Zuma Press photographer, Taylor Weidman gives us an inside view of the daily lives of the indigenous Xikrin people living along the Xingo River in the Brazillian Amazon. Their lives are about to change.
Photographs by Taylor Weidman/zReportage.com via ZUMA Press
“I would like our language and culture to be preserved, to not lose them as other people have,” says Mukuka Xikrin, a young leader from Poti-Kro village of the Xikrin-Kayapo tribe.
The Xikrin live on the Bacaja River, a tributary of the Xingu River in the Brazilian Amazon. Just a few miles from Poti-Kro village, the Xingu will soon be home to the third-larget dam in the world, the Belo Monte. Despite over 20 years of indigenous, environmental, and local protest, Belo Monte is reaching peak construction this year, threatening to displace roughly 20,000 people while it converts the power of the Xingu into 11,233 MW of electricity.
The government of Brazil is investing heavily in this dam, which is expected to contribute to major development in the country. But what will this mean for local people like the Xikrin who rely on the river for their livelihood?
“Everything we need, we have here,” says Ngrenhkarati, a Xikrin woman. “For food we can fish, harvest manioc, and hunt.”
The Xikrin live a subsistence lifestyle within the village and depend on the river as a supplier of food, the sole mode of transportation, and a tie to their ancestors. The Xikrin and their relatives, the Kayapó, refer to themselves as Mebengokre, or “People of the Big Water.”
But when the Belo Monte dam is complete, the Bacaja will run the risk of running drier and lower, impacting the wildlife of the river. The Xikrin, whose lives, history, traditions, values, and practices depend on the river, have not been given proper consultation under the law and are fighting an uphill battle against the construction of the dam.
As construction of Belo Monte reaches its peak this year and the Xikrin adjust to the possibility of life without the “big water,” the Vanishing Cultures Project will travel to the Big Bend and document the culture of the Xikrin before their river heritage is altered forever. (zReportage.com)
More than 400,000 people have been displaced in CAR since Seleka rebels - many who are Muslims from neighboring countries Chad and Sudan - seized political power in March 2013, ousting then-president Francois Bozize. Shortly after the transition, the majority Christian population was subject to increasing incidents of rapes, murders and looting. Michel Djotodia, rebel leader turned interim president, has largely lost control of his gunmen. Christians fled reprisals following a failed offensive on Bangui the first week of December. A French initiative to disarm all fighters on both sides has weakened Seleka’s influence in the capital, leading to counter-attacks by Christian militias.
President Francois Hollande visited CAR on his return trip to France from the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa on Monday after two French soldiers were killed in fighting and shortly after France sent a 1,600-strong force into its former colony to neutralize the chaos and end the deadly fighting.Residents of PK5, a largely Muslim neighborhood, congregate near a mosque where bodies of people killed during fighting are gathered in Bangui on December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Emmanuel Braun
In the Fouh neighborhood on Tuesday, a Reuters correspondent saw civilians armed with wooden clubs and machetes attack a mosque and houses, and at least six people were lynched overnight mainly during violence targeting Muslims, according to residents. French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the current French troop levels were sufficient to stabilize the country. CAR is roughly the size of France. The U.S. said it will fly African forces into the country: two U.S. military C-17 aircraft will fly 850 troops from Burundi, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Firman, a Pentagon spokesman, said. It was unclear what U.S. support might follow, but Firman said consultations were ongoing. The forces will help bolster the contingent from the African Union, due to be increased to 6,000 from about 3,500.
UN Refugee Agency reported that by Monday night, an estimated 108,000 people in Bangui have left their homes and staying in 30 locations across the capital, mainly in churches, mosques, public buildings and the airport. In addition, an unknown number of people have also moved to Kilometre 5, a mostly Muslim neighborhood in the northwest of Bangui, to stay with relatives or friends. In the capital Bangui, religious leaders met to distribute food to the more than 10,000 displaced people huddled at a gathering at a community center for protection. They urged an end to the violence.
David Rhode, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and Reuters columnist writes: Wealthy nations are funding a poorly-equipped regional peacekeeping force instead of authorizing more costly United Nations troops, and it is unclear whether the approach will work.
Top Photo: A Christian youth inside a burned-out car in Bangui on December 10, 2013. REUTERS/Emmanuel Braun
If you’re a teacher at any level, or have friends who teach, your Facebook feed is likely peppered with inadvertently amusing quotes from students’ assignments. A kid may have, for example, confused Abraham Lincoln for Mussolini, or identified Marie Curie as a fashion magazine. Maybe another wants an extension because of a crucial upcoming vacation to St. Tropez, or would like to meet with your teacher-friend to ask why an exam only got an A-minus… and to hold that meeting on a Sunday. One college-admissions officer was fired for this sort of sharing. But these posts, at least when coming from instructors, tend to just fly under the radar. The Shit My Students Write Tumblr collects such quotes anonymously, but is, as one BuzzFeed writer notes, enough to make students “paranoid.” It’s that much more unsettling when mistakes or missteps are shared on Facebook—the students may not be named, but the professors and institutions typically will be. Thanks to social media, we’ve moved from a vague sense that teachers sometimes talk about their students in an unflattering light to a having very concrete idea of what they’re saying.
Read more. [Image: Smileham/Flickr]
Some of my fav girls walking the VS runway over the years
Ajuma, Naomi, Oluchi, Jessica, Alek, Sessilee, Tyra, Noemie & Liya!