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Stefanie Minzenmay | Cover | She was born in 1970 and lives in Neuss and Oldenburg, Germany; she studied and graduated in law at the University of Münster. From 2011 to 2014 she was a par- ticipant in the year classes of the Schule für künstlerische Fotografie in Düsseldorf under Prof. Katharina Mayer and Birgitta Thaysen. Since 2004 she has attended a va- riety of workshops (inter alia graphic reproduction, photography) at the School for Arts and Theatre, Kulturforum Alte Post in Neuss and Lichtblick Photoschool, Cologne.In 2014 Stefanie Minzenmay commenced her portrait series “Protected Privacy – Protect Yourself!”.The series addresses how young people deal with today’s media. As “digital natives” their use of the information possibilities offered by the Internet and social networks comes easily and natural to them. At the same time, through the use of social media, information is also being fed to this media. The people document their life, show where they currently are, usually live, how they celebrate and what they eat and wear.In her portrait series the person and the portrait as the viewer’s source of information and reflection are the aspects that interest her.
Yuri Benitez | Nude Photography | Women have always captivated me by not one, but for many circumstances. From the very beginning, women have appeared to me beautifully mysterious, as if they know something that I do not know, and not revealing “that” but just to whom they want to share. They have that power. At least that’s my Perception. I consider, the big mystery is their beauty, emotional, intellectual and physical. To discover their emotional beauty is always challenging and, that maybe could be possible in a close relationship. Their intellectual attraction is evident, by the very first words and ideas they pronounce. But the physical beauty is somehow more intriguing and, that is because of the clothing, the make up, the accessories, etc. To reveal their physical beauty, it’s a challenge and a pleasure, especially if it is carefully done. And that is what my work is all about. Taking care of exposing the naked body of my models in a way that emphasize their natural beauty and at the same time not revealing their identity, always keeping the mystery, by previously planned poses, objects or lighting to hide their faces.
Francesco Ridolfi | Room 322 | Nowadays, in our busy and fast-paced society, taking a bath is one of the rare situations completely for yourself. A space and time where you can relax thinking, reflecting and maybe let emerge emotions deepen buried in our hearts. As water evokes, it’s an opportunity to ‘immerse ourselves’ in our thoughts and let feelings and deep memories ‘rise to the surface’. A moment where we can drop the masks that we usually wear, briefly revealing our inner nature.I’ve always been fascinating by the hotel rooms. The idea that different people alternate themselves everyday inside each room. Each guest with his own particular story and background. So I thought it could be a perfect spot to place my characters, so different one from another and yet so similar inside the bathtub.To give shape to my idea, I needed to build the entire set from scratch. Otherwise I would not be able to con- trol at best the architectural style of it, the lighting of the set and have the freedom to move around it to find the perfect framing for each photo. So I managed to obtain a classic atmosphere, refined but distancing: antiseptic in some ways – to evoke the ‘depersonalising’ effect so typical of hotels, but also to create a strong contrast with the all too corporeal humanity of the people under view.
Gili Yaari | Purim in Jerusalem | Ultra-Orthodox Jews celebrate the Pu- rim holiday in Mea Shearim neighbor- hood in Jerusalem. According to the Jewish religion, Purim is a time for happiness. Most Israelis just have parties and wear costumes, but the Ultra-Orthodox community take celebrations to the extreme. All the men drink wine, and they dance and celebrate, dancing and singing loudly. This is the only day of the year when the children smoke. They’re allowed to, it’s part of the tradition. The woman are not participating the big celebrations with the men and the kids. They are behind the scenes, helping things happen.The Ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood Mea Shearim is located just a few minutes walk from the busy center of Jerusalem where cafes, restaurants and pubs are populated by young locals and tourists. Though the small distance, a visit to the neighborhood might feel like a travel in time and during Purim celebrations everything becomes so much more different and distant..
Bob Avakian | Night Photography | Bob Avakian and his wife Gail visited Martha’s Vineyard for the summer in 1973 and it has been home ever since. Trained in architecture, engineering and building, for years he has worked in the construction field as a custom homebuilder. After finding himself in management, removed from the satisfaction of hands-on involvement, he turned to photography as a means of self-expression. “In the early 70’s I took a photography class as an art elective while in college. Soon after, I moved to Martha’s Vineyard. I still had my camera but going from NYC to a quiet Island was a big change and street photography was too intimate on a small island, so the camera got put away except for taking photos of family and friends. A few years ago I took a workshop in architectural photography and it was at that moment that my passion for photography was rekindled” .As his photographic vision has evolved he has been drawn to the natural landscape and an exploration of night photography. “Night photography is my main focus,” he explains. “I love low light situations. You get an altered reality, something that goes beyond what you remember in a scene. It takes on a painterly quality.” A common thread in Bob’s work is the element of mystery. He drives around the Island, he explains, searching for isolated scenes that contain an unusual light source or another mysterious quality.
Thom Pierce | The price of gold | In early 2016 the High Court in Jo- hannesburg will decide if a class action lawsuit can be laid against 32 gold mining companies in South Africa. Three law firms are representing a group of miners who are applying for this class action on behalf of all miners suffering from Silicosis or Pulmonary Tuberculosis as a result of working in the gold mines.Over a period of 20 days in September and October 2015 I traveled around South Africa’s Eastern Cape, into Lesotho and up to Johannesburg to find and photograph the 56 sick miners and widows named in the lawsuit. The photographs were then displayed in the building next door to the cour- troom in Johannesburg at the time of the case in October 2015. The exhibition took place in the dark with only the light from torches on the miners helmets that the audience were wea- ring, to light the way. This was a piece of advocacy, to put a human face to the often stark and detached courtroom proceedings. Silicosis is a preventable but incurable lung disease that is contracted in the gold mines through inadequate protection from silica dust. Miners who contract silicosis get tired and out of breath quickly and are prone to lung infections, respiratory failure and TB. Most miners who be- came sick were sent home with little or no compensation and no hope of finding further employment.