mohandasgandhi:

Behind the photograph: the human face of Pakistan’s deadly flood 
It was an image that conveyed the human cost of the Pakistani floods –  and the failure to deliver aid to those affected – more powerfully than  any statistic: four young children lying on a filthy patchwork quilt, one of them sucking on an empty yellow bottle, all of them covered by flies.
The photograph by Associated Press’s Mohammad Sajjad went around the world and featured in the Guardian’s Eyewitness slot last week. The Guardian identified the child with the bottle as  two-year-old Reza Khan and tracked him down to a makeshift camp at a  roadside in Azakhel, some 19 miles from Peshawar, the capital of the  insurgency-plagued province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, bordering Afghanistan.
The  camp is a hotchpotch of about two dozen tents donated by various aid  organisations, but it is run by none. Its residents must fend for  themselves, and rely on the charity of passersby. There are 19 families  here, all of them Afghan refugees: people who were displaced once by  conflict in their homeland have now been displaced again by the  month-long deluge.
Reza’s family is from Butkhak, near the Afghan  capital, Kabul. His father fled the area as a young boy, some 30 years  ago, to escape the cycle of foreign occupation and internecine battles  plaguing his homeland.
When we found him, Reza was in a tent with  his mother, Fatima, who, like most Afghans, has only one name, and six  of his seven siblings, all huddled on a blue blanket extended over the  muddy floor. He was still clutching the same bottle. It was still empty.
Fatima  tried to calm the boy, who cries in a constant, low whimper, as well as  his twin brother, Mahmoud. She covered three of her other children –  she has eight, all under the age of nine – with a dirty mosquito net  somebody in a passing car gave her, but it has several gaping holes. Her  eldest child, a nine-year-old girl called Sayma, is mute and seems  dissociated from her surroundings. Her green eyes stare blankly ahead,  seemingly oblivious to her brothers’ wails. Flies carpet the few  blankets arranged on the floor, and swarm all over the children. There  is precious little in the tent – one cooking pot, a few cushions and two  or three items of children’s clothing. The stench of human and animal  waste is overwhelming in the hot, humid air. There is no sanitation,  just shallow, open ditches of raw sewage that attract flies and  mosquitoes.
“They have had nothing to eat today. I have no food,”  Fatima says as she tries to swat the flies away from her children with a  bamboo fan. “He’s crying with hunger,” she says, pointing to Reza.  “It’s been a month since he had any milk.”

You can help.

mohandasgandhi:

Behind the photograph: the human face of Pakistan’s deadly flood

It was an image that conveyed the human cost of the Pakistani floods – and the failure to deliver aid to those affected – more powerfully than any statistic: four young children lying on a filthy patchwork quilt, one of them sucking on an empty yellow bottle, all of them covered by flies.

The photograph by Associated Press’s Mohammad Sajjad went around the world and featured in the Guardian’s Eyewitness slot last week. The Guardian identified the child with the bottle as two-year-old Reza Khan and tracked him down to a makeshift camp at a roadside in Azakhel, some 19 miles from Peshawar, the capital of the insurgency-plagued province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, bordering Afghanistan.

The camp is a hotchpotch of about two dozen tents donated by various aid organisations, but it is run by none. Its residents must fend for themselves, and rely on the charity of passersby. There are 19 families here, all of them Afghan refugees: people who were displaced once by conflict in their homeland have now been displaced again by the month-long deluge.

Reza’s family is from Butkhak, near the Afghan capital, Kabul. His father fled the area as a young boy, some 30 years ago, to escape the cycle of foreign occupation and internecine battles plaguing his homeland.

When we found him, Reza was in a tent with his mother, Fatima, who, like most Afghans, has only one name, and six of his seven siblings, all huddled on a blue blanket extended over the muddy floor. He was still clutching the same bottle. It was still empty.

Fatima tried to calm the boy, who cries in a constant, low whimper, as well as his twin brother, Mahmoud. She covered three of her other children – she has eight, all under the age of nine – with a dirty mosquito net somebody in a passing car gave her, but it has several gaping holes. Her eldest child, a nine-year-old girl called Sayma, is mute and seems dissociated from her surroundings. Her green eyes stare blankly ahead, seemingly oblivious to her brothers’ wails. Flies carpet the few blankets arranged on the floor, and swarm all over the children. There is precious little in the tent – one cooking pot, a few cushions and two or three items of children’s clothing. The stench of human and animal waste is overwhelming in the hot, humid air. There is no sanitation, just shallow, open ditches of raw sewage that attract flies and mosquitoes.

“They have had nothing to eat today. I have no food,” Fatima says as she tries to swat the flies away from her children with a bamboo fan. “He’s crying with hunger,” she says, pointing to Reza. “It’s been a month since he had any milk.”

You can help.

On December 16, 1989, thousands of  people took to the streets of Timisoara in Romania to protest food  shortages, harassment of a dissident ethnic-Hungarian priest, Laszlo  Tokes, and the dictatorship of Nicholai Ceausescu in general. Many were  teenagers and students, and the brutal suppression of these protests  marked the beginning of the end for the Ceausescu regime. A few days  after the massacre in Timisoara, Ceausescu gave a speech in Bucharest  before one hundred thousand people, who shouted down the eccentric  tyrant with the cries of “Timisoara!” and “Down with the murderers!”  Ceausescu tried to escape the country with $1 billion, but he was  captured and executed. It was the last of the popular uprisings against  communist rule in eastern Europe that year, and the only one that turned  violent.
With Ceausescu gone, Western journalists  are invited to see the horrors of the Ceausescu regime. Already on the  day  Ceausescu was overthrown, locals in Timisoara were unearthing mass  graves, believed by townspeople to be holding as many as 4,500 bodies,  massacred by the security forces in just three days. The interim  Romanian government showed nineteen bodies found in a shallow grave as  the victims of the dictatorship. There Robert Maass took the infamous  photograph of an unknown man crying over the bodies of a mother and an  infant.
Although it was widely assumed otherwise  at the time, it later transpired that the crying man and the dead women  were not the dead infant’s parents. It was also later revealed that  some bodies in the mass grave were not the direct victims of the regime —  the mother died of cirrhosis, and the infant of crib death (or sudden  infant death syndrome). The locals stage-managed the gruesome event  primarily for the international media. Controversy followed, and  Timisoara became a symbol (albeit briefly) of media manipulation and  sensationalism. It is a photoevent that clearly illustrates the themes  we have again and again visited on this site: Can we rely on  photographs, and by extension, photographers? Can photographers and  newsmen escape from attempts to manipulate them?
It is now believed that the number of  dead in Timisoara was probably fewer than 100. Ten years on, the BBC  mused whether the key events of the revolution were stage-managed by  enemies of democracy (namely the anti-Ceausescu forces within the ruling  elite) and whether the Romanian revolution was not a revolution, but  rather a coup d’etat. Today, some twenty years after these events, with  Romania firmly inside the European Union, we often forget that communist  allies controlled politics and economy in Romania until 1996, and that  successive Romanian governments blocked attempts to prosecute those  responsible for the bloodsheds of 1989.

On December 16, 1989, thousands of people took to the streets of Timisoara in Romania to protest food shortages, harassment of a dissident ethnic-Hungarian priest, Laszlo Tokes, and the dictatorship of Nicholai Ceausescu in general. Many were teenagers and students, and the brutal suppression of these protests marked the beginning of the end for the Ceausescu regime. A few days after the massacre in Timisoara, Ceausescu gave a speech in Bucharest before one hundred thousand people, who shouted down the eccentric tyrant with the cries of “Timisoara!” and “Down with the murderers!” Ceausescu tried to escape the country with $1 billion, but he was captured and executed. It was the last of the popular uprisings against communist rule in eastern Europe that year, and the only one that turned violent.

With Ceausescu gone, Western journalists are invited to see the horrors of the Ceausescu regime. Already on the day Ceausescu was overthrown, locals in Timisoara were unearthing mass graves, believed by townspeople to be holding as many as 4,500 bodies, massacred by the security forces in just three days. The interim Romanian government showed nineteen bodies found in a shallow grave as the victims of the dictatorship. There Robert Maass took the infamous photograph of an unknown man crying over the bodies of a mother and an infant.

Although it was widely assumed otherwise at the time, it later transpired that the crying man and the dead women were not the dead infant’s parents. It was also later revealed that some bodies in the mass grave were not the direct victims of the regime — the mother died of cirrhosis, and the infant of crib death (or sudden infant death syndrome). The locals stage-managed the gruesome event primarily for the international media. Controversy followed, and Timisoara became a symbol (albeit briefly) of media manipulation and sensationalism. It is a photoevent that clearly illustrates the themes we have again and again visited on this site: Can we rely on photographs, and by extension, photographers? Can photographers and newsmen escape from attempts to manipulate them?

It is now believed that the number of dead in Timisoara was probably fewer than 100. Ten years on, the BBC mused whether the key events of the revolution were stage-managed by enemies of democracy (namely the anti-Ceausescu forces within the ruling elite) and whether the Romanian revolution was not a revolution, but rather a coup d’etat. Today, some twenty years after these events, with Romania firmly inside the European Union, we often forget that communist allies controlled politics and economy in Romania until 1996, and that successive Romanian governments blocked attempts to prosecute those responsible for the bloodsheds of 1989.

Danxia Range

"Spectacular" red cliffs make up China’s Danxia landscape (pictured, a cliff in Red Stone Park), one of UNESCO’s new natural World Heritage sites.

A range of erosional landforms—such as natural pillars, towers, ravines, valleys, and waterfalls—are found in southwest China. The evergreen forests also host many species of animals and plants, 400 of which are considered rare or threatened, according to the World Heritage website.

Sri Lanka’s Central Highlands

The forests of Sri Lanka's central highlands (pictured, a forest tea plantation) boast an “extraordinary range” of animals and plants that helped the region earn designation on this year's World Heritage list, according to the UNESCO website.

Several endangered species such as the western purple-faced langur, the Horton Plains slender loris, and the Sri Lankan leopard roam these forests up to 8,000 feet (2,500 meters).

More at National Geographic

Today marks the 65th anniversary of the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima. Whether you agree with the decision or not, the facts were there: Hiroshima was an important army and navy base. Of about 350,000 people living there on that fateful day, the majority were women and children, since most adult men were fighting at the front.

In Japan, the censorship was more draconian. It was not just buildings that were annihilated in Hiroshima; an entire collective memory too was erased. For many years the sole images of the bombings in Japan were sketches and paintings by survivors. General Douglas MacArthur had declared southern Japan off-limits from the foreign press. Wilfred Burchett — who secretively sneaked on a train — had his camera stolen, photos confiscated and was expelled and banned from Japan. Live footage taken by Akira Iwasaki was seized and taken to the United States, and was not returned until 1968. For Matsushige himself, his films were so toxic that he was unable to develop them for twenty days, and even then had to do so at night and in the open, rinsing it in a stream. When he tried to publish them, they were confiscated. Under the blanket rule that “nothing shall be printed which might, directly or by inference, disturb public tranquility,” graphic photos from Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not printed until the U.S. occupation ended in Japan in April 1952. The magazine Asahi Gurafu opened the floodgates by publishing them in August 1952.

the first two photos showed people who escaped serious injury applying cooking oil to their burns near Miyuki bridge;

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