01 Mar 2003
Karat – Homeless in St Petersburg Wolfgang Müller
The Nenets Heidi Bradner
Stories I Stole Wendell Steavenson
Under The Skin Johann Rousselot
The Ultimate Fight Francesca Yorke
Moving Pictures Raphaël Meriano
Cnut’s Island Jonathan Olley
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Welcome to a new issue of ei8ht. If you have been with us since the start you’ll notice a few changes to the magazine. We have grown a section – eight pages – and added a new area for Reviews and Exhibitions. In each new issue of ei8ht we will present reviews of a selection of newly released photography books, and commentaries from the world of photo-journalism. We will also print listings of important photography exhibitions on show across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. Our sister website foto8.com will complement the magazine with more contemporary reviews and events.
The stories in ei8ht are submitted from photographers all over the world. Our readers are similarly spread across the globe: they are 50% in the UK, 25% Europe, 25% USA and the rest of the world, including Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, India, Mexico and Singapore, to name a few. Because of the richness of international participation, the pages of ei8ht are a vital common ground for independently-minded photographers and writers who seek to publish their work to a wider audience.
ei8ht is growing at a time when photojournalism is supposedly losing its value. In today’s flood of imagery we are painfully aware of the culture of “fast food” photography that is served up by photographers and mainstream publishers of newspapers and magazines.
“Except for a few rare, solitary image-hunters, today’s journalists enrol in iconographic expeditionary corps, and embark in squads on military-humanitarian ships sailing for the shores of misery.” (Edgar Roskis, in Le Monde Diplomatique.)
For emerging photographers their expectations of there being a discerning industry, a genuinely interested picture editor or a supportive photo agency have all but disappeared and the market place is dominated by monolithic sales houses, and a monumental, “cheaper by the pound” mentality.
Photography and photojournalism are at their best, however, when one delves deeper than just the latest news headline or passing fashion. In this magazine and this issue we do just that. We open up our pages and our readers’ eyes to the vitality of photojournalism and its practitioners. From the street children of St Petersburg to the nomadic herdsmen and women of the Nenets, these are new stories about things that are happening in our world today; these are stories produced by photographers with a point of view and the means to show it. Whether it’s the atmospheric black and white tones of the boxing ring or the primary colours of the youth in the Balkans, the pages of ei8ht carry new approaches to old themes, as well as new stories entirely. When Howard Chapnick, the legendary director of the Blackstar agency, talked about the currency of photojournalism he spoke about ideas: as a photographer, there is nothing more valuable in your bag than a good idea.
In my view, photojournalism – as a vibrant medium for story-telling – is far from imprisoned by the bars of a cynical media; on the contrary it is breaking free with a plethora of new ideas and ways to realize them.
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