bees

Bees by Zhe Chen

Bees © Zhe Chen. Courtesy by Beaugeste Gallery, Shanghai

Bees © Zhe Chen. Courtesy by Beaugeste Gallery, Shanghai

GC, DF, CSQ, WXD, SQX, LS, HL, ZHF, HL, LY, GYY, ZMT, LTP, LWT, GLW, SY. 
They are the initials of names, women’s names, young chinese women’s names. This book is dedicated to them because – as the artist said – “without their incredible trust and friendship these photographs would not exist”.

They are the “bees” of the eponymous book by Chinese photographer Zhe Chen. The fragile lady bees, the photographer shows the scars, marks, burnt skins, of women that escape from pain through physical self-destruction. The escapee finds several suffering solutions from deep hand-made tattoos or serious body modifications, up to taking a final tragic and fatal solution. Self-injuring is an unknown and hidden subject matter in China, more than in other countries, acknowledge in Japan where the photographer Kosuke Okahara told of a true reality in his Ibasyo black and white work. Zhe Chen, travelling through many cities, focuses on her native country and that world that she knows well from inside.

Many are the reasons of self-injury practices.The book has no titles and no descriptions , only the power of the images ,worthy intentions and personal need allow the photographer to keep a sincere, confident and trusting relationships with the beautiful “bees”. Zhe Chen’s earlier work, The Bearable (2010), is a series of self-portraits concerning her private auto-mutilation experience. So the “bees” group could include also ZC who tells with images more than is possible using words.
Words that in the exhibition currently exhibited at UCCA in Beijing will fly from beehives to open skies.

I talked directly to Zhe Chen asking her about intentions, messages and ultimate aim of the Bees.

Keep going to read on Le Journal de la Photographie.

Floating with Toni Frissell

I was reading a book about fashion photographers when I saw some images that I never saw before. Ignorance was my fault. Her name is Antoinette Frissell Bacon, aka Toni Frissell (1907-1988), after worked with Cecil Beaton and Edward Steichen, she started to work for Vogue in 1931 and then for Harper’s Bazaar. Her  pictures of women floating in the water (and not only – she was a good photojournalist during the World War II as well) are for me so contemporary and poetic. I’d just like to share with you – whom didn’t remember the photographer Toni Frissel – her amazing images and life.

From the recent book Coming Into Fashion – A Century of Photography at Condé Nast by Nathalie Herschdorfer (Thames & Hudson, 2012), “it was thanks to photographer Toni Frissell that Vogue began featuring a very different sort of image from those that had previously appeared in its pages”.

Toni Frissell, Flipper, 1950

Toni Frissell, Flipper, 1950

Tennis player 1947

Toni Frissell, Tennis player for Harper's Bazaar, 1947

Toni Frissell, Tennis player for Harper’s Bazaar, 1947

Toni Frissell, Mermaid, 1939

Toni Frissell, Mermaid, 1939

Lady in the water 1947

Firecracker e le donne

Lanciato nel 2011, Firecracker è una piattaforma online che promuove il lavoro delle fotografe europee. L’idea è di Fiona Rogers, coordinatrice degli eventi educativi e culturali di Magnum Photos a Londra. La stessa Rogers racconta che l’idea di Firecracker è nata da un’esigenza di sostenere l’alta qualità fotografica prodotta da molte donne in un mercato, inutile negarlo, dominato dagli uomini.

Le fotografe presenti in Firecarcker, così come le prossime che vedremo online di mese in mese, sono selezionate e invitate da Rogers. Chloe Dewe Mathews, Anastasia Taylor-Lind, Liz Hingley, Leonie Hampton e Jane Hilton sono solo alcune delle fotografe. Brave e già giustamente affermate.

Fiona Rogers ha annunciato che quest’anno verrà promosso un premio fotografico con lo scopo di sostenere il progetto fotografico di una fotografa europea. Tra i giurati, già confermati, Francesca Sears dell’agenzia Panos Pictures e Diane Smyth, deputy editor del British Journal of Photography.

Per chi fosse, inoltre, interessato al sostegno del progetto, c’è la possibilità di acquistare, attraverso Blurb, il Firecracker 2012 Diary.

(Single) Women in Palestine – Intervista ad Antonio Faccilongo

Antonio Faccilongo ha ricevuto diversi riconoscimenti per il suo progetto (Single) Women, come ad esempio il primo premio nella categoria “storie” al Prix de la Photographie Paris 2011 e al Kuala Lumpur International Photo Awards. Faccilongo ha incontrato, nelle proprie abitazioni, alcune delle numerose donne palestinesi con mariti, figli e padri chiusi nelle carceri israeliane.
L’ho intervistato.

©Antonio Faccilongo

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Women Are Heroes. Il film di JR

Uscirà il 12 gennaio nelle sale cinematografiche francesi il film-documentario “Women Are Heroes” dell’artista e fotografo JR, solo qualche mese fa insignito del prestigioso Ted Prize 2011. Il progetto fotografico (e civile) da cui è tratto il film è, a mio parere, uno dei più indiscutibili e interessanti lavori fotografici, comunicativi e di impatto e sensibilizzazione sociale degli ultimi anni.

Il trailer del film: