Author Archive for burn magazine

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malin fezehai – a kind of purgatory

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Malin Fezehai

A Kind of Purgatory: African Refugees in Israel

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By some estimates, 60,000 African asylum-seekers — mainly from Sudan and Eritrea — reside in Israel. For these men, women and children, the journey to the country is perilous: traversing hostile countries, often encountering bandits and facing the Egyptian and Sinai deserts before they even reach the border. Many who start the journey don’t make it. For those who do, they face a kind of purgatory rather than a home.

In Israel, these asylum-seekers are offered a temporary visa — called the 2(A)5 – that has to be renewed every three months, though they are not allowed to work. The State of Israel does not provide them with social assistance, and so many become cheap labor for various service industries, working, for example, as hotel housecleaners and groundskeepers while remaining under constant threat of arrest and detention.
Today, border crossings by asylum seekers has almost completely stopped – largely because of the 90-mile fence that Israel built on the border. (The government used African workers in its construction.) And while the exodus may have slowed to a trickle, the harsh realities of this purgatory remain.

On a sunny Saturday in Levinsky Park in Tel Aviv, I heard the hopelessness and frustration with recent government actions at a community meeting of Eritreans. The meeting was held in the wake of weeks of demonstrations by Africans against a new detention law. The mood was somber. In December 2013, the Israeli Knesset added an amendment to the Anti-Infiltration law. It requires asylum-seekers from Eritrea and Sudan to be automatically detained for at least a year and then placed, indefinitely, in an open detention center. The opening of Holot detention center at the beginning of this year followed the passage of the amendment. It currently holds more than 2,000 African asylum-seekers, with a plan in place to expand the capacity to about 8,000.

The demonstrations marked the first time this community made its presence known in Israel. Despite the demonstrations, the community remained in two minds, with some members discussing ways that they could make themselves more invisible. One speaker suggested that they shouldn’t pray in the park because it can upset Israelis, because they pay taxes for their parks and want this to be a Jewish country. The majority of the Eritrean refugees are Christians and the majority of Sudanese refugees are Muslim.

The country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to what he sees as illegal immigrants as being “infiltrators” in Israel. Worldwide, Eritrean and Sudanese nationals have very high rates of what the UNHCR calls “refugee recognition“: 82% for Eritreans and 68% for Sudanese. Israel, however, has one of the world’s lowest rates of refugee recognition. In addition, a Sudanese national known to have even entered Israel faces a 10 year prison sentence in Sudan, whether they have entered with or without a visa.

The point of the open detention center, and the general policy towards the “infiltrators” seems to be to pressure Africans to self-deport. As former Interior Minister Eli Yishai put it, to “make their lives miserable,“until they give up and agree to let Israel deport them to a third country, often Uganda. If you are an African male that has been in Israel for more than 5 years you will receive an “invitation” to Holot detention center. Detainees can leave the facility, but must report for three roll calls in the morning, midday and at night.
Holot is located in the desert near the Egyptian border. Detainees are left wandering the desert between check-ins, and are not allowed to leave from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.  If you don’t report on time, you can be taken to the nearby closed prison of Saharonim. Many were forced to quit their jobs in Tel Aviv and are held indefinitely without trial or grounds for release. The only option they are given is to take an offered sum of $3,500 (U.S) to return to their country of origin, a third country, or to stay in Holot indefinitely.

Mutasim Ali is a 27-year old asylum-seeker from Sudan and is acknowledged by the United Nation High Commissioner as a refugee. Yet, the Israeli Ministry of Interior has not reviewed his case. He has been in Israel for 5 years, speaks fluent Hebrew and is CEO of ARDC (The African Refugee Development Center, a not-for profit organization). He was the first to appeal the administrative processes of receiving an “invitation” to Holot without having an opportunity to be heard.  “When you take someone’s life,” Ali’s lawyer Asaf Weitzen, the head of the legal department at the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, an NGO, says, “and tear them apart from his friends, work and life, it should at the very least be done with due process and must include a hearing.”

The judge rejected Ali’s petition, and he was not allowed a hearing. He entered Holot in early May.

Bio

Malin Fezehai is a photographer and filmmaker based in New York. This series was produced in collaboration with producer Sarah Asreghan.

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Read more: ‘A Kind of Purgatory’: African Refugees in Israel – LightBox http://lightbox.time.com/2014/07/07/african-refugees-in-israel/#ixzz3BQnsNYXp

 

Last Post


This is my last post on @burndiary @burnmagazine . I want thank to @davidalanharvey @diegorlando and all BURN FAMILY! @ekinik

Dance for divine love


Dance for divine love #Rumi #istanbul @ekinik

The Storm


Storm is on the way , Galata tower #istanbul @ekinik

Pensive


Pensive #istanbul @ekinik

Pain for beauty


Pain for beauty.. We all do it time to time #istanbul @ekinik

Rain in Instanbul


#istanbul on a daily basis #taksim @ekinik

Ekin in Istanbul


Hello everyone! I’m Ekin @ekinik from Istanbul. I will be posting photos this week for @burndiary . #istanbul

matjaz krivic – urbanistan

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ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT

Matjaz Krivic

Urbanistan

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The story of a quiet loudness.

As soon as you hear the word Urbanistan your imagination is whisked off into the traffic mayhem of Calcutta, the tawdriness of the neon sex nightlife in Bangkok, the unbelievable structuralized yet frenzied Tokyo, the suffocating and dusty streets of the (hardly) living body of the decaying Cairo, the roundabout of the hedonistic and aggressive Rio, the unstoppable narcissistic Manhattan, the global supermarket of turbo consumerism.

However, Matjaž Krivic’s Urbanistan is a miraculous anti-thesis to all this. It is a story from the other side – a story of the quiet loudness on the margins of total existential, religious, economic and geopolitical chaos. A story that speaks of the indestructible spirit and the eternal search of inspiration that enables survival. It is a story of individuals and social groups who, putting aside the racket and general urban angst, keep searching for the core of existence in a different space and a different time. It is a story of survival through play, prayer, tradition, rituals, travels, socializing and especially, a special light, that the author of the exhibition sees and records so well.

Urbanistan is a space that allows you to take a breather from the city. Any city.

Bio

Matjaz Krivic is a globe-trotting photographer specializing in capturing the personality and grandeur of indigenous people and places. For 15 years he has covered the face of the earth in his intense, personal and aesthetically moving style that has won him several prestigious awards. He has made the road his home and most of the time you can find him traveling with his camera somewhere between Sahara and Himalaya.

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Crimean Tatar Wedding


Crimean Tatar wedding taking place in one of the oldiest mosques in Crimea in Bakhchysarai. The bride and groom named Asie and Server spent the first wedding day with their young friends. There were neither parents nor old relatives in the mosque. On the evening the groom has to return his bride to her parents. Tomorrow the couple will go to a registry office to get married officially. Then they will celebrate the wedding with hundreds guests and will be allowed to live together. #crimeaproject #crimea #bakhchysarai Photo by @mmordasov

Evpatoria to Bakhchysarai


I drove from Evpatoria to Bakhchysarai, ancient capital of crimean tatars. Near Razdolie village I found a vast field covered with thousands color plastic bags. There was disgusting garbage dump next to the road. The wind brought bags from the dump and made that weird installation. More than 25,000,000 tonns of garbage were massed in dumps in Crimea. About 300 dumps are illegal here. Photo by @mmordasov

My name is Mikhail Mordasov


My name is Mikhail Mordasov @mmordasov. I am documentary photographer from Russia.I am working with journalist Nadia Grebennikova on the personal long-term project – Crimea. Crimea is a huge peninsula between the Black sea and the sea of Azov, and a big south resort. The population of Crimea is about 2,5 millon. For more than 20 years Crimea was a part of Ukraine.In March, 2014, the peninsula turned into Russian territory due to referendum was held in Crimea. Ukrain and the world community as well didn’t recognize officially this transfer.Formally the annexation took few days, but reorganization of society will take years. There are changes to be fixed and published. We has traveled the length and breadth of Crimea to make a photostory about transformation. And now we keep moving and photographing.Today I am in Evpatoria, town in the west of Crimea. There was Republic of KaZantip not far from Evpatoria. It was huge festival of electronic and club music. About a hundred thousand young people went here to partying. KaZantip was held in Crimea last 21 years. This year festival left Crimea and moved to Georgia. Former territory of KaZantip in Popovka village, all clubs, bars, dance floors are abandoned and deserted now. This week I share my photo with you on BurnDiary. Follow me @mmordasov

En route to Lyon


En route to Lyon….#road #enroute #lyonPhoto @carlovajra

A Quiet Moment


A quiet moment after all the buzz in #PerpignanPhoto @carlovajra

Morning in Perpignan


Morning in Perpignan #perpignan #streets #morningPhoto @carlovajra

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A Conversation With Martin Parr

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David Alan Harvey: What I do on Burn is I will run a set of pictures and then have what I call a conversation, I don’t even call it an interview. You like beaches. I like beaches. You and I see different things at the beach but I am interested in this new take on Benidorm. Had you been to Benidorm before?

Martin Parr: Oh yeah, I did a little book on Benidorm before.

DAH: I didn’t see the book on Benidorm, how did I miss that?

MP: I don’t know, I did it about 15 years ago.

DAH: Somehow I missed that one. I have a pretty good collection of Martin Parr books but obviously I don’t have them all.

MP: It is more of a catalogue type, I’m sorry. I think of all this stuff as beach therapy, you see.

DAH: Explain beach therapy to me.

MP: When I try a new technique, I always do it first on the beach. There are about six phases of my photography career, black and white, then wide angle with medium format, etc., etc., but I always try them out on the beach first because it’s like an experimental laboratory for me. You have all these people, you can do different things, so this is no exception. It is really like the last chapter of exploration. So inevitably, therefor, I begin at the beach first.

DAH: Why do you think that is? How did that come to be your laboratory?

MP: Well I love beaches anyway, so it is always a good excuse to go to the beach and take more photographs and when you are trying out a new idea I always make it the place where I start.

DAH: What led to the long lens? Before you were always up in people’s faces, popping a flash with fairly close range with a wide angle or normal lens. Is it something that changed inside you that said “okay I want to pull back a little bit”, or you just like the look?

MP: In more recent times I have been using the digital on the beach, I have been pulling back anyway, but now I wanted to pull forward. This is all brought about because I had these big propaganda photography books that were from all over the place, but in particular they have very interesting, creative use of the telephoto lens and it just struck me that in the art photography business, which we are part of, the art photography / documentary business, this is a lens that is basically rejected and not used at all with the exception of Beat Streuli. It is very very occasional when you see it, but basically we all use wide angle as a standard.

DAH: Well I think you told me a couple of years ago in Arles, “David why don’t you go a little bit longer”, and you know I started out in photography with a 50mm lens, so I did, I went back since I had been shooting so much with the 35mm. So now I am in the 50-75mm range. I am not as long as you are – you are out there with the 200-300mm length it looks like.

MP: I think it is interesting to experiment and basically I am using this propaganda material as my starting point because they show me what is possible with the telephoto lens, because the art world hasn’t. As you know we turn a blind eye to it. We just blank it out. So it is very interesting to see if it can be made into something interesting. And you know I have had a few experiments now – I think those were the most successful.What I have done in Italy I haven’t edited very thoroughly yet, but you suddenly start to see a pattern emerge and it looks interesting.

DAH: Well that is great. So you will do another book on Benidorm?

MP: I will do a book eventually that will be called “beach therapy” where I’ll explain this process of experimentation and then illustrate it with the set of pictures done with the telephoto. If I do a book called “Life at the Beach” I have to set the whole thing back a bit.

DAH: Yeah, that’s right.

MP: There are different version of that. I did a deluxe version and and beach bag version. There is only so much power the world can take and there are only so many beach photographs that the world can take, but none-the-less you feel that you are onto something. That’s why I was quite happy to isolate the Benidorm pictures from one particular shoot that seemed to really work.

DAH: Well you have Argentina also.

MP: That was the start of the experiment and that showed me what was possible, and then I tried to build on it and since then I have done stuff in England and in Italy.

DAH: Also at the beach?

MP: Yes. It is more difficult though. I am shooting in Rome now and didn’t even bring the telephoto lens with me. What I am generally doing is having the foreground out of focus and focusing way beyond. That is the thing that to me looks more interesting. Now when I did my previous Benidorm book I was using the macro lens which is an insane lens to use on the beach. Macro with a ring flash. And there I was focusing on the foreground and letting everything else fall away. So now I am doing the entire opposite.

DAH: Is the woman with the glasses an original Benidorm picture?

MP: That was one of those things that inspired me, in fact. The out of focus there is very effective. It is an icon that you will remember and I am trying to replicate that feel and look, but that was done on the macro lens. So that was a 50mm lens compared to the 70-200mm lens which I am using now.

DAH: Right. Now this puts you into a completely different relationship with your subjects. Before, obviously at some point, you were so close to the people you had to engage with them probably some of the time. Now you are completely disengaged from the subject.

MP: In fact it works in my value because as you know it is getting more and more difficult to photograph on the beaches in particular when there are kids around because people go nutsy when you start photographing kids. I have been not quite arrested on the beach in Rio, but I have been apprehended to the police being called. Therefor, [the lens] does get rid of that problem. I had my phase of getting really close, and I still do get really close. For example this current session I am photographing in the Vatican Museum for the Museum here, and I am right on top of people so it is not like I am not doing that anymore. But the beach has become a particularly controversial place to photograph.

DAH: I think that is right. I always look around for mom and dad first if I see a kid because that can be an issue.

MP: Years ago when I was doing the last resort, which is the first big body of work I did, I shot on the beach, again as part of the beach therapy process, people didn’t even think about that. Now it is always in people’s minds.

DAH: At my beach here for some reason nobody minds. There are kids running all over the place. But in most beaches it has gotten like that. Well that’s great, thank you Martin.

MP: Thanks David.

 

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Cologne

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