LANGELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

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

Posts from the ‘Earth’ category

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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langelle-killsme_dsc_02761Featured Langelle Photography home page slider (right) was taken by Langelle during a protest march in Durban, South Africa during the United Nations Climate Conference in 2011. Langelle has six photographs in this touring show

 

Critical Information Collective Exhibit – World Social Forum 2016

Indigenous protesters at UN climate negotiations in Cancun 2010) Photo: Luka Tomac

Indigenous protesters at UN climate negotiations in Cancun (2010) Photo: Luka Tomac

Montreal, Canada – A photographic exhibit, Climate Change: Realities and Resistance, will be shown at the World Social Forum 2016 in Montreal from 9 – 14 August. This is the Canadian premier of Critical Information Collective‘s touring exhibition.

The World Premier took palace in Paris, France during the United Nations Climate Conference in 2016 and the North American debut was at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art in Buffalo, New York, 1 March through 29 April 2016.

CIC’s photos in Buffalo, Climate Change—Realities and Resistance, were part of the show Climate Change, System Change, Personal Change. Langellle Photography and ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery Director, Orin Langelle’s portion of the show in Paris, Buffalo and Montreal is entitled Struggles for Justice.

The exhibition in Montreal will include new panels focusing on the theme of industrial livestock farming and its impact on climate change and biodiversity.

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In 1990, Earth First! occupied Illinois’ Shawnee National Forest’s Fairview timber sale area for 79 days – at that time the longest occupation in EF! history. The area slated to be cut was rich in biodiversity, a haven for songbirds and loved by the many locals who went there to watch the birds, camp or enjoy nature.

The major daily newspaper in Springfield, IL, the state’s capital, called the Earth First! occupation “a popular uprising.”

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The Biscuit (1990)

Woman with monkey wrench atop buried Chevrolet Biscayne, nicknamed “The Biscuit,” in a car blockade of the Fairview timber sale in the Shawnee. The car blocked the entrance to the Shawnee National Forest during the EF! occupation. The car blockade was a replica of a photo taken during the then-ongoing “Oka Crisis.”       Photo: Langelle

According to the Canadian Encyclopedia,

The Oka Crisis was a 78-day standoff (11 July–26 September 1990) between Mohawk protesters, police, and the army. At the heart of the crisis was the proposed expansion of a golf course and development of condominiums on disputed land that included a Mohawk burial ground. Tensions were high, particularly after the death of Corporal Marcel Lemay, a police officer, and the situation was only resolved after the army was called in. While the golf course expansion was cancelled, and the land purchased by the federal government, it has not yet been transferred to the Kanesatake Mohawk community.

EF!ers in the Shawnee publicly stood in solidarity with the Mohawks and also with Redwood Summer, a major national mobilization to save the last of the ancient redwoods. Earlier that year, EF! Redwood Summer organizer Judi Bari was almost killed when a pipe bomb exploded under the seat of the car she was driving.

From the photo exhibit Struggles for Justice: Forests, Land and Human Rights

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Below John’s photograph and caption is an email I received from Global Justice Ecology Project board member and a long time personal friend, Karen Pickett. I think Karen expresses beautifully what many of us will remember for quite some time: R.I.P. John Trudell.
Trudell (Santee Sioux) was a spokesperson for the Indians of All Tribes occupation of Alcatraz Island from 1969 to 1971 and served as Chairman of the American Indian Movement (AIM) from 1973 to 1979. In 1982, Trudell began recording his spoken word poetry with music. An example of his spoken word poetry is in Mike Mease’s video “Buffalo Wild,” below.

Trudell (Santee Sioux) was a spokesperson for the Indians of All Tribes occupation of Alcatraz Island from 1969 to 1971 and served as Chairman of the American Indian Movement (AIM) from 1973 to 1979. In 1982, Trudell began recording his spoken word poetry with music. An example of his spoken word poetry is in Mike Mease’s video “Buffalo Wild,” below.

We have lost one who was wise beyond his human form.  A shining light when he talked, or recited his poetry, getting the brain synapses whizzing around, evoking tears, laughter, pens scribbling in a scrap of paper so you could come back to it and think about that one later…these ideas about energy, power, coherence.  I really latched on to his breaking down of power and what it really is when you’re a human being.

He was only 69.
On this same day 35 years ago, we lost John Lennon.
The sky is dark tonight—no moon

How did he shine after all he had been through? Subject to the FBI’s COINTELPRO tactics, and all the rest a radical thinker and activist bucking the system might be subject to. He came to Berkeley years ago, a year or 2 before the Judi Bari vs FBI trial and we had a ranging conversation about strategy, response, carrying on. It was very valuable for me…he was someone who was not only attacked himself, but lost his partner and children in a fire of questionable cause while he was in Washington DC burning the American flag.

In recent years, I was fortunate enough to see John and interact with him when he joined the Buffalo Field Campaign for their Bay Area road shows, which I was always involved with.  A little more than a year ago, he wrote a poem—Buffalo Wild—that is now in a video produced by Mike Mease, co-founder of BFC with the poem put to music by Goodshield and Mignon, who also tour with BFC. I include this link from You Tube:

As I write, I am listening to John’s CD released this year: Wazi’s Dream.
In “Earthling”, he not only says
“I am no more important nor less important in spiritbeing than any other of the species…”

but also
“I carry the energies of
the suns and universes
from the time before time
into the beyond beyond beyond
from where stars get their light”

Perhaps that’s where he’s gone, into the beyond, beyond beyond.
Blessed travels, John.

 

Please visit http://johntrudell.com

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The industrial revolution may have brought technological advances, but its reliance on fossil fuels also means that dirty technologies have proliferated, with consequences for our environment and our climate. Photo: Bogdan Bousca (Romania) bogdanbousca.finegallery.net

The industrial revolution may have brought technological advances, but its reliance on fossil fuels also means that dirty technologies have proliferated, with consequences for our environment and our climate. Photo ©: Bogdan Bousca (Romania) bogdanbousca.finegallery.net

Paris, France – Telling the story of the growing global demand for climate justice, featuring images from photographers in Australia, Croatia, Romania, the UK and the USA. This exhibition is on display in Paris during the UNFCCC COP 21 negotiations, at the Climate Action Zone (ZAC), 7-11 December. The address is Room Ecuries C, Centquatre, 5, rue Curial, 75019 Paris. (The closest metro stations are Stalingrad and Riquet.)

It includes images from the following Critical Information Collective photographers, in panels of six images: David Tao (Australia), Luka Tomac (Croatia), Bogdan Bousca (Romania), Orin Langelle (USA), Jason Taylor (UK), and JudithDeland (Australia). There is a seventh panel comprising images from Stephen D Melkisethian (USA), Susan Melkisethian (USA), Joseph O Holmes (USA) and Ronnie Hall (UK).

For the exhibit, please go to UN Climate Conference of the Parties 21 (COP 21) Exhibition: Climate Change—Realities and Resistance

The second showing of this exhibit will be at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery in Buffalo, NY. The exhibit opens there on 4 March 2016. That show will include work by artist Ashley Powell.

Notice that Orin Langelle, Buen Vivir! Gallery director, has one of the panels, Struggles for Justice, with six photographs in the Paris show, that is coming to Buffalo.

 

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Most everyone who reads this probably knows the name of Harvard professor, Timothy Leary – and the LSD psychedelic culture he helped inspire. Richard Alpert (Ram Dass), was the other Harvard professor who worked with Leary starting in the early 1960’s until they both were fired for their experiments.

The work they did, and the publicizing of it, was a key factor in the transformative individual and societal changes that swept through the 60s and 70s.


Ram Dass’s journey is less known but quite important to understand one of the directions manifested by consciousness expansion.

A Short Film about Being – Here, Now, and Forever

“We are all just walking each other home”

by Derek Peck

A profound encounter with the legendary counter-cultural hero and spiritual teacher, at his home on Maui

Ram Dass – Background

Ram Dass is one of the last great counter-cultural figures from the Sixties and Seventies and one of the most important spiritual teachers of the last fifty years. If you’ve read, or even glanced through Be Here Now, you have almost certainly been touched by his work. But that seminal book was only the beginning of a journey dedicated to helping others along their personal paths, always with a focus on expanding awareness, expanding love, and living in the present moment.

In fact, Ram Dass’ journey along this path began even earlier, with the work he and Timothy Leary did at Harvard in the mid 1960s. Together, they famously experimented with LSD as a consciousness-expanding drug, both personally and in laboratory studies. The work they did, and the publicizing of it, was a key factor in the transformative individual and societal changes that swept through those decades. Unlike Leary however, Ram Dass, or Dr. Richard Alpert as he was known at the time, went off to India on an extended journey in search of more enduring ways to expand consciousness. There he met a guru who changed the dimensions of his search, and his life, altering his pursuit of consciousness expansion from a psychedelic path to the yogic path, and shifting his awareness from the material and the ego to the spiritual and the Self.

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Note: I am honored that Alexis Lathem chose one of my photographs for the cover of her new book, Alphabet of Bones. Alexis and I have been friends for almost a quarter of a century and have worked on many campaigns together. And we both have much more to share as time goes by…

If you are near Burlington, Vermont on September 26th, I hope you will attend Alexis’ book launch party (details below).

Alphabet of Bones

Special Book Launch   26 September 2015 @ 4:30 p.m.
Arts Riot
400 Pine Street
Burlington, VT 05401
The readings will be accompanied by a fine art slideshow and a live jazz music performance.

Alphabet of Bones

by Alexis Lathem

Releases September 2015

Alphabet of Bones is a collection of poems born out of the poet’s long engagement with the natural world—as gardener, shepherd, activist, and as a mortal human being whose bones will one day return to dust. Set in the context of unprecedented violence against nature—as living cultures are reduced to archeology—these poems take the long view, insisting on a deep ecological memory, and an awareness that our stories will be told through the landscapes we leave behind. From the pastoral landscape to the arctic tundra, these poems trace the discovery of the luminous in the shadows of loss. “We must leave a message,” the poet asks. “But in what language will we speak?”

 

Praise for Alphabet of Bones

“Alexis Lathem’s poems are steeped in patient observations and a deep comprehension of the grace and tragedy of human life, of the mysteries of the natural world, and our fragile place within it. Perhaps most of all these poems are shaped by an understanding of the power of language — its music as much as its meaning. Alphabet of Bones is a grave, beautiful accomplishment.”
—Jane Brox, author of Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light, named one of the top ten nonfiction books of 2010 by Time magazine; Five Thousand Days Like This One, a 1999 finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction; and Here and Nowhere Else, winner of the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award.

 

Instructions for a Ghost Writer

Let it rain so long that the only vowel the water knows is O.
Keep still. Wait for the mist to lift.

If you’ve listened to the moths beat their wings against their moons—
then you will be prepared.

You will hear things—animals, footsteps, wind—
and will doubt yourself. This is to be expected.
Your ghost will come.

She will tap softly in your ear and hum.
She has a fondness for words like pellucid and papyri.  
She will want you to put them in.

Follow these instructions and she will come again.
Stay close to death. Stop for the dying squirrel in the road,
put its heartbeat in your poem.
Grow your parsley and calendula from seed.

She might fall asleep in the corner of your room, stumble out at dawn.
Overtake you walking on the Brooklyn Bridge. Be tender,
she is made of the faded scent of pine. Close the door quietly.
Erase.

 

About the Poet

1436552732483Alexis Lathem is an environmental journalist and writing teacher. Recipient of the Chelsea Award for Poetry, a Vermont Arts Council grant, and a Bread Loaf scholarship, her poems and essays have appeared in many journals. In her reporting on the struggles of indigenous peoples to defend their lands from development, she has paddled and trekked through taiga and rainforest. She lives on a small farm in the Winooski River Valley.

 

 To purchase Alphabet of Bones, please contact:

Wind Ridge Books of Vermont
233 Falls Rd., PO Box 595, Shelburne, VT 05482
(802) 922-7641  Lin@windridgebooksofvt.com

 

 

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This review of my exhibit was by Jack Foran was published in Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v14n23 (06/11/2015) » Art Scene. Artvoice (print and web) is one of Buffalo, NY’s two major alternative weeklies. Additionally, the exhibit continues through June 19, at which time I’ll give a walk-through and talk about the various photos, scheduled from 6 to 8 pm. Wine and hors d’oeuvres provided. The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery is located at 148 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14201- OL

PORTRAITS OF STRUGGLES

ORIN LANGELLE’S PHOTOGRAPHS ON DISPLAY AT ¡BUEN VIVIR! GALLERY

By Jack Foran

Photographer Orin Langelle’s website concludes with two quotations. From Brazilian educator and philosopher Paolo Freire: “Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” And folksinger and activist Phil Ochs: “It is wrong to expect a reward for your struggles. The reward is the act of struggle itself, not what you win. Even though you can’t expect to defeat the absurdity of the world, you must make that attempt. That’s morality, that’s religion. That’s art. That’s life.” They pretty much sum up Langelle’s life and work.

A potpourri of his witness to the struggle photos from the 1980s and 1990s is currently on view at his r1¡Buen Vivir! gallery on Elmwood in Allentown. Including the iconic photo of an unidentified environmental activist, poised on a log tripod construction, arm and fist raised in spirited gesture of we shall overcome, at a training camp in non-violent disruption techniques in Vermont in the late ‘90s.

r2The exhibit is dedicated to the memory of activist Judi Bari (1949-1997), an activist against redwood logging in northern California who narrowly escaped death when her car was blown up by a pipe bomb—following which she was arrested by the FBI on charges of eco-terrorism. The FBI alleged she had been transporting explosives. Laboratory and other analyses discovered that the explosives inr3 question were placed directly under the driver’s seat and equipped with a motion sensor trigger to cause them to detonate when the car was driven, whereupon the Oakland District Attorney declined to press the FBI charges. Bari filed a violation of civil right suit on matters including false arrest and illegal search. Five years after her death her estate was awarded $4 million in the case.r4

The targets of the protests to which Langelle’s photos bear witness range from roadway expansion schemes in London, England, to golf course expansion and development of condominiums on land sacred to the Mohawk Indians, to logging activities within the Trail of Tears State Forest r5in Illinois, to Hydro-Quebec plans for hydroelectric production facilities on Cree Indian lands in northern Canada, to a protest against the Tasmanian Forestry Commission, Australia, an agency that is supposed to protect forests from rapacious practices of commercial timber interests, for failing to do so.

r6One photo is of an activist arrested—in New Hampshire—for handing out fliers urging people to write to their representatives in Congress in opposition to a timber harvest scheme in the White Mountain National Forest. Another—in Vermont—shows Abenaki Tribal Chief Homer St. Francis standing up in court, when he was told he was “out of order,” responding, “No, Judge, you’re out of order.” The Abenaki apparently had never ceded their land to any state or federal government, and continued to issue their own license plates and hunting and fishing permits. They were demanding that all Abenaki land be returned to them. Ultimately, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that all Abenaki claims had been “extinguished due to the increasing weight of history.” History apparently was to blame.

Not all the protest activist photos show protest actions. There is a wonderful portrait of a Cree elder woman, looking ancient and patient—but not infinitely patient—taken during the photographer’s journey to Cree territory to learn about and document the struggle against the Hydro-Quebec project. The second phase of the project, that is. The first phase, the La Grande Project dam, had already flooded thousands of acres of Cree land, displacing resident natives and resulting in environmental devastation such as when an untimely water release drowned 10,000 migrating caribou. The second phase was another dam proposal that was postponed indefinitely following protests in Canada and worldwide. One photo shows protesters in front of the Quebec consulate in London with a banner denouncing the hydropower scheme. The second phase was ironically well-named. It was called the Great Whale Project.

The exhibit continues through June 19, at which time Langelle will give a walk-through and talk about the various photos, scheduled from 6 to 8 pm.

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For workers and for all inhabitants of Mother Earth

Photo: Langelle

Photo: Langelle

Earth First! and the Industrial Workers of the World ( IWW) join autoworkers in a Fenton, MO protest against Chrysler (1989)

This photos is from my exhibit Struggles for Justice: Forests, Land and Human Rights Exhibit Late 80s to Late 90s  now on display at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery in Buffalo, NY. More on the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery.

More on May Day

Workers

Words engraved on the Haymarket Martyr’s Monument in Chicago. This monument was erected in 1893 after workers’ demonstrations were answered with police repression and unjust trials resulting in the conviction of workers on trumped up charges, with four (the Haymarket Martyrs) being executed [notice the original meaning of “thug”]:

THE DAY WILL COME WHEN OUR SILENCE WILL BE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE VOICES YOU ARE THROTTLING TODAY.
Truly, history has a lot to teach us about the roots of our radicalism. When we remember that people were shot so we could have the 8-hour day; if we acknowledge that homes with families in them were burned to the ground so we could have Saturday as part of the weekend; when we recall 8-year old victims of industrial accidents who marched in the streets protesting working conditions and child labor only to be beat down by the police and company thugs, we understand that our current condition cannot be taken for granted – people fought for the rights and dignities we enjoy today, and there is still a lot more to fight for. The sacrifices of so many people can not be forgotten or we’ll end up fighting for those same gains all over again. This is why we celebrate May Day.

Please read the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument for more information and a fairly thorough historical explanation of the events that led to the monument’s existence. Many radical people from the labor movement at the time are buried next to the Haymarket Martyrs,  including Joe Hill, who was murdered by the state of Utah 100 years ago this year.

The Earth

From Ancient Origins:

The 1st of May is an ancient Northern Hemisphere festival, now known as ‘May Day’, which traditionally marked the return of spring. It is believed that the celebrations originated in agricultural rituals intended to ensure fertility for crops, held by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Later developments included the Celtic festival of Beltane…

For a more thorough explanation see May Day History: An Invitation From the Sun:

The First of May sounds a clarion call announcing the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere. The sun is in its ascendancy, pouring light and warmth onto the Earth, whose creatures bask in the joyous tide of burgeoning life, sensuality, fertility, and abundance. From Scandinavia to Scotland, from Hawaii to China, people come together to celebrate the irresistible rising of the life-force as they are touched by the warmth and light of the sun. There is a promise of love and a reminder of the constant greening and renewal of life.

For those who follow an Earth-based spiritual tradition, this is a sacred time of the year, celebrated in ways that promote a joyful communion both with each other and with the Green World of nature. Although the practices of modern pagans, Wiccans, Druids, and other groups may differ, in general Beltaine is a time of connection, of honoring the “three Ls:” life, light, and love. (“Beltaine” is the Gaelic spelling; it’s also known as “Beltane.”) Read More

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