STORIES
STORIES
Some 200 "Sans Papiers" in the Saint Jean Baptiste du Béguinage church in Brussels and another 180 in two cafetarias on the VUB (Vlaamse Universiteit Brussel) and the ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles) are demonstrating by occupying the sites since the beginning of February in an attempt to obtain a regularisation of their status. Almost all of them have or had a job, pay a rent and have spent several years if not decades in Belgium without obtaining a legal status, thus preventing them to open a bank account or have access to unemployment or a pension. Their financial situation was heavily impacted by Covid-19, when more precarious job situations were lost, leaving them without an income. Similar demonstrations in 1999 and 2009 have led to mass regularisations, but the change in the political balance, with the current government risking to loose voices to the ever more present extreme right in the Flemish part of the country by taking a soft stance, make things less obvious this time. After more than 100 days of occupying the sites, the demonstrators have started a hunger strike on May 23rd.
66 days, 18,500 kilometers, ten countries and almost 100 flight hours. With his impressive aerial photographs, the photographer wants to show how important it is to protect Africa's most important resource.

Florian Wagner
Psychodrug or medical natural remedy? -
Ayahuasca, previously known primarily for religious ceremonies in South America, is also finding more and more fans in Europe.

Irina Werning
From May 4 to September 22, the Galleria d’Italia will be hosting the exhibition «Fragile Wonder. A journey in changing nature.» by Paolo Pellegrin, dedicated to climate issues. The photoreportage is the outcome of a commission by Intesa Sanpaolo and led Paolo to from Iceland to Namibia, from Greenland to Costa Rica. Featuring audios, videos and photos, the exhibition showcases Pellegrin's talent in showing the beauty and force of nature and its relationship to humankind.

The exhibition (May 27 - September 2, 2022) has been curated by Walter Guadagnini with the contribution of Mario Calabresi.

Edited by Walter Guadagnini.
Published in 2022
ISBN: 978-88-572-4831-8
160 pages
With Kaing Geak Eauv, alias ‘Duch’, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan are the only three former Khmer Rouge leaders who were condemned by the ECCC (Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia) for the atrocities committed during the Maoist inspired agrarian revolution in Cambodia which killed nearly 2 million people between 1975 and 1979. Ieng Thirith and her husband Ieng Sary, as well as Ta Mok, died in custody during or before their trial. John Vink extensively covered the backstage of the trial of Duch, the infamous head of the S21 interrogation center where 15000 people were tortured and executed. He also photographed the locations where the Khmer Rouge leaders spent their youth, places where atrocities were perpetrated as well as various locations and people related to the trial. 'Duch' was sentenced to life and the verdict for the two remaining accused, Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea, will be the only ones to be found guilty of the genocide.
The workshop of the National Museum of Phnom Penh, assisted by Bertrand Porte from the EFEO, restores the VIIth century triptych found in the 1930’s at the Phnom Da temple in Cambodia’s Takeo province. This pre-Angkorian sculpture consists of three figures: Rama on the left, Vichnu in the middle and Balarama on the right. The 2,8m high central figure of Vichnu was found in the ruins of the temple, broken into 17 pieces. Archaeologists reassembled the sculptures, but because the several tons of weight of the stone statue are too much for the soil underneath the museum, it was decided to dismantle the sculpture so it could be moved and to restore it with more up-to-date techniques, while stronger foundations could be built.
Until it reached the US border in mid-November, the migrant caravan that set out from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on October 12 had largely been a success. Leaving that crime-benighted city with only 160 members, the caravan ballooned to ten times that size by the third day, as people streamed in to join from all over Honduras and neighboring El Salvador. By the time the group reached southern Mexico, having overwhelmed authorities at both the Guatemalan and Mexican borders, the United Nations estimated that there were over 7,000 members—easily the largest caravan yet to come out of Central America. The unprecedented spectacle quickly captured the world’s attention and became a symbol for what is becoming known as the ‘Central American Exodus’—the mass movement of people fleeing staggering, relentless violence and abject poverty in the ‘Northern Triangle’ countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
In the US, however, the caravan was becoming a symbol for something else. Seizing on the optics of 7,000 bedraggled people marching northward as incontrovertible proof that America was under siege by vast mobs of mystery invaders, President Trump turned the caravan into the cornerstone of his pre-midterm election rhetoric.
Mid-November, the caravan arrived in Tijuana, and almost immediately the mood darkened. The migrants saw the US border for the first time: the floodlights, cameras, motion sensors, the two imposing metal walls festooned by razor-sharp concertina wire, the rigorous patrols of the Customs and Border Protection officers.
What remains of the caravan is now living a confused and precarious existence in the shadow of the American border. Trapped between life-threatening violence and an unsympathetic, byzantine US immigration system, the migrants are in limbo—uncertain what lies ahead for themselves and their loved ones, unsure who to trust, and bewildered by the whirlwind of false information and rumors in constant circulation. After a grueling 4,000 kilometer journey, the dream of America is agonizingly close. At the Tijuana beach, where the border fence extends some 100 meters into the Pacific, migrants often walk to the water’s edge and peer through the steel slats of the fence to the US soil on the other side. They can reach through and touch the country that they hope will give them sanctuary, a final respite from the chaos of their homelands. But for now, theirs is only an
American pipe dream, tangible enough to pull at the soul, but illusory enough to crush it.
Rafael Heygster ist der Gewinner des diesjährigen internationalen Fotowettbewerbs "Bird in Flight Prize '21" mit seinem Projekt "Corona Rhapsody - Is This Real Life", das sich mit den Auswirkungen der Pandemie beschäftigt.
Demonstration von Fanatikern und Querulanten gegen die Corona-Verordnungen. 4.000 Bürger, Neonazis, Hooligans, Christen marschierten durch die Innenstadt gesichert durch die Polizei. 03.01.2022. Rostock, MV
Die Göhrde-Morde © Julia Steinigeweg & Lucas Wahl
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, starting from Kisangani, it takes several days to reach the Bavadili mining centre in the Tshopo region in the heart of the Equatorial forest.

Tracks and paths strewn with tall grass, bamboo, palm groves, abandoned rubber tree plantations, swamps, rivers, streams with wooden bridges, pygmy villages and intermittently a long line of vehicles blocked by another mired vehicle for several days, are part of the long journey to reach the camp of artisanal miners who, every day, disseminate men in rubber boots into the bush.

Here children shout “ Chinese, Chinese ” when a very rare stranger passes. Further on Chinese companies are installed. They also extract gold but in other proportions and according to more or less vague rules.

Here the land is worked with a pickaxe, shovel, bar and sweat. Sometimes a small generator powers a pump to help drain stagnated water. Often barefoot in the mud, artisanal diggers called “bouloneurs” (from the French “boulot”, meaning “hard work”) use wooden washing ramps with carpet to collect gold powder. At nightfall, one can come across 13 or 14-year-old boys selling the fruit of their hard work.

The main sectors buying this gold are electronics, jewellery or aeronautics. The diggers know nothing about the route the gold will take after the hinterland counters in Isiro or Bunia. It is said that 98% of the artisanal gold produced in the D.R.Congo is exported illegally.

In recent months the gold rate has continued to rise, partly because it acts as a safe investment when there are many international tensions.

The EU regulation on responsible supply of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold (3TG) from conflict-affected areas will come into force in 2021. However, the first implementing measures currently under discussion by Member States risk diluting the effectiveness of the regulation by hiding the list of companies subject to it.
The eastern Horn of Africa region has experienced drought conditions following consecutive poor seasons since late 2020 leading to significant impacts on production, vegetation, water resources, food insecurity and livelihoods.
Fischsterben auf Rügen © Daniel Müller
Floods in British Colombia © Zied Ben Romdhane
Porträts vom Bayern München Spielmacher Joshua Kimmich fotografiert von Armin Smailovic.
Covid-19 during the Easter celebrations in Mexico City.
The 1986 football World Cup in Mexico was won by Argentina against Germany, with the help of God’s hand, i.e. the hand of Diego Maradona. Belgium finished 4th.
Golden-yellow mountain ranges, spectacular desert landscapes, souks, incense winds and fascinating encounters in the traditional Sultanate of Oman.

Jonas Wresch
From the book "EUROPE"

Thomas Dworzak / Magnum Photos
River bank erosion along the Ganges in Malda and Murshidabad district, India is a long issue that people are dealing with for decades. But in recent years many villages have seen a massive increase in erosion. Villages like China Bazar, Birnagar, and Lalupur are a few of those areas. Hundreds of people have lost their homes overnight and have taken refuge in open places or someone else's house or government schools. Many people, whose houses were close to the riverbank, have started to demolish their houses willingly so that they can recover whatever is possible before the river engulfs everything down. The area is observing a higher rate of migration. Obstruction of the natural flow of the river Ganga dates back to the inauguration of Farakka Barrage which was commissioned by the Indian government in 1975, is one of the root causes of this natural disaster. Experts suggest the Farakka barrage, blocks the path of the sediment which leads to a rise in the river bed level and forces the river to change its path. Now changing patterns in rain because of climate change are making the situation more severe.
Armin Smailovic porträtiert Slavoj Žižek, ein aus Slowenien stammender Philosoph, Kulturkritiker und Theoretiker der lacanianischen Psychoanalyse. Ljubljana, Slowenien. 28.05.2019.
Rescue of refugees at Europe's borders.

Lucas Wahl
The Tour de France is a mythical bicycle race, made of blood, sweat and mostly tarmac. Each year it attracts millions of spectators, scattered along the roads of France to see their heroes pass by in a whizzing flash. It would be the last victory of Bernard Hinault.
As Rio de Janeiro prepared to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Summer Olympic games in 2016, an enormous transformation was supposed to take place in the so-called “Marvelous City.”

But in the decade between 2007—when Rio won its FIFA bid—and 2016, when the Olympics took place, 46,750 homicides occurred in the city’s metropolitan area.

When I think about Rio during those years, these are the things that come to mind: That it is named for a river that doesn’t exist; that the city’s religious patron is a saint, George, who carries a spear, who is the icon of today’s policemen and thugs, who carry assault weapons; that the police are ordinary men who drive modest cars home with pistols tucked between their legs, and that more are killed in the line of duty than from any other police force in the world. Dozens are shot at point-blank range when they are on their way to punch the clock and the gangsters, who hate them, see their badges shining.

Fernando, who is called by the authorities “the big trafficker,” lives hidden in his stuffy brick house, surrounded by bodyguards, unable to leave his favela.

André, a firefighter, drives his motorcycle to work early in the morning and then dons a yellow uniform and roams the streets, collecting the bodies of people murdered the night before. Ana Paula continues to go into her son’s bedroom in the hope of seeing him again, and ends up remembering how beautiful he was before the police mistook him for a drug trafficker and killed him outside her door.

Leslie, a police reporter, says goodbye to his daughters and leaves home before dawn, already wearing his bulletproof vest. The policemen he accompanies on their patrols and raids kill more than a thousand poor young black men every year and say they all tried to resist arrest.
On Saturday in New York City and all around the United States, people rallied and marched in the sreets to protest the apparent plan by the Republican nominated majority on the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe VS Wade, which had guaranteed abortion rights to three generations of Americans. Surveys of the American public have consistently shown that a majority support the right to abortion. There were multiple rallies and marches in New York City, including this one that started in Union Square and then marched in the rain downtown to Foley Square.
The Seventeen-year cicada "Brood X" emerged across New Jersey and the Eastern United States in early May this year. These cicadas are at Updike Farmstead, in Princeton, New Jersey.
POLAND. Warsaw 06 November 2021. "Not one more. March for Iza" The march organized by Women's Strike after the death of 30-year-old Izabela who died of septic shock following the death of the fetus. Due to the restrictive abortion pregnant women's lives will be at risk in critical cases.
Gaza has been isolated for about eight years now, as a result of the blockade imposed by Israel. But it is a land so tiny and poor of resources, that it remains totally dependent from the “exterior,” even just to feed its population.
The main resource for survival, water, makes no exception.
In the past, the underground was the primary source for drinking water, but years ago the over-exploited coastal aquifer started absorbing water from the polluted sea, contaminating the little fresh water remained intact.
On this issue, the United Nation released a dramatic report in the summer of 2012, which indicated 2020 as the point of no return. At that time all the underground water in Gaza would be contaminated by chemicals, nitrates and chloride, since long enough to loose the aquifer forever. By the same year, population will increase by 500,000, multiplying the need for purified water.
But desalination cannot be considered a long-term solution because the filtering system produces something very close to distilled water, which isn’t appropriate for human consumption, as it sucks precious minerals from the body tissues.
Nevertheless, at present, municipalities are unable to provide drinking water to their citizens, so people have to buy it privately. Filtered water may cost up to 4,5 dollars for cubic meter, and of course barely a few can afford to buy it.
These are emergency measures, and there’s something big missing in the equation. Power, electricity, fuels.
After Protective Edge operation on the summer of 2014, many water and electricity infrastructures were severely damaged, causing a serious emergency in the immediate aftermath.
Almost one year later, the path to recovery has still to be found.
In 2012, when UN report was released, Gazians were already struggling to secure a decent living.
Of the 1.8 million people living in Gaza nearly two-thirds are dependent on
aid in some form or another.
In this economic disaster, sanitation becomes a real, huge issue for everybody. Awareness is spreading among people who are starting to be concerned for their health.
In absence of treatment, sewage runs a very similar circle to water, and, at the end of it, the mix ends up being pumped back to everybody’s tap. In absence of huge and very exceptional investments this process can’t be broken. Living standards are obviously facing fast and constant degradation.
And it is quite disappointing to notice the laws of market and greed seem prevailing in the Strip, as everywhere else. Even here, where almost no one can enter. Even here, where all the differences are flattened by common, very poor, unhuman conditions. Even here, where passionate solidarity should be a must for all.
Gazians are just like living deads walking toward what now seems to be an inevitable destiny of misery.
Something has to change, forcefully and rapidly, otherwise all will be lost. The survival a generation, the youngest one, the most numerous, fragile and exposed, is under threat.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on health care and society in Belgium.