Finnish guy Janne Antin wanted to show what it is like to live with HIV-related stigma and at the same time raise awareness of HIV.
Published on May 14, 2015
Video Published on Oct 2, 2014
As Charlotte Campbell-Stephen sat in a Kenyan police station reporting the brutal attack and gang rape she endured over an eight-hour period, the police interview room began to fill with men. It was 2006 and Campbell-Stephen, an Australian aid worker, was giving detective inspector Geoff Kinuya what she described as a “blow-by-blow”account of her ordeal.
Eight hours had been a long time to stare at the violent Nairobi gang as they mocked and raped her, but it had allowed her to memorise and describe to Kinuya her ordeal, and her attackers, in meticulous detail. Like “the man with the big leather jacket”.
“He had just this little thin silver necklace with a cross on it, with diamonds on it, and his chest was sort of hovering above me. And as he was thrusting above me it kept hitting me in the head and I grabbed hold of it at one point and twisted it and said to him: ‘You call yourself a Christian.. And he just started thrusting harder.”
Campbell-Stephen is speaking as the documentary about her ordeal and subsequent fight for justice, I Will Not Be Silenced, launches the 2015 Human Rights Arts and Film festival in Melbourne.
The People Avenue presents two exceptional photographers, Mario Mencacci and Mirko Arganese. They're both Italian and passionate about Photography. Through his photos Mario reveals his sensitivity along with his love for shapes and structures. Mirko has a different approach. He focuses on the surreal and his photos take us to an imaginary world of dreams and fantasy.
I’m from Italy, I live in Tuscany, I am an architect but photography is my passion. I live in Pontedera, a little Tuscan town located near many other wonderful cities, like Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Siena...I started taking photos in the 1980s, I used to love driving through the countryside taking photos of the landscapes. But then, because of my job, and because the renovations to my apartment left me without a darkroom, I stopped. After 20 years, in 2008, during a trip to Paris, this passion struck me again: In particular I enjoyed capturing the scenes I run into while on the streets, the people, the happenings, the situations… I didn’t have a photographic culture, but I kept on taking this kind of photos because I enjoyed it, weather traveling abroad or nearby, because you can take street photos everywhere, it doesn’t matter how big or little a place is. Someone saw my photos and told me that what I was doing was called street photography. Ok, I said, I don’t know what it is, but I like it! Eventually curiosity led me to read up and discover the masters of street photography, classic and contemporary ones.
Even if, like I said, I arrived to street photography through a personal journey, I believe that every street photographer is somehow influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson, and by other big masters like Willy Ronis and Robert Doisneau, by Fred Stein’s neat compositions and by Robert Frank and William Klein’s innovative rule-breaking. Lately I’m in love with the works of Matt Stuart and Siegfried Hansen, and I am fascinated by Trent Parke’s ones. I believe that it is impossible not to be affected by these artists. I must say that also photography groups on websites like deviantArt and Flickr, allowing photographers from all over the world to express themselves, or dedicated websites like 121 Clicks, are to me an ongoing source of inspiration. There are talented and skilled people even amongst simple photo amateurs, and as a whole they point the way street photography is going today.
As for equipment, I own a Nikon D300 DSLR camera with just one lens, a 18-200 zoom, and 2 point-and-shoot cameras: a Canon G12 and a Lumix TZ10. I do like the tilting LCD on the G12, in many situations it allows me to shoot unnoticed. It recalls me of Paul Strand’s cameras, with the modified right-angle mirror lens attachment. I always carry the G12 with me.
I like spotting things that not everybody is able to see, I try and train my eye to look for the hidden, less obvious things. I like the happy coincidence of elements that last just for a moment and that most often go unnoticed. ‘The ability to see’ is something I appreciate also when I am looking at somebody else’s photos, it moves me. Emotions can be stirred by poetry as much as by irony or by the singularity of a moment. Personally I prefer poetic scenes rather than the curious ones, but maybe I like them better because they are closer to my sensitivity: if I look at René Maltête’s photos, I am left enraptured!
It might seem strange but I enjoy taking photos by night. The night lights give everything a different, unusual look. Even if it doesn’t happen to me very often, I find particularly entertaining photographing by night. I like the cities, maybe it is because of professional bias. I like capturing people surrounded by structures, the contrast between the human life and the static nature of constructions. Geometries, streets, urban choreographies, the way they become a stage for the human show. For these reasons I wish I could visit New York, or other american cities. I’d love going back to Paris, and see how different my current vision is, compared to the one I had in 2008, when I first started taking photos.
I am 40 years old, born in Puglia south of Italy but at the moment I live in Milan with my wife Elena and Simone and Alessandro who are our children.
My passion started relatively late, I bought my first digital SLR, an olympus e410, 10 years ago and after a short trial, I soon realized that I liked to photograph scenes that included the human element. But maybe something in me still was not ready, I left to take about 3 years ago.
Capturing the decisive moment started to interest me very much, and how this led me to a careful observation of what is happening in the space around us! As in a frame you could tell a story.
Without a doubt, some top photographers are Daido Moriyama, William Klein especially for the message that he gave to photography. Also, I admire the beautiful works of Michael Ackerman.
My equipment is a simple Olympus xz2. I absolutely love shooting surreal scenes, over the last year I have been very fond of studying long exposures with the use of flash, during this project I became very enthusiastic, but now I want to devote myself to every single shot and give each photo its uniqueness.
Certainly when I'm relaxed is the best moment that I dedicate to photography, very often I reserve days I can devote entirely to photography: I go out in the morning and return home in the late evening, I walk a lot and I note, of the time I get home with excellent results, others with nothing. This depends on my being very selective with the shots.
Besides, these days I 'm always around with my Olympus in my pocket, if I see something that interests me, I do not hesitate to take it out and shoot. I never go out without it.
I have no favorite place for shooting photos, in my sessions I alternate routes and crowded places with semi deserted places.
TPA - Tell us a little about yourself. How did your relationship with Photography begin and how has it developed through the years?
NL - I'm Niklas Lindskog, 51 years old. I live in Umea in northern Sweden, a university town of about 120 000 people (European Capital of Culture in 2014).
My family is my wife Anna-Lena and our grown children Sam, still at home at 19, and Oskar, 22, who has moved away from home. I've worked for 24 years as a track and field coach at a national sports school. Nowadays my role at work is more about school and sports administration.
I started out in photography at the age of 13 when I told my parents that I wanted to make movies. They thought I should learn the basics first with still photography. My mom found me an evening course, which was on a pretty high level, covering all bases from composition and lighting to printing and developing film. My parents bought a Minolta SLR and I got really enthusiastic, developing film and prints sitting hunched in a closet lab.
This went on for about ten years and peaked when I did my military service as a photographer and had access to a professional lab with free use of film and paper for a year. I had moved away from home and my parents wanted their closet back. By this time we had started a family and most pictures were of family life. But in travels and otherwise I've always shot "other stuff", which didn't make its way into the family albums.
I started shooting more colour negs when the b&w lab wasn't available any more, but just sending them away to be developed.
In 2004 I bought an Olympus compact digital camera. It was slow, but I found digital sooo convenient, which boosted my interest! I started to learn Photoshop.
In 2009 I had been longing to get more serious again with my photography and bought a Nikon D90 and some lenses.
In 2010 I traveled to Beijing for three weeks, by myself. I made the trip a photography project as well as a discover-the-world project. It was the first time in my life I thought of my photos in those terms - as a project. I had no idea what to do with it, but still...
Early in 2012, I found a nice Swedish photography site, www.fotosidan.se ("The Photo Page"), and started publishing online. It was great to get feedback and after a while, writing comments on other peoples images and getting their response to that. I quickly centered on street photography and since then I always try to shoot some street on trips even if I only have some hours on a business trip. In the '10's, I've been traveling pretty extensively, both for work and in my free time. In 2013 three months were spent on the road, clicking away a lot most days! In march this year, I became a member of dA, hoping to get the international feedback from this community. It's been fun!
TPA - What equipment do you use?
NL - For street photography, I use a Nikon D800 with a Tamron 24-70/2.8 with image stabilization. I use a Black Rapid strap.
Sometimes I put on a Nikon 50 mm/1.4. I used to use a Nikon 70-200 mm a lot, but nowadays I mostly use it for other kinds of photography.
On rare occasions I try my Samyang 14 mm/2.8. I also sometimes shoot with a small Nikon 1 V1 with the 10-30 mm lens.
I couldn't resist buying a used Fuji X100, but I'm not really "friends" with it yet.
TPA - Which photographers influenced you?
NL - When I started out I borrowed a lot of photography books at the library and read magazines there. I remember being really impressed with Henri Cartier-Bresson.
I've learned really a lot from many great fellow Swedish street photographers at fotosidan.se. Both from their pictures and from their constructive criticism!
One of the first who really caught my eye there was Nils-Erik Larsson = sandas04 here at dA. He's written sometimes on his blog about his experiences at dA, which was my main inspiration to join.
Lately, I've started building a collection of photo books. Elliot Erwitt, Anders Peterson, Christer Strömholm and HCB are some of them.
TPA - What do you enjoy photographing most? What is your favorite time of the day photographing in the streets?
NL - Street photography! When I get the chance I take pictures at all times of the day and at night! I also like to go indoors, in the subway, railway stations, shopping malls, cafés and such. Different places and times all have their advantages and challenges, I think.
TPA - What is your favorite place for shooting photos? Name two or three places you would like to visit for Photography.
NL - Cities all over the world! Istanbul, Shanghai and New Delhi! But I could easily name three other cities instead! I can't get enough of travel and I think photography is the perfect hobby to combine with my interest in travel.
TPA - Imagine you have a day off and you decide to go shooting. Describe it.
NL - When at home, I still have done very little street photography. My first efforts in Umea were this year.
But, I would go downtown and roam the streets looking for ideas. I would probably find a lot and shoot away rapidly. I feel more than think, using my gut instincts.
I'll use auto-ISO, manual and adjust time, aperture and exposure compensation quite often. I normally underexpose, nowadays about two steps in sunshine and 0.7 in cloudy conditions.
Sometimes, I see a particular setting where an image could be possible and then I wait for it. But not too much. I'm usually on the move and I often shoot from the hip, even while moving. If I'm not at home, but in a big city somewhere, I might take a rest at the hotel and get back on the streets with a smaller camera if my back and shoulders are hurting. If it's night by now and light is low I will have to remember to move more slowly to avoid camera shake blur. I might get an idea to do a special project, like a "long shutter time afternoon" or a "street portrait morning".
TPA - What are the most essential qualities of a photographer?
NL - I think maybe that photography is such a diverse subject that any person with any set of qualities could be a good photographer in their own way. But I'm pretty sure you get better with some passionate practise!
TPA - Choose three of your favorite photos and explain why they are special to you.
NL - This one is an example from my youth. It symbolizes my early days with dreams of being a professional photographer. I had four days by myself in Belgium, in Brussels, where this was shot and in Bruges. It was a great experience!
NL - I remember the moment I caught this image. As I routinely set up to shoot the scene with the men looking down the alley, I simultaneously saw the girl start running and the dove. I clicked away, thinking "WOW"! I thought it was magic how the pieces suddenly fell in place. And the next second it was gone. It was an eye opener which made me very inspired! Now, I realize the image has its flaws, but I love it all the same!
NL - I think it's one of the hardest things with this hobby. To choose! I'll show this one because of the wonderful time I've had traveling with my son Sam this year. Both to Paris in the spring and to North America in the summer. It was shot in the Paris métro and for once I had time to try out different compositions and angles because the people were so into their own thing. And for once, that was not mobile phones!