13 Instagram Accounts About Social Impact

Instagram icon. Photo by  NeONBRAND  on  Unsplash

Instagram icon. Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Social media can be a source of toxicity. So often our feeds are saturated with ads, photoshop, unrealistic body images, and fake representations of peoples’ lives. However, many activists are using social media to promote issues that they are passionate about, in order to reach a wide audience. If you’re looking to bring more heartfelt messages to your feed, here are some accounts to follow: 

1. Global Citizen: @glblctzn

Global Citizen is an organization dedicated to eradicate extreme poverty. But, their Instagram feed educates their followers on a range of social issues. Their goal is to create a global community of people who want to change the world. Their feed helps to connect that community with photos from around the world.

2.  Michael Moore: @michaelfmoore

A filmmaker, author, and activist, Michael Moore raises awareness about corruption in the US government and large corporations through his work. He calls his followers to join him in the polls on his Instagram stories, and is vocal about his political viewpoints through his permanent posts. He sheds light on candidates and social issues in the US.

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3. Nicholas Kristof: @nickkristof 

Nicholas Kristof is a progressive journalist, and columnist for the New York Times. He uses his Instagram mostly to relevant pictures or quotes from his column that he writes. His feed will alert you of important issues or interesting points in history, and encourage you to read and learn more.

4. @everydayafrica

Everyday Africa is a beautiful feed that features contributions from photographers of pictures that highlight everyday life in Africa. They steer away from the extreme and violent images that often saturate the media.





5. UN Refugee Agency: @refugees

The UN Refugee Agency protects over 70 million refugees or displaced people. Their feed is educational, hopeful, and inspirational. It features photos of the people they help and the work that they do, prominent UN activists and ambassadors, as well as important quotes and statistics.

6. Christie Begnell: @meandmyed.art 

Christie Begnell is an illustrator whose mission is to break down the stereotypes that people have about mental health and eating disorders. Christie is going through recovery herself, and uses illustrations to convey a more accurate, realistic depiction of eating disorders and anxiety. Her account encourages body positivity, empathy, and acceptance.

7.  Leanne Lauricella: @goatsofanarchy

Leanne Lauricella runs an animal sanctuary and nonprofit that takes care of handicapped and abused animals. The account, @goatsofanarchy, features cute and funny videos of the goats they take care of. In addition to being adorable, the account raises awareness for the sanctuary, and compassion for animals in general. 

8. Leighton Brown and Matthew Riemer: @lgbt_history

Leighton Brown and Matthew Riemer started @lgbt_history to educate followers about important events and figures in queer history. The account is completely objective—the goal is simply to educate users with facts. Leighton and Matthew stay relevant by coordinating their posts with current events, linking past to present.

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9.  Shivya Nath: @shivya

A self-proclaimed “vegan drifter,” Shivya Nath is a nomad. She has no home base. She travels her entire life—and posts beautiful pictures wherever she goes. Shivya uses her platform to encourage a sustainable lifestyle—specifically veganism and conscious traveling.

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10. @nastywomenquotes

A mix of quotes from badass feminists (men and women!) and witty relevant screenshots from Television shows, a scroll through Nasty Women Quotes will have you feeling empowered.

11. Mona Chalabi: @monachalabi

Mona Chalabi is a data journalist. She creates illustrations and infographics to help visualize data, and to make facts more understandable and relatable. She tackles all issues, from countering racism and ageism, to raising awareness for animal rights and wage gaps.


12 @indigenousgoddessgang

The accompanying Instagram account to its magazine, Indigenous Goddess Gang posts memes, quotes, art, and pictures that further their goal of “reclaiming knowledge from an indigenous femme lens.” Make sure to check out their magazine as well.

13. Kuchenga Shenje- @kuchenga

Journalist, author, and Black Lives Matter activist, Kuchenga’s page is full of empowering artwork and photography, as well as advocacy for trans representation and diversity in general. 

With their stories and permanent posts, these Instagrammers give daily inspiration and empowerment to their followers.







ELIANA DOFT loves to write, travel, and volunteer. She is especially excited by opportunities to combine these three passions through writing about social action travel experiences. She is an avid reader, a licensed scuba diver, and a self-proclaimed cold brew connoisseur. 

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INDIA: The Landscapes and Cultures of the Chadar Trek

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Home to the legendary, yet treacherous, Chadar Trek, the Zanskar region of Ladakh has earned the reputation of a trekker’s delight.

Stirring images of the Phugtal Monastery, and the river, both in full spate and frozen, of the lush valleys and the Zanskari people have enticed me from the time I was at school and this year, I finally managed to do the trek for myself.

The trek usually begins at Lingshed and culminates in Phugtal, but I undertook it the other way around. In fact, I was able to reduce two days travel time to two hours by chartering a helicopter to my starting off point. It all began at Padum from where we headed to Phugtal and then across the Zanskar through Pishu, Hannmur, ending finally at Lingshed.

The experience was phenomenal. From traversing the most treacherous paths and crossing deep gorges and valleys to witnessing rivers of the most unreal blue and sleeping under the milky way, the entire trek was really something else; the delight of a hot shower at the end of those ten days made it sweeter still. It wasn’t all milk and honey though. Ascending nearly 16,000 feet at some passes and walking at least 20 kilometres a day, the trek tested my wits and guts, making me question why I embarked on this adventure in the first place.

In retrospect though, I can say without a shred of doubt that it was well worth it. Not only did I witness first-hand the glories of a phenomenal terrain, but I also met some wonderful people and experienced inspirational no-waste lifestyles. More than anything else, I learned what I myself am capable of enduring both physically and mentally; that when push comes to shove the human body and mind can surprise us in more ways than one.

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HAJRA AHMAD studied photography in Ooty, a small hill town in South India. She became inspired by the darkroom and now specializes in travel and wildlife photography as well as often shooting hotels and interiors. Her photography has enabled her to travel to many new places and her work continues to evolve with each shoot.

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON ROAM MAGAZINE

Amazed

For more than two decades, through the lens of my camera, I have sought out the hope and beauty woven into the fabric of all life and all peoples, from forest to ocean. In the face of the myriad unrecognized plights and urgent truths of our shared human and planetary condition, these shimmering threads promise change.

Images / Words ©  Cristina Mittermeier  / Words ©  Kim Frank

Images / Words © Cristina Mittermeier / Words © Kim Frank

National Geographic photographer and co-founder of SeaLegacy, Cristina Mittermeier, releases her new book this month, Amaze, published by teNeues. An intimate collection of over 25 years, Amaze combines impassioned poetic storytelling, indigenous wisdom, and an urgent plea to protect our planet. Amaze takes you on a insightful and hope-filled journey where the human spirit lifts from every page. Here is a glimpse into the book’s luminous world.

Ta’kaiya Blaney, a singer, songwriter, and drummer for her people, the Tla’amin First Nation of British Columbia, is seen in a cedar cape. The youngest speaker at the United Nations Indigenous Forum, she is a fierce advocate of indigenous rights and environmental protection.    Canada

Ta’kaiya Blaney, a singer, songwriter, and drummer for her people, the Tla’amin First Nation of British Columbia, is seen in a cedar cape. The youngest speaker at the United Nations Indigenous Forum, she is a fierce advocate of indigenous rights and environmental protection.

Canada

AS WITH MANY IMPASSIONED JOURNEYS, MY LIFE AS A CONSERVATIONIST AND ARTIST BEGAN WITH A LESSON.

A lesson that rattles in my soul like a grain of sand in a chambered nautilus shell. Urging me onwards; reminding me why I do this work. Curled deep within this hidden spiral is the unwavering memory of one of the most powerful photographs I never took.

The densely knit Amazon rainforest; home to countless indigenous peoples and the once-mighty Xingú River, now forever tamed.    Brazil

The densely knit Amazon rainforest; home to countless indigenous peoples and the once-mighty Xingú River, now forever tamed.

Brazil

When I was a young and inexperienced photographer, I was sent on an assignment to a remote corner of the Brazilian Amazon. Flying from town to town, over vast stretches of rainforest, and in increasingly small airplanes, I finally arrived at the Kayapó village of Kendjam; home to one hundred and fifty individuals. My mission was to give a face and a name to the thousands of indigenous people whose lives were soon to be impacted by the construction of the Belo Monte dam.

Young Kayapó children will sit or stand patiently for hours, as their mothers paint their bodies with genipap, a dye made from a forest fruit of the same name. Being painted, and painting others, is a very important form of social bonding in these remote Amazonian villages.    Brazil

Young Kayapó children will sit or stand patiently for hours, as their mothers paint their bodies with genipap, a dye made from a forest fruit of the same name. Being painted, and painting others, is a very important form of social bonding in these remote Amazonian villages.

Brazil

Late one afternoon, I saw a group of women coming up from the river; one of them carrying a tiny baby in her arms. It dawned on me that they had just given this newborn his first bath in the river; a vital ritual bath that ties a person’s fate to the fate of the river. And I had missed it. I consoled myself, naively thinking I that could find the mother in the morning and ask her to bring her baby back down to the water, hoping to recreate what I had missed. Tragically, we woke to the news that the infant had not lived through the night. By the time I had figured out what was happening, the women had already buried the tiny body, and I had missed that ritual as well.

Dismayed, I began to wonder if I was up to the challenge of this assignment, wishing the editors had sent a more experienced photographer, when out of the corner of my eye I saw a figure approaching. It was the mother of the baby, walking straight towards me and bawling. Nobody was going near her. As she came closer, I saw that she was cradling a dirty bundle.

In her sorrow, she had dug out the body of her dead child, and was carrying him around. Clutching a machete in her hand, she was hitting her forehead with the blunt edge as she screamed out her sorrow. Her face, her dress, her dead son; all were covered in mud and blood.

I stood there, gripping my camera with frozen fingers; paralyzed.

I could think only of my children back home and how I would feel if a stranger shoved a camera in my face just after I had lost my child. I am ashamed to admit that I did not take any photos.

The Xingú river is intimately woven into the fabric of Kayapó life. This young girl’s eyes speak of a beloved waterway about to be dammed forever, of pride in her people’s traditions, of fear for a future unknown, and of the innocence that every child deserves to live with.    Brazil

The Xingú river is intimately woven into the fabric of Kayapó life. This young girl’s eyes speak of a beloved waterway about to be dammed forever, of pride in her people’s traditions, of fear for a future unknown, and of the innocence that every child deserves to live with.

Brazil

A few months later we learned that the dam had been approved and construction was to begin immediately. I thought about the beautiful, generous people I had met and how their lives would be changed forever.

To this day, I am haunted by this question:

Would their fate have been been different if I had dared to do my job and take those difficult photographs? What if my images had been beautiful enough, or dramatic enough, to change the conversation?

The Kayapó people believe that if they are good to the forest and to the river, they will be provided with everything they need to sustain themselves.

The Kayapó people believe that if they are good to the forest and to the river, they will be provided with everything they need to sustain themselves.

I will never know, because that day I lacked the courage to press the shutter: a mistake I never made again. From that moment forwards, I pledged never to hesitate and to make images that matter.

For centuries the Kayapó way of life has been deeply entwined with the rivers that flow through the forest. For me, this image is a powerful symbol of nature’s familial hold on the human spirit, reminding us that nature is so much more than a commodity to exploit.

For centuries the Kayapó way of life has been deeply entwined with the rivers that flow through the forest. For me, this image is a powerful symbol of nature’s familial hold on the human spirit, reminding us that nature is so much more than a commodity to exploit.

Over the course of my career I have witnessed photography’s ability to shape perceptions, help societies pause and reflect, and inspire change. Being a photographer allows me to share my deepened understanding of the truth that all things in nature are part of one vast ecosystem.

Unlike people, the Earth’s diverse waterways, wildlife, and forests are intricately woven into the fabric of the whole; not claiming a separate existence. My hope is that my images will inspire a stronger connection with the nature that lies within and around us, as it is infinitely worthy of our deepest respect and care.

In a raw world that seems to bleed everyday with shriveling resources, human tragedy, and environmental ruin. Where every moment with a press of a button or a swipe of a screen, we are assaulted with distressing news, stories and images that threaten our sense of security and dim our lights, we must find ways to remain optimistic.

We must work to remove the physical and metaphorical barriers that block our meaningful connection to one another and to our planet. In my twenty five years documenting remote tribal communities around the world I have learned important lessons from their collective wisdom.

A young girl of the Afar tribe, from Ethiopia. Her people are fiercely proud and independent, having lived forever in the harsh deserts of the Horn of Africa, as semi-nomadic cattle and camel herders.    Ethiopia

A young girl of the Afar tribe, from Ethiopia. Her people are fiercely proud and independent, having lived forever in the harsh deserts of the Horn of Africa, as semi-nomadic cattle and camel herders.

Ethiopia

Spending time with Indigenous peoples has taught me that abundance is not measured in the things that we own, but in the strength of our human spirit, and in the depth of our connection to the natural world.

From the Amazon to the Arctic, these communities nurture an intimate awareness of the web of relationships that have sustained them in harmony with nature, for millennia. I have long thought about how I could share my own interpretation of this intuitive wisdom. Among the Kayapó, the Gitga’at, the Inuit, and the many other Indigenous communities I have photographed, I have witnessed a myriad of common strands — spiritual and physical; past and future. Woven together, they become the exquisite and universal fabric of something that I have come to call “enoughness”.

Made from the feathers of birds of paradise, the Indigenous peoples in the highlands of Papua New Guinea pride themselves on elaborate personal decoration. This woman’s spectacular headdress had been passed down from generation to generation.    Papua New Guinea

Made from the feathers of birds of paradise, the Indigenous peoples in the highlands of Papua New Guinea pride themselves on elaborate personal decoration. This woman’s spectacular headdress had been passed down from generation to generation.

Papua New Guinea

My personal true north for navigating the complexities and contradictions of modern life with more planetary integrity, I search for these threads of enoughness: belonging, purpose, sacred ecology, spirituality, and creative expression in the people I meet, and the experiences I have.

I describe and show enoughness within the words and images in the first part of my book, Amaze, and I share an excerpt with you here. It is my hope that enoughness can be recognized as a path to a more fully expressed life, as we seek to entwine these threads more deeply into our own personal tapestry.

I am often asked if I gave gum to these boys from the highlands of Papua New Guinea, but the answer is no. They were at the Mount Hagen Sing-Sing, a festival that celebrated the most culturally-intact tribe, and delighted in surprising me with their bubbles.    Papua New Guinea

I am often asked if I gave gum to these boys from the highlands of Papua New Guinea, but the answer is no. They were at the Mount Hagen Sing-Sing, a festival that celebrated the most culturally-intact tribe, and delighted in surprising me with their bubbles.

Papua New Guinea

We all yearn to belong, whether it be to a people, or to a place.

On the spray-soaked shorelines of the Pacific Northwest, a part of the world that I am now fortunate enough to call home, the Sundance Chief of the Tsleil-Wuatuth First Nation shared with me what belonging means to him. For his people, the land is not something that you own, nor is it a commodity to be bought and sold. Instead, it is something that you belong to.

For over 30,000 years the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation and their ancestors have lived in the region we now call Burrard Inlet.    Canada

For over 30,000 years the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation and their ancestors have lived in the region we now call Burrard Inlet.

Canada

Rock, tree, river, or hill, crow, bear, or human, all were formed from the same elements by the Ancestors long ago. Their land is alive with relations, no matter the shape that relation may take. When you love, need, and care for the land, in return, the land will love, need, and care for its people. For the Tsleil-Waututh, the land is both family and self.

It is the ultimate expression of belonging.

Wearing his people’s traditional headdress, Will George, of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, screams out his frustration at the Canadian government for allowing the expansion of another destructive oil pipeline across his people’s ancestral lands.

Wearing his people’s traditional headdress, Will George, of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, screams out his frustration at the Canadian government for allowing the expansion of another destructive oil pipeline across his people’s ancestral lands.

Over the years I have observed that irrespective of culture and our place within the world, the path to true fulfillment often lies in finding joy and meaning through purpose. Living a life of purpose may mean intentionally raising your children wholeheartedly as compassionate, courageous citizens, of planet Earth, or it may mean developing your unique skill or talent so that you can contribute to your community. For me, it is the feeling that my passion lines up with what the world needs. Regardless, it is about recognizing your own inner value.

Seeking shelter from the relentless sun, I was invited in by this beautiful Antandroy woman, who was wearing a traditional mask made of powdered bark, a natural mosquito repellent and sunblock. She too was feeling unwell and I was moved by her humble hospitality and grace.    Madagascar

Seeking shelter from the relentless sun, I was invited in by this beautiful Antandroy woman, who was wearing a traditional mask made of powdered bark, a natural mosquito repellent and sunblock. She too was feeling unwell and I was moved by her humble hospitality and grace.

Madagascar

I marvel at how when we treat one another with compassion, and respect the creatures and land we rely on, our sense of personal nourishment grows in direct relationship. The elements that make up enoughness help us cultivate fulfillment from within. Rather than needing or expecting the world to give us something, enoughness naturally inspires us to give back, to others and to the planet. Cultivating a sense of belonging, embracing spirituality, and intentionally finding purpose. Tapping into existing sacred ecologies and embracing our natural gifts for creative expression. This is how we can nurture enoughness, as individuals, and as an intimately connected global community.

In northwestern Yunnan, each village has a sacred forest where the locals believe the gods reside, along with the spirits of their ancestors. People are not allowed to cut down trees, but they can collect fallen branches, mushrooms, and medicinal plants.    People's Republic of China

In northwestern Yunnan, each village has a sacred forest where the locals believe the gods reside, along with the spirits of their ancestors. People are not allowed to cut down trees, but they can collect fallen branches, mushrooms, and medicinal plants.

People's Republic of China

Enoughness is the feeling of something central being restored. It is a luminous path to a fully expressed life.

What a joy it has been to find the purposeful focus of living from enoughness in my own life; by looking carefully and listening closely to the lessons shared with me by the people who still live close to the land and who know how to carve a living from the Earth without destroying it.

The embodiment of strength, knowledge, and the rich cultural heritage of her people, who have lived in the rainforests of Brazil for millenia, this Kayapó elder is a leader in her community and a proud keeper of their traditional knowledge.    Brazil

The embodiment of strength, knowledge, and the rich cultural heritage of her people, who have lived in the rainforests of Brazil for millenia, this Kayapó elder is a leader in her community and a proud keeper of their traditional knowledge.

Brazil

Eyes on the horizon, Miracle, Virtuous, and Heavenly Kaahanui float with their surfboards, waiting for the next set of waves to roll in. For centuries their ancestors have practiced this art, perfecting their prowess in the water, and nurturing a deep connection with the life-giving grace of the sea. In that moment, soaked in the glittering spray of the vast Pacific Ocean once again, I know for certain that long-lasting change will only come when we feel more connected to the surge of life that is beating on our shores.

Three Hawaiian sisters wait for the waves in Makaha Beach, Oahu.    Hawaii, United States of America

Three Hawaiian sisters wait for the waves in Makaha Beach, Oahu.

Hawaii, United States of America

Over millennia, the tireless swing of the tides has given shape to the continents and character to our coasts; morphed and bent to the will of the sea. Every day, for a few precious hours, the shore belongs to the land. Then under the gravitational spell of the moon, it is once again reclaimed by the waves. To us, however, it never truly belongs.

There is an invisible line between the familiar feeling of our feet on solid ground and the inky abyss, often foreign and fearsome, where creatures with gills, scales, and fins are better suited to survive.

[1] A curious Stellar sea lion in the rich waters of the Salish Sea. [2] Molina Dawson, a young Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw warrior, is occupying the polluting open-net fish farm that was placed in her people’s ancestral territory without their consent.    Canada

[1] A curious Stellar sea lion in the rich waters of the Salish Sea. [2] Molina Dawson, a young Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw warrior, is occupying the polluting open-net fish farm that was placed in her people’s ancestral territory without their consent.

Canada

Though bound to the land, humans have benefited from the riches of the sea since the beginning of time. We should know by now that if our oceans thrive, so do we. Why then, are we collectively failing to nurture and protect the cornerstone of all life on Earth?

As he lifts his eyes to the falling snowflakes, Naimanngitsoq Kristiansen, a traditional Inuit hunter from Greenland, reminds me that nature is a spiritual sanctuary, made all the more hallowed by the first flurry of snow in Spring.    Greenland

As he lifts his eyes to the falling snowflakes, Naimanngitsoq Kristiansen, a traditional Inuit hunter from Greenland, reminds me that nature is a spiritual sanctuary, made all the more hallowed by the first flurry of snow in Spring.

Greenland

Knowingly or not we have abused the generosity of the sea. Perhaps we have been walking on land for so long, we have forgotten that our very existence depends on a healthy ocean. Every second breath we take comes from the sea; the oceans are the watery lungs of our planet, producing vast amounts of oxygen and absorbing countless tons of carbon dioxide.

One billion people, including many of the world’s poor, rely on fish for their daily protein. The rain and snow that falls over distant mountains, irrigating fields many miles from the shore, originates at sea. Immense ocean currents regulate our planetary climate, maintaining the perfect conditions for our fragile existence. Today, human-induced global warming and exploitation of our environment are threatening to destabilize all of this.

On a three-week long expedition from the southernmost tip of India to Chennai, I stopped in every coastal town to see what the fishermen were bringing in. The women I met told me that the fish are getting smaller and smaller, and many species are disappearing.    India

On a three-week long expedition from the southernmost tip of India to Chennai, I stopped in every coastal town to see what the fishermen were bringing in. The women I met told me that the fish are getting smaller and smaller, and many species are disappearing.

India

HOWEVER, ALL IS NOT LOST. WE STILL HAVE TIME TO NURTURE THE OCEAN’S INCREDIBLE RESILIENCE.

From Mexico to the Pacific Northwest, I have witnessed entire ocean ecosystems spring back to life when local communities are empowered to sustainably manage and restore their waters. Slowly but surely, communities around the world are harnessing the political will necessary to bring our oceans back to health. When we act together, we can inspire great change. This is why I co-founded SeaLegacy with my life partner, Paul Nicklen.

Zah, an artisanal fisherman, harpoons fish in the Abrolhos Reef to feed his family. Because they live in a Marine Protected Extractive Area, fishermen like Zah are committed to complying with fishing regulations and no-take zones, which benefit their local ecosystem.    Brazil

Zah, an artisanal fisherman, harpoons fish in the Abrolhos Reef to feed his family. Because they live in a Marine Protected Extractive Area, fishermen like Zah are committed to complying with fishing regulations and no-take zones, which benefit their local ecosystem.

Brazil

With a mission to create healthy and abundant oceans for our planet, SeaLegacy is a strong, collective voice of organizations, social media influencers and individuals working together to spark the kind of global conversation that inspires people to act. Through powerful media and art we deliver hope — the kind of hope that empowers and generates solutions. Hope can be a game changer, and hope for our planet is empowering.

I watched as the sun dipped below the horizon, and the molten gold of sunset saturated the twilight. Just as his ancestors have done for centuries before him, Naimanngitsoq Kristiansen waits patiently for harp seal or walrus at the ice edge.    Greenland

I watched as the sun dipped below the horizon, and the molten gold of sunset saturated the twilight. Just as his ancestors have done for centuries before him, Naimanngitsoq Kristiansen waits patiently for harp seal or walrus at the ice edge.

Greenland

Extraordinary opportunities exist to restore and thoughtfully develop our oceans in order to protect them and sustain life on this planet.

Our team at SeaLegacy works with an international council of experts to identify projects that are helping to create healthy and abundant oceans. We engage a groundswell social audience of over six million followers with compelling storytelling and invest in community-centered solutions, rallying global support through our massive media network.

Through vibrant digital campaigns, we take on projects such as influencing policy makers to protect whale habitats in the Norwegian fjords, filmmaking to show the critical ecological value of keeping the Antarctic Peninsula wild and free, and partnering with indigenous First Nations communities to ban harmful fish farming in northern Vancouver Island, Canada.

Every day, through our vital work, I experience hope in action. Co-founding SeaLegacy gifts me with the ability to align the rich elements of enoughness with my deep concern for life beneath the thin blue line of our ocean.

From the air we breathe, to the food we eat, to the climate we live in, we all depend on our oceans. Today, they are more important than ever. Healthy oceans absorb vast amounts of carbon from our atmosphere and help reduce the impact of climate change.    Honduras

From the air we breathe, to the food we eat, to the climate we live in, we all depend on our oceans. Today, they are more important than ever. Healthy oceans absorb vast amounts of carbon from our atmosphere and help reduce the impact of climate change.

Honduras

On nights when the opalescent moon brings waves crashing against the rocky shoreline of the coast that I call home, I rejoice in the pungent scent of saltwater. The sea is like a forgotten womb from which all life emerged. It is here, at the water’s edge, that my heart beats its loudest.

Perhaps it is the reassuring cadence of the tidal rhythms or the way that the waves roll in from the open ocean with playful, operatic grace, carrying dreams of faraway underwater kingdoms. Or perhaps it is the way that the ocean’s low, sacred rumble rests in my soul, long after the last grain of sand has washed from between my toes.

A shimmering sunset is reflected in these shallow waters, as traditional Vezo fishermen draw up their boats for the night.    Madagascar

A shimmering sunset is reflected in these shallow waters, as traditional Vezo fishermen draw up their boats for the night.

Madagascar

As a photographer, I feel an urgency to remind my fellow humans that our destiny is inexorably tied to the fate of the sea. As a scientist, I am motivated by the knowledge that continuing to ignore the failing health of our oceans now, while we ponder the consequences later, is an invitation for disaster.

Combining the two, I am a fierce advocate for our planet and strive every day to make a tangible difference. With hope as a beacon, my dream is that together we can turn the tide and achieve healthy, abundant oceans for all.

Two young Vezo girls, like water nymphs more at home in the ocean than on land, gather fish for their family’s dinner.    Madagascar

Two young Vezo girls, like water nymphs more at home in the ocean than on land, gather fish for their family’s dinner.

Madagascar

CRISTINA MITTERMEIER is a photographer, writer and conservationist documenting the intersection of wild nature and humans. Co-founder at SeaLegacy.

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MAPTIA

Abstract Australia from Above

“The real voyage does not consist in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” — MARCEL PROUST

Islands on natural salt lake, Lake Johnston, north of Esperance, in Western Australia. (Taken 2014)

Islands on natural salt lake, Lake Johnston, north of Esperance, in Western Australia. (Taken 2014)

I have been attracted to the Australian landscape because of its size and subtle differences — a sense of wonderment, how it all came about, the evolution of the landscape. Like the rest of the world it has gone through many stages to be what it is today — uniquely Australian. But it also is a very old landscape. It is the flattest and driest continent, which compared with other countries, does not manifest itself in grandeur as we know it; large rivers, large mountains and the dramatic changes of the seasons.

The Pinnacles. Limestone formations, Nambung National Park. (Taken 2009)

The Pinnacles. Limestone formations, Nambung National Park. (Taken 2009)

However, I found that by looking at the landscape from the air, many natural characteristics revealed themselves much better, showing the evolution and the geographical variations. Nature is a great teacher. Observing and experiencing it can stimulate our creative senses which in turn is beneficial to ourselves and our environment.

Pink Lake, north-west of Esperance, Western Australia. This is the natural colouration of the salt lake. (Taken 1988)

Pink Lake, north-west of Esperance, Western Australia. This is the natural colouration of the salt lake. (Taken 1988)

It was in 1955 that I bought my first camera, and this was the beginning of a long association with photography. Intrigued by the unusualness of the Australian landscape, I became a landscape photographer with a strong bias for aerial photography, which I felt captured the vastness of the outback best — each flight became a flight of discovery.

Late light on a drifting sand dune, Windorah, south east Queensland. (Taken 1994)

Late light on a drifting sand dune, Windorah, south east Queensland. (Taken 1994)

There are so many Australian landscapes worthy of consideration whether they be rivers, coastal plains or deserts — all of which vary seasonally and at different times of the day. As much as possible I like to be inspired by what I see and this is where I experience a sense of wonderment of a world so complex, varied and beautiful.

Coastline between Esperance and Cape Arid, in Western Australia. This shows the reflection of the clouds in the lake, with the beach and ocean in the foreground. (Taken 2006)

Coastline between Esperance and Cape Arid, in Western Australia. This shows the reflection of the clouds in the lake, with the beach and ocean in the foreground. (Taken 2006)

Of course there are many ways to appreciate the landscape. My own involvement is to photograph the highlights and to interpret them with the camera in a painterly way. I emphasise these highlights by pointing the camera down and focussing on the subject, excluding the horizon so one looses a point of reference and the reality often takes on an abstract view. I hope that the character of the subject is enhanced and that it reveals more through isolation by the camera angle.

A turkey nest dam near Newdegate, Western Australia, contrasts against the ploughed fields. (Taken 1994)

A turkey nest dam near Newdegate, Western Australia, contrasts against the ploughed fields. (Taken 1994)

The aerial point of view also allows us to examine the impact of humanity on Earth. There is a beauty in the man made landscape which takes on a relationship beyond the form as we know it. Certain subjects such as mining dumps, industry and farming look mundane at ground level, but from above my eye begins to recognise a gratifying order in the chaos — crops, paddocks and ploughed fields become masterpieces in abstraction often unknown to their creators. Simultaneously, the aerial perspective can also indicate the abuse and destruction that has taken place.

Salt lakes surrounded by wheat fields, 50 kilometers north east of Esperance, Western Australia. (Taken 1994)

Salt lakes surrounded by wheat fields, 50 kilometers north east of Esperance, Western Australia. (Taken 1994)

At all times, I take a very personal approach to my work, but I also take great care to retain the optical reality. There are a million pictures out there. I am the only limitation. I can tune in and absorb the reality of the variations, combined with my way of seeing and my attitude. The older I get the harder it becomes, and the more I am drawn to nature. It is the creation of all life and matter that appeals to me now. Maybe I can make a small contribution to its well being which is in jeopardy. If beliefs in eternity are formed, nature is a great catalyst. I often feel intimidated by a great outback landscape, but also inspired by it.

Forrest River, Kimberley, Western Australia. A tidal river system, north-west of Wyndham. (Taken 2003)

Forrest River, Kimberley, Western Australia. A tidal river system, north-west of Wyndham. (Taken 2003)

We now have more technical gadgetry at our disposal and there is no doubt it can help us to get a better photograph. But that in itself means little unless it enhances our understanding of the world around us. It is more important to use our creative spirit and gain wisdom than purely use it as a tool. Today in our digital age we have Photoshop with its possibility to enhance or to completely distort or create our own image using photographic components. We have become so image conscious that we often forget the beauty of reality.

Ocean between Ningaloo Reef and Coral Bay, Western Australia. The blue variation is due to the ocean’s floor level. (Taken 2006)

Ocean between Ningaloo Reef and Coral Bay, Western Australia. The blue variation is due to the ocean’s floor level. (Taken 2006)

The subject of photography can either be concrete or intangible. In the first case the picture is basically realistic, where as in the latter case it is essentially abstract. But what makes photography so interesting is that by combining both we can introduce creativity in the subject and have the best of both worlds.

Ant clearings approx. 4–5 metres across, Great Sandy Desert, Pilbara, Western Australia. (Taken 2003)

Ant clearings approx. 4–5 metres across, Great Sandy Desert, Pilbara, Western Australia. (Taken 2003)

Although many photographers can take photographs and do it well, it is work done in the full utilization of that creative spirit that stands out. It should be influenced by the subject itself and come from within oneself.

Tidal variations result in a coastal river pattern, Northern Territory. (Taken 2004)

Tidal variations result in a coastal river pattern, Northern Territory. (Taken 2004)

“I still can’t find any better definition for the word Art, than this. Nature, Reality, Truth, but with a significance, a conception, and a character which the artist brings out in it and to which he gives expression, which he disentangles and makes free.” — VINCENT VAN GOUGH

Lake Dumbleyung, Wagin, Western Australia. Affected by farming this natural lake has become saline. After the first rains, it turns pink. (Taken 2005)

Lake Dumbleyung, Wagin, Western Australia. Affected by farming this natural lake has become saline. After the first rains, it turns pink. (Taken 2005)

We do not always appreciate the aerial point of view. People regard the landscape as something you fly over. But in reality it is an opportunity to see the landscape from a different perspective. I never cease to marvel at the natural variations in the Australian landscape and although I value what is there photographically, in the end it is the observation and appreciation of the diversity that is the reward.

Top of Curtis Island, Cape Capricorn, north-east of Gladstone, Queensland. An estuary with sand banks. (Taken 1997)

Top of Curtis Island, Cape Capricorn, north-east of Gladstone, Queensland. An estuary with sand banks. (Taken 1997)

Postscript — All of my photographs are as seen from the air and are not manipulated. I feel that the beauty, colours, and uniqueness of the Australian landscape is complete and needs no enhancing.

RICHARD WOLDENDORP is a Dutch-born Australian landscape photographer, with a focus on the aerial perspective. Appointed the Order of Australia in June 2012, “For service to the arts as an Australian landscape photographer.”

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MAPTIA



Images of Suffering Can Bring About Change – But Are They Ethical?

How can photographers be more sensitive towards their subjects?  Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) ,  CC BY

How can photographers be more sensitive towards their subjects? Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), CC BY

In a series of provocative photographs, poor children in India were made to pose in front of fancy tables covered with fake food. A prize-winning Italian photographer, Alessio Mamo, took these pictures in 2011, as part of a project called “Dreaming Food.” After the World Press Photo Foundation shared the photos on Instagram, they sparked a bitter controversy. Many considered them unethical and offensive.

In his apology, Mamo described his desire to show to a Western audience “in a provocative way, about the waste of food.” He was attacked for lacking cultural sensitivity and violating 21st-century photographic ethics.

Despite such risks, as a public law scholar, I am aware that images of suffering are often part of human rights campaigns. And freedom of expression, including visual representation, is protected by a United Nations treaty and many national constitutions.

At the same time, however, I argue for ethical limitations on the right to take pictures.

Moral questions

The controversy around Mamo’s so-called “poverty porn” images is not the first time that such questions have been raised.

The iconic photograph ‘Migrant Mother’ by Dorothea Lange, on display at the Oakland Museum of California. AP Photo/Eric Risberg

The iconic photograph ‘Migrant Mother’ by Dorothea Lange, on display at the Oakland Museum of California. AP Photo/Eric Risberg

One such case was that of the 1936 black-and-white photograph of Florence Owens Thompson that became the iconic image of the “Migrant Mother” during the Depression. Photographer Dorothea Lange took the picture for Resettlement Administration, a New Deal agency tasked with helping poor families relocate. It showed Thompson, with her children, living in poverty.

The family survived on frozen vegetables and birds they hunted. The photo was intended to build support for social welfare policies.

The photo raised some moral questions.

While Lange shot to fame, no one knew the name of the woman. It was only decades later that Thompson was tracked down and agreed to tell her story. As it turned out, Thompson didn’t profit from “Migrant Mother” and continued to work hard to keep her family together. As she said later,

“I didn’t get anything out of it. I wish she hadn’t taken my picture. … She didn’t ask my name. She said she wouldn’t sell the pictures. She said she’d send me a copy. She never did.”

Thompson felt “bitter, angry and alienated,” over the “commodification” of her image, wrote scholars Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites, in their study of powerful images.

Thompson was the poster child for the Depression, and she did take some pride in that. Her photo benefited many. But, as she asked a reporter, “what good’s it doing me?”

What’s the role of a photographer?

Another striking example is a 1993 photo by South African photographer Kevin Carter showing a young Sudanese girl, with a vulture perched near her. The iconic image captured public attention by focusing on the plight of children during a time of famine.

Kevin Carter’s photo shows a starving girl with a vulture next to her.  Cliff

Kevin Carter’s photo shows a starving girl with a vulture next to her. Cliff

Unlike other images depicting starving children with “flies in the eyes,” this one highlighted the predicament of a vulnerable famine victim, crawling to a food station in Ayod, in South Sudan.

The picture won Carter a Pulitzer Prize in 1994, but also precipitated an avalanche of criticism. Although Carter scared the vulture away, he did not carry the girl to the nearby food station. The fate of the girl remained unknown.

In a critical essay about the image, scholars Arthur and Ruth Kleinman asked: Why did the photographer allow the predatory bird to move so close to the child? Why were her relatives no where to be seen? And, what did the photographer do after he took the picture?

They also went on to write that the Pulitzer Prize was won “because of the misery (and probable death) of a nameless little girl.” Some others called Carter “as much a predator as the vulture.”

Two months after receiving the Pulitzer, in July 1994, Carter took his own life. Apart from his own challenging personal circumstances, his suicide note revealed that he was haunted by the vivid memories of the suffering that he witnessed.

Pictures for charity

Admittedly, famine, poverty and disasters need attention and action. The challenge for journalists, as scholar David Campbell notes, is to mobilize public reactions before it is too late.

These catastrophes require prompt intervention by government and relief agencies, through, what human rights scholar Thomas Keenan and others call, “mobilizing shame” – a way of exerting pressure on states to act to rescue those in dire circumstances.

Such an effort is often more effective if images are used. As Rakiya Omaar and Alex de Waal, co-directors of African Rights, a new human rights organization based in London, note,

“The most respectable excuse for selectively presenting images of starvation is that this is necessary to elicit our charity.”

The truth is, these images do have an impact. When James Nachtwey, an American photographer, took photos of the famine in Somalia, the world was moved. The Red Cross said public support resulted in what was then its largest operation since WWII. It was much the same with Carter’s image, which helped galvanize aid to Sudan.

Nonetheless, as Campbell contends, media coverage can reinforce negative stereotypes through an iconography of famine or images of those starving in “remote” places like Africa. His argument is that individuals continue to present people in what the Kleinmans call the “ideologically Western mode.”

In this framing, the individual appears without context, usually alone, and without the ability to act independently.

Changing representations

Greater awareness of the power of images in different contexts has exerted pressure on NGOs and journalists to shift from a “politics of pity” to a “politics of dignity.”

In 2010 Amnesty International issued photo guidelines, regarding rules for images that show suffering. Save the Children also drafted a manual after conducting research on image ethics in various parts of the world.

Explicit rules include not posing subjects, avoiding nudity and consulting subjects about the way they believe the narrative ought to be presented visually. A major concern has been how sometimes the subjects and scene might be manipulated to orchestrate an image.

What this reflects is a desire to show greater sensitivity to the precarious status of some subjects in photographs.

But this is easier said than done. Recognizing that voyeuristic interpretation of distant suffering is offensive does not necessarily mean this practice will cease. The real challenge ultimately is that the ethically problematic images that present “pitiful” victims to the world are often the ones that capture public attention.

Eventually, much rests on the stringent ethical standards that photographers set for themselves. What they do need to remember, is that often, good intentions do not justify the use of questionable images of suffering.

ALISON DUNDES RENTEIN is a Professor of Political Science, Anthropology, Public Policy and Law at the University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON THE CONVERSATION

INDIA: The Rajput Ride

Two of skateboarding’s finest ambassadors found themselves on the prowl around the Indian state of Rajasthan during Holi, the Hindu festival of color. Michael Mackrodt and Vladik Scholz landsharked it around New Delhi, Jaipur and Jodhpur with an excellent wingman in Dan Zvereff. We asked Dan to set the scene for the unique Patrik Wallner skate edit above:

“Skateboarding is an activity that combines athletic endeavour with the urge to explore the cities of the world,” says Zvereff. “In some senses it could be described as an art form that evolved on a world covered in cement; what attracted us to the board all those years ago was that original experience of finding a new place where no trick had ever been done before."

A Portrait of Iraq

If you Google image search “Iraq” looking for photos of anything other than soldiers and war then you're in for some serious scrolling...

Since the spring of 2016 Janssen Powers has been traveling back and forth to Iraq working on a longer form doc with Nations Media. The Iraq he has come to know and love over the course of these visits is a drastically different place than version of the country Janssen Powers grew up seeing in the news.

On his most recent trip, he brought a 16mm film camera, one lens and a few cans of film to capture portraits of people I met along the way.

Wild Africa

Leaving the urban setting and modern life behind, for 15 years I have been privileged to travel through some of the wildest regions left on our planet — compelled to capture the unique personalities and expressiveness of the magnificent wild animals of Africa. All in black and white, all part of one big family album.

My first meeting with Africa was like a thunderbolt.

There was a part of me that wanted to return to our roots, and Africa resonated with me like the animal instinct that lies deep within each of us. After travelling for thousands of miles, I always have this incredibly vibrant feeling of being in entirely unknown territory. Africa is always evolving, free, and wild... hugely wild.

Above: Lioness (2015)

Above: Lioness (2015)

Above: Hugs of lioness (2006)

Above: Hugs of lioness (2006)

Utterly disconnected from our urban environment, for more than fifteen years I have been drawn — mind, body and soul — to photograph the remarkable animals from this land of light and contrast.

Above: Cheetah before the rain (2006)

Above: Cheetah before the rain (2006)

Above: Elephants and bird (2015)

Above: Elephants and bird (2015)

I am constantly inspired by the sense of serenity and harmony between the natural landscapes and the diverse wildlife that roams these lands.

Everything is connected and the animals are totally adapted to their environment. I take photographs based on my gut instinct. For me, the thing that matters the most is the connection.

Above: Elephant, The road is closed (2015)

Above: Elephant, The road is closed (2015)

Above: Elephant crossing the river (2009)

Above: Elephant crossing the river (2009)

I cannot stand strict pre-visualisation or procedures that lock people into pre-formatted ways of work. My conviction is never to prepare my shots. I prefer to be guided by luck, and to be inspired by the ever-changing spectacle of wildlife. Out in the field, I often work with a local guide who will drive the car while I concentrate on taking photos. It is very important to be utterly present in the moment, and not to be disturbed.

Opportunities in wildlife photography never come twice.
Above: Zebras crossing the river (2015)

Above: Zebras crossing the river (2015)

Above: Rhinos quartet (2013)

Above: Rhinos quartet (2013)

For me, there is no difference between animals and humans in terms of photography technique. When I take a picture of a lion or a giraffe, I use exactly the same approach as when I photograph people. I try to capture something of the animal’s unique personality and expressiveness, as well as their strength and sense of freedom. I believe my pictures can create a connection between the animal and viewer, as the viewers discover a personality in these animals, and realise they have emotions too.

Above: Lion in the grass (2013)

Above: Lion in the grass (2013)

Above: Two zebras (2004)

Above: Two zebras (2004)

Above: Cheetah portrait (2013)

Above: Cheetah portrait (2013)

I am always filled with a great sense of tranquility and happiness when I leave the urban setting and modern life behind — travelling for weeks on end through some of the wildest regions left on our planet.

For me, there is nothing more powerful than the strength and beauty of Nature, and yet, at the same time, it is very fragile and precarious.
Above: Elephants crossing the plain (2013)

Above: Elephants crossing the plain (2013)

Above: Giraffe in harmony with their natural setting (2013)

Above: Giraffe in harmony with their natural setting (2013)

Today, the fall of wildlife in Africa and elsewhere is disastrous.

I cannot know if we will discover more effective methods to halt or reverse this devastating change. However, I choose to hope and believe that we can. I believe that people are fed up with shocking images of destruction, poaching and deforestation — and yet it is of grave importance that we share these images, as we must all know what is happening on our planet. I don’t know exactly how photography can help preserve our wild ecosystems, but I feel proud when people experience my images and understand that these animals are just as ‘human’ as we are — with a personality, and a family.

Above: Lion, The small one (2013)

Above: Lion, The small one (2013)

I believe that we must have a sincere conscience for our fellow animals, and the devastating impact our species is having on so many of them. We must open our minds and hearts to the fact that we all part of a living, breathing planet, and recognise that we are just one piece of this wonder.

We must leave more space, more life, for all the other species, because we will not survive their extinction. It is humanity’s greatest challenge.

* * *

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MAPTIA

LAURENT BAHEUX

I am a self-taught French photographer inspired by the soul of nature and wildlife. I express this only in Black and White, like a big Family Album. www.laurentbaheux.com

 

Earth's Most Threatened Tribe

The Awá Indians are the last nomadic hunter gatherer tribe to be discovered in the Brazilian Amazon.

Today, despite having survived many brutal massacres at the hands of settlers and illegal loggers over the course of centuries, the Awá now face pressing man-made threats and even the natural landscape itself is no longer able to sustain to their way of life. For this critically endangered tribe, extinction remains a very real possibility.

A year or so ago I travelled deep into the forests of Maranhão to meet some of the last remaining members of the Awá tribe.

This is their story.

Screenshot 2018-04-03 19.38.57.png

Originally from Pará, a state to the west of Maranhão, the Awá were living in villages and farming crops when the Portuguese settlers arrived 500 years ago. Enslaved by the Portuguese, and with their numbers greatly reduced by the introduction of smallpox, the remaining Awá eventually fled east to Maranhão, perhaps prompted by the bloody revolt on the Portuguese plantations, the Rebelião da Cabanagem, which took place between 1835 and 1840, and claimed as many as 30,000 lives.

Fearful of their vulnerability as sedentary agriculturists, the Awá now became nomadic hunter-gathers, able to build a shelter within hours and abandon it only days later, melting back into the forest. In Maranhão, the Awá had moved into the territory of the Guajajara, the largest tribe in Brazil with more than 20,000 members, and they remained unable to secure or defend any land for growing crops.

By 1973, when the Awá were contacted by outsiders for the first time, they had fully adapted to living a nomadic lifestyle, and had lost all of their farming skills and even the knowledge of how to make fire.
A group of Awá taking a break in the forest during hunting.

A group of Awá taking a break in the forest during hunting.

Following the unwelcome invasion of the Portuguese, the Awá, and many other indigenous Indians, continued to suffer great atrocities at the hands of loggers, colonists, and ranchers. For instance, when Brazil’s military dictatorship took over in 1964, it implemented a policy of “assimilating” indigenous people to reach its goal of national unification, which included wiping out those peoples who refused to cooperate, by dropping bombs or feeding them sugar laced with arsenic.

In 1967, the 7,000-page Figueiredo report exposed the true extent of the criminal actions and genocide carried out against the indigenous population of Brazil, and the National Indian Foundation, or FUNAI, was established in response. This is the Brazilian government body that establishes and carries out policies relating to indigenous peoples. The report also triggered the founding of Survival International, a human rights organization that campaigns on behalf of indigenous tribal peoples, and who consider the Awá to be “Earth’s most threatened tribe”.

The Awá use ambush techniques to hunt the Guariba monkey. Once they have spotted the animal, the hunters will surround it so that the animal finds itself trapped in the center.

The Awá use ambush techniques to hunt the Guariba monkey. Once they have spotted the animal, the hunters will surround it so that the animal finds itself trapped in the center.

Recently Survival International helped the Awá people secure a landmark victory when unprecedented international pressure finally forced the Brazilian government to send in ground troops in January 2014 to expel illegal ranchers and loggers from what remains of Awá territory. Experts warn that it is now critical that a permanent land protection program be put into place to keep the invaders out of the Awá territory.

Screenshot 2018-04-03 19.39.54.png
[1] Piramahã is the oldest man in the tribe. He is preparing his arrows for the next hunt, and later will prepare this fresh meat for the tribe’s evening meal. [2] Awá often hunt the Guariba monkey and smoking the meat makes it last longer. [3] Young Awá during the hunt.

[1] Piramahã is the oldest man in the tribe. He is preparing his arrows for the next hunt, and later will prepare this fresh meat for the tribe’s evening meal. [2] Awá often hunt the Guariba monkey and smoking the meat makes it last longer. [3] Young Awá during the hunt.

Though the government intervention in 2014 signals positive progress, for many of the Awá it came far too late. Thousands were brutally massacred during territorial conflicts in the 70s and 80s with the fazendeiros, or ranchers, and with illegal loggers. Most recently, in late 2011, illegal loggers tied an eight-year-old Awá girl to a tree after she wandered out of her village, and brutally burned her alive, reportedly as a warning to other native peoples living in the protected area.

The threat of deadly infection after contact with outsiders also continues to pose a significant threat to the Awá. For example, over the last five years, one in seven Awá has died of malaria. The disease was brought to Alto Turiaçu by the thousands garimpeiros, or gold seekers, who invaded the Awá lands and later made a fortune on the international market.

A little squirrel is breastfeeding. In Awá culture, any kind of young, abandoned animal can become a pet, even if it is a species that they usually hunt. When the animal grows to adulthood, they take the animal back in to the forest and set it free.

A little squirrel is breastfeeding. In Awá culture, any kind of young, abandoned animal can become a pet, even if it is a species that they usually hunt. When the animal grows to adulthood, they take the animal back in to the forest and set it free.

The centuries-long bloody conflict with their traditional enemies, the Ka’apor tribe, has also continued to claim many Awá lives, and elsewhere in Maranhão, trains come from Carajas, the world’s biggest iron mine, and cut through the Awá land multiple times per day.

Today FUNAI estimates that there are only 300 Awá left, with around 60 still living uncontacted in small groups of five or six in the forests.
Screenshot 2018-04-03 19.40.38.png
[1] A young Awá hunter. [2] An Awá mother helps to remove a thorn from the foot . [3] Playing with another unusual pet.

[1] A young Awá hunter. [2] An Awá mother helps to remove a thorn from the foot . [3] Playing with another unusual pet.

In recent years, as they have suffered at the hands of violent invaders and from infectious diseases, the Awá have been forced to seek assistance from FUNAI. As a result, some of the Awá have now chosen to live in purpose-built shelters on protected reserves such as the Alto Turiaçu, but they struggle to embrace this new lifestyle.

Young Awá children check the freshly caught animals. For the future hunter, this is part of the learning process.

Young Awá children check the freshly caught animals. For the future hunter, this is part of the learning process.

The Alto Turiaçu is only a small part of the Awá’s traditional land and the diminishing natural fauna in this area is pushing the nomadic hunters to live more sedentary lifestyles — learning how to plant and grow crops like manioc to ensure a food supply, as their ancestors once did.

Amerixaá is the oldest woman in the Awá tribe. She lives deep in the jungle, far from the rest of the community. In Awá culture, older members traditionally remove themselves from the tribe, living alone until they pass away.

Amerixaá is the oldest woman in the Awá tribe. She lives deep in the jungle, far from the rest of the community. In Awá culture, older members traditionally remove themselves from the tribe, living alone until they pass away.

Yet some Awá still persist in living in their traditional nomadic groups of five or six people. Today in the Alto Turiaçu there is one small community of about 45 people who choose to live this way. FUNAI offers them real, but fragile, protection to continue their way of life.

The Awá spend a long time preparing the arrows for the hunt, and many skills are passed on from father to son.

The Awá spend a long time preparing the arrows for the hunt, and many skills are passed on from father to son.

“The Awá have been continuously threatened by attacks, invasion, and extermination, and even inside the reserve their survival is uncertain,” the people from FUNAI told me.

“We don’t have extra resources to protect them from the ranchers who continue to encroach on their land. Since the forest has been cut back and transformed into farming lands, small towns have sprouted up over the Awá lands. In the face of these changes, Awá numbers have been drastically decreased. We estimate that fewer than 360 Awá have survived the occupation of their land, and around 60 still live uncontacted in small nomadic groups.”

Screenshot 2018-04-03 19.41.36.png
[1] An aerial view of the Awá village I visited. [2] A family of Awá in the village. [3] A young Awá hunter.

[1] An aerial view of the Awá village I visited. [2] A family of Awá in the village. [3] A young Awá hunter.

Today, in a world where they can no longer live as nomads, the Awá are struggling for survival and for their unique cultural identity. For the Awá, hunting is a way of life, and as the illegal loggers distort the forest habitat, the animals are disappearing. Despite their efforts to keep moving, they face the encroachment of the modern world at every turn, and remain threatened with extinction.

The Awá people need time to recover from the extreme brutality and humiliation they have suffered for centuries at the hands of the invaders. Yet we do not give them time. In our world, time is money. We cannot let the last of the Awá, or any other indigenous tribal people, disappear.

One of the last remaining groups of Awá people today.

One of the last remaining groups of Awá people today.

“The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you; they are unique manifestations of the human spirit.”

— WADE DAVIS

Aparana’i with her newborn baby.

Aparana’i with her newborn baby.

TAKE ACTION

Learn more about uncontacted tribes in Brazil through Survival International as they work to protect the last Awá.

 

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MAPTIA.

 

DOMENICO PUGLIESE

Domenico is an Italian photographer currently based in London. His long term project is working with the "Awa-Guaja" tribe in the Brazilian Amazon.

The Man Who Loved To Travel.

Grandpa Joe, somewhere in the world. Photo by Ethel Ellenbogen.

Grandpa Joe, somewhere in the world. Photo by Ethel Ellenbogen.

My Grandpa Joe was one of those classically great men. A mensch. Born in the bathroom of his parents’ Temple Street home in downtown Los Angeles in 1917. The family moved around Los Angeles a lot — from downtown to Boyle Heights to Tujunga to Beverlywood. Sticking close to the pockets of other Jewish immigrants who faced daily anti-semitism. In his pre-teen days, he would travel miles by bus to get to school, then travel all the way back to work in his father’s garment factory into the night — the schmata business — learning the machines. Then he’d do his homework. It was clear very early on that he was a standout student and, after skipping pretty much every other grade, he ended up at Berkeley. Apparently, he was in a rush to meet my grandmother, Ethel, who was also at Berkeley. After graduation, they came back to L.A. He also ended up in the garment industry, one of the first to create women’s sporting apparel.

And as great and respect-worthy as that all is, the story of how he made his way in the world was simply a precursor to a just-as-impressive story of how he made his way around the world. Joe’s true passion was travel.

By his retirement, he had also started a small side business as a travel agent. He called it, Love To Travel. He kept himself busy (and his travel deductible) by organizing and sometimes leading tour group in various parts of the world.

By the time I came around, he had already been across the globe a few times — which was in and of itself a pretty exotic feat for the era — but he was only just getting started. Joe and Ethel rewarded themselves for a good life of hard work by spending the second half of it, over thirty years, visiting places all over the world. At least once a year, they would take off — most often in Western Europe, but also Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America, Central and Eastern Europe, and probably quite a few more. When they’d return, the family would gather for an old-fashioned slide show. Ethel would prepare a platter of dried fruits and nuts, the screen would go up, lights would go down and the projector would flick on. What proceeded then would be a competition of memory for the small stories and events of their trip. My grandfather’s memory for detail was unassailable, but Ethel always had the last word.

Many years later, after he had died and it was apparent that I would continue the legacy of travel and photo-taking, my grandmother entrusted me with his many boxes of slides. They were highly unorganized and consisted of everything from loose negatives to filled carrousels to small, bulging slide boxes. Thousands and thousands of images. All un-labeled.

It’s taken me fifteen years to get it all together and scanned. I have barely started down the process of trying to figure out where these places are and what year they might have been taken. I may never know. In some ways, it’s not what really matters. I actually quite enjoy the mishmash of time and place that these images, in this scattered format, create. They come together exactly like my memory of him — a richly condensed man of great experience and joie de vivre.

What I love about these images (and this is only a very small taste of them) is that they are there to document the travel as much as the place. His images are heavily aware of being a visitor — in those days, foreign travel had a formality to it. In the images, you can see both the formulaic-ness of tourism but also a man who would climb to any height to get a better view than the crowds. He would do anything for a good shot — I watched him sneakily break off to go take a snap, many times.

I love the raw talent depicted in these photos. A high percentage of them are out of focus, which for me only adds to my appreciation for him. Focusing was hard, in those days — no electronics or fancy in-camera technologies. He learned it all on his own, with no training — and considering that, there’s a side story that develops with these images of a man who was learning a craft from love of subject backwards. Which is also how I learned photography.

My favorite image is one that I don’t recall ever making it into a family slide show. It features my grandmother driving an early 70’s Nova on a foreign beach somewhere. It’s a shocking image for me in so much as she never drove. Usually, Ethel was in the back of a stuffy Cadillac — she suffered from a deep, nearly-disabling anxiety and her overly-dramatic fears made her almost comically over-concerned about every little thing. Seeing her here, carefree and outrageously off-the-beaten-course adds an entirely different look at their relationship and adventures together.

In the end, your photographs should not only show a great life, they should convey what you loved. Enjoy the following story of the man who loved to travel.

Grandma Ethel, in Paris. Photo by Joe Ellenbogen.

Grandma Ethel, in Paris. Photo by Joe Ellenbogen.

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

The corner of Rue de la République and Boulevard de France in Marigot, Saint Martin (thank you  Richard Hopkins ). Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

The corner of Rue de la République and Boulevard de France in Marigot, Saint Martin (thank you Richard Hopkins). Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Photo by Joe Ellenbogen

Grandpa Joe, somewhere in the world. Photo by Ethel Ellenbogen.

Grandpa Joe, somewhere in the world. Photo by Ethel Ellenbogen.

Thank you for reading. For my own photography, find me at instagram.com/joshsrose

 

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MEDIUM.

 

JOSH ROSE

Journalist, photojournalist, creative director.

MONGOLIA: In Search of Warriors

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LIKE ALL WORTHY QUESTS, MY FASCINATION WITH MONGOLIA BEGINS WITH A STORY. A STORY THAT TURNS ITSELF LIKE POLISHED STONE WITHIN MY FINGERS.

A hunter, old rifle by his side, returns with a few marmots, highly prized delicacies throughout the Mongolian countryside. / A simple road, common in Mongolia, calls to mind this native proverb, “If you endeavour, the fate will favour you.”

A hunter, old rifle by his side, returns with a few marmots, highly prized delicacies throughout the Mongolian countryside. / A simple road, common in Mongolia, calls to mind this native proverb, “If you endeavour, the fate will favour you.”

This is a tale I have replayed so often since childhood, that when I close my eyes, the characters appear, fully defined, as if I could touch them. At the center is my grandfather, Louis, a young French soldier fighting in World War II. I see him then in black and white, even though when he sat me on his knee, decades later, to tell his story, he was colorful in every way imaginable. It was as if my grandfather had grown up through a period of time when everything existed only in shades of black and grey, as if the entire world with its violence and scarcity had the color sucked right out of it.

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Aerial view of Khvod (Ховд), blanketed by snow, in western Mongolia. / Immense landscapes on a 3,200 km drive through eastern Mongolia.

Aerial view of Khvod (Ховд), blanketed by snow, in western Mongolia. / Immense landscapes on a 3,200 km drive through eastern Mongolia.

But then he would tell the part about the Mongol army. About how he was captured and sent to a German prison camp with British, American, and French soldiers. How the camp was eventually liberated, late in 1944, by a small and mighty troop fighting alongside the Allies against the Germans. They were the Mongolian People’s Army, established as a secondary army under Soviet command. As a young child, to hear my grandfather tell it, these liberators loomed large in vibrant, audacious color, a brilliant contrast to the stark landscape that surrounded them all.

Herders from Ulaangom (Улаангом), the “Red Valley”. / Drinking Mongol tea, made with mare’s milk and salt, at Üüreg Lake (Үүрэг нуур).

Herders from Ulaangom (Улаангом), the “Red Valley”. / Drinking Mongol tea, made with mare’s milk and salt, at Üüreg Lake (Үүрэг нуур).

I was seven or eight years old when my grandfather would tell me this story, and I remember the grin on his face and the tears in his eyes as he told his tale: “The Mongol army charged the prison and the Germans were scared to death at the sight of them. Never before had anyone seen a people like this. They were fierce and the Germans ran away. They ran for their lives.” He told me that afterwards the freed soldiers and the Mongols kept hugging one other and celebrated long into the night.

This is how my grandfather’s life was saved.

As a young boy this account had a massive impact on me. That mysterious Mongol Army of men who saved my grandfather’s life; they saved my life.

A young rider bathes with his horse at Buir Lake (Буйр Нуур). Mongolians call wild horses “takhi,” which means “spirit,” and horses are profoundly important to them. They believe that one rides to the afterlife on a horse.

A young rider bathes with his horse at Buir Lake (Буйр Нуур). Mongolians call wild horses “takhi,” which means “spirit,” and horses are profoundly important to them. They believe that one rides to the afterlife on a horse.

Mongolia.

THE NAME HAS ALWAYS LINGERED IN MY MIND AS A COUNTRY WITH A MYTHICAL CONNOTATION.

Illuminated bands of rain sweep towards a group of “ger” or yurts, huddled on the shores of Üüreg Lake (Үүрэг нуур) in western Mongolia.

Illuminated bands of rain sweep towards a group of “ger” or yurts, huddled on the shores of Üüreg Lake (Үүрэг нуур) in western Mongolia.

When I got older, I worked as a photo assistant to a high-end fashion photographer in New York, learning the craft and saving a bit of money. For three years I was absorbed in that world of fashion, which was very glamorous and comfortable, but I was most attracted by the travel and began to long for more. At some point, I determined to go to Mongolia and see the place with my own eyes. In the summer of 2001, I took a month and set off.

While I brought my cameras on that first trip, a bit of equipment and film, I was mostly thrilled to put the experience of traveling first. This journey was more a pilgrimage. I have since returned almost annually for fifteen years, driven by a desire to capture the majesty and serene nature of the Mongolian landscape and inhabitants through my photography. At first I sought to discover the country of my imagination, but with every trip, my relationship with the land and its people deepened and became my own.

Timeless reflection. Surrounded by deserted, low mountains, Tolbo Lake (Толбо Нуур) in western Mongolia. / Stopping for tea, our hosts were caring for their grandchildren. Their nomadic home was quite rustic with carpets for side panels, a long-gone style rarely seen today.

Timeless reflection. Surrounded by deserted, low mountains, Tolbo Lake (Толбо Нуур) in western Mongolia. / Stopping for tea, our hosts were caring for their grandchildren. Their nomadic home was quite rustic with carpets for side panels, a long-gone style rarely seen today.

“Even when quite a child I felt two conflicting sensations in my heart: the horror of life and the ecstasy of life.” — Baudelaire, Intimate Journals

On that first trip to Mongolia in 2001, I took a photograph of a mother and her infant son at their home on the shores of Üüreg lake, in the western part of the country. I traveled with an easy to pack, black piece of fabric. The light in this country is so beautiful and the fabric was capable of diffusing it to great effect, especially when shooting portraits of people.

Five years later, in 2006, I returned to the region where this family had once resided and sought them out. I often make small prints for the people I photograph and, if lucky enough to see them again, I like to give them as gifts. People in Mongolia, especially in the countryside, live great distances from each other and do not typically have access to this type of technology. I asked my guide to help me find this particular family as most in this area tend to be nomadic and the surroundings are constantly changing. We drove around the area asking people if they knew where we might locate them. Eventually, someone recognized the family and showed us the way.

A Mongolian “ger” (гэр) or yurt, covered with skins and felt, the traditional home of nomads living on the expansive steppes of central Asia.

A Mongolian “ger” (гэр) or yurt, covered with skins and felt, the traditional home of nomads living on the expansive steppes of central Asia.

We arrived, as you do in this part of the world, completely unannounced. The family remembered me, gave us a warm greeting and served us a tea. After we had eaten, I pulled out the photograph and handed it to the couple.

The mother picked up the picture, looked at it and there grew a void, her face filled with great sadness as she left the room. Her husband picked up the photograph and stood, his eyes swelling with tears. Their baby, he explained, had died of a virus three weeks after our first visit. They had never seen any picture of him. Here was this image allowing a mother and father to reconnect to their lost son. For a moment, it was like a resurrection—that powerful. My guide and I drove the four hours back in complete silence, as if we were under the spell of what had just happened. It was one of the most profound moments I have ever felt, creating that deepest human connection.

Mother and infant son, in their home on the shores of Üüreg Lake (Үүрэг нуур) in western Mongolia.

Mother and infant son, in their home on the shores of Üüreg Lake (Үүрэг нуур) in western Mongolia.

“There is not a particle of life, which does not bear poetry within it.” — Gustave Flaubert

While in the countryside, especially, you can feel the influence of Buddhism. In every ger, the Mongolian term for their traditional tents, you will find a small altar with a Buddhist icon. In each village there is a monastery. It is a subtle presence, one felt primarily in how people relate to life. Death is a passage, a journey. It happens, it is anticipated as part of the life cycle. Does death trigger sadness? Yes, but life goes on. The religious culture is something that seems to create an overall sense of morality. In my experience, Mongols are extremely fair people. You ask their point of view and they tell you precisely what they think.

Horse riders at rest in Horkon, central Mongolia. / Baasan Lama, a monk at Bulgan Temple, a Buddhist retreat in the Gobi Desert.

Horse riders at rest in Horkon, central Mongolia. / Baasan Lama, a monk at Bulgan Temple, a Buddhist retreat in the Gobi Desert.

In Mongolia, nothing happens the way you want or expect.

For me, coming from a western culture where everything is linear, this was an awakening. If you are traveling, you only know when you are leaving, never when you will arrive. I found that amazing. In a country as immense as this, the elements are so powerful there is no control. There may be a snow or sand storm. Things that can physically prevent you from moving forward on your journey. You cannot continue… until you can.

Two schoolboys, wearing fur-lined boots, walk home through the snow near the village of Altai (Алтай) in the far west of Mongolia.

Two schoolboys, wearing fur-lined boots, walk home through the snow near the village of Altai (Алтай) in the far west of Mongolia.

I have learned that most of the time when things are not going as planned, that is often when the situation is the most visually exciting. We have to go a different direction than where we came from and stay one more night all because of a flat tire. But, that is when something special happens. We end up saying afterwards, “Wow. Mind blown.”

Take, for example, the following series of images, which illustrate exactly the type of unexpected scenarios that gift themselves to you while traveling through Mongolia. We had a plan to fly direct from the capital, Ulaanbaatar, to Tsaatan lands, to visit reindeer herders on the Russian border, but for some reason our flight got canceled. This happens a lot. We had to stay one more night in the city, get on a different flight to somewhere further away, then rent a car and drive back across this vast lake, Khövsgöl, one of the biggest lakes in Mongolia. This arduous journey, all to reach the town we were originally attempting to fly to directly. I was fuming. I had just three weeks for this trip and now I was losing two entire days.

The Altai Mountains, seen on a flight from Ulaanbaatar to Ölgii. / A bridge near the village of Altai (Алтай), a few miles from China’s border.

The Altai Mountains, seen on a flight from Ulaanbaatar to Ölgii. / A bridge near the village of Altai (Алтай), a few miles from China’s border.

During the winter months, this lake is completely frozen, often an ice layer of up to six feet, and instead of taking the dirt road, often filled with potholes and hard to navigate, trucks and cars travel directly across the iced over lake. There is a risk, of course. As the drive went on, the truck we were following suddenly began to collapse into the ice, without any warning.

A warmer wind from the south had been blowing in recent days, making the upper layer of ice more fragile. Everyone in our vehicle shouted out in shock “Arrgh!” and we stopped as far away as possible, as the ice in the epicenter was quite fragile. While we contemplated the situation, the owner of the truck, who had at first abandoned it, along with the other passengers, walked back to the vehicle to retrieve his belongings. While he was still in the truck, we heard a massive roar. A roar so deafening we were surrounded by the thunderous sound echoing from the ice.

We knew something was about to happen. Everyone ran from the truck, as it sunk even deeper, seemingly fixed into the ice. Immovable.
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What happened next?

Well, the Mongols are impressively strong willed and determined. They called for help and a few hours later a couple of other trucks arrived.

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Together, the group waited for night to fall, so that the ice was again solid and reliable ground, and then they literally pulled it out of the ice. So badass.

That truck was filled with wood, likely bound for a construction site. There was too much potentially lost revenue trapped in that one ice circle. Fortunately, no one was hurt that day, but locals have told me stories of jeeps and trucks, loaded with occupants, disappearing entirely in the frozen lake after the ice had cracked, never to be heard of again. Only later did we realize how close we were to possibly meeting the same fate.

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This lake was full of unusual surprises. Earlier the same day, we had come across two young men lying on the ice, in the middle of nowhere. We stopped the car and got out, but they did not move. They just stared. They were completely drunk, wasted. It was still morning! They were just lying there waiting for something.

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I love the perspective, the color, and texture of the ice in this image. Knowing the strange backstory makes it even better. I had not planned this particular journey, but some of the most powerful images I shot during that trip happened thanks to that canceled flight. In these types of consistently disruptive circumstances, an overall shift in perspective takes place. In retrospect, the entire experience turned out to be perfect.

A boy from Kharkhorin (Хархорин) wearing a traditional “deel”or robe, with a silk sash. / Two brothers from Khövsgöl Lake (Хөвсгөл нуур).

A boy from Kharkhorin (Хархорин) wearing a traditional “deel”or robe, with a silk sash. / Two brothers from Khövsgöl Lake (Хөвсгөл нуур).

Looking back, all my visits to Mongolia have been marked by unexpected moments like these. One place in particular is layered with memories. Many years ago, when I first arrived on the Trans Siberian railway, with no plans and little idea of a destination, I saw a tiny blue dot on the map, in the far west of the country. I could just make out the words, Üüreg Nuur, a lake. Somehow attracted to it, I decided that was where I was going to go. A few days later, I took the picture of the mother and her baby son, and over the years, I have returned many times, making friends and photographing most of the families living there. I have seen toddlers become teenagers, teenagers grow into young adults, and older men pass away. The full cycle of life.

Wrapped baby, held by his sister, at Üüreg Lake in western Mongolia.

Wrapped baby, held by his sister, at Üüreg Lake in western Mongolia.

Last summer, I returned to Üüreg Lake once again, in June, traveling with two local guides. At some point we stopped because we came across a group of herders who had all of their sheep laid down by the water so they could shear them. When I pointed my camera towards this man, he lifted the sheep high up above his head. It was completely unexpected. Intrigued, I shot a few frames and then asked him, “Why did you do that?” He said, “I don’t know — it is something I have always wanted to do.” Often photography inspires a certain playfulness and spontaneity; there is something fundamentally human about posing for a camera.

A local herder shearing his sheep on the shores of Üüreg Lake (Үүрэг нуур) in western Mongolia.

A local herder shearing his sheep on the shores of Üüreg Lake (Үүрэг нуур) in western Mongolia.

Perhaps, above all, in this country, I have learned how to adapt.

Nothing unfolds as you might first imagine, but these unanticipated moments bring rich and beautiful gifts. Traveling here has brought me a new perspective, even some wisdom, particularly as it relates to being attached to expectations and schedules. Over time, I have relaxed my grip on the rigidity of my own culture and let go enough to accept what will be. I have applied this in my everyday life. Even if I am on an intense shoot for a commercial job, I now trust that everything will eventually work out just fine.

Two friends go out for a ride near their home by Üüreg Lake (Үүрэг нуур) in western Mongolia.

Two friends go out for a ride near their home by Üüreg Lake (Үүрэг нуур) in western Mongolia.

“A strong cold wind gets up from the W.N.W — that is to say, at our back — but we are on a desolate steppe, where we can find neither shrub nor anything else which can help to combat the cold that it is beginning to be unpleasant. On the other hand, we come upon some very pretty flowers, lovely wild pansies and edelweiss that would delight the heart of an Alpinist.” 

FRENCH EXPLORER, GABRIEL BONVALOT

Across Thibet, The Mongols, 1891

Buddhist monastery in the summer months. / A frozen river winds through the stark landscape, on a flight from Ulaanbaatar to Ölgii.

Buddhist monastery in the summer months. / A frozen river winds through the stark landscape, on a flight from Ulaanbaatar to Ölgii.

You will find two contrasting dimensions in Mongolia, bound both by culture and geography. It is the 19th largest country in the world, yet there are only three million people living there. Close to half that population is located in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, today the country’s industrial and financial heart, where technology has evolved considerably.

Meanwhile, the rest of Mongolia’s people are dispersed all over the country in small villages and towns, with some thirty percent still choosing a nomadic or semi-nomadic way of life, moving across the land with their horses. People may have a satellite dish or cell phone, but connection is erratic. Here, life is very slow; it hasn’t really changed over time.

A remote satellite dish provides the evening’s entertainment. / A herder smokes a cigarette rolled from a scrap of newspaper.

A remote satellite dish provides the evening’s entertainment. / A herder smokes a cigarette rolled from a scrap of newspaper.

Vast plains and beautiful landscapes are the hallmark of these remote lands. The air is pure. The food is very simple. Essentially, a meal is meat that has been taken from a sheep killed that morning and cooked with some flour. The customary tea is called suutei tsai and made with mare’s milk and salt. My initial physical experience in Mongolia is always an exponential energy increase from the combination of fresh air, vast open space, outdoor activity, and unprocessed food intake. It is amazing. It toughens you up — all that vitality and energy.

A herder, his wife, and their five young children make their way to winter pastures, transporting their “ger” or yurt and all their belongings.

A herder, his wife, and their five young children make their way to winter pastures, transporting their “ger” or yurt and all their belongings.

There is a spiritual effect as well. Mongolia, overall, is a very flat country, and you can see for many kilometers. Nothing to obstruct you. Somehow, being able to see so far away brings you back to the moment, to where you stand right now. You float through that space. There is a reflection that delivers your own reflection directly back to you. This sense of place and of self, it centers you. In Mongolia, I am able to stay in the moment much more powerfully than other places. The strength and vibrance coupled with the spiritual energy from grounding in the present, is a restorative experience.

“Та өндөр бүтээхийг хүсэж байгаа бол, Хэрэв та гүн ухаж байх ёстой.” — If you want to build high, you must dig deep.

MONGOLIAN PROVERB

Bayanzag (Улаан Эрэг) or the “Flaming Cliffs” in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert are said to appear to be on fire as the sun sets.

Bayanzag (Улаан Эрэг) or the “Flaming Cliffs” in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert are said to appear to be on fire as the sun sets.

For years, I wanted to photograph the Kazakh, a robust people living in the extreme western part of the country high in the Altai Mountains, who traditionally hunt on horseback with golden eagles. In December 2015, the opportunity finally presented itself. I had two weeks; everything was arranged. The eagle hunters are all ethnic Kazakh their ancestors having fled to neighbouring Mongolia during the mid to late 19th century, in the face of the advance of the Russian Empire troops during the communist era. Some speak Mongol; many don’t. They are Muslim, rather than Buddhist, and for most of the 20th century they remained an isolated, tightly knit community.

The hunter, Jaidarkhan, an ethnic Kazakh whose ancestors fled to Mongolia, and his eagle.

The hunter, Jaidarkhan, an ethnic Kazakh whose ancestors fled to Mongolia, and his eagle.

Living by the ancient art of eagle hunting, I found them to be very generous, kind people. In Kazakh, the word qusbegi, or falconer, comes from the words qus (“bird”) and bek (“lord”), translating as “lord of birds.”

These days, however, only a few Kazakh are still traditional hunters. Some continue primarily for show, as there is a new tourist economy that can support the fading art form, especially each October, when eagle hunting customs are displayed at the Kazakh’s annual Golden Eagle Festival.

In good years, Kuantkhan Ologban and his eagle catch around 30 animals. Some years, none are caught at all due to extreme weather.

In good years, Kuantkhan Ologban and his eagle catch around 30 animals. Some years, none are caught at all due to extreme weather.

Winter in Mongolia often brings raw, biting winds, and extremely challenging conditions, so our journey to reach Kazakh lands was demanding. When we finally arrived, utterly exhausted, in temperatures of –30°C, I quickly became sick with a fever and was forced to stay in bed for seven days. I was deeply disappointed. My guide, and friend, Enkhdul, with whom I’ve crossed the entire country many times, in all seasons, from the Gobi Desert to Tsaatan lands in the extreme north, and from the eastern plains to the Altaii mountains in the far west, told me, “We are not leaving! You have been talking about coming here, to do this, for years.” So, I waited it out and got better. However, I had only three days to shoot everything.

Hunters value their eagles immensely. In winter, they sleep inside with the family. / Alpam, who is learning the art of hunting from his father.

Hunters value their eagles immensely. In winter, they sleep inside with the family. / Alpam, who is learning the art of hunting from his father.

The Kazakh community is quite incredible and their stories fantastic: how they proceed, scaling remote and cragged mountain peaks to find the eagle they will raise. The relationship that forms between the hunter and eagle has a special connection and symmetry that can only come from time and great care. Sometimes a hunter will work with an eagle for ten or twenty years.

Dalaikhan, a champion hunter, with his 2-year-old eagle. He is wearing fox-skin clothes from previous successful hunts.

Dalaikhan, a champion hunter, with his 2-year-old eagle. He is wearing fox-skin clothes from previous successful hunts.

As we were so far north, in the middle of December, the hours of daylight were few. The sun was consistently low on the horizon, casting a golden, soft light on everything and everyone it touched. But once the sun disappeared, the temperatures plummeted to a frigid –20°C. My analogue camera would jam and stop working completely, forcing me to end for the day. Once again, gifts and challenges.

After just one day, my camera and I had become seemingly invisible, to all but the inquisitive eyes of the youngest child.

After just one day, my camera and I had become seemingly invisible, to all but the inquisitive eyes of the youngest child.

Like so many other times in this vast and windswept country, my expectations did not match the reality. I had planned for two weeks and received a mere three days. But, those brief days surpassed anything I could have hoped for in quality and depth of relationship. Their grace and exceptional strength was tangible. Here, among the sweeping landscape and rugged way of life that shapes the inhabitants of this part of the world, I could imagine the men who rescued my grandfather.

The mountainous landscape dwarfs two Kazakh hunters and their horses in the far west of Mongolia, near the village of Altai (Алтай).

The mountainous landscape dwarfs two Kazakh hunters and their horses in the far west of Mongolia, near the village of Altai (Алтай).

While the heroic ferocity of my grandfather’s Mongol Army certainly inspired my obsession with this country, we are all products of our experience. Regardless of culture, each of us are indelibly shaped by the events and history of the generations that precede us. I may have first come to Mongolia in search of warriors, but I return again and again having discovered raw beauty and elegance in a country equally ethereal as it is grounded.

Casting a diffuse, shimmering light, the winter sun was low in the sky, as we watched this young herder and his cattle pass by.

Casting a diffuse, shimmering light, the winter sun was low in the sky, as we watched this young herder and his cattle pass by.

Maybe it is the influence of my professional background, but I have grown attuned to noticing elegance, even in the wildest places in the world. There is always a glimpse of quiet splendor, an angle that calls out something beautiful. Perhaps the knotting of a silk cord along a side pocket or a belt that is latched around a robe, maybe hair done a certain way. I am attracted to these graceful elements and know when I see them that I will make a photo.

Summer rain clouds gather over the lush grazing pastures on the shores of Üüreg Lake (Үүрэг нуур). / A farmer, pausing for a moment, in his day’s work. / A young woman wearing a traditional “deel” or robe.

Summer rain clouds gather over the lush grazing pastures on the shores of Üüreg Lake (Үүрэг нуур). / A farmer, pausing for a moment, in his day’s work. / A young woman wearing a traditional “deel” or robe.

All of this is an odyssey. In Mongolia, this journey is most often about shooting in difficult places and seeking the elegant angle. I found photography very late in my life, but am thrilled to discover the range of perspective it offers. It is a learning process that requires great sensitivity. There are constant questions: How am I able to emotionally perceive what I see? What will it take to tell this story in a unique way? All of this fascinates me. This is my passion project. After fifteen years, I have a much better sense of what makes my work distinctive. My sense is that over time, my images have become more artful. Still, this is a work in progress.

I am always exploring.

 

COMING SOON

For years, I have been working to collect material for a retrospective book of my photographic work and experiences in Mongolia. In Fall of 2018, I will be publishing a limited collectible edition of 1,000 books in a large format (17 inches x 14 inches) with more than 250 pages. There will also be a handful of special editions that are offered with a signed print and a special book encasement. Follow along on my Instagram @fredericlagrange to keep up-to-date.

 

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MAPTIA.

 

FRÉDÉRIC LAGRANGE

Photographer & Director based in Brooklyn, NYC shooting for a diverse range of clients worldwide. Capturing nuanced human stories through evocative color & black and white photography.

fredericlagrange.com

 

UAE: A Desert Palette

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Located in the Arabian Desert on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf, Dubai breaks all records and leaves you speechless. Surrounded by the world’s tallest building, the largest artificial islands, the first "7-star'' hotel, the biggest shopping mall and one of the largest indoor snow parks in the world, everything seems possible in this city. Dubai, once a humble fishing village, has developed into a thriving ethnically diverse metropolis.

But there is more to Dubai than its glamorous lifestyle and the ever-growing number of skyscrapers that shape the city skyline.

Having only 72 hours to experience this overwhelming city, we admittedly didn’t expect a lot. A stopover between two long-haul flights while still suffering from jet lag seemed like too little time to see anything, but for us it was just enough time to dig below Dubai’s shiny exterior.

These warm, golden and dusty hues of Dubai are still very present in my head. Visiting in July is not the best idea. Humidity and temperatures rise high during summer and it is very hard to handle, especially when you are coming from the North. The heat hits you like a wall when you step out of your air conditioned hotel and it is like nothing I have ever experienced before. It completely takes your breath away.

While wandering through Dubai’s bustling Souks you feel the oriental and traditional side in every corner. It’s bright, colorful, noisy and fascinating to explore the labyrinth of covered walkways with it’s tiny stores while the aromas of exotic scents lead you through.

Just a short drive and you are surrounded by untouched desert. Experiencing the seemingly fragile, windswept, rippled orange sand dunes is so majestic and magical.

Exploring them makes you feel very small and insignificant in this world.

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON ROAM MAGAZINE.

 

EVI RITTER

Evi Ritter is an Austrian fine art travel and lifestyle photographer. She has lived in Zurich, Paris, Los Angeles and Germany before resettling in Sweden. She is an avid wanderer and wonderer. Through her photography you see her love of life’s simple pleasures and her love of the outdoors. Her style is minimal, light and fresh. She loves spending time with her family at the sea and exploring new places. You can follow her work on eviritter.com and her travels on Instagram @eviritter!

Two Years in Cambodia

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It all started on a tuk tuk ride…

I had just landed in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, after covering the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in Tacloban, Philippines.

Although I had never been there before, Cambodia was already the place I had decided to call home for the next year, or more. It was May 2014. The sky was still painted in black when I got off the plane and was engulfed by the warm and humid weather that, as I would learn over the following months, so much characterizes the country, especially at that time of the year.

As I exited the airport, all I could see was a chaotic frenzy of hands waiving and pointing to their tuktuks. They were all wearing similar clothes – sandals, a pair of pants and a shirt – and they all had big, unequivocally authentic smiles on their faces.

I don’t know if by instinct or pure luck, I ended up going with a driver who would later become a great friend of mine. Bunchai. His tuktuk was painted in red and it was so carefully and effusively decorated that it reminded me of the carnival parades we have in my home country Brazil.

As we cruised the quiet streets towards Tuol Tom Poung, a central neighborhood where a fellow photographer would host me until I found my own place, I just couldn’t believe in what I was experiencing. What was once just a dream was now a reality. I was indeed beginning a new life in Southeast Asia.

The Sun was just rising above the Tonle Sap and people were already doing choreographic exercises along the river promenade. Buddhist monks were walking around with their orange and red robes – some of them holding iPads -, and entire families were impressively balancing on the top of tiny and seemingly fragile motorbikes.

I fell in love immediately. I felt at home.

During the two years I was fortunate to spend in the country I obviously saw extreme poverty and shocking social-economic inequality. I witnessed – and documented – several and horrifying human rights violations. I learned about the atrocities and crimes against humanity committed by the Khmer Rouge, which took the lives of over 2 million people.

But I also saw remarkable resilience and an inspiring ability to find joy even in the most challenging circumstances. I saw generosity and kindness. Faith and Gratitude. Compassion and Happiness. I saw a younger generation trying to leave the past behind and embrace the future.


I explored remote and impressive temples from the 12th century; I spent relaxing days at paradisiac islands and sleepy river towns; I zigzagged through the chaotic traffic in Phnom Penh with my 1989 Vespa; and I had way too many beers with my local neighbors (most of them tuktuk drivers), who would always invite for a beer every time they saw me getting to or leaving my house. They never accepted a No for an answer.

I worked for magazines and I cooperated with many local and international NGOs. I photographed every single day during the time I was there and through this daily wanders I learned to see the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary.

Cambodia has taught me lessons that I will forever carry on my heart and I hope I will have the chance go back in the near future. The recent news that the only opposition party has been dismantled is certainly worrying and it makes me think of all the friends I left there.

If up until recently Hun Sen – who has been in power since 1985! – at least tried to keep a democratic appearance to his government, it seems that now he is no longer concerned about exposing the true face of his (totalitarian) regime. Cambodians, who have gone through the horror of Khmer Rouge just a few decades ago, certainly deserve better and brighter days.

Bunchai, the first friend I made in the country, is still working at his day job and driving his tuktuk in the evenings and early mornings. The day we took that same way to the airport, but on the opposite direction, two years after our first encounter, was unusually cloudy and gray. I don’t remember seeing much during our ride. Perhaps I had too many thoughts and memories going through my mind…

When we finally reach the airport, after a trip that seemed to have last for an eternity, I give Bunchai a big hug and just can’t hold my tears. I ask him to take care of himself and his family, and I tell him that if he ever needs any help he must call me immediately.

He gives me that very same smile he had greeted me with two years earlier, and says, with both determination and confidence:

“No worry, my friend. I will be fine! See you soon!”

 

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON ROAM MAGAZINE.

 

BERNARDO SALCE

Bernardo Salce is a a Brazilian photographer whose work seeks to celebrate cultural diversity and raise social-environmental awareness. Having previously lived in Cambodia and Colombia, he is now based in San Diego, California. You can follow his work @bernardosalce.

http://www.bernardosalce.com/

INDONESIA: The Kingdom of Bantar Gebang

“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” — Mahatma Gandhi

On the Indonesian island of Java, twenty kilometres from the fast-growing capital city Jakarta, is a malodorous, contaminated world with towering hills of half-decomposed waste, that stretches as far as the eye can see. This monstrosity is Bantar Gebang, the largest uncovered landfill site in Southeast Asia. It is also home to over 3,000 families, many with young children, who make a living amongst the garbage, scavenging what they can.

Jakarta, home to over 10 million people, produces more than 7,000 square metres of garbage per day — a figure that is still growing — and every year hundreds of thousands of tons of trash are indiscriminately dumped here, in the nearby district of Bekasi, at the massive Bantar Gebang landfill.

For the few outsiders who come to experience this place first-hand, it is a shocking wake-up call for the consequences of our over-consumption of the planet’s resources and the desperate need for better waste management. In a society enamoured with all things disposable, we are constantly having to find somewhere to put our rubbish. As general rule, far out of our sight.
 

On the road towards Bantar Gebang, what hits you first is the smell. Even before you arrive at the site, an overpowering stench of decomposing organic matter steadily invades the atmosphere. Next, the buzzing clouds of flies appear, and finally, the first mountains of waste come distantly into view. Many workers who move here say that when they first arrive they cannot eat, and that the smell makes them vomit constantly for the first few weeks.
 

Working day in, day out at the landfill, handling the rotting, decomposing rubbish with little to no protection takes a serious toll on the basic health of all the inhabitants here.

Working day in, day out at the landfill, handling the rotting, decomposing rubbish with little to no protection takes a serious toll on the basic health of all the inhabitants here.

Yet, Bantar Gebang has become the poorest people’s El Dorado, a lucrative and chaotic place of individual enterprise where hundreds of families come to salvage what can be resold or eaten. Alongside the stray cats, goats, and cockroaches, they wade knee-deep through decomposing vegetables, soiled clothes, broken furniture, and festering waste of every kind, loading their baskets with glass bottles, tins, and plastics. Business here is booming, and the scavengers, some of them children as young as five, make around 30,000 rupiah (£2.20) a day. For many, this is as good a wage as they will find.

Every day new trucks arrive with more than 8,000 tones of rubbish from Jakarta, depositing their load anywhere they can find space, while bulldozers giant mechanical arms shift and mould the ever-growing mountains of waste.
 

Many families are accompanied by their young children, who live in the most insanitary conditions imaginable, in this breeding ground for germs and disease. You often see them padding about, barefoot in the rubbish, looking for something which could be used as a toy. Some children slip and injure themselves, and when wounds become infected, there is no medical service available on-site to help them. Many also suffer from suffer skin infections, bronchial problems, and intestinal worms from working on the landfill.
 

Amir, whose home is amongst these mounds of rubbish, waits for his mum who is working behind him. His favourite toy? A digger. 

Amir, whose home is amongst these mounds of rubbish, waits for his mum who is working behind him. His favourite toy? A digger. 

Some of these children were born here, brought into the world amongst the towering mounds of rotting waste that dominate the horizon. Every day, while parents are retrieving what they can resell or eat, these young children wait patiently for the next meal they will share as a family. This meal is often consumed directly off the ground, amidst the flies, foul odours, and trash.
 

The Bantar Gebang landfill was built on rice paddy fields in the district of Bekasi in 1989, and for some here, this is all they have ever known. Many are unskilled workers who have been scavenging in streets and rubbish bins their whole lives. Others, who once made their living digging the earth, are the former rice farmers whose land has been swallowed up by the relentless tide of garbage. Today, they all make a living by digging the ever-expanding “mountains” of Bantar Gebang, searching for their own personal treasure.
 

In this filthy and chaotic universe, I begin to understand how one man’s trash becomes another man’s means of survival.

Here, everything old finds a new purpose. Abandoned sofas and tables are often huddled together in impromptu ‘cafes’ where workers will pause to share a cigarette or have a cold drink, while ... You will also hear the call of Bantar Gebang’s resident imams wafting out over the landscapes of trash, but despite a strong sense of community at the landfill, many workers say that they are stigmatised and avoided if they ever cross its boundaries.
 

Today, the landfill is home to an estimated 3,000 families, and as Jakarta’s waste keeps growing, so does its population. Almost all residents live in makeshift shelters built from tarpaulins and scraps of metal as protection against the sun and rain. Those who have been there longer have fashioned huts from pieces of scrap wood, cardboard, old rugs, plastic advertisements, and nails rummaged from the landfill. During the rainy season, flood water rises and seeps into these dwellings. The water that is used to fulfill their daily needs is drawn from groundwater infected by leakages and sewage.

During the days I spend documenting life at Bantar Gebang, I do my best to show humanity, to take an interest in those living here, to simply be myself, and to convey that I consider those living and working here my equals.

Yet the foul smell is inescapable, the heat suffocating, and whenever I move I sweat, though I make no effort. When you find yourself in conditions like these, in an environment rife with the evidence of inequality, the only thing you feel is an overwhelming sense of gratefulness to have been able to satisfy your basic needs and a burning desire to do something to help. With my foreigner’s gaze, I cannot help but compare my everyday life to that of the men, women and children whose photographs I take. Some of them simply have no point of comparison, and live in acceptance of their condition.
 

Nila, one of the children who is growing up at the Bantar Gebang landfill, bathes her little brother in their family’s shelter.

Nila, one of the children who is growing up at the Bantar Gebang landfill, bathes her little brother in their family’s shelter.

Following the day-to-day existence of the people who call Bantar Gebang their home was also a lesson in the incredible strength and resilience of the human spirit. In the midst of these challenging conditions, people of all ages proved to me that love and joy will always exist even in the worst of places.
 

Andi, only a few years old, plays amongst the mounds of rubbish as his mother sifts through to salvage what she can.Andi, only a few years old, plays amongst the mounds of rubbish as his mother sifts through to salvage what she can.

Andi, only a few years old, plays amongst the mounds of rubbish as his mother sifts through to salvage what she can.Andi, only a few years old, plays amongst the mounds of rubbish as his mother sifts through to salvage what she can.

On this occasion, I had travelled to Bantar Gebang to learn how I could assist the remarkable Resa Boenard. Brought to the area by her parents when she was just ten months old, Resa grew up one of Bantar Gebang’s children, surrounded by these vast, decaying mountains. At first her parent’s home was among rice fields, today, fifty metres of trash tower outside her windows.

Unlike so many others who live and work here, Resa had the chance to attend secondary school and to complete her studies, experiencing life outside this place, despite frequent bullying by her classmates for living on a landfill. Later, unable to afford the fees to attend university or to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor, Resa felt compelled to move back to Bantar Gebang, deciding that she would dedicate her time to helping the people here.
 

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“Just because we are born among rubbish, doesn’t mean we are rubbish. My commitment to the people and young people here, it is still big in my heart. I have to do it.”  — Resa, founder of BGBJ

Determined to give other children living on the landfill the same opportunity she had, Resa has re-named the landfill ‘The Kingdom of Bantar Gebang’ and started an organisation called BGBJ, which stands for ‘the seeds of Bantar Gebang’, along with her British friend and co-founder John Devlin. Resa believes that the children at the landfill are like seeds, and when nurtured and supported, they will be able to gain an education and to see that they can become something else. At first, with no funding or other support, Resa simply opened her home to the children living on the dumpsite, and began.

Today, with both a hostel and community hub on the landfill, BGBJ aims to develop a healthy and sustainable way out of poverty for the children and families who live and work here, through education and employment. Since 2014, volunteers and travellers have been helping Resa to expand her work and to turn her neighbourhood into what she calls, “the best dump ever”. 

Here you can watch a short video interview I made with Resa during my time there. The positive spirit in Reza’s home and at BGBJ is simply amazing.
 

Sita, one of the young children whose families call the landfill their home, searches for toys amongst the rubbish.

Sita, one of the young children whose families call the landfill their home, searches for toys amongst the rubbish.

Last year, waste management in Jakarta underwent a major shake-up, with multiple blockades and protests preventing trucks from entering the landfill, after disputes erupted between the Jakarta administration and their Bekasi counterparts. Angry at the stench of the never-ending stream of passing garbage trucks hauling waste to the landfill, which were now violating working hours and using a prohibited road, the protesters nearly paralysed Jakarta’s waste management during early November. The disputes were finally resolved when the city’s acting governor visited Bantar Gebang and promised to double the compensation provided for households located near the landfill to Rp 600,000 (around USD $45) every three months.
 

Ina, one of the luckier Bantar Gebang children, whose family have a small home with some concrete walls.

Ina, one of the luckier Bantar Gebang children, whose family have a small home with some concrete walls.

Though officials have admitted that Jakarta may need at least ten years to start fully addressing its significant waste management issues, some things look set to change. Recent initiatives to trap methane produced by the landfill and build on-site recycling facilities have eased Bantar Gebang’s pollution, and in 2016 a landmark agreement was made with Finnish energy company Fortum to develop an intermediate treatment facility (ITF) in the capital. 

Despite expert concerns that the incinerator at this new ITF may emit hazardous substances if plastic waste is not properly removed, it is expected to process 2,000 to 2,200 tonnes of waste per day, and is intended to help reduce the city’s long-term dependency on the Bantar Gebang landfill. Three more bids are currently being conducted for further ITFs in the city.
 

For now, however, life remains the same for the families and children of the Kingdom of Bantar Gebang, where Resa is affectionately called the ‘queen’. 

Taking things one day, and one project, at a time, BGBJ is not waiting for the government to take action and has ambitious plans for improving the lives of the children and families living at Bantar Gebang, such as a new school, a workshop, a tool shed, improved sanitation, and a computer lab. For the past year, they have also been hosting backpackers and travellers, who come to offer English lessons and to go on jalan-jalan or walkabout around the dumpsite. Providing an amazing opportunity for eco-tourism and cultural exchange these events have been a wonderful success with the kids.
 

So far, BGBJ has been completely independent, funding improvements with their own personal savings, with money generated from the day trips and overnight stays, and with donations from individuals and groups.

Today, they are raising USD $5,000 in seed funds for a workshop that will enable BGBJ to establish a sustainable social enterprise, called ‘BGBJ Style’. With the goal of producing a range of merchandise and upcycled products from the landfill, they have already begun by developing and producing their own natural insect repellant, balms, and candles. Offering alternative employment to some of the parents of BGBJ kids, this enterprise will generate an income so that BGBJ can continue to pay for and improve its services.
 

Nila, who lives with her family in a homemade shelter at the Bantar Gebang landfill, peeps out from behind a makeshift curtain. 

Nila, who lives with her family in a homemade shelter at the Bantar Gebang landfill, peeps out from behind a makeshift curtain. 

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” and it is up to all of us to do our bit. For my part, I have been inspired to do everything I can to help support Resa’s work. I hope you will join me.

Resa Boenard, the inspiring founder of BGBJ, with some the kids growing up at Bantar Gebang landfill.

Resa Boenard, the inspiring founder of BGBJ, with some the kids growing up at Bantar Gebang landfill.

Please help me support this amazing local organisation through their current GoFundMe campaign, where you will find more stories and details. More information can also be found about their work through the BGBJ website.
 

THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MAPTIA.

 

ALEXANDRE SATTLER

Alexandre Sattler is a photographer, traveler, and producer of audio documentaries on our planet's diverse cultures, our shared humanity, and the environment.