The desire for security and belonging is one of the dominant feelings. Everyone is longing for home, but when childhood is gone, one finds it only and mostly unexpectedly in the memory, it does not matter if one stayed or left.
Irina Ruppert came from Kazakhstan to Germany with her family at the age of seven. Decades later, she is drawn towards the east. Instinctively, over and over again. Because of the memory – or the idea of it.
The images in RODINA are just like the concept of home – inconceivable, ephemeral and radically subjective. Two boys coasting down the village street in their soapbox, the hilly, softly illuminated landscape shines in lush green. In a soup plate lies a chicken foot, a man swings the scythe on a field, a little girl stays in front of a small house with a big cross on the front, grandma sits in the dark, simply decorated living room, a boy interrupts his ride on a far too large bicycle, in order to commune with a goat. Thus we learn little about the present life in Eastern Europe in that book, but a lot about the fundamental impressions, experiences and encounters, which affect a life. I believe it is due to the special quality of Irina Ruppert’s photographs that the images become transparent in the observer’s eye and the frame fills with personal memories.
But the images still tell something about a region which often is associated with poverty, alcoholism and illness: There is beauty, dignity, confidence and hope. And the wheels of progress turn more slowly. Otherwise Irina Ruppert would not have found her images. (copy via Peperoni Books)
Launceston is the second largest city in Tasmania – which is hard to believe given its population of just over 105,000. For Australian standards though, that’s a big town, in fact it’s the ninth largest non-capital city down-under.
It’s also a pretty unique place, over 200 years old – and it comes with the unique charme of an old world town. Where people still know each other, where markets still look and feel like back in the days, and where you still believe products are truly natural and organic.
Have you been to Launceston or Tasmania? What was your impression of it?
Being in Tanzania has been an enriching experience meeting people and diving into diverse cultures, discovering some new aspects and facets previously unknown. The Swahili people of the East African Coast, from northern Kenya, typified by the amazing island of Lamu, via Malindi, Mombasa and into Tanzania, Pemba and Zanzibar is the dominant culture that influenced Eastern Africa in regards to language, culture and traditions. Ancient Arab traditions, Indian Ocean trade – as early as 100 AD, and strong African flavours mixed into a very unique, proud and fascinating “Afro-Arab” people group.
Here’s a selection of images captured on Zanzibar.
Zanzibar Roof Top Skyline at Sunrise
Zanzibar has a rich history of fishing, seamanship and ocean trade
Sneak peek into more basic living conditions in Zanzibar
Born with cataracts, in a remote village in Cambodia, seven-year-old Pan’s world was pretty much confined to his small house. He missed out on all the things other children do as they grow up – playing with his friends outside, or going to school.
When Pan was told that his cataract blindness was treatable, his family were overjoyed!
This short video follows the family’s journey to Takeo Eye Hospital, and shares the first moments that Pan could see.
The temples of Angkor Wat, Cambodia are world-renown and a well photographed subject matter. Thousands of people pass through these ancient ruins each day, and Hollywood Blockbusters have been shot at the site of Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm.
Despite all this the city of temples is still a breathtaking location, and you can easily spend 3 days in the huge complex.
I had the chance to visit them on a quick weekend visit, which was in many ways quite breath taking. Here are some select images. Enjoy, and leave some comments.
One of the fun things traveling Asia is how people make use of streets, cars, bikes and motorbikes creatively. To me it always speaks of creativity, freedom, lack of fear and insurance policies limitations and a state of affairs that let’s people make their own decision in regards to how many people fit in a car, what they deem safe like when and how to cross a street. Which I clearly like .-)
England, Australia and other Anglo states commemorate November 11 as remembrance day. A day of solemn reflection of the lives lost in World War I. The queen gives a speech, and minutes of silence are observed in public and work spaces.
In Cambodia, we remembered a different kind of killing.
Flights went well and food was as fabulous as airplane food gets.
Arrival and immigration was effortless, easy-going and really quick processing of visas. Seems like electronic fingerprint scanning is the new standard. All passengers handed in their passport for Visa processing and were called up by first name – an almost personal touch. $9 cab ride to the hotel, with several offers for various tours. We’ll see ,-) At one point the driver asked if I like shooting. Thinking he meant photography I said yes, I like to go round and shoot – when I realised that he probably meant the real thing. “Ok, we can drive to the mountain and shoot AK47s, M16, even Rocket Launchers”. Rocket Launchers? I kindly declined. Yes, he said, the Rocket Launcher was very expensive. $300 a shot. The things you learn …
So, from the very short impression I got so far, Phnom Penh is a really nice, pretty calm city. Traffic is busy but not too much, Tuk Tuks and scooters dominate. Lots of fun little stalls and shops with interesting things like Shock-Absorbers, Durian, keyboard flip-flops and golden Temple Columns, or tempting 8GB, 60mb/s, Sandisc CF cards for $28 (unfortunately they look pretty fake). Jet-lagged, we tried to stay awake and get into the new time-zone rhythm. Here are a few snaps of a tuk-tuk trip to a market in the afternoon.
The last few weeks have been busy with preps for a trip to Cambodia. Two weeks of photography work. Looking forward to the sights and sounds of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and area. I’ll be tweeting and documenting the trip as much as I can, so follow @czed and check this page.