Tomas Van Houtryve followed Mexico’s long-forgotten northern boundary to meet families who have lived in the region, now forming part of the United States, for centuries. His project, “Lines and Lineage,” is featured in The New York Times Lens Blog.
Mr. van Houtryve, 44, wanted to challenge what he calls the West’s “puffed-up mythology” in which Hollywood nurtured the view that the expansion of the United States spread ideas like equality, liberty and democracy in conquered lands.
“In reality, these values arrived in the West straight from Mexico City,” said Mr. van Houtryve, who was raised in California and now lives in Paris. “The main ideological import of Anglo-Americans to the West at the time was actually strident white supremacy.”
For Nick Kristoff’s New York Times opinion column, VII Mentor photographer Christopher Lee photographed Tanitoluwa “Tani” Adewumi, who lives with his family in a shelter in New York City. Tani went from chess novice to chess champion in little over a year.
Tani and his family fled Northern Nigeria in 2017 fearing Boko Haram. Since arriving in NYC, Tani began attending PS 116 where he was taught chess by a part-time chess teacher. A year later, he was crowned state champion, beating out peers from wealthy private schools that have coaches and resources that someone like Tani wouldn’t have had access to. “Tani is a reminder that refugees enrich this nation — and that talent is universal, even if opportunity is not.”
This past October, Mathias Svold of the VII Mentor Program spent a week on the loneliest road in America on assignment for National Geographic.
“Where the state of Nevada folds in half—from the elbow on its western arm at Lake Tahoe across to its Utah border—you’ll find the most direct route across the state. It crosses several communities, a handful of mountain ranges, a national park, and one reservoir, where bobcats, foxes, and wild horses roam free. There’s life, yes, but not a familiar way of life for many. It’s a place where the lines between John Wayne Westerns and everyday life blur, where ghost towns bleed into living ones. This is Route 50, the Loneliest Road in America.”
The January 19, 2019 issue of Das Magazin (No 3) features a cover story by Daniel Schwartz about his journey to look for and photograph the melting glaciers of Mir Samir in Afghanistan.
Read an excerpt in English below and click here to view the full publication.