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Telling stories about the trips worth taking. Topics about transmedia, journalism, technology and art.
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Kathputli colony | Serge Bouvet, photographe reporter

Kathputli colony | Serge Bouvet, photographe reporter | Hitchhiker | Scoop.it

Planners have decreed that the famed Kathputli Colony in India's capital, New Delhi, is to make way for luxury flats and shops 

The roads that lead to it are unpaved, dirty and narrow. The houses are rudimentary and sparse. The meandering alleys, slippery and narrow, are almost a hazard to navigate with an overbearing smell of sewage and wood smoke.

Located in the western part of India’s capital, New Delhi, this slum is known as the Kathputli (or puppeteers’) Colony — though it isn’t just puppeteers who live here. With its origins in a simple encampment for roving and mostly Rajasthani performers, this 50-year-old community today comprises some 3,500 families. They are magicians, snake charmers, acrobats, singers, dancers, actors, traditional healers and musicians as well as puppeteers, and make up what it probably the largest congregation of street performers in the world. Musical instruments — for sale or repair — line the alleys, and a simple chat can turn into a magic show. Days reverberate with song and music, and many houses are crammed with huge puppets and other props.

The local authorities have plans for Kathputli Colony, however.

“Our policy is to give slum dwellers and their children better living conditions, and that’s what we are doing,” says S.K. Jain, director of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the civic body that owns the land where Kathputli Colony stands.

 

So, come April 1, this unique community will disappear to make way for luxury flats and a mall. The residents will be shifted to a nearby transit camp for two years and finally to a new high-rise building, which, the government claims, will be a modern artistes community with facilities to nurture and showcase street art.

 

The residents are skeptical. “How are we going to store our equipment in a cramped flat?” asks Puran Bhat, the oldest resident of the Kathputli Colony and a puppeteer, pointing at the 10-to-15-ft.-high puppets lined up against the wall of his room and spilling over onto a small terrace. “And we have big families.” (In Bhat’s case, there are 18 of them.)

“Our art dictates our lifestyle and our lifestyle is our identity; the lifestyle of a multistory building is not for us,” says Aziz Khan, a magician who made Guinness World Records for his great Indian rope trick in 1995.

Almost everyone in the Kathputli Colony shares these feelings, and many have asked that the community be redeveloped in situ, as a tourist attraction. But the DDA has other plans. “Middle-class India looks upon us as a nuisance, at odds with the image of India as a rising world power,” says Ishamuddin Khan, a street magician whose rope illusion was once ranked among the 50 greatest magic tricks in the world.

 

Meanwhile, Bhat, in his home, works on the script of a play that the residents are planning to perform on the streets of Delhi to protest the demolition of Kathputli Colony. “We perform for the poor as well as the rich, for the Prime Minister as well as the commoner,” Bhat says. “And we have always lived like kings without worrying about the future.”

That freedom, unfortunately, is a luxury that the residents of Kathputli Colony no longer have.

 


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Monsoon | Photojournalism: Steve McCurry

Monsoon | Photojournalism: Steve McCurry | Hitchhiker | Scoop.it

"I was eleven years old when I saw a photo essay on the monsoon in India in Life Magazine by Brian Brake, the New Zealand-born Magnum photographer.

His work established his reputation as a master color photoessayist. Twenty years later, I proposed a story to National Geographic to photograph the monsoon. The next year I joined Magnum Photos.

People have often asked me what it was like spending almost a year photographing the monsoon. I spent several months following the monsoon which affects half the people on the planet.

Weather is often my best ally as I try to capture the perfect mood for my pictures, but photographing the monsoon was an experience that taught me a lot about patience and humility.

 

Photographing in heavy rain is difficult because you have to constantly wipe the rain drops from the camera lens. That takes about a third of the time. Monsoon rain is accompanied by winds that try to wrestle away the umbrella that is wedged between my head and shoulders.

I spent four days, in a flooded city in Gujarat, India, wading around the streets in waist-deep water that was filled with bloated animal carcasses and other waste material. The fetid water enveloped me leaving a greasy film over my clothes and body. Every night when I returned to my flooded hotel, empty except for a nightwatchman, I bathed my shriveled feet in disinfectant.

 

Once I was almost sucked down into one of the holes in the street in Bombay into which water was rushing. It took every bit of my strength to keep from losing my balance. After that close call, I shuffled along, inch by inch, yard by yard, until I had to abandon my cautious instincts.

I had to see the monsoon as a predictable yearly event, and not the disaster it seemed to my western eyes. The farmers experience the monsoon as an almost religious experience as they watch their fields come back to life after being parched for half the year.

 

When I was in Porbundar, the historic birthplace of Gandhi, I came upon a dog. There he was, locked out of the house, standing on a tiny piece of concrete as the flood waters rose. His expression betrayed his emotions. You can tell by the picture that he realizes his predicament and hope his owner opens the door soon.

Actually, a moment after I took the picture, the door opened and he ran inside."- Steve Mccurry


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The chechen refugees | Photographer: Gianni Giosue

The chechen refugees | Photographer: Gianni Giosue | Hitchhiker | Scoop.it

My project wants to document the daily lives of the Chechen refugees living in the Pankisi Valley, Republic of Georgia. They came to Georgia about 12 years ago following the wars that ravaged the Republic of Chechnya in 1994-96 and 1999-2000. 

Ever since they have been trying to relocate to a third country or to start a new life. Some of them managed to be relocated to Northern America or to some European states. 

Some others stayed behind and were left in a legal limbo. It takes about 10 years to be able to qualify for Georgian citizenship. Some of them still have no documents: as a consequence it is difficult to be integrated, find a job and live a normal life.- Gianni Giosue


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Kathputli colony | Serge Bouvet, photographe reporter

Kathputli colony | Serge Bouvet, photographe reporter | Hitchhiker | Scoop.it

Planners have decreed that the famed Kathputli Colony in India's capital, New Delhi, is to make way for luxury flats and shops 

The roads that lead to it are unpaved, dirty and narrow. The houses are rudimentary and sparse. The meandering alleys, slippery and narrow, are almost a hazard to navigate with an overbearing smell of sewage and wood smoke.

Located in the western part of India’s capital, New Delhi, this slum is known as the Kathputli (or puppeteers’) Colony — though it isn’t just puppeteers who live here. With its origins in a simple encampment for roving and mostly Rajasthani performers, this 50-year-old community today comprises some 3,500 families. They are magicians, snake charmers, acrobats, singers, dancers, actors, traditional healers and musicians as well as puppeteers, and make up what it probably the largest congregation of street performers in the world. Musical instruments — for sale or repair — line the alleys, and a simple chat can turn into a magic show. Days reverberate with song and music, and many houses are crammed with huge puppets and other props.

The local authorities have plans for Kathputli Colony, however.

“Our policy is to give slum dwellers and their children better living conditions, and that’s what we are doing,” says S.K. Jain, director of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the civic body that owns the land where Kathputli Colony stands.

 

So, come April 1, this unique community will disappear to make way for luxury flats and a mall. The residents will be shifted to a nearby transit camp for two years and finally to a new high-rise building, which, the government claims, will be a modern artistes community with facilities to nurture and showcase street art.

 

The residents are skeptical. “How are we going to store our equipment in a cramped flat?” asks Puran Bhat, the oldest resident of the Kathputli Colony and a puppeteer, pointing at the 10-to-15-ft.-high puppets lined up against the wall of his room and spilling over onto a small terrace. “And we have big families.” (In Bhat’s case, there are 18 of them.)

“Our art dictates our lifestyle and our lifestyle is our identity; the lifestyle of a multistory building is not for us,” says Aziz Khan, a magician who made Guinness World Records for his great Indian rope trick in 1995.

Almost everyone in the Kathputli Colony shares these feelings, and many have asked that the community be redeveloped in situ, as a tourist attraction. But the DDA has other plans. “Middle-class India looks upon us as a nuisance, at odds with the image of India as a rising world power,” says Ishamuddin Khan, a street magician whose rope illusion was once ranked among the 50 greatest magic tricks in the world.

 

Meanwhile, Bhat, in his home, works on the script of a play that the residents are planning to perform on the streets of Delhi to protest the demolition of Kathputli Colony. “We perform for the poor as well as the rich, for the Prime Minister as well as the commoner,” Bhat says. “And we have always lived like kings without worrying about the future.”

That freedom, unfortunately, is a luxury that the residents of Kathputli Colony no longer have.

 


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Shadows in Greece | Photojournalist: Enri Canaj

Shadows in Greece | Photojournalist: Enri Canaj | Hitchhiker | Scoop.it

The centre of Athens, as I first remember it, was full of life.

During the period before the Olympic Games, there was great development. New hotels appeared in order to host the visitors, shops, restaurants and cafes kept sprouting up, it was full of people everywhere. All this happened within a few years. It was as if the city put on new clothes. During the days of the Olympics, the city was clean and well-guarded. You would not see street- merchants, drug-addicts or immigrants, just tourists and people who came in order to have a good time. In my eyes, it looked like another place.

 

As time passed, the city started deteriorating and gradually recovered its previous character: the everyday life that we all knew, with the junkies, the street-merchants, the the immigrants and the prostitutes.

Time passes fast. The city is now fading. Some people abandon it due to the crisis. Many shops and hotels have shut down, the centre is now almost deserted. People fear they will get ripped-off, they hear that this happens all the time. They no longer feel like going out and wandering about like before. They even fear seeing all the poverty and destitution, the drug-users who will rip you off for their shot, the women prostituting themselves.

 

But for me, those people were always there. I found them all there when I first arrived as a 9-year old child. They were always there when I was growing up. They are somehow trapped in their lives, subsisting in terrible circumstances, in squalid houses with insufficient hygiene.


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Photo report's curator insight, June 17, 2013 3:59 AM

Enri Canaj was born in Tirana, Albania, in 1980. He spent his early childhood there and moved with his family to Greece in 1991, immediately after the opening of the borders. He is based in Athens and covers stories in Greece and the Balkans.

 

He studied photography at the Leica Academy in Athens. In 2007 he took part in a British Council project on migration, attending a year-long workshop with Magnum photographer Nikos Economopoulos.

Since 2008, he has been a freelance photographer for major publications such as Time Magazine Lightbox, Newsweek, Le monde Diplomatique (German edition),TO VIMA, TA NEA, Tachydromos and VIMAGAZINO. A sample of his work has been exhibited at the Cultural Foundation of the National Bank of Greece in Athens and Salonica, at the Bilgi Santral in Istanbul, the European Parliament in Brussels and the Athens Photo Festival.

 

He has been working in the Balkans, mainly Kosovo and Albania, as well as Greece, focusing on migration and the recent crisis.

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Back home – Photographer: Gianmarco Panucci

Back home – Photographer: Gianmarco Panucci | Hitchhiker | Scoop.it

Between 1999 and 2001 in Montes de Maria area, wich includes the regions of Sucre and Bolivar, armed groups of people commited 72 massacres, considered to be the most serious in the history of this Country.
The one occured in Chengue was definitely one of the most violent.
On the 17th of January 2001 in this village of 1300 people, 27 died and all the others were forced to leave.
Ten years later only 60 out of 1300 people who lived there before, came back to start over again.
Life condition though is difficult: people who used to live quietly before the rise of paramilitarism, are now struggling in the less inhabited places of Montes de Maria zone and one of the poorest village of Colombia. - Gianmarco Panucci


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