Black River

issue 01

Cover photo: Elena Helfrecht

Editor's Note

November 26 2020

More than one month after our open call closed, we are finally here.

You may be wondering, who the heck are you guys? Formerly known as ‘of the land & us’, we have taken on a new name and identity; we are now Black River. The core of the journal remains the same, and you can read more about the decision and history behind the new name in our about section.

It’s taken a huge amount of work to get here, but we’re so pleased that we were able to commit to our intention of including every single person who submitted to our very first issue. We can’t thank our contributors enough for their effort and hard work, and for trusting us with their brilliant work in the first place.

All in all, we had just under 200 submissions. A beautifully varied range of stories covering everything from serious environmental issues, including the recent Australian bushfires, to stories about looking for home, to deeply personal narratives about mental health struggles, burnout and embracing sexuality – and so, so much more.

It’s impossible to summarise all the amazing work that was shared with us, and now you in turn. So please grab a hot drink (snacks too!), settle in and set aside some time to read, look at and experience all the incredible photography in this, our very first issue.

Thank you all, and I hope you enjoy the issue!

Ameena Rojee
Founder, Black River

Please note: Issue 01 has been designed for and is best viewed on large screens.

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contributors

Agne Rita Kucinskaite
Aileen Harvey
Alice Connew
Alice Jankovic
Alice Oliver
Alina Saranti
Alinne Rezende
Amanda Jackson
Amber Banks Brumby
Amber Brown
Angela Blazanovic
Angus Scott
Ann Katrin Warter
Anna Lukala
Anna Lundgren
Anne Guest
Antony Sojka
Arianna Poverini
Aster Reem David
Barbara Brown + Cynthia O’Brien
Becky Morris Knight
Beth Alderman
Bob St-Cyr
Bobby Lee
Brant Slomovic
Bronwen Hyde
Cailean Couldridge
Caitlin Robb
Camille Carbonaro
Carolina Dutca
Catharine Neilson
Celeste Fernández Moncada
Chanel Irvine
Charles Swain
Charlotte Dobson
Chrisopher Mear

Clare Hoddinott
Claudia Bigongiari
Claudia Orsetti
Corine Hörmann
Dan Briston
Danielle Andrews
David Leshem
Deirdre Daly
Diana Takacsova
Ed Brydon
Elena Helfrecht
Ella Potter
Emile Kees
Emily Seville
Emily Thornhill
Erica Zelante
Erika Cann
Esther Jiménez
Fabio Piccioni
Fernando Sánchez
Freya Pryce
Gaby Lobato
Gaëlle Delort
Gai Shtienberg
George Burke
Gin Rimmington Jones
Gitanjali Bhatt
Giuliana Borrelli
Grace Hailstone
Hannah Fletcher
Harry Rose
Holly Houlton
Iain Smart + John Carberry
Ian Kingsnorth
Ian Tokelove
Ilaria Sponda
Immaculata Abba
Isabella Campbell
J. Pamela
Jake Eshelman
James Hughes
Jameson Kergozou
Janet Matthews
Jeremy Ackman
Jieying Shao
Joan Alexander
Jon Roberts
Jonathan Bagby
Jonathan Macleod
Jono Verrall
Joseph Kennel
Joseph Wilson
Julia Hadji-Stylianou
Justyna Solnica
Kang-Chun Cheng
Karla Guerrero
Kat Harbord
Kate Boucher + Ben Dodson
Katherine Blamire
Katie Hallam
Kerry Curl
Kevin Percival
Korallia Stergides
Layla Abdulaziz
Lea Brinon
Len Dela Cruz
Lidia Kristi
Liz Harrington
Liza Gasyuk
Louise Barrington
Luana Rigolli
Lucy Kane
Lydia Hansen
Lyydia Osara
M. Apparition
Madison Beach
Margo Geddes
María Paz Secundini
Marie Smith
Martina Tuskova
Martina Vilhar
Maryna Shtanko
Matteo Capone
Max Searl
Maya Sharp
Mhairi Law
Michael Nguyen
Michael Swann
Michaela Nagyidaiova
Mischa de Stroumillo
Molly Sisson
Moon Immisch
Naomi Luscombe
Nick St.Oegger
Nina Schollaardt
Nino Memanishvili
Paul Hart
Peter Spurgeon
Philip Hatcher-Moore
Phillipa Klaiber
Phoebe Somerfield
Rachel Foster
Rachel Jones
Rachel Wallace
Rebecca Robinson
Rhona Eve Clews
Richard Page
Robxn Gough
Roderick Mckenzie
Roei Greenberg
Romain Fabry
Salome Jishkariani
Salvo Toscano
Sara Cucè
Sara Hibbert
Sarah Deane
Sebastian Alten
Shannon Osborne
Shira Bar
Simon Dent
Simon J Bray
Sine Zheng
Sonia Levesque
Spike Dennis
Stefano Semeraro
Stella Lydaki
Thomas James Parrish
Tom Goldner
Tom Mcgahan
Tommmy Sussex
Uchenna Ebilah
Victoria Kieffer
Viktorija Bernotaitė
Vitor Mazon
Vytaute Trijonyte
Wing Ka Ho Jimmi
Wojciech Fec
Zoe Ballantine
Zoe Childerley
Zoe Hamill
Zula Rabikowska

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A Portion of the Universe / The Bright and Hallowed Sky
M. Apparition

Celestial bodies define a portion of the universe that hasn’t been mapped. Within the vastness of outer space, it’s a personal, invented cosmos…

Do Brumbies Dream in Red?
Tom Goldner

Our cities were engulfed in smoke and so much country and life was lost due to the fires. For me the most tragic part of this situation is our continued inability to take meaningful steps towards slowing climate change.

The Cracks in Everything
Brant Slomovic

The photographs were made on multiple trips over five years to Israel and focus on Israel’s “lone soldiers”; thousands of young adults, non-Israelis, who come from over seventy countries around the world to serve in the Israeli Defence Forces.

Invisible Pattern
Lyydia Osara

The motivation behind the work was sometimes to simply try to cope with these emotions, but it also became a way for me to speak up about this important topic because I knew I was not the only one experiencing these problems. It started from a personal need for relief ,and it quickly became important to me as a way to speak up about the importance of mental health.

Unternächte

Elena Helfrecht

During this phase of the year, a circle closes, life ends, and re-emerges. Here, life and death, light and darkness, good and evil are said to meet, and a door opens to the otherworld. This time, where the old has not yet entirely faded, but the new has not fully risen, is seen as empty, a vacuum, both dangerous and cathartic, requiring specific rules and procedures to ensure a safe transition from the old chaos into a new order.

The Lament of The Mountains
Nick St. Oegger

The Malësorët have lived in the Kelmend region for centuries and were at one point organised into strong tribal systems with their own laws and system of governance separate from that of the Ottoman Empire, which ruled over the territory.

Solvitur Ambulando
Philip Hatcher-Moore

Our world had shrunk, but perched on the side of this hillside in North Wales it felt like horizons opened up. During the lockdown, Finlay and I explored these  hills, and our relationship, together. Walking the rugged hills surrounding our home, hauling him up the ascents on my shoulders, I have also explored the raw landscape of my emotions; I had found becoming a parent a daunting prospect.

Cianalas
Antony Sojka

Brexit could have a catastrophic outcome. Crofters – and farmers as well – rely on subsidies that have been coming from the EU, which might now completely cease to exist. 

Fistful of Ash
Mischa de Stroumillo

The cycle of death and life, especially within ecology, is a concept that is hard to grasp within Western thinking. Having studied and spent some time with indigenous people over the last few years, I’ve learnt that the process of death, in all its various forms, is vital for change.

Finnmark
Kang-Chun Cheng

My work is about people. It is important to me to understand people’s stories through their own words before anything else.

Silver Coins
Joseph Wilson

My pictures document something very different; they chronicle a kind of after de-industrialisation, or delayed de-industrialisation. The large buildings making up the local topography are altered or erased. The artefacts of material culture that were buried within the landscape during the decades of shifting industrial habits are resurfaced through the forces of tide and time. The re-birth of these objects into the 21st century renders them misplaced, lost in time.

Farm of Ideas
Rachel Jones

One big benefit of farming this way is improved yields, as you get more produce out of the same area of land. An even bigger benefit is to do with climate change. Soils are a natural storage place for carbon, but when we plough we release carbon dioxide from the soil into the atmosphere.

Noema
Michael Swann

In 1961, four young girls in Garabandal began having simultaneous, frequent visions of the Virgin which lasted for around four years. During the visitations, the visionaries were completely unconscious of their surroundings and would lose all sensory connections to the real world – this was tested by witnesses who would burn them with cigarettes, pinch them or flash bright lights in their eyes to see if they reacted.

There would be rainbow
Lidia Kristi Agustina

I finally had a chance to actually listen to myself, and I found that I do not want to reject myself anymore because I knew I wouldn’t be happy for the rest of my life. I have realised that visibility matters, and to document these complex feelings is really important for me, so that my subconscious can try to translate the struggle that I’ve been through into something that it is familiar.

The Dialogue of the Dogs
Richard Page

It started as a project about a place, but as the project gained momentum, it became a more meditative and meandering journey as I reflected on the difficulty for photography to speak about place or history with any certainty. The project is itself quixotic, because its own failure is embedded within it. It can never accurately articulate this place, only my passing through it. But then I think that’s true for everyone – we’re only ever passing through, and our encounters with place are always transitory.

The fog has lifted slightly and I can think clearer
Marie Smith

When I was younger and not familiar with nature, it created an element of fear but also curiosity. It’s the curiosity that drives me to make the work that I am making now, seeing nature not just as a space to observe but as a space to reflect upon my mortality and the implications it has on my mental health and wellbeing.

To Build A Home
Amanda Jackson

One of the most important things that I learnt through doing this project is to trust my approach. I like slow photography. I enjoy the process so much more when I don’t feel rushed, when I can take the time to observe and to make connections to the people I’m photographing.

Field Notes
Anna Lukala

I’m very much influenced by my Nordic heritage and my formative years growing up in the middle of nowhere by a lake surrounded by nature and the sea. In this kind of place, you grow up respecting the environment and having a natural curiosity for the land that surrounds you, foraging and growing your own.

Yet I have been a tree in the woods… dreamed of high rocks, open spaces and sky overhead
Alice Jankovic

During the development of the project I became aware of a possibility, the chance to live a different lifestyle. It attracts me, but at the same time I find it so faraway from my life – a utopia, a dream…

On the Farm
Chanel Irvine

All around the world the environment has been suffering. We recently saw the Amazon rainforest and Australia go up in flames, following countless other natural catastrophes that increasingly confirm our societies’ greatest fear and reinforce our biggest challenge: things need to change.

31 Days in Transit
Aster Reem David

In 2018, I reached a point of burnout. I was working extremely long hours and seven days a week most weeks. The notion of being stuck in a dead-end job nagged me every day. It eventually took a toll on my mental and physical health. My photography was being neglected. The only thing I had going for me was that I was able to afford a getaway every so often, and so I did to restore myself.

Redox Reactions
Hannah Fletcher

This series of works have all been produced incorporating the redox reaction of iron into rust, raising the suggestion that if we want photography to be sustainable then the future of photography might look quite different to the black and  white analogue imagery we know and have associated with since the 1800s. Perhaps the future of  photography will be tones of orange, red, brown and white. 

Aunty Uche’s Home
Immaculata Abba

From Aunty Uche I have learnt that you can tell the species of mango tree by tasting their leaves, and how lessons from the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree from the Bible (Luke 13:9) helped her save one of her paw-paw trees.

David Dudgeon, a member of the St. David's Society of Utica, poses with his Welsh flag outside his home in Herkimer, NY, USA.

The Singing Hills
Ed Brydon

I had heard about the Welsh community in Patagonia, Argentina, but did not know of a sizeable Welsh-identifying community in America, let alone New York and somewhat close to where I lived. I then found out that there was a huge amount of immigration from Wales to America throughout the 1800s and early 1900s.

Where the wildflowers grow
Michaela Nagyidaiová

One of the locals, Nikos, even remembered the street where my ancestors used to live, and he took me to the ruin of their original house. It was one of the more intense experiences of the whole journey. I went there every morning to walk through the small wildflower field and attempted to memorise and document every corner of that place.

Spring Cleaning
Alina Saranti

My motivation was similar to my motivation in taking up photography in the first place: saving myself, finding myself, making sense of what is happening inside me and in the world around me.

Dinosaur Dust
Zoe Childerley

Working in the Mojave Desert was an amazing adventure. It is over one hundred degrees most days in the summer and I had to dig the rental car out of the sand a couple of times. For me, the extraordinary thing about this kind of work is always the people – everyone I met shared their passion for the desert and helped me understand what made it special for them. I made friends for life. It is a unique place, with fascinating and generous people.

What Remains
Lydia Hansen

Storytelling became very important to me and I wanted to visually share stories from my life, how it is to grow up on an isolated country like the Faroe Islands. With the situation we are in today, in this pandemic, this topic of isolation all of a sudden became something we all had to deal with in different ways.

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