When we started this project we had many goals that we have been fulfilling slowly and to achieve the more ambitious elements, we need you, the readers and hope that all the people who enjoy F8Mag, will join us. In what way? Through a small amount you can achieve a lot, to help improve the quality and means of this publication, sourcing the best content and to enable us to distribute the magazine in a mobile format thus giving a wider reach to this project. We also aim to raise funds for charities and create a fund for photographers who carry out work for charity projects. Anything is possible with your help, with just a few dollars and our collective enthusiasm.
Within this new issue, we have many stories. Travel stories, travel with an eye to show our world through photography. A motorcycle trip to Vietnam with Kevin German / LUCEO, a trip to Abu Dhabi with Janire Najera. A walk through the streets of Wasington DC with Duncan Hill. An intense interview with Robert Larson by Jim Mortram. I recommend a story of sacrifice and dedication, love and struggle where a seemingly normal man becomes a hero whilst caring for his mother and his severely disabled sister, an excellent report by Sarah Yun. A prayer transformed into beautiful photographs: The Homeplace by Sarah Hoskins.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to encourage you to join our new contest. Through a tour of the different religions that from within Israel, Natan Dvir shows with his images one of the most powerful feelings of human beings : Faith. Show us yours. Send us a picture that represents your own understanding and observations of "Faith" and you can also qualify for a prize, choose the charity you want to use part of your small entrance fee. Here we present to you stories filled with the questions the photographers seek to answer.
But as we all know, the answers are always within each of us.
Project: In Deep Water | Michael F McElroy
IN DEEP WATER is a ongoing project that focuses on the many layers of India's current water crisis from the scarcity of drinking water to widows of Farmer Suicides to poisoned drinking water in Bhopal to the death of the Yumuna river and the consequences from lack of water. With Rivers and other water sources dying up the situation is becoming precarious.
With seventeen percent of the world’s population and just four percent of its fresh water its clear that with the current infrastructure and water management polices, India's water woes are only going to worsen. India continues to see internal economic migration to urban areas from the countryside and with the country's cities bursting at the seams, clean potable water is a luxury most live without. In reality many in the city have to resort to illegally tapping water lines that run for a hour a day, While in the country side women begin their day walking miles to fill water containers. The country's connection and dependence on water is very complex, on one hand there's a spiritual connection to water and on the other a mis-understanding about the importance of water and its conservation.
Project: The Homeplace | Sarah Hoskins
Eleven years ago I stood in the middle of Frogtown Lane map in hand, I didn’t know a soul. Now eleven years later I know everyone on that lane and those who have passed away. I have been to basket meetings, funerals and family reunions. Even when I am not there in the communities they are always right here with me.
I have been known to say that I am not an objective observer, especially when it comes to this project. Sometimes you can hear the gasps after I say that. I don’t know when things changed for me or if there was one particular event that made me feel this way, but I will share a few.
Project: Behind the Mask | Sara Yun
Suddenly she asked "And who are you?" Santi looked at her with astonishment and replied "Mom, I'm your son!" This was the day we noticed that Antonia, Santi's mother was suffering from Alzheimers. From this moment onwards, the life of Santi was to take a dramatically new course. Santi's decision was to renounce his own life and to devote it to both his mother and sister.
Carmen requires special care due to her fragility and her dependence, from birth that stems from both severe mental and motor deficiencies. Santi now took responsibility for all the everyday household chores and the care of two totally dependent adults. Diapers, food, showers, medicine ... have become everyday items to Santi and all are provided with the love of a father, a brother and a son now combined within one man.
Interview by Jim Mortram | Robert Larson
Jim: There seems to be a therapeutic element to your image making, have you found that you have benefited from the photography you make or has it opened doors within yourself that have ever given you a cause for concern?
Robert: It absolutely is therapeutic for me. It gives me a purpose, and up to this point it is the only thing that does. At least enough to justify living. I feel like photography is the contribution I make in return for the air that I steal from everyone else. And it makes me happy. Most people simply live out of fear of death. I probably would have killed myself by now if it wasn’t for the fact that I enjoy taking pictures so much.
Project: Belief | Natan Dvir
In this rapidly changing world in which career and financial successes are revered, perhaps even idolized, communities, as well as the concept of personal identities and how they are presented within society are greatly evolving. The information revolution shortened distances between people enabling interactions never before possible. Yet even in these exciting times belief continues to be one of the basic, most significant and profound factors defining and shaping individuals and societies alike.
Having been raised in Israel, I was regularly exposed to strong religious, social and political beliefs and ideas from an early age. Holy sites situated throughout Israel make the (physically) small country extremely important for Jews, Christians, Muslim and many other religions. The region’s history combined with the volatile political situation today, result in a complex and intense reality in which people emphatically and publicly express themselves.
A Photographer's Diary | Kevin German
There is some special about riding a motorcycle. You feel more connected to the environment that you would driving a car. There are no windows or doors to protect you from the elements. But it's a small trade off for the social relationship you gain.
In October, I set out on a one-month journey to help better my understanding of a country that I have lived in for the past 4 years. I drove more than 4,500 kilometers from north Vietnam to the south. The direction was not preordained. Each turn was more of an organic expedition. A GPS unit kept me grounded as my mind wondered throughout time. I have been working on a book since the day I first stepped foot in Vietnam. "In the Footsteps of Ghosts" is about connecting the dots of history that led to the foundation for what Vietnam is today. The aftermath of the American-Vietnam War doesn't take the form of rusting metal that once rolled through Saigon or dropped bombs on Hanoi.