Fade Away

 

FADE AWAY

BY MICHELE PALAZZI

During the past decade, China is experiencing the largest internal migration in its history, involving especially the minorities living in the remote areas of the country. In Guizhou, the poorest province of the China, two million people, mostly from the Miao minority, are being pushed, through economic incentives, to leave their villages situated in isolated mountain and to be relocated into neighborhoods in urban cities, specifically built for them. This ongoing relocation, started in 2012 is expected to end by 2020, according to the local government it will allow the villagers to alleviate their poverty conditions.
The photographic project analyze the loss of identity of the people who chose to abandon their household surrounding themselves of a new extraneous environment, portraying also the daily rural life of those who decided to resist in a traditional world, where everything around them is rapidly fading away.


Biography

The italian photographer Michele Palazzi (b.1984) works with current social issues through a subjective approach, confronting the contemporary man with his origins, through a look that investigates the past in order to interpret the present. He has won several recognitions, among which the First Prize of the World Press Photo Award in the category Daily Life - Stories.
He is currently working on FINISTERRAE, a long term project concerning the southern European crisis and he works as a photography teacher at the Rome University of Fine Arts.

michelepalazziphotographer.com
instagram.com/michele_palazzi/


 

Interview with Anna Brody

 
 
 

INTERVIEW WITH ANNA BRODY


“So Far, I think
/
I Was Something That Lay Under The Sun And Felt It“

SCOPIO sat down to talk with Anna Brody about her most recent work, “So Far, I think / I Was Something That Lay Under The Sun And Felt It”. Brody, currently based in Tucson, Arizona, works with photography to both supplement and circumvent the shortcomings of written word. With this project, she photographs people, places and moments who are waiting to become. She hopes to honor them, and crystallize the quiet accomplishment of just being, now.

“I capture so that I can ask them, how did you become this way? Where will you go from here? Do you feel free? Do you know how beautiful you are? I experience a swelling awe at the glowing beauty of what I’m seeing; a compulsive need to capture and save these incredibly ordinary moments for posterity, web-weaving, and in fear of them slipping away from my memory.”

”So Far, I think / I Was Something That Lay Under The Sun And Felt It” is your most recent project, for how long have you been working on it?
For almost exactly a year now – I finished undergrad in November of 2017, quit a job for good reasons, broke my own heart a couple of times, grew it back together again by making new friends and seeing old friends, traveled a bit, drove myself across the country to my new home in Tucson, and started graduate school here in Arizona. It’s been a very full year!

Tell us more about this feeling of being scared of being alone, which is key to your work. What does that mean to you, and what does it feel like?
It’s not so much afraid of being alone as it is of being lonely – being lonely in crowds or around other people has to do with not feeling seen. How another person—a lover, partner, soul mate friend—can hold your non-performative, authentic self and remind you of who that is, and anchor you in that even while you’re performing in public. I think that’s why I often feel lonely in public; I realize I’m performing and I’m not being authentic, and don’t have that anchor to reference back to. Intuition is what I use when I photograph, and what anchors me to my authentic self because I can’t perform intuition, and in that sense my work acts as a partner or friend would – these images hold evidence of my authentic self, and serve to remind me of what that looks like, and to trust myself, that my intuition is worth something.  To feel seen and understood is to share your perspective on the world with someone else and to have them get it, and collecting intuitively captured pictures shows myself back to me. It mirrors my own perspective back to me because I don’t agonize over it in the moment, I’m not trying to explain it at the time I just do it, and then afterwards I see myself more clearly and I think it represents my best self in a certain way? My most open, least cynical self. And sharing that with myself makes me my own anchor. That sounds super sad on paper, but it’s true – it’s a process of intuition, understanding, and affirmation in and of myself. And hopefully, for a handful of other people who connect to my work in a non-logical, holistic and wholly authentic way.

You say you photographed to ‘circumvent and supplement the failures of our written word to express the complex’. What do you mean by that? Could you tell us a bit about your relationship with the medium of photography? When and how did it start?
Rebecca Solnit is an author and theorist who has changed the way I see the world. In one of her best-known books, Men Explain Things to Me, she states: “The tyranny of the quantifiable is partly the failure of language and discourse to describe more complex, subtle, and fluid phenomena, as well as the failure of those who shape opinions and make decisions to understand and value these slipperier things.” I believe photography—and art of any medium—can work around these shortcomings of language and discourse by allowing for imagery to represent, relate, and describe some of the many things that fall outside of what can be quantified or described with words. In doing so, art allows for meaning and value to be recognized in things that might otherwise be deemed unimportant because of their ineffable nature. In photographing the quiet unspectacular nonevents of just being, now, I can elevate and crystallize what would otherwise not be considered notable (literally, that you cannot make note of it because there aren’t the words to do so). In our culture, if you are not productive you are not valuable, and therefore not notable. Productivity is measured by the accomplishments of progress as recognized by colonial institutions that sanction the pursuit of capital above human life, joy, and freedom (especially, in the US, above the lives, joy and freedom of people of color, trans people, people with disabilities, and many other individuals who are deemed expendable in the face of the almighty dollar.) Systems of power need to quantify and categorize in order to maintain control. White supremacy, for example, requires among other things the quantification of melanin in order to construct the social (not biological) categories of race and/or ethnicity in order to maintain control over certain categories with certain ostensibly quantifiable traits. I and many other artists hope to subvert that which makes this control enactable – that which makes it so that a claim to power can be carried out with any sense of justifiable right. Question the claims by which a structure is imposed and leave it up to the viewer to bring their own vision of truth and connectivity to the work and to the world. Art, in all its subjectivity, can honor the personal history, life experience, and perspective of the viewer, and assert that they are equally as authoritative and meaningful as the intentions of the artist or what is understood culturally as truth. My working mission is that authoritative praise for quantifiable achievement should not be a precondition to appreciation; to see the ordinary and unotable as extraordinary—that is love, and that is what I aim to express and affirm.

Who are these people you photographed? How did you approach them to be involved in your documentary project? Where was the balance between privacy and exposure?
They are a mix of friends, family, and complete strangers. I approach with honesty about my intentions, and personal vulnerability that ideally allows for the subject to feel comfortable letting down some of their own walls to create a collaborative connection that achieves that tricky balance between privacy and exposure. This doesn’t always work, but it’s so rewarding when it does that I don’t think I’ll ever stop trying. I will say here though that I don’t consider this work to be a documentary—it is social, built, and residential landscape work, but it doesn’t follow any structure or logic that is consistent or narrow enough to constitute a documentary.

Do you see a common thread in the stories you choose?
The common thread is that my work shows me what the web is that I belong to, and a feeling of belonging is priority #1 for me. When I feel like I belong, I am able to approach humanity with tenderness, hope, and humor that make it so that I can get out of bed in the morning. It’s optimism, I guess. Grief and hope, power and vulnerability, resilience and fragility, discipline and addiction. These are non-binary landmarks of humanity as it is now, as it has always been, and as it most likely will always be until our species is gone – they’re definitely common threads. 

What was most interesting for you about the people/places you photographed?
I’m always curious about the power of association and the mutability of identity according to context and available information. Photographs allow for a deep questioning of the fixed nature of meaning. It is in our nature to categorize something and then quickly move on so we are ready to assess the next situation—that’s how we evolved, and we need to take more time to allow for the understanding of this shifting and changing, how time works to change both subject and viewer. My images freeze the people places and things I see into an immutable sameness - they aren’t going anywhere they aren’t going to change but you and I will and their arrangement might and their context definitely will, and in those variables there is an endless multiplicity of meaning, identity and narrative understanding.

Would you agree that we cannot relate fully with others if we do not accept that we are all alone in this world?
Yes, although I hope we’re both wrong. 
“I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more. I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep.” 
— Willa Cather, My Àntonia


WEBSITE

Editor: Rita Silva

 
 

12:34

 
 

12:34

BY ANTTI “VETTIS” VETTENRANTA

When I was 12 years old, my mum wrote me a 12-page letter. In the letter, which she wrote in spite of us living together, she tried to explain why life was sometimes so difficult. How we had been affected by our parents´ divorce when I was two years old. And how the lives of us four siblings were impacted by the illness of our second youngest sister. I was going to respond to mother´s letter, but I never did. 
My first child was born on a Monday, at 12:34. A few years later, I got divorced. We had two children together. 
The youngest of my four children was born when I was 34 years old. We built a house, my 12th apartment so far. We live in four generations and in three different houses on one large plot of land in Helsinki. Now I want to live my life in such a way that divorces are no longer handed down from generation to generation, and so that my phone would ring every day when I am on old man. Maybe this series of photographs is a reply to my mother´s letter. We are bad at talking about things.

BIO
Antti Vettenranta
(b. 1976) is a staff photographer for a major magazine publishing company in Finland. In his free time, Vettenranta photographs his own projects, trying to get as close to himself as possible. He believes photography can be universal and therapeutic in the same way as medtitation: it can be exercised anywhere.   

SOCIAL MEDIA/LINKS
http://www.vettis.net/
https://www.instagram.com/vettis_photographer

 

ODE

 
 

ODE

BY EDU SILVA

EN / PT

This visual narrative isn’t another epic tale about the portuguese coastline and its heroic seamen. Those days are long gone as well as those seamen, whom are either dead or dying. Globalization and the European Union came, saw, and conquered it all. Fishing boats were dismantled and strict fishing quotas were imposed, while at the same time a massive multiplatform campaign promoting tourism in Portugal began to be implemented and disseminated, both on a nacional and international scale. And while tourism is now a booming sector in this country, labors such as fishing or sargassum harvesting are becoming dying arts. These new dynamics altered the fabric of the social landscape of the portuguese coastline, changing the morphology of this territory not only in the physical sense, but also gradually turned a once great nation of seamen into a fleet of waiters and nondescript caretakers willing to tend to the needs of the tourists (foreign and domestic alike). 
The truth of the matter is that in this admirable and innocuous new world, there is no place for heroes and danger anymore. All that’s left are the old tales about the portuguese coastline, stories that still make us daydream about a place that once was the starting point to adventure.
Indeed, this is a difficult conjuncture to make a living off the sea. But there are still a few people who are bold enough to resist the tides of change and dare to fight for their right to live yet another day in this fabled place. 
This visual essay is an ode dedicated to the last inhabitants of the late and once great portuguese coastline.

Contact
website
instagram

 

Paradise Fell

 
 

PARADISE FELL

BY DARSH SENEVIRATNE

Synopsis
Being raised by a Sri Lankan father meant pieces of his culture were scattered throughout our home and daily life. It has been strange but intriguing to watch how all these parts of my upbringing are now weaving their way into my everyday interactions in the cultural climate of Australia.

Drawaing inspiration from William Christenberry’s musings of rural Alabama and Lyndal Iron’s raw documentation of Sydney’s notorious Parramatta Road, my series “Paradise Fell“ aims to capture a portrait of my father’s home country of Sri Lanka - a nation struggling to define themselves in a post-war economic climate.

In only my second visit to Sri Lanka, I began a photographic exploration of the effects that the civil war and tsunami had on the landscape and its inhabitants. With an aim to visit wartom Jaffina in the north, and surfing hotspot Trincomalee and Arugambay on the east, my father and I retraced a route he had travelled with his family fifty year prior. Many areas we visited were quite sensitive: roofless, shells of houses with years of vegetation regrowth claiming back the structure; abandoned factories still manned by military checkpoints; parts of the city still inaccessible.

In a way, Sri Lanka is the quintessential battler. Rebuilding a society, both physically and psychologically, after a twenty-six year civil war and a deadly tsunami that killed over thirty thousand people is no simple task. Add to that the exponential influx of tourism and the economic politics it brings, and you have a country struggling to focus on the necessities, neglecting their people, and falling to rebuild what was so violently taken away.
Sri Lanka is going through a rapid development that it is not que ready for, and to this I wanted to turn a camera to further explore with an open-minded, positive conscience, and to shoot with respect and purpose.

Artist Statement
Darsh Seneviratne is a twenty-four year old photographer specialising in series-based work. With a passion for documentation and collection cultivated from a young age, his series range from being compiled over a few days to several years. Drawing on technical knowledge founded in traditional analogue photography, Seneviratne documents personal spaces and their inherent human interactions, collecting momentary happenings and structured portraits. These scenes compile series that seek to highlight the lasting traces of people. With a thorough focus on colour and image structure, and bound by the precision of accuracy demanded by analogue technology, Seneviratne creates these series to serve as a reflection of human interaction with per- sonal and public realms and how we perceive them.

Contact
darsh.seneviratne@gmail.com
www.cargocollective.com/darsh
@darshmallos

 

I'm Here With You

 
 

I’M HERE WITH YOU

BY GOWUN LEE

The majority of LGBTQ people in South Korea hide their true identities from their colleagues, friends and their families. Despite a recent surge in LGBTQ activism, Korea remains a very conservative country and those who come out face being disowned by family or dismissed from their employers. Many Koreans still express bitter hostility toward LGBTQ people, while others simply deny their existence. The Korean military actively hunts down gay soldiers, going so far as to mount sting operations using gay dating apps. And when someone does come out, parents and family members often choose to ignore the truth.

This project literally and metaphorically represents sexual minorities living in Korea who are forced to hide their sexual identity. The LGBTQ individuals photographed—all facing away from the camera—remind us of how Korean society continues to neglect and refuse to accept them. By creating these images, my intent is to both implicate the viewer in the nation’s larger refusal to acknowledge the identity of LGBTQ individuals and, more importantly, to spur us all to take action and change this attitude once and for all.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gowun Lee (b. 1984) is a visual artist who utilizes photography. She explores themes of a social issue such as LGBTQ in South Korea and human relationship in conceptual ways. She moved to South Korea from New York for her ongoing project.

She received BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts. She has been shortlisted for Tokyo International Photo Competition, ZEISS Photography Award 2018, 2018 Aperture Summer Open: The Way We Live Now.

Her images have been featured in Open Society Foundations, The Guardian, CNN Style, Bubblegumclub, Aperture Foundation, Korean daily, Monthly photo, ZEISS LensPire, and World Photography Organization.

Her work has been included in exhibitions at the United Photo Industries Gallery in New York, Onfoto Gallery in Taiwan, SVA Chelsea Gallery in New York, Tak Gallery in Seoul, MayFlay in Seoul, Wonder Fotoday in Taiwan, Head On Photo Festival in Australia , Somerset house in London and Upcoming exhibition T3 Photo Festival in Tokyo.


Web: www.gowunlee.com
Instagram: http://instagram.com/gowunlee_



 

You don't look Native to me

 
 

YOU DON’T LOOK NATIVE TO ME

BY MARIA STURM

“You don‘t look Native to me is a quote and the title of a body of work, that shows excerpts from the lives of young Native Americans from around Pembroke, Robeson County, North Carolina, where 89% of the city’s population identifies as Native American. The town is the tribal seat of the Lumbee Indian Tribe of North Carolina, the largest state-recognized Native American tribe east of the Mississippi River, which means they are federally unrecognized and therefore have no reservation nor any monetary benefits.

I am tracing their ways of self-representation, transformed through history, questions of identity with which they are confronted on a daily basis, and their reawakening pride in being Native. The work consists of portraits, along with landscapes and places, interiors, still lives, and situations. The aesthetic framework that is presented offers clues – sometimes subtle, sometimes loud – for imparting a feeling for their everyday lives.

My work engages an unfamiliar mix of concepts: a Native American tribe whose members are ignored by the outside world, who do not wear their otherness on their physique, but who are firm in their identity. Through photography, video and interviews, I am investigating what happens when social and institutional structures break down and people are forced to rely on themselves for their own resources. This raises questions to the viewer regarding one’s own identity and membership to the unspecified mainstream.

This work was started in 2011.”

Maria Sturm

Since 2011, Maria Sturm has photographed teenagers from the Lumbee tribe in and around Pembroke, North Carolina, where almost 90 percent of the population identifies as Native American. Unlike other native tribes, the Lumbee were not forced to move during colonial expansion and have subsequently maintained a strong connection to their land. Sturm’s series You Don’t Look Native to Me considers how young Native people present themselves today in relation to their identity and culture. At first glance, Sturm’s photographs might appear to depict the daily life of a community almost anywhere in America, but elements of hybridity—Halloween fangs on a child in Tuscarora regalia; dreamcatchers and a school portrait on a living room wall—signify the mixing of heritage and contemporary culture.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maria Sturm (b. 1985, Romania) received a diploma in Photography from FH Bielefeld in 2012 and a MFA in Photography from Rhode Island School of Design. She is a Fulbright and DAAD scholar. She has won several prizes including the New York Photo Award 2012 and the DOCfield Dummy Award Barcelona 2015 with the work Be Good.

Her most recent work You don't look Native to me about the unrecognized Lumbee tribe of North Carolina was nominated for Vonovia Award, shortlisted for PhotoLondon La Fabrica Book Dummy Award and made the 2nd place at Unseen Dummy Award. It was published in British Journal of Photography and Filmbulletin and exhibited in the German Consulate New York, Clamp Art New York, Wiesbadener Fototage, Encontros da Imagem, at Artists Unlimited Bielefeld and at Aperture Foundation New York among others.

It will be next shown at Addis Foto Fest and Photo Vogue Festival.

Having met in during a month-long residency at Atelier de Visu Marseille and workshop with Antoine d'Agata in 2012 Cemre Yeşil and Maria Sturm kept in touch ever since. Their permanent exchange led them to start a collaboration and in 2014 they have photographed For Birds' Sake, a work about the Birdmen of Istanbul. This work was published as a photobook by La Fabrica Madrid and featured in Colors Magazine, The Guardian, British Journal of Photography and ZEITmagazin among others. It was exhibited during Internacional de Fotografa de Cabo Verde, FotoIstanbul, Bitume Photofest Lecce, Organ Vida International Photography Festival Zagreb, Format Festival Derby, Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie and at Daire Gallery, Sol Koffler Providence, La Fabrica Madrid, Pavlov's Dog Berlin, Deichtorhallen Hamburg and it was a finalist at PHE OjodePez Award for Human Values 2015 and Renaissance Photography Prize 2017 and nominated for Lead Awards 2016 and Henri-Nannen-Preis 2016. It was also shortlisted at Arles Author Book Award 2016 and Prix Levallois 2017.


instagram: https://instagram.com/maria__sturm/
facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/maria.sturm
twitter: https://twitter.com/maria_sturm

 

BE STILL MY HEART

 

BE STILL, MY HEART

BY MARTA GIACCONE

 

Marta Giaccone is an Italian photographer usually based in Milan, Italy, but currently living and studying in Newport, Wales, UK. she has a MA Documentary Photography, University of South Wales, Newport, UK. With several works and exhibitions, she was represented by Anzenberger Agency in 2012. 

 

synopsis

This is a documentary project about teenage mothers in the south of Wales. Britain has one of Europe's highest rates of teenage pregnancies and in the eyes of society this is still seen looked down upon. I was interested to meet young girls and help them tell their stories through photos and interviews. From as early as 16 years old they are very brave mothers who fight to defend their dignity with a humbling maturity. Meeting them has given me a very positive insight into this "issue", seemingly perceived as such by everyone save the girls themselves. They are all proud mothers who have generally experienced domestic hardships but nonetheless decided to go through with their pregnancies, even though nearly always advised not to, and who now consider their children their saving grace.

 

Editor´s note

The presented project was selected from a spontaneous submission made by Marta Giaconne. Our aim is to disseminate and bring to light telling work of emergent or young photographers.