All posts filed under: Energy

Best of 2013: My Year in Pictures

This was my first full year based in Istanbul, Turkey, a city I have long dreamed of calling home since I was a student of Ottoman history in college. While my Turkish could still stand to see some improvement, I have begun to get a foothold in a complex region and see many of the corners of Eastern Europe I previously had not. In February, my work photographing the Khazar Islands, a $100 billion fantasy real estate project of Azerbaijani oligarch Ibrahim Ibrahimov, appeared in The New York Times Magazine. Later in the year, it would be republished again in Mare magazine in Germany. While shot in the summer of 2012, I have chosen to start the year in pictures with some of my favorite images from this shoot, due to my desire to continue photographing the Khazar Islands and the initial publication of this work in the early part of this year. In January, I took a road trip through the American deep south to explore “post-racial America” and the tensions that exist beneath …

2012 A Year of Transition

2012 was luckily not like 2011, a year that goes down with 1789, 1848, 1917, 1989 as a year of revolution.  By contrast, 2012 was a year of transition in most every respect.  Global technologies, movements, ideas, and politics are all in flux; only the economies of the world remain sluggish, with some notable exceptions.  Turkey is one of these exceptions.  By 2023, the centennial of the modern secular Turkish Republic, the currently ruling Justice and Development Party, AK Party according to its Turkish acronym, hopes that Turkey will be counted among the top 10 economies in the world. (A great BBC Global Business report on what could go wrong is well worth a listen.) After finishing my Fulbright grant in Azerbaijan, photographing Azerbaijani Women, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Eurovision Song Contest, I moved to Istanbul in September to freelance here in Turkey and the region. I joined the VII Mentor Program where I am working with Ron Haviv on improving my craft for the duration of two years. In this time, I …

National Geographic Explorers Journal: Explorer of the Week – Amanda Rivkin

Explorer of the Week: Amanda Rivkin Posted by Amy Bucci of NG Staff in Explorers Journal on August 14, 2012 This week we are featuring Amanda Rivkin, a photographer who decided to focus her lens on Azerbaijan’s offshore oil fields in the Caspian. Using funds from her Young Explorer grant, she followed the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline’s 1,100-mile route, which skirts five conflict zones in three countries representing believers of both Islam and Christianity. Rivkin’s photos reveal her passion and keen sense of storytelling. As she tells us, “I have come to see photography maybe in the vein of ancient epics, for a good photo is crafted like poetry.” In one National Geographic staff favorite, Rivkin captured a man reclining in a crude oil bath at a spa near Baku. Rivkin’s attention to detail, her knowledge about her subjects, and her unique vision will certainly continue to push her into the spotlight. What project are you working on now? I am transitioning from two long-term projects on the role of women in Azerbaijan and the …

EurasiaNet: Azerbaijan – Baku is Bulldozing its Past

My images of demolitions and reconstruction in Baku illustrated a story by Ulviyya Asadzade and Khadija Ismayilova entitled, “Azerbaijan: Baku is Bulldozing its Past,” for EurasiaNet (April 27, 2012). I quite like the lede because it lends a universalism to this issue of the march of progress or so-called urban renewal confronting historic buildings and architecture in urban centers worldwide, notably so in modern cities and rapidly developing ones: Does urban renewal signify progress? That question has dogged city planners worldwide for decades. And nowhere is the matter more pertinent these days than in Baku, the Caspian seaside capital of Azerbaijan. Thanks to a massive cash infusion generated by energy exports, Baku has experienced a building boom over the past decade. Amid the makeover, scores of buildings with distinctive architectural attributes, some of them registered with UNESCO as having historical value, have fallen victim to the wrecking ball. My images for EurasiaNet as published in their online photo gallery:

National Geographic Young Explorers Bio and Q+A

Explorers Bio Amanda Rivkin Photographer Young Explorers Grants, Expeditions Council Grant Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois Current City: Baku, Azerbaijan What did you want to be when you were growing up? When I was very small, maybe seven years old, I told my godmother I wanted to be a crane, and when she asked what kind of crane, I said an operating crane like on a construction site. As a teenager, I thought I would be a writer, which is what led me to go to the college I eventually went to, Sarah Lawrence College, although I waited until the last possible moment of my senior year to take a writing class, because the curriculum itself was designed for writers, with no exams and independent research projects to complement the work in every course. This is what led me to journalism school, where I discovered by wonderful accident my true passion, photography. How did you get started in your field of work? I was studying print journalism at Columbia University when I enrolled in a short course …