Robert, a psychology student, did not attend his morning lectures nor catch the bus to the Jagielonski University in Krakow. He did, however, get up early and take the rubbish out. That was 20th January 1995, when he was 21 ­– since then, nobody has seen him or knows what has happened to him.

Every year the Polish police file 15,000 missing person reports. Every day the faces of missing people gaze out from posters designed to attract our attention, yet with every passing day we notice them less.

JASHIM SALAM | Water World, Bangladesh

In the past few years, climate change has begun to take a major toll on my home city of Chittagong, Bangladesh. Tidal surge – water levels rising significantly above the tide levels that astronomy predicts-has begun to affect the city as much as twice a day, resulting in frequent flooding of residential and business areas.

Letter to the Reader, Special Issue

Issue 13

In 2008, my life changed when I married my husband Graham. Together, we began to grow our own garden of dreams. Our first seed was Visura Magazine, which features personal projects by individuals worldwide, mostly photographers. Visura became a product of love at a time when the world was facing an economic crash and a war. As a result, we received hundreds of emails from students, alumni, and emerging photographers and individuals from all professions, who were just like us, seeking inspiration, opportunity, and a sign of hope.

In Conversation with Raghu Rai

Issue 13

Raghu Rai is a New Delhi based photographer born in 1942 in a small village called Jhang, which is now part of Pakistan. Rai started photographing in 1965 at the age of 23. In 1971, Henri Cartier Bresson was very impressed after he saw an exhibition of Rai’s work at Gallery Delpire, in Paris. Rai joined the illustrious Magnum Agency in 1977 as a first Indian photographer.

By Alakananda Nag for Visura Magazine

SERENDIPITY | Veronika Marquez

Issue 13

My name is Veronika Marquez and I am an ex-prostitute. This video is my most sincere contribution, gift and offering to the profession of prostitution. In this video, I play Camille, the other “me” who represents my past as a prostitute. I recite a poem written by Jaime Sabines, as an homage to prostitutes who find atonement and convert to saints due to their services rendered. This poem is charged with generosity and virtue, characteristics that I consider to be indispensable to those who work in this profession.

STATE OF SOUND | Milován Radovic

Issue 13

“Latinoamérica” is a song released in 2011 by the Puerto Rican alternative band, Calle 13. Composed by René Perez (band leader alongside his brother Eduardo Cabra), the song is dedicated to Latin America. In 2011, the song won Record of the Year and Song of the Year in the Latin Grammy Awards. The song reflects on the underlying historical, social, and political themes present throughout Latin America. Throughout their nine year trajectory, the band has won 19 Latin Grammy and 2 Grammy Awards.

BETSY SCHNEIDER | Sweet Is The Swamp

Issue 13

I never have been able to take a good ice cream cone-eating picture. I have tried and tried literally dozens of times. Is it that I am too busy eating and balancing the ice cream that I am unable to really focus on making a good picture? Maybe the idea is too cliché, or maybe it has just been bad luck. This summer when I was trying yet again to do this I dropped my Mamiya 7. It wasn't the first time I dropped that camera but the repair people tell me it was the last. That was bad luck. Since then I have been debating whether or not to replace the camera.


Issue 13

As a kid, I never traveled anywhere. My parents would go away sometimes, but they never took me along. I was only on a plane once before the age of 20. I was sent alone to Florida one summer to visit my grandparents for a week. I still remember exiting the plane and being hit in the face with that warm, humid and aromatic tropical air. An unfamiliar yet quite exciting experience. To this day I'm still very conscious of the smell, temperature and feel of the air of a new place as I deplane.

NINA BERMAN | 15 Minutes Apart

Issue 13

Julie, 33, had been a civilian marine engineer on a Navy Vessel in support of Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. Her small size made her perfect to fit into the tight spaces of the engine room, where she was exposed to diesel fumes, chemicals, etc.

LARRY FINK | Apple Of My Eye

Issue 13

"You are the apple of my eye. Enjoy this picture and its carnivorous love." - Larry Fink


Issue 13

"Trapped" portrays the life and conditions of the prisoners with mental illness at the Kentucky State Reformatory. My hope is that this long term and ongoing project triggers a dialogue not only about prison reform but the mental health crisis in America.


Issue 13

It is easy to take what we see for granted and forget how the extraordinary also lies in the ordinary.
Still, it is all right in front of us: life, love, death...

MAYRA MONTERO | Molto Vivace

Issue 13

The British musician, who ordinarily conducts the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, was called home to substitute for Zubin Mehta for one night. While attacking Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony—it had to be Tchaikovsky—Judd hit his forehead with his own baton and produced a wound that began to bleed like an authentic bullet wound. Nonetheless, he refused to leave the podium and was spattering the public for forty-five minutes. I think the ladies have kept their clothes as a memento.


Issue 13

I live in a beautiful place. My house is nestled against the base of a mountain; a river runs through my property. State protected wilderness extends for many miles in every direction. My neighbors include bear, deer, fox, bobcats, raccoons, rabbits, rodents of many sizes, hawks, owls, eagles, and birds of all colors. It is idyllic. So, when I come into a city, it feels a bit disorienting. That’s a good place to photograph from.


Issue 13

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was 31 years old. This was 7 years ago.

Today, women in their 30’s are the fastest growing group of people with breast cancer in the country. Although it feels like a lifetime has passed since I received treatment, I continue to be haunted by the aftermath of the surgeries, countless combinations of drugs and radical emotional upheavals. The cancer may have left my body, however, its echo never has.

CHARLES HARBUTT | Romance for the Real 5

Issue 13

Christianity was of course the primary art motif in the Middle Ages. Like the Egyptians, the priests claimed to have figured out a system to achieve immortality, eternal life, which they controlled and whose verbal brains legislated the rules, but medieval class structure was a subtext, through the positioning of subjects. God was highest and frequently the largest figure in the frame, cardinals, saints and bishops were next, emperors and other believers next, especially the nobility and at the bottom came the serfs and sinners, often tiny. Art’s purpose was to teach religion’ as Pope Saint Gregory said: The picture is to the illiterate what the written word is to the educated. A detailed list of symbols was promulgated to which artists had to conform. There could no longer be any reference to anything actual because neither the artists nor the image police had ever seen the events being portrayed.

NEIL JACOBS, ESQ | Casualties of Law, Releases

Issue 13

Well, maybe you do and maybe you do not. Photographers taking pictures of newsworthy events for publication (including e-publication) in news-dissemination media probably do not need releases from their subjects, but practically every other photographer will. Why? It is the right of privacy—in this sense the right to control dissemination of one’s likeness. While public figures lose aspects of their right to privacy by virtue of being public personalities (politicians, celebrities, sports stars, et al.) most private individuals do not (I will leave aside for now the related right of publicity, which is the right of public figures to control likenesses of their likeness –eg, Marilyn Monroe dolls).

LARRY FINK | The Goose Slaughter

FAMILY VALUES hath killed the goose: a short noose, an ax, and a spasm, suggesting surrealism or expressionism. However, one must remember, art comes from life. What we see and how we see is the fluttering of the outside reality: the associative and perceptual layering from the experience of the inside eye.

NINA BERMAN | Industrial Intrusion

THE HOME was deserted. The occupants had fled, no longer able to bear the industrial intrusion that turned night into day and muffled the sounds of nature that had called them to this place years ago. Late September, after midnight, I came upon this spot and saw an apple tree transformed, shaking in the wind, illuminated by flames from a nearby methane flare. The air was hot and smelled. For some, drilling to explode gas to heat our homes and power our world is progress that promises vast wealth. For others, it portends destruction and ecological demise.

In Conversation with Elizabeth Cheng Krist

A graduate from Princeton University, Elizabeth Cheng Krist is a Senior Photo Editor for National Geographic. She worked at Asia and then Fortune before joining National Geographic magazine in 1994. Elizabeth has won awards from POYi, Overseas Press Club, and Communication Arts, and she has judged competitions for Kodak, Nikon, NPPA, College Photographer of the Year, and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards. She has curated exhibitions in Washington, D.C., and Athens, Greece, and has reviewed portfolios at the Palm Springs Photo Festival, Eddie Adams Workshop, and Review Santa Fe. A few years ago Elizabeth received a fellowship from the International Reporting Project.

CHARLES HARBUTT | Romance for the Real, Part IV

Issue 12

The Greeks Greece is the stencil of western civilization; it is where we have looked for democracy’s model. In Greece, the frontal lobes, the rational, verbal brain took over control of communication. Greek letter-forms are abstract shapes referring to the sounds of the letters themselves, not to any drawing of something real as in earlier alphabets. There is a theory that this divorce led to the triumph of abstract thinking in the West, the “victory” of the verbal brain.


Last summer it was floods. Irene came through in late August bringing too much water. The Little Beaverkill washed our road away. Irene was an echo of Katrina. We are no longer just threatened by global warming. It has begun. We’re in the soup.


In the Spring of 2011 I was invited to go on a cruise to the Caribbean on Princess Cruise Lines. As always, I saw this as an opportunity to make pictures. The environment I encountered on the Crown Princess is in many ways artificial and man-made.

BRAD VEST | The Best We Can

Darren and Kim Wilson represent the changing roles of grandparenting in southeast Ohio. Following Kim’s daughter’s drug related custody forfeiture of her two children, Jenna and Ayden, the grandparents find themselves as parents for the second time around. Their decision has them confronting the challenges of raising young children while negotiating the issues around aging and their independence.


The myth of Iperborea tells the story of legendary civilizations collapsed in the cataclysm, known in the various myths of the world as The Flood. As the ones of Atlantis and Uthopia, the myth reminds us of legendary places—a no-man’s land that we are invited to seek and find. It also suggest the dichotomy of the modern man, struggling between desire and civilization.

MATT SLABY | Diary of a Photographer

Every so often I find myself with a handful of homeless pictures.  These images come about as a matter of process, pictures made during in between moments when the only compelling reason to press the shutter is to be antithetical to the idea that every photograph encapsulates a completed story.  These pictures are notes, tones, mile markers on the way to destinations, things which have caused me to screech to a halt on the open, empty highway, mistakes, distractions from the main event, and studies in composition that likely have no useful thread outside of being pages in a photographer’s sketchbook.


Ingar Aasen calles himself the Art Ranger and is today an established artist, both in Norway and on the west coast in America. He was born in Fredrikstad, Norway in 1964 and has been living in a communal area called Øra, just outside Fredrikstad City, for the last twenty years.

The Walk Through Museum at the Taste of Rum Festival

The Taste of Rum was conceived and to this day is produced by a young Puerto Rican entrepreneur named Federico José Hernández of FH Enterprise. He invited me to curate the Walk Through Museum, a photography exhibition that traces the history and origin of rum and how the industry has contributed to shaping Puerto Rico's economy. It features a selection of early color images by legendary Ukrainian born photographer Jack Delano taken during the years of 1940-1942, showing the daily life of the sugar cane workers on the island. You will also learn about the origin and mission of the governmental agency, Rums of Puerto Rico, along with the four main Puerto Rican distilleries: Bacardi, Serallés, Trigo and Ron del Barrilito.

PAUL SZYNOL | Natale Solum

Natale Solum is a series of photographs about Poland, where I was born and lived as a child, before leaving for New York City.  I returned to Warsaw only some 20 years later.  These photos are about the country I've been discovering since then.

ELLEN WALLENSTEIN | Pocketbook of Drag Queens

The waitresses and performers became friends; they allowed me to photograph them both “on” and “off”. There was mutual trust. As a woman photographing men dressed as women, I was doubly aware of the surrealism involved. It made me question what I used to take for granted, about appearances and what constitutes gender.

Jewelry Designer Wilfredo Rosado

From Andy Warhol, I learned how to appreciate the things that were not tradition. Andy always had a great appreciation for non-traditional beauty. He also had an incredible work ethic. Andy was a hard worker, who valued what was the new, creative movement of the time. When I worked with him, I was exposed to that creative process because I was around him and I was able to see and eventually identify new trends. Today, I have a love for knowing what young people are doing in music, fashion and pop culture. It has become important to be up on what is new and what the new kids are doing; that was Andy for me. From Giorgio Armani, I learned how to identify beauty: what is going on in culture, and how to take what is raw and filter it in a refined way. Armani is also an amazing and astute businessman. He has been able to create a unique vision and make it into a successful business.


Three countries - Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia have all gone through unprecedented political and socioeconomic changes over the past year heralding the beginnings of a new era in their country's history. New hopes and new dreams have interwoven into the daily lives of people. The complex realities on the ground however paint a different picture, where the future still looks murky and uncertain and where the dust hasn't yet settled.

DAVID BACHER | Bei’s Fashion

Making one’s way into the limelight of the fashion industry in Paris has not changed since Coco Chanel sought support from members of the wealthy bourgeoisie at the turn of the 20th century. I took these photos in 2006 at a small, by invitation only, fashion show in the apartment of a well to do French family. The building was located a stone’s throw away from the Champs Elysees.

BESS ADLER | Bodybuilding

In this series, I document a community whose members devote massive energy to strengthening and displaying their bodies. Rigorous and exciting competitions determine who has the most perfect physique. Line up, walk, display, flex, and judge. These men and women march across a well-lit stage, stop midway and expose sculpted bodies, the product of perseverance and hard labor.

CHARLES HARBUTT | Romace for the Real, Part III

Issue 12

I started these Reflections because I felt that the art histories I’ve read left too much out, especially things relevant to photography. In the first article I talked about the evolution of our three brains: reptilian, mammalian (visual) and neomammalian (verbal), each with its own intelligence. In the second piece, I pointed out that from the beginning people have valued visual objects where something in the actual world made its own image, a good description of photography, even before its literal invention. This piece explores the impact of the word-oriented civilization on the visual arts, a not always friendly relationship.

MATT EICH | Diary of a Photographer

WHEN YOU BOIL IT ALL DOWN, I make pictures to remember the fleeting moments and feelings that comprise our daily existence. My journey as a photographer was born from a compulsion to document life around me after watching my grandmother’s memory erased by Alzheimer’s disease. She was set adrift on an ocean of her life’s experience, the tape wound backwards, and soon in her mind, she was back where she started. Life had come full circle.

Jazz Musician Miguel Zenón

Grammy Nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón recently finished his new album–Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook, which will be released on August 30th, 2011.

Born and raised in San Juan Puerto Rico, Zenón adapted traditional popular songs by legendary Puerto Rican composers–Rafael Hernández Marín, Pedro Flores, Sylvia Rexach, Bobby Capó, and Don Tite Curet Alonso–to jazz, a genre that has a tradition of making standards from popular American songs. The music in this album was arranged by Zenón and orchestrated for a 10-piece woodwind section by Argentine pianist, composer and arranger Guillermo Klein.

LARRY FINK | Nature of Impossibility

Issue 12

When I first began to use electric flash, I found that it was faster than my eye. Each moment became a fresh discovery. With the point and shoot, no matter how fast it is, it is slow compared to my impulse and perceptions.
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