“Oxygen” Is the Story of Dancers Living with Cystic Fibrosis

Katarina Premfors’s work with Scuola di Sci Monte Bianco and Courmayeur la Danza aims to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis, a condition that impacts roughly 100,000 people worldwide.

“There is no known cure and only half of those with the disease live to the age of 40,” explains photographer Katarina Premfors. She continues, “the symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis affect the respiratory system and the digestive system. Those who have it often find it very difficult to breathe.” Cystic Fibrosis is a rare disease, and the impact it has on those who are diagnosed is heartbreaking. But because it’s so uncommon, many people may not be aware of it and the impact it has on people who have it. That’s why the work Premfors does is so important – especially in a time when those with respiratory conditions are at great risk due to COVID-19.

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Mario Cruz Documents the Heartbreaking Living Conditions in Manila

Living Among What’s Left Behind is a project that explores two deeply worrying narratives and combines them into one extremely important story.

“The experience of walking on the top of the floating trash in the Pasig River was shocking,” says Portuguese photojournalist, Mario Cruz. He adds, “But even more shocking was realizing that I was the only one shocked by it.” In 2018, after stepping foot onto the Pasig River in Manila, Philippines, Cruz began to tell a story that focuses on our destruction of the environment and our neglect of humanity. Heavily polluted and transformed into a waste ground, Pasig River was declared biologically dead by the 1990s. It’s no place for human existence. Yet, after being failed by their dreams, a community of settlers has had to call one of the city’s most toxic environments their home.

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Juanita Escobar Photographs the Story of Women in a Conflict Zone

Since 2015, Colombian documentary photographer Juanita Escobar has been immersing herself in the vastness of the land surrounding the Orinoco River, diving deep into the lives of the women entangled in the Colombia – Venezuela border crisis.

While border crisis issues typically suggest big picture narratives and large-scale issues, Colombian documentary photographer Juanita Escobar has chosen to focus her efforts on the complex lives of women who have settled along the Orinoco River. Straddling the Colombian and Venezuelan border, the river is a symbol of geographical divide, border conflicts, and numerous adversities that Juanita has found women, in particular, vulnerable to. In her long-term documentary series, she has been traversing the expanse surrounding, immersing herself in the lives of the women who now call it home.

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Xyza Cruz Bacani Retells the Poignant Personal Story of Migrant Workers

In her compelling book, We Are Like Air, Xyza Cruz Bacani turned to her personal experiences for retelling of the story of migrant workers in Hong Kong.

“If I’m photographing them, it means I have the power,” says Hong Kong-based Filipina author and photographer Xyza Cruz Bacani in an interview with This Week in Photo, referencing her work documenting migrant workers. “But because I’m photographing…my own family, that power was taken away from me.” Hidden against the towering skyscrapers, shopping districts, and the world-famous spots of Hong Kong are lesser-known stories of its migrant worker population. While some light has been shed on their plight, there remains an underreported reality that is both shared and personal to the migrant workers and their families. This is what Xyza has been raising awareness about through her work, particularly through her book We Are Like Air.

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Photographer Michael A. McCoy Knows Arlington Cemetery’s Secret Spot

5,000 African American soldiers and civilians have found their final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery. But yet their stories remain largely untold, and their existence feels like a secret.

“I have made it my job as a photographer to give a voice to the voiceless,” Michael A. McCoy boldly states. Michael is an African American Veteran and documentary photographer who knows first hand what it means to sacrifice for your country. Because of this, he’s focusing his work on those who fell and paved the way for future generations. Not the least of which are those whose selfless and brave contribution seems to be living deep in the shadows.

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Mette Lampcov Documents How Climate Change Is Destroying California

In her eye-opening, long-term project, Los Angeles-based Mette Lampcov calls our attention to the reality that climate change is a multi-faceted problem that we can no longer afford to ignore.

With wildfires now burning hotter and longer, we can no longer deny or ignore the reality of climate change and its impending aftermath. This is the crux of Los Angeles-based Mette Lampcov’s documentary work in California, one of the hotspots of deadly fires in the United States. Titled Water to Dust, it chronicles how climate change is a two-pronged problem in the state, and aims to open our eyes to the dramatic impact that threatens to spread across the globe.

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This Photographer Helps Others Find Therapy with the Art of Photography

Nina Robinson’s phototherapy program harnesses photography’s innate ability to bring about healing and inspiration both for her and her elderly students.

As a documentary photographer, Minneapolis-based Nina Robinson draws inspiration from both the people she has interviewed and fellow photographers whose works explore transformation, family, social issues, and solution-focused journalism. But as an educator, she didn’t realize how the Phototherapy program she helped develop would also cultivate a passion for teaching senior citizens.

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This Photographer Found Herself in the Most Important 37 Hours of Her Life

Generation T.B.D. is a documentary photography project that invites us into the life of Travis, a 25-year old black male struggling to make ends meet while trying to make something of himself. An educated creative, Travis is one of many young Americans finding it hard to capitalize on his skills and talent.

“I’m showcasing to the world that this young black man [Travis] was a person with a whole story and background that led to his precarious state of employment,” says Melissa “Bunni” Elian, a photojournalist based in New York. “I get to show people that individuals like him are valuable members of society and they are indeed trying their best.” In 2014 The Ground Truth Project assigned Bunni the task of reporting on economic hardship, with the focus centered around young people from the Bronx. The assignment allowed her to work on something that aligned with her photographic voice. Hardship, struggle, oppression, and people of color are the main components of her visual storytelling; a focus shaped heavily by her own experience, Bunni has been able to use photography to bring changes to her own life and to those who struggle all too often to fulfill their potential.

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The Acquaintance: Esther Mbabazi’s Photo Essay of Birth in Rural Uganda

The Acquaintance is a photo-documentary of the life of Masa, an 81-year old Traditional Birth Assistant (TBA) in Uganda. It also looks at the changes that have happened in the East African nation since it outlawed the use of TBAs for expectant mothers in 2010.

“The Acquaintance” centers around photojournalist Esther Mbabazi’s chronicles in Bududa on the slopes of Mountain Elgon. Bududa has a hilly landscape that presents geographical challenges. Naturally, this complicates movement, especially for pregnant mothers. Walking long distances up and down hills to get to the hospital can prove to be a challenge–so pregnant women often opt for working with TBAs instead. As a documentary photographer, Esther uses storytelling and photojournalism to address issues in her society. Coming from a humble background, her work explores changing conditions on the African continent, with a focus on the social, economic, physical and emotional aspects of daily life, especially in rural areas and minority groups. Esther is driven to bring to light issues in society that are too often overlooked.

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