Stéphane Dupin

For this landscapes series, called Origins, I wanted to come back to my birth area and explore the notion of identity through different authentic places.

This is a kind of documentary work and a feeling to discover again this deep country with another view. I spent two months, alone, in order to understand this isolated rural area.

Wildness is of course really present, as rough as the local identity. I like to capture empty places, sometimes abandoned. It seems to me relevant to describe an “out of time” environment.

— Stéphane Dupin, Paris, France

Tracy Fish

Chasing the Paper Canoe, published by the Athenaeum Press of Coastal Carolina University, was a collaboration of many individuals, including me.

This body of work was a contemporary photographic journey and historic reimagining of traveler Nathaniel Bishop’s 2,500-mile journey from Montreal, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico through eastern waterways during 1874 and 1875 on a paper canoe.

Chasing the Paper Canoe examined Chapter 11 of Bishop’s journal Voyage of the Paper Canoe, tracing the Waccamaw River in North Carolina down to the Winyah Bay-Charleston area of South Carolina.

While the river and people that Bishop encountered are no longer the same, it is necessary to be conscious of what once existed in order to understand what is there today. In doing so, there is an ability to establish a similar connection that Bishop had created along these river communities during his voyage.

— Tracy Fish, Reno, Nevada

Babis Kougemitros

In the series Unspoken Places I attempt to explore uncharted urban and peri-urban aspects of contemporary reality, with a glimpse that is mainly personal. Thus, the photographic depiction of the Attica landscape is neither objective nor representative. We encounter these landscapes quite often, we even cross them on a daily basis and yet rarely do we observe or take pictures of them. They are neither beautiful, ugly and definitely nor photogenic. They are not destined to be seen, except maybe as a blur through the car window or like a background to our daily routine. These places have no name and reveal no secrets to passers-by, they do not tell their story to “strangers.” These places are not tourist attractions. They owe their existence to human activities or failures; they owe their charm to their deafening silence and contradictions.
They constitute an alternative aspect of my country, the place where I exist.

Babis Kougemitros, Athens, Greece

Alexandra Soldatova

A Witness

In the town of N. there is a main street. After the war linden trees were planted in the holes that remained after projectile explosions and those who died during the bombings were buried in a mass grave. To the right of the grave there is a hill, one can even take it for the burial, however, there used to be an ancient castle here that was blown up 50 years ago to produce bricks for a club construction. Now this club can be found in N.’s downtown.

On New Year’s eve a huge Christmas tree is put just in front of it decorated with a garland. One day, under unclear circumstances, it was cut down at the height of 1.7 meters from the ground. Behind the club, in Stroitelei Street there is a kindergarten “Teremok” with a five-year old boy who got stuck between two trees not long ago.

The town of N. is located 40 kilometers from Minsk, the Belarusian capital. I come here rather often to solve various issues, but even more often – without any specific reason. It is always quiet here and it feels a sort of emptiness. This place is so close in its distance but at the same time so far away in a parallel reality. Everything stands still in a tacit collusion – nature and the space of the town, people and myself.

I am looking for a reason to come here again but whomever I address, I get the same answer, “there is nothing special around.” When noticing me, anyone I meet in this street looks like they want to talk, but the closer we approach each other, the denser the air becomes; this air makes us accomplices, brings us closer, but it does not let us speak the same language.

I do not learn anything new, I learn nothing at all, but I do go on shooting because it is my only shelter, my only excuse to be here, my permission to stare around. The camera seems to present me evidence, but what does it prove? My shots make me a witness. I am a witness of something that did not happen here, in the town of N., of something that remained in the air of my pictures.

— Alexandra Soldatova, Minsk, Belarus