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Miina Savolainen
Miina Savolainen

Miina Savolainen

Country: Finland

Miina Savolainen is a community art oriented photographer and an art and social educator from Helsinki whose works deal social engagement. Alongside her artistic work she explores, teaches and develops the use of photography as a pedagogic and therapeutic method. Her work has resulted in the method of empowering photography. Miina Savolainen, her project The Loveliest Girl In The World and the method of empowering photography have received several awards in Finland. Miina Savolainen is a member of The Finnish Phototherapy Association and The Union of Artist Photographers.

Besides The Loveliest Girl in the World, Miina Savolainen is an instructor in a communal art project concerning fatherhood. For two years now, a group of amateur photographers have been preparing an exhibition on the theme of fatherhood to Helsinki Jugendhall for autumn 2007, using the method of empowering photography. She is currently working on a community art project involving intersexed and transgendered individuals.

The Loveliest Girl in the World is a community art project undertaken by photographer, art and social educator Miina Savolainen with ten girls from Hyvönen Children's Home. It has taken almost a decade to complete. The project is based on the idea of “empowerment” and the belief that everyone has the right to feel unique and special. The fairytale quality of the photographs reveals a truth often obscured by the rough and tumble of daily life - the person each young girl feels she really is inside. It allows the girls to regard themselves as strong and undamaged people. These photographs are deeply authentic, revealing the universal desire to be seen as good and valuable. “Photography can help to show people how they are treasured; how much they mean to me,” writes Miina Savolainen. “Accepting one's own portrait is a metaphor for accepting one’s own personality. During years the photographing has become an intimate and profound way to interact with the girls. This exceptional long-term relationship can be seen in the special kind of openness and intimacy of the photographs. Although the pictures in the series of the Loveliest Girl in the World are artificial and not from the everyday life they are bound to the tradition of realistic photography. The documentary quality of the pictures is multilayered. On one hand the pictures are documents of growing up, the young girls' personalities and dreams. On the other hand the pictures make certain features of the girls visible which cannot be seen in their everyday selves. The childhood of the young who have grown up in a Children's home includes a lot of feelings of being abandoned and of being invisible. It also includes the burden of other people's prejudices, the stigmatisation of being a Children's home resident. The fairytale-like pictures are juxtaposed with real life story that seldom had fairytale qualities. The pictures express sadness but also hope and desire to see oneself in a more gentle way. With the aid of the non-everyday world of the pictures the young have been allowed to be seen and to see themselves differently like never before. The girls do not see the pictures as role-playing. In the everyday life the girls may also lead “roles” which appear wrong and foreign to the girls. The pictures may show, for the first time, a side that the young person holds real and dear to herself, a picture that she wants to cherish in her mind. The Loveliest Girl in the World -pictures are extreme documents: they are pictures of a person’s inner identity. This inner side becomes visible and the deeper emotional “truth” can be reached by mixing the truth and the fiction. Every human being has an inviolable right to feel himself or herself special. The pictures are a proof of conclusiveness of the photograph, which is not only bound to what’s visible. The Loveliest Girl in the World doesn't portray the Children's home residents the way the people living in margins are usually portrayed. The pictures are also something else from the sexist way of how young women and girls are exhibited in today's public places. Above all the fairy-tale feeling of the pictures is metaphorical; it is a longing for a clean, innocent state of dreaming where you can see yourself as a whole and an ideal person, protected from the gaze and the expectations of other people. The series brings up questions on how the present visual culture makes one a part of the society. The pictures of the young in the Children's home tell stories of being a girl and being a human in general. The deepest content of the pictures, the need to be seen, is familiar to anyone. The attempt to learn to see oneself in a more gentle way is especially addressing in our time where people are surrounded by the endless requirements from different fields of life. The Loveliest Girl in the World exhibitions have prompted the public to think about the capacity of the photograph to influence on societal and personal levels. From the point of view of photography the project also raises questions about the author and ethics. This project could be seen as community photography. It includes the models not only in the creation of the photographs but also in the selection of the exhibited pictures.

The project, its accompanying exhibition and Miina Savolainen has been awarded the Spotlight of the Year 2003 special prize of the jury, the Vision of the Year award 2004, Duodecim Finnish Medical Association’s 2005 Cultural Award, the Young Photographer of the Year award 2005 and the State Award for Children´s Culture 2006. Patricia Seppälä Foundation, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Finnfoto and the City of Helsinki have supported the production.
 

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Portugal
1981
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Born in Jerusalem, Israel Michelle Frankfurter is a documentary photographer, currently living in Takoma Park, Maryland. A graduate from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in English, Michelle has been recognized, published and exhibited worldwide. Before settling in the Washington, DC area, Frankfurter spent three years living in Nicaragua, where she worked as a stringer for the British news agency, Reuters and with the human rights organization Witness For Peace documenting the effects of the contra war on civilians. In 1995, a long-term project on Haiti earned her two World Press Photo awards. Since 2000, Frankfurter has concentrated on the border region between the United States and Mexico and on themes of migration. She is a 2013 winner of the Aaron Siskind Foundation grant, a 2011 Top 50 Critical Mass winner, a finalist for the 2011 Aftermath Project and the 2012 Foto Evidence Book Award for her project Destino, documenting the journey of Central American migrants across Mexico. Her first book, Destino was published in September 2014 by Foto Evidence. About Destino Meaning both "destination" and "destiny" in Spanish, Destino portrays the perilous journey of undocumented Central American migrants along the network of freight trains lurching inexorably across Mexico, towards the hope of finding work in the United States. It is the odyssey of a generation of exiles across a landscape that is becoming increasingly dangerous, heading towards a precarious future as an option of last resorts. Unlike Mexican migration to the United States that dates back to the 1880's, the unprecedented wave of Central American migration began a full century later, the consequence of bloody civil wars, U.S. Cold War-era intervention in the region and crippling international trade policies. Those regional conflicts left a legacy of drug and gang related violence, a high incidence of domestic abuse, and unrelenting poverty. Migration as an issue is current; the story of migration is timeless. Having grown up on the adventure tales of Jack London and Mark Twain, and then later on Cormac McCarthy's border stories, there is no storyline more compelling to me than one involving a youthful odyssey across a hostile wilderness. With a singularity of purpose and a kind of brazen resilience, migrants traverse deadly terrain, relying mostly on their wits and the occasional kindness of strangers. In documenting a journey both concrete and figurative, I convey the experience of individuals who struggle to control their own destiny when confronted by extreme circumstances, much like the anti-hero protagonists of the adventure tales I grew up reading. About The Island I made five trips to Haiti between 1993 and 1995. During that time, a de facto government held the island nation captive, while an international trade embargo intended to oust the regime made life miserable for Haiti's poor. An American-led military intervention restored exiled president, Jean Bertrand Aristide to power. This series depicts the recycled repression, regional isolation, imprisonment, and liberation throughout Haiti's turbulent history.
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1953
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His work often examines the lives of neglected, ignored, or otherwise outside-the-mainstream populations through long-term, in depth collaborations that investigate the nature of American myths about class, power, and happiness. Goldberg is part of an experimental documentary movement in photography, using a straightforward, cinéma vérité approach, based on a fundamentally narrative understanding of photography. The individuality of the subjects emerges in his works, "forming a context within which the viewer may integrate the unthinkable into the concept of self. Thus portrayed, this terrifying other is restored as a universal." Goldberg's work was featured with that of Robert Adams and Joel Sternfeld in a 1984 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art entitled "Three Americans"; the exhibition was described as "a show of politically charged and socially conscious images." His 1985 book Rich and Poor, re-released by Steidl in an expanded edition in 2014, includes photographs of people in their homes along with handwritten comments by them about their lives. For example, the handwriting under the photograph reproduced on the front cover reads "I keep thinking where we went wrong. We have no one to talk to now, however, I will not allow this loneliness to destroy me,— I STILL HAVE MY DREAMS. I would like an elegant home, a loving husband and the wealth I am used to. Countess Vivianna de Bronville." Although the book received one mixed review shortly after publication, other reviews were positive, and it was later selected as one of the greatest photobooks of the 20th century. The photographs in a 1986 exhibition of Goldberg's The Nursing Home Series were accompanied by handwritten text by the nursing home residents who were the subjects of the photographs. A review of a 1990 exhibition Shooting Back: Photography by and About the Homeless at the Washington Project for the Arts characterized the exhibition as "Issue Art" and characterized Goldberg as "a superior Issue Artist because he's a superior artist." A major mixed-media exhibition by Goldberg concerning at risk and homeless youth in California entitled Raised by Wolves began traveling in 1995 and was accompanied by a book of the same title. A review of the exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art noted that Goldberg made reference to other artists and photographers; used photographs, videos, objects, and texts to convey meaning; and "let his viewers feel, in some corner of their psyches, the lure of abject lowliness, the siren call of pain." Although the accompanying book received one mixed review shortly after publication, it was described as "a heartbreaking novel with pictures", and in The Photobook: A History, Martin Parr and Gerry Badger praised it as "complex and thoughtful." A 1999 mixed media installation at the San Francisco Arts Commission gallery entitled "57/78/97" explored race relations in the United States, including the Little Rock Crisis of 1957, the 1978 Regents of the University of California v. Bakke decision, and the year following the passage of California Proposition 209 (1996) concerning affirmative action. Selected photographs from a series by Goldberg called "Open See," concerning refugees, immigrants, and trafficked people, were first exhibited in San Francisco in 2007. One review stated that the photographs may leave the viewer "paralyzed by uncertainty about what might alleviate the injustices" depicted. Part of the series came to be known as "Open See", and Goldberg's book of that title was published in 2009 by Steidl. In 2013 Goldberg was an artist in residence at Yale University Art Gallery with Donovan Wylie. They each created a body of work based in New Haven. In Candy, Jim Goldberg, a New Haven native, creates a multilayered photo-novel of aspiration and disillusionment, interspersing Super 8 film stills, images of New Haven’s urban landscape, annotated Polaroid portraits, and collaged archival materials to explicate the rise and fall of American cities in the 20th century. Goldberg considers New Haven’s quest to become a “model city” of America, contrasting its civic aspirations with its citizens’ lived realities.Source: Wikipedia Jim Goldberg’s innovative use of image and text make him a landmark photographer of our times. He has been working with experimental storytelling for over forty years, and his major projects and books include Rich and Poor (1977-85), Raised by Wolves (1985-95), Nursing Home (1986), Coming and Going (1996-present), Open See (2003-2009), The Last Son (2016), Ruby Every Fall (2016), Candy (2013-2017), Darrell & Patricia (2018), and Gene (2018). His work is in numerous private and public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Getty, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He is the recipient of numerous awards including three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship (1985), the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award (2007), and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2011). Goldberg is Professor Emeritus at the California College of the Arts and is a member of Magnum Photos.Source: Magnum Photos An heir to such social documentarians as Walker Evans and Robert Frank, Goldberg is inspired and informed by his ongoing interest in people and their positions in society as a function of broader cultural policies and practices. His work is the aesthetic embodiment of Frank’s opinion that “the truth is somewhere between the documentary and the fictional.”Source: Pace/MacGill Gallery
Ralph Steiner
United States
1899 | † 1986
Ralph Steiner was an American photographer, pioneer documentarian and a key figure among avant-garde filmmakers in the 1930s. Born in Cleveland, Steiner studied chemistry at Dartmouth, but in 1921 entered the Clarence H. White School of Modern Photography. White helped Steiner in finding a job at the Manhattan Photogravure Company, and Steiner worked on making photogravure plates of scenes from Robert Flaherty's 1922 Nanook of the North. Not long after, Steiner's work as a freelance photographer in New York began, working mostly in advertising and for publications like Ladies' Home Journal. With fellow graduate Anton Bruehl (1900–1982), in 1925, they opened a studio on 47th Street, producing a narrative series of amusing table-top shots of three cut‑out figures dressed in suits for The New Yorker magazine; advertisements for Weber and Heilbroner menswear in a running weekly series. Their client was wiped out in the Wall Street Crash. Through the encouragement of fellow photographer Paul Strand, Steiner joined the left-of-center Film and Photo League around 1927. He was also to influence the photography of Walker Evans, giving him guidance, technical assistance, and one of his view cameras. Steiner's still photographs are notable for their odd angles, abstraction and sometimes bizarre subject matter; the 1944 image Gypsy Rose Lee and Her Girls is sometimes mistaken for Weegee. His experimental films, however, are considered central to the literature of early American avant-garde cinema, and the influence of Ralph Steiner's visual style continues to assert itself; for example, contemporary avant-garde filmmaker Timoleon Wilkins cites Steiner as an inspiration. In his appreciation of Steiner, author Scott McDonald expands that list to include Dorsky, Andrew Noren, Larry Gottheim and Peter Hutton. The links between the first generation of American avant-garde filmmakers such as Steiner with the second – exemplified by Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage and others – are few, but Steiner is among those who managed to bridge the gap.Source: Wikipedia At the end of the 1960s Steiner relocated to Vermont. After making three more films he devoted himself to photographing clouds for nearly twenty years, primarily on the coast of Maine and in Oaxaca, Mexico. Clouds have been of longstanding interest to painters throughout the history of art. In photography, the subject is often associated with Alfred Stieglitz, who made photographs of clouds entitled Equivalents, believing them to appeal directly to the subconscious mind. Steiner similarly saw the evocative potential in cloud formations, although he felt the meaning of any given image was far more mercurial than his predecessor. Leaving his works deliberately untitled, he invites viewers to use their imaginations and provide their own titles, which, in his estimation, becomes a process of testing out different descriptions and metaphors. In 1985, shortly before his death, Steiner published a book of these studies, In Pursuit of Clouds.Source: MoCP
Peter Lindbergh
Germany
1944 | † 2019
Peter Lindbergh was a German fashion photographer and film director known for his evocative black and white images and his distinctive, naturalistic style. He was born in Lissa, Germany (now Leszno, Poland) and grew up in Duisburg, Germany. He studied photography in Munich and worked as a photographer's assistant in Dusseldorf before moving to Paris in 1978 to start his career as a fashion photographer. Once upon a time, the photographer had to have an idea, not just click the shutter. -- Peter Lindbergh Lindbergh's photographs appeared in numerous international fashion magazines, including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Elle. He also worked with many of the world's leading fashion houses, including Chanel, Dior, and Armani. His images are known for their timeless quality and for the way they capture the spirit and personality of his subjects. In addition to his work in fashion, Peter Lindbergh also directed several films and documentaries, including the documentary Models, which explored the world of fashion modeling, and the film Pollution, which examined environmental issues. Peter Lindbergh was also active in humanitarian causes, using his talent and influence to raise awareness about social and political issues. He was a member of the American Association of Physicians for Human Rights and worked with Amnesty International on a campaign against the death penalty. When you do portrait photography it really can be quite insane. It’s crazy what is possible today. Photoshop is a huge tragedy in that respect as well, no question! -- Peter Lindbergh Lindbergh was the recipient of numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the German Bambi award. He was also inducted into the German Photography Hall of Fame in 2003. Peter Lindbergh passed away on September 3, 2019 at the age of 74. His work continues to be exhibited and celebrated around the world.
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