Pantsula is a form of energetic dancing that originated in black townships of South Africa during the Apartheid era, and it's still alive and thriving over 60 years later, pulling in and spinning out influences to other dance styles from around the world. Pantsula dancers show their moves and tell their history and reason for dancing. [more inside]
“Before the trip, Nigeria was a dim set of associations in my mind: my parent’s stories of their childhood, highlife cassette tapes, dated images from Google searches, negative news headlines, the taste of rice and stew. Going back gave me vivid experiences to call part of my life, to draw from when I talk about the country, my identity, what kinds of people I come from, and the roots of why I do what I do.”
In the face of racism, the great African-American jazz saxophonist Lester Young was “cool.” Credited with bringing the word into the modern American vernacular, “I’m cool” wasn’t Young’s reference to the sunglasses he wore day and night on stage, or the saxophone slung across his shoulder. It was his response to a divided society, a way of saying that he was still in control...
Where I See Fashion is a tumblr which pairs fashion-related pictures with images containing art/architecture/nature/design/texture elements that could have conceivably inspired them. The "Click to Hide Text" link on the left offers more streamlined viewing experience, or check them out on Instagram. Via: 1, 2
Before They Pass Away: Powerful Portraits of Secluded Cultures on the Brink of Extinction. Q&A with Jimmy Nelson.
"Flaunting themselves on Instagram, they are also all proudly and openly gay ... But at the same time, they all look fairly heteronormative: hunky, sporty, the kind of guy who would call himself “masc & musc” in a hook-up app and would never take a photo of himself at Drag Brunch. And all are careful to avoid appearing like they are doing this just to get laid. By showing that, they would be revealing that they are vulnerable and have needs, and an #Instastud can never look unsatisfied with his life." Meet The #Instastuds - The Cut looks at the gays on instragram who really want to you look at them and how they live. Contains a link to a discussion of “Fire Island Pines, Polaroids 1975 to 1983” at Salon. (NSFW, nudity)
In 1971, the newly-created US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired a bunch of freelance photographers to collectively document environmental issues around the country. They were given free rein to shoot whatever they wanted, and the project, named Documerica, lasted through 1977. After 40 years, the EPA is now encouraging photographers to take current versions of the original Documerica photos and are showcasing them on flickr at State of the Environment. There are location challenges, and a set has been created with some of the submissions, making side-by-side comparisons. [more inside]
"I lived in a hut near the summit of Mt. Fuli, the highest mountain in Japan,[more inside]
for five months straight, four years in a row,
for a total of 600 days. Each morning,
I photographed the dawn from the same spot, chasing the ever-changing
drama that unfolded before my eyes.
Memphis-based photographer Haley Morris-Cafiero has long been aware of strangers making fun of her behind her back due to her size. So aware, in fact, that she has turned the whole concept into a full-blown photography project. Titled Wait Watchers, the series consists of Morris-Cafiero’s self-portraits in public in which strangers can be seen in the background giving her strange looks and/or laughing. More photos at her website.
January 13, 2013 marks the 125th anniversary of the National Geographic Society. The Magazine is celebrating by taking a yearlong look at the past and future of exploration. [more inside]
"When the lights go out for good, my people will still be here. We have our ancient ways. We will remain."
In the Shadow of Wounded Knee. Along the southwestern border of South Dakota is one of the most poverty-stricken places in the United States—the Pine Ridge Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota people. After 150 years of broken promises, they are still nurturing their tribal customs, language and beliefs. Via [more inside]
Wiki Loves Monuments: "World's largest photo contest" seeks to create a visual record of world monuments and historic sites on the Wikimedia Commons. The USA version focuses on sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Canadian version here. If you don't see your country among the 30 participating so far, you can volunteer!
19-year-old Kelly Hofer grew up in a Hutterite colony in Manitoba, and his photography captures his life as a Hutterite. Recently, Kelly left the community to start a new life in Calgary.
Beyond Digital is a collaborative project between eight members who have come together to explore the culture and music of Morocco, which is often poorly represented online to the world at large, thus "beyond digital." The team put together a 9 minute "behind-the-scenes" look at their work, or you skip the preview and jump into their YouTube channel, articles on The Fader, and more on their website. Highlights: a collection of Moroccan percussion loops, a photo essay on Morocco's changing culture, and a collaboration between Moroccan musician Hassan Wargui (Imanaren) and Nettle, a "band project" by DJ/rupture. [more inside]
The Bedouin are an ethnic group of tribes that live in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Sinai Peninsula, amongst others. The Bedouin have lived a largely nomadic life, developing a menu, style of dance and sport they can call their own. Today they are a culture in transition as "startling changes over the last two decades have irrevocably altered the nature of life for the bedouin and for the land they inhabit." However a glimpse into their past can be seen through this great collection of images taken between 1890 and 1920.
HUH. Magazine is a media platform with the latest, most relevant news from the worlds of art, fashion, design, music and film. Recent features include: Harvest by Haroshi: Skate and Destroy, artworks created with old worn, or snapped, skateboard decks | Disassembly, capturing relics of our past in a unique, dismantled and exposed form | Murakami at Versailles, knee-deep in controversy since its inception | and Darren's Great Big Camera, a short documentary about a camera that shoots on 14" x 36" negatives and measures 6ft. in length.
The Borneo Blog - fascinating photographic journey from the late 1960s of life and culture in Kapit, Sarawak, Malaysia* via Mefi Projects. [slightly NSFW - some topless locals]
Stunning photographs of the cattle farmers of Sudan | African ceremonies | Faces of Africa | video: African Ceremonies | Thirty years ago American-born Carol Beckwith and Australian Angela Fisher met in Kenya and began a relationship with the African continent that would profoundly alter and shape their lives. Their journeys would take them over 270,000 miles, through remote corners of 40 countries, and to more than 150 African cultures. | About the photographers (opens with sound to the video) [all links slightly nsfw in a NatGeo kind of way] [more inside]
The Silver People [nsfw] is a site created by 60's photographer, Jon Stevens, whose shtick is to paint people silver and photograph them. More interesting are his pics of Miles Davis | The Cockettes Erotic [nsfw] | Salvador Dali [nsfw] | his being photographed as the first male mod model [modest, not]. [more inside]
The Congolese Sape is a photoessay by Héctor Mediaville on Sapeurs, a male subculture in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which is defined by its haute couture clothes. Blogger Eccentric Yoruba wrote a post for steampunk blog Beyond Victoriana on Sapeurs which was crossposted to Racialicious detailing the history of the movement and linking it to dandyism in general and explaining its political significance in the 70s, when it was championed by music legend Papa Wemba (live footage from the 90s and 70s).
Paula K. Shimatsu-u, who worked behind the scenes at Twin Peaks, has a book coming out with previously unpublished photos from on and off the set. Wired has a gallery that boasts, among other delights, Michael Horse reading a book beside a deer's head, and Sheryl Lee with Sherilyn Fenn wearing, respectively, a lovely bobble cap and a very fetching jumper.
Hidden World of Girls: Girls and the Women they Become is NPR's collaborative year-long, ongoing series between The Kitchen Sisters, NPR and listener submissions. The series explores "stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, secet identities—of women who crossed a line, blazed a trail, changed the tide." [more inside]
Bedrooms of the Fallen, from war photographer Ashley Gilbertson. Via the NYT Lens Blog: War Memorials With Neatly Made Beds. (Slideshow: The Shrine Down The Hall)
"Is beauty informed by contemporary culture? By history? Or is it defined by the surgeon’s hand?" [Some links NSFW]
A daily photoblog of the mediterranean island of Mallorca. Checking the tags is a good way to trawl the archive.
food; history; customs and traditions; art
food; history; customs and traditions; art
Brad Elterman's gallery of (mostly) celebrity photos from the 1970s, including Robert Plant, Matt Dillon, and the tale of Jackie O and the tape. Some shots may be NSFW. [via]
The Digital Library of Slovenia has (among other things) music [like this] [previously], posters [like this] and photographs [like this].
Extravagant Crowd - Carl Van Vechten’s Portraits of Women and Photos of African Americans. Previous post by ND¢: Creative Americans: Portraits by Carl Van Vechten 1932-1964. Also, public domain works from Wikimedia Commons. [more inside]
70s Rock Stars in their parents' homes (via BuzzFeed)
The Tibet Album: British photography in Central Tibet 1920 - 1950 [previously] via The Best of The Asian Studies WWW Monitor [more inside]
Photo Tampering Through History. A regularly-updated collection, from 1860 to present, of examples of photo manipulation. Sometimes the changes are made for historical revisionism, sometimes for political maneuvering, and sometimes it's just a "wtf?" The page is part of a larger body of work by Dartmouth's Hany Farid, who has some other interesting goodies online. [Warning for the Pepsi Blue detectives: In some of his pages, he's shilling for his consulting services]
Land of the Free, home of the geek. Steven Schofield takes photos of british sci-fi fans, dressed in character in their homes. He treats it as 'found' photography, which seems to illustrate the subjects vulnerability. The title of the work is Land of the Free - and illustrates how American culture infiltrates, with the ironic edge of questioning the idea of the freedom of choosing to copy the look of these fictional characters. via kottke
Iwase Yoshiyuki "In the late 1920s, young Yoshiyuki received an early Kodak camera as a gift. Since the main livelihood of the town came from the sea, he gravitated there, and soon found a passion for "the simple, even primitive beauty" of ama – girls and women who harvested seaweed, turban shells and abalone from beneath the coastal waters." "By the late 1960s, they had disappeared. This body of work stands as the final, most comprehensive visual document of the life and work of these divers." [NSFW] [more inside]
witness the strangest customs of the red, white, brown, black and yellow races ... attend their startling rites, their mysterious practices ... all assembled for you
The Secret Museum of Mankind :: "Published in 1935, the Secret Museum is a mystery book. It has no author or credits, no copyright, no date, no page numbers, no index ... The tone of the commentary is dated, and uniformly racist in the extreme, often hilariously so. It reads like the patter of a carnival sideshow barker, from a time when the world was divided between "modern" Europeans and "savages" ... Presented here is the Secret Museum in its entirety, all 564 pages scanned and transcribed-- nothing is omitted or censored ... Treat it as entertainment instead of education (don't take it seriously and don't believe a word it says!), adjust for the blatant racial bias of the time, and enjoy."
Sacred Destinations. Nearly every culture in human history has sought to encounter and honor the divine, the mysterious, the supernatural or the extraordinary in some way. This most often occurs at sacred sites - special places where the physical world seems to meet the spiritual world. From ancient wonders, to Greek temples, to Biblical sites, and everything in between, the website has a vast collection of photo galleries and maps. The website's founder also maintains a travel blog and posts recent pictures on Flickr. [more inside]
Love thy Neighbor Photographer and author Steven Hirsh has photographed the homes of registered New York State sex offenders. A wonderful writer and photographer, this work is chilling, alarming, beautiful. I get that Quentin Tarantino feeling of beauty and disgust. Look at me, nooooo look away. The series of 24 images are on Hirsch's website.
Breakfast looks different to different people. That alone made me wanna post this cuz that's just hella cool, but after I saw that, I started wondering what does breakfast sound like? Why should we even bother with breakfast? Here's some more thoughts on breakfast. Hungry yet? This was a great movie by the way. I guess that one was okay too. So what did you have for breakfast? [previously]
Eyes on the Nations is a web site by a young man from North Carolina named Jordan Hill. He's working in various corners of the world to help with community development as a part of a soft christian missionary approach for the University of the Nations and Youth With a Mission. He's also a talented and curious photographer with an eye for people, places and critters. (Warnings: NSFW if you haven't ever seen old issues of the National Geographic. Worse, some of this is Xanga)
Running The Numbers. This new series looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. [via]
Inner City Youth, London "In 2002, Simon Wheatley began photographing London's publich housing developments...and was able to obtain a level of intimacy with his subjects that provides a true picture of the daunting project of growing up in the intimate confines of drug use, societal neglect, and poverty." This (Flash-based) narrated slideshow features Wheatley's work, and is a look at the culture...and also the music (grime) "as an artistic response to the place and circumstance, an expression of the violence, bleakness, and neglect..." (via Future Feeder)
Post No Bills. At the intersection of life and advertising one may unexpectedly find art, or at least humor. Henry Ho shines a light on it. (42 pages. Or view all thumbnails together)
Sometimes it's hard for me to conceive that other contemporaneous people on this planet lead lives so dramatically different from my own. What if this or this or this constituted your daily commute? Or if this or this were among the challenges you faced in your daily job? The native people and arctic wildlife galleries offer a glimpse of the past preserved. More wonders at Bryan & Cherry Alexander Photography.
Masamania. Not safe for work! 'Hi, this is masamania who create this page, MasaManiA.com. This page is made up of photos I actually take in twon. .I hope I can show and tell you the real, true Japan that cannot be seen in other mas media. I am living in Tokyo, Japan. I was born in Japan, grown up in Japan, study English in Japan. This is the reason I can speak Engrish. Some people complain that my updating and email response is slow. And other people conplain that my englsih is poor. '
XXX: 30 P9RN STAR PORTRAITS (a bit NSFW, obviously) by photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, is a book that features paired portraits (one clothed and one nude) of the top stars in p6rn, straight and gay, from legends like (best-selling memoirist) Jenna Jameson, Ron Jeremy and Nina Hartley to (ahem) rising stars like Sunrise Adams, Belladonna, Chad Hunt. The book includes short essays on the intersection of p6rnography and culture by a wide range of writers, from Salman Rushdie to AM Homes. XXX is, essentially, about the much-dreaded "p6rnification" of the culture at large, recently featured in the New York Times. As Gore Vidal writes in the book's introduction, “Doubtless, sex tales were told about the Neanderthal campfire and perhaps instructive positions drawn on cave walls. Meanwhile, the human race was busy establishing such exciting institutions as slavery and its first cousin, marriage.” (more inside, with totally NSFW Terry Richardson)
Phil Borges: Photographs of People of Indigenous Cultures. A set of online exhibits. Take a look at Enduring Spirit: photography of tribal peoples, from North America, Peru, Kenya, Tibet, Ethiopia and other places. More photographs online : Tibetan Portrait, the Living Link.
Unseen America. First person photographs by low income people. Via Bread and Roses, a cultural resource for the labour movement in the New York area.
The Digital Journalist: Features. The Digital Journalist: Features. Photojournalism features on a spread of human life, from Afghan child labour, the Dalai Lama and the Soviet Union to Marilyn Monroe, jazz and Smalltown USA. (Warning - adverts).
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