By David Blumenkrantz
David Blumenkrantz is an artist, a documentarian, and an educator. His professional work includes eight years living in Africa (1987-1994) documenting issues related to relief and development, including urban poverty, street children, civil war, refugees, education, health and water development.
A 'Zungueira' with a baby on her back.
During this time, he ran a series of photography workshops at the French Cultural Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, and taught photography to former rebel soldiers in Eritrea.
In 2010, David travelled to Angola to document the programs of UNICEF. His images of Africa have been widely exhibited, including a one-person show on refugee life at an All-Africa Conference of Churches event in Zimbabwe, and a retrospective of his Africa work at the Watts Towers Art Center in Los Angeles.
In the streets of Luanda, one encounters a certain gorup of Angolan women who epitomise the term "Angolans at work". These street vendeors, referred to as 'Zungueiras', walk around the streets of the city, rain or shine, some bearing the weight of their babies on their backs but all donning their characteristic balance of goods on their heads. They tell the story of the nation's determination and remarkable will, as they overcome pavements, traffic and the elements.
David's photography highlights life in Cazenga Municipality, where many of its half roughly a million inhabitants fled to Luanda during the civil war (1975-2002) looking for security.
The picture of Noemia Icossi, a resident of Cazenga, with two of her children and their mosquito net probably reminds us that Angola, like the rest of Sub-saharan Africa shares in the continent's fight against Malaria, responsible for nearly 2 million deaths per year among children under the age of five.
A picture of a man at church, obviously looking his best to represent Angola's majority christian population, with more than half of the population being Roman Catholics and other faiths namely Islam, the Bahai Faith and indigenous religious systems also constitute the Angolan society.
David pictures a little girl enjoying precious drops of water only recently available to the residents of the village of Cajoaquim. She has every reason to rejoice as she is among the estimated 31% of Angolan children who have access to adequate sanitation.
Through his camera's lens, David shows us images of life in Angola, its challenges and the people's spirit.
David Blumenkrantz Photography of Angola | (Click on the images for captions more information)
Photographs from this collection have also been widely published in academic journals, textbooks, magazines and newspapers around the world.
Artistically, David is most interested in environmental portraiture and street photography, most specifically the intersection of documentary and art. In 2009, he completed a two-year photographic study of the Historic Theater District in Los Angeles, culminating with two exhibitions on the subject.
David spent two years as a freelance photojournalist with the Los Angeles Times, and eight years teaching Gifted & Talented elementary school students for the Los Angeles Unified School District.
He holds a BA in Photojournalism, an MA in Art Education, and an MFA in Visual Communication. He teaches photojournalism, documentary and visual communication courses as a tenured associate professor at California State University, Northridge, as well as courses in photojournalism for the Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s Online Division.
Visit www.daveblumenkrantz.com for much more information and brilliant work from David.
Posted By: Allan Kapten
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