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Photos of the Week: 11/21-11/27 (35 photos) Theatlantic Nov 27, 2015

Winter weather in China, Europe, and the United States, a Martian panorama, a neighborhood in flames in Manila, demonstrations in Chicago, power outages in Crimea following an attack on power lines, the Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, and much more.

A Belgian soldier patrols a shopping street in central Brussels as police searched the area during a continued high level of security following the recent deadly Paris attacks, in Belgium on November 24, 2015.

(Yves Herman / Reuters)

Images From the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards (12 photos) Theatlantic Nov 25, 2015

The 2016 Sony World Photography Awards are now taking entries, and the organizers have been kind enough to share some of their early entries with us, gathered below. Last year’s competition attracted over 173,000 entries from 171 countries. Entries will be accepted until January 5, 2016. All captions below come from the photographers.

Rush Hour. In late summer the European hamster gets ready for hibernation. He fills up his pouches with grains, roots, plants or insects and transports them into his food chamber (that's why he is running).

(© Copyright Julian Ghahreman-Rad, Austria, Nature & Wildlife, Open, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards)

Red Sludge From Brazilian Dam Collapse Reaches the Atlantic (21 photos) Theatlantic Nov 24, 2015

Earlier this month, on November 5, two dams retaining tons of iron-mining waste near the Brazilian town of Bento Rodrigues burst, releasing a massive flood of thick, red toxic mud that flattened buildings and trees, smothered the small town, and left at least six dead. The wave of toxic sludge—tested and found to contain high levels of mercury and arsenic, according to a BBC report—then moved downstream, into the Rio Doce (Doce River), and spent two weeks making its way several hundred miles downstream, finally reaching the Atlantic Ocean. According to Reuters: “Scientists say the sediment, which may contain chemicals used by the mine to reduce iron ore impurities, could alter the course of streams as they harden, reduce oxygen levels in the water and diminish the fertility of riverbanks and farmland where floodwater passed.”

An aerial view of the Rio Doce (Doce River), which was flooded with mud after a dam owned by Vale SA and BHP Billiton burst, at an area where the river joins the sea, on the coast of Espirito Santo in Regencia Village, Brazil, on November 23, 2015.

(Ricardo Moraes / Reuters)

Today in History: November 23 (24 photos) Theatlantic Nov 23, 2015

A look at various events that took place on this day, November 23, photographed over the past century. Today’s collection includes a sword-fighting Mussolini, a motorcycle-jumping Evel Knievel in 1963, William Shatner dressed as a gun-toting Santa Claus in 1983, a Florida canvassing board member scrutinizing a voter’s ballot in 2000, and much more.

Benito Mussolini, Italy’s Prime Minister, right, fights a fencing duel with a Fascist militia officer in Rome, on November 23, 1936. The match was watched by Nazi newspapermen, who were visiting Rome, and Fascist officials.

(AP)

Welcomed to Europe (24 photos) Theatlantic Nov 22, 2015

Every day this year, thousands of refugees make the dangerous journey from their war-torn homelands to Europe. Many arrive without food or money; many are children. And as politicians debate whether or not these migrants can find refuge from persecution, volunteers are working to provide them with basic care. Al Jazeera reports that many of these volunteers are Europeans on vacation, and they fill in the gaps while larger organizations, like the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders, mount a more formal response. “It gets to a certain point where you can’t just watch and wait anymore,” Polly Rola, an Austrian who travelled to a remote village of Croatia to help, said to the news service. “We had some time and some money, so here we are.”

A Dutch volunteer tries to comfort a migrant moments after arriving aboard a raft at a beach on the Greek island of Lesbos on October 23, 2015.

(© Copyright Yannis Behrakis / Reuters)

Steve McCurry's India (12 photos) Theatlantic Nov 21, 2015

This month, the Rubin Museum of Art will display a selection of images from Steve McCurry’s travels to India over the last three decades. The photographs of the people, monuments, and landscapes of India, some of which have never before been published, are all endowed with McCurry’s trademark bursts of color. The Magnum photographer’s exhibit also corresponds to the release of his new book, India, which features 150 images of subcontinent. “No matter how much the country is changing,” he told Time, “there’s something about India that makes you feel like you’re stepping back into another time and age.”

An elderly man from the Rabari Tribe poses for a portrait in Rajasthan, India, in 2010.

(© Copyright Steve McCurry)

Photos of the Week: 11/14-11/20 (35 photos) Theatlantic Nov 20, 2015

A dinosaur in Beijing, stormy weather in Seattle, Potala Palace in Tibet, a nine-year-old karate champion in Japan, ice accumulation in New Hampshire, escaping a sinking ferry in Indonesia, security measures in France and Germany, flooding in India, a bear with its head stuck in a milk can in Maryland, and much more.

A man carries two children after panic broke out among mourners who paid their respects at the attack sites at restaurant Le Petit Cambodge (Little Cambodia) and the Carillon Hotel in Paris, on November 15, 2015. Thousands of French troops were deployed around Paris on Sunday, and tourist sites stood shuttered in one of the most visited cities on Earth, while investigators questioned the relatives of a suspected suicide bomber involved in the country's deadliest violence since World War II. The incident pictured here turned out to be a false alarm.

(Peter Dejong / AP)

Scenes From the American West, 150 Years Ago (28 photos) Theatlantic Nov 19, 2015

In the late 1860s, photographer Andrew J. Russell traveled west to document the construction of the Union Pacific Railway in Wyoming and Utah, including the famous “golden spike” moment on May 10, 1869, when the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads were joined in Promontory, Utah, creating the nation’s first transcontinental railroad. Russell captured images of the railway construction as well as the wide-open landscape of the American West and its inhabitants. See also, a previous photo essay from Timothy O’Sullivan, covering similar territory at the time.

On the mountains of Green River, looking up the valley. From the book Photographs Taken During Construction of the Union Pacific Railroad: “The standpoint for this view is nearly two thousand feet above the railroad, which can be seen winding through the bottom lands three miles away. Farther off can be seen the dim outline of Green River City, Utah.”

(Andrew J. Russell / Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Tailored for Success: The Bazin Industry in Mali (19 photos) Theatlantic Nov 18, 2015

In the West African nation of Mali, the fabric of choice for formal occasions is bazin, also called damask. According to Reuters, the “polished, heavy cotton fabric with a distinctive sheen, is extremely popular across the region and is worn at almost all formal occasions in Mali.” While an industry has grown up around the tailoring and creation of bazin garments, most of the material is still imported. Some are now looking to bring the production to Mali, hoping for factory jobs to help its ailing economy. Reuters photographer Joe Penney recently photographed bazin fashions at the Festi’Bazin in Mali’s capital, Bamako.

Model Mamadou Racine poses for a picture in a bazin outfit made by designer Barros Coulibaly in Bamako, Mali, on October 21, 2015.

(Joe Penney / Reuters)

China From Above (27 photos) Theatlantic Nov 17, 2015

A collection of recent aerial images showing the vast diversity of landscapes across China, from cities to mountains, desert to sea shores, and much more.

Aerial view of an abandoned Chinese fishing village overtaken by green vines on Shengshan Island, one of hundreds that make up Shengsi Islands, in east China's Zhejiang Province, on June 12, 2015. Vines climb the old stone walls, weave through the windows and doors, and creep along the crumpling paths in the village which has been reclaimed by Mother Nature.

(Hei Jiaoshi / Imaginechina / Corbis)

The Re-Taking of Sinjar, Iraq (25 photos) Theatlantic Nov 16, 2015

Late last week, Iraqi Kurdish militias, backed by a U.S.-led air campaign, launched an assault to retake the town of Sinjar in northern Iraq. Sinjar was captured by ISIS in August of 2014, an attack that left many dead, and caused tens of thousands of Yazidis to flee into the neighboring mountains. Thousands of Kurdish Peshmerga and Yazidi fighters entered Sinjar on Thursday after numerous reported airstrikes. Many Yazidis celebrated the news as they heard in refugee camps, but photographs show that months of warfare have left little of the town standing intact. Kurdish forces are now taking efforts to set up a wide buffer zone to try and protect the town from future attacks.

Smoke believed to be from an airstrike billows over the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar on November 12, 2015.

(Bram Janssen / AP)

Monuments Around the World Light Up for Paris (38 photos) Theatlantic Nov 15, 2015

Buildings and monuments across the globe have been lit up in France’s national colors this weekend, in solidarity with the French people, and in tribute to the victims of Friday’s attacks. Gathered below are only some of the dozens of landmarks participating, from the Pyramids of Giza to the Sydney Opera House, including images from Berlin, Bogota, Brasilia, Bratislava, Brussels, Budapest, Buenos Aires, Buffalo, Cairo, Copenhagen, Dubai, Geneva, Jerusalem, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait City, London, Madrid, Mexico City, Mumbai, New York, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Stockholm, Sydney, Taipei, Tallinn, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Toronto, Tromso, Vilnius, and Warsaw.

Shanghai's landmark building Oriental Pearl TV Tower is lit up in blue, white, and red, the colors of the French flag, following the Paris attacks, in Shanghai, China, on November 14, 2015.

(Aly Song / Reuters)

The World Looks to Paris (26 photos) Theatlantic Nov 14, 2015

People around the world have responded to the Paris attacks with solidarity. State buildings were illuminated with the ​blue, white, and red​ of the French flag. Embassies around the world are now surrounded with bouquets, candles, and messages of good will in the memory of the 127 people ​who were​ killed.

A woman with a French flag painted in her face cries during a vigil for victims of the Paris terror attacks at Martin Place on November 14, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.

(© Copyright Daniel Munoz / Getty)

Photos From the Paris Attacks (30 photos) Theatlantic Nov 14, 2015

On Friday night, attacks across Paris killed at least 120 people and injured about 200 more. At least eight attackers reportedly shot people in several restaurants and cafes, set off explosions near the Stade de France stadium, and took hostages at the Bataclan concert hall, which was later stormed by French police. French authorities have reported that the attackers are all now dead but warned that accomplices may still be at large. President François Hollande declared a state of emergency and ordered tighter border security measures.

Spectators embrace each other as they stand on the playing field of the Stade de France stadium at the end of a friendly soccer match between France and Germany in Saint Denis, outside Paris, Friday, November 13, 2015. Hundreds made their way to the pitch after explosions were heard nearby.

(Christophe Ena / AP)

Photos of the Week: 11/07-11/13 (35 photos) Theatlantic Nov 13, 2015

McSleepers in Hong Kong, sturgeon in Iran, Kurdish soldiers in Syria, Diwali in New Delhi, a militant from the Bird Protection League, hit by a shovel in France, Guatemala's Fuego Volcano, and much more.

A motorist passes a pile of milo at a grain storage facility near Canton, Kansas, on November 10, 2015. The crop is used mainly for feeding cattle and ethanol production.

(Charlie Riedel / AP)

Marking a Decade of Quality Storytelling (9 photos) Theatlantic Nov 12, 2015

MediaStorm, a film production and multimedia design studio located in Brooklyn, New York, will be celebrating its 10th anniversary on November 16. Founded by Brian Storm, the studio produces films large and small, targeted to many types of screens and audiences, and has picked up numerous awards over the years. I had the privilege of working alongside Brian years ago, when we were both at MSNBC.com. I was a web developer, and would hang out in the multimedia area often, inspired by the quality of the images, wondering why our competitors weren’t making their visuals as beautiful and compelling—and I can partly trace my current career path as a photo editor right back to those days of inspiration. Photographer Ed Kashi, who has worked with MediaStorm on a number of projects had this to say, when I asked him for a few words about the studio: “From its inception, it set the standard for multimedia and today as the medium has evolved closer to short form documentary work and more video-only structures, they continue to be a leader. Their commitment to excellence and always innovating and upping the standards are hallmarks of what they do.”

Bloodline: AIDS and Family, a film by Kristen Ashburn and MediaStorm showing an intimate portrait of African mothers, fathers, and children being crushed by AIDS. Ashburn's film invites viewers to come to know these families, and see the larger implications of the disease, as it snakes through whole villages.

(© Copyright Kristen Ashburn)

Scrape It Off, Scrape It Off (14 photos) Theatlantic Nov 11, 2015

On a wall in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, thousands of pounds of chewing gum have built up over the past 20 years, stuck there by locals and visitors, eventually becoming a tourist attraction on its own. This week, the millions of gum wads are being scraped and steam-cleaned away, in a move to preserve the historic buildings, according to a story in The Seattle Times. The Times also reports that the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority plans to weigh the removed gum before throwing it out. There are apparently no plans to prevent the gum wall from returning once the cleaning is complete.

Fernando Soberania uses a tool to scrape layers of gum from Seattle's famous "gum wall" at Pike Place Market on November 10, 2015. Tourists and locals have been sticking their used chewing gum on the walls of a section of Post Alley for the past 20 years, and although the walls will be cleaned down to bare brick, officials expect the gum-sticking tradition will quickly return.

(Ted S. Warren / AP)

Tibetan Buddhists Gather for the Bliss Dharma Assembly (23 photos) Theatlantic Nov 10, 2015

In a remote, mountainous area of China’s Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, the Bliss Dharma Assembly—the last of four annual assemblies of Tibetan Buddhists—took place at the end of October, at the Larung Wuming Buddhist Institute. Getty Images photographer Kevin Frayer traveled there to capture the following captivating images of the people and their surroundings. The weeklong gathering takes place in the ninth month of the Tibetan calendar to mark Buddha's descent from the heavens.

A Tibetan Buddhist nomad woman prepares tea at dusk following a chanting session as part of the annual Bliss Dharma Assembly at the Larung Wuming Buddhist Institute on October 31, 2015, in Sertar County, China.

(Kevin Frayer / Getty)

Photos of the Red Sludge That Smothered a Town in Brazil (27 photos) Theatlantic Nov 9, 2015

On November 5, two dams retaining tons of iron-mining waste near the Brazilian town of Bento Rodrigues burst, releasing a massive flood of thick, red toxic mud that flattened buildings and trees, smothered the small town, killed at least four, and left another 28 still missing. The dams are operated by the mining company Samarco, which is jointly owned by two larger mining companies: Vale, from Brazil and BHP Billiton, from Australia. Rescue workers are still searching for survivors as both Samarco and Brazilian authorities have issued statements saying the cause and full extent of the disaster remain undetermined.

Aerial view of damage after a dam burst in the village of Bento Rodrigues, in Mariana, Minas Gerais, Brazil, on November 6, 2015.

(Christophe Simon / AFP / Getty)

The Citizens of Nowhere (15 photos) Theatlantic Nov 8, 2015

Greg Constantine has spent a decade photographing people with no documentation, and no rights. Working with various refugee groups and non-governmental organizations, Constantine has visited stateless communities in 18 countries—including Sri Lanka, Kenya, Kuwait, Crimea, Italy, and the Dominican Republic.

His new book, Nowhere People, gives an unparalleled view of what it is like to be denied citizenship. "In most cases, they cannot work legally, receive basic state health-care services, obtain an education, open a bank account or benefit from even the smallest development programs," Constantine said. "As non-persons, they are excluded from participating in the political process and are removed from the protection of laws, leaving them vulnerable to extortion, harassment and any number of human-rights abuses." Without passports or any identification papers, these families typically cannot travel to pursue a better life, and at the same time, are at risk of deportation from their own homes.

The images in Nowhere People negate the idea that these men, women and children are non-persons. Hope and determination explode through the black and white frames. Personal stories and interviews populate the book as well, adding rich layers of language and history, and show Constantine’s commitment to bearing witness. By capturing the lives of these stateless people on camera, Constantine creates a kind documentation that governments have long denied them.

Below is a selection of images from his powerful book as well as captions provided by the photographer.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Galjeel were stripped of their Kenyan identity documents and evicted from their land. All forms of identification were taken from this 43-year-old woman as part of a screening process to identify migrants from Somalia. Now her children have no identification either.

(© Copyright Greg Constantine)

Photos of the Week: 10/31-11/06 (35 photos) Theatlantic Nov 6, 2015

Kitesurfing in the Mediterranean, pig riding in China, cosplay in Thailand, All Saint’s Day in Poland, heron dancers in Japan, removing landmines with flamethrowers in China, big wave surfing in Portugal, running with flaming barrels in Ottery St. Mary, England, and much more.

A deer stands in a field covered in strands of spiders' silk as the sun sets on November 2, 2015 in Sieversdorf, Germany.

(Patrick Pleul / AFP / Getty)

2015 National Geographic Photo Contest, Part II (27 photos) Theatlantic Nov 4, 2015

National Geographic Magazine’s annual photo contest is still underway, with the deadline for submissions coming up soon—on November 16, 2015. The Grand Prize Winner will receive $10,000 and a trip to National Geographic headquarters to participate in its annual photography seminar. The kind folks at National Geographic were once more kind enough to let me choose among the contest entries so far for a second display here. Captions written by the individual photographers.

This mom and cub began to "dance" during their break from perusing for clams. Photographed in Alaska.

(© Copyright Karie Lefebvre / National Geographic Photo Contest)

Louie Palu's Kandahar Journals (25 photos) Theatlantic Nov 3, 2015

Photojournalist Louie Palu spent five years covering the war in Afghanistan, from 2006 to 2010, much of the time in Kandahar Province, going out with NATO and Afghan troops on hundreds of patrols and combat missions. Palu wrote a series of journals reflecting on his personal experience, capturing the chaos and his own psychological state as he bore witness to the horrors, tedium, hard work, pain, and frustrations of war. Now Palu, along with co-director Devin Gallagher, has released a new documentary film titled Kandahar Journals, based on his writings and experience as a combat photographer, telling the stories of the soldiers and civilians in Kandahar, and contrasting that with scenes from a disconnected daily life taking place back home in North America. Palu was kind enough to share some images here from his new movie, which premieres in Washington, D.C. on November 7th, at the National Gallery of Art.

An Afghan soldier warms his henna stained hands from Eid worship on the front lines in Zhari District, Kandahar, Afghanistan.

(© Copyright Louie Palu / ZUMA Press)

Norway Then and Now: Tilbakeblikk (18 photos) Theatlantic Nov 2, 2015

"Tilbakeblikk" is the name of a joint project between the Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute and Norsk Folkemuseum. Tilbakeblikk means “retrospect” or “looking back” in Norwegian, describing the project’s use of photographs taken of the same places separated by long periods of time to illustrate landscape changes in Norway. The images below (starting with photo number two) are interactive—click on each image to see the difference the decades can make.

An animation showing Hammerfest, Finnmark in 1889, then again in 2004. Hammerfest was a fishing community and a market town with the best ice-free harbor in these northerly waters. During the German retreat in February 1945, the entire town was burned down. The town is still characterized by houses rebuilt in the 1950s.

(CC BY-NC-ND v3 Axel Lindahl / Oskar Puschmann / Tilbakeblikk)