Category Archives: IM Magazine

A monthly presentation of new work by invited young women photographers.

Marina Paulenka: The Other Home

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Marina Paulenka (Croatia): The Other Home

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© Marina Paulenka from "The Other Home", 2015.The Other Home is documentary photography project in which I show a female prison inmates through the justice system at the penitentiary in Pozega, Croatia, and way of life in it, where I question the issue of freedom, surveillance, home and otherness. Požega Penitentiary is the only female penitentiary in Croatia where over 130 prisoners serve a sentence of imprisonment of at least six months and up.

Given that historical reductive forensic portraits delete all of their representation except criminal identity, my photographs depict the existing scenes of women’s rooms, dorms, cells, bathrooms and ‘private’ and ‘personal’ stuff.

In my work The Other Home I try to critically reassess and review the adequacy of supervision, control data and the law in society as well as the concept of freedom inside and outside the supervisory institutions, which I associate with the family home, models which operate on the principle of ‘re-education of women’.

What means in Croatia country to be mother and prisoner? Why some of the women are now in penitentiary? Is it because thay haven’t enough good life, money and food?

Some feminist theories say that the central social scene where a woman is simultaneously subject and object of supervision is definitely a family home. My photographs show the way of life of women – mothers who, as prisoners, represent the ‘Other’ and crime, which is not ‘Other’ as such, but is, in fact, a component of a wider society which can’t be immediately identified.

According to some feminist theories, the central social scene where a woman is simultaneously the subject and object of control is certainly the family home. If the home looks like a prison, how do we observe a public institution in which inmates serve sentences of imprisonment?

After arduous negotiations that lasted several months, I received a rejection to photograph prisoners, from behind or in silhouette, so in a way that does not reveal the identity, as well as standing in the law. Therefore, I decided to photograph interiors of prison. All the photos I had to give the authorities for verification. So, here we can open discourse about double closed control – them inside and me outside. It is taboo in our country to being a mother and being a prisoner. I’m examining what ‘They’ represent and what ‘They’ don’t represent to the rest of the community. I spent one year in prison with inmates, sleeping there sometimes.

I’m inspired by the fact that throught the projects that I realize in the medium of photography I learn about the world itself, diversity and life. For me, photography is an extension of my hands and mind, a way of communicating with the world, through photography I want to approach the reality of the human being and everyday alter entrenched opinions and encourage action.

Storyteling is very important segment of my work and I see myself as an artist – photographer who explores, reflects the society. Like a photographer I would like to stimulate thinking and encourage concrete actions in humans. I think that in this respect the photography is very powerful tool and weapon in today’s world.

Sofia Valiente: Miracle Village

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Sofia Valiente (USA): Miracle Village

Inge Morath Award Finalist, 2015

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© Sofia Valiant from "Miracle Village", 2015. In South Florida, off the coast of Lake Okeechobee, lies a community called Miracle Village. It is home to over 150 sex offenders. The village was founded five years ago by a Christian ministry that seeks to help individuals that have no place to go when they leave prison. The residency restrictions in Florida make it so that sex offenders must live a minimum of 2,500 feet from any school, bus stop, or place where children congregate.

In reality, this is a very difficult restriction to abide by. Before coming to the village many of Miracle Village’s residents were homeless. Continue reading Sofia Valiente: Miracle Village

Danielle Villasana: A Light Inside

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Danielle Villasana (USA): A Light Inside

Inge Morath Award Recipient, 2015

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© Danielle Villasana from "A Light Inside", 2015.In Peru, a country with a highly machismo, conservative, religious and transphobic culture, transgender women are extremely marginalized and discriminated against in society. Persecution begins early, causing them to abandon their studies and families. With few options or support, many practice sex work where they live in compromised conditions throughout their lives with limited opportunities for social security, higher education or employment outside the streets. With few avenues for upward mobility, they are sequestered in hostile environments characterized by rejection, fear and exploitation. Continue reading Danielle Villasana: A Light Inside

Gaia Squarci: Broken Screen

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Gaia Squarci (Italy): Broken Screen

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“When you’re losing sight, the world starts to appear fragmented, like through a broken screen. Then you stop understanding where light comes from.”
Dale Layne

The blind live in a sighted world. They function in a system constructed on the rules of seeing. Many of them could once see, but after going blind they were forced to reinvent themselves, and their quality of life became deeply affected by disability law, support in the private sphere, and the level of awareness in the society around them.

I asked them to guide me into their lives. I’m interested in the disconnect between the concept of blindness as a metaphor and its reality. Stripped of its mysterious aura, the blindness of daily life, the one that’s not heard of in the words of a song, often turns out to be disquieting, and kept at a distance.

This project has become a way for me to explore our universal needs. I imagine myself in the position of someone who turned blind, forced to reinvent my relationship to the world after years of a sighted life.

When filtered through blindness, the core questions of identity, love and independence feel to me even more resonant.

Maja Daniels: Mady & Monette

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Maja Daniels (Sweden): Mady & Monette

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© Maja Daniels, from Mady & Monette, 2014Through my interest in documenting the contemporary western world, I started considering the general lack of visual representations of issues related to older generations. As I found myself in this process, I met Mady and Monette.

Monette and Mady are identical twins. They have lived their whole life closely together and are, as they say, inseparable.

I first saw them on the streets of Paris and I was instantly fascinated by their identical outfits and synchronized corporal language. Quirky and beautiful, they stood out from any crowd. As I couldn’t quite believe my eyes, I remember thinking that they might not be real. When I approached them I was not surprised to discover that they often finish each other’s sentences and that they refer to themselves as “I” instead of “we”. Neither Mady nor Monette have married or had children and they always eat the same kind of food in identical portions. Continue reading Maja Daniels: Mady & Monette

Anna Beeke: Sylvania

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Anna Beeke (US): Sylvania

Please visit the Kickstarter campaign to raise funds publish this project as a photobook, in partnership with Daylight Books. The campaign ends at 11:59 on Wednesday, December 17th. http://kck.st/1ycvoef

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Across cultures and centuries, the forest has occupied a unique place in our collective imagination. Good and evil, chaos and peace, beauty and terror: these fundamental oppositions of the forest’s liminal landscape are a metaphor for the human experience. It is no surprise, then, that myth and history are rich with stories of man venturing beyond the structured limits of civilization and into chaotic labyrinth of the woods. Following this tradition, I too went into the woods in search of adventure, transcendence, the unknown, and came back with a body of photographic work called Sylvania.

Sylvania is a composite “forest-land” of photographs comprising scenes from various and sundry American woodlands. Through images of both real and depicted nature, Sylvania examines the differing characteristics of these woods while also seeking the Forest Universal rooted in them all, exploring the physical presence of the forest in the contemporary world as well as its metaphoric presence in our collective imagination.

In myth, forests are often seen as the ultimate life source, related as they are to so many of man’s genesis stories, and the origins of Sylvania are actually very tied to my personal origins. Though I was born and raised in Washington, DC, I was conceived in Washington State—on the heavily forested San Juan Islands. Having never been to the Pacific Northwest, I felt a compulsion to go to the place where I began life and the conviction that if I did I would surely find something there. What I found was the forest, and an intense sense of contentment and enchantment that seemed almost foreign to me and harkened back to a more childish or primitive capacity to indulge the imagination. I began photographing to capture the essence of this experience, and over time the project grew from a concentrated study of the ethereal woods of the Pacific Northwest into a broader survey of forests across the country – from Washington and Oregon to Vermont to Louisiana, and many places in between.

Though the relationship between man/nature and civilization/wilderness constitutes an ancient dialogue, it is a particularly important topic right now. Industry and technology, the linchpins of the Anthropocentric conception of progress, are coming under more scrutiny by green activists and natural preservationists in time when the question of global warming and the desertification of our planet loom large as a threat in the minds of so many.  Sylvania’s plea for the consideration of our forests, however, comes through images that seek to invoke appreciation of the magic and necessity of our woodlands.

Maddie McGarvey: Generation Lost

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Maddie McGarvey (US): Generation Lost

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Sonya holds her neighbor's cat © Maddie McGarvey, 2014I’ve been documenting the Castos for over three years. I was initially drawn to the family dynamic of grandparents taking over the role of parents. Lorrie and Lee Casto are currently raising their three grandchildren, Sonya, 12, Paige, 6, and Seth, 5. The children’s mother, Amber, tries to be a bigger part of their lives, but too much damage has been done. Amber let her boyfriends abuse Sonya for years and lived with her in shambles.

Sonya suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after all of the abuse she endured from her mother and her boyfriends. “He beat her so hard one day that his class ring was stamped into her face for a week,” Lorrie said. “I knew I had to get those kids away from her.” Continue reading Maddie McGarvey: Generation Lost

Elodie Chrisment: Pleasure Places Paris

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Elodie Chrisment (FR): A Pleasure Places Paris

Inge Morath Award Finalist, 2014

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Pleasure places - Boulogne © Elodie Chrisment, 2014“Nauseous smells do not proceed from the most disreputable worlds” Antoine d’Agatha, Le Désir du Monde.

At first a formal approach born from my passion for interstitial spaces, nonprogrammed architecture, which is used every day by thousands of men and women, builders by necessity. Beneath the Bois de Boulogne trees, it appears as improvised tents that you can have a glimpse from the street, fabric stretched between trees.

That’s where the first steps of architecture and construction occur, through those marginalized women deep in the woods, right by the walk paths used by normal people living in the very close capital.

But this approach is soon outworn by the test of flesh, bodies and souls. Continue reading Elodie Chrisment: Pleasure Places Paris

Shannon Jensen: A Long Walk

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Shannon Jensen (US): A Long Walk

Inge Morath Award Recipient, 2014

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A Long Walk (Refugee Shoe Project) © Shannon Jensen, 2014Ongoing attacks by the Sudanese Armed Forces and supported militias have driven hundreds of thousands of refugees into South Sudan from their homes in the Sudanese border states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, where conflict reignited in June 2011 between Khartoum and SPLA-North, the northern remnant of the southern liberation movement.

I was present at the border of Blue Nile during an influx of 30,000 men, women and children in June 2012. Many had never left the vicinity of their villages before shelling, aerial bombardments, and soldiers drove them away the previous September. For months, families traveled back and forth from the forest to the mountains, rarely spending more than a week in one place, until they finally made the long trek to South Sudan’s northern border. With them, they carried stories of grandparents left behind and brothers who never returned from fetching water; days in hiding and nights of walking; treasured possessions lost and herds of livestock stolen.

These are the shoes that made the journey. Continue reading Shannon Jensen: A Long Walk

Annie Flanagan: Hey, Best Friend!

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Annie Flanagan (USA): Hey, Best Friend!

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© Annie Flanagan from "Hey, Best Friend!", 2014On September 20, 2012 I met Nekqua; that night Brittney’s father was killed in a work related accident. The next day, when I met up with Nekqua outside of the South West Community center in Syracuse, she had finished all of her homework and was leaning against a fence wearing a near see-through, white, button up t-shirt, that was revealing her leopard print bra that matched her headband. In her left hand was a banana, in her right a brown paper bag. “What’s for lunch?” I asked. “Condoms” she replied, “I can’t be a godmother again, so, I have to drop off condoms at my best friend’s house.” Continue reading Annie Flanagan: Hey, Best Friend!