I’m thrilled to be writing this. For a while there, it looked like Issue 02 wouldn’t happen; after Issue 01, we slowly started to come out on the other side of the pandemic and that meant work coming in again – thankfully, finally – but it also meant a lot less time to commit to Black River. It’s taken a long time to get to this point, and I’m so pleased to be able to share Black River Issue 02 with you all!
For Issue 02, we asked for submissions alongside the theme ‘Ways of Living’. As was the case in Issue 01, every submission we received is featured. While much of the work and artists have unquestionably been influenced by these challenging past years, there are also urgent and deeply moving stories around a range of themes including personal and cultural identity, grief, family, mental health, physical health, ideas of home, fact vs fiction, and much more.
A huge thanks to each of the 72 artists who took the time to send in their work and work with us to make an amazing Issue 02.
With that, I must also announce that this will be the last issue of Black River. It’s been a wonderful eight-year run and we’d like to extend a huge THANK YOU to all our readers, supporters, donators, and contributors who’ve come along for the ride – you’ve all been amazing
Now, I can’t wait for you to get stuck in! Get cosy, grab a drink (you’ll probably need snacks too), and set aside some time to read, look at and experience all the incredible stories and creativity in Black River Issue 02, our last.
Founder & Editor, Black River
Please note: Issue 02 has been designed for and is best viewed on large screens.
Carolina Dutca + Valentin Sidorenko
Daniel James Homewood
Erika Nina Suárez
Georges Salameh + Alexandros Mistriotis
Ida Chloë Lou Olsen
Patrick Flannery Walker
Rosa Esperanza Leindecker-Fox
Silje Lovise Gjertsen
Silvia De Giorgi
Spend some time in our features section which showcases each photographer’s series and story through interviews. Click through to read each one.
The Interval of Unreason
It was there where I begin to unravel the secret stories of my father’s past as a sailor and adventurer of his time while also deconstructing the famous history of Patmos as the “Island of the Apocalypse”, the place from where infernal visions of mankind’s ultimate downfall sprang, inspiring Saint John to write the Book of Revelation – the final book of the New Testament.
The Excruciating Slowness Of Things (and maybe a song)
I hear the uncle from the sixteenth floor blow the conch every evening at seven, and his wife gearing up for the evening prayer.
I hear my bathroom neighbour shower to Mirza Ghalib, my bedroom neighbour paint to Bon Iver, and the mustard seeds bop to Beyoncé in my own kitchen.
I watch my shadows become shorter and longer, as dawns merge with dusks, merge into days, weeks, and months. I watch identical moving images, day in and day out through my window. I watch through my lens. I watch.
In The Canyon
In many ways I find Hope, along with surrounding communities, has been shaped by specific forms of extraction colonialism. I find this continues to impact the ways we live together as community. Colonisation is a violent act that creates asymmetrical power dynamics and has further perpetuated forms of oppression within the community.
In this project, I wanted to show the simultaneous difference and paradoxical similarity between people of different generations who grew up in the same culture. Despite the fact that it seems like my generation already has a disparate worldview, it amazes me how we are still largely similar in so many ways, and how some of our reactions and preferences are determined by our general mindset or mentality.
The Depth of Normalcy
‘The Depth of Normalcy’ is an ongoing project bringing together previous explorations of my relationship with those around me and my environment, to my journey with chronic pain of the cervical spine.
Down in the Forest, We Sing a Chorus
Stacy Arezou Mehrfar
Weekend treks became family ritual, connection to nature a necessity for renewal. We continued to collaborate on making photographs as we escaped further north. In awe of what we saw – our vulnerability and interdependence inscribed in the land – we found the cycles of growth, decay, rebirth manifested as formal and fluid. Sometimes we were confronted with loss. Mostly, we found life.
I hold my camera, I love its smell and the smell of fresh film. It’s the best fragrance in the world because I remember that I am in the here and now, free to look at reality the way I sense it… I wait to see what gift life has granted me this time, waiting for those frames to appear in front of my eyes, reminders of how much hope and light and life there is – and how privileged I am to be able to experience it.
Back to Nowhere
I was forced to return to my homeland when COVID-19 happened. Contrary to my initial expectations of returning, I was trapped in an awkward psychological state of not being able to “land”. In ‘Back to Nowhere’, I selectively photographed the areas where I lived, mainly places that I have a sense of familiarity to but which have been abandoned or rebuilt due to gentrification, as if everything that had been solid had vanished. The juxtaposition of the photographic survey of these locations and archival family images is a way of questioning my own response: a shock at the destruction and end of original experiences.
That disconnect between belief, hoax, fact and fiction and my willingness to believe the work even though I knew it wasn’t real has stuck with me… I started to not only explore my own beliefs and spirituality, but my own connection to nature around me and these ancient sites across Dorset and the South West that hold such power.
The Gallery Wall showcases a selection of inspiring single images. Click the image to find out more about the work and the artist.