‘EUSA’ by Naomi Harris @ doc! photo magazine Fotofestiwal Lodz 2015 edition

Dog in bonnet. Tulip Festival. Orange City (Iowa, USA), May 2014. (/br) © Naomi Harris

Dog in bonnet. Tulip Festival. Orange City (Iowa, USA), May 2014.
© Naomi Harris

Globalisation has made the uniqueness of a particular country less significant thus creating an indistinguishable common world community. My project EUSA is a reaction to the homogenisation of European and American cultures. Being enthralled by another country’s way of life does not mean that it is always an accurate portrayal, rather it becomes a sentimental and idealised depiction; an homage to a heritage that isn’t ones own. These locations are a perception of fantasy, a sense of what the other wishes the reality would be.

In America these “European” venues resemble a land of make-believe. Like something out of a fairy tale, they are magical, whimsical and quaint. In Europe their fascination lies in an America of the past, when the US was considered glorious and free, a place full of fresh starts and opportunities. Photographing these various maudlin locations within these 2 continents, my goal was to illustrate the enthusiasm we have for one another’s culture and demonstrate this universal phenomenon that is a reaction to the homogenisation of our cultures.

I began this project in June 2008 photographing High Chaparrel, a wild-west theme park in southern Sweden. Since then I’ve visited Indian festivals, an American Civil War reenactment, and a variety of Cowboy and Indian theme parks in an additional 8 European countries. In America I went to over 10 locations including a Tulip Festival in Orange City (IA), a Maifest in Leavenworth (WA), a variety of Oktoberfests, finishing the project in Las Vegas, NV this past October.

by Naomi Harris

doc! photo magazine Fotofestiwal Lodz 2015 edition
online edition
paper edition SOLD OUT!
pp. 135-155

‘I Am Walé Respect Me’ by Patrick Willocq @ doc! photo magazine Fotofestiwal Lodz 2015 edition

Epanza Makita, batwalé: „Bokéngé nyama, bokéngé mpùlú, n’sùname ng’ósunámá, bònkómo w’éngolo.“ „Part animal, part bird, I face upside down, bat the great.“ For pygmies, a bat is a very unique creature, half animal, half bird. By comparing herself to a bat, Walé Epanza Makita (19 years old, married, 1 year in seclusion, mother of Lotitia) talks about her superiority. Her rivals will not be able to copy her because she is unique (the Walé ritual is highly competitive as it’s all about having more prestige and power than your rivals). © Patrick Willocq

Epanza Makita, batwalé:
„Bokéngé nyama, bokéngé mpùlú, n’sùname ng’ósunámá, bònkómo w’éngolo.“ | „Part animal, part bird, I face upside down, bat the great.“
For pygmies, a bat is a very unique creature, half animal, half bird. By comparing herself to a bat, Walé Epanza Makita (19 years old, married, 1 year in seclusion, mother of Lotitia) talks about her superiority. Her rivals will not be able to copy her because she is unique (the Walé ritual is highly competitive as it’s all about having more prestige and power than your rivals).
© Patrick Willocq

For this project, I dove deeply into an initiation ritual of the Ekonda pygmies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Ekondas believe that the most important moment in the life of a woman is the birth of her first child. The young mother (usually 15 to 18) is called Walé (primiparous nursing mother). She returns to her parents where she remains secluded for a period of 2 to 5 years. During her seclusion, a Walé is under very special care. She must also respect a taboo on sex during the whole period and is given a similar status to that of a patriarch. The end of her seclusion is marked by a dancing and singing ritual. The choreography and the songs have a very codified structure but also contain unique qualities specific to each Walé. She sings about her own loneliness, and with humour praises her own behaviour while discrediting her Walé rivals.

I have always been fascinated by native tribes because I feel they have a kind of wealth that we have somehow lost. Today, many initiation rituals in the Congo are disappearing. The ritual of the Walé woman has resisted the pressure of modern life – but for how long? To document this beautiful tribute to motherhood, fertility and femininity, I proposed to some Walés to participate in staged photographs. Each set-up worked as a visual representation of one of the subjects that the Walé would sing about on the day of her release from seclusion.

This series is a personal reflection of women in general and the Walé ritual specifically.

by Patrick Willocq

doc! photo magazine Fotofestiwal Lodz 2015 edition
online version
paper version SOLD OUT!
pp. 18-33

Also read interview with Patrick Willocq – Artistic Documentaries (pp. 9-17)

Krzysztof Sienkiewicz @ Towarzyska Café

© Krzysztof Sienkiewicz

© Krzysztof Sienkiewicz

Krzysztof Sienkiewicz – laureate of DEBUTS (edition 2014) – will present his photographs of the Nocturnes series at the exhibition in the Towarzyska Café in Warsaw! The second individual exhibition of Krzysztof Sienkiewicz (doc! #31) consists of photographs taken between 2010 and 2014. All pictures result from Krzysztof’s interest in the city as a trace left after the human‘s presence and activity:

“I get in the car and dive into a thick night. Sometimes I know the place where I am going to, but mostly everything happens by chance. And the journey itself, which I rarely plan, and this what I finally find. Because these images are my finds. They are places, scenes, that I encountered at night, lured, like a moth, by the light beating from them. I think it was never about anything more than just the loneliness and this strange silence always disturbed by tiny sounds of the metropolis.”

Krzysztof Sienkiewicz (b. 1991) | based in Warsaw (Poland) | autodidact photographer | student of the University of Warsaw’s Faculty of Economic Sciences and Opava School of Photography | graduate of the 5th edition of the Snapshots project organised by the Association of Creative Initiatives “ę” (2012) | interested in the city as a trace left after the human‘s presence and activity | editing a section devoted to Polish photography on urbanica.com.

Krzysztof Sienkiewicz – NOCTURNES
Towarzyska Café (49 Zwyciezcow St., Warsaw, Poland). The opening: July 28 at 7:00 PM. The exhibition will be open to the public until August 24, 2015.

‘Love Me or Kill Me’ by Sarker Protick @ doc! photo magazine Fotofestiwal Lodz 2015 edition

© Sarker Protick

© Sarker Protick

The Bangladeshi film industry – based in Dhaka, and so known as Dhallywood – has been going since 1956. Dhallywood movies have fallen out of favour among the richer classes, who prefer foreign films. The growing influence of Bollywood (Indian cinema) films in Bangladesh has also had an adverse impact on the local industry. Yet the Dhallywood industry produces around 100 movies a year, and does still enjoy the support of many ordinary moviegoers.

Love Me or Kill Me is the title of a Dhallywood film, one that expresses the extreme emotions that define the genre. Love and revenge are the core ingredients of our movies. The stories do not change much: boy meets girl, falls in love, bad guy takes girl away, and hero fights to get her back. There is always similar climax and a happy ending. People love it.

When I was growing up in Dhaka, there was no cable TV except the national channel. Bangla film was for us the height of entertainment. Slowly, other films and TV channels took over. We didn’t think Dhallywood movies were cool anymore; they no longer played a part in my life. In the process of making photographs of Dhaka city I visited a film studio in F.D.C and was captivated by the colours, the light, and the atmosphere. The events and details were odd, sometimes bizarre. The costumes are flashy, the sets and effects are cheap, and the colours are daring. They seem to have very little in common with reality but I found it full of life.

by Sarker Protick

doc! photo magazine Fotofestiwal Lodz 2015 edition
in online and printed version (SOLD OUT)
pp. 193-215

Also see Sarker Protick’s What Remains story @ doc! #25

International exhibition ‘Generation 74′ opens PIX.HOUSE

Generation 74. © Kirill Golovchenko

Generation 74. © Kirill Golovchenko

With opening of PIX.HOUSE on July 15, Poznan will join the cities, in which documentary photography has got its exposition space. The gallery starts with a great hit – international exhibition Generation 74 that will consist of pictures by 11 photographers: Gintaras Česonis (Lithuania), Kirill Golovchenko (Ukraine/Germany), Nick Hannes (Belgium), Mindaugas Kavaliauskas (Lithuania), Davide Monteleone (Italy), Pekka Niittyvirta (Finland), Borut Peterlin (doc! #21; Slovenia), Przemysław Pokrycki (doc! #7; Poland), Tomáš Pospěch (Czech Republic), Simon Roberts (UK) and Vitus Saloshanka (Belarus/Germany).

„Are the numbers important here or do these eleven photographers have something more than the same year of birth in common? Yes, and quite a lot” - says Mindaugas Kavaliauskas from Lithuania, originator of the project. - “Today each of them is a well-known photographer in and outside their own countries. Some of them are considered photography icons all over the world. They were 15 when the Berlin Wall collapsed, the guys from the Eastern Bloc were 16-18 when their countries regained independence, and 30 when they experienced the European Union enlargement in 2004. They have all created long-term documentary projects, feeling that the world is changing from the analog-unique to uniformly global one. Their attitude to photographing is marked by their civic, social and individual sense of duty to say honestly about their home countries, dwelling places and the places they visited, preparing their projects. Their works don’t try to be fashionable, spectacular, anything but superficial or glossy. Instead of that, they are human, worried, bitter, ironic, humorous and critical.”

Generation 74. © Nick Hannes

Generation 74. © Nick Hannes

The exhibition will be connected with a Polish launch of the book of the same name. It will be accompanied by numerous meetings, discussions and lectures which together will constitute the four-day feast of documentary photography.

July 15, 2015
1:13 PM press lunch – conference with animators of PIX.HOUSE and authors of the Generation 74 exhibition
6:00 PM vernisage of the Generation 74 exhibition and official opening of PIX.HOUSE
7:30 PM Meeting with Mindaugas Kavaliauskas and Kirill Golovchenko
July 16, 2015
1:13 PM – 8:00 PM easy Thursday @ PIX.HOUSE: come, see the pictures, discuss
July 17, 2015
1:13 PM meeting with Maciej Frąckowiak, co-author of the Invisible City project
2:30 PM meeting with Piotr Małecki (doc! #18), documentary photographer of Napo Images agency
4:00 PM meeting with Jacek Piotrowski, documentary photographer, author of the City-People-Cars. 1984-93 exhibition
5:30 PM individual going to Stary Browar for the opening of the 2015 BZ WBK Press Foto’s post-competition exhibition
July 18, 2015
1:13 PM presentation of photographic initiatives of Greater Poland region (Władysław Nielipiński of Regional Public Library)
2:30 PM meeting with Grzegorz Kosmala, editor-in-chief of doc! photo magazine and originator of the DEBUTS project
4:00 PM review of multimedia projects awarded at Grand Press Photo contest
5:30 PM portfolio review with Mariusz Forecki, Adrian Wykrota (doc! #31), Michał Adamski (doc! #19) and Andrzej Dobosz (doc! #22)

Free admission to all events!

Venue: PIX.HOUSE, 35a Glogowska St., Poznan (Poland).

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