Best of the Web
It’s been a while since I’ve contributed to the Best of the Web, a blog showcasing multimedia storytelling from around the Web, so I’m taking this opportunity to look back on some of the Los Angeles Times’ own multimedia.
Staff photographer Brian van der Brug spent time at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, a high-security prison where thousands of inmates, some dying, receive care. Brian’s images are stark and striking, especially one of a ghostlike, terminally ill inmate being comforted by verses of the Bible being read to him.
The video, “Prison hospice: Life and death ” is emotional, following “the kid,” a 24-year-old thief named Freddy Garcia who had colon cancer. Despite menacing tattoos that allude to his past as a gangster, Freddy is fragile, longing for his mother to hold him. The photography and video accompany the words of Kurt Streeter to tell the story of prison hospice, a story of care and atonement.
Photographer Christina House’s video illustrates Christopher Goffard’s story of the struggle faced by children living as illegal immigrants. While most high school seniors prepare for graduation and the transition to adulthood, for the five teenagers Christina followed, things are much more complicated. Poignant and revealing interviews show a glimpse of an existence where there are no routine traffic stops; for these kids, being pulled over can mean deportation. Without access to financial aid for college, they work seven days a week and live on instant noodles from a food bank to fulfill the American dream.
Staff photographer, Mel Melcon’s uncanny timing and juxtaposition of seemingly average objects and people show a world that is fantastic and hilarious. That is the day-to-day life of a Times photographer, making great images from the seemingly mundane. While on assignment to photograph thousands of eggs being donated to the food bank in South Los Angeles, Mel noticed a lady loading her car up from floor to ceiling with boxes of food. A conversation later Mel had his next subject for pop•u•LA•tion, an ongoing series of multimedia stories about Angelenos who help make their community so vibrant. As Steve Lopez writes for the series: ” … L.A.’s richest resource and greatest glory may be its people, a clamoring carnival of both native-born and transplants, of dreamers and believers.”
Los Angeles Times intern Arkasha Stevenson’s video and stills paint a portrait of a family coming to terms with their transgender child. Stevenson’s intimate interviews with Amber, a feminine 12-year old who was born a boy, and her family brings an awareness of the increasing number of families who are coming to terms with gender-variance. It is a video that shows that love can transcend traditional family roles.
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