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Kawayan Boys
Bacolod
By Ralf Falbe
02 Jun 2016

In front of the Bacolod Pension in Negros, Philippines, a wild bunch of cyclo drivers is living in their vehicles. They call themselves "Kawayan Boys" and are living like a family in their gang. Some are back from jail, some are smoking shabu and all are tattooed.

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Kawayan Boys
Bacolod
By Ralf Falbe
02 Jun 2016

A wild bunch of Tricycle Drivers is living in their vehicels in front of the Bacolod Pension in Bacolod, Negros, Philippines. Some are just back from Jail, some are smoking shabu and all are tattooed. They call themselves KAWAYAN BOYS and live in their gang like a family.

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Photo Essay: San Pedro Jail: the Pris...
La Paz
By Andrea Carrubba
13 May 2016

Despite the prison is self-managed, security and administrative management of the prison entrusted to the police. In the pyramid of the prison system, at the back of the interior minister and the director of the penitentiary department there is the colonel-in-chief, the only one who actually lives in the building and, in fact, represents the Bolivian government within the walls of San Pedro. Often they are interviewed by journalist and videomaker and, with same frequency, they are replaced by their superiors.

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Photo Essay: San Pedro Jail: the Pris...
La Paz
By Andrea Carrubba
10 May 2016

In each section are placed some pay phones equipped with metered and managed by one or more inmates, required to pay the good section of the revenues. The phone, controlled by the police prison, should be the only system of communication with the outside. In truth, most of the prisoners own a mobile phone with which it can continue to manage relationships with the outside and, if they did, their illicit activities, unaware of the police.

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Photo Essay: San Pedro Jail: the Pris...
La Paz
By Andrea Carrubba
10 May 2016

Section Pinos, which owes its name to a large tree in the middle of his small yard, holds two restaurants, two bars, a soccer field, a billiard room and a study room, now it used as a copy shop. The lack of accommodation available in the prison, because of overcrowding, led prisoners to set up makeshift shelters practically anywhere: attics, stairs and gaps have thus become housing for one or more people, sometimes entire families.

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Photo Essay: San Pedro Jail: the Pris...
La Paz
By Andrea Carrubba
05 May 2016

The roofs of the prison, which are accessed by some cells of the last floor moving a sheet resting on the beams, are used for a variety of activities:drying foods,sunbathing,smoking outdoors and drying clothes . Of this late activity are occupied the mostly of poorest prisoners who, after washing clothes, bedding and mattresses for other companions; they venture on to the rickety sheet metal roofing at about 10 meters above the ground, seriously endangering their lives, to earn only a few pesos.

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Photo Essay: San Pedro Jail: the Pris...
La Paz
By Andrea Carrubba
05 May 2016

The monoblock of Palmar, although it is a collective dormitory, it is equipped with a TV and three electric hot-plates. Television, inside the prison, is a faithful mate of life for the majority of the prisoners and it continues to remain on even when no one looks.

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Photo Essay: San Pedro Jail: the Pris...
La Paz
By Andrea Carrubba
05 May 2016

Visits inside the prison are allowed for most days of the week and like everything inside the prison are by payment.Visitors are allowed to spend the entire day inside and through an additional payment, even to stay overnight.Who does not receive visits can always reach his loved ones through the inevitable phone, only prohibited on paper and for which refills are sold in many commercial activities managed by the prisoners.

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Photo Essay: San Pedro Jail: the Pris...
La Paz
By Andrea Carrubba
04 May 2016

Within a niche carved into the wall and protected by a wooden structure, a television with a powerful sound system it offers a little ‘entertainment to the prisoners, in the yard of Palmar section. Often some viewers are not part of the section but, despite being prohibited, there is a tacit tolerance and shared.

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Photo Essay: San Pedro Jail: the Pris...
La Paz
By Andrea Carrubba
29 Apr 2016

Marco, a young twenty year old with a long interval between the recovery community and juvenile prison dreams, as a free man, a future in hip hop music. habitual consumer of alcohol and drugs of all kinds, he wrote his lyrics mostly in prison, where he finds every day a lot of ideas, including the conditions of the detainees and their adventures before his arrest. It is more inspired by Latin American artists and Cypress Hill.

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Photo Essay: San Pedro Jail: the Pris...
La Paz
By Andrea Carrubba
25 Apr 2016

Among the many commercial and craft activities there is a dressmaker’s workroom manage by 3 three prisoners, which shall make garments both for the prisoners themselves than for external institutions and associations. Genaro, the head of the workshop, he learned to be a tailor in prison and dreams, as a free man, to open his own workshop. In his past, for years, he had always dealt with the cocaine refining process in the Bolivian jungle and he had never done work legally paid.

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Photo Essay: San Pedro Jail: the Pris...
La Paz
By Andrea Carrubba
21 Apr 2016

In addition to the shelters and individual cells, there are also common dormitories, arranged to accommodate a larger number of prisoners, because the rent of a single cell is quite expensive and many can not afford it.To convict it is given a bed, a personal locker and the possibility to use the common warming. So, without any rehabilitative logic, prisoners in preventive detention, young thieves and small-time dealers must live side by side with murderers, rapists and drug traffickers.

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Photo Essay: San Pedro Jail: the Pris...
La Paz
By Andrea Carrubba
18 Apr 2016

Several times a week entering hundreds of liters of smuggled alcohol in San Pedro. Corruption, which is overflowing among the police, it allows the input and feeds a commercial chain, as well, is created. Mostly it is pure alcohol at 96 °, manufactured by the bolivian company names Caiman and packaged in aluminum cans of 1 liter with a characteristic purple color. After the resale and consumption of their content, the latter are recycled within the prison and thus become pretty toys sold outside.

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Photo Essay: San Pedro Jail: the Pris...
La Paz
By Andrea Carrubba
08 Apr 2016

Penitenziary organization gives the breakfast and the lunch to the prisoners, in the plazas of the sections. Out of this, everything is by payment. Every is coocked by prisoners in the kitchen of Palmar section.

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Pothead
Groningen
By Ralf Falbe
07 Nov 2015

Marijuana smoker wearing a gas mask in Groningen, Holland.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' : Ten Years Since ...
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
26 Oct 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Ever since, these suburbs have been the subject of stigma in the press, and in some cases of fear from those residing in central Paris. This collection of photos, shot between 2013 and 2015 shows scenes from everyday life in a few Paris suburbs. Despite being the focus of media attention after the attacks of November 13, 2015 led to a shootout in one near suburb, and mosques where 'radical' Islam is preached being shut down in others, they are - for the most part - normal neighborhoods suffering from a lack of attention from the state, and society at large.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 25
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
26 Oct 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. Cité Karl Marx in the suburb Bobigny. Mai 16, 2006, Bobigny, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 17
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
20 Oct 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. In this suburb, La Courneuve, 5 km from Paris, lower buildings have since 2005 - when the suburbs were on fire - replaced much of the dilapidated high-rise flats. 20 October 2015, La Courneuve, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 18
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
20 Oct 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. Residents from La Courneuve, a suburb at 5 km from Paris, wait for the visit of President Francois Hollande. In the background, the 15-story high apartment complex Mail de Fontenay, part of the so called "4000" complex, flats that have been built here in 1964. 20 October 2015, La Courneuve, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 19
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
20 Oct 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. A boy in La Courneuve watches the crowd during a visit of President Francois Hollande, who was greeted with boos. La Courneuve is 5 km from Paris. 20 October 2015, La Courneuve, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 20
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
19 Oct 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. The flat the "Petit Debussy" is now empty and is one of the last to be demolished. This suburb at 5 km from Paris, was called the "4000" after the four thousand flats that have been built here in 1964. 19 October 2015, La Courneuve, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 21
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
19 Oct 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. Young people in the suburb La Courneuve at 5 km from Paris. They live in the 15 story appartment Mail de Fontenay, part of the "4000" complex, namd after the four thousand flats that have been built here in 1964. 19 October 2015, La Courneuve, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 22
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
19 Apr 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. NESS, a Hip Hop dancer, here seen in the suburb Sevran. 19 April 2015, Sevran France.

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Like Sicily without the Bodies
Palma de Mallorca
By Marisa Candia Cadavid and Carwyn Jones
08 Mar 2015

Drugs, sex, alcohol – the essential ingredients of Magaluf according to general perception. And also police corruption according to Paul Smith, owner of four bars on the infamous strip of Punta Ballena, on Mallorca.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 01
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
22 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Housing complex Chene Pointu is one of the most dilapidated apartment complexes in France, only here the poor can rent an appartment without questions asked. 22 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 02
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
22 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005 riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Housing complex Chene Pointu is one of the most dilapidated apartment complexes in France, only here the poor can rent an appartment without questions asked. 22 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 05
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
22 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Letter boxes in the housing complex Chene Pointu. 22 January 2015, Clichy-sous-Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 08
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
22 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005 riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. The building of a new police station was one of the measures taken after the riots. 22 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 09
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
22 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005 riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy-sous-Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Keita Konate 23 years and her baby Asa 8 month. The family rents one room of 9 m2 for 450 euros a month. 22 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 11
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
22 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005 riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Mother and child during the midday school break. 22 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 15
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
22 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Resident originally from Mali walks home after shopping, 22 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 06
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
21 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005 riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. A makeshift mosque in the appartment complex Chene Pointu. 21 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 04
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
20 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005 riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Housing complex Chene Pointu is one of the most dilapidated apartment complexes in France, only here the poor can rent an appartment without questions asked. 22 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 07
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
20 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005 riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Café Aram is the only cafe in the appartment complex Chene Pointu. 20 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 10
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
20 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005 riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Bedroom for 4 children of single mother from Cameroon in the housing complex ‘Chene Pointu’. 20 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 23
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
14 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. The neigborhood "La Grand Borne" in Grigny is one of the most infamous around Paris. January 14, 2015, Grigny, France.

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Lebanon's Hashish Industry In Hard Times
By Levant Desk
07 Oct 2014

September 21-October 4, 2014
Lebanon

Lebanon's lucrative hashish industry has been experiencing a turbulent year as environmental problems and the fallout of the Syrian war are having conflicting effects on crop production. As the harvest season begins, hash farmers are beginning to feel the averse affects of an unpredictable year. An extremely dry winter saw a sharp decline in rainfall, leading to a withered and depleted crop yield. At the same time, crop burning raids by the Lebanese Army have become less frequent, as they are preoccupied with securing the Lebanese-Syrian border from the threat of the Islamic State Group and the al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front. While the farmers have less to fear from the Lebanese authorities, they now have to fear the very environment they have depended on for decades.

Shot list:

Smoker (male) lighting and smoking a joint (indoor)
Various shots of the preparation of a joint (indoor)
Various shots of crowded streets (outdoor)
Wide shot top view of Bekaa valley (outdoor)
Following car into the hash farms (outdoor)
Various shots of farmers cutting the hash plant (outdoor)
Farmer’s hand with hash in it (outdoor)
Farmer’s 7 year old son in the field (outdoor)
Gun sticking out of land owner’s waistband (outdoor)
Various shots of owners and farmers weighing the harvested hash (outdoor)
Hash plant in dealer’s house (outdoor)
Various shots of farmers collecting the harvested plants for weighing (outdoor)
Various shots of hash plant in dealer’s house and in the field (outdoor)
Farmer collecting the harvested plants (outdoor)
Farmer shows his hand with hash in it (outdoor)
Close up of farmer’s hand with hash in it (outdoor)
Various shots of MAG submachine gun at dealer’s house (outdoor)
Smoker (male) preparing a joint (indoor)
Smoker (male) lighting and smoking a joint (indoor)
Various shots of consumer (male) lighting and smoking has from a pipe (indoor)
Pan-right of smoker's apartment leading to preparing a joint (indoor)
Smoker (female) prepares a joint (indoor)
Smoker (female) lights a joint (indoor)
Smoker (female) prepares a joint (indoor)

(01:35) Farmer 1: “This is the main season now, we work all year long for this season. It’s the same season for apples and hash. We harvest and sell them both.” (01:48)

(01:49) Farmer 2: (01:47) “This bunch is about 15kg, we need about 20 of these to make 1kg of Hashish. When we hit it with the metal tool the buds drop off and we throw away the branches.” (02:26)

(02:30) Farmer 1: (02:30) “The apples sell according to the market price. If we get a good price we sell them, if not we put them on the crossroads. But the hashish always gives a good price. We suffered a lot this year to water the apples and the hashish. We run around all day long for a bit of water. This is my son yes, he is 7 years old and he also works with me.”

(03:16) “We were not able to water the apples well, or the hashish, we were not able to water them properly. Before we used to have a lot of water for the plants. Now we do not have much. There are a lot of Syrians here. We have about 15-20 workers.”

(03:37) “We start planting in the spring, we work all year and now it is the season. At the end of September they will both be ready.”

(04:00) “Al-Bekaa valley as you know, has a population of over one million and a half. Those who do not plant hashish benefit from it in other ways.”

(04:42) Farmer 2: “When you’re child is hungry, you can wait for a day or two, a month maybe, but what next? If my kid is crying he wants milk, where do I get it from? Do I allow my kid to die in front of my eyes, while I look around and see other people eating? This might lead me to look for money illegally. This [pointing to the marijuana plant] keeps my pride; I do not steal or hurt anyone for money. It is true I get tired as a farmer, but at least I find something in return without hurting anyone; it has benefits more than harms and they have been planting it since the old days and it appears on the news. They did different studies and researches about it in USA and UK, it is legal in Switzerland but they cannot export it. Are we smarter than these countries that they still are still doing researches about it? They give a small dose for a young kid who has cancer; he stays 6 hours in a lot of pain. Try giving him a dose of hash and he feels nothing.”

“In 2014 they tried everything to distract us, they tried to plant chestnuts, which cannot survive here in our country, they tried to plant saffron which needs experts from Iran, they tried to distract us in every way possible so they can keep stealing from us.”

What do they want to do to the people? Al-Bekaa valley has over a million and a half people living in it. Even the people who do not plant it, benefit from it. If the farmer does not plant the hashish, he cannot afford to use a carpenter or a black smith for example, he cannot buy things from the supermarket, and it will snow ball and nobody will have a job.”

“President Kamil Chamoun used to hunt in this area, he used to love to hunt. So the government used to bring trucks and confiscate the hashish just to show the press that they are working on solving the hashish problem. After they were done they would give the hashish back.”

“I am almost 60 years old and we have been planting the hashish for as long as I can remember, my mother and father used to plant it before me, and my grandfather before them. Ever since the French colonization they have been planting it and the French government, along with the Lebanese government, used to come here and get into conflicts with the inhabitants of the area. And they would still plant it. Ever since the 1950's this plant had not left this village and not only this village but all of the Bekaa. I am a person from the Bekaa and I represent all of Bekaa, and the people of Bekaa all represent each other." (08:03)

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 24
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
18 Jul 2014

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. Girl in the suburb Longjumeau. 18 July 2015, Longjumeau, France.

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Burma's War on Opium
Myanmar, Burma
By vincenzo floramo
24 Apr 2014

Burma’s war-torn Shan State is a well-known hotspot for the cultivation of opium poppies, the plant from which morphine and heroin are synthesized. In the state’s remote mountains near the Chinese border, the T’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) rebel militia has been waging a hidden war against opium cultivation.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), the cultivation of opium in Burma increased by 26% in 2013, marking the highest rise since the UNODC and the Myanmar government started their assessments in 2002. One of the main factors leading to an increase in poppy cultivation is the fact that farmers have few other ways to make a living.

Burma is the second largest opium-producing country in the world after Afghanistan; and Shan State remains the center of the country's opium activities, accounting for 92 per cent of the country’s total cultivation.

The north of the state is the home of the Palaung ethnic minority, which has been cultivating and harvesting the "sleepy plant" for years.

While very profitable for producers, the production and consumption of opium has a high social cost in Burma’s impoverished north. In some villages up to 80% of men are addicts.

To fight the economic and social damages caused by opium, the armed organisation of the Palaung minority, the TNLA declared a war on the plant in 2012. TNLA introduced prohibition laws in the Palaung community areas under their control. Cultivating, costuming and selling drugs is now strictly prohibited.

The TNLA claims to have 1,500 soldiers, who this year were ordered to destroy poppy fields during the harvest season. The commanders have accused the Burmese Chinese minority of controlling the poppy fields and working in collusion with local militias and the Burmese army.

TNLA’s goal is to replace the poppy fields with other crops like corn and tea. But changes have to be implemented gradually opium represents a major source of income for local peasants.