Julie … “Disko Meri” … Found ! …

I mentioned in a post back in April – “Disko Meri Does It Again” – that I had been so far unable to let my Papua New Guinea bar girl subject Julie know about the success of her portrait in various photography events and awards around the planet over the last couple of years … Sydney (Head On Portrait Prize) and Cairns (QMMA Awards) Australia, New York City (Photoville 2015), Moscow (MIFA), Hyderabad India (Head On) and the ‘International Color Awards’ to name but a few.

I made the image at the Diamond Club in a not too salubrious part of Port Moresby. The club does not have a telephone or internet presence and it was impossible to contact her.

So … during a nights stopover in Port Moresby on my way to Manus Island a few weeks ago I dropped into the Diamond Club armed with a print and accompanied by PNG friends Margo and Raymond. At first it seemed that Julie would never know as we were told she no longer works at Diamonds. Fortunately someone found her brother in law who was in the club that eve and he offered to jump in a taxi (at our expense) and go and pick her up.

About an hour later a very bemused and rattled Julie arrived and was presented with a large print and told of her World wide fame. Julie explained that she was no longer working and was now a (single) mother of twins!

In the two years since I made the image Julie had changed from a confident up front bar girl into a quieter softer more lissome young mother of two baby boys. She said she was going to give the print to her mum …

Below is a pic © Raymond Nugent (Thanks Raymond) … of Julie in the Diamond Club with her print.

Disko Meri - Julie - Diamond Club - PNG - Print - Brian Cassey


New York, New York & Photoville …

Feeling extremely fortunate to be in New York for this years ‘Photoville’ festival of photography – a brilliant feast of fine photography set in and around 60 odd shipping containers on the banks of the East River Brooklyn overlooking the Manhattan skyline.

Photoville is only four years young … but has grown quickly into a vibrant showcase of the Worlds best photojournalism, documentary and fine art work. Highlights – and there were very many – included the works of Graham Macindoe (American Exile: Detained, Deported and Divided), Daniel Berahulak (Scenes from the Ebola Crises), Dougie Wallace (Stag, Hens & Bunnies: A Blackpool Story), Stephanie Sinclair (Too Young to Wed), Matt Black (The Geography of Poverty), Misha Friedman (The Iron Closet) and Ruddy Roye (When Living is a Protest) – although to single these out for their excellence is not to disparage the amazing works of a total of over four hundred contributing artists. (For more info on artists and their work check out Photoville’s web site here).

Thanks to the inclusion of the 2015 Head On Portrait Prize – and director of the Head On Photo Festival Moshe Rosenzveig – I had every reason to make the trek to Brooklyn. The 2015 Head On Portrait Prize exhibition was displayed in the centre of the Photoville site gracing the entire side of a massive shipping container … and included my image “Disko Meri”.

The festival opening day was shared with the 14th anniversary of the Twin Towers terror attacks. That evening saw a great sunset over the Hudson and the Manhattan sky line whilst Getty Images projected their ‘Legacy Collection’ of images on the big screen. A poignant moment when the photograph of the Twin Towers exploding 14 years ago to the day appeared with, in the background from ground zero, the twin beams of the ‘Tribute of Lights’ piercing the clouds (see image below).

As well as thousands of compelling images to take in there are also numerous workshops and panel discussions by high profile photographers to attend – and there is also a beer garden!

Photoville runs until this Sunday September 20th.

I’d also like to sincerely thank talented NY photographer Natan Dvir for the very generous use of his cosy pad in the Lower East Side Manhattan for the duration, whilst he was on assignment in Romania. Thanks Natan … !

Below are images from Photoville – two featuring the 2015 Head On Portrait Prize exhibit.

Images © Brian Cassey 2015