Shenyah Webb – Nailed Magazine https://nailedmagazine.com Thu, 12 Sep 2019 17:29:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.11 Artist Feature: Ludmila Leiva https://nailedmagazine.com/art/artist-feature-ludmila-leiva/ Fri, 03 May 2019 12:00:41 +0000 https://nailedmagazine.com/?post_type=art&p=17522 Ludmila Leiva is an illustrator, painter, and multidisciplinary artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Her work portrays and interrogates the role of women and women of color in society.   From the artist: I was born suspended between worlds—the mixed daughter of a Guatemalan mother and a Slovak father—and my entire life has been […]

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Ludmila Leiva is an illustrator, painter, and multidisciplinary artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Her work portrays and interrogates the role of women and women of color in society.

 

From the artist:

I was born suspended between worlds—the mixed daughter of a Guatemalan mother and a Slovak father—and my entire life has been an attempt to understand my place. I spent my childhood between a coastal mountain town near Vancouver, Canada and a small suburb of Seattle, WA—thousands of miles away from my ancestral homelands. Having spent most of my life feeling untethered, I have dedicated myself to interrogating some of the subjects that haunt me: queerness, femininity, diaspora, and trauma.
 

I am self taught and my artistic practice evolves with the seasons but, currently, my work is currently focused on storytelling through both visual art and prose. I am particularly interested in examining the ways that women of color move through and take up space in society.

Above all else, my artistic practice is an act of healing and resistance—a ritual that investigates the forgotten and overlooked mythologies of those who, like me, have wondered if and where they truly belong.

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Ludmila Leiva is a multidisciplinary artist. Born in Toronto, Canada to a Guatemalan mother and a Slovak-Canadian father, she currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her partner and many houseplants. Her previous illustration clients include Tumblr, Coachella, Vice, and Condé Nast. Purchase prints here and follow Ludmila here.

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Artist Feature: Meghan Lionel Murphy https://nailedmagazine.com/art/artist-feature-meghan-lionel-murphy/ Thu, 07 Mar 2019 13:00:28 +0000 https://nailedmagazine.com/?post_type=art&p=17417 From the Artist: These paintings exist in a dream world where the womxn are so big, such giantesses, nothing can hurt them anymore. They eat, and they eat, and they eat. I imagine them this way: One girl’s hunger stirs the other’s appetite. The more one eats, the more the other craves. So they eat, […]

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From the Artist:

These paintings exist in a dream world where the womxn are so big, such giantesses, nothing can hurt them anymore.

They eat, and they eat, and they eat.

I imagine them this way: One girl’s hunger stirs the other’s appetite. The more one eats, the more the other craves. So they eat, and eat, and eat.

Lips crashing up and down like violent waves, tearing through hangers, sofas, sunglasses, lipstick, platform heels, trucks, teakettles, bike chains, flower petals, throw pillows, tractors, diamond rings, lightbulbs, glowing screens, power cords, jean jackets, and flesh.

They grow, and they grow, and they grow.

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Over the past few years, Meghan Lionel Murphy has compulsively painted heartbroken womxn that magically grow larger, stronger, and scarier than the world around them. As the paintings grow in number, she grows just a little larger, stronger, and scarier too. Her nights are spent at her drawing desk. Her days are divided between working as the Art & Story Director of Pollen and volunteering as Editor-in-Chief of Paper Darts. Her work can be purchased here.

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Dubki – Performances in Contact with the Ganges by Santasil Mallik https://nailedmagazine.com/photography/dubki-performances-in-contact-with-the-ganges-by-santasil-mallik/ Wed, 30 Jan 2019 13:00:55 +0000 https://nailedmagazine.com/?post_type=photography&p=17340 A photo essay by Santasil Mallik + + + From the photographer: Wrapped in a heavy windcheater, as I dipped my bare feet into the crystal waters of the Ganges they went numb in seconds. The biting December winds blowing around me at Haridwar mocked the afternoon sun that shone over the sacred town, but […]

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A photo essay by Santasil Mallik

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From the photographer:

Wrapped in a heavy windcheater, as I dipped my bare feet into the crystal waters of the Ganges they went numb in seconds. The biting December winds blowing around me at Haridwar mocked the afternoon sun that shone over the sacred town, but the scene at Har Ki Pauri, the largest ghat in Haridwar, looked no less like a beach on a fine English summer day. Every day thousands of devotees from various parts of the country gather at this ghat, where Lord Shiva stepped upon during the Vedic age, to take their much-anticipated dip (Hindi: dubki) in the river. According to mythological accounts in Hinduism, the waters of the Ganges can refurbish one’s lost energy (Atma-shakti) caused by negative actions; this, if not similar, is close to the idea of purging one’s sins. On another front, people are also aware of the scientific studies and historical records that have demonstrated the self-cleaning and anti-bacterial properties of the river near its source.

A range of unexpected activities, emotions, and body movements emerged when individuals confronted the river in all its turbulence and spiritual density. I started photographing various people at that precise moment of their decisive dubkis into the water. An infant child immediately burst out crying as her father dipped her into the bone-chilling water for a purification ceremony, muscle-flexing tourists failingly grappled with the flow and coldness of the river, some of them hung on to fixated chains and railings while others descended slowly with silent prayers on their lips. Many Dalit children, on the other hand, curiously dived deep into the river to fish for coins and brass utensils thrown by devotees.

The photographs reflect the conviction, determination, and bodily dispositions that accompanied the people as they took their first dubkis in the river. After a week of photographing the same phenomenon, I began to notice a common bodily habitus that guides the dubkis, as well as remarkable exceptions in an individual’s approach towards the Ganges. It is impossible to locate the thoughts and intentions working at the precise moment of taking the dive; several factors traversing across personal, social, religious, and even physical circumstances dictate the way they dive into the river. Are they taking dubkis for the atonement of some guilty past? Are they looking for something underwater that might make their lives better? Or are they just enjoying an adventurous bath with their friends? As an onlooker, one can at most revere those specific performances that arose due to their interactions with the river. These photographs are a testimony to those ephemeral moments of contact.

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Santasil Mallik is a graduate in English Literature, but he is more interested in exploring the aspects of visuality in literary representation. Apart from writing on films and photography, he is also a practitioner who is yet to find the kernel that drives him to photography as such. His photographs and writings have appeared on several platforms such as National Geographic, Private Photo Review, Bright Lights Film Journal, F-Stop Magazine, and Entropy Magazine. He lives and works in Calcutta, India.

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Photographer Feature: Joan Lobis Brown https://nailedmagazine.com/photography/photographer-feature-joan-lobis-brown/ Thu, 17 Jan 2019 13:00:03 +0000 https://nailedmagazine.com/?post_type=photography&p=17302 From the photographer: LGBTQ youth are often shunned by their biological and/or foster families. Feeling alienated and even physically threatened, they run away to large cities to search for people like themselves. They survive on the streets by their own wits and form communities, some with defined roles. These communities exist in parallel universes that […]

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From the photographer:

LGBTQ youth are often shunned by their biological and/or foster families. Feeling alienated and even physically threatened, they run away to large cities to search for people like themselves. They survive on the streets by their own wits and form communities, some with defined roles. These communities exist in parallel universes that often remain hidden and forbidden to most of the public. Many people are unwilling or even afraid to look at these youth because they appear strange or different from the expected norms.

In 2014, I photographed a group of LGBTQ at-risk youth in NYC, many whom are houseless. To take these, I set up a studio in the sanctuary of a church, where these youth are given meals and taught skills. The project is called NEW ALTERNATIVES, named after the organization that helps these youth and where I volunteered in order to get to know them.

Many of these youth were extraordinarily comfortable in front of the camera and wanted to show the world who they are as individuals. They were also interested in introducing me to their chosen family – their “gay mother” or “gay brother” or their significant other – families they created for themselves to care for, love and cherish.

Each youth was able to choose and keep prints of him or herself. Courageous, defiant, self-confident, beautiful—these are some of the words I would use to describe the youth in these photographs. I hope that along with appreciating the uniqueness of each person photographed, viewers can find something they can relate to and identify with – a gesture, a posture or even an emotion revealed.

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Joan Lobis Brown is a portrait and landscape photographer who has been widely shown in group and solo exhibitions in the United States, Europe, Australia, the Middle East and Africa. Since 2013, she has been selected for eighty-five international juried competitions. Her work has been published in several online and print magazines. Her portrait projects highlight segments of our society that have been subjected to intense stigma. Her landscape projects include subjects as diverse as global warming and creating a photographic world where reality is overtaken with imagination. Brown studied photography in the Advanced Studies Program at The International Center of Photography. She lives and works in New York City. She has three solo exhibitions scheduled for 2019. More of her photography can be viewed here. (http://www.joanlobisbrown.com)

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Artist Feature: Tim Okamura https://nailedmagazine.com/art/artist-feature-tim-okamura/ Thu, 27 Dec 2018 13:00:10 +0000 https://nailedmagazine.com/?post_type=art&p=17271 Tim Okamura investigates identity, the urban landscape, and cultural iconography through painting portraits. While exploring all of his captivating portraiture, I found myself most curious about his story and his impulse to paint such powerful portraits of powerful women, and primarily women of color. I reached out to Tim and learned that the subjects in […]

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Tim Okamura investigates identity, the urban landscape, and cultural iconography through painting portraits. While exploring all of his captivating portraiture, I found myself most curious about his story and his impulse to paint such powerful portraits of powerful women, and primarily women of color. I reached out to Tim and learned that the subjects in his work are his friends, his family, and his community. He also helped me understand his place in the world of his subjects.

“My world looks like the world in my paintings – A very big part of who I am, my experience, and the culture I have been part of since I was kid. In the late 80s/ early 90s, I had a hip-hop radio show in Calgary, where I was given the opportunity to connect with lots of hip-hop artists on my show. I became very involved in that scene, which organically synched up when I moved to New York, where I did art for different hip-hop projects and publications. And it grew from there.

It was never a big decision or strategy in regards to who or what my work represents. First off, I love portraits and I love realism. So, when I first started creating portraits, I asked myself, ‘Who do I want to paint? Who is most compelling to me?’ Being half Japanese, I was very much integrated into a large culturally diverse group since a child and I was always compelled by street culture, so I started with my classmates and friends as subjects. Soon, I shifted focus to women because I was curious about the female psyche and because they were less familiar subjects that I was interested in learning about – as an artist and a human. I wanted to paint portraits unlike other portraits, something that I hadn’t seen. So my path with painting women began, and a path of investigating my own identity as well.

Once you start down a path there are a lot of discoveries along the way that seem to be waiting for you, and the further I went down this path of painting women as my subjects, the deeper the stories got and the more feedback I received. The most important thing I realized were the questions of painting people who have been under-represented in the history of art, the history of portraiture. I soon became part of a small movement of people who were looking to correct that.With art – you come to realize – its not just about the work, it just doesn’t end there but, who made it. Sometimes it doesn’t always line up as the viewer imagined. That part of my work I didn’t intend to be conceptual, but it has challenged people’s ideas of who can represent who through art. People can quickly sense if artwork is from a place of authenticity or not – my messages are positive and so are my representations and this is a celebration of my community.

I feel it is very important to listen to each other’s stories and try to take part in story telling rituals such as painting, writing, and acting. Part of making progress is us sharing – celebrating each other’s cultures and sharing each others individuality – and sharing with an open heart. This a very big part of what I stand for.”

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Born in Edmonton, Canada, painter Tim Okamura earned a BFA from the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, Canada before moving to New York City to attend the School of Visual Arts in 1991. After graduating with an MFA in Illustration as Visual Journalism, he moved to Brooklyn, New York, where he continues to live and work. Okamura has exhibited extensively in galleries throughout the world, including the US, Canada, Italy, Japan, Ecuador, and Turkey. He has received several awards and his work is part of several private and public collections throughout the globe.

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Artist Feature: Tiffany B Chanel https://nailedmagazine.com/art/artist-feature-tiffany-b-chanel/ Thu, 15 Nov 2018 13:00:34 +0000 https://nailedmagazine.com/?post_type=art&p=17158 Self-taught artist and educator Tiffany B Chanel is driven by passion and purpose. Through her kaleidoscopic portraiture, she depicts pop icons and everyday people with unapologetic vibrancy, and aims to illuminate the inner beauty within each of her subjects.   “Music plays a big part in my creative process. I listen to songs that have […]

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Self-taught artist and educator Tiffany B Chanel is driven by passion and purpose. Through her kaleidoscopic portraiture, she depicts pop icons and everyday people with unapologetic vibrancy, and aims to illuminate the inner beauty within each of her subjects.
 

“Music plays a big part in my creative process. I listen to songs that have to do with love, hurt, joy, pain, and anything that can trigger an emotion. I allow myself to feel everything, replay moments that were hard, embrace new moments in my life, and just be vulnerable in the safest place that I know: my studio. So sometimes I say “I poured my heart out on this painting” and it just means that the emotions allowed me to connect to the subject in a way that can be inexplicable.

My portraits are of real people. Some are well known, some are socialites, some are people who I randomly decided to paint after falling in love with their facial features or maybe I read something about them. I never have to look for inspiration. I am inspired by anything and everything. Thankfully, I just see exactly what I want to do. I have always been moved to bring things to life. I was never content with hearing it is not possible when it came to what I want to do.”

 

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Emerging artist, Tiffany B Chanel began her artistic career in 2012 designing custom-painted sneakers, before shifting her focus toward fine art portraiture. After an Instagram repost by Tamara Mowry, resulting in one of her works going viral, Tiffany garnered the attention of numerous collectors and immersed herself in New York’s gallery scene. Based out of her Bedford Stuyvesant in-home studio (Studio 422), Tiffany leads monthly “Beyond the Layout” paint-and-sip sessions and is hired by local nonprofits, churches, and schools to facilitate professional development classes for children and adults. She has created several commissioned portraits has been featured in several publications.

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Artist Feature: Stephanie Buer https://nailedmagazine.com/art/artist-feature-stephanie-buer/ Thu, 18 Oct 2018 12:00:19 +0000 https://nailedmagazine.com/?post_type=art&p=17086   Stephanie Buer moved from rural Michigan to Detroit when she was 19 and spent the next decade photo-documenting the dilapidated, yet rich landscapes that once thrived there. In charcoal and oil she captures the stillness of these abandoned relics, structures surrendered to the encroaching entropy. There is something special in witnessing the creaking bones […]

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Stephanie Buer moved from rural Michigan to Detroit when she was 19 and spent the next decade photo-documenting the dilapidated, yet rich landscapes that once thrived there. In charcoal and oil she captures the stillness of these abandoned relics, structures surrendered to the encroaching entropy. There is something special in witnessing the creaking bones of old Detroit as time and neglect take their toll, the city slowly succumbing to nature.

Detroit is changing, yes, but nothing can erase its potent history – once it’s inside you, it’s there to stay. This is what shaped Buer and her aesthetic, and continues to live on through her work.

Stephanie explains:
I have an intimate appreciation of urban desolation and a love for the once prosperous buildings that have been abandoned to time and the elements. In the juxtaposition between decay and growth, I find a place that echoes the peace I find in nature, with its endless cycles of change.

Part of the power in my work comes from the absence of human figures in a place clearly marked by them. Rather than allowing distant observation as narrative, I draw viewers in to witness the space that people have left behind, compelling them to personally experience these modern relics that have been condemned by society.
 

The simultaneously idyllic, yet derelict scenes challenge viewers to question their notions of beauty, while the detailed texture and depth that is characteristic of my work invites them to explore these places personally, as I do while taking the photographs from which I work.

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Stephanie Buer, now based in Portland, has spent over a decade observing the urban landscapes in Detroit, MI where she received her BFA from The College for Creative Studies in 2006. She has participated in several solo and group exhibitions throughout the US, and in France and Japan since 2010. Her next solo exhibition will take place at the Thinkspace Gallery in LA on January 5th, 2019.

 

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Artist Feature: Mequitta Ahuja https://nailedmagazine.com/art/artist-feature-mequitta-ahuja/ Thu, 04 Oct 2018 12:00:36 +0000 https://nailedmagazine.com/?post_type=art&p=17016   Self-portraiture is one of the bravest forms of art making. As we do, these self-reflections come in many, many forms. Artists depict themselves through the simplest actions, such as the lighting of matches, to the most extravagant of circumstances the imagination can drum up. Self-portrait artist Mequitta Ahuja describes her earlier work as “automythography…a combination of personal narrative with […]

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Self-portraiture is one of the bravest forms of art making. As we do, these self-reflections come in many, many forms. Artists depict themselves through the simplest actions, such as the lighting of matches, to the most extravagant of circumstances the imagination can drum up. Self-portrait artist Mequitta Ahuja describes her earlier work as “automythography…a combination of personal narrative with cultural and personal mythology.” In her most recent bodies of work, this narrative reflects how she sees herself as a maker. She describes, “My body of work documents my development as a maker and as a thinker. I want my viewers to see what I see and to see how I visually problem-solve, which is a way of thinking. I want the viewer to see me in my process of thinking and painting, painting and thinking.”

As the viewer, my experience of Ahuja’s portraits successfully accomplishes this witnessing of her process; the action in her portraits invite us into her space, where we get a glimpse of what her creative process looks and may even sound like. There’s a very powerful witnessing happening. Like an infinity mirror, we get to witness Ahuja as she witnesses herself witnessing herself as an artist.

Ahuja explains that her central intention is to “explore what it is to be a person of color in America, while at the same time moving the genre of self-portraiture away from identity and toward a discourse on picture-making.”  She continues to explain, “This is a key point for me, perhaps the key point. The genre of self-portraiture, especially self-portraits by women, minorities and people of color, has long been understood narrowly as being about identity. But what does it mean to depict the artist in an artwork? For me, that is not about personality or biography; it is about art-making. I present the artist creating and controlling a discourse on representation, and yes, she is a woman of color.” Filling in the gaps of black history through exemplifying her work in the now, she “weaves negatives to form positives.” Ahuja is in full control; she is not only the artist of her work, but the subject, the viewer, and sometimes even the seller.

“I depict the woman in my work, myself, my subject, as self-sufficient and creatively expansive. I see her as myself but also as an emblem, a female archetype—empowered, skillful and abundantly imaginative.”

The gallery below highlights Mequitta Ahuja’s more recent paintings, however, it does also include some older drawings from her Automythography series.

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Mequitta Ahuja (1976), is a Baltimore-based contemporary feminist painter whose parents hail from Cincinnati and New Delhi. She received her BA in 1998 from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA and her MFA in 2003 from the University of Illinois, Chicago. Ahuja’s works have been widely exhibited, including venues such as the Brooklyn Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem, Saatchi Gallery, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Crystal Bridges, Baltimore Museum of Art and Grand Rapids Art Museum.

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Becoming Salt by Dario Calmese https://nailedmagazine.com/photography/becoming-salt-dario-calmese/ Thu, 09 Nov 2017 10:00:44 +0000 https://nailedmagazine.com/?post_type=photography&p=16824   A photo essay by Dario Calmese. + + + DARIO CALMESE: Alexandra Township – one of the oldest and poorest of South Africa’s apartheid-era townships – is commonly referred to as “Gomorrah” by its residents, in reference to the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the tale, a vengeful god can only find one man, […]

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A photo essay by Dario Calmese.

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DARIO CALMESE: Alexandra Township – one of the oldest and poorest of South Africa’s apartheid-era townships – is commonly referred to as “Gomorrah” by its residents, in reference to the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the tale, a vengeful god can only find one man, Lot, worthy of saving, and allows he and his family safe passage as their village burns to a cinder. His wife, longing to view what became of her compatriots and homeland, looks back and is turned into a pillar of salt.

Alexandra Township lies adjacent to Johannesburg and borders Sandton, “Africa’s Richest Square Mile.” From the dusty and hilly roads of Alex one can view the glistening Sandton City Mall, a bustling retail palace dedicated to the nouveau riche nobility of Johannesburg; a capitalist vision within view, but out of reach.

But what of those left behind? The value of some lives over others is the cornerstone of oppressive structures. Is man not worth saving? At what point do we move beyond redemption to condemnation?

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Dario Calmese Photography Nailed MagazineDario Calmese is an artist and writer based in New York City. Classically trained in the performing arts, he uses photography, video, and text along with his knowledge of movement, gesture, and psychology to create characters and narratives that explore history, race, class, and what it means to be human.

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Photographer Feature: Joshua Zirschky https://nailedmagazine.com/photography/photographer-feature-joshua-zirschky/ Mon, 18 Sep 2017 09:00:43 +0000 https://nailedmagazine.com/?post_type=photography&p=16766 In pursuit of bearing witness to the human condition, Joshua Zirschky utilizes the strength of photography on a global scale. Moved and inspired by his in-depth studies of conflict photography at an early age, Zirschky began executing his process; capturing fragile moments and witnessing realities and lifestyles outside of his own. While working with several non-profit organizations, Joshua […]

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In pursuit of bearing witness to the human condition, Joshua Zirschky utilizes the strength of photography on a global scale. Moved and inspired by his in-depth studies of conflict photography at an early age, Zirschky began executing his process; capturing fragile moments and witnessing realities and lifestyles outside of his own.

While working with several non-profit organizations, Joshua has traveled the world witnessing the human condition and capturing the true colors of his subjects. Unlike many other photojournalists, he gets up close and personal with his subjects, listens to their back stories, connects with them, and at times spends several hours before even shooting one photograph. The result is mesmerizing, images full of substance and honesty, giving us the rare opportunity to look deep into the eyes of these beautiful human subjects from throughout the globe.

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Joshua Zirschky has been practicing the art ofJoshua Zirschky Photography NAILED Magazine photography for 16 years. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Photography from Montana State University, Bozeman, MT in 2006. Through volunteer work and freelance photojournalism, he has worked alongside the United Nations, Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, World Vision, African Leadership Partners, The Dominion Trading Co., and The Near East Foundation; each relating to foreign affairs, relief, and development issues. Zirschky has received numerous awards and his work has been published in several print publications. He is available for national and international work and can be contacted here.

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