LANGELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

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

Posts from the ‘Issues’ category

I was honored last week to present some of my photography for a class, ‘Resilience: Through the Lens’ to community photographers in Buffalo, NY.

The largest Ayoreo concentration camp is Campo Lorro, Paraguay. photo: Langelle

‘Resilience: Through the Lens’ was organized by Rebecca Newberry, the Executive Director of The Clean Air Coalition of Western New York, and Lauren Tent, the Education Director for the CEPA Gallery | Contemporary Photography and Visual Arts Center. My presentation to the class was held on October 4, 2018 at the CEPA Gallery.

Woman and daughter walking—another way out of Amador Hernandez is to walk the fifteen kilometers. The community was slated for forced relocation but resisted. photo: Langelle

I’m a member of CEPA and a co-recipient of Gallery’s 2017 Member’s Exhibition Award (please see the bottom of this post for further information regarding that exhibition and my subsequent solo show at CEPA’s Flux Gallery).

Although part of my presentation concerned my national and international photography that I have used to expose social, economic and ecological injustice, my main focus was my work with people of different communities. I showed photographs of the first concentration camp of Ayoreo Indigenous Peoples in Paraguay (above left), resistance in Amador Hernandez, an Indigenous village in the jungle of Mexico’s state of Chiapas (second above left) and most recently a detailed look into my work with Union Hill, a historic Black community founded by Freedmen and slaves.

Two members of the Union Hill community in Buckingham County, Virginia read a list of who was buried in this basically unmarked slave and Freedmen cemetery. The cemetery was hidden for many years. The list also contained the amount slave traders sold people to slave owners. photo: Langelle

The community of Union Hill is fighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and a 55,000 horsepower compressor station planned by Dominion Energy. There are Freedmen and slave unmarked burial sites on or near the site where Dominion wants to build the compressor station.

Local residents see Dominion Energy’s disregard for their community as part of an established pattern of environmental racism in Virginia. The African American community fighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a strong and proud community.

While at the burial site in Union Hill (above right) I was allowed to capture the intense feelings of the people present. To all it was a sad moment but, also a sense of closure to know where their ancestors are buried.

I discussed the impact that my photos and strategic communications had – and are still having.

This was no doubt one of my best experiences in sharing my images that are meant to foster social change while documenting history. The attendees at CEPA asked very pertinent questions and we engaged in an inspiring dialogue about photography and social change.

More on Orin Langelle and CEPA

On January 27, 2017 the CEPA Gallery (Contemporary Photography & Visual Arts Center) opened its yearly CEPA Gallery Members’ Exhibition. CEPA Gallery’s 2017 Members’ Exhibition featured the photography and photo-related work of some of Western New York’s most talented artists.

Photographers Natalie Dilenno and Orin Langelle received the 2017 Exhibition Awards.

The Exhibition Awards provided both Langelle and Dilenno to have solo exhibits at the CEPA Gallery in 2018.

Langelle Photography is a component of Global Justice Ecology Project‘s Global Justice Media Program

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment

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

 

Leave a comment

Souparna Lahiriri [see NOTE below] (right) at the Global Forest Coalition World Cafe that discussed forests, trees and GFC’s climate change campaign (which includes the Life as Commerce, post-Paris plantations and bioenergy campaigns). photo Orin Langelle

Montreal, Quebec, Canada (4 July 2018) – The Global Forest Coalition started day two of their 2nd Members Assembly with regional meetings that included Indigenous Peoples, forest activists and researchers from around the world.

The morning’s proceedings discussed regional proposals for GFC’s work programs from 2018 to 2022 and suggestions for improvements in GFC’s functioning as a coalition.

GFC’s 2nd Members Assembly is occurring while the United Nation Convention on Biological Diversity is holding a Subsidiary Meeting (SBSTTA) which has a major focus on synthetic biology and other dangerous new technologies such as gene drives, also taking place in Montreal.

Anne Petermann and Orin Langelle represented Global Justice Ecology Project in the day’s meeting. GJEP attended GFC’s Members Assembly to discuss GJEP’s work on the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees. – Orin Langelle

__________________________

Breaking news

[NOTE] 6 May, OPINION/INDIGENOUS RIGHTS: Al Jazeera by Souparna Lahiriri,  Saving tigers, killing people – States are evicting and murdering Indigenous people in the guise of biodiversity conservation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leave a comment

Please view the exhibit here HERE

PREMIER EXHIBIT @ CEPA: CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY & VISUAL ARTS CENTER

January 26 – February 24, 2018 at CEPA’s FLUX Gallery (1st Floor), 617 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203

Shut out – Indigenous Peoples’ protest at United N Climate Conference. (Bali, Indonesia 2007)

CEPA Gallery is pleased to present, Portraits of Struggle, a selection of photographs spanning four decades by award winning photographer and activist Orin Langelle. Continued on CEPA’s Portraits of Struggle page.

 

1 Comment

¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art announces a special Artist’s Talk for the show Climate Change, System Change, Personal Change by artist Ashley Powell on First Friday, April 1 at 7 p.m. The gallery is located at 148 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, NY’s Allentown District.

Artist’s Talk: Powell will discuss her work and its relation to environmental racism, a topic of special relevance right now in light of the rising awareness of rising rates of lead poisoning in poor children and children of color in Flint Michigan, as well as right here in Buffalo.  Powell’s installation challenges people to think about environmental racism and classism.

Artwork: 2016 Ashley Powell, The Solution (To All Our Problems) Water Filter - 2016

Artwork: 2016 Ashley Powell, The Solution (To All Our Problems) Water Filter – 2016

The show Climate Change, System Change, Personal Change includes two interrelated exhibits:

       • Black on the Ground, White in the Air, artwork from Ashley Powell
       • Climate Change—Realities and Resistance, by international photographers from the Critical Information Collective makes its US debut after hanging at the UN Paris climate summit in December

The artist’s talk will be held on First Friday, April 1 at 7 p.m. at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art, 148 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. The gallery will be open for First Friday from 6-9 p.m.

Wine and hors d’oeuvres provided. The show runs through April 29.

For further information please contact Kip Doyle, Media Coordinator, +1.716.867.4080  <[email protected]>

Leave a comment
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.

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

Forest Cover 47: Bioenergy Special Edition, covers many different issues that are very much connected to the fate of our planet including bioenergy, and all that that falls under that category. Covered also are  genetically engineered trees, GMO soy, unsustainable livestock production and much more.

I photographed the front and back covers of this publication, Forest Cover 47: Bioenergy Special Edition, by the Global Forest Coalition.  The front cover was photographed in Mapuche Territory (Chile). And my photo essay “The Pillaging of Paraguay” is featured inside.

The print edition can be downloaded in this hi-resolution PDF.  To subscribe to future editions of Forest Cover, please send an email to <[email protected]>

***forestcover-big2-1

Leave a comment

“All signs show that Paraguay, both its territory and its population, are under attack by conquerors, but conquerors of a new sort. These new ‘conquistadors’ are racing to seize all available arable land and, in the process, are destroying peoples’ cultures and the country’s biodiversity — just as they are in many other parts of the planet, even in those areas that fall within the jurisdiction of ‘democratic’ and ‘developed’ countries. Every single foot of land is in their crosshairs. Powerful elites do not recognize rural populations as having any right to land at all.” – Dr. Miguel Lovera

Photo Essay by Orin Langelle. Analysis at the end of the essay by Dr. Miguel Lovera from the case study: The Environmental and Social Impacts of Unsustainable Livestock Farming and Soybean Production in Paraguay. Dr. Lovera is the ex-president of SENAVE, the National Plant and Protection Agency during the government of Fernando Lugo.

Woman holding photo of baby whose condition is blamed on Monsanto during a rally in Asunción, Paraguay, 3 December 2014.  PhotoLangelle.org

Woman holding photo of a baby whose condition is blamed on Monsanto and agrotoxics during a rally in Asunción, Paraguay, 3 December 2014. PhotoLangelle.org

I recently returned from Paraguay and observed corporate dreams coming true at the expense of the people and biodiversity…

Stay tuned.

– Orin Langelle, 16 December 2014

Leave a comment
EnglishFrenchGermanItalianPortugueseRussianSpanish