Bringing the photo-story to Osh: “seeing the beauty and hearing the untold stories”

This past weekend, Elyor Nematov and I went to Osh to deliver NewEurasia’s three-day workshop on photojournalism. In fact, calling it a workshop on “photojournalism” is a bit deceptive, since it was much more than just an extended seminar on the technicalities of using photographic and videographic equipment. Elyor explained the principles of creating a photo-story, and he also elaborated the philosophical implications of what it really meant to be a photo-journalist. This was the third and final workshop of our current arts and culture project, which has been supported by Hivos Foundation. Unfortunately, I’ve been hearing from various sources…

Deutsche Welle announces free online workshop on digital safety

An announcement from the Deutsche Welle website about a potentially very useful workshop their journalism school will be running tomorrow: Are you are journalist? A blogger? A photographer? A media activist? Sign up for the open online “Digital Safety for Journalists” workshop being offered by DW Akademie in the first week of December, 2013. The workshop, which is being held in conjunction with Reporters Without Borders, will give you a better understanding of how to protect your communications and your data. All over the world, media professionals are increasingly using digital devices such as cameras, recorders, mobile phones and computers…

A new workshop to bring Osh to the world through the camera lens

NewEurasia announces a free workshop on arts/culture photojournalism in Osh. Professional and amateur journalists, students, bloggers and civil society activists are invited to participate. The workshop shall teach participants the fundamentals of photojournalism, both in terms of theory and practice, with concrete examples from the history of the field. Participants will also learn skills in identifying and developing local photo-stories. The workshop will be held 7-9 Decemnber in English and Russian. It will be conducted by Elyor Nematov, an up-and-coming photojournalist from Uzbekistan who is based in Bishkek.

Who knew that Bill Murray was Turkmen?

I’m surprised no one noticed this! In the 2009 horror/comedy film Zombieland, there’s a brief cameo by Bill Murray. The scene takes place in his luxurious Los Angeles mansion, which includes among other things a painting of the comedian in full Turkmen traditional garb situated on the mantle of his fireplace. Clearly, the filmmakers find the getup outlandish, and I wonder how the idea even occured to them. But I’ll tell you this: if that painting’s real, I want it! ;-)

A mysterious Kyrgyz kalpak in Zagreb’s Museum of Broken Relationships

I’m freshly returned from an impromptu vacation to Croatia. It’s an intriguing country, a borsch soup of Germanic, Slavic, Christian, and Communistic ingredients. The geographical and aesthetic diversity is quite surprising, ranging from the Mediterannean-like qualities of Istria and Dalmatia, to the Velebit’s sunbaked, naked seaward side and misty, wooded landward side, to the abruptly Continental interior around Zagreb. I intersected with two close Belgian friends, a couple from the Antwerp area, in Zagreb. There’s something gloomy and mirky about the Belgian national character — they are, in a sense, the most “Slavic” of the Northern Europeans, and just about…

When will Metro 2033 come to Almaty or Tashkent, or for that matter, New York?

Around this time three years ago, I posted about the video game “Metro 2033”, based on the novel by Russian journalist Dmitry Glukhovsky. The sequel (“Last Light”) has just been released, thus prompting this post. The setting of the series is an underground society founded by survivors of a nuclear war that was waged in 2013 (yikes!). They scrape by in the Moscow subway system, which has transformed into an almost Biblical sheol. NewEurasia’s snobbish managing editor Sanjar says, “it’s no War and Peace”. Sure, sure. But speaking as a person who’s probably imbibed way too much post-apocalyptic fiction since…

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