The Spirit of Beadwork
Dagoretti House Orphanage, Kawangware Slum, Nairobi, Kenya
Residents of Dagoretti House Orphanage make beaded jewellery to sell to tourists. This program is specifically designed to assist individuals who face enormous personal challenges in integrating into the local economy. It was a moving testament to the power of the human spirit to see this young man, born without arms, proudly displaying his skills. Yet this was no hindrance to becoming a productive and meaningful member of society, in which the economic conditions were highly competitive and harshly exclusive.
Kotido District, Northern Uganda
A boy shares milk with a calf in a manyata—a traditional family Karamojong home. These people follow a traditional lifestyle of semi-nomadic cattle herding. However, their way of life is being disrupted by the introduction of weapons into their communities from neighbouring Sudan and the Acholi region of Uganda. These weapons are being used in place of spears during cattle disputes and raiding between cattle herders.
Gift of Fresh Water
San Juan village, Peru
This photo was taken in March of 2009, on the inauguration of the first fresh water well for this community. One year ago, the 100 families here had no access to clean drinking water. This little boy summed up the joy of receiving this gift of fresh water by being the first to safely quench his thirst. This fundamental right was brought to this community through the help of the Pure Art Foundation.
Close to Minihek Lake in Western Labrador, Canada
My friend, Scott McCormack, and I travelled 100 km over frozen lakes and rivers for three weeks. We travelled in a manner similar to the Innu and early European hunters and trappers in this region: pulling toboggans, wearing snowshoes and wool clothing, sleeping in a cotton tent with a wood stove. Scott is using this experience to write his Master’s thesis in environmental studies at York University.
Nigeria, West Africa
The HIV ward at this hospital in Nigeria can be only described as a morgue for the living. Though life-sustaining ARV drugs are free through clinics, supportive drugs such as antibiotics are not. The result is that patients succumb to secondary infections like diarrhea and pneumonia. Because of the stigma attached to the disease many wait until it’s too late for treatment, like this young boy who died shortly after I took this photo.
A man prepares traditional tea (chai) at a market stall near the ghats in Calcutta.
Diriomo, Pueblos Blancos, Nicaragua
One of my students invited me to spend the weekend with her family, in their small town, Diriomo. The extended family lived in seven houses and shacks on a small piece of land. Upon arriving, I was taken to meet Abuela, the matriarch of the family. I was quite taken with Abuela’s kitchen, and she found my interest mildly amusing. “They always ask me why I don’t tear down one of the walls because they think there’s too much smoke. But it doesn’t bother me. I like my kitchen. I’ve been cooking here my whole life.” I tried to describe a typical western kitchen to her, and she seemed to think it wouldn’t be very good for cooking properly.
The Incwala is an annual month-long men's celebration also known as the Festival of the First Fruits or the Kingship Ceremony. On this day, the king’s regiments march to a forest and return with firewood. The elders prepare a great fire in the centre of the cattle byre. On it, certain ritual objects are burned, signifying the end of the old year, while the king, his warriors, wives, mothers, daughters and other family members dance and sing. This ritual brings the country together to gain blessings from the ancestors, sanctify the kingship and begin the harvest season with high hopes.
A young woman rides a bike on a farm near Rakai, Uganda. Rakai was one of the early HIV epicentres which decimated the adult population. As a result, the region has a large population of orphans. I spent three days with a family in the Rakai district of Uganda to document their daily lives.
Joseph Michael Howarth
Three men work hard crossing a roaring river in the rain on a boat. It looks dangerous, but they know exactly what they are doing. I spent three months in the Philippines to document the social and environmental impacts of large-scale multinational mining. Kisluyan was one of the most memorable places that I had the privilege of visiting. The village is very isolated and although you could see some traces of the outside world, residents maintain their traditional way of life. This is the river that we had to cross every time I visited the village.
La Tomatina is a food fight festival held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of Buñol in Valencia. Tens of thousands of participants come from all over the world to fight in a brutal battle where more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets. I have been going here every year for seven years. I still have tomato seeds in my equipment…
This photo was taken in Sorrento, Italy, a short walk from Piazza Tasso and the harbour. These are mill ruins, dating to the early 900s, located in a deep gorge. The picture was taken from a road that overlooked the gorge.
Michael Marc Parizeau
Minihek Lake in Western Labrador, Canada
This image of Scott McCormack was taken as he crosses Lake Minihek in Western Labrador. We travelled in a manner similar to the Innu and early European hunters and trappers in this region: pulling toboggans, wearing snowshoes and wool clothing, sleeping in a cotton tent with a wood stove. Scott is using this experience to write his Master’s thesis in environmental studies at York University.
Mongkok, Hong Kong
Mongkok is so densely populated that I often found myself literally trapped in foot traffic, waiting for the intersection lights to change so that people would cross, the sidewalk would clear and the rest of us could continue walking. Everything is crowded – the stores, the trains, the streets and the housing. It’s absolutely packed with people and I love it!
A busy street in Chang Mai, Northern Thailand
Urged on by her mother and sister, this little girl danced for delighted onlooking tourists. I remember thinking that the jovial music was an odd contrast to her melancholy expression and situation. I felt dirty after taking this photo, like I had contributed to her continued exploitation. With my finger on the ‘delete’ button, I made the conscious decision to hold on to this photo to serve as a reminder of the darker things I learned on my travels. This tiny dancer’s haunting image was one of the forces that drove me to study International Development in hopes of making the world a brighter place for those like her.
Nkuru Iziza, a community-based rehabilitation organization in Kigali, Rwanda
A young patient reacts to the sight and sound of the saw used to remove his cast. Every Wednesday morning at Nkuru Iziza casting treatment is offered to patients with congenital deformities such as clubfoot and knock-knees. Removing a plaster cast is not painful, but the sight and sound of a circular saw used to remove the cast can be a frightening experience.
Joseph Michael Howarth
Luningning and her granddaughter live in Kisluyan, on the Filipino island of Mindoro. It is one of 26 indigenous villages facing the threat of displacement if a nickel mine begins operations on their ancestral land. The indigenous Mangyan, who once occupied the whole island, are a peaceful people who shy away from confrontation. As more and more settlers have moved to the island the Mangyan have been pushed higher and higher into the mountains. Now, with the proposed opening of the mine threatening to push them off their land, they are left with nowhere to go where they can continue their traditional way of life.
A small orphanage in Kathmandu, Nepal
Alongside Kathmandu's bustling Ring Road lies a small house where 14 orphans spend their daily lives. Apekcha (right) is only seven years old, yet is one of the main caregivers here. Known as the 'big sister', she helps with the cooking, cleaning, and sometimes even the teaching of the Nepali and English alphabets, which she has learned. The children's primary caregiver is often absent, making an occasional appearance a few minutes a day. Unlike many international establishments in Nepal, local orphanages often receive little support. These are the children who nobody knows.