Photographers often make an effort to become invisible, to record events unfolding in front of them without interference, as objective observers of a decisive moment. But photographers are not invisible and they do influence events simply by being there.

What happens if photographers choose not to deny their visibility and instead embrace it? What kind of images are created when the subject in front of the lens is a place or person with whom the photographer has a direct emotional connection? Is this connection present in the photograph and visible to the viewer? Does the viewer feel this connection? Would you, as the viewer, then become present in that moment?

Photojournalists are often accused of preying on their subjects, but many photographers work with integrity and honesty, creating projects that are genuine collaborations between the photographer and the photographed.

All the photographers in this slideshow have taken on the task of documenting issues that are not only of singular importance but are close to each of their hearts, reflecting the issues and concerns they themselves face.

* Laura El-Tantawey - The Veil
* Lucy Helton - Bastrop
* Joseph Sywenkyj - Verses: A Family in Odessa Ukraine
* Peter Conteh - Sierra Leone
* Karen Miranda - Other Stories II
* Tiana Markova-Gold - Scènes et Types
* Gabriele Stabile - Refugee Hotel
* Brendon Stuart - Riding the Dog
* Pete Pin - Cambodian Diaspora
* J.A. Mortram - Small Town Inertia
* Tom White - The Divine Onkar Mission
* Deanna Ng - Garden City

This Slideshow was curated for the Obscura Festival 2013 in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. obscurafestival.com/obscura-2013-2/

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