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Alison Wright
Alison Wright
Alison Wright

Alison Wright

Country: United States
Birth: 1961 | Death: 2022

Alison Wright, an award-winning documentary photographer and author, has travelled to 150 countries photographing indigenous cultures and people while covering issues concerning the human condition. She is a recipient of the Dorothea Lange Award in Documentary Photography, a two-time winner of the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award, and an Explorers Club Fellow. She was recently named a National Geographic Traveler of the Year as someone who travels "with a sense of passion and purpose."

Alison has published ten books. Her upcoming book, Grit and Grace: Women at Work documents the empowerment of women working in global communities (Schiffer 2021). Her work has been published in numerous magazines including National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, Islands and Smithsonian.

Alison's life was nearly cut short during a devastating bus accident on a remote jungle road in Laos. Her best-selling memoir, Learning to Breathe; One Woman's Journey of Spirit and Survival, chronicles her inspirational story of survival, the years of rehabilitation and her ongoing determination to recover and continue traveling the world as an intrepid visual storyteller. This experience while working in post disaster/conflict areas inspired her to establish a foundation called Faces of Hope (facesofhope.org); a non-profit that globally supports women and children's rights by creating visual awareness and donating directly to grass-roots organizations that help sustain them through education and healthcare.

About Human Tribe
"The emotive beauty and grace of the human face, in all its diversity, will never cease to inspire me but it's the enduring spirit of our collective tribe of humanity that will always certainly amaze me. One of the many things I have learned during my years of global travel as a documentary photographer is that no matter how unique we may look in appearance, from the exotic to the mundane, we basically have the same universal desires and concerns. Our needs are actually quite simple: to love and be loved; to have a useful place in our society with some meaningful and fulfilling occupation in our life; work that will hopefully provide us with enough money in our pocket to get by; food on the table; education, health and safety for ourselves, our family and our children. The freedom to be oneself is a right that creates the exquisiteness of our human race.

These portraits are an unguarded moment in the lives of a few of the people I have photographed from our remarkable human tapestry. Some are celebrating significant events, while others are living out ordinary days. Others are merely struggling to survive. Many are from countries whose lives are in flux or change due to war, natural disaster or the inevitable rapid progression of modernity. I feel drawn to those who live close to the land, documenting communities that may not last even another generation. Most are surprised that I actually wanted to stop and photograph someone who is considered in their culture to be such an ordinary looking person.

From tribes in Africa, to nomads in Asia, survivors of post conflict and disaster, families and individuals around the world have graciously opened up their homes and hearts to me. Surprisingly, I have discovered that it is often the ones who have the least who share the most. I find compassion in what can seem to be a world of chaos. The planet, at times, can seem so vast, with the numbers almost too large for us to comprehend. But when you capture the look in someone's eyes, an intimate stare, a knowing glance, his or her situation becomes a shared experience, a more personal connection. Their eyes seem to radiate a dignity, a claim for a right to be seen, no matter what their circumstances. These eyes are what initially draws us in and connects us together.

These photos are a celebration of the universal human spirit within us all. It is what bonds us as humankind, a continued thread, as together we continue this journey on the pilgrimage of life. "
 

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Inspiring Portfolios

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Denis Olivier
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1969
My first encounter with photography took place when my parents performed some strange static dances with an object in front of their face. Later they would close themselves up in a special room under the house for long periods of time, and no one was allowed in. They diligently made sure that they were left to their own devices while inside. One day I was given permission to enter the room and allowed to stay, but on the condition that I didn't move or went out. I remember there was a unique chemical perfume and a red light. I was bewildered: my parents appeared flashing a white light on a piece of paper using a strange apparatus. Then they dipped it into a clear liquid and Behold! I couldn't believe it, A miracle! They were wizards who created pictures. In the following years I didn't really follow his experiments, I was too young to manipulate cameras and I preferred to draw. Photography, Architecture and Art was always present around us and I still remember the black and white exhibitions that we visited. When I was a teenager, I continued to draw and started to paint a little. I even took part in some local exhibitions. At the age of 17 I began to take some photographs, I was especially fascinated by mineralogical micro mounts. I started studying biochemistry, but after 3 years I changed to Poitiers school of fine-arts, and took an interest in computer graphics and generated imagery. While I was there I meet Alain Fleig who introduced me to art photography. I also felt a need to practice photography, and with a friend we spent a lot of time learning how to develop films and photographs. We did sessions with models, scenery, and discovered France. The second year I had my first personal exhibition in a gallery, which was a great experience, then a training placement with Philippe Salaün, who was at this time Robert Doisneau's developer. Following this I did some jobs for organizations, shows and commissioned works. I then started in December 1995 working with computer graphics and made use of the Internet. I worked in artistic direction for several years, then digital cameras came along and I found a way to work quickly and experiment without using too many resources such as film, chemicals, photo sensitive paper and of course the wonderful resource of water.
Ricardo Miguel Hernandez
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Kimmo  Sahakangas
United States
1958
Kimmo Sahakangas received a Bachelor of Architecture from Cal Poly Pomona and a Master of Architecture from UCLA. After higher education, he was awarded an architectural traveling fellowship which facilitated a year-long exploration of European urban spaces. It concluded in a slide show presented to an academic institution. Prior to architectural studies, photography was a passionate endeavor in the family along with vacation roadtrips. At age 19, he traveled the very first time to Las Vegas… stayed at a cheap motel and was keen on photographing the neon lights of Fremont Street and the strip… the visit would inspire architectural study and form an interest in photographing the built American landscape. Sahakangas contextualizes the vast American landscape with a focus on transitional places and spaces. Some of the more favored subjects are roadside business establishments which epitomize the road trip experience. Traveling off the interstate, he would find such visual matter in the landscape... on a two-lane road allowing a slower pace without a destination in mind. His observations exclude people, to portray isolation as a visual drama. And to frame the cultural, economic and social policies at hand. His work has exhibited nationally in a dozen private and public galleries including Praxis Gallery Photo Arts Center (Minneapolis), Black Box Gallery (Portland OR) and Torrance Art Museum. A self-published affair, titled "Roadside Testament", was available in 2021. It features several decades of photography.
Sohrab Hura
India
1981
Sohrab Hura (born 17 October 1981) is an Indian photographer based in New Delhi. He is a full member of Magnum Photos. Hura's self-published trilogy Sweet Life comprises the books Life is Elsewhere (2015), A Proposition for Departure (2017) and Look It's Getting Sunny Outside!!! (2018); the latter was shortlisted for Photobook of the Year in the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards. He has also self-published The Coast (2019) and The Levee (2020). His work has been shown in solo exhibitions in London and in Kolkata, India. Hura was born in Chinsurah, West Bengal, India. He attended The Doon School in Dehradun, Uttarakhand and has a masters in economics from the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi. He began making photographs during college with a Nikon FM10 given to him by his father. He is now based in New Delhi, India. Hura's Sweet Life trilogy of books focuses on his relationship with his mother, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1999, when he was 17 years old. The trilogy's Life Is Elsewhere was made between 2005 and 2011, and Look It's Getting Sunny Outside!!! was made between 2008 and 2014. In 2011 The British Journal of Photography included Hura in its "Ones to Watch." He became a nominee member of Magnum Photos in 2014 (the second Indian photographer to become a nominee member) an Associate member in 2018, and a full member in 2020. Sean O'Hagan, writing in The Guardian, included Hura's The Lost Head and the Bird exhibition in his "The top 10 photography exhibitions of 2017".Source: Wikipedia Sohrab Hura’s vivid, sometimes surreal photography explores his position with the world that he exists in. Though Hura initially worked through the prism of social documentary, he soon turned his strong vision inward, creating visual journals of his life and personal relationships as a means to “find his own logic”. Hura was born on 17th October 1981 in a small town called Chinsurah in West Bengal, India. He grew up with many varied career ambitions but eventually settled on photography, after completing his Masters in Economics at the Delhi School of Economics. His first projects, The River (a series that explores three cities along the river Ganges and its tributary) and Land of a Thousand Struggles (which followed a grassroots movement in rural India that led to an important social security act), were made simultaneously in 2005-06. Though both were made with auspicious intentions, Hura later decided to turn his back on this kind social documentary work and instead focus on issues which reflected his personal experience. Hura’s work has been shown in exhibitions around the world. Upcoming exhibitions include The Levee at Cincinnati Art Museum, The Lost Head & The Bird at True/False Film Festival: Columbia Missouri and La Fete Du Slip, Lausanne and Snow at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge UK—all in 2019. He has published three books to date: Life is Elsewhere (2015), A Proposition For Departure (2017), Look It’s Getting Sunny Outside!!! (2018) with the fourth, The Coast (2019). He is currently working on a series called SNOW, which looks at Kashmir through the prism of the arrival and melting of snow across the three phases of winter. Hura is currently based in New Delhi, India. He joined Magnum Photos as a nominee in 2014 and became an associate in 2018.Source: Wikipedia
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AAP Magazine #27: Colors
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