Clary Estes is a documentary photographer from Central Kentucky who works internationally on stories about the human condition.
Focus:Photographer, Photojournalist, Filmmaker
Skills:Research, Film Scanning, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premier, Apple Final Cut Pro, Photo Editing
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
December 3rd, 2017 was an especially sunny and crisp day at the Stoner Creek Forge. The normal symphony of birdcalls was silent under the cold of winter, but the sound of Stoner Creek running along its banks was ever present. Inside a small, frame, one-room studio sat four men waiting tensely, surrounded by guns. But there was one gun in particular that everyone was focused on — a gun that held a historic significance, a gun that marked the end of an era, a gun that is as much a torch being passed on as it is a piece of art, a gun I came to know as Number 42.
Ever since the rise of #MeToo and the murder of the journalist Kim Wall I have been thinking about violence and assault towards female journalists and photojournalists on assignment, especially through the lens of my own experiences. Odds are that you are either a woman who has posted #MeToo, or you are a man who has been blown away by the amount of #MeToo posts. While I know that there are people falling outside of these groups they seem to be in the majority and this article is not about the subtleties of the movement but rather a subsection of the movement; female photojournalists who have experienced assault while on the job.
In short, I am hear to talk about my experiences and observations...
“Zurumbatico” at Cortona on the Move (Interview with Luis Cobelo)
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Cortona on the Move may be over, but you should still check out Luis Cobelo's "Zurumbatico"!
From August 13th until the 17th I attended the Cortona On the Move Photography Festival in Cortona, Italy. Here are some of the photography exhibits and workshops that interested me the most. I was lucky enough to talk with Luis Cobelo about his exhibition “Zurumbatico.” Here are some excerpts from that interview, as well as a discussion about his show.
Located in the Vecchio Ospital in Cortona, Italy, “Zurumbatico” utilizes and plays with the space in which it is exhibited. Much like it’s neighbour “Foreigners” it uses the old hospital to emphasis it’s themes, rather than fight to look like your standard photography exhibit. And yet, “Zurumbatico” is a wildly different photography exhibit.
“American Woman” at Cortona on the Move (Interview with Donna Ferrato)
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Donna’s show starts with a punch in the face; “Donna’s camera is a machine gun,” they write. This soft spoken, small built, kind woman packs a punch and doesn’t hesitate to let you know what she thinks. She is simultaneously supportive and unforgiving. Work hard and she will cultivate your growth; slack off and she will cut you down to size. This show is the essence of Donna’s personality and growth into the powerhouse she is today.
“Golden days Before the End” at the Cortona on the Move
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
"Klaus Pichler’s “Golden Days Before they End” is one of the purely fun photography projects that just makes you smile and think, “Yeah I’ve been there.” Documenting and exploring “those little inns and bars in Vienna, Austria, where time seems to have stopped. They are the last ‘dens’ for a dying drinking generation. The project is a swan song for these bars that have shaped their customers’ existences for decades, places that are soon to disappear forever.” Too bad, because the bars look like a damn good time."
Farshid Tighehsaz’s “From Labyrinth,” part of the New Visions exhibition at COTM, reads very much like a political poem, touching on the personal, the sexual and the social level as Tighehsaz moves through his native Iran to understand the world he is living in. Though the exhibition is easily one of the most contained and small exhibition of the festival, it speaks with a clear and strong voice to the experiences and historical anxiety of young Iranian adults today. “From Labyrinth” is Tighehsaz’s rumination on “the fears and effects of the Islamic revolution and the impact of 8 years of war on its later generations.”
Илона и Мадделена: Жизнь подростков из рабочей семьи
Friday, August 11, 2017
В июле в тосканской Кортоне открылся 7-й международный фестиваль фотографии Cortona On The Move. Американский документальный фотограф Клэри Эстес по просьбе Bird in Flight рассказывает о самых интересных выставках фестиваля.
Впервые за девять лет я прогуливаюсь по улицам Парижа, глядя на хорошее и плохое в этом динамичном городе. И сейчас проект Сандры Мель «Илона и Мадделена» кажется мне еще более красивым и проникновенным. Мне повезло увидеть эту серию в рамках выставки New Visions. Дело не только в том, что тема проекта по-прежнему актуальна. Работы Мель — один из редких фотопроектов, рассказывающих о важных вещах благодаря «маленьким людям» и маленьким местам, в которых проходит их жизнь.
Дом, которого у вас никогда не будет: Проект Миюки Окуямы на фестивале Cortona On The Move
Monday, July 31, 2017
Mеня поразили работы Миюки Окуямы. Проект «Дорогие японцы» в рамках выставки New Visions посвящен детям японских солдат и индонезийских женщин: эти дети родились во время так называемой Тихоокеанской войны, а теперь живут в Нидерландах. Вот что пишет сама Миюки: «В 1942 году Япония напала на Голландскую Ост-Индию, и за время военных действий там были размещены более 360 тысяч японцев. После капитуляции Японии Индонезия провозгласила независимость. Однако Нидерланды не признали независимость своей бывшей колонии и отправили туда войска. Впоследствии индонезийско-японское население было вынуждено бежать в Нидерланды. Многие из этих людей по-прежнему ищут своих биологических отцов и страдают от психологических травм, связанных с трудным детством. Оно считается табу и позором для семьи».
Clary Estes was born and raised in Kentucky and is currently living internationally and working on a variety of photography projects in Japan, China, and DC. She graduated with a Masters Degree in New Media Photojournalism from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in 2013, and is now living and working in rural Moldova with the Peace Corps. Estes’ interest is in long-term documentary projects, and writing biting essays like “Fuck Photojournalism.”
În aşteptarea celor care au rămas
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Interviu cu Clary Estes, fotojurnalistă, ex-voluntară a Corpului Păcii în R. Moldova
Clary Estes s-a născut în statul american Kentucky. În anul 2013, după ce şi-a făcut studiile de master la New Media Photojournalism la Colegiul de Artă şi Design din Corcoran, Clary a plecat pentru doi ani în Japonia, unde a făcut o serie de proiecte fotografice.
Ulterior, a petrecut o lună într-un sat din China, unde a realizat proiectul „Cei lăsaţi”, în care a fotografiat copii care sunt crescuţi de bunicii lor, în timp ce părinţii au plecat la oraş, să lucreze şi să câştige nişte bani. În R. Moldova, Clary Estes a venit în iunie 2015, în calitate de voluntară în cadrul Corpului Păcii. Aici, este găzduită de o familie din Vădeni, Soroca. În această localitate a şi cunoscut mai multe victime ale regimului comunist.
Atunci i-a şi venit ideea iniţierii proiectului „Cei Care au Rămas”, prin care îşi propune să valorifice fotografii, interviuri video şi materiale de arhivă, pentru a investiga şi a cunoaşte experienţele trăite de persoanele deportate de pe teritoriul actual al R. Moldova, în perioada regimului comunist, dar şi pentru a reflecta asupra modului în care aceste experienţe au influenţat societatea actuală.
There will always be someone better. Every photojournalist I have ever met says this. There will always be someone better so the work you do needs to mean something. Anyone can take good pictures, but it takes a great deal of time, work, and caring to tell a story that is deeply impactful. I truly believe this sentiment. Call me an idealist (you wouldn’t be wrong), but I think this sentiment is not only true, it holds the key to addressing some of the issues that we are facing now...
Hundreds of thousands of people from a corner of eastern Europe were forcibly deported as political exiles during two waves of Soviet repression in the 1940s. Many of them died during the journey or in exile. Others returned home with shattered lives. Only a few survive today.
“Those Who Remain” tells their stories. The Stalinist regime devised the deportation program to identify and exile political dissidents from what is now the Republic of Moldova. Those selected, often for reasons having nothing to do with politics, were killed or exiled with their families to remote regions of Kazakhstan and Siberia. Those who survived had to wait years to be liberated. If they managed to return home, they were systematically silenced and shamed by the Soviet and post-Soviet societies. Only recently, long after most of them died, have they been free to speak publicly about their ordeals.
“Those Who Remain” gives voice to these former deportees, and to their children and grandchildren. It bears witness to a profoundly important historical event that is little known by the rest of the world. These survivors have been waiting decades to tell their stories, which are shocking and harrowing, but also inspiring. See their faces. Listen to their voices. Some are still with us, those who remain.
The Colonialism of Photojournalism
Saturday, May 20, 2017
How do we become better as an industry?
The Colonialism of Photojournalism "We are not bad photojournalist when we unwittingly benefit from a flawed system. However, we become bad photojournalists when we manipulate that flawed system to our own benefit, instead of highlighting the problems that are crippling the foundations of the industry we care so much about. We are better when we accept our mistakes and try to grow from them. We are going to make mistakes, it is just part of life, the point is to not make them again. We are worst when we become defensive and let our ego take over. I have often said that ego is the last thing that belongs in photojournalism, but unfortunately, it is usually the first place you find it."
Dispatches from the Deported
Monday, April 24, 2017
Moldova - The resilience of the human spirit is a powerful thing, capable of withstanding a great deal of adversity and grief. In Soviet Eastern Europe, where hundreds of thousands were deported from their homes amid the state-sponsored terror campaigns of the mid-20th century, victims had few other options but to persevere. Many died along the way, but others later returned to their homelands and struggled to piece together the lives they knew before their suffering began. In modern-day Moldova, photojournalist Clary Estes came to know the now-elderly victims of these Soviet crimes. Her deeply moving photographs provide a voice to the former deportees in an attempt to keep their stories alive.
I wanted to humbly share our Indiegogo Campaign for "Those Who Remain". We are working to complete our shooting in Moldova so that we can go on to work in Siberia and Kazakhstan in the coming months. If you have enjoyed the project or know someone who might be interested in it, please consider contributing or sharing. If you are interested in seeing some of this images, you can see them here - http://www.claryestes.com/those-who-remain This has been a massive project with the help of a lot of people. We are very excited to close the Moldova chapter in order to move on to a whole new chapter in Siberia and Kazakhstan!
Recently the MOLDOX Film Festival launched their MOLDOX LA TARA (or MOLDOX COUNTRYSIDE) screenings in Moldova; a film screening series focused on sharing documentary films with small village. Every film looks at rural issues and give communities a chance to talk about life in their village and their hopes for the future.
Our first stop was he small village of Vadeni. My short doc, "Life on a Thread" is a simple profile of a local man from Vadeni who makes traditional clothes with his wife. Give a look!
In memory of the 3.11 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011 I am sharing "The Hamagurihama Project".
The Hamagurihama Project came about as a result of the 3.11 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Kameyama Sensei, resident of the village started to project as a way to save the village from falling into obscurity. Now, instead of a site reflecting of the disaster, Hamagurihama is a place people can come to reflect on the event and their lives, as well as a learn and practice the old ways of Japan. The Hamagurihama Project is a beautiful story of the...
A small bit of news from Moldova surrounding, "Those Who Remain".
For me, being a photographer means paying it forward. In Moldova we held a workshop about oral histories and developing the community around them. How can we include and teach younger generations? And what is being done now?
From Cutting Class to College Grads: Stanton's Revolution
Friday, February 10, 2017
Anacostia, Washington, DC 20020, USA - There was a time at Stanton Elementary, a school nestled in Washington DC’s Anacostia neighborhood, where the teachers were afraid to go to class. The school’s limited resources and lack of support fueled a dejected attitude among the students, many of whom had difficult backgrounds and no healthy outlets to express their emotions. Some teachers even reported being kicked or punched in the halls, citing an overall culture of negativity and despair. As one administrator put it, “There was a sense that if you went here, you were coming because you could go nowhere else.”... Read More at https://viewfind.com/story/second-to-none
The Circle of Life in Rural China
Saturday, August 20, 2016
YingPanXu, Jiangxi, China -
In the wake of China’s rapid industrialization, many people are flocking to cities for greater opportunities.
To observe how this exodus was affecting local communities, photojournalist Clary Estes traveled to Yingpanxu, a provincial mountain town in eastern Jiangxi.
PHOTOS DOCUMENT LIFE FOR THE ELDERLY AND VERY YOUNG IN CHINA’S RURAL COMMUNITIES
What does it mean to be left behind? This is the question that American photographer Clary Estes began with in her latest project out of China. The largest internal migration in human history has seen nearly 160 million able-bodied Chinese move from the countryside to the booming economies of the east coast since 1978. Estes’ Left Behindproject documents this historical event from the other side of the coin, from the perspective of the elderly and very young in China’s rural communities who remained behind.
Estes photographed the day-to-day life of the Huang family, a family living in Yingpanxu, a rural village in the verdant mountains of Jiangxi province. She met them during her time teaching a month-long photojournalism workshop. While out shooting in the countryside with her students they came upon the mother of the Huang clan tending to her field and struck up a conversation. Estes returned a few times to shoot the family after that. “Then suddenly the patriarch Huang Jingming died. This got me very close with the family and I shot the wake and funeral. I continued coming back throughout the year to shoot them and their story,” she says.
Estes captured intimate and sometimes painful moments during her time with the Huangs. A widow weeping during a funeral. A mother in pain following an emergency C-section. A young daughter crying in a bout of frustration. These are images that could only be taken by someone whom this family trusted and was okay with letting in to some of their most vulnerable experiences. Estes’ photographs reveal in haunting clarity what it means to be left behind.
STALIN EXILED THESE TWO SISTERS TO KAZAKHSTAN. A LIFETIME LATER, THEY’RE FINALLY BREAKING THEIR SILENCE.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
After the Soviet ruler banished thousands of “enemies of the state” to the empire’s furthest reaches, the shame and stigma kept most quiet for decades.
The first wave of deportations began in 1941.
Josef Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, ordered his forces to deport tens of thousands of Moldovans from their homes. Moldova, a small (now independent) country in between the Ukraine and Romania, became a Soviet Socialist Republic in 1940. Stalin deported legions of people deemed “anti-Soviet,” seeking to fend off trouble and unrest in his ever-expanding Soviet Union. Another wave of deportations in 1949 and lasted until the early 1950s.
They were sent to Kazakhstan and Siberia, far away from home, split from their families. Among them were the women of the Graur family, who were deported to Kazakhstan in 1951. Their father was an “enemy of the state” who fled to escape Stalin’s forces in the middle of the night; their brother joined the Soviet Army, the same military that was oppressing his family. In Kazakhstan, the Graur women, Ana, Pasha, Maria and their mother, Marusca, had to fend for themselves while hearing of dire conditions at home in Moldova.
“In 1953, after the death of the tyrant Stalin, we were not so harshly punished anymore,” says Pasha. The Graur women longed to return home to Moldova, to leave behind the harsh and stark landscape of Kazakh winters and summers and their impoverished life. But they had no money. In 1953, the principal at Pasha’s school urged her to train to become a lab technician, and gave her enough money to return home to Moldova to continue her training. Two years later, Ana, Maria and their mother saved enough money to return home. Like many others, they long kept silent about their history as deportees. To speak about one’s deportation was to call attention to the fact that you were, or had been, considered an enemy of the state. Hiding their former-deportee status allowed them to find work and return to some sense of normalcy.
Now in the twilight of their lives, Ana, 74, and Pasha, 78, share their story, along with archival family photos from the Soviet occupation and their return home. The sisters, after staying silent for so long fearing punishment if they spoke, want the history of this time to finally be heard.
In the 1940s, two waves of mass deportations were carried out in Moldova by Joseph Stalin, forcing more than 50,000 citizens to relocate to places like Siberia and Kazakhstan. Now, nearly seven decades later, their stories are being told. Continue reading at The Daily Yonder.
Circuit turistic nou în Moldova: Deceniul deportărilor din Basarabia
Cu ocazia implinirii a 75 de ani de la primul val si 67 de ani de la cel dea-l doilea val de deportari, în Republica Moldova a fost lansat un circuit turistic tematic, numit: „Deceniul deportărilor din Basarabia”.
Pe data de 06 iulie 2016 a fost organizat primul tur pentru presă, iar pe data de 09 si 10.07.16 vor fi organizate excursii pentru turiști. Acest circuit este organizat pentru a scoate din umbră evenimentele tragice, care au avut loc în acea perioadă, deportarile și foametea. Echipa care se ocupă de acest proiect este formată din istorici cu renume în tematica deportarilor, precum Viorica Olaru – Cemîrtan, Alexandru Moraru, Mihail Tașcă. „Noi nu încercăm să refacem traseul deportărilor. Noi încercăm să prezentăm de ce şi în ce mod erau basarabenii ridicaţi din casele lor, aduşi la gările de tren şi deportaţi în Siberia. Ținem mult să scoatem la lumină informaţiile ascunse din dosarele secrete şi mărturiile celor care au resimţit pe propria piele furia represiunilor politice”, a declarat Irina Milos Ciurea, inițiatoarea acestui proiect.
The article was recently added to Timpul's website, it is in Romanian but the images are also highlighted. We are very much looking forward to an exciting summer of shooting and growing the project so much more over the next few years!
The Japanese village of Hamagurihama was decimated by the 2011 Tohoku tsunami. But the power of place and people have created a second chance. Multimedia journalist Clary Estes shares her "sense of awe" in a video documentary about the village's rebirth.