Editor's Picks 25 July 2013

Collection with 13 media items created by Transterra Editor

25 Jul 2013 08:00

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LP Street Gangs in Citee du Soleil, H...
Cite Soleil, Haiti
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
06 Feb 2013

The Haitian LP Street gang is one of many gangs controlling the various slumps found through out the capital Port-au-Prince in Haiti. Some gangs are more violent then others. The most hardcore ones control their turf using intimidation and violence with guns smuggled to Haiti via the US or South America. Murders are a common site in the Haitian capital where most of the 2.5 million souls live in poverty. Certain parts of Port-au-Prince, like Citee du Soleil are as dangerous as the famous favelas of Rio.
Basha, the leader of the LP Street gang is not just a gang leader, but also a community organizer. As the Haitian government has mostly failed its people after the earthquake of 2010, Basha and his 16 strong groups of soldiers have taken upon themselves to help the people living within his zone of influence. His second hand man, Sam, helps him with all tasks that might be needed to assure the gang’s survival. From acquiring weapons to drugs, or taking cuts on the profit from the local whorehouse, the LP street gang, in that sense resembles many of the other gangs involved in crime in Port-au-Prince. However Basha and his main soldier, Sam, who grew up in Florida, have decided to also help locals but forcing politicians to listen to them.
Basha will spend time organizing meetings with ministers to open their eyes on the current situation people are living in. To this date, tenth of thousands of Haitians still living in tent cities spread out around the capital, adding to the already deep fracture of Haitian society. LP gang members go around the various camps in their zone of influence breaking up fights, easing tensions, or trying to have bathrooms and electricity built in the camps. With some success, the LP street gang has managed to assert its authority on the people.
Other gangs in the capital also control various parts of the capital, with Citee du Soleil, being the most dangerous of all the slums in Port-au-Prince. Citee du Soleil, known for its violence, and gun battles, is also a meeting ground for gangs if discussions are needed. In 2010, right after the earthquake UN troops battled their way inside the area to flush out gang soldiers, killing dozens in the process. Today, the gangs have taken control of the Citee du Soleil slums once more. The LP street gang have, overtime, establish strong connections with the though gangs controlling the area. Deals are made, information is passed long, making sure, and everyone gets a cut of the action.
The LP street gang lead by Basha and his man Sam, are hopeful that Haiti’s future will be bright, but as tensions are rising once more within the small nation, the gangs are ready at all times to make their mark with the use of weapons and extortions. The LPs are no exceptions.

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Pacification (4 of 23)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
By Rafael Fabres
12 Feb 2012

UPP soldiers Octavio Sardiña and Renato, handcuff a suspect of rape attempt in the shantytown of Vidigal, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, February 18, 2012.

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Kenyan Grandmothers' Survival (2 of 34)
Nairobi, Kenya
By Karel Prinsloo
10 May 2013

Seventy year old Wairimu Gachenga washes herself after preparing breakfast for her grandson Wahome Njeri (19) and her grand daughter on 10 May 2013 in the Nairobi slum of Korogocho, Kenya. Once a week a group of grandmothers from the area get together to practice self defense techniques after one of them was raped in 2007. Rape of elderly woman has increased in Kenya as people believe that grandmothers have a lower risk of HIV compared to younger women. KAREL PRINSLOO.

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Islamic Fashion in Istanbul (12 of 40)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Monique Jaques
11 Apr 2013

At a fashion shoot for ALA Magazine, the first magazine in Turkey for conservative women. The shoot is at Bretz Home in Kemerburgaz, Istanbul, Turkey.

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Antigua, Guatemala Celebrates Semana ...
Antigua, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
30 Mar 2013

Women in veils prepare for the procession during Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Antigua, Guatemala. Antigua, Guatemala is known for its vibrant religious festival during Semana Santa (Holy Week) popular among religious celebrations in Latin America. Semana Santa consists of costumed processions, reenactments of crucifixion and other events.

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Yemen's Youth Revolution Remembered (...
Sana'a, Yemen
By luke_somers
12 Feb 2013

As part of a massive display of the Yemeni flag’s colors, young women prepare to march down Sana’a’s Sixty Meters Road, where thousands of people awaited a parade on the two-year anniversary of the beginning of Yemen’s Youth Revolution.

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Kurdish Women Fighters in Syria (4 of...
Ras Al Ain, Syria
By audeosnowycz
07 Dec 2012

Young Kurds in their twenties who have joined the YPG (Kurdish Armed Forces). They control one of the many checkpoints on the road between Qamishlo and Derik.

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Ethiopian Women Living With Leprosy (...
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
13 Aug 2007

Leprosy has been for many centuries, in Ethiopia, a sickness with enormous social implications. The physical consequences of catching such an illness has forced many infected by the disease into a solitary life or, at best, into leper’s colonies through out the country. With medicinal progress and campaigns to explain to locals that leprosy is not contagious amongst humans, some understanding of the illness has made headway in the country. Such a change can be seen in the capital where an entire hospital was built, mostly with European money, to deal with this lingering sickness. The Alert hospital, as locals commonly name it, specializes in skin illnesses, and mostly with leprosy. Situated in the heart of a leper colony in Southern Addis Ababa where thousands of lepers live and raise their families. It treats thousands of people each year, locals often coming from far away in remote areas to get treatment. The hallways are usually loaded with dozens of families from the countryside, bringing sick family members, often after a long and tenuous travel. They wait for a day or two sometimes to see a specialized doctor. For the really ones, rooms are available almost free of cost, as foreign money keeps the institution afloat. The doctors, cladded in white are always available separating lepers from infectious diseases, putting the most sick in specially equipped rooms, which usually contains 6 to 8 beds. Operations, like amputation, a rather common affair, in the world of leprosy are always done inside the hospital by specially trained surgeon. The presence of the Alert hospital in the slum has changed the life of many lepers in Ethiopia, but foremost has saved thousands of lives living inside this ghetto where local official rarely venture. Constant danger, rampant poverty, and no sanitation has left thousands living inside this slum stranded outside Ethiopian society with no hope to climb the social ladder. The slum was created, like so many before it, to forget the leprosy problem, seen as an evil due to its quite graphic nature, scaring for life the unfortunates who contract the sickness. Inside the slum, women with leprosy cover themselves with a white sheet as to be recognized, covering their faces to stop starring or fear from healthy Ethiopians. But not all is bleak. A group of women with leprosy have gotten together to fight their condition. They created a small business where a dozen or so of these women knit and put together traditional garments and bed sheets. Using their bare hands and ancients machinery, these women have managed to organize a small business where they can earn a small salary from their sales. Kelebe, 60 years old, is one of these women. She arrived in the slum from the Northern part of the country to start over and perhaps find a better life after her husband died. She brought with her, her children, cousins, and other relatives, to increase their chances of survival. Once there, she was quickly reminded that her condition would not make things life easy for her and her family. She managed to find a shack made out of mud with metal roofing, and dirt floors. She, however did not give up, and joined these businesswomen. The fruit of her work has helped her to feed herself as well as her family members. In fact it has allowed her to prosper, buy new close and give some schooling to the youngest in her family. With an ongoing fix price of 50$ for the most expensive bedding, the little company has been able to sustain itself for a few years now, feeding a dozen family. However this small grouping seem to be the exception to the rule. Most lepers in the slum keep starving; their offspring have no more future than their parents did before them, and the government seems uninterested in helping this portion of the population.

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YPG rebel training Syria (1 of 16)
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
12 Apr 2013

Amara (14, left), Beritan (17, middle) and Rhoken (19) in the YPG base in Serekaniye. They finished their training and are now full members of the YPJ, the female branch of the Kurdish rebel army YPG. Amara joined the YPJ after her house got bombed by Assad's jets. Her older sister has children, so she choose to join the revolution in a different way. She is now a Kurdish teacher, something that was forbidden before the war.

When these photos were taken, there was a ceasefire between Al-Qaeda affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra and the YPG, who both controlled part of the city.

The three girls fought in the recent battle that drove out the Islamist fighters, but were kept away from the front line. They all survived and are now stationed in different parts of Kurdish Syria.

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Female Monks in Thailand 32
Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
01 May 2013

Ven. Dhammananda Bhikkhuni (left) shaves a woman during her ordination ceremony as
Samaneri (buddhist novice nun) at Wat Songkdhammakalayani, the first temple gathering fully ordained nuns in Thailand since 1960.

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Stolen Brides: Syrian Refugee Women i...
Al Mafraq, Jordan
By Sharron Ward
29 Mar 2013

An exclusive powerful film exposing the sexual exploitation and abuse of Syrian refugee women who are subjected to "pleasure marriages," rape, kidnapping and sexual harassment in Za’atari refugee camp, Jordan.
Duration: 10 minutes
Format: HD 16:9 1080i 1920 x 1080 25 fps, Apple Pro Res HQ 422 PAL
Viewing format: 4:3 low res version

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New Cut Real Democracy
By Andy Beale
08 Feb 2013

Real Democracy is a vote donation program, organized by Israeli and Palestinian activists, and enacted through Facebook. The campaign allowed disenfranchised Palestinians to vote in the most recent Israeli Knesset elections through Israeli citizens who donated their ballot. Interviews were conducted with activists on both sides who organized the project, as well as Israeli Citizens, East Jerusalem Residents, and West Bank Residents who had heard about the initiative. The campaign signals the development of a new strategy in anti-occupation organizing in the region.

During the recent Israeli elections, a group known as Real Democracy used social media to reach across the green line, connecting anti-occupation activists in Palestine with supporters in Israel. Since Palestinians living outside the borders given Israel in 1948 live under Israeli military occupation but are not allowed to vote in Israel, Real Democracy organizers decided to use Facebook to give them a voice in the elections.

Quote: Shimri Zmeret
“So an Israeli goes on the Facebook page and posts a video or statement saying ‘I want to give my vote.' And a Palestinian goes on the same page and says ‘I will use your vote.’”

From the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street, social media has played an increasingly important role in protest movements. Although Real Democracy organizers believe the campaign could have succeeded without Facebook, they say the social-media platform played a critical role in forging connections between activists who otherwise would have been unable to meet each other due to travel restrictions enforced by Israel.

Quote: Ameer Suleibi
“As Palestinians who live in the West Bank, they cannot enter Israeli area, because we don’t have permission, we don’t have declaration. My age is around 23, and I have never visited Jerusalem. So the best way in order to communicate with Israeli people or Arab people who live in Israel: by the Facebook or by Emails or by, ya3ni, by the internet.”

Quote: Shimri
“So, I can connect with a Palestinian through Facebook much more easily than I can go there because I can’t go to Ramallah and a Palestinian from Ramallah can’t come here.”

Activists argue that because the occupation has such a profound effect on Palestinian lives, they should be given the right to participate in the voting process.

Quote: Mousa
“The Israeli government, they have a plan to build an apartheid wall in our land, and to take much land from our side, and we are not allowed later to work in that land because it will be inside the wall.”

As the Israeli magazine +972 reported, one out of three people living under Israeli military control, including the residents here in the West Bank and Gaza, are not allowed to vote.

Quote: Haytham Tofukji
“But as I'm saying, here in Jerusalem, we are not allowed. I mean we are not allowed to be part of the elections, the Israeli elections, as we are residents. According to Israeli law, we are residents of Jerusalem.”

Quote: Shimri
“There's two reasons Israelis should give their votes to Palestinians. One is that Israel is undemocratic, and the second is that the UN is undemocratic. In the UN, the Israelis have the kind of ultimate power, if you want, the veto power, on their side but the Palestinians don't even have a vote in the General Assembly.”

Real Democracy organizers say several thousand people used the program. With a voter turnout of around 3.6 million this election, it's unlikely that this was enough to influence the elections, though activists say changing the outcome was never the point.

Quote: Haytham
“Maybe this project, if it continues—I'm not saying, because it's the first step—if it continues maybe it will reach a level with the goals of the idea.”

Quote: Mousa
“I believe, the small number, they will not do something. But, in fact, you know, we make a noise.”

Besides voting for a Knesset member, the Facebook page offered Palestinians the option of asking Israelis to boycott the election. Many Palestinian citizens of Israel who have voting rights boycott Israeli elections on principle.

Quote: Haytham
“For us as Palestinians, we don't consider the State of Israel. We consider Israel as occupation. So here is the point where you boycott them.”

Quote: Lamia Qaddoumi
“Like, any government to come after Benjamin Netanyahu, would be as racist and as dangerous as—as bad as the one before. So why care?”

Despite the ongoing occupation, many Israelis reject the idea that Palestinians living outside the green line should be allowed to participate in Israel's election process.

Quote: Eitan Bendor
“Because right now, they are the enemy. I mean, it's a big problem. Until you can get to a settlement that both sides can live up to it, then nothing can work. I mean, why should I give if you don't do anything in return?”

Quote: Mani Ben Yisrael
“Why should they donate their votes for Arabs? They don't need a state! You know, they are not a nation, whatever. They should go to Jordan, wherever they came from.”

Despite some negative feedback, members of Real Democracy say the response they received was overwhelmingly positive. They plan to continue using Facebook to build connections between activists and pursue a democratic solution to the region's problems.

Quote: Mousa
“My message now is to international governments, and that is the most important. My message to them is to make real action for our situation here, and to stop supporting Israeli occupation here.”

Final PTC: Wrap-Up

0:00 – 0:09 – establishing
0:10 – 0:32 – PTC B-Roll Facebook group for donating votes
0:33 – 0:45 – Interview with Co-founder of Real Democracy, Mousa Abu Marya
0:46 – 1:07 - Interview with Co-founder of Real Democracy, Shimri Zameret with B-Roll
1:08 – 1:27 – B-Roll, PTC, Narration
1:28 – 1:50 – Interview West Bank Resident, Ameer Suleibi with B-Roll
1:51 – 2:00 – Sound bite from Co-founder of Real Democracy, Shimri Zameret with B-Roll
2:01 – 2:10 – PTC
2:11 – 2:25 - Interview with Co-founder of Real Democracy, Mousa Abu Marya with B-Roll
2:26 – 2:37 – PTC with B-Roll
2:38 – 2:49 – Interview with Student, Haytham Tofukji, Al Quds University, resident of Jerusalem but not permitted to vote.
2:50 – 3:05 - Interview with Co-founder of Real Democracy, Shimri Zameret with B-Roll
3:06 – 3:19 – PTC with B-Roll
3:20 – 3:30 - Interview with Student, Haytham Tofukji, Al Quds University
3:31 – 3:37 - Interview with Co-founder of Real Democracy, Mousa Abu Marya with B-Roll
3:38 – 3:50 – PTC
3:51 – 3:58 - Interview with Student, Haytham Tofukji, Al Quds University with B-Roll
3:59 – 4:10 – Interview with Student, Lamia Qaddoumi, Al Quds University boycotting election with B-Roll
4:11 – 4:20 – PTC
4:21 – 4:35 – Israeli Citizen, Eitan Bendor, against Palestinians voting
4:36 – 4:47 - Israeli Citizen, Mani Ben Yisrael, against Palestinians voting with B-Roll
4:48 – 5:00 – PTC
5:01 – 5:18 - Interview with Co-founder of Real Democracy, Shimri Zameret with B-Roll
5:19 – 5:34 - Interview with Co-founder of Real Democracy, Mousa Abu Marya with B-Roll
5:35 – 5:40 - PTC

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Multimedia / Fear and Ammo inTexas
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

An audio and visual slideshow

The Texas Survivalists is a militia group operating in the suburbs of Dallas, a mile from a middle school softball stadium. For them, bad times are coming: economic collapse, overnight inflation, nuclear war, epidemic, invasion and fuel shortages. The Survivalists – maybe a dozen in all, men and women in their early 20s to late 50s such as Trust Harold Rosenbaum, a Vietnam veteran, Ralph Severe, an armed security guard and Patricia, who is recovering from breast cancer – are steps ahead of most. They are combat training, storing food, stockpiling ammo, planning escape routes, packing survival kits, making soap and, most of all, assuring themselves that they don’t need another human alive to survive.

Their preparations can seem extreme to an outsider. They always pack a pistol and a supply of hollow-point rounds to cause maximum injury. They hide homemade knives around their living rooms. (Under the bookshelf is a favorite spot.) They place bug-out bags the size of coffee tables in the hallway, in preparation to run. Their survival kits bulge with dried food, clothes, ammunition and seeds - everything to start a new life. They have ceased living with day-to-day annoyances. They leave dishes dirty in the sink (Why wash when tomorrow's not coming?), let dust settle on the television, and seem oblivious to possessions piled in disarray on bare floors. Regular housework seems pointless when you're preparing to escape a collapsing city at a moment's notice.