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The Bronze Medal - Thekla, Bristol

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Hiroshima anniverary, and Anecdotal Radiations by David Fathi

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images from “Anecdotal Radiations" (2014) - by David Fathi

Today marks the appalling anniversary of the US dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. After your own reflection on the atrocity, I recommend viewing the series ‘Anecdotal Radiaitons’ by David Fathi; I couldn’t imagine a more apt time.

I wrote this short review of ‘Anecdotal Radiations’ a few weeks ago, with a slightly different context in mind, but the day is fitting. 

The title of David Fathi’s latest series, Anecdotal Radiations, implies some bizarre marrying of the casual and the sinister; Off the cuff stories of radiation are largely few and far between.

Anecdotal Radiations is essentially a document of absurdity, both horrifying and entertaining; It’s a hard topic to present with humour - nuclear weapons - , but pointing out the slapstick nature of their history really does bring home the ridiculousness of their existence. Fathi has made an unwieldy heavy subject digestible for those frightened by it’s severity, and for those already engaged, it’s alarmingly insightful and entertaining - I know it’s a strange line, but it works.

I don’t want to say too much about the collection, as you’ll see for yourself, but in terms of it’s application, it’s made up of pack-shots, photos from road-trips, archival images, satellite imagery and significant accompanying text. The array of visual media helps juxtapose and decontextualise the subject, allowing it to be seen for what it is, ridiculous.

Fathi, is a relatively young artist based in Paris. As far as I’m aware Anecdotal Radiations exhibited at the PhotoIreland Festival (2014) is his first international display, although I may be wrong. My point is, he’s caught my attention, and I hope he’ll get yours.

Please check out his website and view the work in a way he intended - www.davidfathi.com

Note: To be clear, I’ve omitted the accompanying text from the above image. Check it out on his website.

Written by Jazz Chandler

www.jazzchandler.com

The Vultures and Kevin Carter

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Sudanese child stalked by vulture - Kevin Carter 1994

Whilst accompanying an aid drop in a United Nations food camp in Sudan, Kevin Carter photographed this emaciated child, seemingly being stalked by a hooded vulture. The New York Times published the image, which Carter received a Pulitzer prize for. Understandably, the image gained a lot of attention from the public, with many writing to the paper asking of the child’s fate, which The New York Times did not know. At this stage Carter faced a heated backlash from the public for not directly helping the child. He was compared to the vulture, preying on the starving. Within fourteen months of taking the image Carter committed suicide, aged thirty-three.

It’s not known whether the public accusations were the reason Carter took his life; He had chronicled many harrowing events in the name of raising awareness of apartheid era South Africa. Through this, he had been a member of the ‘Bang-Bang Club’, a name coined by the South African magazine Living, for the photojournalists that seemed to take on large personal risk in documenting the violence of the time. His close friend Kevin Oosterbroek, also in the Bang-Bang Club, was killed in 1994 at a clash between peacekeepers and the National African Congress, he was shot by the peacekeepers. Carter blamed himself.

Regardless of his mental situation, or the reasons for his death, the criticisms Carter faced were wholly unfounded; Whilst accompanying a UN supply plane, they landed in a food camp with a thirty-minute window to unload and move on. Everything that could be done to help the people at the location, with the resources available to those aid workers, was being done. Practically he could not have done much more. Carter was there as a photographer in order to raise awareness of the situation, to act as the eye that looks where most cannot. The camera would not have helped that child at that moment, but for many others in the same plight, the awareness he spread has. That’s the entire reason he was there, to give those people representation.*

According to Portuguese photojournalist Joao Silva who also accompanied the UN food-drop with Carter, the parents had left the child briefly to collect food from the drop off. The vultures where there to feed on the scraps of grain that where left. Although morbidly in starvations grasp,  the child was in no danger from the vulture - like most photography, Kevin composed the image to create an allegory. After Carter got the photo he deemed most iconic, he chased the bird away.

It seems that society had a problem with Carter being rewarded, and gratified for a piece of work that relied on the suffering of another, which makes sense at first, but Carter did not cause that suffering, and devoted his life to end it. Risking your life on a daily basis and seeing horrors that most - himself included - would want to forget, is not a way to take advantage of that child or the situation. Legitimate disgust at the existence of such an appalling situation was loaded upon him, unfairly. The undeniable self-serving manipulation of the Sudanese child was done (and continues to be) by demanding unfair interest on corrupt loans made to African nations generations ago. The vultures in this scenario are us.

*You could argue that he is not representing the child with dignity, or how it may choose. That is a big argument in representing those afflicted by poverty, but it has nothing to do with his supposed self-interest or lack of compassion.

Related:

Ted Talks: The Way We Think About Charity Is Dead Wrong - Partly covers the issue of a skewed perception for those working within the umbrella of aid. Great watch.

The Bang-Bang Club - Short documentary on the group of photojournalists.

Written by Jazz Chandler

www.jazzchandler.com

Palestine Solidarity March - Dublin, Ireland 02/08/14

Organised by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, thousands marched peacefully in the rain, from the Garden of Remembrance to the Dept of Foreign Affairs.

Much anger was directed at Ireland’s Taoiseach, Edna Kennedy, for abstaining in the recent UN vote on an inquiry into war crimes committed in Gaza. His name was accosted with shaming the nation. Along with mass demands to boycott Israeli goods, there was a majority voice calling for the Israeli ambassador to be expelled, with speakers pointing out that Irish tax-payers are inadvertently financing the embassy in which racist propaganda is produced - presumably referring to the Twitter image posted by the Israeli Embassy of the Molly Malone statue wearing a traditional Islamic headscarf and the text “ISRAEL NOW DUBLIN NEXT”, alongside the claim “Israel is the last frontier of the free world”. The series of imagery also depicts a headscarf adorned Mona Lisa casually holding a rocket, Michaelangelo’s David wearing a keffiyeh and a belt of dynamite, and Denmark’s statue of the Little Mermaid holding an automatic rifle. In the wake of a backlash, the have been taken down: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/israeli-embassy-removes-molly-malone-in-muslim-garb-images-1.1880575

This is the fourth week in a row in which thousands across Ireland, and a myriad the world over, have taken to the street to denounce Israel’s actions in Gaza. The coming weekend sees plans for a national march staged in Dublin.

Badbadnotgood - The Sugar Club, Dublin (30/07/14)

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Crazy-good show by Badbadnotgood.

I hope your screens are turned up to full brightness.

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God Knows - The Sugar Club, Dublin (30/07/2014)

Supporting Badbadnotgood.

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Mike Barnett & Max Blunos.

Mock editorial feature.

© Jazz Chandler

IX

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© Jazz Chandler

VIII

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The Bronze Medal - Colston Hall 2, Bristol - 30/11/2013

Live debut of the bands recently recorded album.

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©jazz chandler

VII

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©Jazz Chandler

VI


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Pylo - Summer 2013

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After a slack era of editing, I’ve finally finished off a few live shots from my time spent with Pylo this summer. Some old, some new.

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©Jazz Chandler

Through A Glass Darkly

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©Jazz Chandler