Saturday, September 16, 2017

New stories from Bosnia

Working on new stories from Bosnia, editing, going through old material- brings back memories.. Stay tuned. A little over two years ago, Bill Clinton visited the 20th commemoration of the genocide in Srebrenica.
Bill Clinton arrived for the 20th commemoration in Potocari, just as he did for the opening of the memorial.  136 bodies were laied to rest on July 11th 2015 in Potocari.
#bosnia #srebrenica #genocide #storytelling #marsmira #humanrights #photojournalism #documentary #potocari #ReportageSpotlight #nikonswitzerland #webster #keystoneag

Monday, August 28, 2017

Webster University refugee simulation 2017

For four days and three nights starting today, students from Webster University Geneva discovered how it feels to be a refugee. The Webster Humanitarian Association (WHA), in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which supplied the tents and equipment, organises the refugee simulation on campus. The idea will work continue to create focus on the situation on refugees and migrants in todays world. Follow us for the next few days with activities and events at the Webster Geneva's campus.
The students are signing in as refugees after having walked from the UNHCR's
office in Geneva to the campus in Genthod Bellevue
The students are signing in as refugees after having walked from the UNHCR's
office in Geneva to the campus in Genthod Bellevue
After having signed in as a refugee, the students are setting up the tent provided by the UNHCR. 
‪#‎documentary‬‪ #‎photojournalism‬ ‪#‎reportage‬ ‪#‎webster‬ ‪#‎nikonpro‬ ‪#‎fifdh‬ ‪#‎norge‬‪ #‎fotograf‬ ‪#‎keystone‬ #refugee #refugeesimulation #wha #unhcr

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Landmines in Bosnia

Landmines in Bosnia as seen during the Mars Mira/ Peace walk which will take place prior to the July commemoration of the Genocide in Srebrenica. 
Muhamed Smailhodzic (R) is a forester. He frequently comes accroissement land mines that are still found out in the nature. He has even more then once stepped on them, luckily so far, they have not detonated. 
According to this article in Balkan Insight, there are more then 80000 land mins left in the country and the target of being mine free by 2019 will not happen. Progress is happening though but there is still need to be cautious.
#keystone #webster #photojournalism #bosnia #genocide#storytelling #onassignment #srebrenica #ReportageSpotlight #marsmira#nedzadavdic #nikonswitzerland #landmines #balkaninsight  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

World Refugee Week

June 20th is the World Refugee Day. In Geneva, the International Refugee Cultural Festival is still going on. There are over 65 million people displaced due to war, climate change and other causes. last year, I went to visit some of them in northern Iraq. I hope to revisit again soon and to hear the continuation of the stories of the people I met last year.
Children at the Assyrian refugee Camp in Ainkawa, Erbil, Iraq. Check Global Geneva.
Mmtaiz  "Mattis" and his family, originally from Karakosh, outside their place at the refugee Camp in Ainkawa, Erbil, Iraq. The youngest child is born at the camp.
The refugee Camp in Ainkawa, Erbil, Iraq is 1 year and 4 month old and houses approximately 5000 people.
Assyrian children outside the Assyrian chruch near Duhok, northern Iraq.
R) Wahida Abdel Nur, C) Feryal Akubi L) Jamila Abd El-Ahad, are all from Mozul- currently staying at the Camp Shiyuz, near Duhok, northern Iraq. Feryal Akubi  explains that she has some family now in Germany but that she has not heard from her husband after he was captured by ISIS.
These Yazidi chilédren are currently living at the Camp Khanki. The are preparing for a football competition between children from other camps in the Duhok area in northern Iraq. The camp is large with 3120 tents. 2908 families and 16611 people.
Hajji Mirza is from Tel Azar. Now, he and his family live under a tent in Khanke
camp, near Dohuk in northern Iraq/ Kurdistan. He is one amongst 2’908 families,
or 16’611 people. These two children are his customers.
Yazidi survivors who are living at a random camp set up near the official "Camp Khanki", not to far from Dahuk, Kurdistan region, Iraq.
Yazidi children currently livig at one of the random road side camps on top of the Sinjar Mountain, near Syria, northern Iraq/ Kurdistan.
Yazidi children currently livig at one of the random road side camps on top of the Sinjar Mountrain.
Yazidi children currently livig at one of the random road side camps on top of the Sinjar Mountrain.
Yazidi survivors who are living at a random camp set up near the official "Camp Khanki", not to far from Dahuk, Kurdistan region, Iraq. Read more here.
#photography #documentary #photojournalism #reportage #webster #nikonpro #iraq #keystone #ReportageSpotlight #nikonswitzerland #UNHCR #yazidi #refugee #globalgeneva #geneva

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

World Refugee Day

Today, June the 20th is the World Refugee Day. As UN Secretary-General, António Guterres  says: "I’ve met so many who have lost so much. But they never lose their dreams for their children or their desire to better our world. They ask for little in return – only our support in their time of greatest need"  If you are in Geneva, join the  Refugee Cultural Festival- still some days to go and great experiences to be part in. 
Anila Hussain ran Bollywood dance workshop which was part of the Refugee Cultural Festival.
#photography #documentary #photojournalism #reportage #webster #nikonpro #iraq #keystone
#yazidi #refugee #sinjar #worldrefugeeday

Friday, June 16, 2017

Bhutan Archive with Keystone

I am happy to share that my pictures from Bhutan are now available through Keystone in Switzerland. An amazing place, hopefully a Workshop will be organised again in the not to distant future!
In Thimphu, Bhutan, Choki Traditional Art School educates young men and women on the traditional Buddhist arts. Everything from wood crafts to painting and embroidery is all taught here. The students will later work on preserving the history as well as the traditions of the art that evolvs around the monasteries as well as the different festivals that takes place in Bhutan. An example is the "Tigers Nest". A few years ago, it got severely damaged and the students from  Choki Traditional Art School is heavily involved in recreating the works of art at he monastery.
Traditional wood craft at a workshop near Paro, Bhutan.
Tango Monastery, Bhutan
Traditional wood craft is important in order to preserve the historic sites in Bhutan.
Tango Monastery, a Buddhist University, Bhutan.
A young Monk plays badminton at the Dechen Phodrang Monastry in Thimphu, Bhutan.
Young Monks at the Dechen Phodrang Monastry in Thimphu, Bhutan.
Young Monks at the Dechen Phodrang Monastry in Thimphu, Bhutan.
"Highway 1" is being worked on constantly. The distance between Paro and Thimphu is about 50km but can take more the 4 hours to drive.  It gets difficult when you meet larger vehicles on what is essentially a one lane dirt road. The road is better closer to the cities.
Children playing near the Chimi Lhakhang Monastery. The children are also revealing bad teeth.
In Bhutan, Archery is the national sport. One can see the sport being competed in a number of different venues. I will come back to that later, but Khuru is also popular! Khuru is a "dart like" sport where the guys competing tries to hit the target around 20 to 40 meters away. Their precision and courage is impressive. The "dart" is pretty big, the target pretty small and the guys standing near the target seems to be worryingly close while the competition is throwing the dart.
Men playing Khuru in Punakha, Bhutan. Khuru is a traditional Bhutanese sport. It involves throwing darts outdoors with a target approximately 20 metres.
Nuns are praying at the The Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Nunnery in Punakha, Bhutan.
Spectators at the Changlimithang Archery Field in Thimphu, Bhutan. Archery is a national sport in Bhutan. 
Walking to The Tigers Nest Monastery (Paro Taktsang or Taktsang monastery) takes about 2-3 hours. Making the walk in the morning imporoves the chance to see the spectacular views. The monastery is located near Paro and is only accessible by foot. It hangs on a precipitous cliff at 3,120 metres (10,240 ft) above sea level and  about 900 metres (3,000 ft) above the Paro Valley. 
Walking to The Tigers Nest Monastery (Paro Taktsang or Taktsang monastery) takes about 2-3 hours. Making the walk in the morning imporoves the chance to see the spectacular views. The monastery is located near Paro and is only accessible by foot. It hangs on a precipitous cliff at 3,120 metres (10,240 ft) above sea level and  about 900 metres (3,000 ft) above the Paro Valley.
Paro Dzong, otherwise named Rinpung dzong. Monks talking together outside the Paro Dzong.
The Changangkha monastery is located in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. This is the temple where parents come to in order to name their children- they pick a name from the available names at the temple. It is thought that this process as well as the blessings from the local Llama is bringing good luck to the child. Apart from the Royal family, there are no family names given in Bhutan.
#reportage #photography #photojournalism #nikonpro #bhutan #workshop #travel #d810 #nikon #keystone #documentary #explore #happy #himalaya #monastry #tigersnest #photographyworkshop #switzerland #paro #keystonephoto

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Rwanda, Project: Bed for Janviere: Delivered!

I recently came back from Rwanda. The mission this time was a pleasant one, to deliver the hospital bed to Janviere that we had successfully fund-raised. The story of Janviere started about a year and a half ago. I was visiting Rwanda for the third time continuing my long term project on what life is like after having experienced Genocide. I was visiting with my friend Révérien who now lives in Switzerland. We went to the village where he grew up and where he witnessed the murder of his entire family, 43 people. He himself was badly injured. he was 15 years old. On the last day, he told me we were to visit his friend, Janviere. In 1994, during the genocide in Rwanda, Janviere was 11 years old. Her family was also killed and she had been thrown into a latrine. The result was that she broke her back and is now paralysed from neck and down. Since the genocide in 1994, Janviere has spent most of her time indoor. Her bed is not mobile. She cannot move at all, apart from her left hand. She can not sit in a wheel chair.  With Reverien, we decided that it must be possible to get her a bed or something that can help her get outside more. Upon my return to Switzerland, some of the work from Rwanda is available through Keystone photo agency. I did several exhibitions and presentations. While doing so, we started a fund raising campaign. I met with potential partners/ clients and the result was that we got a bed, a hospital Stryker bed, donated by MC Group in Holland (Hospital). The box made for the shipping was made for free by Noord nederlands klussenbedrijf, Nelipak donated towards the packaging, Rhenus Drachten gave us favourable fares for the freight. The people at Polyganics were all amazing and took care of the rest of the expenses in order top make his project a success- thank you Marcel, Paul, Romke, Rudy, Marietta and everybody else involved!
The bed, packed and ready to leave from Holland (Polyganics office) and to be sent to Rwanda. 
I also have to mention everybody who donated towards this project. A crowd funding page was set up with 100 days. The goal was to raise CHF 5000 and buy a bed for Janviere. We made our target thanks to many (29) individual contributions! So, I am back from Rwanda, the bed was finally delivered after some initial problems with timing, visa etc... But, I can report back that Janviere is very grateful and extremely touched by the generosity by everybody involved!
Janviere stays most of the day in her regular bed. I brought her some photos from the previous trip with Reverien.
Janviere and Révérien first met when they were 11 and 15 years old. They where next to each other at the field hospital when they were found injured during the genocide in Rwanda.

John and Theodore and his family are helping preparing the bed which was delivered at their house last December (2016). 
Teta Aniella, Theodore's daughter is participating in the preparation of the bed. 
and so are his other two children, Ngango Alrick and Inez Paskella!
And, of course Theodore. 
The children taking advantage of the box used for transporting the bed- finally- it's empty!
Teta Aniella playing a mobile game.
John lending his phone to the kids.
Ready to go! 
Inez Paskella at the door, the mattresses are stacked inside the day before delivering the bed.
It is rain season in Rwanda, muddy and grey outside.
A pick up truck is used to transport the bed.
The guys helping to load up properly.
It is about 3 hours to drive between Kigali and Kibungo, where Janviere lives.
The Stryker bed is pretty easy to handle and to clean. It does not require any electricity.
Mission accomplished!
Janviere was eager to try her new bed. 
Finally, outside. For the first time, Janviere could stay outside on her balcony. 
The only times she spent outside in the past, was when going to hospital.
Janviere expressed much gratitude towards everybody who have helped contributing to her new bed.
So, final note- Postcards and prints are currently being made and will soon be on its way to various contributors! 
#genocide #neveragain #photography#documentary #photojournalism #reportage #webster #nikonpro#keystonephoto #100days #ronorp #photobastai #switzerland #geneva#lausanne #zurich #wha