Sunday, 27 November 2011



For this week’s issue, Alessandra Sanguinetti photographed Aida Battlle’s coffee plantation high up in the El Salvadorian mountains. No stranger to shooting out in countryside, Sanguinetti has spent many years photographing in the agrarian communities of Argentina’s Pampas region. Last year, we talked to Sanguinetti about her book of photographs of a pair of cousins in rural Argentina, “The Adventures of Guille and Belinda and the Enigmatic Meaning of Their Dreams.” These new photographs, though, reminded me of one of her first projects out of school: “On the Sixth Day,” which depicts the relationship between the animals and humans on a farm in the Pampas. “In the rural farmland of Argentina, this relationship is part of everyday life,” Sanguinetti writes. “Small and open land farming, unlike intensive and factory farming, has resulted in a language of traditions that persist over the years, where the cycle of life and death is present every day, from dawn to dust.”
Here is a selection from “On the Sixth Day.”

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A week after the sex-abuse scandal broke at Penn State, Lauren Lancaster spent Saturday in and around Beaver Stadium, documenting the mood among tailgaters, fans, and protesters. “You’d see someone holding a sign for child-abuse awareness, and a minute later they’d be surrounded by a group of smiling, face-painted fans who wanted to pose for a picture with them, so they’d smile for the picture, too,” Lancaster said. “There seemed to be resounding support for Joe Paterno. When asked how he felt about the recent news, one fan said, ‘If your father made a mistake you’d forgive him, wouldn’t you?’ ”
In their first game without their longtime coach, Penn’s Nittany Lions lost to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Here’s a selection of photographs from Lancaster’s visit.

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The New York Historical Society reopens today, following a three-year renovation, and among its new exhibits is “Freedom Now,” by the New Yorker photographer Platon. Each lit individually in the dark gallery, the photographs make for contemplative viewing. Many of these images, including those of the Little Rock Nine, Muhammad Ali, and the Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos, first appeared in the pages of this magazine as part of our multimedia Portfolio “The Promise.” The exhibition runs through April 15th, 2012.

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Finding Fernanda,” the first book by the photojournalist and investigative reporter Erin Siegal, uncovers pervasive fraud in the international adoption industry, specifically between Guatemala and the U.S. It’s not a photo book, but photographs are central to its conception.
The story began in December of 2007, when, on vacation in Guatemala, Siegal found herself surrounded by over a dozen American couples leaving Guatemala City airport with newly adopted children. “There was something very surreal about the scene because of the quantity of children leaving,” Siegal told me. “At first, I thought I’d shoot a simple photo story on international adoption, using images alone, and maybe some audio, but the more clips I read, the more I realized that the subject matter didn’t seem well-suited to visual reportage.” Nonetheless, as her reporting unfolded, Siegal found herself relying more and more on photography as a tool to inform her writing. “I needed to be able to describe scenes visually in the book, to keep things vivid, and it really helped having photos and video to rely on for description,” she said. Photos alone would not be able to tell the complex story Siegal was uncovering, but the story could not be told without them, either. “The road to this book included a lot of reflection on photography and the limitations of the craft, in terms of being able to tell in-depth investigative human rights stories,” Siegal told me. “I never meant to write a book; the story simply demanded it.”
On Saturday, Siegal will celebrate the publication of “Finding Fernanda” at powerHouse Books in Brooklyn. Here’s a selection of photographs from her reporting.

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Mildred Alvarado and one of her daughters during an interview, Villa Nueva,

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