Mount Hagen, PNG. Visitors to the Mount Hagen festival. The tribal markings were originally used to intimidate enemies, and also show 'Wontok' or clan allegiance. Ornamental shells have a range of functions including use as currency. This large shell is called a 'bailer shell' and is used for getting water out of canoes.
Mary, Turkmenistan. Workers clean up after celebrations honouring the birthday of the past president Turkmenbashi, or ‘The Head of All Turkmens’. During his presidency gold statues were erected and towns re-named after him. Turkmenbashi also produced a book ‘Ruhnama’ (The Book of The Soul) which contained his version of Turkmen history, moral guidance, spiritual philosophy and his poetry. It was compulsory reading, and Turkmenbashi decreed that anyone who read it three times would go to heaven.
Tolkuchka Market, Turkmenistan. A camel trader who also offers a delivery service. Camels are craned into ancient Russian trucks for delivery to distant villages. North of Ashgabat, this area was the last Turkmen stronghold in 1881 and finally captured by the Russians at the cost of 7000 Turkmen. In the 1930’s, Stalin forced Turkmens into collectives, seizing pasturelands and destroying herds, starting a new age of hardship and famine.
Pripyat Hospital ward, Chernobyl. Ivan, a fire fighter remembers the disaster: “After about 40, 50 minutes there were two more explosions. A big black cloud, then an intense blue light. A ball of fire covered the moon. I felt sick and fell unconscious. I woke up in the hospital in Moscow with 40 other fire fighters. At first we joked about radiation. Then we heard that a comrade had begun to bleed from his nose and mouth and his body turned black and he died. That was the end of the laughter.”
Kindergarten, Prypyat, Chernobyl. Inside the Exclusion Zone around the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, a book is left open in an abandoned classroom. In comic picture form, it explains to young children what to do in the event of an American nuclear attack. Surrounding the reactors was a complex system of attack detection called the Early Warning System. Because it had many construction problems, some referred to it as the Late Warning System.
Mount Hagen, PNG. A boy channels a Kiap, highland police patrols from the 1950's famed for their bravery and skills. Papua New Guineans are clan or village orientated. By joining the Kiap they became part of a new clan, but greater allegiances still remained to their Wontoks, or family and clan groups.
Timbuktu Library, Mali. Hundreds of ancient manuscripts and books are stored here. Timbuktu was a major trading hub and place of learning. Wealthy traders were based in this centre for trade in gold, ivory, salt and slaves.
Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Hundreds of men, mostly immigrants from Burkina Faso, run commercial laundry services in a shallow stream on the outskirts of Abidjan. The floating tyres hold huge stones that are used to pummel the clothing, with a local black soap made from palm oil. Laundry is then placed to dry on nearby hills. The workers are organised by a strict union, which allocates positions and excludes any troublemakers.
Sitakunda, Bangladesh. A shopkeeper specialises in kitchen goods re-cycled from the ships. Along with furniture dealers, electricians, plumbers and glaziers, they will board the ship as soon as it arrives for recycling. They tender for goods that are removed immediately so ship breaking work can begin. Goods from the ships are considered high quality and dealers come from all over Asia.
Inside the Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl. Mikhail and Maria Urupa were relocated to Kiev but after a year moved back illegally into the deserted village where they were born. They are not concerned about radiation as all their family are dead. In the summer, they grow vegetables, collect firewood and gather feed for the cow and chickens. Their children died shortly after the explosion from ‘natural causes’, as it was illegal to put ‘radiation’ on death certificates.
Mount Hagen, PNG. Visitors to the Mount Hagen festival. The Highlanders like to wear 'seconhanklos' (second hand clothes) but for the Mount Hagen sing-sing, all the tribal finery comes out ¬– feathers, shells, bark, paint, fur and quills. The Hagen sing-sing attracts villagers from all around the Whagi region, who come to show off their costumes, music, dance and culture.
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