fyi: The Photographic Gallery in New York will be hosting a show by four unembedded photojournalists: Kael Alford, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, Thorne Anderson and Rita Leistner. The show opens March 18th and will continue through April 30, 2006. The four are also part of an interesting book that looks at Iraq through the eyes of those not embedded with the U.S. forces there. The book link is below. The “Unembedded” website can be found here.
Zoriah has updated a series he did on the Northern Pakistan Earthquake, also known as the Kashmir Earthquake. I have posted them below with his earlier write-up. Other previous series by Zoriah concerning AIDS, the tsunami that hit Thiland in 2004 and life in Gaza can be viewed here, here, and here.
People often ask me to compare disasters and I find myself struggling to provide them with an answer that feels truthful. In all honesty, after five years of focusing on disasters and humanitarian crisis, I find that everything begins to look the same. Faces, no matter which country or continent they hail from, closely resemble each other when they are framed in rubble and surrounded by smoke. Buildings and trees and landscapes look about the same when they are flattened on the ground, whether the cause was a hijacked airplane, a massive wave or powerful tremor. It is often far too easy for me see a disaster zone as nothing more than a familiar scene, another day of work.
Tues 14th March - I was fortunate to be introduced to Betty Bigombe, the Museveni/LRA Peace Talks Mediator, yesterday. She told me that she was sad that the talks were not proving to be successful, but that she will remain in contact with the rebels as long as there is hope. I travelled from Gulu to Lira in the evening, just after nightfall. Not the wisest of moves, especially considering that now the rains have started, the vegetation is growing, which always initiates renewed rebel attacks. There have been a number of attacks in the last couple of weeks, always following the same pattern - Vehicle shot at until it stops; driver killed instantly; others robbed of shoes, clothes and possession and then shot. Driving these roads at night requires nerves of steel and a heavy foot on the accelerator.
The following is an update on the situation in Sudan with words and photograph provided by Dan Morrison, a freelance journalist currently in the region. His Sudan reports can also be found here, here and here:
The danger and want in Darfur cannot be both an emergency and a chronic condition, and yet it now has the attributes of both. Two years after ethnic cleansing of the region's non-Arab tribes reached its height, more than two million people continue to live in camps as captive dependents of the world humanitarian community, cut off from their homes and livelihoods. Residents I interviewed at camps in South Darfur and West Darfur states were adamant that they could not and would not return to their homes in an atmosphere of continuing attacks by Arab militias. ``When they kill the Janjaweed, then we can go back,'' was a common statement. Another deterrent placed a distant second to the memory and fear of the government-backed marauders - opportunity. Widows described their pleasure at sending their children, including their daughters, to UNICEF-funded schools inside the camps. It will be a long time indeed before international community and its ``partners'' in the government of Sudan are able to replicate the range of health and educational boons that exist inside many of Darfur's displaced-person camps. It was the absence of such services that helped push the region into civil war. For those who continue to live in the countryside, outside the sometimes- protected perimeters of the camps, conditions are growing less safe and international aid more scarce. Increasing banditry, fighting between rebels and government troops, and harassment by state security services have all reduced the flow of aid to rural areas. All eyes were on January 2007, when diplomats and aid offiicals assumed a UN force would take over from the underfunded and underequipped African Union force. Sudanese diplomacy and bruised egos at the higher levels of the African Union secretariat have combined to delay that by at least six months. Peace talks in Nigeria have withstood the combined arbitrage and hectoring of the UN, AU, EU, US and UK secure in their dysfunction. Most dangerous is a projected gap in food aid that could leave 2.8 million people without food in Darfur over the coming months. ``It's big and it's frightening,'' says Carlos Veloso, the World Food Program's emergency coordinator for Darfur.
Which Photo Agency Is Hardest To Deal With? (Please use the comment section to address some of the issues you see.)
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