Thumb sm
The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am ...
Istanbul, Turkey
By Claudia Wiens
12 Sep 2013

Istanbul, Turkey. 11th September 2013. The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am I barbarian?”, curated by Fulya Erdemci, runs from 14 September untill 20 October. Admission to the biennial exhibitions is free, overlapping with the biennial’s vision to create a public space and be accessible to everyone. Art bei Sener Ozmen. © Claudia Wiens

Thumb sm
The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am ...
Istanbul, Turkey
By Claudia Wiens
12 Sep 2013

Istanbul, Turkey . 12th Sep, 2013. The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am I barbarian?”, curated by Fulya Erdemci, runs from 14 September untill 20 October. Admission to the biennial exhibitions is free, overlapping with the biennial’s vision to create a public space and be accessible to everyone. Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou Rahme work collaboratively from their base in Ramallah, Palestine across a range of sound, image, installation, and performance. © Claudia Wiens

Thumb sm
The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am ...
Istanbul, Turkey
By Claudia Wiens
12 Sep 2013

Istanbul, Turkey . 12th Sep, 2013. The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am I barbarian?”, curated by Fulya Erdemci, runs from 14 September untill 20 October. Admission to the biennial exhibitions is free, overlapping with the biennial’s vision to create a public space and be accessible to everyone. "The Doorman" by Jimmie Durham, a sculptor, writer, and poet. © Claudia Wiens

Thumb sm
The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am ...
Istanbul, Turkey
By Claudia Wiens
12 Sep 2013

Istanbul, Turkey . 12th Sep, 2013. The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am I barbarian?”, curated by Fulya Erdemci, runs from 14 September untill 20 October. Admission to the biennial exhibitions is free, overlapping with the biennial’s vision to create a public space and be accessible to everyone. Diego Bianchi's art work, shown in SALT Gallery, emerged during the last decade as a magnifying and distorting lens of urban life that focused on the formal and mostly chaotic traces of consumerism. Bianchi's project for the 13th Istanbul Biennial is an installation inspired by any given city's brash. © Claudia Wiens

Thumb sm
The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am ...
Istanbul, Turkey
By Claudia Wiens
12 Sep 2013

Istanbul, Turkey . 12th Sep, 2013. The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am I barbarian?”, curated by Fulya Erdemci, runs from 14 September untill 20 October. Admission to the biennial exhibitions is free, overlapping with the biennial’s vision to create a public space and be accessible to everyone. Gulsun Karamustafa's work is shown in SALT Gallery. © Claudia Wiens

Thumb sm
Los Habaneros
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
11 Sep 2013

The room where this woman lives has no windows or any other ventilation, so she keeps her door open whenever she is at home. She is seen here standing just outside her room.

She said she wasn't worried about her safety at night because her neighbours also had their doors open and they would hear if anything untoward happened.

Thumb sm
Housing in Havana 2
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
11 Sep 2013

Fuse boxes in the entrance of a building in Old Havana. These worn and out-dated fuse boxes are very dangerous and can be seen in the entrances of most of the buildings in Havana.

Residents rarely have the means to call in professionals to fix things in their homes. They are forced to use whatever materials they can find to make repairs and they take risks trying to repair electrical malfunctions.

Thumb sm
Housing in Havana 1
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
11 Sep 2013

A crumbling ceiling and staircase in Old Havana.

Neither the Cuban state nor the people have money for repairs and this lack of money has played a major part in the critical state of the buildings. Nicholas Quintana, a Cuban-born professor of architecture at Florida International University, said that the neglect of Havana's architecture was politically motivated and that it represented the work of the republic and, as such, Fidel wanted to see it eliminated. Other experts in architecture say that half a century of communist rule and embargos have indirectly saved the capital's architecture from developers, even though the lack of money for repairs has taken a terrible toll.

Thumb sm
Los Habaneros 6
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
11 Sep 2013

A cabaret performer dressing in his one-room home in Old Havana. As well as performing in clubs, he also teaches salsa to tourists.

Thumb sm
Los Habaneros 7
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
11 Sep 2013

Although the building where this man lives is as unstable as most buildings in Old Havana, he has family in Miami who help with the costs of keeping his small apartment in relatively good condition. Cubans with family members abroad often have the latest flat screen televisions and other appliances in their homes. These items are unaffordable to most Cubans and they are not generally for sale in shops in Cuba.

Thumb sm
Los Habaneros 18
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
11 Sep 2013

A man smoking with friends in his one room home in Old Havana, combining two of the favorite pass-times in Cuba - socialising and smoking.

More than half of Cuban adults smoke and lung cancer is a major cause of death on the island. The government is working at increasing regulations on advertising and sales of cigarettes and, as of January 2014, smoking has been banned in public places. Time will tell whether or not this new ban will be enforced.

Thumb sm
The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am ...
Istanbul, Turkey
By Claudia Wiens
11 Sep 2013

TURKEY, ISTANBUL: The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am I barbarian?”, curated by Fulya Erdemci, runs from 14 September untill 20 October. Admission to the biennial exhibitions is free, overlapping with the biennial’s vision to create a public space and be accessible to everyone. Wall by Jorge Mendez Blake. © Claudia Wiens

Thumb sm
he 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am I...
Istanbul, Turkey
By Claudia Wiens
11 Sep 2013

Istanbul, Turkey. 11th September 2013. The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am I barbarian?”, curated by Fulya Erdemci, runs from 14 September untill 20 October. Admission to the biennial exhibitions is free, overlapping with the biennial’s vision to create a public space and be accessible to everyone. © Claudia Wiens

Thumb sm
he 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am I...
Istanbul, Turkey
By Claudia Wiens
11 Sep 2013

Istanbul, Turkey. 11th September 2013. The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am I barbarian?”, curated by Fulya Erdemci, runs from 14 September untill 20 October. Admission to the biennial exhibitions is free, overlapping with the biennial’s vision to create a public space and be accessible to everyone. Art by Peter Robinson. © Claudia Wiens

Thumb sm
The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am ...
Istanbul, Turkey
By Claudia Wiens
11 Sep 2013

Istanbul, Turkey. 11th September 2013. The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am I barbarian?”, curated by Fulya Erdemci, runs from 14 September untill 20 October. Admission to the biennial exhibitions is free, overlapping with the biennial’s vision to create a public space and be accessible to everyone. Art by Claire Pentecost. © Claudia Wiens

Thumb sm
The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am ...
Istanbul, Turkey
By Claudia Wiens
11 Sep 2013

Istanbul, Turkey. 11th September 2013. The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am I barbarian?”, curated by Fulya Erdemci, runs from 14 September untill 20 October. Admission to the biennial exhibitions is free, overlapping with the biennial’s vision to create a public space and be accessible to everyone. Art by Christoph Schaefer. © Claudia Wiens

Thumb sm
The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am ...
Istanbul, Turkey
By Transterra Editor
10 Sep 2013

TURKEY, ISTANBUL: The 13th Istanbul Biennial, “Mom, am I barbarian?”, curated by Fulya Erdemci, runs from 14 September untill 20 October. Admission to the biennial exhibitions is free, overlapping with the biennial’s vision to create a public space and be accessible to everyone. Wall by Jorge Mendez Blake. © Claudia Wien

Thumb sm
Los Habaneros 9
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
10 Sep 2013

This woman's one-room home is immaculately clean and tidy. She has to share a bathroom and kitchen with three different families and her room is accessed by climbing a crumbling staircase.

Like many elderly Cuban ladies she carefully stores and displays her personal mementos. She was very keen to show me her vast collection of old family photographs as well as newspaper cuttings of Fidel Castro.

Thumb sm
Los Habaneros 10
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
10 Sep 2013

This man whose wife died recently now lives alone in this roomy house in Old Havana. He is struggling with his loss but does his best to get up every day and to keep his house tidy. The house has all its original features, but it’s damp and the electrics and plumbing are very rudimentary.

Thumb sm
Housing in Havana 21
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
10 Sep 2013

Catholic icons and images adorn the walls of most homes in Cuba. The dangerous wiring is also typical of homes in Havana. The people don't have the means to repair their homes properly.

Thumb sm
Los Habaneros 11
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
10 Sep 2013

This woman enjoys the good lighting and ventilation due to the large street-level windows. Her windows, like most street-level windows in Havana, are barred for security.

Like most Cubans, she is very sociable and she has a constant stream of friends stopping by to talk and to swap rations.

Thumb sm
Housing in Havana
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
10 Sep 2013

This fish tank belongs to a cobbler who lives and works in this partially collapsed building. In 2011 part of the building collapsed. Fortunately no one was hurt. The residents continue to live in what is left of the very unstable building. Although the residents have been advised to leave the building, they have no where else to go.

Thumb sm
Housing in Havana 5
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
10 Sep 2013

This small room was designed for storage but it is now being used as a communal kitchen for the three families who live on the ground floor of this house.

Gas hobs are frequently left alight all day as gas is subsidised and is cheaper than the cost of matches.

Thumb sm
Housing in Havana 14
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
10 Sep 2013

Paintings and photographs depicting key figures and moments of the revolution are still very popular among the older members of the population in Cuba. The younger generation are more interested in contemporary, Cuban and international, art and popular culture.

Thumb sm
Los Habaneros 20
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
10 Sep 2013

An elderly lady spends most of her day in her wheelchair in her covered courtyard because her tiny room has no light or air circulation.

According to the Communist Party daily newspaper Granma, Cuba's healthcare system is facing the urgent challenge of increasing its network of nursing homes and geriatricians to serve its aging population, given that the country will be among those with the oldest populations by 2050. Currently, 18.3 percent of the Cuban public is over age 60, and this represents more than two million of the island's 11.2 million citizens.

Thumb sm
Housing in Havana 19
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
10 Sep 2013

Authentic tiles in a communal hallway.

Neither the Cuban state nor the people have money for repairs and this lack of money has played a major part in the critical state of the buildings. Nicholas Quintana, a Cuban-born professor of architecture at Florida International University, said that the neglect of Havana's architecture was politically motivated and that it represented the work of the republic and, as such, Fidel wanted to see it eliminated. Other experts in architecture say that half a century of communist rule and embargos have indirectly saved the capital's architecture from developers, even though the lack of money for repairs has taken a terrible toll.

Thumb sm
Housing in Havana 13
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
10 Sep 2013

In the home of an elderly lady, Old Havana.

Religious icons and symbols are displayed in the majority of Cuban homes.

Thumb sm
Housing in Havana 11
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
10 Sep 2013

Mould and humidity are a problem in most of the houses in Havana. This creates an unhealthy environment that increases the risk of respiratory and skin infections for those that live in these conditions.

Thumb sm
Housing in Havana 7
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
10 Sep 2013

Paint never lasts very long because of the humidity in the walls. Most Cubans love and have an instinctive understanding of colour. Although their homes are usually in a very poor state, they are decorated with flair.

Thumb sm
Los Habaneros 15
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
10 Sep 2013

Two elderly brothers in their home that is very damp and has a mould issue. Although the house is quite spacious the plumbing is very basic. The brothers were born in this house and have always lived here. Neither brother married and they have no children.

Thumb sm
Housing in Havana 23
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
10 Sep 2013

Most homes in Cuba have a Santeria shrine. The walls in this room are marked by a combination of mould and smoke from the almost constantly lit candles.

Thumb sm
Housing in Havana 9
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
10 Sep 2013

A staircase that is close to collapse in an Old Havana house.

Neither the government nor the people have the money to repair and care for the buildings and this is the main reason why Havana's Baroque, Neoclassical and Art Deco buildings haven't been modified and the city is of such historical importance. Old Havana is was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982. Since this date many buildings have been restored and the work continues but the emphasis is always on preserving key buildings rather than improving or saving the lives of the general population. While certain buildings are done up to a high standard the vast majority of the homes remain in a dangerous state.

Thumb sm
Her and Me: Drag Queen Transformation
Lille, France
By Simon Letellier
10 Sep 2013

Drag Queen Transformation is both an art and a form of self-expression that is little appreciated and understood by outsiders. Beginning in July 2013, French photographer Simon Letellier began travelling around France and documenting the “transformation” process of men who dress up as women. The result is this collection of “before and after” photos illustrating the stunning physical transformation these men achieve, be it for an evening, a drag show, or a simple photo.

For each of these men, transforming into a female character is about more than just changing physical appearance, it is a form of self-expression. It is also a positive outlet for men whose personal stories are often laced with painful memories of social repression and a longing to simply be one’s self.

Thumb sm
Housing in Havana 16
Havana
By Alison McCauley
09 Sep 2013

When the young woman who lives in this small appartment moved out from her family home in Guantánamo province, she bought this parrot with her for company. Unfortunately she now has no space in her apartment other than the windowless toilet to keep his cage.

The young woman is working hard buying clothing and accessories from wholesalers and then selling the goods to individuals. She has been able to pay her rent and she is slowly saving some money to take back to her family in Guantánamo province.

Thumb sm
Los Habaneros 14
Havana, Cuba
By Alison McCauley
09 Sep 2013

Three friends who are sharing a room with one other friend. The two men standing had small roles in a Spanish movie, filmed in Cuba, in the 1990's. They are proud of this and still refer to each other jokingly by they on-screen names. They were well paid but they spent all the money in the months after the filming ended on having a good time.

Thumb sm
Nuclear Power in Kudankulam, India
Kudankulam, India
By Transterra Editor
09 Sep 2013

Idinthakarai, a majority Christian fishing village near the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) in India, has become the epicenter of the anti-nuclear movement in the region. There is an estimated one million people living within 30 kilometers of the plant in villages all along the coast of Mannar — which is against the stipulated safety rules of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) of India — and the people deeply fear that poor regulation at the KKNPP could result in a disaster similar in scale to Fukushima.

Representing this cause, since 2011, the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) has been holed up in Idinthakarai where their headquarters is located. Idinthakarai's only entry point is closely guarded by villagers which, coupled with rumours about the villagers being armed with crude bombs, means the police are reluctant to enter this zone and deal with protests.

PMANE largely depends on the efforts of the women, and the support of local priests and churches to gather support and manpower in the area for the anti-nuclear protests. They work from the Lourde Mary Church in Idinthakarai, 6 km away from the power plant, dutifully sending out press releases and Facebook updates on the rare robust internet connection provided by the church, demanding for the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) to address their fears.

On May 6, 2013, the Supreme Court of India cleared the way for operations to begin at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP). But despite the villagers' need for energy from other sources, and PMANE's best efforts, they still have received little or no safety-training in the event of a disaster. And the NPCIL continues to do little to assuage the fears of the local fishing communities.

Photos by Jyorthy Karat.
Article by Srinath Perur.

Thumb sm
After Water Comes the Drought
Rashayida, West Bank
By Transterra Editor
06 Sep 2013

The Bedouins living in The West Bank are living hard and simple lives. It is a daily struggle to make ends meet. Living in tent camps and small desert towns, they try to create a life for their families.
In the desert outside Bethlehem, lies a little Bedouin village called Rashayida. Circa 250
Bedouin families from the same clan inhabit the village. If you go past the village and stay on the road it turns into nothing but a small path. That is where you meet the Bedouins that still inhabit the desert.
In the area around Rashayida, the Bedouins live a quiet, simple and hard life. It is a society that does not fit in anywhere else. Here life is centered around one thing: Survival.

The lack of water is one of the great challenges in the desert. They face serious issues like Climate change, the lack of infrastructure and the always-present conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
Even though a Bedouin does not need a lot of water to survive, the issue is not just about
clean drinking water. They need water for their livestock, personal hygiene and cooking.
Just as it is important to have water for the few crops they grow.
The Bedouins are dependent on clean water, which they can get in the nearby village
and transport into the desert. A tank of water contains three cubic metres of water that
is 3000 litres. A Palestinian family on average spends 8 percent of its monthly expenses on buying water. A worldwide comparison shows an average of 3,5 percent. This number jumps upwards of 50 percent for those Palestinian families relying on tankered water like the Bedouins.
The Bedouins are some of the poorest people in the West Bank. Their primitive lifestyle means that they pay a lot of money for water. Still the quality they get is very poor, because the water in the tanks is stagnant.
Rainwater cisterns, that collect water, are scattered throughout the area. The Romans built them in ancient times, and when fixed they can be used for watering the animals. However, this option is not enough though, due to the lack of rain.

According to WHO, every human being should have access to around 100 liters of water daily. The average on The West Bank is 70 litres.
Israelis, Israeli settlers and Palestinians get mainly their water from two places: The Jordan River and the mountain aquifer that runs under Palestinian and Israeli land. Israel also gets water from the Sea of Galilee, which is the mouth of the Jordan River. Water has been rerouted away from the Jordan River since the sixties with devastating effect. An effort to change this has begun in 2013 even though some critics deem it not nearly enough to restore the levels of the river.
The Jordan River is off limits to Palestinians, because the Israeli military has deemed it military grounds. Jordan, Lebanon, Syria also taps water from the river. This massive use
has left the river all but dry. The Dead Sea has divided into two lakes, because of the low flow.
In the Oslo accords there is a section on water, which states that the water they share shall be further resolved when the Oslo accords are resumed. This has yet to happen.

Photos by Andreas Bro
Text by Andreas Bro

Thumb sm
Niger, a Dark Paradise of Uranium
Niamey, Niger
By Transterra Editor
05 Sep 2013

An unsteady bike headlight and a kid eager to escape from his mother’s arms can easily turn into a tragedy. Because when night shows up, only the headlights of the cars furtively light up the faces of Niamey’s inhabitants.

In the rural areas of Niger, where more than 83 percent of Nigeriens live and less than 2 percent of the inhabitants have access to electricity, people have to sleep at 8 p.m. because, by then, it is already dark and there is no electricity. With a blistering 48 degrees in summer and barely any electricity to turn on a fan, the people of Niger live in “darkness, warmth and insecurity,” says activist of Right of Energy organisation.

The national rate of access to electricity in Niger does not exceed 10 percent, while France lights up almost one third of its light bulbs from Uranium it extracted from Niger. Niger’s contract with Areva, which France owns 80 percent of, is expected to be renewed by the end of 2013 and currently, negotiations are underway.
The government is looking for Niger's best interest, rather than France's, as the Nigerien Minister of Mines says, “natural resources must serve our country’s interests.” This is particularly important, since the country has been ranked as the least developed country when it came to UNDP’s index of human development.

It was announced that a new mine pit will soon be open and, starting from 2015, 5000 tons of uranium will be extracted from it each year. This mine, however, was attributed to Areva in 2009, and so far, all subcontractors in the project have been foreign. Nevertheless, it has been stated that this mine will contribute to the development of Niger in the fields of health, eduction, transportation, water and access to energy. Civil society activists are skeptic of this project and have been taking measures such as organizing debates and forums and surveying the behavior of new investors, in order to ensure that they receive what they have been promised.

Thumb sm
Christians Targeted in Al-Minya
Al-Minya, Egypt
By Transterra Editor
03 Sep 2013

After police violently dispersed Morsi supporters from two Cairo squares, Nahda and Rabaa squares , sectarian violence erupted in lower Egypt. Angry mobs burned churches in Al-Minya, along with houses and stores run by Christian people. Egypt's Christians are now living in fear.