• 12.25.15

    Happy Holidays: 2015 in Review

    As we come together with loved ones and friends to close the year, we’d like to take this time to reflect on some of our favorite moments from the last year. Included here is a list of some of our favorite stories we’ve had the pleasure to share with our community and friends. This year our artists helped usher in the next generation of Star Wars stars, discovered what bacteria lurk in NYC’s subways, sent hundreds of mean postcards to adoring fans, and put their own stamp on the 2016 Presidential campaign.

    Our artists have done amazing things, so let’s take some time to remember some of the best stories from 2015 before turning our focus to the New Year.

    We hope you have Wonderful Holidays, and a Happy New Year.

    Enjoy.

    ~

    Star Wars' Past and Future with Marco Grob for Time Magazine

    Weeks before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters, Marco Grob photographed the cast of the highly anticipated movie for Time Magazine. Not only did he get to photograph the human stars, he also got to spend time with the famous R2-D2 and meet the newest favorite: BB-8.

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    Craig Ward's Infectious Love for New York City

    Riding the New York City subway can be a precarious situation, not because of the unpredictable riders but because of what lurks on the handrails. Craig Ward wanted to see what exactly he has holding onto every day and the answers were both beautiful and revolting.

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    Sawdust and Nike Reach New Heights

    One project with international powerhouse Nike is celebration enough, but when Sawdust teamed up with the athletic juggernaut for three bespoke typefaces it was an honor. Not only were they creating these solutions for Nike, but they'd be paired with LeBron JamesKobe Bryant, and Kevin Durant, three of the most powerful names in basketball. What they created turly elevated the game.

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    Joey L's Lavazza Calendar: A Study in Sustainability

    This year Joey L joined Annie Leibovitz, Erwin Olaf, and David LaChapelle as a photographer for Lavazza's annual calendar. With the theme “From Father to Son,” Joey L examined how the tradition of sustainable farming is passed on from generation to generation, and how food gets to our tables from around the world.

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    Marc Hom for People's Sexiest Man Alive

    People's Sexiest Man Alive is always a hotly watched and eagerly awaited issue, and frequently their most popular. When Marc Hom got the call to photograph their non-traditional choice this year, David Beckham, it was an honor and a thrill. And on the day of the shoot, Beckham didn't disappoint.

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    Stephen Wilkes: Day to Night at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

    For more than a decade Stephen Wilkes has been pursuing his ongoing personal project of condensing an entire day into a single photograph. This year, Stephen showed off some of his favorite shots at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, a great way to look back on all the work he's done, and look forward to what's still to come.

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    Platon Helps the Met Communicate Across Cultures and Time

    Over the course of months with locations stretching from The Costume Institute to the Louvre's vault, and even the private archive of Yves Saint Laurent, Platon captured the epic vastness of the Met's latest blockbuster. "China: Through the Looking Glass" examines how China's history has impacted the rest of the world through design influence, and Platon was able to photograph every step along the way.

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    Everyone Wants Hate Mail from Mr. Bingo

    Mr. Bingo's ongoing series "Hate Mail" pits the artist against those who pay for the pleasure of being berated by him through the post. Enough fans have gotten their kicks this way that he turned them all into a book that catalyzed an enormously successful Kickstarter. Books are available for purchase now!

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    We Are The Rhoads and Taylor Swift Team Up for Keds

    Living a life in the limelight isn't always easy, so when We Are The Rhoads teamed up with Taylor Swift for their latest Keds campaign, they immediately found common ground. By creating a safe space the mega celebrity was able to focus on the moments with Sarah and Chris, resulting in images that are effortlessly Taylor.

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    Stacey Jones Trades Orange for Gowns

    Style is communication and a stylist has the power to shape how their subject communicates to the world. For Uzo Aduba's cover of As If Magazine, Stacey Jones dove into feminine luxury, offering the Emmy Award winning actress the opportunity to step away from the orange jumpsuits that her fans so often see her in.

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    Tom Corbett and Somerset's Love Letter to Paris

    Paris is a hotbed of fashion and style, making it a dream destination for many and attracting artists from all over the world. Tom Corbett is no different. On his latest assignment for Somerset he really sank his teeth into the city, taking advantage of every block and street corner, capturing the beauty of the city and the ease of its powerful energy.

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    Donald Trump's Stratospheric Ambitions by Stanley Chow and Jamie Chung for The New York Times Magazine

    It's hard to describe Donald Trump's political rise, so sometimes the best option is to not even try. When The New York Times Magazine tasked Stanley Chow and Jamie Chung with an image that spoke to the story they got right to work on something that felt honest but was also a lot of fun.

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    Marcus Bleasdale and Human Rights Watch's Real Impact

    When Marcus Bleasdale began his work as a photojournalist it was to make a difference, but an artist can never be sure if their hopes are going to come to fruition. Marcus' has. His work with Human Rights Watch has lead to changes in law, and even helped end a war. Their joint gallery show, "Impact," proved it.

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    Four B&A Artists Illuminate Your Lunchtime Chipotle Burrito

    Chipotle has seen better days, but before their troubles they made a very solid decision when they asked Harriet RussellSarah J. ColemanAdam Hayes, and Dave Homer to create illustrations for their bags and cups. Each illustrator was paired up with a writer whose pieces were to serve as the inspiration, and the results are as delicious as you can imagine.

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    Douglas Friedman Goes Home with Ken Fulk

    Ken Fulk is a master at interior design, and Douglas Friedman is a master at photographing interiors. When the two came together in a show-stopping shoot of Elle Decor, Fulk's vision leapt off the page thanks to Douglas' unique ability to translate space into flawless photographic composition.

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    The Essence of Bernie Sanders by Ryan McAmis

    Bernie Sanders represents one of the most interesting political stories this season, and like any political character his whole persona is hard to distill into a single image (even a photograph!). Ryan McAmis took his time, and dug deeply into his bag of tricks, creating a portrait for the cover of National Journal that is as honest a representation as we've ever seen. 

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    Brian Doben and UPS Find Essential Common Ground

    It's not every day that passion projects turn directly into corporate campaigns, but when UPS saw Brian Doben's "At Work" series they knew they needed it for themselves. Brian extended the project, meeting with read UPS customers that happened to run their own small businesses, to see what it's really like to work with a company that caters to their needs.

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    The Learning Process Never Ends for Chloe Aftel

    Cinemagraphs are becoming more and more popular, but Chloe Aftel was there since day one. In fact, she's sort of become a go-to photographer to create these captive moments that she finds particular expressive because of their ability to inject more emotion and more story.

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    Todd Selby Lets the Kids Run Free - Safely

    Sometimes the best way to talk about serious issues is with a good laugh, so when Todd Selby linked up with Evolve on a series of gun safety PSA they imagined what other things kids get into. Whether it's playing with condoms like balloons, or tampons like Wolverine's claws: the kids will get into anything and, most of the time, it can be hilarious.

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    James Joyce and Banksy's Festival of Malcontent

    Few artists are as closely watched as Banksy whose work is discussed and devoured the world over, so when James Joyce got the call to be included in Banksy's latest installation it was a no-brainer. James' contributions ended up including the cover of Dismaland's catalogue, a piece that has now been distributed the world over and marked as a coveted accomplishment for any creative CV.

    ~

    Roof Studios Envisions the Future for Toshiba

    We cannot pretend we know what the future will hold, but if we had to bet we'd bet on Roof Studios' vision. They were tasked with glimpsing ahead for a spot with Toshiba that envisions how our relationship with technology will continue to deepen and grow, and shows us what that will look like.

    ~

    Ice Skating GIF by Nomoco.

  • 5.1.15

    Marcus Bleasdale Wins Robert Capa Gold Medal

    In late 2012 a group in the Central African Republic began taking over towns and regions in an attempt to steal power away from the central government. The take-overs devolved into a terror campaign as the Séléka continued all around the country in a method that could only be described as madness. Marcus Bleasdale was there to cover the events with Human Rights Watch. When the issue of Human Magazine containing Marcus’ story, “Unseen War,” was released almost a year ago, we brought you the powerful images and the tale that Marcus brought back with him. “It’s probably the wrong term but they kind of went psychotic,” said Marcus upon his return. “The whole society was psychotic for a period of three months… People that killed would never have killed before, and would never kill again. But at that moment they thought it was quite right to kill. And there’s no reasoning behind why people reach that point of anger, of hate, of thoughtlessness.” It was an altered state and something that Marcus was able to capture for the magazine in their breathtaking report. The question that remained was, What would it mean?

    In February, Human Rights Watch and Marcus Bleasdale put together a show at Christie’s in London entitled “IMPACT” to display how their collaborations over the last 14 years have affected policy all over the world. “Increasingly we’re learning, we’ve been learning, about how to do this,” said Marcus, discussing the discovery that their pieces could create a real impact. The starkest example was the war that had arrested Eastern Congo in the early part of the last decade. The conflict was being financed by illegal gold sales by the warlords to AngloGold Ashanti and Metalor Technologies. In a well-placed exhibition, Marcus and HRW hung “The Curse of Gold,” photographs and stories from the conflict, on the walls of UBS Bank in Geneva. This high profile act put pressure on the financiers of AngloGold Ashanti and Metalor Technologies, forcing them to stop buying the illegal gold. It pulled the money out of the conflict in Eastern Congo and effectively ended the war. They literally saved lives.

    Marcus has been doing this work for nearly two decades, but it was yesterday that the world took notice when it was announced he received the Robert Capa Gold Medal. Named after the famed Hungarian war photographer whose body of work included covering five different wars, the medal was created to celebrate the "best published photographic reporting from abroad requiring exceptional courage and enterprise." The honor is not lost on Marcus who, in conversation with The New York Times, responded by saying “I’m still shellshocked.”

    Perhaps the most remarkable point that Marcus made in conversation with The New York Times is how to use your power most effectively. He explains that it’s not so much how many eyes you get on your challenging work, but whose eyes you get on it. “Sometimes the most effective thing is to be on the front page of The New York Times, and sometimes the most effective thing is to put several photographs in front of three people in the world,” he explains. “You just have to choose those three people and put your case to those three people, and that can be a lot more effective than putting it on the front cover of The New York Times.”

    Congratulations to Marcus Bleasdale for this distinct honor.

  • 2.6.15

    Marcus Bleasdale and Human Rights Watch's Real Impact

    Laws are an existential appendage of a culture's morals. They are written and enforced in a local community as an extension of the questions "Who are we?" "What do we believe in?" and "What do we want?" As those questions are considered and debated, the limits of law are discovered and boundaries drawn. But sometimes issues fall through the cracks. Laws are only as valuable as the care to follow them so when that care lapses, what do we do?

    Marcus Bleasdale has made a career from chasing fractured morality all over the world. He has spent the better part of two decades compiling an archive of some of the worst human rights abuses and challenging those who commit them. In times when laws are of no consequence, Marcus has worked to bring light where no one else cares to shed it.

    Having worked in tandem with Human Rights Watch for the last 14 years, Marcus and HRW presented a show at Christie's in London entitled "IMPACT" that critically looked at just that: the impact of their partnership. When neighbors are killing neighbors in the Central African Republic based on rumors, what is the definitive impact of a journalistic institution and a man with a camera? IMPACT shows us, it's quite tangible.

    When HRW and Marcus discovered that they could cross this line between documentary and real impact, they quickly started to investigate how they could focus and amplify it. “Increasingly we’re learning, we’ve been learning, about how to do this,” explains Marcus. What their partnership has revealed is that when they focus on issues that aren’t a part of the global narrative, sometimes just the attention can be the agent for change.

    War ravaged Eastern Congo in the early part of the last decade, overseen largely by warlords who were rampaging throughout the region. The conflict was primarily financed through the illegal international gold trade. Two companies, AngloGold Ashanti and Metalor Technologies were acquiring the gold, and the money they paid for it went to buy guns and perpetuate bloodshed.  “We focused on their shareholders and their financiers,” Marcus explains. HRW and Marcus put together the exhibition “The Curse of Gold” in Geneva in a UBS Bank, explaining the situation and focusing on the two organizations. Marcus explains the response saying, “Their shareholders and financiers quite clearly said, ‘We no longer want to be involved in this.’ And they stopped purchasing gold in Eastern Congo.” The arrest of trade dried up the financial reservoirs that were financing the war, and the conflict ended. Their curated presentation in Switzerland ended a war rampaging in Africa.

    It’s not just the effects of war on the other side of the world, Marcus and HRW are also creating tangible change at home. In their story “Tobacco’s Hidden Children” they brought attention to underage workers in the tobacco fields of Kentucky. “Children as young as 12 and 13 years old were chopping and collecting tobacco in the fields, completely against US law. The tobacco industry was very knowledgeable about it but was turning a blind eye to it,” says Marcus. So he and HRW went in and published their report on what they saw there. The policies were not protecting the children from this hazardous work and there was complete disregard for the labor laws. Since the report was filed last year the industry has promised evolution. “They have vowed to pass laws and change working practices to ban under the age of 16 working in the industry,” says Marcus. Yet another example of the true and tangible impact of this work.

    For more stories of the ongoing partnership between Marcus Bleasedale and Human Rights Watch, please check out HRW’s Instagram that is currently filled with Marcus’ photography and paired with the stories of IMPACT.

  • 6.24.14

    Marcus Bleasdale cracks open the heart of impossible conflict for Human Magazine

    Nearly two decades ago Marcus Bleasdale was working as an investment banker in London. Upon hearing the news of a massacre in The Balkans, a colleague of Marcus’ asked him what he thought of the event. Understandably, he was troubled, replying, “It’s horrific, isn’t it?” But he was interrupted, “No, no, no, what do you think it’s going to do to the dollar market?” Marcus submitted his resignation that day, and three days later he was in The Balkans. He bought a 10-day ticket, but ended up staying for a year. He packed a camera thinking it would be useful, not that it would turn into a tool he could use for evidence in international criminal courts.

    Since that moment almost 20 years ago, Marcus has gone from a novice to one of the most influential photojournalists in the world. His time in the Balkans acted as the forge for the work he would come to create. He explains, “It formed the focus of the work that I do towards human rights and focusing on the unjust and looking to try to engage policy makers and decision makers. Engaging in real change.” His latest assignment for Human, the new publication by Human Rights Watch, brought him to the Central African Republic to bring us a thunderous look at their “Unseen War.”

    Over the course of three to four months, the small country burst into inconceivable violence following a yearlong deterioration of their political apparatus. Tensions had risen steadily between religious groups that finally exploded when the Sélèka, a coalition of rebel groups that had risen to unsteady power, was disbanded and left leaderless. What resulted was, “Society lost its sense of civility and went into some period of madness,” Marcus says. “And we were there to document that.”

    “Madness” is a word we’ve become too comfortable using for even the most well-executed political campaigns that happen to offend our sensibilities. But when Marcus uses it, he uses the word for its definitive value. He uses it to describe the chaos: “It was neighbor killing neighbor. Quite literally: a man or a boy leaving the house and going to his neighbor and killing them on a daily basis. And we saw that multiple times every day for weeks, and weeks, and weeks, across the country.”

    Marcus has made a life of chasing these impossible events over the globe, but he’s never come against something quite like this. He’s seen this sort of temporal psychosis before, but it’s always been of a leader with an obedient following. In CAR, it was the whole population. “This was more a society, a whole group of individuals on both sides of the conflict. It’s probably the wrong term but they kind of went psychotic. The whole society was psychotic for a period of three months.” Marcus describes the altered state of collective consciousness saying, “People that killed would never have killed before, and would never kill again. But at that moment they thought it was quite right to kill. And there’s no reasoning behind why people reach that point of anger, of hate, of thoughtlessness.”

    When you look at his photos, you almost have the impulse to look away. Not only because what you’re looking at is the root of horror, but also because it is so intimate. You’re seeing something you know you shouldn’t be allowed to see. Marcus was able to photograph all sides of the conflict, from mothers mourning their children, to the men with machetes freshly wiped of gore. Typically this kind of access is available only after nurturing mutual respect and trust. But in CAR it wasn’t necessary. “They didn’t really care that [anyone] was there,” he says, describing their responses to being photographed. But these images will have consequences and that potential is being felt: “I think they’re starting to understand now the implications of the presence of the media.”

    The role of the photojournalist is to document what’s happening and communicate the state of affairs, acting as the eyes for those who cannot, or should not be there. But in a conflict like what happened in the CAR, it’s nearly impossible to stay removed. Marcus is very strict about not affecting the environment he finds himself in. It’s not easy to do. “What I think about is evidence: Who is doing this?,” he asks himself when he walks into a situation. “Let’s get a photograph of the individuals that are engaged in this action so that we can use this as a tool for prosecution later on. And then leave.” His photographs have been used in government hearings throughout the world, in addition to global publications, and the International Criminal Court. His camera plays witness to the crimes most of us have willfully ignored, or been made oblivious to.

    Marcus was in CAR for more than four months, but never for longer than four weeks at a time. The pressure was so acute, and situation so intense, that to stay longer would have shifted anyone in a way that would have been foundationally transformative. He says, “It’s an environment in which you can’t really immerse yourself in completely. It tends to really overpower your senses and frankly, I have been affected by it quite deeply. It’s not a conflict you can ignore and the experiences were something I’ll never forget. It is probably the most brutal, savage, conflict I’ve ever been involved in. In 15-20 years of documenting conflict."

    To get a closer look, and more information on the conflict in CAR, check out Human Magazine via Human Rights Watch.

  • 1.10.14

    Marcus Bleasdale on 'Walter Mitty' and Intel Going Conflict-Free

    Marcus Bleasdale begins 2014 with two triumphs: His photograph of a displaced camp in eastern Congo features prominently in Ben Stiller's new movie "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," and thanks in part to his work, each microprocessor shipped by Intel this year will be made entirely with conflict-free minerals.

    In "Walter Mitty," the titular character, a magazine photo editor played by Stiller, sets off in search of a critical photo negative taken by a well-known photographer (Sean Penn). "A defining moment in the film," writes National Geographic, is when "Penn's character suddenly comes to life in a photograph and gestures for Walter Mitty to come toward him." That photo, shot by Bleasdale, was published in his 2009 book "The Rape of a Nation," and other images from the series ran in Nat Geo's October 2013 anniversary issue.

    "I thought the whole endeavor was interesting," Bleasdale told B&A. "I'm always a bit reserved when fictional representations use real work, but once it was clear that it was going to be respectful and there would be hope and discussion coming from the images, I was very comfortable."

    For Bleasdale, Intel's commitment to using conflict-free minerals is slightly more exciting than his big-screen debut; during the past decade he has tried to engage electronic manufacturers in dialogue about mining tin, tantalum, and tungsten. "Intel is leading the market in understanding how it and its industry can solve the mineral use issue," he explained. "The company has been tagging the products that leave the mines in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the tags are tracked during every step of the process until they reach the smelters in Asia," facilities that Intel now regularly visits.

    He pointed out that although the Intel microprocessors are conflict-free, the machines that contain them aren't. "We don't yet have a product that we can stamp 'conflict-free,' but Intel is calling on the rest of the industry to step up," he noted. "I think soon, it will become a consumer issue – consumers will increasingly want to know where their products come from and what's inside of them. Then it becomes a purchase decision and once it's a purchase decision, every manufacturer will want to create conflict-free products."

    "Without the people who work on the ground, like The Enough Project, and media outlets pushing the images of conflict, these things don't change," Bleasdale added. "If you put photography in the right hands with the right partnerships, it can be extraordinarily powerful. This is a testament to that."

    See more of Bleasdale's Congo images here and here.

  • 11.27.13

    Photographer Marcus Bleasdale Turns Spokesman for Canon

    B&A's Marcus Bleasdale stepped in front of the camera for Canon's Support Matters campaign.

    "Canon wanted to find a photographer who had switched to its system and would like to discuss the reasoning," said Bleasdale. "I put together a proposal showing why I made the change, what type of impact it had on my work as a photojournalist, and how Canon's support had saved – quite literally – my career at certain points."

    Bleasdale was one of three artists selected by the brand; aside from his self-portrait, he captured fashion and beauty photographer Gabrielle Revere, another "spokesperson," for her advertisement. He also sat for a short video testimonial, which features footage of him and his gear, along with several of his images.

    Following some laughter, he described himself as uncomfortable during his photo shoot. "I was thinking, 'Do I make people feel like this all of the time?' But it was great fun and very educational. I'm used to working on my own, in the bush in Africa, and for this, I was on the streets of New York City surrounded by 40 people," Bleasdale remarked.

    However, he didn't hesitate to speak of his loyalty to Canon. "It's rewarding to be able to engage with the products you use every day and share how much they mean to you, because they do mean a lot," he noted. "These cameras and lenses built the foundations of my business and I love using them, so the campaign was a fantastic opportunity to talk about it."

  • 10.25.13

    Marcus Bleasdale Part of Nat Geo's 125th Anniversary Show

    Marcus Bleasdale's pictures of the Congo, featured in National Geographic's 125th anniversary "Power of Photography" special, are part of a related exhibition at the Annenberg Space for Photography in L.A.  

    "The Annenberg is the principal photography space on the West Coast and the place is wallpapered floor-to-ceiling in Nat Geo photos – there are 501 images total," said Bleasdale. "Along with my Congo pictures, [curator] Sarah Leen included selections from 'Last of the Viking Whalers,' which ran in the June issue, and a few others that haven't been in the magazine. There are some sad ones from a funeral in an orphanage where I worked and some that depict other concerns surrounding the gold mines in eastern Congo."  

    Bleasdale also sat for the two documentaries being screened at the show and will participate in a lecture series next January. Last week, he traveled to Washington, D.C. for a Nat Geo Live talk in front of an audience of 500.

    He noted that the response to his Congo story has been incredible. "As well as the art in the 'Power of Photography' edition, I had a picture at the back of the magazine in the 'Moment' section, which, sadly, was of a child who had just died in [the aforementioned] orphanage," he explained. "I received so many calls from people asking to donate, and when I was in D.C., I was contacted by a teacher who said her math class wanted to send over money. I told her I was in town and could come around to speak, and it was amazing. The kids were so inquisitive and smart." He added that the school, twenty minutes away from the White House, is located in the troubled southeast area. "Yet, these children were so engaged and thoughtful. Through their administration, they are going to do test questions for their math class and each time they get a question right, they'll raise a dollar for the orphanage – it's a kind of competition."

    The Annenberg exhibit opens tonight and runs for six months. "It's a huge privilege and I'm honored to be involved," Bleasdale remarked.

    "The Power of Photography"
    From October 26, 2013 through April 27, 2014 at the Annenberg Space for Photography
    Wednesday through Friday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Saturday: 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067
    (213) 403-3000
     

  • 10.2.13

    Marcus Bleasdale Documents the Congo for National Geographic

    Marcus Bleasdale shared a glimpse at how the minerals used in electronic devices have ravaged the Congo for National Geographic's 125th anniversary "Power of Photography" special.  

    In the late nineties, Bleasdale documented the conflict in Sierra Leone (which surrounded access to diamonds) and soon found himself in the Central African Republic, fascinated by the Congo River. "At the time, I was reading Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and it struck me that the images Conrad described were similar to what I was seeing," the photographer said. "I thought, 'Hasn't anything changed since he was around?' It was interesting to use that as a thesis and travel the Congo River to determine whether things had changed ... so that is what I did until 2002 and published it in a book called One Hundred Years of Darkness."  

    Bleasdale became more and more interested in the effects of natural-resource exploitation in the Congo, putting out another book, The Rape of a Nation, and his photos impacted policy in the United States and D.R.C. As such, National Geographic asked him to shoot another series for this month's issue. "Price of Precious" depicts children working at a militia-run mine, villagers fleeing from fighting in the Ituri region, and parents waiting at a clinic for medicine that never arrives.  

    "A photograph is one of the strongest ways we can touch others," he remarked, "because it's very rare to travel to the depths of a Congo mine or meet a child soldier on the road, but if you can transport people there through imagery and give them that experience – show them the horrific lives – then maybe they will be moved enough to engage ... politically, or through activism or charity."  

    Meanwhile, after a decade of covering the Congo, Bleasdale sought a topic closer to his home, Norway. "I was in the northern part of the country and I came across these whaling groups that I hadn't seen any photos of," he recalled. "I pitched the idea to National Geographic and the editors loved it – they wanted to know if it would be possible to get on the boats. It took me about two years to gain the confidence of the local population, and I spent two whaling seasons and one winter season on the boats. His photo essay, "Last of the Viking Whalers," ran in the publication's June issue.  

    Though the pair of stories is unalike, for Bleasdale, each underscores National Geographic's "eclectic and valuable nature." He went on: "As a magazine, it's such an amazing space because the team respects the creative amount of process, gives you an enormous amount of time, and has tremendous resources to make things happen. Nat Geo really wants you to respect the communities you document for them."

  • 2.17.12

    Marcus Bleasdale's Film for Human Rights Watch

    Marcus Bleasdale travels to the heart of the African continent for Human Rights Watch to film the tragic human casualties of a nearly twenty-year war waged by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). "Dear Obama: A Message from the Victims of the Lord's Resistance Army" is beautifully crafted, yet heartbreaking film that depicts appeals from the adults and children who have been victims of the LRA's notorious brutality.

    Bleasdale and journalist Joe Baviar journeyed to the region in late August to travel on the trail of the rebels. As the Obama Administration was pushing new legislation to protect civilians, Bleasdale filmed testimonies from victims asking for help. The rebel army, lead by war criminal Joseph Kony, is notorious for its campaign of massacres, torture, and abduction of civilians across Central Africa.

    "Dear Obama" was produced in conjunction with Human Rights Watch and The Pulitzer Center. The film won both a Webby Award and a People's Voice Award in the News & Politics: Individual Episode category last year.

    See more of Marcus Bleasdale's photography here.
  • 10.7.11

    Marcus Bleasdale Exhibits in New York

    Marcus Bleasdale exhibits photographs from his decade of photojournalism in two new shows in New York. A solo show of his work from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is on at Anastasia Photo on the Lower East Side. He is also part of the group show, "Beyond Words: Photography in The New Yorker" at Howard Greenberg Gallery.

    Bleasdale's self-titled show at Anastasia Photo is from ten years of recording the daily life of a country in a brutal civil war. In classic black and white, the photographs in the show put the focus on the country's children, many of them orphans. Bleasdale captured them swimming, showering, sitting behind a mosquito net for a doctor, and riding a bike with a rifle slung over their shoulder. In an effort to further the discussion about the events the photographs depict, Anastasia Photo couples each exhibition with a philanthropic organization. For Bleasdale's show they will be donating an orphanage in Congo. Bleasdale says of the exhibition, "I am thrilled with the exhibit in Anastasia Photo and even more thrilled that the gallery breaks the mould and sponsors a charity with the gallery sales. This time an orphanage in Eastern Congo I helped finance is the choice, and I really hope the images it has taken over 10 years to produce will go towards helping the 130 kids in St Kizito."

    Elisabeth Biondi, the former visuals editor at The New Yorker, curates the group show at Howard Greenberg Gallery. The magazine only started publishing photographs in 1992 and Biondi was hired in 1996 to expand the magazine's photgraphy. The exhibition includes work from staff photographers, portrait photographers, photojournalists, and a historical section of rarely seen photographs. Bleasdale's photograph of refugees in the Darfur region of Sudan is included in the photojournalism section. He says of the show, "it is such an honor to be a part of this extraordinary collection of images from the New Yorker curated by Elisabeth Bioni. She is one of the most significant directors of photography of our time and to be included in this show was nothing less than a privilege."

    "Marcus Bleasdale" is on at Anastasia Photo until October 21st. Visit the gallery's website for more information.

    "Beyond Words: Photography in The New Yorker" is on until October 22nd. Visit the gallery's website for more information.

    See more of Marcus Bleasdale's photography here.







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