All posts filed under: slovakia

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 …

For Slovak daily Sme: Ani Nemecko nie je rajom. Utečenci zostávajú bez bytov aj práce

Ani Nemecko nie je rajom. Utečenci zostávajú bez bytov aj práce September 29, 2015 Utečenci veria, že sa im podarí zarobiť peniaze a dostať rodiny z nebezpečných zón do Európy. Sami majú neľahký život a neistú budúcnosť. Text: Amanda Rivkin Dvadsaťštyriročného Helmyho a jeho mladšieho, trinásťročného brata Jusúfa zaviedli do miestnosti v utečeneckej ubytovni, kde žije ich matka Inajat, žena v stredných rokoch. Ubytovňu na okraji Berlína prevádzkuje súkromná spoločnosť Gierso. Čipkované záclony vpúšťajú dnu trochu svetla. Zapácha to tam ako popolník. Izba je však nad dvorom, vďaka čomu je tu svetlo aj neskoro popoludní. Kerim Öge, ktorý pomáha pri spravovaní piatich zariadení Gierso pre utečencov v Berlíne, vysvetľuje, že najviac, čo môžu urobiť, je poslať písomné varovanie, ak je zápach naozaj zlý. Nemôžu nikoho vyhodiť, inak by sa až príliš veľa ľudí ocitlo na ulici. Öge Helmymu hovorí, že utečencom opakujú, aby vnútri nefajčili. Na dvore sú na asfalte nakreslené dva štvorce, fajčiarske miesta. „Všetko je ťažké, mám 50 rokov,“ hovorí Helmyho matka Inajat. Žila v obkľúčenom palestínskom utečeneckom tábore Jarmúk na okraji sýrskeho …

For Slovak daily Sme: Hafízova cesta: Príbeh jedného sýrskeho utečenca

Hafízova cesta: Príbeh jedného sýrskeho utečenca September 25, 2015 Sýrčan Hafíz sa z Turecka až do Nemecka dostal pomerne jednoducho. Mal šťastie, dostatok peňazí a nevyzeral celkom ako Sýrčan. TEXT: Amanda Rivkin Hafíz pricestoval do nemeckého Norimbergu minulú jeseň predtým, ako sa v meste približne štyritisíc utečencov nasťahovalo do miestnych kempov a hotelov v meste a jeho okolí. V Damasku, odkiaľ je Hafíz, si predtým užíval život plný komfortu – pracoval ako mladý marketingový manažér a mal vlastný byt. Občianska vojna v Sýrii, ktorá prebieha už piaty rok, si vyžiadala životy asi 240-tisíc civilistov. Prevrátila na ruby aj Hafízov život. Nebezpečná Líbya Nemecko nebolo Hafízovou pôvodnou destináciou. Predtým, ako tam odišiel, zostal krátko v Istanbule. Neskôr dostal od svojho bývalého sýrskeho šéfa prácu v líbyjskom hlavnom meste Tripolis. Polovicu mesiaca strávil v kacenlárii v Tripolise a zvyšnú polovicu cestoval po krajine. Do bytu v Tripolise sa mu dvakrát vlámali ozbrojení lupiči. Pri prvom vlámaní prišiel o život jeho spolubývajúci. Pri tom druhom vtrhlo do Hafízovho domu niekoľko mužov vyzbrojených kalašnikovovmi. Hafíz prišiel o väčšinu cenností …

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.

2012 A Year of Transition

2012 was luckily not like 2011, a year that goes down with 1789, 1848, 1917, 1989 as a year of revolution.  By contrast, 2012 was a year of transition in most every respect.  Global technologies, movements, ideas, and politics are all in flux; only the economies of the world remain sluggish, with some notable exceptions.  Turkey is one of these exceptions.  By 2023, the centennial of the modern secular Turkish Republic, the currently ruling Justice and Development Party, AK Party according to its Turkish acronym, hopes that Turkey will be counted among the top 10 economies in the world. (A great BBC Global Business report on what could go wrong is well worth a listen.) After finishing my Fulbright grant in Azerbaijan, photographing Azerbaijani Women, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Eurovision Song Contest, I moved to Istanbul in September to freelance here in Turkey and the region. I joined the VII Mentor Program where I am working with Ron Haviv on improving my craft for the duration of two years. In this time, I …

Amateur Photographer (UK) on VII Mentor Program

  Victims of the Ajka alumina sludge spill in Hungary in October 2010 return to the new beginnings homeless shelter. Amateur Photography, “Amanda Rivkin,” feature on VII Mentor, September 8, 2012, p. 29. Bright new talent Amateur Photographer (UK) September 8, 2012 As the VII Photo Agency welcomes four new members to its mentoring programme, Gemma Padley talks to the photographers about their approach and ambitions BEGINNING a career as a fledgling photographer in the somewhat fraught and uncertain world of photojournalism can be a challenging experience, to say the least. With the fast-paced turnaround of news and rapid pace of technological change, not to mention the photographic industry itself being in a constant state of flux, a career as a photojournalist is no bed of roses. Yet despite these challenges, many photographers find the draw of life as a photojournalist irresistible. Four photographers who have chosen to embark on this path are Gazi Nafis Ahmed, Laura El-Tantawy, Jost Franko and Amanda Rivkin. They are the latest recruits to the VII Mentor Program that is …

In Memoriam: Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington

I am still at a loss for the enormous quantity of injuries to photojournalism in recent months, beginning for this generation with Emilio Morenatti of The Associated Press on August 12, 2009. An Associated Press account of the bomb “planted in the open desert terrain,” according to the American military, left Morenatti without his foot as he traveled in southern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border with AP Television News videographer Andi Jatmiko and a unit of the 5th Stryker Brigade. Again in southern Afghanistan, Joao Silva one of the four founding members of the famous group of South African photographers covering the end of apartheid known as “the Bang Bang club,” was hit by a mine and lost both legs, as reported October 23, 2010 by his employer The New York Times. This spring came the awful and surreal detentions of well known and intrepid New York Times conflict photographers Lynsey Addario and Tyler Hicks alongside reporters Anthony Shadid and Stephen Farrell in Libya. Then obviously and most recently came the tragic deaths a whole …