Tag Archives: photography

Orin Langelle: Artist of the Month

Note: Orin Langelle is a co-founder of Global Justice Ecology Project and is currently GJEP’s Board Chair.  He is assembling 40 years of his photography that chronicles the movements for social and ecological justice around the world.

From Orin Langelle: I received an email on Friday, 30 August, from Melody Hay, Assistant Editor, TheArtList.com, saying, ‘I found your work to be very fascinating and inspiring.  That said, I would love to offer you the opportunity to be showcased as TheArtList.com’s September 2013 Artist of The Month.’

And on 3 September The ArtList.com Newsletter came out.  Joseph Hollinshead, Editor, TheArtList.com stated, ‘This month we are very excited to showcase Buffalo, NY artist, Orin Langelle, as the September 2013 Artist of the Month… his interview and photography are fascinating and inspiring:’

The Art List: Artist of the Month – September 2013 – Orin Langelle – Buffalo, NY

At the World Social Forum, Belem, Brazil 2009 - 11 x 14 inches matted and mounted 16 x 20

At the World Social Forum, Belem, Brazil 2009 – 11 x 14 inches matted and mounted 16 x 20

Orin Langelle is a concerned photographer, who for four decades has been documenting peoples’ resistance to war, corporate globalization, ecological destruction and human rights abuses.

Langelle’s first photographic assignment was to cover the protests against the Vietnam War at the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach.

He has worked behind rebel lines to document the struggle of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in Mexico. He also co-produced the film Lacandona: The Zapatistas and Rainforest of Chiapas, Mexico to expose the links between the destruction of the resource-rich Lacandon rainforest and the conflict of the government and the Zapatistas.

Langelle has also documented Indigenous movements in Brazil, Nicaragua, Chile, Paraguay, James Bay, Quebec, Indonesia, Kenya and across the US.

United Nations climate conference protest, Durban, South Africa 2011 - 11 x 14 inches matted and mounted 16 x 20

United Nations climate conference protest, Durban, South Africa 2011 – 11 x 14 inches matted and mounted 16 x 20

He has photographed and participated in forest protection campaigns, protests, direct actions and other events at national and international forums including UN climate and other summits, World Bank meetings, the U.S. Democratic and Republican Conventions, the World Water Forum, the World Social Forum, and meetings of the G8 and G20.

Awards: In 1988 and 1989 Langelle received awards from Environmental Action Magazine for “…recognition of photographic excellence in exploring humanity’s effect on the earth and action to protect the environment.

Publications: Langelle’s photographs have appeared in numerous print and online publications from La Jornada, to USA Today, and have illustrated numerous book covers.

Nicaragua man listening in meeting, Bosawas Jungle, Nicaragua 1998 - 11 x 14 inches matted and mounted 16 x 20

Nicaragua man listening in meeting, Bosawas Jungle, Nicaragua 1998 – 11 x 14 inches matted and mounted 16 x 20

Exhibits: Langelle’s photography has been displayed in New York City, Buffalo, NY, Boston, Washington, DC, Madison (WI), San Francisco, Santa Cruz (CA), Eugene (OR), Vermont, Copenhagen, Denmark, Amador Hernandez, Chiapas, Mexico, Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Campo Loro, Gran Chaco, Paraguay.

TAL: How and when did you start creating art?
OL : I became active in the struggle to stop the Vietnam War in 1968 following the police riot against nonviolent protesters at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. I began teaching myself photography in addition to being an anti-war organizer and journalist, and my first assignment was documenting the protests at the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach in 1972.

TAL: What media and genres do you work in?
OL : Photography, photojournalism

TAL: Who or what are your influences?
OL : Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Brisson, W. Eugene Smith and other concerned photographers influence my art. Indigenous Peoples around the world standing up against all odds to protect their communities, lands and livelihoods inspire my passion for social and ecological justice.

The Comandante in La Realidad... - 11 x 14 inches matted and mounted 16 x 20

Comandante in La Realidad… – 11 x 14 inches matted and mounted 16 x 20

TAL: What was your inspiration for : “Comandante in La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico—headquarters for the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee, General Command of the EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation)”?
OL : On January 1st, 1994, the Zapatistas, a small group of Indigenous Peoples In Chiapas, Mexico, rose up against the government of Mexico in protest of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which they called “a death sentence for the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico.” The defiance of the Zapatista struggle to defend their land and livelihoods in the face of extreme repression and military might was my inspiration for this photo.

G8 protest, Rostock, Germany 2007 - 11 x 14 inches matted and mounted 16 x 20

G8 protest, Rostock, Germany 2007 – 11 x 14 inches matted and mounted 16 x 20

TAL: Describe your creative process.
OL : I attempt to capture, what noted photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson describes as ‘the decisive moment.’ To me this decisive moment is the instant a visual image is recorded—when light, composition and the subject unite. As a concerned photographer, my goal is not just to document and expose the harsh reality of injustice—much of which is linked with the struggle for the land—but to inspire viewers to participate in changing the world, while helping empower those striving for justice because they know that photographs of their struggle are revealed to a larger audience.

Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) protest, Miami, FL 2003 - 11 x 14 inches matted and mounted 16 x 20

Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) protest, Miami, FL 2003 – 11 x 14 inches matted and mounted 16 x 20

TAL: What are you working on currently?
OL :  I am currently reviewing and four decades of my work. I am also collaborating with the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York to document the effects of the Peace Bridge that spans the Niagara River and connects the Canada to the U.S. Ever since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect in 1994, commercial traffic has increased with trucks idling on the bridge and in customs for hours on the NY side. These toxic diesel fumes are having major impacts on the health of the people in Buffalo, NY. The Latino community, which is closest to the Peace Bridge, is the first and worst impacted. I will document this community and tell the stories of the residents and their suffering due to this unjust situation, with the aim to raise awareness of the problem and help change it.

TAL: What are your near/long term goals as an artist?
OL : My near term goal is collaboration with the Clean Air Coalition of Western NY (described above). My long term goal is to putting my photographs—which document decades of the global struggle for soclal and ecological justice–in order so it can be used to counter the societal amnesia from which we collectively suffer. This is not merely a chronicling of history, but a call out to inspire new generations to participate in the making of a new history. For there has been no time when such a call has been so badly needed.

TAL: Where can people view/purchase your work?
OL : PhotoLangelle.org

All Images © Orin Langelle
All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Africa, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Indigenous Peoples, Latin America-Caribbean, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, UNFCCC, War

Greek video on climate change: photos and music

Note: GJEP believes that a fundamental transformation in the way the dominant culture treats the planet and all of its inhabitants is essential to stopping climate change.  Until then, no amount of wind turbines or solar panels will address this crisis (although we do like John Lennon’s song Imagine).

–The GJEP Team

Source: YouTube

The planet is threatened by climate change and its inhabitants, all of us are in danger. Global warming causes extreme weather events: Heat waves, droughts, floods, hurricanes, melting ice … and many that can not be predicted.

Global warming must stop.

Climate change affects all inhabitants of the Earth, all of us.

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Videos

Photos: Oct 15 rally and march in Burlington, VT

On Saturday, 2011 over 500 people participated in the October 15th Global Day of Action in Burlington, VT.  Other rallies and marches happened in the VT towns of Montpelier, Rutland and Brattleboro. The following photographs were taken in Burlington by Orin Langelle from Global Justice Ecology Project:

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle, Politics

July Photo of the Month: Cree Women, Whapmagoostui Quebec 1993

First Nations Gathering, Whapmagoostui, Quebec, Canada  1993
Photo: Langelle

Eighteen years ago, in July of 1993, Anne Petermann and Orin Langelle were invited by Cree Chief Mathew Mukash to visit Cree territory to document the effects of, and resistance to, Hydro-Quebec’s damming of rivers on their traditional lands to provide electricity to Canada and the US.

In the above photograph, Cree elder women listen intently during the First Annual Whapmagoostui (Great Whale) Gathering on the banks of Hudson Bay near James Bay.  At this gathering, Cree and Inuit peoples came together to discuss their resistance to Hydro-Quebec’s plans to expand their hydro-electric projects by building a new dam on the Great Whale river.

Many stories were told during this gathering about how First Nation Peoples are enduring the plundering of their land and about their struggle to protect it.

One testimony described how the Cree who lived on their ancestral island of Fort George were relocated to flimsy houses in the prefabricated town of Chisasibi on the mainland, when Hydro-Quebec built a massive dam on the La Grande river, threatening their Fort George island home.  Since the relocation, the Cree in Chisasibi have been plagued by a high rate of alcoholism, drug abuse and suicide.  Some people in the community developed symptoms of mercury poisoning from eating fish from their traditional fishing areas, due to mercury leaching out of the flooded soil and into the new reservoirs.

“Cree culture has a lot to offer in the area of nature, which is something very much needed in the world.  In western society, everything is segregated.  That is what is ruining the world.  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

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Orin Langelle, GJEP’s Co-director/Strategist, is currently working on a book of four decades of his concerned photography.  From mid-June to mid-July Langelle worked on his book as an artist in residence at the Blue Mountain Center in New York’s Adirondack Mountains.

Also check out the GJEP Photo Gallery, past Photos of the Month posted on GJEP’s website, or Langelle’s photo essays posted on GJEP’s Climate Connections blog.

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle, Photo of the Month

Theater in the Adirondacks: Conference of the Birds…and a Champagne Cruise!

Note: GJEP Co-director Orin Langelle is finishing his Blue Mountain Center Artist in Residency at the end of this week and forwarded this post.  All of the photographs in the article are from Langelle.  Stay tuned as sometime next week as he will tell what it was like for him to relive four decades of his photography.
–The GJEP Team

Cross-Posted on July 12, 2011 from Blue Mountain Center

Residents Andrew Boyd and David Lloyd talking to Director Stephan Svoboda

Last June, Stephan Svoboda, Executive Artistic Director of the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts, directed a site-specific rendition of Mary Zimmerman’s play Metamorphoses (an adaptation of the classic Ovid poem) in BMC’s boathouse.  The actors splashed around in the water and bravely swam under the dock slips, creatively using the found space of the lake to tailor their production specifically to an Adirondack setting.  Svoboda’s production of Metamorphoses was a huge success.

St. Williams Church at Long Point

This Saturday, Svoboda and his lively troop of professional actors put on this year’s site-specific play in the found space of St. William’s Church at Long Point–a historic church turned non-for-profit, non-denominational, boat access only retreat and cultural center.

This year The Adirondack Lakes Summer Theater Festival presented an adaptation of The Conference of the Birds, originally written and produced by legendary stage director Peter Brook.

The play, which depicts a conference of birds searching for philosophical answers and a spiritual relationship with “God,” explores various dramatic and storytelling styles from around the world.

Stephan Svoboda's "The Conference of the Birds"

BMC residents not only had the opportunity to attend and enjoy the production, but also to ride the historic WW Durant as the sun set over Raquette Lake for a celebratory champagne cruise following the play. Blue Mountain Center staff are excited to bring the Second Session of residents to The Art Center’s next production, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which will be at Long Lake Town Hall on July 14th, at 8pm.

 

Sunset View from the WW Durant

Resident Orin Langelle took these photographs. Langelle is working on four decades of his concerned photography here at Blue Mountain Center. To sample his latest photographic essay, please go to Chiapas, Mexico: From Living in the jungle to ‘existing’ in “little houses made of ticky-tacky…” More of his work work can be found at Climate Connections.

-SMK

About Blue Mountain Center

The Center is a turn-of-the century Adirondack lodge in a pristine and peaceful setting of woods, lakes and mountains. Life at Blue Mountain Center is organized to maintain privacy and quiet. The atmosphere is informal and cooperative. Writers are lodged in individual bedroom/studies in the Main House or the Grey Cottage; visual artists and composers have separate studios. Breakfast and dinner are served in the dining room. Linens and laundry facilities are provided. The amenities of the Center, including a tennis court, lakes, boats and hiking trails, promise even the most diligent worker diversion and relaxation. The telephone is considered something of an outsider at the Center. There is a phone for guests’ use, as well as a computer with email access and a laptop connection. To foster serenity, TV and cellular phones are not welcome.

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Filed under Climate Change, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle