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  1. Brad Westphal

    Ant City

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    By Brad Westphal

    Like an ant in the forest I wandered through the city. It was a giant organism, or a machine too large to take in at a glance. I was one in eighteen million. The city was foreign; it held romance and mysteries of the unknown. I wandered through dark alleys and past dimly lit parlors. There were shopping malls and parks, riverboats and expressways. Through windows there were visions of friends laughing at dinner or gathered around a game of cards. There were sounds of toasting at the dinner table and the clacking shuffle of mahjong tiles. Garish buildings by day were crowned with neon in the dark and new buildings sprouted overnight. There was coal burning, peppers frying and cars honking. The language was so foreign it could have come from outer space. It all mixed together in confusing, chaotic harmony. The city could be exhilarating and exciting but it could also crush you with lonely thoughts.

    I had come for adventure and to dislodge myself from myself. I dug a hole straight through to the other side of the earth hoping to find my other side. In time, the strange became familiar. I forgot how to live anywhere else. It had become my city. I loved the city. I found love in the city. These are photographs of my city.

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    About the Photographer:  Brad Westphal, China.

    Brad is a commercial photographer and photography instructor living between Shanghai China and Portland Oregon.

    Website:    www.bradwestphal.photoshelter.com
    www.bradwestphal.com

  2. Probal Rashid

    Faces of Climate Survivors

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    By Probal Rashid

    They barely have any hope for their life. No food, no places to live and no work. They hardly can think about their health. Every night of their life starts with a nightmare and ends with the beginning of strive their next day living. They are the people of Bangladesh that devastated by natural disaster like flood and cyclone. The frequency of these natural calamities is increasing day by day due to the cause of climate change that happening rapidly. Bangladesh is one those countries in the world that laying on the brink of climate disaster. The World Disaster Report 2010 revealed that more than 154 million Bangladeshi were affected by natural disasters between 1990 to 2009. The UNDP have further noted that projected sea level rise will directly affect the lives of 35 million people in the coastal areas of Bangladesh by 2050.

     

    Natural disasters of Bangladesh are creating thousands of climate refugees every year and their numbers are increasing dramatically. Now it becomes the greatest challenge for modern civilization to bring hope to these climate refugees for a better life. My quest of their portraiture belongs to that vision.

    PR_001
    Sarut Ali, age 65, a farmer lives at Tala Upazilla in Satkhira district. He faced several natural calamities like flood, river erosion and cyclone and lost his agricultural land. Since the last five years he has to live every year in rehabilitation camps for 4 to 5 months during the monsoon due to flood water.

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    Mariam, age 12, a student of class four in a govt. primary school, lives at Khanpara village in Satkhira district. Every year her school remains closed during the monsoon due to flood water.

    PR_003
    Sultan, age 45, a share-cropper, has got 3 children and lives at Tala Upazilla in Satkhira district. Due to flood water he has taken shelter in the temporarily built house made of bamboo and plastic sheet at the highland areas. Every year he has to live in rehabilitation camps or temporarily built house for 4 to 5 months since the last five years.

    PR_004
    Julhas Sardar, age 60, a farmer lives at Khanpara village in Satkhira district. He has been suffering one disaster after another since 2007. Every year he has to live in rehabilitation camps for 4 to 5 months during the monsoon due to flood water.

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    Abeda Khatun, age 60, a mother of five sons, lives at Khan para village in Satkhira district. She has to live every year in rehabilitation camps for 4 to 5 months since the last five years due to flood water.

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    Razzak, age 42, a share-cropper, has got only a piece of land as homestead. Every year he has got to repair his house after flooding with borrowed money.

    PR_007
    Muhammad Ali Sardar, age 55, a share-cropper. Every year he has to live in rehabilitation camps or temporarily built house for 4 to 5 months during the monsoon due to flood water.

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    Monowara Khatun, age 50, lost her husband during the cyclone Sidr in 2007. Since then she has been in trouble to manage her life with 3 children

    PR_009
    Sabur Sardar, age 52, a share-cropper, lives at Khanpara village in Satkhira district. Due to flood water he has taken shelter in the temporarily built house made of bamboo and plastic sheet at the highland areas. Every year he has to live in rehabilitation camps or temporarily built house for 4 to 5 months since the last five years.

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    Fatema, age 22, has a new borne baby of 1 month. She has to leave her habitual home due to mass flooding and living in the rehabilitation camp for the last 3 months.


    About the Photographer: Probal Rashid, Bangladesh.

    Probal_Rashidd
    Probal Rashid was born in 1979 in Bangladesh. He completed MBA, and later studied photojournalism from Pathshala, The South Asian Media Academy and Institute of Photography. He participated in many workshops under reputed photographers; Raghu Rai, Morten Krogvold, Peter Fryer and others.

    His works have been published in many national and international newspapers and magazines like The Days Japan Magazine, RVA Magazine, The Telegraph, The Focus magazine, The Dateline magazine, The Daily Star, The New Age, The New Nation, The Independent, The Bangkok Post. His photographs exhibited in Bangladesh, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, UK and USA.

    He is the recipient of numerous awards for his work including the Days Japan Photojournalism Award, Yonhap International Press Photo Awards, KL International Photo award, FCCT/OnAsia Photojournalism Award, “Zoom-in on Poverty” Global Photo Award, CGAP microfinance photo award, WPGA Annual Pollux Awards, International Year of Biodiversity Award,. The 68th, 71st and 72nd International Photographic Salon of Japan (Ashahi Shimbun) award.

    Website: http://www.probalrashid.com

  3. Kazi Riasat Alve

    People around Chittagong Railway Station

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    By Kazi Riasat Alve

    Like any other railway stations of Bangladesh, Chittagong Railway Station is not only a place for stopping & starting trains but also a shelter for a homeless people, marketplace for hawkers and even for some peoples a place for taking drugs and crime. This rail station is country’s second busiest railway station as Chittagong is the second largest city of the country and also the most important commercial hub. In this busy station some people find their shelter and livelihood.

    Here people sleep near the railway line, even in the busy platform of the station. Some people has built slum around the rail line as their shelter. But people living in the station and around the station lead a miserable life. Most of them don’t know what to eat during next day, what to wear during cold season as they are living under the poverty line.

    In this ongoing project I tried to portray the life that these people lead. I tried to focus on the roaming people around the station, most of them have no home, most of the roaming children have no parents or their parents do not take care of them and these children lead a very reckless childhood. These children are getting addicted to lethal drugs and within a very early stage of life get involved in crimes to manage money for drugs. Many drug dealers even use these children for trafficking drugs as well.

    Beside these people the working people of the station have struggling life. Many railway workers, laborer do not have a better working condition. My project has covered them as well them as well.

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    Two roaming boys of Chittagong Railway Station were playing in the smoke created from burnt straws during winter. Suddenly the smoke got dense and they were trying to escape from the smoke.

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    A railway worker was burning down garbage of the station during the clean up period of the station. This could be harmful for the workers and also pollutes environment.

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    These boys were taking Marijuana at the station premises. Some drug dealers also use them for trafficking drug and these boys work for the dealers to manage money for their addiction.

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    A family living in the temporary slum near the station. Here the old man was passing time with his grandchildren. He could not educate his sons properly because of poverty but he dreams to educate his grandchildren.

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    A homeless girl in a scrap rail bogie. She lives in this bogie with her family.

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    A mentally disable man was confined in chains in the station premises. Local people chained him because of his activities in the station.

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    Many homeless people basically roam railway station to station for begging and other means of livelihood. They travel on the train without tickets. It was just before the departure of the train these people gathered on the train for moving to another station.

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    In Bangladesh it is prohibited to smoke cigarettes in public places like railway stations. But a man was having smoke in the busy platform of the station.

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    It was very cold weather. A homeless man in the platform covered almost his whole body, except his feet with a torn piece of cloth.

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    A homeless man was sleeping just beside the rail line.


    About the Photographer: Kazi Riasat Alve, Bangladesh.

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    Kazi Riasat Alve, a self taught photographer based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is a business student but his serious passion about photography lead him to become a photographer. His special interest in photography is people, basically he loves to portray the lifestyle of the people around him. Right now he is taking photographs a freelancer but for a few months he contributed in a Vienna based photo agency named Palavra Press. He is also an advisory member of his university’s photography club named Independent Photography Club (IPC) and conducted weekly workshops arranged by the club. His photographs exhibited in Singapore, Australia, India & his home country Bangladesh and he’s received international awards includig Peple & Planet award, Foto4All magazine’s award.

    Twitter: @kazi_riasat
    Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kazi_riasat/
    Website: http://www.lightstalkers.org/kazi-riasat-alve

  4. Aaron J Heiner

    Vietnam: Revisited

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    By Aaron J. Heiner

    Deep in the foot hills of the Appalachian Mountains, reside the soldiers of the Vietnam Reenactors, A Company 1/7th Cavalry Division Air-Mobile, better known as the Garry Owens for short. And the Gary Owens is preparing for a hard day of simulated combat on a humid summer day in August.

    The Garry Owens was created not as a group of military personnel interested in playing solider, but as a living history company dedicated to presenting the general public what life was like in combat was actually like.

    The majority of the current soldiers in the Gary Owens have already seen combat during the Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts first hand, while several of the older soldiers had serviced during the Vietnam War.

    The following photo essay represents a typical day for the Garry Owens. Observing the simulation are veterans, school children and the general public, all of whom are kept back at a safe distance due to the use of automatic weapons.

     

    Vietnam: Revisited
    A quick smoke before a patrol

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    Sgt. Gray is taking out a duce for patrol

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    The company has encountered the enemy

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    Waiting in the water for a clear shot

    Vietnam: Revisited
    Over-powdered ammunition

    Vietnam: Revisited
    Move forward


    About the Photographer: Aaron J. Heiner (写真家一番) , United States of America.

    Aaron J. Heiner or better known as Shashinka Ichiban (写真家一番) is a freelance press photojournalist from outside of Washington DC, and owner of the Shashinka Ichiban Photographic Syndicate. He has worked for multiple Washington DC area newspapers as well as the US Navy and Coast Guard during the past 20 years.

    While not on assignment for the press, he is engaged in street photography, shooting in Washington DC, Manhattan NY, Toronto ON, Tokyo and Osaka Japan, Singapore, Reykjavik Iceland, Glasgow Scotland and Dublin Ireland.

    Twitter: @shashinkaichibn
    Website:http://www.shashinka-ichiban.com

  5. Camille Léage

    One more story about India

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    By Camille Léage

    Some love it, others seem to hate it; most see-saw between the two. But no one can fail to be impressed at the enigma that is India, a country which has the ability to inspire, frustrate, thrill and confound at all once. This is certainly the reason why so many travelers have lost their way there over the centuries.

    This series tells one more story about India. It functions as a journal that catches some fragments of the unique beauty of the country, through my obsessive watching of its people and their interaction with environment. It depicts the underlying strength of its everyday life from the hidden valleys of Ladakh and Muslim Kashmir to the Hindu holy cities along the River Ganges. All of this was made possible through the use of a regular 35 mm camera, the closest mean to meet the world and its people.


    About the Photographer | Camille Léage

    Camille Léage is a self-taught photographer based in Paris, France. She is highly inspired by street and documentary photography. She spends most of her spare time traveling around the world.

  6. Tiet Ho

    Sihanouk’s Final Return

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    By Tiet Ho

    Crowned in 1941, king Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia played a crucial role in his country’s turbulent history for more than 60 years until he abdicated in 2004. Considered by many as the father of modern Cambodia, the former king died in Beijing aged 89 and his body was returned to the capital Phnom Penh on October 17, 2012. Thousands of people, some from the countryside, lined up the streets and went to the Royal Palace to witness his final return.

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    People waiting to see Shihanouk’s coffin being returned from Beijing

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    People praying at the sight of Shihanouk’s coffin passing by

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    Shihanouk’s coffin being driven through the streets

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    A mourner in front of the Royal Palace

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    A mourner in front of the Royal Palace offering incense and lotus flowers

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    A mourner burning incense in front of the Royal Palace

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    Mourners praying in front of the Royal Palace

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    Buddhist monks attending one of the altars where people offer flowers, incense and prayers

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    A portrait of Shihanouk being hoisted up at the Royal Palace

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    Mourners in front of the Royal Palace


    About the Photographer: Tiet Ho, Cambodia.

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    People often open themselves to a camera in their desire to make a connection with other human beings. My work has always been a privileged touch to the lives of others and a process of learning to understand the human conditions. Through photography, I have learnt to connect and participate, yet step back at times to let some poignant moments speak.

    Website: http://www.tietho.net
    More recent photos: http://tiethoscrapbook.blogspot.com

  7. Kathryn Obermaier

    Ashray Class Portrait

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    By Kathryn Obermaier –

    These images are a part of a class portrait series I shot at the Ashray School in Varanasi, India. The school was created to give students from migrant or “cast-less” families access to education. The evidence of their hardship is everywhere. Their uniforms are faded, fit poorly, and are riddled with holes. Most of the kids would sit in front of me and look straight through the lens, but one particular girl could not look me in the eye. You could tell how hard her life had been by how she stared at the floor. I wanted to tell her things would be okay, but I really did not know that. Days later, another student jumped on the back of my rickshaw as I left the school after a portrait session. He did not say a word. He just came back to the hotel with me and sat in my room on the floor next to the window. After a while he left without saying a word.


    About the Photographer

    Kathryn Obermaier, USA (b. 1978, USA) is a freelance photojournalist currently based in New York and Italy. She is a graduate from The International Center of Photography’s program in Documentary and Photojournalism, and has a Bachelors in Fine Art from The University of New Mexico.  Kathryn attended the Eddie Adams Workshop in 2007, and was chosen for the Associated Press award for her project on Cheerleaders. Before moving to New York she worked at the Santa Fe Photographic workshops, working with a variety of photographers.  Her work has been exhibited in The US and Europe, and is currently traveling with The Nuru Project and Acumens Funds, Digity traveling exhibition and online auction.  Her work has been been published in Rear View Mirror, and Blind spot Magazine. Kathryn works with an NGO when she is in India documenting the lives of the students at the Ashray School in Varanasi, as well continuing her personal project documenting various athletes throughout the world.

    Website 1: www.kathrynobermaier.com
    Website 2: http://phoodfotography.tumblr.com

     

  8. G.M.B Akash

    Dawn to Dusk in Smoke & Ashes

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    By G.M.B Akash –

    For kilometers in every direction, there is not a hint of colour. Everything’s is gray-brown, soot-blackened and dust- blown. In brick fields every day, work starts at six in the morning, carting head-loads of eight bricks from the furnace to the supply pile. Each trip back and forth is allotted a little over a minute. Anymore, and the entire cycle will fall behind. For a twelve-hour workday, during which an average worker carries about five thousand bricks, he earns Tk. 80 after his expenses are paid.

    Even though the apparent danger of bricks being piled so, the sight is commonplace in Bangladesh, where people use their heads for carrying things a lot. Teams of construction workers, male and female, shift the piles of bricks or buckets of sand and concrete aided only by a flat hat to help keep the load balanced. Brick field workers routinely stack mountainous piles of bricks onto their heads when loading and unloading the boats and Bedford trucks used to transport clay-fired bricks from the kilns where they are made to the construction sites where they are used.

    For each 1,000 bricks children at a brick factory in carry, they earn the equivalent of USD 0.9. Workers are also employed to carry out backbreaking work, toiling 12 hours a day for a daily wage of 120 taka (USD 1.70) for men and 100 taka (USD 1.40) for women. Their expert posture, deft steps and fluid movements of the brick carriers also posses the oppressive levels of exploitation at work here. On the construction sites, laborers must sweat and slog through the intense heat of the sun, working long hours for scant reward. These brick kilns are emitting harmful ‘particulate matters’ into the air, which are responsible for the alarming rise of respiratory ailment among workers. The carbon particles and high concentration of carbon monoxides of the toxic fumes are harming the eyes, lungs and throat of many of the brick field workers. Yet unemployment and poverty force them to work and earn at a little amount of money through this process.



    About the Photographer

    G.M.B Akash, Bangladesh

    To underline our lives, our awareness, I persist to treasure and poke the ‘spinal chord’ of the world, by transforming sufferings into photographs. For me Photography is my language, to access, to communicate, to identify and mostly to make it hear. Through photography I only jot down my heart’s language. The best part about being a photographer is that I’m able to articulate the experiences of the voiceless and to bring their identities to the forefront which gives meaning and purpose to my own life.

    I have received more than 68 international awards and my work has been featured in over 70 major, international publications including: National Geographic, Vogue,Time, Sunday Times, Newsweek, Geo, Stern, Der Spiegel, The Fader, Brand Ein, The Guardian, Marie Claire, Colors, The Economist, The New Internationalist, Kontinente, Amnesty Journal, Courier International, PDN, Die Zeit, Days Japan, Hello, and Sunday Telegraph of London.

    In 2002 I became the first Bangladeshi to be selected for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass in the Netherlands. In 2004 I received the Young Reporters Award from the Scope Photo Festival in Paris — once again, the first Bangladeshi to receive this honour. In 2005 I was awarded “Best of Show” at the Center for Fine Art Photography’s international competition in Colorado, USA. And in 2006 I was awarded World Press Photo award and released my premier book “First Light”.

    In 2007 I became the first Bangladeshi to be selected for the 30 Emerging Photographers (PDN 30), sponsored by Photo District News Magazine, USA. I won the 7th Vevey International Photography Grant fromSwitzerland in 2009 and in the same year, I took home the international ‘Travel photographer of the Year” title at the International Travel Photographer of the Year Competition (TPOY 2009) in the UK, the most prestigious award in travel photography.

    I was one of the speakers in the fifth Global Investigative Journalism Conference, held at Lillehammer, Norway in 2008 and as well I was the first Bangladeshi in Ted talk at TEDxOporto 2011, in Portugal. I was one of the speaker of “7th Forum of Emerging Leaders in Asian Journalism”, Yogyakarta / Indonesia”. In 2011 Nikon has selected me as one of the 8 influencers in Asia pacific (APAC region). Presentation of my 10 years project published as form of book ‘Survivors’ in 2012, which has reviewed by prestigious Geo magazine.

    My web page: www.gmb-akash.com
    My blog: http://www.gmbakash.wordpress.com/
    My agency: www.panos.co.uk

    In addition, To get the first glimpse of my book ‘Survivors

  9. Dominic Blewett

    Railway Workshop

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    By Dominic Blewett –

    One of my last assignments before leaving Vietnam was to visit the Railway Workshop adjoining the Hanoi Railway Station.

    In the dim light of the old, stained buildings, grease-covered men in blue overalls attacked pieces of metal, did things to massive turning wheels, and hunched smoking around ancient machinery. We saw a turntable and the men turned it for us. We were taken to see an old Russian steam engine being renovated. We fumbled around in the dusty old cab, pulling levers and staring at dials. We pulled the chain and made loud tooting noises. We – myself and the writer – realized that we still wanted to be train drivers, or trains, or something on rails. Choo choo.

    The Turntable

    Workers rest at the Railway Workshop.

    A man fixes engine part inside one of the main workshops.

    A piece of machinery in one of the main workshops.

    Detail of machine control panel.

    Train wheels await fixing.

    A worker fixes train wheels in one of the main workshops.

    An old engine.

    A train leaves the yard for the train station.

    Alone worker crosses the yard at the Railway Workshop.


    About the Photographer

    Dominic Blewett is a travel and editorial photographer from the UK, now based in Berlin.

    For the past ten years he lived and worked in Asia. While there he worked for magazines and charities, and also documented extreme religious festivals in the region.

    Twitter: @dblewettphoto
    Website: http://www.dblewett.com

  10. Francesco Astrucci

    Vanishing Kashgar

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    By Francesco Lastrucci –

    The turkic descendent Uighrs never had, if only briefly, their own country but most of them now reside in modern Xinjiang, the westernmost province of China, and Kashgar is arguably the capital of muslim Uighur culture.

    Life has not changed in centuries in the heart of legendary Kashgar’s old city, one of the old Silk Road main crossroads and trading hub.
    The mud-brick buildings combined in labyrinth-like streets powdered by the sands of the Taklamakan desert are now object of a redevelopment plan by the Chinese government.

    Most of the old town is being destroyed or transformed into a tourist theme-park, and it’s people resettled and given new homes.
    The old buildings are being replaced with anti-earthquake structures. In a pattern familiar in modern China no one has asked the Uighurs themselves.
    Kashgar was one of the best preserved examples of islamic architecture in Central Asia, the old city is disappearing while the culture is still alive.

    old town. street scene

    old town. tearing down the old buildings

    the sunday market.

    tea house in the old town

    tearing down the old buildings. old town

    night market in the old town

    old town. street scene

    the old town

    the old town. old buildings

    old town. knocking down the old buildings


    About the Photographer: Francesco Lastrucci, China.

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    Born in Florence in 1977, Francesco Lastrucci is a freelance photographer who mostly focuses on editorial stories.
    After initially studying architecture he moved to Stockholm and dedicated himself to photography.
    Now based between Italy, New York and Colombia he is working on projects in Europe, Latin America and East Asia.
    He is currently working on a long term personal project in Colombia (2010-present) and he’s taking assignments all over the world.
    His work appeared in major North American, European and Asian magazines.
    Among them The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Independent on Sunday, CNN, Monocle, Vanity Fair, The Smithsonian, GEO (France), Afar, Asian Geographic, Intelligence in Lifestyle (sole24ore), Prime Russian Magazine, Afisha-Mir.

    Website: http://www.francescolastrucci.com