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Photography Portfolio: Sébastian Dahl 

Sébastian Dahl (born in 1988) is a half-Norwegian and half-French photographer.

Recently, he left Oslo with only a backpack and his camera and hitchhiked all the way to Beirut where he is learning Arabic and works as a freelance photographer.

We are very excited to collaborate on future FvF episodes with Sébastian. In the meantime, you can follow his adventures on his blog “Angles”.

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Joziane Shedid - that was her name. After a difficult search, we had managed to identify the blood-soaked young woman in a picture taken by Reuters photographer Hasan Shaaban in the wake of a...

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<< Previous | Next >> Katie Khouri

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When photojournalist Tim Hetherington suffered a mortar shell wound to the groin in Libya in April of last year, he ultimately died of massive blood loss. His death, according to friends, may have been prevented.

“Tim was my closest friend,” says Michael Kamber, founder and director of the Bronx Documentary Center. “He bled to death because he was surrounded by photographers who didn’t know how to stop the bleeding.”

In response to this assessment, Hetherington’s other close friend and co-director of the Oscar winning documentary Restrepo, Sebastian Junger, founded Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues (RISC), of which Kamber sits on the board. The organization simulates real war-injury scenarios at the Bronx Documentary Center, complete with pools of blood, contorted limbs and frenetic movement amid smoke-clad air, in order to train photographers and journalists in potentially life-saving techniques. “We go to great lengths to achieve the feel of war,” says Kamber.

“My adrenaline was going after I finished shooting the drills,” says photographer and Bronx Documentary Center volunteer, Katie Khouri. ”There was a real sense of urgency once trainer Sergeant Sawyer Alberi threw the smoke bombs and the CD of wailing and sporadic gunfire started. The trainees — all of whom are experienced conflict journalists – are a fun group of people but when the simulation began everyone switched into go mode.”

The need for medical training among journalists is especially desperate now as news outlets are employing freelancers — many without insurance or institutional support – to deliver stories.

“The industry is closing down bureaus. Increasing we are relying on freelancers for photographs. Look at the images from Syria, almost all of those are by freelancers, many of whom are without medical training or medical kits. It’s a recipe for disaster,” says Kamber, who has reported from over a dozen conflict zones during his career and even admits that he was unprepared in the past.

In recent years, the deaths of several photojournalists have reminded us of the extreme dangers faced by reporters in conflict zones. Getty photographer Chris Hondros died in the same mortar explosion as Hetherington; Anton Hammerle was killed by Gaddafi loyalists in April 2011; and Rémi Ochlik died in the bombing of Homs, Syria, in February of this year.

Prior to Hetherington’s death, he and Kamber were in the planning stages of a center devoted to video and photo documentary work.

“The Bronx Documentary Center is in Tim’s honor,” says Kamber. “It is dedicated to exactly what he believed in.”

Producing still and moving images for news, for film, for art spaces and for education, Hetherington believed in and practiced an approach to visual journalism that broke through the traditional confines of genre. The Bronx Documentary Center described by Kamber as a “community space, but not a hangout space” is devoted to serious application of skills and engagement. That extends from practical and vital training to exhibitions, lectures and workshops.

“We’re inventing new ways [to support documentary] and finding new outlets for documentary work, now that traditional media is dying and the public are distracted by a million points of white noise,” says Kamber.

Kamber lived in the Bronx during the eighties and says the support form the local community has been only positive, even during the conflict simulations that spill smoke, noise and blood onto the adjacents streets.

“Hundreds of people come by to stop, watch, comment, take photos and encourage us,” says Kamber. “Last year, when some neighbors heard the recording of the gunfire, they called the police, which is understandable. This year we’ve been very conscious to reach out to the NYPD.”

Unlike general hostile-environment training, RISC is focused on exclusively on medical training and on the procedures that will sustain someone between injury and the hospital front door. Tim Hetherington was only minutes from a hospital when he was struck by mortar fire in Misrata, Libya.

Through fundraising, RISC covers the cost of training which is approximately $1,000 per journalist. Following successful programs in New York, RISC plans training in London and Beirut. The response has been overwhelming. Kamber says, ”We’ve waiting lists. Journalists are desperate to get this training.”

Rookies, veterans, untrained and partially trained alike, there is a very real need for RISC’s type of training and photographers know it.

“You could see in some faces that it was taking them back to some bad memories,” says Khouri. “The reality is that potentially having to save an injured fellow journalist is a very real possibility when you report from the front lines. No one there took that responsibility lightly.”

RISC has an ongoing fundraising effort at Global Giving. Visit the RISC website and follow RISC on Facebook and Twitter

All images: Katie Khouri

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Bridging the gap between imagination and execution: Lana Chukri at TEDxLAU

We know Lana and the Dihzahyners from the PaintUp initiatives which sought to add beauty and color to the stairs around Beirut through taking art to the street. In this talk, she explains how we can create a movement to change our city and take our initial spark to full blown action. She passionately calls upon us to stop expecting others to make things happen, but rather to take it upon ourselves to act upon our concepts. These talks were recorded at the Lebanese American University in Beirut on September 29, 2012 as part of the first independently organized live TEDxLAU event under the theme of "Unleash Your Passions". About the speaker: I'm a Junior Art Director in Leo Burnett, Dubai with a degree in digital design and animation from the Lebanese American University in Beirut. However, as much as I'm a designer by day, I'm more of an artist, a writer, and an existentialist by night. I love urban interventions & firmly believe that they can change and shape societies, as long as they are able to break the norms and limitations we are tied down by everyday. Also, every strong concept begins to unravel, in my opinion, with a paper and a pencil. The rest are all technicalities. Check out her Follow her on Twitter @lanachukri Lana is also one of the founding members of the Dihzahyners club which is behind the Paint Up initiative we have come to love. This is "a team of inspired, driven & passionate artists/designers, aimed at creating initiatives to <b>...</b>

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Mixtape #25 by Markus Reuter

FvF Mixtape #25 by Markus ‘Roitsch’ Reuter for Freunde von Freunden makes every lazy sunday feel like a short get-away to a place in the far distance – so put your headphones on and enjoy the flight.. With artists like Beach House and Young Believers, your day will have a guarantee to start fresh and reposed. 

Reuter as well has his own blog “better taste than sorry,” in which he narrates about all his personal experiences, from infographics to art, from food to the latest coffee trends.

Check the full post here


1 Clams Casino - Swervin Remix Instrumental
2 Beach House - Myth (3:38)
3 Homeboy Sandman - Look Out (7:48)
4 Woodkid - Baltimore’s Fireflies (11:21)
5 Choir of Young Believers - Hollow Talk (15:25)
6 Beirut - The Rip Tide (20:38)
7 Ólafur Arnalds - Poland (24:56)
8 Sufjan Stevens - Redford (For Yia-Yia & Pappou) (28:26)
9 James Blake - A Case Of You (Live) (30:16)
10 Klazz Brothers and Cuba Percussion - Air (33:16)
11 Peder featuring Dean Bowman - The Sour (38:57)
12 Pretty Lights - We Must Go On (44:20)
13 Desire - Under Your Spell (50:00)
14 Airhead - Wait (53:49)
15 Jai Paul - Jasmine (Demo) (57:49)
16 Asa - Leave The Light On (Stumbleine Remix) (1:01:59)
17 Beat Culture - Before You Go (1:06:36)

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Hussein Malla / AP

A Lebanese military intelligence agent holds his gun as he runs during clashes between Lebanese troops and a Syrian gunman who had engaged in an hours-long shootout with the security forces, in Beirut, Lebanon, on May 24, 2012.

Anwar Amro / AFP - Getty Images

Lebanese security forces take position as they storm a building in Beirut's Karakass district on May 24, 2012 following a shootout during the night with a man holed up inside a flat.

Hussein Malla / AP

A Lebanese soldier, right, and a policeman, left, take position in front of the apartment building where clashes erupted.

Reuters reports — Two people were killed when Lebanese soldiers stormed an apartment in Beirut on Thursday where a gunman had exchanged fire with security forces, a security source at the scene said.

The source told Reuters the gunman, a Syrian national, was killed when the soldiers broke into the apartment at around 6 a.m. (11 p.m. ET), following several hours of shooting.

Boiling point: On Lebanon's Syria Street, a civil war brews

They found the body of another man in the apartment, along with rifles and grenades, and two men who were arrested.

Four soldiers were wounded, the source said.

It was not immediately clear whether the incident was linked to recent sectarian violence in the Lebanese capital which has been fuelled by the conflict in neighboring Syria. Read the full story.

Follow @msnbc_pictures

Hussein Malla / AP

Lebanese soldiers help a young girl and her family flee her house via a backyard during the clashes.

Anwar Amro / AFP - Getty Images

Lebanese security forces detain an unidentified man outside a building in Beirut's Karakass district on May 24, 2012.

Syria's chaos has come over the border into Lebanon, with gunmen clashing in deadly street battles. NBC's John Ray reports.


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