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Notebook on Cities and Culture S4E37: Closed Worlds with Mark Edward Harris

markedwardharrisColin Marshall sits down in Los Angeles’ Miracle Mile district with photographer Mark Edward Harris, author of such books as Inside North KoreaInside IranThe Art of the Japanese Bath, and Faces of the Twentieth Century. They discuss filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami’s introduction to his Iran book, and his rule about always excluding people from his own photographs; the importance of children in images of Iran and countries like it; how Bruce Lee may or may not have started his interest in Asia back in his San Francisco childhood; how his job on The Merv Griffin Show came to an end, leaving him free to travel the world and build up his first real portfolio; how he once processed film while traveling, and the lasting thrill he got from first seeing an image appear in the developer; when and how digital cameras first became acceptable; what he learned from Stanley Kubrick’s early journalistic work with Look magazine (not to mention from Dr. Strangelove); the countries, of the 90 he has visited, that he finds himself returning to again and again; the restrictions he has to work under when shooting in North Korea; whether the two Koreas still feel in any way connected to him; his interest in revealing the realities of the nations once named as members of the “Axis of Evil”; why Iranian men tend to look like they stepped out of the 1970s; his relationship with the “discipline and quiet fortitude” of Japan; how he managed to get into Japanese baths with a camera; whether America’s center of Asia gravity has shifted to Los Angeles, a city friendly to the internationalist; how little work he thinks he’s done here, and how much he actually has;  and late May’s Fotofund campaign for his new Iran project.

Download the interview here as an MP3 or on iTunes.

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