All posts tagged: barack obama

National Geographic Explorers Journal: Explorer of the Week – Amanda Rivkin

Explorer of the Week: Amanda Rivkin Posted by Amy Bucci of NG Staff in Explorers Journal on August 14, 2012 This week we are featuring Amanda Rivkin, a photographer who decided to focus her lens on Azerbaijan’s offshore oil fields in the Caspian. Using funds from her Young Explorer grant, she followed the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline’s 1,100-mile route, which skirts five conflict zones in three countries representing believers of both Islam and Christianity. Rivkin’s photos reveal her passion and keen sense of storytelling. As she tells us, “I have come to see photography maybe in the vein of ancient epics, for a good photo is crafted like poetry.” In one National Geographic staff favorite, Rivkin captured a man reclining in a crude oil bath at a spa near Baku. Rivkin’s attention to detail, her knowledge about her subjects, and her unique vision will certainly continue to push her into the spotlight. What project are you working on now? I am transitioning from two long-term projects on the role of women in Azerbaijan and the …

Bienvenue a Perpignan! / Bienvengut a Perpinya! / Welcome to Perpignan!

They all say the same thing, the first in French, the second in Catalan and lastly English, perhaps the most useless of the languages accept for this week during Visa Pour L’image, as English maintains its credibility as the language of international media still. It is my first trip to the city, to the south of France (previous trips to the country have taken me only to Paris and Bretagne, where my dearest and oldest friend claims deep ancestral roots and where half of her family resides) and to the annual photojournalism festival, likely and perhaps the biggest in the world in its 23rd year. An editor once confided quite privately that the media was so late to catch the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and project images of the destruction of New Orleans worldwide not because President George W. Bush’s response left much to be desired but because the photo editors were on a working vacation in this city, Perpignan in the south of France. In other words, even if you think this annual gathering …

Lucie Foundation International Photography Awards 2011 Honorable Mentions

I received three honorable mentions this year at the Lucie International Photography Awards for work in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Hungary, and Chicago. The entries are below with brief descriptions. You will have to scroll down pretty far in the same “Honorable Mention” gallery to find these entries in the environmental, political, photo essay and feature story categories here. From the entry description: Entry Title: “Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline” Name: Amanda Rivkin, United States Category: Professional, Photo Essay and Feature Story The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline traverses three nations, skirts five conflict zones, and covers land held by believers in at least two of the world’s great religions. A major post-Cold War victory for the West that sent one million barrels of oil a day pumping from the oil fields of Azerbaijan with room to expand to transport energy from elsewhere in the Caspian and Central Asian regions, the BTC pipeline – as the project is known – has helped to redefine energy security in the early 21st century. (This work has previously appeared at National Geographic.) — …

New York Times: Jury Finds Blagojevich Guilty of Corruption

Jury Finds Blagojevich Guilty of Corruption By MONICA DAVEY and EMMA G. FITZSIMMONS Published: June 27, 2011 CHICAGO — A jury on Monday convicted Rod R. Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois, of a broad pattern of corruption, including charges that he tried to personally benefit from his role in selecting a replacement for President Obama in the United States Senate. Mr. Blagojevich, a Democrat who former aides say once envisioned himself as a future presidential contender, was found guilty of most of the 20 federal counts against him: 17 counts of wire fraud, attempted extortion, soliciting bribes, conspiracy to commit extortion and conspiracy to solicit and accept bribes. As the verdicts were read aloud in court, one “guilty” following another, Mr. Blagojevich, who has always proclaimed his innocence, turned, his jaw clenched grimly, to look at his wife, Patti, in the front row. By then, she was already slumped back in the arms of a relative, eyes closed, wiping away tears. The verdict appeared to be the conclusion, at last, to the spectacle of …

From the Archive: Cordoba and “The Edge in Dissent”

“Cordoba had the edge in dissent,” begins Pakistani writer and commentator Tariq Ali in a section devoted to the one-time intellectual capitol of Al-Andalus, the once Muslim southern half of contemporary Spain that is home to one of the most spectacular works of Islamic architecture, The Mezquita, in his larger post-September 11 work, The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity. Much has happened in the ever-complicated relationship between mine and Ali’s country in the last week since U.S. Navy Seals raided, killed and then buried at sea Osama bin Laden, who it turns out has spent several of the past fugitive years in an elaborate compound just off Kakul Road, the drive leading to Pakistan’s elite military academy equivalent to Sandhurst in the U.K. or West Point here in the U.S. The compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan was just 40 kilometers from the capital Islamabad. Not even former President and Head of the Pakistani Army Pervez Musharraf received such treatment, although he did assert he had gone jogging in the area in the past. The …

Fortnight Journal: The Chicago Way

The Chicago Way Fortnight Journal February 14, 2011 I. The Chicago Tribune arrived on the ledge outside my family’s kitchen. It was December. I was home for the holidays from graduate school. On the front page, the Tribune featured an early poll of 721 likely voters in the Chicago mayoral race. This was the first real contest in 21 years for the highest office in the city; The Fifth Floor; the mayor’s executive suite at Chicago City Hall. The poll showed a clear and early divide had emerged: There was Rahm Emanuel. And then there was everyone else. Or rather, there was Rahm Emanuel with a double-digit, 32 percent lead, and then a fragmented spread that delegated mere single-digit percentage points to the other six candidates, in alphabetical order: Roland Burris, Gery Chico, Danny Davis, Miguel del Valle, Reverend James Meeks and Carol Moseley Braun. As of this writing, the race has dwindled considerably. Davis and Meeks bowed out and endorsed Moseley Braun, making her the de facto black candidate in the race. Burris announced …

To Borrow a Title, Revolution: A User’s Manual

In 2006, I attended an event at the New York Public Library, “Revolution: A User’s Manual,” with Adam Michnik, Baltasar Garzon, Giaconda Belli and G.M. Tamas and moderated by Christopher Hitchens. It was my first encounter with Michnik; we would meet again a year and a half later one October day in his Warsaw office to discuss German MP Erika Steinbach’s efforts to build a Center Against Expulsions in Berlin and the prickly question of monuments and historical memory. A partial reading, watching and listening list relevant to the craft of revolution since the manuals are being rewritten yet again. Links to source material from this and past revolutions is provided when available free and online: 60 Minutes/CBS News, “Wael Ghonim and Egypt’s New Age Revolution.” Airdate: February 13, 2011. Al Jazeera English, “Egyptian Actor Supports the Protesters.” Airdate: February 1, 2011. “They think they can hijack 85 million voices saying ‘enough.’” – Khalid Abo Al-Naga The Atlantic Tumblr, “The Most Subversive Protest of All: An Egyptian Protestor [sic] Kisses a Riot Police Officer.” January …

From the Archive: Revolutionary Times

Yesterday, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt resigned after 30 years at the helm of Egypt following 18 days of protests across the nation. Over 300 people are estimated to have died for Egypt’s revolution to succeed. The protests turned violent at times as Mubarak clung to power, yet in the end once the fear barrier was crossed and blood was shed, there was no turning back for the Egyptian people. After 30 years, no Egyptian was prepared to return to living as they had once lived. In my lifetime, the world has witnessed few such truly revolutionary moments. Nineteen eighty nine is the natural crutch or starting point for discussion in the twenty-first century; this is a mistake. Timothy Garton Ash, author of The Polish Revolution, rightly reminded readers of The Guardian that this is not 1989 and nor is it Tehran 1979. Nor is it 1917, 1848, 1789. It is Cairo in 2011. Today, Egypt will wake up with a profound hangover and Egyptians will slowly come to the realization that democracy not only takes …

From the Archive: A Security Fantasia

This week saw the Obama administration distance itself from a U.S. partner of 30 years, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, as street demonstrations transformed into street clashes between anti-government protesters and pro-government supporters in Cairo and other Egyptian cities. The consequence of nearly 30 years of ruling Egypt with an iron fist and over $1 billion in security assistance a year from the U.S., the revolution on the streets of Egypt appears to have taken Washington by surprise. Just last week, Vice-President Joe Biden stated that Mubarak was not a dictator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Sunday morning shows that the longstanding relationship was something the Americans were balancing closely with contemporary events. By mid-week White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs bolstered Obama’s demand that “change must begin now,” more of a faint echo to Obama’s own presidential campaign of 2008 than it was reminiscent of the last time an American president issued an ultimatum to a dictator, by suggesting that “now means yesterday.” In between last week and this week, Foreign Policy ran …

From the Archive: Two Years Ago Almost to the Day, Former and Present White House Chief of Staffs Rahm Emanuel and William Daley at Obama’s Inauguration Luncheon

Obama’s former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who left the position to run for mayor of Chicago following Richard M. Daley’s surprise announcement not to run for reelection after 21 years, and Mayor Daley’s brother, William Daley, Barack Obama’s newly appointed Chief of Staff at the Inauguration luncheon in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2009.