Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sophie Gerrard: The Coal Cycle Wallahs

Wobbling and pushing their bikes laden high with stolen coal, the Coal Cycle Wallahs slowly make their way through rural Jharkhand's steep and twisting forest roads.  Home to the largest coal belt in Asia, Jharkhand has been plagued by poverty, lawlessness, bad governance and corruption for over 50 years. The Coal Cycle Wallahs and the work they do, are a stark illustration of poverty in the midst of rich fossil fuel resource abundance.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Natabar Sarangi - The Source

Natabar Sarangi is just one of a growing number of farmers throughout the world who realise that if we do not begin to repair the damage taking place to our agricultural systems and our environment, we will lose not just our cultural identity but our fundamental right to a truly sustainable system of food security. 

It's about a global phenomenon taking place where a nonsustainable system systematically destroys a sustainable one, where short term profit has the power to overwhelm common sense and the consciousness of many millions, where progress is not progress but the wanton destruction of an ecosystem and environment we will never be able to replace.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Housing is a Human Right Project

Housing is a Human Right is an ongoing multi-platform documentary portrait of the struggle for home. The project creates a space for people to record stories, in their own words, of home, community and efforts to maintain or obtain housing. Composed of stories in sound and photographs, in the tradition of oral history, along with testimonies and memories – woven and remixed – this collection of viscerally honest, first-person narratives aims to illuminate the complex fabric of community and the human right to a place to call home. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

To Conquer Her Land

The border areas between India and Pakistan are like their own world. Since partition in 1947, the border has seen war, smuggling (people, arms, drugs), firing, jingoistic parades, killing, suicide bombing, fireworks, lonely tears and moments of glory.  Poulomi Basu documents India’s first ever batch of women soldiers that were deployed at the country’s first line of defence, the India-Pakistan border.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Seven Billion

This month's issue of the National Geographic Magazine focuses on the fact that there will soon be seven billion people on the planet.
In the image above by Randy Olson, Kolkata's steaming streets are crammed with vendors, pedestrians, and iconic Ambassador taxis, throbbing with some 16 million people—and more pour in every day from small towns. In 1975 only three cities worldwide topped ten million. Today 21 such mega cities exist, most in developing countries, where urban areas absorb much of the globe's rising population.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

White Shadows

White Shadows is a photo-essay by The Travel Photographer, Tewfic El-Sawy on the widows of Vrindavan. It is here, in the sacred and holy city of Vrindavan, that a segment of impoverished Indian widows find refuge after the death of their husbands. Being destitute, these women are often cast out of their family homes by her children and in-laws, unable or unwilling to feed an extra mouth.  The widows earn a meager keep by chanting devotional chants on behalf of pious families, and congregate in various ashrams in the city.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Down And Outs Of Howrah

Soham Gupta has been producing a photo-essay on a group of down-and-outs who live near the world famous Howrah Railway Station, in West Bengal. Most of them have taken to drugs and many of them have developed mental disorders and even HIV over the course of their life. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mr Blues

Samuel Hargress Jr. is the owner and manager of the Paris Blues bar in Harlem, New York, one of the few remaining old bars in the neighborhood.  While experiencing dramatic changes around him, Sam has created a timeless place where people could seek refuge and unwind amongst friends. That's why they call him Mr. Blues.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Now See Hear

Jimmy Williams is a self-described visual story teller from North Carolina and has produced an album of Southern Musical Masters.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Cowboys Of Pantanal

Fernanda Preto is a Brazilian photojournalist currently based in Sao Paulo, and after living in the Amazon area for three years, has worked in environment and social reportages.  Her short film is about the Cowboys of Pantanal, which she produced using a Canon 5D Mark II. Pantanal is the largest tropical wetland in the world and is considered as one of the last natural wilderness areas in the world. The cowboys working in the area have survived for more than 100 years, doing the same task as the fathers and forefathers did, drive cattle to the highlands before the floods.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Year In Pakistan

This video gives a short recap of Wendy Marijnissen's past year in Pakistan. Included are some photographs on childbirth and maternal health, the aftermath of the floods and Hamida's camp pregnancy. More images and stories can be seen online at

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sierre Leone: Where Every Pregnancy is a Gamble

In the video below, Ami Vitale and Lauren Malkani document the many post-war challenges that lay ahead for Sierra Leone including improving child and maternal health. in 2009, one in eight women died during pregnancy. Fatimata Konte, an expecting mother, fears giving birth after already losing five of her children. She hopes the new policy to bring free health care to all pregnant women will save her next child and make giving birth safe for all women.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Lasting Impact

Ethiopia has one of the highest child marriage rates in the world. A Lasting Impact focuses on the personal experiences of those who have had their lives changed due to the influence of United Nations Foundation educational programs throughout Ethiopia that put girls through school and challenge traditional thinking on child marriage.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Children Left Behind In Moldavia

Tiny Moldova is desperately poor. As many as a quarter of the 4.3 million people listed as living there actually work in Italy and other Western European countries sending pay home to support their families.  Andrea Diefenbach set about to depict the daily lives of the Moldovan children who were left behind either to fend for themselves or live with grandparents, as well as the parents who departed. Her project, “Country Without Parents,” resonates with love and sadness and is a captivating contrast between devotion and abandonment.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I came across the following video featured on one of my favorite sites, The Travel Photographer, by Tewfic El-Sawy. He introduces the piece by Javier Morgade with the following preamble:

In my view (and I should know), Javier managed to capture in this short movie the essence of the Egyptian character, the kindness, humor, hospitality and generosity...even their occasional legendary intrusiveness. It saddens me to see the poverty in the alleys of old Cairo, but as always, it's mitigated by the Egyptian talent for being able to share setbacks, poverty, sorrows, and life troubles. No Egyptian is an island...and while they find enormous solace in their extended families and friends, neighbors and even casual acquaintances...they deserve better.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Female Imams; Islam In China

After moving to Taiwan from the UK at eighteen, Sharron Lovell developed a soft spot for the east - picking up Mandarin Chinese, a green tea habit and terrible driving skills. It’s stories rather than single images that interest her the most, and she has covered a number of issues in China from HIV/Aids, Islam and internal migration. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tango Soul

The dance and music that would become the tango has been created by Italian and Spanish immigrants, freed African slaves and gauchos in Buenos Aires around the 1880s. Tango is not a dance, is a particular way of seeing and enjoying life, far from the glamorous tango-show for tourists, that today lives where dusty bottles line the walls of old caf├Ęs. Where tango is poetry, songs, and culture.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Three Women

Three Women is a work of fiction. Eirc Maierson wrote the script and directed the actors. But for him, these stories are also true.  They tell the story of women in pain who struggle to make sense of their lives. Photographs tell these stories, not video, as he wanted viewers to have the opportunity to linger, to consider in a way that only still images, in their slowing down of time, can afford

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Maternal Mortality

Every minute, a pregnant woman dies around the world from complications during pregnancy, delivery or shortly afterward—from Sierra Leone, to Afghanistan, to Haiti. Of the more than half a million women who die during pregnancy or childbirth annually, 90 per cent occur in Africa and Asia. In Sierra Leone, the lifetime risk of a woman dying from complications of pregnancy and childbirth is one in eight. 
This is the story, by Lynsey Addario (VII Network), of Mamma Sessay, 18, who screamed in pain and fear "I am going to die" as she lay on the delivery table at the Magburaka Government Hospital in Sierra Leone. These words proved to be prophetic as Sessay had postpartum hemorrhaging and died after she delivered the second of twin babies.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Lost Boy Returns Home

Joseph Gatyoung Khan made a vow, uttered in the back seat of a Land Cruiser on a very bumpy road, as he headed home for the first time in 22 years: I will not cry.  He had not seen his parents for two decades. He had not set foot in his village since he marched off in 1988, an eight-year-old boy on a barefoot odyssey through one of Africa's worst civil wars.  Photographs and text by  Sven Torfinn.

Friday, January 7, 2011

India’s Rickshaws: Human Horses

These men in bare feet, the human horses of Calcutta, haul people and goods for a few rupees through the city's choked passageways for 18 hours a day in the heat and the rain.  Photographs and text by Palani Mohan.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Near Death, The Nuns Contemplate The Other Side

Photographer Mae Ryan interviews the Sisters of the Convent of Mary the Queen, a home for aging nuns in Yonkers, New York.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Oil In Conflict In The Niger Delta

In this interview with VII The Magazine, Ed Kashi talks about his years covering the explosive situation in the Niger Delta. This story has everything, big oil companies, a corrupt political situation, great wealth and extreme poverty, war and the 50th anniversary of Nigeria's independence.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Disappearing Cultures And Tradition: The Bushman

No longer allowed to roam freely on land that was traditionally theirs, Daniel Cuthbert's photo essay showcases how the modern Bushmen of Southern Africa are adapting to their new way of life.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bali Tajen

From The Travel Photographer Tewfic El-Sawy, a self-described photo expeditions leader, multimedia teacher, and pontificator.  I often view his website and would love to take one of his photo workshops someday.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Precarious Survival On The Lower East Side

Memories of the sounds and smells of the synagogues of Julio Mitchel’s childhood in Havana led him to document the dwindling Jewish presence on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 1980s. While his upbringing influenced his decision to photograph the neighborhood’s Jews, he believes that the images are about more than a single culture.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Troy, New York - An American Community

Brenda Ann Kenneally's photographs detail the dispiriting circumstances that cycle through generations of young women, a destiny that may have included her if she had not run away as a teenager. Six years ago Brenda returned to Troy, almost 180 miles north of New York City, and found that not much had changed. Through her photographs, Brenda focuses on those small details, such as ads and signs; the swimming hole and the asphalt playground; even fragments of kitchen tables, that express life Upstate.