Tag Archives | Photography

Vodou in NYC

Mambo Carmen becomes possessed by the Loa Klemezin. Shannon Taggart, 2010.

Often relegated to tabloid news coverage, the Afro-Caribbean religions, such as Santeria, Palo Mayombe, Palo Monte, and Vodoun, are some of the most beautiful and complex spiritual paths that can be found in the world. They have been forged in the sorrow, pain and violence of our colonial history, tempered with the hopes and joys that can only come from true perseverance.  It’s unfortunate that when we hear about them their beauty is usually obscured by patronizing, inept journalism, or, more frequently, by fear mongering, thinly veiled racism.

Maya Deren’s seminal work, The Divine Horsemen, was my first encounter with the depth of the Haitian tradition of Vodoun, and I’ll never forget how it changed my view of  life.  More recently I’ve enjoyed the work of Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold, an anthropologist,  Palero, and Vodoun initiate, whose works on Quimbanda and Palo Mayombe are published by Scarlet Imprint.… Read the rest

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Dallas Cop Suspended for Trying to Confiscate Cyclist’s Helmet Camera

Via CopBlock: Well, this is an unexpected but welcome turn of events: Dallas Sheriff's Deputy James Westbrook has been suspended for 30 days without pay following his attempt to confiscate a motorcyclist's helmet camera. The deputy told cyclist Chris Moore that he was going to take his helmet cam as evidence proving that other cyclists were engaged in criminal behavior. Following Moore's refusal, Westbrook arrested him for an obstructed license plate, an offense that normally warrants a ticket. Here's Moore's video:
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All-American Nuclear Explosion Photos

Photo: US Government Defense Threat Reduction Agency

This photo-article in The Atlantic contains some rare and disturbingly beautiful photos from the era of reckless American nuclear testing.  It includes a few of the really interesting photos taken just a millisecond after detonation, when the explosion is still a relatively tiny ball of plasma.

 

“Since the time of Trinity — the first nuclear explosion in 1945 — nearly 2,000 nuclear tests have been performed. Most of these occurred during the 1960s and 1970s. When the technology was new, tests were frequent and often spectacular, and they led to the development of newer, more deadly weapons. Since the 1990s, there have been efforts to limit the testing of nuclear weapons, including a U.S. moratorium and a U.N. comprehensive test ban treaty. As a result, testing has slowed — though not halted — and there are looming questions about who will take over for those experienced engineers who are now near retirement?

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Americans And The Environmental State In The 1970s

Via the Atlantic, a snippet of the EPA’s DOCUMERICA project, which involved the taking of thousands of beautiful, fascinating, sometimes harrowing photos of how Americans lived and how they interacted with the environment (expanding the definition of “environment” beyond what we usually think of):

As the 1960s came to an end, the rapid development of the American postwar decades had begun to take a noticeable toll on the environment, and the public began calling for action. In November 1971, the newly created Environmental Protection Agency announced a massive photo documentary project to record these changes. More than 100 photographers not only documented environmental issues, but captured images of everyday life and the way parts of America looked at that moment in history. The National Archives has made 15,000 of these images available.

cooling

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Sneaking Into A Russian Military Rocket Factory

rocketWhen you walk by a topnotch military rocket factory and notice that there are no guards on duty, it’s an opportunity for fun. A set of unbelievable photos, via Gizmodo:

Her name is Lana Sator and she snuck into one of NPO Energomash factories outside of Moscow. Her photos are amazing, like sets straight out of Star Wars or Alien. Now the Russian government is harassing her.

It was easy to get in. She just went there, jumped over the fence and got right into the heart of the complex through a series of tunnels and pipes, which was very surprising. After all, this is an active industrial installation that belongs to one of the top manufacturers of liquid-fuel rockets in the world.

And yet, she found nobody. No guards, no security. Nothing. Just a few CCTV cameras here and there in rooms packed with huge machinery.

While some of these zones look decrepit and abandoned, the factory is active.

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The LSD Portraits: Marc Franklin Spends 25 Years Photographing ‘Psychedelic Pioneers’

BurroughsRemember the Reagan administration’s “This is your brain on drugs” ads? In response a photographer started a lifelong project of photographing all the living “psychedelic pioneers,” including Timothy Leary, Jerry Garcia, William S. Burroughs, and Ken Kesey.

“I thought, ‘You know, that’s such a load of horseshit … I’m going to dismantle that poisonous propaganda lie visually… I’m going to portray these people how they are.” He started with the man who invented LSD — Albert Hoffman — on its 50th anniversary in 1988, and at one point drove over 11,000 miles in just 7 weeks (including a 26-hour drive to drink beer with William S. Burroughs).

He’s interviewed by the former editor of High Frontiers magazine (“the official psychedelic magazine of the 1984 Summer Olympics.)”, and the article includes three of his best photos. (He’s exhibiting them this month in Los Angeles). But the strangest fact of all?

He started his career taking photographs for the annual report of Mobil Oil!… Read the rest

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Photographs Of Black Sites

trevorVia We Me Make Money Not Art, a conversation with artist Trevor Paglen, who acts as a modern-day discoverer, travelling the globe attempting to photograph the last “uncharted territory” — classified locations such as the CIA’s rendition sites:

For his Limit Telephotography series, Paglen used high powered telescopes to picture the “black” sites, a series of secret locations operated by the CIA. Often outside of U.S. territory and legal jurisdiction, these locations do not officially exist, they range from American torture camps in Afghanistan to front companies running airlines whose purpose is to covertly move suspects around.

Paradoxically Paglen’s images deepen the secrecy of their subject rather than uncover it. Limit-telephotography most closely resembles astrophotography, a technique that astronomers use to photograph objects that might be trillions of miles from Earth. Paglen’s subjects are much closer but also even more difficult to photograph. To physical distance, one has indeed to add the obstacle of informational concealment.

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