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Guns in America 

In early April 2022, Russian forces partially withdrew from several Ukrainian cities to concentrate on the Donbas front. This withdrawal allowed gradual access to cities that had been under siege for over a month. Relieved cities such as Irpin, Borodyanka, Kharkiv, Novolesivka, Makariv, and Huliapol reveal harrowing scenes that testify to the violence and horror caused by fighting in this area. The mayor of Chernihiv, a city widely destroyed by heavy attacks, estimates that it will take at least four years to rebuild the infrastructure.

Returning to Ukraine for the second time since the beginning of the war, Moises Saman traveled around several devastated cities to document the destruction and impact on everyday lives. Most of the elderly community and most vulnerable population had been unable to flee the war and thus remained trapped in war zones during the Russian attacks. Many still after the withdrawal of Russian forces, no longer have a roof over their head or access to basic needs.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA),  around 900,000 elderly people are estimated to need aid and protection near Ukraine’s front lines, and around 30% of the population most affected by the conflict are older people.

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Ukraine: The Effects of War 

Ukrainian women employed by the American-based company Delivering Dreams International Surrogacy Agency are working under the worst circumstances. The women were asked to leave their families and move to Lviv, due to the high-quality obstetric care. Owner and founder Susan Kersch-Kibler is making life-impacting decisions based on imperfect information during the Russo-Ukrainian War. The war has revealed the questionable ethics of international surrogacy, such as the power dynamic that occurs when a woman signs over her physical self for nine months. The biological parents insisted Kersch-Kibler remove the surrogates from Ukraine and have them live in Poland, but many of the women resisted. Due to concerns about human trafficking and country-specific delivery laws, Kersh-Kibler cannot force the women to move to another country. However, on March 11, 2022, Russia bombed Lviv and it was no longer a safe place for the surrogates to live, so the women were moved to Krakow.

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Ukrainian Surrogate Mothers Fleeing... 

The Russo-Ukrainian War is an ongoing conflict between Russia and pro-Russia forces on one side and Ukraine on the other. 

Ukrainian President Vicktor Yanukovych’s cabinet abandoned an agreement on closer trade ties in the EU, favoring closer cooperation with Russia. What began as small protests escalated to the Revolution of Dignity, also known as the Maidan Revolution, a violent protest with at least 88 deaths. Following the Euromaidan protests and removal of Yanukovych, partnered with pro-Russia unrest in Ukraine, Russian annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. 

Demonstrations in the Donbas area of Ukraine escalated into a war between the Ukrainian Government and Russian-backed separatist forces. Russian military vehicles crossed the border in several locations of Donetsk Oblast, which is believed to be responsible for the defeat of Ukrainian forces in early September of 2014. In November, Ukrainian military reported intensive movement of Russian combat troops into separatist-controlled parts of eastern Ukraine. 

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is ongoing. Irregular episodes of fighting continue to occur. In October 2021, Russia reignited concerns of a potential invasian after moving troops and military equipment to the shared border with Ukraine.

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Russo-Ukrainian Conflict 

Biography 

Rene Burri 

On May 9, 2022, as fighting continued in eastern Ukraine, Vladimir Putin reviewed his troops in Moscow during Victory Day, the annual celebration of the USSR's triumph over Nazi Germany. Typically, spectators carry photographs of family members who had been killed in action during WWII but this year, many displayed images of Russian soldiers who have died during the current conflict.  
Analysts had feared that Putin would use this national military holiday as an opportunity to further escalate the Russian campaign against Ukraine by formally declaring war, but no such announcement was made.

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Victory Day Parade in Moscow 

Alexei Navalny, lawyer, Russian opposition leader, and anti-corruption activist, is the leader of the Russia of the Future party and founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation. 
Navalny made the decision to return to Russia in January 2021, knowing that he would be detained for breaking his parole. He had not reported to Russia's Federal Prison Service while hospitalized after being poisoned with Novichok nerve agent by which Putin is allegedly responsible. 

Navalny’s team is in Vilnius, Lithuania, filming investigations that are broadcast into Russia. Audiences in the millions tune in. Lithuania, a member of NATO and the EU, hosts Russian exiles and fugitives. January 13th is celebrated in Lithuania as Freedom Defenders Day. On the night of January 12th and 13th, 1991, the Soviet army tried to force Lithuania to surrender its independence by seizing the TV tower. Lithuanian protesters formed a human shield to peacefully protect it, 14 of them dying and 700 injured.

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Alexei Navalny's Headquarters in... 

French actor and filmmaker Jacques Perrin died at age 80 on April 21, 2022. He was best known for his roles in "The Young Girls of Rochefort", "Donkey Skin", in which he played alongside Catherine Deneuve, or more recently, "Les Choristes". As a fervent defender of the environment, Perrin also made numerous documentaries on that theme, including "Océans", which was awarded with the César for Best Documentary in 2011.

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Jacques Perrin: 1941 - 2022 

Kevin Garnett is considered one of the greatest power-forwards in basketball. “Anything is Possible” documents Garnett’s legacy career from being the first high schooler drafted into the NBA up through his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in early 2021.

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Kevin Garnett 

Much of life in Congo revolves around the River. Many passengers board with goods gathered from the forest. Wild animals from the jungles are being sold in markets such as porcupines, monkeys, crocodiles, turtles and many more.

Many pastors go to the Congo River to preach Pentecostal Christianity. Millions of Congolese are members of the Kimbanguist church, and Pentecostal church has increased in popularity in Africa since the era of decolonization in the 1950s and 1960s. Baleinières are how many people get upstream, and journeys can last weeks, giving pastors a long-term captivated audience. Laws banning traveling at night and requiring life jackets are rarely enforced, motivating pastors to evangelize the dangerous trips.

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Life in the Congo River Basin 

Burkina Faso, West Africia favored mud over concrete as a building material for thousands of years. The walls of the Grand Mosque of Bobo-Dioulasso are more than six feet thick to protect worshippers from the heat. Mud brick has a high thermal mass, meaning it holds onto the heat of the day and then releases it when it cools down at night. But the intense rain caused by climate change challenges mud-brick buildings. Mud-brick is favorable because it protects from the heat and contributes less to climate change than concrete. However, the buildings are dangerous to live in as rain threatens more homes.

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Mud-Brick Buildings Burkina Faso... 

Sergeant First Class Javier Jaguar Gutierrez was killed in Afghanistan in February 2020 by an Afghan soldier a few weeks before the peace deal was signed between the United States and the Taliban. Gutierrez was the last American to die in the Afghan War, until August 2021 when a suicide bomber killed more than 170 Afghan citizens and 13 American service members at the Kabul airport.

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Belongings of Sergeant First Class... 

According to the UNHCR, as of April 1, 2022, more than 10 million Ukrainians – nearly a quarter of the country's population – had been displaced either internally or externally since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022. 
The conflict in Ukraine marks a turning point in European history and a return to high-intensity warfare on the old continent. From Lviv to Odesa, and from Kyiv to Zaporizhzhia, photographer Emin Özmen documented the physical and psychological damages of the war, especially to the most vulnerable people, such as children, women, and old people. 
Ukrainians who remained have reacted to the invasion with an overwhelming resolve to defend themselves against the Russian offensive.

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Ukraine Resilient 

This is the new and expanded edition of Susan Meiselas’ 1976 book Carnival Strippers, arguably one of the most important photographic projects of the second half of the twentieth century. From 1972 to 1975, Meiselas spent her summers photographing women who performed striptease for small-town carnivals in New England, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. As she followed the shows from town to town, she captured the dancers on stage and off, their public performances as well as private lives, creating a portrait both documentary and empathetic: “The recognition of this world is not the invention of it. I wanted to present an account of the girl show that portrayed what I saw and revealed how the people involved felt about what they were doing.” Meiselas also taped candid interviews with the dancers, their boyfriends, the show managers and paying customers, which form a crucial part of the book.

Meiselas’ frank description of these women brought a hidden world to public attention, and explored the complex role the carnival played in their lives: mobility, money and liberation, but also undeniable objectification and exploitation. Produced during the early years of the women’s movement, Carnival Strippers reflects the struggle for identity and self-esteem that characterized a complex era of change. Featuring largely unpublished additional photos, contact sheets, maps and letters, Carnival Strippers Revisited gives new depth to Meiselas’ influential vision.

Carnival Strippers Revisited and Making Of come together in a slipcase. Making Of includes Carnival Strippers Color images that have never been printed and/or published before, along with ephemera material collected by Meiselas at the time she developed the project.

-Steidl, 2022. 
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 264 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 3969990025
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-3969990025

Book 

Carnival Strippers - Revisited... 

Nanna Heitmann was among the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize's photographers assigned to portray Nobel Peace Prize Winners Dmitry Muratov, who along Maria Ressa, were recognized for their work for freedom of expression.
Heitmann photographed Muratov Editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta -  independent Russian Newspaper founded in 1993 and suspended on March 28,2022 during Russia's special military operation in Ukraine -  as well as young independent journalists. Russia is ranked 150 out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom index 2021.

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Dmitry Muratov. 2021 Nobel Peace... 

Day-to-day images from Lviv during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, March 2022.

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War in Ukraine : Lviv Dispatches... 

In September 2021, after the United States military’s last humanitarian-evacuation flight left Kabul, the interim government of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, otherwise known as the Taliban, was introduced. Taliban spokesman  Zabihullah Mujahid insists that the Taliban are not after revenge, and would offer a more inclusive government that protects women and ethnic minorities. Afghanistan is now in the hands of the forceful Taliban, who is set on bringing the country to a fully Islamic state. Mujahid insists that it was American forces that were the cause of casualties, and that the Taliban revolution was necessary to free Afghanistan from foreign forces.

Without the financial backing of the United States and international lending programs, Afghanistan’s economy has suffered. Government employees are without salary, the price of food has risen out of many families’ ranges. A drought has caused widespread hunger in the countryside that will worsen during cold months. Resources for drug habilitation have also dwindled since the Taliban’s takeover. Drug addicts forcibly go through detoxification. Without access to proper food and medical attention, they spend their time lying on beds in large dormitories, or in the yard of the former US army camp.

Though Mujahid speaks of a more inclusive government towards women, many are still convinced there is no future for them in Afghanistan and wish to flee. The Taliban issued a decree that held that women should have inheritance rights, but did not speak of the right to work or secondary education. After weeks of womens’ rights activists receiving no answers to their questions on the matter, they protested. Many women in Kabul have disappeared following anti-Taliban rallies.

Since the Taliban’s victory, U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has been working to provide relief to Afghans without giving the regime access to funds. In February 2022, Biden announced a plan for handling the 7 billion dollars in Afghan money held in U.S. banks. Half is to be set aside for 9/11 victims suing Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The other half will be for humanitarian aid. The plan will provide continued relief, but will leave the Taliban almost unable to govern, with an unstable central bank and no diplomatic recognition from the West.

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The Taliban's Afghanistan 

This new series by Paolo Pellegrin celebrates the eleventh title of the collection Des oiseaux (On birds). Magnum photographer best known for his works testifying to political, economic or even ecological upheavals, his curious mind leads him to focus on subjects that are sometimes more contemplative, where nature holds a major place. Thus, during a stay in Japan in 2019, Paolo Pellegrin, who left to witness the blooming of the cherry trees, is more struck by the majesty and the aerial ballet of a colony of black kites flying over the temple of Shimogamo, Shinto shrine of the 7th century, in the heart of a primary forest.

He manages to capture the movements of this colony of eagles that flutter very close to his lens. Their dazzling speed is captured in tight frames: the birds seem to emerge from the frame or come out of it at full speed. The choreographies follow one another: as a soloist, in a duo or in a group, these fascinating birds of prey seem to slide through space.

This work is part of the Birds collection which celebrates, through the eyes of various artists, their immense presence in a world where they are today weakened. Ornithologist Guilhem Lesaffre offers a unique essay to accompany each photographic corpus. For this book, he tells us the story of the mythology of these raptors, the fascination they have exercised through the ages in the artistic field and their way of life by paying particular attention to the species of black kites photographed by Pellegrin.

Atelier EXB/Editions Xavier Barral, 2021.
Des oiseaux (On birds)
Two versions : English and French
Hardcover, 20,5 x 26 cm
104 pages, 44 B&W photographs
Text: Guilhem Lesaffre

Book 

Des oiseaux 

Sabiha Cimen spent three years photographing Girl Qur'an Schools in five cities in Turkey, a subject that she knows very well since she attended the same schools when she was a teenager with her twin sister. After becoming a photographer, she returned to those schools to work on her project that has now become the subject for her first book.

The title Hafiz refers to one who has memorized all 604 pages of the Holy Qur'an. Historically the task of memorization began during the time of Muhammad. The individual process can take up to four years and is usually done by girls ranging in age from eight to nineteen. Turkey has thousands of Qur'an schools.

This world has never been captured with so much intimacy before, as only Sabiha can do, because she is part of this culture. Every photo reveals a different aspect and gives us a deeper understanding of the daily life and the dreams of these girls.

Red Hook Editions, 2021.
140 pages
99 medium-format color photographs
20 x 27 cm (7.9 x 10.6 in)
ISBN 978-1-7376814-0-3

Book 

Hafiz 

Violent turmoil overtook Kazakhstan at the beginning of the year as massive riots broke out in the economic capital, Almaty, and in other large cities. Peaceful protests over the rise of fuel prices evolved into a revolt against the autocratic regime and as a result on January 5th, President Tokayev dismissed his government, declared a state of emergency and after an appeal for support to Moscow, Russian troops intervened. 
Former Kazakh president Noursoultan Nazarbayev had hand selected Tokayev as his successor and it's well know that the former had retianed power behind the scenes until now, when the economic crisis has resulted in his falling out of favor. 
According to authorities, the crisis resulted in the deaths of 225 people, with Tokayev having issuing a shoot-to-kill order in what he termed an “anti-terrorism” operation.
Emin Özmen photographed the aftermath of the demonstrations, as Kazakhs attempted to get back to their normal routines.

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2022 Kazakhstan Uprising