ham-topperWith $2,100 ham, Spain takes pork production to extremes (August 27, 2007)

ALBURQUERQUE, Spain — Spanish cuisine tickles the palate in a thousand ways: ugly but delicious creatures called goose barnacles; boiled octopus with a dash of olive oil and paprika; thick, mushy sausage made from pig’s blood. Spaniards are nothing if not dedicated eaters.


DSC_3898Amanda Rivkin in Hungary: Toxic Red Sludge (April 6, 2011).

For sixty-three year old Geza Csenki, living in the small village of Devecser in western Hungary, last October 4 was the day the world folded. A torrent of toxic red sludge from a nearby industrial plant owned by MAL Zrt (Magyar Alumínium Termelő és Kereskedelmi) burst and flooded the town.


20070829_rivkin_copticmillennium02The Numbers Game (October-December 2007)

Ethiopians have been celebrating the arrival of the new millenium, according to their ancient calendar. And the government is hoping the event will give a boost to its tourism industry.


lg.01Bachelor Parties in Prague (November 6, 2012)

When friends living in Eastern European nations began complaining of noisy, drunken tourists in their historical towns, American photojournalist Amanda Rivkin wanted to dig deeper. In Prague, Czech Republic, Rivkin tagged along for two “stag,” or bachelor, weekends…


Courrier Tour: Chicago (September 2009)


20090507_rivkin_hemon08Tutta L’energia Per Dirlo (July 10, 2010)

Romanzieri contagiosi: Inventano mondi mai visti, citando e transformando il meglio del ‘900. Una generazione ritrovata.


Soft Diplomacy: Caspian Dreamin’ (October 31, 2011)

WHILE the Eurovision song contest is not typically an arena in which America can compete, an unlikely hit song parodying “Empire State of Mind”, the famous Jay-Z and Alicia Keys tune, is presenting a chance for the country to participate in the contest. It is also an opportunity to witness American “soft diplomacy” at work.


steinbach-2-250x167Germany’s History Problem (September 17, 2008)

More than sixty years after the Second World War ended, the construction of a museum in Berlin for the victims of twentieth century “expulsions” – including an estimated 15 million ethnic Germans – is testing what it means for Germans to see themselves as victims and for postwar Germany to be at peace…

ethiopia_bild1A Potemkin Party (October 17, 2007)

The Ethiopian government threw a $1.6 million party for itself on September 11 to celebrate the Coptic millennium. One of the world’s most underdeveloped countries, a recipient of high profile Western aid efforts, was throwing a party for itself.


100409_rivkin_fpcuba_02 2The Second Age of Castro (April 9, 2010)

Women assist a young girl in trying on shoes at one of Havana’s limited “free market areas” for private vendors on March 12. Behind them are posters of Cuban revolutionaries Fidel and Raúl Castro and a young and handsome Che Guevara.

chinagoogleresizedRaging Against the Machine (January 19, 2010)

The career of Xu Zhiyong, who has worked to advance the cause of civil liberties in China, illustrates how the Chinese government manipulates modern technology to hamper the work of human rights activists — and provides a valuable lesson to Google in its own standoff with the regime.

Seven Questions: A Little KGB Training Goes A Long Way (July 25, 2007)

Former KGB general Oleg Kalugin spoke out against the Soviet regime in the late 1980s. Now a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, he again finds himself at odds with the government of his homeland. With tensions growing between Russia and the West, FP spoke with this dissident spy about Putin’s KGB past, the dangers of political activism, and the future of Russian democracy.


GD4517725@A-woman-rides0002-102624 Hours in Pictures (September 4, 2007)

Debre Birhan, Ethiopia : A woman rides her horse along a muddy trail. As urban Ethiopians prepare for the Coptic millennium celebrations on September 11, life in the countryside continues with little fanfare. Amanda Rivkin/AP


cyrpus02Crisis in Cyprus Could Be Worse Than Anticipated (March 27, 2013)

With time running out until Cyprus’s devastated banks must reopen their doors to the public, Cypriot and European officials are scrambling to put in place a set of measures that would allow jittery depositors access to their savings while preventing many billions of euros from fleeing the country.

cyprusbankprotest12European Finance Chiefs Helped Plant Time Bomb for Cyprus (March 27, 2013)

Bank of Cyprus employees, some of them in tears, swarmed the central bank in Nicosia on Tuesday to demand the resignation of its chief. The country’s banks will remain closed until Thursday as many fear for their life savings and their jobs.

rivkin_bakubillionaire04A $100 Billion Azerbaijani Dream (February 9-10, 2013)

In March 2010, Ibrahim Ibrahimov was on the three-hour Azerbaijan Airlines flight from Dubai to Baku when he had a vision. “I wanted to build a city, but I didn’t know how,” Ibrahimov recalled. “I closed my eyes, and I began to imagine this project.”


20090719_rivkin_pitchfork26Pitchfork diapason ‘indie rock’ fait son festival (July 21, 2009)

Le groupe francais M83 a beneficie du coup de coeur de Pitchfork.

Un plan de sauvetage de geant pour les banques (September 20, 2008)

Un trader a la Bourse de Chicago, jeudi 18 septembre, apres l’annonce du plan de sauvetage.


DSC_4235Ali, tu dois tuer le pape (March 15, 2013)

Ci-contre, à Istanbul, où il vit depuis 2010, il déclare “croire en Jésus-Christ”. “Je ne vois pas pourquoi je continuerais a proteger l’Iran” Ali Agca, le 6 mons.


Obama 2008 Election NightObama in Pictures: The Man Behind the Image (November 23, 2008)

Spectrum. After two years on the road, Obama makes his victory speech at Grant Park in his home city of Chicago in front of 200,000 people – and sandwiched between bulletproof glass screens.


20110812_rivkin_praguestage02Very Prague Trip (Summer 2013)

Pour attirer les visiteurs, la capitale de Bohême s’est specialisee dans les “stag parties”, ou enterrements de vie de garçon. Appâtés par les beautés slaves et la bière bon marché, les jeunes Européens s’y rendent en hordes, le temp d’un week-end, pour écumer cabarets et discothèques.


reportage-bakou-1Bakou avoir 20 ans au pays de l’or noir (December 26, 2011)

Indépendante depuis 1991, l’effervescente capitale de l’Azerbaïdjan, où les pétrodollars coulent à flots, s’offre un lifting et prépare l’Eurovision. Entre extrême richesse et pauvreté omniprésente boutiques de luxe et bidonvilles, développement artistique et censure…


10baku1-articleLargeDer Kaiser von Baku (August-September 2013)

Ibrahim Ibrahimow befand sich auf dem dreistündigen Flug von Dubai nach Baku, als er eine Eingebung hatte. „Ich wollte eine Stadt bauen, aber ich wusste nicht, wie“, erinnert er sich. „Ich schloss meine Augen und stellte mir das Projekt vor.“


energy-baku-tbilisi-ceyhan-pipeline-azerbaijan-mosque_36065_600x450Pictures: At Five Years Old, BTC Pipeline Moves Oil, Culture (June 8, 2011)

The landlocked Asian nation of Azerbaijan forged a powerful connection to the West five years ago with the first delivery of oil through one of the most ambitious energy projects of a generation—a $4.2 billion, 1,100-mile (1,800-kilometer) pipeline to the Turkish Mediterranean coast.


EV_Fans-383x254European Pie (May 26, 2012)

Eurovision began in Switzerland in 1956. The European Broadcasting Union hoped that that bringing the countries of the continent together for a night in song might pave the way for a more harmonious future, free of the wars and genocide that comprised Europe’s darker past.

feature-havel-383x253Vaclav Havel, 1936-2011 (December 18, 2011)

Where are the great men? Are we beyond the point of elevating the individual over the group, or are there simply no more individuals? …It seems there are no more barriers between the secure, the secured, and the guardians of their security… There is the elite and then there is everyone else. Enter Vaclav Havel.


20110627_rivkin_blagoconvicted08In Retrial, Blagojevich is Found Guilty of Corruption (June 28, 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.

22gh_wyg-articleLargeWhat You Get For… $400,000 (June 22, 2011)
WHAT: A two-bedroom, two-bath duplex condo
HOW MUCH: $390,000
SIZE: 1,450 square feet (estimated)

JP-PROTESS-articleLarge-v2A Watchdog Professor, Now Defending Himself (June 18, 2011)

For the last two years, David Protess, a renowned journalist and professor who spent three decades fighting to prove the innocence of others, has been locked in a battle to do the same for himself. It hasn’t gone as well.

MICHIGAN-popupMichigan’s Decade of Tarnish Seen in Census Report (December 23, 2010)

CONSTANTINE, Mich. — While every other state in the nation gained population over the past decade, Michigan shrank. And yet, as word seeped across frozen towns like this one on Wednesday, almost no one seemed even mildly surprised.

LACEYjp-articleInlineCuba Resets the Revolution (September 18, 2010)

For first-time visitors, one of the most striking things about Cuba is the lack of advertising on the landscape. The Socialist government has billboards bearing Fidel Castro’s likeness and his most quotable quotations. But one does not see roadside signs pitching much else.

Screen Shot 2013-07-19 at 10.07.21 AMWhy We Travel: On the Malecón, Havana, March 15, 2010 (April 25, 2010)

ON THE MALECÓN, HAVANA, MARCH 15, 2010 Jack Lin (standing, in pink shirt), a 27-year-old financial engineering student from Taiwan studying at New York University.

29CHICAGO.XLARGE141 Years Later in Chicago, Police and Demonstrators Still Clash, But With Words (June 29, 2009)

CHICAGO — They arrived at the police union hall looking older, grayer, wider. At least one bore a cane. It seemed an unlikely reunion: a gathering, 41 years later, of the police officers who clashed with demonstrators during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in this city, leaving behind an image Chicago has tried to shed ever since.

28journey_600City of Big Shoulders Embraces Its Beers (June 28, 2009)

IT’S just shy of 5 p.m. on a sunny spring Friday in Chicago, and the intimate front room of Michael & Louise’s Hopleaf Bar on the North Side is already packed, the decibel level growing.

16reform2span600For Some in Illinois, Talk of Reform Was Just That (June 16, 2009)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — If anything good was going to come out of the arrest and removal of Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, it was supposed to be in the stack of legislation now awaiting the signature of the new governor.

hemo-190Twice-Told Tales: Displaced in America (May 16, 2009)

CHICAGO — Aleksandar Hemon returned from Sarajevo, his birthplace, to his home here last week in a contented mood. He and his wife, Teri, had taken their 19-month-old daughter, Ella, there for the first time, partly to celebrate his two most recent books, a novel and a short-story collection, both written in English and newly translated into Bosnian, his native tongue. The situation was a far cry from what Mr. Hemon had encountered when he first arrived in Chicago in March 1992 for what was supposed to be a brief visit on a program sponsored by the United States government.

29memo_spanSigns G.O.P. Is Rethinking Stance on Gay Marriage (April 28, 2009)

WASHINGTON — It was only five years ago that opposition to gay marriage was so strong that Republicans explicitly turned to the issue as a way to energize conservative voters. Yet today, as the party contemplates the task of rebuilding itself, some Republicans say the issue of gay marriage may be turning into more of a hindrance than a help.

marriage.span.2A Quiet Day in Iowa as the State Begins Allowing Same-Sex Couples to Marry (April 28, 2009)

DES MOINES — In a way, life looked unexpectedly ordinary here on Monday as Iowa began allowing same-sex couples to marry. The large, angry protests some had imagined never materialized in this city, the state’s most populous.

NYT2009032318132536CIn a City of Landmarks, A Court Case Alarms Preservationists (March 24, 2009)

CHICAGO — Carol Mrowka considers her East Village neighborhood here attractive, comfortable — and ordinary. So when the city deemed the area an official landmark, Ms. Mrowka found it absurd and went to court.

NYT2009022619284067CNew Owners to Reopen Window Plant, Site of a Sit-In in Chicago (February 27, 2009)

CHICAGO — The 250 workers who staged a December sit-in at a Chicago window factory to protest losing their jobs were celebrating Thursday, after another window manufacturer announced plans to reopen the plant and start hiring back the displaced workers within months.

BlagojevichsFinalDayOn His Way Out, Blagojevich Makes A Day Of It (January 30, 2009)

CHICAGO — As the nine-seat airplane raced through the skies on Thursday somewhere between Springfield and here, an onboard telephone began to ring. Rod R. Blagojevich, the soon-to-be ex-governor of Illinois, instructed his aides not to answer. It might be the news, he said, that he had been removed from office and that he no longer controlled the state’s thousands of employees or even, especially pertinent, the state-owned airplane taking him home.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich awaits his jet's takeoff after delivering a dramatic closing argument in his impeachment trial at the Capitol in Springfield, Ill., on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009.One Final Day in Office (January 29, 2009)

Audio slideshow documenting the last day of Rod Blagojevich serving as governor of Illinois, following from his home in Chicago to the statehouse in Springfield and back to Chicago aboard the state airplane.

30blago2-600Defiant Governor Names A Successor to Obama (December 31, 2008)

CHICAGO — Defying Senate leaders in Washington and a galaxy of political leaders here, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois announced Tuesday that he would fill the Senate seat of President-elect Barack Obama, which he has been accused of trying to sell.

31burris.190Low-Key Groundbreaker: Roland W. Burris (December 31, 2008)

CHICAGO — In Illinois, where politics ranks among the dramatic arts (sometimes the theater of the absurd), Roland W. Burris has long been seen as steady, deliberate, even boring. For all his accomplishments — he was the first African-American elected to statewide office in Illinois, as comptroller and later as attorney general — Mr. Burris, a former tax accountant and bank examiner, has never quite been regarded as a political star.

25903291Obama’s $10 Billion Promise Stirs Hopes and Passion in Early Education (December 17, 2008)

CHICAGO — It was the morning after the presidential election, and Matthew Melmed, executive director of Zero to Three, a national organization devoted to early childhood education, could barely contain his exultation.

11blago-600Calls for Governor to Quit in Scandal (December 11, 2008)

CHICAGO — Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois returned to work here on Wednesday amid whirlwind efforts across the state and country to remove him from office before he could make an appointment to the vacant United States Senate seat that is the root of a debilitating criminal case against him.

NYT2008111317245928CFor Obama and Family, The Other Transition Is Strictly Personal (November 14, 2008)

Life for the newly chosen president and his family has changed forever. Even the constraints and security of the campaign trail do not compare to the bubble that has enveloped him in the 10 days since his election. Renegade, as the Secret Service calls him, now lives within the strict limits that come with the most powerful office on the planet.


slideshow_1321227669_3619432Pictured: A World At 7 Billion (December 7, 2011)

Baku, Azerbaijan. A DISSIDENT REMARRIES: Emin Milli, a blogger and opposition activist heavily championed by the West who was imprisoned for 17 months on hooliganism charges following a video he made satirizing his country’s leadership, remarries for the second time a painter Tora Agabekova.

Obama 2008 Election NightTurning Point: Images That Inspire (August 4, 2010)

Lens is presenting “Turning Point,” an occasional series featuring images by young photographers. Each post will showcase one picture each considers to have been seminal in his or her development.

View of Cabrini Green and surrounding high income high-rise buildings in ChicagoMust See: Images on the Web (January 4, 2010)

Plan for Transformation: Amanda Rivkin photographed a group of aging communists living and organizing for the coming revolution in a Chicago housing project. Most photo essays fall easily into a dozen or less categories. Not this one.


10baku1-articleLargeIf They Build It, Will the Kardashians Come? (February 10, 2013)

In March 2010, Ibrahim Ibrahimov was on the three-hour Azerbaijan Airlines flight from Dubai to Baku when he had a vision. “I wanted to build a city, but I didn’t know how,” Ibrahimov recalled. “I closed my eyes, and I began to imagine this project.”


19talk-baku-slide-FXCD-jumboBig in Baku (August 19, 2012)

The slim corridor that some Azeris call the Belt of Happiness starts at Baku’s Heydar Aliyev International airport. The new road into town is as black and shiny as the vast pools of oil that paid for it, as well as for everything else in Azerbaijan. And what oil doesn’t pay to fix, it pays to hide.


millennials01 Why Multiple Generations of Families Choose To Live Together and Why It’s Not Such A Bad Idea (April 25, 2015)

…more millennials than ever are opting for an extended stay at Chez Parents. Even older Americans—with their kids—are returning to their childhood homes.

20090129_rivkin_blagosfinalday192009: The Year in Pictures (December 30, 2009-January 4, 2010)

Blagojevich Indicted: A federal grand jury indicts Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges on April 2, after FBI wiretaps reveal his intention to sell Obama’s vacant Senate seat.

Being Rod Blagojevich (December 22, 2008)

There’s no way to know why he sees politics as he does. But few seem surprised.

Their Own Obama (December 22, 2008)

NEED FOR SPEED: Jindal tours flood-damaged Cedar Rapids, Iowa, shortly after Election Day.


Le nouveau visage du reve americain (November 6-12, 2008)

(Center) Mardi 4 novembre, Barack Obama a ete elu 44e president des Etats-Unis. II prendra officiellement ses fonctions en janvier.


Recep Tayyip Erdogan + Vladimir Putin Bilateral Meeting Press Conference

Russia’s meddling to get Donald Trump elected president is straight out of the old KGB playbook (December 19, 2016)

Mysterious arrests. Disappearances. A far away death in an unknown gulag concealed from family for a generation. These are realities for those of us whose families came to the US from Eastern Europe in the aftermath of the last world war and subsequent Soviet occupation. These are also the reasons why every act against Donald Trump now is an act of patriotism on behalf of the American people.


360_azerbaijan_0514Selling Azerbaijan (May 14, 2012)

Last May, Ell & Nikki, an obscure duo from Azerbaijan, won the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. The country’s President, Ilham Aliyev, treated the musical win like a military triumph, describing it as “a victory for the people of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani state.”

TIME OUT CHICAGO Side Story (August 14-20, 2008)

Chicago’s Eastern European communities maintain a reputation for uninhibited partying that puts so-called hipster joints to shame. After a month of researching the city’s northwesterly, particularly Polish, nightlife enclaves, we can safely say they’re the real deal.


Economy Cuts Deep in Elkhart, Indiana (April 20, 2009)

Some 100 miles east of Chicago, the economic black cloud over Elkhart, Indiana, has created something of an inland tsunami. The town of 50,000 is known as the RV capital of the world. According to new figures from the U.S. Department of Labor, Illinois unemployment hit a 24-year-high in March.


DSC_5247Hotel Wahnsinn (April 7, 2013)

Kilis an der türkisch-syrischen Grenze ist der letzte Ort vor dem Krieg, ein paar Kilometer weiter feuert die Artillerie. In einem schäbigen Hotel treffen sich hier Journalisten, Helfer – und friedensmüde Abenteurer. Er kann das Geld kaum mehr halten, die Finger, sie fassen die Bündel nicht mehr. Wijbe steht vor einem Geldautomaten im Zentrum von Kilis. Ein junger Mann, gegeltes kurzes Haar, unschuldiges Gesicht.