In a world completely focused and devoted to capitalism, the market and buying and selling, fairs are a sacred place where the objects – but not only – that will characterize tomorrow are presented. In the immense world of the trade show industry, Germany plays a key role, and with more than 170 national trade fairs and 10 million visitors, it has won the role of the world’s most important trade show location. It is these places of encounter and exchange that fascinated the young photographer Jakob Schnetz and led him to dedicate the “Place of Promise” series to them.
Born in Germany in 1991, Jakob showed an interest in photography from an early age, which immediately involved him in projects characterized by a strong journalistic approach. Through his works he wants to present to his public a careful and curated critique of society and its mechanisms, linking to themes such as globalization and economy. And what better way than by capturing the truest side of trade fairs, which according to Jakob Schnetz himself mirror the global, capitalistic society, which is focussed on growth, performance and consumption. For each group of interest there is a different trade show: Arms, sex, pets, IT, livestock, industry, carpets, leisure, tourism, beauty and so forth.
Thus was born Place of Promise, a collection of images taken at over 40 different fairs that capture the moments of breaks, lunches, chats, queues, waits; standardized scenarios in which everyone tries to prevail over others simply because that’s what the system imposes.
Born in Seattle and moved to Warsaw, Erik Witsoe is a photographer best known for his street shots. Everything that populates the cities ends up being captured by the lens of his camera, passers-by, signs, shop windows and, last but not least, means of transport.
Trams, in particular, are the protagonists of many of his photographs. With their vintage look, trams arrive at the docks announced by the shrill noise of brakes, bringing with them all the charm of a period not so far away, but extraneous to high speed, eco buses, and cars with automatic transmission.
Erik Witsoe himself says:
I love how the trams add another depth to the street and make ordinary scenes rater dynamic and often, cinematic.
So, through hundreds of shots taken both from the street and from inside the trams, Erik shows the world from a point of view that many people know well, but that will seem new. Without understanding the reason why, you will notice that your tram journeys, boring, endless and always queuing behind some car parked on the rails, have nothing to do with Erik’s pictures, suspended and romantic.
It was March 11, 2011, when the Japanese region of Tōhoku was hit first by an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 and then by a tsunami that caused the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima power plant.
Just after the accident, the inhabitants of the cities of Natie and Iitate were forced to evacuate and move away from their homes. For many years these places remained completely displaced, until two years ago, when the Japanese government slowly began to reduce the exclusion zones and invested financially in the physical and economic reconstruction of these areas.
Despite this, very few people have actually had the courage to return to their homes, leaving some areas still totally uninhabited.
This is the scenario that attracted the English photographer Giles Price, who has always examined man’s impact on the environment through his work, and which led him to create Restricted Residence.
This photographic project is a collection of shots taken with the thermal technology usually used in the medical field or in surveys. The result is almost surreal photographs showing landscapes and people returned to the exclusion zones.
All the shots of Restricted Residence have been collected in a book of the same name and accompanied by an essay by Fred Pearce, an environmentalist writer. Giles Price gives back the atmosphere and the tensions present in a place that has experienced a nuclear disaster trying to question the viewer not only about the extent of the impact of nature on the man but also what man has on nature.
Born in 1984, Federico Clavarino was born in Turin but lives in London where he works as a teacher and dedicates himself to photography. One of the most fascinating projects he has realized is entitled Hereafter, with which Federico has retraced the history of his grandparents and through it also that of the colonial states of the British Empire.
John Phillips – Frederick’s grandfather – lived in Imperial Britain before moving to Sudan for work. It was here that he met Mary, with whom he lived in Libya, Oman, Jordan, and Cyprus. Together they experienced the decline of the British Empire and the transition from colony to an independent state of several countries.
Thus, combining his passion for history and his desire to retrace and pay homage to the life of his grandparents, Hereafter was born, a photographic series that alternates and mixes archival materials or even shots taken by Federico’s grandparents themselves, and personal shots by the Italian photographer.
This alternation creates a sort of link between past and present that underlines both what has changed over the years and all the aspects that have remained unchanged.
Last year all the shots of Hereafter were collected in a book published by Skinnerboox. To find out more go to Federico Clavarino’s website and to buy the book go here!