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Blue Earth Accepts Seven Projects for 2014

Friday, August 8th, 2014

We are proud to announce the acceptance of seven new documentary projects for Blue Earth sponsorship since January 2014.

Everyone at Blue Earth, including our members without whom Blue Earth would not exist, wishes to congratulate our new project photographers!   We very much look forward to working together to further their efforts to educate the public about these pressing issues.  We invite you to visit each project page to  view a gallery of the work, read in detail about the project concept, and to learn about the sponsored artist.

Join us at Collaborations for Cause where case studies from two of the projects will be presented - Tim Matsui for Leaving the Life, and Matt Eich for Sin & Salvation in Baptist Town.



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Leaving The Life - Tim Matsui

“Leaving The Life is a multi-platform initiative to facilitate a collective action-oriented dialogue around the crisis of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking of children in the US. After working fifteen years on issues related to trauma and victimization, first with sexual violence and now with various forms of human trafficking, both in the US and abroad, multimedia journalist and producer Tim Matsui has embarked in an innovative long-term effort.”



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Sin & Salvation in Baptist Town - Matt Eich

“Since early 2010 I have returned to the town of Greenwood, Mississippi to explore the contemporary race and class disparity in this historically divided community. In a city of 15,505,  50.9 percent of the black residents live below the poverty line while just 15 percent of the whites do. The real legacies of racism in the South continue to impact people economically and culturally, in persistent and often pernicious ways. By visually introducing neighbors to one another in an honest and intimate way, my goal is to foster understanding and dispel uncertainty and fear.”



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Salvation Fish - Paul Colangelo

“Salvation Fish is a three-pronged project with the goal of raising the public profile and scientific knowledge of eulachon. Eulachon is a small herring-like fish whose importance to the coastal First Nations and ecosystems cannot be overstated. Yet even after suffering devastating declines since the 1990s, they remain largely unknown because they are not part of a commercial fishery and they lack the charisma needed to capture our imagination.”



Upper Mustang, the last Tibet

Upper Mustang - Filippo Mutani

“Upper Mustang is also known as a “Tibet outside the Tibetan Border.” It resisted the Chinese invasion and it has been the base for the C.I.A. financed guerrilla against China during the sixties. The last King reigned until 2008, and he still lives in Lo Manthang. Being forbidden to foreigners until 1992, the Mustang is also the last Tibet enclave because it has managed to preserve original tibetan culture and buddhism practically untouched since the middle age.



3 Millimeters

3 Millimeters - Greg Kahn

“Three extra millimeters of water every year will make land vanish. It will swallow communities. It will change environmental habitats forever. For townspeople along the inner-coastal region of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, the impact of sea level rise is no longer an abstract worry debated by politicians. They see the land becoming more saturated beneath their feet.



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Heaven’s Gain - Justin Maxon

In Chester, Pa, families are seeking justice and yearning for ways to heal. With one of the highest homicide rates in the country, the city has sustained unresolved loss of hundreds of lives over the last twenty years. This work aims to restore fragile memories and forge pathways to justice, healing, and restitution for the families of Chester.



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Wolf Haven - Annie Marie Musselman

“In the wake of the exotic animal trade, a sanctuary exists in Washington State where wolves are rescued from private owners, roadside zoos, animal collectors, and research facilities and are brought to a place where they receive a lifetime of compassionate care. The animals at Wolf Haven are treated with the utmost dignity and respect, including being given large enclosures to roam and also a partner to cohabitate with.”



We will be holding an open call for new project submissions January 2015.

Samuel James Awarded Getty Grant

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Samuel James Awarded Getty Grant

Samuel James, Blue Earth project Niger Delta, has just been awarded a 2013 Getty Grant for Editorial Photography.  James has been working in Niger for the past several years on an extensive documentary engagement with Nigeria, Africa’s most populous and largest oil producing nation.  His project at Blue Earth provides “the public with an intimate and nuanced visual record of the ongoing struggle for power, land and oil in Nigeria’s Niger Delta.”

Our congratulations to James on the recognition of his amazing work!

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Judy Blankenship In The New York Times

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Judy Blankenship In The New York Times

The New York Times just published an article about Judy Blankenship - Blue Earth project The Cañari of Southern Ecuador - in a feature today about her home and travels in Ecuador. Blankenship recently released a new book Our House in the Clouds: Building a Second Life in the Andes of Ecuador on the same topic.

The photo gallery for her project at Blue Earth was recently updated with new photos from Ecuador, as well as updates on recent work in the field.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Fukushima, Photo A Day

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Fukushima, Photo A Day

This past week, Blue Earth project photographer Michael Forster Rothbart After Chernobyl, After Fukushima noted the second anniversary of the earthquake in Japan by launching a new photo commentary series on his blog featuring a photo per day from his project.  The series should run through the end of the month and provides a unique insight into his experiences reporting on nuclear crises.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Bruce Farnsworth Receives “Highly Honored Image” Award

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Bruce Farnsworth

A photo by Blue Earth project photographer Bruce Farnsworth Amazon Headwaters: Locals Working Toward the Global has received the Highly Honored Image award in the 2012 Windland Smith Natures Best International Photography Competition. Images from the competition will also comprise a Smithsonian Museum exhibition in 2013.

The photo above is a Pacific sea nettle or jellyfish (Chrysaora fuscescens) photographed on Drakes Beach at Point Reyes National Seashore north of San Francisco, California. It was awarded in the category of “Nature as Art.”

Here’s the behind-the-scenes story:

…One morning, while combing the beach for still life images after a winter storm, I found this jellyfish that had come to rest beautifully, still offering a sense of movement. The subtle tracings of waves enhanced the sense of texture, form, and motion in the scene. To me, this photograph portrays both the life history of the jellyfish and the serendipity we enjoy as photographers.

Camera Club Of New York Discussion With Samantha Box

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Camera Club Of New York Interviews Samantha Box

Blue Earth project photographer Samantha Box is featured by the Camera Club of New York in a conversation with Michael Foley.  The half-hour discussion provides interesting insights into her recent work photographing the LGBT community.

Check out Box’s project page to see a small gallery of recent images and to learn more about Invisible, her sponsored project at Blue Earth.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Project Update: Garth Lenz “Energy and Ecology”

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Garth Lenz has been busy promoting new work from his Blue Earth project Energy and Ecology.  His “True Cost of Oil” exhibit is going to be shown in conjunction with the world premiere of a commissioned string quartet - Crossroads -  for the world renowned Fry Street String Quartet on the theme of the environment and sustainability. His photos, and the work of artist Rebecca Allan, will be shown as part of the premiere and also in an exhibition at the Tippets Gallery at Utah State University in Logan Utah.

Lenz will also be giving a presentation and conducting a masterclass for photography students as well as being present at the premiere on September 27th. The exhibit will run from September 10th-October 12th, 2012:

At the dawn of the 21st Century, humanity has arrived at an extraordinary Crossroads—a time and place where scientific ability to identify unprecedented risk, decades in advance, intersects society’s seeming inability to respond. Little of humanity’s course, as currently imagined, is sustainable—not our energy, not our economy, not our environment. But we are possessed of the knowledge we need, and a tide is rising.

The Crossroads Project is an artistic and scientific response to this reality.

On September 27, 2012, on the campus of Utah State University, The Fry Street Quartet joins with physicist and educator Dr. Robert Davies in an evocative performance combining music, information, imagery—and a dash of theater — merging intellectual with visceral, taking us from understanding to belief.  This performance debuts a new string quartet by noted composer Laura Kaminsky, along with original works by painter Rebecca Allan, internationally recognized environmental photographer Garth Lenz, and Utah sculptor Lyman Whitaker.

Weaving together a chorus of artistic and scientific voices responding to one of society’s greatest challenges, The Crossroads Project is a deep-seated contemplation of the choices before us, the paths they forge, and the dramatically different landscapes to which they lead.

Lenz’s photos from the tar sands exhibit were also recently featured in the “Guilty Landscapes” issue of the prestigious Amsterdam/New York quarterly publication Volume.  One of the images from the show also ran in the Time Magazine cover story “The Truth About Oil.”

He was also recently interviewed on Radio Netherlands Worldwide as part of their Earthbeat program. Readers can access the podcast online - Lenz’s interview appears about 3-4 minutes in, running about 15 minutes.

And finally (at least for now) Lenz’s presentation at the Ecocide mock sentencing recently held in England was a great success.

Stay tuned for more updates from the field…

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Dina Kantor In The New Yorker Photo Booth

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Dina Kantor In The New Yorker

Following up on our post this morning - it’s been a busy season for Dina Kantor.  This weekend, photos from her Blue Earth project Treece were featured in The New Yorker.

Treece, Kansas is a former mining town with a population of around 140. Its last mine closed in the 1970s, leaving a small community of the children and grandchildren of miners.

Treece is now economically and environmentally devastated. The poverty level is more than twice the national average, and its residents have 60 percent more lead in their bloodstream than the average Kansan. Poor mining practices have left the ground unstable and full of sinkholes. Mountains of “chat,” the toxic remnants of the mining, surround the town. The entire town (which is a designated EPA superfund site) is in the midst of a government-funded relocation program.

We are also pleased to note that she is one of five recipients of the 2012 Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer’s Fellowship grants.

Our congrats to Dina!

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Blue Earth Accepts Three New Projects

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

We are very pleased to announce the acceptance of three new projects for sponsorship from our spring 2012 round of submissions. This most recent round was highly competitive, making once again a very difficult choice for reviewers.

Everyone at Blue Earth, including our members without whom Blue Earth would not exist, wishes to congratulate our new project photographers! We very much look forward to working together to further their efforts to educate the public about these pressing issues.


After Chernobyl, After Fukushima - Michael Forster Rothbart

After Chernobyl, After Fukushima - Michael Forster Rothbart.

“Photojournalist Michael Forster Rothbart’s work explores the human impacts of environmental change. A Fulbright Fellowship enabled him to spend two years working in Chernobyl, photographing and interviewing those who remain there a generation after the 1986 accident. His After Chernobyl exhibit is now on tour to American communities facing their own nuclear contamination. During each exhibit, Forster Rothbart leads photography workshops and public forums, engaging the communities in dialogue about their own local issues. In 2012, Forster Rothbart is launching a parallel project in Fukushima, Japan. Again, he will photograph nuclear plant workers, refugees and returning residents over a period of years.”


Incarcerated Populations: American Prison Perspectives - Christoph Gielen

Incarcerated Populations: American Prison Perspectives - Christoph Gielen.

“This final form of Christoph Gielen’s project will be a discussion forum about solitary confinement relying on both photography and prison planner participation. His goal is to combine aerial photography of rarely accessible views, taken from directly overhead of maximum security prisons with counterpoints by contributing experts to confront the growing trends toward increased-security prison systems and the building of more prisons. At a time when the U.S. prison population is peaking at unprecedented numbers, this work will illustrate how prison design and architecture reflect political discourse, economic priorities, cultural sentiments, and social insecurities, and how, in turn, these constructed environments also become statements about a society.”


Niger Delta - Samuel James

Niger Delta - Samuel James.

“This project seeks to provide the public with an intimate and nuanced visual record of the ongoing struggle for power, land and oil in Nigeria’s Niger Delta, one of the world’s largest and most polluted oil-producing regions. The work begins deep within the Delta’s spiritual heartland, at the source of its crude oil, where riverine villagers eke out their subsistence from the surrounding creeks and forests. From here, we trace the passage of crude up and down the echelons of power and explore the damage it inflicts on those who don’t have access to its benefits.”


Our Members Make A Difference

Want to help us support great projects like these? Become a member or even just make a donation. With your paid membership, you can help us support photographers working to educate the public about endangered cultures, threatened environments, and urgent social concerns.

Every member makes a difference at Blue Earth!

Dina Kantor Back In Treece

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Vickie and Clyde, Treece, 2011  © Dina Kantor

Vickie and Clyde, Treece, 2011  © Dina Kantor


Blue Earth project photographer Dina Kantor has been traveling this winter in Kansas conducting field work for her project “Treece.” If you have been following the story of this small town, you’ll know that the end is rapidly approaching:

This past week, I returned to Treece to continue photographing the final chapters in its history. Treece was once part of the booming tri-state mining area, which provided the majority of the lead and zinc that the US used in both world wars. The mines closed in the 1970s, leaving behind communities of mining families. Treece is included in an EPA superfund site, and it’s land has been deemed dangerous to live on. Past mining practices left mountains of lead-filled chat dotting the landscape, as well as unstable ground susceptible to sink holes. Recently, the residents in Treece were offered government-funded relocation assistance, and I have been photographing there over the past few years recording the rapid changes.

Since my last visit in the fall, the shifts the landscape are mind-blowing. Virtually all of the homes in the center of town have been demolished, leaving 40 acres nearly barren of any sign of habitation. Last week I watched as the old Treece water tower was slowly pulled down from its foundation. In all, it took five men working with blow torches, cables, and a backhoe to bring the tower down. On Friday I recorded the demolition of city hall – in this case, merely taking minutes.

For the rest of the trip, I visited with former residents, local officials, and the few families who elected to stay in Treece even in the face of government relocation efforts.  New photos and video will be online soon.

- Dina Kantor

Visit Kantor’s project page Treece, for a gallery of her recent photos.

Tom Reese In SAM’s “Earth Matters” Exhibit

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Tom Reese In "Earth Matters" Exhibit

New photos from Blue Earth project photographer Tom Reese will be on display at the Seattle Art Museum as part of the exhibit “Earth Matters.”  In this unique show featuring a variety of media, “the artists in this show comment on the fragile and imperiled state of the environment.”  Artists with works in the exhibit include our own Tom Reese as well as Sally Ketcham, David Kroll, Anna McKee, Kelly Neidig, Eddy Radar, and Adam Sorensen.

The exhibit opens Thursday, November 10th with a public opening reception at 5 p.m. and runs through December 10th, 2012.  If you are in the Seattle area over the next month, be sure to check it out!

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Florian Schulz’s Polar Bears In DiscoverWildlife

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Florian Schulz’s Polar Bears In DiscoverWildlife

As part of his travels in the Arctic, Blue Earth photographer Florian Schulz produced a stunning series of photos featuring polar bears.  Recently a small gallery of his images from the trip is highlighted in National Geographic, and now a larger gallery is being featured by DiscoverWildlife, an online arm of BBC Wildlife Magazine.

If you are interested in field work, note that National Geographic also has a behind the scenes video profiling Schulz in working in the field, including his efforts in the Svalbard archipelago capturing a polar bear feeding at the shoreline.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Blue Earth Accepts Six New Projects

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

We are very pleased to announce that Blue Earth has accepted six new projects for sponsorship. This most recent round of applications was highly competitive, making this one of the most difficult choices we have ever had to make.

Everyone at Blue Earth, including our members without whom Blue Earth would not exist, wishes to congratulate our new project photographers! We very much look forward to working together to further their efforts to educate the public about these pressing issues.


http://www.blueearth.org/projects/index.cfm?projectID=111

Amazon Headwaters: Locals Working Toward the Global / Las cabeceras de las Amazonas: proyectos locales/diseños globales - Bruce Farnsworth.

“Small groups of residents across the inhabited rainforests of the upper Amazon region are leading cutting-edge programs in research, conservation, education and sustainable economies. Their stories-in images and testimonials-need to be told. ‘Amazon Headwaters’ is a new turn in rainforest documentary coverage, complementing the popular focus on crises with a more positive paradigm, shining the spotlight on successful regional collaborations led by those closest to the land.”

 


Scarred For Life: PTSD In Rwanda - Mary F. Calvert.

Scarred For Life: PTSD In Rwanda - Mary F. Calvert.

“In 1994, a government-sponsored genocide killed 800,000 people in Rwanda and left over one quarter of the population suffering the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A word for PTSD has materialized since the war: ihahamuka, which means ‘breathless with frequent fear.’ The signs of a PTSD epidemic are all over Rwanda. Virtually no one was untouched by the violence and the resulting traumatic mental illness has remained widely unacknowledged and untreated.”

 


Invisible - Samantha Box.

Invisible - Samantha Box.

“Every night, there are thousands of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) young adults across New York City, in shelters, in parks, in subways, in stranger’s homes - 8,000 by conservative estimates, making up as much as 50% of New York City’s homeless youth population. These young people are the emerging face of youth homelessness; their rising numbers across the United States portend a soon-to-be no longer hidden epidemic.”

 


Beauty and the Beast: Wildflowers and Climate Change - Rob Badger and Nita Winter.

Beauty and the Beast: Wildflowers and Climate Change - Rob Badger and Nita Winter.

“How is climate change impacting wildflower ecosystems on our public lands? What will be lost? Our story addresses climate change and its effect on a universal symbol of beauty, the wildflower. It is about the diverse and delicately balanced ecosystems supporting spectacular explosions of Nature’s color. In the past this occurrence of abundant of beauty and life had reliably returned each spring to our public lands.”

 


Energy and Ecology - Garth Lenz.

Energy and Ecology - Garth Lenz.

“Garth’s project with Blue Earth continues his work on the threat presented by unsustainable energy development, particularly unconventional fossil fuels. This work comprises both the photographic documentation of these issues, as well as the effective outreach needed to ensure that the resulting images make a positive contribution.”

 


Gangland, USA: The proliferation of Latino gangs in rural America - Mike Kane.

Gangland, USA: The proliferation of Latino gangs in rural America - Mike Kane.

“A growing consensus of news reports, law enforcement records, and academic studies indicate an alarming rise in Latino gang activity in rural areas across the United States. Once considered solely the problem of large metro areas like Los Angeles and Chicago, Latino gangs are taking root in America’s countryside, finding fertile ground among its wide-open spaces, undermanned police forces, disenfranchised youth, and deepening poverty.”

 

Our Members Make A Difference

Want to help us support great projects like these? Become a member or even just make a donation. With your paid membership, you can help us support photographers working to educate the public about endangered cultures, threatened environments, and urgent social concerns.

Every member makes a difference at Blue Earth!

Asim Rafiqui And Tibet’s Exiled Poets

Friday, August 26th, 2011

At his personal blog The Spinning Head, Blue Earth project photographer Asim Rafiqui is sharing some of his new work, not only as part of his Blue Earth Idea Of India project, but also with other areas he is exploring.  “I have just completed the first in a series of projects that I am calling “short stories.” … The first short project is on the works and lives of Tibet’s exiled poets living in India and is called Dream Palaces.”

Rafiqui has also published a photo gallery featuring a larger set of images from this work.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Greg Constantine In Moving Walls 19

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Kenya’s Nubians: Then & Now

Today, The Open Society Foundations Documentary Photography Project announced Blue Earth project photographer Greg Constantine will be part of it’s Moving Walls 19 exhibition.  The exhibition will feature Greg’s recent work from his series on Kenya’s Nubians, from his Blue Earth project Nowhere People, which recently went on exhibit in Nairobi.

Since 1998, Moving Walls has featured over 100 photographers whose work embodies the values of the Open Society Foundations. The exhibition recognizes the brave and difficult work that photographers undertake globally in their documentation of complex social and political issues. Their images provide the world with human rights evidence, put faces onto a conflict, document the struggles and defiance of marginalized people, reframe how issues are discussed publicly, and provide opportunities for reflection and discussion. Through Moving Walls, the Foundation honors this work while visually highlighting the mission of our foundation to staff and visitors.

The exhibition opens December 1, 2011, in the Foundations’ headquarters in New York before moving to Washington, D.C. in the fall of 2012.

Our congratulations to Greg!

PS - In case you missed it earlier, Greg provided an update from the field for our blog detailing some of his recent activities working with the UN.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Project Highlight: Mountain Gorillas… and People

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Happy, an infant from the Kyagurilo Group in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, stares at tourists through the underbrush. The reality facing conservation planners and managers is that as long as people and gorillas compete for resources, if the resource needs of the local people are not accounted for; those people will find a way to meet their resource needs, regardless of the legal or moral implications. Conservation without morality and social justice is unsustainable. The onus is on us to find and achieve that balance. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - Uganda.  © Gene Eckhart

Happy, an infant from the Kyagurilo Group in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, stares at tourists through the underbrush. The reality facing conservation planners and managers is that as long as people and gorillas compete for resources, if the resource needs of the local people are not accounted for; those people will find a way to meet their resource needs, regardless of the legal or moral implications. Conservation without morality and social justice is unsustainable. The onus is on us to find and achieve that balance. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - Uganda.  © Gene Eckhart

 

Once again, we are happy to highlight another of our sponsored projects - this week it’s Gene Eckhart’s Mountain Gorillas… and People. Gene is a freelance photographer and writer currently living in the United States. He has worked throughout the world with the primary focus of his field work being environmental and cultural studies, the documentation of these remote areas, the people and the animals that inhabit them.  His intent is to use the power of photography and information to influence how people think in order to inspire others and affect meaningful change. His focus for the last five years has been on understanding the linkages\interplay between mountain gorillas and people, and promoting a broader understanding of why they matter.

This project is designed primarily to promote mountain gorilla conservation, to educate lay people (in Africa and around the world), and to influence policy in a meaningful way, both on the ground in central African and in donor countries around the world. This will be done by using photography, information and exhibition as tools that can educate broader lay audiences in ways that traditional scientific materials and publications often don’t, and in avenues and venues where images and information important to understanding the issues are not generally accessible to the larger lay communities. Mountain Gorilla conservation is a text book example of how the existence of humans in, or on the edge of sensitive animal habitat impacts both humans and critically endangered species. This program highlights the need for comprehensive approaches, and cross disciplinary conservation planning and management practices that include social justice for the people involved in order to make them ultimately sustainable.

Visit his project gallery for more photos.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Constantine In The Amnesty International Media Awards

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Exiled To Nowhere

Exiled To Nowhere - Discriminatory citizenship laws imposed by the Burmese government have systematically stripped over one million Rohingya in the Rakhine state of western Burma of their citizenship. Blind in one eye after being beaten in the head during forced labor, the man fled from Burma in the mid 1990’s and is one of an estimated 100,000 stateless Rohingya now living in the southern part of neighboring Bangladesh. © Greg Constantine

It has been another busy year for Blue Earth project photographer Greg Constantine traveling to continue work on his project Nowhere People, documenting the daily lives of persons coping with statelessness across the globe.  His most recent exhibit “Kenya’s Nubians: Then Now,” which was shown at HOST Gallery in London and at The Go Down Arts Centre in Nairobi, has just been shortlisted in the Photojournalism category of the Amnesty International Media Awards in the UK.

Our congratulations to Greg! In case you missed it earlier, read Greg’s latest report from the field.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Daniel Beltrá’s “SPILL” Exhibition

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Daniel Beltrá’s "SPILL" Exhibition

Seattle-based Blue Earth project photographer Daniel Beltrá will be discussing his recent work on the tragic Gulf oil spill as part of the ongoing Sound Conversations series hosted by the Seattle Aquarium May 5, 2011.  The presentation coincides with his new exhibition “SPILL” at the Seattle Aquarium.

Born in Madrid, Spain, Daniel Beltrá is a photographer based in Seattle, Washington. His passion for conservation is evident in images of our environment that are evocatively poignant… After two months of photographing the Gulf Oil Spill, he produced many visually arresting images of the man-made disaster. These photographs explore the tenseness of the situation in the Gulf of Mexico as the oil seeps into an already challenged and complex ocean ecosystem.  Though tragic, it is a fitting example of the vast scale of transformation our world is under from man-made stresses.

Tickets for the talk May 5th are only $10.  “SPILL” at the Seattle Aquarium runs through August 7, 2011.  If you will be in the Seattle area, be sure not to miss this unique exhibit!

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director


Greg Constantine From The Field

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Rohingya in Burma are subjected to a number of human rights abuses. Burmese authorities forced these women to stand up to their necks in a pond of water for eight hours. In February 2009, 120 families from the village fled to Bangladesh.  © Greg Constantine

Rohingya in Burma are subjected to a number of human rights abuses. Burmese authorities forced these women to stand up to their necks in a pond of water for eight hours. In February 2009, 120 families from the village fled to Bangladesh.  © Greg Constantine

A stateless woman in eastern Ukraine holds her expired Soviet passport. The breakup of the USSR in 1991 left millions in a legal no man's land many of whom are still without citizenship.  © Greg Constantine

A stateless woman in eastern Ukraine holds her expired Soviet passport. The breakup of the USSR in 1991 left millions in a legal no man’s land many of whom are still without citizenship.  © Greg Constantine

It’s been awhile since I last wrote for the Blue Earth blog, but there have been some very exciting developments with my project over the past few months I wanted to share.

At the end of 2010, I received a discretionary grant from the Documentary Photography Project of the Open Society Institute to turn the work from my project on the Nubian community in Kenya into my first book.  The UNHCR provided matching funding for the publication of the book.  Kenya’s Nubians: Then Now will be self-published and will be released in September.  We’ll be getting the work into libraries and schools in Kenya as part of the outreach component for the book.  This book will be the first in a series of books about statelessness around the world, all of which are components of my larger project: Nowhere People.

I’m now in the process of securing funding for the second book Exiled to Nowhere: Burma’s Rohingya.

A large exhibition of my project Nowhere People opened in late 2010 and will be traveling to some key venues around the world over the next 18 months.  The UNHCR is sponsoring the exhibition.  The tour opened with an exhibition at the United Nations Palais des Nations in Geneva last December with UNHCR High Commissioner Antonio Guterres opening the exhibition at the annual UN High Commissioner’s dialog.

The exhibition will be shown at the US State Department for one week in May and at the Hall of Nations at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC for 3-weeks in June.  It will then travel and be shown at the UN Headquarters in NYC for the entire month of August.  Other cities slated to host the exhibition include: Paris, London, Madrid, some cities in Asia and then hopefully back to the US later next year.

And lastly, my ongoing work on the stateless Rohingya from Burma has been recognized twice this year with awards in the 2011 Days Japan International Photojournalism Awards and most recently, in the Amnesty International Human Rights Press Awards in Hong Kong.

I’m in the Dominican Republic right now working on a story about the denial of citizenship to and denationalization of Dominicans of Haitian descent who have lived in the Dominican Republic for generations.  It is one of the most radical examples of state-sponsored racism and denial of citizenship not only in the western hemisphere but in the world.  Few people know anything about it yet it impacts the lives of tens of thousands in this country.

Stay tuned for more updates in the future!

Greg Constantine

For more information and updates on his latest work in the field, visit Greg’s newly updated and redesigned website.

Tom Reese In The Seattle Times

Monday, April 18th, 2011

2011_reese_blog_apr18

Despite progress cleaning up the Duwamish, dumping of garbage continues, and toxins in storm water and industrial waste still make it into the river.  Everyone knows the effort will be long, but many are willing to go the distance.  © Tom Reese

In an article on efforts to clean up the Duwamish River, The Seattle Times’ Pacific Northwest Magazine this weekend featured a spread of photos by Blue Earth project photographer Tom Reese.  His project Choosing Hope: Reclaiming the Duwamish River highlights the campaign to reclaim “one of the most toxic waste environments in the United States - an industrial sewage canal flowing out past the scenic waterfront of Seattle.”

The photos from his project can inspire both disgust at the careless of humanity as well as hope in the efforts of those who care about our natural environment to restore balance.  Take a few minutes to learn more about his project and the ongoing work to reclaim the Duwamish River.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Project Highlight: Freedom To Roam, Wildlife Corridors

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Close up of a Beaver, eating willow leaves and twigs, under the last ligh of the evening. Schwabacher Pond, Grand Tetons NP, Wyoming  © Florian Schulz

Close up of a Beaver, eating willow leaves and twigs, under the last light of the evening. Schwabacher Pond, Grand Tetons NP, Wyoming  © Florian Schulz

 

This week, we are pleased to highlight another of our sponsored projects - Florian Schulz’s Freedom To Roam Wildlife Corridors.  Born in Germany, Florian Schulz is a professional nature and wildlife photographer with a vision of broad horizons. As the youngest founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP), Florian is in the constant search for breathtaking images that inspire individuals to take action in the protection of large endangered ecosystems.

Florian has been featured internationally as a speaker in many prestigious venues from universities, book- and film-festivals to National Geographic and Microsoft.  His images are exhibited in prestigious museums and his articles have been published in numerable influential publications such as BBC Wildlife Magazine, Outdoor Photographer, The New York Times and Airone amongst others.

Amongst scientists, the need for connectivity between natural areas and preserves has become basic knowledge. Isolated pockets of land, established as parks and preserves, are not enough to maintain a sustainable, healthy ecosystem that supports both wildlife and human communities over time.

Vital areas have been identified in North American for their unmatched biodiversity and pristine wilderness: The Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) and the Baja to Beaufort (B2B) ecoregions.

Like geographic arteries of the wild, Y2Y and B2B connect the last vestiges of the western wilderness in a river of hope to preserve the habitats of many endangered wide-ranging migratory mammals and birds. Threatened by exploitation of its natural resources and the constant growth of population and development, the importance of reconnecting isolated preserves is crucial to ensure a functioning web of life.

As we face the new area of climate change, plants as well as animals need to allocate to new environments. Here is where corridors play an important role in the survival of many species. Only by establishing linkages between parks and preserves, we will ensure the endurance of these unique ecosystems.

Visit his project gallery for more photos.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Blue Earth Accepts Four New Projects

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

We are very pleased to announce the acceptance of four new projects: Faces of Chelonia - Neil Ever Osborne; No Man’s Land: The Women of Mexico - Dana Romanoff; Treece - Dina Kantor; and The Effects of Environmental Change on Mongolia’s Nomads - Taylor Weidman.

Everyone at Blue Earth wishes to congratulate our new project photographers! We very much look forward to working together to further their projects highlighting these important issues.

 

Faces of Chelonia - Neil Ever Osborne

Faces of Chelonia - Neil Ever Osborne

“Across the globe, the seven species of sea turtles face a number of human-induced threats (including fisheries by-catch, direct harvesting, coastal development, pollution, pathogens, and climate change), that are adversely affecting their health and persistence. Using strategic visual communication and conservation photography practices, the Faces of Chelonia (FOC) project aims to educate the public about this plight while advocating for initiatives to reduce these threats. The FOC project aims to foster a growing network of concerned people who connect through storytelling and their common interest in sea turtle conservation.”

 

No Man's Land: The Women of Mexico - Dana Romanoff

No Man’s Land: The Women of Mexico - Dana Romanoff

“No Man’s Land: The Women of Mexico explores the unseen side of the immigration story and the effect of emigration on women and families in rural Mexico. U.S. immigration policies and recent border weaponization ended the historic circular migration. Now, immigrants stay in the U.S. for extended periods of time, some never returning home, tearing at the fabric of the Mexican family. With their men away, women are now in charge of their families and finances. Women are taking over the men’s roles: opening bank accounts, working the fields, and acting as both mother and father to the children. The traditional Mexican culture of machismo has given way to a new structure the women call ‘pura mujer’ - purely women.”

 

Treece - Dina Kantor

Treece - Dina Kantor

“Treece, Kansas is a former mining town with a population of around 140. Its last mine closed in the 1970s, leaving a small community of the children and grandchildren of miners. Treece is now economically and environmentally devastated. The poverty level is more than twice the national average, and its residents have 60 percent more lead in their bloodstream than the average Kansan. Poor mining practices have left the ground unstable and full of sinkholes. Mountains of ‘chat,’ the toxic remnants of the mining, surround the town. The entire town (which is a designated EPA superfund site) is in the midst of a government-funded relocation program.”

 

The Effects of Environmental Change on Mongolia’s Nomads - Taylor Weidman

Why no photos? Because Taylor is currently working in the field in a remote village in Nepal, out of internet range for the next month. But we are just too excited about our projects to hold back the news. Look for a gallery of photos from his project to be posted soon!

“As one of the world’s few remaining nomadic cultures, Mongolian pastoral herders illustrate in high contrast how ancient cultures in developing countries adapt to modernization. But the struggle of these people to acclimate is compounded by a more raw and tangible force than that of politics and economics: the land around them is changing. Climate change and other environmental factors are changing the topographical landscape of Mongolia-a landscape that is essential to the livelihood of roughly a third of the country’s population. The political, economic, and environmental factors challenging Mongolia today may hold prophetic signs for the future of one of the world’s longest-surviving and most unique cultures. If we ask the right questions, this ancient culture may have valuable lessons to teach us about how to usher in a new era environmental consciousness.”


Our Members Make A Difference

Want to help us support great projects like these? Become a member or even just make a donation. With your paid membership, you can help us support photographers working to educate the public about endangered cultures, threatened environments, and urgent social concerns. Every single member makes a difference at Blue Earth!

Project Highlight: Shifting Into Third,The Graveyard Shift

Friday, March 4th, 2011

© Djordje Zlatanovic

Thomas J. Blair, a certified master baker and a veteran of the industry with over 35 years of experience, was photographed at the Hostess Cake bakery in Seattle. Blair’s 35 years of doing the graveyard shift have affected his life heavily, causing his four marriages to fail. © Djordje Zlatanovic

 

We are pleased to highlight another of our sponsored projects - Djordje Zlatanovic’s Shifting Into Third: The Graveyard Shift.  Originally from the former Yugoslavia, Djordje Zlatanovic immigrated to the United States in 2001.  His choice to follow a path of photojournalism came as a natural one: losing his country, his home, and every photograph from his childhood was both hard and productive.  It defined his vision and made him even more determined to document life and educate others through his lens.

Shifting Into Third is a series of environmental portraits of the people who work the night shift while the rest of us sleep.  As the workforce machinery speeds up its pace every morning, little time do we have to think what goes on during the night.  The project will portray the people who are the mechanism that makes the clock tick during the day.  Often forgotten, many of these workers are operating in the shadows and on the margins of the society.  This project will further explore their work conditions and the effects these conditions have on their lives, both in the domain of health and other possible disturbances.  Shifting Into Third will bring this fact back to the daily light, and will serve as a tribute and a “thank you” to millions of graveyard-shift workers.

Visit his project gallery for more photos.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Gary Braasch in Tuvalu

Monday, February 28th, 2011

© Gary Braasch

Gary Braasch, well-known Blue Earth project photographer, is traveling the Pacific conducting work for his project World View Of Global Warming.  Rather than try to summarize, I’ll let Gary speak in his own words:

 

Best wishes from the South Pacific just across the Dateline:

I have returned to Tuvalu, one of the smallest nations in the world, to continue coverage for World View of Global Warming.  Before I make it home again to Oregon, I will also photograph and report from Fiji and Kiribati.

As the King tides, highest of this year, swept across the coral atoll shores, I found the kids I photographed during the 2005 King tide — no longer little kids!   Please see the portfolio.

Other Tuvalu portfolios are also available on World View of Global Warming.  King tide coverage is coming up early this week.  One of the photo-stories illustrates what Tuvalu is doing to map the most vulnerable areas in light of current science of how atolls evolve.   Please stay tuned.

All images and portfolios — and many more — are available for publication and to help NGOs and agencies reach policymakers and the public.

I hope my new pictures will continue to inspire, influence and educate about the plight and strength of the Tuvaluan people.  The 2005 image has become one important way millions have been able to feel the human connection to those who stand to lose the most from rapid climate change.  First seen on the BBC website, and then in my book Earth Under Fire, earlier photos have seen publication by the UN and hundreds of NGOs, magazines and books.

Thank you.
Gary

Project Highlight: Visualizing Earth

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Visualizing Earth © Stephen Harrison

© Stephen Harrison

Today, we are excited to highlight another of our sponsored projects - Stephen Harrison’s Visualizing Earth.  Stephen Harrison has a MD in medicine from Yale, a Ph.D. in engineering from Purdue and 40 years of experience in photography.  In 2000, he wrote and published “Whispered Prayers: Portraits and Prose of Tibetans in Exile” and produced a companion film: “Whispered Prayers” that won three international film awards.  In 2007 he created the 23-minute film for “Island of the Blue Dolphin” accompanied by an original score by composer Peter Madlem commissioned and performed by the Santa Barbara Symphony.  Since 2004, Harrison has been creating images for his project “Visualizing Earth”, which addresses the relationship of mankind to nature with emphasis on global climate change.

Visualizing Earth project features a touring exhibition project with a mission to invoke inspiration and enhance awareness of our environment with art, science and music comprising the engaging vehicles through which awareness is facilitated.  Visualizing Earth is composed of a series of photographically based images viewed in classical gallery style that depicts the origins of earth, the enchanting diversity of life and culminates in the impact of mankind.  These photographic art works constitute the first part of the exhibition and are followed by an ensuing educational component concerning the subject of global climate change.

Included in the project is a museum bound book as a commemorative volume, an interactive web site and a film based on the images in the exhibition with live orchestral music written by composer Peter Madlem.

Visit his project gallery for more photos.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Project Submission Deadline January 20th

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Don’t forget - the Blue Earth submission deadline is only one week away, Thursday January 20th, 2011.  Blue Earth’s focus remains photographic projects whose goal is to educate the public about endangered cultures, threatened environments, and current topics of social concern.  If you are a photographer and would like to apply, it’s never too early to send in your application.

Check out our updated submission guidelines for more details.  As always, we’re happy to answer any questions about the guidelines or the submission process - just contact us.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Project Highlight: Land Of The Second Sun

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Mayco Serotta, 25, nicknamed "Michael Jackson" stands on a sled to find his way to the reindeer herd during a storm.  He must watch the herd during his 24-hour watch.  In bad weather, the herd can be split or lost and the men must be alert to keep them from getting separated.

Mayco Serotta, 25, nicknamed “Michael Jackson” stands on a sled to find his way to the reindeer herd during a storm.  He must watch the herd during his 24-hour watch.  In bad weather, the herd can be split or lost and the men must be alert to keep them from getting separated.  © Heidi Brander

 

Today, we are excited to highlight another of our sponsored projects - Heidi Bradner’s Land of the Second Sun: Arctic Nomads of Siberia’s Yamal Peninsula.  Heidi Bradner was born and raised in Alaska. Her ongoing work about the war in Chechnya since 1994 has received many awards, including the Leica Medal of Excellence.  This project documents the lifecycle of the Nenets, Arctic nomads in Siberia who migrate with their reindeer herds high above the Arctic Circle.  She started photographing the Nenets and other cultures of the Russian North as a personal project. The series was awarded a World Press Feature Story in 2003, a Missouri Pictures of the Year 2004 Award of Excellence and a Photo District News “Best of Photography 2004 Annual” Award.

Land of the Second Sun documents the unseen and beautiful world of the Nenets, an indigenous people of Siberia whose nomadic journey on sleds following their reindeer over 1,000 miles every year across the polar biosphere makes them unique.

For most of the 20th century, they remained deep behind the Iron Curtain.  Surviving Stalin’s dictates, the Nenets adapted to communism but managed to keep their nomadic way of life on the tundra.

Today, however, global markets for energy have brought a new threat to the nomads.  Russia’s largest untapped natural gas reserves lie underneath their tundra homeland.  This natural bonanza threatens them more than ever.  “Without the reindeer, we are nothing.  Our people would be poverty-stricken overnight” says Brigadier Sergei Serotetta, who says the reindeer will stop migrating or perish if their habitat is harmed.

Visit her project gallery for more photos.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Project Highlight: Nowhere People

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Stateless Dalits in the Terai in southern Nepal.  © Greg Constantine

Stateless Dalits in the Terai in southern Nepal.  © Greg Constantine

 

This week, we are excited to highlight another of our sponsored projects - Greg Constantine’s Nowhere People: Discarded and Stateless in Africa.  Based in Southeast Asia since 2005, Greg Constantine has been drawn to stories that focus on those who have been neglected, forgotten and forced into the margins of society.  Greg’s work has received several honors including: International Photography Awards, a nomination for UNICEF Photographer of the Year in 2006 and two awards in the 2007 Pictures of the Year International (POYi).

As multi-ethnic societies continue to reshape cultures around the world, the basic rights afforded from citizenship have never been more vital to one’s participation and security in society. Yet, many States and people in power use the denial of citizenship to exclude those who they feel threaten their interests and national identity.

For ethnic minorities, this fundamental right has never been more fragile and at risk, especially in Africa. Stateless people belong to no country, are refused most social, civil and economic rights and are powerless in changing their futures. Statelessness removes them from the protection of laws and leaves them defenseless against social injustices and human rights abuses. This project will continue to document the consequences statelessness has on the lives of people in Africa who, for various reasons, are the unwanted and the unwelcome and are some of the most vulnerable and disenfranchised people in the world.

Visit his project gallery for more photos.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Project Highlight: Warriors For Peace

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Jeremy Archambeault. Jeremy was a mortuary technician in Iraq and was repsonsible for dealing with hundreds of his fallen comrades.  He is photographed infront of a wall of photographs of fallen soldiers, near his home in Chicago.  © Jon Orlando

Jeremy Archambeault. Jeremy was a mortuary technician in Iraq and was responsible for dealing with hundreds of his fallen comrades.  He is photographed in front of a wall of photographs of fallen soldiers, near his home in Chicago.  © Jon Orlando

 

Blue Earth currently sponsors over 25 photographic projects.  This week, we are highlighting Jon Orlando’s Warriors For Peace.  Orlando has worked for various non-profits both nationally and internationally and his fine art work has appeared in various galleries throughout the U.S.  Work from his veterans project was awarded the Viewers Choice Award in the 2008 American Society of Media Photographers Exhibition in conjunction with the Center for Fine Art Photography.

Through the use of intimate portraits and in depth audio interviews, this project will look deeply at the emotions and feelings behind a growing number of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who have decided to oppose a war they were once a part of. Was it anger at a corrupt system, compassion for those whose country and people they found themselves destroying, a sense of betrayal from the government they were fighting for, or sadness over the level of death and destruction they were a part of? While I aim to document their stories, I have found there is usually one underlying emotion that drives their transformation and it is the emotions that will be highlighted in this project as a means for providing a space for the viewers to relate to the veterans on a very personal level.  In creating that space and reintroducing the public to the humanity and emotion of the soldier, this project will challenge the ease with which we accept war.

Visit his project gallery for more photos.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Project Highlight: Where Furrows Run Deep

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

© Jeffrey M. Sauger

© Jeffrey M. Sauger

 

Blue Earth currently sponsors over 25 photographic projects.  This week, we are highlighting Jeffrey M. Sauger’s Where Furrows Run Deep.  Sauger has been a professional photojournalist for 20 years.  In 2000, he was named the Michigan Press Photographers Association’s Photographer of the Year.  He received an honorable mention for the same honor again in 2003.

Black farmers in the United States have been losing their land and going out of business at the rate of 1,000 acres per day three times faster than the national average.  In 1920, there were nearly 1 million black farmers owning 14 percent of all farms in the U.S.  Today there are less than 18,000 owning less than 1 percent.  Why?  While the corporatization of the agricultural industry helps accelerate the decline of the small, family-owned farm, many black farmers claim they have an added burden: the institutional racism pervasive in local USDA offices.  Delayed loan awards, lost paperwork, preferential treatment for white farmers, equipment being shot up, racist remarks and threats are still happening.

Visit his project gallery for more photos from this project.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Project Highlight: The Innocent

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Alema Rose, Aler IDP camp, Uganda, 2006 © Heather McClintock

Alema Rose, Aler IDP camp, Uganda, 2006  © Heather McClintock

 

Blue Earth currently sponsors over 25 photographic projects.  This week, we are highlighting Heather McClintock’s The Innocent: Casualties of the Civil War in Northern Uganda.  McClintock’s Uganda work has garnered several awards, has been exhibited internationally and is included in the collection of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and several private collections.

After twenty years of civil war in northern Uganda, the government’s Uganda People’s Defense Force and the Lord’s resistance Army have reached a fragile peace. The innocent civilians of the Acholi tribe have been caught in the middle of this complex and barbaric civil war, in which abducted minors comprise almost 90% of the rebel soldiers. The Acholi are a proud and gracious people, who want nothing more than to be educated, to sleep safely in their own homes at night, to have food to eat and clothing on their backs, to live in peace; no different than you or me.

The aim of this long-term photographic project is intrinsically two-fold, to foster greater awareness and recognition within the international community to support and encourage a lasting peace in northern Uganda, while strengthening aide for the rehabilitation and education of formerly abducted child soldiers.

If these children are seen, they can no longer remain invisible to us.

Visit her project gallery for more photos from this compelling series.

Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Blue Earth Accepts Four New Projects

Monday, August 30th, 2010

We are very pleased to announce the acceptance of four new projects: Choosing Hope: Reclaiming the Duwamish River - Tom Reese; Cameras without Borders: Photography for Healing and Peace - Eberhard Riedel; Sufis: Messengers Of Peace - Amit Mehra; Toxic Water, Poisoned People: When Mountains Fall To Pay For Coal - Paul Corbit Brown.

Everyone at Blue Earth wishes to congratulate our new project photographers! We very much look forward to working together to further their projects highlighting these important issues.

 

Choosing Hope: Reclaiming the Duwamish River - Tom Reese.

Choosing Hope: Reclaiming the Duwamish River - © Tom Reese.

“The Duwamish River can be hard to love, but it flows powerfully through the hearts of those who know it well. The Duwamish is one of earth’s vital arteries conveying lifeblood from mountains to the sea, so it can be difficult to accept that its lower 5½ -mile stretch has been turned into one of the most toxic waste environments in the United States - an industrial sewage canal flowing out past the scenic waterfront of Seattle.”

 

Cameras without Borders: Photography for Healing and Peace - © Eberhard Riedel.

Cameras without Borders: Photography for Healing and Peace - © Eberhard Riedel.

“Recurrent racism, tribalism and fundamentalist ideology are tearing apart the human fabric. I work with peoples in Africa whose ways of life are under assault and who are suffering the consequences of violence, war and discrimination. This includes the Bushman of Southern Africa and Pygmy in Uganda and Congo, who are among the oldest inhabitants of Africa.”

 

Sufis: Messengers Of Peace - © Amit Mehra.

Sufis: Messengers Of Peace - © Amit Mehra.

“Post 9/11, the general perception to Islam has been quite negative but what needs to be understood is the much larger picture of communal amity it stands for. It is a unique topic, which hopes to enlighten people about the inherent concept and nature of Sufism, the middle path in Islam, as a harmonious philosophy highlighting the benevolence of Islam; an aspect critical to its comprehension in these troubled times.”

 

Toxic Water, Poisoned People: When Mountains Fall To Pay For Coal - © Paul Corbit Brown.

Toxic Water, Poisoned People: When Mountains Fall To Pay For Coal - © Paul Corbit Brown.

“Appalachia is the second most bio-diverse ecosystem on the planet and yet it is being systematically destroyed by a cheap coal extraction method called Mountain Top Removal (MTR). Over the last 20 years, over 500 mountains have been destroyed, the water is now toxic with heavy metals and the rate of destruction is rising at an alarming rate.”

 

Want to help us support great projects like these? Join us for the annual Blue Earth Lottery, an evening filled with fine art photography, gourmet food, and delicious wine, and take home a print donated by one of our world-class photographers like Phil Borges and Subhankar Banerjee! Unlike auctions, every ticket holder is guaranteed a print for their collection.

Join the fun Sept. 30, 2010, 6 p.m. at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture at our annual fundraiser gala! Seating is limited. Order your lottery tickets today.

- Bart J. Cannon, Executive Director

Archive Highlight: Palestinian Portrait

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

A young boy stands next to a mural of a Palestinian rock thrower that was shot and killed at a clash site in Gaza. © Ron Wurzer

A young boy stands next to a mural of a Palestinian rock thrower that was shot and killed at a clash site in Gaza. © Ron Wurzer

 

Blue Earth currently sponsors about 30 photographic projects.  Over the years, different projects have run their course and moved forward on their own.  But that doesn’t mean they are any less important today than they were when Blue Earth first sponsored them.

This week we’re highlighting Ron Wurzer’s Palestinian Portrait.  His project documents the Israeli-Palestinian conflict post-9/11.  Wurzer’s aim was to help Westerners better understand the social climate in the region.  It documents the lives of ordinary Palestinians as they go to school, to work, navigate Israeli roadblocks, endure power outages, live in refugee camps in proximity to Jewish settlers, and deal with an increasingly violent situation and faltering economy.

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

Blue Earth Accepts “Mountain Gorillas… and People”

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

© Gene Eckhart

The female’’s role is to produce offspring and participate in the care of the infants.  Poppy, the female shown here, is one of the grandes dames of Rwandan mountain gorillas having produced babies for many years.  Poppy and her infant Ishyaka Laurentine are members of the Susa Group.  As young females grow to maturity, they may and generally do leave their birth or natal group to join another social unit.  It is not abnormal for a female to transition between groups more than once in her life.  Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda. © Gene Eckhart

 

We are very pleased to announce the acceptance of Gene Eckhart’s Mountain Gorillas… and People: Understanding the Connections and Why They Matter in the summer 2009 round. Everyone at Blue Earth wishes to congratulate Gene, and we very much look forward to working together furthering his work to promote mountain gorilla conservation.

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

Vote Nau – For Facing Climate Change!

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Grant for Change

I’m pleased to report that popular clothing company Nau has just launched their first annual Grant for Change “supporting those who instigate lasting, positive change in their communities.”  This is a somewhat unique grant in that the $10,000 award recipient is selected by popular vote.  Blue Earth project photographer Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy Steele have been nominated for their Facing Climate Change project for the award, and we encourage your support of their project!  Check out Benj & Sara’s blog for more information about the project and how the grant could help their work.

Visit the Grant for Change program page to cast your vote for Facing Climate Change today!

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

Archive Highlight: The Canari Of Southern Ecuador

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Three women at Fiesta.  © Judy Blankenship

Three women at Fiesta. © Judy Blankenship

Blue Earth currently sponsors about 30 photographic projects.  Over the years, different projects have run their course and moved forward on their own.  But that doesn’t mean they are any less important today than they were when Blue Earth first sponsored them.

This week, I’d like to highlight Judy Blankenship’s project on The Canari Of Southern Ecuador.  Her project emerged as the result of many trips to the region documenting indigenous culture and resulted in a book, Canar: A Year in the Highlands of Ecuador that was published in 2005.  She has gone on to work with the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

Domestic Landscapes – Czech Republic

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Domestic Landscapes: Eastern Europe – © Bert Teunissen

We have been pleased to report on the progress this spring of Bert Teunissen with his Blue Earth sponsored project Domestic Landscapes: Eastern Europe highlighting changing domestic interiors across Europe.  Now we are able to report that Teunissen has just added a new series from his recent work in the Czech Republic.  The new work is a collection of compelling photos, many of which were taken inside what might be called “traditional” homes, which capture a lifestyle slowly disappearing from an aggressively modernizing Europe.

These new images are from only one of several series he will be completing during the next two years for the project, including trips to the Ukraine, Russia, and Moldavia.

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

Archive Highlight: David Maisel’s Black Maps

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

An aerial view of the Owens Valley from David Maisel’s “The Lake Project.” © David Maisel

Blue Earth currently sponsors about 30 photographic projects.  Over the years, different projects have run their course and moved forward on their own. But that doesn’t mean they are any less important today than they were when Blue Earth first sponsored them.

Today I’d like to dip into our archives and highlight work from David Maisel’s project Black Maps. Often abstract in appearance, Maisel’s photos of regions suffering from environmental degradation are powerful statements. They speak directly and give first-hand evidence of the damage humanity can inflict on an entire region.

It is easy sometimes to overlook the scope of the damage directly in front of us - Maisel changes the scale.

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

Blue Earth Accepts Three New Projects

Friday, December 19th, 2008

We are very pleased to announce the acceptance of three new projects in the fall 2008 round: Finding Trust/The Sarvey Wildlife Project – Annie Marie Musselman; Warriors for Peace – Jon Orlando; and Domestic Landscapes: Eastern Europe – Bert Teunissen.

This past round was the largest to date, and our Board of Directors faced a daunting task in carefully reviewing all the submissions.  I can say that everyone here very much looks forward to supporting our new photographers and working to further their projects highlighting important issues.

 

Finding Trust/The Sarvey Wildlife Project – Annie Marie Musselman
Working locally in Seattle, Annie’s project began 6 years ago at a small wildlife rehabilitation center where she volunteers regularly.  She believes “animals live with us, and are us, and that we must take care of each other in order to survive,” and her objective is to document “this important human/animal connection and the delicate union that exists between the two.”

 

Warriors for Peace – Jon Orlando
Based in Boulder, CO, Jon’s project documents the efforts of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to oppose the continuation of these conflicts of which they were once a part.  Through his project, Jon aims to help create “a means for providing a space for the viewers to relate to the veterans on a very personal level.  In creating that space and reintroducing the public to the humanity and emotion of the soldier, this project will challenge the ease with which we accept war.”

 

Domestic Landscapes: Eastern Europe – Bert Teunissen
Based in the Netherlands, Bert explores how “daylight illuminates the domestic interior, and dictates the way the interior is used and decorated.”  He is particularly interested in this project in documenting the lives of “Europeans who to this day use natural daylight in their everyday lives.” He brings attention to the rapidly disappearing, but “distinctive and celebrated atmosphere that the old Dutch masters - Vermeer, De Hoogh, Israëls and Rembrandt - captured in their paintings.”

 

Congratulations to our new photographers!

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

“The Innocent” - Blue Earth Photographer Heather McClintock On Her Work In Uganda

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Alema Rose, Aler IDP camp, Uganda, 2006 © Heather McClintock

There comes a time in each of our lives when we question who we are, what we wish to become, why we are here.  Sometimes we fall and break, sometimes we rise to what is in each of us, sometimes we do nothing.  Facing my personal demon meant deciding whether to remain on the path I had safely chosen, or find the courage to embrace the elusive unknown.  I hunger and am restless for intimacy, purity, and hope: seeking visual truth as evidence that we are all one.

Over a period of six months I lived in northern Uganda, initially pursuing my desire to focus on humanitarian relief work; and instead finding myself longing to document the strength of will and hope smoldering in every unwavering look, subtle gesture, or shrouded moment of unfathomable contemplation.  The Acholi tribe has gracefully and with fire, shared their strength and courage amidst conflict.  Quietly, yet almost defiantly they entrusted me with their pain and beauty, entwining their demon with mine.  In a voice that soars, they bestowed their stories of devastation and dignity, reflecting the ambiguity and mystery that resonates within each of us.

I am more than this.

After more than twenty years of civil war in northern Uganda and two years of peace negotiations between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the government’s Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF), the peace process has all but been declared dead.  For now, peace in the north has been transferred to instability in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo as the LRA have recently abducted over 159 children, killed at least 52 civilians and reportedly displaced up to 75,000.  In the northern region of Uganda, the Acholi tribe has been caught in the middle of this complex and barbaric civil war, in which countless numbers have been brutalized, and abducted minors comprised almost 90% of the rebel soldiers.  It is estimated that as many as 66,000 children have been abducted by the LRA, wrenched from their families and forced to become soldiers and sex slaves.  The Ugandan government’s strategy of moving northerners into “protected villages” has turned into a displacement nightmare for 1.7 million people - over 80% of the region - who now live in squalid camps and lack access to basic resources.

Uganda, known as the Pearl of Africa, is located in the continent’s geographic heart and bordered by Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and the DRC.  The civil war in the north is an almost incomprehensible conflict that arose from a repressive colonial past and years of division between the north and south.  The end result was a political rebellion that set the stage for an insurgency by the LRA.  Fearing discrimination by Uganda’s government, the LRA represented the Acholi ethnic group in Uganda’s northern districts.  The LRA evolved into its current leadership under religious extremist Joseph Kony, and his cult-like guerilla army, which has combined an apocalyptic spiritualism with opportunistic politics and warlordism.  As the war progressed, the support of the war-weary Acholi diminished; so Kony turned his wrath upon his own tribe.  Geography, porous borders, low risk/high reward raids on civilian targets, regional rivalry and proxy relationships involving the Ugandan government, the government of Sudan, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and the US government have sustained the life of the LRA, making this Africa’s longest running conflict and as one senior U.N. official described it “the world’s worst neglected humanitarian crisis.”

The Acholi are a proud and gracious people who want nothing more than to be educated, sleep safely in their own homes, have food to eat and clothing on their backs, live in peace; no different than you and I.  We are all inextricably linked in this complicated and imperfect life we share, and while these images only touch upon their unimaginable suffering, it is my hope that they will underscore this simple equation, and that viewers will lend compassion towards all brave survivors of conflict.

Heather McClintock

 

Gallery FCB in New York is hosting an exhibit “The Innocent” from November 13, 2008 through January 1, 2009 featuring the work of Blue Earth photographer Heather McClintock in Uganda.

For more information on the conflict in Uganda and recovery efforts:


Resolve Uganda

African Youth Initiative Network

Medical Teams International

Freidis Rehabilitation and Disable Center
freidishp@yahoo.no
cjogole@yahoo.no

Rachele Rehabilitation Center: now Rachele Comprehensive Secondary School

Alejandro Tomás In The News

Friday, October 17th, 2008

On The Commander © Alejandro Tomás

Last evening at the Seattle Central Community College, Blue Earth project photographer Alejandro Tomás presented to an overflow crowd his documentary project “Who Rules US?” profiling an elite group of American power brokers.  The crowd of attendees included students, members of the American Society of Media Photographers (who hosted the event), Blue Earth board members and supporters, as well as the general public.  All were treated to an extended photographic essay detailing a glimpse into the face of power in the US.

Joel Connelly’s article on the presentation in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer includes a slide show of several photos from this intriguing project.

Congratulations to Tomás for a great presentation!

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

Performance Of Frans Lanting’s ORIGINS

Friday, October 10th, 2008

From LIFE: A Journey Through Time © Frans Lanting

Blue Earth project photographer Frans Lanting’s multimedia production ORIGINS, an adaptation of “LIFE: A Journey Through Time” and including music by renowned composer Philip Glass, will be performed October 21st in Geneva, Switzerland, at the official Inauguration Ceremony for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.  ORIGINS will be presented as the entertainment centerpiece of the ceremony, which will be attended by over 20 European heads of state, as well as other scientists and dignitaries.

Our congratulations to Frans for this great honor!

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

Continuing The Work - The Aftermath Project

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

A widow in Bosnia examines body bags. ©Sara Terry

Sara Terry’s project Aftermath followed rebuilding efforts in Bosnia as the nation slowly recovered from the war that devastated so much of the land in the 1990’s.  Her work in the series focused on the terrible consequences of this conflict.  She strongly believes that it is vital to tell “the other half of the story,” the story of the people and communities attempting to reestablish their lives.

We are pleased to report that Terry’s efforts did not end with her work in the field.  After completing her long-term project in Bosnia, she founded a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about the consequences of war so often ignored by mass-media.

The Aftermath Project is a non-profit organization committed to telling the other half of the story of conflict — the story of what it takes for individuals to learn to live again, to rebuild destroyed lives and homes, to restore civil societies, to address the lingering wounds of war while struggling to create new avenues for peace.

In addition to its promoting its own programming, The Aftermath Project will be giving two grants in the amount of $25,000 and $15,000 in 2009 for photographic projects furthering its educational mission.  Photographers can find information on applying on their web site.

If you are in the Chicago area next month, the organization will also open its inaugural exhibition at the Gage Gallery at Roosevelt University on September 11th.

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

Stephanie Sinclair in the New York Times

Friday, August 1st, 2008

For several years, the small community known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Texas has been in the news.  This summer, over 400 children were removed from their families by state officials, only to be returned soon after by the court.

Blue Earth photographer Stephanie Sinclair recently had the almost unique opportunity to spend time in the homes of the people involved documenting their lives.  Her work is featured in the New York Times Magazine in the article “Children of God.”  Accompanying this article are two slide shows of Sinclair’s images from the daily lives of the women and children of this community.

The phrase “beyond the headlines” is perhaps a bit worn; nevertheless, it really applies to this fascinating series providing a brief moment in the lives of individuals facing an uncertain future.

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

Daniel Beltrá In The News

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Blue Earth project photographer Daniel Beltrá has been keeping busy these days!  Most recently, Daniel’s work has been featured in two double spreads: one in The Guardian this past June and another in July’s Popular Photography.  The spread in Popular Photography also features an interview with Daniel.  If you missed those publications, you can always view several images from his Amazon: Forest at Risk project on our web site.

Oct. 27, 2005. Barreirinha (Brazil). Big river boat trapped on a sand bank East of Barreirinha, during one of the worst droughts ever recorded in the Amazon.

Oct. 27, 2005. Barreirinha (Brazil). Big river boat trapped on a sand bank East of Barreirinha, during one of the worst droughts ever recorded in the Amazon. ©Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace

I am also very pleased to note that Daniel has generously donated a print to the Blue Earth Annual Lottery, to be held September 18th at the Palace Ballroom in Seattle.  This image (above) is part of a series that won a World Press Photo award in 2006.  If you would like to attend the lottery, and maybe even take home Daniel’s print, you can purchase tickets today via our web site, by mail, or over the phone.

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

Greg Constantine In The International Herald Tribune

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Greg ConstantinePhotographer Greg Constantine was recently recognized for his work by the Society of Publishers in Asia in their 2008 Awards for Editorial Excellence.  In the “Excellence in Feature Photography” category, Greg was given the award for his work in the International Herald Tribune (one of my favorite newspapers if I may say).  His ability to “capture the heart of the story in images that mesh both news and art” apparently convinced the judges to give him the award.

The full article is available at the IHT.  In addition, Gregg has a fascinating slide show “Millions without a place to call their own” attached to the same piece.

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

Art At Sea

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Camille SeamanCamille Seaman, another talented Blue Earth project photographer, is currently sailing the northern seas as Artist in Residence on board the Prince Albert II, June 30-Aug. 25, 2008.  Right now Camille and fellow travelers aboard the ship are exploring Iceland, Greenland and other destinations in the Arctic.  In addition to other shows, Camille will also be taking part in the Polar Attractions Exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA from June 28, 2008-June 07, 2009.

- Bart J. Cannon, Program Manager

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