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A Deeply Human Look at the Lives of Transgender Youth

“All my friends say ‘Oh, I started my period.’ or ‘I’m a B cup now.’ It’s hard for them to understand that that doesn’t happen to us and that we can’t give birth. Not that we necessarily want to, but we do want to feel the same.” – Lilly, 12-year-old transgender female, North Central California

“I know very well that I’m male, and yet I’m treated like a young child, as though I don’t know my own mind, when I’ve never been so sure of anything. I think it’s unfair to expect transgender children to live in the wrong body. My whole life is blighted by it. It never leaves. I’m always confronted by it because I have to live in a body that is not mine. ” – Zak, 13-year-old transgender male, Isle of Wight, England

Photographer Annie Tritt embarked on Transcending Self, a collection of portraits and interviews with transgender and gender expansive children, teenagers, and young adults around the world, more than two years ago. She spent the first year learning and absorbing information. She’d seen the inaccuracies and potentially hurtful stories the press had made in handling the subject in the past, and she wanted instead to give voice directly to the transgender youth.

“This is not my story,” she says, “It is theirs.”

The True and Untold Stories of The Black Panthers

B Kwaku Duren © Bryan Shih, from the book ‘The Black Panthers: Portraits From an Unfinished Revolution’

Charlotte O’Neal © Bryan Shih, from the book ‘The Black Panthers: Portraits From an Unfinished Revolution’

In 1981, one year before the dissolution of the Black Panther Party, co-founder Bobby Seale told a full college auditorium, “Today we don’t need guns; we need computers.” On the 50th anniversary of the party’s founding, photojournalist Bryan Shih sees that prediction coming to life in the Black Lives Matter movement: once more, young people are making their voices heard, against a backdrop of our country’s police brutality, mass incarceration, and systemic racism.

Shih spent four-plus years getting to know former Black Panthers and recording their stories. He teamed up with historian Yohuru R. Williams to make The Black Panthers: Portraits From an Unfinished Revolution, a book composed of photographs, archival materials, scholarly essays, and perhaps most importantly, testimony from the individuals themselves.

Remembering the Horrific Exile of Thousands of People

Fatima Uzhakhova, Ingush, was a granddaughter of biggest landlord in the Caucasus. Her family was split: some were repressed as “public enemies” of the Soviets, andothers joined the Bolsheviks. In 1944, the family was exiled to Kazakhstan with thousands of others. In exile, Fatima’s mother was sentenced to five years of jail for breaking a rule: she crossed the frontier of her exile zone. Fatima had to survive on her own since the age of 9.

Chechen elders pose by the ancestry towers, which were ruined by the Soviets, rebuilt, then ruined again by the Russian army, and rebuilt again.

73 years ago today, the lives of nearly half a milion Chechen and Ingush people changed forever when Stalin ordered their deportation to remote parts of the Soviet Union. More than a third never returned, and the lives of the ones who did were already altered irreversibly. Russian photographer Dmitri Beliakov has been working in the North Caucasus since 1994 and came to learn about this dark chapter of history. As the witnesses of the exile were one by one disappearing, Beliakov felt time was slipping away. His project The Ordeal is the last chance to preserve their memory.

Paul Nicklen Captures the Beauty and Fragility of the Polar Regions

To counter contemporary political discourses denying climate change, we need only turn our heads to the polar regions to understand the urgency of protecting these fragile yet beautiful ecosystems. Canadian-born Paul Nicklen is a photographer, marine biologist and conservationist. He knows that the Arctic region is warming up twice as fast as anywhere on the planet, and has witnessed and documented the staggering effects of this rise in temperature firsthand. Glaciers are receding, wildlife populations are struggling to adapt to their new environment, urban areas are threatened by rising sea levels—an oil spill could prove catastrophic, both for the animal and human inhabitants of these vulnerable regions. In his book Polar Obsession and the corresponding exhibition organized by National Geographic at the David Bower Centre, the artist hopes to dispel myths and encourage others to enjoy, treasure and help protect these lands and creatures.

Tales From a Street Photographer in St. Petersburg

When I asked Alexander Petrosyan to tell me why St. Petersburg is a great place for street photography, he answered honestly. It isn’t. It’s usually freezing, and the streets are never well-lit. The streets are mostly empty because everyone is always in a hurry to get someplace. He takes pictures here not because it’s easy but because it’s been his home for more than four decades.

Minimalist Snapshots of the World by ‘the Agoraphobic Traveller’

Impressive cactus, Sun City, Arizona.

Football game, Chile.

“At first I was uncomfortable with sharing my mental health issues publicly,” photographer Jacqui Kenny, sometimes known as the “Agoraphobic Traveller,” says, “Now it’s something I talk openly about.”

Fashion and Architecture Collide in the Work of ‘Modelographer’ Josef Adamu (Sponsored)

From Josef Adamu’s Squarespace website

It’s impossible to put Josef Adamu inside a box. He’s a creative director, but he’s never content staying behind the lens. Most of the time, he’s in front of it, directing the photographer and starring in the shoot at the same time.

A Death Photographer on the Sacred River Ganges

Warning: this article contains images of dead bodies.

The expression “when one door closes, another opens” seems apt when Italian photographer Matteo de Mayda recounts the tale of how this series began. When a project to photograph India’s bicycle inventors fell through at the very last moment, de Mayda found himself in Bombay desperate for a story. By chance, he stumbled across a local video report on the death photographers of Varanasi. On hearing the report, De Mayda wasted no time and caught a 30-hour third class train to the holy city.

The Couple Who Found A Shared Love For Tornado Chasing

07 May 2016: A classic severe weather set-up in the high plains of Colorado near the town of Wray, which yielded one of the most photogenic tornadoes of the year. We were just ahead of the storm as the tornado started and tracked with it as it grew from a fine funnel to a sizeable cone tornado. At this moment, the twister was at its most photogenic while its parent supercell continued to be manageable. We were among a number of people, including those you see in the shot, nervously enjoying the epic display nature put on for us.

07 June 2014: A clash between two storm cells in New Mexico, US in June 2014, each with its own rotating updraft. It appeared as though one updraft was anticyclonic, resulting in a very turbulent scene. The curved striations of the oldest noticeable against the new bubbling convection of the newer. It was a fantastic sight to watch and it’s the rarity of such scenes that keep drawing us back to the US Plains each year.

The Irish philosopher Edmund Burke wrote in 1757:”The passion caused by the great and sublime in nature… is Astonishment; and astonishment is that state of the soul, in which all its motions are suspended, with some degree of horror.”  Referring to the aesthetic concept of the sublime, Burke explains how fear – especially the fear of God – can be evoked by the power of nature, and it is exactly this mixture of awe and fear we feel when looking at these apocalyptic images by British couple Cammie Czuchnicki and Tim Moxon, aka Weather Studios. Each spring for the last seven years, the couple made the trip to the US to follow the tornado season north – from Texas to the Dakotas – to photograph the spectacular weather. In their photos, the storms are shown raging across the land, rolling in like mega-tsunamis, making it hard not to focus on our vulnerability as humans.

The Only Spaces for Intimacy in Romanian Jails

When Romania became part of the European Union in 2007, the country had adjustments to make. Among them was that every jail in the country had to have an ‘intimate room,’ a place for inmates to spend private time with their partners. Over the course of several years, Cosmin Bumbut photographed these newly-created cells in all of the country’s 40 penitentiaries. His photo series, Intimate Room, is a complete documentation of these artificially created spaces for intimacy.

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