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Category archives for Cultures

Coho Salmon Virtually ‘Swim’ Across Frank Lloyd Wright Building

Last night, just as darkness fell, the SF Projection Department and Turtle Island Restoration Network’s Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN) met in front of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece – the Marin County Civic Center. The buildings oval shaped windows and unique triangle spire, and historic landmark status coupled with the important legal and…

He Bought Them Lunch. They Learned How To Read.

Reyhanli, Turkey — Early in the morning and late at night, sounds of shelling from across the mountain disrupt the seemingly tranquil border town. “If you’d been here a few nights earlier, when the Russians were bombing, you would have felt the whole ground shake,” Waled Dabak tells me inside his Reyhanli home. “The entire city…

Steak Story, Part 1: The MosCowBoy

The ribeye steak was called the MosCowBoy. When I cut into it, juice squished out onto the ceramic plate. Each tender bite made my taste buds light up with all six of the essential flavors (sour, salty, sweet, bitter, and especially umami and fat). This was five years ago, in June 2011, when I’d just finished…

How Much Food Does a Thai Elephant Eat in a Day?

During my time traveling in Thailand to explore the unique relationship between humans and elephants, I had to wonder: what does it take to feed one of these giants?

World of Dances #20

This post is the latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, which profiles interesting information, research and thoughts on using drones, UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography, that Kike learns about during his travels. This post is also the latest in the World of Dances series, which profiles ballet and dance photography in iconic, architectonically unique, culturally…

Capturing I-Kiribati Resilience ‘Before It’s Too Late’

For most of Lulu DeBoer’s life, the Kiribati islands existed only in dreams and in the stories she heard from her mother. DeBoer, 24, was raised in Texas, almost 6,000 miles away from the tiny Pacific island nation where her mother was born. Growing up, Kiribati “was always a mystery,” she said. “It just sounded…

World of Dances #19

This post is the latest in the World of Dances series, which profiles ballet and dance photography in iconic, architectonically unique, culturally emblematic, rapidly vanishing landmarks or simply unexpected locations, that Kike captures about during his travels.      I photographed  Leydi in a remote village next to the Chagres River when she was still dancing for the National Ballet of Panama. The Emberá…

World of Dances #18

This post is the latest in the World of Dances series, which profiles ballet and dance photography in iconic, architectonically unique, culturally emblematic, rapidly vanishing landmarks or simply unexpected locations, that Kike captures about during his travels.    I photographed Cuban dancers Cynthia and Patricia in an old house in Vedado neighborhood in Havana during a break during a National Geographic Expedition I was…

Apocalypse Paused: Scenes From Soviet-Era “Ghost Farms”

Picture two giant farms: one the size of France; the other the size of Wisconsin. That is how many acres of agricultural land sit fallow in Russia (45 million) and Kazakhstan (35 million).   The 250,000-acre Chilinka Collective Farm, in northern Kazakhstan, was once known as an oasis on the steppes. It was home to 500…

How the American Dream Took Its Modern Form in Florida Nearly a Century Ago

  National Geographic news correspondent and book author Willie Drye provides a synopsis of his latest book, For Sale–American Paradise: How Our Nation Was Sold an Impossible Dream in Florida. The book, published by Lyons Press, tells the story of the great Florida Land Boom of the 1920s, when millions of Americans flocked to Florida seeking fun, sun and…

Training for the Impossible: Polynesian Voyagers in the Atlantic

A generation ago, Polynesian voyagers navigated from Hawaii to Tahiti. Now a new crew prepares to take Hōkūleʻa where no one thought she’d go: across the Atlantic Ocean.

Why Are Syrian Aid Workers Leaving for Europe?

Gaziantep, Turkey — Frustration. In a city that has become known for its dynamic activist community, weariness is starting to show in a network that has been stretched by donor fatigue, occupational burnout, and the opportunity of starting over far away. Located only 50 kilometers away from the Syrian border and home to more than 200,000 refugees, Gaziantep has…

Tazy: Speedy Dog of the Steppes in a Race Against Extinction

“Faster!” Zhylkybai Aga said. The driver increased the truck’s speed to 25 m.p.h. Zhylkybai leaned out the window and whooped at his dog, named Akbakai, who loped alongside the vehicle. The lanky dog was hardly exerting himself. My first impression of Tazy, a Kazakh dog breed, was that it looked like a bag of bones. But now, in…

The Haunting Origins of Horse Culture in Mongolia

Peer inside ancient burial mounds and discover a connection that goes back two thousand years before Genghis Khan.

Shoreline Creeps Closer To Kiribati’s Sacred Sites

“If, one day, the waves take away these sacred places and they’re gone, we will keep on telling the stories,” explained Takirua Tiare, a traditional storyteller on Kiribati’s Marakei Island. “But I can’t stop that—I don’t hold the answer of the waves.”  As a taani karaki, as the storytellers are known, Tiare, 68, is in charge…