Blog - Frank Rohrig
New York – street photo series of one of the most iconic places in the world.
Cape Town has many children who roam the streets to beg for food. Broken-down families and repeated abuse by their parents drive them out of their homes to search for a better life in the streets. Growing up in the streets, many children become early drug addicts and develop destructive behavioral patterns such as aggression. NGOs scramble to provide a level of care to such run-aways by providing food and shelter. Other efforts are directed at counseling those families at risk to prevent children abandoning their families. Such efforts are unlikely to stem the flow of street children unless some of the root causes of family breakdown, such as widespread alcoholism in the vast poverty-stricken townships like Kayelitsha, can be resolved.
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.
Series of photographs of the streets and ghats in Varanasi, India. Check out the full slideshow in the porfolio section…
Istanbul’s soul doesn’t quite belong to the Middle East, but it is also not a western city. It has a distinct European feel to it, including the shameless riches of a rapidly growing economy. Well on its way to become a world metropolis, it still has to find its new feet as the former support pillars of religious conservatism are gradually being eroded.
The original Pamir Highway is part of the legendary Silk Road that led from China and India toward Europe and the Middle East. Much of the road runs along the River Panj, or Amurdarja, which flows into the Aral Sea.
We picked up the trail at Dushanbe in the Tajik lowlands. Civilization’s grasp fades with every mile driving into the Pamirs. Was it not for a few narrow, fertile river valleys, the Pamirs would be completely empty. A 2-day drive takes you to Khorog, an island of relative comfort and civilization in a vast mountain range.
We tried to reach the Geisev valley but due to the high Bartang river, the road was blocked and we didn’t want to take the mountain pass. Having failed to reach the valley we asked in a local village to stay in someone’s house. We were warmly welcomed and fed (potatoes) by the locals, but our thin skin was not able to withstand the relentless attacks that followed during the night. Various bed bugs/fleas/mosquitos ate us alive. We were mere junior training partners for those bugs from hell. In the morning, we limped away, utterly beaten.
The Catholic church goes strong in Italy, and particularly in Sicily. To mark Jesus’ ransom sacrifice, each town puts on grand celebrations by parading large religious icons through the streets, accompanied by melancholy brass music. These procession may go on for hours and every town has its own agenda. Trapani holds the record for the most arduous procession, lasting a full 24 hours.
The South Omo region is one of the few places left on this planet where tribes live in their little micro cosmos (almost) free from external influences from the outside world. Not that the Ethiopian government has not tried to change some of the tribes’ customs such as ritual whipping of women (Hamar) and cutting of the lower lip for lip plates (Mursi), but the region is remote enough that these attempt have been relatively unfruitful so far. The government has tried to establish a measure of authority over a region that until recently didn’t know Ethiopia existed, by setting up police stations. The police were politely asked to “get out” by groups of men with automatic weapons knocking at the police station. They took the hint and left.
Most tribes are semi nomadic or nomadic, lifestock providing the necessities of life. Such a lifestyle and dwindling resources make conflicts inevitable. Tribal and inter-tribal wars usually erupt over grazing and cattle disputes. These mini wars are fought with automatic weapons and many fatalities can occur. Living in an area bordering an enemy tribe can be very dangerous for the male fighting population.
What’s fascinating about this region is that each tribe is like a small nation with completely different customs, laws, looks and origin. The map below may shed some light on the different ethnic groups and their locations.