Tag Archive: travel
I’m very excited to announce that I will be participating in the first Young Media Professionals Exchange Program organized by the International Center for Journalists and Moscow Union of Journalists as part of a 2-year initiative between Russia and the US. The program is funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Twelve journalists from Russia will come to the US to work for a variety of news organizations here, and I will be one of 12 from the US who will live in Moscow from Nov. 26 to Dec. 21 working for a variety of Russian news organizations. I’ll be working for the ITAR-TASS Photo Agency, a Russian photo news service dating to 1926 when it was known as Photochronica TASS.
As such, I won’t be available for assignment work in the US until the end of December, but get in touch if you have any needs in Russia. I’ll primarily be in Moscow. You can leave a voicemail or SMS at (917) 512-3473 or contact me by email. I’ve already been in touch with a few of our readers in Russia to get together, but if you’re in Moscow, get in touch and I’d love to meet you.
It’s been nearly 10 years since I’ve been to Russia, though one of my university degrees is in Russian Language, Literature, and Culture. I wasn’t much of a photographer when I was there last, but you can see a few images from Vorkuta, Komi, Russia, in the gallery above. In addition to the work I’m doing there, I’ll be posting pictures during the trip to instagram and tumblr.
I’m traveling to Montana for gatherings with friends and family throughout the state from June 20 to July 6 (Lincoln, Great Falls, Red Lodge, the Hi-Line). I’ll be doing a bit of driving and photography for personal projects during that time, so get in touch if you’ll be in the area or have an assignment that needs shooting.
Kuba Rubaj recently sent us his project “Rainbow”, a beautiful look into a community that I haven’t been introduced to before. We want to share the work with you and a few questions we had for Rubaj.
Rainbow Gathering is like alternative to modern world. Each year Rainbow Family attracts hundreds of thousands of people to spend time in wilderness.
Gatherings each year take place at over 100 locations all over the world, away from civilization, shops, sanitation, electricity, telephones, Internet, alcohol, drugs, money.
Participants feel deep connection with nature. They wish to live in peace and harmony. Some of them consider Rainbow as a new form of society. Spiritually, there is a very strong influence from native Shamanism. There is no membership, leaders, official spokespersons or any formal structure, everyone is equal. They live like a tribe.
First, how did you come across this group and movement?
It’s hard to say, probably by my friend who used to visit rainbows at the beginning of 2000. But I had many friends who travelled. So I’ve heard about it from time to time. I visited my first gathering in Czech Republic in 2007, actually by mistake. It was small thirty-people gathering with a very calm family atmosphere.
Are you part of Rainbow?
I don’t know if we can talk about a clearly defined “belonging to this movement” in general. If You are on the Rainbow gathering You are a part of it.
But in simple terms – I identify with many ideas from Rainbow. But simultaneously I prefer to go my own way in life all the time learn and just have an opened mind.
What is your background, how did you come to photography? Is there something in your background that draws you to this community?
The world has interested me as long as I remember. When I was twelve, I started to travel on bicycle along Eastern Europe. At the beginning with my father and later alone. When I rode a bike through all these countries, many images moved in front of me. I think it has a big influence on my perception and attitude. And later camera just appeared..
Is there any message from the community that you hope to see reflected in modern society? Is this at all a goal of the project, of sharing pictures of Rainbow?
I think Rainbow is in itself a message. People all over the world try to find different way of life, and change their relations. Sometimes it is more, sometimes less authentic, but that does not change the fact that it is. More and more people are tired of modern life.
As for my photographs – they are very simple. Do not have a clear meaning or opinion. I do not want my photographs to impose a judgement.
I wish that every viewer understands it their way. And had his own thoughts / ideas / requests. They can focus on aesthetics / visual side, or they can go on in the thoughts. It is up to them.
I would like it to be universal.
How do the people react to your work, your way of telling their story?
I guess that they like idea of simplicity. Taking photos is not unwelcome on the rainbow, but when I talk about my work and idea of traveling they usually cooperate. I always send them these photographs later.
You mentioned to me that you are planning this to be a part of a pair of books, the second strongly connected with the idea of “the road”. How are they interconnected?
How do you conceive of each project in relation to the other?
On the work of a rainbow as I thought from the beginning about the book, a book about the road came after some time. Book about rainbow will be simple, calm, harmonious; and the book about the road will be chaotic, personal, subjective, unstable – like road is. I wish that these two books will complement each other.
What work (photography, art, music, writers, etc.) are you looking at that excites you, and that our readers might not have come across?
I think the following line of thought about the modern world, I can say for sure that was a huge inspiration for works of Godfrey Reggio, his Quatsi trilogy. I looked at this when I was 13 years old and it had a big impact on me.
I’ve been traveling and working a lot lately around Serbia in the last month, hence my lack of interesting posts, and I am taking off in a few hours for the Visa pour L’Image photojournalism festival in Perpignan, France. I’ll then be back in the United States (Seattle and New York City) from September 6 through October 24, before returning to Belgrade. If you’re in Perpignan and want to meet up, be sure to send me an email or track me down. Same if you’re in the States.
I also wanted to share a couple of places where my work has been published recently:
The New York Times Lens Blog published a feature about my project in Bosnia “This Time Tomorrow” to coincide with the 15th Anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre in July. Please have a look at the nice piece that James Estrin put together.
The Sunday Times Magazine in London also published three pages of my project “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere”, about the destruction of a Roma community in Belgrade. The article and web gallery are behind their paywall but you can see clips on my website.
I look forward to getting back to regular posting and sharing some of what I’ve been up to soon. Happy end of summer everyone!
Malcolm Murray’s documentary, “Camera, Camera,” fascinates and disturbs me. The film explores the increasing phenomenon of travelers with cameras invading remote areas or cultural events. I’ve seen the situation hundreds of times, and been part of it more often than I’d like to say. Those times, the only thing to do is put down the camera and go drink a cup of tea.
The film is currently on the festival circuit, but hopefully it’ll be coming to a theater or dvd player near you soon.
(via NYT Lens blog a while back, but I’ve just gotten to watch it.)
I’m in Busan, South Korea, for a shoot for a couple of days. Can’t share any details about that, but if you’re in the area (I know we have a few readers in South Korea) or need photos from the area, please get in touch by email or my local number: +82 (0)10-6884-1024. I’ll be in Ulsan a bit, and Seoul, though not for long.
My timing is great, I finally find a computer to use while my laptop is out of commission and I end up heading on the road immediately. Sorry again for my absence here over the last while, it has been rough going with internet and computer access since I’ve been back in Serbia. Big thanks to M Scott for keeping excellent thoughts and links going. I promise to work extra hard when I’m back in town with a working computer.
I am on my way to Sarajevo and other locales in Bosnia this weekend to continue my work on a project I began last year, called This Time Tomorrow, looking at the present stagnation and possible futures for Bosnia and Herzegovina. I’ll share the next installment when I am back in Belgrade.
But I’m not leaving you with nothing, as I will unveil the first installment of a long-awaited new section of dvafoto called the Book Club very soon and an interview with photographer Molly Landreth to follow. Stay tuned.
After a whirlwind shoot in Shanghai yesterday, I’m leaving today for a few weeks to far western China to pursue some personal projects. Internet connection will be a problem for much of the trip, so please contact me by phone at +86-13770324102. I intend to photograph a few stories including: Tibetan New Year, snow in Xinjiang, development in Xinjiang, a Hui minority wedding, and other subjects. When I return, keep watching dvafoto for pictures. Editors, let me know if you need any pictures.
Hope you met the New Year well and that the hangovers aren’t too bad. Here’s my view from the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, where I’m hanging in a cabin with many of my best friends with great food and even better beer. And lots of snow.
I’ll be in Seattle for another two weeks and before heading back to Belgrade on the 14th of January. Safe travels everyone, I can’t wait to see more work and stories from all of you and continue developing our work here at Dvafoto. We’ve got some great changes and updates coming soon, we can’t wait to show you.
Within the last decade backpacking has literally become a global youth movement. Every year millions of young people from first world countries travel the planet taking with them nothing more then their backpacks. They are hoping to find freedom, cultural exchanges and a lot of fun. It has become a tourist industry on its own that has developed its very own touristic infrastructure. In some places like Ko Pha-Ngan in Thailand, Arambol in Goa or Vang Vieng in Laos individual or alternative travel is no longer existing. It has been transfered into a different kind of packaged tour.”
-Jörg Brüggemann / Same Same But Different
Jörg Brüggemann‘s “Same Same But Different” tackles a subject I’ve never seen photographed before. Sure, Martin Parr’s covered tourism and others have covered the effects of travel in local communities, but this treatment of backpacking and its many idiosyncrasies feels like new ground. The viewer is presented with a world not in its natural state, but instead created, produced, for consumption by wealthy, overwhelmingly white travelers looking to experience the third world or The Orient. Phrases such as “third world” and “The Orient” seem particularly apt, both because of the baggage they entail and the sense of separation they impart. Truly, the travelers in these pictures are entirely out of place, and yet they’re surrounded by all the comforts of home. The “foreign” has been rendered familiar. A guest house in India might as well be one in Thailand or Laos; the experience remains the same.
I won’t lie and say these pictures don’t hit close to home. As an American transplanted to China, the scenes in Brüggemann’s essay are all too familiar. I’d hesitate to condemn the travelers as much as The Spinning Head, or perhaps even Brüggemann, but I understand the queasiness. Travel by itself isn’t necessarily suspect. If it were, there’d be moral concerns with leaving our apartments or houses. Confronting the unfamiliar is a necessary and vital component of daily life, and travel is an extension of that. But, the complete destruction of communities and traditions in order to cater to such a widespread phenomenon of travel as backpacking is deserving of criticism and investigation (especially as most backpackers espouse some variant of a wish for spiritual discovery when traipsing around foreign climes).
A great story confronting difficult questions.
(via Asim Rafiqui)
(And my bet is that the title comes from a particularly common piece of so-called “Tinglish,” which I’ve heard, despite having never been to Thailand.)