Saturday, October 25, 2014


Top Shots

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond for the 43rd week of 2014. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive by clicking on the banner above.

"This Place": Israel Through The Eyes Of 12 Renowned Photographers

Prague's DOX Centre for Contemporary Art is presenting the world premiere of "This Place," a photo exhibition depicting the complexities of life in Israel and the West Bank. The show focuses on history, geography, daily life, and the perception of these topics by the global community. Frederic Brenner, the creator of the project, says he was inspired by various gatherings of artists throughout history, such as the Mission Heliographique in 19th-century France and the U.S. Farm Security Administration’s photography program. Each of the 12 photographers participating in the project spent approximately six months in residence. The final 500 photographs feature work by such esteemed artists as Josef Koudelka, Gilles Peres, Thomas Struth, and Fazal Sheikh. (Captions by DOX)

Photos Of The Week #42

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond for the 42nd week of 2014. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive by clicking on the banner above.

Putin Mania In Serbia

Souvenir shops in Belgrade have something new to offer: mugs, T-shirts, and fridge magnets of Vladimir Putin. The Russian president traveled to the Serbian capital on October 16 to take part in a military parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of the liberation from the Nazis, when Red Army forces fought side by side with Yugoslav partisans. Serb nationalists see Russia as a protector that supported Belgrade during the Kosovo crisis and has refused to recognize Kosovar independence. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)

'Drone Melee' Halts Serbia-Albania Euro 2016 Qualifying Match

A UEFA qualifying match for the Euro 2016 football tournament was suspended on October 14 after fighting broke out between players, team officials, and fans at Partizan stadium in Belgrade. Tensions were high before the match, which marked the Albanian squad's first trip to Belgrade since the 1960s and Serbian nerves still raw over the sovereignty of Kosovo, the majority ethnic Albanian region of the former Yugoslavia that declared independence from Serbia in 2008. No Albanian fans were allowed to attend the match, in an effort to ensure safety. The sports European governing body said it would investigate, and the incident could lead to serious repercussions. Here's what happened:

Protest Erupts Outside Ukrainian Parliament

Demonstrators have clashed with police outside the Ukrainian parliament during a raucous protest that prompted the legislature to go into recess. Some of the protesters tried to push past police and enter parliament during the demonstration on October 14. The approximately 500 protesters were demanding the Verkhovna Rada include on its agenda a draft law recognizing controversial World War II-era guerrilla resistance groups -- the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) -- as national heroes.

Sergei Prokofiev's Opera 'War And Peace' At 70

On October 16, 1944, Sergei Prokofiev's opera "War and Peace" debuted for a private audience with piano accompaniment at the Moscow Actors' Center. Prokofiev revised the opera at least a dozen times in an effort to win a seal of approval from the Soviet authorities, who demanded a clearly patriotic emphasis in the saga of the 1812 French invasion of Russia. During the revision process, which coincided with World War II, the opera became increasingly bombastic, adding nationalistic marches and choruses. The final version would not be performed at the prestigious Bolshoi Theater until six years after the deaths of both the composer and Stalin. In recent years, music historians have tried to recreate Prokofiev's earlier scores to revisit his original musical conception of the opera.

Czech Press Photo Winners 2014

Photos of the crisis in Ukraine dominate this year's Czech Press Photo contest. The competition, based on the World Press Photo awards, highlights the best journalistic work of photographers living in the Czech Republic and Slovakia during the previous year.

Photos Of The Week

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond for the 41st week of 2014.

Civilians Bear Brunt Of Kashmir Fighting

At least nine Pakistani and eight Indian civilians have been killed by cross-border shelling in Kashmir during the past week, in some of the heaviest fighting between the two countries in a decade.

Abandoned Buildings And Idle Hands In Abkhazia

The region of Abkhazia, in Georgia's northwest, has fought to assert its identity since the collapse of the Soviet Union. A bloody war in 1992-1993 claimed the lives of at least 35,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands of ethnic Georgians. Following the short Georgian-Russian War in August 2008, Abkhazia declared independence from Georgia, but that status has been recognized only by its chief sponsor, Russia, and a handful of other UN member states -- Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Nauru. Since the 2008 conflict, Russia has donated at least $150 million to help support Abkhazia, but that has done little to improve the daily lives of some 240,000 residents who must endure the fallout of the so-called frozen conflict. (Text and photos by Anthony Georgieff)

Sheep's Wool And Clay: Making Traditional Kyrgyz Tandyr Ovens

Kyrgyzstan-Osh, Tandyr, 27Sep14

Throughout Central Asia, tandyr -- clay ovens -- are used to make traditional tandoor bread or "nan." It's a special process in which the dough is stuck to the side of the tandyr and is baked by the heat from the oven walls. Photographer Ernist Nurmatov of RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service, Radio Azattyk, recently visited a family tandyr factory in the southwestern Kyrgyz city of Osh. The Nizamov family, who are ethnic Uzbeks, have been producing the ovens by hand for almost 40 years.

Photos Of The Week

Eid al-Adha preparations, Hong Kong protests, and the Kyiv conflict feature in this week's collection of some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond.

The Slow Death Of The Aral Sea

The eastern basin of the once-great Aral Sea dried up completely in the month of August for the first time in modern history. Soviet irrigation projects set up in the 1960s to support the Uzbek cotton industry have had a devastating effect on this body of water.

Belgrade Holds First Gay Pride Parade In Four Years

Hundreds of gay rights activists have marched in Belgrade in Serbia's first gay pride parade in four years. Media estimate that between 1,000 and 1,500 activists took part in the peaceful march on September 28. Several thousand anti-riot police, special police units, armored vehicles, and water cannons were deployed across the capital for the march due to threats by far-right groups. Some 50 anti-gay protestors were detained during the march. The parade was banned during the last three years over security concerns after hard-line nationalists attacked marchers and clashed with police at the first-ever event in 2010, leaving 150 people injured. (Photos: Vesna Andic, Ognjen Zoric, Zoran Glavonjic, Zarka Radoja)

Photos Of The Week #39

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive by clicking on the banner above.

Children, Pensioners At Work In Uzbekistan's Cotton Fields

As the annual cotton harvest gets under way in Uzbekistan, officials have ordered people of all ages and professions to contribute to the harvest effort. Although compulsory labor for anyone under 18 is officially banned, school-age children were seen working in the fields alongside adults, including pensioners. Medical students and doctors were also ordered to pick cotton, leaving some clinics closed to patients. (RFE/RL's Uzbek Service)

Russians March In Moscow For Peace In Ukraine

Thousands of people marched in Moscow on September 21 to call for peace in eastern Ukraine. Other antiwar protests were taking place simultaneously in St. Petersburg and in Ukrainian cities. Moscow police reported that some 5,000 people turned out for the demonstration, but organizers put the number as high as 40,000.

Photos Of The Week #38

Some of the most compelling photographs from RFE/RL's broadcast region and beyond. For more photo galleries, see our "Picture This" archive.

Severe Floods Hit Eastern Serbia

At least three people have been reported missing and around 400 have been evacuated from the Kladovo district in eastern Serbia, which has been struck by severe flooding for several days. RFE/RL's Balkan Service correspondent Ognjen Zorić filed photos of flood damage in the village of Tekija, where the Danube River overflowed its banks.

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