24 January 2007

Snow in Oslo

Hi F. The snow came falling down this weekend in Oslo, it awoke something
in me, emotions and wondering,
so now I'm making photos of snow,
and maybe some
twig or a piece of a fence too, but most important is the
bright and vague snow.

Espen Aasheim

photographer©Espen Aasheim

Marion in the year of 1939

Wolcott, Marion Post , 1910- -- Photographer

African American schoolgirls in the fourth and fifth grades
demonstrating a health movingpicture that they had
made, Flint River Farms, Georgia,
May 1939.

I am trying to catch up with Marion, It seems she had a very busy
year in 1939. She was 29 years old and was travelling around the
southern states of the US.Was she aware of what was going to happen
the coming years? Did she know anything about the escalating horrors
of the third reich? There was no CNN or Al Jazeera, no television, no
Internet. And the people she photographed? Did they realize that
a world war was just beginning. I don´t think so. And still...there is
something about the people she met that makes me wonder.

Wolcott, Marion Post , 1910- -- Photographer

Three African American women waiting for street car on their way
to work as domestics, early morning, Mitchell Street, Atlanta, Georgia,
May 1939.

Wolcott, Marion Post , 1910- -- Photographer

African American men, both tenants and neighbors, eating dinner after the
white men have finished on day of corn-shucking at Mrs. Fred Wilkins'
home, Tally Ho, near Stem, Granville County, North Carolina,
November 1939.

So many years have passed, and 1939 is history. But tonight, with so many
thoughts running through my head after seeing Marion´s pictures from that
year, it seems like only yesterday.

Warsaw, September 1939. First aid being given after a German air-raid.

Poland in photographs, 1939-1944.
Created Date:

I am also thinking about Poland and September 1 and I found a picture
from that city as well. It breaks my heart to think about what the people
of Warsaw had to
face the coming years. And yes...it was only yesterday.


Pictures found at NYPL and FSA.

focus on Africa

all photos are from Africa taken by Ryszard Kapuściński comes from his exhibition in Green Gallery in Warsaw
© by Ryszard Kapuscinski

my meetings with Ryszard Kapuściński

I have been meeting Ryszard Kapuściński since I discovered the "Emperor" when I was teen. Since that time we have been meeting regulary, with his new an older books which I hunted in the bookstore in library. I was with him in China, in Angola, Ethiopia, Latin America, Siberia, then on his beloved villages in Polish Poldlesie. Normally I assisted him during his dangerous trips to places where people decided to start to kill each other, sometimes because of surreal reasons like lost football game. Recently I was following him on his intellectual trips with Herodotus. He guided me by Lapidaries of humanity.
We have never met in real life, or better perhaps we have never met in real life. Our meetings, or better my meetings with him were taking places on the pages of his books. This author, thinker, historian, poet, journalist and photographer determined as no other perhaps my way of watching the world, my will of traveling and finally my way of photographing.
I said that we have never met in real life – perhaps never… Two years ago, while walking thru Lisbonian old town, at the small café I have noticed a man looking exactly like Ryszard Kapuściński, the same face, same glasses, same smile…When I returned to Poland I learnt Kapuściński was in Lisbon more or less in the same time.
This is very small probability, that I met him in person, that time in Lisbon, but somehow I like to think it’s true…
Although he passed away yesterday night, I am sure I’ll be meeting him again and again, thanks to books he left, thanks to his poems and thanks to this picture…

photo by Marcin Górski

Ryszard Kapuściński (March 4, 1932 in Pińsk - January 23, 2007) was a popular Polish journalist, both at home and abroad.

Born in Pińsk, a city that was formerly located in the Kresy Wschodnie (Eastern Borderlands) of the Second Polish Republic and now belongs to Belarus, Kapuściński is generally thought of as Poland's leading journalist. In 1964, after honing his skills on domestic stories, he "was appointed by the Polish Press Agency as its only foreign correspondent, and for the next ten years he was 'responsible' for fifty countries." [1] Throughout this period, Kapuściński traveled around the developing world and reported on wars, coups and revolutions in the Americas, Asia and Europe. When he finally returned to Poland, he had lived through twenty-seven revolutions and coups. In the English speaking world, Kapuściński is best known for his reporting from Africa in the 1960s and 1970s, when he witnessed first-hand the continent's liberation from colonialism.

Starting in the early 1960s, Kapuściński has published books of increasing literary craftsmanship characterized by sophisticated narrative technique, psychological portraits of characters, a wealth of stylization and metaphor and unusual imagery that serves as means of interpreting the perceived world. Kapuściński's best-known book, The Emperor, concerns itself with the decline of Haile Selassie's anachronistic regime in Ethiopia. Shah of Shahs, on the fall of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, and Imperium, about the last days of the Soviet Union, have enjoyed similar success.

Kapuściński is fascinated not only by exotic worlds and people, but also by books: he approaches foreign countries first through literature, spending months reading before each trip. He knows how to listen to the people he meets, but he is also capable of "reading" the hidden sense of the scenes he encounters: the way that the Europeans move out of Angola, a discussion regarding alimony in the Tanganyikan parliament, the reconstruction of frescoes in the new Russia - he turns each of these vignettes into a metaphor of historical transformation. This tendency to process private adventures into a greater social synthesis has made Kapuściński an eminent thinker, and the volumes of his ongoing Lapidarium series are a fascinating record of the shaping of a reporter's observations into philosophical reflections on the world and people.

by Wikipedia

Dear Marion

We have shown Marion Post Wolcott's FSA work here more than once. Most recently, this post by Ulf. Which got me thinking about Wolcott's work, and my own efforts to try and convey the life of a place not my own.

For me, the Mississippi Delta is a haunted, barren wasteland. It is, like so many of the subjects I love, cast off, worn out, done with. And yet it is a beautiful place -- one of the most beautiful and moving places I've ever seen --

As I sifted through images to try to find a fitting tribute to Wolcott's Delta work, I had many conversations with her in my head. What it is to be a Northern woman traveling in the American South, then and now; what it is to try to photograph tragedy and shame so tightly woven with dignity and faith that the air itself seems soaked with it.

Dear Marion, whose feet, whose hands, gone now? So easy to show what's there -- but how to show what isn't?

all images © Jeanne Wells