BBC Azeri, Turkish and Russian Services (published May 10, 2013)
“Photojournalist Amanda Rivkin, working in Baku, decided to make a photo essay dedicated to the Aliyev personality cult. It’s called ‘Heydaristan’.
The Aliyev personality cult is somewhat different from the various others in modern history. For example, Stalin and Saparmurat Niyazov in Turkmenistan, created cults to their own personality. You had to bow down to only them and no one else. While in Azerbaijan the Aliyev personality cult is enforced by his son Ilham. Amanda Rivkin notes that strangely in this cult, people don’t bow before the actual president but to his father.
In Azerbaijan itself Heydar Aliyev is often compared to Ataturk not to Turkmenbashi, although Amanda Rivkin says it’s the same as comparing apples and oranges.
‘On one hand, you can say that after the fall of the Ottoman Empire Ataturk appeared on the political horizon, and he was able to unite the country and its people, and that Heydar Aliyev was able to achieve the same thing. But between them is a big difference: Heydar Aliyev was a well-known figure in the Soviet system, while Ataturk was not a part of politics in the Ottoman period,’ says Rivkin.”
Fortnight Journal: Meet Amanda (published October 20, 2010)
“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.”
National Geographic Weekend: Amanda Rivkin (air date: May 1, 2010)
“Photographer and National Geographic Young Explorer Grantee Amanda Rivkin recently returned from Cuba. Rivkin joins Boyd to talk about her work documenting everyday life in Cuba.”
National Geographic Weekend: Amanda Rivkin (airdate: August 13, 2011)
“For most Americans, singing competition shows are a great way to entertain themselves on a Tuesday night. For the country of Azerbaijan, it’s a ticket for the nation to be represented on the world stage. National Geographic Young Explorer grantee Amanda Rivkin tells Boyd about how this country has sunk millions of dollars into the goal of getting one of its own to win the Eurovision singing competition.”
The New York Times Lens Blog: Turning Point (published August 4, 2010)
“Lens is presenting ‘Turning Point,’ an occasional series featuring images by young photographers. Each post will showcase one picture each considers to have been seminal in his or her development.
The column was conceived by Amanda Rivkin, 26, a photographer who has had work published by The New York Times, Newsweek, Le Monde and Agence France-Presse. Ms. Rivkin wanted to hear from her peers about their own work. But she was interested in more than self-meditation.
Underlying each image is a great deal of emotion. In many cases, the names of those who inspire will be familiar; in some, less so. Today, we begin with Ms. Rivkin’s own work — and that which inspired it.”
Voice of America: In English (courtesy of Azadliq Radiosu, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Azerbaijani service) – Amanda Rivkin, “I am absolutely not satisfied with the level of official pressure being exerted on the government of Azerbaijan in order to obtain Khadija’s release” Interview (Azerbaijani translation) (August 7, 2015)
“I am absolutely not satisfied with the level of official pressure being exerted on the government of Azerbaijan in order to obtain Khadija [Ismayilova]’s release because she remains in jail, while still publishing investigations, which is so fierce and inspiring I am simply in awe of her courage.”
Voice of Russia American Edition: Is Azerbaijan’s J-Lo Concert Taunting Iran? (airdate: October 16, 2012 live)
“Host Ric Young talks with photojournalist Amanda Rivkin from Istanbul about the country.
Rihanna, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez have all appeared at concerts in Azerbaijan recently, but the singers have been condemned by critics due to Azerbaijan’s poor human rights record. In Rivkin‘s opinion, the events are less about twitting Iran with a production of “scantily clad” western singers, and more about trying to improve their global image. The true tension between Azerbaijan and Iran is based on ethnicity, rather than women’s rights.”