Best of the Web

This week’s Best of the Web is a curation of everything from what it’s like to be a reporter on the frontline to how Transcendental Meditation is helping creatives, including David Lynch. Orrin Devisky pens an article in The New Yorker on Oliver Sacks, a year after his death and the British Journal of Photography talk sport.

NEWSWEEK: Reporter documents life in Aleppo in ‘7 days in Syria’


Courtesy of 7 Days in Syria

Unbelievably poignant. Journalist Janine Di Giovanni documents the efforts of reporting from the frontline. Four years ago Di Giovanni, photographer Nicole Tung and cinematographer Patrick Wells began work on 7 Days in Syria – a film revealing what goes into reporting from a war zone. The image of a five-year-old boy sitting at the back of an ambulance after an airstrike in Aleppo has reignited discussion over the last week; Di Giovanni explains that Aleppo was hell four years ago and now it’s even worse. Here’s an extract from the article:

‘When we arrived in Aleppo in 2012, we stayed at the home of a young Syrian student. One night he came back grief-stricken: One of his best friends had been killed on the frontline. All night long, well after we turned off the generator that ran power into the small apartment, we heard him crying. Whether he was crying for his friend, or all of his country, I can’t say. A few weeks later, he too was killed.’

Read the full story HERE


THE NEW YORKER: A year without Oliver Sacks


Photograph by Andrea Artz/Redux

A year ago neurologist and writer, Oliver Sacks, passed away. Orrin Devinsky pens a sentimental article for The New Yorker on his friendship with Sacks, and the discussions that would ensue on their bike rides on the West Side. Devinsky writes that Sacks’ best conversations were with Robin Williams on Lake Tahoe, as he swam the backstroke while Williams kayaked alongside. Here’s an extract from the article:

‘Oliver’s greatest gift was sensitivity—seeing, feeling, and sketching what the rest of us had never even noticed. I referred many patients to Oliver. He spent two, three, or more hours on the initial visit. Some did not know “who he was,” but, after their consultation, all knew how special he was, all wanted more. His notes overflowed with nuances of their lives; he captured their voices and gained tender and brilliant insights that had escaped me during a decade of care.’

Read the full story HERE


THE BRITISH JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY: He shoots, He scores! A history of sports photography


Gerard Rancinan (French, born 1953). Laura Flessel, 2001.  Courtesy of the artist

The Olympics in Rio came to a close this week, so it seems fitting to include this short piece on sports photography. Curator Gail Buckland put together ‘Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present, at Brooklyn Museum. The exhibition includes a collection of over 230 photographs with the intention of promoting the photographers behind iconic shots. Since we can’t get to New York for the show here’s an extract from the article:

‘“No one captures moments like sports photographers,” says curator and author Gail Buckland. “People don’t understand the mastery in the beauty of sports photography because they get so dazzled by either the action or the individual.

“I want to turn the lens on the photographers and tell their stories. Explain who they are and tell something about their professional life and their passion.”’

Read the full story HERE


IT’S NICE THAT: Meditation and creativity: should we believe the hype?


Illustration by Christopher DeLorenzo

From the It’s Nice That archives, Emily Gosling explores the relationship between Transcendental Meditation and creativity. Many creatives have tried and tested TM and claim that they have a more positive outlook, especially when engaging with the subconscious and producing work. It’s no surprise that people are giving it a shot, since the trance-like state of meditation is itself a creative maelstrom. If David Lynch attests his artistry to TM then it’s worth a try! Here’s an extract from the article:

‘“A massive part of portrait photography is connecting with someone and getting them to drop their guard and relax. It’s much easier for me to do that now as I’m calmer. [Meditation] lets you take a break from the stresses of everything around you.”’

Read the full story HERE

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