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Greetings from Uzbekistan, the Country that Grows Cotton in the Desert

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London-based photographer Marco Barbieri has always been interested in countries where politics and religion play a central role in people’s lives. He decided to travel to Uzbekistan after seeing images from the disappearing Aral Sea, but his initial plan became much more than he thought it would. His photo series Water in the Desert places water in the country’s broader context, and reveals how a dictatorship can turn logic upside down and make the absurd an acceptable part of daily life.

Shocking Photos of the Devastating Monsoon Season in Kolkata

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For a quarter century, photographer Joydeep Mukherjee has seen his neighborhood in Kolkata flooded dozens of times. He’s seen children submerged neck-deep, the disabled struggling to find comfort, and stray animals desperately searching for higher ground.

Colorful Portraits in Historic African American Neighborhoods

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Afro Sunrise No. 2

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Funtunfunefu-Denkyemfunefu

According to Philadelphia photographer Shawn Theodore aka xST, “Color is everything.”

His street portraits, made throughout his travels in historically African American neighborhoods in Philly, Los Angeles, Baltimore, LA, and Oakland, are collaborations between the photographer and anyone he finds beautiful. They are taken always with permission, and the street itself, the surrounding buildings and their facades, become a third player in their conversations.

Painful But Unforgettable Portraits of Life on Skid Row

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Los Angeles Street near Winston St: Jerry has been on Skid Row for years. Despite his devastating facial injury, caused by a rifle shot to the face as he sat at a bus stop over a decade ago, he’s very easy to talk to and joke with and is very honest about his life. He’s routinely bullied and has his belongings stolen regularly. He’s in very poor condition physically, and I haven’t seen him in months.

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Spring Street between 5th and 6th: Larry first saw Rebel being beaten brutally by his owner on Skid Row around San Pedro Street. He implored the guy to allow him to take the dog, because he knew that the dog wouldn’t survive much longer. He was given the dog, named him Rebel, and they are now inseparable life partners

“Get the fuck out of the car already, because if you don’t, you’ll never forgive yourself,” photographer Suzanne Stein told herself as she passed by Jennifer’s tent on Skid Row. She’d been photographing the faces of the area since October of the previous year, but this block could be unpredictable, and she was frightened. Still, Jennifer was worth the risk.

One Daughter’s Story Caring for Her Elderly Parents in China

LAO TOU, OLD MAN

LAO TOU, OLD MAN

“If you don’t succeed caring for your elders, you fail as a person,” says Norwegian photographer Line Ørnes Søndergaard of expectations for children in China. She met Chen Aichun and Guo Zhenghua through their grown daughter Hui, who had left the Chinese village where she grew up to live with her Norwegian husband. Now, a decade later, Hui has returned home to be with her parents, allowing Søndergaard to live temporarily in the family home.

A Rare Glimpse Inside Cuba’s Tenement Houses

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New York-based Italian photographer Carolina Sandretto first travelled to Cuba in 2011; the country fascinated Carolina, as did the “time bubble which entraps it” and the strangely familiar culture she encountered there. The photographer started shooting Vivir Con in 2013, a project which stemmed from a personal exigency to describe what it means to live in Cuba, both in cultural and geographical terms. Due to a lack of means and permits to build new homes, the majority of the Cuban population live in “solars”: a solar is a building that was originally designed to be lived in by only one family, but has been transformed into a multi-family “coop” due to the increase in population and lack of space. Carolina elaborates: “One family often resides in one small room where all family members eat and sleep, from the grandparents to the nephews”. Vivir Con gives us a glimpse into what family life is like in a small space in a tropical country, while examining the tensions between neighboring families who are forced to co-exist.

These Stray Cats Remind Us of the Simple Joy of Being Alive

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In the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Japanese photographer Masaaki Ito found warmth and comfort in some unlikely friends: the stray cats of Tokyo. As the country grieved, he rediscovered joy in the homeless felines, who roamed the streets in search of food, company, or a kind gesture. For the past few years, Ito has been chronicling the many adventures of the cats he endearingly calls his “neighbors.”

Seeing the World Through Clotheslines, From Italy to China (Sponsored)

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Laundry in Havana, Cuba © Jeremy Woodhouse / Blend / Offset

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Laundry in Gothenburg © Johnér / Offset

Padding through the tight cobblestone alleyways of Venice, it’s common to see clotheslines connecting one house to its neighbor. Drying machines are rarities in Italy, and women of these historic homes take great pride in the meticulous hanging of their families’ garments. There is a proper way to air-dry everything from linens and undergarments, and much can be learned about one’s neighbors simply by the skill and etiquette displayed during laundry day, when the fragrance of detergent commingles with that of the salty canal.

Photographer Arne Svenson Talks About His Lawsuit, the First Amendment, and Internet Commenters

Years ago, photographer Arne Svenson looked out his Tribeca window to see a vision “so breathtaking that it would be impossible not to record.” It was a quiet, intimate but anonymous moment in an apartment across from his own, where the features of his subjects were concealed. The picture that resulted from that pure impulse to immortalize the ephemeral went viral as part of the series The Neighbors.

An Intimate Glimpse Into Working Class Lives in Midwest America

amber-at-twenty-six From the series, Family 1987-2016

Amber at Twenty-six From the series, Family 1987-2016

Ambers Cousins From the series, Family 1987-2016

Amber’s Cousins From the series, Family 1987-2016

When Chris Verene started experimenting with photography in his teens, his natural reaction was to turn his lens on those closest – his family. For him, family was always based in and around his hometown of Gaelesburg, Illinois – a city of 32,000 cited by Obama as one of the hardest-hit areas by the recession. Verene has been photographing his extended family since 1985, but it was not until 1997 that his pictures emerged into the public realm; before then they’d only passed through the hands of his family, friends, teachers, and classmates. The trust of his family and the naturalness of Verene’s routine, make this a unique collaboration.

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