Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Las Tapadas Limenas ...


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

In Nepal, A Monthly Exile For Women...

In remote western Nepal, where the Himalayas brush the sky, girls spend their childhoods as they have for generations, dreading growing up.
Puberty starts a monthly exile. An entrenched, superstitious practice linked to Hinduism, Chaupadi, considers menstruating women impure and bad luck, rendering them untouchables. Menstruating women are banished, often to forests where they sleep in crude, cubbylike sheds or caves, braving extreme weather and lurking predators, from snakes to rapists. There they stay as long as their periods last, several days a month, and they must do this for 35 to 40 years.
Rarely — usually only when death strikes — does this practice, outlawed by Nepal’s Supreme Court in 2005, make the news. Last month, a 15-year-old girl choked to death on smoke after lighting a fire in her menstrual hut to keep warm, just weeks after a 21-year-old woman died the same way. Their deaths generated headlines for perhaps a day.
Poulomi Basu, a documentary photographer and journalist, wants to expose Chaupadi in ways that last beyond a news cycle. She has trekked for days in dense wilderness where the practice occurs to find women in exile, learn their stories and spread them far and wide.
Ms. Basu spent three years, from 2013 to 2016, documenting women during their monthly confinement, to reveal the dangers and hardships Chaupadi creates in poor farming villages. The portraits, landscapes and details in her Nepal portfolio, “A Ritual of Exile,” offer a narrative of Chaupadi that leaves the viewer both stunned and engaged by the women’s plight.
“A Ritual of Exile” shows the jarring reality of women boxed into tiny holes amid wild, lush nature, a landscape usually associated with beauty, freedom and adventure. The portraits bare the sorrow the women endure, usually in silence. Raised to accept their condition without complaint, the women have told Ms. Basu of travails that repeat themselves year after year. She has documented stories of women and girls abducted and raped; bitten by snakes; mauled by jackals; starved for days; prostrated by heat; burned by warming fires. They have told her of cases of kidnapping and murder.
In addition to meeting menstruating women, Ms. Basu has encountered women in confinement just after childbirth — also considered impure — in huts with their babies. She has witnessed a young girl beaten by a healer after seeking help for fever and pain during her period. (The girl’s presence, Ms. Basu was told, might make her house catch fire, attract hungry tigers to the livestock or sicken anyone nearby.) Ms. Basu has watched women scramble for dry rice thrown at them from afar. She has met women forced into prison-style hard labor, such as breaking rocks for use in roads or chopping and hauling firewood for long distances through harsh terrain.
Chaupadi, while extreme, rang a bit familiar to Ms. Basu, who grew up Hindu in Calcutta, India. After puberty, she was prohibited from attending religious festivals or entering the kitchen while menstruating. Nor was she allowed to pursue creative passions or see the world. Not until her father died, when she was 17, could she leave her limited, working-class environment and pursue life’s possibilities.
Eventually, after teaching herself photography using her father’s old Nikon FM2, Ms. Basu earned a master’s degree in art at the London College of Communication. In 2012, she was awarded the Magnum Foundation Human Rights scholarship at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts. The honor validated her love of photography and her passion for social justice.
“A Ritual of Exile,” which she finished with help from the Magnum Emergency Fund Award and the Prince Claus Fund, was a finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Fund for Humanistic Photography in 2016. Ms. Basu, 33, calls it the first chapter of a project that will span several cultures.
“I want to bring home the idea of how women are silenced and made subservient all around the world using religion, traditions and customs,” she said.
Early images in “A Ritual of Exile” were used by WaterAid, an international nonprofit that helps establish sustainable water supplies and work toward safe hygiene practices in developing countries, in its “To Be a Girl” campaign. (The images helped raise money for improved menstrual hygiene conditions for women in Nepal and India.) Ms. Basu has discussed the project on radio shows and has displayed it in several festivals and photography exhibitions. Eventually, she hopes “A Ritual” will reach young people who can help change the world.
“Ideally, I’d like to collaborate with an academic and create a school textbook where you’re not just talking about gendered violence, but you actually see what these issues look like,” she said. “We’ve grown up in a man’s world, fighting and suffering, and I want young women to read that. I want it to be part of our history.”
*http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2017/01/05/in-nepal-monthly-exile-for-women/

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Wishing Everyone A Revolutionary 2017 !


Migrants protest behind a fence against restrictions limiting passage at the Greek-Macedonian border, near Gevgelija, on December 1, 2015. Since last week, Macedonia has restricted passage to northern Europe to only Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans who are considered war refugees. All other nationalities are deemed economic migrants and told to turn back. Macedonia on November 29 finished building a fence on its frontier with Greece becoming the latest country in Europe to build a border barrier aimed at checking the flow of migrants.


A woman listens to a rally with her mouth taped shut during the "Justice For All" march December 13, 2014 in Washington, DC. Thousands of people descended on Washington to demand justice Saturday for black men who have died at the hands of white police, the latest in weeks of demonstrations across the United States.


A woman sits in front of riot police blocking the road to protect protesters during the anti-government protest on April 24, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) went on a general strike in protest against the South Korean government's policy, including reformation of the labor market and public pension system. The rally was also joined by other civic groups in Seoul and families of Sewol accident victims.


Ethnic Uygur women grab a riot policemen as they protest in Urumqi in China's far west Xinjiang province on July 7, 2009. Police fired clouds of acrid tear gas to disperse thousands of Han Chinese protesters armed with makeshift weapons, as chaos gripped this flashpoint city riven by ethnic tensions. Thousands of heavily armed police deployed across Urumqi, the capital of China's remote northwest Xinjiang region, but tensions spiked dramatically following weekend rioting that claimed at least 156 lives.


Pakistani protesters from Lyari, an impoverished neighbourhood of the city, shout anti-government slogans to protest against an operation led by security agencies in their areas in Karachi on January 11, 2010. Thousands of people poured into the streets of Pakistan's financial capital Karachi on January 11 to protest security crackdowns following the deaths of dozens of people in a wave of political violence. Security officials say up to 48 political party workers have been killed in Karachi beginning January 7, when the headless body of a worker from the city's main political party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), was discovered.


Pakistani protesters from Lyari, an impoverished neighbourhood of the city, shout anti-government slogans to protest against an operation led by security agencies in their areas in Karachi on January 11, 2010. Thousands of people poured into the streets of Pakistan's financial capital Karachi on January 11 to protest security crackdowns following the deaths of dozens of people in a wave of political violence. Security officials say up to 48 political party workers have been killed in Karachi beginning January 7, when the headless body of a worker from the city's main political party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), was discovered.


Afghan demonstrators shout slogans during a rally in front of the Supreme Court in Kabul on March 24, 2015, held to protest the killing of Afghan resident Farkhunda. More than a thousand people protested in the Afghan capital to call for justice after a woman was brutally killed by a mob who falsely accused her of burning a copy of the Koran. The woman, 27 year-old Farkhunda, was beaten with sticks and stones and thrown from a roof before being run over by a car outside a mosque in Kabul on March 19. The mob then set her body ablaze and dumped it in Kabul river, while police allegedly looked on.
  • Semi-nude Indian Devadasi women shout anti-government slogans during a protest in Mumbai on August 15, 2010. The protest was to demand Indian Rupees 2000 (about USD 43) per month as a pension for life after their retirement. Devadasi is a Hindu religious practice in which girls are married and dedicated to a deity or temple.

Kurdish women hold portraits of their missing sons and daughters on May 18, 2011 during a demonstration in Istanbul against the recent killing of 12 Kurdish rebels by security forces. Turkish troops killed 12 Kurdish rebels in fighting in the southeast of the country and lost one of their own soldiers to a mine explosion. The clashes began on May 12 when fighters of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) tried to cross into Turkey's Sirnak province near Uludere from bases in Iraq, security sources said. A second attempt was made on May 13, the sources said, adding that 12 rebels in total had been killed, four surrendered and numerous weapons seized.


A woman gestures to riot policemen during a protest organized by the Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD) in Algiers 02 July against a new law making Arabic the sole official language in Algeria amid continued tension over the murder of Berber singer Lounes Matoub. Around 1,000 people took part in the rally during which three policemen and one protester were injured when riot police prevented the marchers to advance on the residence of President Liamine Zeroual.


A member of the "Women in Black", an international peace network, lays on the ground wrapped in a plastic bag, as a sign of protest in downtown Novi Sad, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2005. The movement marked Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day, with a performance, stressing issues such as rights of minorities in Serbia's northern province of Vojvodina.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.za/entry/stunning-photos-of-women-protesting-around-the-world_us_56cb837ae4b041136f17f37a

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

7 Real Things You Can Do Right Now About The Catastrophe In Aleppo...

The humanitarian disaster, which has been ongoing for months, has gotten far worse in the past few days, with terrified residents, caught between government forces, Russian airstrikes, and rebel forces tweeting desperate pleas for help and final messages to loved ones.Reports of women committing suicide to avoid being raped and civilians being executed by regime forces have begun to filter out of the city.
Meanwhile, the once-thriving region has been reduced to rubble and chaos over the course of the past several months. Russia has announced an end to the military operation, claiming victory, and reports of a cease-fire between government and rebel forces have been issued, but both have yet to be confirmed by the United Nations at the time of this writing. 50,000 civilians are still believed to be in the eastern part of the city.
It's easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed and want to turn away from a story like this. The news is bleak — and likely to get bleaker. But those of us with the good fortune to live in safety have a responsibility to do what we can to help. And there are ways to help.
Most involve donating to organizations that are on the ground in or around Aleppo. We know not everyone has money to spare, but if you can make it work, providing much needed funds to these organizations is the most efficient way to assist at a crucial moment like this.
Check out these ways you can assist:
http://www.upworthy.com/7-real-things-you-can-do-right-now-about-the-catastrophe-in-aleppo