The Daily Edit – Ash Adams: Patagonia

Fall 2021 Patagonia Journal

Photographer: Ash Adams

Assistant: Sarah Pulcino

Photo Director: Heidi Volpe
Art Director: Annette Scheid
Editor: Madalina Preda

Heidi: How long have you been living in Anchorage, what brought you there and why have you stayed?
Ash: I  have been living in Anchorage now for a little over ten years, with a brief year a few years before that before I left for grad school. Honestly, I came up to Anchorage because I was burning out working in cities in the lower 48 and wasn’t making the work I wanted to; being a young journalist is such a hectic, yet formative time, and my personality needed to be somewhere where it could breathe. I felt that in Alaska I could work as a freelancer and really sink into a place. Alaska has very few photojournalists who work for national media to this day, and very few women. So it felt like an opportunity to cover underreported stories and also an opportunity to learn.

I’ve stayed for a number of reasons, but mostly I tell people that I’ve stayed because I love it here, and I do. I love how much space is here, how much wilderness. Before living in Alaska, I had almost no acquaintance with the outdoors; I would need to take a minute anytime I came to “You are Entering Bear Country” sign at the start of even the most trafficked trails. Now, it is not uncommon for me to be backpacking for days (and sometimes weeks) alone. I found a place in the world through becoming comfortable in wilderness that I had no idea I needed. My children, now 7 and 9, backpack with me as well.
I love the people here, and many cultures, foods, and dialects. I love how much I have learned from the people here.

Having my children here, and with a person who is Inupiat, is obviously another pull. Making sure that they are close to and connected to their heritage is important to me, as is making sure that they feel that they have a place in the world, which I think comes from being connected to the land.

You’ve obviously earned trust from the community in order to share their stories in a variety of outlets. I would think this is reciprocal, what has the community taught you? 
The communities within Alaska have taught me so much that this is particularly hard to answer, but Alaska has especially taught me about the concept of community itself. Alaska is an island made up of islands, and so every person in a community matters. It is easier to see the responsibility each person has in a small place and to therefore see your own. People see each other here. After one assignment, I was driving at night and the snow drifts were huge and the roads were slick, so even though I was driving carefully and had the right tires and right car for this, I slid into a bank and was absolutely stuck. I had no cell service and my GPS had died a while back. Within about 6 minutes, a truck came down the road, and two teenage boys hopped out, pulled out a tow rope, and just pulled my car out of the snow, with almost no words (and of course they would accept no money). It is this small act that honestly was huge. And teenagers already knew to do that; they’d been taught to see the people around them and acknowledge that they are part of the story of the world. I think about things like this a lot lately; individualism has a very dark and damaging side, and being a part of a place like this gives my heart hope.
And then there’s languages and cultures; the concept of what real family looks and feels like; the tastes of whale, seal, bear, moose, caribou, and so many other flavors I’d never had before; what resilience looks like–the list goes on and on. I am grateful in every way.
Ash Adams loading film while Photographing Warren Jones for Patagonia./Photo by Sarah Pulcino

Patagonia asked you to find a local assistant for this project, how did that align with goals you already had for mentorship?
Diversity within the photo industry has been a hot topic in the last few years, but it’s been on my mind for well over a decade. I currently am a founder of a mentorship program, Show and Tell Alaska, with my ex-husband and co-parent, Brian Adams, who is both a phenomenal photographer and person, and the program was developed in response to a lack of diversity in photojournalism and in this state. People do not necessarily need a degree to be able to tell their stories to a larger audience, and for many and especially in rural Alaska, that doesn’t make sense; I think aspiring photojournalists need people to show them how to hone skills they’ve already started to elevate their work and then they need contacts within this specific industry that people often come to through educational programs (where people also learn about all of the workshops that will build them up, too). The lack of diversity in the industry is due in large part to just not having access–to mentors, to contacts. There have been many, many photographers who have come to Alaska from outside on $20,000 (or higher) grants to do a weekend workshop on i-phone photography in a village who then use the contacts for their stories and bail, and we wanted to do something that could actually help diversify our industry in this diverse and geographically complex state in a meaningful way.

So, all that is to say that working with Sarah Pulcino (who is currently in the mentorship program, but was not yet at the time), aligns with my values for a number of reasons; there are not many Indigenous female photojournalists in this state, and I want to support her journey in any way that I can. She’s talented and lovely to work with.

Did you know Waren prior to this assignment?
I did, but not well; Alaska is a small-town state, and Warren is a brilliant writer who travels in similar circles, so we had met casually here and there over the years. After this assignment, however, Warren and I (and his family) have become a great deal closer, which was an unexpected benefit from making the work.

You have a love for writing, poetry that come up while photographing Warren?
Warren and I likely talked about his writing during the shoot, though I’m not sure that we’ve ever talked about poetry (in addition to journalism, I publish roughly a couple of poems a year in literary magazines, which is something I started doing in my early 20’s, but it’s such a tangential part of myself that it rarely comes up). We often tend to talk about ideas more than anything, and my recollection of the conversations of the day were no different. His article for Patagonia is a great example of the deep wells that he gets into on his own and that we also get into collaboratively; he is a deep thinker who revels in the way things connect. That we both love words I think becomes a kind of framework but not the subject of conversation. (If that makes sense!)

The Daily Edit – Fairy Creek: Ola J. Cholewa

(A logging sort filled with old growth red cedar in Haida Gwaii 2018.)

Fairy Creek, Unceded territory of the Pacheedaht and Dididaht First Nation People

Photographer: Ola J.Cholewa

Heidi: Before joining the protest at Fairy Creek were you involved in other environmental movements?
Ola: I first visited Fairy Creek in early April of this year. Prior to that in 2018 I had the privilege of living in Haida Gwaii for a year. Haida Gwaii is an archipelago off the central coast of British Columbia where Haida settlement has been proven to date back to 13,800 years. Shortly after moving to the island for a new job, I quit my job with certainty, and I found myself participating and documenting a stand where Haida citizens re-claimed the rights to their territories and put a temporary halt to a forestry operation that was expediently harvesting one of the islands last available stands of old growth red cedar.

During this stand I witnessed the approval of an injunction by the B.C. Supreme Court, which granted the RCMP the ‘legal authority’ to forcibly remove Haida citizens off their own land to make way for industry. Shortly after camp was dismantled, illegal logging commenced at St’alaa Kun by the Forestry company, Husby Forest Products.

It was this experience that opened my eyes to the fact that our ancient old growth forests are threatened and endangered. I also learned how the exploitation of land is directly related to the exploitation of Indigenous People’s culture. I was introduced to the complex issues that have arisen out of tensions that sometimes exists between Band Council governance systems and Hereditary Chief governance systems within Nations.

My experiences in Haida Gwaii gave me the initial courage and the motivation to participate in the protests that were taking place in Fairy Creek.

What was your process like in terms of joining and photographing the protest camp community?
Initially I spent weekends on the mountain, getting a feel for camp. I spent time walking the lands of the Pacheedaht and Dididaht First Nation People, humbled that I had been welcomed by Elder Bill Jones and Hereditary Chief Victor Peters. I sat beneath ancient cedar trees- Grandmother and Grandfather tree up at a River Camp. I walked through mossy groves of lush old growth forest that was left intact along the river during previous logging operations. (The feeling of walking within untouched ancient old growth forest is comparable, I imagine, to the feeling of swimming in water for the first time. Sound, space and time all warp into an unfamiliar feeling. The beauty, balance, and biodiversity are simply too overwhelming to take in all at once).

)Two ancient cedar trees near River Camp at Fairy Creek.)

As I continued to visit on weekends, I could sense the movement was gaining momentum. Shortly thereafter an injunction was granted by the B.C. Supreme Court and on May 17th the RCMP began to forcibly remove land defenders and their supplies off the logging roads. It’s important to note that members of the Band Council did ask protestors to leave and agreed with the planned forestry operations, although, Hereditary Chief Victor Peters and Elder Bill Jones along with many other members of the community did not agree. Their views were ignored by our government and mainstream media.

My first stint on the frontlines was a time in which I spent 5 nights up at Waterfall camp. It was an experience like no other. The nighttime missions, the pickaxes, the deep wells and complex hard block devices were all overwhelming to witness. Also, the intense pushes up the hill by the RCMP each morning and their nighttime patrols. I witnessed people chaining themselves into the land to block industry from accessing land deemed to be clear-cut, impeding industries perpetuation of the destruction of ancient eco-systems. The community shared in the knowing that once destroyed, via clear-cutting logging methods, the land would never be the same. No place for natural succession. Forests are planned, planted, and turned into farms. The biodiversity of the land lost forever.

In what ways are you experiencing effects of the ecosystem destruction?
Today the land in our Province is literally speaking. The fires, the floods, the mudslides. Atmospheric rivers and heat domes, unfortunately two frightening terms we’ve become acquainted with this year.

We know that old growth forests are great climate moderators, cooling the air when it is hot, warming it when it’s cold. Douglas Fir stands hold the capability of withstanding fire. Trees are incredible organisms that retain and circulate water while they work to stabilize and create soil. Old growth forests work as giant carbon sequestering machines while tirelessly and simultaneously manage to pump out rich oxygen for us to breath. Ancient old growth forests are also deeply connected to the cultures of many Indigenous Nations in our province. From their arts to their medicines. Also, histories are literally held within the ancient pathways and the culturally modified objects that can be found within old growth forests. Activist and friend from Haida Gwaii Lisa White shared these words with me back in 2018. “Our culture is very, very, dependant on healthy lands.”  Like the roots of the forest- land, language and culture are all deeply intertwined.
(A culturally modified tree or CMT in Haida Gwaii showing a test hole that was carved into a trunk of a standing ancient tree. Test holes were used traditionally to check if trees were rotten on the inside. A way of avoiding unnecessarily cutting down a tree.)

Joining a blockade is bold action. Why did you choose to participate this way?
I joined the stand at Fairy Creek to support the land and its biodiversity. As Rivers are being granted the same legal rights as human beings, I believe that our remaining Old Growth Forests should finally be afforded the same.

I joined the stand at Fairy Creek to support Elder Bill Jones, Chief Victor Peters, select members of the Pacheedaht First Nation and other individuals who wanted to join forces to stand up for the rights of Indigenous Peoples access to healthy lands and waters. It is time the government offers Nations, Inuit, and Metis, other means of economic gain. Means outside of resource extraction.

I joined the stand at Fairy Creek to do something useful with my time. To be a part of something greater within a wider community. To avoid complacency, comfort, and distraction. To take the feelings of overwhelm I was feeling and transform them into some sort of meaningful action. In my journal I wrote, “Uncertain of what else to do but travel to the Ancient Forests to congregate with like-minded humans.”

I joined the stand at Fairy Creek as a supporter of the movement and as a professional photographer. My camera, a tool that could capture both the light and dark. A tool that documented the hard work of a community that had a unified sense of purpose in protecting the forests and standing up for Indigenous rights while also documenting the violent actions of the RCMP and their escalating tactics while they enforced the injunction over time.
(Elder Bill Jones had to negotiate permission to enter his own territory at the RCMP exclusion line blocking the road to Waterfall Camp.)

In May I witnessed Elder Bill Jones and Chief Victor Peters having to negotiate the rights to access their own lands with the RCMP. This was just days after there was a discovery of 215 bodies of children found within the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops which closed in 1969. (The last residential school in Canada closed in 1996, just 25 years ago). How was it that a respected Elder and Chief were being blocked from entering their own unceded lands? How did industry have so much power over the land? Where was the Reconciliation that our government has promised for so long?

(Pictured here is Skunk in ‘The Well’. This is deepest hard block I have witnessed to date.)

(Front liners working through the night. This device created a 5-person hard block. An 80 year old man helped with the dig that night and also proudly took it upon himself to chain himself into it the next morning.)

It was recently published that 5 months of enforcement up at Fairy Creek cost the RCMP $3.7 million dollars.  But still, the heavy machinery and fancy equipment could not outsmart the creative human minds on the frontlines. It was in the middle of August when enforcement really took a turn- there was a shift in the teams and tactics that were utilized on the ground.

As we know peaceful protests can turn violent. Did you ever feel threatened or experience aggression here?
On August 19th and 20th I witnessed an extreme escalation in the violent behaviour that came from the RCMP and Paramilitary. They pushed and aggressively rushed land defenders on the frontlines of Fairy Creek back towards the very last stand at Camp Landback where Indigenous Matriarchs were stationed. The intense movement tripped up land defenders and they toppled on top of one another. The RCMP and Paramilitary officers took this opportunity to tear and drag individuals out of the crowd to make violent arrests, some of which were clearly targeted because they were BIPOC. The violence and aggression was unnecessary and unprovoked. During these two days I also witnessed media presence on the ground being denied access to document the RCMP’s operations. On the night of the 20th there were only a few hard blocks remaining.  On the morning of August 21st , RCMP enforcement was present at the front lines for a total 97 days, they were almost at the last hard block at River Camp which would clear the road for industry. The RCMP was desperate, especially given that the injunction was soon to expire. It was on this day that I again witnessed an unprovoked attack on a group of 60 protestors who were participating in their civil right to peacefully protest. This occurred after the movement in which land defenders enveloped a gate in the formation of a human blob.

What commenced from the side of the RCMP was excessive use of pepper spray and force. Meanwhile some of the land defenders were bare-foot. Others yelled out, why are you doing this? We aren’t doing anything wrong? I saw my friends in the crowd and I saw youth. I witnessed honourable humans putting their bodies on the line in hopes to create a more sustainable and ethical future for us all. There was no retaliation from the side of the protestors. One voice could be heard calling out, pull back, pull back. The group remained peaceful.
(Land defenders on the morning of August 21st 2021 just before being pepper sprayed and attacked by the RCMP.)(The intense push by the RCMP and Paramilitary on August 20th which led to violent arrests.)

The RCMP’s frustration in failing to remove land defenders in what was nearly 100 days of enforcement might have had something to do with the officers violent actions that commenced that day. The alternate option could have been to peacefully wait out the blob, but with being so close to the end of the line at Camp Landback I believe the decision was made out of desperation to clear the road.

With your intense experience and coverage what impacts do you hope your imagery will have?
I hope my photos will emote a sense of community and unification and inspire others to get involved in the experience of participating in meaningful action within their own communities. Experience is always more transformative than reading about other people’s experiences.

It’s difficult to know what to do with all the footage I gathered, I can’t help but feel a sense of urgency to share out and amplify the truth of what I’ve witnessed over the last 8 months. I was relieved to hear Patagonia was publishing a story about Fairy Creek. We are so infiltrated with media these days and it’s hard to know where stories will make the biggest impact. I felt grateful that Patagonia, with such a large following, is amplifying the truth of what is happening here on the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada.

I also hope my photographs illuminate how Indigenous Communities are being treated by the RCMP and our government right here, right now in Canada. The government has recently claimed that there is no old growth logging taking place in Fairy Creek, a classic play on words to appease the public. Although a two-year moratorium has been placed on the inner portion of the watershed, logging all around the outer edge continues. For example, in an area where a friend and artist discovered a rare speckle-bellied lichen on a stand of ancient trees at Heli Camp is now gone, diminished to nothing but a clear-cut.  If we continue to turn a blind eye there will be nothing left for our future generations.

I’ll end with the words of Elder Bill Jones which he shared during a speech back in August. He said, “We will indeed tell all those who are in power that we are here, that we are standing for our old growth and that we will not back down.”

(Elder Bill Jones welcoming a crowd of his supporters.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Daily Edit – Fairy Creek: Agathe Bernard

Cree Land Defender Lady Chainsaw Lady Chainsaw, chained to another wheelchair on the river camp bridge ready to confront the RCMP. Her fierceness is contagious, arrested more than 60 times

The Cleanest Line: Dispatch from Fairy Creek

Photographer: Agathe Bernard

Heidi: Fairy Creek is located on the territory of the Pacheedaht Nation, RCMP began enforcement of an injunction to clear forest defenders out of the way of logging company Teal Jones. The battle to protect this area is still ongoing, what drew you to this protest?
Agathe: In all honesty, when things started intensifying at Fairy Creek, I was swamped. I was working on a film about a double amputee going to the paralympics, pushing for the Sinixt (some of the Columbia River indigenous) to retrieve the rights back to their territories and get their voice heard through another film. I was working on a massive coastal cleanup. I didn’t have a lot of personal time then. I felt very isolated from the pandemic and in need of some girl time and community connection. So when Marie-France texted me to join her and Leah and a few other girlfriends, I knew deep down I had to show up, for the ecosystem, for the forest who gave me so much peace and to connect with the girls.

There were several female activists in your images; of course, men were present but was there a sisterhood afoot?
Definitively! It’s actually quite fascinating how Fairy Creek gathered so many caring women. When the police force was so intense, knowing that we had each other and could take care of each other and laugh, sharing food or resources was an absolute force. These friendships are forever changed and so much stronger because we shared that experience together. Building community, in this case, a sisterhood around the things you love and care for, I think is the key to flight for environmental and human justice.

The violence against Indigenous women appears to be much more pervasive than publicly available data would indicate. This suspicion was confirmed in 2013, when the RCMP released a report revealing 1,181 cases of missing and/or murdered Indigenous women and girls. The 2015 update document now unavailable on the RCMP’s website added 19 female Aboriginal missing cases, for a total of 174 Aboriginal females missing for at least 30 days as of April 1, 2015.

Missing Murdered Indigenous Women MMIW is an essential and necessary movement that gives voice and raises awareness for mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and friends that have gone missing from reservations. What did you want your images to say and or how did making those photos hit you as a woman?
I was quite intimidated to take photos of these incredible indigenous women. Knowing how much they had been through and suffered and how hard it was for them to show up for their right in hopes of a better future for their daughters, sisters and grandchildren. That was a very humbling experience! In these images, I was trying to convey their fierce and strong nature, that enough is enough, and you just don’t mess with indigenous women, period. In each woman I could see a set of Russian dolls standing, lineage of generations standing into each woman and saying: “No more, we have had enough, and we will not put up with the abuse anymore”.

It was like drawing a clean line with the past, acknowledging the intergenerational trauma and choosing to end it at all cost. I still have shivers going through my body when I think of how I felt taking these photos. I still feel so much shame for our society to have allowed that to happen and so much anger when I look around and see how people keep ignoring the harm. Some photos will change you forever.



When you are in the forest, what type of energy or messages do you get from the trees?
The forest is hands down my favorite place to recalibrate. Bathing in big trees sparks my senses so much. I love observing the leaves unfolding and the sun sparkling through the branches, hearing the sounds of the wind passing through…I grew up playing in a forest every day and visited the big lumpy tree daily, wishing it well. That tree had motherly energy to it; it was comforting, safe, always there for me until they built the golf course. I still go by that same place when I go back East, and it’s sad now, endless rows of suburban houses that look all the same.

I was given my first film camera at seven, and the trees were the first thing I photographed. I feel like I still haven’t broken down the code to give them justice. I never thought of them as male or female; they are the perfect balance between standing solid and sturdy yet swaying with the wind and adapting beautifully like a gracious feminine dance. It’s the ideal mix between the feminine, caring quality of nurturing and community and the more individualistic strong male nature of pushing upward towards the light.

How has the environment and or the outdoors informed your work?
I grew up in nature between a forest, a river and a lake that was the city water reservoir. The environment was always everything for me. I was a little bit of a black sheep and felt quite lonely at times with all my passions and big dreams; nature was my safe place.

I was stealing my dad’s Handycam daily, wrapping it in my sweater on my way to school and making movies secretly. I stormed into the minister’s office at 13 with it and my concerns about pollution. I wanted answers because it didn’t make sense that we were polluting our planet with aerosols.

I brought one film to show my school. It was about the seal massacre in northern Quebec (my mom and sister had agreed to play the dead seal covered in ketchup). My parents were teachers, so they explained everything we saw: how the glaciers formed, the river flow, how everything evolved through time. I was raised with curiosity and a thirst to explore.

When I went to BC for the first time at 19th years old,  I felt like I didn’t deserve to be enjoying the mountains. I didn’t understand why there were volcanoes amongst the coastal mountains, so I went to do a geology degree. That was a first-hand experience in seeing the inside of “the industry” that didn’t feel good. When I graduated, I worked in Peru, and our team was kidnapped. That experience was eye-opening, I was so naive. Eventually, I went to work as an environmental scientist specializing in contaminated soil and water, knee-deep cleaning up the industry’s pollutants. Unfortunately, because I was on the front line there, my health took a hit. I went back to school to do a graduate certificate in environmental education and communication. I feel like I am finally finding where I belong, bridging science and storytelling to show up for what I think is the most important. An incredible editor (you) told me once “you can express those motherly caring and loving qualities towards the causes you care for” and that is how I have resolved my own life purpose. Hopefully, seeing my work published and creating tiny ripples of change has brought me to hope that love, perseverance, and trust can do anything.

What message do you hope to share?
The balance with our environment is very fragile. Ecosystems are getting affected to a level they may not be able to recover, and I hope to help people understand we need to take better care of our mother. We need to look after her rivers, bring salmon back, leave the glacier alone, forbid development that brings crowds of selfie sticks, have the cruise ships gone so that whales can communicate, and regenerative design systems that prevent single-use plastics, hold industry accountable for ghost net and contamination, to name a few solutions.

Healing our mother comes hand in hand with healing social justice issues and healing ourselves because consumerism is a bandage. How much do we really need? What if we gave back the love our mother gave us?

Follow
@fairycreekblockade@rainforestflyingsquad and @camplandback on Instagram, and visit facebook.com/FairyCreekBlockade for daily updates from the front lines.

 

The Daily Edit – Alex Farnum: Lina Prairie


Photographer: Alex Farnum

Heidi: Where is this artist based and is this a long term project?
Alex: Yes, great project and still on-going, in fact I’m working on a short film about Lina Prairie this week! She is an artist based in Point Reyes National Seashore. She collects kelp, bones, and other coastal artifacts, then uses the material to weave intricate baskets, wall hangings and other sculptures.

Was this a brand project or personal project?
Personal project.

Did you spend a day with her in the studio? Did you forage together?
I’ve spent multiple days with Lina in her studio and foraging along the coast. We are in the process of writing a monolog for the film and still have two more days of shooting together.

What was the art direction for the images?
I wanted to tell her story is a beautiful, cinematic and artistic way. Less doc style and more conceptual since her work is highly conceptual. The material she uses also has a life of its own and a beautiful all onto itself. It almost reminds me of lines in a midcentury drawing.

Your body of work ranges from stills to lifestyle, and portraits. How does one inform the other, or what is the common thread you are looking for in all three genres?
Good question – People, landscape, still life form a triangle to me. They are the language of the world and also the buckets that help me round out my stories. People and lifestyle is the humanity, still life helps the viewer understand the details of the story and the landscapes drive a sense of place. The landscape or environment is the cradle that holds it all together.



What have you been shooting more these days?

I’ve been shooting a lot of travel and hospitality lately. One project I did was for SENSEI, which is a new hotelier concentrating on full approach to wellness travel. The project is a great example of giving me the freedom to express my photographic style while being in-line with the clients needs.

 

The Daily Edit – Graeme Jennings: Time Magazine

TIME Magazine

Photographer: Graeme Jennings

Heidi: Did you know that image was being used for an editorial cover?
I was not aware of it until TIME tagged me on Instagram.

When you saw the composed cover, describe your reaction.
Delighted and very surprised. I have not been published on the cover of TIME before, so it was certainly great to see!

What was the original scenario around that image, before it was part of the getty collection? Was it the from the testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law?
Due to the pandemic, there are restrictions on the number of photographers who can photograph certain events at one time. There is a pool duty rotation on Capitol Hill that was put in place to accommodate this. I was on pool duty the day of the House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative law. I knew ahead of time that it was a virtual hearing. As a prelude to this, I feel I should include a long back story…..

I have photographed Mark Zuckerberg before. In 2018 he came in person to Capitol Hill to testify before a joint hearing of the Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees, about the use of Facebook data to target American voters during the 2016 election. I have photographed many important figures before, including the president, but I will admit that seeing Mark Zuckerberg in person had me just a tad star struck. Zuckerberg was wearing a perfectly tailored suit, he had a rather strange, generic haircut, perfectly manicured nails, and very pale skin. During this hearing, Twitter was going crazy with tweets. People were commenting on his somewhat robotic appearance. There was also a meme going around comparing Zuckerberg to the android character, Data, in Star Trek. All of this sparked my interest in him further.

After seeing all the reactions on social media, I started to think about a film I saw as a kid in the early 90s called The Lawnmower Man. It’s a movie about an experiment on a man to enhance his intelligence through virtual reality. The experiment goes wrong, and he becomes completely obsessed with evolving into an electronic being. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Zuckerberg in the flesh, but I was starting to think of him as someone who exists in digital form, in a sort of electronic ether. Or as Zuckerberg himself has referred to it as the “metaverse”. Essentially a virtual reality world where people would interact just as they do in real life.

All of this brings me back to that hearing where Zuckerberg was in attendance via video. A virtual hearing. I saw Zuckerberg’s face on the multiple tv screens in the room, flickering, pixelated, flat against a plain white background. It made perfect sense. During the hearing I took many pictures on the large screens, including one of Zuckerberg on a screen in front of the dias where the members of Congress sit. This picture was used the following day by The Washington Post and The New York Times.

How did you start your photo journalistic career and why an interest towards post conflict societies and reconstruction?
I started my career back in my home country of New Zealand. After finishing college, I worked freelance and was part of a book project about New Zealand going into the new millennium. I later moved to the UK where I continued to freelance. I worked with NGOs in Russia and the former Yugoslavia. My interest in post conflict areas began as a young college student where I took an interest in the work of many photographers such as Don McMullin, Ron Haviv, and Susan Meiselas. I also looked at images in magazines such as TIME, from the war in Bosnia and later Kosovo. I wanted to see these places myself and was curious what was happening in these parts of the world after the news media had left.

Do you remember your first assignment or when you knew this was the kind of work, you’d dedicate yourself to?
When I was in college, I spent time reading about these places that I would later go on to document – post conflict societies such as Azerbaijan, Chechnya, and Bosnia.

Once I moved to the United States, I started to transition into covering politics and daily news in Washington D.C and other part of the U.S.

How long have you been at the Washington Examiner? 
I’ve been staff with the Washington Examiner since 2011. I also work with other corporate and news clients. I cover Capitol Hill regularly. Coming from New Zealand, a relatively quiet place politically, covering American politics over the last 10 years has been a chaotic whirlwind for me. In recent years, I have become more and more interested in portraiture.  I draw my influences from various fields – television and cinema, pictorialism, chiaroscuro art, many, many photojournalists, and well-known portrait greats such as August Sander, Diane Arbus, and Yousuf Karsh.

The Daily Edit – BIPOC Photo Mentorship Program


Janice Reid (Mentors: Wade Hudson and Kristin Sjaarda)
Marc Santos @marcsantosphoto (Mentor: Steph Martyniuk)

Sumi Siddiqa @sumisiddiqa (Mentor: Mark Binks)

Sumi Siddiqa @sumisiddiqa (Mentor: Mark Binks)

BIPOC Photo Mentorship Program

Founder: Heather Morton

Heidi: How did this idea come about?
Heather: The idea originated from a conversation I had with Toronto photographer and long-time mentorship advocate May Truong in the summer of 2020. She had just offered a residency for emerging BIPOC/LGBTQ BIPOC photographers and had an overwhelming response – over 50 applications in the first 48 hours. So there was clearly a tremendous need for these opportunities, while at the same time, there was growing awareness in the industry of the layers of systematic inequality and barriers to entry faced by young racialized photographers. I tested the waters by approaching my local contacts in the community and the response was super positive so BPM was launched.

How do the relationships work; what are the expectations?
BPM is simply one big, evolving list of mentorship opportunities; we don’t “accept” mentors or provide a structure. Rather, we encourage any type of engagement that works for the mentor – it might be one phone call a month or it might be occasional visits to set. Some of our mentors have even formed small critique groups with multiple mentees that regularly share work and feedback. Many participants have likened the program to a type of photo-making therapy, but mentees and mentors are on their own to make sure that the offering fits the need and vice versa. So it’s simple – on both sides we expect the mentor and the mentee to communicate their own expectations and then commit to the relationship and the mentorship agreement that they make with each other. BPM has a very basic structure with lots of individual agency on the part of both mentors and mentees to do the research, decide what works best for them, and to act on it.

Having said that, our website and networks have been able to provide additional supports – we provide lists of best practices, and we have a resource section on our site as well as a growing suite of opportunities (outside of the mentorship itself) for our mentees. For example, the mentees have a Slack channel which they use to organize their own critique groups and share opportunities.

Where does the work get published?
At this point, we’ve only occasionally highlighted mentee participants on our Instagram feed, but in the future, we are exploring partnerships with publications to share the work much more broadly. We have an ongoing relationship with Gallery 44 in Toronto who have generously offered free memberships and access to studios and gear to our Toronto-based participants. So there are lots of opportunities in the works but, being very grassroots, our ability to actualize the interest we’ve garnered takes time.

How do people get involved?
It’s simple – both mentors and mentees just need to fill out a short survey on our website. The mentors are asked for a few details about their practice and their offering; the answers to the survey questions become their listing. The mentee survey basically “registers” them so that we can continue to communicate directly about other opportunities that come our way. But to secure a mentorship, a would-be mentee just needs to go to our site, peruse the list, and then reach out directly to the mentor that they are interested in. And so it’s a very fluid list – opportunities get filled up and new mentorships are added regularly.

What gap is this filling and how successful has it been?
Our program has been tremendously successful – in the last 12 months, we’ve offered over 190 mentorship positions with over 90 mentors! Though most of our mentees come from Canada and the US, we are truly international, and have participants from Brazil, Australia, Sudan, India, etc. There are no geographic boundaries for participation, so our mentors also come from North America and further afield.

We know there is a lot of willingness to support emerging BIPOC photographers who might be existing outside of a more “typical” photo career trajectory – many of our mentees haven’t studied photography and may not live in an area with a thriving industry or photo scene. Additionally, we have mentees who have faced real racialized barriers to their participation in the industry. So we are open to whatever a photographer (or photo editor, curator, photo producer etc.) have to offer – even an hour phone call once a month can offer a huge amount of moral support and real concrete advice to an emerging photographer.

And the response from participants has been amazing.
Here are a few quotes (more on our Instagram):

“I never had the chance to assist EVER before and I’m happy through this program that I’m able to gain this experience”.

“It’s definitely really helpful to be able to turn to someone who is willing to share their experiences, learnings, and resources simply to help you thrive as a creative.”

“[My mentor] has really encouraged me and my ideas, while letting me do things at my own pace at the same time. Because of this mentorship, I have started to take my practice as an artist a lot more seriously.”

“From building strong concepts to creating a book, this mentorship ultimately ended up being a way for me to become more confident in myself as a photographer by challenging myself, and dealing with expectations regarding my work, through the many resources that [my mentor] has shared with me”.

“From lengthy analytical discussions on technical and artistic abilities to in-person collaborations, I have learned so much invaluable information in a short period of time”.

“It’s very liberating to ask questions freely and without judgement, and to be assured that someone has most likely had the same questions or faced similar obstacles as you at some point in their career”.

There are quite a few collectives that have formed in the last few years, what makes this program different?
The major difference is that there is no barrier to participation. Any amount of experience in the industry is welcome (and disclosed of course – some of our mentors are newly-emerged themselves but know the difficulties a racialized photographer might face when just starting out), and all areas of photographic practice are represented. Plus, as I’ve said above, we do not pair up mentors and mentees, we merely facilitate the match by amplifying the offering. BPM is a clearinghouse of opportunities with no restrictions to what is offered or what is accepted; it has been a very powerful way to galvanize nascent opportunity and share it. This makes us quite different than the more structured, curated, and competitive mentorship programs.

To see the list and for more information, please visit

@bipocphotomentorship
You can join as a mentor here. If you’d like to register as a mentee, please click here

The Daily Edit – Cubaseen


Cover Photography by Tynan Daniels

Photograph by Donna Kross

Photo Essay by Luidmila and Nelson Ramirez de Arellano Conde
Photo Essay by Arien Chang Castán

Photograph by Debra Wells (Left) and Sandor Rodriguez Castro (Right)

CubaSeen

Co Founder and Publishers: Jennifer Spelman and Andrew Child

Heidi: How did this idea come about, did the pandemic have an influence?
Jennifer: After travel came to a sharp halt I started teaching online courses with Santa Fe. One was on creating Zines – lots of fun to deep dive into projects, sequencing and designing after so many years just focusing on capturing images.  Somewhere mid-pandemic a friend and fellow photographer, Andrew Child approached me with an idea of co-publishing a zine showcasing Cuban and US photographers together on one platform.

Why Cuba?
Cuba is a place it’s hard to visit and not genuinely get attached to the people.  It’s also a place it’s hard to understand through simple news headlines.  It’s culture is layered in complexity, due to both politics and isolationism.  We appreciate the strong commitment to the arts and music Cuba has always held.  Our magazine is trying to provide a deeper lens into the happenings on the island and testing whether art and written words can actually help broaden perspectives.  There are countless photos of Cuba sitting idle on the hard drives of talented photographers who have visited the country through people-to-people and support of the Cuban people programs.  We provide a unique platform to share those photos and pair them with the work of Cuban photographers in a way that is thoughtful, creative, and exposes truths about both our cultures.

Is there any call to action for the magazine?
CubaSeen exists at the intersection of both U.S. and Cuban governments recognizing the value of artists connecting across national boundaries. Distribution includes key members of the U.S. Congress and Biden Administration foreign policy officials.  “We’re not political but we do want decision makers in Washington to understand the value of people-to-people interactions between artists during this time of strained relations between the U.S. and Cuba. CubaSeen is not just about beautiful photography, it’s about people forming friendships, the cross pollination of creative ideas, and debunking the myths we hold about each other in both countries.”  Andrew Child

We are hopeful people will share the magazine with friends and fellow photographers and that our magazine can achieve what news headlines are often unable to do – giving a face to the people. Our distribution also includes a range of galleries and curators within the art world in hopes that the exposure will lead to other exhibits and more traction for the artists collectively.

How did you spread the word for call in to entries in both countries?
So far everything has been by word of mouth and social media.  We’ve reached out to photographers from Cuba and the US for entries and all have been eager to participate.  We’re encouraged by the range of visual voices – from amateurs to professionals.  We’ve now started getting submissions from all over the world and are excited by the depth in perspectives.  It’s fun to see the difference in work that comes from outsiders looking into Cuba and insiders looking out from Cuba.

Are you creating diptychs with US based images and Cuban images? 
We put a lot of focus into crafting the most dynamic page spreads we can – creating unexpected relationships and challenging juxtapositions between images.  We understand that the meaning of an image can be influenced by what image it appears next to it and are enjoying editing the work to create these types of pairings.  We are letting the imagery drive these relationships – sometimes they are between a Cuban and US photographer, sometimes two Cubans, sometimes work from photographers in other parts of the world. Andrew shared with me, “I see  reactions from people who have not been to Cuba, I get the sense that those pairings and juxtapositions which Jennifer describes still resonate. The subject is always Cuba, but there’s plenty in the zine for anyone who just appreciates great photography.”

What are the themes based on?
The themes are meant to encourage imagery beyond the standard cliches of Cuba.  Our first theme of LAYERS was a tribute to the long history of powerful street photography in Cuba and the complex cultural layers within the island.  Our next theme of PERSONAS was meant to amplify and personify the voices of the people of Cuba during a summer of incredible internal and external political unrest.  Our current theme of “UNEXPECTED CUBA” is about celebrating the moments that delight, surprise and endear us to the island.  We are excited to see what kind of photographs it yields.

It’s so inspiring to see all these collectives popping up.
We agree-it’s been beyond cool to see the cooperative endeavors that came out of us all having a little time to slow down and actually talk about ideas together.  The very best part of CubaSeen has been working together with the most dynamic team Andrew and I could assemble.  We have a copy editor/translator who brings extensive experience in publication, two Cuban designers who’ve helped craft the CubaSeen brand and weave the Cuban aesthetic into each page and a dynamic Cuban writer and US writer.  Those folks combined with each of our rotating photo essayists and the over 100 photographers who’ve submitted work to each issue creates a synergy of visual thoughts far beyond what any individual perspective could do.  Many times throughout the last year Andrew and I have remarked on the collaborative part of CubaSeen being the most fun and powerful part of the project.

Our next call for entries is on “Unexpected Cuba” and submissions are due by November 9th.  Anything we can do to encourage submissions from folks who have visited Cuba would be great – https://cubaseen.com/submissions-03/

The Daily Edit – Artist Management Association


Artist Management Association

AMA President: Kelly Montez
AMA Director at Large: Carol LeFlufy

Heidi: The forced repose of the pandemic allowed us to take a collective pause and access our present and hopes for the future. How much did the hard costs of the pandemic overhead come into play for this, or was it simply a matter of time and space to think?
Kelly and Carol: The idea of the AMA was a conversation that had taken place within the industry for years. Many different groups of artists representatives, on both coasts,would come together and discuss the need for a trade organization for our industry, but it was always difficult to get off the ground considering how hectic a typical work week had become. The silver lining of the pandemic was the opportunity to have the time and space for a few of us to really focus on the administrative aspect of developing a trade org. Those of us who could commit the time began to gather over zoom and discuss what the future held for our business and dig into the ground work of creating the organization.

What inspired this group to mobilize? Did the momentum of youth activism and the future of our photo industry sustainability come into play?
The economic recession of 2008 greatly affected our industry. We all saw significant economic pressure on our businesses, as longer hours, higher shot counts and  broader rights became the expectation of clients. An organic group formed from the west and east coasts, sharing the fears of a repeat from that time period as well as a discussion as to how these new trends weren’t sustainable for our business.

The events of the social justice movement during the summer of 2020 definitely inspired us to look at the lack of diversity within our industry as well. One of our intentions is to create industry standards for the next generation of agents and photographers, which will help those who are most marginalized. We have a diversity committee working towards connecting underrepresented talent with artist managers to increase representation within the industry.

Our hope is to also bring the conversation of sustainability forward in our industry. Part of our goal is to create educational initiatives around sustainability so that we are providing our members and partners with resources that can help them run “greener” productions. To that end, we have a webinar on sustainability in the planning stages.

How many new, younger agents are entering the market?
We see that many new agents are entering our business and the AMA can really help them build their business on a strong foundation. We have many shared legal resources; from terms & conditions to NDA’s, as well as a usage glossary and definitions for common legal language found in contracts. It’s a great resource that can help launch a business.

WIth new media developing, how has the rights and usage flexed and before AMA? 
The AMA has developed a usage Glossary to help define existing and emerging media. While we can’t give direction on pricing, we can offer the industry education around developing media that will allow for informed estimating by artists agents.

Has there been any one governing body formed prior to this?
SPAR (Society of Photographers and Artist Representatives) was one organization that existed. The APA and the ASMP have helped our industry greatly. Our main reference for the work the AMA is developing is the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP). As we developed the National Guidelines for Photo Production, we found alignment with the AICP, which also helps our clients since these are the standards offered by our live action counterparts.

With budgets changing, more people are being asked to take on more than one role. This “omni role” forfeits expertise in one given area, have you seen a shift in the who and how images are being assigned value?
Yes we are seeing budgets changing in terms of fees, rights and expenses. New common occurrence is the all in budget which compromise production values as well as artists’ worth.

One other alarming trend is around payment schedules. Artists agents and photographers are small businesses and are being asked to carry large production debt while we wait for payment for 90-120 days, as well as advances that come post shoot. We’re working to educate our clients on why that is such a hardship and provide templates for payment models that are more in line with the standard in the live action world.

The elephant in the room is the tsunami of imagery available and its consumption rate. This creates an erosion of value.
While there is a plethora of imagery available, from influencers to iphone photos, there is still a need for that subset of professional photographers that can make truly iconic imagery. Valuing their talent and the work (and crews) involved in that process is our focus.

For many years the internet and social media was considered a bit of a throw away, but now paid digital campaigns are the main form of advertising and amazing imagery is needed to break through this clutter. Additionally, Social media can often become the new catalog of retail sales, with click to buy offers embedded in the posts. Through education we are trying to change the mindset of “it’s just digital” and also awareness that you can’t just repost an image – that can equate to the illegal use of imagery.

How are you trying to educate and empower art buyers to create guidelines and best practices?
The AMA has created the National Guidelines for Photo Production. Since the 1970’s, the AICP has been setting standards for the live action production industry. While many of us adhere to those, there are unique differences between live action and photo production. The AMA’s guidelines address those differences as well as areas of alignment with the AICP.  These guidelines were created to support, educate and advocate for the interests of our members in the photo production industry.

The AMA developed a Usage Glossary which is a collection of terms and their definitions. The glossary is provided as an educational resource for our members and their clients to better define the terms commonly used,and assist agents in negotiating on behalf of their artists. The glossary outlines the standard understanding within the industry, and as new types of media enter the market, it can help to provide clarity within the bidding process.

There are also a variety of shared legal resources available to our members, such as templates for Terms & Conditions, a Mutual NDA and other confidentiality agreements. Each of which can be customized to serve the nature of the representative and their artist’s production, but gives them a strong foundation from which to start.

We are also in the process of developing a Universal Bid Form to serve as a platform for bidding. While the AMA can’t advise on pricing, it does create standards for categories that can be utilized when bidding. It’s up to the individual member to set prices for their services.

How can we retain/create value in the practice of creating and buying photography?
We’re hoping to educate our community that photography lives on many different revenue generating platforms. Agreeing to broad licenses or rights buyout for current or future media can do a disservice to how an image is valued. Through education on the various types of usage rights and partnering with our buyers on the agency and client sides, we hope to protect our artists’ work and change the conversation.

What are your hopes for the group?
Unlike the commercial production industry, which set standards years ago, the lack of leadership in our sector of the visual arts industry has led to individual terms & conditions and a lack of standards that has resulted in inconsistent business practices across our industry. With the emergence of new media platforms; the integration of stills and motion; and lack of standards around payment terms, image usage and copyright; our hope is that the AMA will play an optimal role in advancing the interests of its members, building a solid framework of best business practices and promoting expansion of the industry for years to come.

Where can I sign up and get involved? https://www.artistmanagementassociation.org/

The Daily Edit – SKI Magazine: Stan Evans

SKI Magazine

Photographer: Stan Evans
Photo Director: Keri Bascetta
Editor in Chief: Sierra Shafer

Heidi: SKI Magazine was framed around an invitation to a party, how did you update this and help make this, in the words of the Sierra Shafer, Editor-in-Chief make this “a fresh invitation?”
Stan: They wanted it fun and authentic but not too staged.  We kept it real. We explored the backcountry, went searching for powder, carved groomers, laughed on chairlifts and Lauren asked me a million questions on the snowcat ride. I leaned into their personalities and tried to extract what a real ski vacation with a group of friends might look like. This group of friends just happened to be Black. SKI just rebranded and wants to maintain an ethos of appealing to the hardcore skier, provide quantifiable product information as well as opening it’s lens to a broader audience with a dash of healthy respect for mother nature. I think we achieved all those things.

I know this cover is honoring representation in front and behind the camera, what else can you elaborate on for you personally about this experience?
It is about teaching the importance of Black Media. Too often diverse talent is in front of the lens but when the final piece is aired it’s been edited and chopped to fit the narrative of  whoever paid production costs.  On one hand, naive actors, models and athletes may not know any better but on the other hand there are some that get paid to read lines in front of a camera and the motivation is not always altruistic. Unfortunately sometimes for brands it’s more about looking like they are doing the right thing rather than actually doing the right thing.  We need to be controlling our own narrative if we want the real message to get out. I look at what high profile Black actors, musicians and athletes are doing by creating their own production companies, structuring their own deals with licensing and percentages and retaining their masters.  I took the knowledge I have and put it into

I had a zoom meeting with the SKI staff awhile ago and we were talking about diversity and how people view it as this super serious goal and it becomes this pebble in your shoe if you are resistant to it. I think if we shifted the attitudes and talked about DEI as a block party or a potluck you would go and earnestly invite ALL  your neighbors and ask them to bring something –  you’re not quite sure what you will get but it is the curiosity in setting the stage and the dinner table. You might be hesitant to try a new dish but it could turn out that you love it plus there’s something about bringing a dish of your own that you love and sharing it with others. I really need to thank Sierra, Keri, Elyse and Andrea for inviting me to the potluck at Micah’s prodding. They put money, time and effort into this when they didn’t really know me. Sometimes great things come from a leap of faith.

This magazine has been publishing for 85 years, how did this unique idea come about?
It was mainly initiated by Micah Abrams, he was the publisher Snowboarder, Powder, Surfer, Bike Men’s Journal and had overseen my guest editor on “The Black Issue” of  Snowboarder Magazine.  When ASN folded he went to Outside and started tackling diversity head on pretty quickly. He appreciated the creativity and experience I brought to that issue as well as my understanding of winter sports culture and Black culture. So he called me and asked if I could help him steer SKI authentically in DEI and give insight to Black people in the outdoors for Outside Business Journal.

You’ve been shooting for 25+ years, what made this project and cover with Errol Kerr special for you.
Honestly I’d done this 20 years earlier with Snowboarder so I kind of knew what to expect.  It’s less about what it does for SKI and more about empowering the athletes involved and letting them tell their stories in their own way.  Having Lauren, Justin and David Samuels there as well made them feel seen. They weren’t props in an advertisement, these were real people who have had pivotal experiences in the outdoor industry. Some deeply personal and they’ve really had no one that looks like them to talk through and share.  Those experiences can make you feel very alone. But having a group of people is a support system to learn and grow. Within that experience,  joy comes as a second nature and each of those athletes will be a catalyst to spread that joy to the culture. That’s the part that brands miss in their quest for ROI because joy is an intangible metric but it brings us all to the hill and together. It’s also about advertising to a younger generation. Really kids have to see it to be it and I’m glad I am manifesting change with my camera.

What was the direction from the magazine or Outside as a brand?
They wanted it fun and authentic but not too staged.  We kept it real. We explored the backcountry, went searching for powder, carved groomers, laughed on chairlifts and Lauren asked me a million questions on the snowcat ride. I leaned into their personalities and tried to extract what a real ski vacation with a group of friends might look like. This group of friends just happened to be Black.  SKI just rebranded and wants to maintain an ethos of appealing to the hardcore skier, provide quantifiable product information as well as opening it’s lens to a broader audience with a dash of healthy respect for mother nature. I think we achieved all those things. 

How did your love outdoors and those first turns on Arctic Valley inform you as a photographer?
I would say just growing up in Alaska shifted my perspective. Beauty was literally all around me. So it was natural to embrace it. I was into art, I liked to draw, write poetry and explore (enter awkward teenage phase here) but picking up a camera helped me show the world how I see it and I could share it  with others but it was a teacher, Ms. Jackson saw I had talent and encouraged me to pursue it. Having someone believe in me gave me confidence. So it was more my teacher revealing a career path of creativity instead of pushing me to pursue some mainstream job as a lawyer or doctor. Arctic Valley was great though. They offered Military dependents a season pass for $200 and they had a ski bus that would pick up all the kids in the neighborhood after school for night skiing.  I learned a lot through repetition because wed – sun I was at the hill everyday. 

What advice would you give your younger self?
I would probably say seek out older mentors sooner. Having solid advice from those who have been there and done it will save you a lot of setbacks and heartache. Inside winter sports it was pretty hard because most of the time I was the only Black person but meeting people from different walks of life and backgrounds helps shape perspective. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and never assume anything.  Don’t be so set in your ways that you resist change. Life is an evolution and we are all constantly growing. It’s having a mindset of being open to change and a willingness to do better.  

Congratulations on your appointment to SIA, how has that appointment on the board informed your most recent cover shoot?
Thank you and I think it was the first time I’d seen an established outdoor organization recognize what I’d done in the winter sports field and respect it. For years I could tell people I grew up in Alaska, went to school in Montana and have a degree in photography but the moment I entered a room and people saw I was Black inevitably someone would ask  “are you sure you know what you are talking about?”  Those attitudes are what eventually drove me to leave my past behind to move to New York and reinvent myself in advertising photography. No one there or in LA where I currently live knew about my past and I was fine with it. But sometimes life comes at you from leftfield and suddenly people remember your accomplishments and you get a phone call. That’s what happened with The Black Issue and Snowboarder.  In the wake of George Floyd and America’s racial reckoning, people in winter sports needed advice from a voice they’d shunned so many times before.  The real reason I came back to the fold was to show new Black creatives and athletes how to hold their heads up high, to tell their stories through their mediums and to be fairly compensated for their work.  So many Black creatives and athletes  were being exploited for brand clout without clear objectives for diversity and equity so now being on the Board of Directors for an entity that talks directly to that industry, they value my opinion and it gives me a wider reach so my experience can help fill in the potholes and roadblocks the youth following in my footsteps might have hit.  

 

 

 

The Daily Edit – Mother Tongue Magazine

Mother Tongue Magazine

Founders: Natalia Rachlin and Melissa Goldstein

Heidi: How are you celebrating motherhood differently?
Natalia and Melissa: We are looking at motherhood through a cultural lens, rather than a lifestyle lens. Our stories are not about children or how to parent them; the magazine is about the nuanced lives women are living as mothers—and much more.

How did this idea/collaboration come together?
We met a decade ago in London, when we were both working as editors at the video storytelling platform NOWNESS. We reconnected at the beginning of the pandemic, as we both suddenly found ourselves at home full time, each with two young children, our professional lives upended—like so many mothers across the country and the world. We were having conversations about the duality of motherhood—discussing the many roles and challenges that come with it, and the feeling of completely losing yourself in that mix— and we felt these kinds of candid, questioning dialogues were missing in the media landscape. So we decided to do something about it.

Is your content meant to reach others beyond mothers?
The audience we are targeting is mothers, but our hope is that the stories stand on their own and appeal to anyone with an interest in the human experience, whether they are a mom or not.

Describe the magazine’s visual aesthetic? (is it  emerging and established artists, are they exclusively women contributors?
Fresh, modern and unfussy, but also punchy and fun. We both come from the world of design and interiors (from the journalistic side) and we wanted to bring a more edgy and interesting look to the motherhood space which, for so long, has been dominated by quite saccharine, stereotypically “feminine” visual language. For this first issue, we kept it to female contributors only, both emerging and established.

Anais Wade’s Desert Road (2018)

What can you tell us about “Where I Go?” and its photo direction?
The portfolio was curated by our fabulous photo director, Gigi Jack. A few other highlights include: Bethany Mollenkof’s In My Mother’s Garden (2021) and Anais Wade’s Desert Road (2018). The idea for the portfolio was to ask a selection of photographers (who also happen to be mothers) about the spaces they occupy when they need a moment—alone.

How many times a year are you publishing and how can I get a copy?
The magazine is biannual and the easiest way to purchase it is directly through our website. We also have a selection of retailers, which you can also see listed on the site.

The Daily Edit – Jelle Mul: Shifting Culture and Creativity for Change



Jelle Mul

Heidi: How often do you take your camera when riding? Do you ask, “Am I riding and taking photos today, or am I riding only?”
Jelle: It really depends. I got my hands on a Fuji x100f not that long ago, which fits in my jersey, this has changed quite a lot for me. The cliché that the best camera is the one you have on you, is pretty true so I was always dragging my SLR around, but not really on faster rides. This one fits in my pocket so I can bring it whenever I want. On bikepacking trips I always bring my SLR with a 50mm 1.4 This really is my go-to setup. For me it really depends on the light if I bring a camera or not, I really am a sucker for natural light.



What challenges or surprised you about surfing/photographing in Iran?
My friend Easkey Britton was the first person and women to surf in Iran. She started an organization that took women into the water and the ocean and was fostering positive relationships with the ocean through creative learning experiences. I had visited Iran before because it really interests me, the history but also the present. We westerners think everybody should think like us, but this is a way of thinking we do not share with many other cultures.  When Easkey asked me to join her, I did not have to think about it for a second. Heading to the south of Iran to search for surf and see what surfing does to a mindset & culture standards really has opened my eyes. It takes away so many boundaries and joining her and her organization twice is for sure one of those moments in my life where I started looking at things differently. A second one was when my friend broke his neck paralyzing him from the neck down. Just a week before his accident we were on a camping trip on Lanzarote and I took this one photo of him which reminds me every time I see it how luck we are to do the things we do, it also really thought me that there is no better feeling than helping others . I started doing that through my photography. Because I have an amazing job, I have the opportunity to give everything I make through photography away to small organizations that do the hard work in making the little place we call earth a better place.

How has riding in so many different countries informed your photography?
Taking photos really makes travelling a lot more fun. I am really curious to start with, so love strolling around or waking up before sunrise, but finding a nice shot really brings you to different places and you meet people along the way. However, guess it is not really the countries that have informed my photography, but my setup. About 90% of what I shoot is with a 50mm lens. All my gear was stolen ones and I did not really have the means to buy everything again. I bought a second-hand Full frame SLR and a new 50 1.4 and that really opened my eyes. Being stuck into one setup really challenged me to look at different angles, which I still enjoy till today. I am fortunate to have some really talented friends like Wouter Struyf, Lian van Leeuwen and Chris McClean, hanging out with them on trips always opens my eyes. Also my friend Natasa Lops, who is an extremely talented artist has opened my eyes and we have done many super fun exhibitions and projects where she draws on my photo’s.

Did you ride close to home during the Pandemic?
I have not really traveled at all since the pandemic hit 1,5 years ago.  When I was I used to race bikes and travelled all over the world to do bike races, when I stopped I kept travelling for surfing or snowboarding. So I am one fortunate son to have seen so much of the world, but being forced to stay at home has really opened my eyes. I started exploring little stretches of the Netherlands and spend loads of time in the dunes where I live. A bike, A board, some friends and a camera are all I really need to have a perfect day. At the start of the lockdown in Holland me and Lian van Leeuwen rode around Amsterdam and took shots which have been published on bikepacking.com So surreal to see that city as a complete ghost town. I really think we all got so used to everything we have and hope we all learn from this pandemic that our safe little world should not be taken for granted.

With the energy removed from the city, what did you see without hustle and bustle?
I am not really a city person to start with. Of course I love hanging in a bar with some friends but will choice a beach of forest over that anytime. So for me it was not about if I would move away from the city, but more when.  I also really believe that we humans have lost way to much of our connection to nature and therefore do not realize what is at stake. Holland does not really have nature, but the little stretch of beach and dunes with some fun trails is what I really appreciate. Friends joke that they enter my Instagram account when them join me for a surf or ride. Guess it is sort of true.

How do you collaborate with Shifting Culture
Shift cycling culture is a small NGO from a friend, Lian van Leeuwen. Shift is a global not-for-profit movement that thrives on the support and engagement of the cycling industry and wider community. They believe a transition to a more sustainable future for the cycling world can only be achieved from the inside out!  She is one of my favorite bikepacking friends and we have been doing some fun trips. One of them was a quite iconic one, Island hopping over the Dutch Islands in the north of the country. These Island will not be there anymore when we do not stop the rising sea levels. This story is featured in the newest Gestalten book about bikepacking. Another trip we did is on the potential future coastline of Holland. We Dutch pride ourselves by fighting the sea, but these same sea level rises are something we eventually will not win from. This will push the coastline a lot more east. This story was featured in the last Farride magazine. The latest one I am playing a small role in, is a film from Shift cycling culture about climate change as a whole and the impact it has on our cycling communities.How did you use your photography to address climate reality?
For me polarization of the issues we face is likely even a bigger issue than the issue itself. Climate change is not left or right, not blue or red of black or white. This is the time we just need to come together and start working together no matter what we believe. We can argue how we do it, but should stop debating if we do it. Facts like 100 companies in the world are responsible for 70% of the emissions and the last 40 years the wildlife population dropped 60% just blows my mind. I am fortunate to get asked to publish my photo’s quite often and the stories I write with them or in case of a collab with Lian she writes, always have a double layer. The trip and the beauty of nature, but also what is at stake. I always try to celebrate the positive and not get sucked into the negative too much. That will just bum people out. Not everybody is interested in these issues, but all readers are interested in images and words about the thing they love, which is riding or surfing. So that extra layer just might make them think about it, which is all you sometimes need. The butterfly effect. At the end we do not just need those that worry about the end of the world, but also those that worry about the end of the month, or when the next swell is coming in.


Do you hope your riding images encourage others to choose bikes over cars?

I never really think about it like that. I just take images and tell the stories that I think are important. Up to somebody else to do with it what they like. More people riding bikes or picking up boards is of course really great! Enjoying all good that nature has to offer might just bring back some realization why we should do everything we have to protect it, so we can keep riding great trails.


Tell us about this image with the drawing.
I have always liked Natasa her drawings and had been doing exhibitions here and there and was looking for something new.
Natasa and I talked about it and one conversations lead into an exhibition in Antwerpen followed by one in Amsterdam.

The goal really is to add some fun to my often empty photos, but also some food for thought through a bit of humor. The world and everybody is so serious all the time, and a bit of humor won’t make things any worse but for sure a bit better to handle.

Please share some parting words.
Of course you do not have to give everything away, but there are so many issues in the world right now, and I truly believe that the only thing that will help us fix them is creativity, in word, art, photography, music. By using that thing you love to fight for something bigger than you, you make yourself happier, the world a little better place and you can keep doing it forever.

The Daily Edit – Okii niitaniko Micheli Oliver


Micheli Oliver

Heidi: How did your photographic journey start and what memories do you have from your first images?
Micheli: Growing up my Dad captured photos and video of everything. He wanted to record it all, remember it all and later he would cherish it all. As a result my early years are a combination of photos, videos and real memories. Storytelling with cameras have been woven into my life for as long as I can remember. My first time really connecting with a camera, however, wasn’t until my junior year of High School when I took a film photography class. We developed our own film and I was fascinated with the tedious process, but after that it was many years before I picked up a camera again. I graduated from college and knew without a doubt that all I really wanted to do in this life was to tell stories. With money from graduation gifts from relatives I bought my very first digital camera.

How has your Niisitapi and Shawnee cultures informed your work and how has your eye evolved?
My cultures as a mixed person, from Blackfeet, Shawnee, Irish and Italian heritage, have shaped many aspects of my storytelling. My photos tell stories of resilience, of joy and of truth that are unique to my communities. In addition to the focus of stories I can tell the way I wield my camera is shaped by my Indigenous communities. It’s imperative to me to shoot with compassion, consent and reciprocity, understanding that the stories of who we are and the images created are extremely personal.

Did you always want to be an artist?
I’ve always wanted to be a storyteller. The moment I learned to write I began to write fantasy stories. Along the way, however, I stopped taking storytelling as a serious endeavor for my life. I started listening to what sounded good to relatives, what paid well and what was seen as a clearly successful job. I’ve also always cared for humans, so I began college as a pre-medical student. If I’m being honest I liked the way being a doctor sounded. Then I had a realization that I could be happy with my studies and fell in love with geography. It was a way to study the land and the integral relationships of humans with the land.

My family was at first confused by my decision to switch majors. Both my parents grew up very poor and they operate in a scarcity mindset because for them that’s how they’ve survived. They want more for me as an adult, they wanted consistent paychecks and a solid career path. My parents have always had my best intentions in mind, but they saw how happy Geography was making me and they eventually began to understand. Slowly I explained that because of their sacrifices I am now able to do what I love both as a geographer and a photographer. It was a combination of trusting my intuition and following what comes to me naturally.

You mentioned drawing inspiration from your ancestral lands and those who existed before you, how do you hope to use your gift reciprocally?
I believe to get to know a land, to protect and love a land, you must first know her people. I hope to tell the stories of original peoples and in doing so non-natives can truly learn how to protect the environment. To me that is the best gift I can give earth mother in return for all that she gives us.

Broadly speaking a portrait is the art of capturing the inherent character and essence of a person, why do you gravitate to this genre of photography as I know authentic representation is a cornerstone to your work.
Expression, eyes, the up close and sometimes uncomfortable, are to me an undeniable truth of what it is to be human. So as a storyteller the truth of being human is what a portrait represent. Each portrait to me is a human truth, a visceral moment of intimacy with a person, my camera and myself. There is also a simplicity to eliminating all other factors of a photo aside from eyes and expression. It’s the raw moments that create authenticity of story and personhood. Additionally I trust what comes naturally to me, taking portraits is not only natural, but sometime I truly love to do.

How are you using your voice and art form “to keep Indigenous languages burning bright, and steward Mother Earth and relationships” in your work?
Art of any form is resistance. Art centering Indigenous, Black, Brown, Queer and underrepresented peoples is way to resist a dominant heteronormative society. Art is born from counter culture change makers, rebels, loud mouthed lovers of life and truth, and my art is full of the latter people. With each story heard loud and clear, we are pushing back at a society that has tried to eradicate an Indigenous way of life. With this collective empowerment, too, we are cultivating a generation that is proud to be Indigenous, proud to keep our cultures, languages and practices alive.

What personal projects are you working on now?
Currently I’m working on a few different projects revolving around being a guest on Native lands that are not my own. I’ve been getting to know the ocean in particular. Recently I was on Tlingit lands fishing with my family, which has been a long standing tradition my Uncle traded for in years past. Then after that I traveled down the coast of California and got in the water nearly everyday. This lead me into some personal photo projects centering on joy, gratitude and what it means to be a guest.

 

The Daily Edit – John Brinton Hogan

Hikers Resting Under Boulders, near Tinajas Altas, Camino del Diablo, Barry M. Goldwater Range, Arizona, March 2014 (magenta with light blue pearl, glass beads, and light blue glitter blisters)
Recreational Hikers Near the Summit of Ghost Mountain, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California, November 2017 (black/turquoise/brown/red/orange with gold pearl and glitter blisters)

Botanist and Volunteers Identifying Invasive Species, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California, February 2015 (rainbow with blue holographic glitter flocking)

John Brighton Hogan
Marshall Contemporary 

Heidi: You started as a pro skateboard photographer, how did you evolve to landscapes?
John Brinton Hogan: I began my “professional” career photographing skateboarders who represented the manufacturing companies I worked for in the 1980s. In the ensuing years I found myself working as a commercial photographer and later spent more time employed in commercial filmmaking. I never received any formal technical training in photography so I had to learn on the job.

Once I was confident in my abilities, I began to use cameras as tools to investigate the subjects that had always interested me the most: how humans interact with the natural world, the ways in which they use land, and the artistic interpretation of wilderness.

When did you decide to combine illustration and photography?
Due to personal circumstances, I was away from art-making from 2010 through 2013. When I restarted my practice, I realized I was no longer interested in creating “straight” photographic images.

I began to explore the memories of pictures that had affected me emotionally during my boyhood. Some of the illustrations on sci-fi novels and rock album covers were intriguing and scary to me back then.

Once I’d returned the studio, I found myself distorting photos I’d made, rendering them increasingly unrecognizable.  As time went by, I began to experiment with visual adaptations of techniques some audio engineers use in their studio recording work.

Despite spending a great deal of time using image editing programs, I didn’t feel the work was complete until I began adding elements by hand (often by painting or otherwise embellishing the prints). In this way I found I was able to engage with the work physically- which I hadn’t done since my last darkroom days in the 90’s- and something I felt was missing from my process until then.

The past year and half has been full of turmoil, how did that affect your work and or reinforce your notions of extinction?
The period between late 2019 and spring of 2021 was a disaster for me personally. Strangely, the threat of Covid and the chaos of the US political landscape ranked below some other issues that can only describe as harrowing.

A number of people have remarked to me that “the Covid era must have been a productive time for artists.” Perhaps that’s true for some, but I made no work at all during 2020, and have only recently begun to get back into the studio, in late summer of 2021.

Without going into the grim details, life during that time felt like an ultra slow-motion plane crash: riveting and terrifying, with lots of time to ruminate on the mistakes I’d made leading to this moment. Frozen by fear, and powerless to change the aircraft’s trajectory, I was simply a witness to my own demise, observing myself falling, inch by inch, heading toward the dirt.

With regard to notions of extinction, humanity has done very little recently to convince me that it will make any significant efforts to save itself or begin to offer even a modicum of respect to the planet which sustains it. Perhaps, like some type of sentient tumor, humanity is programmed to consume our host, incessantly, until both expire.

For fans of the planet, there may be a type of hope, I suppose… in Abbey’s words: “Men come and go, cities rise and fall, whole civilizations appear and disappear–the earth remains, slightly modified. The earth remains, and the heartbreaking beauty where there are no hearts to break….I sometimes choose to think, no doubt perversely, that man is a dream, thought an illusion, and only rock is real. Rock and sun.”

You used metallic car paint in one work, was that a nod to fossil fuel extraction?
When choosing material for my work, I use what is expedient and will help me create what I’m imagining. I generally don’t choose tools or materials to reference a particular idea, rather, it is my hope that the finished objects will generate a conversation about ideas.

That stated, I do find it somewhat ironic that many “landscape artists” require so many resources in order to make work, that is, in many circumstances, about the ecological impact of unrestrained consumption.

I’m reminded of the story wherein a landscape painter travels by jet to Greenland from California to witness melting glaciers with his own eyes, so he may better paint them in a body of work addressing climate change.

I too am guilty of consuming those same resources. I am conflicted, to be sure. But I continue to carry on, just like the painter with his glaciers.

Which brings me back to the analogy of the plane crash: Frozen by fear, and powerless to change the aircraft’s trajectory, I was simply a witness to my own demise, observing myself falling, inch by inch, heading toward the dirt.

The Daily Edit – Miguel Casar: Photography as an instrument of freedom; the right to our own stories

Miguel Casar is a PhD student at the University of California Los Angeles, a doctoral researcher at the Center for the Transformation of Schools at UCLA, and an adjunct professor at Cal State Dominguez Hills. His work focuses on exploring the the tensions, contradictions, and possibilities that exist and emerge in the spaces between schools as places of social reproduction, racial violence, colonial and neoliberal assimilation, and the legitimizing of injustice; and schools as places of possibility, future building, community healing, and liberation. He believes in the transformational potential of re-claiming and re-imagining schools as foundational to imagining and building democracy, conviviality, and social change. Miguel also enjoys spending time in the mountains, taking photos, and sharing those two with the youth that he has the honor to learn from. We connected about a photography project he developed, the images shared above are from his students.

Heidi: How did this student photo project develop?
Miguel: It is always hard to trace back the genealogy of a project like this for me. At its heart, this project goes back to a deep belief in the power of stories, a commitment to justice, a group of young people, and the forging of a set of relationships and a community that has continued to grow.

Although I have never dedicated myself to photography, I have always loved taking pictures and the idea of taking photos as a way to interrogate the present and reclaim our right to storying began to grow on me a couple of years ago. Whether it is through challenging dominant perspectives, an oppressive and violent gaze, rushed notions of temporality, settler colonial values and aesthetics, or any of the dozens of layers through which normality participates in oppression; there is latent power to be claimed. At the same time, replicating larger patterns across our society, this power is often only recognized as if it was held only in the hands of some. This not only acts as a barrier to the surfacing of others’ stories but actively dismisses and deligitimizes a multiplicity of perspectives, imaginaries, and futures.

This project, alongside much of my work, rests upon the idea that these imaginaries and these futures are not only important but necessary to us building just, free, and kind futures.

What direction did you give the students for this exploration?
There were actually just a few directions, if we could even call them that. Pedagogically, there were “exercises” and “activities” where we all went out to capture things like beauty, struggle, and fear, among others. At the same time, we would collectively have dialogue around who takes pictures, whose representations become ubiquitous, and how stories and the representation and storying of others’ identities contribute to issues that are relevant to our lives, like criminalization, racism, sexism, and the reproduction of the carceral state, among others.

Being emotionally literate and staying  developmentally responsive is at the core of what you do, how did photography help that?
I don´t know how much being emotionally literate I actually am, especially having grown up as in a machista, patriarchal, misogynistic society where to feel was a sign of weakness… Having said that, a writer that I deeply respect (Fanon) wrote that when we possess language we also possess the worlds expressed and implied by that language, which makes me feel of all that I have learned and grown by engaging with language (photo as story) alongside the youth. It is a beautiful experience to allow ourselves and create deliberate spaces to name and to story our worlds.

What did you learn about your own work after reviewing the students’ images?
I think one of the biggest findings of this project, as I often find in my work, is both a recognition of the beauty and complexity of the human spirit, and a simultaneous reminder of how flawed and mistaken are many of our assumptions of what is actually happening in the world. Perhaps the most sobering lessons continues to be how invisibile oppression is, how these deep structures of racism, misogyny, settler colonialism, and “modernity” have been solidified into a complete “taken for grantedness”. Working alongside, and in community with young people that are actively marginalized by these very systems is not only a reminder, but a call to action…

How does your love for climbing transcend into your work life?
There are countless lessons that climbing has taught me, all of which are deeply connected to the work I do. From facing fear, to the power of our own minds over us, to the importance and power of community, to feeling small and deeply interconnected… I think most of these lessons I have etched into my being and are now deeply entangled with most of what I do.

 

 

The Daily Edit – New York Magazine: Tim O’Brien


New York Magazine

Design Director: Thomas Alberty
Illustrator: Tim O’Brien

Heidi: Were you aware they were not going to run cover lines or was that a surprise and a testament to the power of art?
I initially worked up a very quick comp, which was e-mailed back with a size adjustment and some minimal type.   I don’t really focus on type unless a client has a ton of type to deal with and needs me to know, to provide more area for it.  I do think that minimal type with a strong visual can make a cover more powerful, but a clever tag also adds to the art at times.  A story has to be fully understood, so universally known to be able to run without type.  I do not know the decision making in this instance but am glad it ran without type, of course.

How did this idea come about?
The prompt was that Cuomo may be leaving, and it is the end of a dynasty.  The initial sketch had a Mario Cuomo element.  Quickly it became about a resignation that already will have happened, so that was likely a more significant point to cover as a cover story.  Had the story started a resignation, perhaps this image might not have happened.  It is a story of leaving, of ending, of removal, of vanishing.  Visual analogies based on this premise would have been a starting point.  Removing a portrait from a wall meant as an honor is quite a demotion.  Naturally, a formal portrait would have a full upper torso involved, but to get Cuomo’s head bigger for a quick audience read, it had to come in closer.

How much iteration did you do from your first sketch?
This was a fast-paced situation, so it was pretty streamlined. Usually, a client needs to see a few approaches, but when something is fluid, and a quick sketch starts the conversation, we needed to build a boat while paddling.

Is this your first time working on a dynamic political situation/assignment?
No, I’ve been an illustrator for over 30 years.  I’ve done covers for New York Magazine for a few decades now and many covers of magazines, most notably over 30 time covers, including the Bin Laden X cover and the Trump underwater series.

How does photography influence your work? or what other creative outlets do you have aside from your illustration work?
As a student, to get photo-reference, I was trained as a photographer.  I really don’t follow other realist illustrators, though I admire and respect their work.  I tend to look for problem solvers and those with the ability to create evocative, poignant moments.  This is often photography.  Robert Frank was an early influence.  To be very honest, working with talented art directors has taught me so much about image placement and how to pare down an idea to essential elements.  I’m always a student.

Is your work space quiet or filled with the news and music in the background?
If I am doing sketches or reading a manuscript, I need the silence of music without words.  However, once I start doing the final art, I often listen to the news as it is happening, or listen to music or binge-watch things I’ve seen before, so I don’t have to look at the screen.

Tell us about your collaborations
As for collaboration, several years ago, I had a mid-career retrospective of my work at a local university. It was a nice honor, but in doing its curation, I began to really recognize that almost all of the work came from a talented art director who reached out. Some of the ideas were mine, some were from all these creators, and I really could see just how much of my career highlights is owed to working with others. I get to take a few bows here and there, but it is a collaboration that is the key to my longevity. These client platforms raise the art to a level that makes the pieces more meaningful. A TIME or New York Magazine logo drives home the poignancy.
For this project, I worked with New York Magazine’s Design Director, Thomas Alberty.

The Daily Edit – Plotting for Change: Kriston Jae Bethel


Photographer: Kriston Jae Bethel

Heidi: Along with taking photographs, what else are you involved in?
Kriston: I’m definitely the kind of person that needs to be doing something! Right now, I’m the head girl’s cross country coach at my high school alma mater in suburban Philadelphia. Cross country taught me so much about pushing past my limits and how hard work can lead to success, and it’s great to be able to pass on these lessons. It’s incredibly important to me that these young women gain these experiences, learning that they can accomplish so much, both on their own and with the help of a team.

I also teach from time to time as an adjunct instructor in the journalism department of my other alma mater, Temple University. I never saw myself as a teacher, but mentoring young journalists is a great way to give back to the university that believed in me and set me up for the success I’ve had today.

Aside from that, I started playing music when I was 8 years old, taking after my father in that regard, and play about four instruments, in addition to singing. I mostly spend my time singing at karaoke these days (aside from the pandemic). In the past year, I’ve also really gotten into rock climbing. Its been great seeing my progress from a beginner at V0 and no rope experience, to more intermediate sends of V6 and 5.11c, some getting lead certified. While this has mostly been in a gym with a mask on, I’m excited to see where these new skills will take me

How much time did you spend at the farm?

I spent a couple hours at the farm, as Devon and Daekweon showed me around. They’ve built up a lot! It was great to just meander about with them and hear about all the work they’ve put into it. They both were very generous with their time, despite Daekweon having another engagement scheduled. Having photographed politics and sports, it’s always a blessing to not feel rushed to photograph, edit and file!


How did you connect with Devon?
Devon and I mostly talked about the meaning of Life Do Grow Farm. You see, it represents more than just an urban farm, but the idea that Black people can have ownership of their land, something that has been kept from us for generations. First as slaves, then as share croppers, and even today, with the difficulty in which Black farms and businesses struggle to receive loans. I do think there’s something wonderful that only a century and a half ago, a man like Devon would likely have been forced to work the land. Now, he’s his own master and the prosperity he’s worked to build can be passed down, while benefiting his community. I think a lot of people misunderstand photographers as thoughtless button pressers. The truth is, we need to have an understanding of what it is we’re creating, if we want our work to have meaning.
Having covered Philadelphia for years, I talked to him about what it means to be a Black man with a farm in North Philadelphia, a section of the city that is often only talked about in terms of gun violence. I remember saying to him, “Who says North Philly can’t be beautiful?” And it’s true, as long as there is the will and proper support to help make that happen.

How long did you wait before pulling out the camera?
When I first pulled up, I don’t even remember if I took my camera out of the car. Sometimes I don’t, I just want to give someone a chance to know me before I start putting a camera between us. We probably had a relaxed conversation for about 5 to 10 minutes, just to hear about his day (spoiler: it was extremely hot) and what he was working on. Since this was for a brand, I also made a wardrobe suggestion and living near the farm, Devon was able to make a quick change. In the meantime, I hung out with Daekweon and some other staff from the farm. They had just come back from a trip to New Orleans and we’re feeling really inspired.
When the camera does come up, I make sure to tell people that I’m still listening to them, so they don’t feel like I’m ignoring them or that they need to do anything different. You never know what kind of experience someone has had with photographers in the past and establishing that trust is a key part of my process.

Tell us about the moment they were on the bench smiling.
So that was actually pretty simple. I saw the light and asked Devon and Daekweon to grab a seat on the bench. Then we all just talked. I positioned myself pretty far back with a long lens, so they could could feel like they were together, while staying engaged with them the whole time. They really do love one another and it was really important that I capture that. One of them made a joke and they both lit up with laughter. Again, when thinking of how Black men are frequently portrayed in media, I feel a responsibility to break those stereotypes and show that we are capable of strength through love.

 

Kriston Jae Bethel

610-213-6978

www.kjbethel.com

INSTAGRAM  |  TWITTER  |  VIMEO

The Daily Edit – Jeremy Koreski


Jeremy Koreski

Heidi: You’ve spent your entire life in Tofino, Vancouver Island, how has living there informed your photography?
Jeremy: Growing up in Tofino definitely influenced the way I see the world. My parents were always taking my siblings and I on adventures and would try to do at least one international trip a year. Looking back I didn’t realize how lucky I was at the time until I started seeing other parts of the world.

Have you ever lived anywhere else? 
After graduating high school I spent a few years living in Europe and then spent two years studying photography in Vancouver.

You published This is Nowhere in 2015, how did your work evolve from that process? 
When I first thought of publishing This is Nowhere, it was the first time I felt I’d created a body of work worth showing. It featured places I like to go, places I like to explore, my backyard and places that I feel are important to preserve. The process only deepened an interest in exploring and documenting more of my backyard.

Are you revisiting any of the same areas to show progress in preservation, or lack thereof?
There are places that have actually changed before our eyes while on trips. During evenings at one of my favorite camp spots we watched across the channel as trees were felled and logging trucks worked around the clock to extract an old growth hillside.

You recently photographed TJ Watt of the Ancient Forest Alliance for Patagonia’s The Cleanest Line. The photos are both haunting and beautiful, how does a project like that impact you?
It’s very impactful to be moving through active logging zones, one minute you are sitting next to a 1000 year old cedar in a pristine old growth forest  and the next you are in the middle of a clearcut the size of a football field where the destruction feels like a war zone. I do try and see both sides of the argument and would 100% back a well managed forestry industry, but I disagree with cutting any more old growth. Once the last of the old growth trees are cut they’re gone for good.

Does the impact change once you get distance on the work?
Honestly I feel more impacted when in the field shooting. For me it really hits home that even though not everyone agrees with each other we need to find a way to come together and figure out the best path forward. Unfortunately when it comes to environmental issues they seem to be more and more polarized and that’s not going to get us anywhere. I really do think that we as a human race need to find a way to work together no matter what our opinions might be.

How did you and TJ meet? 
TJ and I met at a photography show he and I were both participating in. It was organized by a mutual friend.

When TJ and I finally agreed on a day to meet up we drove for about two hours to one of the environmentalist roadblocks and unfortunately arrived 5 minutes after they’d put into motion a drill. For the next couple of hours we hung and chatted until the road was opened up again.

What struck you about TJ and his work?
Something that impressed me about hanging out with TJ was his passion for large old growth trees. He’d seen some new aerial imagery of the area and had spotted a massive crown of old growth cedar in one of the photos. He’d never noticed it until the forest near it was cutdown. We had to hike in a little ways to get to the base, but it was a must stop on the way home.

 

The Daily Edit – 400 Years Project: Sarah Stacke

This is a photograph of Genevieve Iron Lightning of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation from a series made to pay homage to our ancestors being captured in time and forever “changing the narrative” of our people in photography. Spearfish, South Dakota. January 2021. Photograph by Eunice Straight Head
Dr. Sara Jumping Eagle Oglala Lakota from Pine Ridge. Resides and works on Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Pediatrician & Adolescent Medicine specialist, Mother and wife. “Save our children, Save our future, Save sacred places. We are here to protect our land and our water. Our thoughts for the future go seven generations.“  Photograph by Erika Larsen

A young Cahuilla boy explores his tribal lands. Photograph by Gabrielle Norte

An Iraqi Golden Division Counter Terrorism Unit Humvee drives towards the frontline in Mosul as two residents carry a white flag on Nov 12, 2016. The Golden Division suffered over 50% casualties retaking the city from the Islamic State during the Battle of Mosul. Photograph by Gavin Bryan John
The work of Kali Spitzer (Kaska Dena & Jewish) embraces the stories of BIPOC, queer and trans people, creating representations that are self-determined. This traditional tintype photo of Larissa Lorraine Grieves (Nisga’a, Gitxsan, Cree, Blackfoot from the Pikuni Nation, Metis, Swedish, Irish and Scottish) was made in 2021.
Inside his studio in Asheville, North Carolina, artsist John Henry Gloyne (Eastern Cherokee, Pawnee, Osage) adds the finishing touches to a painting titled, “The Process of Weeding Out.” October 9, 2020. Photograph by Madison Hye Long
Courageously Take a Stand – July 3, 2021, marks the 300th anniversary of Hans Egede’s arrival to Nuup Kangerlua, Greenland, with the mission of reestablishing contact with the Norse settlers, who occupied this region in the southwest of the country from 986 until c. 1400. Egede’s mission was to convert the settlers from Catholicism to Protestantism. He found no trace of the Norse and instead found the Inuit. With permission from the Danish Crown, Egede shifted his mission toward converting the Inuit to the Christian faith and began the colonization of Greenland. With diptychs made from archival images by John Møller, the first Greenlander to work as a photographer, who was active in Greenland from the early 1890s through the mid 1920s, and images made by me, I’m having photographic conversations with the past. The theme of these conversations is centered around colonialism and its long-term effects. Photograph and words by Minik Bidstrup
Dana Daylight. From the series “Osage Cooks” Photograph by Ryan RedCorn.
This photo was created in 2012 to share Christopher Chavez’s concerns regarding water rights and the significance water holds in his culture and village of Kewa Pueblo (Santo Domingo) but also to engage others in thinking about the precious resource of water and how it affects all of us in New Mexico. Photograph by Shayla Blatchford.
Elder Joyce “Hoh Tin Ee Mi” Big Soldier stands in the dance arena of the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma. She is a respected elder of the tribe and participates in many tribal dances and ceremonies. Location: Perkins, Oklahoma. 2019. Photograph by Tom Fields


The 400 Years Project

Founder: Brian Adams
Founder: Sarah Stacke
Founder: Sheena Brings Plenty

Background info:
The 400 Years Project looks at the evolution of Native American identity, rights, and representation, and provides opportunities to Native storytellers across the Americas. The Mayflower and its aftermath has become the first and most culturally iconic story told to many young Americans about the country’s founding and initial relationships with Native people. But the stories they’re told of flourishing friendships, discoveries, and untouched wilderness are harmful myths. It’s well documented that the Vikings explored North America in the 10th century, and of course Columbus landed in 1492 carrying disease, death, enslavement, and displacement. By 1650 –– 30 years after the Mayflower –– an estimated 90% of Native people had died from European diseases.

Using the Mayflower’s 400-year anniversary as a jumping off point, Brian, Sheena, and I wanted to create something that provided a narrative of Native empowerment and also recognized the devastating effects of colonization.

Have you noticed an increased interest in your project as we reckon with a long overdue shift towards greater cultural acknowledgement and representation?
We’ve received many gestures of support since we launched last year. 400 Years has been invited to speak at several venues including universities, photography summits, and organizations interested in archives. We’ve gotten a number of emails from people who are using the platform as a resource for research or have questions about where to find more information. Our Instagram community has also grown tremendously in recent months and we increasingly see the work of 400 Years contributors in major publications, which is awesome.

What were the challenges or unforeseen obstacles for this project?
The biggest expected challenge has been securing funding to commission more photo and text essays. As founders we haven’t paid ourselves. We hope to do that eventually, but the priority has been paying the authors, photographers, and photo editors for commissioned and licensed work.

We’re always looking for ways to raise funds for future photo essays and other work. The total compensation offered to the photographer + photo editor currently ranges between $2100 and $2900 for each photo essay. The texts and special projects vary in cost.

An unforeseen obstacle was finding a publication to feature the collective when we launched in November 2020. In The 400 Years Project, the issues addressed are not tidy and history is not linear. We’re grateful for recent press like NPR, BuzzFeed, and aPhotoEditor.

The resilience of the virtual pow wows was powerful. Did any other projects form due to COVID restrictions? (that project was particularly reflective of the times)
Tailyr’s story about the virtual pow wows in the times of Covid-19 was exceptional, I agree. As far as I know, none of the other projects formed due to the ways the pandemic was restricting cultural lifeways and traditions, but I imagine the processes the photographers used to create their series were affected in one way or the other by the pandemic.
Overall, the pandemic was a persuasive reminder how fiercely the keepers of knowledge need to be protected and why the commitment to preserving and recording stories is as urgent as ever.

How did this project inform your own work as a photographer?
As a photographer, storyteller, and human I am constantly learning and I have the people who share their lives with me to thank for that. I look for stories that bring a solutions-focused balance to the narrative of underrepresented people and places. 400 Years has informed that approach. It has also reaffirmed the importance of giving back and getting out of the way.

What power you see in collectives?
Along with helping storytellers document their own communities and providing avenues for the stories to reach broad audiences, our goal at 400 Years is to create a groundbreaking pictorial collection of Native America by Native artists and allies. We certainly want the opportunities and visibility generated by 400 Years to contribute to a more equitable media industry. We are also firmly dedicated to supporting the creation of work that falls outside of the editorial template, or any known template, and is a critical addition to the history of photography. That’s the power I see in the 400 Years collective.

Have any of these images gotten licensed?
NPR licensed photos for a recent feature. National Geographic has also been very supportive of 400 Years. Through an assignment they funded a portion of “Cherokee Lands.” And the National Geographic Emergency Fund for Journalists provided funding for the creation of work about the response to the Covid-19 vaccine by four 400 Years contributors

Who curates the library portion of the project and how is this list different from other collectives that bring balance to native storytellers?
Sheena Brings Plenty curates the contemporary photographers included in the library and I curate the historical photographers.

The 400 Years Library is different from other collectives because we include historical photographers plus a range of contemporary photographers from enthusiasts, to emerging, to professional. Our criteria is that the person is Native and is dedicated to the craft of photography.

Amos Dick (elder) and Joseph Glada tending to their moose meat in 2019 outside of Ross River at Amos’s cabin. Photograph by Robby Dick.
Cherokee Female Seminary graduating class, 1902. Oklahoma Historical Society, Jennie Ross Cobb Collection.
“A portrait of an Indian woman.” c. 1902-1933. Image courtesy of Richard Throssel Papers, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

We chose this approach because it contributes to an understanding that cameras have been in the hands of Native photographers since the invention of the medium and Native people have incorporated photography into their lifeways since the 1800s, both as patrons and creators. We want to take concrete steps toward decolonizing the archive. The inclusion of enthusiasts and emerging photographers alongside professionals leaves room for vital stories, perspectives, and styles of photography that don’t typically find a place in popular media publications.

Tell us about the artist in residence program.
At its core it is a place for photographers and other storytellers to collaborate with 400 Years. It’s not a one size fits all residence. We’re interested in working with photographers, writers, archivists, historians, and others to create and share work that sheds new light on the understanding of Native America. With the first artist in residence, Minik Bidstrup, we supported him as he made a series of diptychs using archival and contemporary photographs. Vanessa Tignanelli, the second artist in residence, is working with Nippising First Nation on a story about the decolonization of the land and we are providing mentorship as she develops the work.

Had you done a collective previously?
This is my first rodeo with a collective. Brian Adams is founder of Indigenous Photograph.

Will you be adding to the photo essays?
Absolutely. In the coming weeks a new photo essay by Minik Bidstrup will be added to the collection. He was the recipient of our first open grant call. We’ll also be adding the work about the response to the vaccine that was funded by Nat Geo.

Click here for more information or how to include your photography in our 400 Years Project.