George Osodi’s Kings of Nigeria featured on Al Jazeera’s Rewind
George Osodi‘s award winning work on the Kings of Nigeria, which resulted in a unique set of portraits of the country’s traditional rulers, has been featured on Al Jazeera’s new Rewind series which celebrates the tenth anniversary of the channel.
To view the short film, please click on the image below.
Replete with accusations of moral improbity and counter claims of corruption between the Clinton and Trump campaigns, the 2016 race has seen Donald Trump, the unlikely Republican nominee, threaten Hillary Clinton, the more established Democrat candidate, with prosecution on corruption charges.
Drawing on secret recordings of Trump bragging about his ability to force himself upon women against their will, Democrats haven’t missed an opportunity of pointing to Trump’s unsuitability to lead the world’s most powerful country.
While the main swing states have traditionally been California (55 votes in the Electoral College), Texas (38 votes) and Florida (29 votes), Arizona with its 11 votes and a large Hispanic community turned off by Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric could become a valuable prize for the Clinton campaign.
Though it has voted Republican all but once since 1952, the electoral map of Arizona is changing and recent polls suggest the the Democrats have a good chance here. Sensing a potential game changer, the Clinton campaign has concentrated its human and other resources on getting out the vote.
Bernie Sanders, Michelle Obama and Chelsea Clinton have all visited Arizona in the final weeks of campaigning. On 2nd November the presidential candidate herself made her way to campaign rallies in Phoenix and Las Vegas to appeal directly to Hispanic voters who have seen Donal Trump refer to Mexicans as “criminals” and “rapists” and promise to build a wall to keep out further immigrants, making Mexico pay for its construction.
Arizona provides a litmus test for future elections with the Hispanic population of the certain US states like Texas, New Mexico and California becoming an important constituency that any future presidential candidate disappoints or ignores at his or her peril.
Piotr Malecki has been travelling across Arizona in the weeks leading up to the crucial poll on 8 November, meeting both Republican and Democrat voters and gauging the mood in what many now call America’s newest swing state.
Since April 2016, thousands of native Americans and their supporters have been converging on a site in the Standing Rock Indian Reservation to protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline which is supposed to bring fracked crude oil from North Dakota to refineries in Illinois.
The protesters, led by members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, established the Sacred Stone Camp to show their opposition to the pipeline which, they say, runs across sacred land and burial grounds and could lead to pollution of their water sources.
With larger numbers gathering on weekends, the Camp has become the biggest gathering of North American indigenous peoples for over 100 years. Police and private security guards deployed to contain the protests have ended in arrests, injuries and accusations of police violence.
In addition to the environmental issues raised by campaigners against the pipeline the protests also focus attention on the treatment of native Americans in general and questions about land and resource distribution.
Some of the Standing Rock campaigners have pointed to the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by the so-called “Bundy Gang”, a group of cattle ranchers who engaged in a 41 day armed standoff with law enforcement over disputed grazing rights on federal land.
All members of the group were acquitted and walked free while over 150 unarmed protesters at Standing Rock have been arrested during largely peaceful protests.
Neither Donald Trump nor Hilary Clinton, the two presidential hopefuls in the 8 November election, have taken a public stand on the issue and with fracking continuing to spread and grow, making America self-sufficient in crude oil, the issue of land use by oil companies and the transportation of crude will remain a contentious point.
Hossein Fatemi went to the Standing Rock Sacred Stone Camp and met some of the thousands of protesters who have vowed to stand their ground to the bitter end.
Kacper Kowalski featured on New York Times Lensblog
Kacper Kowalski‘s award winning images of his native Poland photographed from the air has been featured on the http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2016/11/01/blogs/photographing-everyday-beauty-from-above/s/01-lens-kacper-slide-MBP4.html to coincide with the opening of an exhibition at the Curator Gallery in New York which opens on 3rd November 2016.
To view the full slideshow, click on the image below.
Patrick Brown exhibiting in association with Human Rights Watch at the Myanmar Deitta gallery in Yangon, Myanmar
Patrick Brown‘s images from a recent project he worked on with Human Rights Watch, a New York based non-profit and pressure group, looking at land confiscations in Myanmar which have intensified since the country started its transition to democracy, will be exhibited at:
The exhibition coincides with a news conference and the launch of Human Rights Watch’s report “The Farmer Becomes the Criminal: Land Confiscation in Burma’s Karen State.” which will be attended by Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch and Caroline Stover, Asia Division fellow of Human Rights Watch. The news conference will take place on Thursday, 3 November 2016 at 10.30am.
Can Dündar nominated for the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize
Can Dündar, the former editor of the Turkish centre-left Cumhuriyet newspaper is one of four nominees for this year’s prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The prize “is awarded to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the fight for human rights across the globe, drawing attention to human rights violations as well as supporting the laureates and their cause.”
Dündar and his Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gül were arrested in early 2015 after the paper published pictures allegedly showing trucks delivering weapons from Turkey into Syria. They were held for 92 days, threatened with life imprisonment on espionage and and terror charges and publicly threatened by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
After surviving an assassination attempt, Dündar resigned from the newspaper and is now believed to be living in Germany, fearful of returning to Turkey which has seen an unprecedented clampdown on the media following the failed military coup
Panos photographer Guy Martin spent a number of days shadowing Dündar at home and in his office in the month before the attempted coup and gained unique insight into the life and struggle of this courageous journalist and the challenges facing Turkish media more broadly.
To view the full set of images, please click here.
“Two years ago a young black man, VonDerrit Myers, 18, was shot in the back and killed on this street corner by a white police officer. His family said he had a sandwich in his hand, the police report says it was a gun.
VonDerrit’s family had called for a 7pm vigil to commemorate the death of their only child at the spot outside the Shaw Market on the corner of Shaw and Klemm where he was shot.
Shaw is a quiet mixed neighbourhood of single family houses. The northern part is more white, the southern part more black. Most homes have well kept lawns. All in all, it‘s considered pretty safe. There are a few nice restaurants and a local store, the Shaw Market, sells sandwiches, drinks and everyday items.
I arrived 15 minutes early, parked the car and walked up to the spot where several dozen people were gathering. They were mostly black, young, male and female, the friends and classmates of VonDerrit. It was a community turnout with children, grandparents, white neighbours, community activists and a lady in a wheelchair.
I introduced myself and met the parents of VonDerrit Jr, his mother Syreeta and father VonDerrit Snr. I took a portrait of them in the fast fading evening light.
The mood was solemn, and more people were arriving, there was the black pastor, a white female clergy member. In a neighbourhood with little violent crime, the killing of VonDerrit on the streets of Shaw shocked the community.
As we gathered at the small memorial at the intersection next to the Shaw Market, some sort of argument broke out amongst a group of some two dozen young black men who stood milling around eight yards away.
I could not make out what it was about, and had no reason to get involved, so I stayed with the family at the vigil. Given the respectful nature of the gathering I did not expect anything to get out of hand.
More angry words were exchanged, but not too loudly, I could see some of the men pulling away one or two of their friends, trying to diffuse whatever was simmering.
Then suddenly handguns were drawn and immediately multiple shots were fired. There were at least four shooters spraying crossfire across the intersection. The shooting was indisciplined, one youth ran after another shooting wildly.
There was screaming, I saw a young woman running, dragging her young boy away. People scattered from the intersection and dived onto the ground as the loud percussive firing continued and continued.
I lay in the street with a car between me and where the shooting had started. I knew this was not safe, a car is a tin can, and bullets ricochet down street and under cars, but it felt a hell of a lot safer than standing up.
A man walked up the street from behind me as the shooting continued, he stopped right next to me. He was using the same car as cover, I looked up and saw him pull a 9mm handgun from the waistband of his baggy jeans. We made eye contact as he looked down to pull out his gun. Then he looked ahead and started firing methodically at an adversary across the intersection. The metallic pinging sound of shell casings hitting the ground as they landed a foot from my head was out of sync with the loud booms of the gunshots. He fired four to six rounds and quickly moved off.
After that there was a lull in the shooting. I looked around and could see people ducking and laying down, cars caught in the intersection raced by. A mother in a mini van screamed at friends to get in. Another woman cried out for her husband. I got up and quickly ran to take better cover across the street behind the trunk of the nearest largest tree. The shooting started again, rapid, angry, indiscriminate and very violent.
This is how nine-year-old kids get killed sitting on their porch.
There was another brief lull, then more shooting started down the road, but further away, the shooters were moving away. The intersection was now clear, more cars raced past in a squealing panic of tires, people were on their phones calling 911. Looking at the time stamp on my pictures. There was shooting at 6:59.39 and by about 7:00.03 it had finished. In about 30 long seconds it was all over. Well over 58 shots were fired.
Everyone was shaken. A middle-aged lady was telling me “There is no respect, we came here to pray. I don’t want to live in this kind of a world”.
It took a while for the police to arrive. They were trying to secure the crime scene, but it was so large. Blood splattered the street, clearly several people had been shot, but fortunately, no bystanders seemed hit. Dozens of bullet casings lay on the floor, cars had their tires shot out, windshields shattered. One car had at least 13 bullet holes in its bonnet, it’s windshield and drivers side window shot out.
The pastor in his crisp white shirt, who seconds ago had been lying face down on the ground, held VonDerrit’s sobbing mother in his arms. He was a voice of authority and said with resigned irritation “Come on, let’s finish what we came here to do” Everyone who was still there held hands and formed a circle around the small memorial for VonDerrit. The pastor prayed aloud.
A policeman who was marking the site of blood and bullet casings muttered to me “They’re all praying in the middle of a crime scene”. He looked up as if to move them on, but then though better of it, waited for the prayer to finish and asked everyone to move back behind the yellow police tape they were setting up to cordon off the crime scene around the intersection.
Police were all over the place now. A young man who had been shot staggered from a side street up to the intersection and sat down next to the police. He was shot in the leg, the paramedics ripped open his pants, to stabilize his wound and an ambulance took him away.
With all the world’s press in St Louis for the second presidential debate between Clinton and Trump, other than a possible blogger I was the only journalist there. After it was all over one local reporter and photographer arrived. I asked who they worked for, they said a St Louis weekly paper. One local TV camera guy showed up, but no reporter.
Later it was reported that a bullet grazed someones arm and an unidentified man was dropped off at a nearby hospital with gunshot injuries. Given that there was so much gunfire it was extraordinary luck that no bystander was grievously injured.
No one would or could tell me why the vigil was interrupted before it even started, or who was shooting at whom.
A young black man was killed by a white cop, and two years later a fusillade of gang violence ruins his memory at a vigil in his honor. To the disgust of his friends and family, the second anniversary of VonDerrit Meyer’s death descended into another chaotic night of gun violence in America.