mercoledì 30 luglio 2014

MICHELE MASULLO | PHOTOGRAPHER

Photographer of Lecco (Italy)
























All images © Michele Masullo




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martedì 29 luglio 2014

ALAN LOMAX | PHOTOGRAPHER

Alan Lomax (January 31, 1915 – July 19, 2002) was one of the great American field collectors of folk music of the 20th century. He was also a folklorist, ethnomusicologist, archivist, writer, scholar, political activist, oral historian, and film-maker. Lomax also produced recordings, concerts, and radio shows in the US and in England, which played an important role in both the American and British folk revivals of the 1940s, '50s and early '60s. During the New Deal, with his father, famed folklorist and collector John A. Lomax and later alone and with others, Lomax recorded thousands of songs and interviews for the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress on aluminum and acetate discs.
After 1942, when Congress cut off the Library of Congress's funding for folk song collecting, Lomax continued to collect independently in Britain, Ireland, the Caribbean, Italy, and Spain, as well as the United States, using the latest recording technology, assembling a treasure trove of American and international culture. With the start of the Cold War, Lomax continued to speak out for a public role for folklore, even as academic folklorists turned inward. He devoted much of the latter part of his life to advocating what he called Cultural Equity, which he sought to put on a solid theoretical foundation through to his Cantometrics research (which included a prototype Cantometrics-based educational program, the Global Jukebox). In the 1970s and 80s Lomax advised the Smithsonian Institution's Folklife Festival and produced a series of films about folk music, American Patchwork, which aired on PBS in 1991. In his late seventies, Lomax completed a long-deferred memoir, The Land Where the Blues Began (1995), linking the birth of the blues to debt peonage, segregation, and forced labor in the American South. wikipedia

Between August 1959 and May 1960, folklorist Alan Lomax took a trip through the American South—dubbed “The Southern Journey”— to record the little-known southern backcountry and blues music that we consider uniquely American. While traveling through Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia, Lomax’s camera was a constant companion. These photographs, part of the vast collections of the Library of Congress, show musicians making music with family and friends at home, with fellow worshippers at church, and alongside workers and prisoners in the fields. The photographs, along with the rest of the material from the trip, now reside in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Fonte


All images  ©  Alan Lomax
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lunedì 28 luglio 2014

JD 'OKHAI OJEIKERE | PHOTOGRAPHER

Né en 1930 à Ovbiomu-Emai, Nigeria.
Décédé en 2014 à Lagos, Nigeria.
Vivait et travaillait à Lagos, Nigeria.

À l'âge de dix-neuf ans, J.D. Okhai Ojeikere achète un modeste appareil Brownie D sur les conseils d'un voisin qui lui apprend les rudiments de la photographie et son talent lui vaut d'être sollicité par la West Africa Publicity pour laquelle il travaillera à plein temps de 1963 à 1975, date à laquelle il installe son studio " Foto Ojeikere ". Lors d'un festival en 1968, il prend, toujours en noir et blanc au Rolleiflex 6x6, ses premières photographies consacrées à la culture nigériane. Dès lors, et pendant quarante ans, il poursuit dans tout le pays ses recherches organisées par thèmes. Hair Style, riche de près de mille clichés, est le plus considérable et le plus abouti. Ojeikere photographie les coiffures des femmes nigérianes chaque jour dans la rue, au bureau, dans les fêtes, de façon systématique, de dos, parfois de profil et plus rarement de face. Son œuvre, aujourd'hui, riche de milliers de clichés, constitue par delà le projet esthétique, un patrimoine unique à la fois anthropologique, ethnographique et documentaire.  

Born in 1930 in Ovbiomu-Emai, Nigeria.
Died in 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria.
Lived and worked in Lagos, Nigeria.

J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere was raised in a small village in rural southwestern Nigeria. In 1950, he bought a modest Brownie D camera, and a neighbour taught him the rudiments of photography. In 1951 he began to seek work from the Ministry of Information in Ibadan, repeatedly sending the same letter: “I would be very grateful if you would use me for any kind of work in your photographic department.” His persistence paid off in 1954, when he was offered a position as a darkroom assistant. Just as Nigeria was shedding colonial rule in 1961, he became a still photographer for Television House Ibadan, a division of the Western Nigerian Broadcasting Services, the first television station in Africa.  Jazz musician Steve Rhodes was director of programming and Ojeikere has recalled, the spirit of the time:  “Just after independence, we were full of ideas and energy. We were going to conquer the world.”   

In 1963 he moved to Lagos to work for West Africa Publicity. In 1967 he joined the Nigerian Arts Council, and during their festival of the following year he began to take series of photographs dedicated to Nigerian culture. This body of work, now consisting of thousands of images, has become a unique anthropological, ethnographic, and documentary national treasure. Most African photographers of his generation only worked on commission; this project, unique of its kind, flourished without any commercial support.  

The Hairstyle series, which consists of close to a thousand photographs, is the largest and the most thorough segment of Ojeikere’s archive. “To watch a ‘hair artist’ going through his precise gestures, like an artist making a sculpture, is fascinating. Hairstyles are an art form,” Ojeikere has commented. He photographs hairstyles every day in the street, in offices, at parties. He records each subject systematically: from the rear, sometimes in profile, and occasionally head on. Those from the rear are almost abstract and best reveal the sculptural aspect of the hairstyles. For Ojeikere, this is a never-ending project as hairstyles evolve with fashion: “All these hairstyles are ephemeral. I want my photographs to be noteworthy traces of them. I always wanted to record moments of beauty, moments of knowledge. Art is life. Without art, life would be frozen.” 






















All images © JD ‘Okhai Ojeikere

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