Francisco SALAMONE – an architect in the PAMPAS

Architect Francisco Salamone (Leonforte, Sicily, Italy 1897–Buenos Aires, Argentina 1959) built more than 60 municipal buildings (cemetery, city hall, slaughter house) with Art Deco / Futurism elements in several rural communities in Buenos Aires Province. These buildings are the examples of first contemporary architecture in rural Argentina.

all black & white photographs © Christian Ostrosky

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PÁJAROS – a photo book by GRACIELA ITURBIDE

PÁJAROS

“Photography is the only way to kill death”. Graciela Iturbide often mentions Jean Cocteau when she talks about her way of taking pictures, almost like it were an excuse to see the world and better know what’s around her. Iturbide’s black & whites are always dense and well defined, they talk about true life, expectations and the quest for freedom. It makes no wonder that “once somebody told me that birds are often in my pictures, and since then I decided birds would have been a book”.

“I’m fascinated by flying birds’ mystic and loneliness”.

Pájaros, birds in Spanish, is a beautiful and elegant book that takes the viewer away from the solid ground. High into the white sky and then, suddenly, down to the wall stained by roosters’ blood.

all images © Graciela Iturbide

buy Pájaros

 

THE FIRM – a photo book by JOCELYN BAIN HOGG

 

THE FIRM

Jocelyn Bain Hogg

 

“I met a few of them while I was taking fashion pictures, they were always around the models. But the truly big chance to widen my contacts was in Tenerife, Canary Islands: there were 140 of them, taking a vacation.” It seems like everything happened by chance, but Bain Hogg’s idea to talk about the English Underworld isn’t new. Since back in the 60s the Krais Family, one of the Firm pillars, a criminal organization, rose to the glossy and glamorous Vogue’s pages.

Bain Hogg found them again in the 90s, the criminals from the London’s East End, the same ones that inspired movies as Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. He was taking pictures for Elle when he met by chance Dave Courtney, who at the time was fully dedicated to lecturing at conferences on his past life as a murderer. Jocelyn quickly understand that there’s an entire unknown world behind this man, a hidden society many people have heard about but that only a few had a chance to peep in.

“The project grew on its own. I’m a photo reporter, and while chatting, drinking and having fun I took pictures and told the life of these criminals.” Jocelyn and his camera had to be accepted in the underworld, his sincerity was the key. “I never denied myself nor tried to be different from what I’m in my world. I gave them a chance to be seen but, and that’s fundamentally important, I made them understand that I would never betray their secrets. If I had shot one of those bloody outlaw bare knuckle fights or worse, talked about one of those encounters that I witnessed but that never happened, I may not be here to talk about.” Jocelyn kept his mouth shut all the time, and so doing was richly rewarded with a continuous flow of situations and images that depicted a tr ue life in front of his Leica. “After a while everybody knew about me, but many times they weren’t even aware of my discreet presence. That’s how I gave my images such a intimate feeling.” The project lasted two years, it was mainly a good time even if some accidents happened: “Not everybody wanted to be photographed, and seeing me around with a camera was enough to start a quarrel.”

All that time and hundreds of Tri-X rolls didn’t change Jocelyn. “Maybe I’m a bit more cynical now, but I surely kept those people outside of my life: they’re criminals. Someday I might want to have a beer with some of them, but none are my best buddies. Many of my friends have been scared about my frequent interactions for the time I worked on the project, even though some saw a glamorous side. My mother, whom I dedicated the book to, never asked me a thing, but I’m sure she would have preferred me to be a fashion photographer.”

Now that The Firm is published, Jocelyn Bain Hogg is not considering going back to fashion to pay his bills. He has a couple of new projects that he is working on. The first one is about daily life in London and the second one is on women, the sweetness of women. “I don’t think I’ll invent a new way to pictures women, but I’d like to talk about them and their lives. If I approach them close enough, which I proved I can do very well, soon you’ll see something about women that you never realized existed. And from the intimacy of the picture you’ll recognize an authentic Bain Hogg”.

Michele Molinari

all images © Jocelyn Bain Hogg

 

Buy The Firm.

Buy Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, with Guy Ritchie and Jason Flemyng, DVD.

Buy Snatch, with Brad Pitt and Guy Ritchie, DVD.

 

 

not the iconic NILE CRUISE

Shifting the camera away from the most obvious iconic.

DEATH ROW – Angola, Louisiana State PENITENTIARY

The world continued to move toward abolition in 2009. The number of countries that have removed capital punishment entirely from their laws rose to 95 as Burundi and Togo abolished the death penalty for all crimes. While 58 countries retained the death penalty, most did not use it. Eighteen countries were known to have carried out executions, killing a total of 714 people. The United States came fourth in rank, after China, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, with 52 executions.

However, this figure does not include the thousands of executions that were likely to have taken place in China, which again refused to divulge figures on its use of the death penalty. In fact, since the outcries of the international community has become more fervent, certain countries still mantain the executions secret. This mostly happens were the press is muted.

Many humanitarian associations fight daily to abolish a nation’s right to decide the life, and the death, of their citizens. Among the most important are Amnesty International and Hands Off Cain. To help make change is easy, sometimes it’s enough to spread the word to open the eyes of those whom do not want to see.

More information about humanitarian organizations: The Moratorium CampaignDerechos.

Many more links: 1000+ Death Penalty Links.

Some reading suggestions:

– The Green Mile, a novel by Stephen King

– Dead Man Walking, a novel by Sister Helen Prejean

– Condemned: Inside the Sing Sing Death House, by Scott Christianson, Director of New York Death Penalty Documentation Project

– Against the Death Penalty: Christian and Secular Arguments Against Capital Punishment , by Gardner C. Hanks

– Cell 2455, Death Row, by Caril Chessman inmate; an insider view.

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