duckrabbit today launches an exciting new free entry photo competition with a twist. One lucky person will win a lip smackingly beautiful $1000. The task is simple … all you need to do is restore a little bit of duckrabbit’s faith in the world. Intrigued? Read on …
‘A year or so ago, I sent a “Letter to the Editor” of PDN (which they published) observing how little things had changed in the 35 years I have been involved in photography. More specifically, it was commenting on their “Major Movers and Shakers of Photography” issue- in which the major curators, editors, gallery owners, and publishers featured were all (with the possible exception of one Asian female)… white. OK, OK, one can’t possibly pin PDN with the blame for lack of minority representation in the upper echelon of the photographic universe. Agreed.
Then I get my hands on the PDN May 2009 Photo Annual and check out their 24 (not a half dozen, or ten, or a baker’s dozen at that- but 24!) judges, each and every one- white, white and white! I know it can’t possibly be something as absurdly ridiculous as the now trite mantra of- “I just don’t see race.” It’s what year, what century, what presidency? Just how is it that to this day, people of color are still not represented anywhere near proportionately in these creative command positions?
… the other reasons for such obvious exclusion are even more nefarious and depressing, ranging from out an out indifference to blatant passive racism. Regardless, I still don’t know what possible, plausible excuse could exist for an all white jury from a publication of such influence.’
The following day Banos went on to write:
‘Some of us only have to worry about race when we’re in certain neighborhoods, for others it’s a crucial and defining factor throughout our lives. Ultimately, it’s something that affects us all. It’s nice to vote for a symbol; it’s more important to deal with everyday realities and consequences. This country and planet has witnessed too many of the ensuing horrors when we don’t.’
duckrabbit’s competition is simple. Stan Banos claims PDN’s action is in part an example of ‘passive racism.’ Surely an outrageous slur on the photographic industry? In the absence of PDN feeling the need to respond, duckrabbit are offering $1000 to anyone who can prove Banos wrong.
To be honest duckrabbit presumed Banos must have made a mistake somewhere. Then I noticed that Pete Brook, author of the blog Prison Photography (one of the most intelligent reads on this or any other planet) added that this was a blatant act of “Passive racism”. duckrabbit sat up. Maybe this wasn’t just the shooting off of a lone blogger?
Yesterday I came across PDN’s website where they are making a wonderful song and dance of their judging panel in all its glorious lack of color. My conscience cracked.
It just seems like a big two fingers up to a future world that is more equal than the one we’re living in right now.
Photojournalism has been responsible in bringing to our attention some of the terrible inequalities that plague this planet. It’s an industry and an art that has made a difference, has changed the way that people like me think and feel about the world. But like Pete Brook, as an outsider, I’m starting to wonder, if at the heart of the industry lies a dark hypocrisy, so entrenched that no-one dares speak about it. I’m starting to feel cheated.
Whilst photography has been hell bent on changing the world for passion and for profit, perhaps it has failed to change itself? Failed to be the change that it wants to see in the world?
At duckrabbit we’ve decided to encourage the debate. We’re responding to PDN’s competition with one of our own. We’re asking them to prove Stan wrong, to engage with his comments, or else at the very least acknowledge the issue. That’s all. And we’re offering $1000 to the first person, anyone, who can come to PDN’s defense and answer his question as to ‘what possible, plausible excuse could exist for an all white jury from a publication of such influence?’
Here are the list of PDN’s judges. Maybe you know one of them? If so perhaps you could drop them an email and let them know that there is a grand up for grabs. I bet they are all good people, but I wonder if they feel a twinge of embarrassment when they look down the list?
The money’s on the table. The cards have been dealt. Which way you going to bet?
(To win simply post your submission. We’ll pop it up on the blog. We’ll pay out to the first person who can convince Stan Banos. You have two weeks)
Joe Elbert was the assistant managing editor of photography for The Washington Post newspaper from 1988 through 2007. Under his direction The Washington Post photography staff won more awards than any other newspaper in the history of journalism. In 2003 he received the Joseph A. Sprague award, the highest award given by the National Press Photographers.
Julie Rosenoff is the manager of art buying at Euro RSCG Worldwide, in New York. She still loves what she does after all these years, as every project provides a new opportunity to work with the amazing talent. In her spare time, Rosenoff enjoys spending time with her almost 2-year-old, son, Clayton.
Michael Foley opened Foley Gallery in the Fall of 2004 after 15 years of working with notable photography galleries including Fraenkel Gallery, Howard Greenberg Gallery and Yancey Richardson Gallery. He is on the faculty of both Parsons The New School for Design and the School of Visual Arts where he teaches and lectures on issues in contemporary photography.
Shannon McMillan is a senior art buyer at GSD&M Idea City, where she has worked for the past eight years. Her passion and commitment to producing great work is not limited to what she has produced within the world of advertising. Shannon also designs original glass jewelry and is a photographer—shooting for both her personal projects and for clients and in-house projects at GSD&M.
Patrick Donehue is a photographer, educator and consultant who has specialized in the production, marketing and management of stock photography since 1982. He has held senior positions at Corbis and Getty Images and is the former president of the Picture Archive Council of America (PACA).
David J. Carol is the author of the award winning photography book 40 Miles of Bad Road… His new photography book All My Lies are True… will be released in Spring 2009.
Dennis Keeley has worked as an artist, photographer, teacher, and writer for more than 25 years. He is currently the chair of the Photography and Imaging Program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Ca.
As co-founder and CMO of Splashlight, Benoit Lagarde has been instrumental in the company’s growth into a multi-million dollar corporation over a period of seven years. Benoit’s creative vision has been the critical and driving force behind the company’s growth. Trained as a professional photographer, Benoit studied at the International Center for Photography in New York. Prior to his work in the photography business, Benoit served in the hospitality industry and has carried his passion for creative food arts with him to Splashlight—overseeing the award-winning eateries inside Splashlight’s various locations.
Jennie Myers maneuvers a hypoallergenic mouse through Adobe-made mazes from a remote desk located at the offices of Drake Cooper (an ad agency) in exotic Boise, Idaho, where she is chiefly employed as associate creative director, and sometimes as deputy director of “ooh-those-shoes-are-fierce.” She recently celebrated her tenth anniversary as a creative by taking design to a fancy, downtown restaurant. Jennie also occasionally harasses design students at Boise State University dressed as an adjunct professor.
Yossi Milo is the owner of Yossi Milo Gallery in New York City. The gallery specializes in contemporary photography and works on paper.
Paul Amador is director and co-owner of Cohen Amador Gallery, located in the Fuller building in New York City. The gallery, opened in 2005, specializes in modern and contemporary photography, and represents mid-career artists from Japan, Europe and the U.S. Prior to opening Cohen Amador Gallery, Mr. Amador was director of Lyons Wier Gallery, a contemporary art gallery located in Chelsea, New York City. Mr. Amador began his career as an international banker in New York and London in the early 1980s and began to collect and practice photography as a hobby shortly thereafter. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois and studied photography and print-making at the New School in New York. He left the banking field in 2001 to pursue his interest in the photographic arts on a full-time basis.
Steve Bliss is an artist and educator residing in Savannah, Georgia. His photographs, digital collages and various works on paper are among the holdings of a variety of museums and private collectors throughout the country and overseas. Steve currently serves as the dean of the School of Fine Arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Liz Miller-Gershfeld has been working in advertising for 15 years. She has been producing award winning art for clients such as Wrigley, Jim Beam Brands, Bayer Brands, Dial and many more as a vice president and senior art producer at Energy BBDO since 2000. Earlier, she worked on the production end of the process—getting her start as a production assistant on small feature films. Now a frequent lecturer and panelist, Miller-Gershfeld lives in Chicago with her husband and two sons.
Bruno Ceschel is a freelance editor, writer, and photography consultant living in New York. His current project is a book on contemporary queer photography, and he is the editor of the new art / porn magazine STROKE, which will premiere in Summer 2009. Before moving to New York, Ceschel was based in London, where he worked on the 2008 edition of the Brighton Photo Biennial and for Chris Boot Ltd, and was visiting professor at the London College of Communication.
John Sale is assistant managing editor for visuals at The Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis, Tenn. He manages still and video photojournalism, design and graphic art, which is a fancy way of saying that he spends his days clicking on pictures. Sale started in the news photo business at age 16 and has won over 100 picture editing and design awards from international competitions.
Samaruddin “Sam” Stewart has edited visuals for several news outlets including The Arizona Republic, Agence France-Presse, and most recently AOL, where he managed photo editors and was responsible for the visual direction of AOL news, sports, and entertainment images for 6 years. Samaruddin has also photographed over 40 countries, spanning six continents. He holds a B.A. in journalism and a master’s degree in mass communication, both from Arizona State University. Stewart is an active member of NPPA, WHNPA, SPJ and ONA where he routinely gives presentations on photo topics and judges photography contests. He recently relocated to Budapest, Hungary where he will pursue new photography adventures.
After starting her career in her native Toronto, and during five years of living in New York, Tracy Doyle has worked with some of the best and brightest in the photographic community. She has had stints at Steven Klein’s and Annie Leibovitz’s studios, and she was part of the historic re-launch of Interview magazine where she has worked with greats such as Mert & Marcus, Craig McDean, Nick Knight, Fabien Baron, Karl Templer and Glenn O’brien. She teaches two classes at the School of Visual Arts, in addition to partaking in both their Mentor and Independent Study Programs.
Olivier Picard is the former director of photography at U.S. News and World Report. He has also worked as an editor in the National Geographic book division. In the 1980’s and early 1990’s he worked for the news agencies Sygma and Sipa Press. He is the recipient of numerous picture editing awards.
Michelle Bogre is a photographer, writer and lawyer specializing in copyright and media law. She is the former Chair of the Photography Department at Parsons The New School for Design and is currently an associate professor. Bogre helped to select the winners for this year’s Marty Forscher Fellowship.
Nan Oshin is currently a design consultant and creative director. She has worked with clients including Billboard magazine, the Carlyle Hotel, the Capital Group, Costco, C magazine, the Oracle Corporation, the Ritz Carlton Hotel Group, Warner Brothers, and WW Norton. She has extensive experience in the creative direction and design of magazines, most recently as the senior art director at the Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine. She has won awards for art direction and design, and has juried and curated numerous photography and design competitions and shows.
Elodie Mailliet is director of photography for Contour by Getty Images where she oversees the carefully edited collection of high-end celebrity portraiture. Prior to joining Getty Images, Mailliet was director of photography for portraiture and entertainment at Corbis Outline. In 2005, she was named one of the top 100 people in photography by American Photo. Mailliet is author of the book one2one, published by teNeues. In addition to her previous roles at Corbis and Icon International, she has worked as a freelance writer for numerous French and American publications such as Le Nouvel Observateur, VSD and French Photo. Mailliet currently resides in New York City.
Barbara Bordnick is a photographer with more than 25 years of experience in fashion, beauty and portraiture. She has garnered awards for outstanding work in film, print, advertising and art. Her images are in permanent collections at the International Center of Photography, the Gilman Collection in New York and the Polaroid Collection in Massachusetts. Bordnick helped to judge this year’s ASMP Arnold Newman Prize.
Peter B. Kaplan has been a photographer for more 30 years and his photographs have appeared in countless publications. Kaplan documented the Statue of Liberty’s historic restoration beginning in 1982, and currently has the most extensive story on the statue. Kaplan helped to judge this year’s Marty Forscher Fellowship.
Ariel Shanberg is the executive director of the Center for Photography at Woodstock, a non-profit artist-centered organization dedicated to supporting artists working in photography and related media, and engaging audiences through opportunities in which creation, discovery and education are made possible. Shanberg has curated many exhibitions at CPW and he has also contributed essays on the work of numerous photographers including Lucas Foglia, Angelika Rinnhofer, and Jeff Milstein. He also sits on the advisory board of En Foco.