Posts Tagged ‘photo journalism’

How photographer Tom Laffay sees human rights defenders in Colombia

January 20, 2018

While studying at the College of Charleston, Tom Laffay’s political consciousness came not from the classroom but in the fields while working alongside Mexican migrant laborers on a farm in North Carolina. “How they were living in the shadows made me want to know where they came from,” says the St. Ignatius High School alum.
With a background in Latin American studies and photojournalism, Laffay moved to Nicaragua in 2011 and Bogota, Colombia, in 2016. “I’ve never liked the idea of parachute journalism,” says the 28-year-old Laffay, whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Atlantic and Al Jazeera. “I get really invested in a place.” Laffay’s latest project Defender, a portrait of human rights defenders under threat for their work in Columbia, is part of the Cleveland Print Room’s Anthropocene group exhibit, running 19 January to 23 February 2018.

Tom Laffay Defender 2

Cleveland Magazine talked with Laffay about the perilous work of defenders intent on protecting their native environment:

Q: In 2016, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia signed a peace agreement. Since then, nearly 200 indigenous leaders, environmental activists, LBGTQ leaders and lawyers have been murdered in Columbia. Why?
A:  It’s open season on human rights defenders in Columbia, who are being killed with impunity for documenting blatant oil contamination by companies using water in fuel extraction. With the rebels demobilizing, the country is open for business in areas they couldn’t be involved with before.   

Q: Are you in danger for your associations with the local activists?
A:
There are a lot of extremely talented and brave journalists here. I definitely take precautions and I make calculated risks. You have to really trust the people you’re with. I make sure I’m always in touch with the legal collective I work with and they always know where I’m going to be.

Q: What do you want people to take away from this exhibit?
A: 
These are men and women defending their communities and environment, and their rewards are arbitrary arrests, fake judicial processes and death. The landscape has become so dominated by the oil industry. … Oil extraction comes first and communities are a distant second. ..

https://clevelandmagazine.com/entertainment/museums-galleries/articles/tom-laffay-s-artistic-defense

2016 Havel Prize of the Human Rights Foundation goes to Atena Farghadani, Petr Pavlensky, and Umida Akhmedova

May 5, 2016

The New-York based Human Rights Foundation announced on 5 May 2016 that the laureates of the 2016 Václav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent are:

  • Iranian cartoonist Atena Farghadani,
  • Russian performance artist Petr Pavlensky, and
  • Uzbek photojournalist Umida Akhmedova.
2016 Havel Prize Awarded to Atena Farghadani, Petr Pavlensky, and Umida Akhmedova

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More known about HRD Du Bin in detention in China thanks to Hu Jia

June 20, 2013

Du Jirong, sister of human rights activist Du Bin, holds up a sign saying “Du Bin is innocent.” outside the Fengtai District Public Security Bureau. (China Human Rights Defenders)

(Du Jirong, sister of human rights activist Du Bin, with sign saying “Du Bin is innocent” outside the Fengtai District Public)

The 41-year-old photographer and filmmaker Du Bin disappeared on May 31, weeks after he had released a documentary on the extreme conditions of Chinese labor camps in May, called Women Above Ghosts’ Heads. His film focused on Masanjia Women’s Labor Camp where many detainees were Read the rest of this entry »

Visual Journalism for Human Rights: the Tim Hetherington award

December 12, 2012

English: Human Rights Watch logo Русский: Лого...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The photojournalist Fernando Moreles has been awarded the second Tim Hetherington Grant, an annual visual journalism award focusing on human rights, Human Rights Watch and World Press Photo announced 0n 11 December 2012. Human Rights Watch and World Press Photo established the grant to honor the legacy of Hetherington, a photojournalist and filmmaker who was killed during fighting in Libya in April 2011. The €20,000 grant was given to Moleres for his project “Waiting for an Opportunity,” in which he is documenting the harsh realities of juvenile justice in Sierra Leone.  For more than two decades Moleres, who was born and lives in Spain, has been committed to documenting the plight of the most vulnerable populations and covering issues relating to children and labor, juvenile justice, and refugees. “Fernando Moleres’ moral and emotional commitment to his photographic subjects is clear,” said Carroll Bogert, deputy executive director at Human Rights Watch. “Tim Hetherington would have loved this work and Human Rights Watch is thrilled to support it.”

Related articles:

Fernando Moleres Wins Tim Hetherington Grant (hrw.org)
Tim Hetherington, 1970-2011 (edendale.typepad.com)