A group of Georgian dissidents, the Doukhobors, was founded in the 19th century. But because of their pacifist beliefs, they were banished by the Tsar, though they managed to keep their traditions alive throughout the Soviet era. However, now that many of them have finally returned again, their heritage has all but disappeared with the last of its inhabitants.
Varanasi. Was there ever a place more suited to an exploration of an earthbound life by way of art, and especially photography? To utter this conceit is as infuriating as it is unavoidable. What can the observer of life's injustices and inherent contradictions do but play one's role to the hilt by doing it exceedingly well? Rajesh Singh not only followed his personal journey to this mysterious place as a young man, but he also continues to bear witness to, and rail against, those past inequities that have persisted for much too long through the "ancient auras" of a city which never fails to adapt to the damning present. His photographs, which he calls his "physical meditations," are nothing less than portals to a higher calling in a city known for its promise of salvation.
Capturing the spirit and traditions of Northern Italy, Massimiliano Gaglio, reveals a world rarely seen anywhere, let alone in the west. Deep in the Valle'd'Aosta in the Coumbra Freida, he gives us a glimpse of a people who still find meaning and joy in their shared customs and celebrations.
They carry the world on their small frames: Shafik, Azgar, Jamal, Kalo, Rubel, Sonya, Roni, Liton, Poli, Ridoy, among millions in the third world, are only a handful of the endless stream of child laborers who are exploited as the result of the neoliberal agenda, and who keep the wheels and cogs of the globalized world greased, supplied, and in working order with a disposable workforce; in garbage dumps, aluminum factories, and brickfields, photographer Md Shahnewaz Khan has befriended them and dedicated himself to telling the story of their plight, whether the world wants to hear it or not.
Taking his cue from the great Persian poet, Nima Yooshij, Ali Agharabi turns his journalist's eye toward a more poetic view of the world, capturing the contemplative moments that exist within nature and in the questions posed by the playful abstractions often missed in the hustle and bustle of everyday living—from the aspiring reach of a mosque's minarets to the solemnity of a cathedral to exchanges of shadow and light, snow and sand, graffiti and reflection—at the edges of boundaries of unexplored landscapes, or where they simply meet with sea and sky.
Getting old is never easy, but especially so in places like Romania still caught between an obsolete Soviet influence and an impotent Western agenda. In an age of austerity and corruption, this could be the future for more and more of us. Nicoleta Gabor captures these stories, faces, and gestures with compassion and tenderness.
September 2014's cynical deal between Cambodia and Australia not only sealed the fate of 1,100 refugees but for a price of $35 million, brought the concept of "human trafficking" to a whole new level, one that foreshadowed the current crisis of Syrian refugees now flooding Europe. Powerful photographs of refugees being rendered disposable by competing states. By George Nickels.
Not since the work of Josef Koudelka has this part of the world been rendered so intuitively and mysteriously. As the decisions and ramifications of realpolitik come bearing down on the lives of everyday people in Eastern Europe, the poetic reality of life is ignored; however, it flourishes for those like Fabio Sgroi who are brave enough to look into its shadows.
Khorramshahr, in Southwest Iran, has become a symbol of popular resistance, and still bears the reminders and left-over signs of a war that took place in a city where people continue to live among ruins. Faranak Rezaee, a native of the besieged city, explores her hometown.
While it is impossible to predict accurately how many people will be displaced over the next few decades, the best estimates indicate that sea-level rise alone will displace 18 million within the river delta country's borders, which will present Bangladesh with an enormous challenge for coping with the reality of simply caring for its citizens. Probal Rashid takes us there.
In the face of the New Cold War thrives the planet's northernmost megacity. Designated an "alpha city," Moscow is a crucial nexus in the global economic system. A cosmopolis that has survived a history of invasions that would give a Mongol chieftain pause, it is one of the most densely populated in Europe. Its citizens are also among the most literate on the planet. Perhaps there is something in the light along the banks of the Moskva River that explains it. The great Russian writer, Anton Chekhov, wrote: "Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me..."
As a result of an ever-globalizing world economy, the interconnectedness of derivatives-driven markets, resource-defined ecologies, rigged trade agreements, and shock-and-awe speculation, the West is once again violently crashing into the East—no thanks to the western mainstream media for failing to stir up the dregs of rice bowls now empty of easily discarded truth.
Dipu Malakar's finely-honed vision of the streets of Dhaka draws upon the joy of everyday living, the mystery, the adversity, as well as the heartache and the longing, the very essence of a people's life in a city they are forced to call home.
Described as the most persecuted people on the globe, the Rohingyas of Myanmar, most of them from Rakhine State, even though they have resided there for generations, are still unaccepted (even—or especially—by Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto head of state who has consistently denied their oppression). Having migrated from Bengal in the 1600s, the Rohingya settled in Rakhine (originally Arakan), but were then stranded in 1948 upon the nation's independence from Britain. Victims of human rights abuses, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, these stateless people are unable to receive basic medical care or access to education for even their children. When they return to Myanmar, they are increasingly vulnerable to violent attack by the Burmese military as well as militant Buddhists.
When they come out of the tunnels, the light stings their eyes and the fatigue and exhaustion are noticeable on their faces and body... they can hardly bear to stand in front of the camera, but when they do, their first reaction is to smile…"
As indigenous inheritors of a former European colony, one that mainly consists of a megadiverse tropical rainforest environment (and also one that is straining under the the same neoliberal globalist forces that threaten the entire planet), where are post-modern Malaysian inhabitant-citizens likely to find traces of their languishing identities, their cultural and ethnic roots? In the forgotten zones outside of the capital city, Kuala Lumpur, Mohd Azlan offers some clues.
Climate Crisis in Bangladesh
Photographs by Probal Rashid
A polyphony of voices, perspectives, illness, photographs and impermanence, "Live Through This" tackles issues of alienation and communion in the intractable economic dysthymia of America in the throes of permanent recession. A look at the fascinating life of an artist as survivor by Tom McCauley.
A growing number of youths are spending their lives trying to survive on the streets of Cambodia's cities and towns while numbing the pain of their pasts. The United Nations has estimated that as many as half a million people in Cambodia may be drug users. But rehabilitation often comes in the form of military drills, hard labor, and forced exercise.
"As it would be for any third-world nation struggling against the weight of an inevitable government corruption—the result of rabid globalization... "the battle between man vs. man has been compounded exponentially by nature throwing its weight into the fray. "The people of Nepal, now living in tent cities, live in fear of landslides, chronic homelessness, water and food shortages, outbreaks of disease, aftershocks or, even worse, another earthquake." Mushfiqul Alam bears witness to this tragic event.
The tenth largest city on the planet, Dhaka contains over 12 million people who not only survived a genocide only a little more than a generation ago but carved out their own unique identity and independence, despite the nonstop forces of globalization around them. Rivers, monsoons, protests and, of course, salat...
Caracas has one of the highest murder rates globally and, since 2008, continues to reel from a flagging economy that is largely dependent on oil revenue. The original home of 19th-century liberator Simón Bolívar, and now a major oil producer, as well as a survivor of US attempts to force regime change during the Chávez years, the country is still struggling against an intensifying neoliberal tsunami that is encroaching on South American economies, at a time when the US sphere of influence is waning. At street-level, cases of violent crimes too frequently remain unsolved by the police, and decent living standards remain out of reach for many Caracan.
When one thinks of photographers who have documented the changing faces of major cities, one usually looks west-ward to classic examples like Bill Brandt, Ezra Stoller, or Gabriele Basilico. But the father of them all, Eugene Atget, was more than a documentarian. A surrealist and flâneur, he was determined to capture the essences of Paris before the ravages of modernization erased them. Such is the intention of Mohd Azlan in documenting Kuala Lumpur. A medical imaging specialist by day, he is also a fine art photographer and a surrealist in his own right who has transcended the useful limits of science and seeks those essences that cannot be reproduced or reduced to mere anatomical notation or societal prognosis.
The bitter rivalry that emerges with every election in Dhaka is one in which citizens are too frequently caught up. The corruption of the ruling party and the violence perpetrated by the opposition leave ordinary Bangladeshi voters stuck in between. Meet the victims of that violence.
Moscow: the name evokes an aura full of historical and poetic connotations. Both a resident and flâneur in the great city, photographer Nina Ai-Artyan captures its endless streets full of lingering history. As the great filmmaker, Sergei Eisenstein stated perhaps too accurately: "Language is much closer to film than is painting." Ai-Artyan captures those ineffable moods which the great Russian writers attempted to in words; alongside her images are the thoughts and ideas of the voices of the characters of Akhamatova, Dostoevski, Tsvetaeva, Chekhov, Berberova and Turgenev, as well as of the authors themselves.
Nicoleta Gabor 's penetrating vision reveals a delicate sense and understanding of the physical world around her. A civil engineer by training, she has poetically captured a Romania still fraught with the left-over apparitions of a defeated communism in Eastern Europe. Unmoored from a dominant ideology, its inhabitants float through the gray light as if living in a dream.
Title. Double click me.
From 2014... To make clear the profound difference in the scope of devastation experienced between East and West in WWII: both the Americans and the British lost roughly 420,000 and 450,000 of their citizens, respectively; in the Soviet Union, 27 million lives were lost (not counting the 4 million soldiers who still remain unaccounted for). Nina Ai-Artyan, moving with her camera through the crowds of 'Immortal Regiment' marchers last May, captured the most important aspects of the poignant commemoration—beyond any notions of official heroism or history: the faces, feelings and expressions of love of the Russian people themselves.
"Beware of assuming the sterile attitude of the spectator, for life is not a spectacle, a sea of griefs is not a proscenium, a man who wails is not a dancing bear."
— Aimé Césaire
“I have never thought of my life as divided between poetry and politics... I am a Chilean who for decades has known the misfortunes and difficulties of our national existence and who has taken part in each sorrow and joy of the people."
— Pablo Neruda
“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
― Arundhati Roy
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