Rena Effendi went looking for a fairy-tale village in Transylvania. She found it among the haystacks of Maramures.
Time once more for a look at the animal kingdom and our interactions with the countless species that share our planet. Today's photos include Iranian dog owners under pressure, a bloom of mayflies, Kim Jong-un visiting Breeding Station No. 621, animals fleeing recent fires and floods, and a dachshund receiving acupuncture therapy. These images and many others are part of this roundup of animals in the news from recent weeks, seen from the perspectives of their human observers, companions, captors, and caretakers, part of an ongoing series on animals in the news. [38 photos]
James Hyslop, a Scientific Specialist at Christie's auction house holds a complete sub-fossilised elephant bird egg on March 27, 2013 in London, England. The massive egg, from the now-extinct elephant bird sold for $101,813 at Christie's "Travel, Science and Natural History" sale, on April 24, 2013 in London. Elephant birds were wiped out several hundred years ago. The egg, laid on the island of Madagascar, is believed to date back before the 17th century. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
The time to enter the 25th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is running short -- entries will be accepted for another few days, until June 30, 2013. The first prize winner will receive a 10-day Galapagos expedition for two. National Geographic was once more kind enough to allow me to share some of the later entries with you here, gathered from four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, and Spontaneous Moments. Photos and captions by the photographers. Also, be sure to see Part 1, earlier on In Focus. [46 photos]
From the 'Sense of Place' category, a couple paddle out for a sunset surf in the coastal surfing town of Byron Bay, Australia. (© Ming Nomchong/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
World Refugee Day
June 20th is World Refugee Day, established by the United Nations to raise awareness of the 43.7 million refugees and internally displaced people around the world. They are men, women and children forced to flee their homes due to persecution, violence or conflict. You can read more about this campaign and make donations on the the World Refugee Web site created by the UNHCR.
Above are a few images from Reportage photographers who have focused their attention on refugee crises over the years. Clockwise from top:
SOMALILAND - MARCH 4, 2010: Tired Somali refugees sleep in the desert after traveling all night through rain and muddy roads on their trip to Yemen. Every year, thousands of people risk their lives crossing the Gulf of Aden to escape conflict and poverty in Somalia. (Photo by Ed Ou/Reportage by Getty Images)
LAIZA, KACHIN STATE – DECEMBER 20, 2011: Internally displaced refugees wait for food stamps to be handed out in Jeyang Camp in northern Myanmar. After a 17-year ceasefire, and despite promises to the contrary from Myanmar President Thein Sein, the Burmese Army went on an offensive in June 2011. (Photo by Christian Holst/Reportage by Getty Images)
SOUTH SUDAN - 2012: The shoes of Gasim Issa, who walked for 20 days on his journey from Blue Nile State, Sudan, to South Sudan. He is in his 50s. (Photo by Shannon Jensen)
NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - OCTOBER, 2012: A camp of refugees who fled the conflict between the government and M23 rebels. (Photo by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Reportage by Getty Images)
Features and Essays
Rena Effendi / National Geographic
Rena Effendi: Transylvania Hay Country (National Geographic) The old art of making hay on the grass-growing meadows of Transylvania | from the July issue of National Geographic magazine | Effendi’s agency
Ami Vitale: Montana Ranch (Photo Booth) A testament to a disappearing way of life and an ode to its endurance.
Rena Effendi: Spirit Lake (Institute) Located in an isolated and economically languishing area of North Dakota, Spirit Lake is a Sioux Indian reservation home to some 6,200 inhabitants
Raphaela Rosella: Teen Mothers in Australia (Feature Shoot)
Guillaume Herbaut: Unrest in Turkey (Institute)
LouLou d’Aki: Occupy Istanbul: Portraits of Turkey’s Protest Kids (NY magazine)
Enri Canaj: City of Shadows (Foto8) Athens, Greece
Lauren Greenfield: The Fast and The Fashionable (ESPN) In Monaco during F1 Grand Prix
Giovanni Cocco: The Life Of A Sibling With Disability (NPR Picture Show)
Riverboom: Giro d’Italia (Institute)
Robert Nickelsberg: Surviving Cold War (World Policy) Forces from Norway, Britain, and the Netherlands in training in the planet’s harshest climate in the Arctic Circle
Ian Willms: Following in the Mennonites’ Footsteps (LightBox)
Tomasz Lazar: In Kosovo, Bridging an Ethnic Divide (NYT)
Cathal McNaughton: Yarnbombers (Guardian) Photographer Cathal McNaughton has caught up with the Yarnbombers, the guerrilla knitters who plan to target the G8 using knitting or crochet rather than graffiti
Sebastian Liste / Reportage by Getty Images for TIME
Sebastian Liste: On the Inside: Venezuela’s Most Dangerous Prison (LightBox)
Pietro Paolini: Ecuador: Balance on the Zero (Terra Project)
Elizabeth Griffin and Amelia Coffaro: Capturing Life With Cancer At Age 28 (NPR Picture Show)
Lars Tunbjörk: Cremation: The New American Way of Death (LightBox)
Lucas Jackson: Tornado survivors of Moore (Reuters photo blog) multimedia
Andy Levin: Coney Island (NYT Lens)
Daniel Love: 200 Hours (Guardian)
Robert Herman: New York: A View of Inner Turmoil (NYT Lens)
Reed Young: The Ground Zero of Immigration: El Paso (LightBox)
Sara Lewkowicz: An unflinching look at domestic abuse (CNN photo blog)
Tony Fouhse: The Simple View of Ottawa (NYT Lens)
Justin Jin for the New York Times
Justin Jin: A Chinese Push for Urbanization (NYT)
Sean Gallagher: Climate change on the Tibetan plateau (Guardian) audio slideshow
Nic Dunlop: On the frontlines of a ‘Brave New Burma’ (CNN photo blog)
Zohra Bensemra: Pakistan’s female Top Gun (Reuters)
Paolo Marchetti: The Stains of Kerala (LightBox)
Behrouz Mehri / AFP / Getty Images
Behrouz Mehri: Life in Tehran, glimpsed through the rear window (AFP Correspondent)
Tyler Hicks: A New Strategy on One Syrian Front (NYT)
Laurent Van der Stockt: On The Damascus Front Lines (Le Monde)
Jason Larkin: Suez – Egypt’s Lifeline (Panos Pictures)
Nyani Quarmyne: Bridging Approaches to Mental Illness in Sierra Leone (NYT Lens)
Jake Naughton: Education of Girls in Kibera (Feature Shoot)
David Guttenfelder: Last Song for Migrating Birds (NGM) Across the Mediterranean, millions are killed for food, profit, and cruel amusement.
Nick Cobbing: Follow the Creatures (Photographer’s website) Antarctica
Nelli Palomäki: Portraits of Children (LightBox)
The Burning Monk 50th anniversary (AP) Malcolm Wilde Browne was 30 years old when he arrived in Saigon on Nov. 7, 1961, as AP’s first permanent correspondent there. From the start, Browne was filing the kind of big stories that would win him the Pulitzer Prize for reporting in 1964. But today, he is primarily remembered for a photograph taken 50 years ago on June 11, 1963, depicting the dignified yet horrific death by fiery suicide of Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc.
Love struck: Photographs of JFK’s visit to Berlin 50 years ago reveal a nation instantly smitten (The Independent) Photographer Ulrich Mack accompanied Kennedy on the entire trip. The results, published this month as Kennedy in Berlin, have mostly never been seen before
Osman Orsal / Reuters
Images of Protest in Istanbul: The Woman in Red (No Caption Needed)
Photographer documents Istanbul ‘war zone’ in his own backyard on Facebook (NBC News photo blog)
Photographic Mood, on the Eve of Destruction (No Caption Needed)
Pixelating the reality? (Al Jazeera: Listening Post) Photography is a subjective medium, and how it is used will always depend on who is using it. | On Paul Hansen’s World Press Photo of the Year and post-processing in photojournalism in general
The Art of War – Ron Haviv (Viewpoint on Vimeo) A documentary from the public television of Greece, year 2013. Language: English | Greek Subtitles
Leading photojournalist captures the beating heart of a brutal world (Sydney Morning Herald) Forty years of covering atrocities has only reinforced James Nachtwey’s faith in humanity
Rita Leistner: Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan (BagNewsNotes)
A Glance at the 2013 LOOK3 Photo Festival (LightBox)
Edouard Elias / Getty Images
Two journalists, including photographer Edouard Elias, abducted in Syria (BJP) According to Le Monde and BBC News, the two journalists, Didier François and Edouard Elias, were travelling to Aleppo in Syria when they were abducted by four armed men at a checkpoint
Syrian teacher turned war photographer (CNN) Nour Kelze describes her transition from English teacher in Aleppo to war photographer in the middle of Syria’s conflict.
A Paean to Forbearance (the Rough Draft) (NYT) The origins behind James Agee’s 1941 book, “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” a literary description of abject poverty in the South, accompanied by Walker Evans photographs.
The Woman in a Jim Crow Photo (NYT Lens)
Abigail Heyman, Feminist Photojournalist, Dies at 70 (NYT) Related
Nelson Mandela: a life in focus (Guardian) Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Greg Marinovich reflects on a legend of our time
Eman Mohammed in the Gaza Strip (Denver Post Plog)
Robert Capa’s vintage prints on show (BBC) To mark what would have been the 100th birthday of photographer Robert Capa, the Atlas gallery in London is holding an exhibition of his work. It comprises a wide range of prints from his time in Spain during the Civil War through World War II, and ending with the Indo China conflict where he lost his life.
Chloe Dewe Mathews
Featured photographer: Scout Tufankjian (Verve Photo)
Featured photographer: Carlo Gianferro (Verve Photo)
Featured photographer: Antonia Zennaro (Verve Photo)
American Girls: Photographs Offer Vision into American Girlhood (Daily Beast) Polish photographer Ilona Szwarc’s new exhibit captures 100 kids with their cult-classic toy, the American Girl doll.
Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography by Colin Graham – review (Guardian) This catalogue of recent Northern Irish photography shows a determination to leave the documentary style of the Troubles behind
After Lowry (FT magazine) Landscape photographer John Davies takes a series of pictures in the northwest of England inspired by the work of LS Lowry
Eric Maierson: This is what editing feels like (MediaStorm blog)
Interviews and Talks
Rodrigo Abd and Javier Manzano (C-Span)
Carolyn Drake (cestandard) An interview with Carolyn Drake, author of Two Rivers
Paul Conroy (Amanpour) The deadliest country on earth for journalists | Conroy on Marie Colvin’s last assignment
Alex Webb (LA Times Framed)
Christopher Anderson (GUP magazine)
Stuart Franklin (Vice) There’s More to Stuart Franklin Than the Most Famous Photo of the 20th Century
Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
Paula Bronstein (ABC Radio National Australia) Internationally acclaimed US photo journalist Paula Bronstein talks about bearing witness to human suffering through her photo essays.
John H. White (NPR Picture Show) Photo Staff Firings Won’t Shake Pulitzer Winner’s Focus
Joe McNally (NYT Lens) Photographing on Top of the World
David Guttenfelder (NGM) Photographer David Guttenfelder reflects upon why taking pictures of the slaughter of songbirds is like covering a war.
Alexandra Avakian / Contact Press Images
Jean-François Leroy (BJP) Visa pour l’Image organizer on the festival’s editorial line and the cost of covering war
Jean-François Leroy (BJP) Visa pour l’Image organizer on social media, the future of photojournalism and the need for greater cooperation
Marco Di Lauro (Image Deconstructed)
Evgenia Arbugaeva (Leica blog) Leica Oskar Barnack Award Winner 2013
Jenn Ackerman (PBS NewsHours) One Photographer’s Experience Documenting Mentally Ill Inmates
Richard Misrach (PDN Pulse) Misrach on Documentary vs. Art, the Complications of Portraiture, and Digital Photography
Daniel Etter / Redux
Daniel Etter (LightBox Tumblr)
Espen Rasmussen (Panos Social)
Michael Christopher Brown (Window magazine)
Terry O’Neill (WSJ) The photographer on starlets, the Stones and Sinatra
Ewen Spencer (Vice) The Soul of UK Garage, As Photographed by Ewen Spencer
Mikko Takkunen is an associate photo editor at TIME.com. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.
In this week’s photos from around New York, rain drenches the region, cicadas come to Staten Island and culinary students get scientific.
Variously characterized as the “private land of God,” the “land of flowers” and the “diamond” of the subcontinent, the state of Kerala—perched on the southwestern tip of the Indian peninsula—is renowned for breathtaking landscapes and, in contrast to much of South Asia, an uncommonly high standard of living. Despite enjoying India’s highest life expectancy and literacy rates, however, Kerala also struggles with staggering numbers of homeless, alcoholics and suicides. The rate at which someone takes his or her own life in Kerala is three times the national average. These blots on an otherwise near-flawless reputation have puzzled researchers for years.
“The rapid economic development has left many people behind and amplified social taboos,” photographer Paolo Marchetti tells TIME. “All of these problems are really linked together—single pages of the same book.”
In 2009 and 2011, the Italian photojournalist traveled to India, embedding himself in NGO orphanages and mental hospitals, in slums and bars peopled by the most marginalized populations of Kerala, abandoned by family and government. He photographed children born out of wedlock, alcoholics and the (supposed) mentally ill. In the process he captured the complexities inherent in development and, especially, the clash of new opportunities and old traditions.
In Kerala, where reputation rules, “the good name of the family,” Marchetti says, “determines one’s ability to integrate into society at every level—professional and especially marital. [One's reputation] has to be something clean, something limpid.”
Many of the problems he explored, he says, can be traced to the traditional market rules of marriage—essentially an economic transaction managed by the head of the household and one that necessitates proof of a healthy lineage.
“The abandonment of a relative is a common practice, a response to the least manifestation of a mental deficiency or dependence on alcohol,” he says, “some little problem, problems that in our society we have every day.”
“It’s not necessary to be—forgive my word—mad, to be crazy,” he adds. “Depression, for instance, this is enough to be abandoned on the streets.”
Marchetti, who had previously documented incarcerated youth in Nicaragua, describes the facilities where the abandoned are held captive, hidden from view, “exactly like a prison.” These places are improvised, overcrowded, unsanitary and inadequate. Far from any kind of serious rehabilitation, the majority volunteer-run NGOs offer little more than some food—when they have it—and a place to sleep.
“Most of the money,” he adds, “comes from the church, so there is a condition that you have to respect if you want help.” This means following Catholic teachings and praying several times daily, starting at dawn, even though over half of Kerala’s native population practices Hinduism, and a quarter are Muslim.
To document the scope of the problems, Marchetti adopted a fly-on-the-wall approach, staying silent and as invisible as possible, attempting to forget his own cultural background and immerse himself in the environment. He’d spend hours each day in a facility observing, and when possible, spending the night, if only “to breathe the sensation.”
“If you want to take a good picture, it’s not only a technical gesture, it’s something about you,” he says. “You need to listen, you need to understand, to spend time and spend yourself, your emotions.”
The most vivid thing that he remembers from his experience was a personal connection he made in a mental hospital. “I was taking pictures of someone who seemed perfectly normal—normal like me.” And though he knew little of the local language and could not speak with his subjects, Marchetti notes that “it is incredible how I could easily communicate with my eyes. Respect is a universal language and you can convey it without words.”
That respect not only gained him access, it also elevated his imagery. His intent, he says, was not to make art of other people’s misery, but to come away with an honest and useful report that can generate questions, especially about reforms on the government level.
There’s a delicate balance in that sort of mission, however, and a visually stunning image that grabs your attention, he says, “is the best that I can give back to these people, even if you have to wait for that picture for three minutes, three hours, three days, three months… It is really hard sometimes, but it’s the minimum price that you can pay.”
Eugene Reznik is a Brooklyn-based photographer and writer. Follow him on Twitter @eugene_reznik.
All due respect to Douglas Adams, but I’m a lover of print, and I’m not “confused” about anything.
I like Adams’ analogy. Indeed, only the logically obtuse would fail to recognize that a work of writing takes priority over the medium in which it is transmitted, just as food takes priority over the plate on which it is served. But it doesn’t follow that the medium (in this case, print) is unworthy of “love”. The food might be the primary purpose of the meal, but there is much more to a meal than the food itself, as any chef or server can attest. The same holds for writing. And just as in all other things mediated by culture, there is such a thing as appreciation for the medium. It’s called aesthetics, and everyone has their own tastes and preferences.
Perhaps Adams is a strict utilitarian with no affection for print. I respect his personal preference, even if I shrug off his apparent arrogance in not returning the courtesy. But some of us love reading the printed page and appreciate the art of the bound book, that has developed over the many centuries since Gutenberg. And our love of print has nothing to do with a failure of intellect, thank you very much. And some of us can actually appreciate history in a personal way without being luddites.
Presuming that the context of Adams’ statement is the ongoing digital revolution in publishing, I think it would be more accurate to say, “Opponents of digital publishing are simply confusing the plate for the food.” The distinction between “lovers of print” and “opponents of digital publishing” is an important one. That someone feels romantically about print doesn’t necessarily tell you what one thinks about the digital revolution in publishing. The issue at hand isn’t the subjective disposition one has toward books, but the stand that one takes in response to the history unfolding in our midst, perhaps even in spite of our emotional ambivalence about it. Of course: dismiss bad arguments from digital critics. But don’t muddy the water by assuming that the problem is nostalgia; the fallacy of many critics is not their emotion about books, but the inability to see past it.
I, for one, embrace digital publication, even if I will continue to critically follow the policy discussions regarding intellectual property that it brings about. And yet I will continue to participate in a community that values print. And while many of us will embrace e-readers, we will yet remain, to our dying days, proud collectors of analog volumes which will fill many shelves in our homes. And maybe through some turn of history our undying affinity for print will someday appear not so confused or misguided as once so arrogantly believed by some, but will instead be understood as possessing a wisdom unrecognized by the short-sighted utilitarians of our day. Then again, maybe future generations will forget our love of print altogether. No matter. Our love of books needs no vindication from history; we have the pleasure of the page in our hands.
The above is a response one of my friends gave to Douglas Adams’ quote in the box above. I think his response is not only poignant, but gets to the heart of the matter for those of us who still love print but yet do not reject digital publication. His response is well worth reading.
Tim Laman has logged thousands of hours perched in tropical treetops waiting for a glimpse of paradise — Birds of Paradise.