Karpov is a visual storyteller and documentary photographer. He has traveled the world for the last five years documenting the lives of people at various stages of their migration from war-torn countries in the Middle East and Africa to Europe. His latest project is a nonfiction book entitled Despite It All We Never Learn a collection of refugee testimonials that were recorded and written aboard various rescue vessels in the Mediterranean Sea over the course of seventeen missions from 2015 to 2019. Prior to the nonprofit work, Karpov worked for the New York Times, BBC News, and NPR. His experience with 35mm film and love of French cinema transpires in his pictures, where gritty black & whites and wide-angle perspectives form a narrative without filter, without judgment, that delves deeply into the lives of his subjects.
My images exploit the tension between chaos and order. In the complex real world, visual chaos is everywhere. Sometimes, within the photographic frame, the order can be attained. Once inside, I want to find the stories of individuals and families that collectively celebrate diversity, their desires, fears, love, and loneliness all play their part in my photographic work, thus balancing each other between past and present; the spontaneous shots and the carefully crafted ones. Much of my work could be characterized as being a blend of street photography and reportage. I have used photography & audio storytelling not only to think critically about the world around me but also to give voice to people who otherwise wouldn’t have one. I am keenly interested in the different ways in which people find meaning in their lives, how an individual explores his or her existence through philosophy, religion, or tradition. I believe that human forms are as engaging and mysterious as the lives they lead. In my genre of photography, I rely on my intuition and sensitivity coupled with my usage of the camera as a means to document lives and preserve moments of intense emotion and dignity. I aim to enhance my viewers’ awareness and engage them in a visual journey that is also a questioning of our existence. I want to welcome them into the exploration of our mysterious existence with a spirit of importance.
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