The collection of photos published in this magazine is a photo-story of personal concerns, documentations and reports made by 14 photographers who live and work in Iran.
Sorry, but for economic reasons we had to suspend publication of PRIVATE magazine paper version.
It’s common to hear photojournalists described as the eyes of the world, acting as witnesses to events that we would otherwise not see. To some extent this is true, but it’s a simplified description that suggests passive observation and it denies the greater function of active investigation that defines great photojournalism…
Good news, it infuses this issue with a sense of joy, and with an aspect of carefree childhood seized in flight. There is a feeling of solemnity, but a tender solemnity. An innocence that confronts the world, its difficulties and the trials of study, but it is amusing, happy, and touching.
The photos in this volume are personal records of events that have taken place in the physical world. They are about discovery, not creation; about finding out, not inventing – for other people to see how the photographer has framed what he has witnessed. These photos are meant to educate us. And they will, provided we are willing.
In contemporary China, uncertainty about what is “true” and what is “false”, “reality” and “appearance”, extends from the realm of photography to that of existence itself. We often feel that we are confronted with such an illusory, ambiguous, unexpected “reality” as to lead us to doubt not just our perceptions, but our very capacity for interpretation.
Such photographs are there not to gratify a curiosity, but are made in response to a feeling: it is not only the landscape we see, even if it takes solid form, and darkens or brightens in certain frames, or is transformed by the space under changing skies…
Our planet is in crisis; a crisis captured through this collection of photo essays taken by world-class photographers. It tells a story of environmental degradation and gives a voice to some of the forgotten peoples who are paying the price. This issue of PRIVATE takes us on a journey across the world, highlighting the human and environmental costs of “development” from our rivers and land to the skies above us.
Whenever people talk about ‘Indian photography’ it obviously leads to a debate and discussion about how appropriate it is to term it as ‘Indian photography’ rather than ‘photography in India’. The question is: to what extent has photography in India been Indianized?
Through subjects which are hard, frequently morbid and often far from our everyday concerns, these photographers are taking on the primary role of the artist. They are revealing our deepest contradictions and expressing their dreams and the nightmares which we prefer to forget.
In Pakistan we have reached a state of alchemy that typifies the post-post modern life. Life drudges through its multifarious activities of simple poverty until it climaxes into a bustle of hot abrasion in the struggle to churn out the most out of the given condition of existence. As the world turns its gaze on us, we struggle to mould a new fathomable identity- one that can be left on business tables after striking a deal or negotiation, a firm shake of the hand and a name and a number. I am Pakistani.
In this issue of PRIVATE , they are not images to be quickly rushed through like channel surfing on a television set. They are meant to be slowly appreciated for what they show us about America that we have not seen in the press or in images made by photographers who briefly visited the United States.
The destruction of our environment – albeit caused by natural disasters – involves parties (communities, governments or industrial players) and is often the result of a multiplicity of factors: human negligence, inadequate planning, criminal abuse of our resources, natural causes. This issue of PRIVATE offers its readers a selection of photographs that touches onto the many facets of the environment.
When I look at the twenty photographers which make up this Metropolis edition of PRIVATE, it’s not what makes the cities different from each other that strikes me, in fact I’d say that these big cities are very similar to each other, not in their detail, faces, bodies and scenes, but in the variety of emotions which they arouse and which we all experience.
The collection of photographs before you is the stuff of nostalgia. Almost every work affects a spatio-temporal distance. To find the reasons, recall the events of the past two decades, beginning with the Iranian Revolution of 1979, which was a definitive rupture from a if not the past.
The objective of this issue of PRIVATE is China outside the cities, the infinite China of the countryside, and it has the declared intention to give justice to about 900 millions people who live in a huge territory at the borders of the economic miracle. The artists are all Chinese, and among the best contemporary photographers.
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