I’ve been asked to take part in group interview conducted by Alison Zavos from that will be released once a week on Feature Shoot. The first question was, Has there ever been a time when you felt guilty for taking a photograph?
A group of emergence staff at Royal Perth Hospital watch monitors to see if there is any sign of life, the team have been trying to restitute an elder man for 30 min, he was admitted to hospital after collapsing at home, the man was pronounced dead 2 mins after this photo was taken. 1997 Perth, Western Australia. Patrick Brown © Panos Pictures
Here’s my answer:
Not really, but there has been times when I’ve felt it was wrong to take a photo. Early on in my career, I worked on a self-funded project about the busiest hospital in Western Australia, Royal Perth Hospital. The Hospital gave me unprecedented access to all aspects of the hospital – I hadn’t long started the project when I was in the cardiology unit one evening when an elderly lady was dying. She had lost consciousness, and her body was taking the very last breaths. I didn’t take one photo. It sounds very strange to talk about this so many years later; however, I saw death for the first time. It didn’t scare me, but I did realise that the body is just a vehicle. I felt guilty afterwords for watching this very private event happen. The doctors and the nurses never once asked me to leave the room or told me I couldn’t take photos, but it felt wrong for me to do so. A form of guilt, I suppose.
Full story click here:
A very interesting and an inspiring documentary about one the most compassionate photographers of our generation, the Japanese photographer Kosuke Okahara. Early on in the film there’s an interview with Jean-Francois Leroy the Perpignan photo festival director and I just love how he describes Kosuke, “He’s a pit bull when it comes to photo’s”. I’m very lucky to able to call this pit bull a friend. If want to see more of Kosuke incredible body of work please visit his web site <click here>
To see the documentary please click below
I’m very honoured for my work to be associated with Reportage? and the other photographers, I take my hat off to the founders David Dare Parker?, Jack Picone? and Stephen Dupont?.
Reportage will be featuring images from the photographers using Instagram and photographers who have participated in past festivals. Stay tuned for this and regular Reportage feed takeovers.
To follow our curated feed and tap into imagery from documentary photographers and visual storytellers throughout the globe.
Connect with us at: http://instagram.com/reportagefestival/
Connect to my Instagram feed @patrickbrownphoto.
A young boy rides a small horse at the mouth of the Salween River in Burma.
Shark fin soup is traditionally on the menus of the huge banquets celebrating the Chinese New Year, as the New Year is fast approaching, I wonder what the toil is going to be this years. The Guardian ran a story in August last year about China’s rapider decline in it’s appetite for shark fin’s, this is brilliant news. but still an estimated 100 million sharks are killed each year, mostly to meet the demand for shark fin soup. That’s over 1.9 million sharks killed every week! What about Thailand – Shark fin restaurant owners in Bangkok’s Chinatown alone have claimed to be selling more than 20,000 bowls of shark fin soup per month. There is a group of people trying to make Thailand shark fin free, for more information please visit their site. Beside the obvious environmental issues they’re are also health issues, such as Shark fin soup has been identified as a serious health risk for humans, she said, citing the World Health Organisation. One bowl of shark fin soup contains dangerous levels of mercury.
As a few of you might know I take a great interest in cinematography, in my view when it’s done well it’s one of the truest forms of story telling. I’m in Cambodia working on assignment this week, and I had a little bit of down time in Phnom Penh today so I trundled off to the infamous Russian markets to pick up a few DVD’s. There’s one DVD I picked out that I had I no idea about, the filmed is called “71” it’s about a young and disoriented British soldier who is accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the deadly streets of Belfast in 1971. The film is brilliantly shot by cinematographer Tat Radcliffe, the feel is at times incredibly real, if I was ever to shoot a feature film, “71” would be my benchmark– a must see.
I’m really pleased that one of my images has been included in TIME magazines selection of 2014 Instagram posts and congratulations to Matt Black for picking up the top bill this year or his powerful work on California’s central valley that he’s been documenting for last 20 years – http://www.mattblack.com/
The link to the TIME magazine post
An interview I did with Feature Shoot about producing the Trading to Extinction book, and what’s next for me as a photographer.
In some ways, producing Trading to Extinction left Brown drained and exhausted, disappointed by the complexities of the photography industry. His ongoing project Darker with the day is his return to essentials of photography, an exploration space and form, and of the themes of darkness and light that lies at the core of all his work. Born from the restlessness of a nightmare, the project delves into the elements of our subconscious, allowing blurred and enigmatical glimpses into the human psyche. Darker with the day is like a journey back in time, a reentry into the inherent impulses that lead Brown to become the photojournalist that created Trading to Extinction, but it is also a glimpse into the future, a bold foray into unchartered territory.
While Trading to Extinction boldly addresses a widespread global issue and Darker with the day plunges into introspection, Brown’s innate inquisitiveness and persistence become a common thread, uniting the two projects even as they veer into alternate directions. We spoke to him aboutTrading to Extinction and Darker with the day, his transition from one project to the next, and the uncertain future of photography.
For the full interview please click here
‘Trading to Extinction’ returns after 10 years
With my return to the 10th Angkor Photo Festival & Workshop to show Trading to Extinction, I can’t help but feel like I have come full circle. The first public showing of the project was back in 2005 at the 1st Edition of Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops, when a small edit was screened at the festival evening projections. Now it’s an exhibition and it looked amazing in the Royal Gardens – Siem Reap. A huge thanks goes to Jean-Yves Navel – Festival Director, Françoise Callier – Programme Coordinator, Jessica Lim – Asia Coordinator, Anne Holmes – Coordinator, the sponsors of my exhibition the Victoria Hotel in Siem Reap and Wildlife Alliance.
All photo’s by Harald Arnold © 2014
I’m in Siem Reap (Cambodia) for the Angkor photo Festival, looking forward to meeting some old friends and making new ones, and of course looking at some great work. Trading to Extinction will be opening on the 2nd of Dec, in the Royal Gardens. For more information about the Angkor photo festival click here.
To learn more about Trading to Extinction project click here
Digital changed the landscape. Before the pixel, craft was still an elemental component of the narrative. A process that involved trusting strips of cellulose in a mysterious dark box was replaced by instant, impeccable rendering, in situ on vast monitors. Brilliant and, once again, a depressing analysis of walking the photography plank. A very interesting interview of the photographers’ Rep Julian Richards on why he abruptly quit the business by Andy Wolff from PDN online. Click here to read the article
Stefano Carvelli, the head of Interpol’s fugitive investigative support unit, said that the environmental crime wave has hit an all time high, reports have estimated the trade to be worth $70bn-$213bn annually. Since Ben Davies and myself started working on the subject of illegal animal trade 12 years ago, I always had a sense that the figures regarding the trade would decrease over time, I could have never been so wrong, the latest figure are simply mind blowing, any multinational company would give their left arm for $213 billion dollars annually turn over, to put it another way thats 213 thousand million dollars.
On Monday this week 17/11/2014 The Guardian newspaper released a story about Interpol launching the most-wanted list of environmental fugitives. Interpol actions are a step in the right direction, every step is needed to bring this evil trade to an end – the question I offer get asked is “how do can I help, I’m just one person”, one way is what Ben and myself did which was to bring the of illegal animal trade to the attention through education, the other; which is in my view is much more powerful tool, vote for people or governments that have rocks solid policy for protecting and policing the environment. It has to happen from the top down, the higher echelon of governments around the world need to make it their top priority, How do we achieve this, with the power of your vote, put pen to paper write to you local politicians, write to your congressmen. It’s not about the green movement, it’s not about the welfare for animals, which are also very important issues, in my view however to get your politician or congressman to listen we have to make it’s about the crime, a multi billion dollar global crime – which is the illegal animal trade.
Ben Davies and myself have worked on two book projects together over the last 12 years starting with Black Market: Inside the Endangered Species Trade in Asia in 2005 voted 5th and Trading to Extinction in 2014 voted 6th most important books on the environment by CNN.
To order a copy of Black Market click here
To order a copy of Trading to Extinction click here
At Scotland Yard’s animal protection unit, a police officer displays a tiger’s head seized during a raid in London.
Here is a breakdown of the figures:
Illegal logging and trade
30–100 billion – source UNEP/INTERPOL 2012 (10–30% of the global trade); OECD 2012
11–30 billion – Source OECD 2012; MRAG og UBC 2008 (12–32% of the global trade)
Illegal extraction and trade in minerals/ mining
12–48 billion – Source GFI 2011; GA 2012 (Estimated as only 1–4% by industry of the global trade)
Illegal trade and dumping of hazardous waste
10–12 billion – Source GFI 2011; GA 2012 (Estimated as only 1–4% by industry of the global trade) US 2000; GA 2012
Illegal trade and poaching of plants and wildlife
7–23 billion – Source Wyler and Sheik 2008; GFI 2011; OECD 2012
Sum environmental crime and loss from primarily developing countries
Minus 70–minus 213 billion
Official development assistance (ODA) (2013 estimate) Ca. 135 billion
To coincide with Barack Obama second visits to Myanmar on 12th the of November this year, National Geographic have written a story about the rate of progress that is slowly killing the heart and soul of Yangon’s chaotic downtown, it’s wonderful old buildings. Since Obama’s first visit here, in 2012, Yangon has undergone a seemingly overnight transformation, with new construction reshaping its skyline—as well as its social fabric. The rapid changes are being driven in part by the simple economic logic of supply and demand but also by a flood of shady money and backroom deals, remnants of a system many in Myanmar thought they’d escaped. Nat Geo have used a couple of my images to illustrate the story, If you’re interested in reading the Nat Geo story, click here
I’m very happy to be a part of the The World Photography Organisation Magazine with the rest of the Panos family, the images are from my very first project – Back in 1994 I went to Malawi to document the work of a West Australian doctor called Robert Weedon, who was at the time the only surgeon for 2 million people in the southern city of Zomba. To see the rest of my work from the Malawi project please click here
To view the whole WPO on-line magazine please click here
At the stroke of midnight on July the 1st 1997 I as well 100’s of other photographers, photographed the first protest in Hong Kong under Chinese rule. I can’t help but think what is going to happen at the stroke of midnight tonight, Hong Kong protesters set midnight ultimatum, City’s leader told to resign by end of Thursday or face stepped-up action including the occupation of buildings. Protesters in Hong Kong have demanded that the city’s leader meet a deadline to resign on Thursday, as China warned the United States against meddling in its “internal affairs”. #UmbrellaRevolution #OccupyCentral.
5 mins past mid-night on the 1st of July 1997, this is the first protest in Hong Kong under Chinese rule. As it’s known now, The Hong Kong 1 July protests is an annual protest rally originally led by the Civil Human Rights Front since the 1997 handover on the HKSAR establishment day.
Candlelight Vigil in commemoration of the eighth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests on 3 June 1997. The Pillar of Shame erected in the center of Victoria Park in 1997 to mark the eighth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. The statue depicts 50 torn and twisted bodies to symbolise those who died in the government crackdown. On the base of the statue, the history and pictures of the massacre are carved in and . Engraved into the base, in both English and Chinese, are the words “The Tiananmen Massacre”, “June 4th 1989” and “The old cannot kill the young forever.”
It’s the 9th luna month, and in southern Thailand that mean’s its the Vegetarian Festival. I’ve been a couple of times over the years I have lived in Thailand, it still amazes me – it’s truly a bazaar spectacle to witness. I thought I should share a few my personal favourites images with you.
The Phuket Vegetarian Festival is an annual event held during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar. It is believed that the vegetarian festival and its accompanying sacred rituals bestow good fortune upon those who religiously observe this rite. During this time, local residents of Chinese ancestry strictly observe a 10-day vegetarian or vegan diet for the purposes of spiritual cleansing and merit-making. Sacred rituals are performed at various Chinese shrines and temples and aesthetic displays such as walking barefooted over hot coals and ascending ladders with bladed rungs are performed by entranced devotees known as “Ma Song”.
Darker with the day, is a new project I’m working on – if you’re interested, just click here
Today is World Rhino Day for all five species of rhino: Black, white, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan rhinos. Rhinos are been slaughtered at an alarming rate making them one of the most endangered species on earth. A Royal Forestry Department Officer holds a rhino skull at the Bharatpur barracks in Nepal. The stockpile of items is 5 years old and the value is an estimated $750,000 US. From the Trading to Extinction book project. www.tradingtoextinction.com Photo by Patrick Brown © 2014 Panos Pictures
From the pristine jungles of Cambodia to the great national parks of India and Nepal, Asian wildlife is being plundered on an unprecedented scale. Every year, it is estimated that up to 30,000 primates, 5 million birds, 10 million reptile skins and 500 million tropical fish are traded. The wildlife business is the third largest illegal trade in the world, rivalled only by guns and drugs. Strong beliefs in obscure parts of traditional Chinese medicine have driven this development. According to ancient custom, animal parts are imbued with ‘magical’ properties. Some believe, for example, that eating the flesh of a tiger will make them strong. Despite scientific studies proving such superstitions wrong, the trade in animals and animal parts continues largely unchecked, fuelled by desire, greed and corruption. The problem seems insurmountable; one way of curbing the rampant killing and decreasing the demand for rare animals is to educate future generations and counter antiquated and false believes.
August this year I traveled to George Town on the Malaysian island of Penang for Obscura photo festival, where Trading to Extinction was exhibited at an amazing location in the centre of the old city. Besides being a brilliant photo festival, I saw some incredible projections and exhibitions. I also caught up with some old friends and made some new ones. One of those new friends was a young Iranian photographer called Fatemeh Behboudi. I was introduced to her through Maggie Steber, who was having a workshop at the festival. Fatemeh Behboudi presented a body of work consisting of about 50 images. A month on, some of these images are still in the forefront of my mind. The project was about the public hanging in Iran, and the work was incredibly powerful. Here’s a young lady who a few years ago had never used a camera, however the project was complete with the maturity of a person that has been photographing for many years. Fatemeh Behboudi had worked the story – she moved around the subject so you got a very good understanding of the emotional implications of being there. If you’re interested in seeing and knowing more about Fatemeh Behboudi, here’s a link to a The New York Lens blog interview with her.