Through a photojournalist’s eyes
Photojournalists can best be described as visual storytellers. While their pictures — whether still or filmed — are usually accompanied by words, the photography propels their narrative.
We introduce you to the work of four Concordia alumni photojournalists at the top their game.
Barbara Davidson: positive change
“Going freelance in 2017 opened up new and exciting projects for me. In early 2018, I collaborated with the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children. I was commissioned to photograph conditions, and government solutions, to end violence against children in Indonesia, Tanzania, Mexico and Sweden. The photographs appeared in an exhibition at the world Solutions Summit in Stockholm.
In this photograph Anisa, 11, sits with her father, Afandi, on their makeshift bed near a temporary garbage dump, where they live homeless in Northern Jakarta. Anisa and her brothers attend a Save the Children youth-empowerment protection program that provides informal education and a child-friendly space to learn and play.
While in India on another project, I discovered the amazing world of the jute labourers. Jute is the second-most important vegetable fibre after cotton because of its versatility. For over 100 years, jute has been an integral part of the East Bengal, India, manufacturing industry. The British began trading it in the 17th century. Today the mills are Indian owned, yet unrest is growing as workers want more money while the value of jute keeps slipping, and millennials don’t want to do this kind of gruelling labour. The photo essay will run in the Los Angeles Times later in 2018.”
Barbara Davidson is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner and an Emmy-awarded photographer. She has twice been named International Photographer of The Year by the Pictures of The Year International competition. The Montreal native is currently based in Los Angeles, Calif., where she works on film, commercial and editorial assignments.
@photospice Twitter and Instagram
Matthew Hood: far north images
“These images were taken during the production in 2017 of my short film, My Irnik. The film highlights a young father and mother, raising their son (Irnik) with an emphasis on shared adventures, connection to the land, the heritage of dog sledding, learning from the environment and experiencing all that is the Far North — the dark rawness of the winter, the thaws of springtime, the seal soup of summer and the caribou hunting of the fall.
The film is about familial lines, ancestral culture, the generational transference of knowledge and the individual’s path to seek his or her own dreamscapes.”
Matthew Hood, BFA 11, is a documentary filmmaker and photographer who focuses on adventure, environment and wildlife. His work illustrates remote subject matter through compelling and powerful imagery. He employs a consciousness and sensitivity to ensure integrity and authenticity to each story being told and brings a strong foundation of both the conceptual and technical aspects of the visual medium.
Linda Dawn Hammond: Mermaids on parade
“I travelled to Coney Island, N.Y., in 2013 to photograph the wildly eclectic and entertaining Mermaid Parade, which heralds the start of summer for Brooklyn, N.Y., residents. Since 1983, the parade has wound its way along the sea front, delighting thousands of onlookers, whose outrageous and inventive costumes often rival those of the official participants.
Marchers register with the Family Friendly section or the Adult/Artsy group, where varying levels of undress are allowed. The Mermaid Parade’s distinctly nautical and mythological themes are interpreted liberally and always with great humour. Mermaids, mermen and sea creatures of every imaginable description abound, all vying for best costume prizes.”
Linda Dawn Hammond, BFA 90, also earned an MFA in visual arts from York University in 1996. Her work has been published and exhibited in Canada, United States and United Kingdom. She is a freelance photographer in Toronto, where she also teaches photojournalism at Collège La Cité.
François Pesant: An enemy within
“At the beginning of 2012, I had just moved to New York City. I was trying to meet female veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan for a magazine story. I spent hours in front of veterans’ hospitals and shelters for homeless veterans. That’s how I met Shatiima Davis. We started chatting and, after a few minutes, she said that she was raped by a comrade in Iraq. I was shocked. She started the whole project.
I worked on the project over the following four years, documenting the stories of military rape survivors in the U.S. Every year, around 25,000 U.S. soldiers are sexually assaulted by brothers in arms. Victims are often forced to resign and perpetrators arerarely brought to justice. The project became a book and a film, both titled An Enemy Within.
François Pesant, BA 09, is a photographer and cinematographer. He specializes in capturing in-depth stories and working on long-term projects about underreported issues. His work is regularly published by top media outlets around the world and is part of various private and museum collections. Pesant has received numerous awards and honours internationally, including two National Press Photographers Association Best of Photojournalism prizes.