Jonathan McIntosh is an digital-media artist, social justice activist, photographer and Indymeida journalist living in the Boston/Roxbury area. I found these photographs when I was looking for some info about Jakarta. My curiosity was picqued after posting Rarindra Prakarsa's photographs.
Apparently life for children in Jakarta is not all skittles and cream as Rarindra's photographs might have us believe.
I'll have a bit more to write about this in an addendum to this post over the weekend. An in-law from NJ with a car load of kids is due very soon, so I don't have time right now. While they're all out skiing tomorrow I'll write my peace/piece. Feel free to chime in any time.
FYI, I haven't had any contact with Jonathan Roxbury. I downloaded and posted his photographs under a Creative Commons attribution license. See more of his photography from The Garbage Ring - Jakarta Indonesia
FEATURED COMMENT: Jim Jirka wrote: "So in seeing this and Rarindra's images, would you then consider the former to be "ecoporn" of a different type?"
publisher's response: Jim, my first response is somewhere between rage/anger and the calm cool collectedness it will take to write a 10,000 word response. I am going to try to contact Rarindra again and get a fix on his "intent" although I'm not certain how much that really matters.
FEATURED COMMENT: Joel Truckenbrod wrote: "It's clear that our concept of "poverty" in the U.S. exists in another realm from what these people experience everyday. I am humbled and am not quite sure what else to say."
publisher's response: I am humbled as well - and angered (not at Jim J.) at a world that allows this to exist) and I am also struggling with "what to say". It seems somehow....well....not "wrong", but not "right" either to natter and blather about notions and ideas regarding the medium of photography.
To speak to Joel's reaction of not knowing what to say, I find it nearly impossible to view McIntosh's photographs as photographs in any of the ways in which photographers often view photographs - these photographs do not seem to have "composition", "quality of light", or any of the other photographic trappings we commonly employ. Both the referent (the object of the camera's gaze) and the connoted are so powerful that any "things-photographic" thoughts are simply obliterated.
As Mary Dennis opined, "...The power of imagery is truly awesome, is it not?
Ott Luuk's comments (not too harsh at all) spoke to Jim Jirka's question of truth vs beauty. Ott stated/asked, "My guess is that Rarindra`s photography is just a form of escapism, knowingly creating a blissful dreamworld to hang on the wall for those times you really don`t want to look out of the window....should I be scorned about growing a nice garden with roses and stuff around my house when my country`s forests are being cut down for quick profit...?
I would asnwer that question by stating that it's all very much a matter of intent. If, along with some roses, you also planted your head in the dirt - ostrich-and-sand-wise, I'd say that, yes, you should be scorned. Is that what Rarindra is doing? I don't know for certain, but, in the absence of any statement of intent otherwise....
Rarindra has a very broad presence on the www. I can find nothing about his intent other than his statement to me - "You should visit my beautiful country someday.", which is usually accompanied by a statement about the "millions" of beautiful places and "objects" available to be photographed. He seems to love and take great pride in his country.
Sure. OK. Fine. But, if Rarindra had offered even just a hint that his fanciful photographs spoke to the "innocence lost" in the face of the horrid human degradation that exists in his beloved country, I might not be inclined to venture that Rarindra's photographs are a very fine example of fiddling while Rome burns.
Or, to put it an American context, how would you feel about idyllic and fanciful photographs of black children frolicking carefree in Elysian Fields as representative of our "beautiful" country?