been to the American political process. The past 15 years of my life have been spent abroad or in places such as Montana and Washington state, places traditionally ignored by national campaigns. With my own eyes, much less a camera lens, I’ve seen foreign presidents and ministers, but never an American president or presidential candidate and only a handful of legislators. Now I’ll be periodically following the 2012 presidential campaign in New Hampshire. Only July 4, I traveled to Amherst for a parade that would include Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. It’s early in the campaign, so the candidates are looking for any exposure they can get. There were a dozen or so news organizations represented at the event, with no limits to access.
I asked a few people along the parade route what they thought about all of the hubbub. A young girl, all of 10 years old, told me, “It’s always like this.” People lining the parade route were as excited to be there as the candidates. Romney and Huntsman glad-handed every person they could reach, listening patiently to the occasional interlocutor while trying their best not to waylay the proceedings. Once the candidates reached the end of the parade, they greeted supporters and then vanished to go to their next stop.
I’ll be periodically covering events along the campaign trail, especially as the politics heat up. I’m available for assignments throughout New England (I’m only a few hours drive from the most remote parts of New Hampshire) and will be keeping an updated stock of images at my searchable PhotoShelter archive. You can see more pictures from the day in Amherst here.
Tonight, 23 March 2011 at 6pm, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government will host a forum called Capturing History – A Conversation with White House Photographers. On the discussion panel will be Eric Draper, from the George W. Bush administration; David Hume Kennerly, from the Gerald R. Ford administration; Barbara Kinney, from the William J. Clinton administration; and David Valdez, from the George H. W. Bush administration. It should be a fascinating discussion.
I’ll be there, so please say hello if you attend.
Thanks to our reader moayad for pointing out that the Kuwait Times has retracted their story about the ban on dSLR cameras in Kuwait (which we wrote about here). There were no other sources for the story, though it was widely reported, and the Kuwait Times now says the story was just a rumor. There is more information here if you can read it. There is no ban on dSLR cameras in Kuwait.
UPDATE Nov. 27, 2010: There is no ban. The story has been retracted.
Three government ministries in Kuwait have taken an unusual step and banned the use of digital SLR cameras in public by non-journalists. The Kuwait Times reports about some Kuwaitis wondering what to do with their cameras now that they can no longer use them in public.
(via Photoshelter on Facebook)
Payment for internships in the media world is a sore subject in the US. Witness the flap over the internship for James Nachtwey last December. Earlier in my photography career, I completed one unpaid internship and three paid internships (one of which is no longer paid). A UK-based group, InternAware, has taken up the helm across the pond, advocating on behalf of prospective interns for fair pay in internships. Their central argument, among others, is a reasonable one: working for no pay unfairly excludes all but the wealthy from participating in internships. The rebuttal, of course, and the path I took myself, is that interns can and should work and save money prior to an internship.
Wherever you may fall on this issue, I’m interested to see an organized and concerted effort to change the world of internships. Their approach looks good, too, taking on all fronts of the issue: they’re talking with government officials, social justice organizations, employers, and individuals looking for internships.
(via Conscientious Redux)
One of the world’s oldest cities, Kashgar serves as both the spiritual and political capital of traditional Uighur culture. Since 1949, the modern People’s Republic of China has exerted strong control over the region, and Kashgar has been particularly hard hit. Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, a province covering 1/6th of China’s territory holds a majority of the country’s oil and gas reserves. Long at odds with the Uighurs’ sometimes bloody quest for independence, the Chinese government has insituted a program of subsidized migration and settlement in the area by Han majority Chinese. In so doing, the government hopes to develop a stable and robust economy whose purpose is the exploitation of the region’s natural resources and to overwhelm the local ethnicities. Whereas the Uighur population of Kashgar was previously as high as 90%, government settlement efforts have changed the city’s demographics to less than 70% Uighur, and the percentage is still dropping.
At the heart of Kashgar is the so-called Old City. Of tremendous historical value, the twisting alleyways and haphazardly built houses clump together and spring out of the city’s terrain in an organic and natural way. After sporadic uprisings and fighting between Uighurs and Hans, the Beijing-controlled municipal government has unveiled plans to completely renovate the Old City. Uighur families who’ve lived in the same location for, in some cases, hundreds of years will be uprooted and resettled in cookie cutter apartment blocks built according to contemporary Chinese building standards. Notwithstanding the individual upheaval of this process, the redevelopment of central Kashgar will radically transform the nature of daily life in the Uighur community. The alleyways of the Old City create a naturally closed and safe neighborhood structure in which children can play and neighbors interact without fear of outsiders or traffic. These alleyways also lead to central streets, arteries for the community on which Uighur-owned businesses thrive. All of this will change as the government imposes redevelopment on the Old City, though not everyone is convinced the change will be bad.
In his home not far from the Grand Bazaar, 60-year-old Mohmat* cries as he describes his life. Hans moving into the area have taken his job and his house is soon to be demolished. Unable to afford medicine, he smokes marijuana to relieve the pain in his liver and legs. Pages of the Koran hang on the walls of his bedroom. At once blaming China’s central government for his problems, he also sees some sense in the policies. His house has no plumbing and little electricity. With the new apartment buildings, his family would enjoy a marked improvement in their quality of life. Still, without a more systemic overhaul of city and state policies, and clear protection for Uighur employment and religion, he sees the development of the Old City as a small step toward much needed reform in Kashgar.
Others are more optimistic. On a bus from Kashgar to Hotan, a man named Askar* approaches me. A Uighur living in Urumqi, the provincial capital, his english is great and he’s eager to talk. ”I am hopeful,” he says of the future of Xinjiang. He worries about the transformation of Kashgar, but sees it as a necessary step in the progress of the region. His own life has changed dramatically, too. His first career was working as a newspaper journalist, but it felt to him like a deadend job. He spent hours upon hours teaching himself english in libraries and has been an Amway representative for the past year or two. Amway, of course, being the multi-level marketing scheme made popular in the US in the 1970s. ”I will be the president [of Amway] in 7 years,” he exclaims hopefully. His trip to Kashgar and Hotan, in fact, was to set up more Amway franchises. The business, he tells me, is an exciting opportunity, a way to live the American dream in a place that couldn’t be more different from the suburbs where Amway was made popular. The promise of a better of life offered by the company, and which is never achieved by the overwhelming majority of Amway representatives, provides Askar with a goal far removed from the problems facing Kashgar and the Uighurs.
*only first name given over concern for safety