“Where are they burning the bodies?” My driver yells out the car window to a young boy balancing a basket full of rags and tattered clothes on his head. It’s questions like this that seem to be the norm here in Liberia. Since March, an outbreak of Ebola has swept through the country killing over 1,200 people (as of September 2014). On August 27, 2014 I boarded Delta airlines flight 2608 for my first international assignment for The Wall Street Journal. After four layovers, I arrived at the airport in Liberia.The plane came to a rough landing…. keep reading on Kieran Kesner’s website.
At the age of 16, I started to explore various areas around where I lived and quickly grew to love what I would find on explorations, whether it was through nature or abandoned structures. I shortly after began to capture the world around me, the things I see and how I see them. I wanted to share with people these beautiful places as well as I can, and through a lens was how I could shape these visions. On the side of everything else I have loved to photograph, around the age of 16 I became intrigued with urban exploration upon the discovery of an abandoned farm house in the city of Kirtland, OH. My mother, step father and myself were on our way to my sisters house when I had spotted it and asked if we could pull into the drive way to check it out. The way the roof was caved in, covered in bright moss attracted my attention. It was beautiful. We pulled into the drive and walked from our car up to the entrance of this falling structure…
Keep reading at Johnny Joo website.
“For some people, if you’re religious, you’re ugly,” says Federica Valabrega, an Italian photographer who for the past four years has been documenting Jewish women across the world. Her fascination with these “Daughters of the King,” as she calls them, comes from her own religious background. “My mother isn’t Jewish, but my dad is and so is his mother and all of his family. When I was born in Rome, the chief rabbi back in 1983 accepted to convert [to Judaism] kids from mixed [religious] marriages, so my sisters and I did it.” Read the full story here or visit Federica Valabrega website.
Chernobyl is one of the most interesting and dangerous places I’ve been. The nuclear disaster, which happened in 1986 (the year after I was born), had an effect on so many people, including my family when we lived in Italy. The nuclear dust clouds swept westward towards us. The Italian police went round and threw away all the local produce and my mother rushed out to purchase as much tinned milk as possible to feed me, her infant son. It caused so much distress hundreds of miles away, so I can’t imagine how terrifying it would have been for the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens who were forced to evacuate. During my stay, I met so many amazing people, one of whom was my guide Yevgen, also known as a ‘Stalker’. We spent the week together exploring Chernobyl and the nearby abandoned city of Pripyat. There was something serene, yet highly disturbing about this place. Time has stood still and there are memories of past happenings floating around us.
Armed with a camera and a dosimeter geiger counter I explored… Danny Cooke
At Home With Themselves by Sage Sohier is an intimate portraits of committed gay couples in the 1980s. Sohier produced images that stood in opposition to contemporaneous media portrayals of the “gay lifestyle”, images that expose some of the roots of today’s marriage equality movement.
Spanish photographer Rafael Fabrés has been following law enforcement around Rio in preparation for the Rio de Janiero 2016 Olympics, capturing their efforts to clean up the city. The operation takes place in three parts: first the military comes into the favelas and rids them of gun carrying traffickers who operate in the open, then riot police stay in the area for a week while a local police force is established. With one fifth of the population living in slums or favelas, and these favelas often being controlled by gangs and drug traffickers, it seems that the drug trade in Brazil is a problem with no answer.
Rising from the remnants of what was once a vast inland sea, California’s Central Valley is an agricultural empire unparalleled in the history of the world. Covering an area larger than ten US states, it is home to America’s richest farms and generates close to $20 billion dollars’ worth of fresh food each year, nearly half of the US supply.
Though this wealth comes from the earth, there is little natural about how it is produced: the Central Valley is a place not so much rural as it is empty-urban — a thoroughly industrialized farm landscape whose once undulating plains have been tractored into table-top flatness, whose streams have been dammed and whose lakes have been drained. Some farms have become so automated that the tractors are piloted by satellite, and some plots are so vast and monotonous that thousands of pollinating bees die each year because they can’t find their way back to their hives. So much water has been pumped from the aquifers that in places the ground has dropped by fifty feet. Most tellingly, the fields are planted, tended and harvested by migrants brought in by the busload: few make more than $10,000 per year, eight out of ten are undocumented, and hardly any know the names of the farmers in whose fields they work.
From the roots of this unnatural wealth has sprung a dysfunctional society, communities whose chronically high unemployment and generational poverty have fostered social ills more commonly associated with big cities. In tiny towns surrounded by farm fields, drug and alcohol addiction is rampant, teenage pregnancies are among the highest in the nation, crime and gangs are commonplace.Much is revealed by how a society raises its food — the one thing people both pay for and pray over — and the Central Valley tells us much about modern life. A modern rural distopia, it is a landscape at once rich but impoverished, industrialized but rural, inhabited but unsettled: a kingdom, but one made of dust, nourishing millions as it consumes itself. Matt Black.