Skammdegi / Dark winter

Added on by Annie Ling.

Tomorrow, I'll be embarking on a wild, new adventure and challenge. As a recipient of the Skammdegi AIR Award (and my first artist residency to date), I can't help but confess that utter thrill mixed with mild fear is setting in as I prepare to leave the sunshine behind for two months of cold, dark isolation in northern Iceland. Brrrrr just thinking about it.

Skammdegi in Icelandic means dark winter or short sunlight winter.  December 21 is the shortest day in Iceland. The sunlight is from 11am to 3pm only.  Listhús í Fjallabyggð where I'll be based is located in Olafsfjordur, north Iceland, which is surrounded by mountains. That means during December and January, the sun never can rise up higher than the mountains. As a result, the lands are always covered by a mysterious reflective lighting. Amazing, right?

This newly established award will allow me to maximize the possibility of working in dark winter. I've got several ideas I'm pumped to explore and some exciting things lined up. But I'm predicting what's really going to keep me from going mad will be the chance to engage, learn from and collaborate with ten other incredible multidisciplinary artists joining in on the fun, also flying in from afar this winter. 

Alright, I gotta get back to packing! Looking forward to posting updates from there, so stay tuned. Things are about to get interesting... 

 

The aftermath of the Syrian conflict

Added on by Annie Ling.

This September, I had the privilege of meeting and working with displaced Syrian women seeking refuge in neighboring Turkey. Their stories and resilience is moving, and being a witness to women supporting women in displaced communities is what I hope to continue doing, as soon as I can find more funding and support to go back and expand the work in other neighboring countries.

In the meantime, here is a first preview of the beginning of this ongoing project, which was made possible thanks to the NYFA Photography Fellowship

Zayid, 3-days-old. His father and 4-year-old brother went for haircuts nine months ago in Aleppo and never returned home.


Zayid, 3-days-old. His father and 4-year-old brother went for haircuts nine months ago in Aleppo and never returned home.

Three days before Zayid was born, I met Souad (pictured right), 23-years-old from Aleppo, with her eldest daughter (left) and two other children in a shelter for Syrian widows in Gaziantep, Turkey. Souad was married at 15 to a distant relative who tortured her. Nine months ago, her husband and son went missing during a bombing and Souad believes she would never see them again. Without documents, she smuggled into Turkey five months ago with her three remaining children and a fourth son on the way, seeking support and work to provide for her family.


Three days before Zayid was born, I met Souad (pictured right), 23-years-old from Aleppo, with her eldest daughter (left) and two other children in a shelter for Syrian widows in Gaziantep, Turkey. Souad was married at 15 to a distant relative who tortured her. Nine months ago, her husband and son went missing during a bombing and Souad believes she would never see them again. Without documents, she smuggled into Turkey five months ago with her three remaining children and a fourth son on the way, seeking support and work to provide for her family.

Ragda (36) and her 7-months pregnant daughter Nora (19) at a shelter for widows in Gaziantep, Turkey. Ragda lost her husband and two sons in a barrel bomb attack in her old neighborhood in Syria. "We cannot make plans for our future until Syria is whole again." - Ragda S.


Ragda (36) and her 7-months pregnant daughter Nora (19) at a shelter for widows in Gaziantep, Turkey. Ragda lost her husband and two sons in a barrel bomb attack in her old neighborhood in Syria. "We cannot make plans for our future until Syria is whole again." - Ragda S.

Kilis, a Turkish city near the border with Syria has experienced a significant influx of Syrian refugees in recent years. 


Kilis, a Turkish city near the border with Syria has experienced a significant influx of Syrian refugees in recent years. 

Syrian women refugees at a beauty school in a center offering job training for displaced Syrians looking for work in Kilis, Turkey. 


Syrian women refugees at a beauty school in a center offering job training for displaced Syrians looking for work in Kilis, Turkey. 

Ibtesam (40), an english teacher from Aleppo, fled to Kilis seeking medical help after a bomb dropped on her home  killed her 11-year-old daughter Iman and left her other daughter Aya (14) injured with a broken skull and consequently amnesia. "I lived a normal and simple life in Syria" says Ibtesam, who was pro-revolution because she wanted a better life for her children. Now, she visits the center for displaced Syrian women in Kilis daily to learn hairdressing, in hopes of finding work to support her family. Ibtesam's name in Arabic means "smile".


Ibtesam (40), an english teacher from Aleppo, fled to Kilis seeking medical help after a bomb dropped on her home  killed her 11-year-old daughter Iman and left her other daughter Aya (14) injured with a broken skull and consequently amnesia. "I lived a normal and simple life in Syria" says Ibtesam, who was pro-revolution because she wanted a better life for her children. Now, she visits the center for displaced Syrian women in Kilis daily to learn hairdressing, in hopes of finding work to support her family. Ibtesam's name in Arabic means "smile".

Omsami (meaning "mother of Sami") 55-years-old from the countryside of Aleppo currently lives with her daughter-in-law and four grandchildren at a shelter for Syrian widows in Gaziantep, Turkey. Here, she caresses a photograph of her son Sami who was killed by the Assad regime while fighting for the FSA (Free Syrian Army) nearly two years ago. 


Omsami (meaning "mother of Sami") 55-years-old from the countryside of Aleppo currently lives with her daughter-in-law and four grandchildren at a shelter for Syrian widows in Gaziantep, Turkey. Here, she caresses a photograph of her son Sami who was killed by the Assad regime while fighting for the FSA (Free Syrian Army) nearly two years ago. 

Azza (19) and her sister Lamiaa (20) left Aleppo with their family in 2011 because of bombing in their neighborhood. They hope to continue studies in medicine, but their savings have dried up since leaving Syria and they have no work and income to continue their education or support their seven younger brothers. "Our father is very angry because he cannot make his family happy, and mother is sad because she cannot give the boys what they ask for." - Lamiaa A.


Azza (19) and her sister Lamiaa (20) left Aleppo with their family in 2011 because of bombing in their neighborhood. They hope to continue studies in medicine, but their savings have dried up since leaving Syria and they have no work and income to continue their education or support their seven younger brothers. "Our father is very angry because he cannot make his family happy, and mother is sad because she cannot give the boys what they ask for." - Lamiaa A.

Iman, 51-years-old from Damascus, battled a serious case of cancer in her backbone for 20 years until 2011 when she was miraculously healed. Her fight with cancer ended as the revolution and fighting began in Syria. As her neighborhood was stormed and civilians were massacred, she worked as a nurse to aid the injured, putting to practice everything she learned from years of undergoing cancer treatment as a hospitalized patient. 


Iman, 51-years-old from Damascus, battled a serious case of cancer in her backbone for 20 years until 2011 when she was miraculously healed. Her fight with cancer ended as the revolution and fighting began in Syria. As her neighborhood was stormed and civilians were massacred, she worked as a nurse to aid the injured, putting to practice everything she learned from years of undergoing cancer treatment as a hospitalized patient. 

Iman reveals a scar from backbone cancer surgery. Her wound reopened in prison, where she was tortured and suffered electric shock in sensitive areas of her body for four months. Iman and her daughter were arrested on June 1st, 2013 by the regime when she was caught smuggling medical supplies, food and water to injured civilians.   


Iman reveals a scar from backbone cancer surgery. Her wound reopened in prison, where she was tortured and suffered electric shock in sensitive areas of her body for four months. Iman and her daughter were arrested on June 1st, 2013 by the regime when she was caught smuggling medical supplies, food and water to injured civilians.   

Iman took advantage of her foreign appearance to smuggle supplies for civilians in need during the revolution. On April 13, 2014, Iman smuggled herself and two girlfriends into Turkey, looking for work and surviving off of $30USD monthly UN food vouchers. A social worker (also a Syrian refugee) found Iman and offered her a place to stay at her barely furnished apartment in Kilis. Here, she settles into an empty room with her backpack and few possessions.


Iman took advantage of her foreign appearance to smuggle supplies for civilians in need during the revolution. On April 13, 2014, Iman smuggled herself and two girlfriends into Turkey, looking for work and surviving off of $30USD monthly UN food vouchers. A social worker (also a Syrian refugee) found Iman and offered her a place to stay at her barely furnished apartment in Kilis. Here, she settles into an empty room with her backpack and few possessions.

Fathya (25) from Azaz, Syria at a shelter for widows in Gaziantep. Fathya was married for eleven years to a man who treated her brutally with insults and beatings. Her husband and two sons died in the first barrel bombing attack on Syria in August 2012. Barrel bomb attacks throughout Syria have killed more than 20,000 people since the conflict began in March 2011. 


Fathya (25) from Azaz, Syria at a shelter for widows in Gaziantep. Fathya was married for eleven years to a man who treated her brutally with insults and beatings. Her husband and two sons died in the first barrel bombing attack on Syria in August 2012. Barrel bomb attacks throughout Syria have killed more than 20,000 people since the conflict began in March 2011. 

A shelter for widows in Gaziantep, Turkey. 


A shelter for widows in Gaziantep, Turkey. 

Fathya (25), suffers verbal and physical abuse from her younger 17-year-old brother, who has been designated by her family to keep an eye on her. When this image was made, she was waiting to hear if her family would accept a marriage proposal from a 60-year-old Turkish man to take Fathya on as a second wife. She does not want to marry again, but her family insists that she does and forbids her to study. "Maybe if I was educated, my whole life would be different." Fathya would go through a bad marriage again to escape her overprotective family. (Last I heard, a woman running this women's center had convinced Fathya's family to decline the Turkish man's proposal.)


Fathya (25), suffers verbal and physical abuse from her younger 17-year-old brother, who has been designated by her family to keep an eye on her. When this image was made, she was waiting to hear if her family would accept a marriage proposal from a 60-year-old Turkish man to take Fathya on as a second wife. She does not want to marry again, but her family insists that she does and forbids her to study. "Maybe if I was educated, my whole life would be different." Fathya would go through a bad marriage again to escape her overprotective family. (Last I heard, a woman running this women's center had convinced Fathya's family to decline the Turkish man's proposal.)

Late afternoon in Kilis, a Turkish city near the Syrian border.


Late afternoon in Kilis, a Turkish city near the Syrian border.

The war in Syria has displaced more than 9 million internally while each day, families and a majority of Syrian women and children join the near 3 million seeking asylum in neighboring countries. Syria, the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world today, now enters its fourth year. 

Gender-based violence, one of the world’s most widespread human rights violations and public health issues, escalates among displaced communities. As the Syrian refugee population continues to grow exponentially and resources have begun to diminish, harsh living conditions and circumstances impose a threat to young women who may face increased pressure to enter into early marriages. Women whose often forced reliance on male family members leave them isolated at home and removed from public safe-spaces to socialize. A UNHCR’s Participatory Assessment found “Women spoke openly about how their husbands were physically or emotionally abusive, with many stating that such behavior results from an increased level of tension due to poor living conditions and the current crisis in Syria.” 

The FB black and white challenge

Added on by Annie Ling.

The recent 5 day FBBW set of images and the stories behind them mark in a nutshell some struggle and growth as a photographer these past five years. It's a pleasure to share again this selection from my archive with you, in case you missed it on Facebook.

Before I dig into these images and what they mean to me, I want to thank the one and only 
Juliana Beasley for nominating me for this challenge. We are all so busy and while there are much more pressing things in life than posting B&W photos from our past onto a platform like FB, this experience really opened up an opportunity to reconnect with friends that have helped shaped and supported my work... Carving out some time to reflect on the past has been very revealing and I'm better for having accepted the challenge. 

I also nominated five terrific colleagues: Nadia Sablin, Katja Heinemann, Katy HaasDevin Yalkin, and Gabriele Stabile who do some extraordinary work. Enjoy!

Day 1 This image is from the first roll of 120film I ever shot on a medium-format camera, back in 2009 in Grimsby, Ontario, Canada. In Feb of 2009, six months after I first moved to NYC, I lost everything in a fatal tenement fire. I'll never forget the generosity of friends like Brendon Stuart, who helped me start over and let me borrow his plastic Chinese-made twin-lens Seagull camera when I returned my homeless self back to Canada shortly after. During a time of soul-searching that ensued, I found myself seeing the world in a different way, which may have metamorphosed the way I photograph since. I found comfort in a novel and slower process, working in two-and-a-quarter for the first time, making a connection (in this instance) through the viewfinder with a young boy I met on the edge of Lake Ontario. He seemed lost inside his own head and confused, as I watched him pace back and forth in his socks on the concrete pier. This photograph reminds me of a time when I was also lost, but my body knew better... it had the right instinct to approach him, to pause, and to connect in a moment of shared vulnerability.


Day 1

This image is from the first roll of 120film I ever shot on a medium-format camera, back in 2009 in Grimsby, Ontario, Canada. In Feb of 2009, six months after I first moved to NYC, I lost everything in a fatal tenement fire. I'll never forget the generosity of friends like Brendon Stuart, who helped me start over and let me borrow his plastic Chinese-made twin-lens Seagull camera when I returned my homeless self back to Canada shortly after.

During a time of soul-searching that ensued, I found myself seeing the world in a different way, which may have metamorphosed the way I photograph since. I found comfort in a novel and slower process, working in two-and-a-quarter for the first time, making a connection (in this instance) through the viewfinder with a young boy I met on the edge of Lake Ontario. He seemed lost inside his own head and confused, as I watched him pace back and forth in his socks on the concrete pier. This photograph reminds me of a time when I was also lost, but my body knew better... it had the right instinct to approach him, to pause, and to connect in a moment of shared vulnerability.

Day 2 This is a portrait of Davina, an inspiring lady who is simultaneously a social worker, activist, and poet working in Chinatown, NY. I had the pleasure of meeting her in 2009, in my early days of documenting the neighborhood when I was still shooting B&W film. This image also represents a turning point in my work. Always, when I see this image, I picture it in bold red and yellow hues, colors that flooded the room and her petite frame as the late afternoon light shone through the towering Chinese flag hung proudly across her bedroom window. I wished at that moment I had carried color film with me instead... the intense, symbolic red glow emanating from the flag, changed the mood and tone of the situation completely. The following day, I went out and bought as much color film as I could afford at the time. Till now, I've stuck to working with color when photographing in Chinatown.


Day 2

This is a portrait of Davina, an inspiring lady who is simultaneously a social worker, activist, and poet working in Chinatown, NY. I had the pleasure of meeting her in 2009, in my early days of documenting the neighborhood when I was still shooting B&W film.

This image also represents a turning point in my work. Always, when I see this image, I picture it in bold red and yellow hues, colors that flooded the room and her petite frame as the late afternoon light shone through the towering Chinese flag hung proudly across her bedroom window. I wished at that moment I had carried color film with me instead... the intense, symbolic red glow emanating from the flag, changed the mood and tone of the situation completely.

The following day, I went out and bought as much color film as I could afford at the time. Till now, I've stuck to working with color when photographing in Chinatown.

Day 3 Here, I revisit an image from a shoot of The Living Room Project, an interactive performance on the Lower East Side, where audiences are encouraged to pick up random props and participate as performers. The mystery and unpredictability of experimental theatre encourages "serious play". Before photography, I studied theatre, writing, and was an avid painter. While I have less time for writing and painting now (which I'm working on changing) I still believe in this idea of serious play, of being committed to playing, of turning it into a discipline.


Day 3

Here, I revisit an image from a shoot of The Living Room Project, an interactive performance on the Lower East Side, where audiences are encouraged to pick up random props and participate as performers.

The mystery and unpredictability of experimental theatre encourages "serious play". Before photography, I studied theatre, writing, and was an avid painter. While I have less time for writing and painting now (which I'm working on changing) I still believe in this idea of serious play, of being committed to playing, of turning it into a discipline.

Day 4 I've been meaning to revisit the images from the trip I made in 2011 to Shangri-La, an ancient Tibetan village in Yunnan province, China... especially after I heard the devastating news earlier this year that the entire historical site was wiped out by a massive fire and the village is now no more. Here's the story: http://www.pri.org/…/shangri-la-no-more-after-massive-fire-… I write this post with great fondness and sadness. I found myself in Yunnan for two weeks in 2011, a spur of the moment kind of decision during one of the most painful times of my life. During this journey, I met a dear new friend Laurens with whom I did some of the most unforgettable hiking I've ever done, including a trek up an isolated hill overlooking the village of Shangri-La. The woods on this hill was covered entirely with millions upon millions of Tibetan prayer flags, and it's difficult to find words then or even now to describe just how humbling, serene and moving this hike was. I remember whispering to Laurens I'd like to return to this hill someday... but I'd never expect to learn that it would be gone within 3 years. The images from this time is my elegy to the Tibetan hill and village.


Day 4

I've been meaning to revisit the images from the trip I made in 2011 to Shangri-La, an ancient Tibetan village in Yunnan province, China... especially after I heard the devastating news earlier this year that the entire historical site was wiped out by a massive fire and the village is now no more.

Here's the story: http://www.pri.org/…/shangri-la-no-more-after-massive-fire-…

I write this post with great fondness and sadness. I found myself in Yunnan for two weeks in 2011, a spur of the moment kind of decision during one of the most painful times of my life. During this journey, I met a dear new friend Laurens with whom I did some of the most unforgettable hiking I've ever done, including a trek up an isolated hill overlooking the village of Shangri-La.

The woods on this hill was covered entirely with millions upon millions of Tibetan prayer flags, and it's difficult to find words then or even now to describe just how humbling, serene and moving this hike was. I remember whispering to Laurens I'd like to return to this hill someday... but I'd never expect to learn that it would be gone within 3 years.

The images from this time is my elegy to the Tibetan hill and village.

Day 5 This image is from an ongoing series I started in 2011, which only few eyes have seen. This was made in response to learning about the death of my estranged father. That year I lost the desire to shoot in color, but still desperate for an outlet, I returned to working in B&W. I still find it really difficult to share this work, but I hope that one day I'll have the courage to share more, even if it isn't paired with the most eloquent words, or have a perfect container, or even a resolution... that's why I lose myself in images after all. They can speak for themselves.


Day 5

This image is from an ongoing series I started in 2011, which only few eyes have seen. This was made in response to learning about the death of my estranged father. That year I lost the desire to shoot in color, but still desperate for an outlet, I returned to working in B&W. I still find it really difficult to share this work, but I hope that one day I'll have the courage to share more, even if it isn't paired with the most eloquent words, or have a perfect container, or even a resolution... that's why I lose myself in images after all. They can speak for themselves.

To be honored in good company, and the work of Hester Street Collaborative

Added on by Annie Ling.

Tomorrow at Hester Street Collaborative Annual Benefit Party, three women will be honored for their work in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, NY. Incredibly, I will be standing next to these two remarkable honorees: Damaris Reyes, the Executive Director of Good Old Lower East Side who provides significant leadership on local community-driven land-use issues, and Signe Nielsen, a leading landscape architect and urban designer in New York since 1978.

It's truly humbling to be recognized by an organization like HSC whose mission is to empower residents of underserved communities by providing them with the tools and resources necessary to have a direct impact on shaping their built environment. HSC does this through a hands-on approach that combines design, education, and advocacy.

As it stands, I'm beyond grateful to be working in a field I'm very passionate about. To have had all the opportunities and support thus far from dear friends and colleagues who have fed and fueled me along the way is especially encouraging. I share this honor with them and with my community, who inspire me and give me the courage to continue doing what I love.

An afternoon with Zoe

Added on by Annie Ling.

Sometime within the next 24 hours, my friend Zoe will be induced and life would never be the same again. Here, I reminisce back to our magical afternoon together last month around her home in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Everywhere we went, all eyes were on her. A stranger named Efrain sitting next to us at the local diner came up to her and embraced her with pure tenderness and enthusiasm. Another stranger, waved us over to make pictures in his sexy new car. It all felt like a dream.

The Smell of Dust - Official Launch in São Paulo, Brazil

Added on by Annie Ling.

So excited to have my work in the official launch of the audiovisual performance THE SMELL OF DUST, taking place at the Gallery KUNSTHALLE in São Paulo, Brazil on April 16th, 2014 at 8pm.

The soundtrack of the projection composed exclusively for TSOD will be executed live by the Brazilian musician BASS N' INSANE. And of course a big shout out to all the talented photographers and musicians involved in the project, not least my friend Sue-Elie Andrade-Dé who is the mastermind behind all of this!

Check out my recent interview with TSOD on my latest series "Anonymous" and this great teaser:

"A Floating Population" in Fast Co. Design & Epsilon Magazine

Added on by Annie Ling.

It's hard to believe we're already at the halfway mark of my first major solo exhibition "A Floating Population" since it opened at MOCA this past December. We've received remarkable enthusiasm and support both in the community and beyond for the show, which features around eighty images spanning four years of work in Chinatown. Through public programming, panel discussions and walking tours around the exhibition at the museum, we're able to engage audiences with this body of work in a richer and more dynamic way than ever before. What's especially exciting to me is that all new current exhibits at the museum ("Portraits of New York Chinatown" by Tomie Arai, and "The Lee Family Since 1888" show) are taking a closer look at contemporary Chinatown, making this a distinctly historical season for the museum and the neighborhood.

The show is up till April 13th, so I wholly encourage a visit to MOCA in Chinatown soon! In the meantime, thank you Fast Company Design, Epsilon Magazine (below) and countless visitors for highlighting the show thus far.

Awhereness at CRS for Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Added on by Annie Ling.

This Saturday, January 11th is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

The Center for Remembering & Sharing (a community center located in the East Village in NYC that presents healing, arts and cultural programs) in partnership with Think Act Change NYC will be hosting a free evening of film screenings and a panel discussion on what trafficking looks like today domestically and abroad. In conjunction with the event, a selection of images and stories from my project AWHERENESS on human trafficking in Romania and Moldova will be installed in the lobby for the month.

Please take this opportunity and direct your attention to SocialDocumentary.net which highlights work by photographers around the world shedding light on the tragedy of trafficking.

Free for 24 hours

Added on by Annie Ling.

The folks at The Quarterly (A new UK photo publication which I had the pleasure of working with this year) just announced that the digital edition of Issue 2: Life and Culture  (128 pages of exclusive, fresh content by 20+ artists) will be free for downloading until the new year kicks in!

The Quarterly was mentioned in the December issue of the formidable BJP - The British Journal of Photography's feature on stand out publications with a photographic bent in their annual issue of everything cool & noteworthy.

Inside, you'll find a new set of images I produced this fall titled Anonymous. A departure from my usual way of working, this series of cyanotypes created in collaboration with gun-owners at a gun club in Pennsylvania meditates on guns as loaded symbols of freedom, defense, control, and power.

Enjoy!
 

The first major solo exhibition!

Added on by Annie Ling.

Tonight is the opening of my solo exhibition: A Floating Population at the Museum of Chinese in America. At long last, we are thrilled to present over 80 photographs of this community seen beyond the streets, in the main gallery located in the heart of Chinatown!

Opening Reception: Friday, December 13th, 6pm-8pm
Exhibition Dates: December 13th-April 13th
215 Centre Street, New York, NY
RSVP on Facebook event page

It is truly an honor and privilege to showcase this work within the community after all these years. This comprehensive show of Manhattan Chinatown consist of four series: “Tenements”, “81 Bowery”, “Shut-Ins”, and “The Floating Population”. Media outlets such as The New York Times, The Village Voice, Time Out NY, Sino Vision, China Daily USA, NY Art Beat, among others, have picked up on it and the reviews are coming in strong.

I’m grateful for the support of so many who have contributed so much over the years to make this work possible. Subjects, friends, colleagues, editors, writers, curators and everyone who has passed on a word of encouragement… thank you for putting up with me. Here’s to you! 

The Quarterly UK: The Life and Culture Issue

Added on by Annie Ling.

Last Friday, an epic launch party of issue two of The Quarterly Magazine took place at the Box Studio in London, UK. I'm thrilled to be a contributor in the latest issue themed: Life and Culture and share some new imagery and reflections on gun culture in a series titled Anonymous, alongside incredible works by a diverse group of photographers and writers. 

The Quarterly, Issue 2: Life and Culture   Featuring photography from Maud Chalard, Sharon Kim, Roo Lewis, ANTON, Mark Ivkovic, Annie Ling, Tom Johnson, Tim Hans, Nick Onken, Marc Pritchard, and writing from Naeem Alvi, Jace Kim, Christian Coleman, Stephen Dowling, Errol Clarke, Ivana McConnell, Noo Ridings, Alena Walker, Patrick McCullough. 144 Pages, 250mm x 190mm No adverts. No filler. Creativity without the Exploitation.

The Quarterly, Issue 2: Life and Culture
 

Featuring photography from Maud Chalard, Sharon Kim, Roo Lewis, ANTON, Mark Ivkovic, Annie Ling, Tom Johnson, Tim Hans, Nick Onken, Marc Pritchard, and writing from Naeem Alvi, Jace Kim, Christian Coleman, Stephen Dowling, Errol Clarke, Ivana McConnell, Noo Ridings, Alena Walker, Patrick McCullough.

144 Pages, 250mm x 190mm
No adverts. No filler.
Creativity without the Exploitation.

The Quarterly is a creative journal championing creative talent and ethical publishing practices. ''Our goal at The Quarterly has always been to do things ethically and fairly. We don't use adverts and we share all profits between our contributors. We think that's something worth shouting about and we want to spread the word as much as possible.'' Each issue of the “ethical social enterprise” publication is given a theme and writers and photographers from around the world are invited to suggest ideas for articles. - Sanj Sahota, Editor and founder of The Quarterly
 
Issue Two: Life and Culture looks at guns, tattoos, sex, communes, analogue photography, free-spirited adventure, old age, Los Angeles, immigration, street art, barbers and more. 

So what are you waiting for? Order a beautiful print copy now or download the full digital version (coming soon) on your tablet. You'll be treated to a visual feast whilst supporting hungry artists and bold entrepreneurs!

Do not pet me, I am working

Added on by Annie Ling.

The sign is pretty straightforward. The policies with keeping service dogs, however, for tenants claiming disability are not so simple. "A Tussle Over Service Dogs" with an accompanying NYT article digs a little deeper into the issue and gave me the opportunity to meet some exceptional canines and their advocates. Below are some outtakes from the shoot.

Photographing the Immigrant Experience in Chinatown

Added on by Annie Ling.

Please join us this Saturday evening, June 8th at Union Docs in Williamsburg where I will present a slideshow of my photographs and director Lynn Sachs will screen her film Your Day is My Night. Afterwards, photojournalist Alan Chin will host a Q&A. Beer and wine will be served.  

Shifting Lives: Photographing the Immigrant Experience in Chinatown
Director Lynne Sachs & Photographer Annie Ling
UNION DOCS,  322 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, New York
Saturday, June 8 7:30 p.m.  $9 suggested
 www.uniondocs.org

Stuart Klawans wrote this review in "The Nation" for the MoMA premiere of Sach's film:
Your Day is My Night is a strikingly handsome, meditative work: a mixture of reportage, dreams, memories and playacting which immerses you in an entire world that you might unknowingly pass on the corner of Hester Street, unable to guess what’s behind the fifth-floor windows."   

Should be a great event and crowd. Hope to see you there! 

Conversations w/ Asian American Writers' Workshop

Added on by Annie Ling.

So often, we don't take enough time to discuss our process or share openly what we've learned through all the ups and downs. Few weeks ago, I was "cornered" by some friendly folks from Asian American Writers' Workshop (AAWW).
Ashok Kondabolu of Das Racist visited me on my home turf and we had a good long conversation about photography, justice, Chinatown, roots, and fires. Read the interview on The Margins.

Coincidently, Kyla Cheung from Open City Magazine published a cohesive article online about my work with tenement dwellers and Chinese immigrant workers, bringing to light past histories, the present, and the uncertain future of my friends at 81 Bowery.

81 Bowery has been the subject of coverage by the Village Voice, the New York Times and CNN. The segment aired by CNN this past March on living conditions there led a concerned viewer from Arizona to call the FDNY, which then issued a vacate order citing “fire egress” and “sprinkler issues.” Ten minutes of interviews and footage left the approximately fifty residents of 81 Bowery scrambling to find a bed with friends, relatives, the Red Cross, or the Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). Most were Chinese immigrant workers, some undocumented.
— http://opencitymag.com/81-bowery-tenement/

The New York Times have been a great supporter of my personal work in Chinatown, featuring 81 Bowery in 2011 and most recently, in March on the New York Times LENS blog. On March 7th, long-time tenants of 81 Bowery were ordered to vacate the premises due to safety violations.   

It is with greatest disappointment that my friends at 81 Bowery are still in limbo, unable to return to their homes on the Bowery, with no promise of change or improvements made on living conditions in the near future. Meanwhile, I'd run into some of the former 81 Bowery residents hanging around Chinatown, and he/she would offer a warm hello followed by a question: "Do you know when I can go home?" I would shake my head and tell them that I do not have an answer, but that their advocates at CAAAV are working diligently on their behalf.

Sharing another one's story is a privilege that must be handled delicately. As storytellers, we must be vulnerable as well – to express our motivations and engage in conversations to better understand who we are and where we stand, especially if we find ourselves in the position of being a voice for those in need of a voice. 

Chin Tu Yu in cubicle #6 at 81 Bowery packed a few possessions in the final minutes before vacating the building the evening of March 7th. Tu Yu Chin just arrived in US one month ago to join her husband who she hasn't seen in eight years. Chin currently works long hours at a laundromat in Chinatown. ©Annie Ling

Chin Tu Yu in cubicle #6 at 81 Bowery packed a few possessions in the final minutes before vacating the building the evening of March 7th. Tu Yu Chin just arrived in US one month ago to join her husband who she hasn't seen in eight years. Chin currently works long hours at a laundromat in Chinatown. ©Annie Ling

Awhereness Photo Exhibition Opening

Added on by Annie Ling.

I am honored finally to share this work with you. My project partner Patricia Chabvepi (Romanian-born human rights activist) and I warmly invite you to the New York photo exhibition opening of AWHERENESS, a collaborative work with survivors of trafficking in Romania and Moldova, this Thursday, April 25th, 7pm @ All Things Project Space on 269 Bleecker St.

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About AWHERENESS: 

Romania and Moldova are beautiful countries with an ugly problem. Every year, thousands of women, men and children are trafficked outside and within the borders for sex and forced labor. 

We met many survivors of human trafficking who share similar histories. In most cases, children and young adults turn to the streets to escape harsh conditions at overrun orphanages or domestic abuse at home. Survivors are often exploited by those closest to them, such as a family member, partner, or lover. Psychological manipulation, coercion, and physical violence form the basis for a majority of these stories. 

Human trafficking is rooted in various systems of oppression. Hearing these stories, it is impossible to understand and address human trafficking without addressing broader socio-economic realities, gender inequality, domestic violence, corruption, racism, and poverty. 

Trafficking in Romania has swelled since 1989, with the end of communism. Upon joining the European Union in 2007, Romania relaxed its border patrol measures, which exacerbated the problem. The situation is even more critical in Moldova due to the rise of orphanages amidst a declining economy and lack of employment opportunities in the country. 

Awhereness is a collaboration with trafficked survivors to trace their stories and expose the places that enable trafficking. Trafficking is pervasive, making it hard to detect. It takes on many different forms, often in the most mundane places: at home, parks, transportation hubs, and beyond.

Where I'm From / Immigrant Heritage Week

Added on by Annie Ling.

Tomorrow, I will take part in an exciting new project coinciding with Immigrant Heritage Week:

Where I'm From is a project of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism‘s radio program. “This is a natural extension of CUNY’s effort to develop new voices in public media. Part of doing that is developing new audiences and conscientiously serving and including them,” explains Tina Pamintuan, the J-School’s radio program director.

To kick off this pilot radio show focused on diaspora communities, I will be discussing and sharing a selection of my work in New York's Chinatown with esteemed host Jesse Hardman in front of a live audience at historic Webster Hall.

Where I'm From "will present a range of guests, essayists, and performers–including journalist and immigration advocate Jose Antonio Vargas, Kinshasa-born musician Isaac Katalay and his “Lifelong Project” band, and Annie Ling, whose photographic work of Manhattan Chinatown’s tenement housing was recently featured in the New York Times." 

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $5 here.

In the meantime, a teaser filmed this week by Nabil Rahman, in anticipation of the show:

Picnics in the park, with ancestors

Added on by Annie Ling.

Early last Easter Sunday morning, I had the pleasure to witness masses of Chinese families descending upon their ancestors' graves at Kensico Cemetery in Westchester County with writer Sarah Kramer for the New York Times. The resulting essay "Chinese Families Celebrate Qingming Festival in New York" was published today in the Sunday Metropolitan section of the paper. 

Aside from being a beautiful ceremony, it was also a deeply nostalgic experience as it brought me back to my early childhood memories in Taiwan, participating in the Qing Ming Festival and in funerals of my grandfather and lost loved ones.

When I first moved to New York nearly five years ago, I lived by Chatham Square in Chinatown - a key intersection of major arteries and streets in the neighborhood. One such street is lined with traditional Chinese funeral homes, tomb engravers and Buddhist funeral supplies stores. The constant flow of funeral processions juxtaposed with a park teeming with youth across the street dramatizes the ephemeral like a chorus with perpetual rises and falls.

I often visited and eventually befriended a small business owner on this Mulberry Street who would spend his days building mansions and dolls out of paper. Cars, clothing, jewelry, Rolex watches, electronics, games, snacks, even dentures and floss - all made out of cardboard, are sold in colorful array along with joss paper money to families to burn and send up to their departed loved ones.

At Kensico cemetery, one family of five generations came together to feast with their ancestors. A mother and son pair visited their family's grave with humble home-cooked offerings. New memories were made as young and old congregated for hours at the cemetery amidst the aroma of roast pigs while popping firecrackers and ashes filled the air.

The Art of Roommating / This week in NY Mag

Added on by Annie Ling.

This was truly one of my favorite assignments to date. In less than a week, I met over two dozen individuals sharing space in six different neighborhoods throughout NYC. It was a blast working with such a variety of people and situations: a house of aspiring actors, couples sharing space with other couples, an unlikely pair of seniors, a Jewish student housing community/kibbutz, a drag queen coupled with an art director, and so on...

Usually, I'm asked to work digitally but in this case, the wonderful editors at New York Magazine encouraged me to use film (a medium I often favor for personal projects).

Thanks to the genius and hard work of my editors Roxanne Behr and Jody Quon who put this all together, and Jhoanna Robledo for writing this fun and insightful piece.

Here are some of my favorite outtakes including extras from more roommate shoots while on assignment.

See it online here.

A false identity conviction. For NYT.

Added on by Annie Ling.

Today's cover story for the Sunday Metropolitan section in The New York Times features a sorted academic tale that ends in false identity conviction. Read the full article here. It's quite a fascinating read. Also, great reporting by John Leland.

I met the convicted Raphael Golb in his cluttered West Village apartment a week after the state supreme court handed down a decision to sentence Golb to six months in prison. A week later, I photographed Lawrence H. Schiffman, the prime target of Golb’s online activities, in Schiffman's office at Yeshiva University.

Below are published images and selected outtakes from both shoots.