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Victor Moriyama
Photo © Isadora Brandt
Victor Moriyama
Victor Moriyama

Victor Moriyama

Country: Brazil
Birth: 1984

Victor Moriyama is a freelance Brazilian photographer based in São Paulo that covers the region of South America and the problems concerning the Amazon Rainforest for the international press, mainly for The New York Times. His work discloses an humanist kind of photography, committed to document the processes of violence that prevail in social and environmental relations in Brazil and the Amazonian region. Agrarian Conflicts, the deforestation and conservation of the Amazon Rainforest, the genocide of the indigenous populations, the acceleration of climate change and the violation human rights have been guiding themes of his career in the last few years. Victor also collaborates regularly with NGOs, such as Greenpeace, Instituto Socioambiental, iCRC and UNHCR.

Concerned with the shortage of reported on the conflicts in the Amazon, Victor has created, in 2019, the project @historiasamazonicas a community of Latin American photographers committed to document the current processes that are taking place in the Amazon, with the objective of defining and changing the present. The idea is to expand the world's knowledge concerning the conflicts that surround the Amazon and to engage the global society into thinking and fighting the deforestation of the greatest rainforests in the world.

Victor is also a member of the @everydayclimatechange, a group of photographers from the five continents engaged and committed to climate change. Mr. Moriyama is also a photography columnist for the Brazilian edition of the Spanish Newspaper El País.

About Amazon Deforestation
"'Nature will die in embers', told me Davi Yanomami, one of Brazil's greatest indigenous leaders, during the 70 days I spent doing field work in the Amazon Rainforest. The greatest rainforest in the world is dying. The year of 2019 was the worst in history for the Amazon Forest. The deforestation of the vegetation cover set a record and increased 29.5% in relation to 2018, adding up to a total loss of 9.762km² of forest. However, this process isn't new: the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest has been going on for decades, with the connivance of the rulers of the South American countries, whose actions are utterly inefficient when it comes to trying to reverse this context of destruction. This situation became even more severe, after the elected right-wing government took office in 2019. Stimulated by official speech, deforestation agents set thousands of hectares on fire, with the certainty of impunity. As an immediate reaction, thousands of young people started protesting against the destruction of the rainforest, in dozens of cities worldwide, headed by Greta Thunberg. This series of images is the result of my immersive work in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, where I have documented the advances of the deforestation in a special piece for The New York Times." -- Victor Moriyama
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Monia Merlo
Italy
1970
She was born in Bassano del Grappa, Italy, 1970. After finishing her studies in Venice, she teamed her work as an architect with her passion for Photography, making it her main expression medium. Monia currently works as a freelance photographer, her work is focused on fashion, including prestigious collaborations with famous brands. Her photos find inspiration in literature, poetry and her most inner feelings. They are means of creation, research and development of a work which undergoes a constant evolution, as well as being a way to represent, through fragile feminine bodies, the artist's search of herself.Source: www.moniamerlophotographer.com All the work of Italian photographer Monia Merlo is a feast for the eye: magical lighting, vulnerable intensely pale female bodies in a silent floral dreamscape. Sensuous and physical, yet innocent. Mystical femininity which verges on the sacred. It’s so beautiful you could almost drown in it. A view shared by many, since she has now collaborated with a number of prestigious fashion labels. Her work has been published in various international magazines including Italian Vogue, and has been displayed in leading galleries such as Art + Commerce in New York and Sakura Gallery in Paris. This is all the more remarkable when you consider that Monia only started working as a photographer 5 years ago. Monia’s work focuses on fashion and flowers. She uses only natural light, bringing out the contours and detail more beautifully and making her photographs resemble paintings. She finds her inspiration in literature, poetry and the idealised femininity of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. A period which is currently enjoying increasing popularity amongst the creative elite and trendsetters. She likes to use romantic flowers in delicate colours with an air of vulnerability, such as blossom, fragile roses and daisies.Source: The Green Gallery
JB Russell
France/United States
1961
Born in Long Beach, California in 1961, J.B. Russell is a Paris-based documentary photographer, filmmaker and educator. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and Geography and working for two years as a geologist, J.B. decided to take a year or two off to pursue a passion for photography and to satisfy a genetic predisposition for wanderlust. Once on the road however, he never looked back. He has worked extensively throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America focusing on current events, the human consequences of conflict, human rights, the environment and development issues. His work appears regularly in major print and on-line publications worldwide, including: Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, French GEO, Paris Match, Le Monde, Stern, Der Spiegel, Corriere della Sera magazine, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, El Mondo magazine and many more. J.B. collaborates frequently with international humanitarian organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, Save The Children, Mines Advisory Group, The Global Fund and others to produce images, video and written material on critical humanitarian issues for their communication needs. His work has received numerous accolades, including the Public Prize at the Bayeux War Correspondents Competition, 1st place in the News Picture Story category of the POYi competition, his images have been selected on multiple occasions for the American Photography anthology, he received the Saint Brieuc Photoreporter Grant and his work has been exhibited and frequently featured at Visa Pour L'Image in Perpignan, France, among many other festivals and venues. J.B.'s career has spanned the transition from analogue to digital photography and the profound changes that the Internet and Social Media have had on journalism and the press. He believes that honest, engaged journalism remains crucial to public information in today's media landscape. J.B produces independent documentary photography and video projects, embracing diverse story-telling forms and platforms. He is a dedicated teacher of photography, teaching and speaking regularly in diverse university programs, workshops and photography courses. J.B. Russell is member of the Panos Pictures Agency and a core member of the Instagram collective #EverydayClimateChange.
Cathleen Naundorf
France/Germany
Cathleen Naundorf is a French German photographer. In the late 1980s, she graduated from photography studies in Munich. She worked as a photo assistant in New York, Singapore and Paris in the following years, before she started traveling in 1993 to such destinations as Mongolia, Siberia, Gobi Desert and the Amazonas headwaters in Brazil. The results of these insightful pictures have been included in eight publications of renowned publishing houses. Inspired by her encounter of and longstanding friendship with Horst P. Horst, Cathleen Naundorf early on turned to fashion photography. As of 1997, she started photographing backstage Paris fashion shows for Condé Nast. Since 2005, Cathleen Naundorf has worked on her haute couture series “Un rêve de mode” focusing on seven couture houses : Chanel, Dior, Gaultier, Lacroix, Saab, Valentino and Philip Treacy. Thanks to her outstanding pictures, Cathleen Naundorf got the privilege to choose gowns from the couturiers’ archives for her elaborate and cinematic productions. This work got published in "The Polaroids of Cathleen Naundorf", Prestel Edition, 2012.She works with large format cameras like Plaubel or Deardorff for her shootIngs and use mostly Polaroid or negative films. Cathleen Naundorf is working passionately on Haute Couture and Luxury Prêt-à-Porter. Her work got published in magazines like Harper's Bazaar, Tatler, VS Magazine or American Express.Cathleen Naundorf's work is represented by the Hamiltons Gallery in London.
Erik Hijweege
The Netherlands
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Erik Hijweege (1963) is fascinated with the overwhelming power of nature. He started chasing big weather and tornadoes in 2006. During his first years of stormchasing Hijweege chose an alter ego for this body of work in the making. Kevin Erskine a farmer from Valentine Nebraska was born. This resulted for Erskine (a.k.a Hijweege) in his first international solo show in New York and the Supercell book. Sequel to Supercell are his Sublime Nature series focusing on the beauty of nature that is grand and dangerous. Following his 19th century inspired longing for remote places and distant shores he travels the world working on his long-term Uncharted and waterfalls projects. Capturing landscapes on tintype and using old copper lenses, he shows us the world as seen through the eyes of early explorers. The multiple threats of our natural surroundings triggered Hijweege to start a second line in his work focusing on endangered species. Based on the Red List of the IUCN he photographed 23 endangered animals preserved in ice. Being a fragile subject matter Hijweege used the 19th century wetplate collodion process to capture these frozen animals on ambrotype. His Endangered series was exhibited at the Dutch Natural History Museum in Rotterdam raising awareness for this important matter. The Endangered book was published in 2014. In succession of this series Hijweege is currently working on 'New Habitat'. This series is about relocating endangered species to safer grounds. New Habitat is exhibited in the Dutch Natural History Museum during the first three months of 2020.
Janne Korkko
Photography means more to me than just doing it: it is as important as breathing and living. I switched in documentary shooting 10 years ago. Image has always been an important form of narrative but I wanted it to show the touch of life and humanity that define my ideas. Socially important and difficult topics that are approachable make me work. I feel I have a mission. I am proud and humbled as well as grateful. Things that have touched me, touched them, too. That is the stories, the interaction with people that developed to the eye to see. Night River We need to understand where we are and how we got here. Once we are clear on these issues we can move forward... (Thomas Berry) Rivers have river rights as well as humans have human rights. People, communities, environments, and nature have deep interrelated connection. A connection that is more complex than an ownership of land, a fishing permit, a cottage on the riverside, or a beautiful sundown on the opposite shore of the river. The name of the river in these photos is Iijoki. The name comes from an ancient word of Sami ('iddja', 'ijje'), which means 'night'. So, the name of this river is Night. Night-River flows through Yli-Ii, the riverside village, which belongs now to bigger city of Oulu. It means that there are no public services any more. The village is disappearing. Night-River is full of songs of memories, and its riverbanks are full of people with these memories. Some of them are sacred, silenced, or even untold. Usually it seems that nobody wants to remember the song of the unforgotten village - and the blocked river. But some of the songs are still alive, or they are waking up through the people, who are starting to re-member the song of the wild, free-flowing river. The landscape of the village, and the diversity and ecology of native nature, changed totally during the 1960s, when the river was dammed - and there were built many hydroelectric power-plants in it. The damming of the river was one of the biggest eco catastrophes in the area of North Finland. But it was also catastrophic for the whole society of the village and its families in many - maybe still unidentified and unconscious - ways. Nowadays the eco catastrophes is still going strong - in clearcutting and swamp ditching. But the second longest river in Finland - with its 150 rapids - is still alive under all the constructions, destructions of riverbeds, and hydroelectric dams. It lives also in peoples' minds and bodies, in their eyes and destinies, and maybe in their most hidden memories. It is singing its unique song. "Virpi Alise Koskela"
Lalla Essaydi
Morocco
1956
Lalla Essaydi (Lalla A. Essaydi) is a Moroccan-born photographer known for her staged photographs of Arab women in contemporary art. She currently works in Boston, Massachusetts, and Morocco. Her current residence is in New York. Essaydi was born in Marrakesh, Morocco in 1956. She left to attend high school in Paris at 16. She married after returning to Morocco and moved to Saudi Arabia where she had two children and divorced. Essaydi returned to Paris in the early 1990s to attend the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. She moved to Boston in 1996 and earned her BFA from Tufts University in 1999 and her MFA in painting and photography from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2003. Influenced by her experiences growing up in Morocco and Saudi Arabia, Essaydi explores the ways that gender and power are inscribed on Muslim women's bodies and the spaces they inhabit. She has stated that her work is autobiographical and that she was inspired by the differences she perceived in women's lives in the United States versus in Morocco, in terms of freedom and identity. She explores a wide range of perspectives, including issues of diaspora, identity, and expected location through her studio practice in Boston. She also looks at the ways of viewing reality while questioning limits of other cultures and challenging Orientalist art, engaging tradition, history, art, and technology. Her Grand Odalisque from the series Les Femmes du Maroc (2008), for example, cites the French painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres' painting La Grande Odalisque (1814), although her model is dressed. She also presents the resistance of stereotypes maintained by Western and Eastern societies. The inspiration for many of her works came from her childhood, in the physical space where she, as a young woman, was sent when she disobeyed. She stepped outside the permissible behavioral space, as defined by Moroccan culture. Essaydi said her works will become haunted by spaces she inhabited as a child. Several pieces of her work (including Converging Territories) combine henna, which is traditionally used to decorate the hands and feet of brides, with Arabic calligraphy, a predominantly male practice. While she uses henna to apply calligraphy to her female subjects' bodies, the words are indecipherable in an attempt to question authority and meaning. According to Essaydi, "Although it is calligraphy that is usually associated with 'meaning' (as opposed to 'mere' decoration), in the visual medium of my photographs, the 'veil' of henna, in fact, enhances the expressivity of the images. Yet, by the same token, the male art of calligraphy has been brought into a world of female experience from which it has traditionally been excluded." The women depicted in her exhibition of photographs, Les Femmes du Maroc, are represented as decorative and confined by the art of henna. Essaydi thus poses her subjects in a way that exemplifies society's views of women as primarily destined for mere beauty. Henna, however, is extremely symbolic, especially to Moroccan women. It is an association with familial celebrations of a young girl reaching puberty and transitioning into a mature woman. The use of henna in her work creates a silent atmosphere of the women "speaking" to each other through a quality of femininity. It is predominantly a painting process where women who are discouraged to work outside the home find a profitable work in applying a tattoo-like material. Beyond creating powerful pieces revolving around the art of henna, Essaydi includes interpretations of traditional Moroccan elements, including draped folds of cloths adorning women's bodies, mosaic, tiles, and Islamic architecture. Lalla Essaydi’s photo series, Les Femmes du Maroc comments on contemporary social structures, as well as acknowledges the history that has aided in constructing representations of Arab female identity. Les Femmes du Maroc is one of her three major photographic series, which is influenced by nineteenth-century European and American Orientalist art. However, Essaydi appropriates Orientalist paintings by incorporating a new subject & style derived from her own personal history and experiences to emancipate Arabian women and to demonstrate a tradition that is misunderstood by a Western audience. The title of the series is an appropriation of a painting by the French Romantic Artist Eugène Delacroix. Therefore, each photo in the series is influenced by Orientalist art that is then appropriated. Essaydi's photographic series include Converging Territories (2003–2004), Les Femmes du Maroc (2005–2006), Harem (2009), Harem Revisited (2012–2013), Bullets, and Bullets Revisited (2012–2013). Her work has been exhibited around the world, including at the National Museum of African Art, and is represented in a number of collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum Fünf Kontinente Munich/ Germany; the San Diego Museum of Art; the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park, Florida; the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She was named as #18 in Charchub's "Top 20 Contemporary Middle Eastern Artists in 2012-2014". In 2015, the San Diego Museum of Art mounted the exhibition, Lalla Essaydi: Photographs. Source: Wikipedia Lalla A. Essaydi grew up in Morocco and now lives in USA where she received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/TUFTS University in May 2003. Essaydi’s work is represented by Howard Yezerski Gallery in Boston and Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York City. Her work has been exhibited in many major international locales, including Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Texas, Buffalo, Colorado, New York, Syria, Ireland, England, France, the Netherlands, Sharjah, U.A.E., and Japan and is represented in a number of collections, including the Williams College Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Fries Museum, the Netherlands, and The Kodak Museum of Art. Her art, which often combines Islamic calligraphy with representations of the female body, addresses the complex reality of Arab female identity from the unique perspective of personal experience. In much of her work, she returns to her Moroccan girlhood, looking back on it as an adult woman caught somewhere between past and present, and as an artist, exploring the language in which to “speak” from this uncertain space. Her paintings often appropriate Orientalist imagery from the Western painting tradition, thereby inviting viewers to reconsider the Orientalist mythology. She has worked in numerous media, including painting, video, film, installation, and analog photography. "In my art, I wish to present myself through multiple lenses -- as artist, as Moroccan, as traditionalist, as Liberal, as Muslim. In short, I invite viewers to resist stereotypes."Source: lallaessaydi.com
Craig Varjabedian
United States
1957
"Craig Varjabedian's photographs of the American West would be the perfect illustrations to a Cormac McCarthy book. They have a surreal beauty and poetic emptiness that border on the fictional. It's as if this isn't the real West, but the West of tall tales and American dreams." Claire O'neill, "The Picture Show," National Public Radio Craig Varjabedian is an award-winning photographer, author, and teacher. His stunning photographs of the people and places of the American West are critically acclaimed, not only for their powerful imagery and artistic composition, but also for their ability to transcend the commonplace-immanently engaging the viewer with scenes that passionately reflect the artist's connection to his subjects. Varjabedian achieves this goal through a skillful visionary acuity and intuition, allowing him to make photographs that expand awareness. As a result, viewers are presented with new ways of seeing and experiencing this region so integral to our collective imagination and our unique American identity. Varjabedian's gift lies in his ability to blend both technical expertise and illustrative narrative-depicting lyrical images that reveal the humanity and character of a vast sometimes barren country known for its legendary beauty and dramatic heritage. Varjabedian's photographs tell contemporary stories that continue to inspire today what has historically been recognized as the "spirit of the Great American West." Craig graduated from the University of Michigan witha Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, and received his Master's degree from the prestigious Rochester Institute of Technology. As a fine art photographer for over forty years, Varjabedian has been widely praised for his masterful images ranging from awe-inspiring, expansive landscapes, to intimate soul-revealing portraits. He is also the director of Eloquent Light Photography Workshops in Santa Fe. In further recognition of his work, Varjabedian has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, and the New Mexico Humanities Council. His photographs have been exhibited in, and his prints collected by, museums around the country, including the William Benton Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Albuquerque Museum of Art. In 1991, Craig received an Emmy Award for his collaboration with award-winning filmmaker Karl Kernberger on the PBS documentary En Divina Luz: The Penitente Moradas of New Mexico. Photographs from this project were published in a 1994 book by the same name. Craig's other books include By the Grace of Light: Images of Faith from Catholic New Mexico (1998), Four & Twenty Photographs: Stories from Behind the Lens (2007); Ghost Ranch and the Faraway Nearby (2009), which received the prestigious Wrangler Award for Outstanding Photography Book from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum; and Landscape Dreams, A New Mexico Portrait (2012), released to coincide with the New Mexico State Centennial. Varjabedian's latest book, Into the Great White Sands, a photographic celebration of White Sands National Monument, was published by the University of New Mexico Press in 2018. The book received a prestigious New Mexico/Arizona Book Award. Craig Varjabedian's Interview
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