Belarus Uprising

Belarus is considered by many to be Europe’s last dictatorship. The president, Alexander Lukashenko, has been in power since 1994. He rules the country with authoritarian laws that have stifled free speech, political activism, and press freedom. On August 9th 2020 a presidential election was held in #Belarus. Despite there being a strong democratic opposition for the first time in years—with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya—Lukashenko somehow won with 80% of the vote. Almost immediately evidence of vote-rigging was shared online. That same night, the people of Belarus took to the streets to protest. Thousands flooded into the country’s capital of Minsk. As this was happening, the government shut down the internet and blocked all the exits to the city. Thousands of riot police were deployed all over Belarus to stop the protest marches. They attacked protesters viciously.

Ambazonia: The Anglophone Crisis

Ambazonia Military Forces General John poses with his bodyguards in Borrere, Cameroon

The Anglophone Crisis, also known as the Ambazonia War, or the Cameroonian Civil War, is a conflict in the Southern Cameroons region of Cameroon. In September 2017, separatists in the Anglophone territories of Northwest Region and Southwest Region (collectively known as Southern Cameroons) declared the independence of Ambazonia and began fighting against the Government of Cameroon. The Ambazonia Military Force (AMF) is one of the handful of Anglophone rebel groups fighting this guerrilla war. The Anglophone Crisis has already seen half a million people displaced since 2016 and it continues to this day. Read full article: here

Arba’een: Inside The World’s Biggest Annual Pilgrimage

Shrine of Husayn ibn Ali, Arba'een 2019. Jonny Pickup Documentary Photographer.

This photographic series documents the world’s largest annual pilgrimage: Arba’een. An event that commemorates the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali (the grandson of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, who was killed by Yazīd on the 10th day of the month of Muharram), and takes place in Karbala, Iraq. This year, over 15-million Shi’a Muslims from all corners of the globe journeyed to the small city of Karbala, Iraq to pay their respects. Every single pilgrim is fed, watered, and sheltered completely for free by the generosity of local and international people throughout Arba’een. The event, which is not organised or facilitated by any official body or government, happens without shortages, any major incident, or terror attack. Pilgrims pass through two holy shrines to complete their journeys. They wave flags and banners and some reenact scenes, while others slap their faces and bodies, but almost everyone weeps – men, women and children alike.

 

Empowered Massai Women

Empowered women help secure future for Tribal communities in Tanzania

Commissioned by African Initiatives, this project documents the changing social structure of the Maasai arising from the empowerment of woman and the education of girls. Images used in their 2020/ 2021 international fundraising campaigns.

African Initiatives is an international development charity working with Maasai, Iraqw, and other indigenous communities in the challenging socio-economic landscape of northern Tanzania. My time was spent with two grassroots charities under the umbrella of African Initiatives: The Ujamaa Community Resource Team (UCRT), and The Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC).

Darjeeling Tea: A Story Of Globalisation

Weighing of the tea, Darjeeling, India

Darjeeling: a story of globalisation‘ documents the intercontinental industry surrounding Darjeeling tea, using a linear narrative to study the growth, production, and sale of this global product. This project aims to highlight current concerns of rapid urbanisation and tourism in Darjeeling. It endeavours to demonstrate globalisation as a consequence of modernity, and incorporates an anthropological investigation into the lives of plantation workers.

Darjeeling’s history is inextricably tied to that of imperial Britain. In 1835 Britain started to develop the tiny Himalayan village of Darjeeling into a commercial trade centre, transforming its population of roughly 100 into 10,000 by 1850. Newly constructed plantations demanded an expansion in workforce, resulting in Nepalese labourers being brought to Darjeeling by the British, enticed by promises of land and payment. Since the independence of India in 1947, Darjeeling has followed the precedent of commercial expansion set by the British, and now supports a population of 130,000, supplemented by a floating population of 350,000 (including domestic and international tourists). Darjeeling is commonly portrayed as a quaint ‘colonial’ mountain village; the reality is a stark contradiction of this depiction. The town is closer in size to a city, closely resembling a  ‘glorified slum’, with pollution and poverty common themes. Darjeeling: a story of globalisation documents the negative effects of rapid urbanisation and tourism within Darjeeling, and highlighting the lack of infrastructure to deal with these pressures.

 

Darjeeling: a story of globalisation engages with issues surrounding the global consumption of tea. The project’s linear narrative spans two continents, opening with tea planning in India, and closing with product sale by multinational corporations such as Tetley in the UK. It deals with contemporary issues surrounding global import and export, including the impact of international trading on global society. Darjeeling: a story of globalisation aims to make the audience question the effect on developing countries of goods consumption on a global scale, most notably how the richest countries that dominate world trade continue to profit at the expense of those developing. Further, the project looks at the environmental impacts of trade, at the inequality of wealth distribution illustrated by low wages and unsatisfactory living/working conditions, and the threat global corporations pose to local domestic industries. Additionally, the project aims to depict the dilution of indigenous culture and traditions, with the eventual result of cultural homogenization.

 

Finally, Darjeeling: a story of globalisation documents an anthropological investigation into the fetishization of female tea pluckers in Darjeeling, and attempts to challenge this contemporary issue. The Tea Board, attempting to enhance the outward authenticity of Darjeeling tea, portray their labourers as material aspects of the ‘tea experience’, and exploit them in advertising campaigns promoting fair-trade and equality. Darjeeling: a story of globalisation aims to deconstruct this widely publicised view, shedding light on the realities of inequality in the tea industry, and challenging the aestheticization of its labourers. In doing so, alludes to contemporary debates surrounding misleading visual representation and the virtue of fair-trade products.

Single Images

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

A collection of stand alone photographs from 2016 onwards.

Portraits

Paulo photographed at Hareabi school in Karatu with his best friend Atanas

A selection of portraits from 2016 onwards.

National Defence Day Belarus

Belarus celebrated a day of national military defence by revisiting historical battles including the Soviet-led military “Rogachev-Zhlobin Offensive”of February 1944 and the Soviet troops retreating from Afghanistan on February 15, 1989 after a decade-long war, where nearly 30,000 Belarusians fought under the Soviet flag. Stalin Line was the heavily fortified western border of the Soviet Union during WWII. In Belarus, a section has been turned into an interactive museum and is home to thousands of Soviet War artifacts including guns, missiles, bombs, fighter planes, and helicopters.

Saudi Blockade: Al Mahra, Yemen

Tribal fighters rally against Saudi in Al Mahra, Yemen

The city of Al Ghaydah, and the wider governorate of Al Mahra, have been spared much of the devastation of Yemen’s civil war. But now, locals say, it is facing an increasingly suffocating blockade by Saudi Arabia – businesses are failing, hospitals are chronically low on supplies, and local fishermen are prevented from leaving the shore. Riyadh justifies the increasingly strict controls on imports coming through Al Mahra on allegations that Iranian backed Houthis rebels are smuggling arms, and missile components through the governorate. They say these come via dhows along the Arabian sea coast, and overland via the border with Oman.

 

Rogue military General Ali Salem Al Hareyz won’t stand for it and is raising a tribal army in response.  He claims they are occupying his country and stealing the sovereignty of his people. The general himself is a bold character; he lives in a luxury caravan equipped with satellite TV and Air Conditioning in the middle of the desert and is just as proud of his herd of camels as he is the militia he is amassing. He told us Riyadh attempted to buy him off with $4.5 million in cash – they bought it in suitcases to his camp. We saw hundreds of men loyal to the general, they claim thousands more from tribes across the east of the country. They often roam the province in huge convoys of fifty or more vehicles, weapons cocked, in an effort to intimidate Saudi Arabian troops. The rhetoric is fierce, Al Mahra govenorate is a tinderbox, an insurgency seems imminent. (Words: Gareth Browne)