All posts filed under: Politics

Corbis News Pictures of the Year 2015

An image of mine from Chicago’s Black Friday protests on Michigan Avenue, Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile” and longest shopping street, following the release of a dashcam video of police shooting Laquan McDonald is included in the best news pictures of the year selected by my agency, Corbis Images. You can view the entire gallery on their website.

Best of 2015: Chicago, Poland, Serbia and Germany

This was a year of terrorist attacks, mass shootings a-plenty, mass exodus from the Middle East, North and East Africa and the AfPak region which does not include India but a small number from Bangladesh, rising xenophobic far right sentiment, and an uptick in hostility towards Muslims unprecedented since immediately after the September 11, 2001 attacks. The far right so far has been kept on the back burner, but the slow slide into what I liken to the Brezhnev years of the Cold War for the Global War on Terror (GWoT) years is upon us. The American presidential elections offer little reason or occasion for hope. The state of affairs in Syria, too, offers little occasion for hope. “Assad must go” has converted into the new “red line,” as US Secretary of State John Kerry concedes Assad can stay because the US has no one else to pluck out of an abyss of alternatives. The whole world has heard of the Islamic State and the international media relishes any opportunity to put the group’s name …

Cara Eckholm’s Series on Postwar Bosnia for National Geographic Voices with My Photos

Last October, I traveled to Bosnia with fellow National Geographic Young Explorer Cara Eckholm to report and photograph stories from postwar Bosnia. She now works for the consulting firm, ReD Associates, out of Copenhagen. Below are excerpts and photographs from the series we worked on and completed together. Exploring Sarajevo, 20 Years After Dayton Peace Accord May 29, 2015 From morning to midnight, in sun or snow, pensioners play chess with passion, swinging life-sized pieces across a board painted onto the pavement in the center of Sarajevo. I struck up a conversation with a crowd of bystanders, and learned that was not always so. Twenty years ago, this square was deserted, a victim of Bosnian-Serb mortars. Now, the chess players razz each other against a backdrop of multinational chains. But the past is never absent in Bosnia, and the storefronts face the once-majestic Austro-Hungarian officer club, still riddled with bullet holes two decades after the country’s ethnic war. Supported by a National Geographic Young Explorers Grant, I’ve been exploring Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital that was …

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 …

After James Foley’s Death, Returning to A Point of Crossing Into Syria for Many

Tragic events this week lead back to a hotel in Kilis, Turkey on the Syrian border I photographed last April for the German newspaper Die Welt. The entire day I spent there, I felt like I was being watched. Any car that pulled up to the front entrance, I immediately sought distance from. And now this story from 2013, “Hotel Wahnsinn,” finds its way into a piece, “Was U.S. Journalist Steven Sotloff A Marked Man?” for The Daily Beast by Ben Taub, who was the first person I met when I walked into the lobby of the Hotel Istanbul in search of three protagonists an editor had passed on to me for the story. * * * My heavy heart to James Foley’s and Steven Sotloff’s friends and family as well as to all the friends and family of others being held in captivity in Syria and Iraq, foreigners as well as Syrians and Iraqis alike. We all deserve a better world than this one. Every single Muslim I know stands opposed to ISIS, so …

Best of 2013: My Year in Pictures

This was my first full year based in Istanbul, Turkey, a city I have long dreamed of calling home since I was a student of Ottoman history in college. While my Turkish could still stand to see some improvement, I have begun to get a foothold in a complex region and see many of the corners of Eastern Europe I previously had not. In February, my work photographing the Khazar Islands, a $100 billion fantasy real estate project of Azerbaijani oligarch Ibrahim Ibrahimov, appeared in The New York Times Magazine. Later in the year, it would be republished again in Mare magazine in Germany. While shot in the summer of 2012, I have chosen to start the year in pictures with some of my favorite images from this shoot, due to my desire to continue photographing the Khazar Islands and the initial publication of this work in the early part of this year. In January, I took a road trip through the American deep south to explore “post-racial America” and the tensions that exist beneath …

Chicago NATO Summit Weekend May 18-22, 2012 Events Calendar

“Afghan Women Shadow Summit” Amnesty in Chicago It’s a crucial time for President Karzai, President Obama, world leaders and the media to see that people care deeply about the fate of women’s and girls’ human rights in Afghanistan. Speakers and panelists include Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky; Afifa Azim, Executive Director, Afghan Women’s Network; Gayle Lemmon, Council on Foreign Relations and Author, “Dressmaker of Khair Khana”; and Manizha Naderi, Executive Director of Women for Afghan Women. The panel will be moderated by Jerome McDonnell, host of WBEZ’s Worldview. After the Summit, please join us for an action as we fly kites to demand Afghan women’s rights! This event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. To register and for more information, please visit http://www.amnestyusa.org/afghanwomen. We need you! When: 11AM – 1PM on May 20th – the first day of the NATO Summit. Registration and light brunch begin at 10AM Where: Swissotel Hotel, Lucerne Ballroom, 323 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60601 Note: After the Summit, please join us at Navy Pier …

The Year in Pictures 2011: Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan and Turkey

The Year in Pictures 2011 The annus horribilis of 2011 is coming to a close – a year that will go down as one of dramatic upheaval and revolution alongside 1789, 1848, 1917, 1989, and now, this year. In Egypt, young revolutionaries overthrew the government of Hosni Mubarak after 31 years of subservience to a one-party state bolstered by an omnipresent muhabarata, or secret service, further bolstered by an overreaching military, after Egyptians witnessed similar events in Tunisia lead to the removal of that country’s former leader Ben Ali. Consequently, the domino theory made a surprise return as events in Egypt triggered revolts elsewhere in Bahrain, Libya, Syria and Yemen. Of these, only Libya’s leader fell after rebels received aerial support from NATO war planes; Qaddafi was found hiding in a drainage canal near his hometown of Sirte (or Surt, depending on your news source and spelling) and subsequently dragged through the streets, sodomized with a knife and otherwise tormented before being shot in the head. In the Libyan conflict three photographers lost their lives, …

The Denver Post: Photos – Rod Blagojevich Gets 14 Years in Prison for Corruption

Images #32-#34 on The Denver Post website online photo gallery, “Rod Blagojevich Gets 14 Years in Prison for Corruption,” today feature my work covering Rod Blagojevich in 2008-2009: “CHICAGO—Rod Blagojevich, the ousted Illinois governor whose three-year battle against criminal charges became a national spectacle, was sentenced to 14 years in prison Wednesday, December 7, 2011, one of the stiffest penalties imposed for corruption in a state with a history of crooked politics. Blagojevich’s 18 convictions included allegations of trying to leverage his power to appoint someone to President Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat to raise campaign cash or land a high-paying job.”