PDN Photo of the Day

A View of the Global South

For his series “The Global South,” Christopher Cole takes his 1950s 8×10 Deardorff to urban centers including Kabul, Kathmandu, Havana and Mexico City, recording some of the places he spent time during seven years of humanitarian and development work. The images are on view at the Honolulu Museum of Art in a show that runs until July 9. In them, Cole positions the camera to record wide views that also encompass the details of everyday life. As the museum states about an image of Kabul, on closer view “what appears to be a jumble of dilapidated concrete boxes turns out to be a vibrant community with adults and children flying kites, gardening, and taking a break to sit in the sun or admire the view. This intimate look at Kabul’s residents provides an alternate view to the images of war and suffering many associate with images of Afghanistan.” Cole began the project when he was an intern with the United Nations Development Program, and brought his view camera to Afghanistan. Although his first negatives didn’t survive—they were ruined by dust and trips through x-ray machines—the experience cemented his interest in recording the density of cities in the developing world. “I find that developing countries teem with activity in a way [that is] different from the developed North,” he has said in an interview. His images record that difference in detail.

Related Stories:
The Present Life of Future Cities
Fifteen Years of Progress and Despair in Afghanistan
Client Meeting: What UNICEF Looks For From the Photographers They Hire

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