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we tell stories


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we tell stories


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Hijabistas


© Elin Berge / Moment

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Hijabistas


© Elin Berge / Moment

They are called Hijabistas. Young fashionistas that mix street fashion and influences from the catwalks with the Muslim hijab. Through social media they inspire hundreds of thousands of women over the world and their presence also affect the mainstream fashion scene. They are trendsetters and several have become international style icons. 

But they are also provocateurs. The way Muslim women dress is a matter that secular westerners as well as conservative Muslims have a lot of opinions about. The hijab is a minefield. When H&M chosed to include a model in hijab for two seconds in a fashion video campaign last year, the international debate went loud and emotional. France has recently banned the full covering niqab in public places and now also the burkini swimsuit in some cities. On the other hand, the so called ”haram police” – people who think they have the right answers to what is forbidden for a Muslim woman to wear - are persistently present on social media, aggressively banning the hijabistas for their way of dressing and behaving.

The Thompson Reuters State of the Global Islamic Economy valid that the Muslim fashion industry will turn over 488 billion dollar year 2019. And there are no signs that the busy pioneers called hijabistas are going to stop having fun, to inspire others or to continue pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a Muslim women in a western society. Through fashion they show how western and Muslim culture can interlace and change norms.

Elin Berge has met the stars of the Swedish Muslim fashion scene. 

 

click to view the complete set of images in the archive

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Forgotten People


© Giulio Di Sturco

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Forgotten People


© Giulio Di Sturco

Few have heard of them: they are not criminals, they did nothing, they are men, women and children interned without rights or citizenship. They are the Rohingya of Myanmar, the most persecuted people in the world. Their crime: they are Muslims in a Buddhist country! 

There are wars and conflicts, with trenches, soldiers, weapons and sponsors. And there are eternal nights of hallucinations that you get used to: this is the nightmare in which they are stranded. 

In Myanmar there are about three million Muslims out of a population of sixty million: around 5 percent of the population. 

Of these, about one million are only in the northwest of the country, the Bay of Bengal, in Rakhine, subjected to harsh apartheid regime.

In 120 thousand surviving internees in about forty camps; others are born within the villages, held hostage by predators, subjected to extortion and forced labor.

click to view the complete set of images in the archive

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Young Dubliners


© Daragh Soden

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Young Dubliners


© Daragh Soden

‘Young Dubliners’ is a celebration of the unique character of Dublin’s youth. During a time of economic struggle in Ireland, a housing shortage in Dublin and austerity measures squeezing public services and domestic budgets, the young people of Ireland’s capital are championed in empowering portraits as they make the transition to adulthood.

These young Dubliners are at a time in their lives when they will make decisions that will affect their futures and may determine the course of their lives. Yet, they are subject to forces beyond their own direct control. Their futures, their fates, are not entirely in their own hands. They have already inherited circumstances of differing fortune and will inherit the positive and negative effects of actions taken by the powers that be.

The subjects of the work are united in their youth, but are divided in Dublin. ‘Young Dubliners’ presents young Dubliners presenting themselves, in their own environments. There is a consistent approach in empowering the subject of each photograph, however the setting of each photograph varies. Around the figure in the foreground, the extent of social division in Dublin is apparent.

 

click to view the complete set of images in the archive 

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Mega Mecca


© Luca Locatelli

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Mega Mecca


© Luca Locatelli

A building boom in the city’s sacred center has created a dazzling, high-tech 21st-century pilgrimage.

In recent years Mecca, the spiritual centre of Islam, has become one of the most sought after and luxury destinations in the world.

The soaring economic growth of Muslim countries has exponentially increased the number of people who want to, and can afford to visit Mecca, both for the grand Hajj pilgrimage and, above all, for the minor Umrah pilgrimage, which is a less demanding, year-round occasion for visits to the holy sites and for general family entertainment. The pressing demand for visas has stimulated the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to invest millions and millions of dollars on improving and increasing the infrastructure and hospitality of the religious centre. And this has transformed the sacred city into a sacred metropolis.

The 1,970 feet high Bell Tower complex detains several world records: the highest hotel in the world, the highest clock tower, the clock with the biggest face and the largest surface area of skyscrapers in the world. In 2011, Hotel Tower became the 3rd tallest building in the world, exceeded only Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the Shanghai Tower in China. Roads, health centres and public transportation have been added to the large construction sites for renovation of the Great Mosque and for building super luxury hotels with five stars and above. These luxurious new buildings will complement the more than 500 shops that already exist in the area surrounding the Kaaba, where they sell top Western brand names such as Rolex, Ferrari, H&M, Burger King, Starbucks, and many more can be purchased in the shopping centres near the Masjid al-Haram (the largest mosque in the world) and the Kaaba, the most sacred Muslim site in the world.

But this is just the beginning. The combined business turnover of Mecca and Medina is considered to be 120 million dollars a year, a figure which is destined to grow even more. Twenty billion dollars will be invested over the next ten years on projects already underway, causing a real estate market explosion that has pushed the average price up to 15,000 dollars per square meter, with record peaks for locations with a view of the Kaaba. If you still think Muslims arrive at Mecca on the back of a camel, you'd be as disappointed as you would be suprised to see a Christian pilgrim arriving in St. Peter's square on horseback. By the same token, anyone who imagines Mecca to be the epicentre of Islamic terrorism would be disappointed to discover the peaceful family picnics and copious scent of flowers that pervade the square in front of the Great Mosque.

What we find at Mecca is precisely what we can find in any other major religious centre around the world: souvenirs, impressive architecture, museums with endless queues to get in, and classy restaurants alongside the common rites and practices of a religion whereby spirituality, humanity and the needs of our consumer society peacefully coexist.

click to view the complete set of images in the archive

This project was commissioned by The New York Times Magazine under the title Mecca Goes Mega.  A Virtual Reality component also ran later 

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Austin Kitty Limits


© Sandy Carson

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Austin Kitty Limits


© Sandy Carson

'Austin Kitty Limits' is a world famous annual cat show held in Texas and hosted by Austin Cat Fanciers, now in its 46th year. 

This series documents cat culture, its unique characters the competitors’ camaraderie as they prepare their soon to be famous felines for the show ring. The show attracts local and international exhibitors, spectators and judges from all over the world, who show everything from pedigrees to household cats over one hectic weekend.

The cats are judged on Best of Color, Division, Breed and Best in Show. Show cats have first given names, show names and have a long feline family tree based on their pedigree heritage.

Showing cats and breeding of pedigree cats is a way of life for a lot of these contestants and cat fanatics, keeping them constantly on the road cat with their pampered cats and a full calendar of events all year round.

I am intrigued by the surge of domestic cats’ viral content in the media, due to some unusual looking cats like Lil Bub, Grumpy Cat and Old Long Johnson gaining cult status as Youtube sensations. As a cat owner myself, I am also interested in the stereotype of crazy cat owners being synonymous with their cats characteristics and how it could translate to their owners."

-Sandy Carson

click to view the complete set of images in the archive

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Morar Olimpíadas


© Giles Price

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Morar Olimpíadas


© Giles Price

Morar Olimpíadas (SeeStudio, £30) is published on 25 July 2016 Hardcover, 72 pages with 31 colour images, limited edition of 100. 

Morar Olimpíadas (SeeStudio, £30) is published on 25 July 2016 Hardcover, 72 pages with 31 colour images, limited edition of 100. 

The award-winning landscape and portrait photographer, Giles Price publishes his first photographic landscape book, Morar Olimpíadas, examining the physical transformation of Rio de Janeiro in the run up to the 2016 Olympic Games.

Between 2014 and 2016 Giles Price travelled to the city three times to document the city’s preparation, as uniquely captured from the air. His vertical aerial images, which often take on a graphic, abstract appearance, offer not only a new perspective of the construction and development in Rio, but also simultaneously highlight the social inequality, negative environmental impact and corruption revealed in the lead up to the Games.

The book features a foreword by Jules Boykoff the author of three books on the Olympic Games, including Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics (Verso, 2016) and professor of political science at Pacific University, USA. He writes: “From an altitude of 1,500 feet, Price offers us geographical landscapes laced with geopolitical import. He deftly accentuates the inequalities that all too often Olympic development either exacerbates or breathes into being. These processes typically transpire behind tall walls, blockades, and barriers. As such, they are difficult, if not impossible, to appreciate, let alone access, from the ground level. We owe Price gratitude for gifting us with fresh perspective, for affording us a glimpse of the privatised enclaves of the future, for stoking a vital discussion about privilege, priorities, and power.

click to view the complete set of images in the archive 

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Gentlemen’s Club


© Cristina de Middel

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Gentlemen’s Club


© Cristina de Middel

Prostitution has traditionally been explained by the media with photography focusing only on one half of the business. If aliens came to earth and tried to understand what prostitution is about they would believe it is a business based on naked women staying in dirty rooms. With Gentlemen´s club I tried to give visibility to that other 50%.

During June 2015, I put an ad in a newspaper in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) asking for prostitutes´ clients to pose for me in exchange for money. My intention was first to see who these people were and also to invert the roles of the business,  as they would be selling also partof themselves. The response was massive and this is a selection of the men who accepted the deal.

All of them were asked about their experience, personal history and motivations and this information is in the captions of the images. I have tried to publish this series in different media but there seems to be no interest (so far) in getting to understand the whole dimension of the business.

click to view the complete set of images in the archive

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Camargue


© Riverboom

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Camargue


© Riverboom

Lying between the two arms of the Rhône River, the Camargue is the delta of all beauties. From the pink flamingos to the salt plains, from the empty beaches to the vast wetlands, from it’s famed red rice to its mythical bulls and white horses, Camargue balances between sweet and salty waters, between toreros and gypsies.

To tell this mosaic of wilderness and manmade Riverboom decided the only way is from above, and tackled this flat land with drones and very high tripods. What is flat does not lack depth…

click to view the complete set of images in the archive

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Schralp In The Alps


© Sandy Carson

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Schralp In The Alps


© Sandy Carson

schralp

v.,n.,adj.(sh'ralp) To aggressively negotitate terrain using any manner of vehicle. schralped, schralper, schralping, schralpingest

The Tour De France is the oldest and most prestigious road bike race of all time, with some of the most brutal and exciting stages of Alpine climbing over 3 weeks.

Images of spandex clad bicycle super heroes who live and breathe fitness for the Tour, are engrained into our minds year after year as we follow it on TV.

Schralp In The Alps is a document of photographer Sandy Carson and his three BMX turned Road Bike team mates’ version of a French Alps ’dream vacation’ paying homage to the Tour’s most scenic and savage climbs, from the village of Le Bourg d’Oisans where all roads lead north.

Carson observes and documents a unique and insightful view of the road from behind the handlebars of his bicycle by capturing the breathtaking tour stage ascent of Alp d’Huez , to the epic decent of Col Du Glandon, still freshly ridden from the 2015 tour.  He offers an insiders look behind the scenes of renegade cyclists winging several feats of climbing the Cols, with little to no training or acclimation.

click to view the complete set of images in the archive

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The Vanishing Omo Valley


© Guillaume Bonn

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The Vanishing Omo Valley


© Guillaume Bonn

There is growing international concern for the future of the lower Omo Valley in Ethiopia. A beautiful, biologically diverse land with volcanic outcrops and a pristine riverine forest; it is also a UNESCO world heritage site, yielding significant archaeological finds, including human remains dating back 2.4 million years.

The Valley is one of the most culturally diverse places in the world, with around 200,000 indigenous people living there. Yet, in blind attempts to modernise and develop what the government sees as an area of 'backward' farmers in need of modernisation, some of Ethiopia's most valuable landscapes, resources and communities are being destroyed.

One year after completion of the Giber III dam, effects are already being felt: the annual floods (necessary for flood-recession agriculture and fish breeding cycles) have stopped. Land has been taken from local people and national parks, inhabitants of the land have been forcibly resettled, and food insecurity and extreme hunger has begun to set in. This is just the start of troubles to come.

The Omo River provides Kenya’s Lake Turkana with 90% of its water. It is predicted that abstraction of water for the plantations could cause the lake level to fall by up to 22m. Fish numbers will dwindle and the lake’s water will be completely undrinkable. These events will exacerbate resource conflicts among the local communities Ethiopia's 'villagisation' programme is aiding the land-grab by pushing tribes into purpose built villages where they can no longer access their lands, becoming unable to sustain themselves, making these previously self-sufficient tribes dependent on government food aid. What is happening in the lower Omo Valley, and elsewhere, shows a complete disregard for human rights and a total failure to understand the value these tribes offer Ethiopia in terms of their cultural heritage and their contribution to food security.

There are eight tribes living in the Valley, including the Mursi, famous for wearing large plates in their lower lips. Their agricultural practices have been developed over generations to cope with Ethiopia's famously dry climate. Many are herders who keep cattle, sheep and goats and live nomadically. Others practice small-scale shifting cultivation, whilst many depend on the fertile crop and pasture land created by seasonal flooding. The vital life source of the Omo River is being cut off by Gibe III. An Italian construction company began work in 2006, violating Ethiopian law as there was no competitive bidding for the contract and no meaningful consultation with indigenous people.

The dam has received investment from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and the hydropower is primarily going for export rather than domestic use - despite the fact that 77% of Ethiopia's population lacks access to electricity.

People in the Omo Valley are politically vulnerable and geographically remote. Many do not speak Amharic, the national language, and have no access to resources or information.

There has been little consideration of potential impacts, including those which may affect other countries, particularly Kenya, as Lake Turkana relies heavily on the Omo River.

click to view the complete set of images in the archive

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Sugar Paper Theories


© Jack Latham
text by Gisli Gudjusson

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Sugar Paper Theories


© Jack Latham
text by Gisli Gudjusson

Publisher: Here Press 310 x 230mm, 180pp 46 colour photographs, 37 black & white photographs 8 illustrations, 9 press cuttings text by Professor Gisli gGudjónsson CBE Perfect bound card cover with cloth spine Price £35 ISBN: 978–0–9935853–2–6

Publisher: Here Press

310 x 230mm, 180pp
46 colour photographs, 37 black & white photographs 8 illustrations, 9 press cuttings
text by Professor Gisli gGudjónsson CBE
Perfect bound card cover with cloth spine
Price £35
ISBN: 978–0–9935853–2–6

Forty years ago, two men went missing in southwest Iceland. The facts of their disappearances are scarce, and often mundane. An 18-year-old set off from a nightclub, drunk, on a 10-kilometre walk home in the depths of Icelandic winter. Some months later, a family man failed to return from a meeting with a mysterious stranger. In another time or place, they might have been logged as missing persons and forgotten by all but family and friends. Instead, the Gudmundor and Geirfinnur case became the biggest and most controversial murder investigation in Icelandic history.

In the 1970s theories about the disappearances fixated on Iceland’s anxieties over smuggling, drugs and alcohol, and the corrupting influence of the outside world. The county’s highest levels of political power were drawn into the plot. But ultimately, a group of young people on the fringes of society became its key protagonists. All made confessions that led to convictions and prison sentences. Yet none could remember what happened on the nights in question.

Now a public inquiry is uncovering another story, of how hundreds of days and nights in the hands of a brutal and inexperienced criminal justice system eroded the link between suspects’ memories and lived experience.

Jack Latham photographed the places and people that feature in various accounts of what happened to Gudmundor and Geirfinnur after they vanished. He spent time with the surviving suspects, as well as whistle blowers, conspiracy theorists, expert witnesses and bystanders to the case.

In Sugar Paper Theories, Latham’s photographs and material from the original police investigation files stand in for memories real and constructed. Gisli Gudjusson, a former Reykjavik policeman and forensic psychologist whose expert testimony and theory of memory distrust syndrome helped free the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four – and are now central to the Gudmundor and Geirfinnur inquiry – provides a written account of the case. 

Sugar Paper Theories is the recipient of the 2016 Bar Tur Photobook Award. The book will be published in September by Here Press in association with The Photographers’ Gallery.

click to view the complete set of images in the archive

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First Job


© Gabriele Galimberti

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First Job


© Gabriele Galimberti

One’s first job is rarely forgotten. It is the beginning of adulthood, a rite of passage and a turning point. For numerous workers, only 30 years ago, the first job was often the only one, as people could remained in the same company for a lifetime, just being gradually promoted or slightly changing ones positions with seniority. In today’s scenario all is temporary, as the dream of a life position has forever vanished. Usually the first job is the first of a long list that will follow. In the wake of the worst economic crises in modern history, where for many young adults there seemed to be actually no possibility for a first job at all, Gabriele Galimberti explores the world of employment of today’s youth. In the style that has become his trademark, this is a project that will be carried out in all the 5 continents where the global theme does not obscure, but actually heightens the local specificities. Each one of the subjects whose portrait has been taken has an individual story that feeds into a larger narrative on how the world we live in is changing. From China to Germany, from Colombia to the U.S. we get a personal introduction to tomorrow’s workforce.


click to view the complete set of images in the archive
 

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Weapon Show


© Guillaume Herbaut

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Weapon Show


© Guillaume Herbaut

Just as lingerie or cars, tanks and missiles have their own shows. From Paris to Delhi, these events, known war shows, are little known to the general public but draw in great numbers of professionals from the defence industry. Travelling to Jordan, France, Qatar and India, Herbaut's 'Weapon Show' looks at the industry of war market's and war shows around the globe. 

War shows, where foreign militaries and the accredited public mix to admire and purchase weapons such as missiles, tanks, drones, riot equipment and solid gold pistols, and in the aisles one not only can meet weapon experts and soldiers doing their shopping but also numerous spies. The glamorous appearance of the market stalls, one could mistake them for video games shops, seem to make the fact that these tradesmen are dealing with weaponry nearly irrelevant. 

But one should not be misled by the war show's flashy appearance - the arms and weapons industry is a global business, and not a little one. In 2012 the five main weapons exporters were USA, Russia, China, Ukraine and the European Union. In the same year, the world military expenditure has been estimated at $1756 billion US Dollars, which represents 2.5 per cent of the global gross domestic product (GDP) or $ 249 US Dollars for each person in the world. 

Welcome to the death market where the main values are power, technology and money!

click the link to see the entire set of images in the archive

The weapons market never knows the economic crisis. The winners of a thriving financial sector is the United States in first place, followed by Russia and France. A big boom in parallel civil wars on the globe.
Each year several weapons fairs are organized. They sell fighter jets, tanks, missiles, assaults rifles etc.  Here the rules of marketing are the same as for civilian companies. Gadgets, brochures, promotional bags touting war products are available to visitors.

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Exploring a Himalayan Glacier


© Simon Norfolk

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Exploring a Himalayan Glacier


© Simon Norfolk

A few of the 200,000 glaciers in the world are well studied but the 9,000 in India are mostly unexamined. This is remarkable considering the future of the high mountain climate is crucial to the three great rivers which are born here, the Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra and the 700 million people who depend upon their waters. In the Chinese Himalayas, researchers have performed thorough surveys, but, according to one American scientist, “the other side is a black hole.” The reasons are largely financial: India is a relatively poor country. According to one researcher adequate funding levels need to be 30-40 times higher.

 

For this reason Chhota Shigri glacier has been chosen as one of the benchmark glaciers in the Indian Himalaya. The Glacier Research Group, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi has been carrying out Mass Balance Studies in this Glacier since 2002. Chhota Shigri and the other glaciers of the eastern Himalayas are unusual in that, unlike the majority of the world’s glaciers, which get most of their snow from winter storms, they get much of theirs from the summer monsoons, which tend to insulate them from more rapid melting. (Most of the glaciers of the Karakoram Mountains, in Pakistan for example, are not receding at all; it’s one of the few places in the world where this is the case.) The weather in India has been fluctuating wildly; 2015 was the driest in decades and early 2016 broke records for high temperatures. Glaciers are uniquely sensitive recorders of changes in climate, and their ice contains indications of past temperature, precipitation, and volcanic activity, as well as the effects of greenhouse gases. The ice cores collected by the JNU scientists on Chhota Shigri make up an archive of the Earth’s weather over the past millennia. But the glacial ice is disappearing, and so is the archive itself. “We are trying to document the history of climate,” says one glaciologist. “If it’s not done now, it will never be done. We’re on a salvage mission.”

text: © DEXTER FILKINS

This story was commissioned by The New Yorker

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The Girls from Malawa


© Marie Hald/Moment

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The Girls from Malawa


© Marie Hald/Moment

While wars are going on all over the world, and countries fight each other with soldiers and weapons, a large group of especially young people are fighting a completely different war. A war against themselves.

In a world filled with perfectly photoshopped super models, the normality of plastic surgery and a vice of controlling your own destiny, it is hard to find your way as a teenager.

The boundaries are even harder to find, when you are possessed with the voice of “Ana”, as many anorexia patients call the illness.
Listening to the nurses and therapist seams wrong when the voice inside your head tells you you look fat, and that thinner is always better.

Eating disorders are not only about being thin, as many may think. Control is a key word. And in a teenager’s sometimes stressful life, what is easier to control than the intake of food?

Eating disorders are the third most common disease amongst teenagers, and worldwide one out of five suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia which eventually can lead to heart failure and malfunction of the internal organs, causing death.

In the small village Malawa in the south of Poland, a little yellow house is settled every year with struggling young boys and girls, getting treatment and trying to get well enough to at one point go back to a normal life.

click to view the complete set of images in the archive

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A History of Misogyny, chapter one: On Abortion


© Laia Abril

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A History of Misogyny, chapter one: On Abortion


© Laia Abril

Under “natural” circumstances, the average woman would get pregnant about 15 times in her life, resulting in ten births. Seven of those babies would survive childhood.

For centuries, people have searched for ways to delay or terminate pregnancy. Today, safe and efficient means of abortion finally exist, yet women around the world continue to use ancient, illegal or risky home methods: Every year, 47,000 women around the world die due to botched abortions.

Why do they take the risk?

Across countries and religions, millions of women are blocked from abortion technologies by law and social coercion, and are forced to carry pregnancies to term against their will. Some are minors and rape victims. For many, the pregnancy is not viable or poses a health risk. But all can be criminalized for trying to abort; in El Salvador, even women suffering a miscarriage are being charged with homicide, facing prison sentences of up to 40 years.”

In violation of patient confidentiality codes, doctors and healthcare providers have been known report women seeking illegal abortions, even when abortion is medically necessary to save the patient’s life. On the other hand, anyone who helps a woman abort in a country where abortion is illegal can find themselves incarcerated. And even in countries where abortion is legal, medical staff may risk their lives to perform the operation.

This year, for the first time in history, the Pope has allowed Catholic women who’ve aborted to be forgiven. But while this may seem like a step forward, it perpetuates the stigma of guilt that surrounds women’s choices. In the meantime, politicians exploit abortion as campaign currency; making reproductive issues a political matter, rather than a question of rights.

Laia Abril’s new long-term project A History of Misogyny is a visual research undertaken through historical and contemporary comparisons. In her first chapter On Abortion Abril documents and conceptualizes the dangers and damages caused by women’s lack of legal, safe and free access to abortion. Continuing with her painstaking research methodology, Abril draws on the past to highlight the long, continuous erosion of women’s reproductive rights to present-day. Her collection of visual, audio and textual evidence weaves a net of questions about ethics and morality, and reveals a staggering series of social triggers, stigmas, and taboos around abortion that have been invisible until now.

ON ABORTION & CONTRACEPTION HISTORY

On Illegal Stories: Poland

On June 27, 2015, the Women on Waves (WoW) Abortion drone made its maiden flight from Frankfurt an der Oder in Germany, to Słubice in Poland, carrying packages of abortion pills.

Abortion is legal in nearly all EU countries, except Poland, Ireland and Malta. The official number of abortions performed in Poland, a country with 38 million inhabitants, is only about 750 per year. According to Dutch pro-choice organization Women on Waves, the real number is closer to 240,000.

My doctor and I pretended we didn’t know each other, so other hospital staff wouldn’t get suspicious. The plan was to state that the fetus was dead, which would get me the curettage legally. My doctor winked when I was supposed to say “yes” or “no” to the procedure. It was absurd and humiliating at the same time.
— Magdalena, 32, Poland
All in all, the experience took almost 15 hours without incident. I called my (now ex-) boyfriend from the road, and he begged me to not do it. When I mentioned the stuffiness and throng, he answered me: “That seems right, murderers should be treated like cattle
— Marta, 29, Poland

Baby hatch, baby box, ruota dei trovatelli (foundling wheel) or okno zycia. These little windows can be opened from outside for mothers to deposit unwanted infants. After this, an alarm sounds to alert the nuns at the convent to take in the orphan. This system has existed in one form or another for centuries all over the world.

The United Nations is concerned at the baby box’s recent spread in Europe; in 2012, nearly 200 baby drop-off points were installed across the continent. More than 400 children have been left in European child abandonment centers since 2000.

ON ILLEGAL STORIES: Chile, Peru, Ireland

It happened when I was 24. I had been sexually assaulted, and I found out I was pregnant after just four or five weeks. At that time, abortion in Chile was illegal under any circumstance [even when the mother’s life was in risk]. Getting it done was a hell of a process; I was afraid the so-called doctors who did it would botch the job or kill me and cut me into pieces. But in the end, everything went well and I threw a party to celebrate with the people who helped me
— Lucía, Chile
In 2010, my wife Michelle and I found out we were pregnant. She was over the moon, although I was worried and realistic — she had been fighting cancer since 2001 and was terminal. Unfortunately, her chemotherapy treatment had probably damaged the fetus, before we even knew there was one. Michelle was also unlikely to survive a pregnancy. Her oncologist prescribed an abortion. Michelle did not want to, but we had no other option. To our surprise, Cork University Hospital refused to do it
— Neil, Ireland
Taking an scalding bath seems to be a widespread method that has persisted for generations. One Sanskrit text from the 8th century recommends squatting over a boiling pot of onions, a technique also used by Jewish women in Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the early 1900s. As late as 1870, some abortionists would pull out patients’ teeth without aesthetic because the pain and shock was thought to induce miscarriage.

Taking an scalding bath seems to be a widespread method that has persisted for generations. One Sanskrit text from the 8th century recommends squatting over a boiling pot of onions, a technique also used by Jewish women in Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the early 1900s.

As late as 1870, some abortionists would pull out patients’ teeth without aesthetic because the pain and shock was thought to induce miscarriage.

Desperate pregnant woman have been known to probe themselves with knitting needles, whalebone, turkey feathers, umbrella rods or the infamous coat hanger. These can cause infection, hemorrhage, sterility and death. Abortion rights advocates worldwide have long used the coat hanger as a symbol of the pro-choice movement, and this method is now seeing a resurgence in the United States, where abortion restrictions are increasingly narrow.

Desperate pregnant woman have been known to probe themselves with knitting needles, whalebone, turkey feathers, umbrella rods or the infamous coat hanger. These can cause infection, hemorrhage, sterility and death. Abortion rights advocates worldwide have long used the coat hanger as a symbol of the pro-choice movement, and this method is now seeing a resurgence in the United States, where abortion restrictions are increasingly narrow.

The infusion of these plants: Ruda and Chipilin are used by women to abort during the first trimester in El Salvador. There has been an endless list of oral drugs thought to abort a fetus, since before the time of Hippocrates. A few examples: Clover mixed with white wine, squirting cucumber, stinking iris, slippery elm, brewer’s yeast, melon, wild carrot, aloe, papaya, crushed ants, camel hair, lead, belladonna, quinine and pomegranate. Alternatively, self-starvation.

The infusion of these plants: Ruda and Chipilin are used by women to abort during the first trimester in El Salvador.

There has been an endless list of oral drugs thought to abort a fetus, since before the time of Hippocrates. A few examples: Clover mixed with white wine, squirting cucumber, stinking iris, slippery elm, brewer’s yeast, melon, wild carrot, aloe, papaya, crushed ants, camel hair, lead, belladonna, quinine and pomegranate.

Alternatively, self-starvation.

Was one of the other hundred “tricks” women invented to jeopardize her pregnancy when they did not    have easy access to abortion. Interesting enough is how, in one of the most common ways of abortion in Middle Ages — neonaticide; when women used to leave the newborns outside the house or thought them to the river. Unlike other European regions, the German mother had the right to expose them. 

Was one of the other hundred “tricks” women invented to jeopardize her pregnancy when they did not    have easy access to abortion. Interesting enough is how, in one of the most common ways of abortion in Middle Ages — neonaticide; when women used to leave the newborns outside the house or thought them to the river. Unlike other European regions, the German mother had the right to expose them. 

Advertising materials for clinics that “regulate” and “fix” menstrual delays in Peru.

Abortion in Peru is illegal, except in case of a threat to the life or health of the mother. However, since 2014, 277 women have died after being denied access to abortion. Women who self-abort can be sentenced to up to two years in prison. Anyone who performs an illegal abortion can be sentenced to one to six years.

Human incubator In November 27, 2014, an Irish woman in her 20s was admitted to hospital with headaches and nausea. Two days later, the mother of two suffered a fall and was later found unresponsive. On December 9th, she was declared clinically brain dead. She was 15 weeks pregnant at the time, and was placed on life support against her family’s wishes. In December 26, the Irish High Court ruled that the life support machine could be turned off after hearing that her fetus had little chance of surviving. Under the 1983 8th amendment of the Irish constitution, an unborn child has the same rights as its mother.

Human incubator

In November 27, 2014, an Irish woman in her 20s was admitted to hospital with headaches and nausea. Two days later, the mother of two suffered a fall and was later found unresponsive. On December 9th, she was declared clinically brain dead. She was 15 weeks pregnant at the time, and was placed on life support against her family’s wishes.

In December 26, the Irish High Court ruled that the life support machine could be turned off after hearing that her fetus had little chance of surviving. Under the 1983 8th amendment of the Irish constitution, an unborn child has the same rights as its mother.

Hippocratic betrayal On February 2015, a 19-year-old pregnant woman ingested abortive pills in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil. She started feeling abdominal pains, so her aunt took her to hospital. After she was treated, her doctor called the police, saying he would autopsy the fetus if she did not confess to trying to abort. She was handcuffed to her hospital bed, and freed only after paying a 250€ bail. Denunciation by doctors is not uncommon in Brazil, Peru or El Salvador. They can be retained in hospitals for weeks or months. Many claim they are legally required to notify authorities when they suspect an abortion, in contradiction to professional codes of doctor-patient confidentiality.

Hippocratic betrayal

On February 2015, a 19-year-old pregnant woman ingested abortive pills in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil. She started feeling abdominal pains, so her aunt took her to hospital. After she was treated, her doctor called the police, saying he would autopsy the fetus if she did not confess to trying to abort. She was handcuffed to her hospital bed, and freed only after paying a 250€ bail.

Denunciation by doctors is not uncommon in Brazil, Peru or El Salvador. They can be retained in hospitals for weeks or months. Many claim they are legally required to notify authorities when they suspect an abortion, in contradiction to professional codes of doctor-patient confidentiality.

Visual War Anti-abortion protesters [often including their children] have a long history of harassing women who try to access to abortion clinics. Their banners go from naïf child imaginary to dantesque, bizarre, graphic images of fetus and death children [often altering and manipulating origin and data of the pictures]. In countries as US, UK, Australia, Canada or South Africa governments draw a perimeter around the facilities, known variously as a “buffer zone”, “bubble zone”, or “access zone” intending to limit those who oppose abortion can approach. Pixelated images from pro-life sites where they compare the hand of a dead fetus mired in blood, to the tip of a pencil and the fetus body to a coin.

Visual War

Anti-abortion protesters [often including their children] have a long history of harassing women who try to access to abortion clinics. Their banners go from naïf child imaginary to dantesque, bizarre, graphic images of fetus and death children [often altering and manipulating origin and data of the pictures]. In countries as US, UK, Australia, Canada or South Africa governments draw a perimeter around the facilities, known variously as a “buffer zone”, “bubble zone”, or “access zone” intending to limit those who oppose abortion can approach.

Pixelated images from pro-life sites where they compare the hand of a dead fetus mired in blood, to the tip of a pencil and the fetus body to a coin.

The abortion saint Saint Gianna Beretta Molla (October 4, 1922 – April 28, 1962) was an Italian pediatrician who refused both an abortion and a hysterectomy when she was pregnant with her fourth child, despite knowing that continuing with the pregnancy would result in her own death. She was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2004 and is a patron saint for mothers, physicians, and unborn children. Abortion is legal in Italy up to 90 days of pregnancy, but in some hospitals, 100% of doctors are conscientious objectors, forcing women to travel abroad for a termination

The abortion saint

Saint Gianna Beretta Molla (October 4, 1922 – April 28, 1962) was an Italian pediatrician who refused both an abortion and a hysterectomy when she was pregnant with her fourth child, despite knowing that continuing with the pregnancy would result in her own death. She was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2004 and is a patron saint for mothers, physicians, and unborn children.

Abortion is legal in Italy up to 90 days of pregnancy, but in some hospitals, 100% of doctors are conscientious objectors, forcing women to travel abroad for a termination