THE DREAM BOAT

A boatload of refugees making the 200-mile journey to Christmas Island.

THE DREAM BOAT

By LUKE MOGELSONMore than a thousand refugees have died trying to reach Christmas Island. But faced with unbearable conditions at home, they keep coming.Photographs by
JOEL VAN HOUDT

BY LUKE MOGELSON
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOEL VAN HOUDT

November 15, 2013

It?s about a two-and-a-half-hour drive, normally, from Indonesia?s capital city, Jakarta, to the southern coast of Java. In one of the many trucks that make the trip each month, loaded with asylum seekers from the Middle East and Central Asia, it takes a little longer. From the bed of the truck, the view is limited to a night sky punctuated by fleeting glimpses of high-rise buildings, overpasses, traffic signs and tollbooths. It is difficult to make out, among the human cargo, much more than the vague shapes of bodies, the floating tips of cigarettes. When you pass beneath a street lamp, though, or an illuminated billboard, the faces thrown into relief are all alive with expectation. Eventually, the urban pulse subsides; the commotion of the freeway fades. The drooping wires give way to darkly looming palms. You begin to notice birds, and you can smell the sea. Continue reading “THE DREAM BOAT”

The Charitable-Industrial Complex

By?PETER BUFFETT The opinion pages New York Times

I HAD spent much of my life writing music for commercials, film and television and knew little about the world of philanthropy as practiced by the very wealthy until what I call the big bang happened in 2006. That year, my father, Warren Buffett, made good on his commitment to give nearly all of his accumulated wealth back to society. In addition to making several large donations, he added generously to the three foundations that my parents had created years earlier, one for each of their children to run.

?’Already Flown’ by Peter Buffett ?a related song written by Peter Buffett. Continue reading “The Charitable-Industrial Complex”

Life Without Sex

By?SOPHIE FONTANEL New York Times?

Published: July 20, 2013

PARIS ? FOR a period of my life, from my 27th to my 39th years, I slept alone: I had no sex. I wasn?t unhappy. Or frustrated. In fact, I found no sex preferable to disappointing sex.

Just before giving up, I had a boyfriend. He often said that we were happy sexually, but frankly he was blind to my unhappiness. So that winter, I went skiing without him.

Alone in all that sun and snow, absorbing energy from the sky and mountains, I let my body breathe quietly. The freedom and whiteness of the snow and mountains produced a kind of ecstasy. And the special pleasure I found skiing in this paradise made me think about the possibilities of my body, my sensuality. And I asked myself, ?Sophie, is your sexual life so very stimulating, actually?? And my answer was, ?No.? I realized that even when I took pleasure, I was not ecstatic with my sexual life. In fact, I seemed to be going through the motions of lovemaking because, I thought, that?s what everybody did. I decided to take a break, to recover a true desire. Continue reading “Life Without Sex”

Wresting the Narrative From the West

By?JAMES ESTRIN?New York Times
As far as Shahidul Alam is concerned, he does not live in the third world or the developing world. While the photographer?s home is in Bangladesh, a decidedly poor country, he thinks of himself as residing in ?the majority world.?
Boy playing with home made ball, in shelter built for earthquake victims in Pakistan. ? Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
Boy playing with home made ball, in shelter built for earthquake victims in Pakistan. ? Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Most people today do not live in Europe or North America, or have white skin. Yet the world?s economy and media are dominated by a handful of Western countries, and the reporting on developing nations is not always done by people who know their subjects well. Continue reading “Wresting the Narrative From the West”

In Love With My Planet

Dominique Browning spoke with Sebasti?o Salgado, the legendary documentary photographer and author, about the inspiration for his forthcoming book??Genesis.? ?The New York Times Sunday Review

Sebasti?o Salgado/Amazonas – Contact Press Images from “Genesis” (Taschen, 2013) Bats on tamarind trees in the Berenty Reserve in Madagascar, 2010.

These beautiful photographs are so different from your previous work. Tell me about that.

Russia, 2006 A tundra valley extends between Tolbachik and Kamen volcanoes in the Kamchatka Peninsula. A line of clouds separates a 2,600-foot crater from the huge base of Kamen volcano, which rises 15,000 feet above sea level.
Russia, 2006 A tundra valley extends between Tolbachik and Kamen volcanoes in the Kamchatka Peninsula. A line of clouds separates a 2,600-foot crater from the huge base of Kamen volcano, which rises 15,000 feet above sea level. Sebasti?o Salgado/Amazonas ? Contact Press Images from ?Genesis? (Taschen, 2013)

They are different, but in the end, they come around to the same place. They have the same message. We are living in a very special moment, when the effect of everything we are doing to our world is accelerating. If we do not pay attention now, we will be facing catastrophe. A big red light should be blinking in all our brains. Continue reading “In Love With My Planet”

Bangladesh Needs Strong Unions, Not Outside Pressure

By Fazle Hasan Abed in New York Times

Rana Plaza, the nine storied building in Savar, which housed several garment factories, collapsed on the 24th April. Hundreds have died and many more are still missing. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World
Rana Plaza, the nine storied building in Savar, which housed several garment factories, collapsed on the 24th April. Hundreds have died and many more are still missing. 29th April 2013. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

BANGLADESH, my country, is again in tears. Last week in Savar, a suburb of Dhaka, the capital, a poorly constructed building that housed garment factories and other businesses collapsed. More than 300 have been confirmed dead, and the final death toll could well exceed 700. Continue reading “Bangladesh Needs Strong Unions, Not Outside Pressure”

Homeward bound

Even the pit stop in Dhaka is threatened by Jamaat’s hartal tomorrow. I am hoping it will be even more of a flop than previous ones. Those of you who missed the interview in BBC (1:09 into the programme where I talk about Shahbagh). Look out for the oped in New York Times on Friday and the interview on Listening Post in Al Jazeera on Saturday.

My humble abode in Salzburg, but many old friends, Pablo Bartholomew, Bill Kouwenhowen and Nii Obodaii fresh from Chobi Mela VII. Stephen Mayes, Enrico Bossan, Yukiko
My humble abode in Salzburg, but old friends, Pablo Bartholomew, Bill Kouwenhoven and Nii Obodai fresh from Chobi Mela VII. Stephen Mayes, Enrico Bossan, Yukiko Yamagata and many others, plus all the new friends I made made, plus the sumptuous meals made it easier to bear

Here are some pictures taken on my way back:
It’s a hard life. On the rare occasions when I get bumped up to business class.
My plane waiting at the boarding gate
The courtyard
Sunny afternoon in Salzburg
 
 

Images of Independence, Finally Free

By JAMES ESTRIN New York Times Lens Blog

The photographs were shockingly graphic, detailing the torture and execution of men suspected of collaborating with pro-Pakistani militias during Bangladesh?s 1971 war for independence. Featured on front pages and magazine covers around the world, they provoked outrage and won awards, including World Press Photo and a Pulitzer ? both shared by Horst Faas and Michel Laurent.

Members of Kadiria Bahini – a guerilla independence militia – bayoneted a collaborator of the Pakistani Army, in Dhaka after the Liberation War. 18th December 1971.

Only three Western photographers were on the scene of the executions: Mr. Faas, Mr. Laurent and Christian Simonpietri. The Magnum photographer Marc Riboud left the scene minutes before and later said he did so because his presence was only encouraging the brutality.
But there was another photojournalist there, whom the others didn?t know: Rashid Talukder, who worked for a Bangladeshi newspaper. Though he also made dramatic images, he did not publish them. He couldn?t. Mr. Talukder knew that ? unlike the foreign photographers ? he would not leave Bangladesh and dash to the next overseas hot spot. He would be staying. And the men behind the executions were among the most powerful in the country. Continue reading “Images of Independence, Finally Free”

Demotix Hits A Million Images

Crowd-Sourced Picture Agency Can Work

MIKE BUTCHER

Thursday, October 11th, 2012
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We?ve been covering Demotix since their controversial launch in 2008 and frankly the jury at the time was out on whether they really could create what many had tried and failed to do: a crowd-sourced, breaking news pictures and video agency with a viable business model. Other startups had come and gone in that space, partly because they had focused too much on camera phones. Those images might have been ?on the ground?, but they didn?t turn into businesses which interested major news outlets. We saw Twitpic stumble as it tried this last year, for instance. But Demotix went after real photographers close to the scenes of breaking news. And that question appears to to have been answered today as they hit a million images produced on the platform. Continue reading “Demotix Hits A Million Images”

When Interest Creates a Conflict

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By JAMES ESTRIN: New York Times Lensblog
Like most photographers in conflict zones, Stanley Greene has spent a lot of time with nongovernmental organizations, befriending aid workers who dealt with war, famine and refugees. They not only shared the same concerns as he, but also made it possible for him to gain access to the crisis zones.
Mr. Green traveled to Dhaka, Bangladesh, in July 2011, to photograph a hospital operated by M?decins Sans Fronti?res (M.S.F.), a group that photographers often accompany while on editorial assignment. But even though he was shooting many of the same things he had often photographed ? and in similar ways ? this felt different. This time, M.S.F. was paying him to photograph, as part of its Urban Survivors project. Continue reading “When Interest Creates a Conflict”