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Perth Festival takes over the Perth Zoo on Sunday 28 February 2021 February 26, 2021

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Perth Festival is taking over Perth Zoo this Sunday.

The program will include the Perth Symphony Orchestra performing songs for Tricia, so the grand old dame got a special preview this morning. She gave it a jumbo endorsement.

Rottnest Channel Swim 2021 Photos Bohdan Warchomij February 20, 2021

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Early morning Cottesloe Beach.

Andrew Donaldson was the first to finish today’s Rottnest Channel Swim — less than a year after his return to Perth in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

Donaldson crossed the line in a time of 04:04:30, more than six minutes in front of second finisher William Rollo.

Donaldson, who came out of retirement to take part in the challenge, started training for the swim 10 months ago upon his return to Perth.

“This time a year ago I was backpacking on the other side of the world, running away from life. I came back to Perth in the height of COVID and was lucky to have some phenomenal people around me who encouraged me to get back into the water…and that’s where the idea to have a go at the solo came from,” he said.

The record for fastest crossing in the event’s 31-year history was set by Solomon Wright in 2018 with a time of 3:59:28.

PH MUSEUM PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD February 12, 2021

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The PHmuseum Photography Grant is an annual initiative that recognises the importance of photography and visual storytelling.

Over the years it has grown into a leading photography prize, with previous editions having awarded work by photographers like Jacob Aue Sobol, Diana Markosian, Max Pinckers, Poulomi Basu, and Tomas van Houtryve, among many others. Now in its 9th edition, the initiative is designed to support the production and promotion of visual projects through cash prizes, educational activities and exposure across international festivals, and online media.

To participate, you are invited to submit one or more projects centered around a specific theme, narrative or concept. All approaches are welcomed, from classic narratives to innovative and experimental projects. Our independent jury will then review all the submissions and gather together to decide what is most relevant according to their personal criteria. As usual, you retain full copyright at all times and you can manage your submissions and uploads privacy from your PHmuseum’s personal menu.

Trent Parke is one of the most innovative photographers of his generation and a judge for the PH Photography Award. He is known for his poetic, often darkly humorous photography that offers an emotional and psychological portrait of his home country of Australia – from the southern outback to its busy beaches. Though rooted in documentary, his works sit between fiction and reality, exploring themes of identity, place, and family life.

Parke was born in 1971 and raised in Newcastle, New South Wales. Using his mother’s Pentax Spotmatic and the family laundry as a darkroom, he began taking pictures when he was around 12 years old. He began his career as a press photojournalist and in 2007 became the first Australian to become a Full Member of Magnum Photos.

His work has been exhibited widely and is held in major institutional collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, Museum of Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, Artbank, Magnum London and Magnum Paris. In 2015, solo exhibition The Black Rose, premiered at the Art Gallery of South Australia, featuring photographs, light boxes, video, written texts and books.

Parke has published four monographs, Dream/Life in 1999, The Seventh Wave with Narelle Autio in 2000, Minutes to Midnight and The Christmas Tree Bucket in 2014.

https://phmuseum.com/

YURI KUTSCHUK From ODESSA: The Ukrainian Photographer who became Jerry Cooke of LIFE MAGAZINE and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED February 8, 2021

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Born in Odessa, Ukraine in 1921, Yuri Kutschuk and his family emigrated to Milan (Italy) and then to Berlin (Germany) in 1923. While in Berlin, Yuri’s father George Kutschuk sold photographs to European publications. In 1936, after Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, the family fled back to Italy, where they then had to flee from Benito Mussolini’s regime to Bombay (India). In 1939, the family emigrated to United States, arriving to Seattle from Japan on the “Hiye Mare” and taking a train to New York. Once in the U.S. his name was anglicized to Jerry Cooke.

JERRY COOKE PHOTOGRAPHER

Yuri’s Aunt, Cecile Kutschuk, worked at the Associated Press, with Wilson Hicks, who later became Executive Editor in charge of photography for LIFE Magazine. Cecile Kutschuk, who had studied photojournalism at the Rhine University, emigrated to the United States in 1935, and started a photo agency in New York City called Pix, Inc. She gave Jerry his first camera, a Rolleiflex, four-by-four centimeters, and he started taking some pictures. Some of his early old pictures taken in ‘39 and ‘40 were hung in the foyer on the way to Jerry’s bedroom.L

When he was 18 or 19 years old and attending Columbia, Cooke took an aptitude test and the verdict they came out that he was best suited to be an actor, which he thought was pretty funny. And the second choice they came up was a lawyer.

Rat story

It was one of his first Life assignments. The city of Buffalo had an invasion of rats. There were so many rats that they had to do something about it, so they offered a reward to people, especially to kids. They got a dime for every rat they brought in. They wanted people to put out rat traps and so on. And Life decided to do a story about this, so they sent young Jerry Cooke there.

If a rat gets caught in a trap on its tail, it will bite off its tail, which makes sense; it will bite off its own tail to get away. And Jerry got a picture of this rat that had its tail caught and was about to bite it off as he arrived on the scene, there in some farm shed. And that was the lead picture in the story.

Jerry took a sleeper back to New York, and that evening he was assigned by Life to photograph Patrice Munsel’s debut at the Met. She sang Carmen; it was her debut. And I went there and photographed it. So he took some pictures of Munsel in her dressing room.

Well, in those days everybody paid attention to every penny. Jerry still had film in his camera from the rat thing, which he hadn’t turned in yet; there was no great rush. So the first shots Cooke took of Munsel were on the same roll of film as the rats. And somehow her press agent had made an arrangement to show the pictures to her. She had a fit! They called up Life magazine and said it was an insult that she was on a roll of film with some rats. There was a big to-do.

n 1953, after seeing his photographs of a football game for a Life essay,  Cooke was recruited by Gerald Astor to photograph for a new magazine,  Sports Illustrated. This launched Cooke’s career in sports photography. Cooke worked for over 40 years, shooting 47 covers for Sports Illustrated, including many from the early days starting in October 1954. Many of his derby photographs were published in The Kentucky Derby, by Joe Hirsch and Jim Bolus, 1988.

Cooke had several cover stories in LIFE between the forties and sixties, including LIFE En Espanol. He also did regular work for Fortune, Colliers, Time, Sport’s Illustrated and European Publications. In 1948, Cooke, Robert Capa, and Tim Gidal traveled to Israel to photograph the new state for the book, This Is Israel, written by I. F. Stone.

Photo Jerry Cooke : Girls from Poltava

He joined ASMP at its founding and served as its president for the 1951-1952 year. During this time Cooke was very active in the negotiations ASMP had with many of the magazines trying to improve day rates and photographers rights.

In 1956, he was one of the first westerners allowed into post-Stalin Russia, where he photographed Boris Pasternak, author of “Dr. Zhivago,” and brought him a copy of his book, which had been banned in his country.

 Jerry Cooke died on October 27, 2005 at the age of 84.

Dangerous Wooroloo Bush Fire blankets Perth in a smoke haze: Photos Bohdan Warchomij February 2, 2021

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An out of control fire that started in Wooroloo yesterday continues to rage across Perth’s north eastern suburbs, destroying homes and threatening lives.

There are reports that up to 30 homes have been lost, with many more in Brigadoon and Gidgegannup under direct threat.

DFES say more than 7000ha of land has now been burnt.

More than 300 firefighters and 90 fire trucks are fighting the blaze, while every available air tanker is now in use.

Resources are also on their way from the eastern states, including aerial support.

Western Power, WAPOL, Local Government representatives, Main Roads, St John Ambulance and SES volunteers are also in attendance.

An emergency warning is in place for The Vines, Bailup, Ellenbrook, Gidgegannup, Milledon, Walyunga National Park, Upper Swan, Aveley, Avon Valley National Park, Red Hill, Belhus, Baskerville, Herne Hill, Bullsbrook, Wooroloo and Brigadoon.

DFES says residents in those areas are in danger and need to act immediately to survive.

Residents in surrounding suburbs have been put on alert with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services warning the bushfire is out of control and unpredictable and weather conditions are rapidly changing.

Perth was blanketed in a smoke haze as the sun set at seven pm.

Perth in Covid Lockdown Photos for Australian Financial Review Bohdan Warchomij February 1, 2021

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Ainslie House Covid Testing Centre Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Sunday’s panic buying in Perth’s supermarkets  after Premier Mark McGowan’s five day lockdown announcement signalled the failure of ‘hotel quarantine’  as a health measure, at least in the public’s eyes. Doctor Andrew Miller, President of the AMA WA, is a strong critic of the system. There are cracks in it: Lack of daily testing for all workers, lack of airborne level PPE, such as N95 fitted masks, recycled air conditioning, facilities not physically adapted to control infection, workers moving between multiple jobs such as ride share occupations, and lack of dedicated medical care for sick workers. Not listening to the experts has finally smashed the myth of fortress West Australia, according to Dr Miller.

Covid Testing Photo Bohdan Warchomij

The weight of numbers of people voluntarily lining up at Covid testing clinics in Perth shows people’s concern and strength of feeling on the issue. An Inglewood clinic had a queue of two kilometres this morning, Ainslie House near the Royal Perth Hospital was overwhelmed yesterday and today. Daily testing of quarantine staff in Perth started only on Friday, a process called for three weeks ago by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Perth has been transformed incredibly. From a city with a laissez- faire attitude to the threats of the virus to a city of mask wearers isolated in their own homes. The summer holidays for children have been extended for a week, The venues ordered to shut include universities, TAFEs, pubs, bars, gyms, indoor sporting venues, playgrounds, cinemas, casinos, places of worship,, libraries and cultural institutions.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Invasion Day Rally Perth Photos Bohdan Warchomij January 27, 2021

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Thousands of people turned out in Perth for an Invasion Day rally.

The rally began in Forrest Place and moved through the city towards Langley Park on the Swan River.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Bibbulman Yorga woman Corina Abraham-Howard has organised change-the-date rallies in the city for the past four years and said its purpose was to show respect and solidarity with First Nations people.

“It’s about joining together and walking with us,” she said.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

“I say 1788 was the beginning of the Australian holocaust, because that’s what happened here.”

Before the rally began, she was hoping the turnout would be greater than previous years because of the increased momentum brought by the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We stand with everyone, no matter what colour or cultural background you come from,” she said.

Web Photo Bohdan Warchomij

She urged those attending the rally to be as safe as possible.

“I just ask for peace and respect.”

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

There was a cross section of the Perth community in attendance with many young people of colour

and young white Australians shouting “Change the Date”. Herbert Bropho was prominent at the head of the protest,

organising young Aboriginal children to lead the protesters. He was dressed in a kangaroo skin and carried a chain

symbolic of the yoke that Aboriginals feel is part of their pain.

Herbert Bropho Photo Bohdan Warchomij

The protestors finished up  at Supreme Court Gardens where the Birak Festival celebrated Aboriginal Culture and Music.

Rapper Little Mace kept the crowd dancing and recording his performance on their mobile phones.

Rapper Little Mace performs at the Birak Festival Photo Bohdan Warchomij

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moscow Protests in Support of Alexey Navalny January 26, 2021

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What is  Alexey Navalny’s Endgame? From LEONID RAGOZIN Al Jazeera RIGA

Thousands of people across Russia’s 11 time zones took to the streets on January 23 to protest against the arrest of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, braving the winter cold, the pandemic, and the very real threat of police brutality and incarceration. The event opens a long protest season in the run-up to parliamentary elections in September which are turning into a plebiscite on the legitimacy of President Vladimir Putin’s two-decade rule, whether he rigs them or not.

The protests took place just a week after Navalny’s daring return to Russia. In August, he was rushed to a hospital in Germany after being poisoned with a nerve agent and stayed there several months to recover. Before departing from Germany, Navalny took part in an investigation into his poisoning (mainly led by British-based investigative group Bellingcat) and even had a long telephone conversation with one of the alleged assassins.

Navalny is now under arrest, charged with violating his suspended sentence by leaving for Germany and staying there a few months. The conviction for which he received the suspended sentence was pronounced unlawful by the European Court of Human Rights.

It increasingly seems that the Russian opposition leader has become Putin’s main rival, if not yet for the nation’s leadership, then at least for the status of the world’s best-known Russian. His newly acquired international fame made a joke out of the pro-Kremlin media’s policy to refer to him as just a “blogger” and Putin’s own refusal to call him by name.

Having indeed started as an anti-corruption blogger over a decade ago, Navalny was Russia’s first opposition figure who managed to create an extremely efficient nationwide network of supporters, many in their twenties or even teens.

In a country mired by political apathy and pervasive cynicism, he managed to inspire millions by conducting groundbreaking investigations into the astonishing corruption of Putin’s entourage and presenting them in easy-to-grasp YouTube videos filled with his trademark irony. By getting arrested upon arrival from Germany, Navalny made the Kremlin look both weak and vengeful.

One may interpret the decision to detain him as a sign of convulsive fear, but there is a pragmatic side to it, too. The most hardcore part of Putin’s constituency might be in fact enjoying scenes of Navalny’s mistreatment.

Talk shows on Kremlin-linked TV channels anchored by people like Vladimir Solovyov and Dmitry Kiselev, who take an almost sadistic pleasure in observing Navalny’s ordeal, have a sizeable audience. Kiselev even went as far as spending a night in the hotel room in Tomsk where Navalny’s poisoning likely took place – just to mock those outraged by the attempted murder.

But Navalny has his hardcore supporters and a growing audience, too. His latest investigation focusing on a lavish palace Putin allegedly built for himself on the Black Sea coast had 25 million views on YouTube within 24 hours of its release on January 19 and by January 23, had reached a staggering 70 million.

Today, it seems the Russian society is divided into three unequal parts. Two minorities represent the staunch supporters of Navalny and Putin and a majority in the middle which is comprised of people whose support of the Russian president is tentative and pragmatic. These are people who stick with the crowd and who are always very attentive to the general mood in the country.

That means they may change their political preferences in a one-off event when opposition to the current leadership reaches a critical mass. This is what happened in 1991, when a democratic revolution in Moscow led to the collapse of the entire Soviet state. An attempt by communist hardliners to stage a military coup led to a massive backlash, which resulted in the downfall of the entire regime.

 More recently, in 2020 a very similar abrupt shift happened in Belarus, where people suddenly rose up against their dictatorial president, Alexander Lukashenko, with the majority joining opposition-led protests and resistance. Lukashenko is still holding tight, although he has clearly lost legitimacy.

It is this kind of shift Navalny is hoping to precipitate when he calls for people to stage protests. He is probably not expecting immediate success. Rather he is building momentum for the hot phase of the Duma election campaign in the spring and summer, when COVID-19 fears and the cold weather will abate, bringing even more people to the streets.

Although many are inspired by Navalny’s fearlessness, it is going to be an uphill battle. Millions of Putin’s conditional supporters have good reasons to believe that they might lose more than they would gain in the event of his fall. This is dictated by their experiences in the 1990s and their understanding of regional politics today.

Putin’s regime provides for modestly good standards of living – on par with poorer EU countries and much higher than in Ukraine or Georgia, the two supposed models of pro-West reforms in the post-Soviet space.

Ukraine, which lived through turbulent times after a revolution and a Russian military attack in 2014, remains a potent scarecrow for Russians. On the one hand, its Maidan revolution has failed to bring down the oligarchic system or, as many call, it – the mafia state. On the other, Putin’s intervention in Ukraine clearly showed to what lengths the regime is prepared to go when it comes to suppressing a freedom movement.

The prospect of political strife in Russia raises fears of the country’s disintegration accompanied by armed conflicts with neighbours or domestic insurgencies. Many Russians also suspected that the unsympathetic or outright hostile West would be cheering centrifugal forces that would rip the country apart, just like in Ukraine.

The West is completely oblivious to the enormity of the challenge the world will face, when Russia, with its arsenal of nuclear and other deadly weapons, its millions of security personnel trained to fight and kill, inevitably enters a period of unrest due to its broken system of democratic transfer of power. Worst of all, it has no positive agenda for the Russian population, as it had for people in other Eastern European countries, when they were welcomed into the European Union and NATO.

Russian intervention in East Ukraine

Jumbo Celebration for Zoo Matriarch Photos Bohdan Warchomij January 24, 2021

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Perth Zoo’s Asian Elephant, who arrived in Perth in 1963, turned 64 years old today.

Zoo staff, volunteers, visitors and the media gathered on the main lawn to see Tricia enjoying her giant cake made from frozen bran, fruit and peanut butter.

Senior Elephant Keeper, Kirsty Carey, who has personally looked after Tricia for 15 years, said “Tricia is a Perth icon and loved by the community, so we are not surprised by the attention she receives on her birthday.”

Asian elephants have six sets of teeth in their lifetime and Tricia is on her final set. Her health and welfare are the top priority for her six zookeepers who work hard to ensure she is kept comfortable.

“To help alleviate age related niggles she regularly receives deep tissue massages with an equine massage therapy pad, and we oil and moisturise her skin,” said Kirsty. “We also have humidifiers in her barn to keep her skin moist at night – it’s like an elephant spa experience.”

“In the colder weather we have a specially designed blanket to keep her toasty warm on her slow walks around the Zoo.”

“Having cared for Tricia for more than fifteen years, it is my absolute privilege to look after her in her final years.’

‘She is an amazing animal that has had a unique impact on the people of Perth.” said Kirsty.

 

Alexander Navalny returns to Moscow and arrest. January 18, 2021

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Photo: (Mstyslav Chernov / Associated Press)

 

 

BERLIN —

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested Sunday at a Moscow airport as he tried to enter the country from Germany, where he had spent five months recovering from nerve agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin.

Navalny’s detention at passport control in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport was widely expected because Russia’s prisons service said he had violated parole terms from a suspended sentence on a 2014 embezzlement conviction.

The prisons service said he would be held in custody until a court rules on his case. No date for a court appearance was immediately announced. The service earlier said that it would seek to have Navalny serve his 3 1/2-year sentence behind bars.

Navalny, 44, who is President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent and determined foe, brushed off concerns about arrest as he boarded the plane in Berlin.

“It’s impossible. I’m an innocent man,” he said.

The arrest raises tensions in Russia as it approaches national parliament elections this year, in which Navalny’s organization is expected to be active in trying to defeat pro-Kremlin candidates. Navalny decided to leave Berlin of his own free will and wasn’t under any apparent pressure to leave Germany.

“This is a real act of bravery for Alexei Navalny to return to Russia, given that government agents already tried to kill him once,” Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth tweeted. “But he understandably wants to be part of the pro-democracy movement in Russia, not a dissident in exile.”

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for national security advisor called on Russian authorities to free Navalny.

 

“Mr. Navalny should be immediately released, and the perpetrators of the outrageous attack on his life must be held accountable,” Jake Sullivan said in a tweet.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, responded to a question about the arrest by saying, “Was he arrested in Germany? I’m not up to date,” according to the online news site Podyom. Peskov, like Putin, is noted for avoiding saying Navalny’s name.

Navalny has sizable popularity in Moscow. Many supporters Sunday went to Vnukovo airport, where his flight was scheduled to land, though it was diverted to Sheremetyevo without explanation.

The OVD-Info organization that monitors political arrests said at least 53 people were arrested, including Navalny supporters and journalists, at Vnukovo, where the arrivals hall had been blocked off and prisoner transport vehicles were parked outside. There were at least three detentions at Sheremetyevo, it said.

The independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and opposition social media reported Sunday that several Navalny supporters in St. Petersburg had been removed from Moscow-bound trains or been prevented from boarding flights late Saturday and early Sunday, including the coordinator of his staff for the region of Russia’s second-largest city.

Labs in Germany, France and Sweden, and tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established that he was exposed to a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent.

Russian authorities insisted that the doctors who treated Navalny in Siberia before he was airlifted to Germany found no traces of poison and have challenged German officials to provide proof of his poisoning. Russia refused to open a full-fledged criminal inquiry, citing a lack of evidence that Navalny was poisoned.

Last month, Navalny released the recording of a phone call he said he made to a man he described as an alleged member of a group of officers of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, who purportedly poisoned him in August and then tried to cover it up. The FSB dismissed the recording as fake.

Navalny has been a thorn in the Kremlin’s side for a decade, unusually durable in an opposition movement often demoralized by repressions.

He has been jailed repeatedly in connection with protests and twice was convicted of financial misdeeds in cases that he said were politically motivated. He suffered significant eye damage when an assailant threw disinfectant into his face and was taken from jail to a hospital in 2019 with an illness that authorities said was an allergic reaction but that many suspected was poisoning.