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Carol Beckwith
Carol Beckwith

Carol Beckwith

Country: United States

Thirty years of work on the African continent have carried Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher across 270,000 miles and through remote corners of 40 countries in exploration of more than 150 African cultures. In the process, this team of world-renowned photographers has produced fourteen widely acclaimed books and made four films about traditional Africa. They have been granted unprecedented access to African tribal rites and rituals and continue to be honored worldwide for their powerful photographs documenting the traditional ceremonies of cultures thousands of years old. As an intrepid team of explorers, they are committed to preserving sacred tribal ceremonies and African cultural traditions all too vulnerable to the trends of modernity. The Beckwith-Fisher images are the result of a long, enduring and deeply respectful relationship with African tribal peoples. This, combined with their photographic skills, creates an intimate portrayal of ceremonies long held secret that might have never been recorded. Their work preserves and presents the power, complexity and celebration found within the rituals of African tribal life. Their extraordinary photographs are recorded in fourteen best-selling books and in their films. Their new book “Painted Bodies” (2012) follows “Maasai” (1980), “Nomads of Niger” (1983), “Africa Adorned” (1984), “African Ark” (1990), “African Ceremonies” (1999), “Passages” (2000), “Faces of Africa” (2004), “Lamu: Kenya’s Enchanted Island” (2009), and “Dinka” (2010). The special limited-edition books, hand printed in Santiago, Chile, are titled “Surma,” “Karo,” “Maasai,” and “Dinka.” “African Ceremonies,” their defining body of work, is a double volume, pan-African study of rituals and rites of passage from birth to death, covering 93 ceremonies from 26 countries. This book won the United Nations Award for Excellence for “vision and understanding of the role of cultural traditions in the pursuit of world peace.” Honored twice with the Annisfield-Wolf Book Award in race relations for “outstanding contributions to the understanding of cultural diversity and prejudice,” Angela and Carol are also winners of the Royal Geographical Society of London’s Cherry Kearton Medal for their contribution to the photographic recording of African ethnography and ritual. The photographers have made four films about traditional Africa, including Way of the Wodaabe (1986), The Painter and the Fighter, and two programs for the Millennium Series Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World. Numerous exhibitions of their photography and films have been shown in museums and galleries around the world. In 2000 their Passages exhibition opened at the Brooklyn Museum of Art featuring 97 mural photographs, six video films and a selection of African masks, sculpture and jewelry. This exhibition has traveled to seven museums on three continents. Aware that traditional cultures in Africa are fast disappearing, Carol and Angela are working with an urgency to complete the third volume of their ongoing study of African Ceremonies with the goal of covering the remaining traditional ceremonies in the 13 African cultures in which they have not yet worked.

Source: carolbeckwith-angelafisher.com

 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Elisa Migda
France
1981
Graduated from the Sorbonne and the University Paris X in Literature, Human Sciences and Visual Anthropology (Formation de Recherches Cinématographiques created by Jean Rouch) after studying photography,video and graphic design, she joined the International photojournalism festival Visa pour l'Image Perpignan in communication and coordination. In 2016, she is also responsible for the creation of the art book fair FILAF ARTBOOK FAIR within the FILAF festival as well as the curating of the exhibitions A L'Italia by Carine Brancowitz and Before Landing by Michel Houellebecq in Perpignan. Passionate about film photography but also after having assisted various fashion and reportage photographers and contributed to various audiovisual creations, she decided to join a traditional photography laboratory in Paris, which offers more particularly the realization of large formats in order to revive the practice of printing and its processes. Eighteen months ago, she set up her own laboratory in Seine et Marne in order to carry out a more experimental and personal photographic work, that she has been pursuing for about fifteen years. In 2019, she participates in the group exhibition "Le Rêve d'un mouvement" in Paris with Gilles Roudière, Damien Daufresne, Stéphane Charpentier, Grégory Dargent, Frédéric D. Oberland and Gaël Bonnefon and presents her solo exhibition "Sweet Surrender" in Arles during the month of July with the Bergger group. Statement "My photographic work is long-term and develops around a personal project: to capture images that revolve around my life, intimate experiences and, from these photographic episodes were born portraits, self-portraits, imprints of existence. It is an abandonment where bodies and faces waver in obscure clarity, plunge into dazzle, navigate between interior and exterior spaces, loneliness and erasure from the world. In this universe, a feeling of sweet melancholy often emerges around themes such as energy, destruction, dealing with both the eternal and the ephemeral, disappearance and metamorphosis. These are trembling moments, a collection of images with fleeting, spectral visions, sprinkled with imperfections just as in our daily lives or in our dreams. There remains a disturbing strangeness, a subjective territory, trying and pensive, where the eyes are closed, frozen, elusive..."
Kerry Mansfield
United States
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Argus Paul Estabrook
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André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri
France
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André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri (French: 28 March 1819 - 4 October 1889) was a French photographer who started his photographic career as a daguerreotypist but gained greater fame for patenting his version of the carte de visite, a small photographic image which was mounted on a card. Disdéri, a brilliant showman, made this system of mass-production portraiture world famous. Disdéri began his working life in a number of occupations, while also studying art. He started as a daguerreotypist in Brest in 1848 or 1849 but in December 1852 or January 1853 he moved to Nîmes. There he received assistance from Édouard Boyer and Joseph Jean Pierre Laurent with his photography-related chemistry experiments. After a year in Nîmes he moved to Paris, enabling easy access to people who would be the subjects of his cartes de visite. Photographs had previously served as calling cards,[6] but Disdéri's invention of the paper carte de visite (i.e. "visiting card") photograph second enabled the mass production of photographs. On 27 November 1854 he patented the system of printing ten photographs on a single sheet (although there is no evidence that a system printing more than eight actually materialized). This was the first patent ever for a carte de visite. Disdéri's's cartes de visite were 6X9 cm, about the size of conventional (nonphotographic) visiting cards of the time, and were made by a camera with four lenses and a sliding plate holder; a design inspired by the stereoscopic cameras. The novelty quickly spread throughout the world. According to a German visitor, Disdéri's studio became "really the Temple of Photography - a place unique in its luxury and elegance. Daily he sells three to four thousand francs worth of portraits". The fact that these photos could be reproduced inexpensively and in great quantity brought about the decline of the daguerreotype and ushered in a carte de visite craze as they became enormously popular throughout Europe and the United States. So great was the publicity that all of Paris wanted portraits. Disdéri also invented the twin-lens reflex camera. The great French photographer Nadar, who was Disdéri's competitor, wrote about the new invention in his autobiographical "Quand j'étais photographe", "about the appearance of Disdéri and Carte de Visite... It spelled disaster. Either you had to succumb - that is to say, follow the trend - or resign." At the pinnacle of his career, Disdéri was extremely wealthy and renowned; but like another famous photographer, Mathew Brady, he is reported to have died in near poverty. By the end of his life, Disdéri had become penniless. He died on 4 October 1889 in the Hôpital Ste. Anne in Paris, "an institution for indigents, alcoholics, and the mentally ill". He was a victim of his own invention. The system which he invented and popularized was so easy to imitate that photographers all over the world took advantage of it.
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