Artist: Scott Typaldos / Lausanne Switzerland

Scott Typaldos was born in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1977. He lived in Belgium from 1991-1996, then passed through England, France and then the United States for 5 years. It is during these years in a filmmaking school that he became familiar with the basics of photography.

In his first years, Scott’s photography was centered around his personal life and themes such as initimate, street and travel photography which he continues to photograph until this day.

In the Spring of 2007, he worked on his first documentary In Gabon. He photographed the oil searchers of the Lambaréné region. His focus was on the worker’s inhumane treatment and their slavelike working conditions.

In 2009, Scott travelled to India photographing different slums in the most high tech Indian city: Bangalore.

In 2010 He started working on the animal condition photographing in the pathological department of the Bern Tierspital (Switzerland)

In 2011 Scott moved to Ghana/Togo where he studied and photographed the countries’ infra structures for the mentally ill in addition to the local funeral rites.

In 2012 He is pursuing his research on the mentally ill extending his interest to Eastern Europe and pther African countries.

I call myself a documentary photographer although I sometimes feel uneasy when categorized in this manner. Most photographers who have influenced my work are in a documentary tradition because their focus is on reality, human beings, their bodies, faces, the social or economical conditions they find themselves in. Whether subjectively interpreted or not, I feel that their raw material comes from a a reality that leaves traces. Documentary photography has a certain smell that I like my work to have.

On on a more personal level I sometimes I think of photography as Winnicot’s transitional object: An object you create that fills a void or empties space. An object that has no function and means nothing but is affectively charged. Though this object is useless, it is important in channeling existential traumas and creating an abstraction out of a nerve noisy reality. For some photographers, it is about being there fully in reality and being compassionate. It is also about feeling and capturing an essence. To me it is about re experiencing an awkward distance. Something happens when you photograph a human being and know that you should be compassionate. You know the situation asks for a stronger link but your breathing is calm and steady.You ask yourself questions why this ambiguity exists. What are the ways that you have to relate to others. If the distance is strange and in my case I feel it is, you work around the coma and you ask yourself why you do not care. The truth is that I am like most people who grew up looking at pictures and films of the 80’s ethiopian famine, I am used to them and find no way to relate to them. The only thing I need is to see them for myself. Pictures allow you to know something exists but do not replace the act of seeing for yourself. So I started a quest of putting myself in connection with hardcore pain and difficult life conditions. I wanted to know if it ever would wake me up from my emotional inertia. When will I finally be able to realize the level of pain someone else feels without automatically censoring it to the dark depth of my soul. I do not feel it is my role to be ethical. I am not a judge, a policeman or a politician. I prefer to come close to human perversions and in this respect, I would call myself a very unethical photographer. I have taken picture of pain charged humans without the slightest intention to save them or help them. I could have played the trauma or guilt game that a lot of photographers like to fool profanes with but in truth I get a kick out of helping people scream on my pictures. When their pain is on my pictures, my anger is with them but not in me. The more the pain is captured in its essence, the more the picture gives a voice to my anger. Naturally my anger is nothing compared to their pain and I should be at their service canceling anything I would possibly want to express. That is why I am highly unethical. I use people’s pain to express myself. I take pictures to make people feel all sorts of bad stuff when I could very well accept things as they are and let people live peacefully.

Perhaps that a human being was first made to survive and then to link. It is the range in which the crocodile state (our reptilian surviving roots) and the social animal must coexist. Ethics are optional. Knowing one’s self is more important.

The Liberace Of Baghdad

Artist: Sean McAllister / United Kingdom

Sean McAllister background

Sean McAllister left school at 16, worked in a variety of factories in the North of England before he picked up a camera and filmed his way into the National Film School, where he graduated in 1996. His first film, Working for the Enemy BBC2 (Mosaic Films) was nominated for a Royal Television Society Award, 1997. Sean followed up with The Minders (BBC) earning him another Royal Television Society Award Nomination, 1998. After these came Settlers (2000) and Hull’s Angel in 2002.

From his early films to his more recent international successes, Sean McAllister’s films portray, with characteristic intimacy and frankness, people from different parts of the world who are struggling to survive but are survivors, caught up in political and personal conflict, trying to make sense of the world we live in.

Sean’s recent films include The Reluctant Revolutionary (2012, with the Irish Film Board ), Japan: A story of Love and Hate (2008, Co-production BBC Storyville, NHK, Ten Foot Films Ltd) and highly praised The Liberace of Baghdad (2004, Co-Produced with BBC Storyville, TV2 Denmark, Ten Foot Films Ltd) which received the Sundance Film Festival 2005 Special Jury Prize Winner amongst numerous other awards.

The Liberace Of Baghdad

Held up in a heavily fortified Baghdad hotel the pianist, Samir Peter and the film-maker Sean McAllister try to survive the “peace” of post-war Iraq.

Samir Peter, once Iraq’s most famous pianist now plays in a half-empty hotel bar to contractors, mercenaries and besieged journalists. In his heyday he described himself as the ‘Liberace of Baghdad’ but today he sleeps in a bricked up hotel room, too afraid to cross town to his 7 bedroom mansion. His string of western girlfriends has led to his wife and two of his kids leaving for the States.

But now Samir has a visa to live in America too, to find fame and fortune there is what he calls his ‘one last adventure in life’. But Sahar, his pro Saddam daughter hates America for what it has done to her country. She refuses to go and Samir is set to leave alone.

Over 8 months of filming the violence escalates out of control, kidnapping is rife and Samir’s neighbour is murdered on her doorstep. Will Samir now sacrifice his American dream for the sake of his family left in lawless Iraq?

“A remarkable film that reveals everyday life post-Saddam” [The Times]

“I wanted to make a film about what liberation meant for ordinary Iraqis, but I got led astray when I met Samir Peter” – Sean McAllister.

Liberace Of Baghdad (2004) has won numerous awards including…

Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF) 2005 – Award of Excellence

British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) 2005 – Award for Best British Documentary

Chicago International Documentary Festival 2005 – Chicago Doc Grand Prix Jury Special Prize

Directors Guild of America (DGA) 2005 – Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary (nomination)

Festival dei Popoli, Florence International Documentary Festival, Italy 2005 – Prix Gianpaolo Paoli for Best Ethnographic/Anthropological

FilmGrierson Trust Awards 2005 – Nomination for Best Documentary On A Contemporary Issue

It’s All True: International Documentary Film Festival, Brazil 2005 – Special Jury Prize

OneWorld 2005: 7th International Human Rights Watch Documentary Film Festival, Prague 2005 – Minister of Culture Award for best film and Best Director Award (nomination)

Sundance Film Festival 2005 – Special Jury Prize (World Documentary)

‘Market Street, (Walls Series)_, 1989, Victor

Artist: Victor Sloan / Ireland

Victor’s work gives a historical context. He looks back 30 years when bombs, murder and violence were an everyday occurrence here in Northern Ireland.

Sham Fight with Sword’, (Sham Fight Series) 1992 shows the annual re-enactment of the famous battle of the Boyne. Although the original battle happened in 1690, it is still of significance to the loyalist people in Northern Ireland.

In ‘Market Street, (Walls Series)’, 1989 Victor addresses a historical event contemporaneous with the battle of the Boyne.The walls in question protected the city of Derry during the famous siege of the city which lasted from 18 April to 28 July 1689. This time there is no re-enactment, instead a new contemporary use of the walls has been found. During the thirty years of violence in Northern Ireland, or the ‘Troubles’ as it is often referred to, these walls with their arches and recently added look out towers, were used by the British army as a way of controlling the movement of people, and as surveillance posts.

Brian’s new work highlights the continued fallout from that time.

‘Lamp Post, One’, 2012 shows the tricolour or Irish flag. When flown in the north of the country it symbolises the nationalist movement, the provisional IRA and Sinn Fein are sympathetic to many revolutionary movements, and here they fly the flag along with the Palestinian flag to show solidarity with the Lebanese people.

‘Belfast Houses with Flags’, 2012 shows the opposite point of view from ‘Lamp Post One’. The Unionist and Loyalist paramilitary groups have their own flags, which they sometimes fly along with the flag of Israel because if the republicans support Palestine then they are going to support whoever is fighting against Palestine.

Sham Fight with Sword_, (Sham Fight Series) 1992,

Artist: Victor Sloan / Ireland