"YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS ARE AS DAZZLING AS YOUR SUBJECTS"

Saturday, July 12, 2014

XI MAO: XI JINPING, MAO ZEDONG

CHINESE LEADERSHIP 
 NOW & THEN 


GENERAL SECRETARY XI JINPING (l
CHAIRMAN MAO ZEDONG (r) 

Interesting juxtaposition? 

VISUAL POLITICS? 

A photographic example here, with analysis 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

UKRAINE: ON THE EDGE I

CRISIS IN 
CRIMEA 


EVIDENCE FOR ANALYSIS 
February 24, 2014 

First photograph of CBS News transmission; 
second and third, PBS Newshour. 

To recap the closed captioning: 
1A: This is just the beginning. 
1B: Yanukovych must die. 

2A: Reporter: Want him dead? 
2B: Yeah, because a man who do 
2C: this, those horrible things, he... 

3A: ... does not live [correction for "leave"]. 
3B: He must die for him. 
3C. It is better for him. 

To be continued; a work in progress. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WANG DAN IS FORTY-FIVE

WANG DAN 
王丹 
b. February 26, 1969 


AT A 2004 FORUM ON 
TIANANMEN +15 
Harvard University 
Cambridge, Massachusetts 

Looking back fifteen years afterwards at the events of the spring of 1989 which culminated in the crackdown known as "六四" (Liu-Si, June 4) in Chinese and as "Tiananmen" to the outside world. 

Wang Dan was a student leader in 1989; imprisoned afterwards; eventually a Harvard Ph.D. 

In a little more than three months, the quarter century anniversary will be upon us. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

IN THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE OF BALI TRAFFIC, A GODDESS...

GODDESS 
ON A 
LOTUS FLOWER 


IN THE MIDDLE OF 
EVERYDAY LIFE 
& TRAFFIC 

RELION ON THE ROADSIDE 
BALI, INDONESIA 
III 

I here 
II here 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

WINTER USA 2014 II

SNOW DAYS 


RIVER WITH SNOW 

And yes, the picturesque can be political. 
Mayors and governors 
Can, 
So to speak, 
Put their foot in it. 

Canceling school, not canceling school, 
Letting employees off early, 
Not letting employees off early. 

Snowed under. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

A THOUGHT FOR INVADERS

FROM BONDARCHUK'S 
FILM OF TOLSTOY'S 
WAR & PEACE 


А и то сказать, кто же их к нам звал? 
But after all is said and done 
who asked them to come here? 

BORIS ZAKHAVA 
as 
Field Marshal MIKHAIL KUTUZOV 
reflecting on the misery and the common humanity of 
Napoleon's army retreating from Russia, but -- ! 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR BEGAN ONE HUNDRED TEN YEARS AGO; TODAY PUTIN AND ABE MET TO TALK ABOUT TALKING ABOUT SOME OF THE SAME OLD ISSUES

THE RUSSO-JAPANESE 
WAR BROKE OUT 
February 8, 1904 


THE SEA OF OKHOTSK 
off the Southeastern Shore 
of Sakhalin Island 

South Sakhalin ("Karafuto") was won by the Japanese as a result 
of  their victory in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 

Captured by the USSR in World War II; the entire island is part of Russia 

Still in contention

Four islands and groups of islets known as the Kurils (Kuriles) by the Russians, and as the Northern Territories by the Japanese;
under Soviet and then Russian control since World War II 

Some background, here 

Today on the sidelines of the Sochi Winter Olympics Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met and agreed to talk about the sticky island dispute, which has prevented the two countries from signing a peace treaty winding up World War II, at their next meeting, scheduled to take place again in Sochi, at the upcoming G8 summit in June of this year. 

President Putin will then visit Japan in the fall. 


Friday, February 7, 2014

WATER FOR A THIRSTY CITY

TOOLING DOWN 
THE ROAD 


BRINGING THE 
WATER BOTTLES 
Beijing, China 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

POST #1000: BACK TO THE BEGINNING

THE THOUSANDTH POST 


SASEBO, JAPAN 

JUVENILIA 

very juvenil-ia 

KODAK BROWNIE 

picturing politics very early on 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

SOCHI THEN AND NOW: HOME OF THE 2014 WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES

SOCHI 
IN THE 
SPOTLIGHT 


SOCHI BACK IN THE USSR 
Summer of 1984 


"In the nineteen-seventies and eighties, when everything was government sponsored, it used to be packed here. You couldn't move on the beach without someone taking your place." -- Aleksandr Zakharov, General Director, Radisson Lazurnaya Hotel, Sochi, Russia, quoted in "The Road to Sochi," audio report by Robin Lustig, BBC, February 4, 2014. 

Robin Lustig also has an article in the Financial Times, "Observations from Sochi," which overlaps the radio "Documentary." The radio version has material not covered in print; well worth listening to. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Sochi today; addressed the International Olympic Committee; and cuddled with a Persian leopard

More Sochi here; more Putin here

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Saturday, February 1, 2014

BORIS YELTSIN WOULD HAVE BEEN EIGHTY-THREE TODAY

BORIS YELTSIN 
February 1, 1931-April 23, 2007 


RUSSIAN PRESIDENT 
BORIS NIKOLAYEVICH YELTSIN 
In Harbin, China 
November 11, 1997 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

AFTER THE GAMES ARE OVER: ONE WEEK TILL THE 2014 OLYMPICS

AFTER THE 
CIRCUS 
HAS LEFT TOWN 


"WELCOME TO BEJING OLYMPIC PARK" 
THE SIGN SAYS; 
"SECURITY CHECK" 

The Summer Olympics were held in China in August 2008; the photograph was taken after another major multi-day event, the 18th Congress of the Communist Party of China, in October 2012. 

What will become of the Olympic venues for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, due begin this February 7? Vladimir Putin has scheduled the G8 summit for Sochi this June. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

THE CHURCH AT NIGHT

FIGURES IN 
THE SPIRE 


NIGHTTIME LIGHTS 
ON THE 
JAKARTA CATHEDRAL 
JAVA, INDONESIA 

Some diagrammatic representations 
of the Jakarta Cathedral, here 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

PUTIN TELLS THE EUROPEAN UNION: HANDS OFF UKRAINE (WOULD BE GOOD)

THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENT 
WOULD LIKE TO 
DECLARE UKRAINE 
A NO-GO ZONE 
FOR THE EU 


PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN 

The Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was offering concessions to the Opposition today as Vladimir Putin was having a truncated summit with the European Union (the EU's way of showing its displeasure was to cancel a formal dinner). 

The EU was apparently going to keep going to Ukraine anyway. And Russia may or may not give the $15 billion aid package it promised Yanukovych even if the opposition takes power. It was said that both sides seemed to want to play up the positives. 

Accounts of the Russia-EU summit and the new developments in Ukraine can be found here and here and here and here

Monday, January 27, 2014

NINETY YEARS SINCE LENIN'S BODY WAS FIRST PUT ON DISPLAY

LENIN'S FIRST 
MAUSOLEUM 
ERECTED 
January 27, 1924 


SPECTATORS AT 
VLADIMIR LENIN'S TOMB 
Red Square, Moscow, 1984 

Six days after Soviet revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin died on January 21, 1924, his body was placed in a wooden mausoleum on Red Square.  The permanent monument was installed in 1930. Sixty years and some months after Lenin's death, I made my first visit to the USSR, and joined the procession going past the embalmed body; the photograph above was made then, in the summer of 1984. 

After the fall of the Soviet Union, there have been periodic calls to find another burying place for the iconic Soviet leader (Stalin's body, which joined Lenin's after his death in 1953, having been removed long ago now). 

But, instead, in 2012 the mausoleum was closed for a re-do, re-opened the following spring.  And six days ago, pilgrims came to mark the ninetieth anniversary of Lenin's death. 

A vivid diagrammatic sketch of the mausoleum is here; a glimpse of the body and a quick look at the inside of the tomb can be found in a short video, here, with additional information here

A photograph of the former changing of the guards ceremony is here; another view of the mausoleum, here

Sunday, January 26, 2014

JEREMY RIFKIN IS SIXTY-NINE

JEREMY RIFKIN 
b. January 26, 1945 


Published in BUSINESS WEEK 
September 8, 1980, p. 12 

in a review of ENTROPY 
by Jeremy Rifkin with Ted Howard 
Review by Michael G. Sheldrick 
("Watching the world run out of resources") 

Author and activist and president of the Foundation on Economic Trends, Rifkin has alternatively been called a "futurist" and a "failed futurist." His website is here, and a list his books, here. A review of his most recent book, The Empathetic Civilization, is here

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

BIG EARS & METADATA

BECAUSE WE CAN? 
II 


MICROWAVE TOWER 
U.S.A. 


BOY OBAMA STATUE 
with butterfly and surveillance camera 
Jakarta, Indonesia 

So it is not legal, and it does not work particularly well (see here and here), but we are continuing it anyway (here): "metadata collection."  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

BORIS BEREZOVSKY WOULD HAVE BEEN SIXTY-EIGHT TODAY

BORIS BEREZOVSKY 
January 23, 1946-March 23, 2013 


pictured at the height of 
his powers in Russia; 
died in exile in the U.K., 
an apparent suicide 

Why did he do it? 

Some contemporaneous reporting on the investigation into his death, including video of his house, here; three long appreciations, here, here, and here

Gone, but still in the courts. A week ago, and almost ten months after his death, the British High Court of Justice granted Aeroflot the right to appeal a case against Berezovsky (here). 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

JAMES CARROLL IS SEVENTY AND ONE

JAMES CARROLL 
b. January 22, 1943 


AIR FORCE BRAT 
1960 Graduate 
General H. H. Arnold High School 
Wiesbaden, West Germany 

also 

WRITER 
Fiction and Non-Fiction 

and 
former PRIEST 


James Carroll was in the news recently with a New Yorker profile of Pope Francis ("Who Am I to Judge?"). He also has a column in the Boston Globe ("Sounding the Alarm, Then and Now") on the recently disclosed story of eight anti-war protestors who revealed some of the excesses of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI, by means of the burglary of an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, back in March 1971. Edward Snowden is the obvious "Now" to the Media burglary eight's "Then." Carroll is alarmed: "While government overreach is partly to blame for privacy-destroying intrusions into the communications of average citizens, so are unbridled new technologies to which citizens have willingly made themselves hostage." 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

DEMONSTRATIONS IN KIEV THEN AND NOW

KIEV (KYIV) 
AT A TURNING POINT? 


"DEMONSTRATION" 
KIEV, USSR 
September 1, 1984 

A mass rally for Peace and Knowledge Day (September 1) in Soviet Ukraine:  all the participants were vetted; the leaders and speakers (on the stairs) keep their distance.  The journalists are working in the no-man's land (a kind of dry moat) between the chosen citizens and their leaders. 

An independent Ukraine emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991. 

Nine years ago the Orange Revolution toppled the government. 

Two months ago demonstrators took to the street in Kiev again, after President Viktor Yanukovych chose to partner with Russia rather than the European Union. This week there have been violent clashes between protestors and the police.  Legislation severely limiting demonstrations is due to come into force tomorrow. Today the foreign minister of Russia, Sergei Lavrov, weighed in, protesting against the protesters. 

Reporting and analysis (and photographs and video) can be found here and here and here and here and here and here

Update February 18, 2014: Violence and fire and a meeting of President and Opposition, but no meeting of minds, here

Monday, January 20, 2014

MOON OVER PRAMBANAN

PRAMBANAN 
MOONRISE 


THE MAIN SHIVA TEMPLE 
PRAMBANAN TEMPLE COMPLEX 
ON THE INDONESIAN 
ISLAND OF JAVA 

A World Heritage Site 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

MANY JANIS JOPLINS, ALL THE ORIGINAL

JANIS JOPLIN 
January 19, 1943-October 4, 1970 



JANIS JOPLIN & THE FULL TILT BOOGIE 
 at her last concert, Harvard Stadium, 
Boston, August 12, 1970 

For larger versions of these photographs, and more about Janis, 
see here and here 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

PIZARRO FOUNDS LIMA 479 YEARS AGO

FRANCISCO PIZARRO 
FOUNDS THE 
CITY OF THE KINGS 
(now Lima, Peru) 
January 18, 1535 



PIZARRO'S TOMB IN 
THE CATHEDRAL OF 
LIMA, PERU 

The Inscription 



The celebrations have commenced! 

But see also here and especially here

Friday, January 17, 2014

THE FOREIGN MINISTER OF CANADA WANTS A KEYSTONE DECISION, AND HE WANTS IT NOW

JOHN BAIRD 
LAYS IT ON THE LINE 



CANADA WANTS 
TO KNOW  

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, on a trip to Washington, tried to force an answer from the U.S. as to whether it will sign off on a 1,200-mile pipeline from the Alberta tar sands to the Gulf Coast.  Even when he said a No would be better than No Answer, he could not get the U.S. administration to tip its hand. 

Some reporting and analysis can be found here and here and here

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

MANY EYES ON THE PRIZE: A BEAUTY CONTEST ON JAVA, INDONESIA

BEAUTY & THE MALL 


HOW MANY LENSES? 

Ambarrukmo Mall 
Yogyakarta, Indonesia 


More photographs here 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

PETER O'TOOLE GONE ONE MONTH

PETER O'TOOLE 
August 2, 1932-December 14, 2013 


AT THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB 
Washington, D.C. 
Two decades after Lawrence of Arabia 

Some of the more interesting obituaries and remembrances can be seen here and here and here; a rather different British interview from 1972, with some anecdotes about his beginnings, here; and a Joseph Wambaugh tale from his police days here

Two films of O'Toole's (just to start with) that certainly made politics visual and memorable: Lawrence of Arabia, of course, but Becket very much so also. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

YOU THINK U.S. POLITICS ARE HIGHLY POLARIZED? IN THAILAND THEY ARE TAKING TO THE STREETS AND TALKING OF A COUP

DEMOCRACY 
IN THAILAND 


THAI PRIME MINISTER 
YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA 
ON THE WORLD STAGE 
THE APEC SUMMIT 
Bali, Indonesia 
October 2013 

Is an un-elected people's council more democratic than a democratically elected government? The opposition to Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra thinks so, and is trying to force her to resign by filling the streets of Bangkok and attempting to shut the capital down. Today was the first official day of the shutdown action; the story continues. Some reportage and analysis can be found here and here and here

Update January 21, 2014:  A State of Emergency declared; details here


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

THE DECLINE OF THE CITY OF ANGELS?? SOME IN LOS ANGELES APPARENTLY THINK SO

THE SPREAD OF LOS ANGELES 


LOS ANGELES FROM THE AIR, 
WITH MOUNTAINS 

A preliminary report is out, with much more scheduled to come,  from the Los Angeles 2020 Commission. "A Time for Truth" does the handwringing; the hard work of reconciling business and labor and civic leaders' interests -- and the public's? -- is due to be completed in ninety days. Only ninety days. 

See here for some of the specifics of the "grim complaints"; some pushback here and especially here

Thursday, January 9, 2014

ONE HUNDRED AND ONE YEARS SINCE RICHARD NIXON WAS BORN

RICHARD M. NIXON 
January 9, 1913- April 22, 1994 


Speaker of the House of Representatives 
CARL ALBERT (left) and 
President RICHARD NIXON (right
in the White House