“A Dog Called Money”

Photo by Seamus Murphy

“A Dog Called Money,” a documentary from Seamus Murphy on British pop musician PJ Harvey, is premiering at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival this February.

Writer and musician Harvey and award-winning photographer Seamus Murphy, hatched a collaboration. Seeking first-hand experience of the countries she wanted to write about, Harvey accompanied Murphy on some of his worldwide reporting trips, joining him in Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Washington, D.C. Harvey collected words, and Murphy collected images.

Back home, the words become poems, songs, then an album, which is recorded in an unprecedented art experiment in Somerset House, London. In a specially constructed room behind one-way glass, the public — all cameras surrendered — are invited to watch the five-week process as a live sound-sculpture. Murphy exclusively documents the experiment with the same forensic vision and private access as their travels.

By capturing the immediacy of their encounters with the people and places they visited, Murphy shows the humanity at the heart of the work, tracing the sources of the songs, their special metamorphosis into recorded music, and, ultimately, cinema. 

Un llamado

Photo by Sharon Castellanos

Sharon Castellanos’ project, Un llamado, created for the 2018 Joop Swart Masterclass, focuses on diverse profiles of young people (Generation Y) who come from other cities and countries to the Cusco region of Southern Peru and their socio-cultural-spiritual explorations, their reception and appropriation of the local ancestral culture, the Andean worldview, and the conception of Pachamama (Mother Earth).

Photo by Nichole Sobecki

On assignment for the National Audubon Society, Nichole Sobecki’s latest work takes a look at the illegal owl egg trade in Kenya. The raptors are already some of most persecuted birds in Africa. Now their eggs are being stolen for witchcraft — but few seem to know or care. From ancient Greece’s Owl of Athena to Harry Potter’s devoted pet Hedwig, owls have long charmed, mystified, and intrigued humans. In the contemporary West, they are often seen as symbols of wisdom. But in Africa they’re generally viewed very differently, as harbingers of evil and misfortune, or as forms taken by nefarious sorcerers. These deeply held, widespread beliefs fuel an untold number of persecution killings. The birds are also highly sought after for use in witchcraft and traditional medicine, accounting for the deaths of possibly tens of thousands of owls annually.

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