June 17, 2016

Friday Round Up - 17th June, 2016

This week on Friday Round Up three photo essays that talk about issues that often don't find their way into mainstream media.

And if they do, these stories aren't given the depth of coverage required for a broader audience to begin to understand what these individual stories are about and how they influence and impact humanity as a whole: Sean Gallagher's The Silent Fields; Sara Terry's Aftermath; and David Verberckt's project on Myanmar's stateless people, the Rohingya.

Photo Essays:

Sean Gallagher - The Silent Fields - Pesticide Poisoning in Punjab

(C) Sean Gallagher

Punjab is the food bowl of India, the country’s most significant agricultural area, but the high use of pesticides, fertiliser and insecticides over the past four decades has turned this region into a toxic bowl. 

Here an increasing number of babies are being born with mental and health disabilities and residents are dying from various cancers which can be attributed to the contamination of soil, water and of course food. 

(C) Sean Gallagher

(C) Sean Gallagher

(C) Sean Gallagher

Sukhbeer Kaur (19) holds a portrait of her father, Pippal Singh, who died in 2010 of cancer, aged 40. It is believed that excessive pesticide use in the region over the past 30-40 years has led to the accumulation of dangerous levels of toxins such as uranium, lead and mercury which are contributing to increased health problems including cancers, birth defects and mental disabilities in children. It's a hidden epidemic which is gripping the Punjab region in northeast India which for decades has been the country's 'bread basket'. (C) Sean Gallagher

Harmangod Singh (6) sits next to a portrait of his mother, Charnajeet Kaur, who died in 2010 of brain cancer, aged only 31.  
(C) Sean Gallagher

Sean Gallagher is a multi-award winning photographer based in Asia for more than a decade. 

His work on environmental issues and their impact on communities is influenced by his background, he has a degree in zoology, and his desire to create work that can help to affect change. 

The recipient of numerous Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting grants, Gallagher is also represented by National Geographic Creative and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. 

I've featured his work here before for the simple reasons that is is incredibly important, and truly outstanding. 

You can read Sean’s full report on Punjab here

Sara Terry - Aftermath: Bosnia’s Long Road to Peace

(C) All images Sara Terry

The idea that “war is only half the story” is what drives the Aftermath Project, a non-profit organisation founded by photographer Sara Terry whose own work on Bosnia and Hercegovina documents the impact that war (1992-1995) had on individuals and also celebrates their efforts to rebuild their lives.

Terry objective is to show the other side of war, the stories the mainstream media rarely focuses on.

To find out more visit the Aftermath Project here.

David Verberckt - The Stateless Rohingya 

There are around one million Rohingya, a Muslim minority, living in Myanmar in the northwest of that country.

Deprived of citizenship, the Rohingya live a life of persecution and deprivation, denied the opportunity to work legally and to receive basic services such as education and healthcare.

As a consequence they live in an impoverished limbo, their children born into a stateless world where there is little hope for a brighter future. 

(C) All images David Verberckt

Verberckt is a freelance photojournalist based in Budapest.

For twenty years he worked with MSF and also the European Union in Afghanistan, Africa and Bosnia before fully committing himself in 2013 to a life of reportage photography.

This body of work is part of a series on statelessness shot in Myanmar, Bangladesh and India with the Bihari and Rohingya peoples.

To see more of David's work click here

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