All posts filed under: Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline

Etem Erol, 1955-2016

The last message I had from Etem hoca was just a few days before he passed away. I had a night layover in Istanbul on my way to Odessa for two months and I asked if he wanted to join some friends for dinner, so naturally I invited Etem, as I had not been back to the city I called home for two years in over a year. He wrote to say he regretted he could not make it that he was leaving early that same morning for Bulgaria with his brother. It was in Bulgaria, I came to learn just a few nights ago from a classmate and fellow student in his Elementary Turkish I class so many years ago, that he had a heart attack and died in his brother’s arms. He was so young, 60, and with so much life and so much still to give. I write this with tears streaming down my face and it’s been more than a day now since I heard this really excruciatingly painful news. It …

Aerial Photographs

The question of aerial photography came up in a meeting today, so I went looking through my archives for a few samples. They are a few years old but from such interesting and/or beautiful places, I felt like sharing them here. Post-script, February 5: Coincidentally, yesterday was all about helicopters. Who hasn’t misremembered that time they flew in a helicopter that wasn’t hit by an RPG? I certainly don’t misremember anything of the sort happening in any of these helicopter journeys. I did refuse a helicopter elsewhere in Slovakia though due to wind conditions and the fact that I detected the smell of slivovitz on the pilot. No picture is worth a life and no lie is worth a lifetime of credibility-building within your field and among the greater public.

Best of 2014: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Germany and Sweet Home Chicago

(NOTE: Much of my work from this year remains under embargo until publication including my recent work in Bosnia and Herzegovina with National Geographic Young Explorer Grantee Cara Eckholm.) In February, events in Ukraine rapidly spiraled out of control following the peaceful occupation of the central Maidan Niezalezhnosti or Independence Square in Kiev that had begun late in 2013. On the evening of February 18, 2014, the government of Viktor Yanukovych ordered snipers positioned around the square to fire on demonstrators. The gunfire continued intermittently, killing dozens for two days until it stopped. Then Yanukovych fled to Russia. Since then, Russia has annexed Crimea and sent troops into eastern regions of Ukraine. The government in Kiev has realigned itself with the West and the European Union. In early April, I traveled to Kiev to photograph those who had survived the sniper attacks from February 18-20, 2014 and to hear their stories. I hoped to bring their voice into a conversation about the conflict playing out in the international media and policy circles in Washington and …

I Stand With Khadija Ismayilova

I will stand with Khadija today, Monday December 8, 2014, at 4pm at the Azerbaijani Embassy in Washington. Please join us. Renowned Azerbaijani investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova was remanded to the custody of the court according to section 125 of the country’s penal code in pretrial detention. Her work has landed her in trouble before. In 2012, months before Azerbaijan hosted Eurovision, the government launched a black mail campaign against her and released video it had secretly recorded in her bedroom, which it posted online. Khadija was as brave then as she is now, going public with the threats and publishing her investigations rather than cowering in the face of intimidation. This is a gathering of her friends and supporters outside the Azerbaijani Embassy in Washington on Monday December 8 at 4pm to call for her unconditional and immediate release and stand up for and show support for free speech where it is under threat. — Some of Khadija’s work: “Azerbaijani President’s Daughters Tied To Fast-Rising Telecoms Firm,” RFE/RL (June 27, 2011). “Azerbaijani Government Awarded …

Cortona on the Move: Projection of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline This Friday @ 11pm

This Friday at the Cortona on the Move Festival in Cortona, Italy my work, “Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline,” will be projected at 11pm along with the work of other photographers who have used the crowdfunding platform Emphas.Is. Other photographers involved in this projection include Matt Eich, Olivier Laban-Mattei, Tamara Abdul-Hadi, Kadir van Lohuizen, Per-Anders Pettersson, Joao Pina, Tomas van Houtryve, Erika Larsen and Patrick Brown. Previously, “Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline,” was awarded the National Geographic Young Explorers Grant and has been published on the National Geographic website, and images featured on The New York Times Lens blog, British Journal of Photography, Asian Geographic, Madame Figaro, Freelens, and Archivo Zine.

BBC World Services (Russian, Turkish and Azeri): Today is The 90th Birthday of National Leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev (And Also the Much Lesser Known “Azerbaijani Flower Day”)!

Today is the 90th birthday of a certain Heydar Aliyev, the Ümümmilli Lider (“National Leader”) of Azerbaijan, the former KGB chief, leader of Soviet and independent Azerbaijan, and the father of the current President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. In other words, today is very, very important in Azerbaijan. There are great celebrations in Azerbaijan – and around the world as this video from the Washington Mall shows. In anticipation of today, Leyla Najafli, a reporter for the BBC gave me a ring to ask me about my work “Heydaristan,” an accidental exploration in the endurance of iconography. My words to her have been translated and appear on the sites of the BBC World Service in Azeri, Russian, and Turkish. But what did I say in the English? Thanks to my friend Maria for the translation back from the Russian: “Heydaristan” Photojournalist Amanda Rivkin, working in Baku, decided to make a photo essay dedicated to the Aliyev personality cult. It’s called “Heydaristan”. The Aliyev personality cult is somewhat different from the various others in modern history. …