Karen’s Blog

Thoughts on a changing profession and life

Posts Tagged ‘Photographs

Global Health Photo Exhibit

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The IMPACT exhibit on display at the Keck Center in the National Academies building.

The IMPACT exhibit on display at the Keck Center in the National Academies building.

IMPACT, my photography of global health issues spanning 15 years of work on five continents, is now exhibited at the at the Keck Center of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C.

This exhibition is a journey through critical forces shaping 21st century life–rising populations, emergence of new diseases, relentless effects of global economics, increasing environmental concerns, and soaring technological advances. It seeks to connect the dots between events that may seem unrelated, but considered collectively can lead to a new understanding of the complex health issues now confronting us.

The exhibit is built around more than a decade of work and features 50 photographs chronicling my odyssey through issues of global change and public health.

It has its roots in my “Ecology of Disease” story published in the February 2002 issue of National Geographic magazine, and later in my book: IMPACT: From the Front Lines of Global Health.  The book is available on Amazon

NGM_2002_02-WAR_ON_DISEASE-01

The opening spread from my National Geographic story on emerging infectious diseases.

Cover of the IMPACT book

Cover of the IMPACT book

The exhibit runs until September 21, 2015. The Keck Center is located at 500 5th Street, Washington DC. 202.334.2000. Click here for more information. Note: You must contact in advance to view the exhibit. For permission email cpnas@nas.edu or call the Keck Center at 202.334.2000.

Images on My Mother’s Day

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At 17 my father Steven Kasmauski was far from his home on a Michigan farm. As World War II began, he joined the Navy, became a Seabee and worked in the jungles of the Philippines building runways and camps for our troops.

During this time, he bought a small camera and began photographing his life. He continued photographing throughout his 35 year-long Navy career.

Left my father Steve on a street corner in Tokyo's Ginza district.  Right, the same area today.

Left my father Steve on a street corner in Tokyo’s Ginza district. Right, the same area today.

In the early1950’s when Japan was still recovering from the devastation of war Steve was assigned to Yokosuka Naval Base. He was in his mid-20’s. Not long after arriving, he met a young Japanese woman named Emiko. They eventually married and became my parents.

Left, my father, Steve Kasmauski with three brothers in law, by the beach in Sajima. Right, the same scene today.

Left, my father, Steve Kasmauski with three brothers in law, by the beach in Sajima. Right, the same scene today.

By this time my father had upgraded to a professional camera—a Nikon S rangefinder. He recorded the exotic life around the coastal city of Yokosuka and in the small fishing village of Saijima—my mother’s home.

Left, the beach at Sajima, right, the same area today.

Left, the beach at Sajima, right, the same area today.

I grew up looking at those images. I often wondered what it was like for a Michigan farm boy to have arrived in such a place. Sometimes, I think he might have said it was quite familiar, perhaps like Spring Lake, the small fishing town where he grew up.

Nikon no longer makes a rangefinder camera like the one my father used. The locations he photographed have changed so radically that trying to find a few of them this past spring proved extraordinarily difficult.

Left, Yokosuka Naval Base in the early 1950s where I was born. Right, me in front of the Naval hospital today.

Left, Yokosuka Naval Base in the early 1950s where I was born. Right, me in front of the Naval hospital today.

In April I led a photography expedition in Japan for National Geographic. After the trip ended, I spent two days with my cousin Kazuo. His mother was the oldest of six sisters. My mother was the youngest. Kazuo drove me around Tokyo, Yokosuka and Saijima, trying to find the locations my father photographed 60 years ago.

Hardest to find was the place where my father did a “selfie” (with the help of a buddy) under a Ginza road sign.

Left, my mother overlooking her family home in the early 1950s.  Right, the same location today, blocked by a huge concrete wall

Left, my mother overlooking her family home in the early 1950s. Right, the same location today, blocked by a huge concrete wall

It was a melancholy journey for me. The locations were beyond recognition. The hill where my mother stood looking over the roof tops of her family home was replaced by a concrete wall.

Since I started working on the War Bride film, I’ve journeyed though that world my mother lived in as a young girl. My road map has been the still images my father created. They speak to me across half a century, connecting me to my roots, my mother and my father.

Written by kasmauski

May 11, 2015 at 2:36 am

Back from Knight Fellowship and New Exhibit

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You may have noticed I haven’t posted anything in some time.  That’s because over the last year I’ve been at Ohio University studying media management at the School of Visual Communication.  I received a Knight Fellowship to support this wonderful experience.  I’ll write more about the Fellowship later–I’m in the midst of finishing my Masters Project this month.  But in the meantime, the City of Falls Church is mounting an exhibit of my global health photographs this week at the ArtSpace, 410 South Maple Avenue, Falls Church.  Please come by–the exhibit opens with a reception at 7PM on October 11 and is up through October 14.