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- UNDER THE SILHOUETTES
IN CONVERSATION WITH ASEN GEORGIEV Photography has always been the one thing Bulgarian street photographer Asen Georgiev has always identified with. His first contact with photography was his parents' old point and shoot film camera...the shutter sound sparking his passion. Later on, he discovered street photography and has since become fascinated by the people and their environments, capturing both the beauty and the imperfections. Every time Asen goes out to take photos he feels likes he is part of something bigger, but a part he can also just be himself. "I photograph things to see what they look like when they are photographed." - Garry Winogrand Asen please tell us about yourself. I was born and raised in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, a tiny little country in south eastern Europe. Where I grew up has massively influenced my work. As the most underdeveloped country in the European Union, there is a lot of poverty in Bulgaria. It was worse when I was little but it's still there, even more than 20 years later. Even now when you leave the bigger cities you see people living on the poverty line and struggling everyday. I guess that's why I was always fascinated by chaos and all sorts of different people from different layers of society. For that same reason I learnt that people are people no matter what's their income, where they live or what they do. That's one of the reasons why I got into street photography. I wanted to be able to capture life in the city, in its beauty and disfigurement. I'm still living in Sofia currently. I just finished my undergrad in marketing and am currently working as content marketing specialist in a startup, and doing freelance copywriting and marketing gigs whenever I get the chance. What drew you to photography? What was that moment that you decided to pick up a camera? Talk to us about your photographic experience on the streets of Bulgaria. When I was little my parents had an analog point-and-shoot Beroflex camera and I adored clicking the shutter. Eventually I found out that this sound meant that a picture was taken. When my parents were coming back with the developed negatives from the photo studio, I loved staring at them and trying to invert the colors in my mind. Some years later we had a field trip organized from school and they let me take that same camera with me. I shot an entire roll of film for the few hours we were there and I loved every minute of it. Fast forward a few more years and smartphone cameras were getting pretty decent. I remember taking photos for an entire afternoon at a nearly deserted beach that my family and me went to and being very happy while experimenting with different compositions. Since then photography has constantly been a part of my life in one way or another. The year after my dad retired as a firefighter and bought me my first DSLR. It was a Nikon D3100 that really sparked my interest in photography. One more year later, in high school we had a complimentary photography class taught by a photojournalism lecturer from the Sofia University. That was my first contact with street photography and photojournalism. He was telling us stories about Sebastião Salgado, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Garry Winogrand and many more of photography's greatests. That's when my street photography journey began. Photography on the streets of Bulgaria can be very challenging at times. Not because people don't like it, even though that also tends to happen, but because a big part of the cities are the same. That's what communism does to your country after all. It loses a big part of its personality, loses many of its resources and is left bankrupt... Lately I find myself walking through neighborhoods in Sofia that I haven't photographed before. In summer it's great, there are always people outside, a lot of stuff going and plenty of scenes to photograph. In winter, though, it's dead. Everyone rushes home and there's only action at major bus stops and subway stations. But that's also got its charm. What is it that you love most about street photography? The freedom. Street photography can be inside, outside, you can have people in it or only buildings. It can be anything. This can be very challenging, though. In my opinion the biggest limitations to creativity is the lack of limitations. It's basically a love-hate relationship. What are some of your most favorite places you find inspiration to explore through your photography, and what draws you there? In 2021 I was lucky enough to be able to spend an entire month in Turkey. It's a breath-taking place. Not only Istanbul too. Every corner of it. There's always something going, there are people everywhere, selling, playing, running, smiling, doing all sorts of stuff. Before photography I wasn't nearly as attracted to Turkey as I am now, so I guess that's the place that I explored because of it. What role has the digital community played in your photography journey? As a 25-year old my generation is the last that saw an analog world. This is great as it makes me appreciate how much freedom the digital era is giving us. Especially when it comes to the photography community. I'm glad to say that lately the street photography community in Bulgaria has been steadily growing. If it wasn't for the digital era, I wouldn't have met any of the other Bulgarian street photographers. And there's so much quality there. It would've been a shame to miss it. About my photography journey...well, the digital community helps you understand that the work you do is average at best. It helps you ground yourself and not think you're something you're not. When you take pictures, do you usually have a concept in mind of what you want to shoot, or do you let the images just "come to you", or is it both? Please describe your process. It's very rarely that I'll shoot with a concept in mind. And even when there's something of a concept that I'm trying to shoot, it's very vague, so it's fair to say that I shoot what comes to me. I think my process is like any other street photographer's. I simply walk around. Usually my camera is easily visible and I never try to hide the fact that I'm taking a picture. If you try to hide it people are going to think you're doing something bad and either get uncomfortable or get mad at you. After going out to shoot I usually wait a few days or a week before editing the photos. That's something I learnt after starting to shoot film more than 2 years ago. The more you slow down, the more likely you're to end up with an ok shot. Do you have any favourite artists or photographers you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance? Oh yeah, plenty. When it comes to photography, the photographers that have impressed me the most are Alex Webb, David Alan Harvey, Robert Frank and Sebastião Salgado. There are more, of course, but these are the ones that first come to mind. I believe the reasons why they're so significant is obvious to anyone who's seen their work. It's simply genius. It's pure art. About other artists... I'm very passionate about music so there are a lot of musicians that inspire me. There's the whole grunge era with Chris Cornell, Eddie Vedder, Layne Staley, and of course, Kurt Cobain. The movement they created, their music, their passion, their inability to give a fuck... It's unbelievable! If you could just choose one photographer to shoot alongside for a day...who would you choose? And why? I guess they have to be alive, right? That would be either Sam Abell, Alex Webb or David Alan Harvey. I put Sam Abell there as I watched a lecture of his online where he explained his process. The way he decides to tell a story, how he composes his shot, the dedication... All of it. Alex and David because they're my biggest inspiration. I want to see how they work in the field, how they see the world, how they interact with it. It would be like seeing magic. What was the first camera you ever held in your hand, brought to eye, and released a shutter on? What is the camera you use now? Does the equipment you use help you in achieving your vision in your photography? What is on your wishlist? I think it was that point-and-shoot Beroflex camera my parents had. I still have it too and it still works. I actually took one of my favorite photos with it last year. Now I mainly shoot with my Fuji XT-20 and my Ricoh GR III. I also use a few analog cameras, among which a Nikon FG-20 and a Russian Zorki 4. I think different equipment gives a different vibe to your work. If you shoot film, your photos will have more imperfections. That gives a lot of personality though. Digital is different. It gives you more room for creativity and kind of takes you closer to your subject. They're both great though. When it comes to wishlist...Well, I've wanted to get a Leica, be it digital or analog, but I don't think that's ever happening, with their prices always going up. I've also been considering getting a Fuji X100 series camera at some point. What are some of your goals as a photographer? Where do you hope to see yourself in five years? That's a tough one. I definitely want to keep shooting. I want to work on project, document life in all corners of the world, hopefully work with embassies. There are a few projects I have taking shape in my head and I hope I'll be able to complete at least some of them within the next five years. "When I am not out photographing, I (like to)… I like to disconnect. I want to be there and then and nothing else to exist. I often want to be invisible and simply capture what's interesting." All photography © Asen Georgiev
- A MAN'S BEST FRIENDS
IN CONVERSATION WITH CHETAN VERMA For as far back as Chetan Verma can recall, photography has always attracted him. He clearly recalls how he used to love clicking on his grandfather's film camera. But then life happened, and Chetan became preoccupied with studying and establishing a career. So, when he bought his first DSLR around 2011, his amazing new tool instantly won Chetan over. Around 2016, by chance, Chetan was introduced to street photography, and he started taking the camera out on the streets. He discovered a new dimension of love for photography. Street photography, to Chetan, is fun. To him, the fact that no moment can be repeated gives him the challenge of how to make that moment more interesting. It helps me to remember how life is full of so many interesting possibilities. Over the last couple of years, Chetan has been intentionally photographing the affable dog. Finding them pretty much everywhere on the streets in India, anyone documenting the streets are bound to encounter them. The photographs in this collection are frames where Chetan has made the lovable dog the star. Chetan points out that, over the past several years, he has made great strides in his relationship with dogs, going from being initially terrified of them to making them the focal point in these pictures. Through his long term project Chetan has created a wonderful unexpected connection to an unexpected community. Hello Chetan, tell us about yourself. How does where you are from influence your work? I grew up in Mathura in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It's a small town but is well known throughout India and the world (if I may say that) as the birth place of Lord Krishna. Although I have been a student of science, I have always had good taste in music and arts in general. My aunt studied arts, and was deep into drawing and painting. My grandfather, who had retired as a doctor from the Army, was a great storyteller. And although I grew up in a large joint family, I was always his favorite and so he never stopped from playing with his film camera too occasionally. And though these things may seem small, I truly believe that all of this had a great impact on me and my taste in the arts in general. At present I work as a Software Engineer with an Investment Bank in Gurgaon, India where I live with my lovely wife Pooja and our 11 year old daughter Aanya. What drew you to photography? What was that moment that you decided to pick up a camera? Talk to us about your photographic experience on the streets of India. After I did my Master's in Computer Science, the next couple of years went by quickly - job, marriage and everything in-between. Then just after marriage, I got a chance to work in the United States for around 2 years. We were in our mid twenties, and so the idea was to visit as many places in the USA as possible and to save those memories, I bought a point-and-shoot camera. I captured some beautiful memories in the USA and we returned back to India in a couple of years. Then it was around 2016, the time of mid-life crisis for me, when those philosophical questions started to creep in my mind - what am I doing, how can I find happiness, what do I really love doing. And it was my wife who helped me find the answer - "Just pick your camera, go out, and shoot", she said. And like a good husband, I followed her advice 😉. I came across some groups who would go out and shoot in Delhi, which is just an hour's drive from Gurgaon. The groups would mostly go to the historical monuments, and Delhi has so many of them. I am an introvert, so these photowalks helped me a lot to get confident walking with the camera and being able to shoot. Delhi is heavily populated so it's impossible to shoot without people getting in the frame. Even if this sounds unbelievable, trust me, this is true. And so one walk turned to another, and soon I started getting comfortable going out solo. I was shooting everything - monuments, flowers, walls, people - you name it. Then one day I came across the gallery of Navin Vatsa on Instagram - I am sure it was that day when I really got hooked to this genre of Street Photography. I will talk more about this later as I can see there is a question further down that is more apt for talking about Navin's work. What is it that you love most about street photography? Street photography, to me, is fun. The fact that no moment can be repeated gives me the challenge of how to make that moment more interesting. It helps me to remember how life is full of so many interesting possibilities. As Obie Oberholzer said - "I don’t believe that one photograph is better than another; rather one is more interesting than another. So, basically, 'you get what you take'. If the objects in front of the camera are interesting enough ‘you take them’, and if they are not 'you make them'." What have been some of your most favorite places you find inspiration to explore through your photography, and what draws you there? What I absolutely love about Street Photography is that one doesn't need an 'ideal' location for it. Many great photographers have done amazing work simply documenting their neighbourhood. Still, if I were to list some of my favourite places, Delhi would top the list, as that is where I live and so it is always accessible. Knowing a place helps, as you understand the dynamics of it - the more you visit a place, the more you know of when it's empty, when it is crowded, where and how will the light and shadow play, and so many other things that are quite important for Street Photography. It's a city in the mix, modernity of South Delhi and Gurgaon with their high rises and shopping malls, the narrow lanes of Old Delhi with its chaos, the banks of river Yamuna where at times you get a glimpse of a life full of peace. Three years back I got a chance to visit London for work for 2 weeks, and so over the two weekends I explored whatever was humanly possible and fell in love with the art galleries and the streets. What role has the digital community played in your photography journey thus far? If it's social media you are talking about, then I truly believe these platforms are simply tools - how you use them is up to you. You can use it to share your work with the whole world, get feedback, observe and learn how the master's shoot and so many other great things for improving your photography. I have been active on Instagram for a couple of years now and I personally like it a lot for the kind of reach it has. Of course there are some things I do not like about it - including the way it has started giving undue focus on video's and the promotional content, but I think the pro's weigh much more heavily against the con's at the moment for Instagram. When you take pictures, do you usually have a concept in mind of what you want to shoot, or do you let the images just "come to you", or is it both? Please describe your process. Street Photography is all about the moment, and so by its nature, it can't be planned. I go out with my camera with a clean mind, and then let my intuition guide me. If I see an interesting stage on the street, say light falling at a certain angle, or an interesting graffiti on the wall, and if I think a specific subject crossing my frame will make for an interesting moment, I do wait, but not for long. I prefer coming back to the same location next time rather than waiting for hours at a spot. Having a concept in mind could be an interesting way to challenge oneself, but since I normally go out for photography only over the weeked, I do not have this luxury at the moment. I make the best of the time I get for photography. Do you have any favourite artists or photographers you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance? Navin Vatsa would top the list for me. I consider him my Guru of sorts - in my initial days while I was new to Street Photography, it was his work that got me hooked to the genre. Then as I understood it more, I came across works of many other masters of Street Photography. His images are very strong emotionally, and I think that is the prime reason why I connect with them being quite an emotional person myself. Apart from Navin Vatsa, some of my favourites are Vineet Vohra, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alan Schaller, and Matt Stuart. If you could just choose one photographer to shoot alongside for a day...who would you choose? And why? This is a really tough one. If it has to be one, then I will prefer to go along with one who can teach me most. The reason I say so is that explaining and teaching someone how you work, think and act is such a tricky part, so I am sure not all great photographers would make good teachers of Photography. So my reason is purely selfish - I would like to go with one who helps me grow most as a photographer. Do you have a favorite photography/art quote that has been an inspiration to you? Many learned and enlightened beings, including great photographers have said this one thing in one way or another - "There is no shortcut to practice"...and I truly believe in it. It's one thing to read books and attend workshops, but nothing is going to be fruitful if I do not go out and shoot. What was the first camera you ever held in your hand, brought to eye, and released a shutter on? What is the camera you use now? Does the equipment you use help you in achieving your vision in your photography? What is on your wishlist? I am 100% sure it was my grandfather's film camera, but unfortunately I have forgotten which brand or model it was. There is a high probability that it could be lying in some box at our ancestral home, and I hope to discover it one day. Currently I have a Nikon D750, which I must say is a fantastic camera. I have recently bought a Fujifilm XE4 as well for times when I want something compact during travel. As for my wishlist, I hope to save money and buy a Leica someday. I really want to experience first hand why pretty much all the great photographers use a Leica 😊 What are some of your goals as a photographer? Where do you hope to see yourself in five years? I have just one goal, to be able to "see" better from a photographer's point of view. Photography is a hobby and passion for me, and I want myself to be a forever learner in this field. “When I am not out photographing, I (like to)… Travelling, playing chess and spending time with family, to name a few.” All photography © Chetan Verma
- DAYTIME ST. PAULI
IN CONVERSATION WITH MIRKO KARSCH From the point of view of Berlin photographer Mirko Karsch, street photography is a contribution to the debate on the documentation of contemporary forms of life in the psychological, ecological and architectural sense. The urban city is both a stage and an object of social conflict, and ultimately a result of social processes. Mirko gained his first photographic experience in New York City in the 1990s. It wasn't until much later that he realised that he had been doing street photography intuitively. Since then, his approach has remained the same, looking deep and finding interest in the everyday. Lucky enough to photograph regionally and worldwide, Mirko observes and see the potential in whatever has been put in front of him. Hello Mirko, tell us a little bit about yourself. How does where you are from influence your work? I originally come from Hamburg and grew up there sheltered. That was quickly too narrow for me and was the reason why I looked for things that deviated from what I found at home. Later I moved to Frankfurt and Madrid. Since a few years I live in Berlin. So I've been around a lot in Europe. The interest in new and different things, is of course also reflected in the photography. I like to try out new things. What drew you to photography? What was that moment that you decided to pick up a camera? Talk to us about your photographic experience in New York in the 1990s and how that mapped your photographic journey to who you are today. I got my first camera as a confirmation gift. I think a camera was a kind of status symbol back then, like a cell phone is today. I took my first serious photos in New York without giving it much thought. I simply photographed what I liked in automatic mode. That was film photography, of course, and it wasn't until much later in Hamburg that I realized that I liked both the pictures and the style incredibly well. And so I began to consciously pursue street photography. Introduce your series "St. Pauli during the day" to us. This series focuses on the district St. Pauli in Hamburg, Germany. St. Pauli is incredibly multifaceted and is especially known for its nightlife. You can find here an immense number of bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs. But St. Pauli is also known for its red light district and there are problems with violent disputes from time to time. The district is also interesting because it is located directly on one of the largest seaports in the world, and this fact still characterises what St. Pauli is today. But what does it look like during the day when the night owls have disappeared? Are the pubs empty then? Who lives in St.Pauli? What does the true soul of the district look like? Sometimes life in St. Pauli seems like a cycle to me: In the evening the tourists come, at night the Hamburg nighthawks, and when the trash is pushed aside in the morning, the neighborhood belongs to its residents again until the next evening. Since the 90s, I have been on the streets of St. Pauli again and again. Deviating from the usual customs, I liked to stay here even during the day. Looking back, I'm not sure it was wise to spend so much time in pinball arcades, but this place has an inexplicable attraction for me. Endless possibilities - even during the day. The people I meet during the day, young and old, have an alternative lifestyle, others seem to have none at all. There are pubs and bars that never seemed to close. Some play hard techno sound, others shanties. In the Summer there are open-air festivals and art projects. There is a huge event area here where folk fairs take place and a large soccer stadium for a professional team is located right next door. And above all this watches a bunker from the Second World War. But this is also where normal life takes place. Children are taken to school, postmen deliver the mail, suppliers deliver to pubs and the laundry is washed in laundromats. St. Pauli is also home to two churches, who care about the well-being of the people of St. Pauli. St. Joseph-Kirche is located in one of the noisiest and wildest streets of the district, which represents a bizarre contrast. The other church, St. Pauli Kirche, is located between the entertainment district and the port. The park-like property is open to all residents. They like to use it - even just to play a game of ball and enjoy a cold beer. How much change is healthy? Of course, gentrification has not stopped at St. Pauli and many cherished things have disappeared. In order to understand this, you have to know that historically St. Pauli was a part of the city where mainly the working class and low-income groups settled. This is still noticeable today, but due to the aforementioned displacement through gentrification, fewer and fewer of the resident population can afford to live in St. Pauli. But the changes on st. Pauli also show themselves in other ways. The local beer "Astra" is no longer brewed here and the commercial sprees seem to be scaling ever new heights, especially in the evenings. On the other hand, people were already grumbling about the new entertainment formats in the 90s. Change is part of the big city. Not only in Hamburg. And the fact that a district is developing is not necessarily negative. An example of this is the public park "Park Fiction", where young people especially like to spend their free time. Here is played a lot of basketball or it is the lawn just enjoy the view of the harbour. What has remained are many beautiful things, such as the harbor panorama, which I will probably never get tired of. St. Pauli is still the place that attracts many young people. New things are constantly being created. The district never seems to sleep. It is a lot of fun to stroll through St. Pauli during the day. Everything is unstressed and the observations are quite different than at night. How and why did this project first manifest for you? What was the inspiration? I have known St. Pauli since the 90s and have always been attracted to the district. Even then I was often on the road during the day in St. Pauli and was fascinated by the people who live and work there and the many opportunities they have. I don't think many people understand that St. Pauli is of course also a completely normal place where children go to school, people buy bread and the churches invite people to prayer on Sundays. In addition, I was naturally interested in the contrasts with the "night shift". Actually, St. Pauli exists twice. It wasn't until much later that I came up with the idea of documenting everything photographically. Talk to us about your method of working and experimentation during the project. What was a daily itinerary for you? Is the project ongoing? I know St. Pauli very well, but I did research beforehand and looked for spots that I found relevant and interesting. Otherwise, I was the typical flaneur, wandering the streets looking for suitable locations. I plan to keep this project going for a while, as I am sure that St. Pauli has much more to offer. There is no final date. Finally, what do you want people to take away from this project? What do you want them to be asking themselves or to think about? I would like to encourage people to observe things a little more intensively and to look behind the scenes. It is also incredibly important to talk to the local people. So doors open and you get a feeling for the people and their way of thinking and living. What is it that you love most about street photography? Street photography is diverse and has more to offer than the decisive moment. It has a documentary character about it and shows everyday life. Street photos preserve the present for future generations. In that sense, street photos have a lot in common with wine: they get better and better over the years. Do you have any favourite artists or photographers you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance? I consider Harvey Stein to be an excellent photographer. I find his long-term series, which span up to 50 years, very inspiring. Ian Howorth is in my eyes an excellent exponent of the cinematic photography genre. Finally, I appreciate Alec Soth for his great documentary work. If you could just choose one photographer to shoot alongside for a day...who would you choose? And why? I would love to spend a day with Alec Soth. He has published excellent photography books in the last few years and I really appreciate his photographic style. I am sure I can learn a lot from him. What was the first camera you ever held in your hand, brought to eye, and released a shutter on? What is the camera you use now? Does the equipment you use help you in achieving your vision in your photography? What is on your wishlist? My first camera was the Yashica AF 200 and I'm glad I still have it and use it from time to time. It's amazing how much image quality is in such old cameras. Nowadays I mainly use the Nikon D7500 as an all-round camera and the Lumix LX100 II for street photography. The Nikon allows me to use all angles thanks to the F-mount. In addition, the image resolutions are excellent even at night. With the Lumix, I can go where I would stand out or be disturbed with the big Nikon. Since I'm completely satisfied, I'm not planning a new purchase at the moment. What are some of your goals as a photographer? What direction do you think you will take your photography? Where do you hope to see yourself in five years? I have noticed that I am moving more and more away from pure street photography towards documentary photography. This fits very well with my next project: A documentary about the Berlin skateboard scene. Maybe there will be an exhibition in 5 years (or sooner). “When I am not out photographing, I (like to)… Spend time with the kids. And skateboarding of course!” Thank you Mirko! All photographs © Mirko Karsch
- THE PICTORIAL-LIST | Building a community of photography
THE APPLEBY HORSE FAIR PHOTOGRAPHY AND STORY BY DAVID GILBERT WRIGHT The Appleby Horse fair is an annual event, held in the north of England. Travellers gather from all over the United Kingdom and Ireland to trade horses and have a good time. David Gilbert Wright has gained access to this close-knit community, to capture life at this remarkable event. READ STORY INTERVIEW THE STREET LAMP Fabio Catanzaro focuses on the street lamp, predominant in the viewpoint, where its aesthetics outweighs its utility. PICTORIAL STORY ON THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO As the fog rolls in off the bay, photographer Stephen Laszlo may be found walking the streets in his beloved San Francisco with Leica in hand and a sharp eye out for slices of life. INTERVIEW GOTHAM MEMORIES: NEW YORK CITY Wandering the streets with his cameras, urban observer Jeff Rothstein has been photographing New York City since the dawn of the 1970s. INTERVIEW WELCOME TO STREET LIFE Street Life is a street photography podcast filling a void in the podcast world of photography. It is hosted by two photographers, John St. and Mark Davidson. INTERVIEW SOHO SMALL HOURS Laine Mullally placed herself in the midst of moments rich in emotion as she wandered around in Soho at night. INTERVIEW ZOONOSIS Over two years Adrian Pelegrin tracked all the news about the novel coronavirus and its consequences, photographing television images, and selecting the most shocking headlines. INTERVIEW NOSTALGIA In her own words Monika K. Adler tells a poetic and emotional story of an immigrant's remembrance of a life disrupted by war. PICTORIAL STORY GERMAN VOICES CRYING OUT FOR FREEDOM For this poignant story, Paola Ferrarotti has documented the growing protest movements taking place in Germany in support of freedom for Iran's women, and against violence against women. PICTORIAL STORY ABYSSINIAN DIARIES With his camera in hand, Rpnunyez wanted to capture the real Ethiopia. In his own words, this is his story. INTERVIEW SIMULATION THEORY Mattia Bullo seeks to explore a very particular and curious feeling: the feeling of slowly losing touch with reality. INTERVIEW AWAKENING INSTINCTS Marilena Filaiti is living proof of the importance that photography can make in your life. An enlightening experience that gave her more understanding of herself and the world she exists in. INTERVIEW AROUND ANGELUS: The Poetry of Everyday Life Paolo Ricca's series of photographs evokes the sensations of a special day, the memory of a magical and timeless atmosphere. INTERVIEW IN FRAMES WE TRUST Gianluca Mortarotti's persona behind the camera brings out his life philosophy of looking for the exceptional in the ordinary. PICTORIAL STORY INTO AFRICA For almost three decades, Jelisa Peterson has focused her work on the people, the cultures and environments she has witnessed and experienced while living in and visiting these communities. INTERVIEW UNDER THE SILHOUETTES Every time Asen Georgiev goes out to take photos he feels likes he is part of something bigger, but a part he can also just be himself. THE RESURRECTION OF RUBINO PHOTOGRAPHY BY AARON RUBINO STORY BY GARY NOLAN Gary Nolan brings us an opportunity to see a glimpse into the life of a photographer during this eclectic era in history. We respectfully honor Aaron Rubino’s work and his contribution to photography in his day. READ STORY SELECTED STORIES THE INVISIBLE WORKERS Adrian Whear traveled to Bangladesh where he was introduced to the people that churn out bricks by hard manual labour. MODERN NOMADS Callie Eh takes us to the steppes of Mongolia to document a family of nomadic herders. ZAINAB THE SUPER FARMER Anwar Sadat tells the story of super farmer Zainab who improved her standard of living through education programmes. ROCKETGIRL CHRONICLES These chronicles are a tribute to a family's strength and inspiration on how to find the possible in the seemingly impossible. SOMETHING ABOUT THE FUTURE Francesca Tiboni investigates through a series of collaborative portraits with her daughter Cecilia her transition into adulthood. EXPLORE STORIES QUIRKYVISION PHOTOGRAPHY BY MERYL MEISLER STORY BY KAREN GHOSTLAW POMARICO Impertinent and humorous, Meryl Meisler plunges us into a captivating city and time, 1970s and 1980s New York, with her new exhibition. READ STORY SELECTED INTERVIEWS SERVICE INTERRUPTION Wojciech Karlinski documented Poland train stations during the pandemic, highlighting their formal and aesthetic side. BREAKS FROM REALITY The magic only dreams are made of become reality for viewers as they engage in the poetic imagery of Mariëtte Aernoudts. QUARANTINE IN QUEENS Neil Kramer's humorous and compassionate lockdown diary has gone viral. BEYOND THE STORY Through her documentary photography, Christina Simons is compelled to tell the stories of those who are unable to do so themselves. COMEDIANS Steve Best documents the British comedy scene, backstage and on stage, the highs and lows, and the joy of being a comedian. ENROUTE TO THE PINES Robert Sherman shares his documentary series about drag queens celebrating the 'Invasion of the Pines'. VOICES OF THE NILE Voices of the Nile by Bastien Massa and Arthur Larie is a project documenting the relationship of Ethiopians with the Blue Nile. REPRESENTING THE PEOPLE Camille J. Wheeler documents Austin's streets, with a particular focus on its homeless community. EXPLORE INTERVIEWS © Monika K. Adler Stay connected. Receive the latest news, features and stories. Enter your email here SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER Thanks for subscribing! FOLLOW THE PICTORIAL LIST BUILDING A COMMUNITY OF PHOTOGRAPHY If you are a photographer with a photo story to share then we would love to see it! We want to help support you and the work you create. Share your photography projects with us. submit © Bill Lacey
- THE PICTORIAL LIST | TRAVELLERS & THE APPLEBY HORSE FAIR
PICTORIAL STORY | BOOK January 27, 2023 TRAVELLERS & THE APPLEBY HORSE FAIR Photography and words by David Gilbert Wright Deep in the heart of the County once called Westmorland, near to the Lake District lies the small town of Appleby, nestled on the side of a valley straddling the River Eden. The Settle to Carlisle railway runs through this town, being one of the stops on it on what is known as the most scenic railway journey in England. Appleby has become known for the horse fair that first came into being in 1685. It is the biggest horse fair of its kind attracting thousands of people. So what actually happens at the fair? Travellers, Gipsy and Roma come from across the British Isles in the week preceding, a fair that is usually held in June. They travelled to Appleby using both motorised and horse drawn vehicles. Horses and ponies of all kinds, sizes and breeds arrive at the town to be exhibited, shown off and sold. The traveller community pitch up there bow-tops, motorhomes and mobile caravans in up to severn fields outside of the town boundary. They have been doing this now for centuries and as such, it has become a time when they meet and renew friendships, acquaintances and business bonds. I first became aware of the Appleby horse fair in the early 1980s quite by chance and in a totally different context. I was travelling India engaged in a different photographic project. I arrived in the desert town Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. It was the home of the Pushchair Camel Fair. It was here that a local told me of the horse fair in England. Many years passed before I got around to photographing it. I had seen other photographers’ pictures of the fair. They concentrated on the show parts like ‘The flash’, which is where those selling their horses ride them at speed up and down the hill into the town. Another well photographed scene is the horses being ridden around the River Eden. I realised that one aspect of the fair seemed to be relatively under photographed. It was the actual trading aspect. This involved getting the horses ready by washing and grooming and then doing the deal. It all takes place way out of town in the quiet roads and farm tracks near Gallows Hill and the Long Marton crossroads. Here you can find, if you are lucky, groups of mainly men sizing up the horses, haggling and eventually sealing the deals. Listening in to one deal, I heard the man suggest a horse was past it in order to keep the price down, while the other argued that it was capable of pulling a trap at speed. Each tried to position the price until a compromise was reached. Bluff and bravado were key and eventually they would spit on their palms and seal the deal with a handshake. (I was witnessing something that had not changed for centuries). Traveller, Gypsy and Romany people have for a long time been heavily involved with horses. They take them seriously and care for them greatly. However, these people have traditionally been regarded with suspicion when they arrive in a town or village. Why is that? Humanity has moved through a number of phases from its origins as hunter-gatherers. The advent of arable farming brought a need to settle and enclose the land to protect the crops. As production increased so did the need to trade surpluses. Settlements grew into market towns and the enclosure of more and more land put pressure on those still moving their livestock to give up that lifestyle. It is easy to see how the communities would regard such people as 'other' or outsiders. To protect their own way of life, settled people started to invent stories about the travellers as untrustworthy. Crimes were attributed wrongly to them. Even in recent times, we were told "Don't trust a tinker!" My grandparents were collectively grouping anyone who seemed to fit the bill of living in a caravan and moving around the country. The business of buying and selling horses was the province of men. Caring for the horses, exercising them and learning the ropes are what the young boys do prior to their rite of passage. Becoming a man to these families involves many things but one thing that is apparent is that horsemanship is in the blood. This can be seen during the fair as boys and girls come and go along the country lanes, riding the horses. Look closer and you realise that most ride 'bareback' with just a pair of reins. And the speed! What is it about the young? They seem to love speed. Galloping along with the wind in their faces, they are natural riders. Another thing you cannot help noticing is the boys sport very smart, hairstyles. Shaved around the back and sides and long on top, neatly combed and greased back. As they ride past or stand holding their horses they chat to each other, unaware of the way girls are looking at them. The fair is not just a place where people renew friendships and trade horses. It is where the emerging adolescents begin their journey into relationships and adulthood. Teenager boys would brag about how fast their horses were in the way that teenagers in our wider society talked about their cars. Teenage girls, who were just coming of age would be dressed so glamorously you might be mistaken thinking that you were at a prestigious fashion show. Their aim, I was told was “to get the attention of the of the lads” and they certainly did that! Pressure has been on the Authorities to curtail or even end the Horse Fair. However, the reasons put forward are dubious. The Police have stated that given the size of the fair with up to 10,000 visitors, the level of crime is extremely low with only 7 arrests in 2021, mostly for drunkenness. Only 29 tonnes of litter was left in 2021, much from the small businesses and all was cleared at no expense the ratepayers. Indeed, many local businesses benefit from the fair. It would be wrong to stop the Appleby Horse Fair for unsubstantiated reasons. It seems to be more a case of prejudice than actually evidence. VIEW DAVID'S PORTFOLIO CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and are not necessarily shared by The Pictorial List and the team. https://www.2tenbooks.com/travellers-the-appleby-horse-fair.html?fbclid=PAAaaJANWIfNEfZG3Qv77ykYKTzWufCxMPikFubsMou4d3EieWHgoq7LBRNKE FURTHER READING TRAVELLERS & THE APPLEBY HORSE FAIR TRAVELLERS & THE APPLEBY HORSE FAIR David Gilbert Wright has gained access to this close-knit community, to capture life at the remarkable Appleby Horse Fair. ZOONOSIS ZOONOSIS Zoonosis is the culmination of two years of Adrian Pelegrin tracking all the news about the novel coronavirus and its consequences. COMEDIANS COMEDIANS In his new book COMEDIANS, Steve Best documents the British comedy scene backstage and onstage. GROUNDED GROUNDED Over the last year, photographer and digital nomad Samantha Brown, has documented the pandemic, mostly from the back of her campervan within local lockdown restrictions. THE PROVINCIAL THE PROVINCIAL Conflicting emotions. Good and sad memories. Antonis Giakoumakis takes us on a very personal journey about his province. QUIRKYVISION QUIRKYVISION: The French Connection Impertinent and humorous, Meryl Meisler plunges us into a captivating city and time, 1970s and 1980s New York, with her new exhibition. MELBOURNE UNMASKED MELBOURNE UNMASKED Focusing exclusively on one city, AASPI's new book MELBOURNE UNMASKED presents a remarkable array of street photography that features some of Australia’s finest practitioners of the art. FILL THE FRAME FILL THE FRAME The popularity of street photography is greater than ever. Fill the Frame follows eight contemporary New York City street photographers documenting their journeys up to now. SMALL HOURS SMALL HOURS Through the night to dawn the following morning, Philip Butler takes us on a photo tour of Malvern that the tourist board probably wouldn’t sanction. CITY OF IMAGES CITY OF IMAGES For the third year in a row, the small town of Baden near Vienna has become an outdoor photography gallery with the photo festival La Gacilly-Baden. OLD CUSTOMS OLD CUSTOMS Chris Suspect's new book combines visual references to Romanian fairy tales focusing on the ideas of freedom and youth tethered to history in the seaside town of Vama Veche. ISOLATION PORTRAITS ISOLATION PORTRAITS Australian photographer Suzanne Phoenix captured intimate portraits in her hometown in the Yarra Valley during Victoria's Covid lockdowns.
- THE PICTORIAL LIST | BOOKS, EXHIBITIONS & FILM
QUIRKYVISIONS by Meryl Meisler Impertinent and humorous, Meryl Meisler plunges us into a captivating city and time, the 1970s and 1980s in New York. read article explore all PICTORIAL STORY | BOOK TRAVELLERS & THE APPLEBY HORSE FAIR David Gilbert Wright has gained access to this close-knit community, to capture life at the remarkable Appleby Horse Fair. BOOK ZOONOSIS Zoonosis is the culmination of two years of Adrian Pelegrin tracking all the news about the novel coronavirus and its consequences. BOOK COMEDIANS In his new book COMEDIANS, Steve Best documents the British comedy scene backstage and onstage. BOOK GROUNDED Over the last year, photographer and digital nomad Samantha Brown, has documented the pandemic, mostly from the back of her campervan within local lockdown restrictions. BOOK THE PROVINCIAL Conflicting emotions. Good and sad memories. Antonis Giakoumakis takes us on a very personal journey about his province. EXHIBITION QUIRKYVISION: The French Connection Impertinent and humorous, Meryl Meisler plunges us into a captivating city and time, 1970s and 1980s New York, with her new exhibition. BOOK MELBOURNE UNMASKED Focusing exclusively on one city, AASPI's new book MELBOURNE UNMASKED presents a remarkable array of street photography that features some of Australia’s finest practitioners of the art. FILM FILL THE FRAME The popularity of street photography is greater than ever. Fill the Frame follows eight contemporary New York City street photographers documenting their journeys up to now. BOOK SMALL HOURS Through the night to dawn the following morning, Philip Butler takes us on a photo tour of Malvern that the tourist board probably wouldn’t sanction. EXHIBITION CITY OF IMAGES For the third year in a row, the small town of Baden near Vienna has become an outdoor photography gallery with the photo festival La Gacilly-Baden. BOOK OLD CUSTOMS Chris Suspect's new book combines visual references to Romanian fairy tales focusing on the ideas of freedom and youth tethered to history in the seaside town of Vama Veche. BOOK ISOLATION PORTRAITS Australian photographer Suzanne Phoenix captured intimate portraits in her hometown in the Yarra Valley during Victoria's Covid lockdowns. LOAD MORE ARTICLES be on The List We are always on the search for unique visual storytellers of all genres. Do you have a book or exhibition that you would like to share with us? Would you like to join our portfolio of photographers and be represented on our website, and social media platforms? submit © Adrian Pelegrin