loose threads from

by Matt Lutton and M. Scott Brauer


A look at photographs from the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, a celebration of the beginning of summer: http://nyr.kr/1uYSp1j

All photographs by Jonno Rattman.

Met Jonno at the NYT portfolio review and was blown away by his street work. Glad to see more of it getting published.

(Source: newyorker.com)


Sao Paulo, Brazil. Train
© Alex Majoli / Magnum Photos


Sao Paulo, Brazil. Train
© Alex Majoli / Magnum Photos


Any large collection of color portraits from the 1940’s and 50’s are bound to be interesting, but Carl Van Vechten's work so thoroughly documented African-American writers, musicians, actors, and dancers in New York City, making it one of the important photographic projects during the period. He was persistent, working with Kodachrome during this time was a financial and technical challenge. There's an awkward and non-professionally produced quality to many of the sittings, which often results in inexplicable greatness - the portrait of James Baldwin is an example. I can't read whether Baldwin is annoyed, perplexed, or acting out a character.

One aspect of this incredible archive are the backgrounds - many designed uniquely for the individual session. Beyond Van Vechten’s tenacity for arranging the portraits, this might be his area of true genius, using bits of wallpaper, fabric and sometimes artworks to reflect the subject’s personality, while exploiting the possibilities of the Kodachrome palette.

June 17th is Carl Van Vechten’s birthday.

(via conscientious)


Migrant Exodus…

Over the past week, and following the military coup in Thailand, nearly 200,000 Cambodian migrant workers have come back to their home country. It seems a series of crackdowns by the Thai immigration on illegal immigrants, combined with as of yet unfounded rumors of Cambodians having been killed by the Thai authorities, has triggered a feeling of insecurity among the Cambodian community in Thailand, sufficient to make them head back to their village. All of them…

For many it is back to square one: having left because migrating to Thailand is the only solution to provide some revenue to the family, the returnees now find themselves facing the same issue of unemployment in a country which should seriously question its ability to provide jobs for its citizens.

The Cambodian authorities and a coupe of NGO’s (the U.N.’s I.O.M., Samaritan’s Purse) have spared no effort to alleviate the immediate pressure on the border town of Poipet by that many returnees going home in such a short period of time, providing medical assistance, army trucks to bring back the migrants to their home provinces, and distributing food upon their arrival.

The crisis at the border was rather well managed. The government now will have to address the core of the problem: unemployment.

(Source: johnvink.com)