Living on the Borderby Karl W Hoffman on Aug. 28, 2010, under Border Issues
I began my coverage of the American Mexican Border almost 6 years ago as a freelance photojournalist and it grew into multimedia production. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Since I don’t type very well and will never claim to be a great writer, photography was my tool to record the horror and beauty of life on this planet. Time doesn’t stand still, changing and adapting is part of personal growth. I have found new truths that I hope will enlighten my fellow humans, so I am proud to join the Tucson Citizen’s blogging team as an independent media contributor. I sincerely look forward to bringing the truth about life on the border to you all and promise to investigate the issues as objectively as possible, even when the truth is unpopular. I do believe that instead of sensationalizing the facts to arouse emotion, it is more important to philosophize a bit to encourage thoughtful debate.
I have had a successful and rewarding life as an artist and several diverse occupations so giving something back is not only my duty but also my pleasure. My documentary film, photography and now my blog, are my gift to future generations so they will know what happened here on the border at the turn of this century and hopefully they will learn by our mistakes rather than follow our example.
How we as a society progressed though the governmental/humanitarian/mafia/hate group maze of the border debacle with only the sensationalism of a hungry media and few manipulative groups is a horrendous injustice, not only to the American and the Mexican people, but to global cultures inspired by the dreams of a democracy that we as a nation have portrayed to the world.
The walls we have put up in our minds and in our hearts are the strongest of all, but the easiest to break down if we want to.
I have watched with horror as the border and immigration debacle deteriorates to a hostile arena with only two sides, digging in and throwing rocks at each other. I have been asked many times to chose a side, but I will remain in the middle and get rocks thrown from both sides if that what it takes to report the truth and educate those who can still peruse solutions through understanding and compromise.
Karl W. Hoffman
Please feel free to contact me in regards to discussion groups, showings of my documentary, border photography exhibits, lectures, border information, promotional photos, interviews and extreme border tours at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit my website www.livingontheborder.com
Living on Border( 95min) was 5 years in the making and totally self-funded by selling our home and moving to the American, Mexican border. This feature length documentary (95min) is a real eye opener. The majority of local and national media is just not interested in the truth, so completely uninhibited, I took on the task, of unraveling the vast intricacies and experiencing the emotion and brutality of the border debacle firsthand. I waded in after the media had left with segments for salable stories to root out the many unknown facts and hidden agendas of both the major and minor players, not to mention the endless hours alone on hose back, foot and 4×4, in the air and on raids with Border Patrol, as well as in the field with humanitarian groups. Covering both sides of the border and interacting with the local environment has given me a very unique and different view of the intense collateral damage of the tightening of border security that allowed me to connect the dots.
My film is not just a documentary about the plight of the illegal migrant but it is a mirror for all humanity, to show just how we humans continually act. No matter where in the world it occurs, or in the time line of history one goes, the formula seams to be the same.
View trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_Y4AFuS5rk
The Indypendent, New York,
”Karl W. Hoffman has captured the raw moments along the Arizona-Mexico border that challenge the human tendency to draw invisible
lines through the landscape and people’s lives. His work is of international significance, from the Sonoran Desert to New York City.” Jessica Lee
Yale University Press, London, ”Living on the Border is a fascinating physical, social and psychological state”. Robert Baldock, Editor & Managing Director
Photographer’s Forum Magazine, Award for Excellence in Photojournalism is granted to Karl W. Hoffman for his photograph of the “Beggar Boy” from the documentary “Living on the Border”
US News and World Report, “your photos are awesome” Stephen Rountree Graphics Director, Published in the June 25th 2007 issue
Nina Rehfeld, www.txture.com freelance writer for; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Financial Times Germany, Spiegel Online, etc. “ Karl W Hoffman’s work is a wonderful example of grassroots-journalism. Fully engaged but without an agenda, Hoffman wields his lens with a keen eye for common sense – or its absence – and a big heart that focuses entirely on the human story playing itself out on the border.”
BLACK AND WHITE SPIDER AWARDS, London, Honors fine art photographer, Karl W. Hoffman for outstanding achievements in photojournalism, January 3, 2007
Tucson Weekly “As an eyewitness to the continuing tragedies, Hoffman brings his camera to the most dangerous areas along the border.” Margaret Regan
San Diego City Beat, “From dramatic black and whites of tired migrants rubbing their feet to beautiful depictions of determined young Mexicans, the show is both aesthetically pleasing and educational”. Kinsee Morlan
University of Arizona Borderbeat, “Unlike most journalists who tread out to the border to report, Karl W. Hoffman is fully involved in pursuing the truth of the whole story, living and working amongst the chaos.” Samantha Luvisi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhhQkNVotIg
Presbyterians Today Magazine, “Karl’s beautiful and gritty images capture the many emotions experienced along the border: anguish, despair, struggle, and… hope. His work, by allowing us to glimpse into these lives, brings us closer to understanding and compassion for their plight.” Graphics Director, Shellee Marie Layman
New York Community Media Alliance Winners, 2008 Ippies, Journalism Awards
Best Photo Essay category