Blog - Category Archives: Asia
Sandhiya from Madurai (Tamil Nadu, India) has the body of a woman but feels like a man. She wants to be called Raja only. Raja has been receiving threats for years but when they became life threatening, Raja and his mother had to quickly move to a temporary home in Chennai.
The road begins at Lamayuru, but it already ends a few kilometers further after Wan La. No more cars from a long time after that on the way to Hemis. For generations, nothing has changed the country and its people more than the seasonal rains that reshape the valleys every year. Due to the inaccessibility of the area, Ladakhis live an isolated life devout to Buddhism and largely free from western influences.
Religion and religious acts are pillars of Nepali society and are an integral part of daily life. Photographed in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Turkey is not only divided as a country between the western and eastern cultures, but a rift goes right through the middle of it because of its rapid, and uneven, development to become an industrial nation. Continued economic growth of nearly 8% means that centres of industry and trade are developing a break-neck speed, while time, and progress, stand still in rural communities. The consequences of this transition are most visible in its economic and geographical form: young Turks leaving their villages to take on one of the many available jobs in the city while the government is frantically trying to keep up with this economic migration by building colossal housing estates that can accommodate hundres of thousands. However, Turkey’s transition goes far beyond the visible – the whole Turkish way of life is under attack. Religion and tradition are crumbling, women are discovering their rights and finding their voice, busy bazaars are being replaced by glass-and-concrete shopping malls. In the streets of Istanbul, homosexuality is starting to make first public appearances.
Life is good among the super rich Istanbullus who display their newly-found wealth willingly. Money is no object for many Turks in the overpriced shopping malls of Taksim. The mix of traditionalism and unbridled consumerism suggests a comparison with Beirut. After a hard day of shopping, dinner is served at one of the suave and lavish eateries while male belly dancers wiggle their bodies between tables.
VIDEO: The Aasraa Trust tries to get children off the street and into education.
Dehradun (India) has a vast population of children that its fast economic development has left behind. Without home, education and care, these children roam the streets in search of garbage and handouts. Many children are forced to beg by their own families, themselves without income or home. Because children with disabilities have more begging potential, parents sometimes mutilate their own children. Other children simply abandon their home due to violence and drug abuse by their parents.
The problem is set to worsen in a growing population and a rapidly widening wealth gap between the rich and the poor.
Self-help groups and NGOs, such as the Aasraa Trust by Shaila Brijnath, try to provide a measure of care and education with limited funds and often using personal savings, to help children build a future that is worth living. Their efforts a routinely sabotaged by begging children’s parents who depend on their income. Without an education that is enabling children to enter the job market, it seems impossible to break this spiral.
Check the portfolio section for a smaller photo selection and a video…
Grab your stuff and photograph the extraordinary life stories that unfold every single day in the streets of Dehradun, India…
Living in the city – Indian style. A school boy spoke to me while I was loitering at a street corner. ” You will probably find it difficult to survive here”, he announced. Hm, can’t argue with that if even Indians find that hard…
Oh island in the sun… nonsense. A steady low pressure area over the Gulf of Bengal drenched us to our pants as we were trekking the tea country in the Highlands of Sri Lanka. Global climate whatsit. But the fact that Sri Lanka is slightly chilled is nothing to do with climate stuff.
India’s second biggest city is a daily festival of human existence, simultaneously noble and squalid, cultured and desperate. And everything is playing out before your eyes on teeming streets where not an inch of space is wasted.