All posts filed under: Fortnight Journal

The Year in Pictures 2011: Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan and Turkey

The Year in Pictures 2011 The annus horribilis of 2011 is coming to a close – a year that will go down as one of dramatic upheaval and revolution alongside 1789, 1848, 1917, 1989, and now, this year. In Egypt, young revolutionaries overthrew the government of Hosni Mubarak after 31 years of subservience to a one-party state bolstered by an omnipresent muhabarata, or secret service, further bolstered by an overreaching military, after Egyptians witnessed similar events in Tunisia lead to the removal of that country’s former leader Ben Ali. Consequently, the domino theory made a surprise return as events in Egypt triggered revolts elsewhere in Bahrain, Libya, Syria and Yemen. Of these, only Libya’s leader fell after rebels received aerial support from NATO war planes; Qaddafi was found hiding in a drainage canal near his hometown of Sirte (or Surt, depending on your news source and spelling) and subsequently dragged through the streets, sodomized with a knife and otherwise tormented before being shot in the head. In the Libyan conflict three photographers lost their lives, …

Lucie Foundation International Photography Awards 2011 Honorable Mentions

I received three honorable mentions this year at the Lucie International Photography Awards for work in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Hungary, and Chicago. The entries are below with brief descriptions. You will have to scroll down pretty far in the same “Honorable Mention” gallery to find these entries in the environmental, political, photo essay and feature story categories here. From the entry description: Entry Title: “Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline” Name: Amanda Rivkin, United States Category: Professional, Photo Essay and Feature Story The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline traverses three nations, skirts five conflict zones, and covers land held by believers in at least two of the world’s great religions. A major post-Cold War victory for the West that sent one million barrels of oil a day pumping from the oil fields of Azerbaijan with room to expand to transport energy from elsewhere in the Caspian and Central Asian regions, the BTC pipeline – as the project is known – has helped to redefine energy security in the early 21st century. (This work has previously appeared at National Geographic.) — …

From the Archive: The United States of AmeriKitsch

* “Kitsch is the inability to admit that shit exists.” – Milan Kundera Kitsch has the potential to unite all people, irrespective of culture, background, or elitist pretensions. Objects we acquire or accumulate have no meaning until we provide it. The uses for kitsch are infinite. Milan Kundera notes that kitsch is not just the “inability to admit that shit exists,” but also it is the natural aesthetic of all politicians. Last fall in a video interview for Fortnight Journal, I suggested that kitsch might just outlive us all – even the politicians. Yet most moments of pure kitsch happen far away from electoral politics, geopolitics, and the global spotlight. Kitsch injects sentimental into the otherwise mundane. Bob Dylan said “even the President of the United States must have to stand naked,” yet how naked can you be when your person has become part of a larger cult of presidential kitsch? Does kitsch protect? As I prepare to leave the USA for a Fulbright grant to Azerbaijan, I thought it was time to look back …

Today in Chicago: Last Cabrini Green High-Rise Demolition Begins

In late 2007 and through early 2008, I spent several months following and photographing the Revolutionary Communists, a group based around the personality of Bob Avakian, a reclusive Armenian-American said last to be living in Paris. At the time, they lived at 1230 N. Burling, the last Cabrini Green high-rise building where demolition will begin today. The photo essay, “Plan for Transformation” borrows its title from the name of the urban renewal scheme devised by Mayor Richard M. Daley and the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) that would see the destruction of some of the largest public housing projects in the nation (at their inception the world) which were built under the leadership and direction of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s father Richard J. Daley during his 21-year tenure as mayor for life. Previously in Fortnight Journal, I wrote in an article entitled “The Chicago Way“: The outcome of the younger Daley’s “Plan for Transformation”–or, more accurately, the demolition of Chicago Housing Authority projects–would hand over large swaths of prime Chicago real estate on the Near North, …

Newsletter: AP26, Rahmbo replaces Daley, Chicago Mayoral Election Images, new photo journal

Newsletter just went out: Greetings!, A round-up of recents publications and news from Amanda Rivkin, photographer to kick off the springtime – because what says rebirth like a look back in time: AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHY 26 The American Photography 26 photo annual arrived recently, featuring photographic highlights from 2009 in photojournalism, fine art and commercial photography. Included is this image I took (at left) from January 29, 2009 of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich in the Illinois State Capitol his final day in office for The New York Times: More on American Photography 26 both on the AI-AP website and the amanda rivkin, photographer blog. RAHM EMANUEL IS OUR NEW DALEY On February 22, 2011, Chicago got a new mayor – a rare, once-in-a-generation event if someone named Daley was in power at the time of your birth, growth or development. For the first time in more than 21 years and after nearly half a century of Daley family-rule at the helm of Chicago politics, a new mayor was anointed: Rahm Emanuel. Receiving 55% of the …

Fortnight Journal: The Chicago Way

The Chicago Way Fortnight Journal February 14, 2011 I. The Chicago Tribune arrived on the ledge outside my family’s kitchen. It was December. I was home for the holidays from graduate school. On the front page, the Tribune featured an early poll of 721 likely voters in the Chicago mayoral race. This was the first real contest in 21 years for the highest office in the city; The Fifth Floor; the mayor’s executive suite at Chicago City Hall. The poll showed a clear and early divide had emerged: There was Rahm Emanuel. And then there was everyone else. Or rather, there was Rahm Emanuel with a double-digit, 32 percent lead, and then a fragmented spread that delegated mere single-digit percentage points to the other six candidates, in alphabetical order: Roland Burris, Gery Chico, Danny Davis, Miguel del Valle, Reverend James Meeks and Carol Moseley Braun. As of this writing, the race has dwindled considerably. Davis and Meeks bowed out and endorsed Moseley Braun, making her the de facto black candidate in the race. Burris announced …