The Europeans Inc. has Moved! 
Friday, September 4, 2009, 17:15 - Events, Commentary
The Europeans Inc. has a new home! Please visit http://www.europeandebate.org/ when you have a chance. Here anyone interested in what is happening in Europe can engage and share their thoughts. The website is very new but over time it will develop into a multi-media, interactive playground fro those interested in Europe.

For those interested in the photographic documentation of the changes Europe is experiencing you can stay right here!
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Remembering 
Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 08:43 - Shooting, Events, Commentary
Esztergom, Hungary

On Sunday I walked over the bridge to Esztergom to photograph the comemeration of the Hungarian revolution which happens every year on the Ides of March. The procession winded through the town to the local cemetery. Yet another example of the pull that history has here in Europe…


The past never goes away. © Damaso Reyes



Flags of our fathers. © Damaso Reyes


Future imperfect. © Damaso Reyes

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A Winter Festival 
Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 10:42 - Travel, Shooting, Events
Sturovo. Slovakia

Over the weekend I went to an interesting festival (Maskarázás) in Chlaba, nearby town. As it was explained to me the purpose was to banish Winter (which we all hate don’t we?) so that our friend Spring can come along and make us happy. It seemed like a good reason to dress up in strange costumes, play with fire and drink on a Saturday morning. If you don’t believe me check it out for yourselves!


I shall scare you with my… what is that? © Damaso Reyes


Now we must jump over burning bails of hay. © Damaso Reyes


They are very hot! © Damaso Reyes


But they do not frighten me! © Damaso Reyes


Spectacle. © Damaso Reyes


And now we dance! © Damaso Reyes

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Dance Nation 
Monday, February 16, 2009, 08:54 - Shooting, Events, Commentary
Štúrovo, Slovakia

On Friday I went to the annual dance that the local high school puts on for its students. What was remarkable is how unremarkable it was. Girls were all dressed up and had their hair done; the boys looks uncomfortable in their suits and tuxedos. They danced to bad music and had a good time. The scene could have been in Berlin or Brooklyn for that matter, which is very much the point.


Swinging and swaying… © Damaso Reyes


Watching and waiting. © Damaso Reyes


Music Playing… © Damaso Reyes


Hoping… © Damaso Reyes


In the moment. © Damaso Reyes


I’ve also visited the school twice to talk to students about my work. For me what’s interesting is how they view themselves and their lives, which is to say very much like their Western European counterparts. All of them have mobile phones and computers and plan on attending university. They shop online and listen to American pop music. Just twenty years ago this of course wasn’t the case. The entry of Slovakia into the European Union no doubt accelerated this trend.



The future is now. © Damaso Reyes

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Saturday Night Fever 
Monday, January 26, 2009, 09:38 - Events, Commentary, Photo of the Day
Sturovo, Slovakia


And how was your weekend? Mine was great, thanks for asking! I got to experience some local culture on Saturday night when I was invited to attend an annual dinner/dance here in Štúrovo. It wasn’t exactly the traditional balls I went to this time last year in Vienna but it was an interesting mix of local tradition and the kind of rotary club event that we have back in America. One of my running jokes at the table every time another cover of an American pop song was played: “Wow, who knew Hungarian folk music was so interesting?”


Send in the clowns… © Damaso Reyes

Now that I’ve been here for a little over a week I am starting to get a sense for some things I would like to shoot, both here in town and in Budapest. I am still figuring things out so if you’ve been this way feel free to throw some suggestions my way.


Happy shiny people everywhere… © Damaso Reyes

Part of the reason why I like to spend several weeks in a place is that I can absorb things through osmosis, rather than trying to understand a place or its people in a rush. Walking down the street, sitting in the local pub (hooray for $2 glasses of Leffe) and interacting with people gives me a chance of learning something outside of what I would as a tourist.


Can’t you just hear the music? © Damaso Reyes

Sometimes the process is slower than I might like. But as engrossing as the shooting process can be the down time I get, to read or just socialize outside my normal sphere is really energizing. When I am out in the field I can relax in a way that I can’t when I am back in New York, if for no other reason than I know am I where I need to be, doing what I need to do.


Feel the love… © Damaso Reyes

What will come over the next nine weeks? I can’t say that I know but I am pretty sure it will be interesting!


I like the nightlife… © Damaso Reyes

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Photo of the Day #93 
Wednesday, January 21, 2009, 12:14 - Events, Commentary, Photo of the Day
Budapest

What a day!


The view from Budapest. © Damaso Reyes


It was a day
that some said would never come. But it did. I went to Budapest to watch the inauguration at an Irish pub where some other expats and Hungarians had gathered. I came early and while I sat drinking my Guinness the place slowly filled up with people of all colors, ages and nationalities waiting for the moment.



We waited with baited breath! © Damaso Reyes



It was a long time coming. © Damaso Reyes

I watched along with the others and smiled when he took the oath. As the son of immigrants myself, the moment, and its importance, was not lost on me. This day was another step forward on the long road that is America. His speech touched on a lot of notes but he said one thing that I had been saying about the nations that make up Europe for some time.


And it was worth the wait! © Damaso Reyes

“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself….”



Those words apply as much to Germany or France as they do to the United States. Perhaps those on this side of the ocean will see Obama and what he represents as something meaningful to themselves…

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44 
Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 22:25 - Events, Commentary


'Nuff said...
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Photo of the Day #71  
Wednesday, November 5, 2008, 12:18 - Events, Commentary, Photo of the Day
Our time for change has come.


Hope for Europe as well. Vienna 2008 © Damaso Reyes


“Barack Hussein Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States on Tuesday, sweeping away the last racial barrier in American politics with ease as the country chose him as its first black chief executive.” So said the New York Times today. Clearly this is a historic moment in American politics but one that I believe will serve as a symbol to Europe as well.

American elected the son of an immigrant from Africa. A member of a minority that makes up just 12% of the population. Today he has become the very face of our nation, the embodiment of our hopes and dreams. This is a powerful statement about what kind of nation America truly is and the kind of place it hopes to become.

In Vienna and Paris; Berlin and Rome there are millions of young men and women just like Barack Obama. Young boys and girls who want to take part in the fullness of their nation’s lives but for many reasons cannot. If the nations of Europe are to live up to their own ideals this must change. As in America it won’t be easy but Europeans must begin to see each other not simply as decedents but as aspirants to a common dream of a better future. And that future includes people of all races and heritages.

“For many months, we've been teased, even derided for talking about hope. But we always knew that hope is not blind optimism. It's not ignoring the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path.

It's not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it and to work for it and to fight for it.”
President Elect Barack Obama in January 2008.

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Yes We Can! 
Wednesday, November 5, 2008, 06:29 - Events, Commentary

Yes We Did...
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Images of Kodak's New Ektar Film 
Friday, October 24, 2008, 11:02 - Events, Commentary
I had a great day at PhotoPlus yesterday and got to talk a lot about Kodak’s new Ektar film. It’s a funny coincidence that when I was first shooting film back in the early 1990’s that the original Ektar 25 was one of the films I used. Now nearly fifteen years later I am shooting the new and improved version and the results are amazing. But rather than talk about it I will show you some photos I took at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens in August. Have a great weekend!

















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HCB Quote of the Week #41 
Saturday, June 21, 2008, 12:32 - Events, Commentary
Brooklyn

Today is one of my favorite days! It’s the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Every winter on those short, cold days I think about this day in particular and hope that it will come soon. In a few days I will have been back in New York for three months, exactly the amount of time than I had been away in Europe earlier this year. So in a sense I've also reached a kind of equilibrium, perhaps one that I hadn’t intended upon reaching this year. The past three months have been very enjoyable, and even highly productive in their own way, but when I left Germany at the end of March I didn’t expect to be back in New York for this long. But life can be one thing you don’t expect after another sometimes so I’ve tried to make the most of the hand that I’ve been dealt.

But enough about those things; today is a happy day! Now, enjoy your HCB Quote of the Week!


Summer in Amsterdam, 2005. © Damaso Reyes

Inside movement there is one moment in which the elements are in balance. Photography must seize the importance of this moment and hold immobile the equilibrium of it. - Henri Cartier-Bresson


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Cornell Capa R.I.P. 
Saturday, May 24, 2008, 11:08 - Events, Commentary
Brooklyn

Cornell Capa is dead.

He did more than perhaps anyone else to promote the cause of photojournalism in the second half of the last century. He was a great photographer and a visionary who founded the International Center of Photography. He will be sorely missed and in his honor we will turn the HCB Quote of the Week into the Cornell Capa Quote of the Week.


The Wall, Vienna. © Damaso Reyes

Images at their passionate and truthful best are as powerful as words can ever be. If they alone cannot bring change, they can at least provide and understanding mirror of man’s actions, thereby sharpening human awareness and awakening conscience. - Cornell Capa, Collection, Use, and Care of Historical Photographs by Robert A. Weinstein

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Three Years Later 
Tuesday, April 15, 2008, 17:13 - Project News, Events, Commentary
Brooklyn

So it was three years ago today that I boarded a plane form John F. Kennedy international airport here in New York and started on the long road that has become The Europeans. Three years later it is hard to believe all the people I have met and the places I have been.

What began as a dream is now reality.

As I have mentioned to some of you in private, when I began this project, when I conceived of it and when I boarded that plane I had absolutely no idea of what the images that I would take would look like. All I had was a few hundred dollars, a one way ticket, and an idea that somehow I could photograph the ways in which Europe was changing. Honestly I wasn’t even sure that my skills would be up to that task. After all, as a photojournalist my job up until then was to impart information, not make the abstract real. I wasn’t a philosopher or a historian, just a man with a camera and an idea.

The past few years have been filled with adversity. Mostly it has been a struggle with myself to live up to my own ideals and the possibilities that only hope can provide. I feel like I have taken a few good images here and there. I have certainly managed to travel, though not as much as I would have liked.

I’ve seen a new nation beginning to form in Kosovo.


© Damaso Reyes

I photographed the powerful in The Netherlands.


© Damaso Reyes

I spent most of last year in Germany.


© Damaso Reyes

I found my future home in Spain.


© Damaso Reyes

I documented passion in the United Kingdom.


© Damaso Reyes

I found beauty in France and science in Switzerland.


© Damaso Reyes

I saw how the other half lives in Austria.


© Damaso Reyes

I’ve made good friends and had good times. As I prepare to return in the coming weeks it is with the knowledge that I am on the right road, though I still don’t know where it will lead or exactly when it will end. Right now I feel like I am just starting to hit my stride…


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Photography Jobs and Opportunies #4 
Monday, December 17, 2007, 19:46 - Events, Commentary
Brooklyn

So I brought another Leica! I know, two in less than six months is a little troubling but I do need two cameras, and I was made an offer I just couldn’t refuse so I begged, borrowed and nearly stole to scrape together the cash to get another M6TTL this one with a .58 viewfinder which is ideal for using with the wide angle lenses I love so much.


My new best friend! © Damaso Reyes

The only trouble is now I have two cameras and one lens, not the ideal situation by far. See if you have two lenses and one camera you can swap the lenses, not ideal but manageable. If you are in my position basically you have one camera and one paperweight, until you find another lens. I already have my eye on one but as you can imagine I am a bit short of funds. So if any of you are feeling generous, or need a tax deduction before the end of the year, please let me know!


Now where is that other lens? © Damaso Reyes

With some good karma in mind, here are your photo jobs and opps of the week!


So lonely! © Damaso Reyes

***

Residency, Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL)
, Jamaica, Queens, NY
http://www.jcal.org
For more information and guidelines call (718) 658-7400 ext.132

JCAL’s Workspace Program is tailored to support an artist in his/her creation and presentation of new works. Through the program, JCAL provides an emerging artist with a private, non-living studio space and access to JCAL’s office and studio facilities (computer, ceramics and painting) for a period of 12 months. The artist is awarded a stipend of up to $7,000 and offered to exhibit his/her work in JCAL’s gallery at the conclusion of residency. Professional artists living within commutable distance from JCAL (including New York City’s five boroughs, Nassau and Suffolk counties) are eligible. College or graduate students are not eligible. All media are considered for acceptance, including sculpture, painting, printmaking, ceramic, digital art, mixed media, installation art, video and film.

***

Fellowship for NY State Artists
, Constance Salons Foundation for the Arts, Ithaca, NY
http://www.saltonstall.org

Artists and writers who are New York State residents are invited to apply for month-long summer residencies at the 200-acre Salons Arts Colony in Ithaca, New York. The summer categories are poetry; fiction or creative nonfiction; painting, sculpture, or other visual arts; and photography. Five artists are in each session: one photographer, one poet, one prose writer, and two painters, sculptors, or other visual artists.

***

Studio Space Program
, The Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation, New York, NY

http://www.sharpeartfdn.org
Provides artists with studio space in New York City for a period of 1 year.

***

Seattle City Hall Seeks Exhibition Proposals


The city of Seattle seeks artist and community exhibition proposals for display in City Hall galleries in 2008. The 2008 exhibition cycle will begin in February.

http://www.seattle.gov/arts/publicart/calls_for_art.asp

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Birthday Reflections... 
Wednesday, December 12, 2007, 19:49 - Events, Commentary
Brooklyn

Well yesterday was my birthday and I took the opportunity to take a little break from the hustle and bustle and just have fun. I had sushi for lunch and then went ice skating, a tradition I started last year. Then my friends Jimmie, Conan and Anna took my out for dinner at Peter Luger’s widely considered one of, if not the best steakhouse in New York. We ate creamed spinach, German fried potatoes and of course, a huge steak. I think I am still digesting it even now.


To be young and innocent. © Damaso Reyes

As some of you might know every time it’s someone else’s birthday I ask them “what do you know now that you didn’t know a year ago?” I feel like it is an interesting question to ask since one’s birthday is an appropriate time to look back at the year and look forward to the next. So, what have I learned?

Well it really is true that just because you can doesn’t always mean you should! I also learned that I need to make new friends, which I did. While what other people think is not the most important thing it still is important. Uncertainty isn’t nearly as scary as it seems from the outset. I really do enjoy taking the train and I really do hate flying. And I can now speak some German.

Not bad for a year, hopefully 2008 will be even more educational…

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