Global Inequality in Photos – Action 2015 and the Sustainable Development Goals

To coincide with this week’s UN General Assembly meeting in New York, where the Sustainable Development Goals will be finalised, an NGO-based movement called ‘Action 2015’ has gathered a collection of beautiful photographs demonstrating the vast gaps in equality that persist across the world. The aim is to draw attention to the universality of this problem, to caution against replicating the Millennium Development Goals (which many countries have fallen short on. Check out the rest of the project here, and don’t forget to add your name to the Action 2015 campaign, find an event near you and join their social media project#lighttheway!

 

Sebastião Salgado:

“My images of the Awá, a nomadic hunter-gatherer tribe of the north-eastern Brazilian Amazon, reveal the devastating consequences of deforestation and shed light on the lives of the Awá, who have become known as Earth’s most threatened tribe. Pictured: The tracks of the illegal loggers go deep into the forest – Awá territory. These tracks are then used by illegal farmers who transform the forest into pasture for the cattle ranching.”

 

The son of Piraima’a in his father’s arms. Awá fathers are very close to their children.

Tanya Habjouqa:

The images of occupation – such as the ubiquitous photographs of veiled women herded into checkpoints – have lost their visual impact and explain only so much. There is much more here to humanise. Pictured: Members of the Gaza Parkour free-running team practise in a cemetery on the outskirts of their refugee camp in Khan Younis, Gaza. The walls show damage from past Israeli incursions, but this doesn’t stop the team from training.

 

Teenage girls in Ramallah try on dresses for a dance. Since they were children, all they have known is occupation but, despite that, they are not defined by that and refuse to let it be so.

Mona Ennab, a ‘Speed Sister’ from Ramallah, trains with colleague Noor Daoud at the Qalandia checkpoint during Iftar in Ramadan. Open spaces for practising racing are limited in the West Bank.

 

 

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#Freedom2Me

In celebration of the end of World War Two 70 years ago, the Anne Frank House have launched a fascinating social media campaign called ‘Freedom 2 Me’. Since then, governments, policy-makers, international institutions and civil society around the world has struggled with some horrific examples of human freedoms being curtailed, and basic human rights ignored.

Can we truly say we have let go of the barbaric methods of the past, when modern day slavery, gender discrimination, sexual crimes, war crimes, torture and a multitude of other horrors are still very much a reality in our world?

This campaign is asking us to share what the idea of freedom means to us – as individuals or as a collective of humans.

What does freedom even mean? Is freedom defined the same way in every country? Do some people have more freedoms than others? It seems like a lot of people take freedom for granted. Not everybody in the world is free. In what way are you limited in your freedom and what kind of freedom would you wish for the future?

Share these ideas via social media – through their Facebook page, and on your own social media with the hashtag ‘#Freedom2Me’. Here’s mine!

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The Atlas of Beauty

I came across a wonderful photography project today – The Atlas of Beauty by Michaela Noroc.

Michaela is a Romanian photographer who has travelled around the world to capture the true faces of female beauty in all its forms. Through this, she aims to showcase the diversity of beauty in our world.

I see many young people trying to be somebody else, to copy global trends, instead of being themselves, keeping their unique genes and cultural background. There is a lot of pressure to look in a certain way, and my message is that an original is always better than a copy.

The inspiration for this came from a recent trip to Ethiopia.

I realised that beauty is about being different, yourself and keeping your cultural heritage.

In this album, I will regularly add interesting faces that I met by chance, on the street. Because The Atlas of Beauty means also images captured in few second with women from all around the world, in their everyday life.

So without further ado, here are the photos. Be sure to check out her wonderful Instagram and Facebook pages! All photos come from Michaela’s Facebook page.

The idea of The Atlas of Beauty was born two years ago. Then, in August 2013 I started a long trip with some savings gathered in a few years and my backpack.

I wanted to go round the world and capture natural and authentic feminine beauty.

Initially, the project was called Beauty Around the World, but then I changed it to The Atlas of Beauty, a name that expresses better the idea of doing for the first time ever, an encyclopedia of feminine faces and cultural diversity of the world.

In November 2014 I returned from my trip around the planet, after 15 months of searching, with a portfolio full of images, but with empty pockets. Now I am in Bucharest and I’m trying to raise funds to go on a new journey in the summer.

Each advice, suggestion, promotion, share can help me make new images.

Medellin, Colombia

Colca Valley, Peru

Los Angeles, US

Jakarta, Indonesia

Bagan, Burma

Ethiopia

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Singapore

Ecuador

Maramures, Romania

Mawlamyine, Burma

Havana, Cuba

We live in a diverse world and there’s beauty everywhere. A few months ago I entered in the amazonian jungle of Ecuador to capture images for The Atlas of Beauty. In a Kichwa tribe, with hundreds of years old rules, I found a very expressive young woman. She dressed in her wedding dress (yes, this is her marriage outfit) that she used when she was 15 years old (yes, people from this tribe may get married at that age) and let me take her some photos in her courtyard. Actually, in Amazonia all the jungle can be your courtyard.

Tibetan woman in Xiahe, China

I met Maria Jose last year in the driest place on earth: the Atacama Desert in Chile. She was traveling with a backpack, sleeping in a tent, making all kinds of ornaments of paper, which she was selling. In Latin America I met a lot of people who had this lifestyle for many years, not being part of the classical way of living in a society. Maria Jose is a student yet and enjoys the freedom of this independent journeys, only on vacations. She’s from Venezuela, but moved with her family since few years ago, in Chile. Maria Jose from Venezuela, in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

There is a place in Ecuador where most men have long hair to their waist and women wear traditional clothes with pleasure. Although it is a prosperous city with modern influences, in Otavalo the old habits haven’t died and the indigenous population has plenty of traditions to be proud with. In a world of globalisation, where more and more women tend to behave and dress the same, it’s nice to see that there is still diversity, that there are still young women who proudly assumes their origins and keep their traditions. I dream to discover in the future more places like this, with The Atlas of Beauty, and to show that diversity is a treasure that we mustn’t lose. The Atlas of Beauty by Mihaela Noroc/ Diana in Otavalo, Ecuador

In Myanmar I met the most serene and generous people. Maybe it comes from buddhism or maybe it’s the peace that everyone enjoys after long years of dictatorship and violent conflicts. I tried to bring this gentle atmosphere in The Atlas of Beauty, photographing Yu Kyi in one of the most important Buddhist temples in the world. For The Atlas of Beauty any share is a chance to grow and continue. The Atlas of Beauty by Mihaela Noroc/ Yu Kyi in Yangon, Myanmar

The Peruvian women from the Andes Mountains walk proud in their traditional clothes. I would have stayed for hours to admire the fine details of Calla’s dress, but I had to photograph her before the night would spread out over the beautiful landscapes at nearly 4,000 meters. The Atlas of Beauty by Mihaela Noroc/ Calla in Colca Valley, Peru

I think true feminine beauty means assuming your origins and enjoying elements from your culture, things that make you different. In other words, beauty is diversity.

No Comment – Canary Wharf Protest

There was a protest today, outside my office in Canary Wharf. We were told it would be an anti-capitalism and anti-government protest, and would be peaceful and harmless.

I decided to join in during my lunch break, since I agree with what they had to say (despite working in Canary Wharf). I spent about an hour with them, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Considering the hype about this event, I was surprised to see how calm and normal it all was – very similar to most protests. There were groups of anti-capitalists, but there were also groups lobbying on behalf of other issues. I helped pamphlet for a group petitioning for asylum seekers’ rights. As an immigrant in the UK, it’s a topic close to my heart.

Another surprising observation was the number of policemen and security guards.

Check out these photos, let me know what you think. Did you participate in any of these protests across London? How did you find the atmosphere?

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Peaceful Anti-Capitalist and Anti-Government protests in Canary Wharf

Peaceful Anti-Capitalist and Anti-Government protests in Canary Wharf

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Peaceful Anti-Capitalist and Anti-Government protests in Canary Wharf

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Peaceful Anti-Capitalist and Anti-Government protests in Canary Wharf

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Peaceful Anti-Capitalist and Anti-Government protests in Canary Wharf

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Peaceful Anti-Capitalist and Anti-Government protests in Canary Wharf

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Peaceful Anti-Capitalist and Anti-Government protests in Canary Wharf

International Women’s Day: Global Political Rights

Check out this fantastic interactive map from The Guardian, which shows the status of global political rights for women:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/datablog/interactive/2013/mar/08/international-womens-day-political-rights