THIRD WORLD BUREAUCRATS

From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]

JanBanning_IndiaIndia, Bihar, bureaucracy, 2003. Typeroom in the Finance Department of “the Old Secretariat” in the state capital Patna. The seemingly rusty old typewriters are awaiting use: the department is supposed to be 40% understaffed. The presence of several snoring employees gives a different suggestion.

http://www.janbanning.com/gallery/bureaucratics/
Jan Banning Photographs Civil Servants Around The World
by   /  February 21, 2013

Jan Banning’s series “Bureaucracy” is a robust look into the lives of civil servants from around the globe. Banning’s project took him to 8 different countries on 5 continents to photograph various individuals in their work environments. Each subject is posed behind his or her desk in their office, all shot from the same height, with the desk facing front or profile and parallel to the horizontal edges of the frame. Banning also published various info about the subject including position and salaries.

“Bureaucratics is a project consisting of a book and exhibition containing 50 photographs, the product of an anarchist’s heart, a historian’s mind and an artist’s eye. It is a comparative photographic study of the culture, rituals and symbols of state civil administrations and it’s servants in eight countries on five continents, selected on the basis of political, historical and cultural considerations: Bolivia, China, France, India, Liberia, Russia, the United States, and Yemen. In each country, I visited up to hundreds of offices of members of the executive in different services and at different levels. The visits were unannounced and the accompanying writer, Will Tinnemans. By interviewing, this kept the employees from tidying up or clearing the office. That way, the photos show what a local citizen would be confronted with when entering.” – Jan Banning

 

JanBanning_YemenYemen, bureaucracy, 2006. Yemen-35/2006 [AIM., AAN (b. 1982)]. Alham Abdulwaze Nuzeli (b. 1982) works at the regional office of the Ministry of Tithing and Alms in the city of Al-Mahwit, Al-Mahwit governorate. Monthly salary: 12,000 rial (US$ 67, euro 46).Behind her a portrait of president Saleh of Yemen.

 

JanBanning_BoliviaBolivia, bureaucracy (police), Potosi, 2005. Bolivia-08/2005 [Tin., CAVC (b. 1950)]. Constantino Aya Viri Castro (b. 1950), previously a construction worker, is a police officer third class for the municipality of Tinguipaya, Tomás Frías province. The police station does not have a phone, car or typewriter. Monthly salary: 800 bolivianos ( euro 189, US$ 100).

 

JanBanning_ChinaChina, bureaucracy, Shandong, 2005. China-06/2007 [Jin., QSF (b. 1964)]. Qu Shao Feng (b. 1964) is chief general of Jining Public Security Bureau Division of Aliens and Exit-Entry Administration in Jining City, Shandong province. Monthly salary: 3,100 renminbi (US$ 384, 286 euro).
JanBanning_FranceFrance, bureaucracy, Picardie, 2006. France-B03/2007 [Amb., LM (b. 1965)]. Laurence Maillard (b. 1965) works seven hours per week as town clerk in Ambrief (population 72), Aisne department, Picardie region. She holds the same position in another village nearby, working a total of 19 hours per week. Monthly salary: EUR 500 (US$ 657).
JanBanning_LiberiaLiberia, bureaucracy, 2006. Liberia-37/2006 [Cro., JMS (b. 1959)] J. Modesco Siaker (1959), township commissioner in Crozierville, Careysburg district, Montserrado County. Crozierville had 10,000 people before the war; now 4,000. In 1990, Taylor’s rebels entered the village: “I was a clerk then, and they threatened to execute me and some others. They let me go, but killed 2 others.” They ransacked houses and public buildings. In 1991, INPLF rebels (Prince Johnson c.s.) and Ecomog peacekeepers stole what was left. Since 1997, Siaker is back in his village. His office and home are in a derilict villa: the town hall was raised to the ground.Siaker cannot do much for his people. He earns 750 Lib. dollar (US$ 13, euro 12.50) a month.
JanBanning_RussiaRussia, bureaucracy, Siberia, province Tomsk, 2004. Russia-19/2004 [Tom., MNB (b. 1962)]. Marina Nikolayevna Berezina (b. 1962), a former singer and choir director, is now the secretary to the head of the financial department of Tomsk province”s Facility Services. She does not want to reveal her monthly salary.
JanBanning_USAUSA, bureaucracy, Texas, 2007. USA-11/2007 [Ozo., SF (b. 1961)]. Shane Fenton (b. 1961) is sheriff of Crockett County (about 3000 inhabitants), Texas, and based in Ozona, the county seat. Monthly salary: US$ 3,166 (euro 2,356).

http://petapixel.com/2013/02/22/the-face-of-bureaucracy-portraits-of-civil-servants-around-the-world/
The Face of Bureaucracy: Portraits of Civil Servants Around the World
by Michael Zhang  /  February 22, 2013

bureaucracy-7
Bureaucratics is a project by photographer Jan Banning that consists of 50 portraits captured in 8 countries on 5 continents around the world. The goal: to offer a comparative look at the culture, rituals, and symbols of state civil administrations. Basically, Banning wanted to document the face of bureaucracy by capturing portraits of government workers at their posts.

The photo above shows Dede McEachern, the director of licensing at the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations. She made $5,833 a month back when the photo was captured in 2007. Banning selected the eight countries based on political, historical, and cultural considerations, and ended up picking: Bolivia, China, France, India, Liberia, Russia, the United States, and Yemen. He then visited hundreds of offices in each country, dropping in on civil servants in different services and of different levels. He visits were always unannounced in order to keep the scene as authentic as possible (the subjects did not have time to prepare their appearance or tidy up their offices). Thus, each portraits hows exactly what local citizens encounter when they visit the offices.

India, bureaucracy, Bihar, 2003. India-19/2003 [Tha, SKM (b. 1946)]. Surinder Kumar Mandal (b. 1946) is circle inspector of taxes in Thakurganj block, collecting taxes in a specific part of Kishanganj district, State of Bihar. Monthly salary: 9,500 rupees ($ 208, 189 euro). Surinder Kumar Mandal (b. 1946) is "circle inspector" van belastingen in Thakurganj Block, Kishanganj district, State of Bihar. Maandsalaris: 9,500 rupees (euro 189, US$ 208).

Bolivia, bureaucracy (police), 2005. Marlene Abigahit Choque (1982), detective at the the Homicide Department of the Potosi police. The department has only broken typewriters, no computer, no copy machine, not even telephone. It shares a car with the Vice Squad: "If there is no petrol in the car, we have to buy it from our own money. If the car is gone, we take the bus. We have to pay the tickets ourselves." The head on the cupboard to the right is used to make witnesses of murder cases show where the bullets went in or out.Monthly salary: 920 bolivianos (euro 102, US$ 114).

France, bureaucracy, Auvergne, 2006. France-05/2006 [Cle., MW (b. 1949)/ LK (b. 1989)]. Maurice Winterstein (b. 1949) works in Clermont-Ferrand for the Commission for the Advancement of Equal Opportunity and Citizenship at the combined administrative offices of the Auvergne region and the Puy-de-Dome department. He also is in charge of the portfolio of religious affairs, Islam in particular. Monthly salary: euro 1,550 (US$ 2,038). The young lady next to him is Linda Khettabi (b. 1989), an intern pursuing training as a secretary.

Russia, bureaucracy, Siberia, province Tomsk, 2004. Russia-25/2004 [Tom., LVM (b. 1959)]. Lyudmila Vasilyevna Malkova (b. 1959) is a secretary to the mayor of the city of Tomsk, Tomsk province. She and her colleague take turns, working every other day, seven days a week, at least 12 hours a day. Monthly salary: 10,500 rubles (US$ 375, euro 285).

Liberia, bureaucracy, 2006. Liberia-04/2006 [Mon., AD (b. 1940)]. Major Adolph Dalaney (b. 1940) works in the Reconstruction Room of the Traffic Police at the Liberia National Police Headquarters in the capital Monrovia. Monthly salary: barely 1,000 Liberian dollars (US$ 18, euro 17). Traffic accident victims at times are willing to pay a little extra if Dalaney"s department quickly draws up a favorable report to present to a judge.

Here’s what Banning says about the approach he had with the photos:

The photography has a conceptual, typological approach […] Each subject is posed behind his or her desk. The photos all have a square format (fitting the subject), are shot from the same height (that of the client), with the desk – its front or side photographed parallel to the horizontal edges of the frame – serving as a bulwark protecting the representative of rule and regulation against the individual citizen, the warm-blooded exception. They are full of telling details that sometimes reveal the way the state proclaims its power or the bureaucrat’s rank and function, sometimes of a more private character and are accompanied by information such as name, age, function and salary. Though there is a high degree of humour and absurdity in these photos, they also show compassion with the inhabitants of the state’s paper labyrinth.

Leave a Reply