Tags / documentary photography
Charles Morielli is the guardian of this curious exhibition of sundries in Guffey, a little town entirely devoted to antiques. The items are often not on sale and they belong to the american western tradition
‘Leftovers’ puts us in the eyes of Mallorquin photographer, Miquel Julià, to see life as he does without filters or effects. His camera opens our eyes to those things that are normally so close to us that we don’t see them. (English subtitles)
*This is the first video of the series Historias Mínimas, or Little Tales, in collaboration with Tarek Serraj (tarekserraj.com)
If you’re a man in Cambodia, being present at the birth of your child is widely frowned upon. As both the prospective father and a camera-wielding photo-journalist, attending and documenting the birth of my son was a challenge, to say the least.
At 8pm on 26 December 2014, my partner of nearly nine years alerted me that her water had broken. She started to have her first contractions, but we were advised to stay home, get some food and rest, and wait it out until the morning.
By 7am and after a sleepless night, the intensity of Madeline’s contractions reached a peak every ten minutes; it was time to leave. Descending seven flights of stairs from our apartment in Phnom Penh, we hailed a remork (tuk tuk) to take us across the city on a journey that would change our lives forever. As is common in the capital city, the driver said he knew where to go, (which meant no, I don’t, please tell me), so with the limited Khmer that I knew, and ten minutes trying to explain where the clinic was, we came to an agreement and departed.
For twenty minutes, in a rickety wooden carriage towed by a 125cc motorcycle, on substandard roads, we careered through early morning city traffic on with Madeline panting heavily all the way to the clinic. On arrival, Doctors and midwives monitored the baby’s heartbeat, and then lead us to the room that we had pre booked, ready for Madeline to start the first stages of labour.
For the next four hours, the intensity in the room increased tenfold; I watched as the midwives coached Madeline with every technique in the book to ease her pain and mental state. Encouraging deep breathing and keeping her calm was part of my support role .When the staff decided she was ready, my partner told me to grab my camera. She was screaming as they wheeled her upstairs to the delivery room, and I realized I was about to begin documenting the birth of my son.
From a photographer’s point of view, taking photographs of my woman giving birth was not easy. She was in a lot of discomfort and pain, so trying document this, whilst retaining her dignity, was both mentally and physically draining.
There were other factors I had to take into consideration. Room to move was at a premium; I was in a small delivery room with six medical staff and a pregnant woman, so gaining the trust of the midwives and doctors was essential. Lighting conditions were very harsh, and Madeline was constantly moving from one chair to another, from standing to sitting, and from crouching and crawling positions.
The majority of the time I was supporting my partner and wishing for a safe and problem free delivery, and she says she can only recall one moment of me taking photographs from the entire labour. Madeline was having very heavy contractions whilst kneeling on the floor on her hands and knees. My natural instinct as a photographer kicked in, and as I lay on my back in front of her, pointing the camera at her pain stricken face, I composed the frame and took the photograph. This was the only point in the delivery when my partner told me to stop taking photos and to hold her hands!
The images shown were taken in the last three hours of a fairly short seven-hour natural labour, and at 1.50 p.m. on the 27th of December, we were blessed with our first son, Frank Nickels.
A gas flare is a combustion device used in oil or gas production sites having wells and rigs. This operation consists in burning off the overproduced gas, which would be too much expensive to stock and transport. Gas flaring has serious environmental consequences and it is a significant source of carbon dioxide (as well as several other carcinogenic substances) emissions.
In July 2011 France was the first European country to pass a law (“Loi Jacob”) banning the technique of hydraulic fracturing for extracting natural gas and oil. The big popular demonstration of Villeneuve de Berg on February 2011 was an important turning point in the cancellation of the first exploration permits within the Cévennes National Park area and towards the national moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.
Fracking operations produce loud noises and need a stable and strong illumination, even at night. When drilling sites lie a short distance away from houses and villages, the lives of the inhabitants suffer significant difficulties.
Deforestation caused by test extractions of shale gas in Milowo, northern Poland.
A PGNiG worker is verifying the progress of excavation in the fracking site of Lubocino, northern Poland.
A rig used for shale gas extractions by FX Energy, an American oil company.
André Agniel, former Mayor of Aujac from 2001 to 2014, poses next to the Rue Josh Fox plate. This street has been named after the young American director and activist Josh Fox, author of Gasland. In 2010 this documentary was the first and the most important testimony against fracking that led to the creation of several protest movements all over the world. Rue Josh Fox was inaugurated on the 29th of May 2014.
ENI headquarters. In 2010 the Italian oil company ENI (Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi) obtained three licenses for shale gas exploitation in Poland. After less than four years, the company was among the first ones to give up all of its polish shale gas permits because of tough geology and an unclear regulatory environment.
A Chevron billboard inside the central railway station in Bruxelles. In June 2014, the Belgian capital has hosted the G8 summit about clean energy and climate change
The entrance to the Chevron shale gas extraction site in Pungesti, eastern Romania. On the 7th of December, during some violent protests against fracking, the fences of the platform were totally destroyed by the population. Since that day, the Romanian government led by Prime Minister Victor Ponta, declared the area a special security zone. This decision entails a constant presence of the Gendarmerie on site and restricted access to the village.
A child holds a lamb in front of his house. Paltinis, a small village in the Vaslui region, is mainly populated by Gypsies, a community entirely devoted to agriculture and livestock farming. Chevron has planned to explore shale gas and start its second Romanian fracking site in the village.
Alexandru shares a small house with a group of anti-fracking protesters. The house is located near the drilling platform and since last January it has become the Resistance of Pungesti headquarters.
Some houses in eastern Romania still don't have running water. Aquifer and groundwater pollution would be major issues in the gipsy village of Paltinis, where a shale gas exploration project is due to start in the next months.
Inside a damaged house in Izvoarele, Galati county. In October 2013, the village of Izvoarele was the epicenter of an intense seismic activity. People believe that the cause of the earthquakes is to be found in the experiments of hydraulic fracturing that were supposed to be conducted in the nearby town of Schela. These assumptions have never been confirmed.
Anti-fracking graffiti in the center of Vaslui, the county seat of one of the poorest and most rural area of Romania.
The first shale gas exploration site of Romania is located in Silistea, a village within the Pungesti commune.
Oktoberfest is the world's most famous beer Festival and largest funfair, held annually in Munich, southern Germany. In 2013 the German Brewers Federation strongly opposed the draft regulations concerning the exploitation of unconventional gas and the use of fracking in the country because the legal changes planned by the federal government were “not sufficient to guarantee the security of drinking water supplies and to take into account the requirements of the German Beer Purity Law”, which only allows water, barley and hops in the production of beer. For now shale gas explorations are blocked in Germany, although the country is estimated to have between 700 and 2300 billion cubic meters of shale gas reserves, according to the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources.
An anti-fracking protester in front of the gate of the Balcombe drilling site, West Sussex. From the 25th of July 2013, part of the population of Balcombe and activists from all over Britain gathered against unconventional gas explorations. They initially occupied the land on which the rig was supposed to be erected and then the road that leads towards Brighton. The so-called Great Gas Gala lasted 68 days: it did not prevent Cuadrilla from drilling, but it was a first and important moment of self-awareness for the British anti-fracking movement.
A protester welcomes the cars crossing the community camp near Balcombe, West Sussex.
A group of protesters attempting to block a truck transporting water and chemicals to the drilling platform.
These fields on the border between Scotland and England are part of one of the many concessions granted by the British government for preliminary drilling tests. British shale gas exploration plants are supposed to be erected on areas that are now often used for farming and herding.
In the United Kingdom drillings and fracking licences have already impacted the real estate market, decreasing home and property value. Llantrithyd is a tiny Welsh village surrounded by nature. The area has been identified by Coastal Oil and Gas as a suitable site for unconventional gas explorations: the community is strongly opposing this proposal.
Despite Hungary's significant unconventional gas deposits, the Prime Minister Viktor Orbàn decided not to exploit these resources in the country. On the other hand, in 2014 Hungary signed a general agreement with Russia on cooperation in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The Russian state company Rosatom will finance with 10 billion Euro the construction of two new reactors of the Paks nuclear power plant, the first and only operating in Hungary.
Roztocze National Park is located within one of more than 100 areas that the Polish government has granted to companies interested in unconventional gas exploration. Fracking process requires a huge quantity of water: for this reason, lots of drilling sites rise up in the nearby of big water reserves. If shale gas production started in this region, the environmental balance of the park would be surely lost.
Most African migrants and refugees who enter Europe through Lampedusa end up working on the fruit and vegetable plantations in Southern Italy. Every year around Christmas thousands of migrant workers pick our oranges for a hunger wage in the village of Rosarno, Calabria.
For the rest of the year not much work is available in Rosarno, but some people earned so little that they can not afford the journey to another region to find work for the rest of the year. They stay all year around, barely earning enough to eat during the long hot summer months where very little work is available.
When in June 2013 the farmers of Zurawlow, a small village in south-eastern Poland, discovered that Chevron was about to rise up a drilling site for shale gas extractions on their lands, they gave birth to the Occupy Chevron movement. After 400 days of protests and permanent occupation of their fields, the villagers managed to block Chevron's intention and to stop the operations.
Workers inside the Dobryniow fracking site, in the nearby of Lublin.
The inner courtyard of Emil Jabłonski's house. Emil is the so tys, i.e. the village ł leader, of the agricultural district of Zurawlow. Emil was among the first farmers to take action against the shale gas exploration plans on the fields of Zurawlow. The whole Jabłonski family is involved in sugar beet, maize and wheat cultivations and cattle farming.
The Polish-American director, Lech Kowalski, during the shooting of his latest documentary, Drill Baby Drill, dedicated to shale gas extractions in Europe and United States.
A farmer in Dobryniòw, eastern Poland. Land grabbing and land pollution are big concerns related to shale gas drillings. Companies often test the presence of underground gas on rural areas: local agriculture and environment are likely to be destroyed by any future drilling for commercial purposes.
Abandoned drilling rig platform for shale gas extraction.
The sacred fire and offerings to Christ "Aparruki" in the temple or "Callihuey", and a young man sleeping peacefully next to it after a short ceremony took place.
Traffic jams are very frequent in the subrubs of Cairo, even at night, with the huge amount of toktoks invading the streets as long as they can find customers around. Here the local "zahma" is jamming the road of Shobra El Kheima.
A driver parks his toktok in front of a café, in the streets of Shobra El Kheima (Cairo Egypt). Owners are constantly keeping an eye on their vehicles, as they are their only source of income, and theft is common.
A street view of Shobra El Kheima (Cairo, Egypt) by night, as seen from the back seat of a toktok. Until midnight the streets are full of life, with people sitting in the cafés or walking through the night markets, but residents complain that after that hour it's not safe to wander around.
A dark road in the suburb of Shobra El Kheima (Cairo,Egypt) as seen from inside a toktok riding in the night. These streets become very dangerous after midnight, when there's no one around and for criminals it's easier to act undisturbed.
Toktoks are seen at night, speeding down the road in the suburb of Shobra El Kheima (Cairo, Egypt). These vehicles have no licence or plate, probably they don't even comply any safety standard, and sometimes are tuned to reach up to 90 km/h, say some of the drivers.