Stories from Quick Reads and Photography
Access to the visual history of most former colonial countries in Africa is usually a challenging proposition because former colonial powers restrict access to historical archives. Helihanta RAJAONARISON and Tsiry Fy-Tia SOLOFOMIHANTA in Madagascar sought to solve this issue and make the history of Madagascar more palatable to the general public by creating an online Museum of Madagascar through a collection of vintage photographs.
The website went live on July 27, 2015, and offers a glimpse of everyday lives in Madagascar from 1850 to 1960. The collections is organized in four major periods: Pre-colonial Period, Colonial Period, Major Constructions, Everyday Life and Independence.
Read the full interview here at Scroll.in.
Bangladesh has now a satirical Facebook page much like Pigeons of New York, which is itself a parody site of the famous Humans of New York project. Goats of Bangladesh is only about six months old, but it boasts of almost 10,000 followers. Sahil Bhalla of Scroll.in interviewed one of the page's administrators, who preferred to remain anonymous.
[What is] the idea behind the page?
We were bored one day during Eid and decided to take pictures of goats with a DSLR camera. After seeing the outcome of the pictures, one of us decided we would open a parody page called “Goats of Bangladesh” where we would mimic the style of posts made by Humans of New York in a mocking way.
Read the full interview here at Scroll.in.
I am sure you have heard of Nigeria before now. Boko Haram, right? The slaughter and blood cuddling rampage. But I doubt if you have heard about this ‘story’ of Nigeria – nature's master piece.
Oluwakemi Ojo curates “100 Instagram Photos That Will Make You Fall In Love With Nigeria“:
Nigeria is one African country that everyone raves about, a very beautiful nation and it is when you visit the country that you will really appreciate its beauty. From its captivating cities, towns and villages, amazing attractions, stunning hotels and resorts, endless restaurants and clubs, unique cuisine, arts and culture; Nigeria has a lot to offer.
Shooting a good photography isn't a chance result, dedication is necessary, and above all, getting connected with the location.
GV contributor Laura Schneider offers us ten tips for taking the best photographies on our trips. Here we have some of them:
1- No te olvides de llevar la cámara, cargada y con suficiente memoria adicional.
5- Toma nota de las fotografías
8- Ahora o nunca
1- Don't forget to take the camera, loaded and with enough additional memory.
5- Take note of the photographies
7- Wake up early
8- Now or never
Laura also shares one experience of hers:
Recuerdo cuando fui a Kibera en Kenia, la segunda villa o slum mas grande de África quería fotos naturales, no posadas. Quería que la gente no se esconda con la cámara. Así que me puse una camiseta de fútbol de Argentina. Los niños que había en el lugar se acercaban y me decían: Maradona o Messi y eso me permitía entrar en conversación.
I remember when I went to Kibera in Kenya, the second biggest slum in Africa, I wanted natural photos, not posed ones. I didn't want people hiding with the camera. So I wore an Argentinian football T-shirt. The children there approached me saying Maradona or Messi, and that allowed me to make conversation.
You can follow Laura on Twitter.
Yes, now it's possible! Thanks to Lumera, after two years of hard work as a result of a project by Open Hardware, from Hackbo, Bogota's hackerspace. It's all about a small device that gets integrated into your reflex photographic camera, transforming it into a “smart camera”. Using Lumera, you can handle your camera from your cell phone, save your photos in the cloud, share them on social networks or edit, among other possibilities.
Lumera cuenta con conectividad Wi-Fi y Bluetooth LE, un display LED, doble puerto USB, batería integrada y varios botones para compartir y transferir archivos de manera rápida y sencilla. El accesorio se ancla a la cámara mediante la entrada de tornillo universal y por el puerto USB se conecta al de la cámara. Y se vinculará con su celular mediante una app que estará disponible para Android y iOS. Con esta app, podrán configurar la antena para conectarla directo a las cuentas de Dropbox y Google Drive, haciendo el respaldo digital mucho más sencillo.
Lumera has Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth LE, a LED display, double USB port, integrated battery and several buttons for quickly and easily file sharing and transfering. The accessory is fixed to the camera through the universal bolt input and through the USB port gets connected to the camera. And it will be linked to your cell phone through an app that will be available for Android and iOS. With this app, you will be able to set up he antenna to connect it directly to your Dropbox and Google Drive accounts, thus making digital backup way much simpler.
LumeraLabs is a Colombian-origin hardware, software and application firm that participates in a campaign by Kickstarter to raise funds to launch Lumera. So far, the project has raised $41,903 out of the $90,000 they have set as a goal. There is still time until December 12 for those photographs or amateurs that want Lumera to reach its goal.
First thing in the morning, amidst the mist that populates the waves in the township of Guetaría, a typical fishing village in the shores of Guipuzkoa (Basque Country), we can discern the shape of Mount of San Antón, which as we can see on J. G. del Sol Cobos in this image from this group blog, resembles a mouse. All along the rough way up, we have one of the best sights of the Basque Country. There is even a lighthouse on top that integrates the landscape and makes us think of the traditional lifestyle in this area of Northern Iberian Peninsula.
This so well-known shape in Guetaría connects through a tombolo (branch that gets two parts together) with solid ground, and from different point of view will look as the tail of a rodent.
— J. G. del Sol Cobos (@jgdelsol) octubre 27, 2014
Image by of the Guetaria Mouse from Zarauz, Guipuzkoa, Spain.
After some research about the history of this natural park surrounded by the Cantabrian sea, we know that until the 16th century it was an island. Today, it's a famous spot in Guipuzkoa, where we can find plants and trees as native as exotic, besides a fantastic panoramic view of the coastline.
You can follow J. G. del Sol Cobos on Twitter.
Far West China interviewed Ryan Pyle, a Shanghai-based photographer who recently published a photographic documentary of Xinjiang titled “Chinese Turkestan”:
The news is so segregated and so focused on conflict areas that places like Xinjiang get left off the map. When the spotlight does turn there, it’s all about the violence that is happening there. It’s had its problems, sure, but there is so much more of a story to tell.
Before I first went to Xinjiang in 2001, I was sitting in a hostel in Beijing and people were saying “Don’t go to Xinjiang” and the Chinese and other foreigners were saying “Don’t go to Xinjiang.” But I went out there, and I had the most amazing time. It was such and eye-opening experience.
Blogger Passang Tshering, a high school teacher from Wangdue, Bhutan, wrote in his blog on 31 August, 2014, about an image of Lord Buddha's face formed out of natural rock located on the elephant shaped hill on which the famous Wangdue Dzong is built. He posted photos of the site and wrote:
I don't understand how this place is not recognized as one of the holy Buddhist sites, though some people already knew about it.
Tshering writes in a follow-up post that his post about the face of Buddha has become popular and many are flocking to the site:
It was on Sunday I posted the story and by Monday I started receiving pictures from people who went there to see for themselves. By Wednesday the site was crowded with people, and that evening authorities decided to put fence around it. Today when I went there I could see long queue of people across the river, and many breaking through the fence already. On the other side of the river cars and people are causing traffic jam on the national highway. This is more than the attention one can ever ask for.
A not-for-profit, self-financed group of artists calling themselves Kooperacija (“Cooperation”, Macedonian slang for a general store in small villages) hosted an exhibition titled “Melting Point: Art as Anti-Hegemonic Propaganda” [en, mk, with photos] in Skopje recently.
As reported [mk] by several news outlets that cover culture [mk], including Belgrade-based SEE Cult [sr], the event presented works by several individuals and groups of world renowned artists. Among them were pieces by Vitaly Komar, IRWIN, Santiago Sierra, DETEXT, as well as by some of the most vibrant artists from the region, like Nemanja Cvijanović, Ibro Hasanović, Igor Toševski, Kristina Gorovska & Jure Lavrin, Ines Efremova, Filip Jovanovski, O-P-A, and others.
The group of artists who put together the exhibition described it on their pages as:
Kooperacija is an initiative whose purpose is artistic activity outside the inert institutional frameworks, thus suggesting an exceptional approach to the creation and experience of contemporary art […]
[Its] basic strategy is the occupation of temporarily free space dispersed throughout the urban landscape and exhibiting through a chain of blitzkrieg events. The desired effect is a constructive dialogue regarding the re-questioning of the critical positions in art and producing a favorable environment for a free exchange of ideas, experience and freedom of expression.
Alta Gracia [es] is located in the department Santa María, province of Córdoba, Argentina. It's listed as World Heritage Site and among its attactions we find the Che Guevara Home Museum [es]. From there, Argentinian blogger Laura Schneider [es] provides us a photo gallery of the museum.
On her blog, Laura adds: [es]:
Con un estilo inglés conserva su forma pero ahora llena de fotografías, recortes de periódicos, el cuarto de Ernesto, la famosa motoneta y el diario que guarda los relatos de su vida. Emplazada en un barrio con muchas casas del mismo estilo.
Como permiten tomar fotografías, previo haber pedido permiso, les dejo acá algunas para que se entusiasmen y visiten el museo. Este se encuentra en el Barrio Carlos Pellegrini, – Avellaneda 501. El valor de la entrada es muy baja (no vale la pena ponerlo aqui) y se utiliza para el mantenimiento del lugar.
With a British style, it's form has been preserved but now it's full of photographs, Ernesto's bedroom, the famous scooter and the journal that keeps accounts from his life. It's located on a neighborhood with many houses with the same style.
As photographies are allowed, at previous request, here I share some of them to fill you with excitement so you visit the museum. It's located on Carlos Pellegrini neighborhood – Avellaneda 501. The ticket fare is very low (it's not even worth to be mentioned) and it's used for maintenance.
If you are passionate about photojournalism, follow Laura's stories on her Twitter account: @LauraSchne.
“Imagine life without photos. No smiling faces. No family snapshots. No record of your past,” says Liberia77, a project that documents Liberia's history through photos:
When Canadian brothers Jeff and Andrew Topham returned to the war torn West African country of their childhood to re-shoot their father’s photos for a documentary, they also found a nation whose own photographic memory was destroyed by war.
Since 2011, over 2000 images of pre-war Liberia have been uploaded to this site.
In November 2012, the team returned to Liberia to mount an exhibition of some of the best.
Liberia ’77 is still gathering images from pre-war Liberia. Help us restore the photographic history of a nation.
On Sunday noon a passenger ferry reportedly packed with more than 100 passengers was hit by a cargo vessel 40 kilometres northwest of Dhaka, Bangladesh's capital. It subsequently sank.
A rescue vessel located the capsized vessel and attempted to pull it up. According to reports 37 bodies have been found and many are feared missing.
— The Daily Star (@dailystarnews) February 22, 2015
Passenger lists are rarely kept accurately, making it difficult to know how many people are missing when accidents occur. Many people have already been rescued from this particular craft, but it will take days to determine precise numbers. This is the country's second deadly boat accident in less than a fortnight.
On his blog Blucasendel, Argentinian journalist Wenceslao Bottaro explores new ways of linking with tourism and other ways for communication and promotion of touristic attractions. This time, he graphically shows what you can find in front of the Main Square of the colonial Ciudad de los Reyes (City of Kings), as Peruvian capital city Lima was originally known.
Apenas entrar, la primera impresión es deslumbrante. Hay mucho para ver y asombrarse: los muebles, las colecciones de objetos, las escaleras, las lámparas, el patio. Todo lo que es madera está trabajado obsesivamente en los detalles.
De las paredes cuelgan pinturas, en las vitrinas se exhiben piezas de vajilla, documentos genealógicos y de la época de la Independencia. Lámparas de todo tipo se combinan con la luz del sol generando una extraña atmósfera en las habitaciones.
The minute you get in, the first impression is dazzling. There is a lot to see and to be astonished: the furniture, the collections, the stairways, the lamps, the courtyard. Every wooden article is obsessively carved in every single detail.
Paintings hang from the walls, glass cabinets showcase dishes, genealogic documents and from Independence period. All kinds of lamps are combined with sunlight, generating a rare atmospohere in the rooms.
Bottaro has also written about other place that's worth to visit in Lima's historic downtown. For instance, “the guard change at Presidential Palace; the Inquisition Museum; the historic Bar Cordano, and, especially if you are with children, to have fun with the Magic Circuit of Water“.
The winners of a popular contest to find Japan's most “adorably ugly” cats (busukawa neko) have taken over select trains on Tokyo's Yamanote Line.
— 鉄道新聞 公式アカウント (@tetsudoshimbun) November 13, 2014
The Yamanote Line is full of “adorably ugly” (busukawa) cats!
Many train lines in Japan are already plastered with print advertising. Now, for two weeks in November and early December, the Yamonote Line, the loop line that travels around central Tokyo, is decked out in photos of the winning cats. A YouTube video titled “Canon's Adorably Ugly Cat Campaign Hijacks Tokyo Trains to Promote New PIXUS Printer” offers a glimpse:
The campaign is sponsored by PIXUS, a line of Canon desktop printers, and offers a grand prize of 100,000 yen (US$10,000). Out of nearly 6,000 submissions, 288 finalists and prizewinners ended up displayed on the train.
One lucky cat won the top prize:
— ブサかわ猫ちゃん レオンくん (@busakawaleon) November 12, 2014
And here is the grand prize winner! The photo's title: “Ultimate Relaxation.”
There were a variety of runners-up. This cat won second place in the contest:
— ブサかわ猫ちゃん レオンくん (@busakawaleon) November 12, 2014
And here is the second-place prize. The title: “No f-ing way, man.” The golden color of this cat's coat perfectly balances the fine silver fur of our grand prize winner.
As the purpose of the contest was to promote Canon's new printer, many of the cats were awarded prizes according to how well their ugly mugs might accessorize a variety of personal belongings.
— ブサかわ猫ちゃん レオンくん (@busakawaleon) November 12, 2014
And the winner for “would look best printed on a handbag” is “May I eat a sticky bun?”
— ブサかわ猫ちゃん レオンくん (@busakawaleon) November 12, 2014
Here is the winner of “would look best printed on a T-shirt”!!! This cat has tickled the fancy of T-shirt designers everywhere!
The cacophony of ugly cat images has become quite popular with Japanese commuters, who have posted photos of the decked-out trains on social media.
— ブサかわ猫ちゃん レオンくん (@busakawaleon) November 18, 2014
山手線がやばーい。PIXUSの宣伝電車になってる！ わたしが乗った車両ははブサかわ猫ちゃんグランプリって書いてあって、ブサ猫ちゃんの写真で埋め尽くされてる！ カレンダーにしたくなるで賞だって＼(^o^)／ pic.twitter.com/s2AeVUfahj
— エイミー@19戦13勝6敗 (@kiyota1ban) November 21, 2014
The Yamonote Line is CRAZY! It's turned into a total advertisement for PIXUS. The carriage is absolutely plastered with adorably ugly cat pictures. Now I totally want to make a calendar! ＼(^o^)／
Markileide Oliveira‘s photos portray the daily life of the population of Xique-Xique, a small town located on the banks of the São Francisco River, in the backwoods of the state of Bahia – one of the most arid regions of Brazil. The “Velho Chico” (“Old Frank”), as the river is popularly known, is one of the most important rivers of the country, running through five states and providing much of the livelihood in areas that are unsuitable for agriculture.
Markileide says she is especially fond of the local children, whose universe remains untouched by technological development:
Em meio a modernidade do século XXI e o mundo virtual que abraçam as novas gerações, existe uma infância que sobrevive aos impactos das novas tecnologias. A inocência das crianças que nascem na beira do rio causa em mim um encantamento inexplicável, percebe-se que a felicidade vive no imaginário das crianças ribeirinhas, onde é possível sentir a boneca imaginária que vive nos sonhos dessa menina que posa para fotografia.Simplesmente linda.Longe das tecnologias elas aprendem a sentir, a viver e ser criança. E brincar…De boneca, de casinha, de se esconder, de salva latinha, de pegar piaba com o lençol da mãe e depois soltar para vê-las nadar e ganhar o rio, brincar de lavar as louças só para [dar] comidinhas aos peixes…… As nossas memórias parecem ganhar vida.É possível reviver as lembranças de quem viveu uma infância na beira do rio.
Amidst the modernity of the 21st century and the virtual world that embraces the new generations, there is a childhood that survives the impact of new technologies. The innocence of the riverbank children brings me an inexplicable enchantment; you realize that happiness lives in the imagination of local children, where you can feel the imaginary doll who lives in the dreams of this girl posing for the photo.
Away from technology, they learn to feel, to live and be a child. And to play…
With the doll, doll's house, hide and seek, using their mother's bed sheets to grab the little fish and then let it go to see it swimming and taking on the river, pretending to be washing dishes just to give tidbits to the fish…
… Our memories seem to come alive.
It's possible to relive the memories of those who spent their childhood by the riverbank.
More photos of Xique-Xique by Markileide can be seen on her Facebook page.
Indian photoblogger Anirban Saha points to a growing problem in India — plagiarism of intellectual property online. A number of his photos were used in a poster for a theatre festival, on a cover of a book, in an advertisement by the state government, in political banners, in magazines in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and a school publication without his consent.
He writes that Indian copyright laws protect intellectual property, but there is not much awareness:
We can spread the awareness of intellectual property rights, share contact details of lawyers who have already fought similar cases. We should be more aware of safeguarding our creations and spreading the awareness to create a better world. Read about Indian Copyright Act 1957. More than the artists who still now are a minority, it is you readers who can make a difference. You need to be aware and spread the awareness.
Anirban Saha also publishes a number of graphics to make the Indian copyright laws easier to understand.
Someone sure wanted people to know that he was thankful for Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé generosity. This week, a giant billboard was raised in Lomé, Togo that praised the president's action in favor of providing lunch for school children. The billboard seen below reads in french :” Thanks Daddy Faure for the children's school lunch“. Togolese citizens were taken aback by the message and its exuberance. They took to twitter to poke fun at the Billboard and create the hashtag #merciPapaFaure (Thank you Daddy Faure).
— Kelly Adediha (@KellyGeek) September 11, 2014
OK, how about some fun with the hashtag #mercipapaFaure ?
The photo above has been shared widely on twitter. Adzima provides some background on the state of the affair for the Togolese children at school.
Aleksandar Lambros, a Serbian-born photographer currently living and working in Monaco, has been snapping photos of tell-tale details of Belgrade's architectural history and collecting them on his blog.
While the city still retains snippets of Roman and Ottoman architecture, as parts of the city were under both Roman and Ottoman rule throughout history, most of what is today downtown Belgrade expanded during the 19th century, under the still very visible influence of the highly popular European Art Nouveau movement of the late 19th and early 20th century.
Lambros has captured some of the most interesting decorative details on Belgrade's older buildings in a set of 18 photographs that depict the quaint, unique mixture of Serbian culture with a well-known European architectural style. The full set, along with Lambros’ other work, is available on his blog.
Marcelino Torrecilla N. has started a series in Spanish called Stories from Gaza. The first installment by this United Arabe Emirates based Colombian was published on El Tiempo of Bogotá and tells a story of two Gulf News journalists in Abu Dhabi.
Taking pictures in the Gulf is challenging and even when trying to take pictures of women. But Palestinians are used to be photographed. The media are friends of the Palestinians and they know that. as Torrecilla translates:
In Gaza it is very different. With one of the highest concentrations of media in the world, the people of Gaza are used to being photographed. Not only this, but they welcome the eyes of the world. The Palestinians don't have an army to fight with. They have the rocks they throw at Israeli soldiers and they have their tears.
For more stories about the Gaza Strip in Spanish told by an eye witness, follow Marcelino Torrecilla's updates on Twitter.
Barcelona- based Andrea Collazo writes on Profesora de Informática (Computing teacher; es) a post about how to use a mobile phone to take pictures, while enjoying her vacation. You should pay attention to:
Resolución: para obtener las mejores fotos, asegúrate de que la cámara tenga señalado en sus opciones el tamaño mayor, es decir la mayor resolución. Las imágenes pesarán más y ocuparán más memoria pero así tendrás las fotos en la mejor resolución que tu Smartphone tenga.
Trata de no usar el flash: el flash hace que las fotos sean menos naturales y que los objetos y figuras aparezcan más planas.
Evita el Zoom: El zoom hace que tus imágenes se pixelen. Mejor acercarte o tomar la foto con la distancia real, luego podrás editar la foto y obtener lo que deseabas.
Busca un apoyo: para evitar que la fotografía salga borrosa por el movimiento, sobre todo si es un momento en que no hay mucha luz.
Investiga los modos de la cámara: los modos de tu smartphone te ayudarán a sacar la mejor foto según la situación.
Resolution: to take better pictures, make sure the camera is set up on its bigger options, that is, the higher resolution. Images will occuy more memory, but you'll have the pictures with the best resolution your smartphone has.
Avoid the flash: it makes pictures look less natural and objects and images appear flatter.
Avoid the zoom: it makes your images pixeled. It's better if you get closer to take the picture o take it with the actual distance, then you will be able to edit the picture and get what you were looking for.
Get a foothold, as to prevent the picture to be blurry due to movement, especially if there is not much light at the time.
Find out the camera modes: your smartphone modes will help you making the best picture, according to the situation.
For updates with other recommendations from Collazo, look for her Twitter account.