Register and join us for a discussion on APRIL 27, 2022, 6:30-7:30 PM with panellists including Jonathan Banks, Alysha Tagert, Interim Director of TASSC, and survivors that work with TASSC.
“Portraits of Resilience”, featuring photographs of torture survivors by Jonathan Banks in collaboration with Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC International) is an exhibition organized by The Phillips Collection , @THEARC in Washington DC APRIL 27-JULY 29, 2022.
IMAGE: Jonathan Banks, Hagir Elsheikh, Sudan, 2019, Photograph, 31 ¾ x 44 in.
I received an honourable mention in the 2022 Annual Photo Contest from Whalebone Magazine. This is the third year of the competition with categories including “Water”, “Human”, “Joy”, “Travel”, and film.
My photograph of a Red Cross volunteer silhouetted behind a Red Cross Flag, will be featured in the “Photo” edition of the magazine.
The Whalebone magazine photo contest presented by B&H Photo is a way to celebrate photography around the world.
Much has changed in Ukraine during 27 years of independence. As a former Soviet republic, it borders both Russia and the EU. Whilst there was once a majority wanting a neutral status, it is now leaning towards European integration and NATO accession.
It is considered a NATO "partner country" meaning there is an understanding that it may be allowed to join the alliance sometime in the future.
Russia wants assurances from Western powers that this will never happen - something the West is not prepared to offer. Members of NATO are weighing up how far they should go to help Ukraine, in the face of a possible Russian invasion. It is Europe’s greatest threat of war in 30 years.
In 2005 I travelled to the Ukraine on assignment to capture the “Children of Chernobyl” for a charity. I photographed at the Chernigov Polyclinic covering the health program monitoring the effects of the Chernobyl disaster of 1986.
The people that I met and photographed were extremely welcoming, wanted to show me their beautiful culture, and proud of who they were as a nation.
“Communication is the key to education, understanding and peace”. James Bryce
Twenty years ago, I was in Yosemite National Park due to be in New York three days’ after. All flights were grounded.
I waited at San Francisco airport and managed to board a flight. I arrived in New York with a change of purpose, assigned to document the aftermath of 9/11.
I went with the intention of photographing the destruction of the twin towers and ground zero, but this quickly changed to documenting the emotionally charged atmosphere within the people of New York. Everyday for a week I walked the streets around ground zero, speaking and photographing people in mourning, protestors, and emergency workers. There was an undeniable spirit of unity in a city that you are normally “on your own”.
I did photograph the wreckage of the twin towers, along with the surrounding buildings which had either been destroyed, damaged, or filled with dust. I also captured people at numerous vigils and protests. Emotions were strong and I witnessed love, compassion, anger, hate, and opportunity on every corner. There was 9/11 memorabilia being sold with T shirts and photos of the planes flying into the sides of the towers. I spoke and photographed one Afghan restaurant owner who had already experienced vandalism and abuse to an extent that he was closing his business down.
Where has the last twenty years gone and what has been achieved? Today we remember those who lost their lives on 9/11 2001, vowing “never forget”. We need to all recognise that the only way forward is to live with the same spirit of humanity, that was experienced in the aftermath.