Africa’s largest country has officially split in two. South Sudan is the world’s newest nation, following Africa’s longest-running civil war. After decades of marginalization and ongoing conflict with the North, South Sudan has finally broken away and is free to carve out its own future.
Optimism is high but the new state, the least developed country on earth, faces immense challenges. The new ruling elite will shape the nations future.
This series of environmental portraits aims to reveal the new power-brokers of South Sudan - the former rebel soldiers, government advisers, ministers, bureaucrats, adventurers, entrepreneurs and international aid workers who have descended on this fledgling nation. Showing the unsettling mix of optimism and brooding menace, we meet the key figures and power structures that create, manage, and exploit a brand new country.
But the question is — in the creation of a brand new nation such as this — who really holds the power? The newly-appointed government ministers fresh from the battlefields? The overseas educated returnee’s from the scattered Diaspora? Or the shadowy foreign advisors, UN chiefs, World Bank executives and foreign businessmen? All are here, contributing to, or feeding off, the birth of this fledgling nation.
Manuel Jiménez Otero, better known as Canario, was born in Orocovis in 1895. He was one of the first Puerto Rican singers to ever record when Pathé, Odeon, and the Rafael Castellanos label released his first sides in the mid-teens.
“In 1920, the Victor Talking Company gave me the opportunity to record Christmas music and plenas from Puerto Rico. In 1924, I started a trio in New York with a great clarinetist, Yeyo Laguna, from Manatí, and Angelito, also from there. Later I formed the Trio Borinquen. A year later, I started recording plenas for Victor, “El Obispo”, “Cuando Las Mujeres Quieren A Los Hombres”, “Santa María, “Qué Tabaco Malo”, the first ones that came out with my words and music. That contract with Victor lasted many years. I recorded close to 200 pieces and other musical genres.” - Canario, quoted in and translated from Pedro Malavet Vegas’ book De Las Bandas Al Trio Borinquen.
Around the turn of the century, Canario remembered “a little old blind lady they dragged in a cart who sang and played maracas, and a blind man that went all around the island with a guitar covered in ribbons. His name was Quintín and he used the money he earned to help other blind men. Even the prostitutes sang their sad songs!”
Hasta aquí llegamos,
Traigo la azucena,
traigo el alhelí,
el nardo y la rosa,
todas para ti.
Southern California Basketmakers
We are delighted to share some images of southern California basket makers and their baskets. These women were from the San Manuel Band of Serrano Indians and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. We are also sharing a page from a report describing different forms of Diegueño baskets. These documents were created in the mid-1930s as interest in Indian Arts & Crafts was increasing within the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, we would like to share just some of the remarkable pieces of Native American history of tribes in southern California and Arizona. All of these records come from our holdings of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (RG 75).
Signatures and Pictographs
Representatives of the Ottawa, Chippewa, Potawatomi, and Wyandot tribes signed this treaty with the United States on November 17, 1807, ceding millions of acres in Ohio and Michigan. Each tribal representative signed with a pictograph. President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of State James Madison signed at the bottom. The tribes received $10,000 collectively, $2,400 annually, and reservations of 1 to 6 square miles.
Treaty between the Ottawa, Chippewa, Wyandot, and Potawatomi Indians, 11/17/1807
Magnum photographer Jacob Aue Sobol made a trek from Moscow to Ulan Bator to Beijing in one month — often making more than 1,000 photographs each day for 28 days straight.
In this short video, he talks about making intimate photographs with strangers in different cultures, and his non-narrative approach to photography and editing.
The video includes more than 30 of his favorite photographs from that trip.
Fils de paysans, Raymond Depardon a fui la ruralité montagneuse pour la ville et revient rendre hommage à une vie qu’il juge moderne. On n’est pas sûr de le suivre sur ce point puisqu’il nous emmène dans un monde sans avenir où la vie semble s’être arrêtée. Cependant, force est de constater qu’il se passe quelque chose devant la caméra de Depardon. Des regards, des gestes, des silences bien souvent plus éloquents que la parole. Ce qui frappe, c’est le hors-champ. La relation qu’a noué le réalisateur avec son sujet saute aux yeux et même si on ne voit jamais (ou si peu) le réalisateur à l’écran, c’est bien elle qui est au coeur du film. Il en ressort des moments touchants de vérité sur le mode de vie des paysans assortie d’une démonstration de cinéma. Aller vers le réel, sans fioritures et mise en scène, tel est le vrai sens de ‘La Vie moderne’.