The world took little notice when, in the early 1990s, the peaceful Kingdom of Bhutan expelled some 100,000 ethnic Nepalis known as Lhotsampas, or “people from the south.” The Lhotsampas languished in refugee camps in Nepal until 2008 when the UN set the wheels in motion for one of the most ambitious refugee resettlement programs ever undertaken.
The U.S. has agreed to accept the largest number—about 75,000—and many of the new arrivals have ended up in the Pittsburgh area. Pulitzer Center grantees Julia Rendleman and Moriah Balingit, both staffers on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, tell the remarkable story of a journey that stretches from the Allegheny Mountains of western Pennsylvania to the foothills of the Himalayas.
Julia, a photojournalist and former Pulitzer Center student fellow, captures revealing moments in the lives of these refugees while Moriah tells the stories of those left behind in the squalid camps and of the others trying to find their way in America.
IN THE WORLD OF ISIS
One story the world cannot ignore is the slow and murderous fracturing of Iraq and Syria. In separate projects, Pulitzer Center grantees Sebastian Meyer and James Harkin have been documenting the fallout from the sudden rise of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
Sebastian, in this video report for Voice of America, reports from a church in Iraqi Kurdistan that has become a makeshift refugee camp for Christians fleeing from the onslaught of ISIS. “I don’t think about my future anymore,” a 14-year-old girl tells Sebastian. “I just take everything one day at a time. We want to leave and go abroad because we don’t believe we’ll ever go back home. How much longer do we have stay in this place? How much longer till it’s over?”
Meanwhile, James, reporting from northern Syria for Newsweek, continues to document the plight of more than 130 Kurdish schoolboys who were kidnapped by Islamic State militants last May with the apparent intent of recruiting them into their ranks.
“Long before western politicians identified the Islamic State as Public Enemy No. 1, the Kurds of Northern Syria were fighting a rearguard action against them, almost entirely alone,” writes James. Kobani, the city where the kidnapped boys are from, “has slowly become the epicenter and the crucible of a fight to the death. For over six months, it’s been under a crushing, increasingly desperate siege on three sides by fighters from the Islamic State – and by the Turkish authorities on the fourth.”
And finally, Pulitzer Center student fellow Selin Thomas, a recent Boston University graduate, is on the Syrian border in Turkey where she filed this Untold Stories dispatch on the plight of refugee children.
BACKSLIDING ON DEMOCRACY
Viktor Orban, Hungary’s populist prime minister, is no fan of liberal democracy. “I don’t think that our European Union membership precludes us from building an illiberal new state based on national foundations,” he told a gathering of students last July. He went on to cite Russia, Turkey and China as the rising “stars” of the new world order, noting that none of these “is liberal and some of which aren’t even democracies.”
Pulitzer Center grantee Yigal Schleifer, in an in-depth feature for Moment, looks at Hungary’s retreat from democracy and its implications for the rest of Europe: “This shift is a setback not only for Hungary, but for the wider post-Cold War project of spreading the European Union’s democratic principles of good governance, rule of law, and human and civil rights to countries that had precious little experience with those ideals during the Soviet years.”
Yigal’s reporting from Hungary is part of larger project that will also look at Ukraine and Turkey, two other countries that also tell an important story about the hard road to democratization.
Mona Kuhn (German, b. Brazil, 1969)
©Mona Kuhn/Courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery
Yasuhiro Onishi, Spirit
Peter Magubane (South Africa)
Mugabane started his career in 1955 in the midst of apartheid in South Africa. He started his career in 1955, when he joined Drum magazine. This took Magubane and his camera to the heart of the anti-apartheid defiance campaigns and treason trials. However, at the time the official press venues were restricted to white photographers only. Not being allowed to carry a camera in the open, he had to hide his camera in a hollowed out Bible, loaf of bread, or empty milk carton to get the shots he needed.
On June 1969 he was arrested and held for 586 days in solitary confinement without being charged with a crime.
On his release, he was banned from photography for five years and had to resign from the Rand Daily Mail.
In 1971, he was rearrested and sentenced to a further 123 days for contravening the banning order, prompting the newspaper to run a feature, Magubane, The Man Who Does Not Exist.
However his coverage of the June 16 Soweto student uprisings circumnavigated the globe, earning him international acclaim and made him an icon of the struggle. On this day 3000 and 10 000 students mobilized by the Soweto Students Representative Council’s Action Committee supported by the BCM marched peacefully to demonstrate and protest against the government’s directive. The march was meant to culminate at a rally in Orlando Stadium. However, on their pathway they were met by heavily armed police who fired teargas and later live ammunition on demonstrating students. This resulted in a widespread revolt that turned into an uprising against the government. While the uprising began in Soweto, it spread across the country and carried on until the following year.
When a group of young men approached him demanding that he stop taking photos he said ‘Struggle without documentation is not struggle. I’m not asking for myself only; I’m asking for anybody that has a camera documenting this struggle. You must let them work.’”
The aftermath of the events of June 16 1976 had dire consequences for the Apartheid government. Images of the police firing on peacefully demonstrating students led an international revulsion against South Africa as its brutality was exposed. Meanwhile, the weakened and exiled liberation movements received new recruits fleeing political persecution at home giving impetus to the struggle against Apartheid.
His worldwide acclaim for his work led to a number of international photographic and journalistic awards, one of which was the American National Professional Photographers Association Humanistic Award in 1986, in recognition of one of several incidents in which he put his camera aside and intervened to help prevent people from being killed.
He also took photographs for several United Nations agencies, including the High Commission for Refugees and UNICEF, being particularly committed to exposing the plight of children and documenting traditional societies. His photographs have appeared in Life magazine, the New York Times, National Geographic and Time magazine.
Magubane was a fighter. He thrived on the challenge. And in 1990 his hard work was rewarded when Mandela personally chose him as his official photographer.
I wonder if the person, who apparently had let their furniture get impressively dusty, tried to arrange the cloths by colours, and then kind of got bored? Or perhaps the orange ones interrupt the blue sequence on purpose? We will never know.
Stara Zagora, 19.09.2014
You Can Now Access All Of Richard Feynmans Physics Lectures For Free:
The lectures of Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman were legendary. Footage of these lectures does exist, but they are most famously preserved in The Feynman Lectures. The three-volume set may be the most popular collection of physics books ever written, and now you can access it online, in its entirety, for free.
The complete online edition of The Feynman Lectures on Physics has been made available in HTML 5 through a collaboration between Caltech (where Feyman first delivered these talks, in the early 1960s) and The Feynman Lectures Website. The online edition is “high quality up-to-date copy of Feynman’s legendary lectures,” and, thanks to the implementation of scalable vector graphics, “has been designed for ease of reading on devices of any size or shape; text, figures and equations can all be zoomed without degradation.”
Volume I deals mainly with mechanics, radiation and heat; Volume II with electromagnetism and matter; and Volume III with quantum mechanics.
In 1956, Gordon Parks documented the everyday lives of an extended black family living in rural Alabama under Jim Crow segregation for Life Magazine in a photo-essay entitled “The Restraints: Open and Hidden.”