BlogTweets by @MadsNissenPhoto
Friday, June 13th. Our group exhibition Personal Projects 2014 opened in Øksnehallen, Copenhagen. Seven Danish documentary photographers during our outmost to tell important stories with a fresh eye. Our assistant Anders Dall made a sneak peak video on youtube
In May I was back in St. Petersburg to develop my work on the living conditions for Russian LGBT. Some of the new work can be find here
In mid-January I’ll be going to Sweden to judge this years Årets Bild – picture of the year. Exciting!
Syria’s Exodus. According to the latest UN figures (Sept. 2013), 2,000,000 refugees how now fled over Syria’s borders to escape the ongoing civil war engulfing the country. Half of those refugees are children. The sprawling Zaatari camp, situated 12 kms from the Syria border, is now home to around 130,000 refugees, with the number rising by approximately 2,000 people per day. This makes Zaatari the world’s second largest refugee camp.
LGBT in Russia. Life for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Russia has just got worse, following the signing by the State Duma of a new law banning ‘propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations’ among minors with a majority of 436 to 0. Read more and see the images on the website of Panos Pictures.
These kids are the lucky survivors of the Ghouta chemical attack on Aug. 21 near Damascus, Syria. In late-August/ start-September I spend about a week in the refugee camps Zaatari and Cyber City in Jordan, here I met these survivors and many others of the 6.000.000 Syrian refugees.
In a recent interview with Panos’ Josh Lusting I talk about the choices and process of making photo books… A peak behind the scenes of AMAZONAS. Read it here.
Eat Slowly! 200 snakes, 1,000 ducks, 700 chicken and a tonne of pork. This is the weekly meat order for the West Lake Restaurant in Changsha in China’s central Hunan province, the world’s biggest Chinese restaurant seating 5,000 over a vast 88,000 square metre floor… Read more and see all the images on the Panos Pictures website.
In a collaboration with Lector of Photojournalism Søren Pagter from Danish School of Media and Journalism (DMJX) and The Nordic Council I will lead a Masterclass workshop for young Russian photographers during spring/ summer 2013. We’ve selected 12 participants from Northwest Russia, the workshop will take place in both Denmark and St. Petersburg and you can read much more here. After the workshop the participants will create an exhibition and book from their work. Super exiting! (and yup, that’s me on the table)
From June 14 till July 28, AMAZONAS will be exhibited in Øksnehallen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Nearly 40 images will be shown – some close to 4 meters high and 8 meters wide.
Here’s a picture from my lecture in Beijing last week…
In November I’m re-visiting China where I was lived and worked for two years (2007-2008). NORDOX documentary festival asked to exhibit some of my images from The Libyan Revolution story and the portrait of Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (which they also put on the poster). I will open the exhibition in Shanghai and be giving a lecture on Nov. 4th. And in Beijing on Nov. 7th I’ll be giving another presentation at The Embassy of Denmark in China.
Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) is becoming more and more difficult in Russia as sexual minorities are facing legal and social discrimination, harassment and even violent ‘hate crime’ attacks from religious and national conservative groups.
In June 2013, Russia’s homophobia moved from the streets into the country’s legislation as the State Duma unanimously adopted an anti-gay law banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations”, effectively making it illegal to hold any gay pride events, speak in defense of gay rights, or say that gay relationships are equal to heterosexual relationships.
This reportage documents the harassment and those affected by it. It also covers the courtroom where gay activists are interrogated, the nightclub where they feel free to mingle and a lesbian family who live in fear of their three children being removed by the state because of their own personal sexuality. This is an attempt to understand what it’s like to live with forbidden love in modern Russia. (2013+2014)
This summer my latest work from Libya “After The War – Libyan cityscapes” was exhibited in Øksnehallen, Copenhagen, Denmark. The prints are 100 x 100m. The story will be online on this site soon. Until then you can find the story on Panos’ website.
My latest work from Colombia ‘No Shelter From Fear’ was shown at the Daily News exhibition.
Following the tragic Utöya-massacre in Norway last year, I had a brief opportunity to meet and portray Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg right after the funeral of his long time friend Monica Bøsei also known as ‘Mother Utöya’. On a personal level I truly admired his approach with his talks about the need to meet all the hate and violence with even more tolerance, openness and love…
The image received several awards and was published widespread, and someone in Norway must have seen it; One day I received an official, and very unusual, request from the Prime Ministers office asking for a personal print of the portrait. A signed print was sent to Norway and back in return I recently received this…
From Wednesday 5th till Sunday I’ll be in Perpignan, France for meetings and inspiration… My latest work from Colombia ‘No Shelter From Fear’ will be shown at the Daily News exhibition.
In the Danish daily newspaper Berlingske we are putting critical attention to investments in government bonds in regimes in Africa that are amongst the most corrupt and least democratic in the world, for example D.R.Congo who has one of the worst human rights record in the world. Today most investors in the West - such as major pension funds – have signed a set of rules for social responsibility in their investments, such as UNPRI or Global Compact. But these international rules do not apply to investments in government bonds even though the dilemmas are the same.
Copenhagen Photo Festival is taking off soon which means pictures all over town. With a bunch of other documentary photographers I’m exhibiting images on Kongens Nytorv in central Copenhagen (close to ‘Nyhavn’ where all the tourists go). The images are huge in size and for a photographer it’s really amazing to notice how people react to the work. At first many people pass by quickly, but when their eye catches an image they’ll suddenly stops up – takes a deeper look and involve themself in the stories. This iPhone picture was taken on the day that we hang up the images.
The Danish Press Photographers Union (Pressefotografforbundet) is having it’s 100 years anniversary this year. Unlike in many other countries almost every documentary photographers, photojournalists, news photographers etc. - staff and freelance alike - are members of the union which has played a significant role in developing the Danish photo-community and pushing for better rights and higher wages in our industry. Now the old lady is turning 100 and a great book has been made together with an big outdoor exhibition in Nytorv, central Copenhagen (and touring the rest of the country afterwards). A good handful of my work has been selected – from a sleepy Danish prime minster, to the mass arrest - both during the COP15 climate summit. But also work from Amazonas, Afghanistan and giant portrait of Norwegian prime minster Jens Stoltenberg (this iPhone picture) can be seen.
At this years PGB Photo Award 2012 my work received not just one, but two first prizes. First the image of Hussein Saleh Hassan wounded in a hospital bed in Tobruk, Libya was selected as the General News Picture of the Year. Right after my portrait of Mr. Stoltenberg was awarded as the Portrait Picture of the Year. Read more here
Previously unpublished work from my personal long term project Amazonas is running over 8 pages in the Italian magazine l’Expresso. This part of the work is photographed among the warrior tribe of Los Waorani in the ‘Untouchable zone’ in Ecuador. I’m currently seeking founding for printing the book. See more here.
After winning The Danish Photo of the Year (Årets Pressefoto) I was invited by Clement for a live interview on Danish national TV.
You can find it here (in Danish only. Det starter lidt over 27 minutter inde i programmet)
Læs også journalist Kurt Strands reflektioner over fotografi, vinderbilleder og Clement Søndag udsendelsen her.
Many more links with media coverage of the event is available here
During the next two weeks I’ll be teaching in visual story telling at the Danish School of Media and Journalism (DJMX). The students are from Denmark and abroad and the workshop aims to prepare them for the final bachelor project.
My picture of Hussein Saleh Hassan from Libya is chosen as Picture of the Year at the annual Danish Picture of the Year contest (Årets Pressefoto). It’s the second time that one of my images becomes Picture of the Year, first time was in 2007 with an image of overpopulation in The Philippines. More info here.
About the picture: Hussein Saleh Hassan, 52, is fatally wounded. He was hit in the head by a gunshot when he together with a group of local residents attacked and burned down the central police station in Tobruk on 17 February. This was one of the very first violent attacks performed by civilians during the Libyan revolution.
I proud to share with you that I was awarded ‘Photographer of the Year’ at the annual Danish Picture of the Year contest (Årets Pressefoto). More info here.
At the annual Danish Picture of the Year contest (Årets Pressefoto) my work receives five first prizes – the highest number for any participant in one single year. The awards are:
*Picture of the Year: A picture of Hussein Saleh Hassan, 52, who is deadly wounded in Libya.
*Best Portrait: Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg portrayed after the funeral of his close friend.
*Best Foreign picture story: No Shelter from Fear – internally displaced people in Colombia.
*Best Foreign picture news story: The Libyan Revolution.
My work from the Libyan Revolution received a second place at Picture of the Year international. You can find the story online here
My picture from Libya on the the cover of the ‘The Year in Pictures’
Together with photographer Jan Grarup, Jacob Ehrbahn and Tine Harden I was invited for a two hour long debate about our work and experiences in the field this year. More info here (Danish). The host Louise Bokkenheuser (a former Newsweek reporter herself) does an excellent job and I can highly recommend her programs.
Victoria’s story is nominated for the Cavling-prisen (Cavling Prize), Denmark’s most prestigious journalist prize. The final winner will be announced on January 4th, 2012. Læs mere her (Danish only)
The Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei is currently exhibiting at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark. Some time ago I meet him in his studio in Beijing where I shot a series of portraits (a pretty demanding task, since he insisted of taking pictures of me while I took pictures of him…). One of these portraits in now being used on the poster for his exhibition.