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Notre Dame Burns in Paris April 17, 2019

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A Montage of News Reports on the Notre Dame Fire

French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking in a televised address to the nation, said he wants the Notre Dame Cathedral to be rebuilt in five years.

“We will rebuild Notre Dame even more beautiful and I want that to be done in the next five years,” he said.

He continued: “Throughout our history, we have built towns, ports, churches. Many have been burnt due to revolutions, wars, due to mankind’s mistakes. Each time we have rebuilt them.

“The fire of Notre Dame reminds us that our story never ends. And that we will always have challenges to overcome. What we believe to be indestructible can also be touched,” Macron said.

Smithsonian Photo Concert: Winning Photographs April 12, 2019

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The Smithsonian 2019 Photo Contest is now open for business . https://www.smithsonianmag.com/photocontest/


Paul Caporn: Perpetual Delays and Re-receptions at Art Collective WA April 12, 2019

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Paul Caporn // Perpetual Delays and Re-receptions

Paul Caporn

‘The works in this exhibition are originally drawn out of a video installation exhibited in 2000 at PICA. The structure of the screen consisted of a large, broken, cloud-like form constructed from steel rod polygons that you could walk through. Unlike geodesic structures, the polygon tiling of this architectural screen was irregular and random.

During the development of this work I became fascinated by mathematical tiling, particularly Penrose’s aperiodic types. Although I still don’t completely understand the maths, I am drawn to the possibilities of repetitive simple shapes creating a visually complex surface.

10 years later I was commissioned by the City of Perth to create a repetitive line work to be applied to the road around the Northbridge Piazza. The divided, rectangular prototile developed for this unrealised commission is the field from which these works have grown from.

Although influenced by the landscape and architecture these work are fed more through an intuitive process, grounded by a formal, non-objective position with a refusal to have any sense of a fixed meaning.’

Paul Caporn, 2019

Black and White Ruffed Lemur undergoes ENT procedure at Perth Zoo April 2, 2019

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Photo Melissa Leo Perth Zoo

Maphuti is an 11-year-old Black and White Ruffed Lemur who lives on the island at Perth Zoo’s main lake. After keepers noticed a lump on his nose he was sent to the Zoo vet department for a check-up where it was determined that an ENT specialist would be required for the delicate procedure to remove the growth (or samples of it) from Maphuti’s sinus.


The ENT specialist usually works with humans rather than animals, but has assisted at Perth Zoo previously. As primates and humans are so closely related, human specialists may occasionally be brought in to assist with animal health issues that require very specialised treatment.

The ENT Specialist was Shyan Vijayasekara.


There was a lot of planning and extra study involved to familiarise the ENT Specialist with the anatomy of lemurs. Special equipment was also brought in for the surgery. The procedure was successful in treating a fungal infection in the sinus, followed up with a course of medication to ensure that the infection has completely resolved.

Photo Melissa Leo Perth Zoo ENT Specialist, Shyan Vijayasekara, Perth Zoo Veterinarian, Alisa Wallace


Maphuti was brought back to the island after his recovery and has been in good health since.



Further Background on the species:

Black and White Ruffed Lemurs are critically endangered in the wild. Their main threats are habitat destruction and they are also hunted for food and the pet trade. Perth Zoo partners with the Madagascan Fauna and Flora Group to conserve native species in Madagascar including the Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur. Maphuti and the other lemurs on the island play a very important role as ambassador animals for their species. Visitors can book Eye to Eye encounters to visit them on the island at the Zoo’s main lake and learn more about these incredible primates. Perth Zoo is also part of a coordinated breeding program for this species to help save them from extinction.


Musicians of Appalachia Tintypes by Lisa Elmaleh March 28, 2019

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Lisa Elmaleh traded her Brooklyn apartment in 2012 for a wood cabin with no running water — but a “quite lovely” outhouse — on the outskirts of Paw Paw, West Virginia. Urban anonymity was soon replaced by small-town intimacy as she pursued her project of photographing traditional string musicians in Appalachia using, appropriately enough, traditional photographic processes.

She had decided to move there the very day she had done tintypes of Sam Herrmann and her husband, Joe, a couple dedicated to keeping old-time music alive. Paw Paw may not have Brooklyn’s hipster cachet, but it also “has everything that Brooklyn doesn’t” she added.

“What I gained by moving here is this community of people who live more deliberately and close to the land,” Ms. Elmaleh explained. “In Brooklyn I barely knew any of my neighbors. Here there’s more of a sense of belonging and being there for your neighbor when they need help.”

Neighbors let her build a darkroom in their house in exchange for helping with chores on the farm. When she was interviewed by phone recently, she had just finished moving dirt, spreading manure and helping with spring planting.

There are no riches or social media fame to be gained by playing old-time Appalachian music, just the pleasure of gathering with friends and playing tunes with the knowledge that you are maintaining a centuries-old tradition. Ms. Elmaleh plays guitar and accompanies her friends and neighbors when they gather for an evening of music.

Ms. Elmaleh’s community of musicians now stretches well beyond her new hometown of fewer than 1,000 residents. It includes people, throughout the Appalachians, who she has photographed. She uses a difficult to master wet-plate tintype process developed in the mid-1850s. The nature of this technique connects her work to both the history of photography and the history of traditional Appalachian music, she said.

“Each 8×10 tintype plate is hand coated, exposed in an antiquated large format camera, and developed on-site in a small darkroom in the back of my truck,” Ms. Elmaleh said. “The intimacy of the moment which the tintype creates, a multiple-second exposure, a moment of silence, shared between the musician and myself, is conveyed in each image.”

The tintype process results in an image that is reversed. So a right handed musician would look like they were left handed.

She has converted a 1996 Toyota Tacoma into a mobile darkroom that now has more than 300,000 miles on it (and often doubles as a bedroom while she is on the road). She usually spends a day or more with her subjects on their own land, she said, in order to portray “a deep connection to the musician and their surroundings.”

Ms. Elmaleh, who was raised in Miami, survives by teaching 19th century photographic processes and the occasional freelance assignment. It is a lifestyle she describes as “feast or famine.”

But most of the time she is at home in Paw Paw, trying to live a considered life, much like her old-time musician friends. “They are Americans who are carrying on a tradition that does not have a whole lot of vanity to it,” she said, “a music of a rural place, that speaks of a time when things were simpler.”

Camille Lepage Award 2019 March 27, 2019

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Call for Applications – Camille Lepage Award, 2019

On Tuesday 13th May 2014, the office of the French president confirmed the death of Camille Lepage,

a 26-year-old French photographer, who was killed while working in the war-torn Central African Republic.

Her body was found after French peacekeeping troops on patrol stopped a car driven by Christian “anti-balaka” fighters

near a town in the west of the country. “Everything will be done to uncover the circumstances of this assassination

and to track down who murdered our compatriot,” read the statement from President François Hollande’s office.

Lepage’s murder marked a grim milestone: the first death of a Western journalist covering the disastrous conflict

in the Central African Republic. In her last post on Instagram, Lepage said she was embedding with an anti-balaka

outfit and traveling for hours down routes chosen to avoid the checkpoints of African peacekeepers.

Here’s the picture she posted of the fighters she was accompanying.

The Association named “Camille Lepage – On est ensemble” was founded on September 20, 2014, only months after the death of the photojournalist Camille Lepage while reporting in the Central African Republic.
The association was set up by her family (her parents Maryvonne & Guy Lepage
and brother Adrien) to commemorate Camille, her work and commitment, to provide assistance and protection for photojournalists working in conflict areas, to support communities that are victims of such conflicts, and, while doing so, to promote values that were so important to Camille.
The publishing house CDP Editions – Collection des photographes published the book of Camille Lepage’s last reports in the Central African Republic, République centrafricaine: On est ensemble, and generously donated all proceeds from sales to the Association Camille Lepage – On est ensemble.
Through this initiative, the Association Camille Lepage – On est ensemble was able to set up the Camille Lepage Award, and fund part of the prize money during two years, jointly with the Saif*.
The award will provide support and encouragement for a photojournalist carrying out a long-term project. This year, the award is being fully sponsored by the Société des Auteurs des arts visuels et de l’Image Fixe – Saif* with prize money of 8000 euros.
The Award will be presented for the fifth time in Perpignan at the International Festival of Photojournalism Visa pour l’Image-Perpignan 2019. The award is designed to help a photographer carry out and complete a reporting project which is already under way. Applicants must be professional photojournalists. There is no age limit or restriction on nationality or gender.
The jury of professionals working in photography and the press and a representative of la Saif will meet in late middle of June to select the winner. Applications will be judged on the basis of the current project and the applicant’s previous work. Criteria will include the quality of the photography, the journalistic approach and significance of the story chosen, as well as the photographer’s continuing long-term commitment to an issue or a country.
The Award will be officially presented at an evening show at the International Festival of Photojournalism Visa pour l’Image-Perpignan in September 2019. The Award-winning report must be completed within one year so that it can be presented, either as an exhibition or feature in an evening show, at the 2020 International Festival of Photojournalism Visa pour l’Image-Perpignan.
This year, for the 31th edition of the festival, the work of Kasia Stręk / Item (2018 winner) on Egypt where abortion is illegal, and the consequences of the ban will be presented during one of the evening shows.
Deadline: May 16, 2019. Rules and Application Form:http://www.visapourlimage.com/en/festival/awards/prix-camille-lepageFurther information: camillelepageaward@gmail.com

The World Remembers: New Zealand Terror Attack March 17, 2019

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East Perth walkway across river  lit in New Zealand Colours Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Climate change strikes centre on Fossil Fuels: Images from the Perth Protest by Bohdan Warchomij March 17, 2019

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Photo Bohdan Warchomij

15 March 2019

Tens of thousands of young Australians have walked out of their classrooms to stage protests in capital cities demanding action on climate change.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Their idealism and their placards emphasised their concern even if their ideology and science was ideological and simplistic.

Mixed up with the Green and socialist alliance ideologies the age of the students was significant.

Youth is dominating where political parties should be leading.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

There is no room left for a conservative stance and mainstream politics is failing to make any impact.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Rallies began in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart outside state parliament buildings and town halls on Friday.

In Perth parents and young children gathered with Green and socialist protesters outside St George’s Cathedral in combined protest.

Students also marched at rallies across regional Australia, with large crowds protesting at Geelong, Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour, Cairns and Townsville.

Many used humour to get their point across, with posters referencing internet memes and suggesting fail grades for the nation’s political efforts on climate change policy.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Others were more serious — one poster urged politicians to “panic” about addressing climate change and another warned “there is no Planet B”.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Students ‘on the right side of history’

The protests were inspired by 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, who pledged to protest outside the Parliament in Stockholm until the country caught up on its commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Greta urged students to ignore calls from some politicians to stay in school.

“I say that the children are on the right side of history and that those politicians are not,” she said.

“So they should keep on fighting and they must be prepared to go on for a very, very long time.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

“I don’t think decision-makers will get the message for a very long time.”

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said he would meet with the climate strikers to discuss their concerns outside of school hours, while Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the protests should have been held on a weekend.

“Students leaving school during school hours to protest is not something that we should encourage,” Mr Tehan said.

Russian President Signs a ‘Law on the Status of Military Servicemen’ designed to prevent divulgence of Russia’s military engagement in foreign countries, specifically Ukraine and Syria March 12, 2019

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Pavel Gubarov Separatist leader at the crash site of MH17 Friday 18th of July 2014 Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into force a law which is clearly aimed at preventing divulgence of information about Russia’s military engagement in Ukraine and other countries.  Had the law been in force in July 2014, crucial information about the secret transportation to Ukraine of a Russian BUK missile carrier and its use in downing  Malaysian Airliner MH17 would have never come to light.  The same applies to other revelations that can serve as evidence of war crimes at the International Criminal Court at the Hague.

The bill on amendments to Russia’s Law on the Status of Military Servicemen, signed on 6 March, 2019, introduces a very long amendment to Article 7 (‘Freedom of Speech’).  This prohibits soldiers, including young men doing military service [conscripts] from using smartphones and similar devices connected to the Internet, or from revealing information to the media and social media about their location and movements.

The extent of the ban on divulging information has also been broadened, with the term ‘military secrets’ being replaced by the rather vague ‘secrets protected by law’.

Soldiers and conscripts will now be prohibited from revealing any information to the media or on social media about which military unit they belong to, or where they are serving, and about their activities or those of any other servicemen, military units, etc, with this including individuals dismissed from the military;

The ban on smartphones and such electronic devices does not apply to the ordinary mobiles which do not take photos and in other ways circulate incriminating evidence via social media.

The law is likely to increase the already alarming level of impunity with respect to hazing and other forms of ill-treatment within the military.

Its primary objective, as mentioned, almost certainly lies elsewhere, namely in the serious weight of evidence amassed on the social media, as well as information passed to the few independent media willing to touch the subject in Russia. The Russian Defence Ministry had long been seeking such restrictions, and back in February 2018 issued directives “of a recommendatory nature”.  The draft bill to legislative against such revelations was first tabled in September 2018 and has now passed into law.

The explanatory note to the original bill avoided any mention of Ukraine, but did refer to the deployment of military personnel in Syria. It states that “military servicemen are of particular interest to the security services of certain countries, terrorist and extremist organizations. Information posted by military servicemen on the Internet or mass media is used for information or psychological influence, as well, in particular cases, to form a biased assessment of the Russian Federation’s state policy”.

It is likely that security measures are applied in other countries to protect military servicemen, and it is doubtless true that careless divulgence of information can put people in danger of abduction or terrorist attacks.

The problem here, however, is that the ban covers exactly that evidence which has enabled Bellingcat; InformNapalm and other investigative journalists to track Russian illicit military activities in Ukraine and Syria.

Pavel Gubarov Separatist leader at the crash site of MH17 Friday 18th of July 2014 Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Social media posts enabled Bellingcat to track the route of the Buk missile from Russia to Snizhne in militant-controlled Ukraine and then, very swiftly, back again across the border into Russia.   Such findings, together with other proof, were used by the Joint Investigation Team which on 24 May 2018 published its conclusions. The international investigators found that “the Buk missile which downed Malaysian airliner MH17 on 17 July 2014 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile brigade which is a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation”.

Among the many social media posts that have given the lie to Russia’s denial of its military engagement in Donbas was the state award given to Alexander Minakov for his role in the battle for Debaltseve in the Donetsk oblast in February 2015.  The fighting to capture that government-controlled city continued after Putin agreed a ceasefire as part of the Minsk II Agreement on February 12, 2015.  Journalists from the Citizens Intelligence Team extensively used information divulged via social media for their conclusions about Russia’s military role in the battle and that it was Putin himself who ordered the offensive.

It is no accident that soldiers are told to watch the traces they leave in social media, since this has also been vital in showing how Russia later tried to falsify evidence.  There was, for example, a swift move, which InformNapalm spotted and foiled, to conceal the page on VKontakte of 22-year-old Russian soldier Viktor Ageyev after he was captured on the territory of the so-called ‘Luhansk people’s republic’.

There is considerable evidence also of Russian weapons, tanks, etc. used in Donbas, from ‘selfies’ taken by soldiers or Russian mercenaries.  On July 23, 2014, Russian soldier Vadim Grigoryev posted an incriminating photo with the caption: “We pounded Ukraine all night”.  This is just one of numerous photos which are often deleted later, but which have by then been recorded – see, for example, the collection made by The Insider.

Such selfies were used by the United Kingdom’s public prosecutor as evidence that Ben Stimson had taken part in the fighting in Donbas on the side of the Russian-backed militants.  Stimson was sentenced in July 2017 to five and a half years’ imprisonment on terrorist charges.  Although Sergei Kiselev’s involvement in the war in Donbas first attracted the attention of the German authorities because his uncle and Putin’s chief spin doctor Dmitry Kiselyov spoke about it in an interview, social media posts were certainly used as evidence for an initial jail term in Germany and further investigation.

The bill now in force will make it illegal for the Russian contract soldiers who were imprisoned in 2015 for going absent without leave rather than fighting in Donbas to speak with the media.  It was telling that the harshest sentence then was passed against Alexander Yenenko who had been most open in talking with Novaya Gazeta.

Moves aimed at forcing Russians into silence about Moscow’s undeclared warfare are not new.  On 28 May, 2015 Putin issued a decree, classifying as secret information about military losses in peacetime.

Other measures have ranged from the arrests of civic activists like Svetlana Davydovaand Ludmila Bogatenkova to a mixture of threats and pay-outs to the families of men killed.

In April 2017, Valentina Melnykova, Head of the Union of Russian Soldiers’ Mothers Committees, said that she believed that no less than 1500 Russian military servicemen had died in Donbas, but that this was the first war she was aware of where the families of young men killed were not approaching the committees for help.  She added that it was hard to understand “why Russian families agreed so easily to this silence, to this anonymity”.

The Black Panther: Photos Will Burrard-Lucas March 9, 2019

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British wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas is helping make history with his recently captured images of an elusive black panther in Kenya. While sightings of black panthers—also known as black leopards—have been continuously reported, until now there has been almost no photographic evidence of their existence. As only about 11% of all leopards are black, getting one on film, particularly in Africa, is no easy feat.

Black panthers get their color due to an overabundance of melanin that makes skin or fur appear black. Though black leopards in Southeast Asia have been photographed hundreds of times by scientists, evidence of these rare cats in Africa was largely hearsay until now. This all changed when word started to get out that there had been consistent black panther sightings at the Laikipia Wilderness Camp in Kenya.

Burrard-Lucas, who has been working as a full-time wildlife photographer for nearly 10 years, couldn’t resist the opportunity to get this elusive animal on camera and so he headed down to Africa. Using a camera trap system that included a Camtraptions motion sensor, Burrard-Lucas was able to come back with a series of incredible imagery that helps concretely confirm the presence of black panthers in the area for the first time in nearly a century.

To assist in the process, Laikipia Wilderness Camp owners Steve and Annabelle Carey introduced the photographer to Luisa Ancilotto. Ancilotto leaves near the camp and was familiar with the habits of the black leopard. “She told us as much as she knew about the leopard’s habits and territory,” shares Burrard-Lucas. “Then Steve managed to pick up some fresh leopard tracks nearby and followed them to a path that leopards seemed to be using. I set up my camera traps up on this trail and it was there that I captured my first image of the black leopard.”

While the first night didn’t yield any sighting, Burrard-Lucas was in luck after a few days. “I checked them and by the time I got to the last camera, all I had seen were pictures of hyenas but no leopards. I had a quick look at the last trap, not expecting to find much,” he writes. “As I scrolled through the images on the back of the camera, I paused and peered at the photograph below in incomprehension… a pair of eyes surrounded by inky darkness… a black leopard! I couldn’t believe it and it took a few days before it sank in that I had achieved my dream.”

Over the next few days, Burrard-Lucas moved around his setup as he began to understand the black panther’s movements and continued to capture stunning photographs of this majestic animal. The photographs are all the more thrilling when one considers that one of the last times a black leopard was photographed in Africa was 1909. This photograph, taken in Addis Abada, Ethiopia, is in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. in Addis Ababa. Though there have been previous reports of black leopards in Kenya, none have been accompanied by images of the melanistic cat.

Additionally, researchers from the San Diego Zoo and Loisaba Conservancy obtained video footage of the Laikipia county black leopard and recently published their observations in the African Journal of Ecology. Along with a recently discovered image of a black panther taken by the Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy in 2007, these images are a rare glimpse of the elusive animal.

 “Collectively, these images are the first reported in nearly 100 years that confirm the existence of black leopard in Africa, and the first in Kenya,” the researchers state.For Burrard-Lucas, the results of his trip were better than he ever could have dreamed. “As far as I know, these are the first high-quality camera trap photographs of a wild melanistic leopard ever taken in Africa. I can still scarcely believe that this project–which started out as a speculative recce trip–has paid such spectacular dividends!”

The photographer is careful to mention that he decided to release the name of the location where he photographed the black panther for good reason. “Fortunately trophy hunting is illegal in Kenya. My take is that the benefits of promoting tourism far outweigh the risks and hence I have stated the location. Tourism brings valuable revenue to these places and is often a critical source of funding for conservation efforts.” And as Burrard-Lucas intends to head back soon, we’re hopeful that these are just the first of many African black panther photographs we’ll be seeing.

Read more about Burrard-Lucas’ African adventure on the Camptraptions blog.