IN FOCUS: JONATHAN ALPEYRIE

Jonathan Alpeyrie’s career spans over two decades, has brought him to 35 countries, and has covered 14 conflict zone assignments, in the Middle East and North Africa, the South Caucasus, Europe, North America, and Central Asia.

Born in Paris in 1979, Jonathan Alpeyrie moved to the United States in 1993. He graduated from the Lycée Français de New York in 1998 and went on to study medieval history at the University of Chicago, from which he graduated in 2003. Alpeyrie started his career shooting for local Chicago newspapers during his undergraduate years. He spent a month driving across the country to create my first photo essay like a professional. The essay focused on the remnant of the Communist era heavy industry. His driver at the time took him to all the major industrial sites, visiting abandoned factories and taking photographs of what once was. The decaying infrastructure was a fascinating reminder of a collapsed system barely 10 years prior.

May 16, 2021 – La Joya, Texas, USA. La Joya has become a new hot bed of passing migrants trying their luck in entering the USA. Strong Border Patrol and local police as well as national guard units are present all along the area in order to arrest as many as possible. ©Jonathan Alpeyrie

After graduating from the University of Chicago in the spring of 2003, Jonathan was sent off to start his first dangerous photo essay which he hoped at the time would help me further to launch his career as a photojournalist. He spent over a month covering gang activity in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa. With the photo essay completed, he returned home and was quickly picked up by Getty images for the reportage section after it was noticed by some editors at the NYC office. 2004, was a watermark year for Jonathan as he started covering wars that very same year, from West Africa to the Caucasus, all for Getty Images. 

March 25, 2017, West Mosul, Northern Iraq. A son is crying over the dead body of his father after he was killed after a car bomb blew up on the street. A massive car bomb sent by ISIS has targeted an Iraqi army controlled street on the front lines, destroyed a few humvees, and killing a local civilian who was delivering water to his family. ISIS units has been using car bombs to destroy Iraqi army units and defensive positions, however, civilians usually pay the price of such attacks. ©Jonathan Alpeyrie

I became a war photographer in order to immerse myself into historical situations to then report them back to the public. Cut and dry

Jonathan Alpeyrie

With almost a decade of experience behind him and half a dozen wars under my belt, Jonathan decided to go on his own and leave the agency business partially behind. Dealing directly with his own clients while still working for various photo agencies, he started covering wars in the Middle East and Central Asia, furthering his resume as a war photographer. A year later, the Arab Spring launched a new phase in his career. 
With the various conflicts erupting all around the Middle East, Syria started to attract war reporters from all over the world interested in covering this new hot conflict. After two trips to the war-torn country in 2012, Jonathan decided to return in 2013. It happened after he was kidnapped for three months by Islamic rebels.

May 4, 2017 – Northern Mosul, Iraq. The 9th division of the Iraqi army is launching a new operation to relieve pressure on the Federal police in Southern Mosul after suffering multiple setbacks from constant Daesh counter attacks. This new offensive is meant to end all ISIS resistance inside the city, which would free the remainder of the areas still controlled by ISIS fighters. Severe resistance is causing significant casualties amongst Iraqi ranks. ©Jonathan Alpeyrie

March 6, 2022 – Irpyn, Municipality of Kiev, Ukraine. Some civilians have remained on the other side of the river and still trying to escape towards Kiev and seek for safety. Russian forces North West of Kiev are slowly closing in on the Ukrainian capital trying to push South and enter the city. The Ukrainian army is so far is resisting the Russian onslaught and causing significant casualties and delays to the advancing Russian troops. ©Jonathan Alpeyrie

By 2014, right after his release from Syria, he embarked on another voyage, this time into Slavic land to start covering the new hot war: Ukraine. After almost 14 months of coverage, he was injured during a gun battle in Mariupol. 

February 6, 2015, Debalteve, Donbass Oblast, Ukraine. A lone woman is standing in front of the bombed out house. Thousands of civilians are still trapped inside the besieged city of Debaltseve. The rail way hub has been hotly contested by both pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces, where hundreds of civilians are soldiers have died since the battle stated 10 days ago. Each day volunteers form all over Ukraine risk their lives to go inside the city to provide with food to the remaining locals still inside the town as artillery fire from both sides rains down in and around the city. ©Jonathan Alpeyrie

That year his career took another turn as he almost permanently stopped working for agencies and focused on some of his big clients like Vanity Fair, CNN, and others, which, interestingly was a reminiscence of the earlier part of his career when he was solely doing photo essays and almost no news. He focused on personal projects which took him closer to a region a new from his previous travels like Mexico and Central America while keeping an eye on South America.

September 9, 2022 – Guayaquil, Guayas, Ecuador. With the ramping up of the drug war in Ecuador, the small South American nation has become one of the major passing point of drug and arms smuggling of the Southern Continent. Indeed, most of the illecit drug trade has its starting point in Peru where the Cocaine is being produce then shipped through Ecuador, then Colombia for refining. The Ecuadorian authorities hare struggling to keep up with the violence the trade induces. ©Jonathan Alpeyrie

After a hiatus from covering wars, he went to Iraq to cover the battle of Mosul in 2017, and took another break from war in 2018, except for some time spent on the front lines in Ukraine, he decided to focus on the drug wars in South America, and more specifically in Brazil. Covid19 cut short his project and focused on the pandemic with an exception: the war in Armenia at the end of 2020. 

The War in Ukraine since 2014 never ended but rather was in a state of hiatus with more upsurge of fighting once in a while. February 2022, with the Russian invasion of its neighbor, has had everyone surprised by the scale of its aggression. When the fighting erupted he was in Mexico shooting a story on the drug war, as soon as his assignment ended he departed for the front in Central Ukraine. He spent a month covering the war between the two Slavic nations. Once more, he was drawn back into a conflict. 

With the ongoing drug war tearing apart Mexico, it’s Northern boder with the USA has been for decades now a strategic location in order to pass drugs and migrants into the USA, making the area a highly lucrative spot in Tijuana, Baja California , Mexico, March 27, 2023. In recent years, Tijuans has been prone to intense violence between various drug cartels and the government, seeing at some point up to 10 murders each day, making Tijuana one of the most dangerous cities in the Americas. Photographer: ©Jonathan Alpeyrie

May 22, 2019 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. An operation is under way to capture and kill drug dealers operating ner the police station. A unit of the famous UPP police unit is operating in one of the most dangerous favela of Rio. Clashes errupt on a daily basis between the military police and drug gangs. Rio Police suffers about 200 killed each year in the hands of the various armes gangs populating the favelas. ©Jonathan Alpeyrie

Alpeyrie has worked as a freelancer for various publications and websites, such as the Sunday Times, Le Figaro Magazine, ELLE, American Photo, GLAMOUR, Aftenposten, Le Monde, & bbc among others. Jonathan Alpeyrie’s career spans over a decade, and has brought him to over 36 countries, covered 14 conflict zones assignments, in the Middle East and North Africa, the South Caucasus, Europe, North America and Central Asia. A future photography book about wwii. Veterans with verve editions are in the works.

Alpeyrie has been published in magazines such as: Paris Match, aftenposten, times (Europe), Newsweek, Wine Spectator, Boston Globe, glamour, bbc, vsd, Le Monde, newsweek, Popular Photography, Vanity Fair, La Stampa, cnn, and Bild Zeit, elle Magazine, Der Spiegel, Le Figaro, marie claire, The Guardian, The Atlantic.

Jonathan Alpeyrie
www.jonathanalpeyrie.com
E: peloponnessian@hotmail.com
@Jonalpeyrie

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Syria, 10 years of war and spring never came

By Flor Castaneda

It’s your turn, Doctor! These words written by some teenagers on the walls of a school under the euphoria that the Arab Springs unleashed, was the beginning of one of the greatest humanitarian crises in all of History.

 It is 10 years of a war in which foreign powers, terrorist groups and the government of Bashar Al-Ássad have systematically torn and destroyed the most valuable thing in millenary Syria, its people.  This war has already tainted half the term of Assad, who has been in power for 20 years.

 Until 2020, more than 387,118 people have died and 205,300 disappeared, 32 attacks with chemical weapons and more than 12 thousand dead children, this last decade sounds more like a genocide perpetrated by his own government.

 Surviving extremist groups such as ISIS, chemical attacks and growing poverty, has triggered that almost half of the country’s population has fled, 6.7 million are internally displaced and another 5.6 million are abroad, the latter  It has caused tensions in countries close to Syria such as Lebanon and Turkey and Islamophobia in Western countries.

 Beyond the coldness of the numbers, there is the harsh reality of those who could not leave Syria and survive among ruins waiting for the days of peace, of those who had to sell their possessions to save themselves, ending up stuck in nearby countries where they have to beg for money or food without receiving any kind of help as they do not have refugee status, of children walking the streets of Tripoli in Lebanon selling cookies and prostituting themselves to locals and travelers to earn a living, of women who give birth in the worst  conditions, of men who were not combatants but were wounded when trying to flee and cannot work to support their own.

 One thing is real and obvious, the Syrian people with the bleeding wound of a decade of war led by the only dictator who survived the Arab Spring, hope to return to their land and rebuild it.

 Syria sleeps scattered among tents while dying among ruins, famine and chemical weapons, Syria has a smile mixed with a lost look from longing for so much, from praying that perhaps one day the war will end.

Flor Castaneda
Insta: florc_84

All photos copyrighted ©Flor Castaneda

REVEL & REVOLT

Revel & Revolt is a new photo book by Beau Patrick Coulon, a co-edition with Burn Barrel Press and Defend New Orleans’ imprint: DNO books. Coulon presents his straightforward-yet-personal visual documentation of protests, parades, and the punk scene in New Orleans from 2013 to 2020. 

‘Revel & Revolt’ photobook could not be materialised in such a powerful visual documentation if it wasn’t for the incredible talent and the lived experience that Beau holds. The photo book allows you to view the subjects’ s moments of anger, sadness, bliss with an openness, direct and unaffected manner that only a photographer with a real understanding and connection with the world that they inhabit may have. Beau’s journey to photography has been an interesting one. He was born in Hollywood and he spent much of his childhood between California, Florida, and Oklahoma. At 13, he moved out of his mom’s apartment to live on the streets with punks he met on Hollywood Blvd while skipping school.

Coulon travelled across the country by freight train and lived among a network of derelict squats, punk houses, collectives, and DIY art spaces. He first arrived in New Orleans in the mid-90s and found work that ranged from seasonal farming, doing demolition, pouring concrete to framing. These experiences gave him an unparalleled view of life and an understanding of class struggles and nomadic living.

Coulon’s life is different today however his photographs speak of the past, transitional living and of history that reminds us all of struggle and fortitude, beauty and despair.


Beau Patrick Coulon
https://www.beaupatrickcoulon.com/

Revel & Revolt photobook info:

Revel & Revolt

WEBSITE
FACEBOOK
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All photos copyrighted ©Beau Patrick Coulon

BLACK LIVES MOVEMENT IN NASHVILLE

By Khalila Early-Zald

©Khalila Early-Zald
©Khalila Early-Zald
©Khalila Early-Zald – Praying for Justice

Pain and hopelessness comes from not being accepted or seen as worthy. Too many times the system in the United States has excluded Black, Indigenous, Latinx, People of Color, women non-binary, and LGBTQ+ folks from the American agenda of freedom, acceptance, and access to getting ones needs met. We pray for a system and world that doesn’t kill our loved ones because of teachings that Black people are criminals. Praying for a world where trans people can get surgeries or change their name on their ID without being looked at differently or denied. Praying for a world where LGBTQ+ men and women can receive health care equally. Praying for a world that doesn’t see people as other, and instead sees everyone, accepts everyone, and a world where we can come together as a community in unity.

Here are some organizations in Nashville that focus on making Black, Indigenous, Latinx, LGBTQ+ people feel accepted and protected:
@mashup.nation – Mashup founded by Brian Marshall and Justin Lofton is a non profit that provides health care resources to LGBTQ+ men of color in Nashville as well as resources for health care professionals
@nashvillelaunchpad– Nashville Launch Pad provides street free sleep to youth from ages 18-24 specifically focusing on affirming LGBTQ+ youth
@blissandthetrashplants– Bliss and the Trash Plants is a community organization run by Bliss Cortez focusing on getting Queer, Trans, BIPOC folx needs met sustainably with the community through grocery/wellness kits and plants.

©Khalila Early-Zald Following the year of too many killings of Black, Trans, Queer folks by the police. Teenage activists spoke up this summer with two vigils and protests where we remembered George Floyd, Brenna Taylor, Daniel Hambrick, Riah Milton, and Elijah McClain, Tony McDade, Dominique Fells.
©Khalila Early-Zald
©Khalila Early-Zald

Khalila Early-Zald
earlyzaldphotography.squarespace.com
#earlyzaldphotos

Children: The forgotten future of Kashmir

Photos & text by Mubashir Hassan

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©Mubashir Hassan

Kashmir in the last 30 years has been reduced to a land of pain and misery with thousands dead, disappeared, raped, detained and tortured. When an anti-India insurgency began in 1989, the mighty forces that India employed here crushed the rebellion. Since then more than 90,000 people have died and 8,000are disappeared.

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©Mubashir Hassan

The ongoing conflict mounted scars not only on the adults but the new generation. The young children’s were badly affected with hundreds killed, thousands blinded, amputated bodies, and detained in Indian jails.

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©Mubashir Hassan

With more than half a million Indian troops stationed, Kashmir has the distinction of being the most heavily militarized zone in the world. The Indian forces enjoy special powers under laws such as the Armed Forces special Powers Act (AFSPA) that gives them immunity and impunity to arrest or kill anyone on mere suspicion, without the fear of facing legal action.

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©Mubashir Hassan

The turmoil has devastated an entire generation. People have gone through worst in these turbulent times. The story is all about the Children’s who are the Future of Kashmir and a yearning of new generation to live a life of peace and dignity.

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©Mubashir Hassan

The images shot by me are somehow my own childhood experiences, as I grew in such condition seeing things periodically right from the time when rebellion broke out in Kashmir.

Mubashir Hassan
Mubashir Hassan is a freelance photojournalist based in Kashmir valley, India. For the past six year, Mubashir has covered many stories on politics, conflict, human rights violations, as well as day to day life, art, culture and architecture. He is available for assignments.

On the project
‘Children: The forgotten future of Kashmir’ is an ongoing project by photojournalist Mubashir Hassan that focuses on the children living under the conflicted area of Kashmir valley. It documents the impact that the conflict has on their lives; from being physically maimed, psychologically traumatised and deprived of a future. ‘Children: The forgotten future of Kashmir’ is a personal project. It is an important story that needs to be seen and told. If you would like to support Mubashir, please be in touch with him. He is looking for commissions, representation and/or donations, which albeit small would make a huge difference for him. You can get in touch with Mubashir directly on:

Mubashir Hassan
T: +91-   9622663411
E: mubashirhassanpj@gmail.com
Insta: mubashirhassan_images

Covid-19 in Belgrade, Serbia

Una Skandro

Belgrade is the capital of Serbia, located in the Western Balkans. As everywhere in the world, it is prescribed to wear a mask. This, to me as a photographer, is an historical film moment. And so I decided to make a photo film story for him in which the main actor is a mask. The photos were taken after 45 days of quarantine. On my instagram page whose link I put in the email you can see the whole story about Covid -19 in Belgrade.

The biggest social injustice during the quarantine was that we were closed for four days every week for 24 hours. After 45 days of such a life, I can freely say that people were lost when their right to free movement was finally restored. On the other hand, everyone tried in their own way to adhere to social distances and protection measures. Freedom of movement was restored to us, but again we were all alone. – Una Skandro

Una Skandro
https://tismaskandro.wixsite.com/tismaskandro
#tismaskandrophotography
@SkandroTisma

Dear His Majesty

Avishkar Chhetri

After an arbitrary census was held in Bhutan (1989), the government of Bhutan displaced approximately 100,000 Southern Bhutanese (Lhotshampas) out of Bhutan. There are several explanations for the expulsion/displacement as well as the conflict between the Lhotshampa and the Northern government, which a series of protests in the late 80s were held within the country against the government’s repressive ‘One Nation One People’ policy; illegalising Nepali/Lhotshampa cultural practices under the social code of conduct: Driglam Namzha.
After the initial civil unrest in 1991, thousands of Lhotshampa Bhutanese arrived at the border of in Eastern Nepal from West Bengal, India by foot and trucks. By the mid-1990s these Bhutanese refugees had increased to the rough estimates of 100,000 individuals. As a response to the crisis after conflict with the continuously collapsing Nepali government, Bhutanese officials stated the Bhutanese refugees were, in fact, opportunistic economic-migrants rather than vulnerable refugees they self-claim to be. Thus the Bhutanese government has not repatriated the refugees.
Since their exodus, individuals have reports of torture, murder, arrests and rapes during the late 80s to early 90s in Bhutan. Furthermore, many of the individuals have remained as refugees within Eastern Nepal or India for over two decades to either look for repatriation or simply to find peaceful residency in their refuge. Whereas many refugees have resettled into third-nations to find a better life from their traumatic experiences.
As of today the Bhutanese government has not repatriate the displaced group in totality and continues to deny the legitimacy of their vulnerability and refugee status. As a consequence of lack of pictorial evidence, caused by the unavailability of video, photo or audio records, there is little evidence of the events that lead to the exodus other than personal accounts, and it remains a serious question of Bhutan’s dark past in isolation from the rest of the world.
All information here is based on the accounts of the government of Bhutan, the international communities, third-party witnesses, refugees and scholars. Any misinformation presented on this website will be removed as appropriate.

Avishkar Chhetri
http://theperipheralpeople.com/

Speak Out

Wamaitha Ng’ang’a

‘Speak Out’ is an ongoing photography project on women, survivors of domestic violence. Following the changes in in the UK of the 2013 legislation on domestic violence, where the definition of ‘domestic violence’  broadened to encompass different types of abuses, including financial, physical, psychological, sexual or emotional, the project ‘Speak Out’ highlights and raises awareness of those layers to many women in order for them to access a much needed help. Domestic abuse still remains a taboo across many cultures.  Through her photographic project. Wamaitha brings to light the voices of women who have taken a stand and broken the silence about their personal experiences of domestic abuse and its devastating effects – and the journey to move forward, not as victims but survivors.  Wamaitha will speak about the ‘Speak Out’ project on the 4th February 2019 in the next Photojournalism Hub Debate event.

Lenka ©Wamaitha Ng’ang’a 
“The question of ‘why doesn’t she leave the abusive relationship’ is not easy as it sounds. You become mentally dependent on that person” —– Lenka
Nadine ©Wamaitha Ng’ang’a
“When you are a victim of psychological domestic violence, there is nothing to show.” — Nadine

Wamaitha Ng’ang’a
www.wamaithanganga.com

Life after Chernobyl

Quintina Valero

In April 2015 I travelled to Ukraine to document the long-lasting implications of Chernobyl’s nuclear disaster for both the environment and the people 30 years after the disaster. The Chernobyl’s accident seems to have been forgotten by society. I wanted to give a voice to the lives of those carrying on with the poisonous legacy of Chernobyl. In my first trip, I visited the 30 km exclusion zone where around 200 people are still living. For my research I interviewed doctors working at the National Institute Cancer Research in Ukraine, NGOs working with victims of Chernobyl and scientists who are studying the DNA modifications both in plants and human beings. I become very interested in remote areas, which are still contaminated by radiation and where people have limited access to hospitals and doctors.

“Life after Chernobyl” portrays life both inside the 30 Km exclusion zone and Narodichi region, 50 km  southwest of the nuclear plant. This turned out to be one of the worst hit areas by radiation but only detected five years later. With my collective “Food of war” we are helping to raise awareness of the Chernobyl’s accident through European exhibitions, talks and conferences. We have also collaborated with artists reflecting on the consumption of food in countries where radiation travelled after the 1986’s accident. Life after Chernobyl is an ongoing project that I would like to develop into a book and a short film.

To know more or would like to support this ongoing project, please follow this link

Natalia, school’s teacher stands by the entrance of Maksimovichy village, where many houses were abandoned after Chernobyl’s disaster.
Nastia Natsik with her daughters Iuliana, Madina and Lia in her family house in Khristinovka. Lia, 2 suffers from a brain tumour. Her father,Emil, 37, fled the conflict in Abkhazia (Geogia) when he was eleven, 3 years after Chernobyl’s disaster. Though evacuation was enforced in 1992, many families decided to stay.
Tatiana Ignatiuk in her kitchen in Maksimovichy, where she lives with her three children and husband who works in the forest.
Anna is holding apples from her tree. She lives in the evacuated village of Copachichi in the 30km exclusion zone of Chernobyl.
Dima, 6 years old is waiting to be seen by Alexander and Daniel, two volunteer doctors from Kiev. About 60% of children in Narodichi region suffer from malnutrition alongside cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Children are no longer considered victims of Chernobyl. Ignored by the authorities, many of those children rely on local NGOs and international aid organisations for medical treatment.

Quintina Valero
https://www.quintinavalero.com
@QuintinaV
#quintinavalero/

Gueules Gazées

By Roberto di Mola 

Gueules Gazées is an ongoing documentary series showing the effects of tear gas among
protestors. Grins, runny noses and burning eyes are just the visible effects. According to a study published by the French association of toxicology-chemistry the aftermaths of exposure could be serious and permanent damages might be caused to the nervous system, to the breathing apparatus
and to the sight. Moreover it certifies the presence of small amounts of cyanide potentially
toxic in case of long exposures.

Gueules Gazées tries not only to underline direct consequences of potentially lethal
weapons used against civilians, but it also aims to show people’s strategies to relieve pain
and provide first aid to those affected by the gas. Heavily armed police, LBD, tear gas: are there any other more peaceful means to provide security and safeness in public order policing?

Instagram: #mirai.mir

Paris, June 2020. Milk is often used to alleviate burns that reach the eyes. Here, after
the passage of the demonstrators, milk flows on the street.
Paris, June 2020. A protester makes a grimace of pain.
Paris, June 2020. A protester sprays his face with milk.
Paris, June 2020. A demonstrator receives assistance.
Paris, July 2020. A typical riot police squad: one of them is holding a LBD gun. The
majority of serious injuries are caused by the reckless use of this weapon.
Paris, June 2020. A Parisian café after being attacked with tear gas.
Paris, June 2020. A man trying to get out from the café after the attack.
Paris, June 2020. More and more protesters, aware of the effects, equip themselves with the necessary to provide first aid.

Paris, June 2020.In this case an umbrella is used to better protect themselves from
“toxic winds”.

Paris, July 2020. Another technique is used to curl up against the wind.

Photographs by Roberto di Mola
Instagram: #mirai.mir

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