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Jacko Vassilev
Jacko Vassilev
Jacko Vassilev

Jacko Vassilev

Country: Bulgary
Birth: 1951

Jacko Vassilev is an internationally acclaimed art and press photographer, actively working in the field since 1983.
He was born in 1951 in Stara Zagora in Bulgaria. His work has been widely shown around the world in museums and galleries, institutes and private collections. His photographs are included in the permanent collections of the International Center for Photography in New York City, the European Center of Photography in Paris, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Since 1996 Vassilev’s been residing and traveling around the United States.
 

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David Vasilev
David Vasilev was born in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria in 1981, where he spent his early years. Ever since he was a little kid, he was always surrounded by photojournalists, his dad being one of them. This had a great impact on his perception of the world, thus photography become a necessary tool for self-expression. After he moved to the United States he begun his extensive journey to find inspiration in the cultural contrasts of North America. To observe is to spend more time looking through the lens than photographing. That is how I catch elusive moments of reality in a single frame. Growing up in a culturally mixed neighborhood in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, defined me as a person and as a photographer. I’ve captured the raw human spirit in people distanced from society—the joy and sadness they feel just by surviving, alongside the simplicity we lack. I follow my instincts without looking back, which has led me to fascinating places. I’ve visited forgotten parts of the United States, time capsules filled with pure instinct and the most archaic traces of human nature still intact. In one excursion I visited the Hutterites—a German-speaking colony located in the prairies of the Dakotas. I felt their sincere hospitality instantly, even when they couldn't understand why I was there to begin with or what photography even was. They maintained a humble existence that I wanted to preserve on film. With time, they got used to me being there, and my presence was gradually ignored. Only then did I witness and photograph their essence: the realness of their daily lives, creating a visual memory of this time and place. I will never forget the children. One day a girl with curious eyes approached me quietly and asked, "Have you seen the ocean?" David Vasilev
Rémi Chapeaublanc
Self-taught photographer, Rémi Chapeaublanc was destined for a scientific career in bioinformatics. He continued to use the Cartesian approach from this training adding a sensitive, people-centred dimension the day he decided to be a photographer. For his series Gods & Beasts (2011), he crossed Europe and Asia reaching Mongolia. Inside the yurt or outside, at nightfall, he produced portraits of Kazakh nomadic herders and their animals without ever resorting to retouching, despite working in digital. For this most recent series The Last Tsaatan, Rémi Chapeaublanc has chosen to portray a nomadic people again: the Tsaatans, sharing their everyday life, happiness and desire to transmit their skills. About Gods & Beasts A solitary voyage through Europe and Asia, led Rémi Chapeaublanc to Mongolia. The discovery of this country, where Man has not yet desecrated Nature, fed his thinking to create the photographic series Gods & Beasts. In these lands, men and animals depend on ancestral ties that are both sacred and necessary. It is an archaic and visceral relationship in which equivocal domination games are put into questioning. Which are the gods, and which are the beasts? Or rather to whom are they the Gods and for whom are they Beasts? Gods & Beasts consists of raw portraits. While there is an ambiguous hierarchy between men and animals, this series - created outside of a studio, in the original environment - overcomes this cultural order. This work of bringing into the light these relationships - in an almost ceremonial manner - places these Gods and Beasts for once on equal footing. The viewer is thus left the sole judge of the boundary between animal and divine. About The Last Tsaatan What will become of the Tsaatan people? In 2011, Rémi Chapeaublanc set off to find the Tsaatan people, nomadic reindeer herders, straddling the border of Northern Mongolia. Amounting to no more than 282 people in the world, this tribe's way of life has been disrupted by the transformation of its ancestral land into a national park. Hunting, passage and woodcutting are now prohibited there; total bans contradict their centuries-old traditions. Since his first encounter, Rémi Chapeaublanc has continued to go back there, sharing their customs and everyday life for several weeks at a time. With this new photo series, he raises concerns about the future of the Tsaatan people, dealing with the tide of modernity in Mongolia, each year distancing them a little further from their traditional way of life. If the tribe accepts and even laughs at technological progress, it flatly rejects urban life, and opinion is divided regarding tourism. Their life in the Taiga represented absolute freedom. Now it is complex and in particular threatened. Both humane and engaged, this series of photographs is nevertheless graphic with a particularly aesthetical and simple approach. This medium format work, produced traditionally with black and white film and then digitally enhanced, demonstrates the artist's desire to adapt their anachronistic way of life. Rémi Chapeaublanc, who befriended a number of them, now takes the public to task asking: what will be left of the Tsaatan people?
Ofir Barak
My name is Ofir Barak, I'm a photographer based here in Jerusalem. I can honestly say that I have been an artistic person all my life. I started out as a painter and was very passionate about it from a very early age. In 2013 I was lacking the motivation to create I was frustrated and I decided to put it aside and look for a new path to express myself through art. I needed to travel somewhere and clear my mind and look for answers. In order to move beyond my struggle, I needed to surround myself with every form of art I could find - literature, poetry, paintings, architecture - anything goes. I remembered that the museums in D.C have free admission, so I decided to go there. Each day I wandered into a different museum and enjoyed the art galleries. One day, accidentally, I entered an exhibition of a photographer from the wrong side - where people exit. I didn't know who the photographer was, but I was struck by his images. At that moment, I had an epiphany - this is what I want to do. This is what I can do. I spent two hours at the gallery and realized that I just couldn't consume it all in once. I went back there three more times to learn about the photographer - Garry Winogrand and each time I focused on different photographs. In the exhibition there was also a small screening room showing his famous talk at Rice University. I took a notebook with me each visit and sat at the corner of the room - writing down what I want to achieve and how. After returning home, i decided to work on a first project of my own. Between the years 2014 and 2017, I photographed constantly and on a weekly basis the neighborhood of Mea Shearim. I attended protests, holidays and weekdays tring to present a full documentation of a religious society here in Jerusalem. After 3 years and 15k pictures, a self published book was released under the title of "Mea Shearim - The streets". The project was well received within the world of photography rewarding me a Magnum Photos prize for the street photograph of the year, and a nomination for a Hasselblad masters in 2018. Parts of the project were exhibited in different locations including the jewish museum in berlin, the Lucie foundation - Month of photography photo book exhibition in the Us and many others. After completing this project, I have realized it has now become a starting point to a much larger project regarding religion in Jerusalem and a three parts books. The book is sold here at the event and if you liked the talk, feel free to take a look in the open copy and purchase one. About the Streets of Mea Shearim During the 1870s the city within the walls of Jerusalem were undergoing a serious crisis. An increase in population, especially in the Jewish quarter, resulted in high housing prices and poor sanitation.The Ottoman government failed to remove garbage dumps and eventually the pollution seeped into the water pits, causing a rise in disease and mortality rates among the population within the walls. This drove the Jewish community to establish neighborhoods outside the walls, and by 1873 four such neighborhoods were built - "Mishkenot Sha'ananim" (1880), "Mahane Israel" (1886), "Nahalat Shiva" (1869) and "Beit David" (1873). A small group of about one-hundred young Ashkenazi Jews who believed that moving outside the walls would help them improve their standard of living, decided in 1874 to combine their resources. They were able to purchase a tract of land outside the walls for a new settlement. It would have one-hundred houses and would serve as the fifth neighborhood outside the city walls. The name which they chose for that piece of land, Mea Shearim, was derived from a verse in the Torah portion that was read in the week the neighborhood was founded: "Isaac sowed in that land, and in that year he reaped a hundredfold (Mea Shearim); God had blessed him" (Genesis 26:12). Construction began around April 1874, by both Jewish and non-Jewish workers. Contractors, builders and plasterers were Christian Arabs from Bethlehem, and Jewish craftsmen also contributed. By December 1874, the first ten houses were standing. At first Mea Shearim was a courtyard neighborhood, surrounded by four walls with gates that were locked every evening. By October 1880, 100 apartments were ready for occupancy and a lottery was held to assign them to families. Between the years 1881 and 1917, more houses and neighborhoods were built. New neighborhoods surrounded Mea Shearim and helped establish a large Jewish presence outside the walls. By the turn of the century there were 300 houses, a flour mill, and a bakery. Mandatory Palestine under British administration had been carved out of Ottoman southern Syria after World War I. The British civil administration in Palestine operated from 1920 until 1948. During its existence the country was known simply as Palestine. The British regime was welcomed by the residents of Mea Shearim, who maintained good relations with the authorities for the good of the neighborhood. As a result, access roads to the area were improved, the neighborhood markets prospered, old shops were renovated, and new shops opened. Mea Shearim continued to grow, and by 1931 it was the third largest neighborhood in Jerusalem. This growth enhanced the neighborhood's status and importance, but daily life became more difficult, as many of the houses were populated with a large number of people resulting in sanitary conditions that endangered their health. The neglect of the Ottoman regime continued to set the tone, and lack of proper drainage caused rain to flood the streets and even people homes. There was a rise in poverty, resulting not only in a deterioration of the houses outer appearance but also in a spread of diseases. The neighborhood's uniform appearance also began to change, as different kinds of constructions materials came into use, resulting in non-uniform façades. Cheap tin became an alternative to the Jerusalem stone commonly used for construction. In 1948 the Arab-Israeli war broke out and Jerusalem was divided between two countries - Israel and Jordan. The border was very close to Mea Shearim and the neighborhood suffered from military attacks and damage to buildings. Within the next 20 years ,the neighborhood would suffer from decreasing population as the children of the second founding generation moved to orthodox neighborhoods nearby, leaving as few as 170 houses occupied out of a total of 304. In later years the residents returned and the population grew once again. The population remained isolated and segregated, because it refused to cooperate with the government of Israel. Street posters (Pashkvilim) began to appear on a public walls calling on residents not to serve in the Israeli army, not to vote or be elected to the Israeli parliament, and not to participate in Israel's Independence Day celebrations. Today, Mea Shearim remains loyal to its old customs and preserves its isolation in the heart of Jerusalem while trying to stave off the modern world; it is, in a way, frozen in time. The numerous renovations of houses at the end of the 20th century hardly affected the appearance of the neighborhood. They are still common today but fewer in numbers. Houses that were built over one hundred years ago stand alongside a few new ones. The life of the Hasidic community still revolves around strict adherence to Jewish law, prayer, and the study of Jewish religious texts. The large majority of the people are Ashkenazim; there are hardly Sephardic Jews in the neighborhood. In addition to some well-to-do family there are also many needy ones, which are helped by local charity institutions. The traditional dress code remains in effect here; for men and boys it includes black frock coats and black hats. Long, black beards cover their faces and many of them grow side curls called "payots".Women and girls are urged to wear what is considered to be modest dress - knee-length or longer skirts, no plunging necklines or midriff tops, no sleeveless blouses or bare shoulders. Some women wear thick black stockings all year long, and married women wear a variety of hair coverings, from hats to wigs and headscarves. The common language of daily communication in Mea Shearim is Yiddish, in contrast to the Hebrew spoken by the majority of Israel's Jewish population. Hebrew is used by the residents only for prayer and religious study, as they believe that Hebrew is a sacred language to be used only for religious purposes. This is the story of the ongoing battle between the old and the new, the past versus the present, this is the everyday life of a city within a city. My grandmother and I had a special bond. We developed a habit that once a week, usually on Mondays, we cleared our schedule and sat down to discuss the photographs I took. We talked the stories behind the photos, the people, even how the weather affected the light in the pictures. At first, photography was something foreign for both of us and with time, we developed a passion for it. We loved our gatherings and anticipated them every week. In early 2014 things changed, we had fewer opportunities for our weekly routine as her health had begun to deteriorate. She received treatments on a weekly basis and eventually had to be under medical supervision and hospitalized. On one of the visits as I sat by her bed, I wanted to ease her mind from the treatments she received and asked if she would like to see a photograph I took the day before. She immediately said yes and was very enthused when I showed her the photograph. We ended up taking and analyzing the photo as we used to, freeing our minds from the hospital room we were in. Neither of us knew that it would be our last time together. After her death, I decided to do a project based on the last photograph she ever saw. This one photo has led me on a journey, photographing the streets of Mea Shearim. Discover The Christians of Jerusalem
Laurent Dequick
Laurent Dequick is a professional architect in his forties. His photographic work has been influenced by architecture, since it is primarily focused on ideas surrounding the contemporary city and more specifically, urban sprawl. The photographer’s message is to accurately convey the impression of freneticism stemming from population density and activity in urban zones: “As you walk down the street, the lights, noises, traffic, hustle and bustle, and mix of smells are so striking that no single shot could capture all of it. So do we have to make choices? I don’t think so and I don’t want to.” To convey in images this “congestion” of urban life, Laurent Dequick does not hesitate to juxtapose, superimpose, or imbricate his shots. He fits together photographs representing architectural complexes, highways, and people, all with the same intensity. He condenses the images like the city condenses the sum of the lives of all of its inhabitants. His style is reminiscent of cubism in its rendering, which verges on abstraction in its representation of constant motion. Source: Yellow Korner The passing of time is a fascinating concept which happens all around us, at every single moment of every single day. French photographer Laurent Dequick decided to capture these fleeting seconds in a series of photographs entitled Vibrations Urbaines. Each image is a collective sequence of multiple photographs, superimposed together to visually reflect the chaos and congestion of large urban areas. The series features colorful and energetic portraits of both New York and Berlin. Viewers might feel a bit hyper as they view the still photograph which so strongly convey the motion of cars zipping past and the life of people rushing by. Dequick says his work is “primarily a reflection on the contemporary city and more specifically the proliferation of modern urban space.” Through these compositions, the artist portrays the constant urban action and excitement that are generally challenging to communicate through just one still photograph. Source: My Modern Met
Michele Zousmer
United States
Michele Zousmer is a humanitarian and fine art photographer. The camera is her tool to give voice to marginalized communities and witness the human experience. Michele's work celebrates each individual's strength and beauty, as well as their vulnerability and spirit, going beyond how one presents oneself to the world. They are infused with her almost overwhelming empathy. Michele believes a photograph can create a lasting impression of emotion, curiosity, love, and ultimately hope of mankind. It can help people heal, give them dignity, and feel empowered. Her photographs reveal insights into the lives of people we wouldn't otherwise meet. Through her world travels, Michele meets people from different walks of life, listening to their stories and sharing intimate moments with them. The permission they grant and openness they offer by inviting them into their world never ceases to move Michele. The soulfulness of her images comes from developing relationships with the people she engages with. Michele truly believes that even though we may have differences on the outside, inside we are all the same. The images are infused with her almost overwhelming empathy. Artist Statement "My mind, my eyes, and my heart have been opened by my experiences. My life has been forever changed. I hope my work inspires others to feel we all matter and to care more profoundly. Engaging in the world and becoming open to different cultures and traditions allows for more conversation on diversity and equality. Photographs hold the power to connect people and create understanding. This is why I do what I do." - Michele Zousmer
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