Category: Photography


Thailand is among the world’s most dangerous countries in which to oppose powerful interests that profit from coal plants, toxic waste dumping, land grabs or illegal logging. Some 60 people who spoke out on these issues have been killed over the past 20 years, although few perpetrators have been prosecuted in a culture in which powerful people have the last word and professional killers are easy to find.

A 2014 report by the environmental watchdog group Global Witness ranked Thailand as the eighth most dangerous country in which to defend land and environmental rights. It is the second most dangerous country in Asia, after the Philippines.

The killings often involve small-scale conflicts in remote areas, and issues that might seem too narrow to carry assassination as a penalty. Few of them have received national coverage, and few of the names of those killed are widely known.

Portraits of 37 of these largely obscure victims comprise a new project by the Bangkok-based photographer Luke Duggleby and were exhibited this month in Geneva, timed to coincide with a United Nations Human Rights Council review of Thailand’s human rights record.

“It is vital, for the victims and the families, that their fight and their death should not be forgotten and left unrecognized,” Mr. Duggleby said in a statement accompanying his portfolio.

The question was how to present them. The victims were dead, or in a few cases had been abducted and disappeared. The only records in some cases were in the memories of families and in the portraits they kept of their relatives, sometimes in a frame on the wall, sometimes at a Buddhist altar.

It was these photographs that inspired the concept of his project: to place and photograph a portrait of the victim at the site of the murder or abduction. The result is a surprisingly moving set of photographs, mostly expressionless faces in formal photographs looking out from a field, a forest or rubber plantation or a roadside. In one case, the family had only an identification card picture, so Mr. Duggleby photographed and printed it to place at the scene.

The silent portraits, looking small and vulnerable in their settings, seem like tiny, passive missives from the victims, looking back at the viewer from the scene of their last terrifying moments.

In this way, in a very different context and with a very different aesthetic, they share a hollow resonance with the well-known black-and-white portraits of the dead that cover the walls of Tuol Sleng in Cambodia, the former prison where thousands of people were photographed before being tortured and killed.

Tallying the disparate, barely reported killings in Thailand has been difficult, and the first comprehensive list has only recently been compiled by Protection International, a human rights nongovernmental organization. One of its members, Pranom Somwong, worked with Mr. Duggleby in researching many of the cases.

For more than a year, Mr. Duggleby, who speaks fluent Thai, traveled with a Thai assistant throughout the country, covering by his calculation 10,000 kilometers, or more than 6,000 miles. He said he took great care not to endanger people or to make a situation worse.

Some of the disputes and threats remained real; in some cases other people had stepped forward to continue the resistance. One victim, for example, Chai Boonthonglek, 61, who was shot dead on Feb. 11, 2015, was the fourth member of his community to be murdered in five years during a dispute over land rights with a palm-oil company.

“The most important thing was the safety of the villagers,” Mr. Duggleby said. “We made our presence very quiet and very quick. I’d talk to them, spend a few hours with them, finish and drive on to the next place.”

Source: Murdered After Defending Thailand’s Environment – The New York Times

 

Police have released CCTV images of a man after a 13-year-old girl spotted someone taking a photo of her in a toilet cubicle.

The teenager was in the facility at a McDonald’s in Oxford Road, Reading, Berkshire, when she heard the click of a mobile phone camera.

She looked up and saw the top of someone’s head over the cubicle wall.

Police said the child has been left “very upset” by the incident which happened at about 9.05pm on 20 May.

Detective Constable Alastair Bagshaw, of Thames Valley Police, said the girl and her family are concerned about where the image may end up.

He said: “I am keen to identify the person responsible as quickly as possible and would ask anyone that recognises him to contact me immediately.”

The incident is being treated by officers as an exposure and voyeurism offence.

Anyone with information can call police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Source: Man Wanted After Girl Photographed In Toilet

A Met detective employed as a child abuse investigator has admitted sexually touching a girl under the age of 13.

Detective Constable Christopher Maitland pleaded guilty today at London’s Southwark Crown Court to two counts of sexually touching the child in the summer of 2005.

The 40-year-old, who works in the Metropolitan Police’s sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse command, is currently suspended from duty.

Wearing a grey jumper and standing with his hands clasped and head bowed, Maitland spoke only to plead guilty to both charges.

He had pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in March to five charges of taking and seven charges of making indecent images of a child.

It is alleged the officer had 818 indecent images and videos, ranging from the most serious category A to the lowest category C.

Maitland, of Widey View, Plymouth, was originally arrested in November on suspicion of possession and distribution of indecent images of children and then re-arrested in March on suspicion of sexual touching after the offences were discovered to have been captured on film.

He will be sentenced for a total of 14 sexual offences on May 13 at Southwark Crown Court, Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said.

Source: Met child abuse detective admits sexually touching schoolgirl | Crime | News | London Evening Standard

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  • Sophia Young started feeling pain in her pelvic area when she was eight
  • Doctors discovered her ovaries were positioned abnormally 
  • As the 22-year-old got older, both reproductive organs developed
  • But her penis became so large that her parents stopped raising her as a girl
  • She wants to get rid of all the male parts so she can be ‘normal’ 
  • Ms Young was bullied in school, suspended, and dropped out in Year 11
  • She wants to earn enough money as a model for genital correction surgery

An Australian model who was born with a penis and vagina has kickstarted a modelling career despite being bullied mercilessly at school.

Sophia Young, born in Nowra on the south coast of NSW, was only eight-years-old when she started feeling pain in her pelvic area, and doctors soon discovered her ovaries were positioned abnormally, with one being much higher than the other.

As she got older, both reproductive organs developed, but her penis became so large that her parents stopped raising her as a girl, and changed her name to Harrison.

Now 22, Ms Young hopes to earn enough money as a model to fund her genital correction surgery and is in the process of changing her legal name from Harrison to Sophia.

Before she entered the modelling industry, Ms Young, who was initially raised as a girl in the regional NSW city of Wagga Wagga, was constantly bullied, suspended 11 times and kicked out of various schools, before dropping out in Year 11.

Sophia Young, born in Nowra on the south coast of NSW, was only eight-years-old when she started feeling pain in her pelvic area

Ms Young said the only reason she started modelling in the first place was to fund her genital correction surgery, which costs up to $60,000 in Australia.

The lack of modelling jobs available prompted her to start a Go Fund Me page to raise money for the corrective procedure, where she received almost $500 in donations.

On Saturday night, however, Ms Young removed the page and refunded everyone.

‘I didn’t want to feel like I was sponging off other people. I took it down because I feel guilty for taking money from people that work hard for it, I want to try get the money through modelling,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.

But Ms Young said she doesn’t want to be a model forever, and eventually wants find a ‘real’ job.

Source: Inter-sex model Sophia Young with male and female genitals has a modelling career  | Daily Mail Online

The total solar eclipse moves through its phases in this collage of images taken by a veteran astrophotographer who ventured to Indonesia in order to capture the amazing view.

Singapore-based photographer Justin Ng took the images from Palu, Indonesia on March 9, using a Canon 7D with 400mm lens, with a DIY solar filter.

The total solar eclipse of March 9 was the only total eclipse of the sun in 2016.

The “path of totality” was a 90-mile-wide (145 kilometers) strip of land and sea that stretched east across Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi and other islands, all the way to Hawaii.

You can see more spectacular photos of the 2016 total solar eclipse here .

Source: The Phases of 2016’s Only Total Solar Eclipse (Photo)

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