Introducing: The Circle by Kaley Sweeney

In 2011, Guillermo Cervera was photographing the Libyan Civil War alongside colleagues Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros. He moved aside to take a photograph of a bubbly image of a Pepsi advertisement behind a Libyan fighter. In the split second he had stepped away, his two colleagues were hit by mortar shells. The sight of the Pepsi water image saved his life.

It was that moment that led Guillermo to turn his camera inward for his next adventure and embark on a year long journey at sea.

A seasoned conflict photographer, Guillermo has always been attracted to the sea. His great great grandfather Admiral Pascual Cervera, who confronted the American fleet in the final battle of the Spanish-Cuban War, served as an example for future generations. Guillermo's grandfather also served as an admiral, and his father was a shipbuilding engineer before turning to arms manufacturing for Arab states. The threads of his family history are pervasive throughout Guillermo’s work. 

"Perhaps as a result of my situation within my family, the frequent abandonments and traumatic experiences that I’ve endured, I have always tried to reflect on—and reflect in my pictures—how the world self-destructs, how it suffers and moves towards the abyss. Somehow, I felt I had to redress the deep pain that my father caused — and still causes — by selling weaponry. Or perhaps, in a subconscious way, I was trying to prove that what my father used to say was true: that he was selling weapons in order to promote peace.”

Between stints photographing in conflict zones, he has always taken to the sea to find - and photograph - the calming effects of the water and its surf. Guillermo finds solace and liberation when surrounded by water. 

Over the next year, he’ll sail around six continents. Guillermo and his crew will also venture on land to motorcycle from Thailand to Kazakhstan and back, revisiting some of the countries that have had the greatest impact on his life and career.

Follow Guillermo with us, delve into the rich history of the countries he'll be visiting, and learn more about the man himself and what led him to this unconventional profession.

“The Renovation Generation” - New Work by Dina Litovsky by Kaley Sweeney

Vietnam’s current median age is just under 30. With half the country born in a period of economic growth and prosperity following the 1986 Renovation policy, the ‘Renovation Generation’ is experiencing a unique youth culture. Western culture and the digital revolution presents new forms of engagement with Vietnam’s traditional values. Consequently, a rift has emerged between the youth and their parents’ generation as the Renovation Generation continues to strive for engagement with the wider world.

Dina Litovsky’s new work explores this curious generation and its focus on personal freedoms of daily behavior, consumer goods and the entertainment industry.

Dina plans to return for a third trip to continue this ongoing project.

Roger LeMoyne: The Wave by Kaley Sweeney

Lesbos Island, Greece, Nov. 16, 2015. A female refugee who has just crossed from Turkey holds her baby wrapped in thermal blankets. She traveled by rubber dinghy and landed with other members of her family on the northern shore of the island.

Lesbos Island, Greece, Nov. 16, 2015. A female refugee who has just crossed from Turkey holds her baby wrapped in thermal blankets. She traveled by rubber dinghy and landed with other members of her family on the northern shore of the island.

Today, there are more refugees and internally displaced people than at any other time since World War II. 

Unable to simply watch as a bystander, Roger LeMoyne spent two weeks covering the mass exodus from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq on the island of Lesbos in Greece and Macedonia.

Roger comments: "There’s a profound dissonance between the situation and the type of people who are refugees and who, as such, have come to embody the region’s instability. During the two weeks that I spent in Lesbos and traveling with migrants to the Macedonian border, I encountered members of an educated middle-class, graphic designers, doctors, entrepreneurs. I wondered: ‘How can someone who’s informed, who’s well-read, who has access to technology and who has some financial means be reduced to putting his life in peril crossing a sea on a dinghy, walking through inhospitable lands, waiting, like cattle, at border control centers and boarding trains that are reminiscent of another tragedy?"

November 2015, Refugees from Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq are permitted to board a train that will take them from a Macedonian transit camp on the border with Greece to another camp on the border with Serbia, from where they must travel on foot to Serbia. Refugees pay 25 Euros for an unheated, overcrowded train ride that lasts about 4 hours and crosses all of Macedonia.

Roger’s new work visualizes the geopolitical divides at the source of this crisis and explores the changing shape of the asylum landscape. In a recently published interview, Roger speaks further on the crisis and his visual response alongside the commentary by Dr. Jen Bagelman, who studies questions of asylum and citizenship, Christopher Tidey from UNICEF, and Sonja Kuiten, a volunteer.

We may well be witnessing a paradigm shift in human migration and ultimately, the definition of national borders. Thousands of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries are moving through Turkey to Europe. Many are landing in small boats on the Greek islands, Lesbos being one of those closest to Turkish coast. That is where this European journey begins. It wins through Greece and Macedonia, where my time ran out near the Serbian border. I hope to continue this coverage soon.

We may well be witnessing a paradigm shift in human migration and ultimately, the definition of national borders. Thousands of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries are moving through Turkey to Europe. Many are landing in small boats on the Greek islands, Lesbos being one of those closest to Turkish coast. That is where this European journey begins. It wins through Greece and Macedonia, where my time ran out near the Serbian border. I hope to continue this coverage soon.

Read more here

Tomas van Houtryve at Anastasia Photo by Kaley Sweeney

We are pleased to introduce Tomas van Houtryve to our roster of represented photographers.

Tomas is an artist, photographer and author whose work engages critical contemporary issues around the world. His imagery explores contemporary warfare and the modern State through issues such as drones, electronic surveillance, nuclear testing and Cold War ideology.

In 2015, Tomas received the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award - among many other accolades - for Blue Sky Days, a longterm project thats mission is to “bring the drone war home.” Blue Sky Days applies the concepts of surveillance and foreign drone strikes in public spaces to similar situations across the United States. His eye is drawn to situations that mirror surveillance activity under military gaze; a group practicing yoga outdoors is easily mistaken for a group praying, a playground compared to those that were caught in numerous drone strikes. Each black and white image is accompanied by detailed captions that outline the similarities between his drone’s photograph and the view from its military counterpart.

Tomas is currently in production of a second installation to Blue Sky Days. A book will be released in Fall 2016 and the work will be exhibited in an upcoming show at the gallery.

The Geography of Poverty: Greyhound by Kaley Sweeney

Matt Black is back on the road. On the heels of his cross-country road trip across the four corners of the United States, Matt is now halfway through his journey by Greyhound bus across the center of the country. Since 2000, the number of communities of “concentrated poverty” has doubled. More than 45 million Americans fall below the poverty line, and the widening gap between the rich and poor continues to cripple communities across the nation. The new installment of the Geography of Poverty puts a face and voice to these communities based on the conversations he has with fellow passengers from Bangor, Maine to Calexico, California.

Blythe, CA. Corner store. “Garbage Bags Are Not Luggage and Are Not Allowed Under The Bus,” says the bus station sign. Blue Backpack: “One and done. I get back to Tennessee, and that’s it.” Nike Ball Cap: “I was there last week, getting fired.” (at Blythe, California)

Blythe, CA. Corner store. “Garbage Bags Are Not Luggage and Are Not Allowed Under The Bus,” says the bus station sign. Blue Backpack: “One and done. I get back to Tennessee, and that’s it.” Nike Ball Cap: “I was there last week, getting fired.” (at Blythe, California)

Leaving at night. Out the dirty sheet windows of the bus, the neon bail bond signs and orange street lamps and blinking stoplights take on a muted, gauzy hue. Streets shimmer like a reverse aquarium, liquid light blurring and bending in the passing diorama, twisting the hard angles of a gritty downtown. Inside our envelope of air, we’re in motion, diving again.

Leaving at night. Out the dirty sheet windows of the bus, the neon bail bond signs and orange street lamps and blinking stoplights take on a muted, gauzy hue. Streets shimmer like a reverse aquarium, liquid light blurring and bending in the passing diorama, twisting the hard angles of a gritty downtown. Inside our envelope of air, we’re in motion, diving again.

Follow along on Instagram here.

Holiday Lights Around NYC by Natan Dvir by Kaley Sweeney

For the second year, The New York Times T Magazine displays Natan Dvir’s images of New York City’s holiday transformation. From Fifth Avenue to Dyker Heights (dubbed “Dyker Lights”), Natan captures the city’s shift into the holiday season.

See more images in an interactive article, here.

George Steinmetz In The New York Times Magazine's 'Voyages' Issue by Kaley Sweeney

George Steinmetz photographs Venezuela’s Angel Falls in The New York Times Magazine’s ‘Voyages’ issue. 

The Magazine asked five photographers for their visual journeys in destinations seldom frequented in the travel photographer sphere. 

Along with his son John Steinmetz, George flew from New York to Caracas and into the tepuis in the Cessna. The two bush pilots he hired treated the aircrafts as though they were dancers, granting both mystical scenes and aerial photography opportunities.

See the full series here.

Cecil the Lion by Kaley Sweeney

© Brent Stapelkamp

© Brent Stapelkamp

The loss of Cecil, a 13-year-old "protected” lion who was senselessly slaughtered and skinned, is not only a universal loss, but a personal one for us at Anastasia Photo. The gallery endows all its exhibitions with a related philanthropic organization. In September 2013 we paired our Michael "Nick" Nichols show with Brent Stapelkamp's Long Shields Lion Guardians Organization.

We began our relationship as a supporter of Brent Stapelkamp helping him to purchase equipment for his organization. Brent has been a researcher and supervisor of Cecil since 2008. As this murder has struck us for both its horrendous and unethical approach as well as its personal connection, we wanted to take the opportunity to both raise attention to the wider situation as well as offer an opportunity for those interested in engaging further.

Cecil's murder was not an isolated incident. More than 500 lions were legally killed last year, out of an estimated remaining 30,000 wild lions worldwide. When a male lion is killed, his entire family is put in danger, which often results in another five to twelve lion deaths. Lions are on track to be rapidly extinct, and despite their quickly dwindling numbers, lions remain unrecognized in international funds protecting against endangered species.

Cecil's death is an opportunity for the international community to take note and take action. While lion hunting unfortunately remains largely legal, it is by no means ethical. When American dentist Walter Palmer killed Cecil, he claimed he believed to be acting within the rules of the law. After all, he paid roughly $50,000 for an almost guaranteed killing of his trophy prize - yet there was no permit for the hunt, he illegally operated at night, and his team lured Cecil off protected land in order to evade legal sanctions. Unfortunately, lion hunting is big business for nearly risk-free and sure-fire results. Their 
slaughter is carefully calculated, and those arranging the kill are able to reap in hundreds of thousands of dollars almost effortlessly.

We encourage you to educate yourselves on the ethical practice of lion hunting and the truly despicable acts that are being taken continuously against lions' depleting population.

Concerned readers should urge the United States to recognize lions as "threatened" and stop trophy imports by writing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service here. You can also donate to Born Free USA, who works tirelessly to bring animal rights to the surface of legislation, litigation and international education.

Sign the petition.
Donate to Born Free USA.

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Jonathan Alpeyrie reporting from Debaltseve, Ukraine by Kaley Sweeney

February 5, 2015, North of Debaltseve, Donbass Oblast, Ukraine.

February 5, 2015, North of Debaltseve, Donbass Oblast, Ukraine.

Refugees from Debaltseve are escaping the battle zone on foot while Grad missile systems are heading to the front.

Fighting continues between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists in and around the important railway hub of Debaltseve. The humanitarian situation in the town has become catastrophic as thousands have fled, while many more are trapped in the heavily shelled town. Locals each day try to flee the battle zone using cars, trucks or buses driven by volunteers making the round trip multiple times a day.

February 6, 2015, Debalseve, Donbass Oblast, Ukraine. A few locals have boarded a bus to escape the battle around their town.

February 6, 2015, Debaltseve, Donbass Oblast, Ukraine. A family has taken refuge in an underground bunker as their area is constantly shelled by separatists forces.

February 9, 2015, Debaltseve, Donbass Oblast, Ukraine. Locals are waiting in line get food as shells land near by. 

The battle of the railway hub of Debaltseve has reached a breaking point. Only an estimated 3 thousand locals are still present within the city out of its original 25 thousand. Pro-Russian forces have been attempting to encircle the city from the North, shelling heavily the area while making slow progress towards their goal.

February 9, 2015, Debaltseve, Donbass Oblast, Ukraine. A grandfather was killed by a shell when it hit his home.

February 9, 2015, Debaltseve, Donbass Oblast, Ukraine. A woman takes refuge as the area is under shelling attacks from separatists forces.

February 4, 2015, Kramatorsk, Donbass Oblast, Ukraine. A refugee organization has been accepting refugee families to transit in their facility before moving out of the war zone.

February 9, 2015, Debalteve, Donbass Oblast, Ukraine. A lone woman is taking shelter inside her house while shells continues.

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