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Monthly Archives: May 2009

This is Kroo Bay!

In researching a book that I am writing on photography and social change, I was pointed towards Save the Children’s very sophisticated website, This is Kroo Bay. It’s an interactive site that attempts to immerse the viewer in the lives of residents living in a slum area of Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Home to 6,000 residents, Kroo [...]

“Blind Prom” and “Beauty Pageants”

As with the previous post, here is an exhibition opening next week on the subject of those with problems seeing, this time from the point of view of a photographer witnessing prom night at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. In “Blind Prom,” Sarah Wilson evokes a sense of teenagers struggling with [...]

Sights Unseen

“Though I’ve lost my sight, I haven’t lost my vision,” says Alice Wingwall, one of the artists in the exhibition “Sight Unseen” at the University of California, Riverside. Working off of sounds, smells, memories, the heat of the sun on one’s face, the artists in this show are all without or with very limited sight. [...]

The Ugly Crusader

On a daily basis Donald Rumsfeld provided President George Bush with a sickening mix of Biblical quotations and romanticized war photographs on the cover of the President’s intelligence briefings, according to an article by Robert Draper in GQ magazine. Despite a fear that if leaked these covers would further inflame the Muslim world with their [...]

Invisible Histories

On the day that American troops came back from the Persian Gulf War (the first one) I wrote an Op-Ed piece for The New York Times arguing that I would like to have celebrated with them but I barely knew what these soldiers had done in Iraq, considering that photography had been banned by the [...]

Photo Op Official Resigns…

Less than two weeks after authorizing a flyover by an Air Force One backup for a photo opportunity that panicked some New Yorkers, director of the White House Military Office Louis Caldera submitted his resignation.
If only after Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” photo op leaders had been forced to resign and punished for misleading an entire country–first [...]

Falling Times

Using pictograms to express the news is an intriguing concept. Falling Times is a website where readers can help define the meaning of various pictograms, which then fall down a screen representing news headlines and keywords. The news becomes a cascade of zombies, peace symbols, a cow, heads of world leaders, dollar signs, etc. It [...]

Mother/Son in “Progeny”

There are not many parent/child combinations where both have distinguished themselves as photographers (one thinks of the Weston clan), and even fewer mothers and sons. And how many of the latter have ever exhibited together?
Deborah Willis, my colleague at New York University, and her son, Hank Willis Thomas, a graduate of the department in which [...]

Actresses vs. Models

At a moment when the Metropolitan Museum is exhibiting fifty years of models on magazine covers, and the International Center of Photography is devoting itself to “A Year of Fashion,” the New York Times published an article today, “Actresses Are Edging Out Models on Magazine Covers.” Reporter Suzy Menkes quotes fashion designer Marc Jacobs: “It’s [...]

Bosnia: Uncertain Paths to Peace

I’m happy to say that the Website project that photographer Gilles Peress and I did in 1996 for the New York Times on the Web (at that time with 70,000 subscribers), can now be found online once again on the New York Times server. Nominated in 1997 for the Pulitzer Prize in public service by [...]