BUKIMA, VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, EASTERN CONGO, JULY 2007: Conservation Rangers from an Anti-Poaching unit work with locals to evacuate the bodies of four Mountain Gorrillas killed in mysterious circumstances in the park, Virunga National Park, Eastern Congo, 24 July 2007. A Silver-Back Alpha male, the leader of the group was shot, three females were also killed. Two of the females had babies and the other was pregnant. The two babies were not found and it is thought that they will have died of stress and dehydration. The motivation for the killing is not known but it is suspected that there are political motivations. The local illegal Charcoal industry clashes with conservation efforts in this very poor area and Rangers have been threatened, tortured and killed as a result of this clash of political and economic wills. Over 100 Rangers have been killed in their efforts to protect the Gorrillas of Virunga, one of the world’s most endangered species. The Congolese Rangers in this particular group are working with Wildlife Direct, a Conservation organisation. The Rangers receive a salary based on donations to Wildlife Direct and perform one of the most dangerous jobs in the world of wildlife conservation. The DRC has the highest toll of human casualties of any country since the second world war, a figure in the region of 4.6 million dead as a result of war and resultant displacement, disease, starvation and ongoing militia violence. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images for Newsweek.)
Sibolangit, SOCP Quarantine Centre, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Sedated and transported by wheelbarrow from her enclosure, Asha is going for a medical check. This 20-year-old female, arrived two years ago (2017) in critical condition with a broken right hand, fractured hip and gangrene of the left hand from being beaten, leaving her thumb nonfunctional. As rain falls, a team member shelters her with a giant leaf. General caption: Indonesia’s Sumatran orangutan is under severe threat from the incessant and ongoing depletion and fragmentation of the rainforest. As palm oil and rubber plantations, logging, road construction, mining, hunting and other development continue to proliferate, orangutans are being forced out of their natural rainforest habitat. Organizations like the OIC (Orangutan Information Centre) and their immediate response team HOCRU (Human Orangutan Conflict Response Unit), rescue orangutans in difficulty (lost, injured, captive…) while the SOCP (Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme) cares for, rehabilitates and resocializes orangutans at their purpose-built medical facility, aiming to reintroduce them into the wild and to create new self-sustaining, genetically viable populations in protected forests. That we share 97% of our DNA with orangutans seems obvious when you observe their human-like behavior. Today, with just over 14,000 specimens left, the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo Abelii) along with the 800 specimens of the recently discovered Tapanuli species (Pongo tapanuliensis), are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
HONG KONG PROTESTS, HONG KONG – OCTOBER 4: A Pro-democracy protestor holds her hand in the air to represent protestors ‘five demands’ as people gather in Central Hong Kong to demonstrate against the introduction of the governments ant-mask law. Hong Kong remains on the edge with the anti-government movement entering its fourth month as protesters continue their call for Chief Executive Carrie Lam to meet their remaining demands since the controversial extradition bill has been withdrawn, which includes an independent inquiry into police brutality, the retraction of the word ‘riot’ to describe the rallies, and genuine universal suffrage. Photo by Kiran Ridley
Rhino Wars This photo essay attempts to look at the environmental crisis caused by Asia’s appetite for Rhino horn. The horn is part of an ancient Asian medical system and today is seen as a curative for everything from Cancer to Kidney stones. Essentially keratin, a mild alkaline substance identical to fingernails, the horn is ground down in grinding bowls and mixed with water. This is then ingested by the sick and the wealthy of Vietnam and China, the imbiber hoping for miracle cures, when in fact science shows us it has a placebo effect at best. The use of horn dates back over 2000 years but the recent economic rise of countries like China and Vietnam and the subsequent wealth of the new upper class has had disastrous effects on the world’s remaining rhino population. Rhino horn is now worth more than gold and the poaching crisis is a perfect storm of that value playing out in the most corrupt wildlife systems with some of the poorest poachers as well as rhino ranchers who see millions of dollars in pushing to legalize the trade. South Africa is the main repository of the world’s remaining rhino, figure less than 20,000 animals. South Africa is on track to lose over 1600 animals this year, a figure that has risen every year since 2006 when less than 20 animals were killed for their horns. This essay examines the crisis along the Mozambique/South African border where daily incursions by armed poachers has resulted in a war which plays out inside Kruger National Park, the largest reserve for rhino in the world. We see the poachers with silenced weapons, the middle men arrested in sting operations by Mozambican authorities and the few rhino who dare to venture into Mozambique, protected by a tiny NGO who is the only effective organization in country. The average life expectancy for a Kruger rhino in Mozambique is 24 hours, a country where they were recently declared extinct. The essay goes on to show widows who have lost husbands and sons in this fight, range
PHUNDUNDU WILDLIFE AREA, ZIMBABWE, JUNE 2018: Specially selected women from an all female. conservation ranger force undergo concealment and fire and movement training in the bush to curb poaching. Akashinga (meaning the ‘Brave Ones’ in local dialect) is a community-driven conservation model, empowering disadvantaged women to restore and manage a network of wilderness areas as an alternative to trophy hunting. Many current western-conceived solutions to conserve wilderness areas struggle to gain traction across the African continent. Predominately male forces are hampered by ongoing corruption, nepotism, drunkenness, aggressiveness towards local communities and a sense of entitlement. The I.A.P.F, the International Anti-Poaching Foundation led by former Australian Special Forces soldier Damien Mander, was created as a direct action conservation organisation to be used as a surgical instrument in targeting wildlife crime. In 2017 they decided to innovate, using an all- female team to manage an entire nature reserve in Zimbabwe. The program builds an alternative approach to the militarized paradigm of ‘fortress conservation’ which defends colonial boundaries between nature and humans. While still trained to deal with any situation they may face, the team has a community-driven interpersonal focus, working with rather than against the local population for the long-term benefits of their own communities and nature. Cut off from places of worship and burial, grazing areas, access to water, food, traditional medicine and given limited opportunity for employment or tourism benefits, it’s little wonder many of these communities struggle to see any value in conservation efforts. Women have traditionally played major roles in battle and are now re-emerging as key solutions in law enforcement and conflict resolution. In the Middle-East, counterinsurgency operations that involve penetrating and working with the local population to try and win the hearts and minds ha
RIFIJI, SELOUS, TANZANIA, 4 MARCH 2013: Yusuf Shabani Difika, 41, lost both his arms to a lion attack on a fishing trip in the region of Selous National Park, Tanzania, 4 March 2013. The attack occured in the evening in 2005. The lion attacked Yusuf and his arms were shredded beyond recovery as he attempted to fend off the lion. He says the lion bit him multiple times on his arms, exposing his bones and ripping off the flesh. Yusuf was rescued by village friends who drove the lion off with sticks and machettes. Yusuf was rushed to a local clinic and then transported to a hospital where doctors had no choice but to amputate what was left of his arms. Yusuf has two children, aged 5 and 3, he has lost the ability to work and is entirely reliant on his father, his uncle and his cousins as well as the kindness of his village for his survival. He says the hardest thing is that he cannot clean himself or go to the bathroom without assistance. His uncle bathes him on a regular basis and his father and cousins help him to dress, eat and drink. Lion attacks on the rural people who farm close to Selous National Park are not uncommon. There is a degree of hypocrisy to the West’s expectation that these people should live with lions as if there is no danger. They do not benefit from the wildlife in Selous and they live in danger as there are no fences to the Park and the range of the lions often extends outside of the park. They are especially in vulnerable during the harvest period. Wild Bush pigs are attracted by young maize and rice crops and so people sleep in their fields in order to protect their crops. They are especially exposed to lion attacks at this time. The lions are attracted to the bushpig presence, the pigs are hard to catch and the human beings are close at hand and completely vulnerable and easy to subdue. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
Fotografi provenienti da 161 Paesi del mondo
Da non perdere ! La fotografia con la sua funzione giornalistica per mostrare le realtà del mondo
Siena Awards 2020 – torna a Siena
dal 24 ottobre al 29 novembre 2020
Il festival delle arti visive proporrà un ricco programma di
mostre, eventi espositivi e tour che vedranno protagoniste le opere di fotografi provenienti da 161 Paesi del mondo:
“Imagine all the People Sharing all the World”, con le foto più belle presentate al concorso Siena International Photo Awards, a cinque mostre allestite in alcune delle più suggestive location della città fino a un’esposizione a Sovicille, borgo a pochi km dalla città del Palio, che vedrà protagonista assoluto Brent Stirton, fotografo sudafricano pluripremiato a livello internazionale, con alcuni dei suoi reportage realizzati in tutto il mondo su tematiche sociali e ambientali.
Il Siena Awards 2020 sarà completato dalla
mostra itinerante “Non potevamo immaginare l’inimmaginabile”, che unirà reale e virtuale in un percorso fra vie e piazze del centro storico senese.