On assignment for the National Audubon Society, Nichole Sobecki’s latest work takes a look at the illegal owl egg trade in Kenya. The raptors are already some of most persecuted birds in Africa. Now their eggs are being stolen for witchcraft — but few seem to know or care. From ancient Greece’s Owl of Athena to Harry Potter’s devoted pet Hedwig, owls have long charmed, mystified, and intrigued humans. In the contemporary West, they are often seen as symbols of wisdom. But in Africa they’re generally viewed very differently, as harbingers of evil and misfortune, or as forms taken by nefarious sorcerers. These deeply held, widespread beliefs fuel an untold number of persecution killings. The birds are also highly sought after for use in witchcraft and traditional medicine, accounting for the deaths of possibly tens of thousands of owls annually.
“There’s a unique challenge, when it comes to documenting the environment and our climate. It’s such an overwhelming truth that it’s a very human reaction to want to turn away or disengage.” — Nichole Sobecki
The “Victims and Perpetrators” roundtable discussion, between Nichole Sobecki, Aaron Vincent Elkaim, Carol Devine, Gregg Segal, and Benjamin Petit, raises some fascinating and challenging questions on how we cover the health of our global environment.
In January 2018, Stefano De Luigi went out to sea with the SOS Méditerranée rescue ship Aquarius The ship specializes in search and rescue (SAR) and since February 2016, they have rescued 28,000 people on the Sicilian Channel between the Libyan coast and Sicily.
Click here to watch a short film of his experiences on board.
In an interview with L’Obs, Linda Bournane Engelberth speaks about “Outside the Binary,” her new project about the richness and diversity of gender identities.
“I hope that people who will see the portraits and read the testimonials will open up and reflect on the definitions of gender identities.” — Linda Bournane Engelberth
“Outside the Binary” is Linda’s contribution to the “Her Take: (Re)Thinking Masculinity,” a project in seven parts by the Seven of VII, the seven female photographers of VII. In “Her Take,” each photographer undertakes a visual reflection on masculinity — re-framing it, challenging it, referencing it historically, exploring it, considering it in specific cultural contexts and changing social conventions, or coming out from the shadow of it.