ZEKE Magazine: Fall 2018

Fall 2018 issue: Documentary in the Era of Post-Truth Where the River Runs Through: The Erosion of the Amazon Rain Forest Photographs by Call for Entries winner Aaron Vincent Elkaim Text by Enrique Gili Rhythm of the Seasons: Traveling North with the Last of the Inuit Hunters Photographs by Philippe Geslin. Text by Tori Marlan Life & War in Ukraine Photographs by Michele Cirillo, Aude Osnowycz, and Jan Zychlinski Text by Glenn Ruga Image in the Era of Post-Truth by Fred Ritchin Book Reviews​

Fall 2018 issue: Documentary in the Era of Post-Truth

Where the River Runs Through: The Erosion of the Amazon Rain Forest
Photographs by Call for Entries winner Aaron Vincent Elkaim
Text by Enrique Gili

Rhythm of the Seasons: Traveling North with the Last of the Inuit Hunters
Photographs by Philippe Geslin. Text by Tori Marlan

Life & War in Ukraine
Photographs by Michele Cirillo, Aude Osnowycz, and Jan Zychlinski
Text by Glenn Ruga

Image in the Era of Post-Truth by Fred Ritchin

Book Reviews​


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<strong>ZEKE</strong>FALL <strong>2018</strong> VOL.4/NO.2<br />


Published by Social Documentary Network<br />

$9.95 US/$10.95 CANADA<br />




Photographs by Aaron Vincent Elkaim<br />



Photographs by Philippe Geslin<br />


Photographs by Michele Cirillo, Aude Osnowycz,<br />

Jan Zychlinski<br />

1 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>

FALL <strong>2018</strong> VOL.4/NO.2<br />

$9.95 US/$10.95 CANADA<br />



Photographs by Philippe Geslin<br />

Text by Tori Marlan<br />

Philippe Geslin<br />



Photographs by Aaron Vincent Elkaim<br />

Text by Enrique Gili<br />


Photographs by Michele Cirillo, Aude Osnowycz,<br />

Jan Zychlinski<br />

Text by Glenn Ruga<br />

Aaron Vincent Elkaim<br />

30 |<br />

34 |<br />

Award Winners<br />

Interview with Reza<br />

by Caterina Clerici<br />

54 |<br />

Image in the Era of Post-Truth<br />

by Fred Ritchin<br />

Jan Zychlinski<br />

58 |<br />

63 |<br />

Book Reviews<br />

What’s Hot<br />

Trending Photographers on SDN<br />

On the Cover<br />

Photograph by Aaron Vincent Elkaim<br />

from Where the River Runs Through:<br />

The Erosion of the Amazon Rainforest,<br />

featured in this issue of <strong>ZEKE</strong>. Elkaim is<br />

the winner of Social Documentary Network’s<br />

Call for Entries on Documentary<br />

in the Era of Post-Truth.<br />


<strong>ZEKE</strong><br />

THE<br />



Published by Social Documentary Network<br />

Dear <strong>ZEKE</strong> Readers:<br />

This issue of <strong>ZEKE</strong> is devoted to the exploration of post-truth.<br />

The abuse of truth is nothing new, and in itself would not lead<br />

to rebranding our era with this moniker. But combined with an<br />

internet filled with untruths that are swaying public opinion,<br />

mainstream media such as Fox News or RT (Russia Today)<br />

making up “facts,” and a new skepticism of science at a time when<br />

climate change is burning and flooding our planet, the bedrock belief in<br />

objectivity is on dangerously shaky ground.<br />

No event in recent history illustrates this better, and more<br />

dangerously, than the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the<br />

US Supreme Court following blistering and divisive testimony by<br />

Kavanaugh and his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Each is 100%<br />

certain about what happened or didn’t happen. How can this be?<br />

Either one of them is lying or one actually and erroneously believes their<br />

statement because of faulty memory. But they both cannot be right as<br />

much as 1+1 cannot equal 3. While I find Ford a credible witness, and<br />

Kavanaugh less so, facts were in short supply in this debate.<br />

Today it is too common for two sides of a debate to have<br />

diametrically opposed understanding of facts with each side being<br />

100% certain about being right.<br />

I first experienced this slippery slope on truth when in 1995 I<br />

traveled to Bosnia during the end of a genocidal war and listened<br />

to testimony of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Serbs, each of whom<br />

were convinced of the veracity of their narrative. In 1994, the<br />

Muslim residents of Sarajevo were 100% certain that it was the Serb<br />

nationalists who bombed the downtown marketplace killing 68 civilians<br />

and the Serbs were just as sure that it was the Bosnian government that<br />

did it in order to gain international support for their cause. Unlike the<br />

Kavanaugh hearings, facts were available and numerous international<br />

experts came to a unanimous conclusion that it was Serb nationalists<br />

perched on high ground above Sarajevo who did this heinous act. But it<br />

was an eye opener for me to hear first-hand Serb nationalists deny their<br />

involvement with “100%” certainty.<br />

I would hate to conclude that all truth is relative because I strongly<br />

believe in the rule of law based on evidence, science based on research,<br />

and that objective truth is essential for justice to prevail in this world.<br />

I am very grateful to the photographers in this issue of <strong>ZEKE</strong> for<br />

presenting truths about the themes they explore and also to Fred Ritchin<br />

for his essay on “Image in the Era of Post-Truth.”<br />

Glenn Ruga<br />

Executive Editor<br />

Ten Years of Telling Truth<br />

It was ten years ago this month that the Social<br />

Documentary Network (SDN) launched a website at<br />

the PhotoPlus Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in New<br />

York. A decade later, we have presented more than<br />

3,000 documentary exhibits by more than 2,000<br />

photographers from all parts of the world exploring<br />

hundreds of diverse themes. We have also have had<br />

gallery exhibitions in locations across the US and<br />

in Europe. We have hosted educational programs<br />

involving world renowned photographers. We continue<br />

to be a strong voice for documentary photography.<br />

And in 2015, we took a bold step to launch this<br />

magazine.<br />

In the ten years since we launched SDN,<br />

digital photography has made the truthfulness of<br />

a photograph more suspect than ever. In fact a<br />

photograph today is of little more use as evidence than<br />

an illustration. But an important concept behind SDN<br />

is that a documentary project is never about just one<br />

image. Rather it is about an investigation involving<br />

many images from many angles, often over a period<br />

of months or years. Quality documentary investigation<br />

often involves a deep commitment by the photographer<br />

to research the historical backgrounds and current<br />

political climate of their themes. In other instances, it<br />

involves capturing the personal stories of the subjects.<br />

In Fred Ritchin’s article in this issue, “Image<br />

in the Era of ‘Post-Truth’“ he makes the case that<br />

documentary photographers today are using a more<br />

conceptual approach because the obvious approach<br />

of just relying on photographic evidence is no longer<br />

credible. In recent years we have seen many of the<br />

photographers on SDN doing exactly this and we<br />

encourage more of this type of exploration.<br />

SDN is proud to be celebrating our tenth<br />

anniversary and ten years of telling truth. We want to<br />

thank and celebrate the thousands of photographers<br />

who trust us to present their stories to the world and<br />

we look forward to another decade of collaboration.<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>/ 1



Photographs by Philippe Geslin<br />

2 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>


In<br />

the heart of Greenland, the world’s<br />

largest island, at the confluence of the<br />

bays of Melville and Baffin, are the last<br />

Inuit hunters. They still live to the rhythm of<br />

the seasons, the ice pack and the sea, the<br />

storms and the cold. They are looking for<br />

the presence of seals. Everything seems<br />

unresolved for these northern peoples<br />

living in the least populated land, where<br />

three quarters of the territory is covered by<br />

once permanent ice sheets and glaciers<br />

that are now beginning to melt due to<br />

climate change.<br />

Philippe Geslin is an ethnologist, anthropologist<br />

and photographer. “Each of my<br />

travels is a new beginning, an almost<br />

stubbornness. I am taking time, as a sensitive,<br />

curious and demanding vagabond<br />

to unfold the territories of beings and<br />

things, to reveal the backstage, to follow<br />

the meanders, to restore the sensible, the<br />

harmless. In these distant lands, it is in<br />

the imperceptible and the tenuous that we<br />

seize the universe.” Philippe uses photography<br />

as a mode of literary expression<br />

as he tries to give an accurate account of<br />

everyday life of small communities from the<br />

last hunter-gatherers of East Africa and the<br />

Maasai breeders in Tanzania to the last<br />

Inuit hunters in Greenland.<br />

“The Inuit here have so much to teach<br />

us—we who keep nature at a distance and<br />

pay the heavy price for it.”<br />

Iceberg in Nutaarmiut Bay,<br />

Upernavik District, northwest<br />

Greenland.<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>/ 3

Lars Jensen coming from a dog sled<br />

race, Kullorsuaq, Upernavik District,<br />

northwest Greenland.<br />

Photograph by Philippe Geslin<br />

4 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>

<strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>/ 5

6 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>

Summer Sky. Upernavik City,<br />

northwest Greenland.<br />

Photograph by Philippe Geslin<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>/ 7

Ole Eliassen coming back from a seal<br />

hunt, Kullorsuaq, Upernavik District,<br />

northwest Greenland.<br />

Photograph by Philippe Geslin<br />

8 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL <strong>2018</strong> 2015

<strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL 2015/ <strong>2018</strong>/ 9

Helicopter landing. Nusuaq,<br />

Upernavik District, northwest<br />

Greenland.<br />

Photograph by Philippe Geslin<br />

10 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL <strong>2018</strong> 2015

<strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL 2015/ <strong>2018</strong>/ 11

12 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL <strong>2018</strong> 2015

Ole Eliassen looking at seal nets<br />

on pack ice. Kullorsuaq, Upernavik<br />

District, northwest Greenland.<br />

Photograph by Philippe Geslin<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL 2015/ <strong>2018</strong>/ 13

14 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL <strong>2018</strong> 2015

Lars Jensen preparing a bear skin<br />

for drying, Kullorsuaq, Upernavik<br />

District, northwest Greenland.<br />

Photograph by Philippe Geslin<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL 2015/ <strong>2018</strong>/ 15

INUIT<br />

THE<br />

On the ice-covered island<br />

of Greenland, in remote<br />

regions inhospitable to<br />

agriculture, Inuit communities<br />

of the past endured<br />

and thrived by relying on<br />

every part of the seal. The meat<br />

provided protein and nutrients;<br />

the skins, warm clothing and<br />

boots; the blubber, oil for lamps.<br />

Bones and sinew became tools<br />

and thread.<br />

By Tori Marlan<br />

Historically, subsistence<br />

hunters provided for their<br />

families while sharing the<br />

rewards of seal hunting with<br />

their communities. They participated<br />

in the global economy<br />

Photographs by Philippe Geslin<br />

as early as the 18th century,<br />

bringing sealskins to colonial<br />

trading posts.<br />

Today, as always, “seals are<br />

very important for Inuit,” says<br />

Hans Rosing, an Inuit hunter.<br />

But since the mid-20th century,<br />




Inuit communities across the<br />

Arctic have experienced rapid,<br />

dramatic changes to their<br />

way of life. Health and social<br />

problems have ensued, including<br />

increased rates of poverty,<br />

alcoholism, alcohol-related<br />

violence, and suicide.<br />

Though seal hunting is still<br />

widely practiced and remains<br />

central to Inuit identity and<br />

culture, it is no longer a means<br />

of survival—or, even, a viable<br />

profession.<br />

“Maybe there are still a few<br />

full-time seal hunters with wives<br />

who work in schools or hotels,<br />

where she makes the money,”<br />

says University of Versailles<br />

anthropologist Jean-Michel<br />

Huctin. But in Greenland, he<br />

says, most have moved on to<br />

fishing.<br />

Rosing is one of them.<br />

Though he sells seal meat to<br />

nursing homes and municipal<br />

institutions, he also relies on<br />

income from fishing, Greenland’s<br />

main industry.<br />

Across the Arctic, subsistence<br />

seal hunting has been<br />

declining for decades, facing<br />

the triple threat of modernization,<br />

politicization, and climate<br />

change.<br />

Modernization<br />

Life changed significantly for<br />

Greenlanders after Danish<br />

colonial rule ended and the<br />

island became part of Denmark<br />

in 1953. Policies promoting<br />

cultural assimilation forced the<br />

Inuit, the majority population,<br />

from their seasonal settlements<br />

(which were formed according<br />

to migratory paths of the<br />

animals they hunted) into<br />

permanent ones—and, as a<br />

consequence, into town-based<br />

jobs. Modernization continued<br />

at a faster pace after Denmark<br />

granted Greenland self-governance<br />

in 1979 and the island<br />

took control of its internal<br />

affairs.<br />

16 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>

Though seal hunting is still<br />

widely practiced and remains<br />

central to Inuit identity and<br />

culture, it is no longer a<br />

means of survival—or, even,<br />

a viable profession.<br />

Today, about a quarter of<br />

Greenland’s 56,000 residents<br />

call the capital city, Nuuk,<br />

home. The rest live in coastal<br />

towns and small settlements,<br />

some with populations under<br />

100 people. Most settlements<br />

are shrinking, as people leave<br />

for educational institutions or to<br />

be near hospitals. Nuuk, whose<br />

population almost doubled<br />

from 1979 to 2014, now has<br />

gourmet restaurants, hotels, a<br />

university, museums, and an<br />

international airport.<br />

Knud Geisler Larsen,<br />

a teacher in the town of<br />

Upernavik, says that many<br />

residents “lived mainly by<br />

hunting and fishing when they<br />

lived in the villages” but now<br />

work wage-based jobs.<br />

“It’s hard to be a hunter<br />

today without having access<br />

to some kind of salary or<br />

income,” says Søren Thue<br />

Thuesen, associate professor<br />

of Eskimology and Arctic<br />

studies at the University of<br />

Copenhagen.<br />

That’s partly because hunting<br />

requires capital investment.<br />

Inuit hunters have incorporated<br />

modern technologies into their<br />

practice ever since they procured<br />

rifles at colonial trading<br />

posts. Today snowmobiles and<br />

boats with outboard motors are<br />

common in most regions, and<br />

hunters across the Arctic use<br />

satellite phones and GPS units<br />

to improve safety.<br />

This equipment is expensive,<br />

and many can only continue<br />

hunting by working day jobs.<br />

They hunt now on weekends or<br />

holidays or whenever they have<br />

spare time, says Thuesen, so<br />

they can “fill their freezers for<br />

the winters.”<br />

Younger generations, especially<br />

city dwellers, do that less<br />

often. Hunting territories near<br />

cities can get crowded. “Think<br />

also smart phones and the<br />

digital revolution,” says Huctin,<br />

pointing out that, like people<br />

everywhere, many are now<br />

drawn to activities that keep<br />

them indoors.<br />

For Larsen—who hasn’t<br />

hunted in 15 years and eats<br />

mostly store-bought items—<br />

traditional foods, such as seal,<br />

whale skin, or reindeer, are<br />

considered a treat.<br />

“We still crave for<br />

Greenlandic food when we<br />

have not had, for example,<br />

seal for a period,” he says.<br />

“Then it is always good to<br />

know someone who hunts.”<br />

Politicization<br />

Animal protection and conservation<br />

groups launched wildly<br />

effective anti-sealing campaigns<br />

in the 1970s and 80s. Global<br />

governments responded to the<br />

campaigns. The US banned<br />

seal products in 1972. Europe<br />

followed suit a few years later,<br />

banning products made from<br />

seal pups. Global demand for<br />

sealskin plummeted, and the<br />

commercial market—which<br />

enabled Inuit hunters to be<br />

economically self-sufficient in<br />

the modern era—collapsed.<br />

Although the activists had<br />

meant to target Canadian<br />

commercial sealers, Inuit communities—who<br />

hunt sustainably<br />

(and don’t hunt pups)—suffered<br />

grave cultural and economic<br />

injury.<br />

From 1983 to 1985, the<br />

average income of a seal<br />

hunter in Resolute Bay, an Inuit<br />

hamlet in the Canadian Arctic,<br />

dropped from $54,000 to<br />

$1,000.<br />

“Greenpeace apologized,<br />

but it was too late,” says Huctin.<br />

Other activist groups took<br />

up the mantle when new<br />

markets opened in the 2000s<br />

in countries such as Russia and<br />

China. The market’s revival<br />

was short-lived. Russia outlawed<br />

the baby harp seal hunt,<br />

and the EU extended its ban to<br />

all seal products, with an Inuit<br />

exemption. Reeling from historical<br />

damage, Canadian and<br />

Greenlandic Inuit sued the EU,<br />

to no avail.<br />

The EU ban—and vocal<br />

Inuit opposition to it—<br />

persists. Even if it were to be<br />

overturned, it is doubtful that<br />

subsistence hunting could ever<br />

make a comeback.<br />

Climate Change<br />

Arctic seals need thick ice.<br />

They find food near it, and they<br />

use it as a platform on which to<br />

rest, give birth, and nurse their<br />

young.<br />

Hunters also need the ice to<br />

be thick—to support the weight<br />

of their dogs or snowmobiles.<br />

Nowadays they regularly<br />

encounter ice that’s broken, too<br />

thin, or watery for hunting safely.<br />

Last year was the second<br />

warmest on record in<br />

the Arctic. According to a<br />

2017 report by the National<br />

Oceanic and Atmospheric<br />

Administration, the ocean temperature<br />

continues to rise, and<br />

sea ice gets thinner every year.<br />

Seasonal ice coverage is<br />

also an issue. Rosing says the<br />

sea used to freeze in October<br />

where he hunts. Now that happens<br />

in December or January.<br />

In some regions, the ice disappears<br />

by April, when it used to<br />

stay solid until June or July.<br />

As the habitat and behavior<br />

of marine animals change as<br />

a result of climate change, so<br />

does hunters’ access to them.<br />

Hunters must travel farther<br />

offshore by boat in summer,<br />

spending more money on gas<br />

and more time on the hunt.<br />

The Inuit are well-acquainted<br />

with climatic variations. Some<br />

speak of a time in the 1920s or<br />

30s when the sea didn’t freeze<br />

at all. But disruptions to their<br />

routines come rapidly now, and<br />

more often. This presents challenges,<br />

but also opportunities<br />

for a culture that’s survived by<br />

being adaptive.<br />

In southern parts of<br />

Greenland, where the climate<br />

supports agriculture, the growing<br />

season has lengthened.<br />

New crops, such as potatoes,<br />

are now grown locally. Some<br />

small-scale mining is taking<br />

place, and the prospect of a<br />

growing industry makes some<br />

hopeful that it will provide<br />

good jobs for younger generations.<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>/ 17



Photographs by Aaron Vincent Elkaim<br />

In 2007, Brazil’s President Lula da<br />

Silva announced the construction of<br />

over 60 major hydroelectric projects<br />

in the Amazon rainforest, with Belo<br />

Monte Dam at the forefront. The energy<br />

generated would fuel mining initiatives<br />

and power cities thousands of miles away.<br />

Nearing completion, Belo Monte will be<br />

the fourth largest dam in the world. It has<br />

displaced over 20,000 people. Indigenous<br />

groups such as the Xilkrin are strongly resisting<br />

the building of these dams. In January<br />

<strong>2018</strong>, the Brazilian government announced<br />

a major shift away from its policy of building<br />

mega-dams in the Brazilian Amazon, a result<br />

of the staggering environmental and social<br />

costs.<br />

Hydroelectric dams are touted as clean<br />

and renewable sources of energy, but large<br />

dams are often anything but, with hundreds<br />

of square miles of land flooded and complex<br />

river ecosystems permanently transformed.<br />

In the Amazon, they release huge amounts<br />

of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas,<br />

while new infrastructure opens the forest to<br />

increased logging, mining, and agriculture.<br />

The result is the erosion of the Amazon rainforest<br />

and the sacrifice of communities that<br />

depend on the river and forest ecosystems<br />

for their way of life. The emergency plans<br />

created devastating impacts on the customs<br />

and way of life of these self-sustaining<br />

cultures. The Bacaja River, a tributary of the<br />

Xingu River that the people depend upon for<br />

fish and transportation, has severely dried<br />

since the completion of the Belo Monte Dam,<br />

impacting the water quality and affecting the<br />

health of the community.<br />

Aaron Vincent Elkaim is a documentary<br />

photographer currently based in Toronto,<br />

Canada. He studied cultural anthropology<br />

at the University of Manitoba and later<br />

pursued photojournalism. His clients include<br />

The New Yorker, The New York Times, TIME<br />

<strong>Magazine</strong>, The Wall Street Journal, HUCK,<br />

Macleans, The Canadian Press and The<br />

Globe and Mail.<br />

Since 2011, he has committed himself<br />

to exploring narratives where people still<br />

connected to the natural world are being<br />

impacted by industrial development. He cofounded<br />

the Boreal Collective, a team of 12<br />

internationally-based photojournalists. While<br />

highlighting important human and environmental<br />

issues, Aaron addresses the need to<br />

protect the natural world by revealing our<br />

profound connection to it.<br />

Munduruku women bathe and do<br />

laundry in a creek by the village of<br />

Sawre Muybu, on the Tapajós River<br />

in Para, Brazil. The Munduruku<br />

are a tribe of 13,000 people who<br />

live traditionally along the river<br />

and depend on fishing and the<br />

river ecosystem for their livelihood.<br />

They have been fighting against<br />

government plans to construct a<br />

number of hydroelectric dams on<br />

the Tapajos River in the Amazon<br />

rainforest that would flood much of<br />

their traditional lands.<br />

18 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>


<strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>/ 19

A fire lit by a rancher burns on the side of highway BR-163,<br />

north of Novo Progresso, Para, Brazil. The BR-163 runs<br />

from the agricultural state of Mato Grosso to the transport<br />

hub of Santarem in Para, Brazil. From there, soy and corn<br />

are exported by boat through the Amazon River to international<br />

markets. The opening of the highway has created<br />

widespread deforestation in the Amazon, with about 95<br />

percent of all deforestation occurring within 50 kilometers of<br />

highways or roads.<br />

Photograph by Aaron Vincent Elkaim<br />

20 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL <strong>2018</strong> 2015

A Munduruku indigenous girl with her pet monkey in the village<br />

of Sawre Muybu, on the Tapajós River in Para, Brazil,<br />

in traditional paint preceding a ceremony the day after an<br />

action in coordination with Greenpeace in protest of plans<br />

to construct a series of hydroelectric dams on their river in<br />

Para, Brazil. The Munduruku are a tribe of 13,000 people<br />

who live traditionally along the river and depend on fishing<br />

and the river ecosystem for their livelihood.<br />

Photograph by Aaron Vincent Elkaim<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL 2015/ <strong>2018</strong>/ 21

Juruna from the Paquicamba Indigenous Reserve at a public<br />

audience where riverine communities were able to voice their<br />

grievances to the Public Ministry and Norte Energia, the consortium<br />

in charge of building the Belo Monte Dam. The Juruna live<br />

on the stretch of the Xingu River in Para, Brazil known as the Big<br />

Bend, which has had 80% of its flow diverted by the dam impacting<br />

their fishing, river navigation and overall sustainability. They<br />

are now fighting to stop the proposed Belo Sun gold mine that<br />

would be 11km away from their village and would be the largest<br />

gold mine in the country.<br />

Photograph by Aaron Vincent Elkaim<br />

22 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL <strong>2018</strong> 2015

A child from the Xikrin village of “Pot crô” on the banks of the Rio Bacaja, in<br />

Para, Brazil. The rivers name means “the water that runs in river is the same<br />

as the blood that flows through our veins.” The Xikrin are a warrior tribe that<br />

strongly resisted the Belo Monte Dam. During an “emergency plan” enacted<br />

by Norte Energia between 2011-2013, the company gave each indigenous<br />

community 30,000 reais ($10,000 US dollars) per month. The emergency<br />

plan created devastating impacts to the customs and way of life of these<br />

self-sustaining cultures with many abandoning their crops and activities for<br />

processed foods and television.<br />

Photograph by Aaron Vincent Elkaim<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL 2015/ <strong>2018</strong>/ 23

Ana De Fransesca and her son Thomas visit the Belo Monte Dam site, which will be<br />

completed in 2019 on the Xingu River in Para, Brazil. De Fransesca is an anthropologist<br />

who has been working for a local NGO, Instituto Socioambiental, while doing her<br />

PhD on the displaced riverine communities and fishermen impacted by the dam.<br />

Belo Monte is the world’s fourth largest hydropower project, yet is considered one<br />

of the least efficient in the history of Brazil, producing only 10% of its 11,233 MW<br />

capacity during the dry season between July and October. On average it will produce<br />

only 39% of capacity throughout the year. The project has displaced over 20,000<br />

people while impacting numerous indigenous and riverine communities in the region.<br />

Photograph by Aaron Vincent Elkaim<br />

24 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL <strong>2018</strong> 2015

December 11, 2016. Caboco Juruna from the Juruna village of Miratu in the Paquiçamba Indigenous Reserve<br />

on the Volta Grande do Xingu, fishes for Acarí fish on the Xingu River in Para, Brazil. This part of the Xingu River<br />

has had 80% of its water flow blocked by the newly completed Belo Monte Dam, severely damaging the fishing<br />

livelihoods of the people. The Juruna are now worried that the construction of the proposed upstream Belo Sun<br />

Gold Mine, which will be the largest open pit gold mine in Brazil, will further damage their river and way of life.<br />

While the environmental impacts of Belo Monte are still being analyzed, licensing processes for the mine haven’t<br />

taken into account any potential cumulative impacts on the river or the people who live upon it.<br />

Belo Sun had its environmental licensing suspended in February of 2017 due to lack of consultation with the<br />

Juruna. The company claimed they didn’t need to do an impact assessment with the Juruna because Brazilian law<br />

only requires it within a 10km zone. The village of Paquiçamba is 11km away from the proposed mine.<br />

Photograph by Aaron Vincent Elkaim<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL 2015/ <strong>2018</strong>/ 25

An Extractavist family from the traditional riparian village of Mangabal on the<br />

Tapajós River. Extractavists came to the forests generations ago during Brazil’s<br />

rubber boom and continue to live a traditional way of life. Many survive on<br />

harvesting sustainable natural products such as rubber, nuts, and oils from<br />

the forest. While they historically fought with the neighboring Munduruku<br />

indigenous people, they have come together in the fight against the dams that<br />

would flood both of their territories. Forty-three dams have been planned for the<br />

Tapajos River Basin in hopes of turning it into a soy corridor for barges from<br />

Mato Grosso State to ports on the Amazon River.<br />

Photograph by Aaron Vincent Elkaim<br />

26 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL <strong>2018</strong> 2015

Members of the Munduruku indigenous tribe walk on a sandbar on the<br />

Tapajós River as they prepare for a protest against plans to construct<br />

a series of hydroelectric dams on their river in Para, Brazil. The tribe<br />

members used the rocks to write ‘Tapajós Livre’ (Free Tapajós) in a large<br />

message in the sand in an action in coordination with Greenpeace. After<br />

years of fighting, in 2016 the Munduruku were successful in lobbying the<br />

government to officially recognize their traditional territory with a demarcation.<br />

This recognition forced IBAMA, Brazil’s Environmental Agency, to<br />

suspend the environmental licensing process for the 12,000 MW Tapajós<br />

hydroelectric complex, due to the unconstitutional flooding of their now<br />

recognized land.<br />

Photograph by Aaron Vincent Elkaim<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL 2015/ <strong>2018</strong>/ 27

The women of the Upper Omo River Valley in Ethiopia are traditionally known<br />

for their lip plates and intricate scarification patterns and often decorate themselves<br />

with white clay and flowers on their head. The Gibe III hydroelectric<br />

dam will affect these tribal communities that depend on the river for their<br />

survival. Photo by Louisa Seton.<br />

DAM-<br />

AGED<br />

LIVES<br />





By Enrique Gili<br />

Dams are touted as a cheap<br />

source of power and a muchneeded<br />

form of renewable<br />

energy for developing nations.<br />

Often left out of this equation<br />

are indigenous groups, who have<br />

the least to gain and the most to lose,<br />

when a watershed is flooded due to<br />

dam construction.<br />

Once a symbol of human ingenuity,<br />

recent events show that dams built<br />

for the ages are often shortsighted<br />

in their execution. For example, a<br />

technological marvel like the massive<br />

Glen Canyon Dam in northern<br />

Arizona, built during the mid-20th<br />

century, now sits half empty due to<br />

prolonged droughts linked to global<br />

warming.<br />

In the United States alone,<br />

there are more than 87,000 dams<br />

recorded in the federal government’s<br />

inventory. Across the country, many<br />

of these dams no longer serve any<br />

useful purpose and thousands have<br />

been deemed unsafe by dam safety<br />

experts. No comprehensive database<br />

on the number of obsolete dams<br />

worldwide exists, but the number is<br />

likely to be much higher.<br />

At present there are an estimated<br />

800,000 dams of various<br />

sizes around the world. New dams<br />

continue to be built with relatively<br />

few being decommissioned due to<br />

obsolescence.<br />

Recent studies indicate there<br />

are additional reasons for concern.<br />

Dam projects have unintended<br />

consequences for wildlife and for the<br />

people living downstream. Among<br />

them, dams disconnect rivers from<br />

floodplains and turn rapids into<br />

still waters, resulting in a loss of<br />

biodiversity. According to the World<br />

Wildlife Fund, freshwater populations<br />

of fish and other species have<br />

declined by 80 percent since 1970<br />

worldwide, causing fish stocks to<br />

plummet in once vibrant locations like<br />

the Columbia River in Oregon and<br />

the Danube River flowing through<br />

central and eastern Europe.<br />

Why do stakeholders persist<br />

despite evidence of harm? Dams<br />

allow cities to thrive and are a<br />

boon to energy-starved regions of<br />

the world. In short, hydropower<br />

and irrigation bring the promise of<br />

progress to developing countries,<br />

while boosting the prestige of elites<br />

who can deliver large-scale projects.<br />

“Politicians like to have monuments<br />

named after them and a dam is a<br />

testament to their power,” says James<br />

Dalton, director of the water program<br />

with the International Union for<br />

Conservation of Nature.<br />

Indigenous<br />

Consequences<br />

Such a rationale has had serious<br />

consequences for indigenous people<br />

whose territories straddle dam sites.<br />

An estimated 40 to 80 million people<br />

have been directly displaced worldwide<br />

and an additional 470 million<br />

people have been impacted further<br />

downstream, according to a joint<br />

report titled Lost in Development’s<br />

Shadow:The Downstream Human<br />

Consequences of Dams, published<br />

by Brian D. Richter, Director of the<br />

Global Freshwater Program of The<br />

Nature Conservancy and other freshwater<br />

experts.<br />

Those affected include indigenous<br />

people, along with farmers,<br />

pastoralists, and fishermen who have<br />

had their livelihoods affected, if not<br />

destroyed by dams, jeopardizing<br />

their physical, cultural and spiritual<br />

wellbeing in the process.<br />

Dams also continue to be built<br />

without the free, prior and informed<br />

consent of affected indigenous<br />

groups. There have also been<br />

28 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>

instances of violence directed<br />

against protesters of dam<br />

projects.<br />

For instance, the murder<br />

of the renowned indigenous<br />

leader of the Lenca people in<br />

Honduras, Berta Caceres, made<br />

global headlines. Caceres<br />

and two members of the Civic<br />

Council of Popular Indigenous<br />

Organizations (Copinh) were<br />

killed. Others reported assassination<br />

attempts in the weeks<br />

and months following her<br />

murder in 2016.<br />

On a global scale, 1,400<br />

dams are planned or are<br />

under construction, in locations<br />

once deemed too remote or<br />

impractical to be feasible. In<br />

Asia, Africa and Latin America,<br />

numerous proposed dam<br />

projects are on rivers that flow<br />

through indigenous territories<br />

and across national boundaries,<br />

raising potential waterbased<br />

conflicts between nations<br />

and among tribal groups competing<br />

for scarce resources.<br />

The Nile River, for example,<br />

is one of the more contentious<br />

areas of the globe. Ethiopia<br />

has built and plans to build several<br />

more dams on tributaries<br />

of the Nile in its uplands. This<br />

will divert water from countries<br />

downstream, including Egypt.<br />

Contributing to the tension<br />

is drought and a growing<br />

population more dependent on<br />

a water source that may be on<br />

the wane.<br />

According to published<br />

accounts, the Gilgel Gibe II and<br />

III Dams on the Omo River in<br />

Ethiopia have upended the lives<br />

of 200,000 farmers, fishermen<br />

and herders who depended on<br />

the natural flow of the river for<br />

their livelihoods. The people<br />

of lower Omo River now face<br />

food shortages and governmentsponsored<br />

modernization<br />

schemes that encroach upon<br />

their ancestral lands.<br />

According to observers,<br />

Ethiopia’s headlong rush into<br />

the Renaissance Dam will have<br />

serious implications for Egypt.<br />

Water shortages will continue<br />

to plague the region in the<br />

decades to come and the dam<br />

will exacerbate shortages in<br />

Egypt by an additional 25<br />

percent, the Geological Society<br />

of America estimates.<br />

In the Middle East, issues<br />

surrounding water, oil and<br />

politics are equally volatile.<br />

Mona Salavi believes an<br />

ecological disaster is unfolding<br />

inside Iran. As a member of<br />

the Ahwazi Arab minority in<br />

Iran and project officer for the<br />

Underrepresented Nations and<br />

People Organization, an NGO<br />

based in Brussels, she speaks<br />

from past experience.<br />

In a part of the world fractured<br />

along religious and ethnic<br />

lines, the ability to control the<br />

flow of freshwater takes on a<br />

political dimension. “Water and<br />

politics are linked,” she says.<br />

The Gibe III Dam is the highest dam in Central Africa. At 240 meters high, it will produce<br />

1879 MW of energy. Studies says that once completed, the cost of the dam will be 15% of<br />

the annual GDP of Ethiopia, becoming the biggest investment project ever made in all of the<br />

African continent. Photo by Fausto Podavini.<br />

The Karo tribe is the smallest ethnic group in the Omo River Valley. They are considered skillful<br />

herdsmen, farmers and masters of body painting. The Gibe III Dam threatens to damage traditional<br />

types of farming, known as “flood-retreat agriculture.” Photo by Vlad Karavaev.<br />

Salavi fled Iran due, in part,<br />

to the battle over water in the<br />

Al-Ahwaz province of southwest<br />

Iran. One of the few historically<br />

verdant places inside the<br />

country, the region is in the<br />

process of being turned into<br />

a wasteland because of dam<br />

construction, she contends.<br />

The province now has more<br />

than 14 dams which diverted<br />

free-flowing rivers away from<br />

the arable region, subjecting the<br />

Ahwazi minority to the imminent<br />

risk of water shortages.<br />

At the same time, the Iranian<br />

government has promoted the<br />

production of sugar, a waterintensive<br />

cash crop, displacing<br />

200,000 to 250,000 Arabs in<br />

the Ahwazi region.<br />

Despite their differences, the<br />

roughly 370 million indigenous<br />

people scattered around the<br />

globe share many of the same<br />

problems. In many instances,<br />

they have few allies at the<br />

national and international<br />

levels and are up against<br />

powerful forces working<br />

against them.<br />

“Environmental activists<br />

often support indigenous<br />

causes, working alongside<br />

them in claiming rights and<br />

environmental justice. As such,<br />

both environmental activists<br />

and indigenous organizers<br />

frequently fall victim to state-led<br />

repression of demonstrations<br />

and peaceful protests, as well<br />

as of corporate interests,“<br />

Mona Salavi says.<br />

Touted as guardians of<br />

forests and protectors of rivers,<br />

indigenous leaders are<br />

often placed in the crosshairs.<br />

The watchdog group Global<br />

Witness warns that violence<br />

against activists is likely to<br />

continue because land grabs<br />

and the infrastructure needed<br />

to operate dams place indigenous<br />

groups at odds with the<br />

demands of the 21st century.<br />

A 2017 report published<br />

by Global Witness concluded<br />

indigenous leaders, along with<br />

environmental activists and<br />

wildlife rangers, are being<br />

killed at almost a rate of four<br />

per week worldwide. In 2016,<br />

the tally came to 200 victims—<br />

more than double the rate from<br />

five years ago.<br />


International Union for<br />

Conservation of Nature<br />

www.iucn.org<br />

Water Alternatives<br />

www.water-alternatives.org<br />

World Wildlife Fund<br />

www.wwf.org<br />

International Rivers<br />

www.internationalrivers.org<br />

Global Witness<br />

www.globalwitness.org<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>/ 29






Taha Ahmad<br />

A Displaced Hope<br />

The Ferozshah fortress built<br />

in the Indian capital Delhi in<br />

the 18th century remains a<br />

ruin nestled between a cricket<br />

stadium and the city’s ring<br />

road. It is within these ruins that<br />

we find genie worship. Genies<br />

are supernatural creatures<br />

created out of fire, according<br />

to the Islamic texts. Thousands<br />

of people gather here every<br />

Thursday: praying, writing letters,<br />

giving money and lighting<br />

lamps to impress the genies for<br />

a better life. This has become<br />

a money-making mechanism<br />

for the self-proclaimed Godmen<br />

in the fort to exploit the misfortunes<br />

of the people who do not<br />

have the tools of education to<br />

question these practices and<br />

political agendas.<br />

Taha Ahmad is a documentary<br />

photographer based in Delhi,<br />

India. He developed an interest in<br />

documentary photography while<br />

pursuing his bachelor’s degree.<br />

He feels photography has a strong<br />

influence in creating and developing<br />

discourse for the future. His<br />

photographs are framed in a way<br />

that preserves their reality, which<br />

he feels is undergoing an everlasting<br />

change.<br />

30 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>




Scott Brennan<br />

Indigenous Autonomy<br />

in Mexico<br />

This photographic project<br />

focuses on two indigenous<br />

populations that are working<br />

to enact social and<br />

environmental justice in the<br />

face of some of the world’s<br />

most dangerous elements of<br />

organized crime and corruption.<br />

The communities<br />

are Santa Maria de Ostula<br />

and Cherán K’eri, both in<br />

the notoriously violent state<br />

of Michoacán in southern<br />

Mexico. These two municipalities<br />

have begun social<br />

movements of ethnically<br />

and culturally indigenous<br />

peoples establishing semiautonomous,<br />

grassroots<br />

governments in response to<br />

rampant violence, corruption,<br />

environmental degradation<br />

and the failure of the<br />

social contract.<br />

Scott Brennan is originally<br />

from New York and has been<br />

living in Mexico since 2010.<br />

His main interest in photography<br />

is documenting the struggles<br />

of indigenous groups in<br />

Latin America and their ongoing<br />

fights to defend their territories<br />

and cultures. He graduated<br />

with a master’s degree<br />

in 2005 from The London<br />

College of Communication in<br />

photojournalism and documentary.<br />

This project is fiscally<br />

sponsored by The Blue Earth<br />

Alliance and this year won<br />

first place for Pictures of the<br />

Year International’s Community<br />

Awareness Award.<br />

Barbara Ayotte<br />

Alice Gabriner<br />

Kurt Mutchler<br />

Quentin Nardi<br />

Niama Sandy<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>/ 31

AWARD WINNERS (Continued)<br />

Javier Fergo<br />

Europes’ South Frontier<br />

Crossing the Mediterranean<br />

Sea from Morocco to Spain is<br />

the fastest-growing sea route<br />

into Europe, according to<br />

the United Nations, and the<br />

number of migrants taking this<br />

route has tripled in the past<br />

few months. The dramatic<br />

situation in Libya, with higher<br />

casualties than the case of<br />

Spain, might be shadowing<br />

this growing issue. Spain<br />

holds an infamous second<br />

position on death toll in their<br />

waters, surpassing Greece.<br />

Spanish authorities are struggling<br />

to cope with the amount<br />

of people arriving. Spanish<br />

coastguards rescue people<br />

on a daily basis, mainly in<br />

the area between the Strait of<br />

Gibraltar and in the Alboran<br />

Sea.<br />

Born in Jerez, Cádiz, Spain in<br />

1980, Javier Fergo has been<br />

keen on the arts, film and photography<br />

since childhood. In 2005<br />

he completed a Higher National<br />

Diploma in Photography at City<br />

of Bristol College, UK. Soon<br />

after, he moved back to Jerez,<br />

Spain, to start contributing to<br />

local and national newspapers<br />

including El País, El Mundo,<br />

ABC, and Público and internationally<br />

through the Associated<br />

Press, The Wall Street Journal,<br />

and The Washington Post.<br />

32 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>

<strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>/ 33

Interview<br />


by Caterina Clerici<br />

Reza Deghati (Reza) is a French-<br />

Iranian photographer. Over almost<br />

40 years, he has worked as a foreign<br />

and war correspondent for Newsweek,<br />

TIME <strong>Magazine</strong>, LIFE, Paris Match<br />

and Stern, among many others. He<br />

teaches photography to children in<br />

refugee camps and disadvantaged<br />

neighborhoods and communities<br />

in dozens of countries through the<br />

numerous NGOs he has founded.<br />

Caterina Clerici: Why did you want<br />

to become a photographer and how did<br />

you get started?<br />

Reza: Since a very young age, I’ve<br />

always been disturbed to see homeless<br />

people, barefoot kids and poor families<br />

in my hometown of Tabriz, in Iran. I<br />

was always asking “Why do people<br />

not react, why don’t they help?” At<br />

age nine, I witnessed a mob of kids<br />

that were pushing out from the school<br />

a barefoot kid that was the same age<br />

as I was. He was crying and saying<br />

“Please, I just want to see what a school<br />

looks like.” I tried to interfere but both<br />

of us were beaten by the kids and<br />

pushed out. It shocked me a lot. Later, I<br />

was trying to explain to the director of<br />

the school and the teachers what had<br />

happened, and nobody cared. So I<br />

thought maybe I wasn’t able to explain<br />

it with my language and I should show<br />

them a painting or a drawing of it.<br />

For two years I tried to learn how to<br />

paint and draw just to show the social<br />

injustices that I was seeing around me.<br />

At age 13, my father, who had one<br />

of the first big box Kodak cameras, let<br />

me try it. When I looked through the<br />

Mario Epanya<br />

viewfinder, I asked him “Everything you<br />

see here will be in the picture?” and<br />

he said “Of course!” and this was the<br />

reason I got a camera and started taking<br />

pictures. I was teaching myself, there<br />

was nobody around to explain to me<br />

how it worked, so it took a lot of years<br />

to learn. When I started at 14, I always<br />

looked for two things: beauty, but also<br />

social injustice. My thought was: “If I<br />

show it to people, maybe they’ll be able<br />

to change it.”<br />

CC: What was the focus of your<br />

photography in the early years?<br />

Reza: I liked beauty and family, but also<br />

looking around in the streets for things I<br />

thought people would react to if they saw<br />

them. When I was 16, I thought I could<br />

have a role in the high school paper.<br />

This was during the Shah’s regime in Iran<br />

and I had no idea what “secret police”<br />

meant. I made my first magazine, which<br />

was called Butterfly, and two days later I<br />

was arrested and all the magazine issues<br />

confiscated. My mum was beating me<br />

very badly and telling me “You shouldn’t<br />

touch newspapers and magazines anymore.”<br />

I was 16, that was 50 years ago,<br />

and from that moment I’ve done exactly<br />

the opposite.<br />

I photographed again social injustice<br />

and poverty in Tehran — the homeless,<br />

the drug addicts — and learned<br />

how to print the photographs. At night<br />

I would go out and put the black and<br />

white pictures with the little captions on<br />

the walls of the university, to show how<br />

people were living in poverty. That was<br />

from when I was 19 to 22, when I was<br />

also a student in architecture and fine<br />

arts. I was arrested again and spent<br />

three years, from 22 to 25, in prison,<br />

where I was tortured for five months<br />

for photographing and showing this<br />

[reality.] Then I came out of the prison<br />

just one year before the revolution and<br />

decided to quit architecture and become<br />

a photographer.<br />

CC: What would you describe as your<br />

mission as a photographer?<br />

Reza: I really didn’t come to photography<br />

trying to make an art of it. For me,<br />

photography is a tool to connect with<br />

people and create empathy. It’s a universal<br />

language, everybody understands<br />

it. I don’t know much about the technical<br />

aspects of it, the software, I only<br />

My mission is to make people<br />

take responsibility for what<br />

they see.<br />

—Reza<br />

focus on how photography can bring<br />

change to communities and how we can<br />

use photography as a tool for social<br />

change. My mission is to make people<br />

take responsibility for what they see.<br />

CC: As a photographer documenting<br />

Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan,<br />

have you noticed any changes in the<br />

mainstream media narrative about this<br />

region, since you started working there?<br />

Reza: I have been working as a<br />

professional since 1979, which makes<br />

it almost 40 years now. The big change<br />

came around 15 years ago, when we<br />

started moving towards digital: the<br />

communication became immediate<br />

and a lot of people got access to these<br />

tools. Before that, in most cases, we<br />

were the only witnesses of the whole<br />

story. We felt we had a much bigger<br />

mission and people were trusting us<br />

more. The digital era has changed it<br />

completely: the number of people who<br />

take pictures, write or broadcast has<br />

multiplied by millions. Also, local people<br />

have access to media coverage of their<br />

own destiny and see that what is shown<br />

and told in the big media is not always<br />

the reality, because the media is run<br />

by governments and corporations with<br />

their own agendas. We have very few<br />

independent newspapers and magazines<br />

Photo by Reza. Afghanistan. Panjshir Valley. 1985. Portrait of<br />

Commander Massoud (1953-2001) during the Soviet invasion of<br />

Afghanistan (1979-1989).<br />

34 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>

Photo by Reza. Afghanistan. Nuristan Province. 1985. Afghan children imitate the photographer by holding their hands in<br />

circles in front of their eyes.<br />

today and even they show a mainstream<br />

point of view, so we (photographers and<br />

journalists) have now become the target<br />

of the people who are unhappy with the<br />

reporting, because they immediately see<br />

what’s happening.<br />

From my very first trip to Afghanistan<br />

during the Russian invasion in 1983<br />

and onwards, I realized that the<br />

mainstream media was not able to tell<br />

the whole story. We come for a few<br />

days or a few weeks even, and we have<br />

our newsroom waiting for us in Paris,<br />

New York or London, and we have to<br />

come up with something to feed the<br />

beast. That’s how I thought, “What<br />

if I teach people how to tell their own<br />

stories?” That’s how I started doing the<br />

very first refugee training in 1983 in<br />

a camp in Pakistan with seven Afghan<br />

refugees. I bought the cameras myself<br />

in the Peshawar market, I bought the<br />

film, I workshopped with them, I left<br />

the cameras with them and told them<br />

to keep photographing and if they saw<br />

another photographer coming, to give<br />

them the photographs they had taken.<br />

From that moment, I’ve devoted half of<br />

my time and my income volunteering to<br />

help people tell their own stories. Only<br />

taking pictures is not enough.<br />

Recently, I was in the Panjshir valley<br />

in Afghanistan, where they were<br />

commemorating the assassination of<br />

Massoud, the head of the resistance<br />

against the Russians, Al-Qaeda and<br />

the Taliban until he was killed two days<br />

before 9/11. The day after he was<br />

assassinated by two Al-Qaeda operators<br />

who posed as TV cameramen pretending<br />

to interview him, his people printed<br />

a few thousand photographs of the<br />

portrait of Massoud I had taken and<br />

sent it to the frontline for each soldier.<br />

Everybody said those portraits helped<br />

them resist until the coalition forces<br />

came and the bombardment started and<br />

the Taliban was defeated. There are a<br />

lot of stories like this, about how a single<br />

photograph can have an impact on<br />

history.<br />

CC: How have you tried to get your<br />

audience more involved in topics that<br />

drive your photography, particularly<br />

refugees, migration and displacement?<br />

Do you believe in a “refugee fatigue,”<br />

just as there is war or poverty fatigue,<br />

and what can be done to still get people<br />

to empathize and sympathize with<br />

refugees?<br />

Reza: This is a challenge I have faced,<br />

like all media, with all kinds of crises:<br />

fatigue is not only created by the<br />

story covered by the media, but by<br />

the corporations or governments that<br />

don’t want the story talked about. My<br />

first action is deep respect for both the<br />

people I photograph and those who<br />

are going to see my work. I always feel<br />

like I’m trying to bring them together. If<br />

you’re arrogant, people will see you’re<br />

there for your reputation and don’t<br />

care about them. Honesty is transmitted<br />

through your photographs.<br />

Photography is an art and it’s not<br />

because I’m a photojournalist that I’m<br />

not an artist: whatever I’m covering,<br />

even if it’s a war, I always try to have<br />

a perfect composition and to make<br />

it beautiful. What I believe is most<br />

important is to help people get over<br />

their fatigue to make it personal. We<br />

have all seen so many pictures of boats<br />

carrying people — similar colors, similar<br />

clothes, similar faces, some drowning,<br />

some getting help — and it’s normal<br />

that after a while we are not shocked<br />

anymore. Make it personal, tell the story<br />

one by one, create empathy between<br />

the people who look at the pictures and<br />

those who are photographed. The way I<br />

do it is through portraits: they’re all very<br />

simple, on the spot and spontaneous.<br />

“The eyes are the windows of the soul,”<br />

and I’m trying to get those souls out.<br />

Another way to get people interested<br />

again is training refugee children to<br />

photograph the daily life in the camps.<br />

In the past five years I started trainings<br />

with Syrian and Yazidi children. They<br />

became the camp reporters and I’m<br />

publishing their photos around the world<br />

and this has a very different effect on<br />

people. Professionals already have<br />

a preconceived idea of what kind of<br />

picture will show the refugees, while the<br />

children just show their daily life.<br />

CC: How would you define being an<br />

“involved photographer” and do you<br />

think there are any ethical issues in<br />

being both a journalist and an activist?<br />

Reza: I really don’t think that journalism<br />

and activism are different. By all means<br />

any journalist who is looking for the truth<br />

is an activist, especially at a time where<br />

major corporations and governments<br />

are trying to cover it up. For me,<br />

there is no interference between my<br />

photography and my NGO work. One<br />

example is creating an independent<br />

media and cultural centre in Kabul,<br />

which I opened just a few days after the<br />

fall of the Taliban in September 2001.<br />

In 17 years, we have trained over<br />

1,500 Afghans to become journalists,<br />

photographers, filmmakers, a lot of them<br />

women, and helped them create their<br />

own media, such as Afghan Women’s<br />

Voices. We can bring more change not<br />

only through our photographs but giving<br />

voice to people who don’t have it.<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>/ 35

Photograph by Jan Zychlinski<br />

From Ukraine’s War Childen<br />

Children in a former Soviet-era<br />

Children’s Camp now occupied<br />

by a Baptist Church and refugees.<br />

Saoporoshje (East Ukraine). 2016<br />

36 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL <strong>2018</strong> 2015



Photographs by<br />

Michele Cirillo<br />

Aude Osnowycz<br />

Jan Zychlinski<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL 2015/ <strong>2018</strong>/ 37

38 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL <strong>2018</strong> 2015

Photograph by Jan Zychlinski<br />

From Ukraine’s War Childen<br />

Two girls dancing in the hall of an<br />

old Soviet “Children Camp” in Kiev.<br />

No music, no audience, just in their<br />

own reality. 2015<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL 2015/ <strong>2018</strong>/ 39

40 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL <strong>2018</strong> 2015

Affected by an ongoing war, the loss<br />

of the Crimea to Russian aggression,<br />

and endemic corruption, Ukraine,<br />

a geopolitically important country<br />

straddling Europe and Russia,<br />

remains hopelessly divided. Despite<br />

the Euromaidan protests four years ago that<br />

overturned a pro-Russia government and the<br />

more recent Minsk Protocol aiming to reduce<br />

hostilities, the country remains in a stalemate.<br />

The war in the Donbass in eastern Ukraine<br />

between pro-Russian militias and government<br />

and paramilitary forces has resulted in more<br />

than 9,300 deaths.<br />

Michele Cirillo, in his exhibit “Forgotten<br />

War” shows the realities of this war-torn<br />

quagmire--the destruction of homes and<br />

soldiers with lost limbs. But like in all conflict<br />

zones, life manages to move on. Aude<br />

Osnowycz’s portraits from her exhibit<br />

“In the Shadow of an Empire” show us a<br />

Ukraine with its rich culture of ballerinas,<br />

rock stars, activists, and youth militias. Jan<br />

Zychlinski’s “Ukraine’s War Children”<br />

delves deeper into the question of refugees<br />

and internally displaced persons from Crimea<br />

and Donbass, where the war rages on with<br />

pro-Russian separatists. People are living in<br />

container settlements, rented flats, old sanatoriums,<br />

kindergartens, dormitories or some in<br />

huts in the middle of nowhere. Amongst them,<br />

there are lots of children—a generation at<br />

war with so many different expectations and<br />

perspectives.<br />

Photograph by Michele Cirillo<br />

From Forgotten War<br />

A house damaged by artillery shelling in<br />

Slavyansk (Donetsk region, Ukraine). The<br />

Minsk Protocol was not enough to stop the<br />

war at the borders of Donbass and Luhansk,<br />

marking, since the begin of the conflict, more<br />

than 9,300 deaths, countless casualties, a<br />

spread of violence, unpunished rapes and<br />

attacks on journalists.<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL 2015/ <strong>2018</strong>/ 41

42 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL <strong>2018</strong> 2015

Photograph by Michele Cirillo<br />

From Forgotten War<br />

Kiev Military Hospital. Dmytro Kotov,<br />

41, was injured by a mine in 2014.<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL 2015/ <strong>2018</strong>/ 43

44 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL <strong>2018</strong> 2015

Photograph by Aude Osnowycz<br />

From In the Shadow of the Empire<br />

Two young soldiers from a Russian elite<br />

military unit during Paratroopers Day,<br />

Donetsk (self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s<br />

Republic). August 2017.<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL 2015/ <strong>2018</strong>/ 45

Photograph by Aude<br />

Osnowycz<br />

From In the Shadow of the<br />

Empire<br />

Young girl practicing her shooting<br />

skills during a Cossack patriotic<br />

youth camp, Cherkassy, Ukraine.<br />

August 2017.<br />

46 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL <strong>2018</strong> 2015

<strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL 2015/ <strong>2018</strong>/ 47

48 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL <strong>2018</strong> 2015

Photographs by Aude Osnowycz<br />

From In the Shadow of the Empire<br />

Left: Member of activist band FEMEN,<br />

strongly opposed to the Putin regime,<br />

posing in a park. Kiev, Ukraine, August<br />

2017.<br />

Below: Young Ukrainian soldier,<br />

Ukrainian front line, Ukraine.<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> APRIL FALL 2015/ <strong>2018</strong>/ 49

50 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>

Photographs by Aude Osnowycz<br />

From In the Shadow of the<br />

Empire<br />

Left: Ballet student during rehearsals<br />

at Donetsk Opéra. Despites hostilities,<br />

The Donetsk Opera has been working<br />

since the beginning of the conflict and<br />

still continues to please the eyes of<br />

the citizens, Donetsk (self-proclaimed<br />

Donetsk People’s Republic). August<br />

2017.<br />

Below: Guitarist of a punk band during<br />

a clandestine concert in a winery in<br />

downtown Donetsk. In Ukraine, on both<br />

sides of the frontline, young people<br />

often aspire to return to a semblance<br />

of normal life and continue their fight<br />

against the old Soviet-era shackles,<br />

Donetsk (self-proclaimed Donetsk<br />

People’s Republic). August 2017.<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>/ 51



By Glenn Ruga<br />

With contributions<br />

by Joseph Lim and<br />

Anne Sahler<br />

Above: A kitchen in an overcrowded<br />

refugee flat in Kiev. 2014. Photo by Jan<br />

Zychlinski from Ukraine’s War Children.<br />

The Ukrainian crisis is<br />

a story about Russian<br />

aggression, a divided<br />

nation, domestic corruption,<br />

and common people<br />

caught in the middle. The<br />

crisis has produced not only<br />

a conflict between the deeply<br />

divided east and west, but also<br />

a deep sense of disillusionment<br />

among Ukrainian youth.<br />

The recent Ukraine crisis<br />

began in November<br />

2013 when President Victor<br />

Yanukovych pulled out of<br />

the Ukraine-European Union<br />

Association Agreement that<br />

would have strengthened<br />

cooperation between Ukraine<br />

and the 28 EU member states.<br />

However, according to the<br />

Lithuanian president’s office<br />

hosting an EU summit to finalize<br />

the pact, Yanukovych was<br />

pressured to pull out of the<br />

agreement by the Kremlin.<br />

On December 17, 2013,<br />

Yanukovych instead signed<br />

an Action Plan with Russia<br />

in which Russia agreed to<br />

buy $15 billion in Ukrainian<br />

Eurobonds and supply natural<br />

gas at a lower price. This<br />

immediately set off protests by<br />

youth who looked to the west<br />

(the EU) as their future.<br />

An investment of capital<br />

from either the EU or<br />

Russia was vitally important<br />

to Ukraine that year as<br />

industrial production fell by<br />

4.9%. Moreover, natural<br />

gas prices were hiked by the<br />

Russian natural gas provider,<br />

Gazprom, after it discovered<br />

that officials in Ukraine were<br />

stealing gas and failing to pay<br />

off debts. Public opinion was<br />

starkly split between the EU<br />

(39%) and the Russia-headed<br />

Eurasian Customs Union<br />

(37%). However, EU-friendly<br />

western Ukraine citizens,<br />

centered around the capital<br />

of Kiev, were outraged after<br />

Yanukovych didn’t deliver<br />

on his promise to join the EU<br />

agreement.<br />

The 2014 Ukrainian<br />

Revolution (also called the<br />

Euromaidan Revolution) was<br />

organized by the Maidan<br />

People’s Union, the ultra-nationalist<br />

Right Sector, and other citizens<br />

who mobilized on social<br />

media in favor of Ukraine<br />

signing the agreement with the<br />

EU. The protestors called for<br />

Yanukovych to resign and end<br />

the oppression against activists<br />

and opposition leaders.<br />

Protests Turn Violent<br />

Although protests in 2014<br />

began peacefully, they quickly<br />

became riots after demonstrations<br />

were suppressed<br />

violently by police units.<br />

When the Ukraine government<br />

passed anti-protest laws<br />

in 2014, masked protesters<br />

held regional administration<br />

buildings hostage and clashed<br />

with law enforcement. Unable<br />

to silence the revolution,<br />

Yanukovych finally signed the<br />

Agreement on Settlement of<br />

Political Crisis in Ukraine in<br />

Young cadet in parade costume at Kiev military academy. December 2016.<br />

Photo by Aude Osnowycz from In the Shadow of the Empire.<br />

52 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>

i<br />

a<br />

Gdansk<br />

Poznan<br />

Brno<br />

Liepaja<br />

Bratislava<br />


Gyor<br />

Debrecen<br />

Budapest<br />

Pecs<br />

Klaipeda<br />

Bydgoszcz<br />

Sea<br />

Titograd<br />

Szeged<br />

Lodz<br />

Wroclaw Breslau<br />

Kaliningrad<br />

Olsztyn<br />

ec Kralove<br />

Krakow<br />

Ostrava<br />

Tirane<br />

P OLAND<br />



Sovietsk<br />

Vilnius<br />

Warsaw<br />

Arad<br />

Riga<br />

agreb<br />

Timisoara<br />


Novi Sad<br />

ka<br />

Belgrade<br />

BOSNIA<br />

t<br />

Sarajevo<br />

Mikhaylovgrad<br />

Ionian Sea<br />



erranean Sea<br />

Cluj<br />

Lvov<br />

LATVIA<br />

Lida<br />

Lutsk<br />

Bucharest<br />

Botosani<br />


Daugavpils<br />

Braila<br />

Pleven<br />


Sofia<br />

Minsk<br />



Chisinau<br />

Vitebsk<br />

Vinnitsanitsa<br />

Varna<br />

Constanta<br />

Mogilev<br />

Odessa<br />

February 2014.<br />

Burgas<br />

Skopje<br />

However, he<br />

Stara Zagora<br />

fled Titov the Veles country for Russia that<br />


Istanbul<br />

same month,<br />

Xanthi<br />

halting all plans<br />

Thessaloniki<br />

to salvage the EU Association Bursa<br />

Ioannina<br />

Agreement<br />

Aegean<br />

and<br />

Sea<br />

GREECE Larisa cancelling<br />

Lesbos<br />

all<br />

Agrinion<br />

provisions promised from<br />

Izmir<br />

Russia Patrai through the Ukrainian-<br />

Peloponnesus Athens<br />

Russian Action Plan.<br />

Soon after Yanukovych’s<br />

Rhodes<br />

resignation, Khania pro-Russian<br />

Iraklion<br />

Crete<br />

protests began in eastern and<br />

southern parts of Ukraine.<br />

Historically, territories of<br />

eastern Ukraine were administered<br />

by Russia and became<br />

a republic under the Soviet<br />

Union. In 1991, following the<br />

demise of the Soviet Union<br />

and a failed coup attempt<br />

by Soviet hardliners, the<br />

government signed the Act of<br />

Declaration of Independence<br />

of Ukraine, establishing an<br />

independent state. Although<br />

many Ukrainians wished to<br />

maintain sovereignty, regions<br />

in eastern Ukraine such as<br />

Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk<br />

were linguistically and culturally<br />

affiliated with Russia and<br />

felt that Ukraine and Russia<br />

should unite into a single state.<br />

The Kremlin’s active involvement<br />

in Ukraine ultimately<br />

divided the country. During the<br />

2014 Revolution, the Kremlin<br />

provided Yanukovych with military<br />

support to suppress protesters.<br />

In March, Russian soldiers<br />

without insignias invaded<br />

the Crimean parliament<br />

building, held a referendum<br />

on independence with Russian<br />

Kiev<br />

Antalya<br />

Smolensk<br />

Voronezh<br />


Zaporozhye<br />

Crimea<br />

Kaluga<br />

Orel<br />

Kharkov<br />

Black Sea<br />

Rostov<br />

Moscow<br />

RUSSIA<br />

Donbass<br />

RUSSIA<br />

Voronezh<br />

V<br />

Krasnodar<br />

Sochi<br />

sympathizers, and annexed<br />

Crimea. Similar referendums<br />

Zonguldak<br />

were held by pro-Russian and<br />

anti-government Ankara groups in<br />

Donetsk TURKEY and Luhansk, which<br />

L. Tuz<br />

mobilized combatants alongside<br />

paramilitaries groups<br />

coming across Adanathe border from<br />

Russia. What ensued was the<br />

Aleppo<br />

Nicosia war in Donbass, in which the<br />

Cyprus<br />

SYRIA<br />

Kremlin allegedly provided<br />

tanks and “humanitarian convoys”<br />

to separatist members<br />

to prolong the conflict and<br />

0<br />

expand its territorial influence.<br />

Although, cease fires were<br />

0<br />

500 KM<br />

negotiated through the Minsk I<br />

Parallel scale at 50˚N 0˚E<br />

and II Agreements, fighting still<br />

continues to this day.<br />

20˚E 25˚E 30˚E 35˚E 40˚E<br />

EU Responds to<br />

Russian Aggression<br />

The EU responded to Russia’s<br />

aggression by imposing various<br />

restrictive measures against<br />

Russia. On top of cancelling<br />

high-level diplomatic meetings<br />

and limiting access to EU<br />

capital markets, the European<br />

Council also imposed asset<br />

freezes on 155 people and 44<br />

entities because their actions<br />

undermined Ukraine’s territorial<br />

integrity, sovereignty and<br />

independence.<br />

The outcomes of the revolution,<br />

the ongoing war, and<br />

international disputes have<br />

been disproportionately harmful<br />

to ordinary citizens. Since<br />

2014 when the war began<br />

Poti<br />

Gorkiy<br />

the UN estimates that 23,500<br />

people have been injured and<br />

10,000 people killed. Even<br />

after cease fire provisions from<br />

the Minsk Agreement, mortar<br />

50˚N<br />

shells fly between government<br />

territory and the self-declared<br />

People’s Republic of Donetsk.<br />

In war zones, people live without<br />

central heating. Collapsed<br />

infrastructure such as bridges,<br />

roads, 45˚N and public buildings<br />

aren’t repaired because of<br />

fear of more shelling. Worse,<br />

professionals such as lawyers,<br />

judges, and doctors, have<br />

Tbilisi<br />

left war-torn regions, leaving<br />

the inhabitants in precarious<br />

conditions.<br />

40˚N<br />

Moreover, widespread<br />

corruption is still pervasive<br />

throughout Ukraine. According<br />

to investigative reporters with<br />

Mosel<br />

the Al Jazeera TV, Yanukovych<br />

along with his corrupt oligarch<br />

cronies, appropriated $1.5<br />

billion through off-shore businesses<br />

registered in Scotland.<br />

A logbook confiscated by<br />

500 Miles<br />

the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption<br />

Bureau suggests that<br />

Yanukovych disbursed $1.4<br />

million worth of bribes on a<br />

daily basis. Even following the<br />

revolution, corruption is still<br />

endemic as seen from nepotism<br />

in the judicial system and<br />

irregular payments in the tax<br />

Volgograd<br />

Ordzhonikidze<br />

L. Van<br />

Yerevan<br />

55˚N<br />

administration. In the medical<br />

industry, for example, patients<br />

pay bribes to doctors to get<br />

intensive care and medical<br />

equipment. There is even a<br />

Ukraine corruption park that<br />

displays the sheer pervasiveness<br />

of corruption.<br />

In midst of such circumstances,<br />

Ukrainian youth hold<br />

a critical role. Twenty-six-yearold<br />

Yulia Marushevska, an<br />

activist who appeared on the<br />

viral video ‘I am a Ukrainian’<br />

during the 2014 Revolution,<br />

was appointed as Chief of<br />

Odessa Customs with the goal<br />

to make customs more transparent.<br />

However, according to a<br />

nationwide poll produced by<br />

the New Europe Center, 65%<br />

of respondents aged between<br />

14-29, are “not interested at<br />

all” in Ukrainian politics. The<br />

unpopularity of civil activism<br />

(only 6% of respondents) is<br />

concerning. The New York<br />

Times suggests that Svyatoslav<br />

Vakarchuk, a famous rock<br />

singer whose songs became<br />

protest anthems during both the<br />

2004 and 2014 revolutions,<br />

will be a strong candidate for<br />

president. Whether he will<br />

choose to participate or not,<br />

Ukraine needs role models like<br />

him to lead its next generation<br />

and rebuild its country.<br />

In Severodonetsk (Luhansk region of Ukraine) it is not uncommon to find Soviet-era<br />

missiles and artillery used during the recent war in the Donbass. Photo by Michele<br />

Cirillo from Forgotten War.<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>/ 53


POST-TRUTHBy Fred<br />

What is the role of the journalistic or<br />

documentary photograph for maintaining<br />

the public record and enabling constructive<br />

social change in this era labeled<br />

“post-truth”?<br />

Ritchin<br />

An exhibition at the UN in March 2015 of<br />

nearly two dozen of the 55,000 photographs<br />

of tortured and killed Syrian prisoners taken by<br />

“Caesar,” the code name of a former Syrian<br />

military police photographer. Syrian President<br />

Assad commented to Yahoo News on the<br />

photos, “You can forge anything these days.<br />

We are living in a fake news era.” Photo by<br />

Lucas Jackson.<br />

54 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>

In the first 466 days of his presidency, Donald<br />

Trump made 3,001 false or misleading<br />

claims. “Seventy-two times, the president<br />

has falsely claimed he passed the biggest tax<br />

cut in history — when in fact it ranks in eighth<br />

place,” the Washington Post reported on<br />

May 1, <strong>2018</strong>. “Fifty-three times, the president<br />

has made some variation of the claim that<br />

the Russia probe is a made-up controversy. (If you<br />

include other claims about the Russia probe that are<br />

not accurate, the count goes to 90.) Forty-one times,<br />

the president has offered a variation of the false<br />

claim that Democrats do not really care about the<br />

Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals<br />

program that Trump terminated.”<br />

As well as his disdain for the truth, Trump’s<br />

frequent attacks on the press as providers of “fake<br />

news” further undermine the functioning of democracy,<br />

dependent upon a credible press to report on<br />

issues and events so that citizens can decide how<br />

to vote and their political representatives on how to<br />

govern. Elsewhere, authoritarian leaders increasingly<br />

borrow from Trump’s attacking strategy,<br />

describing as “fake news” that which can be construed<br />

as criticisms of their policies. For example,<br />

a January 25 piece in the Guardian asserts that<br />

“In February, an Amnesty International report said<br />

the Syrian government had killed at least 13,000<br />

people in a military prison between 2011 and<br />

2015. Assad disputed the report. ‘You can forge<br />

anything these days,’ Assad told Yahoo News.<br />

‘We are living in a fake news era.’”<br />


Simultaneously, we are living<br />

in the Age of the Image with<br />

billions of photographs and<br />

videos uploaded daily, trillions<br />

available online, yet we are<br />

not sure what they mean, how<br />

they help, or whether they can<br />

be believed. Is that “selfie” a<br />

self-portrait, an exploration of<br />

identity, or a form of branding<br />

formulated to increase someone’s<br />

status online? Is that a<br />

photograph of an actual event,<br />

or a fabricated image made to<br />

The cover from a 1982 issue of<br />

National Geographic in which imagemanipulation<br />

software was employed for<br />

the first time in mainstream media—in this<br />

case to relocate one of the pyramids of<br />

Giza behind another so as to fit it on the<br />

magazine’s cover.<br />

simulate a photograph of an event that never happened?<br />

And we are left asking, in this era of social<br />

media, of strident opinions and media bubbles, of<br />

frequent and often unfounded allegations of “fake<br />

news,” what is the role of the journalistic or documentary<br />

photograph for maintaining the public<br />

record and enabling constructive social change in<br />

this era labeled “post-truth”?<br />

A 1990 book of mine, In Our Own Image: The<br />

Coming Revolution in Photography, argued that<br />

the imaging software being created then would<br />

allow us to re-create the world, and ourselves, “in<br />

our own image,” using the myth that “the camera<br />

never lies” to camouflage purposeful deceits. My<br />

thinking was provoked, in part, by the 1982 cover<br />

image of the mainstream publication, National<br />

Geographic, in which image-manipulation<br />

software was employed to relocate one of the<br />

pyramids of Giza behind another to make a<br />

vertical image from a horizontal photograph so<br />

as to fit it on the magazine’s cover. Two years<br />

later the modification was explained to me by<br />

the magazine’s editor as, in his opinion, merely<br />

the retroactive repositioning of the photographer<br />

a few feet to one side so as to get another<br />

point of view. Surprisingly, in 1982 National<br />

Geographic seemed to have already embraced<br />

a kind of photographic time travel. In the digital<br />

environment the “decisive moment,” photographer<br />

Henri Cartier-Bresson’s famous formulation of “the<br />

simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second,<br />

of the significance of an event as well as of a<br />

precise organization of forms which give that event<br />

its proper expression,” could now happen any time<br />

after the initial moment itself.<br />

Less sanguine and concerned about the enduring<br />

integrity of the journalistic photograph, National<br />

Geographic’s director of photography said that the<br />

introduction of such a technique was “like limited<br />

nuclear warfare. There ain’t none.” In any case, the<br />

reader had not been informed of the modification,<br />

and a series of highly publicized alterations of<br />

cover images in other publications (Time, TV Guide,<br />

Newsday, etc.) that would follow contributed to<br />

public skepticism concerning the photograph’s<br />

witnessing function. Given this erosion of trust, the<br />

photojournalistic community did little in response<br />

to bolster public confidence in the photograph,<br />

refusing to take these challenges seriously.<br />

But the issue was not only one of digital modifications.<br />

While photographs have always been<br />

interpretive, constructions dependent upon the<br />

knowledge and intuition of the photographer who<br />

makes the picture, the widespread use in journalistic<br />

publications of photographs of staged events as if<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>/ 55

If we are now no longer of the<br />

opinion that “a photograph in<br />

and of itself is going to make<br />

any difference,” then why make<br />

photographs?<br />

they were spontaneous, and of imagery that<br />

emphasized the spectacular without providing<br />

context, were similarly deleterious to<br />

photography’s role as a social referent.<br />

So, for example, after the 2011 killing<br />

by US forces of Osama bin Laden, mastermind<br />

of the September 11 attacks a decade<br />

before, a historic retaliation that was supposed<br />

to be a partial resolution to a nation’s<br />

enduring pain, President Barack Obama<br />

said: “It is important to make sure that very<br />

graphic photos of somebody who was<br />

shot in the head are not floating around as<br />

an incitement to additional violence—as<br />

a propaganda tool.” House Intelligence<br />

Chairman Mike Rogers concurred with<br />

the president’s contention but added:<br />

“Conspiracy theorists around the world will<br />

just claim the photos are doctored anyway.”<br />

And Obama agreed: “Certainly there’s no<br />

doubt among Al-Qaeda members that he<br />

is dead. . . . And so we don’t think that a<br />

photograph in and of itself is going to make<br />

any difference. There are going to be some<br />

folks who deny it. The fact of the matter is,<br />

you will not see Bin Laden walking on this<br />

earth again.”<br />


GOOD FOR?<br />

If we are now no longer of the opinion<br />

that “a photograph in and of itself is<br />

going to make any difference,” then why<br />

make photographs? And if too contested,<br />

too inflammatory, too malleable, too<br />

questionable, too much implicated in an<br />

image war to be useful to the public as<br />

evidence of a very major event, what are<br />

photographs good for? Such skepticism<br />

also helps to explain why in recent years,<br />

with the exception of two images of very<br />

small children, the 2015 photograph<br />

by Nilüfer Demir of the drowned threeyear-old<br />

Syrian refugee, Alan Kurdi, and<br />

the <strong>2018</strong> photograph by John Moore of<br />

two-year-old Honduran migrant Yanela<br />

Sanchez hysterically crying at the US<br />

border, there have been few photographs<br />

that have attained the iconic status<br />

necessary to focus the world on critical<br />

issues (some photos may go momentarily<br />

“viral,” but soon fade from public<br />

consciousness, in part due to a lack of a<br />

“front page” to sustain them). In this media<br />

environment innovative strategies that are<br />

less dependent upon the previous century’s<br />

belief system in the inherent power of the<br />

photograph need to be formulated as well.<br />

Furthermore, this era of photographs<br />

made malleable via Photoshop and other<br />

software may very soon seem like a<br />

moment of comparative innocence. In the<br />

very near future it will become increasingly<br />

easy to synthesize from scratch not<br />

only photographs but also video and<br />

audio, so that the results will be nearly<br />

indistinguishable from the actual thing.<br />

Work is being done in laboratories in<br />

many countries, much of it with artificial<br />

intelligence, to provide inexpensive tools to<br />

create realistic photographic-like portraits<br />

of non-existent people, to produce videos<br />

realistically portraying non-existent events,<br />

and to synthesize speeches that sound<br />

like they come from the mouths of world<br />

leaders (one such recently synthesized<br />

speech online, simulating the voice of<br />

President John F. Kennedy, was the one he<br />

was to give the day he was assassinated<br />

in Dallas).<br />



A recent discussion concerns the ethically<br />

challenging advent of “deepfakes” of<br />

female celebrities, their faces composited<br />

onto those of others performing in sexually<br />

explicit videos. Soon this software is<br />

expected to be made more efficient and<br />

easier to use, available for widespread<br />

use. And the potential to use this kind of<br />

software to place prominent people in a<br />

variety of situations, such as having a world<br />

leader seem to declare war or confess<br />

to corruption, will create a multitude of<br />

challenges. Whether such software has<br />

actually been utilized or not, its existence<br />

will call into question much of what we<br />

view online, hear on the radio, watch<br />

on television, or read in our newspapers<br />

and magazines. As one deepfakes user<br />

commented, “If anything can be real,<br />

nothing is real.” Or, as technologist Aviv<br />

Ovadya, who has recently gathered<br />

a consortium of colleagues in the tech<br />

industry to try to combat fake news and<br />

camouflaged bots, asked, “What happens<br />

when anyone can make it appear as if<br />

anything has happened, regardless of<br />

whether or not it did?”<br />

This challenges the functioning not only<br />

of journalism, but of democratic institutions.<br />

As Zeynep Tufekci stated in a recent issue of<br />

Wired magazine, “The most effective forms<br />

Photograph from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp by Edmund Clark from “Guantanamo: If the Lights Go Out.” Example of<br />

a photograph emphasizing a conceptual approach to using documentary images.<br />

56 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>

of censorship today involve meddling with<br />

trust and attention, not muzzling speech<br />

itself.” In this vein, software that allows<br />

the public to easily synthesize realisticlooking<br />

people and events requires a strong<br />

response from institutions that take authenticity<br />

seriously. But after recently reporting<br />

on the use of artificial intelligence to create<br />

fake videos, New York Times writer Kevin<br />

Roose remarked: “And there’s probably<br />

nothing we can do except try to bat the<br />

fakes down as they happen, pressure social<br />

media companies to fight misinformation<br />

aggressively, and trust our eyes a little less<br />

every day.”<br />

But if we cannot trust our eyes in this<br />

age of image, what then will be able<br />

to rely upon? On an institutional level,<br />

considerably more has to be done by<br />

publications and photographers themselves<br />

to verify media and assure the readers of<br />

its integrity. Should there be a labeling<br />

system that is strictly enforced among<br />

reputable publications and photographers<br />

to categorize photographs, such as<br />

“reportage,” “photo illustration,” “photo<br />

opportunity,” “altered photograph,” and<br />

so on, similar to one that I proposed in the<br />

1990s with a group of colleagues? The<br />

“four corners project” that I have been<br />

working on would allow photographers<br />

to use each of the photograph’s corners<br />

to add supplementary information online,<br />

including their own code of ethics, the<br />

backstory, image context and links to other<br />

websites. And there are many other ideas<br />

that need to be urgently investigated.<br />

One of the productive responses to<br />

this evolving media climate by a number<br />

of photographers is to rely less upon the<br />

assumption of the photograph’s inherent<br />

veracity and more upon a slower accumulation<br />

of evidence via a number of media,<br />

photography included, that ultimately<br />

provides insights into an underlying<br />

process rather than concentrating primarily<br />

on its symptoms. It is not a new approach,<br />

but one that is now much more broadly<br />

practiced. Philip Jones Griffiths’ 1971<br />

book, Vietnam Inc., can be considered a<br />

pioneer in this effort, showing the decisionmaking<br />

process among military leaders,<br />

juxtaposing the relatively unseen pilots<br />

with their victims, explaining how young<br />

girls are introduced into the sex trade, and<br />

undermining his own dramatic, at times<br />

heroic black-and-white imagery captions<br />

From Mathieu Asselin’s “Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation,” a book that resulted from a documentary process conducted<br />

for five years throughout Vietnam and the United States which portrays a comprehensive portrait of the ancient and current<br />

practices of the Monsanto Corporation and their environmental practices.<br />

that he wrote pointing out the absurdity<br />

of what he depicts: “US combat troops<br />

arrive, outnumbering the enemy 3 to 1 and<br />

possessing the most sophisticated military<br />

hardware; the job seemed easy. Earlier,<br />

spirits were high among the troops, intoxicated<br />

as much by the spectacle of their<br />

own strength as by the cold beer delivered<br />

to them daily.”<br />

There are many photographers today<br />

exploring massive social ills with more of a<br />

conceptual documentary approach — from<br />

chemical poisoning by Monsanto (Mathieu<br />

Asselin) to torture at Guantanamo (Edmund<br />

Clark, Debi Cornwall) to the blue skies<br />

over 1,078 World War II concentration<br />

camps (Anton Kusters), drones as weaponized<br />

surveillance (Tomas van Houtryve),<br />

and the satellites monitoring us (Trevor<br />

Paglen). Utilizing techniques of the artist,<br />

journalist and documentarian, much of this<br />

work is published in books and shown in<br />

exhibitions as well as appearing in various<br />

publications.<br />

And there are some interesting metrics as<br />

well: Gideon Mendel’s photographic work<br />

on a pilot program to provide HIV-positive<br />

South Africans with anti-retroviral medicine<br />

is credited by UNAIDS with encouraging<br />

contributions that allowed eight million<br />

people to get life-saving treatment, and<br />

Magnum’s Access to Life project that<br />

highlighted the work of eight photographers<br />

raised $1 billion for a similar goal.<br />

More recently, a screening at a 2015<br />

fundraising conference in Kuwait of a virtual<br />

reality film on the life of a 12-year-old<br />

Syrian refugee, “Clouds Over Sidra,” is<br />

reported to have raised $3.8 billion for<br />

relief efforts; the use of virtual reality<br />

is becoming more widespread among<br />

humanitarian organizations attempting to<br />

get potential donors and others to empathize<br />

with the plight of those in difficult<br />

circumstances.<br />

Paradoxically, and hopefully, there are<br />

more media strategies than ever before at<br />

our disposal while the media’s credibility<br />

is under widespread attack. Ways must be<br />

found to help restore the requisite referents<br />

necessary for society to function, and to<br />

provide a greater understanding of crucial<br />

processes that currently remain largely<br />

opaque. At this point a reactive stance,<br />

simply covering events in traditional<br />

ways while contemplating the growing<br />

morass, is insufficient. It is apparent that<br />

newer strategies, including hybrid ones<br />

that will take advantage of the enormous<br />

and largely untapped visual resources of<br />

social media, must be devised to engage a<br />

wary, divided, confused, and increasingly<br />

exhausted public.<br />

The media revolution is only beginning.<br />

Fred Ritchin began writing on photography<br />

and digital imaging in 1984 for<br />

the New York Times <strong>Magazine</strong>. Since<br />

then he has authored three books on the<br />

subject: In Our Own Image: The Coming<br />

Revolution in Photography (1990), After<br />

Photography (2008), and Bending the<br />

Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and<br />

the Citizen (2013), the latter exploring<br />

media strategies for social change. He is<br />

Dean Emeritus of the International Center of<br />

Photography.<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>/ 57

BOOK<br />



By Laia Abril<br />

Dewi Lewis <strong>2018</strong><br />

196 pp./ £ 35.00<br />

Laia Abril is a deft excavator, a<br />

cultural anthropologist disguised as a<br />

multimedia artist, utilizing the light of<br />

photography to illuminate historical human<br />

encounters often left in the dark. The<br />

first chapter of On Abortion, “A History<br />

of Misogyny,” delves into abortion with<br />

the focus on the repercussions of lack of<br />

access. On Abortion, Abril’s third book, is<br />

a palimpsest, making visible the layered<br />

marks wrought over millennia on the<br />

individual bodies of women, and on the<br />

body collective of the female gender, born<br />

with a biological imperative to reproduce<br />

our species.<br />

A compilation of portraits, documentary<br />

photographs, film stills, advertisements,<br />

legal documents and testimonies honor<br />

the horrific truth and undeniable impact of<br />

the incessant war on women’s bodies. The<br />

book’s pages are unnumbered reflecting<br />

the timelessness and vast expansiveness of<br />

both the number of years and the number<br />

of lives scarred, or killed, due to unwanted<br />

conception. Abril documents modes of<br />

contraception: from three-month-old sheep<br />

intestines utilized to form a condom tied to<br />

a penis with string, to the ancient acidic<br />

interventions including crocodile dung<br />

inserted into the vagina, to the still-present<br />

use of piercingly sharp metal cervical stem<br />

pessaries inserted into uteruses — our<br />

archaic and life-threatening manner of<br />

preventing the impact of mating persists.<br />

Abril utilizes images with select and<br />

concise text thoughtfully and skillfully<br />

entwining the historical and the unfathomable<br />

with a consistent lens of fact. One<br />

hundred and thirty eight countries restrict a<br />

woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion.<br />

Annually, 21.6 million women experience<br />

unsafe abortions resulting in 47,000<br />

women dying. Prohibition does not stop<br />

the practice of terminating a pregnancy, it<br />

does force women to endanger their lives.<br />

The United States has seen conviction of<br />

foeticide as recently as 2015, and 37<br />

states require parental involvement (if not<br />

consent) for women under 21 years of age<br />

to obtain a legal abortion.<br />

A photo of the pre-abortion letter sent<br />

to her boyfriend by a 28-year-old Brazilian<br />

school teacher is paired with a photo<br />

of the clinic where she died having the<br />

procedure. A glossy-paged double spread<br />

ultrasound screengrab is of a fetus within<br />

a nine-year-old Nicaraguan mother. The<br />

male fetus is her father’s child, the result of<br />

his repeated incest begun when she was<br />

seven years old. Eight other countries do<br />

not consider rape to be a legitimate reason<br />

to abort. Five nations prohibit abortion<br />

under any circumstance.<br />

Within this macabre reality, Abril,<br />

leaves no layer untouched or hidden. She<br />

introduces us to activists, we read transcripts<br />

of threatening calls made by antiabortion<br />

terrorists to abortion clinicians,<br />

and we see the portraits of practitioners<br />

who have been jailed or murdered for providing<br />

legal health services. We learn of<br />

the US advocacy group All Girls Allowed.<br />

And we are grateful that for a decade,<br />

the Dutch advocacy group, Women on<br />

Waves, provides global site-specific<br />

resources and online education, answering<br />

over 10,000 emails a month in 17<br />

languages. Abril’s brave visual narrative is<br />

a necessary exhumation.<br />

—J. Sybylla Smith<br />



By Nina Berman<br />

Kehrer Verlag <strong>2018</strong><br />

268 pp./$55<br />

Nina Berman’s An Autobiography<br />

of Miss Wish is an extraordinary<br />

documentary book that brings<br />

forth the hard truths of sex trafficking, violence<br />

against women, drug addiction and<br />

incarceration. This is a collaborative work<br />

with Kimberly Stevens, formerly Cathy,<br />

“Miss Wish,” whose story is told here.<br />

Nina firmly believes that in order to go<br />

deep into a project like this one, covering<br />

addiction and these difficult issues,<br />

it is essential to have it be collaborative.<br />

Otherwise the potential for missteps,<br />

exploitation and miscommunication around<br />

expectations can be harmful and explosive.<br />

The fact that Kim has been writing all<br />

of her life and making art around her story<br />

makes this a unique collaboration between<br />

subject and photographer.<br />

In 1990, Nina went to London where<br />

she met Kim (then Cathy) who, along with<br />

other street kids and castaways, was hustling<br />

to get by. Nina photographed for two<br />

weeks learning bits and pieces of Cathy’s<br />

story. Upon leaving she gave Cathy her<br />

phone number and address and promised<br />

to keep in touch. Cathy sent Nina her diary<br />

and over time Nina amassed an archive<br />

of Cathy’s psychiatric reports, identification<br />

cards, drawings, letters and writings.<br />

Six months after they met, Cathy won a TV<br />

music contest and with the prize money<br />

visited Nina in New York City. This is where<br />

their long-term relationship began.<br />

Cathy came back to New York City in<br />

1993 fearing for her life if she returned<br />

58 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>

to London. From that time on Nina hardly<br />

photographed but Cathy became a friend<br />

and part of Nina’s family. In 2007, Cathy<br />

was in ill health due to HIV and drug use<br />

and was incarcerated in Rikers Island<br />

prison. It was after this that Nina starting<br />

photographing again with no purpose<br />

other than to record Cathy’s life.<br />

All the while Cathy was writing her<br />

own book and asked Nina if she could<br />

get it published. Nina wasn’t sure but<br />

began to consider how they could craft<br />

this together. In 2014, during a two-week<br />

residency at Blue Mountain Center for artists<br />

working on stories of sexual violence<br />

and human trafficking (that she was also<br />

doing), she went through her archive and<br />

worked out some ideas for this book.<br />

Nina often asked Cathy if she was sure<br />

she wanted to do this, and asked her to<br />

write down her reasons for wanting this<br />

published. Part of the letter she wrote is<br />

in the book explaining her reasons. For<br />

Nina, this was more important than any<br />

legal consent form.<br />

As documentary makers we need to<br />

talk to the people we are working with<br />

and openly lay out what it is we are trying<br />

to do. With our involvement, sometimes<br />

the protagonist might think they can find<br />

some notoriety, get on TV, get rich or get a<br />

new life. As Nina made clear, Cathy had<br />

none of these wishes. She knew the book<br />

wouldn’t make her life perfect.<br />

Nina was clear that Cathy/Kim could<br />

have her say over what she did and<br />

didn’t want to reveal. And Nina was very<br />

protective and insisted that certain names<br />

and references be blacked out, that some<br />

of Kim’s secrets should be kept private.<br />

She did not want to risk Kim’s safety. The<br />

only thing Kim was adamant about was a<br />

photo of her by the Cathedral of St John<br />

on 110th Street in Manhattan. She hated<br />

it and wanted it out. As Nina pointed out,<br />

It must have reminded her of something<br />

really bad.<br />

This situation is unique on many levels.<br />

If Nina gets paid, Kim gets half. Kim never<br />

expected or asked for this but she is an<br />

artist and Nina believes she should have<br />

something for her part in this.<br />

Kim’s drawings and writing, their text<br />

messages and letters, and Nina’s photographs,<br />

bring depth and poignancy to the<br />

harrowing inhumane details of this story.<br />

On pages 212-213 there is a drawing by<br />

Kim of a life she dreams of - a bedroom of<br />

her own with a dog, above that is a photograph<br />

by Nina of an amulet of an angel<br />

with Kim’s hand, blurred, gesturing. This<br />

kind of subtle photography is what brings<br />

humanity to Kim and her story.<br />

There are many difficult scenes<br />

depicted in Kim’s drawings and many<br />

moving photographs by Nina as well. But<br />

she did not want to photograph the obvious—<br />

Kim smoking crack, exchanging sex<br />

for drugs, etc. As Nina points out,<br />

“Kim is pictured in some ways very<br />

straight forward. She’s looking fragile, in<br />

crisis, sick. She’s messed up, lying in the<br />

street. How can you see the depth of that<br />

person and lead the viewer into the story<br />

with these images?”<br />

What Kim is searching for is to be seen<br />

as a human being. What Nina wants the<br />

viewer to come away with is that this is a<br />

person who has been looking for love and<br />

support all her life, who was looking for<br />

adults to protect her. What does it mean to<br />

be lonely and to seek out love? One of the<br />

takeaways she is hopeful for is that people<br />

will now look at a person on the street and<br />

not judge but empathize.<br />

At the end of the book Kim writes, “My<br />

eyes are streetwise and if you look closely,<br />

you will see the pain in my eyes. My eyes<br />

are the way into my memories of fear and<br />

everything I’ve seen, and somewhere in<br />

there is the real me.”<br />

—Lori Grinker<br />

MEXICO: Between Life and<br />

Death<br />

by Harvey Stein<br />

Kehrer Verlag, <strong>2018</strong><br />

176 pp./$45<br />

It is a pleasure to view Harvey Stein’s<br />

new photography book, Mexico:<br />

Between Life and Death. This striking<br />

publication offers Stein’s street photographer<br />

aesthetic combined within a<br />

documentary framework. He has selected<br />

one hundred and fifty-seven pictures from<br />

fourteen trips between 1993 and 2010.<br />

In New York, Stein has had a forty-plus<br />

year career as a photographer of life on<br />

the street. He is also well known for his<br />

teaching, most recently at the International<br />

Center of Photography. Originally influenced<br />

by the 1967 New Documents show<br />

at the Museum of Modern Art, he and<br />

other dedicated educators have helped<br />

mythologize the American street as an<br />

open studio for making photographic art.<br />

In Mexico: Between Life and Death, Stein<br />

has exemplified the legendary lure of the<br />

street by directing his camera at Mexico’s<br />

most dramatic festivals.<br />

Stein is a sophisticated picture maker.<br />

By photographing in black and white,<br />

he neutralizes the friction of contrasting<br />

colors. Documenting the world in shades<br />

of gray pushes his pictures toward a traditional<br />

street shooter aesthetic. In addition,<br />

he often under-exposes the white-hot sun to<br />

emphasize gorgeous skin tones and telling<br />

details outlined in shadow. He is adept<br />

at sorting his crowded frames into dark<br />

and light fragments. In his pictures, facial<br />

expressions pop out of the darkness and<br />

dramatic body language can hide in the<br />

shadows. Stein’s skilled vision expresses<br />

the mystery of Mexico.<br />

These duotone images become a visual<br />

text on how to transform what is in front<br />

of the lens into a successful picture. A possible<br />

distraction in the foreground can be<br />

the subject, the frame, or lead the eye into<br />

a composition. He keeps his camera close<br />

to the action; it seems to parade along<br />

with the Mexican people he is picturing.<br />

Stein brings his inclusive New York<br />

vision to portray Mexico in all its kinetic<br />

magnificence.<br />

—Frank Ward<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>/ 59

N.O.K: NEXT OF KIN<br />

By Inbal Abergil<br />

Essays by Carol Becker, Maurice Emerson<br />

Decaul, Fred Ritchin and Stephen Mayes<br />

Daylight Books<br />

Two Volumes, 111 pp. each/$45.00<br />

The first indication that this is not a<br />

typical photography book is the<br />

format. N.O.K.: Next of Kin, by<br />

Inbal Abergil, is printed as two separate<br />

volumes held together with elastic cord.<br />

Part I contains only photographic plates.<br />

Part II, only text.<br />

The text is a series of faithfully transcribed<br />

personal stories—of mothers,<br />

fathers, wives, sisters, brothers, and other<br />

family members of men and women who<br />

were killed in action, from Iwo Jima to<br />

Iraq. Abergil interviewed 18 Gold Star<br />

families across the US for this project.<br />

Their unscripted, candid reflections touch<br />

on the moment they learned their loved<br />

one had died, their struggles with loss,<br />

and their powerful memories.<br />

This choice of format—the stories<br />

collected in their own volume rather than<br />

appearing in a single volume with the photographs—gives<br />

them the intended weight.<br />

The photographs complement these<br />

personal stories—they don’t overpower<br />

them. Printed at a small scale (some only<br />

four inches wide), the photographs suggest<br />

faithful documentation, intentionally devoid<br />

of any interpretation by the artist.<br />

The photographs are of the things the<br />

soldiers left behind, carefully preserved,<br />

cherished by their families.<br />

Some of the possessions photographed<br />

are markers of a career spent in the military—newspaper<br />

articles, uniforms, boots,<br />

medals. But these objects alone don’t<br />

tell the story of a life. As one woman<br />

interviewed by Abergil—the sister of a<br />

fallen soldier—notes: “My dad says […]<br />

when he looks up at his medals, he starts<br />

thinking ‘What did you become to me?<br />

Pure medals?[,,,] I told you to not try to be<br />

a hero because the heroes end up in the<br />

cemetery.”<br />

There are more images of mundane,<br />

day-to-day possessions, markers of a full<br />

life: a handmade ornament on a Christmas<br />

tree, a cigar, a harmonica, an album of<br />

baseball cards, a box of old toy cars.<br />

Most of the photographs are extremely<br />

close-up—the numbers on a football jersey,<br />

a pearl necklace, and a watch completely<br />

fill the frame. This treatment gives a sense<br />

of the preciousness of the object, how it<br />

is being held in memory, all that it now<br />

represents.<br />

There are a handful of wide-format<br />

images—a corner of a bedroom with a<br />

backpack on the floor and a snowboard<br />

in the corner, a living room that has been<br />

converted into an altar to a lost son, a view<br />

of a bedroom with a photograph on the<br />

bedside table. These wider views explore<br />

loss in a different way, and perhaps in a<br />

way that is more accessible to the viewer.<br />

In a room where a soldier’s possessions<br />

are still laid out as he or she might have left<br />

them, death seems even more incongruous.<br />

A room in which a family has carefully laid<br />

out cherished objects makes clear the loss<br />

they live with every day.<br />

But all the photographs convey one<br />

coherent message: that the possessions<br />

of a loved one—the things they touched,<br />

wore, played with, wrote, loved—take<br />

on profound meaning in their absence.<br />

Abergil’s photographs, in partnership with<br />

the honest and moving personal testimonies,<br />

tell a story of loss, the struggle to<br />

make sense of it, and the attempt to find<br />

one’s way in its wake.<br />

—Jenna Mulhall Brereton<br />

46750<br />

by João Pina<br />

FotoEvidence, <strong>2018</strong><br />

146 pp./$60<br />

46,750 is the number of homicides<br />

in Rio de Janeiro between 2007<br />

when Rio won the FIFA World Cup<br />

bid and 2016 when it hosted the World<br />

Cup games. The extraordinary personal<br />

photographs in João Pina’s book, 46750,<br />

belie the title. These photographs are not<br />

statistics, rather they are real people living,<br />

working, and dying in real favelas as this<br />

city and nation struggle with poverty, drugs,<br />

gangs, and preparing for a signature international<br />

event—World Cup soccer.<br />

To put this in perspective, Rio does<br />

not list on the top 50 homicide rates of<br />

cities in the world. The homicide rate in<br />

Brazil is far below that of El Salvador,<br />

Honduras, Jamaica, South Africa, and the<br />

US Virgin Islands. But at an average of<br />

4,600 homicides per year, this is still more<br />

than ten times the number of homicides in<br />

New York City—a city with a much larger<br />

population.<br />

No matter. 46,750 is a sobering<br />

statistic. Approximately 25% are the result<br />

of police action and the remainder from<br />

gang and other criminal action. 46,750<br />

people with loved ones. 46,750 people<br />

who through circumstances not of their<br />

own making, live in a city that pits law<br />

enforcement against residents living in<br />

poverty and find themselves involved<br />

with, forced into, or seeking out gangs for<br />

protection, identity, and financial support.<br />

Police officers who seek out decent paying<br />

jobs often end up being the target of gangs<br />

in a city they are trying to keep safe.<br />

60 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>

This is the background for the gritty,<br />

bold, beautifully composed, and humancentered<br />

black and white photographs<br />

that make up this masterly designed and<br />

produced book by Pina. His photographs<br />

walk us through a city alive with soccer,<br />

samba, funk, prisons, gangs, police raids,<br />

corpses, and lovers, all watched over<br />

by the statue of Christ the Redeemer on<br />

a 2,300 foot peak overlooking the city.<br />

The product of Pina’s work though only<br />

begins with the photos. The book itself is<br />

a brilliantly designed stage. Interspersing<br />

the pages of photos are black uncoated<br />

paper leaves with numbers from 1 through<br />

46,750 printed in white opaque ink. The<br />

only color in the book is the deep red<br />

cover and a handful of narrow pages<br />

interspersed throughout the book and<br />

printed with the same red ink on one side<br />

and overprinted with poignant poems by<br />

Vivian Salles. The most gruesome photos<br />

are embedded in foldouts forcing the<br />

reader to open up a gatefold to reveal<br />

the horror—details of one of the 46,750<br />

homicides.<br />

The art of making a black and white<br />

documentary photo is painstaking, and<br />

Pina makes it look obvious and easy. On<br />

page 8-9 is one of the signature images<br />

in the book. According to the caption,<br />

“Policemen from the DRAE (Civilian Police<br />

Division Against Weapons and Explosives)<br />

carry the body of a young man, while two<br />

children coming back from school look at<br />

the scene….” But this is not only a news<br />

photo. The composition, the gestures,<br />

the facial expressions, the tonality, the<br />

cropping, make this a classic work of<br />

composition worthy of any Renaissance<br />

painting.<br />

Today when photographers and publishers<br />

are seeking ways to expand on the<br />

experience and meaning of a traditional<br />

two-dimensional photograph, they can<br />

look to how Pina has done this brilliantly<br />

with 46750.<br />

—Glenn Ruga<br />


Immigration and the<br />

Militarization of the U.S.-<br />

Mexico Border<br />

by John Moore<br />

powerHouse Books/Getty Images, <strong>2018</strong><br />

176 pp./$50<br />

Everyone has seen the iconic picture.<br />

The image of a young Honduran<br />

girl crying at the border in Texas as<br />

she and her mother were searched by US<br />

border agents. Featured on the cover of<br />

Time <strong>Magazine</strong>, it has become a symbol<br />

of Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration<br />

policies and represents the thousands of<br />

children who were separated from their<br />

parents this summer. As I write this review,<br />

nearly 500 migrant children remain in<br />

detention separated from their families. But<br />

there is much more than this one image<br />

to John Moore’s work. Undocumented is<br />

an extraordinary volume of photographs<br />

taken over ten years of documenting the<br />

immigration crisis along the entire length<br />

of the border. It is unflinching, honest<br />

and leaves no stone unturned. And every<br />

American should read it.<br />

The book is structured as a six-part<br />

story beginning with the origins of flight<br />

from impoverished and violent Central<br />

American neighborhoods; moving on to<br />

the decision to embark on the perilous<br />

journey north through harsh conditions;<br />

the militarized border and the agents who<br />

monitor it; life in detention with its stark,<br />

chain-link enclosures and cement floors;<br />

and finally, the deportation back. In this<br />

unending journey of misery, Moore is an<br />

optimist, ending with the hopeful pageantry<br />

of the naturalization ceremonies for<br />

the newest Americans.<br />

While Moore’s images don’t hold back<br />

from showing brutal violence, he manages<br />

to find beauty in the sunset over Zone 18,<br />

one of the most dangerous neighborhoods<br />

in Guatemala City, or in his gorgeous night<br />

shots—illuminated by the ambient light of<br />

flashlights, klieg lights, or the moon.<br />

Two-page color spreads are shot<br />

from the point of view of the migrants,<br />

documenting what they see as they push<br />

through thick forests or perilously ride atop<br />

moving freight trains to reach the border.<br />

Other spreads show the perspective of US<br />

agents enforcing laws, high atop the border<br />

in their surveillance helicopters and drones.<br />

The center of the book features full bleed<br />

color spreads without captions showing<br />

the rugged beauty of this cruel and<br />

thankless terrain—aerial views of the Rio<br />

Grande, the border fence snaking through<br />

scrublands and canyons, and the Imperial<br />

Sand Dunes-—hiding the stark choices<br />

that lurk below. From the perspective of<br />

the US border control, Moore shows the<br />

exasperation on the migrants’ faces as<br />

agents close in on them at night.<br />

Moore doesn’t take sides in this book.<br />

He includes trifolds of portraits “to put a<br />

human face on a complex story,” silhouetted<br />

against black backgrounds of<br />

immigrants from Central America, gang<br />

members whose faces are covered by<br />

handkerchiefs, border patrol agents,<br />

inmates, Dreamers, protesters, and finally,<br />

new Americans. He shows how undocumented<br />

immigrants live ordinary lives in<br />

tidy houses, share meals, and work the<br />

farm fields in back-breaking jobs. Their<br />

kids, like all kids, play on trampolines.<br />

Moore “dealt all the players the<br />

measure of respect they deserve” in this<br />

continuing tragic narrative. The book is<br />

largely apolitical except for the jarring<br />

photo of the lush green golf course on<br />

the border, showing the stark economic<br />

disparities while giving a nod to President<br />

Trump’s favorite pastime.<br />

John Moore reminds us that we must<br />

look beyond the headlines and the<br />

statistics. We all have a migration story<br />

somewhere in our family history. In many<br />

ways, their story is ours.<br />

—Barbara Ayotte<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>/ 61

Contributors<br />

Photographers<br />

Taha Ahmad is a documentary<br />

photographer based in Delhi, India. He<br />

believes photography has a strong influence<br />

in creating and developing discourse for the<br />

future. Currently, he is covering issues related<br />

to his community, people and his memories.<br />

He is the recipient of The Documentary<br />

Project Fund/Award <strong>2018</strong>, among others.<br />

Scott Brennan is a photographer living in<br />

Mexico since 2010. His principal interests<br />

are in documenting the rise of social movements<br />

and the processes of territory defense<br />

in rural and indigenous regions of Latin<br />

America. His work has appeared in the New<br />

York Times, Time <strong>Magazine</strong>, BBC and has<br />

been used by Amnesty International.<br />

Michele Cirillo is a photographer based<br />

in Rome, Italy who is interested in using<br />

photography to tell stories focusing on human<br />

rights issues, identity and health from around<br />

the world and how the geopolitical changes<br />

of recent years relate to minorities, conflicts<br />

and marginality.<br />

Aaron Vincent Elkaim is a documentary<br />

photographer currently based in Toronto,<br />

Canada. He focuses on narratives where<br />

traditional culture and environmental degradation<br />

collide. Since 2011, he has committed<br />

himself to exploring colonialist narratives<br />

where people still connected to the natural<br />

world are being impacted by industrial development.<br />

Aaron addresses the need to protect<br />

the natural world by revealing our profound<br />

connection to it. Aaron is the winner of<br />

SDN’s Call for Entries on Documentary in the<br />

Era of Post-Truth.<br />

Javier Fergo is a freelance photographer/<br />

photojournalist and multimedia storyteller<br />

based in Spain. He contributes to national<br />

newspapers such as El País, El Mundo, ABC,<br />

Público and internationally to The Wall Street<br />

Journal, The Washington Post and others.<br />

Philippe Geslin is an ethnologist who<br />

studied at the Sorbonne and at the Ecole des<br />

Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris.<br />

He has contributed to the development of<br />

anthropotechnology through numerous fields<br />

of research and intervention in Africa, Asia,<br />

Latin America and Greenland.<br />

Aude Osnowycz graduated with a<br />

master’s degree in geopolitics and began her<br />

photojournalism career in 2011 when she<br />

spent four years documenting the impacts of<br />

the Arab Spring in the Maghreb and Middle<br />

East countries for various French and international<br />

magazines. She is currently working<br />

on a long-term project about Russian borders,<br />

using an artistic and personal approach,<br />

questioning the Slavic soul and her family<br />

history.<br />

Writers<br />

Barbara Ayotte has served as a senior<br />

strategic communications strategist, writer<br />

and activist for leading global health, human<br />

rights and media nonprofit organizations,<br />

including the Nobel Peace Prize- winning<br />

Physicians for Human Rights and<br />

International Campaign to Ban Landmines.<br />

Barbara is SDN’s Communications Director<br />

and is Editor of <strong>ZEKE</strong> magazine.<br />

Caterina Clerici is an Italian journalist and<br />

photojournalist for American and Italian<br />

online publications, mainly covering news,<br />

social and political issues at a national and<br />

international level and diaspora communities<br />

in the US.<br />

Enrique Gili is a freelance writer covering<br />

environmental issues in Southern California<br />

and beyond. His focus is the intersection<br />

between nature, science and technology with<br />

a twist of food politics.<br />

Lori Grinker is an award-winning<br />

photographer, artist, educator and filmmaker.<br />

Her projects revolve around the themes<br />

of history, culture and identity. She is the<br />

author of Afterwar: Veterans from a World in<br />

Conflict, and The Invisible Thread: A Portrait<br />

of Jewish American Women. Her third book,<br />

Mike Tyson, will be published by Powerhouse<br />

Books. She is an adjunct professor of<br />

photography at New York University’s Arthur<br />

L Carter Graduate Journalism program, on<br />

the faculty of the ICP, and teaches workshops<br />

around the world.<br />

Joseph Lim is a Film and Media Major<br />

student at Tufts University. He currently works<br />

for the Tufts Daily as an editorialist and a<br />

former investigative journalist covering the<br />

off-campus housing crisis. He is a blogger<br />

and poet, passionate in writing profile stories<br />

of the people he meets.<br />

Tori Marlan is an award-winning independent<br />

journalist whose stories expose abuses<br />

of power, illuminate subcultures, and profile<br />

fascinating but unheralded people. Her work<br />

has been published by many outlets, including<br />

Pacific Standard, The Atavist <strong>Magazine</strong>,<br />

BuzzFeed News, the Texas Observer, The<br />

Marshall Project, and The Walrus <strong>Magazine</strong>,<br />

among others. She was previously a staff<br />

writer for the Chicago Reader.<br />

Jenna Mulhall-Brereton is both a<br />

photographer and a professional in the<br />

philanthropy sector—two passions that are<br />

fueled by her travels throughout the world.<br />

Fred Ritchin began writing on photography<br />

and digital imaging in 1984 for the<br />

New York Times <strong>Magazine</strong>. Since then<br />

he has authored three books on the<br />

subject: In Our Own Image: The Coming<br />

Revolution in Photography (1990), After<br />

Photography (2008), and Bending the<br />

Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and<br />

the Citizen (2013), the latter exploring<br />

media strategies for social change. He is<br />

Dean Emeritus of the International Center of<br />

Photography.<br />

Glenn Ruga is the Executive Editor of<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> magazine and founder and director<br />

of the Social Documentary Network (SDN).<br />

From 2010-2013, he was the Executive<br />

Director of the Photographic Resource Center.<br />

From 1995-2007 he was the Director, and<br />

then President, of the Center for Balkan<br />

Development. Ruga is also the owner and<br />

creative director of Visual Communications, a<br />

graphic design firm located in Concord, MA.<br />

J. Sybylla Smith is an independent<br />

curator with more than 25 solo or group<br />

exhibitions featuring over 80 international<br />

photographers exhibited in the US, Mexico,<br />

and South America. An adjunct professor,<br />

guest lecturer, and thesis advisor, Sybylla has<br />

worked with the School of Visual Arts, the<br />

School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Wellesley<br />

College, and Harvard University.<br />

Frank Ward is a professor of visual art at<br />

Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, MA.<br />

In 2012, he gave workshops in Central Asia<br />

as a Cultural Envoy for the US Department<br />

of State. In 2011, he was awarded an Artist<br />

Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural<br />

Council for his photography in the former<br />

Soviet Union. He has received numerous<br />

awards for his work in the former Soviet<br />

Union, former Yugoslavia, Tibet, India, and<br />

Puerto Rico. He is represented by Photo Eye<br />

Gallery in Santa Fe, NM.<br />

62 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>

WHAT’S HOT!<br />



ON SDN<br />

Of the hundreds of exhibits submitted to SDN<br />

each year, these four stand out as exemplary<br />

and deserving of further attention.<br />

Carol Allen Storey: Out of the Shadows: Abandoned Teen<br />

Mothers, Rwanda. A tragic epidemic of teen pregnancies is<br />

permeating the population in Rwanda. Over 17,000 were<br />

pregnant in 2016. Vulnerable girls as young as 13 find themselves<br />

in this unwarranted circumstance. Many as a result of rape and<br />

others through ignorance of engaging in sexual activities without<br />

protection. They are left with the awesome responsibility of<br />

becoming a mother when they are still children.<br />

Ann Sophie Lindström: Don't Fence Me In. Horses give<br />

young people confidence, self-esteem, and hope, especially<br />

in a neighborhood like North Philadelphia where the pull of<br />

the streets is so strong horses have become a blessing. Here<br />

a minority of African American low-income people created<br />

a safe harbor through keeping horses in this high-crime<br />

neighborhood.<br />

Amilton Neves: Godmothers of War, Mozambique tells the<br />

story of Mozambican women who were sponsored by the<br />

Portuguese government to provide moral support to the soldiers<br />

fighting on the frontlines during the war for independence.<br />

Many of these women were rewarded with influential positions<br />

in society and some were given houses by the Portuguese<br />

government. In 1974, when the war ended these women were<br />

ostracized for their role in supporting the colonial forces.<br />

Marco Sadori: The Hidden Face of Life in Nepal. The project<br />

is an investigation of Nepal's identity today and its social<br />

condition. Beyond the widespread stereotype of Nepal as an<br />

exotic place of calm, peace and happiness, there is a very<br />

complex reality, where the identity is not well defined. A place<br />

where poverty, marginalization, and homelessness are all part<br />

of the human landscape.<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>/ 63

SDN is ten! Your support matters as we enter<br />

our second decade of telling truth.<br />

For ten years, SDN has been reaching<br />

out to documentary photographers<br />

from all parts of the globe to tell<br />

stories and show images that you do<br />

not see elsewhere—images of real<br />

people experiencing the real joys<br />

and struggles of daily life. Stories that<br />

matter.<br />

We started out as a website in 2008<br />

and in 2015 began publishing <strong>ZEKE</strong><br />

magazine, allowing us to present<br />

visual stories in a print form with<br />

greater in-depth writing.<br />

Some of the stories we have presented on SDN<br />

and in <strong>ZEKE</strong> include the migration and refugee<br />

crisis, the war in Syria, women in the workplace,<br />

climate change and global warming, maternal<br />

health in Africa and Haiti, and life in Vietnam today.<br />

Since 2008, we have presented more than 3,000<br />

exhibits on our website by more than 2,000<br />

photographers from all corners of the globe!<br />

Your support will allow us to continue<br />

into the next decade<br />

SDN and <strong>ZEKE</strong> are very fortunate to continue our<br />

relationship with our nonprofit fiscal sponsor, Talking<br />

Eyes Media. Your support of SDN/<strong>ZEKE</strong> through Talking<br />

Eyes Media at the link below is 100% tax-deductible.<br />

Make a tax-deductible contribution today<br />

www.socialdocumentary.net/cms/support-us<br />

“SDN has been publishing stories by photographers<br />

reporting from their home communities long before<br />

the broader western photo community understood<br />

the urgency to present diverse viewpoints and<br />

voices from around the world. A look back at SDN’s<br />

archive reveals a deep trove of global talent and<br />

storytelling.”<br />

—Amy Yenkin<br />

Former Director, Documentary Photography Project,<br />

Open Society Foundations<br />

“Under continued pressure to sustain news and<br />

documentary, the Social Documentary Network is a<br />

masterful bastion staunchly showcasing the labors<br />

of dedicated photographers who visually reveal the<br />

questions that confront us.”<br />

—Lou Jones<br />

Founder, panAFRICAproject<br />

www.socialdocumentary.net<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong>THE MAGAZINE<br />



www.zekemagazine.com<br />

64 / <strong>ZEKE</strong> FALL <strong>2018</strong>

<strong>ZEKE</strong><br />

<strong>Fall</strong><br />


Published by Social Documentary Network<br />

Donors to SDN’s Tenth Anniversary<br />

Campaign<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> magazine and SDN would like to thank the following<br />

donors to our Tenth Anniversary Campaign. Support from private<br />

individuals is essential for <strong>ZEKE</strong> and SDN to continue publishing.<br />

If you would like to support the campaign, please visit<br />

www.socialdocumentary.net/cms/support-us<br />

Founding Sponsor<br />

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​Donor<br />

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<strong>2018</strong> Vol. 4/No. 2<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> is published by Social Documentary Network (SDN), an<br />

organization promoting visual storytelling about global themes.<br />

Started as a website in 2008, today SDN works with thousands<br />

of photographers around the world to tell important stories<br />

through the visual medium of photography and multimedia. Since<br />

2008, SDN has featured more than 3,000 exhibits on its website<br />

and has had gallery exhibitions in major cities around the world.<br />

All the work featured in <strong>ZEKE</strong> first appeared on the SDN website,<br />

www.socialdocumentary.net.<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong><br />

Executive Editor: Glenn Ruga<br />

Editor: Barbara Ayotte<br />

Social Documentary<br />

Network<br />

Founder & Director: Glenn Ruga<br />

Communications Director:<br />

Barbara Ayotte<br />

Intern: Joseph Lim<br />

SDN Advisory Committee<br />

Lori Grinker, New York, NY<br />

Independent Photographer and<br />

Educator<br />

Catherine Karnow, San Francisco,<br />

CA<br />

Independent Photographer and<br />

Educator<br />

Ed Kashi, Montclair, NJ<br />

Member of VII photo agency<br />

Photographer, Filmmaker, Educator<br />

Reza, Paris, France<br />

Photographer and Humanist<br />

Molly Roberts, Washington, DC<br />

Senior Photography Editor,<br />

National Geographic<br />

Jeffrey D. Smith, New York NY<br />

Director, Contact Press Images<br />

Jamey Stillings, Sante Fe, NM<br />

Independent Photographer<br />

Steve Walker, Danbury, CT<br />

Consultant and Educator<br />

Frank Ward, Williamsburg, MA<br />

Photographer and Educator<br />

Amy Yenkin, New York, NY<br />

Independent Producer and Editor<br />

<strong>ZEKE</strong> is published twice a year by<br />

Social Documentary Network<br />

Copyright © <strong>2018</strong><br />

Social Documentary Network<br />

ISSN 2381-1390<br />

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work to the SDN website either as<br />

a standard exhibit or a submission<br />

to a Call for Entries. Contributing<br />

photographers can choose to pay<br />

a fee for their work to be exhibted<br />

on SDN for a year or they can<br />

choose a free trial. Free trials have<br />

the same opportunity to be published<br />

in <strong>ZEKE</strong> as paid exhibits.<br />

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