English photographer Levon Biss took his cameras and lenses and for almost two years travelled the world to document the world of soccer. Biss visited 28 countries in five different continents in an attempt to capture the strong emotions created by the world’s most popular sport. From tiny mountain villages to urban neighbourhoods in sprawling cities, and from young kids and women to professional footballers, Biss produced a vast collection of stunning photographs for a book and an exhibition. He called his photography project “One Love”. In an exclusive interview with Greece’s first street paper, Shedia, he talked about his adventures and the extraordinary power of football.
“I have become convinced that the most serious and unaddressed worldwide challenge is the deprivation and abuse of women and girls, largely caused by a false interpretation of carefully selected religious texts and growing tolerance of violence and warfare,” former US president Jimmy Carter writes in a new book called A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power. Besides infanticide and forced marriage, Carter discusses slavery, genital cutting, rape and honour killings. He said: “This is the most important book I have ever written.” Suzanne Hanney, editor-in-chief of StreetWise in Chicago, reviews the work of a former president and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was seen by the West as a capable and visionary politician whom many believed would finally achieve the impossible and bring about a peaceful solution to the Palestinian situation in Israel. However, in 1995 Rabin was murdered and evidence suggests that the Nobel Peace Prize winner was killed by his own secret service, in an effort to thwart peacemaking initiatives that were anathema to some Israelis. Sean Kavanagh reports for Ireland’s Big Issue.
Chris Hadfield was born in Ontario, Canada, on a corn farm. From a very young age he would look up at the sky and dream of flying high into the clouds and beyond into the realms of deepest space. Hadfield eventually achieved his childhood dream and last year became an internet sensation after posting a YouTube video of himself performing David Bowie's Space Oddity while on board the International Space Station. Samantha Bailie of Ireland’s Big Issue caught up with Hadfield, the astronaut who found global fame by Tweeting and Facebooking stunning images from space.
Children without limbs are being offered a better life thanks to a South African inventor. For people with missing fingers, hands, or arms from birth, even the simplest of tasks can be a mammoth challenge. Getting fitted with prostheses can cost tens of thousands of rand and it is money many families simply don’t have. But teacher Ian Pells was determined to help disabled pupils at his school. Trawling the web, he stumbled upon South African inventor Richard van As, who runs an organisation called Robohand. Using a 3D printer, a custom-made prosthetic finger costs R1 750, significantly cheaper than it would otherwise, and it can be fitted and printed in less than 10 hours. Rebekah Funk reports for The Big Issue South Africa.
Stricter controls that forbid UK prisoners from receiving packages from their families have been lambasted by several high-profile authors including Salman Rushdie and Philip Pullman. The revered writers argue that the decision, in effect, bans prisoners from reading books. However, government ministers have denied this pointing out that books are available from prison libraries or can be bought from a mail order list available to inmates. Adam Forrest of The Big Issue UK investigates the controversial new policy.
“Losing your hearing is like other forms of loss, with the accompanying five stages of grieving. Into the tumbler go denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. That’s a crappy mix. Why can’t there be a stage of joy, exhilaration or side-slapping laughter. Not even a giggle? The best we get is acceptance. Screw that.” Rod Taylor is writing a book, The Edge of Silence, about his experience of losing sound. He wrote the following piece for The Big Issue Australia.
Lars von Trier is a director who puts characters – and audiences – through the wringer. He has won top prizes at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and has also been kicked out of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. His latest film, Nymphomaniac, is the third part of a trilogy about depression. In an article for The Big Issue Australia, Thomas Caldwell gives readers a run-through of the idiosyncratic and provocative director’s work to date.
The Affordable Care Act, signed into law by President Obama in March 2010, was supposed to widen access to medical care for all low income Americans under age 65. Effective on 1st January 2014, US states had the option to expand medical coverage with federal support. However, according to a recent report, 25 states—all but three headed by Republican governors—have chosen not to expand Medicaid coverage to low-income adults. Nakia Hill reports for Spare Change News.
France’s far-right National Front party has said it will prevent schools from offering special lunches to Muslim pupils in the 11 towns where it won elections recently. Many schools substitute beef or chicken for pork to cater for Muslim children whose religion forbids them from eating meat from pigs. However, the National Front leader Marine Le Pen has said this goes against France’s secular values – where religion is forbidden to enter the public sphere by law. France is now home to five million Muslims – the largest minority group in Europe.
For the second time in three years, car-manufacturing giant Mazda has had to recall thousands of cars in the USA due to spiders setting up home inside the engine because they like the smell of gasoline. The problem first occurred in 2009, when Yellow Sac spiders were found to be weaving webs inside a vent in the engine, blocking the fuel-flow and damaging fuel tanks – some 65,000 Mazda6 sedans were recalled. It was thought the problem was fixed but a recent recurrence has left engineers scratching their heads as to how the spiders get inside.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been revealed as the organisation behind the social media network in Cuba called ZunZuneo – often called the “Cuban Twitter”. The network, used by some 40,000 people, was set up to target Cuban youths with the aim of destabilising the government of Raúl Castro. It only came to an end when the project ran out of funds. Critics say the covert project was further evidence of USAID being involved in subversive operations in foreign countries, often denied by the White House.
The Taliban’s campaign against modern education in troubled northern Pakistan has backfired, causing a rise in literacy among boys and girls whose parents are sending them to school in defiance of the terrorist organisation. The Taliban have destroyed some 500 schools in Pakistan, including 300 schools for girls. But this has only propelled more students towards school with enrolment up by 16 percent on last year. Some of the public are viewing the Taliban’s activities as “anti-people” with one parent saying “anything opposed by the Taliban benefits the people”.
One year ago, Tara Elizabeth Axmaker - high on meth - stabbed an acquaintance, stole a police car and led deputies on a chase that ended when she crashed. In October 2013, Axmaker pled guilty to first-degree assault, aggravated theft and attempting to elude police. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison and is currently serving time at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon, USA. This is her story – in her own words – as submitted to Street Roots.
EU citizens will go to the ballot box in May to elect new legislators to the European Parliament. In an exclusive interview with Danish street paper Hus Forbi, the EU Commissioner in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, speaks out against criminalizing homelessness. László Andor also says the EU’s 2020 goal is to reduce the number of people at risk of poverty by 20 million.
Haifaa al-Mansour – Saudi Arabia’s first female filmmaker – knows a thing or two about trailblazing. Her latest movie, Wadjda, focuses on a young girl’s experience of a society segregated by gender divides. While al-Mansour wanted to open up everyday life in Saudi Arabia to an international audience, she also wanted to show women’s experience to male audiences at home. She speaks to Rebecca Harkins-Cross of The Big Issue Australia about making a film in a country that still forbids women from driving or working without a man’s permission.
Why does Portland, Oregon, in the USA, have nearly twice the national average in the number of people waiting for social security disability benefits? In an in-depth investigation for Street Roots, Jake Thomas reveals there is a backlog of more than 8000 people in Portland and eligible disability applicants can spend years with little or no medical treatment or income.
British singer-songwriter and former soldier, James Blunt, shot to stardom in 2004 when he hit the number one spot with the Grammy-nominated single, “You’re Beautiful”. Blunt has since made three more albums, with his most recent, “Moon Landing”, released last year. The best-selling artist talks to Adrian Lobb of The Big Issue UK about defying his father, taking on Twitter trolls and playing at Elton John’s wedding.
Medicine might be marvelous, but Howard Goldenberg reckons it’s no match for superbugs. In this article for The Big Issue Australia, Goldenberg examines how the over-use of antibiotics has caused the rise of resistant superbugs – with some now completely unaffected by all known medicines.
What would you say to your 16-year-old self, if you could go back in time? Every week Ireland’s Big Issue asks a well-known person to offer their younger self some words of wisdom. British actor, Simon Gregson, who plays the character Steve McDonald in a famous UK television soap called Coronation Street, gives his response.