The systematic brutal targeting and murders of journalists continue to rise across Latin America without impunity. In 2015, 43 journalists were killed in the region, while every 22 hours, a journalist was attacked in Mexico. But the threat has not been enough to silence journalists in Mexico, Honduras and Brazil. In the run up to World Press Freedom Day on May 3, IPS meets those fighting for justice and democracy in countries where dying for the news is a horrifying reality.
A music video featuring a young gay and lesbian couple is causing controversy in Kenya, where homosexuality is punishable with prison sentences of up to 14 years. The song Same Love is based on the life of openly gay gospel artist, Joji Baro. Despite being banned by the Kenya film classification board, the video has attracted over 200,000 hits on YouTube. Art Attack, the musician behind Same Love, tells IPS says released it to awaken Kenyans and start a conversation on gay rights.
As El Salvador reels from a record wave of gang violence, murders and a failing economy that has forced tens of thousands to emigrate, one town is making the most of a grim situation by turning to the coffin trade. Residents of Jucuapa, east of San Salvador, tell Reuters why they are leaving behind their low-profit trade in coffee and agriculture to set up coffin assembly workshops in order to meet a growing demand.
In Portugal, mass emigration caused by high unemployment and poorly-paid local jobs has seen the population of many villages dwindle to the point where they face disappearing from the map. Reuters visits two such villages where the isolated and elderly population is struggling to access medical care, and feeling increasingly abandoned.
The University of Washington has proposed a bid to host a tent city for 100 homeless people on its Seattle campus for three months in early 2017. Tent City 3 is the largest homeless encampment in Seattle and welcomed INSP delegates for a visit during the 2015 INSP Summit in Seattle. Real Change reports on the university’s proposal, and learns why hosting a homeless encampment can be mutually beneficial for students and for residents of the camp.
Grammy Award-winning comedian and actor Lewis Black is best-known for his appearances on The Daily Show and for voicing the hot-heated Anger in Pixar’s box office smash, Inside Out. In his new American stand-up tour, The Emperor’s New Clothes: The Naked Truth Tour, the ‘king of the rant’ returns to point out at the absurdities of life. He jokes that the Republican presidential candidates are making him irrelevant this campaign season, by being beyond satire.
In late 2015, Reagan National Airport outside Washington DC introduced a new policy that closed its main terminal at night to those without boarding passes. The change effectively stopped people experiencing homelessness from staying there, including vendors from local street paper Street Sense. In response, vendors affected by the new policy produced a series of essays, photographs and illustration that shed light on life for a person experiencing homelessness at the airport. This article is one of the nominees for Best Vendor Contribution at the INSP Awards 2016.
One year after the death of Freddie Gray, a young African-American who died from injuries sustained while in police custody in Baltimore, we share Denver VOICE vendor Dwayne Pride’s interview with fellow vendor Damien Haussling. The pair spoke in April 2015, shortly after Gray’s death and the ensuing Baltimore protests and riots. Damien is a formerly homeless staff member of Baltimore’s street paper Word on the Street [a former INSP member currently taking a break from publishing]. The pair discussed the unrest in Baltimore, Damien’s experience of homelessness and his current fight to protect others experiencing homelessness and poverty. This article is one of the nominees for Best Vendor Contribution at the INSP Awards 2016.
In this moving article, Groundcover vendor Lit explains what she means when she says she lives “out here”. She discusses what she’s lost – and what she’s gained – through her experience of homelessness, and how she has learned to construct a new sense of place and being. “It is a place where I have formed lasting bonds, gone through unexpected and unpredictable challenges, yet woken up to face another day with gratitude,” she writes. This article is one of the nominees for Best Vendor Contribution at the INSP Awards 2016.
Speak Up vendor Dustin Lapres has lost many friends in Traverse City, Michigan. This piece is an ode to his homeless companions who have passed on – “old school hobos who taught me as a young man to survive and thrive on the street.” In the process, he paints a vivid picture of life on the streets, and a homeless community that supports one another. This article is one of the nominees for Best Vendor Contribution at the INSP Awards 2016.
Yazidi women who have escaped the brutality of ISIS may have found safety in Khanke Refugee Camp in Kurdistan Iraq – known as Survivor’s Camp – but their struggles are far from over. They talk about losing their loved ones, their concerns for their missing daughters and fears for their own survival as they struggle to obtain ID and food for their children.
Italian street paper Scarp de’ tenis, which joined INSP’s international movement last year, celebrated its 200th edition in April. The historic edition featured people who have embodied what the street paper means to its vendors and readers over the last 20 years. This includes vendor Antonio Mininni, 70, who has been involved with the street paper since its very first edition. Editor Stefano Lampertico tells INSP about the anniversary edition and why vendors continue to be at the heart of the street paper.
After recording a spike in “unnecessary” homeless deaths in British Columbia, Vancouver-based street paper Megaphone is taking the government to task. Its report, Dying on the Streets, recorded a shocking 70% increase in largely preventable deaths of homeless individuals in 2014. Executive director Sean Condon tells INSP more must be done to stop homelessness becoming “an early death sentence” for the province’s most vulnerable.
Tony Landers sells StreetWise in Chicago. He is struggling to get an apartment that can accommodate his grandchildren, yet he stays optimistic: “I have an income and I’m saving money, with that I can afford an apartment.”
“Why am I not equal to the Jewish kids who are supposed to move here?” asks 12-year-old Tasneem, whose Bedouin tribe was relocated to their current village the Negev region of southern Israel by military order in 1956. Now, her village – home to 700 Bedouin – is slated for demolition as Israel continues to threaten forced closure of unrecognised Bedouin villages to make way for a Jewish settlements. To defend the villages, Bedouin rights NGOs are mounting an advocacy and media campaign pushing for a political solution. Tasneem and her neighbors are getting involved too - with a photography project to draw international attention to the proposed demolition.
The devastating earthquakes of April 2015 continue to wreak havoc in Nepal after causing major disturbances in the country’s ecosystem, especially in its mountains and forests. But remote farming communities are making the most of their natural resources to adapt and thrive. IPS reporter Stella Paul visited several villages in the Panchase protected forest mountain area of Kaski to discover how implementing sustainable and eco-friendly conservation and farming techniques is helping villagers survive.
How did America become a nation of inequality? Its growing rich/poor divide is already a key theme of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. A tidal wave of public anger over income inequality and the decline of the middle class has made ‘the rich’ a popular target on the campaign trail. Riding the crest of the wave is Bernie Sanders, who has gained popularity by calling for a “political revolution [against] the billionaire class”. Associate Professor of Law at Drake University, Anthony J. Gaughan, says the rich have brought this upon themselves with their rejection of noblesse oblige.
Jesus and his teachings on poverty are getting lost or ignored in present-day America, says The Contributor’s Brady Banks. He compares the Son of God’s teaching on poverty and his defiance of earthly authorities to modern-day attitudes concerning culture, politics and wealth. He asks: do we intentionally ignore some of the most radical teachings of Jesus out of our own self-preservation, our disdain for the poor, or our politics?
Angelo Kelly is the youngest member of the multi-generational, multi-million selling travelling folk band, The Kelly Family. In a candid interview, the now-solo artist spoke to TagesSatz vendor Stefan Marx about his music, growing up on the road, home-schooling and why after 10 years as a solo artist, family is still important.
In her award-winning documentary, The Brainwashing of My Dad, Jen Senko argues that U.S. right-wing media not only altered her father’s political views, it made him a completely different person… and ultimately alienated him from his family. The American filmmaker explains the ‘epidemic’ of conservative media indoctrination — and how people can respond.