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last updated: 16:39 UTC / Tuesday 19 August 2014

The greatness of his mind is such that he rather chooseth to die than be taken alive: wherein the unicorn and the valiant-minded soldier are alike, which both contemn to death, and rather than they will be compelled to undergo any base servitude or bondage they will lose their lives.
~ John Guillim

A fictitious creature may seem an odd choice for a country’s national animal, but perhaps not for a country famed for its love for and long history of myth and legend, and the unicorn has been a Scottish heraldic symbol since the 12th century, when it was used on an early form of the Scottish coat of arms by William I.

The unicorn contended all those who would see him captured or oppressed, and would rather die fighting than surrender and face imprisonment. It is no wonder, then, that this creature was such a perfect symbol for the Scots, who for centuries struggled to remain independent and free of foreign influence.

Video by Kieran Dodds.
Voiceover by Angus King.
Editing by Panos Pictures.


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Kieran Dodds

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A three-part documentary based on Shiho Fukada’s portrait series, Japan’s Disposable Workers. The three sections are:

Overworked to Suicide
After the recession of the 1990s, Japan’s white collar salarymen increasingly must work arduous hours for fear of losing their jobs. This often leads to depression and suicide.

Net Cafe Refugees
Internet cafes have existed in Japan for over a decade, but in the mid 2000′s, customers began using these spaces as living quarters. Internet cafe refugees are mostly temporary employees, their salary too low to rent their own apartments.

Dumping Ground
Kamagasaki, Osaka, Japan used to be a thriving day laborer’s town. Today, it is home to approximately 25,000 unemployed and elderly men, many of whom are also homeless.

Produced by MediaStorm for the Pulitzer Center.


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Shiho Fukada

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Mediastorm


High on a mountain, three shamans sit cross-legged on a great burial stone, gazing out across a moonlit valley. They are singing, a slow ululation that fades into the predawn silence. This is the annual summons for the nyale, ancient spirits that manifest as sea worms, briefly swarming the shores of Sumba, a tiny island in eastern Indonesia. For the shamans, the nyale are augurs, telling them what the year ahead will hold. This is the central moment in a ritual cycle that will culminate in a few hours when hundreds of warriors do battle, hurling spears in a bloody war known as the Pasola.

Even as the Sumbanese enact their millennia old rituals, the world is changing around them. Sumba is being touted as the next big thing in island tourism and a real estate gold rush has begun. Many are predicting that this tiny island no one has heard of will soon emerge as the next Bali. Perhaps the shamans have already seen the omens. It remains to be seen whether they will be for good or for ill.

Video shot by James Morgan.


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James Morgan

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Mercy Owiti is a palliative care nurse in Nyeri, Kenya. But caring for patients at the end of life often means more than just pain relief. That’s why the Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association began training health care providers, like Mercy, to become paralegals.

Addressing the legal needs of patients and families offers peace of mind and improves health, so that human dignity, in illness and at the end of life, remains at the center.

Commissioned and Produced by the Open Society Foundations

Camera and sound: Sven Torfinn/Panos Pictures
Editing: Andrew Hida


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Sven Torfinn

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Bringing Justice to Health Report


Russia is home to the world’s fastest-growing HIV epidemic. Driven by injection drug use, it is now becoming generalized. A zero-tolerance policy toward drug use in the country bans harm reduction tools and treatment. For many drug users, the only choice is to quit drugs entirely or go to prison.
Outreach workers like Max supply clean needles and health information. Now, with the help of an online network, Max, a former intravenous drug user, also provides legal advice to help people access treatment and overcome abuses in the justice system.

Commissioned and Produced by the Open Society Foundations

Camera and sound: Piotr Malecki/Panos Pictures

Additional camera: Guy Martin/Panos Pictures

Editing: Andrew Hida


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Piotr Malecki

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Bringing Justice to Health Report


Uganda has a severe HIV epidemic. AIDS is the leading cause of death among adults. Widespread rights violations put some people at a greater risk of HIV—like widows, sex workers, children, and people with disabilities.

Family and neighbors often chase people living with HIV from their land because they believe that their death is imminent, and that their rights no longer matter. There is a an ever-present need for access to law and justice.

William Mulindwa is a teacher by profession. He is living with HIV. He also works as a paralegal for UGANET, a grantee of the Open Society Foundations that has trained more than 100 paralegals on basic principles of law enforcement, case assessment, conflict resolution, mediation, and negotiation.

Paralegals like Mulindwa are informing people living with HIV about their rights, mediating disputes, and empowering people to engage in community activism and perform simple legal acts like preparing a will. They are essential to improving outcomes for people living with HIV and AIDS.

Commissioned and Produced by the Open Society Foundations

Camera and sound: Sven Torfinn/Panos Pictures
Editing: Andrew Hida


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Sven Torfinn

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Bringing Justice to Health Report


A woman visits a gynecologist for a check-up but the office demands she pay a fee for a service that is free. A young child and his parents are never informed about vaccination for measles, mumps, and rubella. A man in need of dialysis is thrown out of the hospital because he asks for transportation reimbursement, which is required by law.

These are just a few of the many health rights violations Roma people face in Macedonia. But the work of Roma paralegals is having a profound impact on Roma health in their communities.

Commissioned and Produced by the Open Society Foundations

Photography: Björn Steinz/Panos Pictures
Sound recording: Dragan Milojevic
Video editing: Andrew Hida


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Bjoern Steinz

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Bringing Justice to Health Report



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Adam Patterson

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Save the Children in Jordan commissioned the Dutch photographer and director Chris de Bode and the Dutch filmmaker Steven Elbers to produce a short documentary, ‘Living on Scrap’, a story focusing on the lives of two young boys working to support their families in collecting scrap materials. The film features a 13 year-old Jordanian boy and 13-year-old Syrian refugee who have both had to forfeit their education in exchange for a mere income, working for long hours, in some of the most dangerous conditions. Burdened by a life that has stolen their childhoods, the boys were forced to grow beyond their years. Although, the film portrays the lives of two, it reflects the daily struggle that threatens the future of an entire generation.

Director: Chris de Bode

Camera, Edit, Grading: Steven Elbers
GoPro Shots: Aabed & Qusai

Research & Facilitation: Save the Children Jordan
Facilitation: Artcore Productions BV


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Chris De Bode

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In Freetown Central Prison juveniles serve time alongside up to 1,300 adult prisoners in appalling conditions. Overcrowding, malnutrition, cells without toilets, violence, sexual harassment, infectious diseases, poor hygiene and a lack of medical care were all commonplace making life for the already vulnerable young men intolerable. As minors they should never have ended up in a maximum security prison but Sierra Leone’s slow road back to a pre civil war reality means that the prisons are bursting at the seams and hordes of former child soldiers and war orphans continue to drift in and out of petty crime.

Upon their release, juvenile former inmates have precious little support from a weak central state, making their rehabilitation and reintegration into society a hugely challenging undertaking. For many, a stint in prison is often punished by ostracism from their families and opportunities for employment in a country still reeling from over a decade of civil war remain extremely limited, with a youth unemployment estimate of 60% being one of the highest rates in West Africa. Recidivism among former juvenile prisoners who find themselves back on the streets is high.

This film was shot by Fernando Moleres and edited by Gonzalo Escuder. The making of the film was made possible through the support of the Tim Hetherington Grant by World Press Photo and Human Rights Watch.


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Incarcerated in Freetown Photo story
Fernando Moleres Page

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Free Minor Africa


Trailer for a series of films produced by Adam Patterson & Sam Strickland for Dazed & Confused.


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Adam Patterson

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Brain-machine interface is a fascinating field of research: it allows people to control machines thanks to their cerebral activity and it seems particularly well designed for people with disabilities. A team of scientists from a technical school in Switzerland has developed a wheelchair that can be entirely controlled by thoughts.

Produced by Alban Kakulya for UBIK prod.


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Alban Kakulya

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Multimedia storytelling has been embraced by Panos Pictures as an additional way to represent our photographers' work. The agency produces work in collaboration with photographers and outside agencies.

Many Panos photographers can be commissioned to shoot sound and video on assignment. Please contact us for more information.

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