LANGELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

Using the power of photojournalism to expose social, economic and ecological injustice

¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art

148 Elmwood, Buffalo, NY (Allentown) 14201

 Langelle Photography and the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art are part of the Social Justice Media Program of Global Justice Ecology Project

One World: Issues Across and Through Skins

and

The Story of a Forest “private showing”

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(Slider photograph by Johanna C. Dominguez)

One World: Issues Across and Through Skins

Premier Solo Exhibit by Johanna C. Dominguez

Opens: Friday, September 14, 6 p.m.- 9 p.m. with a wine and hors doeuvres Reception

Closes: Friday, November 2

Where: ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art – 148 Elmwood Avenue – Buffalo, NY

After the November 2016 election, Johanna Dominguez felt compelled to do something. Something ended up picking up her camera and documenting the different local rallies and efforts of activists across Western New York. She has combined these images with images she has taken abroad to bring together this show. The series of photographs have been taken between 2016 – 2018. There are many threats facing both people and animals today, and while these threats may seem specific, Dominguez’s work shows that the world is a lot smaller than we think.

Many may think “Water is Life” is specific to Standing Rock, but through Dominguez’s lens we see that this issue spreads far beyond the Dakota Access Pipeline. Energy corporations are capitalizing on and suppressing people across the globe. Habitats and ecosystems are also under siege both locally and abroad. It is not all doom and gloom though. There’s people and efforts out there to try and reclaim what was lost. One World: Issues Across & Through Skins shows the many positive efforts to make a space for life.

Dominguez wishes to point out that her camera is simply a vehicle and that the true stars are those within the photographs. They are the warriors. They are the changemakers. They are the ones on the frontlines fighting every day.

Free and open to the public

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The Story of a Forest “private showing”

Directed by Suki deJong and Co-produced by GJEP’s Ruddy Turnstone (who will be present)

Saturday, September 15, 6 p.m. with a wine and hors doeuvres Reception

Where: ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art – 148 Elmwood Avenue – Buffalo, NY

The party continues on Saturday, September 15 at 6 p.m.with a “private showing” of the yet-to-be-released film of director Suki deJong’s The Story of a Forest. Co-producer Ruddy Turnstone, who staffs GJEP’s Florida office, will be on hand to introduce the film and answer questions afterwards.

The Story of a Forest is a half hour documentary of the ten-plus year campaign that started in 2004 to stop the development of a Scripps Biotech campus in the middle of the biodiverse Briger forest and wetlands. The film features direct actions to save the forest, accompanied by the deep analysis of the global justice movement that swept the world a decade prior. The activists in The Story of a Forest waged a local campaign that exemplified the threats of corporate globalization worldwide.

The film will be shown at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery and followed by a second wine and hors doeuvres reception.  The film is free and open to the public.

GJEP’s home office has been in Buffalo for the past six years with priorities ranging from international forest protection and advocating for Indigenous Peoples’ rights, to the International Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees, and Orin Langelle’s Concerned Photography program. GJEP was founded in Vermont in 2003 by Orin Langelle and East Aurora native Anne Petermann to explore and expose the intertwined root causes of social injustice, ecological destruction, and economic domination.

GJEP has a satellite office in Lake Worth, FL and their Press Secretary is based in St. Louis, MO.

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August 23, 2018

Survival International

Claudia Andujar, photographer and activist, with Davi Kopenawa, a shaman and key spokesperson for the Yanomami, 2010.
© © Fiona Watson/Survival

A woman who fled Nazi persecution as a child and later spearheaded a campaign to save an Amazon tribe is being awarded Germany’s top cultural honor, the Goethe Medal.

Claudia Andujar will receive the prestigious award at a ceremony in Weimar on August 28th. Previous winners include the musician Daniel Barenboim, the novelist John le Carré, and the architect Daniel Libeskind.

Claudia is being honored for her groundbreaking work with the Yanomami tribe, which led to the establishment of the largest forested area under indigenous control anywhere in the world. Experts say the Yanomami people would not have survived without Claudia’s activism. Survival International projected the campaign globally.

To read and see more of this historical achievement CONTINUE

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Women Traditional Healers (2011) – Amador Hernadez, Lacandon Jungle, Chiapas, Mexico: Women prepare their traditional medicines, which they harvest from the jungle. The Mexican government wanted the community to leave the jungle so they could sell the forests for “carbon offsets.” When this photo was taken, the Mexican military was scheduled to arrive in four days to forcibly remove the community. The people of the community resisted and they were not evicted. If people who live in forests are evicted and relocated, they will lose their traditional ways.                                    photo: Orin Langelle

“They see our Mother Earth as a business, and for us you should never see it like that. It’s our Mother, she can’t be sold.” ‘Francisco,’ Lacandon Jungle, Amador Hernandez, Chiapas, Mexico in A Darker Shade of Green (2012)

The myth of offsetting carbon emissions with forests

Forest carbon offsets neither protect forests nor reduce emissions. They allow continuation of business as usual. Under forest carbon offset schemes, forests are priced according to the carbon they contain, and credits can be earned by preserving those forests. Corporations can then buy those credits that are then used to further pollute rather than decrease their emissions.

For example, at the notorious Chevron refinery in Richmond, California, “offset” emissions will continue to devastate surrounding communities, and the gross level of emissions remains the same.

The tortured equations of forest carbon offsets also impact Indigenous and forest dependent communities globally, through forced relocations of entire societies so that governments can take over forests and sell the carbon stored as offsets.

Beyond the social injustice of forest carbon offsets is the simple scientific fact that offsets literally mean a net result of standing in place. If today’s living species are to survive, this will not suffice; what is required are drastic reductions in emissions at the source.

SHOULD WE PUT A PRICE ON CARBON? That Depends – Who Are “We”?

Presentation for the Panel “Should We Put a Price on Carbon?” Sheffield University Festival of Debate, 11 May 2018 by Larry Lohmann, The Corner House

Our colleague Larry Lohman stated in his opening:

Should we put a price on carbon? That depends on what our goals are and what we can expect prices to achieve.

If we’re looking for a solution to climate change, then putting a price on carbon isn’t a serious strategy. It can’t address the roots of the problem, and isn’t designed to.

However, if we’re driven less by concern over global warming than by incentives to try to help business muddle through a post-1970s profit crisis in an era of growing environmental regulation, then carbon pricing makes more sense.

In other words, deciding what to think about carbon pricing means deciding who you are and what side you’re on.

And in concluding Lohman said:

In sum, in reciprocally enmiring one another in a sucking swamp of economistic bullshit obligingly dug for them by various neoliberal expertocracies, business and the state have stumbled into a strikingly functional adaptive response to popular concern about climate change.9 Lamenting – as much to themselves as to others – that escape from their swamp is impossible, both capital and the state nonetheless try to console themselves that at least their antagonists in popular movements can’t easily get at them in their smelly refuge.

Are they right? Well, political realism does require us climate activists to acknowledge that carbon pricing – despite its ineffectiveness in addressing climate change – is not just another zombie shuffling interminably across the neoliberal policy landscape. There are good reasons for its continuing popularity among business, politicians and the experts that orbit them. These reasons must be fully understood if the rest of us are to move forward.

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Carbon markets are business as usual and represent the commodification of Earth – Orin Langelle

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“People have to think more holistically about their actions. Everything comes down to ‘how much money can I make from this.’ Until this changes, all this talk of environmental protection is bullshit.” Cree Helen Atkinson in Whapmagoostui, Quebec, Canada 1993

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The home of Union Hill resident, Ella Rose is just 150 ft from the property where the 55,000 HP compressor station is to be built. It is one of three compressor locations for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline – if the ACP is not stopped.                                                                                                                   Photolangelle.org

Virginia – In response to a letter from his own advisory committee calling for a halt to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline due in part to its disproportional impact on poor and minority communities, the assistant for Governor Northam’s press secretary, Marissa Astor, told Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP) that it is the Governor’s position that the letter is only a draft, and not final until voted upon by the committee “in the coming weeks.”

The letter, obtained by GJEP, was the subject of comment by various members of the Governor’s committee in a GJEP press release on 8/16.   The committee is clear that the letter is a finished piece of work deserving of action by the governor.

A member of the Governor’s Advisory Council, Dr Mary Finley-Brook told GJEP in an email:

“I am surprised by the Governor’s press staff questioning the finality of the letter after we worked for 3 months to achieve consensus. The Council has voted on this letter more than once already and members have repeatedly communicated an urgent need to address environmental justice concerns surrounding the ACP and MVP in a timely fashion given the pre-construction and permitting processes currently occurring.

“I was not aware of any plans to call for a vote or any further discussion of this pipeline letter. The public agenda for the advisory council’s next meeting on August 28th, makes no mention of discussion or vote on this matter. As a council member, my understanding was that we were done with this letter and that it was finalized and would be given to the governor.”

“For the Governor to have such an insipid response to such an important call to action is disturbing,” said Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project. “It seems that Northam is hiding behind arcane machinations in an attempt to avoid uncomfortable realities of this project and his own committee’s recommendation to address them.”

PDF of Council Agenda Here

 

Category: BioenergyClimate JusticeFeaturedPress ReleasesPressroomSocial Media News       Tags: 

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This was originally published in Climate Connections on 13 April 2011. I’m republishing in Langelle Photography because Global Justice Ecology Project released a statement on 15 August 2018 explaining that carbon offsets are a false solution to climate change.

Photo Essay by Orin Langelle

Mist rises near the community of Amador Hernandez in the Lacandon jungle and the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve

At the Cancún, Mexico United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010, journalist Jeff Conant and I learned that California’s then-Governor Arnold Swarzenegger had penned an agreement with Chiapas, Mexico’s Governor Juan Sabines as well as the head of the province of Acre, Brazil.  This deal would provide carbon offsets from Mexico and Brazil to power polluting industries in California—industries that wanted to comply with the new California climate law (AB32) while continuing business as usual.

The plan was to use forests in the two Latin American countries to supposedly offset the emissions of the California polluters.

Conant and I took an investigative trip to Chiapas in March 2011.  When we arrived, we were invited by the people of Amador Hernandez–an indigenous village based in the Lacandon jungle (Selva Lacandona)–to visit, document and learn of the plans of the government to possibly forcibly relocate them from their homes. What we uncovered was another battle in the ongoing war between a simpler or good way of life (buen vivir) vs. the neoliberal development model.

The following photographs were taken in or near the community of Amador Hernandez; during an over flight of the Selva Lacandona and surrounding African palm plantations; and in the “Sustainable Rural City” Santiago el Pinar.

Elders from the community of Amador Hernandez in the Selva Lacandona

Young girls in the morning

Men on horseback were a common sight in Amador Hernandez. On horseback was one of the few ways to get out of the community by way of a twelve kilometer trek to the nearest village.  There are no roads to or from Amador Hernandez.

Another way out of Amador Hernandez was to walk the twelve kilometers

Razor wire embedded in a tree from when the Mexican army had an encampment next to Amador Hernandez in 1999

When the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect on 1 January 1994, the Indigenous Peoples of Chiapas staged an uprising.  The EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation) denounced NAFTA as a “death sentence” for the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico.

Amador Hernandez, deep in rebel territory, was a hotbed of resistance to the Mexican military’s attempt to crush the Zapatistas.

In the Mexican daily, La Jornada, journalist Hermann Bellinghausen wrote in 1999,  “A detachment of 500 Mexican Army troops, made up of elite troops and Military Police, are keeping the access blocked leading to the road that joins Amador Hernandez with San Quintin, where the chiapaneco government and the soldiers are trying – at all costs – to build a highway.

“Hundreds of tzeltal indigenous from the region have been holding… a protest sit-in at the entrance to the community, which is also the entrance to the vast and splendid Amador Valley,  at the foot of the San Felipe Sierra, in the Montes Azules.”

The people of Amador Hernandez did not let the army go through with their road plan and the army broke its encampment.

Building with Zapatista murals in Amador Hernandez

The uprising continues today and has been an inspiration to millions of people throughout the world.

Life goes on in Amador Hernandez

Men relax after a day’s work

The struggle continues. Concerned father holding his son in Amador Hernandez, Chiapas, Mexico

Earlier that day (24 March 2011) the boy above had convulsions; by the next day, several others from the community had experienced the same thing. Drinking water from the community supply was suspected. Since last year, Amador Hernandez has been denied medical supplies, and the Mexican government has suspended emergency transport of the gravely ill.

Communiqué from Amador Hernandez, Chiapas:

“We, the residents of the Amador Hernandez region in Chiapas, which forms the core of the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, well known for its extraordinary biological richness, and the site of historic resistance by indigenous peoples, denounce that the illegal threats by the bad government to expel us, culturally and physically, from our territories, have moved from words to deeds.

Our opposition to the theft of our territory, as decreed in May 2007; our rejection of the unilateral delimiting of the agrarian border of the Lacandona Community demanded by investors in projects associated with the REDD+ [Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation] Project; our refusal to accept the conservationist programs of “payment for environmental services” and “productive land reconversion,” and our decision to reinitiate a process of self-determined community health based in our traditional medicine, together have aroused the arrogance of the bad government, motivating them to advance a “new” counterinsurgency strategy to undermine our resistance.

It is a strategy that doles out sickness and death, dose by dose.”

Amador Hernandez is a barrier to the Chiapas-California deal.  People ‘are in the way’ and it appears for the deal to go through, they need to be relocated.  The community of Amador Hernandez is refusing.

If people leave Amador Hernandez they say their way of life will be gone forever

They say their traditional way of life will be over

They will not be able to prepare their traditional medicines, which they harvest from the jungle

The government refuses to provide health care, but traditional medicines are still prepared

Woman bringing the prepared traditional medicines to the small clinic of Amador Hernandez

The Lacandon jungle from the air

Many residents of Amador Hernandez feel that in addition to REDD, another reason for potentially relocating them from their village is because the Lacandon jungle is rich in biodiversity which the transnational pharmaceutical companies want to exploit.

The Mayan ruin of Bonampak

African Oil palm plantations

After leaving Amador Hernandez, we flew over the Lacandon jungle and see the dense forest and some Mayan ruins, but when we left the jungle, we were confronted by many African oil palm plantations that the government says are going to be used for agrofuels (biofuels).

Addendum: These photographs were taken when I was the photographer and one of the organizers of this trip into the Lacandon jungle. We knew the village was under threat of forced relocation.  The Mexican military was going to move in within four days after we arrived. They did not. Due to the community’s resistance, supported by our presence and subsequent international publication of our photos, video and interviews, Amador Hernandez was not relocated and the people continue to live on their land (as of 15 August 2018). Mexico now is nationalizing its carbon trading program, however, and it appears they will strike a bilateral deal with California – putting the people and land in Amador Hernandez again in the sights of the carbon market.

The “Sustainable Rural City” Project of Santiago el Pinar

The following week, Jeff Conant and I visited of Santiago el Pinar.  The government of Chiapas has begun developing “Sustainable Rural Cities” like Santiago el Pinar– as places where scattered rural populations can be relocated.  The government claims this enables these populations to have services such as electricity and roads, that they could not have in the rural areas.  We were told by activists, however, that these “Sustainable Rural Cities” are designed to enable the relocation of communities that are based where development projects–such as large-scale hydroelectric dams, agrofuel plantations, mines, etc.–are planned.

On every house or structure in Sanitago el Pinar, “Son Hechos – No Palabras” is emblazoned.  Roughly meaning that the government is taking action not just talking about it.

The new towns consist of flimsy, rapidly built pre-fabricated structures, about which we heard many complaints

In the hothouse growing roses, the sign reads “food security”

We were told the hothouses were built with food security in mind, but instead we found roses being grown.

Santiago el Pinar comes with a playground enclosed in barbed wire and chain link fences

Young child outside of her pre-fabricated house

The government overseer of Santiago el Pinar

The Government overseer of Santiago el Pinar told us that the day before we arrived, Chiapas Governor Sabines had been there for the official dedication.  He informed Sabines that a few days earlier his children has been playing inside his pre-fabricated home and they fell through the floor.

Another Mexico

This photo essay was first published in Climate Connections on 13 April 2011

All photographs are copyrighted by Langelle Photography (2015), all rights reserved. No photo can be used without the consent of Langelle Photography.  See Publishing and Acquisition Information.

Why Copyright?  One of the reasons I copyright my photographs is to track where these photos are being used in order to monitor the impact of my work and evaluate the effectiveness of Langelle Photography, a nonprofit organization.

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NPPA joined media advocacy groups to call for the release of Bangladeshi photo-
grapher Shahidul Alam from jail after he was arrested for making “provocative com-ments” about protests in the country on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018.

Click here for the statement by NPPA President Michael P. King.

The New York Times published an updated story on Aug. 8.

Orin Langelle is a member of the National Press Photographers Association.

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Ray Luc Lavasseur who co-founded United Freedom Front, was convicted for organizing a series of bombings to protest South African apartheid, which he helped carry out from 1976 to 1984. He was transferred to the Colorado supermax prison ADX Florence in 1995 – the land alongside it was known to contain toxic nuclear waste.                photo: Orin Langelle

This photograph [see Note below] of Ray Luc Lavasseur that I took was part of an article written by Michael Waters and published in The Outline.

How Prisons are Poisoning Their Inmates

Hundreds of U.S. prisons and ICE detention centers are built on toxic sites, and people inside are getting sick.

A week after Richard Mosley arrived as an inmate at Pennsylvania’s maximum-security SCI Fayette prison in 2008, he started getting sick. The air outside was so contaminated that his nose kept closing up. Then came the weight loss, followed by the gastrointestinal problems. Pretty soon, Mosley was relying on asthma masks to breathe. “I was going back and forth to medical trying to get some kind of relief or diagnosis,” he told The Outline. “I think I went maybe 35, 40 times.”

Meanwhile, Mosley started writing letters to local officials three days per week. “I was making a big stink,” he said. “If I was going to die there, I wasn’t going to die quietly.” He knew something was wrong. All around him, inmates were suffering. Skin rashes, gastrointestinal problems, and breathing issues were common across the prison. Everyone had a runny nose. The water quality was so abhorrent that guards brought bottled water for their onsite patrol dogs, according to Mosley. But the inmates still had to drink from the tap.

To continue this article, please go to How Prisons are Poisoning Their Inmates

 

[Note] This was the second of a series of candid portraits of radical movement figures I took in collaboration with Burning Books.  The point of this endeavor is to document some of the people who have participated in the making of history as part of the ongoing struggle for freedom and justice – a history of victories, losses, mistakes and successes, that we can and should learn from.

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Clearcut area of forest by Dominion Energy for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. This cut is near Wintergreen Resort, a four-season mountain resort on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains, located in Nelson County, Virginia.                                                                                       photo: Orin Langelle

 Atlantic Coast Pipeline Already Destroying Forests

Ernie Reed, from the Nelson County District Board of Supervisors, gave Dr. Mary Finley-Brook and me a tour of some of the sites where the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would go through Nelson County. Dr. Mary Finley-Brook serves on the Virginia Governor’s Advisory Council on Environmental Justice and is a professor of geography and the environment at the University of Richmond.

This photo was taken close to where a drill would bore beneath the Appalachian Mountain National Scenic Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway through the mountain gap between Three Ridges Wilderness (George Washington National Forest) and Devil’s Knob (at Wintergreen Resort). The mountain consists of greenstone and granite.  The bore would be over 4,200 feet long and 46 inches in diameter for a 42” pipeline that would contain fracked natural gas at a pressure of 1440 pounds per square inch.

Dr. Finley-Brook (left) and Ernie Reed (right) by a solar powered USGS Water Quality monitoring Station in Nelson County, VA. Photo: Orin Langelle

The drill is estimated to require almost 30 million gallons of potable water. The polluted water and residue from the drilling then must be contained, transferred to tanker trucks and trucked to a waste disposal site, yet to be determined. Nelson County has declined an offer from Dominion to purchase this water and a source for it is yet to be determined

Although the ACP has not yet received final approval, Dominion Energy is clearing some corridors of forest where they have purchased easements through the threat of eminent domain. This clearcutting is considered a “preconstruction activity” by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

If constructed the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would be 604 miles long and cross West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. Approximately 300 miles of the pipeline would run through forested land.

Below:

This video footage is from JR Chopper and other credits are listed at the end of this short clip. While I did not take photos for this clip, I am working on a documentary photo essay of the ACP and I did help in production of this clip.

The struggle against the pipeline has called into question many different practices by Dominion Energy regarding environmental, racial and class injustices. – Orin Langelle

 

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The proposed Atlantic Coast #Pipeline project could destroy over 4,500 acres of forests in Virginia, West Virginia and National Forests. 1,556 waterbodies will be threatened by spills and contamination if the pipeline is completed.

This video footage is from JR Chopper and other credits are listed at the end of this short clip. While I did not take photos for this clip, I am working on a documentary photo essay of the ACP and I did help in production of this clip.

– Orin Langelle

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