Sunday, November 12, 2017

Reading Assignment Blogpost - Chapter 6, Moments in History (due Tue 11/14)

In the comment section below write a 200 word minimum response to Chapter 6 "Moments in History" Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

Which essay from the assigned chapter spoke to your own experience the most?  Summarize the main points of the essay and give a personal anecdote that elaborates on why this article spoke to you. Which essay made you think about photography in a new way, or spoke to experiences you may not have been as familiar with?  Did any of the work completely confuse you?  Which photographer(s) highlighted are you the most interested in?  Again, summarize the article and explain why this essay has reshaped your ideas about photography.

Olya will be leading the classroom discussion on Tuesday 11/14


  1. Chapter 6

    Photojournalism or documenting events, life, and the world around us. I could identify with this chapter for this simple reason, I like to record events, no matter the content. Photography has enable the world to capture and save an event whether good or bad for prosperity.

    Chan Chao, photographs the human condition. Refugee camps are his most visited photographic stage. (164). The intent facial expressions of his subjects, what they have had to endure escaping persecution, famine, war, to survive in less than ideal living conditions, losing all their worldly possessions, he captures this anguish, suffering in the eyes of his subjects.

    Fazal Sheikh, (163). His photography is similar to Chan Chao, only his photojournalism is done in black and white, my favorite. His photographs bring out the stark reality of the pain and suffering his subjects have endured. Unlike Chan Chao, who usually shoots his subjects in color, both these photographers take their time to capture the human condition in some of the worst scenarios an individual has to endure in order survive.

    Both of these photographers remind me of the, Dead Pan series, from a previous chapter. I'm not a fan of Dead Pan, however, I am interested in capturing the human condition. The eyes of your subject alone can reveal a deep and painful or beautiful experience in their life.

  2. I enjoyed this chapter a lot. I like the idea of documenting events or issues that are going on in the world, especially if they're issues or events that are controversial or overlooked by the media. I love the three photos on pages 168 and 169. I especially like Zarina Bhimji's Memories Were Trapped Inside the Asphalt, and how it alludes to a past spent within those walls and the present is probably spent inside a different spent of walls, maybe of higher quality. They're all powerful photos of things left behind or thing most people choose to look past. I also really enjoy Simon Norfolk's Destroyed Radio Installations of the dilaptdated building and empty landscape of Afghanistan. Fazal Sheikh's Halima Abdullai is an amazing photo of refugees in Kenya. even though the photo is in black and white their eyes are still vibrant in the photo but you can see the struggles they hold. Zwelethu Mthethwa's photo on page 175 is really nice too. I'm always intrigued by how people from other cultures and other walks of life live. In the photo you can see a sort of kitchen set up to the right of the picture and it just makes me want to know what a day in their life is like. Overall this chapter holds some of my favorite photos so far from this book.

  3. I was intrigued by Ori Gersht’s work. Although he is most popular right now for his exploding still life pictures, he also has a knack for taking exquisite photos of landscapes that almost seem not of this world. His photo titled “Untitled Space 3” does indeed look like tracks of a motor vehicle on another planet, when it is in fact a shot of a road through the Judean Desert. Beyond being a cool pictures that makes the viewer question and wonder endlessly on what events surround this enchanting picture, it is an actual capturing of history. This is a road that many individuals and families and traveled on to escape political persecution and is associated with fear, and danger. That is what I like about this photo. It is real and raw emotions and experiences, masked briefly by whimsy. It is quickly sobering.
    Another artist whose work I enjoyed was Simon Norfolk. His historical photos are presented in a dystopian way. It was hard for me at first to look at these pictures and make the connection in my head that these are real places. The way Norfolk depicts these places makes it seem like the world is vacant of human life. The pictures are overwhelmingly quiet, eerie, yet captivating.
    Overall, both of the artists quickly drew me in with their art, made me wonder, and brought me to an uncomfortable state. But in the end, I was aware that I, through them, witnessed a small piece of history. They make me think of photography in a different way. It is more than just capturing a moment, but also sharing that moment with people who cannot be there themselves.

  4. For the works that I most enjoyed, I couldn't honestly decide which I preferred over Zarina Bhimji's 'Memories Were rapped Inside the Asphalt', or Anthony Maughey's 'Minefield Bosnia'. Both were powerful pieces that used still life to display what I saw as remnants of the past. Whether the past was good or bad differ between the pictures, but both seem to hold the times of many different experiences from those that could have inhabited the area even for the shortest time.
    A work that confused me was the one belonging to Deidre O'Callihan. Not in a way where I didn't understand or enjoy it, but in the way that it seemed so left field that the entire idea of people becoming so invested in a certain routine revolving around a hostel that those working with the artist would inevitably have a bit of their lives story placed within it as well. Sort of like both watching a story take place, and being involved in it at the same time. They certainly were an enjoyable artist to read about.
    However out of ll of these different people from within this chapter, the one that I found the most enjoyment out of the collection of images by Martin Parr for their collection "Common Sense". Not because of the diversity in subject matters, or that they seem colorful. It was purely because it felt to me that there was bound to be something in this collection that almost anyone could feel some sort of honest connection to. As a large gentleman, I believe it can go without say that I enjoy donuts like the ones shown in the book. A few friends of mine also seemed to have differing favorites out of these pictures (which is sort of where I developed this thought of individual 'tastes' in these photos.) one liked the dog, another enjoyed the piggy-trinket, and while we never truly came up with an honest answer as to what that pink fluff-ball was, it was thoroughly enjoyed by us due to it seeming so alien in such a casual setting.

  5. I struggled to connect with this chapter. I’m not very into history, and a lot of the pictures in this chapter do not spark as much interest as previous chapters. However, if I had to pick the top three that stand out to me, they would have to be:

    Sophie Ristelhueber, and her pictures of Iraq. I think she is brave to take those pictures, and its interesting that this place can be considered a work of art through a lens even though its been through a lot of turmoil in those years.

    The next one that gave me some interest was Fazal Sheikh, and her pictures of families at refugee camps. The abuse that these people have gone through is a hard pill to swallow when looking at the pictures. I think somehow in these types of pictures there can be a type of connection between individual and the world. Its scary to think that the world is still unsafe in certain countries and cities. I think these types of pictures can pull us away from our everyday bubble to remind us that we are here to help each other.

    Margareta Klingberg photo also sparked some interest to me. How these unprotected workers weren’t scared to have their picture taken intrigues me for some reason.

  6. The images in this chapter were real and touched on sensitive topics, but I find those to be the most fascinating. For instance, the photo Kabul Road done by Luc Delahaye brings to light what we do not see in the media about the war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq. The photo is interesting to me because of all the people standing around the deceased. The men looking at the camera gives it a more eerie feeling as it should be when dealing with a tragedy.
    I am mostly confused and uncomfortable with the photo done by Trine Sondergaard and the picture of the prostitute. I understand the back story of the pictures, but something does not set right with it.
    I probably relate mostly to The Destroyed Radio Installations by Simon Norfolk because my father was deployed a couple times and I saw a lot of videos and pictures of things my father witnessed, and so seeing wreckage and destruction like what is in Norfolks picture makes me think back to watching those videos my father showed me. The picture looks more post-apocalyptic and at first take does not look like a war was happing.

  7. This was my chapter. Chapter 6 this one took me awhile to understand over some of the other chapters. This was more of a history lesson chapter. With refugee camps, as one of them. All the photos in this chapter made me sad. They all told a story of what has and is happening today still in some countries. Everything was very real and touched my heart. I really don’t have much to say over this chapter because it’s hard to talk about. I have been involved with some of the actions taking with in this chapter therefore I am closed off.