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Prizren's Dervish Fakirs: The Newroz ...
Prizren, Kosovo
By Michele Pero
08 Jul 2015

Ancient Shiite rituals were brought into the Balkans in the 15th century during the Ottoman invasion and dominion and have been kept intact up till our day, representing a parallel and very deep-rooted Islam amongst the people. In the town of Prizren in Kosovo there is the tariqa Rufai. To celebrate the Newroz, or Nevruz, the beginning of the new year which coincides with the arrival of spring, all the dervishes in the area meet up here to celebrate a propitiatory ritual. The ritual lasts five hours and is extremely exacting. The followers must go through a great test of physical and mental exertion. The dervishes pray, dance and sing and try to attain a state of trance. At the culmination of the ritual the feats of Fakirism take place. Whilst some of the dervishes play and sing, the shaikh takes long skewers and begins to pierce the mouths of the dervishes who willingly undergo this test, beginning with the children. The older dervishes, the braver and more expert, are pierced with a real sword. A blade is placed on their throat and the shaikh climbs on top of it. The ritual ends when the dervishes remove the skewers. Just a few drops of blood appear on their cheeks.

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AFRIN KHAN 03
Lahore, Pakistan
By vincenzo floramo
27 Dec 2014

Afrin Khan, alias the "Princess" in her bedroom.

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AFRIN KHAN 06
Lahore, Pakistan
By vincenzo floramo
27 Dec 2014

Afirin Khan wakes up and warms herself with an electric heater at her Lahore house, while her mother rests.

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AFRIN KHAN 07
Lahore, Pakistan
By vincenzo floramo
27 Dec 2014

The princess talks with her favorite fashion designer, who she often visits to order new clothes.

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AFRIN KHAN 05
Lahore, Pakistan
By vincenzo floramo
26 Dec 2014

As soon as the show starts, all the doors of the Alfalah Theatre in Lahore are locked.

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AFRIN KHAN 10
Lahore, Pakistan
By vincenzo floramo
26 Dec 2014

Most of the audience of the show are Pakistani men. The main attraction of the show features women performing a "sexy" dance.

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AFRIN KHAN 11
Lahore, Pakistan
By vincenzo floramo
26 Dec 2014

Afrin Khan, alias the "Princess," dances on stage for only four minute, which are enough to warm the hearts of the audience.

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AFRIN KHAN 12
Lahore, Pakistan
By vincenzo floramo
26 Dec 2014

The audience gets very exited when the girls dance, whistling and cheering on.

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AFRIN KHAN 13
Lahore, Pakistan
By vincenzo floramo
26 Dec 2014

Outside the theatre, the audience gets some refreshments between acts.

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AFRIN KHAN 14
Lahore, Pakistan
By vincenzo floramo
26 Dec 2014

During her performances Afrin Khan wiggles her body in a provocative way.

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AFRIN KHAN 15
Lahore, Pakistan
By vincenzo floramo
26 Dec 2014

The show at Alfalah Theatre in Lahore runs two times per night for two weeks in a month.

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AFRIN KHAN 08
Lahore, Pakistan
By vincenzo floramo
25 Dec 2014

Heavily armed guards watch the entrance of the Alfalah theatre in Lahore. The presence of woman on stage is not on line with extremist beliefs.

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AFRIN KHAN 09
Lahore, Pakistan
By vincenzo floramo
25 Dec 2014

Guards control the entrance and check every costumer at the the gate before they can access the theater.

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AFRIN KHAN 20
Lahore, Pakistan
By vincenzo floramo
15 Dec 2014

The "Princess" mimics oral sex with a live python in the documentary film 'Zunn: Showgirls of Pakistan' by the director Saad Khan.

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AFRIN KHAN 17
Lahore, Pakistan
By vincenzo floramo
14 Dec 2014

Afrin Khan gets ready to be filmed in her dream performance for the documentary film 'Zunn: Showgirls of Pakistan' by the director Saad Khan.

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AFRIN KHAN 18
Lahore, Pakistan
By vincenzo floramo
13 Dec 2014

Afrin Khan performs an extreme sexy dance with the help of a real live python in 'Zunn: Showgirls of Pakistan' by the director Saad Khan.

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Bangladesh circus 17
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
12 Feb 2014

A young man that is responsible for maintaining the bamboo poles to keep the Wall of Death upright takes a break to help care for the children living among the Circus.

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Bangladesh circus 06
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
12 Feb 2014

An albino magician that has been traveling with the circus for years. An outcast from society, he fits in with the other unique individuals making an earning by talents and obvious physical differences.

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Bangladesh circus 18
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
12 Feb 2014

Gambling, along with alcohol, is prohibited in Bangladesh but these men take the risks betting on a spinning wheel.

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Bangladesh circus 08
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
12 Feb 2014

A circus tent that is the temporary home of the female dancers and performers

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Bangladesh circus 10
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
12 Feb 2014

An animal trainer does a small performance with his monkey under a tent. When the monkey is not performing, the owner must reprimand locals for taunting the animal.

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Bangladesh circus 13
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
12 Feb 2014

Boys and men crowd to the ticket booth to purchase entrance to the Wall of Death.

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Bangladesh circus 03
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
12 Feb 2014

A Hijra performer (transsexual) resting behind the stage after a singing performance under a tent of all men.

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Bangladesh circus 04
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
12 Feb 2014

Men make attempts to avoid purchasing tickets to watch a performance.

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Bangladesh circus 19
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
12 Feb 2014

A boy builds toys for sale in the traveling circus.

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Bangladesh circus 20
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
12 Feb 2014

A belly dancer takes a moment to catch her breath after a performance. She lives among the circus absent from her husband and one child.

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Bangladesh circus 15
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
12 Feb 2014

A man plays a drum set to accompany a singer under a tent in the traveling Bangladesh circus.

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Bangladesh circus 05
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
12 Feb 2014

A belly dancer performs provocatively among a full tent of men and boys. Some audience members attempt to grab her attention but rather distracting the men from the main performance.

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Bangladesh circus 11
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
03 Feb 2014

Men await for the final ride of the motorbike stunt riders along the Wall of Death, also known as a silodrome.

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Bangladesh circus 12
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
03 Feb 2014

Ticket sellers count the cash for the days tickets while discussing with spectators when the next day's performance will begin.

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Bangladesh circus 14
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
03 Feb 2014

Spectators leave the circus for the evening, walking down some of the most hazardous roads in the world. Up to 70%of roadside accidents in Bangladesh involve pedestrians with over 21,000 deaths reported in 2012.

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Bangladesh circus 16
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
01 Feb 2014

Excitement is obvious in every spectator along the Wall of Death.

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Bangladesh circus 07
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
01 Feb 2014

Families and friends enjoy time on a ferris wheel propelled by two men at the base pushing it through.

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Bangladesh circus 09
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
01 Feb 2014

Families take moments at the edge of the circus and await their family members that are spectators at other events.

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Bangladesh circus 01
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
01 Feb 2014

An circus trainer rides his elephant up and down the roads of Bangladesh collecting cash tolls.

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Bangladesh circus 21
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
01 Feb 2014

A Wall of Death rider grabs for a 10 Taka note. This stunt rider has been riding for nearly 10 years without any accidents.

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Bangladesh circus 02
Ghatail
By Eleanor Moseman
01 Feb 2014

Two young women exit, precariously, down the steps from the Wall of Death.

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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

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Transgender election candidate from P...
Jhelum City, Pakistan
By Muhammed Furqan
01 May 2013

Lubna sits in her home with her friend and assistant Sidra. Very popular among the transgender community in Jhelum, Lubna is a former wedding dancer who decided to run for a seat in the provincial assembly. Now legally recognized, several transgender people are running for elections and working toward equal rights for the community.