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Bob Ramsak
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I'm a reporter, editor, photographer and blogger with a lust for travel, art, culture and justice. I've visited 54 countries and counting.
I'm a reporter, editor, photographer and blogger with a lust for travel, art, culture and justice. I've visited 54 countries and counting.

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Just about everything you need to know about this homage to Slovenia's mountaineering culture. :)

#Travel
#Slovenia
#Alps

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I got out to do something not directly work-related just twice during my two weeks in London last month; the most memorable was checking out “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power” at the Tate Modern.

The reasons are plentiful but beyond all was simply the timing. I attended on August 10, one day before a torch lit neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville commandeered the world’s headlines to expose just how alive and well the concept of white supremacy is in certain pockets of the U.S. And two days before a demonstration in that Virginia city turned bloody after a white nationalist plowed his car into a group of counter protesters killing one and injuring at least 19 others.

A national debate ensued, including one which, remarkably enough, left people wondering why the President of the United States, who usually finds it impossible to shut up, was so slow to directly denounce the white supremacists, their rally, and their core beliefs, without first forcing a moral equivalence between the white power camp and those who came to demonstrate against those self-professed Nazis. Many in the pro-Nazi crowd were wearing Donald Trump ‘Make America Great Again’ aka MAGA caps, which is probably one reason for his uncharacteristic if temporary self-deliberation and how he became the first US president to flunk Matt Taibbi’s Don’t hug Nazis rule from “Presidenting for Dummies”.

The events of the days that followed that two-hour visit to the Tate Modern showed that the exhibit was more than a mere look back. Not just a retrospective of the art that helped guide, propel and explain an important, pivotal and turbulent time. The exhibit and the work it celebrated was not only relevant — it was timely and alive. It was now. Framed in the context of the week’s events some 4000 miles away, it shows just how much the struggle depicted still very much continues; at the moment even against a reaction that’s epitomized by the man currently occupying the White House. It’s stayed with me since.

A tour in 16 photos and seven videos.

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A sublime start to a fabulous day at Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of Uganda’s oldest national parks, which lies at the country’s western edge along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Wishing you a sublime start to the day, too. :)

#Travel
#Sunrise
#SunrisePhotography

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When the topic of gentrification in London comes up, it’s likely Hackney will come up in that discussion, sooner rather than later. That’s largely what I though about during a 25-minute stroll through one neighborhood of the northeast London borough which began, innocently enough, as an after lunch photo walk to collect images of anti-Donald Trump graffiti. As you might expect, it was easy to find, and spreading in all directions like an uncontrollable orange weed.

This particular area of the Inner London borough lies at its eastern edge, a short walk northwest from London Stadium aka the 2012 Olympic Stadium and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. I don’t know what it was like a decade ago, when Olympic boom-related construction and renewal began and gentrification first arrived, floating in on a raft of promise on the polluted River Lee. The feel of the old –what’s left of it– is largely industrial, so gentrification may not even be the best way way to describe its present transformation. Locals, please fill me in.

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Naked Muscle-bound Man With a Tail Petting a Boat, Stockholm.

Today's Pic du Jour on the site, the blog's 1,302nd straight.

Stockholm, 16 Aug 2012

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A quiet moment on this large square surrounded on three sides by attractive neo-Renaissance buildings known as the Prokurative.

With a population nearing 200,000 –its metropolitan area is home to about 350,000– Split is the largest city on the Dalmatian coast and the second-largest city in Croatia. You’d be hard-pressed finding a similar scene in the middle of summer.

#Split
#Croatia
#Dalmatia
#BlackandWhite
#Monochrome

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Earlier this evening at the train station in Pivka, a town in southwestern Slovenia. Most train stations in Slovenia are about as inspiring as this one.

Pivka, Slovenia, 12 July 2017

#trainstations
#TravelPhotography

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One way, the Enchanted Forest Trail covers less than two kilometers of southern Chile’s pristine Queulat National Park. But between its trailhead, set in a lush dense evergreen forest and its terminus on a cliff above a clear and clean turquoise-tinted glacier-fed lagoon, it packs a lot into those 1.1 miles. Its name fits.

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On the Rue de L’Ancienne Comedie, Paris. I wonder if that arm is still there.

#StreetArt
#StreetPhotography
#Paris

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I watched 'Les corps interdits', or ‘Banned Bodies’ last night, the closing production of the 2017 Festival of Migrant Film in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana. It’s an experimental short documentary by French documentary director and producer Jeremie Reichenbach about life in the Calais ‘Jungle’ before the migrant jump-off ground between France the United Kingdom was razed last October.

In the 12-minute piece, Reichenbach shares some of the stories about the brutal conditions that migrants were forced to endure in the Calais encampment, told through the voices of some of the men who passed through there. That’s where the somewhat ‘experimental’ aspect comes in: you never see the men’s faces, but only hear their voices — emotional, brutally honest, poetic, sometimes even profound as they describe the limbo circumstances have led them to. Most of the visuals are black and white photographs of ‘The Jungle’, the muddy swamp-like tent city that was home to more than six thousand refugees and migrants during the peak of the ‘crisis’ in Europe in late 2015. The film’s impact wouldn’t have been nearly as strong had he been there with a camera instead of a microphone only.

‘Banned Bodies’ was one of 15 films, most of them shorts, that I managed to catch at the festival since Friday, and among the most powerful. I’m hoping to post more on those later this week. But first, below is a Q&A with Reichenbach that followed the screening; in it he discusses both the subject matter –the realities of life ‘The Jungle’ and the refugees and migrants he met there– and the making of the film itself. It was an informative discussion that, somewhat ironically, lasts nearly four times as long as the film itself.

#refugees
#Calais
#migration
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