Often, in my thoughts, I travel to Prague (cz. Praha) as the ultimate steppingstone. A place where time passes differently and where people, at first glance not that polite, seem to know how to enjoy life in their own way. Keeping their distance to politics, faith and national pathos. This distance might be seen by some as pure ignorance and, probably, in many situations it would be just that. Apart from the people, there is the city itself with abundance of parks, beauty of tenement houses and secluded cafes, antique shops, pubs. My favorite district so far - Zizkov giving a great view on Prague from Riegrovy sady park and sharing the opportunity to live in a truly Czech part of the city. But getting to the reason for this note.. Vito Labalestra gives you an alternative view to the above with "three days walking at a moderately slow tempo through the beautiful city of Praha with a Go Pro HD and a few Czech koruna in my pocket". Worth watching.
A music feast is coming each year in late December to Tricity, Poland. The new and the old, the renown and the less know - all come to play their short gigs in various clubs across four days of 'Metropolia Jest Okey' festival ('Metroplis is OK' in English). Every band doing concert started their history in Tricity (Gdynia, Sopot or Gdansk) and what a colorful scene it is.. From rock and punk to reggae and yass surrounded by collective power of visual arts, literature and dance. Started by Larry 'Okey' Ugwu, the director of 'Nadbaltyckie Centrum Kultury' (en. Baltic Centre for Culture) who is an artist himself, and celebrating it's 7th anniversary this year.
Similar to London's time-lapse but yet quite different. Huge and stunning work done by Alexandr Kravtsov on this material. As the author states himself: "Broken camera, lost flash drive, near 100 subway rides, 24 000 photos, endless hours of post production and rendering and 480 gigabytes of material.". Kudos !
London is, together with New York, a Alpha++ city meaning that they are vastly more integrated with the global economy than any other cities. Being international Hubs for creating culture and world trends but also respecting their specific heritage. Here is a short video by Alex Bordetcky and Svetlana Abrashova using time-lapse and hyper-lapse techniques showing London during the day and at night. Enjoy !
New York city as viewed by Alix Bossard. The video shows the well known and the less known spots in NYC together with a diligent and observant view of everyday life - not always in haste or turmoil as usually perceived. Beautiful sky, vibrant colours and good music describing brief moments from one of the world's most interesting cities.
"The Russia Left Behind" is a reportage from Ellen Barry with photographs by Dmitry Kostyukov and videos by Ben C. Solomon It tells a story of a twelve hour journey by car from St. Petersburg to Moscow and visiting Lyuban, Chudovo, Veliky Novgrod, Valdai, Pochinok, Torzhok and Chernaya Gryaz on the way. The drive has shown another side of Russia - the poorer one with people struggling on daily basis just to survive. Each stop being a separate story but all stories aligning towards what the authors described as: "A journey through a heartland on the slow road to ruin.".
Aside of the story comes a beautiful illustration of the drive with great photographs, videos and a map altogether called altogether a newsgraphic. Check it on New York Time's site.
"On the jarring, 12-hour drive from St. Petersburg to Moscow, another Russia comes into view, one where people struggle with problems that belong to past centuries." - The Russia Left Behind, New York Times
Wired has published a short article earlier this year about a project by Michael Danner who was photographing nuclear power plants and their environment in Germany before they are all closed down by 2022 (as agreed by German government). Michael's photographs present not only life around them but also the sites giving the viewer a brief insight into, often, most tightly guarded places there are.
On August 29th a book under the title "Critical mass" has been published with 288 pages covering the architecture, everyday routine and security systems
of all 17 German nuclear power plants, as well as the radioactive
waste repository Asse II and the Gorleben exploratory
mine. The book material is also accompanied by historical photographs and texts that document
the planning and construction phases of the plants and
visualize the social tensions.
"High hopes and deep skepticism have accompanied the
use of nuclear power up to the present day. In the euphoric
mood that prevailed in the 1950s, everything seemed possible;
people took part in an unprecedented economic upswing and
found nuclear energy to be a fascinating technology of the future.
But in the 1980s the optimism of the years of boom gave
way to a skepticism that was further fueled by the catastrophic
nuclear accident in Chernobyl. Anti-nuclear activism has now
shaped the political consciousness of a whole generation. And
the disaster in Fukushima in 2011 heralded yet a new era in the
debate – it seems that a nuclear phase-out in the medium-term
is now inevitable. However, the issue of the final disposal of radioactive
waste is still unresolved." - press release, Kehrer Verlag publishing house
Surely one can say that the subject of nuclear power plants is controversial. On one hand countries build new sites to be self-reliant in terms of energy supplies - especially when gathering energy from natural sources isn't possible to that extent which would cover the needs of the country. On the other hand comes in the subject of nuclear waste and several nuclear disasters which the humanity has suffered together with recent Fukushima Daiichi power plant malfunction and leakage This is also taking it's toll on the people adjacent to the site as well as the whole country. In Germany the government decided to concentrate on cleaner energy possibly due to the tensions Fukushima has created.
Michael Danner's photographs may be regarded as a tribute to those dedicated to work in nuclear power plants as well as local inhabitants, people who often, did not decide to live "next door" but did not want to move from the land that they call home. The book shows the rise and fall of an idea with turmoil caused by accident in Chernobyl along the way.
Photographs are copyrighted by Michael Danner, Kehrer Verlag publishing house or other authors as stated below the images. All rights reserved. Published with consent from both parties.