One of my pictures from South Sudan shot for Cafod has been recognised as a Nominee at the 6th Annual Photography Masters Cup. I was more than happy about this as South Sudan is one of those places that gets under your skin and you just want to revisit.
The picture shows Mercy (12) who collects water for her family every morning and evening from a borehole installed by Cafod. Fresh clean drinking water is one of the many challengers facing the Republic of South Sudan, the newest nation on earth.
Before the new borehole was placed within her community of St Cecilia, home to over 400 households or approx 3.000 people, Mercy would have spent hours walking miles to gather water , impacting her ability to attend school and her future.
Caritas Australia who I’ve worked with a number of times have launched their 2013 Project Compassion profiles which showcase outstanding examples of how development can initiate positive change for individuals and communities.
I was lucky enough to report on one such person called Raymundo (24) in Bolivia. An incredibly energetic and charismatic guy whose life story is an inspiration to many underprivileged children in his home town of Cochabamba. Having a difficult start in life he has gone from street child with addiction issues to gaining a degree at University and a passion for helping others who face the same problems he managed to overcome.
This was made possible through a local NGO called Educar es Fiesta (Education is Celebration) a circus school for vulnerable children who rescued him from the streets and gave direction to his life. He is now a teacher there and has gained a celebrity like status with the children..!
I was only with him for a few hours so below are some pictures and short video produced by Caritas Australia which gives you an insight into his inspiring life…
Raymundo Ramos (22) has been with Educar es Fiesta, a circus school based in Cochabamba, Bolivia since the age of 9. Here he is teaching children acting and circus skills on the roof of Wasy Tukuypaj.
The Educar es Fiesta centre called Wasy Tukuypaj which means 'House of All' in local Quecha language in San Francisco area of Ushpa Ushpa. The town of 50,000 people has a large migrant population so many of the children have never grown up with their parents. They located here due to the high number of parentless children.
Educar es Fiesta which means Education is Celebration is a circus school based in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Its primary role is to assist children at risk though the prevention of violence against children. It runs circus and art classes and education lessons for children aged 8-16. They also work with parents and teachers informing them about child rights. Over 1,500 children have participated in the program since 1999.
Some images taken today during a protest in Perth during The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting or CHOGM 2011 that is being hosted by Perth in Western Australia this week. A very heavy security operation has been in place with over 3,000 officers from all over Australia deployed. Over a 1000 protesters marched peacefully through the centre of Perth under tight security. The CHOGM Action Network was represented by a variety of causes from refugee rights, anti-corporate greed, Occupy Perth, climate change and human rights issues in commonwealth countries.
An image from an assignment to Bangladesh earlier this year for Caritas Australia has been selected as a finalist in the Foto8 Summershow 2011 in London. An exhibition at the HOST gallery from 8th July will display the images.
‘The Foto8 Summershow has become a unique opportunity for photographers from all backgrounds and disciplines to participate in the creation of a new aesthetic. An aesthetic that is becoming less formal and harder to define as photographers explore new approaches to their subjects and themes allowing their work to stand out.’
The Caritas campaign about how climate change is affecting this area in the south west of Bangladesh will be launched shortly so I’ll hopefully be able to put some more images and a multimedia presentation they completed here soon..watch this space…!
I’ve just found out the Mongolia project has been chosen as a finalist in the Luis Valtuena Fotografia Humanitaria competition in Spain which is great news as the subject will again receive wider awareness. The winning images are to be exhibited in Spain and around Europe. The aim of the competition is stated below and one of the main reasons for me entering:
“In these thirteen editions, the award has become a reference for humanitarian photography and its role in bringing a reality, sometimes hopeful, sometimes frightening, but to which one can not remain indifferent.”
The selected final images are, as always, of a very high standard. It is interesting to note maybe that the vast majority of images are either black and white or desaturated images..maybe this is what the majority of entrants submitted or it reflects the preference of the judges or maybe an indication of what Spanish photojournalism prefers..?
Munkhbat and Altangeret (both 15) have lived in this manhole together for over three years under the streets of Ulaanbaatar, the coldest capital city in the world. Spending time with them I witnessed what a tough, lonely and violent existence they have to endure in temperatures reaching -40c. They were forced into this situation by divorced and deceased parents but they still hope and strive for a better future. For me this image encapsulates the extremely difficult conditions these boys live in whilst life continues around them, oblivious and indifferent to their plight.”