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Category archives for Cultures

For Syrians, Turkey Can Be a Station, or Home

Turkey–I can’t help but smile when the plane lands in Istanbul. I have a layover before heading south to Gaziantep, and one of the first things I always do is go to my favorite Syrian restaurant in Taksim. You can get a decently sized fresh juice there for less than $2, and the ritual reminds me of…

Fighting Dynamite With Marine Protection in Borneo

This is the devastation left by blast fishing also called fish bombing, an illegal but rampant form of fishing here in the Coral Triangle. In the practice, a fisherman tosses dynamite, or homemade bombs made from a bottle filled with fertilizer and kerosene lit by a short fuse into the water. The blast kills or stuns all fish within the vicinity, which are easily collected for market. Dangerous to the reef, this method also maims and kills fishermen, and it is not uncommon to see men with fingers or hands missing. What is left behind is a wasteland of flattened coral rubble that can take decades or even centuries to recover.

The (Questionably) Honorable Kazakh Tradition of Livestock Theft

With 2,500 head of livestock, it can be hard to notice when a few go missing. Especially for Dauletgali Zhaitapov, whose business Kaz Horse Mugalzhar LTD operates on 75,000 acres of unfenced rangeland in northern Kazakhstan. During fall roundup, Zhaitapov realized his horse herd was 100 animals short. These weren’t just any horses; they were…

Exploring Water, Cities, Climate, and Music in India With DJ Spooky

How do we make a portrait of a rapidly evolving world with music? That’s a question I’m asking myself throughout this journey.

Skadar Lake – Joining Forces to Save the Last Breeding Colony of Dalmatian Pelicans in Montenegro

Since the 17th century, 80% of the Dalmatian Pelican’s breeding sites have disappeared, but efforts in Montenegro’s Lake Skadar aim to protect and stabilize its population.

In Kazakhstan, They Eat Horse Meat. Would You?

Kazakhstan is a land where people revere, and eat, horses. Meanwhile, in America (and much of Europe) eating horse meat is taboo. In a blog post for The Plate, I explore these differing attitudes about equus caballus as a protein source.  

Proving the Exception: Coexistence between human and lions is possible

It has been all over the news recently – every headline painting a grim future for wild lions, a future where they could potentially disappear completely. According to a recent study, lion populations in West, Central and East Africa are likely to drop by 50% in the next twenty years. But the continuing cub boom…

Genographic Researchers in Australia Uncover Unique Branches of the Human Family Tree

by Amy Werner Are You Up on Geno Research Down Under? Genographic Project scientists in Melbourne, Australia have just published their exciting new finds from years of work across the vast southern continent. Detailed in a new paper in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Dr. Robert Mitchell, student Nano Nagle, and their team of…

What Some in Maasai Mara are Doing to Prevent Another Marsh Pride Tragedy

A week has passed since lions of the Marsh Pride were poisoned in Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. The perpetrators are currently in custody, awaiting trial and sentencing, and will hopefully serve as an example to others in the region who would break the law. Are these reactive measures enough, though, to protect lions and…

Kiribati’s Tides Threaten the Link Between Land and Memory

“When I look at that place, I remember my wife. Now the waves are washing it all away.” As Itiaake Teuria talks, his eyes well with tears. “It’s sad if you see where we used to live. Now you can only see the ocean and the beach.” Teuria’s wife passed away this year of natural…

Smile For Me, Russia

They hide in plain sight. When shooting street photography in Russia, odds are good you’ll encounter them. Anti-photobombers. They’re everywhere. Let’s play “Where Are the Anti-Photobombers.” In the picture above, can you can find them?

A Guide to Saving One of the Last Great Ecosystems

iLCP Fellow Paul Hilton Photography sends us another article from his valuable and eye-opening work in Indonesia, documenting the devastation brought to this country and its wildlife by palm oil plantations.

The man who gave national parks to Chile and Argentina dies

Doug Tompkins, a self-described wildlands philanthropist, died this week of hypothermia after a kayaking accident in the Patagonian Andes that he loved and had devoted his life to protecting. The 72 year old American had fallen in love with Patagonia during a climbing trip to Mount Fitzroy in the 1960s. Back in the United States he made…

Spotlight on Humanity’s United Side

Desmond Tutu’s welcome to the Hōkūle’a crew shows one smile, one spirit connects people from Hawaii to South Africa and beyond.

Verses in Exile: Syrian Rapper Turns War Into Art

Amman, Jordan — “War changes things—your mentality, the way you think, it can mess with your head,” says Mouneer Bu Kolthoum, leaning back into a black leather chair at his home office. “Subconsciously you are hit, and your mind starts to play on loop.” The 24-year-old music producer and rapper from Damascus, Syria, moved to Jordan…