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Mathare is one of Africa's oldest and largest "slums," with crushing poverty and destitution, with patchwork "homes", patchwork doors, fences, planks over open sewers, mud or wood plank walls, and flimsy rusted roofs. Forced or born into poverty here, people have few choices or opportunities. Amidst the garbage can be found hope, joy, beauty and love -- art and resourcefulness -- bespeaking the resilience of the human spirit.
Under colonialism Nairobi became an Apartheid city segregating whites and people of color (Indians and Africans). The racial disparities in Kenya and the Quality of Life in Mathare are stark: colonial policies maintained the spatial and racial segregation. Structural inequalities increased after independence (1963).
This exhibit offers scenes of daily life and struggle, while attempting to capture the apathy and the joy, the dullness and fullness, the hopelessness and the creativity of the people -- whose human rights have been egregiously and systematically denied. As a visitor to Mathare I was made witness to the people's struggle, something for which I now feel some responsibility.
A new documentary photography exhibit on the Social Documentary Network. Please support my work according to your means.
This personal glimpse into the first 30 months of the life of our son offers a meditation on wonder, joy, curiosity and childhood, and the images testify to the privileges afforded to a white middle-class child born into post-modern materialist culture.
Documentary photography focuses on suffering and injustice: deprivation, disease, loss, addiction, and violence prevail, and it is essential to document stolen childhoods. Documentary portraits of thriving children are less common.
Child abuse and addictions reach epidemic proportions in Western societies, coupled with the pathology(s) of whiteness, so this is also a commentary on our attempt at an inclusive conscious parenting.
Photos speak to the gifts that we seek to give this child: e.g. safety, security, health, freedom, awareness, curiosity, warmth, nourishment, adventure, confidence, self-assurance, wonder, sanctuary, dreams, abundance, compassion, consciousness, and an enhanced capacity for communication and being.
These comprise a nurtured, safe, fulfilling childhood, with healthy developmental opportunities, and are basic human rights for all children. I would like to think that they are the foundations of a conscious mature compassionate expansive humanity.
U.S. GOV COLLUDES IN ASSASSINATION OF INNOCENT RWANDAN HUTU INTELLECTUAL
Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamist movement has been largely blamed for the recent atrocious attacks on schools that killed scores of children and teachers. Keith Harmon Snow, a war correspondent, photographer and independent investigator in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, believes that many of such assaults are perpetrated by criminal elements and governments that seek to destabilize the region for the sake of profit.
Open this link to listen to the interview or read the transcribed text.
EXPLOITING AFRICA'S MOST PRECIOUS RESOURCE: CHILDREN
An investigation in the adoptions industry in the Democratic Republic of Congo reveals that the U.S. Embassy has facilitated the trafficking of Congolese children. (Just days after the release of this story, the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa modified their web page to hide their links to the adoptions industry.)Interpreting the bible to prophesize the adoption of children as a soul-saving imperative, affluent U.S. Christians have spawned a new and massive movement using their privileges and entitlements to take children from the Congo, Ethiopia and other underdeveloped nations. Meanwhile, the exploitation of children through 'adoptions' is but one prong in the hydra of Western military-industrial depopulation and plunder of Central Africa.
Dr. Gerald Caplan & the Rwanda Genocide Cranks
First published on: 03 May 2013
Additional content: 11 May 2013
War and plunder continue to rip apart great swathes of Africa. The perpetrators are known, and many have been named and exposed. The Pentagon, NATO countries and Israel continue to foment covert international guerrilla wars. while their proxy regimescontinue to persecute and defraud their own people, even (at this writing) engaged in genocide. Meanwhile, leading white (and some black) apologists whitewashing war crimes and genocide in Africa continue to squeal about anyone who does not tout the racist white power establishment line they worship and profit from.
Meet Dr. Gerald Caplan, a fine example of the worst kind of imperialist: one who works with the world's worst dictators, peddles the racist propaganda at home and abroad, speaks at international conferences, collects a fine salary working for the misery industry in Africa, and one who ever believes that he is a force for good, and for ethics and truth, and who, therefore, is never, ever to be challenged by anyone.
Dr. Gerry Caplan (L) chats with Ibrahim Gambari from UNAMID at the Kigali conference
on 'Liberation' (4 July 2011) as Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba (left) looks on. (Photo J Mbanda)
Some reflections on self and other, life and death, discovery and lostness, simplification and complexity, the Congo and the United States, in the age of superfluous junk and meaningless suffering.
keith harmon snow
13 March 2013 *
* Originally written for The Sun Magazine. 10 April 2005, and rejected.
L eslie's dead. It's fifteen below zero. Ghost is on the porch, shivering in the excitement of stalking the squirrels under the bird feeder. Still a young cat at six months, Ghost is the only thing at Leslie's old house that does not reek of decay or entropy. His being is still unfolding, a little white joy on four legs. He freezes, one leg in mid-air, when the squirrels look up, and then he advances, in inches. Dad and I watch him from the kitchen as he plots a massacre.