Silver / 2018 / Press / Other_PJ

Matagi

  • Prize
    Silver in Press/Other
  • Photographer
    Javier Corso
  • Credit
    OAK stories

Matagi are traditional hunters living in small villages and settlements in the highlands of northern Honshu, the main island of Japan. From its origins, back in the middle of the XVI century, they have made a living by selling meat, skins and other products derived from the hunting. Its main prey is the Japanese black bear, a subspecies classified as vulnerable and threatened according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Following the Fukushima incidents in 2011, the State banned many matagi communities from marketing bear meat, mostly in the prefectures of Gunma and Fukushima itself, because of the high risk of being intoxicated by radiation. In 2016, the Japanese authorities lifted the veto, and the matagi have been able to resume what has been their main economic activity for centuries. Nevertheless, in the Japan 21st century, matagi face a more than likely extinction of their cultural heritage.

Javier Corso is a photographer, founder and director at OAK stories. His photographic work originates from the need to communicate about human condition through means of local, smaller-scale stories.

Corso began working as a storyteller in 2011, publishing in media like National Geographic, AlJazeera, TIME Lightbox or GEO. Among the cultural centers that have exhibited his projects, the following stand out; The Cervantes Institute in New York and the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. His work has been recognized by the International PHOTON Festival, Prix de la Photographie Paris, Moscow International Foto Awards and the World Reporter Award, among others.