Category Archives: Uncategorized
As of the last day of October, 7 billion souls inhabit this planet. That estimate is according to the U.N.’s Population Fund, which also says that half those people are city dwellers. About 35 years from now, two thirds of the world’s population will reside in cities. With this in mind, I am photographing the world’s megacities, those where the population is measured in millions. How can people live in such immense, crowded places? For all their chaos, big cities still have a sense of humanity. That’s what I want to reveal with these photographs—both the dynamic character of the city and the individual humans, the urban travelers, who call the metropolis home.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2009
Cairo, Egypt, 2011
Mexico City, Mexico, 2011
Calcutta, India, 2008
Karachi, Pakistan, 2011
Jakarta, Indonesia, 2010
Mumbai, India, 2007
Karachi, Pakistan, 2011
On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake, that recorded as 9.0 on the Richter scale struck off the coast Japan. It was followed by a devastating tsunami that swept over cities, farmland, and port in the northern part of the country. It was the most powerful quake ever to hit the country. Along with the death toll, which is expected to reach 20,000, more than 130,000 lost their homes. The swept-away coastal towns may never be rebuilt again because of the possibility of tsunami in the future. To many of them, the memory of what was lost – loved ones, community, and home – is too painful for the survivors to come back, even if towns were rebuilt. Many of them say they will never go back to their hometown.
TAHRIR SQUARE, CAIRO, February 2nd 2011
This extraordinary moment: pro-democracy protesters, having taken over Tahrir Square, Cairo, nine days earlier, battled Mubarak supporters and employees through the entire night of the 2nd of February 2011. The riotous struggle that may be the defining moment of the Egyptian revolution, took the form of medieval combat with stones, bottles, Molotov cocktails, knives, iron bars, and shields of metal sheeting taken from a nearby construction site.
When I saw the first reports that the Arab revolution had spread from Tunisia to Egypt, I knew that something exceptional was happening, a historic shift, something akin to the fall of the Iron Curtain twenty years earlier. Most of history plays out in tiny increments that are hard to record visually. But here was an opportunity to show important social currents through a physical flow of human beings – a tide of humanity in action.
When the Water Ends
Throughout the vast, semi-arid lowlands that stretch across Kenya and Ethiopia, nomadic herdsmen have proudly walked the harsh, scorched earth for thousands of years. Their lives are the result of constant adaptation to a perpetually challenging environment. Their survival depends upon the animals they keep, and guiding cattle to natural water points and grazing grounds determines the paths they cross each year.
But climate change is coming fast, and areas once subject to drought every ten or eleven years are now experiencing it every two or three. This is exacerbating inter-tribal tensions as fighting over water and pasture increases, creating “some of the world’s first climate change conflicts,” according to Jeanine Cooper, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Nairobi.
Now, in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley more than two dozen tribes are at risk of extinction, as the government pushes ahead with construction of the Gibe III dam. Promising to be the largest hydropower project in sub-Saharan Africa, if completed, the dam will prevent the annual flood cycles of the Omo River, which sustain the lives of more than 800,000 indigenous herders, farmers and fishermen in Ethiopia and Kenya.
War among the tribes is imminent if the floods are stopped. Guns are already flowing in from Somalia and south Sudan, and nearly every tribesman carries a Kalashnikov or M-16 to protect his animals and family. As the death tolls rise, tens of thousands of pastoralists are being displaced, increasing starvation and dependency upon international aid.
Experts agree that conflict related to resource scarcity will happen by the middle of this century. In East Africa it’s happening now.