All posts tagged: germany

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 …

Open Society Foundations Voices Blog: After a Long Haul, Refugees Settle Into New Lives Far from Home

Voices | Q + A After a Long Haul, Refugees Settle Into New Lives Far from Home October 16, 2015 Antonia Zafieri American photographer Amanda Rivkin has been photographing refugees as they transit from Syria to Europe. Recently, she posted several of these photos to the Open Society Instagram feed. Here, she talks about her experience documenting the refugees’ stories, and what she’s observed of their attempts to settle into new lives far from their original homes. Why did you pursue this story? I pursued the story of the recent exodus to Europe from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere for no reason other than it was there. I lived in Turkey for two years and never covered refugees as an issue per se, although refugees were everywhere in Istanbul at the time. Some were also my friends. If there was a crack between two buildings, it was as if you could find three Syrian families living there. But I think there is so much of this biblical, dramatic imagery that we forget that Syria—emptying out …

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 …

Takeover of @OpenSocietyFoundations Instagram Underway!

I am taking over the Open Society Foundations’ Instagram account this week to showcase images from the migration of refugees to Europe in Turkey, Serbia, Hungary, Austria and Germany. You can follow their account @opensocietyfoundations and my personal account @amandarivkin where I will be reposting some of my favorite pictures from the week.

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 …

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 …

Freelens Magazin #32, 2012: Es gibt immer Überraschungen, Amanda Rivkin: BTC-Öl-Pipeline

Amanda Rivkin BTC-Öl-Pipeline Junge Mädchen bekleiden sich passend für das Freitagsgebet, an dem sie in der Moschee der Altstadt von Baku teilneh- men wollen. Dieses Foto gehört in eine über Emphas.is finanzierte Reportage von Amanda Rivkin. Die Fotografin möchte damit die Veränderungen weiter dokumentieren, die sich durch den Bau der Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan-Öl-Pipeline für Aserbaidschan ergeben. Die Leitung spielt eine wichtige Rolle bei der Öff- nung des Landes gen Westen. Amanda Rivkin, kann von einer Basis in Aserbaidschan aus arbeiten. Sie wurde von der National Geographic Society für ein Nachwuchsstipendium ausgezeich- net. Ihre Fotos sind auch in »The Year in Pictures« von der New York Times und von Newsweek abgebildet. “Es gibt immer Überraschungen,” p. 22-23, Freelens Magazin #32, 2012.

From the Archive: Europop Diplomacy

Two weeks from today, on May 14, the Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Dusseldorf, Germany after last year’s German contestant, Lena, won in Oslo, Norway with her song “Satellite“. More than just a Eurotrash version of American idol, a kitsch showcase, and an evening of Europe at its most fabulous, Eurovision embodies all the finer qualities of true geopolitics: ambition, scale, scope, grandeur, and the embrace of the superficial and culturally symbolic. Quite simply, Eurovision is that Saturday night a cultural kitsch observer waits year round for. While English is the unofficial language of the contest, many contestants still choose to sing in their native languages risking the ire of other competing countries – possibly with competing nationalisms. There is a “Slavic bloc” to speak of when the text message voting comes around at the final stage of the competition. With most Balkan countries putting forth respectably kitschy enough candidates to make it to the finals, usually under the tutelage of grand masters such as Goran Bregovic, the old fault lines of tensions …

Cablegate: The Leak Goes On, Unplugged

Today in WikiLeaks some newspapers are having a bit of fun with news of Assange’s doomsday cache of encrypted files he has promised to release if anything happens to him or his organization. As far as threat assessments go, it is hard to know what to make of this when sanitized and scrubbed of sensationalism and held up against the success and stumbles of the revolution, or lack thereof, Mr. Assange has started so far. Nothing he has done has proven an existential threat to the U.S. government but then again the U.S. government has failed to escalate retaliation beyond Interpol’s fugitive list and public, widely reported pressure on the Swiss government not to accept and provide shelter for Mr. Assange. Another day, another day the world turns… 3:25PM EST“Assange to Meet with British Police, Lawyer Says,” The New York Times No way to just call up Julian’s daddy now and get him to apologize: “Hundreds of WikiLeaks Mirror Sites Appear,” The New York Times “Cyber Guerrillas Can Help U.S.” New America Foundation Evgeny Morozov …