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Slum Priests in Argentina, between So...
Buenos Aires, Argentina
By Fabien Palem
18 Jun 2015

Imagine a vicar, bored and tired of giving sermons to old devout women of his parish. His mind is somewhere else. Imagine this same priest all day long, walking around, riding his bike on the dirty and destroyed roads of the Buenos Aires’ slums; trying to avoid all the holes, puddles of water… surrounded sometimes by exchanges of gunfire. In Argentina, slum priests (“curas villeros”) became famous when the Vatican elected Jorge Bergoglio, former archbishop of Buenos Aires, as Pope Francis, in February 2013. If Francis is now considered as a “popular” Pope (or Pope “of the poor”), it is thanks to one of the “curas villeros”, Father “Pepe”, who had received Bergoglio in “his” slum to show him the plight of the people in his overwhelmingly impoverished parish.

As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio himself had always been a fervent partisan of (popular) Liberation theology and tolerated and engaged with the popular devotional practices of these unprivileged populations, mostly composed of immigrants from nearby Bolivia or Paraguay. Popular religiosity is the only leitmotiv of these activist priests. They are often in conflict with the Vatican, who has labeled them as “heretics,” because of their having baptized children of single mothers and for having tolerated popular devotional practices towards unrecognized saints. They don’t hesitate to stray from Catholics dogma, which they sometimes find ignores the issues facing the people in their parishes. At the same time, “slum priests” also stay away from local politics.

“Here (in the “villas”), there are no right or left-wing positions. All the matter is to get water, access to electricity, and to improve daily life,” insists Father Gustavo Carrara.

All around the Argentinean capital and its huge suburbs, these “slum priests” try to help the city’s most impoverished people, whose numbers have increased between 2010 to 2014 with the population of these “villas” passing from 163,000 to 275,000 in Buenos Aires alone, according to the local secretary for housing. Far away from the sumptuous Cathedral of the “Plaza de Mayo” in Buenos Aires, slum priests are practicing in precarious parishes, built by themselves with the unconditional help of neighbours. Among the religiously devout social activists offering their help to these vicars of the poor are psychologists, social workers and spokespeople for the marginalized. Suspicious towards corrupt policemen and the shady politicians, they fight alongside these priests to save the youth from the dangers of the street, from drugs, and to help struggling mothers.

 

Les pretres des pauvres: entre la révolution et l'héresie​

Les prêtres tiers-mondistes en Argentine, entre révolution sociale et hérésie ? Imaginez un curé fatigué de donner des sermons aux vieilles dévotes de sa paroisse. Celles-ci l’ennuient, à la longue, car il a mieux à faire. Imaginez ce curé passant ses journées à déambuler en vélo dans les rues en terres des bidonvilles, en évitant les trous, les flaques d’eau… et les fusillades ! En Argentine, les curés tiers-mondistes (“curas villeros”) sont devenus célèbres lors de l’élection de l’ancien archevêque de Buenos Aires, Jorge Bergoglio, devenu le Pape François en février 2013. Si François est aujourd’hui présenté comme le Pape “du peuple” (ou “des pauvres”), c’est essentiellement grâce à l’un de ces “curas villeros”, le Père “Pepe”, qui le recevait dans “son” bidonville, afin de l’alerter des problèmes du peuple.

Aux quatre coins de la capitale argentine, ainsi que dans son immense périphérie, ils viennent en aide aux plus démunis, dont le nombre ne cesse d’augmenter (de 2010 à 2014, la population des “villas” est passée de 163.000 à 275.000 personnes dans la seule ville de Buenos Aires, selon le Secrétariat de l’habitat, et dont les problématiques sont trop souvent oubliées des pouvoirs publics. Bien loin de la Cathédrale fastueuse de la place de Mai de Buenos Aires, les curés villeros exercent dans des paroisses précaires, qu’ils ont souvent dû construire eux-mêmes, avec l’aide inconditionnelle des riverains. Ces sacerdotes hors du commun, vêtus aussi humblement que leurs fidèles, sont un mélange d’assistants sociaux, de psychologues et de porte-paroles des pauvres. Méfiants vis-à-vis des policiers corrompus, des représentants politiques véreux, ils repêchent les jeunes de la rue et de la drogue, assistent les mères désemparées, qui ne savent plus quoi faire de la ribambelle d’enfants arrivés trop tôt…

Ces hommes de terrain ont comme seul mot d’ordre la religiosité populaire. Ils se sont parfois attirés les foudres du Vatican, qui les considère comme des “hérétiques”, pour avoir notamment baptisé des enfants de mères célibataires et accepté la dévotion des villeros pour des saints et des vierges non-reconnus par l’Église. Ils n’hésitent pas à prendre certaines libertés par rapport au dogme catholique et aux concepts de l’Eglise, parfois complètement déconnectée de la réalité sociale, même s’ils se défendent d’appartenir à quelconque mouvement de gauche ou du péronisme.

« Ici (dans les villas), il n’y a pas de droite ni de gauche : tout ce qui importe, c’est d’avoir de l’eau, de l’électricité et de vivre mieux », insiste ainsi le Père Gustavo Carrara.

Jorge Bergoglio lui-même a toujours été un fervent défenseur de la Théologie du Peuple, refusant de condamner leur vision de la foi et s’appuyant sur les croyances populaires de cette population déshéritée, qui compte un grand nombre d’immigrants (Boliviens et Paraguayens).

 

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Pioneer Artist Samia Halaby: “Abstrac...
Beirut
By PatrickAjemian
04 Feb 2015

Beirut, Lebanon

February 4, 2015

At the age of 79, Samia Halaby is one of the leading artists in the Arab world.
Halaby’s first retrospective exhibition, Samia Halaby: Five Decades of Painting and Innovation, currently held in Beirut, celebrates more than 70 of her artworks she has produced. Halaby wishes to hold similar retrospective exhibitions in different parts of the world. Her work is widely sought around by art collectors. One her paintings were sold at Christie’s auction house for $179,000.
As an international and Arab pioneer of abstraction, Halaby aims to place abstract painting within the reach of a very wide audience.
“People say that they do not understand abstract art,” she says. “Therefore, I give paintings titles to open the door for spectators to enter and see whatever they want.” Halaby has remained faithful to abstract painting throughout her long career because she believes it is “an image of nature.”
“While [Photography] builds a perspective using a lens, [abstract art] imitates nature without a lens,” Halaby adds. The Jerusalem-born artist’s work reflects her political and historical background. Her vast array of paintings includes a collection on olive trees, an icon of Palestinian culture and symbol of resistance. She has also written a book on the artistic representation of the Palestinian intifada and believes that it constitutes a distinct artistic school

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Pioneer Artist Samia Halaby: “Abstrac...
Biel
By AmmarParis
04 Feb 2015

Beirut, Lebanon

February 4, 2015

At the age of 79, Samia Halaby is one of the leading artists in the Arab world.
Halaby’s first retrospective exhibition, Samia Halaby: Five Decades of Painting and Innovation, currently held in Beirut, celebrates more than 70 of her artworks she has produced. Halaby wishes to hold similar retrospective exhibitions in different parts of the world. Her work is widely sought around by art collectors. One her paintings were sold at Christie’s auction house for $179,000.
As an international and Arab pioneer of abstraction, Halaby aims to place abstract painting within the reach of a very wide audience.
“People say that they do not understand abstract art,” she says. “Therefore, I give paintings titles to open the door for spectators to enter and see whatever they want.” Halaby has remained faithful to abstract painting throughout her long career because she believes it is “an image of nature.” “While [Photography] builds a perspective using a lens, [abstract art] imitates nature without a lens,” Halaby adds. The Jerusalem-born artist’s work reflects her political and historical background. Her vast array of paintings includes a collection on olive trees, an icon of Palestinian culture and symbol of resistance. She has also written a book on the artistic representation of the Palestinian intifada and believes that it constitutes a distinct artistic school.

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Life in ship recycling yard in bangla...
Dhaka
By zakir hossain chowdhury
06 Jan 2015

A child playing with child dog inside ship recycling yard near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions earn Tk. 300-400 BDT (1 USD = 78 BDT) as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.Most of the private shipyards use plate, engine, component and machinery of old merchant ship collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh. But frequent accident and heavy human causalities of inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards.Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market. The vessels were built for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland. Bangladesh shipbuilding is being compared with giants such as China, Japan and South Korea.

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Life in ship recycling yard in bangla...
Dhaka
By zakir hossain chowdhury
06 Jan 2015

School children near ship recycling yard in Dhaka.Shipyard workers near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions earn Tk. 300-400 BDT (1 USD = 78 BDT) as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.Most of the private shipyards use plate, engine, component and machinery of old merchant ship collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh. But frequent accident and heavy human causalities of inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards.Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market. The vessels were built for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland. Bangladesh shipbuilding is being compared with giants such as China, Japan and South Korea.

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Life in ship recycling yard in bangla...
Dhaka
By zakir hossain chowdhury
06 Jan 2015

School children near ship recycling yard in Dhaka.Shipyard workers near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions earn Tk. 300-400 BDT (1 USD = 78 BDT) as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.Most of the private shipyards use plate, engine, component and machinery of old merchant ship collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh. But frequent accident and heavy human causalities of inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards.Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market. The vessels were built for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland. Bangladesh shipbuilding is being compared with giants such as China, Japan and South Korea.

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Life in ship recycling yard in bangla...
Dhaka
By zakir hossain chowdhury
06 Jan 2015

School children near ship recycling yard in Dhaka.Shipyard workers near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions earn Tk. 300-400 BDT (1 USD = 78 BDT) as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.Most of the private shipyards use plate, engine, component and machinery of old merchant ship collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh. But frequent accident and heavy human causalities of inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards.Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market. The vessels were built for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland. Bangladesh shipbuilding is being compared with giants such as China, Japan and South Korea.

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Life in ship recycling yard in bangla...
Dhaka
By zakir hossain chowdhury
06 Jan 2015

School children playing near ship recycling yard in Dhaka.Shipyard workers near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions earn Tk. 300-400 BDT (1 USD = 78 BDT) as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.Most of the private shipyards use plate, engine, component and machinery of old merchant ship collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh. But frequent accident and heavy human causalities of inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards.Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market. The vessels were built for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland. Bangladesh shipbuilding is being compared with giants such as China, Japan and South Korea

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Life in ship recycling yard in bangla...
Dhaka
By zakir hossain chowdhury
06 Jan 2015

Shipyard workers near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions earn Tk. 300-400 BDT (1 USD = 78 BDT) as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.Most of the private shipyards use plate, engine, component and machinery of old merchant ship collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh. But frequent accident and heavy human causalities of inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards.Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market. The vessels were built for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland. Bangladesh shipbuilding is being compared with giants such as China, Japan and South Korea.

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Life in ship recycling yard in bangla...
Dhaka
By zakir hossain chowdhury
06 Jan 2015

Shipyard workers near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions earn Tk. 300-400 BDT (1 USD = 78 BDT) as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.Most of the private shipyards use plate, engine, component and machinery of old merchant ship collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh. But frequent accident and heavy human causalities of inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards.Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market. The vessels were built for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland. Bangladesh shipbuilding is being compared with giants such as China, Japan and South Korea.

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Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 17
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
05 Jan 2015

A primary school is situated near this yard, and children make their way to their classes using a dangerous path inside the shipyard, some of them using it as a playground, though a dangerous one.

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Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 19
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
05 Jan 2015

About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.

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Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 20
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
05 Jan 2015

An old ship is maneuvered into place in a shipyard outside Dhaka where it will be either repaired or dismantled for parts and scrap metal.

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Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 22
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
05 Jan 2015

Frequent accidents and heavy human causalities on inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards. Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market.

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Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 27
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
05 Jan 2015

A child plays with her dog inside a ship recycling yard near the Buriganga River in Dhaka. A primary school is situated near this yard, and children make their way to their classes using a dangerous path inside the shipyard, some of them using it as a playground, though a dangerous one.

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Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 24
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Jan 2015

A child plays with her dog inside a ship recycling yard near the Buriganga River in Dhaka. A primary school is situated near this yard, and children make their way to their classes using a dangerous path inside the shipyard, some of them using it as a playground, though a dangerous one.

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Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 25
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Jan 2015

A child plays with her dog inside a ship recycling yard near the Buriganga River in Dhaka. A primary school is situated near this yard, and children make their way to their classes using a dangerous path inside the shipyard, some of them using it as a playground, though a dangerous one.

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Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 26
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Jan 2015

About 15,000 people work in extremely dangerous conditions and earn between $4 and $5 as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common. Shipyard workers say make very meager earnings, without proper safety, and surrounded by the smell of asbestos.

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Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 28
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Jan 2015

Young children, mostly climate refugees from flooded areas of the country, work in the shipyards, collecting scrap metal and used oil to sell in local markets.

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Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 16
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Jan 2015

Frequent accidents and heavy human causalities on inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards. Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market.

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Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 18
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Jan 2015

A mid-size vessel sits in a boatyard outside Dhaka among old ships, ripe for recycling. Bangladesh is now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market, building vessels for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland.

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Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 21
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Jan 2015

About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.

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Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 23
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
04 Jan 2015

Frequent accidents and heavy human causalities on inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards. Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market.

Life in ship recycling yard in bangla...
Dhaka
By zakir hossain chowdhury
30 Dec 2014

School children near ship recycling yard in Dhaka.There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions earn Tk. 300-400 BDT (1 USD = 78 BDT) as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.Most of the private shipyards use plate, engine, component and machinery of old merchant ship collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh. But frequent accident and heavy human causalities of inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards.Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market. The vessels were built for countries including Denmark, Germany and Finland. Bangladesh shipbuilding is being compared with giants such as China, Japan and South Korea.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 11
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
30 Dec 2014

A shipyard worker gets prepared to weld near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 14
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
30 Dec 2014

Frequent accidents and heavy human causalities on inland vessels often raise question about the quality of ships produced in local shipyards. Bangladesh are now exporting small and medium-sized ships for the highly competitive European market.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 09
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
30 Dec 2014

Two men are hard at work welding metal in a shipyard near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 01
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
30 Dec 2014

Shipyard workers pose for the camera in a year near the Buriganga River in Dhaka. There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 07
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
30 Dec 2014

Most of the private shipyards use plate steel, engines, components and machinery from old merchant ships collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 02
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
30 Dec 2014

About 15,000 people are working in extremely dangerous conditions as they don't get safety gear from the dock owners and accidents are common.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 10
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
30 Dec 2014

Most of the private shipyards use plate steel, engines, components and machinery from old merchant ships collected from many ship recycling industries located in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 08
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
29 Dec 2014

A man is hard at work welding metal in a shipyard near the Buriganga River in Dhaka.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 05
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
29 Dec 2014

17 year-old Ashraful has seen several of his colleagues fall victim to explosions, caused by ruptures in gas cylinders. He breaks down the rusty, old supertankers, cargo ships and cruisers to be scrapped. Most of them live by eating rice and vegetables. Ashraful cannot remember when he last ate meat.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 13
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
29 Dec 2014

There are more than 35 shipyards in Old Dhakas Keraniganj area in the bank of the river Burigonga, where small ships, launches and steamers are built and repaired around the clock.

Bangladesh's Shipbuilding Industry 15
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
29 Dec 2014

A boy stops to pose for a photo while playing near a ship recycling yard in Dhaka.