Awaiting the Rain
Peru has always been a deeply personal place for me. It was where I fell in love with travel, with photography. It is where I connected with my mother's side of the family. That connection has only grown deeper.
Peru never ceases to surprise, frustrate, and inspire you. I first traveled there in the late 1980s when the country was in political free fall and the currency had the value of confetti. It was a powerful awakening to the world outside the bucolic suburb I grew up in. I've never stopped returning.
The photographs here were made all over the country between 1993 and 2021. They are largely personal and free of the pressures of assignment work and deadlines. For me, Peru was an escape visually. A place brimming with melancholy and shades of grey. Perhaps its the history, struggles for most to make a living day to day or like the family waiting on a corner in one of the frames in the gallery, waiting for a bus that on any given day, may or may not come for them.
Ukraine: Perseverence and Defiance
Odessa shook on the morning of April 3. It was early, before sunrise. There were three successive explosions, each one louder until the windows of my hotel room began rattling. The air raid sirens were going off. I texted Isabelle Khurshudyan, the correspondent I was working with, to see if she was heading to the bomb shelter in the basement of the hotel. She was.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's unprovoked, brutal and up to now, bungled, invasion of neighbor Ukraine has left cities and families broken. The Russian army continually targets civilian targets, killing scores of non-combatants. People like Alla Shapovalovna, who lives in a small rural town north of Mykolaiv, have endured shelling and occupation. Residents of her town were fortunate: they sent the Russians packing with the help of the Ukrainian military which continues to show a perseverance and determination many thought impossible.
East of Everything
"Even in Siberia, there is hapiness." - Anton Chekov
Rapidly melting permafrost is altering Siberia's landscape, economy and demographics. Birds and fruits never seen before are taking root, reliable generators of income including fish and game are becoming harder to get to market. The ice highways, the crucial network stitching this remote world together are thawing out earlier and freezing later, stranding trucks in muddy quagmires.
The legendary Siberian winters may become just that, legend.
Venezuela's Reversal of Fortunue
Two places - a nature preserve and the oil industry's hub - symbolized Venezuela's strength. Now they epitomize its implosion. Long before the socialist and kleptocratic catastrophe, this Latin American powerhouse brought in $1 billion a year in tourism and its oil wells fueled a potent economy. Those two sectors of the economy are now hollowed out. The once gorgeous landscapes surrounding Angel Falls are now bring ripped apart in a chaotic search for gold and diamonds. Maracaibo, a proud and prosperous oil city, has been reduced to a dilapidated shell of desperation. The surrounding areas are contaminated by the failure of the oil sector's infrastructure. Chronic unemployment, no electricity, jobs or hope have send hundreds of thousands abroad. These are some photographs of these twin catastrophes made during multiple trips in 2019.
On August 3, 2019, Patrick Crusius killed 22 people and wounded scores more in the border city of El Paso, Texas. The 21-year-old confessed to police after he surrendered that he had been targeting Mexicans. He drove over 600 miles from his home to commit the terrorist act.
Mass shootings happen in the United States with such regularity that most don’t manage to break into national headlines. There were more than 400 mass shootings in the US in 2019 alone. El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico are more than just sister cities. They share a common culture, geography and a population that have called both places home for generations. The attack at an El Paso Walmart where Mexican nationals frequently shop cut deep on both sides of the border. Funerals, including one for schoolteacher Elsa Mendoza Marquez, a victim, took place in Mexico. The Flores family, originally from Ciudad Juarez, have lived in El Paso for a generation. They lost both of their parents.
The Undoing of Venezuela
Venezuela, once the envy of Latin America, is disintegrating before our eyes. The Bolivar, the nation's currency, has the value of confetti, power blackouts are common across the country, food and everyday staples are gone, hospitals are failing...it is a nation in the throes of collapse. These are photographs from the first of an ongoing series of trips I will be taking to the country in 2019.
Liberia's Long Road Back
Few places in the world have endured as much pain and hardship as the small West African country of Liberia. Two brutal civil wars traumatized the nation and in 2014 an Ebola epidemic ravaged the country, killing thousands. The resilient people of what is by many measures, the world's poorest nation, are trying to feel optimistic about the country's future. Liberia, founded by freed North American slaves, has a unique history which is woven into its faith, language and customs. These photographs were made in early 2019 and are just a brief glimpse into the life of Liberia and her people as they slowly make their way down the long road back.