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Across Borders: A Haunting Photographic Journey Shows The Stark Reality Of Illegal Immigration Into America

Gonzalo, turned 22 during his trip as an undocumented person in Mexico. His family in Honduras hopes that he’ll make it to the U.S. He left a message on this board for his wife and 9 month old daughter: "Lorena, Rafaela, I miss you a lot. Back soon " - Ixtepec, Oaxaca, 2011

Gonzalo, turned 22 during his trip as an undocumented person in Mexico. His family in Honduras hopes that he’ll make it to the U.S. He left a message on this board for his wife and 9 month old daughter: “Lorena, Rafaela, I miss you a lot. Back soon ” – Ixtepec, Oaxaca, 2011

The Backpack of Salvador Santo. Salvador Santo, 21, has written inside the phone number of a relative in Honduras. The need to hide information arises to prevent abductions and extortion of family while he crosses Mexico. According to the National System of Public Security (SNSP), abductions reported to the Attorney General in 2013 were more than 3,600 cases compared to 1,259 in 2012. - D.F., Mexico, 2014

The Backpack of Salvador Santo. Salvador Santo, 21, has written inside the phone number of a relative in Honduras. The need to hide information arises to prevent abductions and extortion of family while he crosses Mexico. According to the National System of Public Security (SNSP), abductions reported to the Attorney General in 2013 were more than 3,600 cases compared to 1,259 in 2012. – D.F., Mexico, 2014

Wendy fled from Honduras with her three children (Jared of 18 months, Jazmin of 3 years, and Eduardo of 8) because of the attempted murder she suffered by her husband, a member of the Mara Salvatrucha 18, one of two of the largest gangs in Central America. The complaint filed against her husband for domestic and sexual violence towards her and their three children had no solution in Honduras due to corruption. - Tapachula, Chiapas, 2014

Wendy fled from Honduras with her three children (Jared of 18 months, Jazmin of 3 years, and Eduardo of 8) because of the attempted murder she suffered by her husband, a member of the Mara Salvatrucha 18, one of two of the largest gangs in Central America. The complaint filed against her husband for domestic and sexual violence towards her and their three children had no solution in Honduras due to corruption. – Tapachula, Chiapas, 2014

(pictured left) Armando, El Salvador. His destination was the United States, but he was deported in Baja California while riding in the cargo train crossing Mexico. He wanted to retry the trip as undocumented via Tenosique, Tabasco. This time, while trying to get on the train, he fell and the very train amputated his arm. He awaits the document certifying him as a refugee. - Tapachula, Chiapas, 2014.  (pictured right) Celso’s prosthesis. Celso, Honduras, 31, victim of an accident while riding the freight train they call the Beast. - Tapachula, Mexico, 2014

(pictured left) Armando, El Salvador. His destination was the United States, but he was deported in Baja California while riding in the cargo train crossing Mexico. He wanted to retry the trip as undocumented via Tenosique, Tabasco. This time, while trying to get on the train, he fell and the very train amputated his arm. He awaits the document certifying him as a refugee. – Tapachula, Chiapas, 2014.
(pictured right) Celso’s prosthesis. Celso, Honduras, 31, victim of an accident while riding the freight train they call the Beast. – Tapachula, Mexico, 2014

Photographer Nicola Okin Frioli has been documenting the heartbreak, failures, misery, grief and victimization of thousands of migrants over the past twelve years. Having extensively traveled and documented his way through Northern Mexico, India, Pakistan, Kashmir, and Sardinia, Frioli has seen the desperate measures people will go to in order to create a better future for themselves and their families.

His latest project, titled Al ‘Otro Lado’ del Sueño / The Other Side of the American Dream is a harrowing reminder of the many hardships people face while chasing what seems like an impossible goal. This series focuses on men, women traveling alone, the elderly, and children, all of whom come from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua and are attempting to get to ‘the other side’ – across the American border. The extent of these hardships are often underestimated: not only is there exploitation, discrimination and abuse from migration authorities, but also from gangs (Maras Salvatruchas) connected with smuggling and protection fees. Frioli says:

The intention of this project is clear: to gather documents and testimonies of the complaints and all of the abuses the migrants suffer; to be more knowledgeable about the abuse and corruption that the Mexican border authorities direct against Central American migrants; and to use pictures – painful and touching images – to reveal the physical scars, the pain, and the humiliation of those who at one point allowed themselves to dream of something better. (Source)

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Jason Polan – Every Person In New York

Illustrator Jason Polan is on a mission.  A mission to draw every person in New York.  Jason is spending 2 minutes a piece drawing people he sees in the streets of New York City and blogging the results daily.  The result is fun doodles of interesting characters and even some famous names.  If you’d like to be a subject, check out the blog and email Jason, and he may inconspicuously sketch you at your decided location.  More NY portraits after the jump.

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Ben Aqua’s Color Zombies

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Ben Aqua has a deep fascination with color, costume, and uneasy subject matter. Thumbs up!

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Steve Schapiro Vibrant Photographs Document Neo Hippies At Music Festivals

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New York City native photographer Steve Schapiro documents what it means to be a hippie in 2015. Originally known for his photographs of and participation in the original Haight-Ashbury scene in San Francisco in the 1960s, Schapiro’s new aim is to explore where today’s hippie energy lays. From 2012 to 2014, Steve Schapiro, teaming with his son Theophilus Donoghue, traveled throughout the country following various “free-spirit movement” festivals such as Burning man in Nevada, Shasta festival and Rainbow Gathering in California, and others of the likes. Here what they found is that the “neo-hippie” generation “has more to do with meditation, yoga, fellowship, good vibes, and a search for the divine than it does with the mind-altering substances of its 60s predecessor.” Through images of mass nude meditation, men covered in mud in what looks like states of pure euphoria, group circles of shirtless people forming hand hearts with their neighbors, Schapiro sheds light into a community deeply rooted in finding their happiness through channels of love and nature.

This body of work can be found in his new book Bliss: Transformational Festivals & the Neo Hippie, published by powerHouse Books. The book’s press release states:

“In Bliss, Schapiro captures the multitudes who come to commune with nature, other like-minded souls, and all that is divine and inspirational in the multi-hued spectrum of human spirituality. He focuses on a subculture of the current hippie counterculture known as “Bliss Ninnies” — individuals who embrace meditation and dancing as a way to reach ecstatic states of joy. The book provides an overview of a new contemporary hippie life within America introduced to Schapiro by his son who began his own journey into Bliss at age 23.”

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Daniel kukla’s Captive Landscapes

I’ve always hated zoos. They are so cold, artificial, and sad. I personally only support animal sanctuaries as they actually take care of the animals instead of treating them like cheap objects on display.  Daniel kukla’s Captive Landscapes documents 8 different zoos in the US, capturing the artifiicial spaces that we create for these poor animals so that we can look and point at them.

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Joana Vasconcelos’ Sculptures Made Out of Doilies, Tampons And Other Unusual Materials

 

Paris-born and Lisbon-based Joana Vasconcelos is the foremost Portuguese artist of her generation. Known for her aesthetic extravagance, her oversized textile sculptures of everyday items toe the line between whimsy and aggressiveness, and she is noted for her use of unusual materials. Vasconcelos’ beautiful hanging chandelier “The Bride”, for example, is ever so fittingly made from tampons.

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MATHEW WEIR

Matthew Weir’s paintings inject painted figurines into dark and surreal narratives to discuss issues of slavery, mental illness, death and racism.

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Albert Exergian

The Simpsons
Graphic designer and art director Albert Exergian’s humorous take on popular TV series “minimizes” the concept of each show into 2-3 colors and shapes. Remember old Penguin Classics book covers? This is the revamped modern sitcom version!

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