Category Archives: Politics

May Day

Maoist Chairman, 'Prachanda', on May Day, Ratna Park, Kathmandu, Nepal

Maoist Supporters at Ratna Park on May Day, Kathmandu, Nepal

Maoist supporters forming a human chain to block the streets of Kathmandu

Maoist Chairman, 'Prachanda' adressing the crowd in Ratna Park on May Day, Kathmandu, Nepal

Cultural Performances during Maoists' May Day gathering, Ratna Park, Kathmandu, Nepal

Maoist crowd at Ratna Park during May Day demonstrations, Kathmandu, Nepal

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Filed under Nepal, News, Politics, Protest, Social gathering, Uncategorized

Here and There

Lille, France

Today opens at Science Po Lille (Institut d’Études Politiques de Lille) an exhibition that I have been working on for a few months and which will expand and develop over the next three years, via the INFOCON-Project, steered by the Internationalist Foundation

“Here and There” is seeking a better understanding of the relationship between diaspora communities and their home counties sometimes affected by conflicts or tensions, internal or external. This exhibit is part of the first of three conference cycles  organized via the INFOCON project in order to better disseminate the findings and trends the research has so far laid out. The is therefore the debut of an exploration, a project very close to the people, their emotions and sometimes their sensitivities. It  promises to bring great photographic result, maybe with only subtle visual impact, but most importantly with deep, personal perspectives on human beings, their experiences and their evolution moving across borders in our ever more integrated world. I have thus explored various Diasporas in London and abroad and will continue to work with them in the next two years along with the academic research being carried on.  With the help of close friends in London, I have been able to get in touch with Rwandas, Iraqis, Kurds, Moldovan and,  with the help of my great friend and colleague Renaud Philippe from Stigmat Photo, with various actors of the Tibetan community in London and India.

As this is an evolving project you are very much encouraged to leave comments and suggestions hereafter.

* The exhibit will be on display at Science Po Lille until May the 14th, the conference taking place on the 6th and 7th.

Ambassador Gatete of Rwanda in his London office

Ambassador Gatete of Rwanda in his London office, in front of Rwandan President Paul Kagame's portrait

Ambassador Gatete of Rwanda in his London office

Ambassador Gatete of Rwanda in his London office

15 years on - Commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide, London

15 years on - Commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide, London

Prayer and sermon at the Commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide, London

Prayer and sermon at the Commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide, London

Commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide, London

Commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide, London

نوروز (Nowrūz) celebration, display of Abdullah Öcalan portrait, London

نوروز (Nowrūz) celebration, display of Abdullah Öcalan portrait, London

نوروز (Nowrūz) celebration, Mr. Omed Ali, a Kurd from Irak celebrating at Trafalgar Square, London

نوروز (Nowrūz) celebration, Mr. Omed Ali, a Kurd from Iraq celebrating at Trafalgar Square, London

Oula Kadhum has been living in the UK since the 1st Gulf War and returned to Iraq for the first time in 19 years last April (09)

Oula Kadhum has been living in the UK since the 1st Gulf War and returned to Iraq for the first time in 19 years last April (09). She is now a post-grad student at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) London and her research focuses on the impact of the 2003 Iraqi occupation on womens rights

Members of the Moldovan Diaspora in London against the communist party running for election in Moldova

Members of the Moldovan Diaspora in London against the communist party running for election in Moldova

Dechen Pemba. UK born Tibetan was deported from China after living there for two years for dubious reasons

Dechen Pemba. UK born Tibetan was deported from China for dubious reasons, only a few weeks before the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She had been living in China for two years, learning Mandarin.

Tenzin Tsundue Tibetan political activist and poet, born in Indian and very active for the Tibetan both in Tibet and on the international scene

Tenzin Tsundue Tibetan political activist and poet, born in Indian and very active for the Tibetan both in Tibet and on the international scene

 Paldem Gyatso is a Buddhist monk who was jailed for 33 years in China. He now tells his story in conferences around the world displaying some of the torture material he stole from jail

Paldem Gyatso is a Buddhist monk who was jailed for 33 years in China. He now tells his story in conferences around the world displaying some of the torture material he stole from jail

Lhasang Tsering one of the first Tibetan refugee to migrate to India, at the age of 7

Lhasang Tsering one of the first Tibetan refugee to migrate to India, at the age of 7

Special meeting of the Tibetan Diaspora in Dharamsala, India, initiated by the Dalaï-Lama, but from which he was voluntarily absent

Special meeting of the Tibetan Diaspora in Dharamsala, India, initiated by the Dalaï-Lama, but from which he was voluntarily absent

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Filed under Diaspora, Iraq, Kurdistan, London, Moldova, Politics, Rwanda, Tibet

Retro on Rwanda

Commissioned by the Internationalist Foundation (IF), with whom I started to work since the debut in 2006, I am now working on a 3 year project to explore the relationship between Diasporas and Conflicts.  IF’s INFOCON project, “aims to promote a better understanding of how Civil Society Organizations representing Transnational Communities can work on preventing and resolving conflicts in Europe and worldwide.” The Project is financed by the EU and steered by the Internationalist Foundation and and involves several research institutes and CSOs from Belgium, the UK, Canada, Germany, France and the Netherlands. The selected regions of origin are to be studies are Turkey, Kosovo and the Great Lakes region in Africa.

Producing a visual documentary along the research lines as so far proved to be a fascinating and a delicate experience. As a platform, London has been fruitful to explore various angles of this project. Nooruz (Persian New Year) was celebrated a few weeks ago in Trafalgar Square. While not the main purpose of the festivities, the social gathering nevertheless reunited Kurds from many Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria.

Also,  Tuesday the 7th of April will mark 15th year since the Genocide took place in Rwanda. While remaining an understandably highly sensitive issue, a few events will take place in London and elsewhere to commemorate the atrocious anniversary. Survivors Fund (SURF) and Hope Survivors Foundation in collaboration with Amnesty International UK recently held an event for the 15th Anniversary commemoration of the Rwandan genocide. I have also been invited to attend an event organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda on Tuesday to further the work on this aspect of the project.

This is therefore an ongoing photographic project which will cover a larger spectrum and greater number of diasporic communities and actors.

H.E. Claver Gatete Ambassador of Rwanda to the UK, Ireland and the Nordic Countries

H.E. Claver Gatete Ambassador of Rwanda to the UK, Ireland and the Nordic Countries

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Filed under Diaspora, Leader, Politics, Rwanda, Uncategorized

Archives – IMF World Bank – Singapore 2006

This blog has provided me with the opportunity to revisit my ‘somewhat’ organized archives of the past 5 years working as a professional (aka paid) photojournalist.

This series is a comeback on the 61st Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WB), held in Singapore from the 11ht to the 16th of September 2006. A record number of over 20,000 delegates and about 300 finance ministers attended. With the high rollers of international finance gathered in aseptic Singapore, many CSO members and listed protesters were banned from entering the country or were never delivered an entry visa. Many held protests and demonstrations in neighbouring Indonesia, in a sidelined CSO summit.

Photo caption: Coming to this finance festival with a certain amount of scepticism towards the while venture, this photo of Paul Wolfowitz was taken in a conference on fighting corruption, […] It is widely documented that He had made the fight against corruption a foremost objective while in post at the WB. Wolfowitz resigned from the WB after allegations of ‘patronage’ over a disproportionate salary increase accorded to Shaha Ali Riza, at the time involved in an extramarital  relationship with Wolfowitz.

Paul Wolfowitz

Paul Wolfowitz

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Filed under Finance, Leader, News, Politics, President, Singapore

HE Masoud Barzani, President, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

President Barzani spoke at the London based think-thank Chatham House on March the 12th, 2009. His talk covered a wide array of topic related to the relatively stable Kurd region of Iraq. Besides the aspirations to independence of the region, a good number of questions from the audience were directed, not so surprisingly, towards the potential of oil extraction from Kirkuk (كه‌ركووك, كركوك). The Baba Gurgur oil field near Kirkuk currently produces 1 million barrel per day, accounting for an important part of Iraqi oil export.

HE Masoud Barzani was elected the first president of the Kurdistan Region by the Kurdistan National Assembly in June 2005 and has been leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party since 1979.

FT Readers waiting for HE President Barzani to arrive

Over my shoulder: FT Readers waiting for HE President Barzani to arrive

HE President Barzani

HE President Masoud Barzani

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Filed under Iraq, Kurdistan, Leader, London, News, Politics, President