Jan Banning is a photographer. He says he has “the heart of an anarchist, the mind of a historian, and the eye of an artist.” He also has moustaches and a Dutch passport. In Traces of War, Survivors of the Burma and Sumatra Railways (2005), he photographed men, including his father, who had once been condemned to forced labour. And for Comfort Women (2010), he photographed women who had been forced into prostitution by (and for) the Japanese army during World War II. He has also published Law & Order, on criminal justice, The Sweating Subject, on colonial photography and Red Utopia on Commu- nism’s last strongholds (more numerous than one might expect). His work has been acquired by museums – including the Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum – and he won a World Press Photo award for his series Bureaucratics (1st prize, Portraits). Of the thousands of portraits he has made, one stands out : of Christina Boyer, who has spent 26 years in jail in America, leading Banning to spearhead a campaign to prove her wrongful conviction.
Jane evelyn atwood
Jane Evelyn Atwood is a photographer and author of thirteen books, including the monumental Too Much Time, Women in Prison – a 10-year, 9-country, 2-continent documentary survey – recently turned into a play by Fatima Soulhia-Manet. She started with the groundbreaking Rue des Lombards, that presents the immersive story of a single building – of Parisian prostitutes – over an entire year. She has since explored a number of carefully chosen stories : the French Foreign Legion, the blind, an AIDS patient, Haiti… Originally self-taught, she was awarded the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography when she was 32. Her latest book, Pigalle People, was exhibited at the Rencontres de la Photographie, in Arles.
Valerio Vincenzo is a photographer and a visual artist. He spent 10 years traveling Europe’s 19,500 km of inner-borders for his series Borderline (published in Belgium by Lannoo). That’s 44 borders. One can safely assume that he believes that imaginary lines can tell us something real about the world we live in. In a past life, Valerio wore English shoes, French silk ties and Italian bespoke suits – that was back when he worked as a strategy consultant for AT Kearney and Bain & Company in Milan. He’s now head of photography at travel and photography monthly magazine Geo.
Tomas van houtryve
Tomas van Houtryve is a photographer – member of the New York-based photo agency VII – and an artist. He travelled for seven years across Nepal, North Korea, Cuba, Moldova, Laos, Vietnam, and China for his book, Behind the Curtains of 21st Century Com- munism. His recent work, Blue Sky Days, documenting the US military’s use of surveillance drones, was awarded a World Press Photo, and is the longest picture story ever published by Harper’s in its 169 year history. He was just awarded the Scam Roger Pic Award for Lines and Lineage – a series about the Mexican past of the American West, photographed with glass plates and a 19th-century wooden camera.
Guy le querrec
Guy Le Querrec is a photographer and member of
the Magnum agency. He often says, “in photography
there’s seeing and there’s sorting.” And so he has
been sorting and classifying some 36,000 rolls of
film and 5,000 portraits of musicians. Because jazz
has always been his passion. Africa has been the
other grand affair of his life, ever since a first photo
he took in Chad “on August 6th 1969”. There’s also
been Brittany, where he just enjoyed a major, 40-year
retrospective in Rennes. And finally, there’s Arles of
course. “I came here in 1976 to give a workshop at the
Rencontres and immediately loved it.” He came back
30 years later, on July 6th 2006, to project his photos
in the Roman Theatre. And he is back again now, 43
years after the first trip, again on a July 6th.
Paolo Woods is a photographer who, despite not being passionate about the breaking news cycle, has twice won the World Press Photo. His investigations have covered the petrol industry (A Crude World), the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (American Chaos), the China-Africa connection (China Safari) and tax havens (The Heavens). Robert & Woods are now working alongside photographers Gabriele Galimberti and Edoardo Delille on Happy Pills, a documentary, book and exhibit exploring the link between the universal quest for happiness and seven blockbuster medicines.
Jessica Hilltout is a photographer. She got behind
the wheel one morning in Brussels and headed
for Ulaanbaatar, then back home by way of Cape
Town — just 80,000 kilometers. Soon enough she
was back on the road in East Africa, West Africa
and Madagascar — adding 20,000 kilometers and
14 borders to the meter. The New York Times and
National Geographic published her work under
the titles Grassroots Soccer and Soccer Joy. If as–
ked to define what she’s searching for, she’d say
“the beauty of imperfect things.” There’s a word
for it in Japanese: Wabi-Sabi.