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Siddhesh Joshi

Carolyn Drake

Name  Carolyn Drake
Role  Photographer
Books  Two Rivers

Carolyn Drake Crimea When It Was Ukraine 2006 Carolyn Drake Photography
Awards  Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, US & Canada, World Press Photo Award for Daily Life

Carolyn drake two rivers


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Carolyn Drake (born in 1971 in California) is a North American photographer based in Athens, Georgia. She works on personal documentary projects, assigned commissions such as magazine editorial work, workshops, and gives lectures.

Carolyn Drake Wild Pigeon 200713 Carolyn Drake Photography

Drake had a "multimedia job in New York's Silicon Alley" until starting as a photographer at the age of 30. She has documented the cultures of central Asia, and Xinjiang in China, in two well received self-published books, Two Rivers and Wild Pigeon. She has been a member of Panos Pictures, and is a nominee member of Magnum Photos; she has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lange-Taylor Prize, four first place Pictures of the Year International awards and a World Press Photo award; and her work is held in the collection of the US Library of Congress.

Carolyn Drake CES on the Ground An interview with Carolyn Drake author

Carolyn drake interview


Life and work

Carolyn Drake Photographer Carolyn Drake Biography National Geographic

In 2006, Drake moved to Ukraine and in 2007 to Istanbul, Turkey, until 2013. Whilst based in Istanbul she made two long term projects, one in the central Asian countries that were part of the Soviet Union, Two Rivers, and one on the Chinese side of central Asia, Wild Pigeon.

Carolyn Drake imagesnationalgeographiccomwpfmedialivephoto

Partly funded by a Guggenheim Fellowship, Drake made fifteen journeys over five years travelling and photographing in the once vibrant region of central Asia that lies between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers that once nourished it. The region, encompassing Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, was transformed when the rivers were diverted for cotton irrigation by the former Soviet Union. Drake's resulting self-published book, Two Rivers (2013), was financed via Kickstarter; it was well received by Sean O'Hagan. For Jeffrey Ladd, the book's design (by Sybren Kuiper), notably the way some photographs on recto pages have their right edges on the verso, detracted from it.

Carolyn Drake Carolyn Drake National Geographic39s Women of Vision

Drake spent seven years visiting Xinjiang in western China (officially called Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region), photographing the Uyghur people for her self-published book Wild Pigeon (2014). There is discord between the Chinese authorities and the indigenous ethnic Uyghur population. Wild Pigeon was well received, again by Sean O'Hagan, who wrote that "Drake is a master of atmosphere"; and by Martin Parr; Colin Pantall; Blake Andrews; and Ian Denis Johnson, who wrote "this book does what a great social novel does: it forces us to think of a contested region not in terms of op-eds or political analyses, but as seen by people in daily life". For Jeffrey Ladd, the design of the book (again by Sybren Kuiper) avoided the excesses of that of Two Rivers, and "The results of the collages [by the people Drake photographed] are unexpectedly rich and create the sense of a place that is both [ordinary] with daily routine and imbued with the fantastic that is accented by Drake’s own perceptions: young teenagers dance under a burst of colored light; a classroom that seems to take on surreal drama; a dog fight; skeletal remains hanging in a butcher shop."

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In 2013 Drake and her partner, photographer Andres Gonzalez, moved from Istanbul to Water Valley, Mississippi, to begin a new body of work; then in 2014 to Athens, Georgia. In 2015 she became a nominee member of Magnum Photos.

Publications by Drake

  • Two Rivers. Self-published, 2013. ISBN 978-0-615-78764-0. Edition of 700 copies. Accompanied by a separate book with a short essay by Elif Batuman and notes by Drake.
  • Wild Pigeon. Self-published, 2014. ISBN 978-0-692-27539-9. Edition of 950 copies. Includes a story, "Wild Pigeon", by Nurmuhemmet Yasin, and translated by Kolkun Kamberi; and "a small booklet glued to the inside of the back cover".
  • Publications with contributions by Drake

  • Street Photography Now. London: Thames & Hudson, 2010. ISBN 978-0-500-54393-1 (hardback). London: Thames & Hudson, 2011. ISBN 978-0-500-28907-5 (paperback). Edited by Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren.
  • Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2013. ISBN 9781426212727. Foreword by Ann Curry, introduction by Chris Johns. Work by Drake, Lynsey Addario, Kitra Cahana, Jodi Cobb, Diane Cook, Lynn Johnson, Beverly Joubert, Erika Larsen, Stephanie Sinclair, Maggie Stever and Amy Toensing. Published in conjunction with an exhibition, Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment at the National Geographic Museum.
  • The Catalogue Box. Dortmund: Kettler; Cologne: The PhotoBook Museum, 2014. Edited by Markus Schaden and Frederic Lezmi. German and English text. ISBN 978-3-86206-394-9. Box with individual publications (also available separately) each by Ali Taptik, Anders Petersen, Andrea Diefenbach, Carlos Spottorno, Carolyn Drake, Chargesheimer, Cristina de Middel, Daidō Moriyama, David Alan Harvey, Dominique Darbois, Ed Templeton, Hans-Jürgen Raabe, Jiang Jian, Julian Germain, Marks of Honour, Oliver Sieber, Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, Ricardo Cases, Stephen Gill, Susan Meiselas, and Todd Hido. Published on the occasion of the inauguration of the PhotoBook Museum.
  • Awards

  • 2005: First Place, Community Awareness Award, 62nd Pictures of the Year International Competition, Pictures of the Year International, for "The Lubavitch" an untitled photograph from Two Rivers.
  • 2008: Award of Excellence, Feature Picture category, 65th Pictures of the Year International Competition, Pictures of the Year International, for a photograph in Ukraine.
  • 2008: First Place, Feature Picture Story category, 65th Pictures of the Year International Competition, Pictures of the Year International, for "Hotshoe".
  • 2008: Second prize, Daily Life stories, World Press Photo Awards, World Press Photo, Amsterdam.
  • 2008: Lange-Taylor Prize, Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Durham, NC. Awarded to Drake and Ilan Greenberg for Becoming Chinese: Uighurs in Cultural Transition.
  • 2009: Pulitzer Center Grant, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Washington, D.C.
  • 2010: First Place, Science/Natural history category, 67th Pictures of the Year International Competition, Pictures of the Year International, for an untitled photograph from Two Rivers.
  • 2010: First Place, Science/Natural history picture story category, 67th Pictures of the Year International Competition, Pictures of the Year International, for "Paradise Rivers".
  • 2010: Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
  • Open Society Foundations grant.
  • 2014: Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund Grantee.
  • 2015: Finalist, Best Photography Book Award, 72nd Pictures of the Year International Competition, Pictures of the Year International, with others for Women of Vision (2013).
  • 2016: Winner, Anamorphosis Prize, for Wild Pigeon, receiving $10000 USD.
  • Solo exhibitions

  • Carolyn Drake: Photographs of Central Asia, Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, 14 May – 15 November 2009.
  • Paradise Rivers, 17 July – 22 August 2010, Third Floor Gallery, Cardiff, Wales.
  • Exhibitions with others

  • Street Photography Now, Third Floor Gallery, Cardiff, 10 October – 14 November 2010. Photographs in the book Street Photography Now (2011) by Drake as well as Christophe Agou, Arif Aşçı, Narelle Autio, Polly Braden, Bang Byoung-Sang, Maciej Dakowicz, Melanie Einzig, George Georgiou, David Gibson, Bruce Gilden, Thierry Girard, Andrew Z. Glickman, Siegfried Hansen, Markus Hartel, Nils Jorgensen, Richard Kalvar, Martin Kollar, Jens Olof Lasthein, Frederic Lezmi, Jesse Marlow, Jeff Mermelstein, Joel Meyerowitz, Mimi Mollica, Trent Parke, Martin Parr, Gus Powell, Mark Alor Powell, Bruno Quinquet, Paul Russell, Otto Snoek, Matt Stuart, Ying Tang, Alexey Titarenko, Nick Turpin, Munem Wasif, Alex Webb, Amani Willett, Michael Wolf, Artem Zhitenev and Wolfgang Zurborn.
  • Paradise Rivers, The Gallery, Guernsey Photography Festival, Guernsey. 1–30 June 2011. Open Society Foundations, New York, 16 March – 18 October 2011, part of Moving Walls 18; photographs by Drake and Samantha Box, Gabriela Bulisova, Andrea Diefenbach, Bénédicte Desrus, Abdi Roble and Tadej Žnidarčič.
  • Cartier-Bresson: A Question of Colour, Somerset House, London, 8 November 2012 – 27 January 2013. Photographs by Drake and Henri Cartier-Bresson, Karl Baden, Melanie Einzig, Andy Freeberg, Harry Gruyaert, Ernst Haas, Fred Herzog, Saul Leiter, Helen Levitt, Jeff Mermelstein, Joel Meyerowitz, Trent Parke, Boris Savelev, Robert Walker and Alex Webb.
  • Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment, National Geographic Museum, Washington D.C., 10 October 2013 – 9 March 2014. Photographs by Drake, Lynsey Addario, Kitra Cahana, Jodi Cobb, Diane Cook, Lynn Johnson, Beverly Joubert, Erika Larsen, Stephanie Sinclair, Maggie Stever and Amy Toensing.
  • Milk Gallery, New York, NY, April–May 2016. Photographs by Drake and Matt Black, Sohrab Hura, Lorenzo Meloni, Max Pinckers, and Newsha Tavakolian.
  • Collection

    Drake's work is held in the following public collection:

  • Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
  • References

    Carolyn Drake Wikipedia


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