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A woman photographing a squirrel, who seems completely oblivious to the outside world, in Moscow's Gorky Park Aug. 22, 2015.
"Then and Now: Postcards from the Soviet Union" addresses the end of the Cold War and current resurgence of Russian geopolitical assertion in Ukraine and elsewhere. This series of historical photographs juxtaposes idealized, Soviet era postcards and visuals with real world photographs shot over the course of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the ensuing post-Soviet era. This juxtaposition is meant to demonstrate the links and the contrasts between national narratives propagated by the Soviet system and how those narratives have been affected by or manifested in contemporary reality.
Shot over the last 26 years in Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Poland, these unique photos offer an intimate historical perspective of Soviet and Eastern European geopolitics as the region takes on new forms and conflicts in Ukraine and elsewhere.
Upper: Hello from the Exhibition”; mid-1950s postcard, Exhibition of National Economic Achievements, Soviet era Moscow.
Lower: Opened to private enterprise in 1992, the Exhibition of National Economic Achievements building complex rapidly transformed into a place of rampant uncontrolled commercialism amidst its former Soviet pomp. Moscow, Russia.
Image Correlation: These series of buildings have been utilized both during the communist era and during the more recent introduction of a Western commercial market after the end of the Soviet period. The symbology inherent in the sculptures have become representative hallmarks for the iconic Soviet period of Socialist realism, introduced by Stalin in 1934 then adapted by allied Communist parties worldwide.
Upper: Central Moscow, Kremlin foreground; 1960s impression
Lower: Moscow Red Square at night, 2005.
Image Correlation: More of a romantic notion regarding one of the major cities of the world, the iconic buildings of Red Square in Moscow implies a sense of duration through the centuries as political eras fluctuate more readily across recent decades.
Upper: Postcard: In memory of WWII.
Lower: Statue: In memory of WWII. Warsaw, Poland, 1992.
Image Correlation: These two photos resemble a counterpoint of recent history. A scarce Soviet postcard, released 10 years after WWII depicts a melancholic image of a distant, but ongoing battle, while a permanent abstract soldier statue in the Praga district of Warsaw, Poland offers a stern and dark reminder of history.
Upper: Soviet Great Patriotic War Congratulations to Victory; "From Moscow to Berlin,1945 To Victory Day!"
Lower: Tribute to executed escapees from former East Germany during Berlin Wall 15 year Anniversary; Berlin, Germany, 2004
Image Correlation: One side's victory is another's oppression.
Upper: Forward to Communism” with the communist party program in hand, Moscow, Casualty of capitalism.
Lower: A Soviet era pensioner struggles during the economic shock period of the 1990s with the abrupt introduction of Western consumerism overtaking communist central planning of the prior 70 years. The McDonalds sign reads " Taste of the Season"; Moscow, 1995.
Image Correlation: Two distinct economic systems prevailing in the same exact location, though years apart. This dichotomy amplified a social collision for certain segments of the population, particularly in the years immediately after the collapse of the Soviet system. As there was no guidebook provided for people accustomed to government subsidies, having to suddenly rely on individual economic incentive for many became overwhelming.
Upper: Soviet MiG-15, “The Jet that Shocked the West” 1950
Lower: Saakashvili Era Military Parade in Tbilisi, Georgia. During his 7 year rule (2004-2011), the pro-Western president showcased Georgia as the fastest growing post-Soviet democracy. Tbilisi, Georgia, 2007.
Image Correlation: The use of military might by both Eastern and Western oriented leaderships to project their ideological and political formidability. Despite existing in different eras, and under different ideological and political circumstances, the essential public relations strategy remains the same between the Soviet Union and capitalist independent Georgia.
Upper: Boys fantasizing about their future war stories, 1961.
Lower: A young boy’s military dreams; Tbilisi, Georgia, 2007.
For the young male, the fantasy for the glory days of war without yet having had the experience appears in several cultures worldwide. Here it is represented with Soviet era illustrations and through the eyes of a child at a Georgian military parade.
Upper: Glory to the Soviet Armed Forces; Moscow, 1968
Lower: All leaders become future history; the Putin era is not over; Tbilisi, Georgia, 2013.
Image Correlation: How Russian history from the early 21st century will be perceived in the distant future. Putin's administration is said to be heavily influenced by the Soviet past. The question then remains, what influence will Putin have on future Russian leaderships?
Late Soviet period, Gorbachev political pin reads-"Perestroika, Glasnost"; or "restructuring and "public openness", 1988.
Russian military elite attending banquet in the Georgian breakaway republic of Abkhazia. Gagra, Abkhazia, 2005.
Image Correlation: Symbols from the late Soviet period above, coincide with a seeming perpetuation of the Soviet era in the breakaway region of Abkhazia, on the northwest coast of Georgia years later. Abkhazia was the second territory annexed by Russia after the 2008 war and has cultivated close ties against the rancor of the Georgian authorities.
Upper: 50 years of the USSR Armed Forces, 1967
Lower: Former Russian base until 2001; Vasiani, Georgia, 2003.
Image Correlation: An extended generation of prevailing missile diplomacy between East and West is illustrated through a Soviet period magazine and 1960s postcard. While below, remnants from the Cold War remained until the withdrawal of Russian bases from Georgia started in 2005.
Upper: End of WWII 1945, Victory Day (Soviet Perspective).
Lower: Protesters gather in front of Stalin's birthplace. Georgian signage reads "Down with capitalism, give factories to working people, give jobs"; Gori, Georgia, 2011.
Image Correlation: A postcard and black & white photo celebrating Stalin provides a perspective regarding the Soviet WWII victory, while the image below shows present day demonstration by protesters in front of his boyhood home; now a museum.
Upper: Ukraine, October Glory (1917 Revolution) – 1963
Lower: Citizen registering to vote in Ukraine with passport document. May ,2014.
Image Correlation: The patriotism once encouraged by the Soviet system reemerges in the form patriotism for one's independent, former-Soviet state. The pictured elections followed months of protest and upheaval in Ukraine, which led to the ousting of a pro-Moscow leadership and the eventually election of a pro-Western administration opposed to Moscow.
Upper: Postcard-Glory Soviet Armed Forces, 1965, document-the Commemorative Medal-50 years Liberation of Ukraine; Crimea Map; 1955.
Soviet Era Tribute; Samegrelo, Georgia, 2000
Image Correlation: Elements of the current Ukraine conflict have historic attributes stemming from decades earlier, as the justification for each side’s present directives find their justification in different interpretations of a shared history. The now gone Soviet era mural (lower) found in a remote region of Georgia attests to the permeation that the former empire once attained. The historic precedent, which can remain invisible, runs deep in the collective psyche and becomes the fulcrum for determining which alliance a region moves towards; sustaining relations with Russia or moving towards the Western driven market.
October 25, 2014
As the US-led airstrikes against the Islamic State group continue, life goes on in the IS capital of Raqqa. Evidence of IS governance abound on things like billboards, which remind women to cover their faces, and fighters acting as traffic police. Shops go about business as usual, trading in US Dollars and Syrian Pounds, but also facing the challenge of import restrictions.
Shahnaz Begum, 36, jumped from 3rd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the deadly fire that permanently damaged her eye. She sustained serious spinal injuries from the fall.
Hasan Mia, 30, jumped from the 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building when it went ablaze two years ago. He still struggles with mental illness.
Shama, 20, jumped from 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the fire that killed 117 people in 2012. She sustained serious injuries to her leg and the right side of her body that still cause her complications two years later.
Rowshonara, 37, jumped from 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the deadly blaze. She still fights to overcome the deep mental and emotional trauma.
Khadeza Akter Sume, 20, jumped from the 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building when a fire killed 117 people in 2012. She still struggles to cope with the trauma.
Anzu, 45, jumped from 4th floor of the Tazreen Fashion building, which burnt down in 2012 killing 1167 people. Two years later, she is haunted by the fire and has trouble sleeping.
Mahinur, 32, jumped from 3rd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the deadly blaze. Two years later, she remains psychologically scarred by the traumatic event.
Sume Akter, 23, broke her leg and hand when she jumped from the 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the blaze that killed 117 of her colleagues in 2012.
Reshma, 20, jumped from 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building when a fire broke out that killed 117 people in 2012. She still suffers backbone and leg problems due to injuries she sustained from the fall.
Banu Rani, 35, was severely injured when she jumped from the 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the blaze.
Moushumi Begum, 24, was pregnant with her daughter Zinti when she jumped from 3rd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building. Her daughter is alive and well, but Moushumi remains deeply scarred by the fire that took 117 of her colleagues' lives.
Morsheda Begum, 27, jumped from 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the deadly 2012 factory fire, breaking several bones
Rupa Begum, 26, jumped from 2nd floor of the building, breaking her nose as she fell to the ground.
Mahfuza Akter, 20, jumped from 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building when went ablaze in 2012, killing 117 of her coworkers. Two years later, the emotional and psychological trauma remains.
Afroza Begum, 26, jumped from 3rd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building. Since the fire, she has struggled with mental illness.
Anzu Ara, 26, jumped from 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the factory fire that claimed 117 lives. "Sometimes the intensity of the pain drives me mad," she said. "I break things in desperation. I wake up screaming 'fire! fire!' at night. I can't sleep."
At least 23 people were killed and more than 145 injured in two explosions that ripped through Beirut's neighborhood of Bir Hassan, near the Iranian embassy. The cultural attaché for the Iranian embassy, Sheikh Ibrahim Ansari, was among those killed. Abdullah Azzam Brigades, an al-Qaeda-linked group, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Photos by Hussein Baydoun
Arsal, a Lebanese border city with Syria, is a haven for the more than 12,000 Syrians who fled the fighting of the region of Qalamoun recently. Inside a building under construction in the small city, which today hosts more Syrians than Lebanese, the Union of Syrian Organizations of Medical Aid (UOSSM) organizes a formation on war medicine for 32 Syrian doctors and nurses every month.
In October, most of the trainees were originated from Qusayr, Syria, where they had to treat patients in clandestine clinics, hidden from the eyes of the Syrian authorities. Some were imprisoned and others tortured because they were treating civilians in secret. When the city was taken by the Syrian regime in summer 2013, they had to flee to Arsal, where they built a hospital inside of a mosque. There, they began to cure the injured from Qusayr, before being overwhelmed by the injured from the region of Qalamoun, the new epicentre of the Syrian civil war.
Between the 28th of November and the 3rd of December, half of the doctors and nurses who attended the formation were coming from Qalamoun. Some had lost their parents, other their children. But all were determined to learn the vital techniques to cure in the conditions of violence and shortage. Once trained and back in Syria, they will reproduce what they learned and train the rare doctors and nurses who still treat civilians among the ruins of Syria.
In the midst of a war where humanitarian right is seldom respected and where doctors are considered as targets by the Syrian regime, Raphaël Pitti, a former French war doctor and founder of the UOSSM, decided to organize formations of war medicine in Turkey, Syria and Lebanon, to teach to local doctors how to save lives in conditions of war. Today, 300 doctors and 350 nurses have been trained by the UOSSM. In the rebel areas of Syria, where international NGOs have no access, they remain the only people who can still save lives... at the risk of their own.
Video about : Importance of the photo so that represents an open and optical text ,where the role of photographer to achieve it.
In the gold mines of Sinktu and Thabait Kyin, in the Mandalay division of Myanmar, gold mining is famous. Over thirty gold mines are active, but the scene doesn't look much like wealth. Half naked men, with rusty pneumatic drills and homemade dynamite are lowered 500 feet, on fraying ropes, into holes in the ground. Covering their faces with rags, they drill gold ore from the stone.
“We break the rocks with high pressured guns, but breathe the small particles that come from breaking the stone. We contract lung infections that we call "gun disease," says Wat Tay, 35, a gold miner from Sintku Township.
This year gold production in the area has doubled due to softening government sanctions and international demand. Myanmar's huge mineral deposits are seen as key sectors in export-driven growth. In recent months the price of gold has slowly risen in Myanmar, possibly linked to the decline of the dollar, as an opportunistic public sell their jewelry at high prices ready to buy back if prices drop.
Forums are being held in capital cities by the Myanmar government, mine owners, and the Ministry of Mines to persuade foreign investment from corporate companies for industrial technology. The idea is to reduce Myanmar's poverty rate from 26 percent to 16 percent by 2015, by exporting the country's gold reserves. However, added demand for export means an increased need for manpower, working hours, and medical support.
Through the night groups of men squat above mine shafts, ankle deep in muddy puddles, waiting to haul out ore or winch up their friends. After working in the mines for around ten years, the worker's lungs give in form undiagnosed diseases. Hidden in bamboo huts, attached to oxygen, they weaze out their last days.
“The owners of gold pits don't care about the health issues of the miners, so the health problems are increasing. They don't pay for safety protection for us, so we make do ourselves, like putting some clothes over our mouths, or buying cheap masks to reduce the dust we breath in,” says Wat Tay.
Miners are given one or two bananas after a shift in the tunnels, to help with nutrition. But no respiration equipment is provided by the mine owners, and the miners don't have the money to invest in equipment themselves. Although cases are frequent, perhaps inevitable, there is no health care system for the miners and no diagnosis of “gun disease.” Instead they are given a tank of oxygen and left to fend for themselves, too weak to seek other employment or to leave their huts.
“I can't breathe well. If I breath my abdominal muscles are tight and it hurts also in my back. I pain feel when I breathe. Twice they've given me pills for Tuberculosis, but this medicine has no effect for me,” says Kwin Tone Sel, 42. He used to mine in Sintku Township, before his lung disease prevented him from leaving his bed.
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/
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
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
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