VII is excited to announce two new members and our new C.E.O. and Chairman of the Board.
A few words from VII
In this era of increased connectedness and thorough understanding of a global world, VII is proud to accept two photographers whose singular visions are very much their own. Both Sarker Protick and Danny Wilcox Frazier are known for their comfort and ability to tell stories about their own frontiers, be it Bangladesh or Middle America. In the end, we all live somewhere, and these two photographers show what it means to be a citizen and a member of a community. With the addition of Sarker Protick and Danny Wilcox Frazier, VII is steadfast in its continuing efforts to tell stories on an intimate, yet global, scale.
On joining VII…
Sarker Protick, 29, came to photography when one day during his graduate studies at University, he decided to take a picture of the sun with a camera phone. The bright sun immediately crashed his phone, the light proving too intense for his camera, but it did ignite his desire to make pictures.
From Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sarker looks for unheard of stories from his home country, challenging the status quo of visual stereotypes and undoing the common tropes of storytelling. He questions the everyday, and finds exuberance in the ordinary, the real in the unreal.
As a member of VII, Sarker looks forward to collaboration with the other members on exploring the boundaries and meanings of story. “The environment is challenging, but I take comfort in meeting these challenges with VII photographers. Together I know we can make great things”
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Danny Wilcox Frazier
On joining VII…
The complexity of modern life is so often reduced to simple sound bites, while visual storytelling embraces that complexity and examines the human condition and natural world with depth, compassion, and honesty. The members of VII are among the most gifted and passionate photographers working in this tradition today and collectively the agency strives to not just record the world, but educate and change it. My work focuses on the emotional landscape of isolated communities and I will continue to document the towns and villages fighting to preserve their culture and autonomy. It is an honor to join the ranks of one of the world’s leading photography collectives. I’m excited to add my voice to VII’s mission and join their effort to advance the social issues of our times with photography that demands attention and inspires public debate.
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From the C.E.O. & Chairman of the Board
Approximately five years ago, I left my position as a member of the board of directors of VII to pursue other business consulting opportunities. Today, I resume my connection to the company and its members.
In the intervening period, much has changed in the world of photography and journalism, but one constant remains, and that is the core values of every member of VII. As one founding member recently characterized that quality, the members of VII, “have a long history of challenging political and cultural orthodoxy, of breaking down barriers and challenging the status quo.” And it is those exact qualities that make working with the company, once again, appealing.
Without doubt, the business environment that exists today presents challenges that did not exist during my prior engagement. These challenges need to be met head-on with new ideas and a rekindled enthusiasm. It is my intention to rapidly implement those ideas and motivate my colleagues to embrace the changes that we collectively envision.
I would like to thank my predecessors for carrying things forward to this point, and I am grateful to the present membership for entrusting me with the responsibility of C.E.O. and Chairman of the Board of VII Photo.
You may feel free to contact me regarding this matter at my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard D. Schoenberg
A distinguished jury comprised of James Estrin (The New York Times), Christopher Anderson (Magnum Photos), Arianna Rinaldo (Cortona On The Move Festival), and Roberto Huarcaya (Centro de la Imagen de Lima) has awarded Tomas van Houtryve the PMH 2015 Grant first prize ($2000) for his series Blue Sky Days.
Reflecting on the darker uses of photography in the twenty-first century, with a specific focus on the American drone war, Tomas van Houtryve’s Blue Sky Days considers the tools of state power and the gap in public understanding of contemporary imaging technologies. To open up a visual narrative on these issues, van Houtryve deployed his own drone – equipped with a high resolution camera – above the skies of America and captured scenes reminiscent of those targeted by the US military during their conflicts in Pakistan and Yemen. The resulting images bring clandestine war and the growing nature of surveillance into common consciousness.
Blue Sky Days was selected as the winner from 994 entries by Christopher Anderson, photographer and member of Magnum Photos; James Estrin, co-editor of The New York Times Lens Blog; Arianna Rinaldo, Director of Cortona On The Move Festival; and Roberto Huarcaya, Director of Centro de la Imagen de Lima. Estrin said of the winning series: “Blue Sky Days is one of the most important photo essays done in the last few years. It tackles issues that are very difficult to photograph but central to modern existence – privacy, government intrusion, and modern antiseptic warfare.”
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Maciek Nabrdalik received a 2nd place prize in the Daily Life singles category of the Polish BZ WBK Press Foto contest. The winning image is from the Sea Change project of which Nabrdalik is a part of.
The winning image depicts: “5 am. Saturday’s party is about to finish. Bars and clubs on the banks of Vistula river have been Warsaw’s hottest party spots for the last few years.”
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The Honorary Jury of the world’s largest photography competition today names Donald Weber as the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards’ Still Life Photographer of the Year.
Donald Weber, from Toronto who is a member of the acclaimed VII Photo and is represented by Circuit Gallery in Toronto, was selected from over 87,000 entries to the Professional competition for a series titled “Molotov Cocktails”. The winning work details the crude hand-made weapons of the Euromaiden protesters in Kiev, Ukraine, called Molotov cocktails. The series is a part of his book Barricade: The Euromaidan Revolt by Schilt Publishers.
Talking about his win Weber comments: “What I like about the Sony World Photography Awards, is that the categories are not dogmatic, it’s not about so-called rules, but finding the best work, regardless of how it was shot. The fact that my series ‘Molotov Cocktail’ won shows the diversity of image and story that are recognized.”
The photographer was presented his award and the latest Sony digital imaging equipment at a gala ceremony held in London attended by industry leaders. The winning series will be shown at the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards exhibition at Somerset House, London and will be published in the 2015 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards book.
Now in its eighth year, the Sony World Photography Awards annually presents the world’s best contemporary photography across a range of genres and is the world’s largest photography competition. Free to enter and open to photographers of all abilities, it is an authoritative voice in the photographic world and attracts both emerging talent and established artists.
The awards’ international judging juries are comprised of esteemed industry experts and the competition offers incredible exposure, credibility and recognition not only to its winners, but also those on its shortlist. The 2015 awards attracted recording breaking entries, with 173,444 images submitted from 171 countries, confirming its position as the world’s biggest photography competition.
Describing the work Donald Weber says: “Molotov Cocktails have been the weapon of choice for the Euromaidan protestors in Kiev. Using fire to their advantage, the protestors were able to defend their barricades, extend their lines and fortify their positions. In order to set fire to tanks, armoured vehicles, buses, and tires in opposition to local cops, Kiev’s protestors used thousands and thousands of Molotov Cocktails, inspiring and mobilizing people throughout the city to collect as many bottles as possible.”
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