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Hercules

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If you fantasise daily about owning a south-facing studio full of design-related books, or heading through a Bond-like Mediterranean mountain tunnel on a motorbike, this porfolio may induce a special kind of envy. Coke Bartrina, from Barcelona, travels around sun-dappled streets taking photographs to accompany lovely novels about beautiful homes and studios full of talented creatives. Working with publciations such as Apartamento, Nylon and Hercules, Coke’s kind of got the coolest job ever. And judging from his personal work, he’s also got some very, very good-looking friends. Jealous much?

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FvF Mixtape #26 by Dominik Grötz

We know Dominik for years now, he is a regular in Berlins nightlife and a real music nerd with a broad knowledge of the subject. Turning this passion into a day job, he is working now for tape.tv as a Head of Music & Creation and loves to share his favorite tunes.

Tracklist:

1. Hercules & l Love Affair – Leonora
2. Poolside – Harvest Moon (Neil Young cover)
3. Who Made Who – Keep me in my plane (Dj Koze Hudson River Dub)
4. Ruby – Anna (you get the best of me) (Tevo Howard remix)
5. Jazzanova – Look what you’re doing to me (Motor city drum ensemble remix)
6. Flight facilites – With you (david august remix)
7. Lana del Rey – Summertime sadness (Hannes Fischer nightflight remix)
8. Destiny’s child – Say my name (Cyril Hahn remix)
9. Ornette – Crazy (Noze remix)
10. Munk & Peaches – You can’t run from my love (Classixx remix)
11. good guy mikes & filburt – No other
12. El_texf_a – Feeling idiot
13. John Talabot – Korlee
14. Dntel – Bright night (Robas Kloff mottüré mix)

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Earlier this week, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta indicated that American forces in Afghanistan would be accelerating their withdrawal. "Hopefully by the mid-to-latter part of 2013," Panetta said, "we'll be able to make a transition from a combat role to a training, advice, and assist role." This announcement came shortly after the Taliban declared its plans to open a political office in Qatar, allowing for direct peace negotiations. At the moment, the U.S. still has 90,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan, with 22,000 scheduled to return home later this year. Gathered here are images of the people and places involved in this conflict over the past month, as part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. [42 photos]

Men of 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, during an operation near the end of their third deployment in three years in Afghanistan. They were securing route 611, which runs Kajaki Sofla, an area that had long been a safe haven for insurgent sub-commanders and for arms and drug trafficking. (Cpl. James Clark/USMC)

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Often in the Big Picture we feature "slice of life" photography originating from around the world, brought to us by photographers based in those countries who work for the Associated Press, Reuters and Getty Images. The photographs are often simple and show daily life in many places that we might not be able to experience in any other way except through those photographers' documentation. The images themselves are somewhat universal - they show us where people live and how people live, sometimes not so differently than we do ourselves. -- Paula Nelson (35 photos total)
Three-year-old Nadia Nassrallah eats her breakfast in from of her home in a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Oct. 4, 2011. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press)

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Chloe Dewe Mathews

Caspian

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When viewed from space, the Caspian has a distinct outline, like an upside down map of the British Isles, and roughly the same size. But the Caspian is no lake, nor is it an ordinary sea; surrounded by vast tracts of desert, hovering half way between Asia and Europe – though belonging to neither, the Caspian is a sea almost lost in the land. I set out to capture the spirit of the illusive region; picking out unusual, poetic and often humorous aspects of everyday lives.
Over the centuries, nearby Empires have come and gone, each leaving its mark: first the Ottomans, then Persians, Mongols and finally, the Russians.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1993, an oil boom brought fresh prosperity to the area. Ports such as Aktau sprang up on the coast of Kazakhstan, where in the cemetery migrant workers now construct elaborate tombs for a new oil-rich middle class.

Across the water in the semi-desert of Azerbaijan, in a sanatorium town called Naftalan, people bathe in unique, chocolate-brown oil, which is believed to have therapeutic properties. It was startling to see an industrial substance so associated with international politics, power and wealth, being used for health and relaxation.

While the economic relationships between Europe and Asia change and ecological conditions on our planet mutate, so do the fortunes sift of the disparate communities who live around this strange sea. Even today, the lives of these people are tied to the landscape as never before.

Bio

My work is a hunt for moments of potency; when the clutter of day-to-day existence falls away to reveal something uncomplicated, something essential.
After a degree in Fine Art at Oxford University, I worked in the feature film industry for four years. Although it was an exciting world to be part of, I found myself questioning its extravagance. I wanted to work on something quieter, more economical, where I had room for spontaneity and intimacy with my subject.

In 2010 I traveled overland from China to Britain, hitchhiking and camping, in an attempt to experience and capture the cultural shift that takes place as one moves from Asia to Europe. During that time I shot projects on the Uighur minority in Western China, the returning waters of the Aral Sea, and the Caspian.
My work has been published in the Sunday Times Magazine, the Independent, Foto8, Vision China and Dazed and Confused magazine, and exhibited in London, Birmingham, Buenos Aires and Berlin.

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Chloe Dewe Mathews

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