BA in Communication Science. MA in International Relations. Working as a photojournalist and journalist professionally since 3 years. I worked with EAST (I), La Repubblica (I), VICE (UK, I), 6MOIS(F), Osservatorio Iraq (I), Atlas (T), Birgun (T), Camino (S), The Post Internazionale (I).
Anti-austerity protests swept through Athens the day after Greek Prime Minister Tsipras signed a framework deal set out by Eurozone leaders - a deal he said he "didn't believe in, but that was necessary for the future of the country." Experts, including representatives of the IMF, acknowledged that the deal was in many ways worse than the deal Mr. Tsipras set before the Greek people in a referendum.
Two days after the protests, the Greek parlaiment approved the deal, keeping Greece in the Eurozone, but passing reforms many consider draconian for a country already exhausted with austerity and rising unemployment.
Greek Parliament Debates Debt Crisis
A new wave of student movements and occupations of university buildings is taking place around Europe. In Amsterdam, the 25th of March marked the one month anniversary of the occupation of the Maagdenhuis, an administrative building of the Universiteit van Amsterdam located in the center of the city in Spui street. A group of students are now living in the university space and organising a whole range of activities such as lectures, workshops and presentations with local and international intellectuals who support the movement. They are demanding direct democracy, participation in the management processes, the halt of the financial cut and of the progressive corporatization of the university.
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As leadership in the Chinese Communist Party continues to broaden and sharpen its crackdown on liberal thought and criticism of the Maoist system under President Xi Jinping; veneration of the country's historical leader, Mao Zedong, has taken an even more central role in Chinese cultural politics.
A recent New York Times article by Chris Buckley and Andrew Jacobs cites the traditionalist politics of Mr. Xi, saying that under his administration Maoist ideologues have ben emboldened, especially by "internal party decrees that have declared open season on Chinese academics, artists and party cadres seen as insufficiently red." These "ideologues," though the role of these former party cadres and leftist intellectuals is circumscribed, are now re-working Marxist philosophy and Maoist ideology to reverse the changes brought about in China by globalization and free-market economics. They have become the party's "party’s eager ideological inquisitors," Buckley and Jacobs write.
The Times cites Zhang Hongliang, a prominent neo-Maoist, saying, “It’s a golden period to be a leftist in China. Xi Jinping has ushered in a fundamental change to the status quo, shattering the sky.”
As seen in this photo essay for Transterra Media, across China, a renewal of traditional Maoist values has been accompanied by increased interest among the youth and the young professional class in observing and celebrating the life of their dear leader.
Every year, while half of the world celebrates Christmas, in the small village of Shaoshan in Hunan province people celebrate the birthday of Mao Zedong, born the 26th of December 1893. This year is Mao's 121st birthday.
The celebrations start on the evening before, when people form a procession to bring their offerings to the statue of Mao at the center of the city, and buy fireworks to set off throughout the night. Mao’s elder devotees travel from all over China to pay respects to their historical leader, and mix up with the youngest generations from the city near Shaoshan, who were born and raised listening to legendary stories about Mao Zedong from elders.
The celebration unfolds in a climate of jubilee, deep respect and general joy. But while the fascination for Mao is fading amongst the most educated youth in the biggest cities, who enjoy the material benefit of the deregulated market economy, in Shaoshan, even the youngest demonstrate their deep love and admiration for a leader that has no equal in China. For them, Mao is an icon, unquestionable and undebatable, surrounded by an aura of magic and the divine. Indeed in Shaoshan, people worship him as a God.
They pray, bow in front of his statue and ask him for spiritual and material benefit. Ironically, Mao’s is now revered in a cultish manner filled with superstitions, while Mao devoted most of his life to freeing his people from tradition and cults to focus on the construction of a pragmatic and equal China.
To many youngsters, the real character of Mao and his political role is nowadays blurred and thus they find themselves celebrating what has become a tradition, that disconnects itself from its real origins year by year. Meanwhile, the resurgent trend highlights a cultural shift back to the left under President Xi Jinping.
For many inhabitants of Shaoshan, the anniversary is a great opportunity to fill hotels and sell fireworks and an incredible range of souvenirs. For some companies, it is an opportunity to advertise themselves, while offering a journey to Shaoshan to their employees: a journey that serves to emphasize a Maoist ethic for workers who must deal with the day to day pressure of producing for global markets.
Located in the Strait of Hormoz, in the Persian Gulf, the island of Qeshm is rapidly expanding, growing in population, business and infrastructures.
New hotels and living quarters are eating up the arid landscape to accommodate the tourists and the international business community. Qeshm enjoys the status of free enterprise zone: visas can be obtained easily by foreigners, the circulation and convertibility of foreign currency and capital is unrestricted. The city-capital has particularly become a major hub for Iranians tourists and business men alike. However, the West of the island is still inhabited by one of the most traditional communities of Iran. Fishing is the leading occupation, but an increasing amount of workers are employed in the gas extraction industry.
While Iran usually known for nuclear politics and religious radicalism, it is also known for soccer. Iran is ranked as the best team in Asia and is participating in this year's World Cup in Brazil. For country as culturally and socially diverse as Iran, soccer is unifying force and the passion for the sport permeates every corner of society.
In Iran, the citizens and the government compose two diametrically different worlds. This is significantly evident with the privileged youth, who populate and study in the main cities of the country. In Tehran, Shiraz, Esfahan, Busher, Kerman and Ahwaz, young people´s daily lifestyles stray deeply from the one imposed by the theocratic Islamic regime. Young people often gather in the privacy of parks, travel out of the cities to break free from governmental control, or meet in private houses at night during the weekend. At these meetings girls dress freely, alcoholic drinks are present and drugs are increasingly commonplace.
Young Iranians are absorbing global culture through social media and the youngest generations yearn to travel and explore new forms of spirituality. Iran is a young country with %60 of the population under the age of 30 and its youth are citizens of a parallel and covert country: a post-Islamic republic of Iran, with a strong grip on traditional Persian culture and a growing disaffection for the values imposed by the Islamic Republic.
Leader of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) Dimitris Koutsoubas
Protesters in Syntagma Square outside Greek Parliament Building.
Speaker shouting slogan against the possible deal in Syntagma square
MInisters at the Parliament
Amiras, To Potami
Greek Parliament Debates Debt Crisis
Staikouras, Nea Democratia
Papachristopoulus, ANEL, Independent Greeks
Fotilas from Potami
President of the commities, Amanatidou, Syriza
Kegeroylou from Pasok
Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos discussing with Polakis, Syriza
Makri from Syriza, who will vote NO
Zaroulia from Golden Dawn
Golden Dawn members
Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, Nea Democratia talking to the Parliament
Panagiotis Lagos from Golden Dawn
Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, Nea Democratia
Former students who witnessed student demonstrations in the 1960's visit the Maagdenhuis.
A schedule in the Maagdenhuis details the events student movement leaders have organized for each day.
Posters in the Maagdenhuis carry the slogans of the student movement.
The Maagdenhuis, the University of Amsterdam's administrative hub, has been occupied since the end of February 2015.
Student movement leaders discuss the main events of the occupation.