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Someone once asked David Hume Kennerly if he ever held back when he was President Gerald R. Ford’s White House photographer. Though it was sometimes difficult — as when the Fords cried after his 1976 election loss — Mr. Kennerly said he did not. “I think it comes from my background,” he said. “It comes from journalism.”
New York ex-pat Shannon Jensen photographed the remains of Sudanese refugees’ worn and tattered shoes in A Long Walk. The series is a simple but profound indicator of the difficult journey where thousands fled extreme war and violence. Documenting the event, Jensen felt it was important to capture the struggle of these people in a compelling, empathetic way distinctive from the multitude of refugee imagery. It was when she came across a photo she had taken of a family holding their crumbling shoes that inspiration struck. For Jensen, chronicling these shoes became a universal, relatable symbol of the harrowing pilgrimage made across the Sudan.
Nineteen years after the beginning of multiracial democracy in South Africa, the Born Frees—the first generation of the so-called rainbow nation—have come of age. These young South Africans, whose parents lived through the transition from a brutal system of white-led racial segregation, under apartheid, to a country that sought to become a democracy with twelve national languages and one of the world’s most progressive constitutions, have developed a voice and identity of their own. During the past two years, the photographer Krisanne Johnson travelled across South Africa documenting the Born Frees.
The Eighteenth Amendment was repealed on December 5, 1933, with ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Despite the efforts of Heber J. Grant, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Utah convention helped ratify the Twenty-first Amendment. While Utah can be considered the deciding thirty-sixth state to ratify the Amendment and make it law, both Pennsylvania and Ohio approved it the same day that Utah did.
One of the main reasons why enforcement of Prohibition did not proceed smoothly was the inefficient means of enforcing it. From its inception the Eighteenth Amendment lacked legitimacy in the eyes of the public who had previously been drinkers and law-abiding citizens. In some instances the public viewed Prohibition laws as “arbitrary and unnecessary”, and therefore were willing to break them. Law enforcement agents found themselves overwhelmed by the rise in illegal, wide-scale distribution of alcohol due to the Volstead Act. The magnitude of their task was not anticipated and law enforcement agencies lack the resources needed. Additionally, enforcement of the law under the Eighteenth Amendment lacked a centralized authority. Many attempts to impose Prohibition laws were deterred due to the lack of transparency between federal and state authorities. Furthermore, American geography contributed to the difficulties in enforcing Prohibition. The varied terrain of valleys, mountains, lakes, and swamps, as well as the extensive seaways, ports, and borders the United States shared with Canada and Mexico made it exceedingly difficult for Prohibition agents to stop bootleggers given their lack of resources. Ultimately it was recognized with its repeal that the means by which the law was to be enforced was not pragmatic, and in many cases the legislature did not match the general public opinion.
Prohibition was a major blow to the alcoholic beverage industry and its repeal was a step toward the amelioration of one sector of the economy. An example of this is the case of St. Louis, one of the most important alcohol producers before prohibition started, who was ready to resume its position in the industry as soon as possible. Its major brewery had “50,000 barrels” of beer ready for distribution since March 22, 1933, and was the first alcohol producer to resupply the market; others soon followed. After repeal, stores obtained liquor licenses and restocked for business. After beer production resumed, thousands of workers found jobs in the industry again.
Prohibition created a black market that competed with the formal economy, which already was under pressure. Roosevelt was elected based on the New Deal, which promised economic improvement that was only possible if the formal economy competed successfully against various economic forces, including the black market. This influenced his support for ratifying the Twenty-first amendment, which repealed the Prohibition. (Via. Wikipedia)
…There are still lingering reminders of Prohibition. It was only last April that the governor of Kentucky signed a bill repealing a Prohibition-era ban on Election Day sales of alcohol. And in 2012, 33 of the 50 states still permitted towns and counties to be “dry,” or prohibit sale of alcohol within their borders.
To mark the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition the National Constitution Center, a nonprofit devoted to the U.S. Constitution, is sponsoring a traveling exhibit, “American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition,” that began its national tour last month in St. Paul, Minnesota where it runs through March 16. (Via. CBS)
Last Saturday, shoppers at a supermarket in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, filled their carts with groceries and non-perishable items, preparing for the next day’s elections as one might for a hurricane. There was good reason to fear that disorder might follow the vote: after the country’s elected President, Manuel Zelaya, was deposed in a military coup in June of 2009, the Army patrolled the streets in the months leading up to a contested election that November, which brought the conservative National Party into office.
There were eight Presidential candidates on the ballot—reflecting a degree of popular discontent with the country’s two traditional ruling parties, the National Party and the Liberal Party—and the frontrunners held radically divergent ideological positions. Juan Orlando Hernández, of the National Party, campaigned on a platform of law and order, promising to reduce the country’s homicide rate, which last year was the highest in the world. The newly formed left-wing Liberty and Refoundation Party (known as Libre), is led by Xiomara Castro, the wife of the deposed President, who promised to rewrite the country’s constitution and initiate significant land reforms in an attempt to lift Hondurans from poverty—essentially picking up where Zelaya left off, before his radical tilt and increasingly cozy relationship with Hugo Chávez led to his ouster.
Shit, This guy is trying TOO hard, I’m beginning to not trust him. He must be up to something.
Media giant Clear Channel recently stirred up some controversy when it decided to flat out reject an advertising image of an American soldier embracing a veiled Muslim woman from its Times Square billboards due to its ‘uncomfortable’ nature.
The photo is part of an advertising campaign for SnoreStop, a line of over-the-counter snoring remedies. The company has already placed the image on a billboard in Los Angeles, with the pitch: “If we can keep this couple together, we can keep anyone together.”
For the past three weeks, The New Yorker photo department has followed the journey of the photographer Jon Lowenstein and the writer Jeff Kelly Lowenstein as they documented Chile’s 2013 Presidential elections and the fortieth anniversary of Pinochet’s military coup. This week, the brothers turned their attention to Chilean youth, spending time with members of the nonprofit TECHO and with Jaime Parada, the first openly gay citizen elected to public office in Chile.
Spasibo, the Chechen Compromise | Davide Monteleone
The year 2000 was year zero for Chechen culture and its tormented identity. Putin reduced Grozny to rubble, and the social and cultural fabric was destroyed. Deprived of their homes and belongings, thousands of Chechen refugees were branded not as victims, but as guilty, evil people. Once again, they were forced out of their country. Twelve years after the official end of the latest war against Moscow, what has become of the republic?
For my latest project, I wanted to go back to investigate Chechen identity today. Above all, I wanted to know whether Chechnya or Russia had emerged victorious from the conflict. The answer is undeniably Russia. But if you look at it from a different standpoint, the answer is perhaps not so clear-cut.
Today, Chechnya is an autonomous republic in the Russian Federation. Subdued and pacified by force, Chechnya was depicted as a winner in official Russian rhetoric, held up as a model of virtue and an example for the neighboring republics in the Caucasus. At the same time, democracy was abolished, the opposition was crushed, all dissent was silenced and there has been a sort of freeze on social progress — even an outright return to the Middle Ages.
The responsibilities of being president are many, but few are as incongruous with the gravity of the job as the yearly blessing of a wide-breasted white turkey, scoring them a pass from the chopping block. Normally seen in pictures posing with the most influential individuals in the world, come November our nation’s esteemed leader is patting the knobby, bobbing head of a confused bird.
The tradition’s origins are, like most things, shrouded in a vast government conspiracy to hide the truth. Some rumors claim the tradition started as far back as Lincoln, when his son Tad implored him to write out a presidential pardon for the Christmas turkey. In 1873, during Grant’s presidency, a Rhode Island man named Horace Vose began the tradition of presenting the president with a stand-out turkey for his Thanksgiving feast, though these usually still ended up on the dinner table.
In 1947 the National Turkey Federation took over the annual presentation under Truman, and in 1963, with the words “We’ll just let this one grow,” President Kennedy spared the life of a bird presented to him with a sign around its neck reading “Good Eating, Mr. President!” It was pure photo-op gold and each future president has since clamored to pose with the funny looking fowl.
Four years after a coup ousted the Honduran President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, who was removed from office and exiled by the military in June, 2009, the country’s voters will return to the polls, on Sunday, for the first general election since a controversial and widely disputed vote held months after Zelaya’s ouster. The election—which will choose a new President, as well as all of the hundred and twenty-eight members of the National Congress—pits an upstart left-wing party led by Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, the deposed President’s wife, against the right-wing National Party and the center-right Liberal Party, which have dominated Honduran politics for the past two decades. (Manuel Zelaya won the Presidency in 2005 as the Liberal Party candidate, but many party members supported his ouster, alleging that he had swerved leftward in office.)
In the week leading up to Chile’s 2013 Presidential elections, the photographer Jon Lowenstein and his brother, the writer and Fulbright scholar Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, are documenting this unique, historic period. Forty years ago, General Augusto Pinochet and his military overthrew President Salvador Allende; today, even after the Chilean transition to democracy and Pinochet’s death, tensions remain.
The Lowensteins, sponsored by the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, are exploring the ways in which the country has recently begun to confront its past more publicly, from the monuments and parks that commemorate the thousands who were murdered during the Pinochet years to the national-television broadcasts of formerly banned footage of the coup d’état. Nevertheless, for many Chileans, the attention now given to these events is still met with raw emotion.