The December 2012 Photo of the Month by Christian Åslund turns perspective perpendicular. One of many actions in an imaginative global campaign that got Levi’s to commit to working with their suppliers to stop the release of hazardous chemicals into waterways, Danish activists staged a vertical fashion show on the side of a Levi’s store in Copenhagen.
An activist "model" walks up the side of a Levi's store
I picked the picture for the way the “model” appears close to the camera balanced and poised taking a step forward as the photographers lie flat on the ground to shoot is well balanced and the flash firing brings it all together. Continue reading →
A polar bear and her cub walk across melting ice floes above the Arctic Circle north of Russia on Sept. 11, 2012, as sea ice continued to melt below the previous record set in 2007. On September 16, scientists determined that the sea ice had reached the minimum for the year, a loss of at least 45 percent since records began. This new record is not likely to stand long.
Polar Bears pass near the Arctic Sunrise
Daniel Beltrá captured the September 2012 Photo of the Month with the Greenpeace Ship Arctic Sunrise beyond the bears. The combination of the iconic endangered species facing extinction as its habitat melts away and the ship’s scientific mission at the sea ice edge to witness and measure the climate extreme is amazing.
Greenpeace activists interrupt Gazprom's operations in the Arctic
Denis Sinyakov captured the moment when Greenpeace activists in an inflatable boat are winched into the air in the August 2012 Photo of the Month.Attached to the mooring line of the Anna Akhmatova, left, in an attempt to prevent the passenger ship from docking to the Gazprom oil rig Prirazlomnaya, right, the activists stand on the stern and lean into the hull trying to hold on before they are dumped into the Arctic waters of the Pechora Sea. Continue reading →
Today marks my third visit to Russia, the last being in 2006 when I had the privilege of meeting President Putin to talk about the freedoms with which NGOs can operate in this country. In a curious turn of events, and some six years later, both Putin and freedoms are still very much in the news.
You can take your pick from any number of scandals currently making headlines in Russia: planned legislation aimed at hampering NGO activity and the right to protest, draconian laws aimed at internet censorship – even the fallout from the recent performance by punk group Pussy Riot, which has garnered international attention.
What is different, between my last visit and now, however, is the scale and unbridled nature of the public’s response. Russians have taken to the streets en masse to protest the shrinking democratic space in their country – up to 100,000 at various times in Moscow alone to speak out against Putin’s rule. It’s clear that Russians are no longer prepared to tolerate civil injustices and are increasingly prepared to speak up fearlessly in their own defense. Continue reading →
The July Photo of the Month is a powerful image of a Steller sea lion, its head raised high in the air against a beautiful panorama of the Alaskan Arctic.
Sea lion, Dutch Harbor, Alaska
I like the subtle reflection of the giant animal in the glossy mud of the foreshore. He seems rooted in the dark band of earth setting off the lighter upper fur. His posture embodies the rugged angles of the snowy peaks beyond. Continue reading →
The May 2012 Photo of the Month by Melvinas Priananda ties Indonesian rainforest destruction to one of the world’s largest purveyors of fast food. KFC is part of Yum! Brands Inc., which claims to be the world’s largest restaurant company.
Taken on recently cleared and drained rainforest peatland on the island of Sumatra, the giant fast food bag goes to ground zero in a global campaign to convince KFC to stop using throwaway packaging made by destroying the Indonesian rainforest. Continue reading →
The April Photo of the Month by Michael Nagle shows the above ground entry way of Apple’s Fifth Avenue Store in New York after Greenpeace activists released black balloons with the message “Clean Our Cloud.”
I like the way the reflection of the black balloons trapped inside the glass cube seem to trail away from the Apple logo like dark sooty smoke merging with clouds outside and framed by the streetscape. The balloons evoke the air pollution caused by burning coal to create electricity. Continue reading →
This is a picture that should be framed in crime scene tape. The March 2012 Photo of the Month by Wade Payne shows the remains of Kayford Mountain in West Virginia where surface mining since 1986 has brought the mountain down. The people who live there, like Larry Gibson whose family has lived on Kayford for more than 200 years, describes how he now looks down on a hole where he used to look up at the graceful slope of a mighty mountain.
The February 2012 Photo of the Month by Michael Nagle captures the new Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior, backlit by the setting sun as it sails by the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.
The Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior sails past the Statue of Liberty
The silhouette and shadows of the ship etched against the sea, Lady Liberty tall in the glow of a winter sunset, is breathtaking. In the background, plumes of archaic, industrial smoke of New Jersey on the far horizon provide compelling contrast to the ship’s contemporary power and speed. Continue reading →