VII Observations

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Women's Day, Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, 2004
Photo by Alexandra Boulat


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Uncertain Journeys, Lesbos, Greece, 2015
I felt conflicted about photographing the refugees as they arrived in Greece.


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U.S. Marines, Fallujah, Iraq, 2004
Combat engulfed the forces’ advance, as insurgents engaged them with sniper fire and RPGs in one of the fiercest battles yet


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Syrian Refugee, Lesbos, Greece, 2015
...their journey had not ended—it was just their next step into the unknown.


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Subway Attendant, Pyongyang, North Korea, 2007
The idea that ’life imitates art’ takes on a whole new meaning in North Korea.


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Polluted Garden, Romania, 1995
Broken Dream: Twenty Years of War in Eastern Europe


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Mustard Field, Bangladesh, 2015
Places in this photograph do not exist anymore.


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GoGo Anna, NYC, 2005
Immediately after photographing Anna she barked at me...


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Fur Coat, Dongling, China, 2012
I was stepping out of a car on a trip to a village in landlocked Anhui province in central China when she caught my eye.


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Faith, Swiebodzin, Poland, 2011
Representing transcendent aspects through a visual art as photography is an interesting challenge.


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Displaced Women, Sudan, 2007
I could not have imagined what a powerful moment it would represent.


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Dancer, Verona, Italy, 2004
“...and the magic appeared and she made my day.”


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Cheerleaders, Lexington, KY, 2005
It was the stark contrast that makes a photographers job so crazy and wonderful sometimes.


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Chechen Fighters, Contact Sheet, Grozny, Chechen Republic (Russia), 1995
At that moment in time there was not a more dangerous place on earth.


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Balloons, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2002
Children are allowed again to enjoy kites and other items banned by the Taliban


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Light Overcoming Darkness
Donald Trump kisses his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 20, 2016.


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Older Sisters Rule
A young girl dreams of becoming a summer festival queen like her older sister, Conesville, Iowa.


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Your Civic Duty, An Incredible Right
A woman casts her ballot in the Afghan presidential election in Herat, Afghanistan, on Oct. 9, 2004. For the first time in 20 years, Afghan women were allowed to vote in the 2004 presidential election.


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The Three Amigos
In 2000, November 7th was election day. And what a day it was.


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The Rough Rider
Supporters of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega attack elected Vice President Guillermo (Billy) Ford in Panama City, May 10, 1989.


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I Do Solemnly Swear
President-elect Barack Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States on the West Front of the Capitol as his wife Michelle looks on in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 20, 2009.


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Make America Great Again?
Inside the convention the Jumbotron projected a vision of strength and unapologetic aggression. Speech after speech worked to reinforce the need for order and security.


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Who Needs a Hug?
US President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton embrace on the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 27, 2016, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


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Trick or Treat
Children across the country celebrate Halloween dressed as goblins, Hollywood starlets, and super heroes. Pictured here in Tampa, FL, Wonder Woman, Cat Woman, and Princess Leia prepare for Halloween treats and frightful adventures.


The Editors
Announcing VII Observations
VII Observations is a new partnership between VII and Design Observer.



Observed | January 15

Scientists haven’t tamed volcanoes but it’s wild and fun to watch them try. [BV]

Visualizing the astonishing effects of the longest government shutdown in history in 8 charts. [BV]


Observed | January 14

I almost missed this lovely explainer by Estelle Caswell on how Coltrane constructed “Giant Steps” on the circle of fifths to create “the most feared song in jazz” (feat. a cameo appearance by L. Bernstein from his 1972 Norton Lectures at Harvard) [MB]


Observed | January 11

British artist Clive Head captures the often dizzying urban environment in his multilayered oil paintings that visualize movements through space and time. [BV]

A year of United States weather. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | January 10

#TBT: Separate areas with sofas, vanities, and even writing tables used to put the “rest” in women’s restrooms. Why were these spaces built, and why did they vanish? [BV]

#TBT: The foods of provincial New Jersey in vintage postcards. [BV]


Observed | January 09

Whose peace of mind benefits when we meditate at the art museum? [BV]

This artist is making massive mosaics from to anatomical medical illustrations, stone by stone. [BV]


Observed | January 08

Already dreaming of your next vacation? From Massachusetts to Tunisia, eight famous artists‘ favorite vacation spots. [BV]

Congo Tales: A new book and collaboration that offers an opportunity to grapple with what an ethical approach to storytelling might look like. [BV]

Shipping this month: A fanzine that visualizes the history of Fugazi through their own data, created by Carni Klirs. [BV]


Observed | January 07

The periodic table is 150 – but it could have looked very different. (via Blake Eskin) [BV]

Bunkitsu: the new bookstore in Tokyo that has a cover charge (h/t Joe Freedman) [BV]


Observed | January 03

#TBT: A gallery of posters designed for Braniff airlines. [BV]


Observed | December 27

#TBT: Videographer Guy Jones edited Lumière brother’s film footage from 1890’s Paris to explore some of the everyday thrills of late 19th-century life. [BV]


Observed | December 26

WOSU’s All Sides Weekend’s Clare Roth discusses art as self-expression and curative made during and after the Holocaust; Arthur Szyk with Steven Heller. [BV]

Ah, the shimmer of aluminum metalized polyethylene terephthalate (aka glitter). [BV]


Observed | December 20

The Shanghai Soup Dumpling Index is a scientific investigation into the quality of soup dumplings in Shanghai. It applies a quantitative framework to the existing qualitative descriptors of the Shanghai soup dumpling: thin skin, plentiful soup, abundant filling, fresh meat. (via Blake Eskin) [BV]

A Christmas #TBT: aluminum Christmas trees in mid-century photographs! (via John Foster) [BV]


Observed | December 19

News you can use: Nose-breathing boosts memory, study finds. So stop and smell the roses. [BV]

A household is a miniature ecosystem with inputs, outputs and flows: one that can, and should, be designed. [BV]


Observed | December 18

Check out these rather ordinary looking portraits. They’re all fake. They weren‘t Photoshopped, but rather completely generated by artificial intelligence. None of these people actually exist. (via Steven Heller) [BV]

The Portland Trail Blazers commission local artists to design posters for each of the team’s home games. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | December 17

The Lake Victoria Challenge wants to transform mobility in Africa’s Lake Victoria region using innovative drone design to connect 30 million people. [BV]


Observed | December 14

In 1976 John Foster bought fiberboard art boards for an art class he taught in a school in St. Louis. In 2018 he returned to the school to find the art boards still in use—a visual palimpsest of 40+ years of aspiring artists.
[BV]


Observed | December 13

The third edition of In Our Time: A Year of Architecture in a Day, The Met‘s take on the best architecture, art, technology, photography and design projects of the year will take place on 19th January, 2019. [BV]

#TBT: Spot the ashtray in these groovy pics of mid-sixties interior décor [BV]


Observed | December 12

Gossip,” the newest issue of AIGA Eye on Design magazine, gives us the inside scoop on all the need-to-know design deets of the past year—designer feuds, workplace woes, and more—and it’s out now. [LS]

On fifteen years of reading Design Observer and helping Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfand make a new book. [BV]



Jobs | January 16