HELD Projects is a platform to give photographers, visual storytellers and filmmakers of all levels, an opportunity to exhibit their work invited by each HELD member. We publish & exhibit everything exhibited on HELD Projects, with the photographer’s permission and they retain full copyright. This enables other visual storytellers to have real-world opportunity without financial struggle, and see superb examples of visual storytelling from more established photographers.
SICILIAN HUMAN ATLAS
by Francesco Faraci
More than 20,000km along Sicily’s less traveled and secondary roads. A journey, not yet finished, begun in order to meet the others, always ending at the seaside, crashing into the sea as if being in exile.
Atlante Umano Siciliano (Sicilian Human Atlas) is a journey investigating the notion of limits, of boundaries, the very sense of being in search of something, of a small America.
By Alain Laboile
In his giant outdoor studio where he controls space, time and light, Alain laboile
watches his six children. He captures moments of nothing, the unexpected as
the expected, the blooming as the outbreak, imagination as banality. His
tracking shots put everything on hold: the passage of time, the waltz of the
clouds, the leaves in the wind. He shapes the humble material of everyday life
like organic matter, enchanting it. It is certainly not paradise, nor the angels’
dream life. It is simply life; just life and nothing else.
by Ivan Hererra
I took the images of “The rain” in Bogotá. I was looking for an approach to that rainy capital that is part of Bogotá’s collective imagination, with crouching characters fleeing from the water. Others with melancholy air resign themselves to waiting, forced to patience. Reflection and introspection in people who wait for a better climate, constitute those taciturn mood typical of winter. The light and the semblance are different, they have a special beauty.
The shady crystals, dotted with tiny magnifying glasses of water, transform what is on the other side into suggestive shadows. It is not necessary to see the faces of people to guess the boredom and resignation that is outlined in stooped figures or in a hand that draws in a fogged window and that seems to ask for help. Other passers-by convey a certain dignity when they walk the streets, protected by umbrellas producing generic silhouettes. The sidewalks wet by the night rain, multiply the light in a way that highlights the contours of the lonely passers-by, who have no choice but to continue their way despite the downpour.
TO BE A PUNK
by Julia Lisnyak
Punk rock perfectly takes root both in England and in Russia. Punk rock is a protest: against the philistinism, against the system – any system. Bright visuality, insolent behavior, ragged clothes and ragged rhythms of music. Photographer Yulia Lisnyak began to shoot this project five years ago: “I became friends with some of them, and I realized that if I were 15, I would be punk now”
IN THE AIR OF REGRET
by Raheleh Hersari
Cossack women, along with their families, are 5 km from the center of the Golestan province. They are deprived of the minimum living conditions and they are living away from the peace and comfort of life. The Cossacks have come to this area in recent years, after which other ethnic groups migrated, and now people like Baluch, Sistani, Afghan, Tajik and Cossack live in that area. In the recent past, the Cossacks neighborhood was the center for the purchase and sale of narcotics. But over time and with some attention, the situation has been slightly better than the past. However, social harm such as addiction and poverty is the first word in this gray land.
(In the regret of the flight) is the story of women and girls whose pain and sadness always appear on their faces. The social damage in this village has hurt most women and girls, women without any facilities or jobs, disabled husbands, addicted, and even unmarried women, have become poor-guarded or unmarried women, and they are spending on their lives. Women who sometimes find themselves having difficulty with birth certificates, education, and lack of shelter, and this has dealt with their lives.
Sometimes women are not sheltered. According to the statistics, 35% of Cossack women are ill-cared or unmarried, or their husbands are disabled or addicted or homosexual, and they are the heads of households themselves. Many of these women are suffering from depression and physical and psychological illnesses, and they do not have the hope of improving their living conditions in the current situation. They have very little motivation and life expectancy…
HAUNTED BY WAR
by Naser Bayat
I am Naser Bayat. I was born in Kabul but I moved to Finland four years ago and I’m based in Helsinki now.
After I visited Kabul in 2016 I felt I wanted to show Kabul and its people from my point of view. My idea was to show the everyday life of people in Kabul, regardless of the war and how it had affected them.
Of course it is impossible to ignore the war and how it ruined this country. But I am proud how Afghanistan people always stay strong and are so kind.
by Mark Forbes
When we dream there are often just a few very strong visual snippets that we vividly remember, while the rest of the dream is lost in a mix of time, objects and space. To approach the series I knew that I wanted to shoot a lot of it an night – not only because of the connection to the right time when dreams are created, but also because colour and especially light takes on a different quality at this time.
In terms of looking for inspiration for images, I find that some of the shots are spur of the moment. If i’ve got the right camera with me at the time and there is an interesting first part of the scene then I’ll take the shot and then figure out what to overlay.
There are then other shots that are very much premeditated – like “Call me” for example with the mannequin in the window overlaid onto the phone booth. When I saw the shop window on the opposite site of the street to the phone booth I knew that i wanted to position her specifically into middle of the light in the booth.
Considering the element of time, the two images in “Broads” were shot 3 days apart, as I’d seen the street sign when on holiday in NYC, and had to wait a few days until the model was available for the portrait to complete the image that I had in my head. Adding this extra variable of delayed time into the shot makes it again a more interesting part of the creative process – although of course it is not evident to the viewer unless they are aware of the fact.
In terms of using objects to represent ideas, I tend to favours more simple figures, or outlines, as double exposures by their nature can start to get visually quite busy when you overlay 2 or more frames. Shooting the frames on film only adds to the challenge – as you are forced to trust your judgement about frame alignment, and object positioning in the frames.
As a viewer of the images, I hope that they are able to bring you memories of the layers of imagery, that lie within your dreams past, however vivid or fleeting they may be.
You can find more of my broader series of double exposures at: http://www.markforbes.com.au/taketwo
THAT MISSING DROP
by Sabrina Boem
For the past three years I’ve been documenting the life colony cats. I have worked mostly in Forte Marghera, a 48 hectares park in the outskirts of Venice, Italy, where there is a colony of approximately 180 cats. There are shelters where the cats are fed daily by volunteers and a sanctuary that is used only as warehouse for supplies. Some emergency rooms for sick cats have also been set up.
People working there are volunteers, and their work survives on donations. They are also supported by a national animal organization. Volunteers aim at managing the colony and reducing the number of cats, but every year new cats are abandoned there. The park is so big that it’s not easy to TNR (Trap Neuter Release) new arrivals.
Once I asked a volunteer where she found the strength to go there every day when nothing ever seemed to change she told me: ‘I know exactly how you feel. We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.’ It’s a quote from Mother Teresa that several volunteers have told me along the years. This series of photos is meant to honor all volunteers.
By Nikolai Sokolov
I was born and grew up in Saint Petersburg. I recently became interested in photography and my shots represent my perception of the city. It’s historical landscape appears in the mist and rain, and people vanish in this mysterious atmosphere. One becomes a character from somebody else’s story. This feeling is rendered through photography better than through words. Modern photoshop technologies help me express the state of being on the border between the reality and dream.
It is hard for me to determine the theme of my illustrations, I haven’t tried to do that. However, I’ve been always curious about the fate of a single person that I don’t know and am unlikely to ever learn anything about. They will pass by and disappear in the mist of the city. This moment of “dissolving” of strangers in the city sets, the riot of passing from visible to imaginary, is what preoccupies me in my creative works. I wouldn’t call it social, humanistic, or truly documentary photography, and it is not staged either. All I am trying to do is to render the feelings evoked by a stranger who crossed my path.
WOMEN OF SILVER
by Natalie Fernandez
“I hope the hill does not run out” is a common phrase used among working women of Cerro Rico, a mountain located in the Andes of Potosi (Bolivia) famous for having had the most important silver veins in the world and having been the main support of the Spanish colony in America. Paradoxically, the money that came out of Potosí did not make great changes in the lives of the inhabitants of the region where poverty is visible. Legend has it that when a woman entered the mine, the devil, owner of the depths, hid the veins of silver so that they would not find them since their greed was greater than that of men. Thus, due to tradition and superstition, the entry of women into the mine was forbidden for more than 4 centuries. Nowadays, according to statistical data of the area, more than a hundred women work in Cerro Rico, being mostly victims of labor exploitation and a very noticeable lack of protection from the state of Bolivia. Many of them, widows or single mothers, were forced to work exercising the labor of guarding the mines and making night shifts to avoid thefts of ore, machinery, etc. Others work as “palliris”, breaking stones from the rubble extracted by the cooperatives looking for leftover ore, or inside the mines working at the same level of the men, carrying out, drilling or collecting ore, despite being considered “cursed” by their colleagues. Fulfilling labor shifts sometimes up to 18 hours in a row these women do not even earn half of a minimum wage in Bolivia, charging between 70 and 80 dollars a month without the right to holidays or extra payments for nighttime hours, being very prone to suffer respiratory and stomach diseases due to the lack of drinking water and the inhalation of mineral dust and gases.
SYNDROME OF PARIS
By Giorgos Dermentzis
Walking the streets of Paris with his eye of architect, Giorgos Dermentzis envisions the streets as a matrix in which women and men roam in solitude, comparable to the one he feels since his arrival in this town half fight, half promised. Empathic, he captures looks, incongruous situations like an observer. The subjects of these scenes of life are the mirror of his soul. Because it is not through the viewfinder that Giorgos Dermentzis apprehends the scene, his device – small and discreet to ensure invisibility – is indeed the extension of the artist, who triggers photography with “his heart and his mind “.
IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN
By Max Whittaker
“In the Shadow of the Sun” is a rebuttal to the typical representation of California as a land of wealth and beauty. It’s not just the home of Hollywood and Silicon Valley, Yosemite and Napa. It’s also the state with the highest rate of poverty in the nation.
Even Californians travel in their own little sphere of work, friends and family. They don’t see the homeless tent cities. The unincorporated communities that lack sewer systems, sidewalks, street lights and even clean drinking water. The places where the people who grow our food and clean our hotel rooms live. This is that California. Max Whittaker is a member of Prime Collective
By Bradley David Donald
Public transport can have it ups and downs. It ‘most’ societies it can be as simple as waving your arm and calling a taxi. In others, it is a little more risky and sometimes very uncomfortable.
Some of us will never understand what others may go through just to get from A to B.
By Franc Soldat de Plom
“When it starts to get dark, I’ll down to the beach and wait for you appear”
CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD
by Anikitos Hadjicharalampous (member of BULB Collective)
orphans and poor children in Kenya, that are being educated and financially helped by the Orthodox Archbishopric of Kenya which is located in Riruta slum, Nairobi. Residents with a life expectancy of 65 years, poverty and illness (AIDS) have the effect of leaving their children too early abandoned in streets and slums.This is an ongoing project.
SILENCE IN THE AGE OF NOISE by Ty
(inspired by Erling Kagge’s book)
An inhabited labyrinth of multiples, the Barbican in London is a wonderland of movement, sound and light. It is a place of discovery and daily encounters, of chance or by intent, yet there is always a quiet corner to be found for those who seek it. I am forever entranced by the way it plays with light, the ever changing shadow montages created by the shifting light set against its multilayered geometry and textures. And of its silence, amidst the daily noise of modern life, for the Barbican’s inhabitants, both transient and permanent.
THE MASKS WE WEAR By Kathy Austin
I am enchanted by the masks people wear publicly and the challenge in street photography to find the moments when what’s behind the mask is revearled, not only in facial expressions, but in gestures.
CITIES ARE NOVELS by George Koutsouvelis
With my pictures I am trying to visualize chapters from the endless book of daily life in the City. Cities are novels. In every corner, every alley or street you can find a story to worth your attention. What do you want to read today? A love story? A comic story? A drama? Take a stroll and keep your eyes open. Do you like humans stories?There’s a lot of people in the cities and every single one has a story. Do you want to know something about these stories? Observe. Why this beautiful young girl is wearing these nasty distressed shoes? Why that old man doesn’t wear a jacket in this cold winter day? I don’t really know but I can imagine a good story to tell you.
MUNDELE NDOMBE by Fabrizio Alessi
In June 2017 I left for the Congo to document the work of World Medical Aid, an Italian association born recently, but already very active.
WMA brings medical volunteers who specialise in ophthalmology and otolaryngology to remote areas of Africa.
From Kinshasa we drove for about six hours, until we reached a crossroads where a real adventure began. The off-road vehicles took us on a rough and bumpy road for two hours until we reached Lumbi, the small village where our mission began.
A tireless team worked for ten days, performing more than sixty cataract surgeries and administering eye examinations to hundreds more, giving prescription medications and eyeglasses to those who needed them.
Several men who were completely blinded by cataracts have regained their sight, social independence and so have the chance to return to work and support their families.
Janet, a five-year-old girl suffering from a congenital cataract, has been able to return to home seeing the colours of the meadow and the red earth typical of the African roads. Eduard will be 4 years old in a few months. He injured his eye playing with a stick and is awaiting a cornea operation to restore his sight.
The United Nations has warned that the DRC is facing a humanitarian disaster of extraordinary proportions as violence and mass displacement are rapidly rising in across the country’s southeast.
We hope to be able to come back to Lumbi and continue our mission.
People are waiting for us.
THE FIDENCISTA FAITH by Thom Diaz
Espinazo, a small population town with no more than 400 habitants, baptized by the Desert and the passage of the railroad, this barren land breathe all the distance and feeds on faith. Since there is born the indelible fidencista faith.
Every year thousands and thousands of people come for the festivities of March 19th, thirsty and hopeful of a miracle to remedy health and economic problems mainly.
Under a hitting leaden sky travelers are gathered, diseased wanderers and hopeful to get done their healing ritual.
Known as a Saint by their followers, but not by the Catholic Church, Fidencio de Jesús Sintora Constantino is “El Niño Fidencio”, he began to heal people since the year of 1921. Some of his heals or miracles included Leprosy, Tuberculosis, sight restoration; he used herbs, honey and potions, he even used broken glasses as a scalpel and mechanical tweezers for tooth extractions, all of this without causing any pain to their faith believers.
It’s said that he got to heal Plutarco Elias Calles, former President of Mexico, from a Leprosy.
My name is Thom Díaz, from México.
I’m interested in the photographic portrayal to weave a chronology of the simplicity
and create a poetic narrative of the daily acts.
Eric came across a box of negatives from five trips he made to Cuba, the first of which was twenty years ago! The photos depict daily life in Cuba, a place where time has a different sense, where the people still dream and fall in love. The photos of Cuba are atmospheric, focused on the habits of the people and how they pass their lives in this beautiful island. One can see the history of Cuba written in the wrinkles of the face of the old men or hidden behind the laughter of the children in the streets.
IN MEMORY OF PLASCO by Mohammad Mohsenifar
The place was full of alarm sound
Every minutes a police officer was shouting: Photographer!Go far away from building…
Eventually after 3-hour-fire the entire of 17-floor building collapsed
I’m Mohammad Mohsenifar
An Iranian photojournalist
In 19/1/2017 a high-rise land mark building called Plasco located in Tehran got fired.
Fire was restrained after two hours but a few seconds later it started to burn all over again.
After three hours the building collapsed and sixteen firefighters passed away.
In this photo series I’ve made attempts to reconstruct this accident and review the pictures taken by myself after its anniversary
1. Jokhāh is a village in Montazeriyeh Rural District, in the Central District of Tabas County, South Khorasan Province, Iran.
2. Garati is a village in Azari Rural District, in the Central District of Esfarayen County, North Khorasan Province, Iran.
3. Jamz is a village in Montazeriyeh Rural District, in the Central District of Tabas County, South Khorasan Province, Iran.
4. Khaveh is a village in South Behnamarab Rural District, Javadabad District, Varamin County, Tehran Province, Iran.
METROMOEBIUS by Leonardo Brogioni
MetroMoebius is a transmedia narrative project born inside the subway cars in Milan, Italy. Daily observation, photographs, a story and an audio project.
Moebius, like the infinity-shaped ribbon, which you can follow travelling along the 8 without ever going out, and to infinity.
Thus #metromoebius is the character getting lost in the subway, the everyday life of the subway cars, the thoughts and the stories inhabiting the metropolis, underground.
MetroMoebius story by Angelo Miotto (2015), published online with photographs and videos by Leonardo Brogioni.
Metromoebius audio project, speaker: Elio De Capitani (2017), for Radio Popolare di Milano.
“I sit here rocked by the momentum of the start. How long will I have to travel around tonight?”
“But then. Then I opened my eyes and shut my ears, I deleted those familiar sounds among connections to Linea 73, Aeroporto di Linate, San Babila, Dergano, Maciachini, Sesto Marelli. And I flew away in that pneumatic vacuum. I closed my eyes again. A wish come true is a delayed happiness, one of another obstacle to reach and of a cross-bar to shift even higher.”
“Her voice, I adore her voice. I like to imagine how she is. Maybe 5’10 tall, maybe green eyes, or blue, light brown hair, tied on the nape of her neck in a bun and a black sheath dress, five-inch heels, and that microphone from the ‘50s before her, the soft lights, setting the mood, and a spotlitght fixing the light on her long, slim feet, crystal ankles.”
“I go off, annoyed at all this situation and those who eat salami and garlic and humours daily mixing inside the big tube here underground. The wet dog smell, the Summer sweat.”
“I have a date, I think, and smile to myself, or better still, I smile indeed, because the lady by my side, white hair up, light-coloured clothes, a grandma-style bag, looks at me through her corrective lenses with her eyes wide open and smiles back at me with a small sense of wonder. That of the breath of an underground humanity, Linea Rossa, Metropolitana Uno Milano.”
“He wakes up, looks at me and seems to be willing to strike up a conversation, I look the other way. I don’t feel like talking, don’t feel like hearing my voice, don’t feel like emitting my breath through my vocal chords and so he turns away.”
“Next fifty years down here, how will they be, I wonder while I have lost even the fancy of playing at the game of watching and have withdrawn into my thoughts.”
Leonardo Brogioni is an Italian photographer and photojournalist.
Selected by Massimiliano Tuveri for HELD Projects
GYPSY LIFE IN TRANSYLVANIA by Marina Koryakin
I’m Marina Koryakin from Tel Aviv, Israel. I’d like to share a series of “Gypsy Life In Transylvania”. I returned from this amazing trip two months ago and I’m still influenced. In the beginning I intended to make only black & white photos, but with the mixed feelings I made both black & white and color photos.
The Gypsies in Transylvania live in isolated Villages and usually not mix with another community. They are about 2.5% of Romania population. Mostly they deal with growing vegetables and household livestock and most of them are poor.
The feelings from my encounter with gypsies were not unambiguous.
They have complete different way of life from what I know. Sometimes they were nice and kind and sometimes annoying and unwelcome even violence, and most of the time ask for gifts and money.