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February 27 2014

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February 11 2014

“Dreamlike Kyrgyzstan” As Seen by a Photographer

Kloop.kg presents [ru] a collection of photos from “dreamlike Kyrgyzstan” by Russian photographer Danil Korzhonov.

Image from kloop.kg, used with permission.

Image from kloop.kg, used with permission.

Art Arises From Snow-Covered Tokyo

The heaviest snowfall in 45 years hit Tokyo over the weekend. The unusual amount of snow triggered traffic accidents, killing 11 and injuring thousands, and travel was disrupted across the country.

However, amid the cold and white, some used the snow to create beautiful, fun and sometimes strange artwork. RocketNews24 has compiled photos that were taken and shared by Japanese Twitter users.

February 09 2014

Heavy Snowfall Brings Playtime to Tokyo

Heavy snowstorms hit Japan on Feb 8, 2014. Twenty seven centimeters of snow fell in central Tokyo, for the first time in 45 years. Moro Miya, a writer and a blogger who specializes in introducing Japanese culture to Chinese readers, collected the photos of snowmen and snow-animals that were posted by the netizens on twitter.

February 05 2014

Photos: Wedding Photo Shoots in China

For most brides and grooms-to-be in China, wedding photo shoots are an important part of wedding planning. The photo shoots, usually require multiple outfit changes and various props, can cost up to $15,000.

ChinaFile features photographer Guillaume Herbaut's wide-angle shots of soon-to-be newlyweds posing (or taking a break from posing) for their portraits. Instead of wedded bliss and joy, the photographer sees alienation and a sense of loneliness.

February 03 2014

Argentina's ‘Carnival of the Country’ Kicks Off With Drums and Dances

[All links lead to Spanish-language pages unless otherwise noted.]

Argentina's most popular Carnival festivities – nicknamed “the Carnival of the Country” – are underway in the city of Gualeguaychú in the province of Entre Rios, just 230 kilometers from the capital Buenos Aires.

In Notas de un Viaje Particular, Cheryl shared her experience: 

…al ritmo de tambores, alegría y colores se llevo acabo el ultimo fin de semana del “Carnaval del País”, el mas importante de Argentina en Gualeguaychu, Entre Ríos. Es una fiesta contagiosa, que sorprende con sus impresionantes carros alegóricos, cuerpos esculturales y sonrisas interminables, la gente no para de bailar y festejar… 

…To the rhythm of drums, joy and colors the “Carnival of the Country” has started, the most important in Argentina, celebrated in Gualeguzychú, Entre Ríos. It is a contagious party, which surprises everyone with its impressive carriages, sculptural bodies and infinite smiles, people don't stop dancing and celebrating…

Carnival was banned [en] during the dictatorship in Argentina, but in cities with a long tradition of the festive season, it never really stopped. Year after year, Gualeguaychú surprises with its Carnival festivities held in a corsódromo, a venue used for Carnival parades which replaces the use of the streets.

Thousands of tourists are streaming in to participate in this year's edition, which kicked off on January 4, 2014. Events are held on all Saturdays until the first days of March.

The blog El Vestidito Negro published photos of Carnival in 2012:

Imagen del blog El Vestidito Negro bajo licencia (CC BY-ND 3.0)

Image from blog El Vestidito Negro republished under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-ND 3.0)

Imagen del blog El Vestidito Negro bajo licencia (CC BY-ND 3.0)

Image from blog El Vestidito Negro republished under a  Creative Commons license (CC BY-ND 3.0)

Revolución Media shared a video about what this year's Carnival has to offer:

Also, Gabo por el mundo posted a selection of images and shared advice on how to get to Gualeguaychú and where to stay.  

On her photography blog, Amelia McGoldrick publishes a series of images, not only of Carnival but also of her days as a tourist in the city.

However, Carnival also triggers complaints from neighbors due to the chaos caused by the attendees. El Dia OnLine explained: 

Las calles fueron el centro de diversión y de libre albedrío de alrededor de 90 mil personas que coparon la ciudad. Literalmente no cabía un alma más y sin embargo seguían entrando más y más vehículos.

Pero cuando decimos libre albedrío no lo hacemos por el solo hecho de utilizar un término que puede sonar fuerte, sino que fue la sensación que tuvieron muchos vecinos que prefirieron casi encerrarse en sus casas o, aquellos que tenían un poco más de suerte, mudarse momentáneamente de los barrios turísticos para estar más tranquilos en otros puntos de la ciudad.

The streets were the center of the entertainment and freewill of about 90,000 people who took over the city. You could literally not fit one more soul, but still people and cars kept coming in.

But when we say freewill we don't say it for the mere fact of using a term that may sound strong, but rather because it was the feeling among many neighbors who preferred to stay locked inside their houses, or those who are a bit luckier and moved away from the touristic neighborhoods momentarily so they can enjoy peace and quiet in other parts of the city .

But the party has started and the “comparsas“conga bands are prepared with drums, dances and glamour, and tourists are set to enjoy one more year of the “Carnival of the Country”.

YouTube Video by 3KTodoNoticias

January 31 2014

Photos Uzbek Authorities Do Not Want You To See

EurasiaNet.org presents ”Twenty Photos Uzbekistan Does Not Want You to See“, a collection of black-and-white images by photojournalist Timur Karpov. The photos were removed [ru] from a group exhibition at Tashkent's House of Photography two hours before the beginning of the show on January 25, apparently because they were deemed to be “undermining” national pride. Another photographer whose images were deemed “offensive” by the organizers of the show is Svetlana Ten. Her photos can be seen here.

Karpov is one of the eight activists who were detained by Uzbek police on January 29, after an unsanctioned rally in support of protesters in Ukraine. Karpov was ordered by court to pay a fine of around 1,000 US dollars and has now been released.

PHOTOS: Humans of Ukraine's #Euromaidan Protests

Protesters help the driver by pushing his car up the street. Photo by Olha Harbovska, used with permission.

Protesters help a driver by pushing his car up the street. Photo by Olha Harbovska. Used with permission.

This post is part of our Special Coverage Ukraine's #Euromaidan Protests.

The short-lived adoption of laws limiting peaceful protests in Ukraine has sparked violent clashes between police and anti-government protesters on and off since January 19, 2014. The dramatic photos of the tense confrontations, sometimes shrouded in black smoke billowing from nearby burning vehicles, have circulated and stunned worldwide. 

The photos that seldom get play in mainstream media, however, are those of the human side of the long and harsh Euromaiden protests, as they are known, seen in images published on social media and photo stream accounts by protesters and journalists on the ground. 

These photos document how protesters have assisted one another to function as normally as possible, while attempting to topple a government they find to be corrupt and failing. Aside from keeping each other safe and warm, protesters often help those passing by to make it through the crowds and below-zero Ukrainian winter weather. Volunteers also provide free medical help to both sides of the protests.

A member of volunteer medical aid briggades. Kyiv. Photo by the creator of Facebook page 'Maidaners'. Used with permission.

A member of volunteer medical aid brigades in Kyiv. Photo by the creator of Facebook page “Maidaners”. Used with permission.

An elderly woman pouring hot tea to protesters. Photo by Olha Harbovska, used with permission.

An elderly woman pouring hot tea for protesters. Photo by Olha Harbovska. Used with permission.

People have set up improvised kitchens and tea stations in Kyiv and other cities to keep fellow keep protesters fed and warm. Volunteers also clean snow and remove garbage from the protest sites.

A man giving out sandwiches to protesters. Photo by Hanna Hrabarska, used with permission.

A man giving out sandwiches to protesters. Photo by Hanna Hrabarska. Used with permission.

Another tea station to keep protesters warm. Photo by Clashdot user Volye101, used with permission.

Another tea station to keep protesters warm. Photo by Clashdot user Volye101. Used with permission.

A woman volunteering to clean protest grounds in Kyiv. Photo by a creator of a Facebook page 'Maidaners'. Used with permission.

A woman volunteering to clean protest grounds in Kyiv. Photo by the creator of Facebook page “Maidaners”. Used with permission.

A man minds several caldrons of food being prepared for protesters, making sure the meal doesn't burn. Photo by Clashdot user Volye101, used with permission.

A man minds several cauldrons of food being prepared for protesters, making sure the meal doesn't burn. Photo by Clashdot user Volye101. Used with permission.

Amazingly, and as more proof that humans are social and creative creatures under any circumstances, entertainment and music in particular have been a huge part of keeping up morale during Euromaidan rallies. Sean Lennon, the son of legendary musician John Lennon, was moved when he saw how a live rendition of his father's famed song “Imagine” had been used during Euromaidan to send a message of peaceful retaliation against the establishment in Ukraine, calling it “awesome” on his Facebook. Live music remains a regular fixture at Euromaidan rallies throughout the country, an example of which is shown below:

A man playing violin to the protester in the center of Kyiv. Photo by Olha Harbovska, used with permission.

A man playing the violin to a protester in a Kyiv underground passage. Photo by Olha Harbovska. Used with permission.

There has also been a lot of visual creativity, with protesters creating posters, painting helmets, tents, etc.

A woman painting a tent at the main protest grounds in Kyiv. Photo by a creator of Facebook page 'Maidaners'. Used with permission.

A woman painting a tent at the main protest grounds in Kyiv. Photo by the creator of Facebook page “Maidaners”. Used with permission.

Despite clashes with police and coordinated police crackdowns on the protests, with six civilian deaths so far and thousands injured, the protesters often talk and interact with police agents during the protests, sometimes finding a common language and common ground. Below is a photo of a Ukrainian police officer on duty during the protests, who seems happy to have reached an agreement with the protesters to keep the peace and not use force:

A smiling policeman. He just promised not to use force against protesters. Photo by Hanna Hrabarska, used with permission.

A smiling policeman. He just promised not to use force against protesters. Photo by Hanna Hrabarska. Used with permission.

A volunteer defender of protest grounds in Kyiv. Has initiated the creation of human chanin between the protesters and the police to prevent provokations and violence. Photo by the creator of Facebook page 'Maidaners'. Used with permission.

A volunteer defender of protest grounds in Kyiv who initiated the creation of human chain between the protesters and the police to prevent provocations and violence. Photo by the creator of Facebook page “Maidaners”. Used with permission.

This post is part of our Special Coverage Ukraine's #Euromaidan Protests.

Images for this post were sourced by Global Voices authors Tetyana Bohdanova and Tetyana Lokot.
Reposted bydarksideofthemoon darksideofthemoon

Everyday Ukrainian Life in 1942 Depicted Through Fifty Color Photos

Woman and child in rural Ukraine, 1942. Photo courtesy of www.vintage.es, used under Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Woman and child in rural Ukraine, 1942. Photo courtesy of www.vintage.es, used under Creative Commons 2.0 license.

As anti-government protests that started on November 21, 2013, burden Ukrainian life today, a vintage photo blog takes a look back on another harsh period of the country's history – through 52 amazing color photographs [photo] of everyday life in Ukraine in 1942.

In 1942, like many other European countries, Ukraine was under Nazi occupation. As InfoUkes reminds readers:

Hitler appointed the Nazi philosopher Alfred Rosenberg (1893-1946) head of the Ostministerium (East Ministry) in charge of administering the territory of Ukraine. Before the war Rosenberg was pro-Ukrainian and anti-Muscovite (Russian). He planned to establish a Greater Ukraine state taking territory from Western Russia. However, Hitler had a different idea. He thought Ukrainians should get no preferential treatment and personally appointed Erich Koch to rule Reichskommissariat Ukraine (eastern Ukraine) with an iron fist.

Koch, as a member of the superior German Herrenvolk master race, started a reign of terror and oppression in Ukraine. Koch often said that the Ukrainian people were inferior to the Germans, that Ukrainians were half-monkeys, and that Ukrainians “must be handled with the whip like the negroes.” He once said that “no German soldiers would die for these niggers [Ukrainians].”

The photos on Vintage Everyday, however, show a different side of the story. However cruel the times, people have a tendency to do everything in their power to lead normal lives, even in a Nazi-occupied Ukraine and with World War II raging on all fronts.

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