Category Archives: Photo Essays by Orin Langelle

An Activist and Photojournalist’s Thoughts on Ferguson, MO

Orin Langelle, director of Langelle Photography, a project of the Global Justice Ecology Project, has been shooting images from the front lines of international social and climate justice events and protests for decades. As a concerned photographer and Missouri native, he is especially moved by the riots, protests and police brutality erupting in Ferguson, MO. The situation reminds him of a demonstration at the National Governors’ Association Conference in Burlington, VT, in 1995.

Two protesters are arrested attempting to blockade President Bill Clinton’s motorcade during the National Governors’ Association Conference in Burlington, VT in 1995.  They were protesting to draw attention to the impending execution of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Two protesters are arrested attempting to blockade President Bill Clinton’s motorcade during the National Governors’ Association Conference in Burlington, VT in 1995. They were protesting to draw attention to the impending execution of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Langelle will soon open a new gallery, ¡Buen Vivir! in Buffalo, NY, featuring images he has taken from the front lines of the fight against social and environmental injustice. Read his original post here.

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Orin Langelle responds to Rolling Stone article, “Green Going Gone: The Tragic Deforestation of the Chaco”

Orin Langelle, Board Chair, Global Justice Ecology Project

I am impressed to see attention being given to the Chaco region by Christine MacDonald’s Rolling Stone article.  I also witnessed some of the tragedy of the Chaco and Paraguay itself.

In 2009 I traveled to the Chaco with Dr. Miguel Lovera, my friend and the chairperson of Global Forest Coalition and part of the Ayoreo support group, Iniciativa Amotocodie.

Dr. Lovera became National Secretary for Plant Safety for Paraguay during Fernado Lugo’s presidency. In her article, MacDonald writes that “Lugo was swept from office in 2012 [by] an impeachment carried out by the Paraguayan Congress.” My colleagues in Paraguay would disagree with the term “impeachment.” To them it was a coup that forced Lugo out of office in 2012.

Because of the coup, Dr. Lovera lost his job as National Secretary for Plant Safety for Paraguay.  While National Secretary, Lovera was in constant battle with the soy mafia and tried to stop the introduction of GMO cotton. Lovera had armed guards in his home due to his ongoing campaign to stop GMOs. No doubt Paraguay’s agribusiness leaders and their friends at Monsanto celebrated the fact that Lovera was removed from office.

 When I was in the Chaco in 2009 it was evident that things were bad and were going to get worse.  One of the tragic realities is the ongoing hostilities against the indigenous Ayoreo People of the Chaco. I was invited by the Ayoreo community to photograph Campo Lorro, where some of the first Ayoreo People captured were sent when Mennonite farmers established settlements on their land.

Below is one of photos I shot in Campo Lorro for the photo essay “Sharing the Eye.”

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There are still uncontacted Ayoreo living in the Gran Chaco. They do not want contact with “civilization” and wish to remain in their forest home. Today, however, cattle ranches, expansion of genetically modified soybean plantations for biofuels, hydroelectric dams and mineral exploitation threaten the forests of the Chaco.

The Rolling Stone article by Christine MacDonald definitely documents the ongoing tragedy of the Chaco. A subtitle in her article, “Animal Cruelty is the Price We Pay for Cheap Meat,” highlights the policies of US-based agribusiness giants Cargill Inc., Bunge Ltd., and Archer Daniels Midland Co.

Besides reading the Rolling Stone article, you can also see more from Global Forest Coalition on the negative impact of unsustainable livestock production in South America, the continent with the highest deforestation rates on earth: Redirecting Government Support for Unsustainable Livestock Production key to Biodiversity Conservation, Claim New Report and Briefing Paper.

Read the Rolling Stone Article:  Green Going Gone: the Tragic Deforestation of the Chaco, by Christine MacDonald

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Filed under Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Land Grabs, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle, South America, Uncategorized

GJEP board chair unveils social and environmental justice photography at #SeeMeTakeover in Times Square

Photography amplifies the truth with stillness. In that single frame, that isolated millisecond, a truth is revealed, a visual message that can be understood regardless of language, culture or economic status.

G8 Riot Clown

G8 Riot Clown

For Orin Langelle, photographer and board chair of Global Justice Ecology Project, that message is to document a truth we face at GJEP every day – the struggle to create a world that prioritizes social and environmental justice. Since 1972 Langelle has given a voice to these conflicts in his powerful images, documenting peoples’ resistance to war, corporate globalization, ecological destruction and human rights abuses. From protestors and policemen at Vietnam War protests to going behind rebel lines with the Zapatistas in Mexico, Langelle has seen the world change through the lens of his camera.

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You don’t need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows

28 May 2014 by Orin Langelle, Source: PhotoLangelle.org

Note: Orin Langelle is the Director of Langelle Photography.  He is also the Chair of the Board of Directors of Global Justice Ecology Project and a member of the Critical Information Collective.  Langelle Photography is part of GJEP’s Social Justice Media Program.

When Bob Dylan wrote those words in 1965 for his song Subterranean Homesick Blues, he was not referring to the climate crisis, though these words are certainly appropriate today as we stare down the jaws of the oncoming climate catastrophe.  One does not need to be a meteorologist to know that if we do not begin taking real, effective and just action to address the climate crisis, we are all in deep s#*t.

I shot this portrait of Bill Ayers, former Weathermen and Weather Underground founder, prior to his event at local independent radical bookstore Burning Books, here in Buffalo on 21 May.  This is the first of a series of candid portraits I will be taking of radical movement figures in collaboration with Burning Books.  The point of this endeavor is to document some of the people that have participated in the making of history in the ongoing struggle for freedom and justice – a history of victories, losses, mistakes and successes, that we can and should learn from.

Bill Ayres 1 DSC_0031Portrait of Bill Ayers before he spoke at Burning Books on 21 May 2014 in Buffalo, NY.  Photo: Langelle

From Wikipedia (for what it’s worth):

William Charles “Bill” Ayers (born December 26, 1944) is an American elementary education theorist and a former leader in the counterculture movement that opposed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He is known for his 1960s radical activism as well as his current work in education reform, curriculum, and instruction. In 1969 he co-founded the Weather Underground, a self-described communist revolutionary group that conducted a campaign of bombing public buildings (including police stations, the U.S. Capitol Building, and the Pentagon) during the 1960s and 1970s in response to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

“He is a retired professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, formerly holding the titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar. During the 2008 US presidential campaign, a controversy arose over his contacts with then-candidate Barack Obama. He is married to Bernardine Dohrn, who was also a leader in the Weather Underground.”

More on Ayers in Wikipedia and in The Buffalo News ’60s radical Ayers still wants a revolution

About the Portrait

I met Bill in 1969 before he went underground.  Before taking his photo, I told him that.   Bill said, “You looked the same then as you do now.”  I returned the humorous compliment.

I was glad to have this chance to take candid photos of Bill, and to talk to and know him better.

I think that a portrait done well is very personal and can bring out the real person – which is my goal.  I want the real image of the real person.  The image of someone who is deeply committed to what they do and provides us a glimpse of why they do it.

This is history and these stories and faces need to be remembered.

About the radical independent bookstore hosting his talk, Ayers commented, “Burning Books stands strong as an essential community space where we can gather, dream big, and act on what the known demands of us.”

How true that is.  And I’m glad to be working with them to collaborate on this portrait project.  Special thanks to Leslie James Pickering and all at Burning Books for making this possible. More information on how Leslie and Burning Books are standing up to the FBI can be found here. - Orin Langelle

And from the archives of the FBI:

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Memorial Photo Tribute for Pete Seeger’s 95th Birthday, May 3rd

by Orin Langelle, Langelle Photography

For Pete  

Born: 3 May 1919, New York City, NY 
Died: 27 January 2014, New York City, NY

pete seeger

 

Please have a look at these photos I took of Pete Seegerhttp://wp.me/p2Mr2B-TX last year during this performance in Buffalo, NY.  I believe this was the second to the last performance by Pete Seeger.

I thought it would be appropriate to release them in remembrance of what would have been his 95th birthday, this Saturday, 3 May 2014.

¡Pete Seeger Presente!

 

 

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Events, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle, Vietnam War

Breaking: Pete Seeger, Songwriter and Champion of Folk Music, Dies at 94

Note: Orin Langelle and Anne Petermann of Global Justice Ecology Project had the privilege to see one of Pete Seeger’s last concerts in Buffalo, NY on November 9th.  Orin took photos of the event which he posted on his website.  You can view them here.  Pete Seeger was a powerful voice for change and part of the incredible uprising of the 1950s-1970s that helped end a war and stop some of the worst racist abuses in this country.  ¡Pete Seeger Presente!

–The GJEP Team

By JON PARELESJAN. 28, 2014, Source: New York Times

Pete Seeger performs in Buffalo, NY in November 2014.  PhotoLangelle.org

Pete Seeger performs in Buffalo, NY in November 2014. PhotoLangelle.org

Pete Seeger, the singer, folk-song collector and songwriter who spearheaded an American folk revival and spent a long career championing folk music as both a vital heritage and a catalyst for social change, died Monday. He was 94 and lived in Beacon, N.Y.

His death was confirmed by his grandson, Kitama Cahill Jackson, who said he died of natural causes at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Mr. Seeger’s career carried him from singing at labor rallies to the Top 10 to college auditoriums to folk festivals, and from a conviction for contempt of Congress (after defying the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s) to performing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at an inaugural concert for Barack Obama.

For Mr. Seeger, folk music and a sense of community were inseparable, and where he saw a community, he saw the possibility of political action.

In his hearty tenor, Mr. Seeger, a beanpole of a man who most often played 12-string guitar or five-string banjo, sang topical songs and children’s songs, humorous tunes and earnest anthems, always encouraging listeners to join in. His agenda paralleled the concerns of the American left: He sang for the labor movement in the 1940s and 1950s, for civil rights marches and anti-Vietnam War rallies in the 1960s, and for environmental and antiwar causes in the 1970s and beyond. “We Shall Overcome,” which Mr. Seeger adapted from old spirituals, became a civil rights anthem.

Mr. Seeger was a prime mover in the folk revival that transformed popular music in the 1950s. As a member of the Weavers, he sang hits including Lead Belly’s “Goodnight, Irene” — which reached No. 1 — and “If I Had a Hammer,” which he wrote with the group’s Lee Hays. Another of Mr. Seeger’s songs, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” became an antiwar standard. And in 1965, the Byrds had a No. 1 hit with a folk-rock version of “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” Mr. Seeger’s setting of a passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes.

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Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Climate Change, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle, Politics, Vietnam War

KPFK Earth Watch Interview: Orin Langelle on WTO Meetings in Bali

Orin Langelle, Founder and Board Chair of Global Justice Ecology Project discusses the WTO meetings in Bali taking place from 3-6 December, as well as several significant anniversaries for the global movement against neoliberal corporate globalization.  He also mentions the photo exhibit he has in Bali at the Peoples’ Camp taking place there parallel to the WTO meetings.  The exhibit can be viewed here: http://wp.me/p2Mr2B-JC

Candlelight memorial for Lee Kyung Hae at the WTO ministerial in Cancun in 2003 where Hae committed suicide in protest of WTO rules on agriculture.

Candlelight memorial for South Korean farmer Lee Kyung Hae at the WTO ministerial in Cancun in 2003 where Hae committed suicide in protest of WTO rules on agriculture.  PhotoLangelle.org

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Globalization photographs at the Bali, Indonesia World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings

Fence is torn down during protests against the WTO ministerial in Cancún, Mexico in 2003 shortly after the suicide of South Korean farmer Lee Kyung Hae.  PhotoLangelle.org Fence is torn down during protests against the WTO ministerial in Cancún, Mexico in 2003 shortly after the suicide of South Korean farmer Lee Kyung Hae.  PhotoLangelle.org

Fence is torn down during protests against the WTO ministerial in Cancún, Mexico in 2003 shortly after the suicide of South Korean farmer Lee Kyung Hae. PhotoLangelle.org

Buffalo, NY (US) – Orin Langelle, a Buffalo-based photojournalist, in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Research Network [1], has a new photo exhibit documenting two decades of protests against globalizationhttp://wp.me/p2Mr2B-JC  that is being shown during the WTO ministerial in Bali, Indonesia.  The meeting started yesterday and ends on 6 December.

The exhibit is titled Peoples’ Struggle Against the WTO and Neoliberal Globalization.

The exhibit marks the 10th anniversary of the death of South Korean farmer Lee Kyung Hae, who took his life in 2003 while atop the barricades surrounding the WTO Ministerial in Cancún, Mexico. He wore a sign around his neck that said WTO Kills Farmers. His action was part of massive protests in Cancún against the trade policies of the WTO.  Moments before he died, Lee Kyung Hae said, “Don’t worry about me, just struggle your hardest.”  He was a member of La Via Campesina [2], the International Peasant’s Movement.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle, WTO