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Darcy Padilla’s Award Winning Work, “The Julie Project” – Opens THIS Thursday, May 20th, 5:00 – 7:30 PM

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JULIE – “For the last 16 years I have been documenting the life of an AIDs-afflicted woman, Julie Baird. Julie has been on her own since her sexually abusive stepfather threw her through a glass window when she was 14 years old. She ran away from home, lived on the street, used drugs, contracted HIV, and had five children. When I first met Julie in February 1993 in the lobby of a SRO hotel in San Francisco’s Tenderloin, she was 18 years old and had just given birth to her first child, Rachel. Julie and Jack Fyffe, the 19 year-old father were both HIV positive. Rachel, they said, was their main reason for living.

Throughout the years I have photographed Julie’s complex story of AIDS, abusive relationships, drug use, multiple homes and poverty. A victim of child abuse, Julie often neglected her own children. A high school dropout, she depends on welfare to feed her family. HIV-positive, she fights to stay off drugs.

Julie’s is a story of a survivor. The telling of it enriches the understanding of the poorest and most desperate among us. I am continuing to document Julie’s life and it is my fervent hope that Julie’s story inspires a greater awareness of the plight of people like her.”

Darcy Padilla’s unflinching portrayal of Julie Baird is one of the most in-depth, visceral, and captivating documentaries in recent memory.

Her work has received numerous grants and awards including an Alexia Foundation for World Peace & Understanding Award, Open Society Institute Individual Fellowship, and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.

The latest iteration of this paramount work will be on display at Fifty Crows Gallery, beginning with our May 20th opening. Doors will be open from 4 PM to 7:30 PM. Fifty Crows would like to welcome everyone to join us in this momentous event. We hope to see you there.

Judith Fox on NPR

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Get an intimate, behind-the-scenes glimpse of I Still Do: Loving and Living with Alzheimer’s, as Judith Fox shares her personal account with NPR.  Click here to listen to the interview.

I told Ed that some of the photographs I took of him saw straight through to his soul and asked if he minded being that exposed. He said “No.  You can show my soul; just don’t show my penis.” So that’s our agreement.

For more information on Judith Fox and FiftyCrows, click here.

Written by fiftycrows

March 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Judith Fox: I Still Do and Sea of Dreams, Exhibition Opening and Book Signing- Thursday, March 4th, 5:00 to 7:30

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You are invited Thursday, March 4th for an opening and book signing with Judith Fox. We are excited to exhibit two bodies of work by Fox: “I Still Do: Loving and Living with Alzheimer’s”, a powerful, poetic and universal portrayal of aging, loving, humor, mortality and hope, also the subject of a touching photographic memoir published by powerHouse. We also present, “Sea of Dreams”, an abstract depiction of haunting beauty that explores the powerful turbulence beneath the surface calm of the ocean. Seen together, these images offer both direct and metaphoric representation of deep emotion and the resilience of the human spirit. Ms. Fox will be present and signing her new book. Books available for purchase at the gallery.

WHEN: Thursday, March 4th, 2010

TIME: 5:00 to 7:30 pm

WHERE: FiftyCrows Gallery

49 Geary St, Suite 225

San Francisco, CA 94108

For more information on Judith Fox and FiftyCrows, click here.

If you would like a personal invitation please email:

liveBooks RESOLVE Blog feature: Should photojournalists seek out the silver lining?

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FiftyCrows partner, liveBooks Inc. is the leading provider of custom photography website. This year they came out with a website deal that offers photojournalist/documentary photographer an affordable yet customized and professional way to have their images on the web. At FiftyCrows, we highly encourage photojournalist and documentary photographers to have a website as it enables their stories to be seen and told to anyone that has internet access.

The liveBooks blog, RESOLVE is “a collaborative online community that brings together photographers and creative professionals of every kind to find ways to keep photography relevant, respected, and profitable.” The editor of Resolve, Miki Johnson, writes and features posts about a variety of topics in the photography industry from new business models to traditional documentary projects. She strives to highlight how and why people are doing what they are doing in the photography world as well as the details and importance of the specific project they are working on. On the FiftyCrows blog I will feature Resolve posts about photojournalist and documentary photography related issues that provide insight on how photography continues to create social change.

Should photojournalist seek out the silver lining?

Posted by Miki Johnson
Considering that today is World AIDS Day, this seemed like the perfect time to highlight a new book from photographer Karen Ande, Face to Face: Children of the AIDS Crisis in Africa. Although hardly the first person to document this topic, Karen’s emphasis on telling positive stories is unusual. And her technique presents a hard — but important — question for documentary photographers: Do too many images of suffering make people feel helpless to improve things?
©Karen Ande

These three women are members of a granny support group that meets weekly to discuss issues and solve problems related to caring for their many young charges. ©Karen Ande

Miki Johnson: Tell me about the book you just released with Ruthann Richter, Face to Face: Children of the AIDS Crisis in Africa. What was the impetus of this project and what were you hoping to achieve with it?

Karen Ande: This book represents the culmination of seven years of work. The project began in 2002 when I was traveling in Kenya with my husband and friends. Our tour guide asked me if I’d like to visit an orphanage she had opened in the town of Naivasha and photograph the children, whose parents had died of AIDS.

I agreed to do it, thinking it would be a one-time visit that might result in a few shots she could use for fundraising. I did not realize that the children would charm me and that their survival hung in such a delicate balance. The orphanage ran out of rice the day I was there.

We left them with some money for food and I eventually went home and began to print the photographs. When I saw the images emerge in the developing tray I realized that I had an opportunity and a decision to make. I could choose to become involved in this issue or not. I chose to get involved, to reach out to nonprofits who were already supporting projects, to make multiple trips to document this issue. It has taken an enormous amount of time and personal finances, but I have never looked back.

©Karen Ande

Vannah is only 15 years old but is caring for five younger brothers and sisters after their parent's death from AIDS. ©Karen Ande

I am driven by this issue — 12 million children have been orphaned by AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. There is little infrastructure to care for the children, but many local people whom I have met through NGO’s have creative viable projects that make a difference in these children’s lives. I hope this book will convince people to take a close look at the children I’ve met and begin to care enough to try to help them.

MJ: You’ve said that when you started photographing it was important to you to focus on the positive, things are getting better and people who are making a difference. Why was this so important to you?

KA: People do not hang around to be depressed. The media overexposes us to images of suffering I think, consistently giving us two messages: 1) there is really nothing one person can do to affect these overwhelming problems, and 2) money donated to Africa will be diverted by corrupt governments and aid agencies and never get to the people who need it.

In fact there is a great deal one person can do if they know how. If you donate to organizations working with in-country activists who know and understand their communities’ needs, the money is not wasted. In fact it is often the best way to help, as these projects are generally successful and sustainable. We list many NGO’s in our book that support these types of projects. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zara Katz

December 9, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Posted in AIDS, Disease, Health, RESOLVE Blog, Survival

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affect/effect: Photographs That Create Change – Karen Kasmauski: Nurse – A World of Care

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Consider the metaphor of a grain of sand: one grain in a thousand is insignificant, while it can also be unique in shaping everything that it touches. Now apply this idea to photography. Countless photographic images give us a consciousness about what is going on in the world, but our lives are awash with powerful images, most of which fall away by day’s end. A sub-clause to the metaphor: even if that one image (grain of sand) does produce an emotional response, it is rare the feeling that the image elicited will inspire action.

But what happens when one grain of sand (image) gets stuck in your eye so persistently that you must make a move to change the way you feel? The affect/effect: Photographs That Create Change series will feature stories from photographers and friends of photography that share how one image affected an individual to make a profound effect in the world.

Nurse_CoverThe work of Karen Kasmauski is the core of social change photography. Known as the “unofficial” global health photographer for National Geographic, Kasmauski has contributed 26 important stories to the publication on AIDS/HIV, malaria, malnutrition, immunization, reproductive health, overpopulation, and obesity. In her travels and work around the world she has also focused on the value of cultural differences and the role that women play in representing half the population. Most recently, Kasmauski has highlighted the essential work of nurses who provide the majority of human support in the world’s health care system. Her book, Nurse: A World of Care offers images of nurses caring for people in every stage of life. She illuminates how nurses are powerful leaders in many cultures as their care for humans impacts society, the economy, and the environment.

Seeing that Karen Kasmauski is a dynamic force in the world of social change photography, I asked her if she had a story to contribute to the affect/effect: Photographs That Create Change series. Her bottom line response was that she did not believe that one image could create change. Karen believes that it takes all the encompassing elements to catalyze change, from the photographer and the people in the photographs, to the corporate funders and the media sources that distribute the stories and images, to the people that view the images to understand the world around them.

In her venture to honor the nurses of the world, she collaborated with a journalist to gather detailed stories about what they do. In her images, she captures the action and emotion of the nurse and patient in a way that does not over dramatize the situation but conveys a tangible reality. While photographer and non-photographer alike can understand the powerful message of her beautiful yet poignant images, it is the universal nurse who is both affected and effected by these images. Through Karen’s photographs we can gain compassion and respect for the nursing profession and offer conscious support to the people that contribute to our health, our community, our environment, and our economy.

2007-1-3-Hospice Nurse-4_ 00182006-12-22-Ri-Man-1-0177

Here, one nurse offers her thanks to Karen and her visual homage to nurses:

“Being a nurse and being out in the community, [your book] spoke to my heart in an intense, dramatic way. It reminds me of how proud I am to be a part of this profession.

There are two things I truly want to say to you specifically. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this endeavor. It was an honor and a privilege to work with you on this project. Although you told me what the project was, it was difficult for me to grasp just how important and big it was. Secondly, seeing those other nurses from other parts of the world – doing what we do – wherever we are – it is undeniably clear that the common goal is the same….to care carefully for our patients, to be creative in that care when we don’t have everything we need, to be diligent in that care regardless of the depth of it, to be courageous in that care when others can’t (or don’t or won’t) be but most of all it is a reminder of our responsibility to treat people with the utmost dignity, to care for them well and to love them well.”

Vallerie Martin
Community Hospice of Washington, DC

2007-10-30-Kiambiu A---00762006-03_Passage_Jamaica-07_150

Other links to Karen Kasmauski:

National Press Photographers Association article: Having an Impact

NPPA: Best of Photojournalism 2009 Honorable Mention Non-Traditional Photojournalism Publishing

Written by Zara Katz

October 1, 2009 at 10:13 am

Photo Fund Winner Update: Jack Picone

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PiconeIn 2003 Jack Picone won the FiftyCrows IFDP award for his photo essay that looked at the AIDS epidemic in Thailand. The intention of his images was to give a voice to the courage and compassion of HIV-infected people who face social ostracism and stigmatization. For over a decade, Picone has been involved with photographing people and communities with AIDS as part of a London-based project called “Positive Lives.”


Picone has covered eight wars and photographed extensively in Yugoslavia, Somalia, Rwanda, Palestine, Liberia, Sudan, Central Asia, Europe, Australia and Thailand. His list of publications and awards rivals the countries he has traveled to and include World Press Photo, Amsterdam, Photographer of the Year, America and most recently UNESCO Documentary Award.

Picone resides in Bangkok and conducts photojournalism workshops throughout Asia. This year the workshop will take place in Australia from October 8th -13th in Sydney and between November 7th – 12th in Melbourne.


Jack Picone is currently working on a book titled “Blood and Love,” which overviews the past 25 years of his work.

Written by Zara Katz

August 5, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Posted in Health, Photo Fund Winners, Workshops

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