Entries in photography (3)

Sunday
Aug072011

Young Addicts

I won’t claim to be a specialist on the subject of child drug addicts, and I don’t know any of the statistics (after a brutal course in college I will never again pay much attention to statistics). What I do know is what I see with my own eyes and what I experience when I travel and when I work.

I know that every country and every region has problems with drug addiction to varying degrees. However, I also know that in developing countries the problem is much, much worse than anything we see in the West. 

During my recent trip to Uganda I spent a good deal of my time in the slums of Kampala photographing the lives of the children that live in the midst of poverty and chaos. In these areas, drug addiction takes on new meaning. There are literally hundreds of children living on the streets as drug addicts. Their drug of choice is the only one that they can afford—glue. The vast majority are battered and bruised from constant fighting, wearing filthy, tattered clothes. 

Now add to this the fact that many of these children are missing hands and feet. You see, they can’t afford food; the glue they sniff is cheaper and it takes the hunger pains away. Of course, the glue is not free and some of the children have been known to steal in order to feed their addiction. In an area where no one has much of anything, the locals hide crude bear and wild animal traps to keep the children away. It does little to solve or help the problem, other than taking the child off the streets for a week or two after they have lost fingers, toes or a limb.

Like most things in life, the problem is complex. The simplest solution would be to make it more difficult for the children to get the glue that they sniff, as all they have to do is go to any one of the vendors on the street that will put some glue in an empty bottle for the children to sniff. Locals agree that the children should not be sold glue, but the public official of this area (basically the mayor of this district I am told) is the one who imports the drugs and supplies the street level dealers. His money and power keep him safe.  •


 

Zoriah Miller is an award-winning photojournalist. His work has been featured in some of the world’s most prestigious galleries, museums and publications. With a background in disaster management and humanitarian aid, Zoriah specializes in documenting human crises in developing countries. He periodically works with the Denver VOICE or provides photo-essays related to local, national or international poverty and homelessness.

Tuesday
Feb012011

Phone it In

Photography and Text by Ross Evertson

Photography has been an expected, pervasive part of our existence for over a century now. It is arguably one of the most accessible artistic platforms—you might not be able to draw, but surely you can push a button. For photography, the 20th century was a steady march through culture, documenting and infiltrating as much of our lives as possible.

And here we are, 2011 and almost every device we have has a camera in it. Phones, computers, cars. Everything is full of cameras. Our streets are lined with them, for better or for worse.  We have the capacity to document nearly everything, and the tools to share it all with everyone.  This is a scary, overwhelming and amazing thing.

 

I’m someone who to this day resists the crushing waves of digital photography. A vast majority of the images I make are still shot with film. I will fight for its survival as long as I am able, but not even I can resist the simplicity and constant presence of my iPhone.  Though it’s never been hard for me to convince myself to take an unnecessary photograph,  any excuse I had before has ceased to exist. Everything is photographable, and soon enough, everything will be a photograph.

[All images from an iPhone 4]

Wednesday
Sep012010

Dry Docked: The New Life of Venice and Grand Isle, Louisiana

A local man involved in cleanup.Photography and Text by Zoriah Miller

As a photojournalist, I learn something new from each and every project I do. Sometimes I come away from a story with profound new facts, information that I never could have discovered had I not just gone and experienced it myself. Sometimes what I learn is life changing, knowledge that opens my eyes and allows me to see the world and humanity in a completely new light.

Other times I feel like I learn very little, and in some cases I feel like I know less about a situation than I thought I did going into it. This was my experience shooting the aftermath of one of the worst oil spills in history, the BP Gulf Oil Spill.

Going into the project, I pictured angry fishermen protesting on the streets, fighting for a livelihood that had been passed down from generation to generation. I pictured oil-drenched beaches with dead animals strewn about and thick sludge as far as the eye could see. I pictured eye-opening conversations with scientists and wildlife officials. But what I actually found when I arrived was, for the most part, quite different.

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