May 2018

  • Falafel With A Side of Tear Gas

    Image from Palestine, by Shadi Rahimi

    Three men selling falafel calmly place gas masks across their faces while awaiting customers at a market in Hebron, the largest city in the West Bank, an occupied Palestinian territory. This image was captured in 2015 during clashes between young Palestinians and Israeli forces. Tear gas had been fired several blocks away during a protest march for Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers.

    Shadi Rahimi is a photographer and a senior producer for AJ+, Al Jazeera's online news channel.

  • They Won’t Shut Us Up

    Image from Brazil, by Bárbara Dias

    Black women are at the forefront of this protest in Rio de Janeiro on March 15, 2018, one day after the assassination of city councillor Marielle Franco and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes.

    Born and raised in the Favela da Maré, Marielle was an activist who fought for the rights of women, single mothers, black people, LGBTQ people, and favela residents in Brazil. She also campaigned against police brutality and extrajudicial killings. After she was murdered, thousands of people took to the streets to call for an independent investigation and demand justice for her death. Activists, academics, and human rights lawyers from around the world echoed this demand. While the crime remains unsolved, Brazil’s Public Security Minister reports evidence police officers were implicated, supporting allegations that Marielle was killed by those who wanted to silence her ideas. In this image, protestors hold signs saying “They Won’t Shut Us Up.”

    Bárbara Dias is a photojournalist based in Rio de Janeiro, specializing in human rights issues.

  • Russia’s Anti-Corruption Struggle

    Image from Russia, by Alexander Anufriev

    A protester is led away by police officers during an anti-corruption protest on June 12, 2017 in Moscow.

    Russia is claimed to be one of the most unequal of the world’s major economies, with the richest 10% of Russians owning an estimated 87% of all the country’s wealth. This inequality is in part attributed to corruption, but charges are rarely brought against the political elite despite evidence of their corrupt behaviour. Led by the popular opposition figure Alexey Navalny, anti-corruption activists staged nationwide protests on June 12, 2017 as the country celebrated Russia Day. Over 1,000 protestors were detained.

    Navalny has alleged corruption at the highest levels of the Russian government. After campaigning in 2017 for the presidency, he was barred from running in the 2018 election. This ban was due to an embezzlement-related conviction following a trial later called “arbitrary and unfair” by the European Court of Human Rights. The 2018 election resulted in Vladimir Putin securing a fourth presidential term. Putin has been in power in Russia, as either president or prime minister, since 2000.

    Alexander Anufriev was born in Ukhta, Russia, and worked at an advertising agency after buying his first camera in 2012. Since completing a documentary program at the Rodchenko Art School, he works on projects describing and analysing the social landscape of contemporary Russia.

  • My Home in Aleppo

    Image from Syria, by Louai Barakat

    A man photographs the remains of his home in Aleppo, Syria, destroyed by bombardment in 2016.

    Hundreds of civilians were killed in the 2016 bombing of Aleppo, with human rights organizations accusing the Syrian-Russian coalition of committing war crimes during this campaign. Coalition forces deliberately targeted hospitals and numerous residential areas were destroyed by indiscriminate shelling. 

    The number of people killed since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011 is unknown, but some organizations estimate over 100,000 civilians have died. According to the United Nations and other observers, both government and rebel forces have committed severe human rights violations during this conflict.

    Louai Barakat is a photojournalist who aims to reveal the devastating impacts of the war in Syria through his work. He was arrested in 2012 by Syrian security forces for documenting their crimes against the Syrian people and detained again in 2014 by ISIS. He left Aleppo in 2016 and now lives in France.

  • I am Ramnami

    Image from India, by Debdatta Chakraborty

    The Ramnamis are a community of Hindus in Chhattisgarh, India, who as members of the Dalit caste, were subjected to the now-outlawed custom of “untouchability”.

    Untouchability meant near total segregation for Dalits. It restricted their access to public spaces and limited the work they could perform to the dirtiest, most menial labour. To protest their profound discrimination, some members of the Ramnami community tattooed the name of the Hindu god Ram on their faces, arms, legs, or entire bodies. This tattooing was also a way to practice their religion as Dalits were barred from entering temples due to their “untouchable” status. What began over 100 years ago as an act of defiance became a cultural tradition and the Ramnamis continued to tattoo themselves to express their devotion to Ram even as formal discrimination against them was dismantled.

    Although Dalits are no longer persecuted as severely as they once were, the inequalities of the caste system persist. Today, full body tattooing is less common with younger members of the Ramnami community, in part to avoid ongoing discrimination.

    Debdatta Chakraborty is a photographer from India.

  • Resistance

    Image from Venezuela, by Horacio Siciliano

    Demonstrators in Caracas, Venezuela clash with the Bolivarian National Guard during the first protest in 2017 against the government of Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s president.

    Venezuela is steeped in a severe economic and political crisis that began to unfold during Hugo Chávez’s presidency and has intensified under Nicolás Maduro, who took office in 2013.  Inflation has exploded, public services are collapsing, and average Venezuelan citizens suffer critical shortages of food, medical supplies, and other basic goods. Meanwhile, opponents of the current government are sometimes brutally suppressed as they protest what they see as an increasingly authoritarian regime. In Venezuela’s most recent election on May 20, 2018, Maduro won a second term, but members of the opposition and critics around the world called the vote a sham.

    Horacio Siciliano is the photographer behind some of the most emblematic photos of the Venezuelan crisis. He currently lives exiled in Spain after being followed, threatened, and questioned by government authorities as a result of his photojournalism.