People cycling through the rain in China, Indian selfies, the Alps like you’ve never seen them before and a new breed of NYC street photography
Photography is a beautiful medium, with versatility as its most amazing trait. It can be used to record the existing reality or create a new one, to portray people and places, for surveillance purposes or to make images that are all about the aesthetics. It evokes memories and feelings, or provoke thought. You can photograph with DSLRs, analog cameras, a phone, a tablet, a drone, plastic cameras, probably glasses and watches, in the future. And the pictures - they can have a place in galleries, museums, books, magazines, billboards and websites. Now, try that with a Picasso.
Fotografia is an online magazine championing the works of emerging contemporary photographers from all over the world. Besides giving exposure to talented artists, we share precious information about grants and awards for photographers (try our popular newsletter), tap into the creative community of photobook makers and don’t disdain mobile photography, either. For this amazing collaboration with Dazed, at the beginning of every month we select ten of the best photographers we have featured in the magazine over the previous month and introduce you to their work. Hope you enjoy!
In the remote Asian region of Faristan, horses have an important social function for the many people that still live nomadically across its lands. Belgian photographer Matthieu Litt recently spent about a month in Faristan, and made a series of amazing photographs for a work called Horsehead Nebula. Litt’s images capture the stunning beauty of the region’s landscapes, as well as the simple but authentic lifestyle of its inhabitants.
We had our minds absolutely blown by Kai Caemmerer’s series Unborn Cities. The work looks at a reality we weren't aware of: to respond to the massive wave of urbanisation that invested the country in recent years, in China they're prebuilding fully fledged metropolises that will only be populated once construction is complete. So yes, the big cities you’ll see in these photographs are largely empty. Caemmerer’s evocative and ‘sci-fi’ style perfectly fits this quite incredible story.
With all the talking that is done around selfies, it feels like selfportraits today is all about pointing your phone’s camera at yourself and sharing a photo on social media. But in India, self portraits are a much bigger, more colorful deal. People go to neighbourhood studios, carefully select clothing and backdrops (which can be digital) and get a photo taken that reflects their position in society. French photographer Olivier Culmann explores this traditional practice in his latest project, The Others.
A former model, Canadian photographer Marianna Rothen has been working for the last 10 years on a series of photographs revolving around women. The project is called Snow and Rose & Other Tales and is composed of several chapters that consider femininity from different angles: “It starts in domestic despair and ends with a kind of ‘back to nature’ spin on a women’s retreat.” The images have a distinctive vintage aesthetics that Rothen obtains through a series of different techniques.
Gender is liquid. The traditional ideas of what it means to be a man or a woman today keeps getting challenged by individuals who courageously defy stereotypes to affirm the more complex, nuanced nature of their sexual identity. In Inner Self, French photographer Anne-Sophie Guillet captures this aspect of contemporary societies through a series of simple, stripped down yet powerful portraits: ‘Body delineates an individual, it comes to confound itself with the external identity’.
In the beginning, it was the 95 story skyscraper The Shard; then more new buildings and high rises followed and transformed London’s historic center, which is progressively losing its character to accommodate the needs of global finance. With Metropole, his photo book of haunting multiple exposures of the new London, British photographer Lewis Bush is making a political statement: ‘Everyone who dwells in London has an equal stake in the city and an equal right to decide how it looks in the future; investors and speculators should have no more influence over this process than anyone else’.
When you think about the Alps, in your mind you probably visualize serene landscapes of thick woods, snowy mountain tops and a clear blue sky as a backdrop. That is, in effect, the image of the Alps that is commonly marketed and heavily incorporated in their cultural identity by Alpine countries. But Austrian photographer Thomas Albdorf decided to reinvent that imagery by using a range of different expedients and techniques to deconstruct the way we think of the Alps.
Spanish photographer Bego Antón often puts the relationship between humans and animals at the centre of her works: ‘We love our pets, but we hate some animals like snakes or rats. We eat some of them, others we treat as family’ she said in her recent interview with us. For her latest project Everybody Loves to ChaChaCha, Antón focused in particular on the humandog dancing teams of America; while the pair is often portrayed in the middle of performing their moves, Antón is most interested in capturing the special bond she found to unite the dog with its master.
The match between New York and street photography is one made in heaven, with its roots as far back as the early developments of modernist photography. Many of the best ever street photographers have walked the streets of New York and made some of their top work in the Big Apple. Camilo Fuentealba, a Canadian photographer of Chilean Heritage, is among the street photographers of the new generation reinvigorating the blessed relationship between the city and street photography.
As a tall, unaccompanied Polish girl speaking no Chinese at all, Wiktoria Wojciechowska’s early part of her stay in China proved to be a hard time. Finding herself amidst crowds of people she couldn’t interact with, Wiktoria developed the idea of taking low exposure photographs of the many Chinese she would see cycling in the rain as her very personal way of stopping them and establishing a connection. Whatever her motivations, we love the unique feel of the portraits she obtained with just a tripod, a speedlight flash and an umbrella.