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ZEKE Magazine: Spring 2022

Sustainable Solutions to the Climate Crisis Indigenous Fire by Kiliii Yuyan
 The Indigenous Peoples' Burn Network is training others in an ancient technique of ecological restoration, which is to safely light low-intensity fires in wet seasons that remove the small fuels on the forest floor. Nemo's Garden by Giacomo d'Orlando
 Nemo’s Garden—the world’s first underwater greenhouses of terrestrial plants—represents an alternative farming system dedicated to those areas where environmental conditions make the growth of plants almost impossible. Permagarden Refugees
 by Sarah Fretwell The Palabek refugee settlement in Northern Uganda, with the staff of African Women Rising’s (AWR) Permagarden Program, works with refugees to utilize the existing resources—seeds, rainfall, limited land, and “waste”—and together build an agriculture system designed to help the environment regenerate and get stronger as it matures. Sustainable Solutions to the Climate Crisis
 by Antonia Juhasz Interview with Kiliii Yuyan by Caterina Clerici Dispatches from Ukraine by Maranie Staab Book Reviews Edited by Michelle Bogre

Sustainable Solutions to the Climate Crisis

Indigenous Fire by Kiliii Yuyan

The Indigenous Peoples' Burn Network is training others in an ancient technique of ecological restoration, which is to safely light low-intensity fires in wet seasons that remove the small fuels on the forest floor.

Nemo's Garden by Giacomo d'Orlando

Nemo’s Garden—the world’s first underwater greenhouses of terrestrial plants—represents an alternative farming system dedicated to those areas where environmental conditions make the growth of plants almost impossible.

Permagarden Refugees
 by Sarah Fretwell
The Palabek refugee settlement in Northern Uganda, with the staff of African Women Rising’s (AWR) Permagarden Program, works with refugees to utilize the existing resources—seeds, rainfall, limited land, and “waste”—and together build an agriculture system designed to help the environment regenerate and get stronger as it matures.

Sustainable Solutions to the Climate Crisis
 by Antonia Juhasz
Interview with Kiliii Yuyan by Caterina Clerici
Dispatches from Ukraine by Maranie Staab
Book Reviews Edited by Michelle Bogre

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ZEKESPRING 2022 VOL.8/NO.1 $15 US

THE MAGAZINE OF GLOBAL DOCUMENTARY

Published by Social Documentary Network

Sustainable Solutions to the Climate Crisis

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 1


SPRING 2022 VOL.8/ NO.1

$15 US

Sustainable Solutions to the Climate Crisis

Photo by Kiliii Yuyan from Indigenous Fire

Photo by Giacomo d'Orlando from Nemo's

Garden

Photo by Sarah Fretwell from Permagarden

Refugees

2 | INDIGENOUS FIRE

Photographs by Kiliii Yuyan

CO-WINNER OF 2022 ZEKE AWARD FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGE

16 | NEMO'S GARDEN

Photographs by Giacomo d'Orlando

CO-WINNER OF 2022 ZEKE AWARD FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGE

26 | PERMAGARDEN REFUGEES

Photographs by Sarah Fretwell

36 | SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS TO THE CLIMATE CRISIS

by Antonia Juhasz

42 |

52 |

54 |

56 |

ZEKE Award Honorable Mention Winners

Interview with Kiliii Yuyan

by Caterina Clerici

Dispatches from Ukraine

by Maranie Staab

Book Reviews

Edited by Michelle Bogre

62 | Contributors

Photo by Andi Rice from Sustainable Solutions to

the Climate Crisis

Photo by Maranie Staab from Dispatches from

Ukraine.

On the Cover

Ali Meders-Knight, Master TEK Practitioner

and Mechoopda tribal member, harvests grass

stems from deergrass (Ósoko sáwi), that have

been selectively-managed through the use of

indigenous prescribed burns at Verbena Fields

in Chico, California. Photo by Kiliii Yuyan.


ZEKE

THE

MAGAZINE OF

GLOBAL DOCUMENTARY

Published by Social Documentary Network

Dear ZEKE Readers:

I am incredibly excited to have guest-edited this issue of ZEKE

magazine dedicated to showcasing sustainable solutions to the

climate crisis. As image makers, we hold a unique power to confront

audiences with uncomfortable truths, advance cultural understandings,

and promote social justice. But the image is only the beginning of the

conversation. The real work of social transformation lies in the removal

of barriers – physical, social, economic, and spiritual – that restrain

us from forging futures that are more equitable, just, and sustainable.

By way of example, the Earthrise photograph of 1968 radically

changed our conceptions of ourselves and this incredibly precious

world that we call home. But it was the legislation that followed – the

Clean Water Act of 1972, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the

Superfund Act of 1980 – that created the structural change that the

new realization of our planet required.

In the 21 st century, we must move beyond merely documenting the

consequences of global warming—floods, fires, hurricanes, rising

seawater, and other environmental anomalies—since this is all now

known as fact. Rather, we must now shift our focus to stories of hope,

leadership, and sustainable solutions that communities across the

planet are pioneering to reduce global warming and prevent climate

change from causing cataclysmic destruction to the global human

community. Critically, for a solution to be truly sustainable, it has to

tackle not only the climate crisis (which is the fire in our house) but

also the systemic conditions that gave rise to the fire in the first place:

the broader social-economic paradigm of extraction, colonialism,

and unchecked consumption. If we support such systemic solutions,

not only will we put out the fire, but we stand to create a world that is

more equitable, diverse, inclusive, and beautiful.

Right now, all over the planet, these innovations are quietly coming

online, driven by people who I like to call ‘everyday visionaries’:

compassionate, hardworking, often ordinary folks who are fighting

for their families and their homelands by molding the political will,

building the cultural frameworks, and inspiring the imagination that

we need to make the transition towards a more sustainable world.

It may not be happening fast enough, and it may not be getting the

press that it deserves, but a new world is being born. I’ve seen it.

The fact is, we have a choice in the stories we tell, and the choices

we make today will give rise to the world we inherit tomorrow. So, let’s

choose to tell the stories of those who are laboring to bring forth a world

befit of our children. As a parent myself, I can think of no worthier cause.

Michael O. Snyder

Guest Editor

It has been such an honor to work with guest editor

Michael O. Snyder and all the photographers and

writers who have contributed to this issue of ZEKE. I

also want to thank the Foundation for Systemic Change

for their generous financial support both for the ZEKE

Award for Systemic Change and for this issue of the

magazine.

When we began planning the theme last

September, it was clear that climate change was the

greatest existential threat facing our planet. Now, in

just the past four weeks as of writing this letter the

world has been turned upside down, yet again. This

time by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the threat

of the first use of nuclear weapons (excluding testing)

since atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and

Nagasaki 77 years ago.

As the war continues unabated, much of the world

is also reeling from the skyrocketing costs of energy

and grain. Putin would not have been able to launch

this war without the wealth afforded to him through

the extraction and sale of oil and our dependence on

fossil fuels. Now that the war is underway, the world

could have been more resilient to the rising price

of fossil fuels and grains if we had relied more on

renewable energy from solar, wind, hydro and other

sources, and had been further along with sustainable

agricultural practices.

The solutions to the climate crisis presented in this

issue of ZEKE largely focus on a recognition of the

fragile ecology of our planet and a move away from

extractive mining that ravages the environment. Also

evident is the understanding that Indigenous cultures

have always had about the interdependence of homo

sapiens and other species. While some may quiver at

the thought of the sacrifices we will need to make in

order to live in a sustainable world, just the opposite

may be true. As we learn to embrace a new respect for

the land that supports all life on this planet, humanity

will become richer spiritually and in our health and

well-being.

Glenn Ruga

Executive Editor

Matthew Lomanno

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 1


ZEKE AWARD FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGE

FIRST-PLACE WINNER

Indigenous Fire

Photos by

Kiliii Yuyan

United States

Despite the intense focus on apocalyptic

wildfires raging across the

American West, scant attention

is paid to solutions to climate

change-exacerbated wildfire. One

in particular–fire-lighting rather

than fire-fighting–has proven to be an

exceptional weapon against a seemingly

impossible opponent on a landscape-level

scale. It’s known as cultural fire. People

like Margo Robbins and Elizabeth Azzuz

of the Indigenous Peoples’ Burn Network

are training others in an ancient technique

of ecological restoration, which is to safely

light low-intensity fires in wet seasons that

remove the small fuels on the forest floor.

Not only does it effectively prevent wildfires

from spreading, but it also performs a

13,000-year-old function—the restoration of

health of the forests of Northern California,

the most diverse coniferous forests on earth.

Kiliii Yuyan illuminates stories of the Arctic

and human communities connected to the

land and sea. Informed by ancestry that is

both Nanai/Hèzhé (East Asian Indigenous)

and Chinese American, he explores the

human relationship to the natural world from

different cultural perspectives and extreme

environments, on land and underwater. Kiliii

is an award-winning contributor to National

Geographic, TIME, and other major publications.

Kiliii is one of PDN’s 30 Photographers

(2019), a National Geographic

Explorer, and a member of Indigenous

Photograph and Diversify Photo. His work

has been exhibited worldwide and received

some of photography’s top honors.

Margo Robbins, of the Cultural Fire

Management Council, leads firefighters

as they light an Indigenous-prescribed

burn with bundles of wormwood in

ceremony, near Weitchpec, CA.

2 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 3


The open view of a Yurok culturally

burned area in Orleans, CA. The airy,

open nature of the forest here contrasts

the tight and fire-prone unburnt forest

in the background. The continuation

of ancient cultural burning reminds

us what is possible in fire-prone

California. Photo by Kiliii Yuyan.

4 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 5


Firefighters practice controlled burning,

coordination, and fire management

skills while participating in a Yurok-led

cultural fire training exchange (TREX)

near Weitchpec, CA, Although the widely

used practice of burning brush piles is

not traditional, it is a skillset that supports

Indigenous burning. Photo by Kiliii Yuyan.

6 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 7


8 / ZEKE SPRING 2022

Margo Robbins not only leads Training

Exchanges, but also weaves her culture’s

celebrated baskets. “We use TREX

to ensure the continuance of our culture

and protect cultural resources. Our

culture is fire dependent. Our people

are hunters, gatherers and basket weavers,”

says Robbins. “Restoration of the

land, and preservation of our culture, is

a number one priority for people living

on the Yurok Reservation. We MUST put

fire on the ground if we are to continue

the tradition of basket weaving.” Photo

by Kiliii Yuyan.


Dr. Frank Lake cracks and

extracts a beaked hazelnut from

its shell. The hazelnuts grow

on his property in Orleans, CA

where they are carefully managed

through traditional Yurok

prescribed burning. Photo by

Kiliii Yuyan.

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 9


10 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


A Yurok firefighter manages the boundary

of an Indigenous-prescribed burn

near Weitchpec, CA during a fire

training exchange, or TREX in October.

In recent years, Indigenous-prescribed

fire practices have come to attention as

wildfires have raged destructively across

California. Photo by Kiliii Yuyan.

ZEKE ZEKE SPRING FALL 2021/ 2022/ 11


Firefighters refill their drip torches in

the midst of a broadcast-prescribed

burn while participating in a training

exchange put on by the Cultural Fire

Management Council near Weitchpec,

CA. Photo by Kiliii Yuyan.

12 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 13


An experienced Yurok TREX leader

lays down fire with his drip torch,

careful not to get caught behind his

lines. Photo by Kiliii Yuyan.

14 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 15


ZEKE AWARD FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGE

FIRST-PLACE WINNER

Nemo’s Garden

Photos by Giacomo d'Orlando

Italy

According to the Intergovernmental Panel

on Climate Change, the desertification

caused by climate change has extensively

reduced agricultural productivity in many

regions of the world. Current population

projections predict a population of

10 billion by the end of the century, creating an

additional two billion mouths to feed. It is urgent,

then, to find an alternative method of cultivation

to ensure an ecologically sustainable future.

Nemo’s Garden—the world’s first underwater

greenhouses of terrestrial plants—represents an

alternative farming system dedicated to those

areas where environmental conditions make the

growth of plants almost impossible. The microclimate

and thermal conditions within the biospheres

are optimal for plant growth and crop yields. The

encouraging results, where more than 40 different

species of plants have been successfully cultivated,

give us hope that we have found a sustainable

agricultural system that will help us tackle the

new challenges posed by climate change.

Giacomo d’Orlando is an Italian documentary

photographer focused on environmental and

social issues. In 2015, he moved to Nepal and

then Peru to enter the world of photojournalism,

working alongside local NGOs focusing on social

issues. His subsequent time in Australia and New

Zealand inspired him to concentrate on the environment,

particularly the possible future scenarios

caused by climate change. His projects have

appeared in The Washington Post, Der Spiegel,

Paris Match, El Pais, Geo France, De Volkskrant,

D-La Repubblica and Mare Magazin, among others.

Today, his work looks at how the increasing

pressures brought about by climate change are

reshaping the planet and how present-day society

is reacting to the new challenges that will

characterize our future.

The dark silhouette of Gabriele

Cucchia, senior engineer of the Nemo’s

Garden project, seen from the seabed

while carrying the upper part of the

biosphere to the installation site.

16 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 17


18 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


A group of divers admire the Nemo's

Garden during their immersion. Since

the Nemo's Garden has been created,

the fish population of the area

increased. In fact the Nemo's Garden

structure acts as a shelter for many

animals, supporting the repopulation

of the surrounding area. Photo by

Giacomo d'Orlando.

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 19


Emilio Mancuso, biologist in charge

of the seeding and growing process

of the plants, is placing the coconut

fiber cones for the hydroponic

cultivation within the biospheres. Each

biosphere can host approximately

120 per cycle, which depending on

the plants type, can last from one

to three months. Photo by Giacomo

d'Orlando.

20 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 21


The tree of life stands out among the

biospheres in the middle of the Nemo's

Garden. Under its platform, the cables

used for connecting the electronic

devices are separated and distributed

to each biosphere. Figuratively it also

represents the core of the experiment:

the possibility to grow terrestrial plants

underwater. Photo by Giacomo

d'Orlando.

22 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 23


Basil was chosen as a model plant

(due to its importance in the Ligurian

cuisine) to study its phytochemical,

physiological, and micro-morphological

characteristics in comparison with

plants of the same variety grown in

a terrestrial environment. The aim of

the study was the evaluation of the

plant responses to this environment

where the terrestrial greenhouse

is substituted by an underwater

biosphere. Photo by Giacomo

d'Orlando.

24 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 25


Inside the Palabek refugee settlement in

Northern Uganda, with the staff of African

Women Rising’s (AWR) Permagarden

Program, I witnessed how this innovative

approach is disrupting the broken aid

system by adapting food production to the

realities of climate change, changing lives and

futures in the process.

AWR works with refugees to utilize the

existing resources—seeds, rainfall, limited

land, and “waste”—and together build

an agriculture system designed to help the

environment regenerate and get stronger

as it matures. Within two weeks, farmers

are harvesting microgreens, within a month

they can start eating from their gardens, and

beyond that many people are able to make

money selling their vegetables. Their gardens

ensure needed vitamins and that mothers can

produce milk to breastfeed their babies.

Radical in its simplicity and effectiveness,

the success of AWR’s permagarden program

has tremendous implications for refugees and

humans worldwide.

Journalist, climate activist, and political scientist,

Sarah Fretwell, works as a multimedia

storyteller. Her work focuses on the intersection

of the environment, people, and business with

one question: What if the new bottom line

was love? Her award-winning photojournalism

explores the lives of everyday people with

extraordinary stories and creates the human

connection that engages people on a personal

level, offering individuals a voice for justice,

insight for solutions, and the human connection

needed for international engagement.

Some of her notable work and clients include

the BioCarbon Fund, United Nations, USAID,

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation,

World Bank Group, and Tara Oceans

Foundation.

Permagarden

Refugees

Photos by Sarah Fretwell

Uganda

26 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


Yaka Lucia, in the beginnings of her

Permagarden with her baby, Rosa.

Before she planted her garden, they

survived on rations from the World

Food Program—maize, beans, flour,

oil, and salt. Eating only the food

rations, her breast milk dried up, and

she could not feed her baby. Once

she started eating the greens from

her garden, her breast milk returned

within two weeks. Between her

Permagarden and food rations, she

can now feed all of her children for

the entire month.

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 27


28 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


Agusti (33) arrived in Palabek

camp with his family after fleeing

South Sudan. His garden is

thriving, and he is one of the most

successful entrepreneurs in the

program. He purchased a goat

and opened another small business

by selling surplus vegetables,

increasing his income by approximately

150%. Since we visited,

he made enough money to move

his family out of the camp. Photo

by Sarah Fretwell.

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 29


30 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


Food rations are measured down

to the ounce at the distribution

center. Security is so tight that

some refugees are even retina

scanned. Allotted rations are

supposed to feed one person

for four weeks. However, after

figuring out a way to transport the

149.48 lbs of food (rations for 4

for the month) and selling some

of their rations to pay to grind the

maize, most people only have

enough food to eat one time a

day for three weeks. Those who

do not have Permagardens usually

go without food the last week

of the month. This family is dining

on the staple dish of the camp

maize/soya porridge. Because

residents have no micronutrients

due to lack of variety and green

vegetables in their diet, their

bodies begin shutting down, leading

to issues such as brain fog,

blurred eyesight, and inability

to produce breast milk. Photo by

Sarah Fretwell.

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 31


32 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


Before planting, project mentors

conduct a landscape resource walk on

each family’s plot of land. On these

walks, everyone discovers the variety

of valuable and free waste resources

around them – charcoal dust, dried

manure, fallen leaves, and nutrition for

the soil in the rubbish pits. Participants

“walk the water,” coming to understand

the flow of rainwater across their

land as they learn key principles of

how to manage it to their benefit. This

thriving garden is several months old.

Now Lakot Linda’s grandchildren can

eat for the entire month and get much

needed micronutrients. She is growing

kale, kowpiss (spinach), pumpkins,

okra, and more. Photo by Sarah

Fretwell.

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 33


34 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


The most happening part of

town inside Palabek is called

“Jerusalem.” There is a pharmacy,

restaurants, hotels, a

tailor, a bicycle-powered lathe

for sharpening blades, shops,

and a dance hall. Some of the

business owners are Ugandans

who have come to make money.

Some are Ugandans who have

come to help, and some, like the

Sudanese barber, are people

who arrived here with a trade.

This barber was fortunate he had

the foresight to bring his shears

and shaver with him on the long

journey from Sudan. He now

runs the most popular, and only,

barbershop in town. Photo by

Sarah Fretwell.

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 35


Nina Morgan grew up in the shadow

of a coal mine. The four-room shotgun

home she shared with her twin brother,

mother, and grandmother is in the

tiny community of Sipsey, about 30

miles North of Birmingham, Alabama.

More precisely, they lived in the “Black

Camp,” the name still used by locals

over one hundred years after the

DeBardeleben Coal Company built

this company town, segregating workers and

their families by race. Generations of Morgan’s

family have worked in the mines. Back behind

the house, past the old graveyard marked with

stones where great grandfather Tommy who died

of Black Lung is buried, she and brother Ishmael

played in “the spot”—a former blasting site filled

with rainwater.

Today, Morgan is the Climate & Environmental

Justice Organizer for

Greater Birmingham

Alliance to Stop

Pollution, better known

by the acronym,

“GASP.” “Coal is killing

us. It’s breaking down

our bodies,” Morgan

told me. She warns of

a coming reckoning

bringing an end to the

“legacy and history of

extraction, exploitation,

and violent racism”

that has devastated

Sipsey and much of the

American South.

Central to her effort is shifting Alabama away

from all fossil fuels, and she has no shortage

of plans to accomplish this goal. “The answers

Sustainable Solutions to

By Antonia Juhasz

36 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


the Climate Crisis

Nina

Morgan, not far

from her grandmother's

home in Sipsey, Alabama.

Photograph by Andi Rice,

2021.

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 37


38 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


are already there,” Morgan explains.

“People in Birmingham have been

thinking about this for years.”

The plans start with shutting down

coal operations in Sipsey and coke

plants (an industrial byproduct of coal)

in Birmingham, employing locals to

clean up the sites and surrounding

neighborhoods using bioremediation,

establishing local community-owned

and operated solar and agricultural

farms, and passing a local Green

New Deal. The sustainable solutions

are clear, the problem is “the political

will and the money to really scale it,”

Morgan says.

Morgan’s experience and analysis is

repeated in interviews and investigations

I’ve conducted across decades and continents.

There is little mystery about how

to achieve sustainable solutions to the

climate crisis; to the contrary, people are

now and have been implementing them

for millennia. Our planet is increasingly

inhospitable to us not because we lack

the resources to provide for our people,

but rather because a small percentage

of them have adopted devastatingly

harmful fossil fuel-led consumption patterns

which are, in fact, relatively simple

to adjust. The problem is not one of

technology. Instead, it mostly boils down

to power and politics: primarily a few

governments and companies, and of

course some consumers, who just refuse

to let go.

In many ways, this is a profoundly

hopeful message. We know the problem,

have had the means to solve it,

and we’re even having a great deal of

success—albeit not nearly enough.

Fossil Fuels are Obsolete

Fossil fuels are the leading cause of

the climate crisis. The fossil fuel industry

and its products account for 91%

of global industrial greenhouse gas

(GHG) emissions and about 70% of all

human-induced climate emissions. In

Chief Shirell Parfait-Dardar of the Grand Caillou/

Dulac Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw at her home

and garden in Chauvin, Louisiana. Photo by Virginia

Hanusik, June 2021.

A dead cypress tree off Tide Water Road, Venice, Louisiana. Photo by Virginia Hanusik, June 2021.

the U.S., fossil fuels account for 94%

of total carbon dioxide emissions and

80% of all GHG emissions from human

activity. As a result, the International

Energy Agency recently concluded

that if we are to meet the Paris Climate

Agreement goal of limiting global

warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, there

can be no new investments in fossil fuel

production anywhere.

We not only know the “what” of

the climate crisis, but also the “who.”

Since 1988, more than half of all global

industrial GHG emissions can be traced

to just 25 fossil fuel companies, including

ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP, and

the national oil companies of Russia,

China, and Saudi Arabia. The lack of

progress on international policies to curb

climate emissions are due in small part

to the actions of these companies and

countries (including the corporate host

nations of the U.S. and Britain).

Azeb Girmai is the climate policy

lead for LDC Watch International, a

network of civil society organizations

advocating on behalf of the 48 Least

Developed Countries (LDCs) in the

world. On December 10, 2015, I sat

across from Girmai on the outskirts

of Paris at the Le Bourget conference

center. Girmai made the trek from

Ethiopia, then-gripped by a deadly and

crippling drought, its worst in 30 years.

Around us swirled a polite cacophony

of activity -- regularly punctuated by the

shouts of protestors chanting “1.5 to

stay alive!” or “Keep It In The Ground!”

-- as thousands gathered to influence

the outcome of what would emerge two

days later as the Paris Climate Accord.

Girmai conveyed both hope and

urgency as she shared her message to

negotiators. Africans, who have done

the least to cause the climate crisis but

are suffering the worst of its impacts,

have solutions, but they need support.

She described local initiatives to allow

Africans to leapfrog the fossil fuel stage

of development and overcome the

increasing hardships of global warming,

including providing individual

homes across rural areas with simple

easy-to-use wind and solar energy kits.

Localization and democratization of

energy are key, particularly for women.

Energy access “is the game changer for

women in Africa,” Girmai said.

Funding for climate change efforts is

not only woefully inadequate, but also

less than 10% of the $17.4 billion in

climate finance from leading international

institutions between 2003 and

2016 targeted local initiatives such as

Girmai's. Climate finance, particularly

the significantly larger sums spent by

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 39


corporations, venture capital, and private

equity, instead flows to large-scale

centralized mega-projects frequently

focused on the “next big technological

fix” to the climate change problem.

A few days before I spoke with

Girmai, Leonardo DiCaprio, then serving

as the United Nations Messenger

of Peace, addressed a gathering of

world leaders at the Paris City Hall. He

shared a similar message to Girmai’s.

“Our future will hold greater prosperity

and justice when we are free from the

grip of fossil fuels,” he said.

He cited the work of Stanford

Professor Mark Jacobson who demonstrated

in 2009 that fossil fuels are obsolete.

“We can meet the world’s energy

demand with 100% clean renewable

energy using existing technologies by

2050,” DiCaprio explained, referring

to all forms of energy consumption

replaced with wind, water, and solar.

He urged the gathered elected officials

to do their part by quickly enacting

policies to support a transition to low

carbon transportation, energy efficient

buildings, better waste management,

and renewable energy.

Six years later, COP26 in Scotland

resulted in disappointment, but also

some important achievements, including

the launch of a “Beyond Oil and

Gas Alliance” by 12 governments to

“end all oil and gas production and

exploration” on their territories.

Professor Jacobson points to 10

countries (with four on their way)

with 97.5–100% electricity powered

exclusively by renewables and laws

on the books in 61 countries to meet

that target. Around the world, 180

cities, including in eight U.S. states,

have formalized plans to reach 100%

renewable energy for electricity and

over 100 already get at least 70%

exclusively from renewables.

A recent Oxford University study

finds that a rapid shift to wind, solar,

and other zero-carbon technologies

would save the world $26 trillion in

energy costs alone (including the cost

to adapt the electricity grid) while at

the same time meeting the Paris Climate

Accord targets. Solar, wind, and other

zero-carbon technologies have been

decreasing in cost overtime—with solar

2,000 times cheaper today than at its

first commercial use in 1958—while

fossil fuels are as expensive to produce

and consume today as they were 150

years ago.

Moving energy through renewables

is also more efficient than fossil fuels.

Merely electrifying the energy sector

reduces overall energy demand by

nearly 60%, Jacobson finds. And the

closer you place the user to the source

of energy — i.e. localized wind and

solar — the less energy is needed.

Investments in public transportation

should trump individual cars. To further

reduce overall resource extraction of

feedstocks such as lithium for batteries,

Jacobson stresses the ability and

necessity to increase both their recycling

and reuse.

There are innumerable human health

and climate benefits to be won when particularly

the heaviest users shed the shackles

of unsustainable energy demand.

Indigenous Communities

are Living the Alternative

“Indigenous communities are living the

alternatives to the climate crisis,” said

Andrea Isabel Ixchíu Hernández of

Journalist Andrea Isabel Ixchíu Hernández at work in

Guatemala. Photo: Federico Zuvire 2021.

the K’iche de Totonicapán Indigenous

community of Guatemala in October.

Hernández is a fierce human rights

activist, journalist, and community

leader. Forests, particularly old ones

such as the Amazon rainforest, provide

rich carbon sinks and the biodiversity

humans require to survive. Studies have

repeatedly confirmed what Indigenous

peoples have regularly repeated: they

are the best protectors of both forests

and the planet’s biodiversity — a task

they’ve perfected over millennia.

To survive the climate crisis requires

that we “stop consuming Indigenous territories

and defend the people defending

the land and water,” Hernández

explains. This means not only an end to

the racism which has habitually favored

resource extraction on the lands and

Mayan Q'eqchi' Indigenous leader, Maria Choc, speaks with women in El Estor, Izabal, Guatemala. From the

CuraDaTerra Documentary series by Andrea Isabel Ixchíu Hernández and Federico Zuvire, 2021.

40 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


waters of people of color, and the

protection of Indigenous peoples’

knowledge, rights to their land, waters,

and cultures, but also addressing the

inequities, injustice, and unsustainability

of the world’s most abusive energy

users. Without justice and equity, the

transition from fossil fuels will fail to

achieve sustainability.

The vast majority of the world, including

its Indigenous peoples, already

consume energy quite sustainably.

Following the energy models set out

by Morgan, Girmai, and Hernández,

energy justice can be achieved by their

using even more. It is the over- and abusive

consumption of the biggest users—

primarily industrial users and the wealthiest

people in North America and the

EU—that are the core of the problem.

Hernandez cites Oxfam’s findings that if

the richest 10% of the global population

continues its current energy consumption

and the entire rest of the world’s emissions

dropped to zero tomorrow, we’d

still deplete our carbon budget within

just a few years.

“The alternative to climate crisis are

already here,” Hernández stresses.

“It’s found at the intersection of global

movements of organized women

dismantling oppressive structures with

Indigenous cultures in defense of life.”

It’s Not Rocket Science

For Chief Shirell Parfait-Dardar of the

Grand Caillou/Dulac Band of Biloxi-

Chitimacha-Choctaw, the discussion of

sustainable solutions to the climate crisis

is one of survival.

Last year, we stood at her father’s

grave in Dulac, Louisiana. Parfait-

Dardar was making plans for when the

waters come and wash away his body,

that of the grandmother who raised her

and the great grandfather who served

as Chief before her. Pain gripped at

Parfait-Dardar’s face as she explained

that if the encroaching waters of the

Gulf of Mexico cannot be slowed, in a

decade not only will her loved-ones and

their cemetery be long-gone, but her

Climate Resources

350.org

www.350.org

Advocates 4 Earth Zimbabwe

www.advocates4earth.org

Acción Ecológica

www.accionecologica.org

Amazon Watch

www.amazonwatch.org

Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance

www.beyondoilandgasalliance.com

Climate Action Network

www.climatenetwork.org

Deep South Center for Environmental

Justice

www.dscej.org

Earth Justice

www.earthjustice.org

EarthRights International

www.earthrights.org

Extinction Rebellion

www.rebellion.global

Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

www.fossilfueltreaty.org

Futuros Indígenas

www.futurosindigenas.org

Indigenous Climate Action

www.indigenousclimateaction.com

Indigenous Environmental Network

www.ienearth.org

Initiative for Energy Justice

www.iejusa.org

Friends of the Earth International

www.foei.org

Fridays for the Future

www.fridaysforfuture.org

Greater Birmingham Alliance to Stop

Pollution (GASP)

entire tribe may be forced to abandon

its ancestral lands.

Her resolve intensifies, however, as

she discusses both culprits and solutions.

“Look around you,” she says

eyeing the skeletal remains of dead

cypress and oak trees marking the

landscape, a result of saltwater intrusion

brought about by the dredging of

canals for the fossil fuel industry, she

explains. “Extraction means death.”

www.gaspgroup.org

Greenpeace

www.greenpeace.orginternational

Hip Hop Caucus

www.hiphopcaucus.org

LDC Watch International

www.ldcwatch.org

Movement Generation

www.movementgeneration.org

Movement Rights

www.movementrights.org

Oil Change International

www.priceofoil.org

Pachamama Alliance

www.pachamama.org

PanAfrican Climate Justice Alliance

www.pacja.org

Red, Black, and Green New Deal

www.redblackgreennewdeal.org

Southeast Climate and Action

Network

www.scen-us.org

StandEarth

www.stand.earth

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

www.sei.org

Sunrise Movement

www.sunrisemovement.org

Uproot Project

www.uprootproject.org

Women’s Earth and Climate Action

Network (WECAN)

www.wecaninternational.org

Chief Parfait-Dardar knows the solution.

She wants to see an end to the fossil

fuel industry, and she’s got a plan to do

it: replace fossil fuels with green energy

and clean jobs. She wants job training,

transition assistance, and programs to get

information to her tribe about how and

where to find jobs. She wants the federal

governments assistance to do it.

“It’s not rocket science,” she says.

“It’s just the will to do it.”

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 41


ZEKE AWARD HONORABLE MENTION WINNER

Carolyn Monastra

Collecting and cleaning plastic

bags by the Nairobi River,

Kenya. This woman regularly

collects discarded plastic bags

around her community near

the Nairobi River. After cleaning

them, she sells the bags to

brokers who then sell them to

artisans who upcycle the bags

by crocheting products such as

handbags and hats. Since plastic

bags are made from petroleum,

this woman is not only reducing

her community’s carbon footprint

by reusing existing bags, but she

is also cleaning up her neighborhood

and creating income for

herself and a chain of others.

42 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


Witness Tree: Climate Solutions from Around the World

Kenya, Tonga, Thailand, Argentina, United Kingdom, United States

The Witness Tree documents

the impacts of climate

change around the world.

From the melting ice of

Antarctica to the wildfires of

Australia, I am drawn to precious

and precarious places that mark

the shifting boundaries between

nature and the effects of our

not-so-natural disasters. I have

photographed the climate crisis on

every continent. These photographs

are from the “Solutions”

chapter which features seemingly

small measures taken by individuals

bettering their communities

to larger mitigating solutions like

London’s Thames Barrier.

Although significant carbon

reduction is primarily the

responsibility of governments

and industry, I believe, as these

images attest, that the actions of

individuals can give us hope.

Top: Watering crops, Eco Yoga Park,

General Rodriguez, Argentina. The

Eco Yoga Park, an hour outside Buenos

Aires, doubles as an organic farm.

Volunteers like Larissa from Stuttgart,

Germany, not only get to stretch their

bodies with daily yoga classes, but also

learn about permaculture as they help

grow 80-90 percent of the food that is

consumed there.

Bottom: Village Chief Samorn

Khengsamut, Khun Samut Chin, Thailand.

Chief Khengsamut gives presentations

to tourists who visit their village

to educate them about the impacts of

sea level rise and the resulting erosion

of their land. Rising seas have forced

villagers to move their homes further

inland four or five times in the last few

decades, but now they are running out

of space to move.

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 43


ZEKE AWARD HONORABLE MENTION WINNER

Roberto Nistri

Burkina Faso: The Power of Resilience

44 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


As part of the "Terre Verte" project to combat

desertification, selected seeds are used to withstand

conditions of water scarcity.

In Burkina Faso, an African

country considered one of

the poorest on the planet,

desertification, amplified

by global climate change, has

made entire districts unusable for

agriculture, forcing those who live

there to migrate to neighboring

states or to Europe.

Some projects implemented

by international and local NGOs

such as Terre Verte encourage and

support traditional farming techniques.

By applying a principle of

“resilience” to these disastrous

changes in the environment,

numerous projects aim to make

the desertified areas fertile, allowing

local communities to cultivate

them again trying to limit the

phenomenon of “environmental

migration.”

In other areas of the country,

climate change has made the

duration and intensity of precipitation

unpredictable, making it often

disastrous for subsistence farming.

The radical change in the landscape,

its flora, and the drought

in some areas now become

chronic, have erased the great

African fauna in most of Burkina

Faso’s territory.

Top: Project “Terre Verte.” Once grown,

the plants continue to be watered individually

until the development of their

root system.

Bottom: Floods,in Burkina Faso due

to the climate change taking place in

the country, occur more and more frequently

even outside the canonical rainy

season. They block the life of cities,

including schools, for days. They can

destroy also an entire crop or, in cities,

tear down homes and small businesses.

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 45


ZEKE AWARD HONORABLE MENTION WINNER

Lauren Owens Lambert

Saving the Stranded

46 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


At Padre Island National Seashore in Corpus Christi, Texas, a volunteer

carries an endangered Kemp’s ridley to the warm waters of the

Gulf of Mexico for release after months of rehabilitation from almost

freezing to death on the shores of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Five vans, one plane, two

states, one thousand

miles, four organizations,

two hundred people and

one… banana box. On average

this is what it takes to save one

little life—a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle.

As the most endangered and

smallest sea turtle in the world,

it’s worth every effort. Without

this monumental conservation

collaboration across the eastern

seaboard of North America, this

turtle might have gone extinct.

In summer, the waters off Cape

Cod are warm, calm, and full of

food, serving as a natural nursery

for young Kemp’s ridleys. But as

water temperatures plummet in

winter, the turtles must migrate

or perish. Many lose their way

and wash up, cold-stunned, on

the beaches. The phenomenon

is the largest recurring sea turtle

stranding event in the world.

Volunteers and biologists from the

Massachusetts Audubon Society

and the New England Aquarium

are rescuing, rehabilitating, and

flying the turtles to be released in

warmer waters.

Top: Boxes of cold-stunned sea turtles

sit in a cool room at Mass Audubon

in Wellfleet, Cape Cod after being

processed.

Bottom: Hannah Crawford (left) and

Jessica Cramp (right), both interns with

the New England Aquarium, hold a

cold-stunned Kemp’s ridley sea turtle

up to photograph the condition of their

underside for record keeping and care

monitoring.

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 47


ZEKE AWARD HONORABLE MENTION WINNER

Mark Phillips

Unbroken: Repair is Essential

The anatomy of a mobile phone.

Weighing around 160 grams,

smart phones are made up of

approximately 30 elements,

including copper, gold and

silver for wiring, and lithium and

cobalt in the battery. The touch

screen and display use indium,

boron and rhodium. The circuits

and chip use silicon, bismuth,

gallium and gold. The camera

and microphone use rare earths

including neodymium, dyprosium

and praesodymium. The vibration

motors use tungsten and micro

capacitors use tantalum.

A complex mixture that has to

be extracted from the earth and

processed to make the materials,

before being made into components,

and sub-assemblies that

are assembled into your phone,

packaged, transported across the

globe, and then sold.

48 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


We now create nearly 55

million tons of electronic

waste each year—our

fastest growing waste

stream. When we no longer want our

electronic devices, or if we break them,

the resulting waste creates tremendous

environmental problems. Even bigger is

the impact of the materials extraction to

make all these electronic devices in the

first place. More than 80% of electronics

waste is not recycled properly; we do not

even know where most of it ends up.

Recycling only recovers a fraction of the

resources consumed and can potentially

create even more toxic waste. One solution

is to make our products last longer,

through repair, reuse, and refurbishment.

This requires systemic change—in

policy, capabilities, and culture—and

has the potential to make a substantial

positive impact in the consumption and

waste of resources and the environmental

damage caused by both.

Top: Scavenged washing machine pumps at the

Kierratysekskus (reuse) facility in Helsinki, Norway.

The pumps will be used for future repairs.

Access to economic spares is a major challenge

for repair.

Bottom: Electronics repair department at the Kierratysekskus

(reuse) facility in Helsinki, Norway.

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 49


ZEKE AWARD HONORABLE MENTION WINNER

Chris Trinh

Black Snake Killers

Kiley Knowles rides her horse through the Shell River in northern Minnesota

during a "Women Water Protectors" demonstration against Line 3. According

to a 2021 report from Indigenous Environmental Network and Oil Change

International, Indigenous resistance against fossil fuel infrastructure projects

over the last decade has stopped or delayed greenhouse gas pollution

equivalent to at least one-quarter of annual U.S. and Canadian emissions

(1.8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide). July 15, 2021.

50 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


Black Snake Killers documents

the Anishinaabeled

struggle against

the Line 3 tar sands oil

pipeline—referred to by activists

as the Black Snake—during the

final three months of Line 3’s

construction. Line 3 was built by

Enbridge, a Canadian pipeline

giant, to carry over 800,000

barrels of crude oil daily from

Alberta, Canada, to a port in

Superior, Wisconsin, USA. Along

the way it crosses wide swaths

of Anishinaabe territory, where

treaty rights grant Indigenous residents

the ability to live, hunt, fish

and gather. For almost a decade,

Anishinaabe land defenders have

fought Line 3, which has a carbon

footprint equivalent to 50 coalfired

power plants, in addition to

the greenhouse gas emissions of

the tar sands transported by the

pipeline. The Anishinaabe and

many Indigenous environmental

activists worldwide argue that

restoring land to Indigenous

stewardship—and keeping it out of

the hands of fossil fuel companies—is

a key means of preserving

biodiversity and protecting our

planet.

Top: Alex Golden Wolf (center), a twospirit

water protector from White Earth,

is violently arrested while in ceremony,

as part of a peaceful blockade of an

Enbridge drilling site. During the arrest,

law enforcement ripped open Alex's

shirt, threw them to the ground, stepped

on religious artifacts and held arrestees

in a closed vehicle in almost 90°F

temperatures. July 23, 2021.

Bottom: Tasha Martineau (Fond du Lac)

stands in the Shell River, at a site where

Enbridge has drilled under the water in

order to lay pipe. Taysha is the founder

of Camp Migizi, one of the protest

camps along the Line 3 pipeline route.

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 51


Interview

KILIII YUYAN

Kiliii Yuyan is a photographer whose practice

illuminates the stories of the Arctic and human

communities connected to the land. Informed

by ancestry that is both Nanai/Hèzhé (East

Asian Indigenous) and Chinese American, he has

traveled across the polar regions working with

Indigenous cultures and wildlife. On assignment,

he has fled collapsing sea ice, chased fin whales in

Greenland, and found kinship at the edges of the

world. For National Geographic, Kiliii has produced

seven stories with a focus on the Arctic. He is currently

at work on a project covering Indigenous-led

conservation in Ecuador, Australia and Greenland.

Kiliii is also an award-winning contributor to

Vogue, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Guardian,

and the Nature Conservancy.

By Caterina Clerici

Caterina Clerici: Can you tell us about

your background and how you got

started in photography?

Kiliii Yuyan: Well, I’m a late bloomer in

photography. I didn’t really pick up the

camera seriously until I was in my early

or mid-thirties, and I’m 43 now. I was

a traditional kayak builder. I built my

culture’s kayaks and also the modernized

version of them, and that was my

living for about 20 years. But I did go to

school for industrial design, so I think that

informed both the kayak building and the

photography.

I was leading a lot of kayak expeditions

in the North, off of Vancouver island,

and there were some beaches we would

go to where we’d be the only people

who’d have set foot on them in the past

year — really beautiful, remote places

Seven-year old Steven Reich examines his father's umiaq, or skinboat, used for whaling. His father Qallu, captain

of Yugu crew, expresses nervous excitement to bring Steven out whaling on the ice for the first time: "I am proud

of my son; he's here to learn to be a hunter." Despite the enthusiasm, Qallu is anxious about safely reading the

changing conditions of the ice. Photo by Kiliii Yuyan.

that only kayaks could access. We were

doing a lot of foraging off the land and

fishing, and I found that when I had a

camera with me and took pictures, when

I sent these back to friends and family the

response was a lot greater than it was

without it. I started to really just fall in love

with making pictures, and I remember just

the power of sharing — people loved the

pictures from these places and all the fairly

unusual stuff that we were up to. I think

that’s what got me excited about it.

It was one of the only ways I had to

describe my relationship with the land.

A lot of Indigenous people say that “if

you’re from a fish people — which we

are — you’ve got to have your hands in

the water,” handling the salmon, catching

the fish and just being part of it. It’s really

easy for me to connect with the land, but

for people that weren’t part of the trips

I was on, that was my way to get their

hands in the water, for them to have a

relationship not just with the place, but

also with what we were doing.

CC: How did your surroundings growing

up and your ancestry, which is both

Nanai/Hèzhé (East Asian Indigenous)

and Chinese American, influence your

approach to life as an explorer?

KY: I grew up in Northeastern China,

Southern Siberia, and moved to the U.S.

by the time I was seven. I still attribute my

love of the outdoors partially to that time,

and then also to my grandma, cause she

told me lots of stories about our culture.

All of those stories involved, you know,

ripping around on the back of an orca,

riding sturgeons in the river, avoiding “the

charms of seal women” and things like

that. These are really great folk tales that a

lot of modern Indigenous peoples don’t tell

in the way of mythological tales anymore,

but I come from a part of the world where

that mythology is still really important. We

have a deep storytelling tradition.

I was always really fascinated by all

that stuff. By the time I was a teenager, I

was dying to go out and fish, hunt and

do all those kinds of things. That deepened

my relationship with the land, and

also took me back to my ancestry — even

though I don’t think I understood it yet at

the time. But there are definitely things I

have done in my life that are almost like a

replay of the stories that my grandmother

told me. When I was leading the kayak

trips, anytime we would go out and there

was any sighting of orcas, I would sing

to them. That’s in our culture, that’s in

our stories. We sing to orcas because

they are our relatives. We sing to seals

because we want to lure them up to the

surface so that we can hunt them.

CC: Do you see your photographic practice

as a continuation of your culture’s

storytelling tradition?

52 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


There are absolutely times when there’s

a very deliberate move towards that. A lot

of my favorite images from past projects

that I’ve done and increasingly a lot of

the projects that I’m embarking on are

not pure photojournalism, but a little more

lyrical and abstract in form. I am very

drawn to these kinds of stories that have a

mythological bent to them. There’s a story

coming out soon on what we call “thin

places,” essentially pieces of the land or

landscapes or spaces that exist in nature

where you walk out and you feel the presence

of something other than you, but not

other humans. The place feels really alive.

Different religions call it different

things, but everyone has this experience:

you completely forget you’re you and

become a part of this universe existing

outside, and you don’t know why, but

there’s something that feels really dark

and evil and terrible about it. I photograph

those places because I’m interested

in the cosmology of my people and lots

of other Indigenous peoples, but also in

that universal feeling of “I’m not going

back there because it’s dark and there’s

something wrong with that place.” It’s still

documentary, there’s no manipulation of

anything but, at the same time, the point

that I’m trying to get across is much more

mythical and lyrical.

CC: How do you approach photographing

communities different from your own,

and what do you think is the value of having

an insider’s perspective in a culture

that has often been misrepresented?

and it can be really difficult. The easiest

way to get around some of these issues

is just to not be interested in the same

stories that everyone else is interested

in, which generally I’m not, as a Native

person. For example, when I did my

story on whaling in Alaska among the

Iñupiaq, my thought wasn’t “Oh look at

these people killing whales, how exotic

and strange, why are they allowed to do

it?” but more like “How is it done?” I’m a

kayak builder, they’re skin boat builders.

The original reason I went up there in

the first place was to connect about our

traditional boats.

But as soon as I went there, the first

thing I recognized almost immediately

was that the story, the real story, was not

about the killing of the whale. The real

story is about the relationship between

the people and the community and the

whales, you know, and not the throwing

of the harpoon into the whale. I have a

great shot of the harpoon thrown into a

whale, but I rarely run it, it’s never been

published. That’s not what whaling is.

Whaling is community, it’s the gift of this

massive creature to feed these people.

CC: What is your main audience and

what is your message to them?

KY: For me, the most important audience

is the youth of the culture that I’m

photographing, and the message is just

representation. They get a chance to see

their uncles and aunts inside the pages

of National Geographic, and that makes

them a rock star. It gives them the ability

to see someone who looks like them

accepted with validity and celebration

in the world, and that’s a really fantastic

thing. And it’s also my hope that I’m

able to show their own people and their

culture in a way that feels very familiar

to them. We’ve had the same viewpoint

from the outside looking in for so long

that it’s really nice to be able to go the

other way around.

CC: How much has climate change influenced

your work, both in terms of stories

and in your day-to-day practice?

KY: Well, climate change is an interesting

one because, first of all, in the North,

every story is a climate change story.

Second, it’s inescapable. It’s everywhere.

Flooding ice cellars, polar bears coming

to attack us because they’re starving to

death, stuff like that. Sometimes I wish

I had someone there to document the

behind the scenes of our shoots because,

in some ways, climate change is a lot

more obvious in the kinds of challenges I

face during my shoots than in the stories I

shoot. It’s not that in the stories I shoot the

effects are more subtle, but they require a

lot more knowledge of the way that sea

ice and things normally are. You need

to know what the baseline is, in order to

recognize what’s different.

KY: All documentarians are interpreters

and ambassadors between worlds.

I understand the massive cultural differences

between people, enough to know

that almost every Indigenous culture has

a different sense of freedoms. Whenever

you interact with another culture, there’s a

certain protocol that you have to abide by

— can I photograph this ceremony or that,

is it inappropriate to ask about certain

things, or to portray people in a certain

way? These are all things that are really

important and you can’t assume anything.

Usually the most dangerous mistakes

have to do with stereotypical representations,

or things that people have just

gotten oppressed and repressed for over

a long period of time. So there are things

that our people are really sensitive about,

A bowhead whale harvested by Iñupiat finally rests on a thick section of sea ice after being slowly pulled out of

the water for the past eight hours. Photo by Kiliii Yuyan.

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 53


DISPATCHES FROM

UKRAINE

Maranie Staab, a regular contributor to SDN

and ZEKE, and last featured for her photos

from the January 6 insurrection at the U.S.

Capitol, is now reporting from Chisinau,

Moldova and nearby towns in Ukraine

documenting the largest refugee migration in

Europe since WWII.

Above: A group of Ukrainians eat a dinner

prepared by World Central Kitchen partner

Cafeneaua din Gratiesti while staying at Biserica

Isus Salvatorul, a church in Chisinau, Moldova

hosting approximately 50 Ukrainian refugees.

Top Right: “Right before this happened I was shopping

for my prom dress; it’s my final year of school

and life was good, life felt normal. Now I’m on

a bus talking to you with only this small bag and

we’re running away—we left everything behind.”

Alioa, 17, fled Mykolaiv, Ukraine with her

three siblings and mother. They are among the

now 2.3 million people who have left Ukraine in

just the past two weeks, a number expected to

grow as Russia continues its indiscriminate and

targeted attacks on cities and civilians.

Middle: Sunshine quickly turned to snow showers

as hundreds of people stood at the Palanca

border crossing with their suitcases and pets.

Moldovans and aid organizations are working

hard to provide for the ongoing flood of people

fleeing Ukraine, but the need is overwhelming

and expected to grow.

Bottom: Leeza, age 10, offers a smile while waiting

in freezing temperatures to board a bus that

will evacuate her and others from the besieged

city of Mykolaiv, Ukraine on March 10, 2022.

54 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


A Home for Global Documentary

Photo by Robert Nistri from Burkina Faso: The Power of Resilience.

Social Documentary Network

Lori Grinker

SDN Website: A web portal for

documentary photographers to

create online galleries and make

them available to anyone with an

internet connection. Since 2008,

we have presented more than

4,000 documentary stories from

all parts of the world.

www.socialdocumentary.net

ZEKE Magazine: This bi-annual

publication allows us to present

visual stories in print form with indepth

writing about the themes

of the photography projects.

www.zekemagazine.com

SDN Salon: An informal gathering

of SDN photographers to

share and discuss work online.

Documentary Matters:

A place for photographers to

meet with others involved with

or interested in documentary

photography and discuss ongoing

or completed projects.

SDN Education: Leading

documentary photographers and

educators provide online learning

opportunities for photographers

interested in advancing their

knowledge and skills in the field

of documentary photography.

ZEKE Award for Documentary

Photography: A award

program juried by a distinguished

panel of international media

professionals. Award winners are

exhibited at Photoville in Brooklyn

and featured in ZEKE.

SDN Reviews: Started in April

2021, this annual program brings

together industry leaders from

media, publishing, and the fine

art community to review work of

documentary photographers.

Visual Literacy Project:

This new and exciting program

provides secondary students

and educators with critical tools

for literacy, learning, and civic

engagement.

www.visualliteracyproject.org

Join us!

www.socialdocumentary.net

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 55


BOOK

REVIEWS

EDITOR: MICHELLE BOGRE

AFTER US THE DELUGE: The

Human Consequences of

Rising Sea Levels

Photographs by Kadir van Lohuizen

Lannoo, 2021 | 288 pages | 45 Euros

A newly built sea wall is not very effective. Jakarta, Indonesia.

Kadir van Lohuizen’s massive

new book After Us The Deluge

sits on the coffee table in

front of me, the title a bold, radioactive

salmon tone. The cover image

is a muted image of a girl treading

through water suggesting the book’s

content—the current and future effects

of rising sea levels on seven different

parts of the world. Each chapter is

split into two sections: an essay by a

prominent figure in the field, followed

by van Lohuizen’s stark photographs of

people in flooded lands, aerial images

of islands, and landscapes from around

the globe. Together the images and

words tell the story of the effects of

climate change on coasts, and cities

threatened by an underwater future.

This book is a call to action, but it isn’t

always clear to whom it is calling out.

The title of this book plays on a

monarchic idea of abandon, of living

in decadence and pushing the problem

to another generation. But, who is the

author speaking to, when he says us? The

book doesn’t provide a clear answer, but

it is clear who will be—and are—the first

to face the consequences. In the chapter

on Guna Yala (Panama), there is an

image of a young girl on the beach with

her hands crossed. Her body language is

strong but tense, and her gaze is angry.

She stands not only for her community

facing the effects of climate change and

rising sea levels, but also for her generation

and generations to come.

Perhaps us is anyone implicated in the

future of the girl from Guna Yala, who

benefits from a lifestyle responsible for the

deluge to come. Even so, the book seems

to speak to a more specific audience. The

structure and tone of After Us The Deluge

resemble a commission report. Saturated

in technical terms and figures, the text

and images provide little room to experience—to

feel—the implications of climate

change. Urgency is drowned by formula.

Although the book is framed as an open

invitation to participate in saving the

world, it is evident that the photographer

and essay authors speak in the language

of policy makers and industrialists. A

book can change the world, by imagining

what it could be, but this book lacks

imagination. The images are not spectacular,

though they depict awful truths.

They are sharp, dull, and laid out in in a

utilitarian manner. They are there to play

their role as documents, to relay a dangerous

situation to powerful people who

could potentially do something about it.

The world can be seen differently, and

so can books, and this book has a new

world hidden inside of it. A rogue reader

can read it in an imaginative way: randomly

flipping the pages. A page drops.

It is a picture of a man’s head sticking out

of a flooded street. He seems calm, as if

all of this had been anticipated. Behind

him, a palm tree is suspended in the air,

waiting to collapse. Is this an image from

the past, or an illustration of the future?

Another flip reveals a picture of a boy,

draped in plastic, walking by an eroding

coast, a panorama of flooded lands and

heavy clouds. These random images, out

of time and place, best communicate the

reality of the crisis we collectively face.

Flipping chaotically through the pages,

Greenland becomes The Netherlands and

Fiji and Miami grow interchangeable. A

charge is in the air, a storm which leaves

the book and enters my apartment. A

drop of water falls and immediately soaks

into the page. Is it my drink or is it raining

here too? The water drop leaves behind a

mark, the threat of a storm to come.

—Dana Melaver

56 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


RISING AMONG RUINS,

DANCING AMID BULLETS

Photographs by Maryam Ashrafi

Preface by Gary Knight

Hemeria, 2021 | 252 pages | 65 Euros

In reading Rising Among Ruins,

Dancing Amid Bullets, we need

to ask ourselves what is this book

about. Is it about the struggle for Kurdish

autonomy in the Middle East with a

focus on Kurdish women fighters or

is it a book of photographs about the

struggle for Kurdish autonomy in the

Middle East with a focus on Kurdish

women fighters? The former puts the

emphasis on the primacy of the political

history of the Kurds, while the latter

puts the emphasis on works of art on

paper that can touch us in ways that an

alphabet soup of Kurdish political parties

never will.

Ashrafi meets us somewhere in

between but leans towards the former—

an extraordinarily powerful book that

educates us about the complicated, divisive,

violent, and sometimes inspirational

recent history of the world’s largest ethnic

minority without a nation. And to do so,

she presents us with outstanding and

important photos of her journeys through

Kurdistan during the recent wars in Iraq

and Syria.

The book’s preface by Gary

Knight—co-founder of the VII photo

agency—focuses on the meaning of the

photographic images and particularly

the importance of Ashrafi’s images of

women in conflict. Other essays are more

focused on Kurdish political aspirations.

But no one comments on the artfulness

of Ashrafi’s images and how they can

provide a deeper understanding of the

drama of humanity.

In 352 pages of black and white photographs

and essays, we are intimately

brought into the centuries-old struggle for

Kurdish autonomy in the Middle East.

More interestingly, Ashrafi focuses on

the Women’s Protection Unit (YPJ) and

their adherence to Abdullah Ocalan,

the leader of the Kurdistan Worker’s

Party (PKK), who has been imprisoned

in Turkey since 1999. A former Marxist-

Leninist, Ocalan now embraces the

ideas of an obscure American anarchist,

Murray Bookchin, and his theory of libertarian

communalism to “build an egalitarian

ecological, profoundly democratic,

and tolerant society in which women can

finally live in fulfillment.”

At great personal risk, Ashrafi travels

through the region and makes remarkable

photos and portraits of Kurdish women

fighters from the YPJ, soldiers from Syrian

Democratic Forces (SDF), Yazidi women

and children who escaped genocide on

Mt. Sinjar, fighters from Free Women’s

Units (YJA), Peshmerga fighters, refugees

from across the region, and others.

Ashrafi’s work compares to similar

efforts such as Robert Capa and Gerda

Taro’s documentation of the Spanish

Civil War (often compared to the recent

Kurdish quest for autonomy); or Susan

Meiselas’s, Nicaragua, about the

Sandinista revolt in 1979 against the dictatorial

Somoza dynasty. The significance

of the work by Capa, Taro, and Meiselas

is that they are each an equal balance

between the aesthetic brilliance of the

images and the context of these images.

In the case of Ashrafi, her work leans

more towards the latter—the context.

It is interesting that in an interview with

Ashrafi in the book, she seems dismissive

of one of her seminal photos —an

extraordinary portrait of a member of the

Women’s Projection Units mourning at

the grave of Ageri, a martyred comrade.

While Ashrafi recognizes that this photo

could be iconic, she sidelines it because

she cannot accept that her subject’s

This Arab woman returned to Tabqa with her family

after the liberation of the city. In her 40s, and a mother

of 9 children, she had no choice but to live in an abandoned

building with her family, as their house was

destroyed during the war against ISIS.

beauty may detract from the viewer’s

understanding of the tragic reality of

this funeral. Ashrafi cannot quite accept

the magic of her own images and how

powerful they can be to communicate a

very human moment that transcends the

complex political subtexts described by

the other essayists in the book.

The book presents us with a deep

historical context, but again we are faced

with the question: are Ashrafi’s photos

illustrating these essays or are the essays

providing context that the photographs

just cannot provide on their own? That is

the crux of the problem, but perhaps it

is too much to demand from one book.

In the end, these are extraordinary

photographs not seen elsewhere, supported

by important political history. After

reading this book, you will walk away

appreciating the brave accomplishments

of Ashrafi, the beauty and tragedy of

the Kurdish people as they continue their

struggle for freedom, and the uniquely

misunderstood revolutionary ideology

of Bookchin, Ocalan, and the Women’s

Protection Units that are transforming

gender relations in a part of the world

that is otherwise known for its harsh and

inhumane treatment of women.

—Glenn Ruga

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 57


THE EYES OF EARTH

Photographs by Solmaz Daryani

Winner of the 2021 FotoEvidence W Award

FotoEvidence, 2021 | 128pp | 45 Euros

English/French/Farsi

One of the most powerful ways

to understand climate change

is through the telling of deeply

personal stories that reflect on what’s at

stake. Solmaz Daryani’s powerful book

about the desiccation of Lake Urmia in

Iran, once the largest lake in the Middle

East and the sixth largest saltwater

lake in the world, does just that. Like

many Iranian families, Daryani grew

up spending her summers by the shores

of Lake Urmia where her grandparents

ran a thriving tourism business in

Sharafkhaneh port on the northwest side

of the lake. But now, it is all gone.

In an opening essay by Amir

AghaKouchak, he recounts how he cried

when seeing the photographs of the dry

lakebeds. In 1998, the lake was healthy

and people swam and sailed on it. Due

to drought and increased water demand

leading to mismanaged land use and

the building of dams, Lake Urmia has

decreased to half its former size, greatly

reducing the agricultural output of what

was once a fertile area full of fruit trees

and flowers.

Another essay by Manoocher Deghati,

who also edited the photographs,

recounts his own childhood memories of

the joys of floating on the lake with family

and how each of them used to “carry a

cucumber for rubbing our eyes when they

started to burn due to the high concentration

of salt in the water. Then we would

eat them. I still keep the memory of that

incredible taste of those salty cucumbers

in my mind. At the time, it felt eternal and

endless.”

Daryani visually captures the sad

reckoning of life’s limitations and how

things can go terribly wrong if we don’t

pay attention. As she writes, the loss of

the lake “is much more than an environmental

tragedy. It is an emotional wound

in people’s memory… it is part of our

identity. We can only hope it is not lost

forever.”

The salt and mineral-rich mud of Lake Urmia, seen here in 2017, are reputed to have healing properties,

especially for skin and rheumatic afflictions.

Book cover

In this beautiful book, Daryani alternates

between black and white archival

snapshots of the lake in its heyday—

ships coming into the port and families

swimming and enjoying the beach—with

current color images of the decaying lake

with its rusted out boat hulls, litter, and

dead tree stumps. She devotes an entire

page to a photo of an abandoned flamingo

statue, a relic from the tourist days.

A carcass of a dead bird is one of the

larger photos. The lake was once a large

natural habitat for migrating birds.

The wide white borders around the

photos evoke fading memory. Sometimes

there are blank white pages, heightening

the sense of emptiness and loss. Just

like the receding sea—there will soon

be nothingness, she seems to warn. Like

a child’s diary, the captions are written

in pencil in Daryani’s neat handwriting.

The tones of most of the images are cool

and blue, much like the turquoise of the

lake, except for warmer spreads in the

center that show the deep red algae that

has taken over. Portions of photographs

are scattered randomly on the corners of

the pages, like the piecemeal images that

come and go in dreams.

A foreboding feeling prevails throughout

the book as Daryani slowly reveals

more details from her childhood. Some

photos do not have captions and their

context is revealed in a gatefold pull-out

near the back containing more handwritten

notes.

The book is dedicated to her grandmother,

Narges Qasempoor, who, in

addition to managing the family’s successful

tourism business, dedicated herself to

the environment, planting over 800 trees.

Narges appears in several powerful

portraits, the most of any one subject. She

died from COVID-19 while the book was

being written.

In the end, the lake and her grandmother

are one and they represent

Mother Nature and how we must heed

the call to save her. The book ends on a

hopeful note—a large photo of a bride

and groom dancing at their wedding. It

is warmly lit and could be from a fairy

tale. This lovely, poetic book stayed with

me for days, just like a dream that I didn’t

want to end.

—Barbara Ayotte

58 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


AMERICAN GEOGRAPHY

Photographs by Matt Black

Thames and Hudson, 2021

169 pages | $75

Matt Black’s epic on poverty,

American Geography—a five

year, 100,000 mile bus and

car journey across 46 states only visiting

towns with a poverty rate exceeding

20%—is a 21 st century Let Us Now

Praise Famous Men with Black playing

the roles of both James Agee and Walker

Evans. Like the Agee-Evans book, often

it is Black’s text, pulled from his daily

travel notebooks, that is the most compelling.

He writes “The truck stop dining

room smelled of fungus.” Or “She’s sick,

sneezes into her hand, and apologizes

as she bags my lunch.” Or “He finishes

the bag [of Cheetos] and picks his teeth

with a plastic fork.” So if you are tempted

to gloss over the text, don’t.

As might be expected from Thames

and Hudson, the book design and printing

are exquisite. It is printed in duotone on

extra heavy paper so it’s tactile. You are

compelled to run your hands over the

pages to feel the photographs. The matte

black cover with the title debossed in shiny

black is not inviting. It is confrontational,

but then a book about poverty should be.

The front and back matter list in running

text every town Black visited. The design

respects the image: one per page, or one

panoramic full bleed across two pages,

with the requisite number of blank white

left hand pages to give the book some air.

The volume has four chapters based on

the four geographic quadrants: South and

West, South and East, North and East,

and North and West. Excerpts of Black’s

notebooks, with entries identified by day,

date, town and state end each chapter.

It features 77 photographs and collages

of found items: crumpled and flattened

cigarette packs, what could be a television

antenna fashioned from a wire clothes

hanger, plastic cutlery, and handwritten

signs: Army Vet Homeless Humiliated

Sorry if I Offend Anyone; Hungry;

Anything Helps; Losing the Game of Life.

These signs connect us more to the people

than Black’s images do.

Allensworth, California.

El Paso, Texas.

And that’s the problem with this book.

Black has said he “documented the

experiences of those living in poor communities,”

but his images are snippets of

places more than experiences of people.

The images are bleak and empty: empty

streets, boarded up businesses, barren

landscapes, detritus, the remnants of

industry, a shiny balloon on the filthy floor

of a filthy room. Very few feature people,

and fewer still faces of people. When

present at all, people are usually small

abstracted elements (often silhouetted) of

composition, oddly often placed dead

center in the frame. The images give us

little information about a life lived in precarity.

We only learn that from the text:

Irene, 81, says she once walked 30 miles

to pick up $49 worth of food stamps;

Jeremiah sells blood to make ends meet;

Andy, 73, lives in a house with no running

water or electricity, his $770 month

Social Security his only income; Ken, 70,

who because he lives alone in Maine in

a one room shack heated

only by an old electric

heater, will get himself

arrested when the temperature

drops, because

at least in jail he will be

warm and fed.

Black’s images are

dark, literally and metaphorically.

His characteristic

aesthetic—from his

newspaper days shooting

in bright California sun—

is contrasty; pushed exposures;

blown out highlights; and deep,

dark grays and solid blacks where detail

should be. Black says, “To me, that’s just

how photographs look.”

The problem is this is not how life

looks, not really, not even for those living

in poverty. Black and white photography

abstracts reality for sure, but in these

images, black and white also strips the

details of life.

Even people living in poverty find

joy and small pleasures in life, just not

in Black’s America, where people are

invisible and interchangeable. Maybe

that is the point and a perfect metaphor

for the experience of poverty in America,

which ranks 27 th on the World Economic

Forum’s Global Social Mobility Index.

We lost the War on Poverty a long time

ago. Statistics suggest that if you’re born

poor here you usually stay poor. But even

this is not new or surprising. More than

100 years ago, lyricists Gus Kahn and

Richard B. Egan wrote in their song Ain’t

We Got Fun:

There’s nothing surer

The rich get rich and the poor get

children

In the meantime, in between time

Ain’t we got fun.

—Michelle Bogre

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 59


BRIEFLY

NOTED

COMPILED BY MARISSA FIORUCCI

CAMPESINO CUBA

By Richard Sharum

Gost Books, 2021 | 208 pages | $60

to eighty-five who have spent their entire

lives living, raising families, and toiling

the land in the most remote regions

of their country. Campesino Cuba was

awarded an Honorable Mention for the

2021 ZEKE Award for Documentary

Photography.

THE WEATHER IS FINE

By Benedikt Partenheimer

Hatje Cantz, 2021 | 128 pages | $65

BETWEEN GIRLS

By Karen Marshall

Kehrer Verlag, 2021 | 268 pages | $50

We all know Cuba as that

land of classic but disintegrating

American cars, Fidel

Castro, cigars, colorful architecture,

and béisbol. Yet all of these stereotypes

are centered on the nation’s few urban

centers, even though 85 percent of

Cuba is rural. Dallas-based documentary

photographer Richard Sharum

takes us into this seldom-shown world

in Campesino Cuba. Over a four-year

period, Sharum traveled across rural

Cuba, exploring the lives of these

isolated farmers and their relationship

to the land. In 106 duotone images,

Sharum captures the lush tropical landscapes,

the rhythms of daily life, and

the people at work and play. The result

is a rich document of life in the countryside

at a time of transition when the

younger generation is leaving in search

of wider opportunities in the cities.

The book includes essays by Cuban

historian Aldo Daniel Naranjo and writer

Domingo Cuza Pedrera as well as the

powerful voices of six Campesino men

and women ranging in age from nineteen

Not only do we live in a period

of rapid, exciting change, but

we are also in the midst of the

Anthropocene age. The environment

and climate are transforming in the

wake of human-driven turbo-capitalism.

Benedikt Partenheimer’s work, The

Weather is Fine, makes it possible to

imagine—sensorily as well as contextually—the

close connection and increasing

imbalance between humans and

the earth. Photographs of fascinating,

impressive elegance reveal processes of

ecological and cultural transformation.

What makes these pictures so irresistible

is the human influence factor: the

painterly mist of air pollution floating

above urban panoramas, the ambivalence

of mountain reflections in melted

glacier water. The price of beauty is

inscribed into each image, rendering

Partenheimer’s work aesthetically intriguing—but

above all, existentially important

and politically controversial.

Benedikt Partenheimer studied photography

at the RMIT University, Melbourne,

and Parsons School of Design, New York.

His work has been shown around the

world and showered with awards. He

lives in Berlin.

In 1985, Karen Marshall began

photographing a group of teenagers

in New York City. Her intent was

to look at the emotional bonding that

happens between teenage girls and

to document the emblematic relationships

that often develop at this time in

their lives. Ten months later, Molly, one

of the girls in the group, was hit by a

car and killed. Marshall resolved to

keep the project going and continued

to photograph the girls in various ways

over the years. Although Molly would

forever remain 17, the other girls would

become women. Between Girls evolved

into a thirty-year meditation on women’s

friendships.

Karen Marshall is the recipient of

grants and support from private foundations.

Her photographs have been

exhibited internationally and are part

of several collections. She is the Chair

of the Documentary Practice and Visual

Journalism program at The International

Center of Photography in New York City.

60 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


DADS

By Bart Heynen

powerHouse Books, 2021

152 pages | $50

Ever since 2015, when same-sex

marriage became legal across

the U.S., we've witnessed a baby

boom in the gay community. Through

adoption or the help of surrogates and

egg donors, gay men are able to make

their dream come true and start a family

of their own.

Dads is a journey into gay fatherhood

in the United States. The daily lives of

more than 40 families are portrayed by

Belgian photographer Bart Heynen in

this beautifully printed collection. As the

babies grow into adults and the fathers

grow older throughout the book, we are

reminded that families come in many

different sizes, colors, and shapes. To say

it in the words of Harvey Fierstein: ‘Love,

commitment, and family are not heterosexual

experiences, not heterosexual

words, they are human words and they

belong to all people.’

“A stunning portrait of dads with their

babies…The looks and gazes on the

faces of both the babies and dads is spot

on—a mixture, of curiosity and pride.”

—Martin Parr

AS WE RISE: Photography

from the Black Atlantic

By The Wedge Collection. Preface by

Teju Cole. Introduction by Mark Sealy.

Interviewer Liz Ikiriko.

Aperture, 2021 | 184 pages | $50

As We Rise presents an exciting

compilation of photographs

from African diasporic culture.

With over one hundred works by Black

artists from Canada, the Caribbean,

Great Britain, the United States, South

America, as well as throughout the

African continent, this volume provides

a timely exploration of Black identity on

both sides of the Atlantic.

As Teju Cole describes in his preface,

“Too often in the larger culture, we see

images of Black people in attitudes of

despair, pain, or brutal isolation. As

We Rise gently refuses that. It is not that

people are always in an attitude of celebration—no,

that would be a reverse but

corresponding falsehood—but rather that

they are present as human beings, credible,

fully engaged in their world.” Drawn

from Dr. Kenneth Montague’s Wedge

Collection in Toronto—a Black-owned

collection dedicated to artists of African

descent—As We Rise looks at the multifaceted

ideas of Black life through the

lenses of community, identity, and power.

Artists such as Stan Douglas, LaToya

Ruby Frazier, Barkley L. Hendricks, Texas

Isaiah, Liz Johnson Artur, Seydou Keïta,

Deana Lawson, Jamel Shabazz, and

Carrie Mae Weems, touch on themes of

agency, beauty, joy, belonging, subjectivity,

and self-representation. Writings by

Isolde Brielmaier, Ugochukwu-Smooth C.

Nzewi, Mark Sealy, Teka Selman, and

Deborah Willis among others provide

insight and commentary on this monumental

collection.

DISCLOSURE – RWANDAN

CHILDREN BORN OF RAPE

By Jonathan Torgovnik

Akaaka Art Publishing, 2020

114 pages | $50

There have been studies of the

effects of conflict based rape on

women, but no one has studied

the effects on the children born of that

type of brutal and violent rape. Jonathan

Torgovnik’s new book Disclosure:

Rwandan Children Born of Rape

attempts that. During the 1994 genocide

in Rwanda, women were brutalized by

soldiers using rape as a weapon of war

and almost 20,000 children were born

as a result of these rapes, a fact kept

from them for a long time.

Torgovnik wanted to explore the

multi-generational impact of being

born of genocidal rape so he returned

to Rwanda in 2018 during the 25th

anniversary of the genocide to revisit

some of the families he had interviewed

and photographed in 2006 for his first

book, Intended Consequences: Rwandan

Children Born of Rape. This time he interviewed

both mothers and children —now

young adults who know the circumstances

of their birth. Together, the interviews

and pairs of images— portraits of mother

and child and individual portraits of the

children, one current and the original

from 2006—uncover a difficult reality of

deep trauma and the effects of genocide

but also a story of hope and forgiveness

and fragility and strength.

ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 61


Contributors

Barbara Ayotte is the editor of ZEKE magazine

and the Communications Director of the Social

Documentary Network. She has served as a

senior strategic communications strategist, writer

and activist for leading global health, human

rights and media nonprofit organizations, including

the Nobel Peace Prize- winning Physicians for

Human Rights and International Campaign to Ban

Landmines.

Michelle Bogre currently holds the title of

Professor Emerita from Parsons School of Design

in New York after a 25-year career teaching

almost every type of photography class. She

is also a copyright lawyer, documentary

photographer and author of four books, with

work published in various other books. She is

currently trying to finish a long-term documentary

project on family farms – @thefarmstories on

Instagram – among other projects.

Caterina Clerici is an Italian journalist and producer

based in New York. She graduated from

Columbia University’s Journalism School and is a

grantee of the European Journalism Centre for her

work in Haiti, Ghana and Rwanda. She worked

as a photo editor and VR producer at TIME, and

as an executive producer at Blink.la.

Daniela Cohen is a freelance journalist and

non-fiction writer of South African origin currently

based in Vancouver, Canada. Her work has been

published in New Canadian Media, Canadian

Immigrant, The Source Newspaper, and is

upcoming in Living Hyphen. Daniela’s work

focuses on themes of displacement and belonging,

justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. She

is also the co-founder of Identity Pages, a youth

writing mentorship program.

Marissa Fiorucci is a freelance photographer

in Boston, MA. She is former studio manager

for photographer Mark Ostow and worked

on projects including portraits of the Obama

Cabinet for Politico. She specializes in corporate

portraits and events, but remains passionate

about documentary.

Journalist, climate activist, and political scientist,

Sarah Fretwell, works as a multimedia

storyteller. Her work focuses on the intersection

of the environment, people, and business with

one question: What if the new bottom line

was love? Her award-winning photojournalism

creates the human connection that engages

people on a personal level. Some of her notable

work and clients include the BioCarbon Fund,

United Nations, and USAID.

Virginia Hanusik is an artist whose projects

explore the relationship between landscape,

culture, and the built environment. Her work

has been exhibited internationally, featured

in various publications and events. She has

lectured at institutions including New York

University about landscape representation

and the visual narrative of climate change.

On The Water Collaborative of Greater New

Orleans board of directors, she coordinates

multi-disciplinary projects on the climate

crisis.

Antonia Juhasz is a New Orleans-based

author and investigative journalist focused

on energy and climate. Her writing appears

in Rolling Stone, National Geographic, The

Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, The New York

Times, and many more outlets. She is the author

of three books, most recently, Black Tide on the

BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of

Mexico. She is a Monroe Fellow at the Center

for the Gulf South at Tulane University, where

she also teaches. Antonia is a former Bertha

Investigative Journalism Fellow.

Dana Melaver is a writer and artist. Her work

is rooted in the belief that everything is interesting,

and often acts as a bridge among art,

thought, and the sciences. Dana's most recent

projects include an experimental documentary

about sustainable aquaculture, and an ode to the

mischievous qualities of light.

Artist, educator, and environmental activist,

Carolyn Monastra received a BA from Fordham

University and an MFA from the Yale School of

Art. Her awards include various grants and artist

residencies, including at Skaftfell Visual Arts

Center in Iceland, which inspired her to focus

on the climate crisis. Her photographs are in the

Marguiles and Johnson & Johnson Collection

and have been exhibited in venues in various

countries.

Roberto Nistri is an International Photography

Awards Winner from Rome who began as

a “pure and hard” wildlife photographer

and then extended his focus to travel and

documentary photography. He has focused on

the documentation of ethnic groups and peoples

who are threatened by progress and particular

political and social conditions in Ethiopia,

India, North Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina,

Burkina Faso and Lebanon, among others.

An Italian documentary photographer focused

on environmental and social issues, Giacomo

d’Orlando moved to Nepal and Peru to enter

the world of photojournalism and was inspired

to concentrate on the environment while in

Australasia. His projects have appeared in

The Washington Post, among others. Today,

his work looks at how the increasing pressures

caused by climate change are reshaping the

planet and how present-day society is reacting.

Lauren Owens Lambert is a conservation

photographer and video journalist based in the

Boston area focused on documenting the human

aspect of conservation, climate change and our

relationship with the natural world during the age

of the Anthropocene. An International League of

Conservation Photographer with work published

in National Wildlife Magazine and others,

Lauren has also presented at the United Nations

on the importance of visual storytelling.

During his PhD at the University of Cambridge.

Mark Phillips developed multi-perspective

approaches to understanding emerging and

complex systems. That research approach informs

his current photography projects, largely focused

on ‘constructive’ stories about people and groups

taking action to address societal problems,

with current emphasis on the environment and

sustainability. His work has been featured in

various major publications and exhibitions in UK,

USA, and Europe.

Andi Rice is an award-winning photographer

based in Birmingham, AL. He began his career at

a young age photographing live music and events

and has since pivoted into covering racial and

social justice issues for various publications and

producers across the country. He thrives on telling

the stories of people through portraiture.

Michael O. Snyder is a photographer and

filmmaker who uses his combined knowledge

of visual storytelling and conservation to create

narratives that drive social impact. Michael is a

Portrait of Humanity Award Winner, a Climate

Journalism Fellow at the Bertha Foundation, a

Blue Earth Alliance Photographer, a National

Geographic Contributor, and a Resident Artist

at the McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville,

Virginia, among others.

Maranie Rae Staab is an independent photographer,

videographer and journalist. Her work

focuses on human rights and social justice issues,

displacement, social movements, and the impact

of conflict on individuals and society. Maranie

strives for visual intimacy, to establish the trust

necessary to get close to people and to then

share their experience with others. A 2020

Pulitzer Center Reporting Fellowship recipient,

Maranie is an alumni of the Eddie Adams

Workshop, and winner of the 2019 Best of

Photojournalism Emerging Vision prize, among

others.

Chris Trinh is a Vietnamese-American

photojournalist and documentary photographer.

Their work primarily focuses on migration, social

justice, and how climate change and colonialism

impact people of the global majority. Chris'

photos have been published in Vice, El País, Grist

and elsewhere.

Kiliii Yuyan illuminates stories of the Arctic and

human communities connected to the land and

sea. Informed by both Nanai/Hèzhé (East Asian

Indigenous) and Chinese-American ancestry, he

explores the human relationship to the natural

world from different cultural perspectives and

extreme environments, on land and underwater.

One of PDN’s 30 Photographers (2019), Kiliii

is an award-winning contributor to National

Geographic, TIME, and other major publications.

62 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


ZEKE SPRING 2022/ 63


ZEKE

SPRING

THE MAGAZINE OF GLOBAL DOCUMENTARY

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Since 2008, SDN has featured more than 4,000 exhibits on its

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64 / ZEKE SPRING 2022


PROFILE

Antonia Juhasz

Author of "Sustainable Solutions to

the Climate Crisis

By Daniela Cohen

New Orleans-based author and investigative

journalist Antonia Juhasz aims

to “move readers to see themselves as

active participants in the events that

shape their own and other people’s lives,”

hold bad actors to account, and present

solutions to pressing problems.

With a focus on energy and climate, for

her, reporting has been a tangible way to

immediately be of service.

Juhasz’s passion for this work is obvious,

with early roots including time in

her 20’s as a legislative assistant in the U.S.

Congress, where she experienced firsthand

the harmful and undue influence of certain

corporations over the country’s policy

process. Her determination to confront

this evolved into a focus on oil companies,

particularly during the Bush administration

and the Iraq war. Later, she noticed how

most of the reporting on the oil industry

was done by finance journalists, many of

whose coverage was limited by interdependent

relationships with the companies they

reported on and did not include investigating

broader impacts on human health,

environment, politics, human rights, war

and peace, and climate.

“I wanted to apply a holistic approach

to look at fossil fuels through all of these

lenses,” says Juhasz. “And in particular, the

impacts on people on the ground and what

their experiences were, what their stories

were, what their struggles were, and to

report from this full 360-degree lens.”

As the climate crisis worsened, the scope

of Juhasz’s reporting widened to focus on

climate and energy more broadly to address

the scope of both the problem and the

various environmental justice movements

working towards solutions.

Writing “Sustainable Solutions to the

Climate Crisis” provided her with a refreshing

opportunity to focus fully on solutions.

Although Juhasz includes the perspectives

of people on the frontlines who are pushing

back, in her writing there is often limited

opportunity to include their solutions.

“I so often feel it is important to

explain and hold to account things that

have gone wrong and bad actors and

bad outcomes,” says Juhasz. “But it really

behooves us to spend the same amount of

time and attention, if not more, on all of

the incredible work that people are doing,

Antonia Juhasz reporting for Newsweek on local

Indigenous resistance to Shell's offshore oil plans.

On the tip of the Alaskan Arctic in Wainwright.

Photo© 2015 Gary Braasch

to put forward the solutions and actively

living the solutions.”

The interviewees in “Sustainable

Solutions to the Climate Crisis,” women of

color on the frontlines of the energy and

climate crisis, were keen to focus on that.

Each reiterated that they have solutions

to the climate crisis, but far too often their

voices are not heard, or when they are, they

are not supported with funding or policy to

make these changes or to keep bad actors from

interfering with what they are already doing.

Juhasz hopes to leave readers knowing that

we have the solutions to confront the climate

crisis, as well as the inspiration and resources to

get involved in implementing them.

ZEKE

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