‘And the Mountain Said to Munzur: You, River of My Tears’ by Miriam Stanke @ doc! photo magazine #32

© Miriam Stanke

© Miriam Stanke

You, River of my Tears is a story of Dersim, a remote mountainous area of Eastern Anatolia with the Munzur River and valley at its heart. Dersim is the historical heartland of the Kurdish Alevis or Kızılbaş, a very heterodox religious group that was oppressed and attacked throughout the past centuries and is still fighting for its heritage. The word Dersim is closely connected to genocide and resistance for most Kurds and Alevis in Turkey. Continuous struggles against the state climaxed with the massacre of 1938, where ten thousand were killed by Turkish military. During the second half of the 20th century Dersim also became a melting pot of leftist political dissent and an important centre for several communist movements. Its mountains have served as a hideout for guerrilla groups since that time and still today the region has one of the highest concentrations of military presence in Turkey.

The Dersim people’s dissent is pitted against state manipulation of local ways of living. The building of new Mosques – not part of Alevi culture – and countless dam and mining projects throughout the region, especially at the Munzur river, have provoked new clashes and caused further alienation.

The project captures glimpses of the society which cultural and religious history, in its particular diversity and isolation, reveals itself not only in special prayers, rites, or structures of society today, but also in clear political actions for autonomy and equality of different social groups and for the support and development of its own identity.

by Miriam Stanke

doc! #32 (pp. 163-187)

‘Leaving Kobane’ by Maciej Moskwa @ doc! photo magazine #32

© Maciej Moskwa | Testigo Documentary

© Maciej Moskwa | Testigo Documentary

Syrian Kobani and Turkish Suruç have been sister cities for nearly a hundred years. They were mostly inhabited by Kurdish people, related by blood, businesses, and their common culture. When the Ottoman Empire collapsed and independent Syria came into being, the cities found themselves in different countries. But only when Turks mined the border in the 1950s, Kobanians became brutally cut off from Suruçians.

Kobani was besieged by the Islamic State’s fighters from mid-September 2014 for four months. The city and the province got depopulated, and yet Suruç had to accept the refugees from behind the minefields. In a few days, a quarter of a million people broke into Turkey, with tens of thousands remained in Suruç in the hope of a quick return to Kobani.

Kobani tragedy is only a part for the over four years long war in Syria. The war has resulted with 300,000 people dead and a million wounded; a half of the inhabitants of the country became homeless, and four million people had to emigrate. For the rest of the world all these numbers are only gloomy statistics. Only the media attractiveness of Islamists and European fear of extremism will catch our attention to the besieged city for a while again. But, although the Islamic State will pass away, the war will remain.

text by Rafał Grzenia, photos by Maciej Moskwa

doc! #32 (pp. 189-213)

Aleksander Zieliński @ DCF ‘Roman House’

Tight #2. © Aleksander Zieliński

Tight #2. © Aleksander Zieliński

Upcoming exhibition at the DCF ‘Roman House’ is a post-mortem presentation of works by Aleksander Zieliński. The exhibition consists of different kind of works, including reportage, street art, documentary and conceptual photography.

“Brought up in the shadow of camera, Aleksander Zieliński photographed almost since childhood. His attention was directed primarily at human, the meaning and way of life, salvation and enhancement of freedom and uniqueness. And it emanates from his photographs“ – Zofia Gebhard writes about his works.

Aleksander Zieliński works are full of love to freedom, human uniqueness and rebellion against oppressive system. They notice paradoxes of surrounding reality. Here photography is a tool recording events as well as a way to create original artistic visions and worlds.

Temptation. © Aleksander Zieliński

Temptation. © Aleksander Zieliński

Aleksander Zieliński (1983-2013) | photographer, mathematician, computer scientist and cyber-activist | claimed to be a mono-media artist | won several awards and honourable mentions at photo contests | collaborated with Indymedia Poland | exhibited his works in Poland, Italy and the Czech Republic.

Aleksander Zieliński – ALEX 1983-2013
DCF ‘Roman House’ (8 Bishop Nankier Sq., Wroclaw, Poland). Grand opening: May 29 at 5:00 PM. The exhibition will be open to the public until June 27, 2015.

The exhibition is organised under contra doc! patronage.

Michał Szlaga @ GWL Gallery

© Michał Szlaga

© Michał Szlaga

Michał Szlaga is one of the most respected Polish photographers. His upcoming exhibition at GWL Gallery is the Poland’s first so extensive presentation of the Shipyard project, documenting changes in the Gdansk Shipyard over 15 years.

Szlaga photographs shipyard since 2000. He shows changes in its architectural landscape under the influence of human activities, documenting its slow disappearance from the map of the city. His work resulted with a moving series of photographs and video, which are a kind of tribute to the Gdansk Shipyard.

© Michał Szlaga

© Michał Szlaga

The exhibition consists of 25 photographs. During the opening, they will be supported by a video documenting the artist trip to Alang (India) where ships built in Gdansk are divided into parts. The opening will also include a slide show showing the Gdansk Shipyard ’s buildings before and after demolition.

Michał Szlaga (b. 1978) | based in Gdansk (Poland) | graduate from Photography and Intermedia at the Gdansk’s Academy of Fine Arts | known for his portrait and documentary projects | his works are in the collections of the Apollonia Association in Strasbourg, the Ujazdowski Castle – Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw and the National Museum in Gdansk | has exhibited his photographs in Poland, Germany, France and Iran, among others | repeatedly awarded at prestigious national and international photo competitions.

Michał Szlaga – Shipyard
GWL Gallery (6/8 Racjonalizacji St., Warsaw, Poland). Grand opening: May  29 at 7:00 PM. The exhibition will be open to the public until August 30, 2015.

The exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.

‘Live Aboard’ by Ingvild Melberg Eikeland @ doc! photo magazine #32

Seamus. © Ingvild Melberg Eikeland

Seamus. © Ingvild Melberg Eikeland

Established in the 1800’s The Grand and the Royal Canal served Dublin with freight and passenger transport up until the 1960’s. As the last commercial barge passed through the waterways, settlements of people living in houseboats slowly started to emerge along the canals, creating small communities and bringing life back to the abandoned canals.

Up to recent years these communities have existed with little intervention from the government, except essential mooring contracts and fees. Currently a new set of legislation proposed by Irish Waterways, threatens to change life on the canals again. These new by-laws may force the residents to relocate their homes by several kilometres every 5 days as well as increase the mooring fees to almost 30 times the current cost.

This project is a documentation of the canals residents and the community in the time of uncertainty and prospect of transition.

by Ingvild Melberg Eikeland

doc! #32 (pp. 71-93)

Winners of the 2015 Grand Press Photo announced!

2015 Grand Press Photo - Picture of the Year award. © Maciej Moskwa | Testigo Documentary

2015 Grand Press Photo – Picture of the Year award. © Maciej Moskwa | Testigo Documentary

Wonderful news reached us yesterday evening. Picture taken by Maciej Moskwa (doc! #12 & #32) in Syria won the Picture of the Year award in one of the Poland’s most prestigious press photography contests – Grand Press Photo. Maciej also won the 2nd award in the News – Photo story category.

What is more, our staff photographer – Mariusz Janiszewski – is also a laureate of the contest. He won the 2nd award in the People – Single photo category.

Other familiar names among remaining winners of the contest: Marek Lapis (doc! #12 & #16), Maciek Nabrdalik (doc! #15) and Maksymilian Rigamonti (doc! #1).

Congratulations, guys! Congratulations to all winners!

‘Everyone Lives in the Same Place Like Before Black White & Coloured’ by Claudio Rasano @ doc! photo magazine #32

© Claudio Rasano

© Claudio Rasano

The Everyone Lives in the Same Place Like Before Black White & Coloured series shows the hard side of life in South Africa using portraits and landscapes. The portraits are evident that the person is the subject of interest, reflecting the face of the person, using no background to provide context or embellishment.

Landscapes – houses and cottages shown as a shell – reflect the vast expanses of the Cape Town and Johannesburg areas. The photographs are connected by impressive natural light of South Africa. It testifies to the immediacy, an instantaneous and honest encounter that places the object in the centre.

by Claudio Rasano

doc! #32 (pp. 9-27)


© Małgorzata Niemen

© Małgorzata Niemen

Closing of the Niemen exhibition in the Warsaw’s NEY Gallery&Prints is closer and closer (May 17). This time, the end of one exhibition will be also an opening of anther one – Czesław Niemen in His Wife’s Lens – which, apart from already presented photographs by Krzysztof Gierałtowski, Ryszard Horowitz, Marek Karewicz, Chris Niedenthal (doc! #6), Małgorzata Niemen, Lidia Popiel and Andrzej Świetlik, will also present private photographs taken by the artist’s wife – Małgorzata.

„‘Czesław Niemen in His Wife’s Lens’ is a collection of photographs where you can see the artist-civilian. Without the stage aura. The artist on the road, in home space, making faces. Maybe it is such a piece of a family album?”– Malgorzata Niemen says about the exhibition.

One day before the closing/opening event – on May 16 at 8:00 PM – the NEY Gallery&Prints invites to a meeting with Krzysztof Gierałtowski, Małgorzata Niemen and Lidia Popiel. The meeting will be a chance to learn not only how and where the exhibited photographs were taken but also about emotions accompanying them and memories preserved by the artists.

Krzysztof Gierałtowski, Ryszard Horowitz, Marek Karewicz, Chris Niedenthal, Małgorzata Niemen, Lidia Popiel, Andrzej Świetlik – Niemen
NEY Gallery&Prints (5 Spokojna St., Warsaw, Poland). Closing: May 17 at 5:00 PM.

Małgorzata Niemen – Czesław Niemen in His Wife’s Lens
NEY Gallery&Prints (5 Spokojna St., Warsaw, Poland). Grand opening: May 17 at 5:00 PM. The exhibition will be open to the public until June 16, 2015.

More info @ NEY Gallery&Prints website.

The Czesław Niemen in his wife’s lens exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.

‘Soviet Photo’ @ The Lumiere Brothers Centre for Photography

Horsewoman. 1936. © Max Alpert

Horsewoman. 1936. © Max Alpert

Soviet Photo magazine was the most popular periodical on photography in the USSR. During its lifetime (1926-1997) the magazine witnessed all key figures of the photographic life of the country. Despite governmental control over the magazine, it managed to become a flexible enough and virtually single platform for thorough discussion of photography, held by key art historians, critics, professional and amateurs photographers from all over the union.

Tchaikovsky... Germany, 1945. © D. Baltermants

Tchaikovsky… Germany, 1945. © D. Baltermants

After the logic of the magazine, the exhibition focuses on the history and convergence of photo reportage and amateur photography. Photo reportage section features seminal and rare prints of the leading Russian photographers from the collection of The Lumiere Centre. Marking as well the upcoming 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, the exhibition features war photography that was repeatedly printed in the magazine and became classic war photography images.

Work Rhythm. 1960 © N. Matorin

Work Rhythm. 1960 © N. Matorin

The exhibition invites to engage into the discussion on Soviet and Russian photography of the 1920s-1990s, to gain insight into aesthetic and subject-related diversity of photography of the time, which in an extraordinary manner manifested itself through the magazine. The exhibition features vintage photographs from The Lumiere Brothers Centre for Photography collection, photographs from private collections, magazine covers and key editorials.

Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro. Georgia, 1963. © V. Egorov

Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro. Georgia, 1963. © V. Egorov

The Soviet Photo exhibition celebrates the 5th anniversary of The Lumiere Brothers Centre for Photography.

The Lumiere Brothers Centre for Photography (Bolotnaya emb. 3, b.1, Moscow, Russia). Grand opening on May 13 at 7:00 PM. The exhibition will be open to the public between May 14 and  September 6, 2015.

The Soviet Photo exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.

‘Iran: Life, Death and Prayer’ by Ciro Battiloro @ doc! photo magazine #32

Cemetery in Quchan (Iran). © Ciro Battiloro

Cemetery in Quchan (Iran). © Ciro Battiloro

In Iran life, death and prayer are weaved together and border the time and spaces of everyday life. Public life is a reflection of the moral strictness dictated by the State, otherwise the private sphere represents the natural Persian attitude.

Life, in some way, is divided between fiction and authenticity: once you pass by the domestic threshold, everything can change… the seriousness becomes warmth and irony, tears become smiles. A secret shot of vodka (coming from Turkmenistan) smells like freedom.

Faith is everywhere, its trademark is sewn on the flag of this country. Faith is pathos, faith is sorrow and, at the same time, is like a blatant staging. Faith is a control tool for the power and intimate sanctuary for enlightened soul.

The music that here is allowed to listen to, it is the bitter litany of tears: crying for Karbalāʾ martyrdom, for the victims of the war against Iraq… crying for finding a way to purification, as the only way for Paradise…

by Ciro Battiloro

doc! #32 (pp. 123-145)