Editor's Picks 22 May 2013

Collection with 8 media items created by Editor's Picks

22 May 2013 08:00

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Afghan Special Officer With 50 Calibe...
Bamyan, Afghanistan
By johnjournalist
01 May 2013

An officer of the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) mans a vehicle mounted 50 Calibre machine gun in the central district of Bamyan (Bamiyan, Bamain)

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Punch and Train with She Fighter (8 o...
Amman, Jordan
By Osie Greenway
10 Dec 2012

She Fighter students learn a variety of mixed martial arts to basic and advanced self-defense techniques with founder Lina Khalifeh

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X Addicts
Oxford, UK
By Kirk Ellingham
01 Aug 2010

The Ley Community is a drug rehabilitation centre in Yarnton, Oxfordshire.
They help men and women build new lives after addiction to drugs and alcohol.

I grew up in and around the south London area. At the age of 16 I started smoking crack cocaine and getting more into crime. I was hanging around with people a lot older than me, in big groups fighting a lot and committing a lot of crime, getting into a lot of trouble. Back then it was all about who was the maddest and who was the baddest.

I grew up around a lot of drugs and violence and back then I thought that was what it was all about, being the big hard man. This led me to spend a lot of my life in prison from the age of 16. When I was out there involved in all the madness I didn't care about anyone or anything, I was a mess. Through all this my partner, who I met when I was 16, stuck by me. I was being very violent, drinking too much all the time.

When I was 20 my son was born and I was in prison at the time and that hurt me but it was down to my own stupidity. I came out and tried to stay off drugs but I couldn't do it and in the end my partner left me and took my son and I went off and ended up in prison on a robbery charge looking at a few years locked up again. I'd just had enough of the lifestyle, the drugs and spending all my life locked up. I spoke to a drugs worker in the prison and they said what about a rehab. I thought I would give it a go. I went to court and the judge sent me here.

Coming to the Ley was strange after spending so much time in prison and putting on the hard man act all that time. Everyone here was so nice to me, kind, caring and helpful. I've been here a while and I'm getting used to things and learning a lot about myself, the real me. When you look at the people at the end of the programme you see the benefits and if you put in the work you will get there. I'm rebuilding my relationship with my partner of seven years who has never used drugs and my son who is three years old now.

Now I'm looking forward to the future and being a good father and having a good life, a clean life. I know here I will learn what I need to live that life, I'm done with my old life, I now see it was nothing but crap but I now know my future will be good. My family and people that know me and even I can see a change in me and it's a good change. I would say to anyone that really wants to sort their life out that this is the place.

At times it is not easy but it’s what we need. My future is now about getting a job and a nice little place to live, once I have done this programme, and being a proper family with my partner and my son and living a drug and crime free life. Just being happy and grateful for the things I've got and being a good father and to make sure my son doesn't go down the road I did. I grew up without my father but I'm now getting my life back and my son will grow up with his father there for him and I'm really happy I've got this chance to get my life together.

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Lost In The Jungle (26 of 31)
Etaeto, Democratic Republic of Congo
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
10 Sep 2012

Kalibo Mandigo - Etaeto - Democratic Republic of Congo - September 10th, 2012

The hunt for precious coltan is killing Africa's dwindling Pygmy population. The village of Kalibo Mandigo, located in the Ituri rain forest in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, lies in the heart of an obscure war zone that few in the West know about. The densely forested expanse along a stretch of border between the nation once known as Zaire and Uganda, furnishes some 80 percent of planet's Columbite Tantalite, or "coltan," an ore that is an essential ingredient in the creation of the miniature Tantalum capacitors present in virtually all electronic devices, including laptops, cell phones and pagers. Coltan is panned for by hand in much the same way as gold during the California gold rush of the 19th century. The demand by major companies such as Nokia and Sony for coltan (Australia is the other major source) has made the Congo into a battleground for rogue miners, who enter the country, through Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi. The number of Pygmies is in constant decline as a result of the border fighting. On the move constantly, the pygmies, who are considered inferior, face the wrath of Congolese troops and Rwandan raiders who cross the border seeking the coltan. They were victims of rape, murder and cannibalism. According to Minority Rights Group International there is extensive evidence of mass killing, cannibalism and rape of Pygmies and they have urged the International Criminal Court to investigate a campaign of extermination against pygmies. Although they have been targeted by virtually all the armed groups, much of the violence against Pygmies is attributed to the rebel group, Movement for the Liberation of Congo.

The picture shows a pygmi woman who lost his entire family after a rwandan rebel interamwe, raid Kalibo Mandigo village. Her hut was totally devasted and destroyed by those rebels.

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Egyptian troops ready to free kidnapp...
Sinai, Egypt
By Video Cairo Sat
22 May 2013

Story: Egyptian troops ready to free kidnapped soldiers

Local News Agency: Middle East Bureau / VCS
Shooting Dateline: May 21, 2013
Shooting Location: Sinai, Egypt
Publishing Time: May 21, 2013
Length: 00:01:44
Video Size: 85.4 MB
Language: Arabic
Organized by:
Camera: VCS


  1. Various shots of army vehicle movement in Sinai
  2. Various shots of army vehicles
  3. Wide shot of armored vehicle deployed in Sinai, Rafah Crossing border area
  4. Wide shot of the gate of the Rafah Crossing Border closed in protest against the kidnap of the soldiers
  5. Various shots of armored vehicles deployed outside the border
  6. Medium shot of the gate of the border while police closed it and hanging banners at the gate reading (the sit-in will continue until the release of the soldiers)
  7. Various shots of Rafah Crossing Border area
  8. Medium shot of a banner reading (This is a sit-in and not a protest or a vigil)
  9. Various shots of the Rafah Crossing Border while being closed with banners demanding the release of the kidnapped soldiers


Egypt’s Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said that the Egyptian security forces are fully ready to implement a plan to release the seven kidnapped soldiers in Sinai.

The minister said in a statement to the Independent Egyptian newspaper al-Watan that they already have sent 30 armored vehicles, 90 battle groups, special police units tasked with special duties (to free the hostages), noting that the armed forces won’t take part in the operation and its role is limited to the siege of the region.

The entrances to the governorate of Sinai also witnessed a heavy security presence.

Security forces managed to identify the area where the kidnapped have been detained, according to the statement.

On the other hand, the Egyptian army intensified its presence in Sinai by sending more troops, getting ready for a possible military operation to release the seven kidnapped soldiers.

A military source in Sinai said troops are ready for launching the military operation for freeing the seven abducted soldiers and that troops were waiting for the zero hour.

The source added that a military operation to free the soldiers is ready, but they are still waiting for the orders of the president.

The special operations troops which have arrived in Sinai earlier are characterized by a high level of training as they contain members of the contingent 777 which is specialized in combating terrorism and the implementation of these operations.

First Undersecretary of Health Ministry in North Sinai Dr. Tareq Khater said the state of emergency was announced in all the governorate hospitals.

The Egyptian presidency said earlier that all options were open in dealing with the kidnappers of the Sinai soldiers and securing their release.

Police stations in North Sinai have announced a strike in support of the Rafah and Ouga crossings and in protest against the continuation of the crisis of the abducted soldiers.

The Rafah crossing with Gaza still closed for a fifth consecutive day on Tuesday. The police said they would not reopen Rafah crossing until their kidnapped colleagues were released.

End VCS Item

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A Story of Courage, Saved from Taliba...
Swat, Pakistan
By Muhammed Furqan
08 Mar 2012

Gul Khandana teaches at Sijban girls primary school in the Swat Valley.The number of girls in the school has significantly increased since peace was restored in the area.

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Four Floors In Bielany
Warsaw, Poland
By Kirk Ellingham
21 May 2013

Chechen Refugees in Warsaw

Kirk Ellingham


Every day dozens of Chechens try to escape the Putin-proclaimed happy paradise in Chechnya by entering the European Union illegally via the border with Ukraine or Belarus. Despite the news of general peace and prosperity widely circulated by the news media in the Chechen Republic, more and more people dream of leaving the allegedly problem-free Chechnya.

Each time I returned to the rundown refugee centre on the edge of Warsaw that house nearly 300 mainly Chechen refugees to Poland, I found it harder and harder to get a grip both ethically and photographically on their situation.
Some of the residents had moved out into Warsaw apartments, some had been repatriated home; others had just disappeared into the E.U, especially if their asylum claims had been rejected. Some may have even returned to Chechnya voluntary, even perhaps to fight in the insurgence. Often if they had been refused status to stay in Poland or elsewhere the militant young felt they were left with little choice, but to return back to Chechnya to face violent reprisals or join the Islamic insurgence in the Caucasus Mountains.
It became a confusing place but with so many kind and courageous people letting me into their lives to photograph them I felt I needed to continue document the transient and desperate nature of their existence on the four floors of Bielany, the reasons they fled their homeland, in an original way at least.
So how could I transpose these notes and photographs into a viable project? The stories they told me ranged from horrific tales of torture to ones of simply trying to rejoin family members who had left Chechnya years before, during the two wars.
So I began to present the images with my written notes, thoughts and also the pictures the children made for me whilst wandering the cold corridors waiting to interview and photograph their parents.
I often felt like a useless recorder of tragedy and after one visit I felt despair at being only able being able to record these courageous peoples images and voices with a view to just using the work for my MA and not to implement any real change for their situation in Poland. I destroyed my first notebook in a Warsaw youth hostel in anger one night but later I fished its torn remains back from the kitchen bin.
A Bielany resident who I had spoken to about my frustrations had told me the next day even though it may sound clichéd that “It didn’t matter, at least you are listening to us, at least you are here trying to understand us, to document us” this helped waive my doubts about continuing the project, but I still feel that a photojournalist without empathy or ethics is only taking, often not helping; I hope I can give something back even if its only a testament to the fact that the Chechen people were here, in a small part of Warsaw waiting in a bureaucratic limbo as to whether they could continue there journey or travel back to a bleeding homeland.

I plan to make this project into a multimedia piece including all the notebooks, text and audio as well as a finished book and exhibition

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Protest Journey
Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil
By Kirk Ellingham
01 Jul 2009

A two month journey following indigenous protests from Paraguay to Bolivia in 2007.