Documentary Photography

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The Last Exodus of Iraq’s Chaldean Christians

Three refugees seeking shade from the midday sun in the Syriac Catholic church Mart Shmony in Ankawa, Erbil. Schools, parks and construction sites are being used as temporary homes by thousands of families fleeing ISIL in Northern Iraq.

Three refugees seeking shade from the midday sun in the Syriac Catholic church Mart Shmony in Ankawa, Erbil. Schools, parks and construction sites are being used as temporary homes by thousands of families fleeing ISIL in Northern Iraq.

Text by John Paul Kuriakuz – former executive director of the Chaldean Assyrian Syriac Council of America.

(http://on.wsj.com/1wIRhkL)

“Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, an estimated 1.4 million Chaldeans and Assyrians inhabited Iraq. In the decade that followed, hundreds of thousands of these Iraqi Christians either sought permanent refuge abroad or were internally displaced. During this turmoil, more than 60 churches were bombed, a Chaldean Catholic Archbishop was kidnapped and murdered, and an Iraqi Christian population of 1.4 million dwindled to fewer than 500,000—a result of the insurgency, subsequent unrest, and radically anti-Christian sentiment that ensued.

Today, targeted by ISIS for their Christian faith, Chaldeans and Assyrians are the victims of an unabashed ethnic-cleansing campaign. After seizing the northern city of Mosul in June, ISIS spray-painted the symbol for “Nazarene” on the homes of Christians. Families had 24 hours to convert to Islam, leave the city or face execution. Christians leaving the city had their possessions confiscated at security checkpoints and were forced to leave with nothing.

Most refugees fled to neighboring villages under the protection of Kurdish security forces, the Peshmerga. In response, ISIS shut off water supplies from Mosul to those villages. ISIS then continued its rapid advance into the villages outside of Mosul, displacing hundreds of thousands from their homes, converting churches to mosques, destroying homes and businesses, and leaving nothing to return to. An entire people have been cleansed from the region, guilty of nothing but their faith and ancient ethnicity.”

The EU

Monday the 14th of April, only a month and a bit before the European elections, every parliamentarian, civil servant, political advisor and journalist yet again travelled from Brussels to Strasbourg to vote on the final issues before the Parliament goes into political hibernation before the May election.

This is for many MEPs the last chance to get their political causes voted through and to put their fingerprints on EU policy, both locally and internationally. With a public that often have difficulty recognising their MEPs, this is also a good opportunity to make their mark in the domestic debate and get voters engaged in some of the most important European issues right now.

I travelled on the heels of the EU elite to try to catch a glimpse of life in Europe’s political navel.

Ken Follett, Author

I’ve been photographing bestselling author Ken Follett for Børsen.

Follett is best known for his epic ‘Pillars of the Earth’ novel, but has sold more than 130 million books worldwide.

This series of portraits was shot for an article promoting his new book ‘Edge of Eternity’ concluding his ‘Century’ trilogy.

Red Shirt Rising

I travelled to Thailand’s capital Bangkok back in 2010 to document the first ‘red-shirt’ protests against the Thai government. Today the tables have turned and the ‘red-shirts’ are now in power with former Prime Minister and multi billionaire (now exiled due to corruption charges) Thaksin Shinawatra’s sister Yingluck as their leader.

There’s a good article over at PolicyMic explaining the situation.

I travelled to the North of Thailand to meet the protestors and document their journey to the heart of Bangkok and their failed attempt to overthrow the government.

Film Director Kristian Levring

I’ve been photographing film director and co- Dogme founder Kristian Levring for Børsen Weekend.

Kristian’s newest film, the Western ‘The Salvation’ premiered at Cannes this week, and he’s definitely the coolest guy in the West (Hampstead that is…)

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Refshaleøen

I am working on a new project documenting the small island Refshaleøen in Copenhagen leading up to the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 that will take place there.

Here’s a taster…

Lewis Bush, Photographer & Writer

I had the pleasure of photographing writer and fellow photographer Lewis Bush at his home in Peckham.

Lewis runs the blog Disphotic. In Lewis’s own words “Disphotic is a blog on photography, and it’s intersections with art, history and journalism” and it is definitely one of my favourite online photographic haunts. Check it out!

Places of Conflict

All pictures shot in Syria’s Idlib Province.

Arab Felix p.2

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Her Grace

As you might be aware, last December the Church of Ireland ordained its first female Bishop, Pat Storey. Pat is the first female Bishop in Britain and Ireland.

I’ve followed Pat for the last few weeks in her preparation for this historic role, culminating with her consecration at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin.

Her nomination comes only weeks after The Church of England’s ruling body has voted in favour of proposals which could allow the ordination of women Bishops in England this year.

This is not a story about a religious ceremony. It is a story about a strong and much loved woman taking on a unique challenge in one of the world’s last male bastions.

Please feel free to comment below.

Orlando

Cathy Lucas

I’ve been shooting a series of portraits of one of my coolest friends, Cathy Lucas, for her new solo project Orlando.

Cathy asked me if I would be up for photographing her in Artist David Blandy’s installation “Anjin 1600: Edo Wonderpark”, as it works with a similar narrative as Cathy’s upcoming album.

Have a listen to the first release ‘Earth Moon Earth’ here. It’s good…

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I loved doing this work with Cathy and it make me realise how much I appreciate working with other creatives.

Because of this, I’ve decided to do a free portrait shoot for an up-and-coming artist in any genre. If you need this for your project or if you know anyone who does, share this post and get in touch!

Looking forward to working with you…

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