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Baltic minority region scapegoated fo...
Salcininkai
By Benas Gerdziunas
05 Oct 2017

Salcininkai, Lithuania’s Polish and Russian-speaking city is only five kilometers from Belarus. In the backdrop of ‘Zapad 2017’ military exercises across the border, Lithuanian government government has finger-pointed at the the substantial Russian-speaking minority for being susceptible to separatism, and held multiple military exercises in the region.

In turn, however, they have demonised the vulnerable population, suffering from depopulation and social exclusion.

In April, 2017, unannounced snap drills in the area became the center of controversy. Armed men in military fatigues took over the local police station and institutions with little resistance from the unprepared security forces. Political fallout from these exercises continue to this day.

Additionally, the voting patterns in Salcininkai and Lithuanian peripheries along the 670 kilometer border with Belarus are firmly with the pro-Kremlin, Polish minority party.

I visited the area to speak to the local people, who are mostly ignored in the public discourse, and explore some of the underlying issues in the region.

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Sample media
ITALY -EARTQUAKE -AMATRICE
Amatrice
By Christian Minelli
24 Aug 2016

Italy, Amatrice : rescuers in action on August 24, 2016 in Amatrice after a powerful earthquake rocked central Italy. The earthquake left 38 people dead and the total is likely to rise, the country's civil protection unit said in the first official death toll. Scores of buildings were reduced to dusty piles of masonry in communities close to the epicentre of the quake, which had a magnitude of between 6.0 and 6.2,

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Kurdish People
Kobanî
By Felipe Passolas
21 Jan 2015

The kurdish people and their way of living due to the Islamic States attacks in the Syrian border near Kobane.

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Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible R...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
15 Jun 2013

Yop's life (random name), a Christian woman aged 45, changed when she refused the marriage proposal from a Muslim man working with her. Since that moment, he started threatening her and her family and he turned their lives into hell when she decided to marry another man. Thanks to his contacts, her harasser made her and her husband to be imprisoned and her nephew killed. The whole family left the country in December 2011 and traveled to Bangkok where they got the refugee status.

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Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible R...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
14 Jun 2013

Sarah (random name) left Democratic Republic of Congo after being threatened for defending women rights in the country. She decided to leave when the government killed two of her colleagues from the NGO she was working for. She has been recognized as refugee in Bangkok but she does not qualify for UNHCR assistance as she makes some money selling jewelry and scarfs.

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Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible ...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
14 Jun 2013

Shakila (random name) belongs to the Ahmadiyya minority, an Islamic reformist movement persecuted in Pakistan. She fled her country in December 2012 with her 32-years old son who was threatened for working with an Ahmadi company. She lives now in Bangkok and she waits to get the refugee status.

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The struggle of immigrant single-moth...
Bangkok, Thailand.
By Biel Calderon
10 Jun 2013

The iconic image of refugees that we usually have in mind is a row of tents in a sprawling emergency camp. But reality tells us that refugees are increasingly moving to large towns and cities. More than over half the world’s refugees live in large towns and cities where they suffer from harsh living conditions, with a lack of security and an increasing poverty.

Thailand is a hot spot for urban refugees. One of the reasons why the number keeps increasing is the relative easinness to enter the country. But the conditions of life awaiting them are far from the idilic idea that some displaced people may build in their minds. Urban refugees in Thailand face a harsh reality, without any legal right to work and a lack of access to basic services, such as healthcare and education.

Bangkok hosts around 2,600 refugees and asylum seekers from more than 40 countries. They hope to find a sense of community, safety and economic independence, but what they find is fear of detention and deportation, exploitation and abuse.

Among them, we find a specially vulnerable group: single-mother refugees who came to Thailand either with their family or alone. They are often denied the necessary legal rights to participate in the mainstream economy and are thus pushed underground, into informal jobs. There, they face extortion, exploitation, abuse (risk of sexual and gender-based violence) and arrest.

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Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible R...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
06 Jun 2013

Muna (random name), 39, lost the favour of her family after marrying a man from another tribal clan in Somalia. When her husband disappeared in 2010 both her family and her husband´s family tried to kill her. She fled in July 2011 and travelled to Bangkok but she had to leave her four children in her country. As a refugee, she started the process to be resettled.

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Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible R...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
06 Jun 2013

Sahar (random name), 50, fled Iran in 2010 with her three children escaping from the abuses of her husband. Two of her three children are already adults but she also takes care of her granddaughter, abandoned by her Thai mother. She has recently been recognized as refugee by UNHCR.

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Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible R...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
06 Jun 2013

Sania (random name), 33, left Pakistan in 2012, one year after the escape of her husband, a member of an opposition organization. She lives with her three children in Bangkok, while her husband is hold in an Immigration Detention Center located in the same city. Both have been recognized as refugees.da, where she will be resettled.

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Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible R...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
05 Jun 2013

Rachel (random name) fled Sri Lanka in 2009 after being arrested by the authorities of her country for belonging to the Tamil community. She arrived first in Malaysia and traveled after to Bangkok, where she is waiting to get the refugee status. She has a 9 months old daughter who was born in Thailand.

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Being a gay journalist in Hong Kong
Hong Kong, China
By Serene Yordi
10 Jan 2013

Things are changing in Hong Kong since the city has become a part of China. Josh is a Hong Kong gay journalist who is afraid of what might happen in the future, for now he is a victim of censorship that affects his profession and his privacy. His desire is to scape from Hong Kong.

To view video, click here: http://transterramedia.com/media/20731
To view article, click here: http://transterramedia.com/media/20225

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Escaping Hong Kong (1 of 8)
Hong Kong, China
By Joan Planas
10 Jan 2013

One of the streets of Hong Kong (January 2013). The city air is not good, there are a lot of people, many cars and a lot of noise.

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Azerbaijan: An Illusion (4 of 12)
Baku, Azerbaijan
By Andreas bro
21 May 2012

The Eurovision Song Contest 2012 was held in Azerbaijan. The land of fire, as it is called, put on a massive and spectacular show but the festivities was tainted by the countries poor human rights record and its harsh crack down on peaceful protests. The country’s own opposition tried to draw attention to the fact that the country is not a fair democracy even though the government try to present themselves as such.
A protester is getting taken away and shut up at a peaceful rally at the lavish boulevard along Baku’s harbour front. The secret police would walk around the protesters and single them out. The minute they started shouting slogans they would be shut up dragged of into a police car that would speed of or they would be put in a bus and taken to a police station. Often this would be done very quickly and violently.

According to Amnesty International it is not a rare sight to see protesters getting arrested, registered and then left somewhere. If you are a part of arranging the protest you could look at jail time. Normally the regime charges people with hooliganism if they need someone to disappear for a few years. That or send them to do military service.
Unfortunately there are reports of alleged torture of people that are incarcerated.

Independent journalists work under tough conditions with no protection from the government and are subject of targeting. In that regard there have been two murders on journalists that the authorities have lacked investigating.
The independent journalist Khadija Ismayilova experienced the wrath of the elite. She was investigating corruption within the government when she was threatened to stop. She kept going forward with the investigations when she was filmed with a hidden camera having sex with her boyfriend. The footage was then leaked in order to defame her. There have also been accounts of people being falsely charged with possession of drugs to discredit them. According to NGO’s this is a normal procedure used by the government to crack down on any critical voices.

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Fear in Idlib
Idlib, Syria
By info
23 Mar 2012

Idlib, Syria | March 21, 2012

An old Syrian woman looking with fear and desperation after bombings by the Assad regime on Idlib.

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Cabinet Office clashes Cairo 55
Al-Qasr Al-Aini Street, Cairo, Egypt.
By Jeffrey Bright
18 Dec 2011

A charge from behind their barricade by the military and security personnel causes a stampede by the hundreds of protesters gathered at the Cabinate Offices on the third day of clashes. Al-Qasr Al-Aini Street, Cairo, Egypt. 18/12/2011

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (26 o...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

The walls of a Texas Survivalist member's garage are plastered in American flags, obliterated target sheets and expired National Rifle Association cards.

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (25 o...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

The immaculate barrack style bedroom of a survivalist group member, complete with camouflage pillow and ready-to-grab survival bag.

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (24 o...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

The Texas Survivalists, a Survival group operating in the suburbs of Dallas, a mile and a half away from a middle school softball stadium.

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (23 o...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

A survivalist group member reveals the ammunition he carries everywhere in his pistol. "On impact, the bullet compacts and starfishes around the hollowpoint, corkscrewing and ripping through organic tissue" he explains.

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (22 o...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

The Texas Survivalists learn how to face a loaded weapon. Disarming her assailant with bare hands, Patricia turns his own pistol towards him.

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (21 o...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

Homemade stab weapons are hidden under coffee tables, as a last resort against potential intruders.

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (18 o...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

The beginnings of a food store. In months to come this room is filled with dry and tinned foods.

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (17 o...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

Throwing punches, blocking kicks and swinging sticks the Texas Survivalists also learn to defend themselves without the use of firearms. "I began learning this stuff years ago" says Ralph Severe "I really wanted to fuck people up."

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (15 o...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

Home security is important for the survivalists. Sometimes locks aren't enough.

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (13 o...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

Patricia demonstrates her new corn mill. She's preparing for life without electricity.

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (11 o...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

Shotguns lean against the fence while The Texas Survivalists take a break from training.

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (10 o...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

A lighter. Waterproofed in plastic, it's gas preserved with a zip tie.

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (9 of...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

Harold Rosenbaum, member of The Texas Survivalists, in his garage. Mesquite, Texas.

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (8 of...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

Tables, rolls of foam and giant barrels provide a makeshift obstacle course against the backdrop of Ralph's dog chewed fence. Ralph's guests waste no time in talking shop; rifle modifications, pistols, and ammo, as they holster weapons.

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (7 of...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

The Texas Survivalists, a militia group operating in the suburbs of Dallas, a mile and a half away from a middle school softball stadium.

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (6 of...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

Assault rifles line the walls of "Cheaper Than Dirt Guns," a popular spot for The Texas Survivalists.

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (5 of...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

Harold Rosenbaum says goodbye to Kahles, his companion of 25 years. "He's all I've got left," Harold says, "I don't know what I'll do when he's gone." Later in the day Harold euthanises Kahles with a lethal dose of his own Morphine

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (4 of...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

The Texas Survivalists, a militia group operating in the suburbs of Dallas, a mile and a half away from a middle school softball stadium.

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Fear and Ammo in a Texas Suburb (3 of...
Dallas, Texas
By Spike Johnson
01 Sep 2010

Shopping for fuel storage options. Harold needs enough fuel to get his V8 truck out of the city, to his rural hideout without stopping at a gas station.