Editor's Picks 30 July 2013

Collection with 10 media items created by Transterra Editor

30 Jul 2013 08:00

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Bitter Oranges - African Migrant Work...
Rosarno, Italy
By Carolincik
29 Jul 2013

The living conditions of the African migrant workers are horrendous. During the winter months, when thousands arrive in the hope to find work, slum cities develop. The conditions in the squalid camps are similar to those in war zones one of the rare doctors who visit the slums tells us. In many of the makeshift camps there is no running water or electricity. Some of the camps are controlled by the mafia, and people are forced to pay for services they often never receive.

View the full collection here: http://transterramedia.com/collections/1314

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Made in Bangladesh (22 of 23)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Michael Biach
01 Apr 2013

Bangladesh’s garment industry is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports – mainly to Europe and the United States – and therefore the single greatest source of economic growth.

An estimated number of two to three million people are employed in more than 4,000 factories all over the country, not including the thousands of sub-suppliers. About 80% of the working force are women. Although violating national law sub-suppliers often still employ children under the age of 14.

Workers are reliant on the engagement to support their families. Jobs are highly underpaid – most factories pay the maximum of 1,500-2,000 Taka (about 15 – 20 Euros) per month. Labor time is up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Several clothing buyers asked the Bangladeshi government to raise the minimum wages but factory owners argue that they will not be competitive against Vietnam, China and other big producers if they raise wages and therefore would have to close their factories and discharge all their employees.

As people are reliant on their jobs they are still willing to work even if underpaid. Continuous riots by textile workers break out – leading to short-term shutdowns and often to injuries and fatalities among workers. It is unlikely that either the international clothing companies nor the local Bangladeshi factory owners will bear the costs of raised wages.

A change of the situation will only be achieved if consumers are aware of the social inequity and put pressure on the companies involved.

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Port Gabtoli (2 of 7)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Khandaker Azizur Rahman
06 Apr 2012

Gabtoli is a small domestic port in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Here, raw construction materials for both industrial and residential developments comes from different parts of Bangladesh. Among the raw materials are coal, stones, bricks, sand and metal. Approximately 20,000 workers labor in the port day and night, mostly originating from rural areas of Bangladesh leaving their families behind. They earn less then $4 a day to maintain their family and are literally deprived of health, education and other basic facilities.

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Jennyfer Ayat : Slave in Kireka's sto...
Kampala, Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
20 Feb 2012

Kireka-Kampala township-Uganda-East Africa-February 26th-2013
Following on the footsteps of great many people before her, Jennyfer Ayat made a daring and courageous decision to escape the controls of sexual enslavement or perhaps even death, from the followers of warlord Joseph Kony by braving the long march of Gulu Walk. It seems ironic when in essence Jennyfer Ayat is escaping one form of brutal slavery for another.
Over the past twenty years the echoes of pain injected by the Kony terror, have caused women like Jennyfer Ayat, of Uganda to make hard and testing choices to either live in constant fear of death for themselves, their children and loved ones, or harvest bravery from the fountain sitting deep within to escape and live in another form of fear. One where the desperation of making an exodus of living in poverty and in slavery has become invisible to corporations, employing workers at the lowest, most discriminatory wages, robbing them of their human rights and the fundamental freedom to choose, let alone their voiceless whisper vindicating their right of a just deserved human dignity.
It is shocking to observe that children born in this state of bondage; continue to live a life journey of captivity and slave labor, long after their parents’ escape from the Kony violations against humanity. A young 36 year old Jennyfer Ayat carrying a hammer on her shoulder, as if this chunk of iron embellished with a long, heavy pole made of rough wood has become Jennyfer’s best play mate and soul companion. The unimaginable strength of Jennyfer Ayat’s body bears resemblance to a rare piece of priceless sculpture: but this is not the romanticism of African life, this is an image evoking a story of human survival and absolute determination; the cruel reality of working for virtually naught, for each jerry-can loaded with crushed stones and carried airborne by the strong in the quarry, is worth a mere 100 Ugandan shillings. Considering there are some 2250 Ugandan shillings to a dollar in conversion, and many hours of hardship labor to a filled jerry-can, how many more veins must bleed dry for every dignified being to continue living under a dollar a day, while corporations rip offensive benefits through such human abuse and exploitation?
Jennyfer Ayat is seen on many occasions with hammer in hand pounding the rock, her frame is small but her strength is heroic. There are no traces of hatred in her expression, but a breed of devotion that is disturbing to the more fortunate audience, exuding an acceptance of life as it is, and as it will always be. But, it is in Jennyfer’s strength of spirit and will to survive that has kept her and her family breathing their harsh journey. Each frame illustrates the Inferno of an ongoing documentary project called “BUKEDDE”, a word in Luganda, the main local language of Uganda, which means “ONE MORE DAY” to identify that “it is morning again”. It captures the core of Jennyfer’s character and high moral fiber, her moments of tenderness with her little adopted baby, Ivonne whose aura radiates a Madonna like semblance. She cradles the child gently inside their humble home, illuminated by soft candle light in the cold African nightfall. The compositions also encapsulate the private moments of prayer with her son, both clutching their only rosary, recorded through the faint light radiating from a set of azure candles. These are intimate moments she shared; giving every one of us the only thing she has left to give, her self existence.
This moving photographic journey introduces us to Jennyfer, a strong African woman; showing glimpses of her daily life, her hopes and dreams, the reverence and aspirations for her precious children. The moments captured, display the altruism of unconditional love, the importance of small details in life, the sharing of work scented with nobility, and the intimate exchange of profound glances in prayer. The daily trivia of Jennyfer’s life in Kireka are but a brief preview into the depths of her soul captured through the eyes and the lenses, amidst a rollercoaster of emotions as witness of such narrative. They speak of hardship, fear and faith and highlight the coldhearted blindness of governments, institutions and corporations.
This is “BUKEDDE”, it is morning again…
The pictures shows Jennyfer Ayat praying at the early morning in her hut.

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Herbal High (18 of 18)
Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
26 May 2013

Kenyan labourers pack bunches of khat into banana leaves so they can be shipped to the UK. Sacks of khat arrive to Eastleigh at 2pm on a daily basis. The shrub and is ordered and bundled with the customer's name written on their sack. Local vendors then collect their parcels and sell them to local chewers. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. May, 2013.

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Ship-breaking yards (3 of 24)
Sitakund, Bangladesh
By Michael Biach
10 Apr 2012

Workers at the ship-breaking yards in Bangladeshi town of Sitakund use rope in order to dismantle a ship. The employees are exposed to tough working conditions with little labour rights.

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Bricks of Bangladesh (11 of 24)
Faridpur, Bangladesh
By Karim Mostafa
27 Jan 2013

In 2010, UNDP Bangladesh launched a five-year program to transform the brick-making industry and replace old and inefficient kilns with new ones, friendly to the environment. Faridpur, Bangladesh. January 2013. View the full collection here: http://transterramedia.com/collections/1201

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Uganda: Slaves of their own survival ...
Katwe Village Uganda
By Piero Pomponi World Focus
17 Aug 2012

Lake Katwe - Uganda - 2012-08-17- Formed about ten thousand years ago from a volcanic eruption, Lake Katwe lies in Queen Elisabeth National Park, in Kasese district, western Uganda, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo through Lake Edward.

Lake Katwe salt mine is a source of livelihood to over three thousand people in the area and in good times hundreds of salt miners at Lake Katwe can make a reasonable living, even if in self-slavery. Due to the hyper saline water that sucks moisture from their bodies and infuses them with toxic chemicals, there are severe health complications. The smell of hydrogen sulphide is all over the place.

For the women, when the female reproductive organs get in contact with this salty water, more often they develop uterine complications. The men on the other hand are also affected. When the male organs come into contact with this salty water they itch, and excessive scratching can cause wounds.

Surviving for a meager five dollars a day is a poor income. Coarse salt is still mined the way it was done over centuries years ago. Men, women and children all work at the mines for their own survival, including a large number of refugees from the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo. Workers extract three main products from Lake Katwe: blocks of rock salt used in curing hides; high quality salt crystals that can be sold as table salt; and salty mud that is used as salt licks for cattle.

Theses pictures show salt miners working on a salt pans pile on the shores of Lake Katwe.

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Cham fisher folk fear their future (8...
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Kristof Vadino
23 Jan 2013

Cham fisher folk unload the fish catch of that morning. They sell the fish at the market in Phnom Penh. Cham fishermen fish almost every day for their daily survival.

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Landmine Action
Liberated Territories, Western Sahara
By Docphot
13 May 2011

Landmine Action is a British charity working on behalf of the UN to clear the Western Sahara of Landmines and ERWs. They train and employ local Saharawi, both men and women to do the extremely dangerous work.