darksilenceinsuburbia

darksilenceinsuburbia:

Dominic Nahr

Japan | Fallout

Two days after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami devastated northeastern Japan, photographer Dominic Nahr joined a TIME team roving the Tohoku countryside in a very compact car. Born in Switzerland and raised in Hong Kong, Dominic is not a short man. But somehow he squeezed his lanky frame between a jerrycan of gas, a portable stove, gallons of drinking water and a mountain of food I’d packed for our rations.

We came to cover the deadly wave that had overwhelmed fishing and farming communities in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, killing nearly 20,000 people. But the natural disaster quickly gained a surreal, manmade edge. The aging Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, perched on Japan’s coastline, had been inundated by the tsunami and lost the electricity needed to operate cooling systems. Three of its reactor cores began to overheat and then melt down, sending clouds of radiation spewing into the air.

Every day, as other news crews evacuated the area, we took stock of just how close we were willing to go to the crippled plant. Radiation is invisible, and we didn’t want to be foolhardy. Dominic eventually bought a dosimeter—its Cyrillic writing signifying another nuclear disaster at Chernobyl—to track his personal radiation. We ate dried seaweed in the hope that iodine might counteract any dangerous, unseen particles.

The months went by. Even as Fukushima Daiichi still leaked radiation and the haplessness of the plant’s operator, Toyko Electric Power Co., became ever more apparent, the world’s media moved on to the next natural disaster, the next epic scandal. Dominic, though, kept returning to Fukushima. This year alone, he has spent four months documenting the climate of fear and uncertainty that envelops the region more than three-and-a-half years after the tragedy of March 2011.

Around 125,000 people have been unable to return to their homes because of the lingering radiation, with some confined to aluminum-sided temporary housing – shacks, really. At ground zero, swathed in constricting haz-mat suits and gas masks, nuclear workers struggle to decommission the plant and contain radioactive emissions. Dominic and I braved this gear for only a few hours this summer and felt exhausted even after such a brief stint. “I feel a responsibility to document what these people are enduring, both mentally and physically,” says the photographer. “There is a lingering fear and anxiety that doesn’t let go of you. Sometimes people completely break down emotionally in front of me. It’s the unknown, brought about by the invisible dangers and the lack of transparency, that seems to wear down the spirits of the affected the most.”

One night, Dominic was staying with a family in Fukushima city when he was startled by the sound of emergency sirens. Rushing outside, he was confronted by the syrupy smell of gas. Firemen broke into a nearby home, only to find a man who had barricaded the door with chains before committing suicide. The deceased had been a part-time decontamination worker in the Fukushima area. “We were,” recalls Dominic, “the same age.” (by Hannah Beech)




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amariefox

amariefox:

No goodbye, no final curtsey. All the lines I never wanted to say in the first place are unraveling in my brain, spilling out of my ears. And now I am free, walking, no running off stage, not looking back, moving into the dark, out into the night. My skirts trail behind me, gathering dirt and twigs and mud. Where are you going? The night owl asks, but he already knows I am going to that place where I don’t exist for anyone other than myself. Where I can breathe. In the deep forest, I climb a tree just to watch the water move over the rocks. My feet dangle, hanging between two places that the men believe I am fated to go. Heaven, an angel in heaven. Hell, a devil rolling about in the flames of hell. Someday, when I die, I suppose they will still be arguing about it still, carrying on and on, until in disagreement I am dropped, fall off the pages and vanish from consciousness. Out of sight, out of mind? But, I’m more than they know. And so I shout up into the sky all of the things that I know myself to be. No one hears, I remain unrealized, unknown. Only the language-less listen: the night owl and the water and the fish and the flowers. With no more words, I’m empty. Crying until I am choking, I lose my balance, tumble downward. Hair electric in the current, like a mermaid. Cold holding my body like no man has. And I refuse to close my eyes. And I stay still until I am not sure whether my cheeks, my eyes, my throat are wet with tears or river water.

darksilenceinsuburbia

darksilenceinsuburbia:

Katie Orlinsky

Prison Portraits: The Ciudad Juarez Women’s Prison

War is complex. Sometimes there are obvious victims and clear perpetrators. One good. One evil. Black. White. But more often, participants in a war fall into a hazy middle category: They have committed crimes and suffered from them; inflicted wounds and salved their own.

U.S. photographer Katie Orlinsky moved to Mexico in 2006, just after graduating from college. The drug war surrounded her, and she quickly realized that women — not just men — were serving as its weary warriors, ferrying contraband and kidnapping kingpins. Between 2007 and 2011, the number of women incarcerated for federal crimes rose 400 percent. Orlinsky began to wonder: Who are these women? Innocent victims of a broken system? Cold-hearted criminals? Both?

In 2010, she entered the female prison in Ciudad Juárez and began photographing the convicted women inside. Below, she answers questions about the project.

1. Maria Sol Zocoro, 42, in prison for homicide

2. Nancy Nunez, 22, and daughter Claudia Marlen, 3. Nunez is in prison for drug trafficking

3. Laura Érika Mar, 23, in prison for homicide

4. Julia Fragozo, 28, in prison for drug trafficking

5. Yazmín Mendoza, 27, in prison for drug trafficking

6. Lorena, 50, in prison for drug trafficking. “I am not ashamed. There are worse things,” says Lorena. “My husband is dead and I did it for my children.”

7. Carla Soloria, 27, in prison for drug and weapons trafficking

8. Claudia Ramirez Contreras, 21, and Eunice Ramírez, 19, outside their prison cell in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The Ramirez sisters were models and party hostesses until they found themselves behind bars, accused of kidnapping

9. Abril Alvarado Ortega, 32, in prison for drug trafficking

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atlasobscura
atlasobscura:

ATLAS OBSCURA’S FIRST GEOGRAPHER-IN-RESIDENCE: KCYMAERXTHAERE
BY EAMES DEMETRIOS / 06 AUG 2014
My name is Eames Demetrios and I am the Geographer-at-Large for Kcymaerxthaere. In that capacity, I go around the world installing markers and historic sites that honor events from a parallel world in our world. So far we’ve installed 100 Kcymaerxthaere sites in 22 countries and the number continues to grow. And for the longest time, only a few were on Atlas Obscura, so it seemed time to share the treasure map and use it as way create some new geography experiences.
Explore more places in kcymaerxthaere at atlas obscura

atlasobscura:

ATLAS OBSCURA’S FIRST GEOGRAPHER-IN-RESIDENCE: KCYMAERXTHAERE

BY EAMES DEMETRIOS / 06 AUG 2014
My name is Eames Demetrios and I am the Geographer-at-Large for Kcymaerxthaere. In that capacity, I go around the world installing markers and historic sites that honor events from a parallel world in our world. So far we’ve installed 100 Kcymaerxthaere sites in 22 countries and the number continues to grow. And for the longest time, only a few were on Atlas Obscura, so it seemed time to share the treasure map and use it as way create some new geography experiences.
bornofanatombomb

new-aesthetic:

How One Woman Hid Her Pregnancy From Big Data

For the past nine months, Janet Vertesi, assistant professor of sociology at Princeton University, tried to hide from the Internet the fact that she’s pregnant — and it wasn’t easy. Pregnant women are incredibly valuable to marketers. For example, if a woman decides between Huggies and Pampers diapers, that’s a valuable, long-term decision that establishes a consumption pattern. According to Vertesi, the average person’s marketing data is worth 10 cents; a pregnant woman’s data skyrockets to $1.50. And once targeted advertising finds a pregnant woman, it won’t let up. […] First, Vertesi made sure there were absolutely no mentions of her pregnancy on social media, which is one of the biggest ways marketers collect information. She called and emailed family directly to tell them the good news, while also asking them not to put anything on Facebook. She even unfriended her uncle after he sent a congratulatory Facebook message. She also made sure to only use cash when buying anything related to her pregnancy, so no information could be shared through her credit cards or store-loyalty cards. For items she did want to buy online, Vertesi created an Amazon account linked to an email address on a personal server, had all packages delivered to a local locker and made sure only to use Amazon gift cards she bought with cash. […] Genius, right? But not exactly foolproof. Vertesi said that by dodging advertising and traditional forms of consumerism, her activity raised a lot of red flags. When her husband tried to buy $500 worth of Amazon gift cards with cash in order to get a stroller, a notice at the Rite Aid counter said the company had a legal obligation to report excessive transactions to the authorities. “Those kinds of activities, when you take them in the aggregate … are exactly the kinds of things that tag you as likely engaging in criminal activity, as opposed to just having a baby,” she said.

Via BLDGBLOG


Slippage and instability threaten to bring some of the buildings down, not just putting the site’s UNESCO-designated mansions at risk but potentially injuring (or worse) its annual hordes of international visitors.

[Image: General view of Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius; courtesy U.S. Library of Congress].

In Phys.org’s words, the sensors are being installed “to assess ‘risks of hydrogeological instability’ at the sprawling site, boost security and test the solidity of structures, as well as set up an early warning system to flag up possible collapses.”

The results are a bit like electronic eavesdropping—a kind of NSA of the ruins—only, instead of wire-tapping a single phone line, the entire city of Pompeii will be listened to from within, hooked up from one side to the other with equipment so sensitive it is normally used in waging “electronic warfare.”

[Image: The Street of Tombs, Pompeii; courtesy U.S. Library of Congress].

The data will eventually be made available online for all to analyze, but it is interesting to read of a more immediate use of the sensors’ findings: Pompeii’s “security guards will be supplied with special radio equipment as well as smartphone apps to improve communication that can pinpoint their position and the type of intervention required.”

In other words, guards will receive electronic updates from the city itself while out on their daily rounds, including automated pings and alerts of impending structural failure or deformations of the ground, like some weird, semi-militarized version of ambient music, as if listening to the real-time groans of a settling city by radio