Homeless in New York

Homelessness is a growing crisis, now worse in New York than it has ever been since the Great Depression. Skyrocketing rents, stagnant wages and most of all lack of affordable housing has led to a boom in homelessness in New York City. Nearly half of New York’s citizens are on the edge of poverty; even people in employment are increasingly facing hunger as they lack an adequate living wage.

Marcus is a typical homeless, he is of African American descent, just like almost 60 percent of the homeless population in the city. About 30 percent are Latin; homelessness is a racial matter. First he lost his girlfriend, then his apartment and lastly his job. Now Marcus Moore is one of the 75,000 homeless people trying to survive on the streets of New York City.

The city-run shelters available to the homeless currently offer temporary sleeping places for over 60,000 people, over a third of them are children. However the shelters are massively overcrowded and renowned for being unsafe, with thousands of people forced to survive on the streets.

Photo reports and articles published in Maailman Kuvalehti Magazine and Yliopisto Magazine on homelessness and lack of affordable housing in New York, and also in Image blog and Mask Magazine in New York. The project is part of my doctoral dissertation and the joint research project Learning in Productive Social Movements at the university of Helsinki, headed by professor Yrjö Engeström, funded by the Academy of Finland

During the academic year 2014−2015 I worked in New York on a joint research project on homelessness, housing rights and social movements. This photo project is done in collaboration with homeless poet, housing  & civil rights activist Marcus Moore.

Photo story: ROBBED SEA

Nonfiction books, articles, photo reports, master thesis, exhibitions, debates and awards on my work about consequences of overfishing in West Africa. Industrial overfishing, led by leading world fish markets EU and China and many times done illegally, is destroying livelihood and food security of one of the world’s poorest people.

Local fishermen and coastal communities have impoverished rapidly around West Africa. At the same time when fish stocks collapsed in Senegal in 2005, about 5000 and year later almost 32,000 West Africans fled poverty to the Canary Islands in wooden handmade boats that the fishermen couldn’t afford to use anymore with hope of a better future in Europe. Some 6000 drown on their way. Most of the migrants were from Senegal or Mauritania, the EU ’s two biggest fisheries agreement partners.

Photo story: Chinese Trawler Army

Articles and photo reports published the Development Communications of Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Finland, Peruste Magazine and Maailman Kuvalehti magazine.

In a shadow of a former  slave castle in Ghana, the night is getting darker. Suddenly there is a bright light at the sea, soon another, and finally the horizon is filled with so many lights that it gets impossible to count them. Local fishermen say those are Chinese vessels light fishing illegally, a forbidden attraction that is rapidly causing overfishing.

West Africa supports one of the worlds richest marine resources as well as highest levels of illegal fishing activities as most of the world’s poorest countries can’t afford to guard their territorial waters.

Benjamin Na, 32, has been fishing with his big brother in the Ghanaian harbor of Tema since a small boy. At night-time he can see about 20-50 Chinese trawlers often. Big trawlers push the local artisanal boats away, rob their fish and occupy their fishing waters. Many times if the local fishermen faults to get too close, the Chinese shoots them with guns and water cannons.

Many fisherman have lost their nets and incomes after Chinese trawlers destroy all in the way. Local people are being left with small and bony fish, and ever fewer unemployed Ghanaian fisherman can afford to support their families. Many wish to fight back the Chinese – only if they had money for weapons.

Ghana-orjalinna1 Ghanaian fishermen, 2012.Fort Metal Cross Dixcove slave castle, West GhanaUnemployed Fisherman, Ghana 2012

Photo story: Life under occupation

During spring 2014 I worked as a human rights observer in the occupied Palestinian territory of West Bank including East Jerusalem with the International EAPPI-programme coordinated locally by Finn Church Aid. Daily reporting for the UN, Red Cross and other Human Rights organization in the region.

Worked on photography, advocacy and media coverage by blogging (1 & 2 & 3), published a cover photo in Mask Magazine based in New York City, photo report in German Greenpeace Magazine and in Finnish newspaper Savon Sanomat, also gave media interviews for the Finnish newspapers Savon Sanomat and Turun Sanomat.

Organized a photography exhibition at Galleria HoiSie in Lappeenranta Finland, during June-July 2015 with media coverage in local Etelä-Saimaa (1, 2) and Vartti Etelä-Karjala newspapers.

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Photo Story: Silenced Voices from Kazakhstan

Human Rights Observation Mission in Kazakhstan during Oct-Nov 2012 in collaboration with the Open Dialog Foundation. Visited in the former capital Almaty and in Oil-Rich Western Region in Aktau, Zhanaozen and Shetpe.

The mission was realized less than year after a decimation of local oil workers. The Kazakh authorities eliminated a long-lasting strike movement by shooting, beating, torturing, raping and harassing hundreds of people who were demanding better salaries and labour rights in a very poor region with rich natural resources. Fear, sorrow and spying police were still very strongly present in the atmosphere.

Shetpe, Kazakhstan 2012.

Articles & photos published in Voima magazine 16.4.013: Niinistö, älä unohda ihmisoikeuksia!, Open Dialog Foundation: Mr. President, remember about human rights!, Suomen Kuvalehti magazine 11.3.2013: Kazakstan: Media syyllinen ääriajatteluun, Suomen Kuvalehti magazine 10/2013: Kansa kuriin, Kukka Ranta & Oksana Tšelyševa, Voima magazine 2/2013: Öljyn valtakunta.

Photography Exhibition “Silenced Voices” in Fiskars, Finland as part of the group exhibition SPARK / KIPINÄ, 12 May – 15 September 2013.

 

Photo Story: Life in the Roma Camp

Documentary Photography, articles and photo reports, debates about precariousness of the European Roma immigrants in Helsinki, between 2008 and 2012 shelter project for Roma immigrants  with the Freedom of Movement network.

Exhibitions organized in the Art centre “Pushkinskaya-10″ in the Museum of Nonconformist Art(Big Hall), St. Petersburg,
RSProjectspace in Berlin, and in the Museum of Cultures in Helsinki, the Muu Gallery in Helsinki, the Kotka Photographic Centre, the Photographic Center of Southeastern Finland in Lappeenranta.

Read articles in Finnish published in Suomen Kuvalehti, Amnesty Finland and Voima magazines.

Photo Report: Eviction of the Roma Camp in Helsinki

On 27th October in 2009, officials from the City of Helsinki evicted a community of Romanian Roma families, who had lived near the Metro Station Kalasatama. With nowhere to go, the families huddled under the bridge of the Metro Station, while the Real Estate Department ordered the Public Works Department to destroy the huts that the Roma families had built to protect themselves against the upcoming winter cold. Metallic stoves were left smoking along the tracks of the metro line as the chainsaw and crowbars tore down the makeshift homes.

Gypsy Camp Moves Under the Bridge photo report published in Voima magazine 20.10.2010.

Photo Story: Street life

Photo Report: Free Euskal Herria

“You can’t kill the need of freedom with violence”, said an activist living underground, belonging to the banned basque Youth organization Segi that is on the terrorism list by the Spanish and French Governments and the EU.

Photo Report: 2009 UN Climate Summit