All posts tagged: open society foundations

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 …

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.

Latvia’s Dark Past on @OpenSocietyFoundations Instagram

Go have a look, I just finished the week of 16 posts of images and stories from my recent trip to Latvia on the @opensocietyfoundations Instagram feed. From day one’s post and by way of explanation of the delve into Latvia’s past: My father was born a refugee in West Germany after the Second World War and with Latvia being absorbed into the Soviet Union as an Iron Curtain soon divided Europe, we never became acquainted with the land itself until I began working and studying in the region, despite the fact that Latvian culture, humor and persistence permeate our day to day lives. Latvia was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, then occupied by Nazi Germany from 1941-1945 before it was reoccupied by the Soviet Union from 1945 until Latvian independence and the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991. Here are five images from the week:

Open Society Foundations Instagram Takeover Next Week

Before you all go party crazy this weekend, take a moment to “follow” Open Society Foundations (@opensocietyfoundations) on Instagram as I’ll be taking over their feed next week with images from my recent trip to Latvia where I visited my grandmother’s hometown in the eastern Latgale region, which I’m told is a strange place even by Latvian standards, and quite a bit more.