The Yazidis

Large parts of the Yezidi population of northwestern Iraq have taken refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan. They live in camps, under bridges or in unfinished buildings, many of them in the area of Dohuk.
In the beginning of August 2014 the Yezidis fled their homes because the Sunni extremist group Islamic State attacked the areas they lived. Around 40,000 made it to Mount Sinjar where they were surrounded by Islamic State forces. They were left there virtually without food or water, and many died. The Yezidis were able to escape from the mountain with the help of American air strikes. But many were left behind and either killed or kidnapped.
The Yezidi religion is a mixture of ancient religions, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Sufi influences. They worship seven angels, of which Melek Taus or the Peacock Angel is the most important. Muslims and Christians often identify Melek Taus with the devil and accuse the Yezidis for being devil worshippers. The Yezidis have experienced countless attacks, both historically and in modern times.

A group of internally displaced Yazidis stand outside a tent in the refugee camp in Khanke.
Many of the Yazidis have taken refuge under bridges or in unfinished buildings. A group of Yazidis now live under a bridge in Dohuk.
Arjen is held by her mother. Most of the time her head is covered by a towel to protect her face. Her family thinks that the sores around her mouth and nose are caused by sunburns. The refugee camp in Khanke.
A small boy eats on the ground between the tents in the refugee camp in Khanke.
A small boy in the refugee camp in Khanke.
Many of the Yazidis have taken refuge in unfinished buildings. A group of Yazidis now live on the bottom floors of two unfinished buildings in the outskirts of Dohuk.
Hozan Salman, 11 years old, sits outside a tent in the refugee camp in Khanke.
Two Yazidi men sit in a tent in the refugee camp in Khanke.
A small girl sleeps under a bridge in Dohuk. Her parents have covered her face to keep the flies away.
Many of the Yazidis have taken refuge under bridges or in unfinished buildings. A group of Yazidis now live under a bridge in Dohuk.
Roma sits with her little girl that has not been named yet. The child was born three days earlier. Roma lives in an unfinished building in the outskirts of Dohuk.
Many of the Yazidis have taken refuge in unfinished buildings. A group of Yazidis now live on the bottom floors of two unfinished buildings in the outskirts of Dohuk.

Favela

Rocinha is the largest favela in Brazil. According to an official census around 70,000 people live in the favela, but unofficial estimates are as high as 2- or 300,000.
In eight years time – from 2003 until 2011 – 40 million of the 200 million citizens in Brazil joined the middle class, and many of them live in favelas like Rocinha. In a way the development of Rocinha is exemplary of the change that Brazil has gone through in the last decades. When Rocinha was founded it consisted of simple shacks built on a steep hill prone to mudslides. Now the neighborhood consists of brick and concrete houses that are sometimes three or four stories high, most of them with basic sanitation, plumbing and electricity. In reality, Rocinha is now classified as a “barrio” (neighborhood), and is no longer technically speaking a favela.
Rocinha, like many other favelas, has been known to be a hiding place for drug traffickers and other criminals. But since FIFA appointed Brazil as the host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup the authorities launched a new project in 2008: Pacification. It was finally the time to clean the favela of the criminals. The goal was to send the traffickers to prison, drive out the gangs, and have the police take control of the slums that for generations had been outside of control of the authorities. While the strategy was successful in the first few years the police has more recently been widely criticized for the way they have acted inside the favelas.

The favela is located on a hill slope in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. The face of the favela has changed a lot since it was founded, and so has life for the inhabitants. One lifelong citizen of Rocinha explains how families used to live off meat from cats that they caught and threw in bags before killing them. How kids made their own toys from garbage wood, metal cans and wire. And how some of his friends were killed when they drove down the hill in homemade go-carts and were hit by trucks passing by the favela. Not to mention a mudslide that killed dozens of favela inhabitants.
A view of the main street leading up the hill through the favela. the street is full of shops, restaurants, dentists, juice bars, hair dressers and travel agents.
Two police officers from the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro State (Polícia Militar do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, PMERJ) stand on a street with their guns drawn during a police operation in the favela. Seconds later they move backwards down the street and disappear around a corner. No shots are fired. Not this time.
Capoeira training in the favela. The training session takes place in the sports ground of a local school in the evening. Both kids and adults participate in the training. They take turns to “fight” each other one on one in a kind of dancing battle where they gracefully move from side to side, jump on their hands and feet doing cartwheels and kicks, while the rest form a circle around them, singing and playing music. There are many sports clubs around the favela that offer an opportunity for the kids and teenagers to stay off the streets.
4-year-old Yasmin was born in Rocinha. Her mother has lived in the favela for 15 years. They keep a small birdcage with birds that Yasmin and her older brother Victor Hugo play with in the small alley outside their apartment. Some of the birds have had their wings cut so that they cannot fly away. But Yasmin and Victor Hugo have to keep a close eye on the birds so that they are not caught and eaten by one of the many stray cats.
The favela is woven together by a chaotic web of wires. Not everything is completely organized, but at the same time the development of Rocinha is exemplary of how Brazil has changed through the last decades. When the neighbourhood was founded it was a slum with simple houses built on a hill slope prone to mudslides. Now the houses of the favela are mostly built of concrete and bricks, and most of them have basic sanitation, water and electricity.
Monica, a seamstress, works in the back room of a small family run store that sells bikinis they make themselves. Mariana and her mother Margarita run the store together and it was Margarita who herself came up with the idea of making their own designs and to do the production themselves. Their secret is to sell the tops and shorts separately.
A view of one of the streets in the favela.
Renata gives Sheara a pedicure treatment in one of the many beauty parlours in the favela. New beauty parlours pop up everywhere in the favela, giving testament to the economic development the favela is going through.
Tattoos are very popular in Brazil, and no less so in the favela. Rio de Janeiro is one of the places in the world that people have the most tattoos. It is warm all year long, and life is lived outdoors and on the beaches. During the soccer World Cup the Brazilian national team was declared to be the most tattooed of all.
According to local sources, the drug lord Antônio Francisco Bonfim Lopes, also known as “Nem”, used to live around 100 meters up this small street on the left. He was Rio’s most wanted man and the “boss” of Rocinha from 2007 until 2011 when he was arrested while trying to escape in the boot of a Toyota Corolla.rnFor decades Rocinha, just like other favelas, has been known as a relatively safe haven for criminals, especially gangs of armed drug traffickers. In the eighties small gangs went on trips from the slums to the popular beaches Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon to rob the tourists. At the same time drug sales started and the gangs used a part of their money to raise the standard of living in the favela.rnThey paid for bricks so that people could leave their makeshift wooden shacks and build better and safer homes. They financed a playing field for the kids. And they gave families clothing and food.rnIn this way the criminal gangs ironically created a kind of social security system in Rocinha and other favelas, a system that was completely outside of control of the authorities. But everything happened at the mercy of brutal gangs whose members proudly called themselves “Bandidos” and “Soldados”, and who defended their drug trade and territories in terrible clashes.rnIn many favelas gangs have patrolled for years with guns and knives in the small alleys by night, butchering and killing each other.
A couple kiss each other at the bus stop on the main road leading up the hill through the favela.

To Be a Child Forever

Malene Sorensen is almost grown up, 19 years old, has moved away from home. Inside she remains a little girl.
If you know the fascination of what goes on inside the head of a little child that sits banging a spoon against a plastic bowl, you also know the fascination of how Malene sees the world. Her enthusiasm of small and big things make you wonder if she experiences the world as if new every moment. At the same time she knows it very well. She knows how to make the sign language signs for ice cream, candy and cakes and knows that with a little luck they will work. She knows that the colorful DVDs on the shelves next to her parents’ French window contain cartoons and other funny movies. She goes around looking through the windows of the institution Svanehuset for hours when she has been told that her parents will visit her that day. And she jumps up and down laughing when they finally arrive. She also knows that the dentist is dangerous, which makes it impossible to get her in the dentist’s chair if she hasn’t been given a sedative. If she needs to have cavities filled she is put under general anaesthesia.
Malene is mentally handicapped, she has epilepsy and she suffers from a mild degree of spastic paralysis. It is unclear why she is handicapped. Perhaps it is due to a birth injury or a chromosome disorder.
She grew up at home with her mother Jannie, her father Hans, her bigger brother Mogens and her bigger sister Maria. Now she lives in the institution Svanehuset in Copenhagen. She has her own room and a small, protected world that she knows well and feels at home in.

Malene sits in her parents’ car looking out into the world. She and her mother Jannie and big sister Maria are on their way home after visiting the Zoo. Malene lived at home until she was 16. Then she moved to the institution Svanehuset where she still lives. She often visits her parents and go with them on vacation or on trips, for example to the Zoo.
Malene is visiting her parents in their home on Christianshavn in Copenhagen, and her mother Jannie is keeping an eye on her. When Malene was smaller she tore everything down and put all kinds of things in her mouth, and it is still hard to keep her away from things that she isn’t allowed to get. Dangerous or valuable things are packed away or put in a place that she cannot reach. When she was in a relief institution when she was six her parents Hans and Jannie were sure that everything was okay and that they had the chance to relax and enjoy themselves. They had just put a lamb roast in the oven when they called from Gentofte County Hospital. Malene had drunk toilet cleanser she found in the bathroom of the relief institution. She was hospitalized for two days.
Malene is on a trip to the Deer Park with an intern from Svanehuset, the institution where she lives. Malene is very curious of the world, but she seems to feel best when someone holds her hand and there are not too many people around or too many impressions to handle.

Malene loves to joke around. She is crazy about slapstick and cartoons and sometimes sits watching them for a long time. At other times she has a hard time relaxing and keeping a focus on one thing.



Malene impatiently waits for her mother and father when she has been told that they will come to pick her up from the institution. She often looks out the window for them or passes the time on the protected rooftop terrace of the institution.
Malene has a very close connection with her mother Jannie. Until Malene was one and a half years old her mother was on leave from her job. Then she begun working, but on reduced hours so she had more time to take care of Malene.rnMalene can say mother both as a sound and in sign language. She also uses the word about something that is nice or good.
During the day Malene attends a school for young handicapped people. She has just been sent to the hallway to cool off after she has tried to hit one of the teachers. Malene has been prone to temper tantrums and acting out since she was a child. When she grew up three or four people had to hold her if she needed to have cavities filled. Now she is put under general anaesthesia because otherwise a simple visit to the dentist would result in a major use of force. Usually though, Malene is full of smiles.

Modern Day Vikings

It is almost 1000 years ago that the Vikings roamed the earth. But they are still around. Every year they travel to Scandinavia from all over the world – from Germany, USA, France, Australia, Italy. They participate in Viking markets, drink mead, fight with swords, produce authentic handicrafts and enjoy the life of times long past.
The Viking subculture offers an escape from modern, complex life to a simpler world. For many of the modern Vikings, there is a longing back to times when smart phone xenon flashes did not constantly blink at festive moments. Times when a man was a man and quarrels were settled on the battlefield. They try to find that kind of life in the Viking culture. It might be a dream, an illusion. But at least for the duration of the markets they manage to create their own little world that is quite far away from the stressful everyday life of 2013.

3-year-old Sol stands by her father’s legs during the yearly market in Sagnlandet Lejre.
The vikings are fighting in two lines trying to “kill” the opponents with swords, axes or spears while protecting themselves behind shields. Each line is made up of Viking groups from different places, so that there is an even number of Vikings on each side.
Mathilde stands in the wind during the yearly market in Sagnlandet Lejre.
Some Vikings participate in the evening training during the yearly market in Trelleborg.
Traditional Glima wrestling in Gudvangen, Norway.
Michael takes a swim in the small river that runs near the market area in Trelleborg.
Light from the tents falls on a few skulls in the market area. Sagnlandet Lejre.
The traditional bacon party is underway at Trelleborg inside the longhouse, which is a reconstruction of a Viking building. Every year during the Viking market in Trelleborg a group of Norwegian Vikings cook up a lot of bacon, and the Vikings eat and drink and party.
The traditional bacon party is underway at Trelleborg inside the longhouse, which is a reconstruction of a Viking building. Every year during the Viking market in Trelleborg a group of Norwegian Vikings cook up a lot of bacon, and the Vikings eat and drink and party.
Anders (on the right) takes a group of Vikings out sailing in his boat named Hringhorni. The boat is named after the Norse god Balder’s boat.
Daniel with Viking tattoos made by tattoo artist Lars Martinnen.
Asa and Ravn enjoy a moment of relaxing in their tent in Trelleborg during the yearly market.
A group of French Vikings are out sailing in a boat named Hringhorni. The boat is named after the Norse god Balder’s boat.
Alex and Sarah are out collecting plants that they use for dyeing clothes. Wool and flax are dyed in all kinds of colors depending on the type of plant that is used.

AfriChina

China’s appetite for Africa is insatiable. Everywhere on the continent the Chinese are building roads, hospitals and schools; they mine for copper, pump up oil, start up production facilities and sell Chinese goods. In copper-rich Zambia in Southern Africa China has set up its first free trade zone in Africa and is planning to more than double its investments from 1 billion US$ in 2010 to 2.4 billion US$ in 2011. Much is at stake in Zambia where a cultural clash is taking place and where local workers have protested against poor working conditions in the Chinese run companies

LEFT: Chong Quan, Chinese Vice Minister, Ministry of Commerce, and Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane of Zambia sign agreements on economic and technical co-operation in State House, the office of the President of the Republic of Zambia. In the background are Chinese and Zambian politicians, among them is Vice Premier of the State Council of China Hui Liangyu and Zambian Vice-President George Kunda. The signing took place during a visit of a Chinese delegation that was on a tour of five African countries in January 2011. The delegation was led by Vice Premier of the State Council of China Hui Liangyu. RIGHT: A Zambian girl wearing a flower with Chinese letters stands at the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Lusaka Stadium, a stadium that will be built by the Chinese company Shanghai Construction Group of China in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. The stadium is going to be financed by a concessional loan from China to Zambia, although the exact terms of the loan have not been made public.The stadium will have a capacity of around 50,000 spectators. The loan from China is 94 million US dollars and will finance both the construction of the new Lusaka Stadium and rehabilitation of the rundown Independence stadium in Lusaka.
LEFT: Members of a Chinese delegation visiting Zambia sit below paintings of African cheetas and wildebeest in State House, the office of the President of the Republic of Zambia. The Chinese delegation was on a tour around five African countries in January 2011. The delegation was led by Vice Premier of the State Council of China Hui Liangyu. RIGHT: A sign warns passers-by not to enter the Zambia-China Economic and Trade Coorperation Zone in Chambishi in the Copperbelt, the first zone of its kind in Africa. There are various incentives for companies that want to establish themselves in the zone, among them tax exemption.
LEFT: Jing Yi, 2, Miao Si Ye, 3, and in the background Xiao Bo, 2, in the Kindergarten of the Chinese International School in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. Both Zambian and Chinese children attend the kindergarten, and the staff is mixed Zambian-Chinese. RIGHT: Workers on the way through the entrance to the construction site of the Ndola National Stadium in Ndola, Zambia. The stadium is said to be financed by a concessional loan given to Zambia by China and is constructed by the Chinese company Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company (AFECC). A number of Zambian workers at the site complain about the low wages given by the Chinese employers. There has been an number of incidents where workers have stolen equipment and other things from the site because of the low wages, so the workers are checked by a Chinese on their way in and out of the stadium. The stadium will have a capacity of 40,000 spectators.
LEFT: Inside the private owned Chinese Collum Coal Mine in Sinazongwe district of Zambia. The workers of the mine had protested over lack of payment, and the Chinese employees shot with shotguns at a group of workers outside one of the mine entrances. The shooting occured on October 15, 2010, and 11 local mine employees and one resident were injured. There had been strikes and conflicts between local workers and the Chinese management since 2004 because of disputes surrounding payment and other employment issues. RIGHT: Madinda Siamubotu, 27, and Ward Sianaini, 26, both workers who were shot by Chinese managers at the private owned Chinese Collum Coal Mine in Sinazongwe district of Zambia. The two workers got compensation after the shooting. They are now trying to get their jobs back, as there are very few job opportunities in the area, and the mine is more or less their only option to make money to support their family. Ward Sianaini is the oldest son of the family, and he therefore has the responsability to take care of not only his wife and son, but also his siblings who are unemployed.
LEFT: Vice Premier of the State Council of China Hui Liangyu and Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane of Zambia (far right) reveal a plaque at Hotel Intercontinental during an event where Zambia and China sign an agreement for the establishment of a representative office in Lusaka. The office will coordinate the China-Africa Development Fund (CAD Fund) to run business activities for many southern African and other countries. The event took place during a visit of a Chinese delegation that was on a tour around five African countries in January 2011. The delegation was led by Vice Premier of the State Council of China Hui Liangyu. RIGHT: The doorman of Golden Chopsticks restaurant in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. Lusaka is full of Chinese restaurants, many of them popular with expatriate Chinese as well as locals.
LEFT: A group of Chinese workers from the Shanghai Construction Group of China stand together with two Zambian children. At the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Lusaka Stadium, a stadium that will be built by the Chinese company Shanghai Construction Group of China in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. The stadium is going to be financed by a concessional loan from China to Zambia, although the exact terms of the loan have not been made public. The stadium will have a capacity of around 50,000 spectators. The loan from China is 94 million US dollars and will finance both the construction of the new Lusaka Stadium and rehabilitation of the rundown Independence stadium in Lusaka.The groundbreaking ceremony took place during a visit of a Chinese delegation that was on a tour around five African countries in January 2011. The delegation was led by Vice Premier of the State Council of China Hui Liangyu. RIGHT: A Chinese employee of the Shanghai Construction Group of China sits at a desk as a group of Zambian children are allowed to take some bottles of water at the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Lusaka Stadium.
LEFT: Children play in the kindergarten of the Chinese International School in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. Both Zambian and Chinese children attend the kindergarten, and the staff is mixed Zambian-Chinese. RIGHT: A meeting in Luanshya Copper Mine run by the Chinese company China Non-Ferrous Metal Company. The mine was abandoned by previous owners the British company Enya who shut the mine down in December 2008 claiming the mine was making losses as a result of low copper prices on the international market. This led to thousands of job losses in the mining town of Luanshya. The Chinese have since then invested heavily in new technology in the mine and have re-employed the workers.
LEFT: Zambia’s President Rupiah Banda meets members of the Chinese delegation in State House, the office of the President of the Republic of Zambia. Here he shakes hands with Zhai Jun, Vice Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the left is Yang Jing, Director, State Ethnic Affairs Commission, in the middle is Vice Premier of the State Council of China Hui Liangyu, and behind the President is the Chinese translator. The Chinese delegation was on a tour around five African countries in January 2011. The delegation was led by Vice Premier of the State Council of China Hui Liangyu. RIGHT: Zambian workers 580 meters below the ground in Luanshya Copper Mine run by the Chinese company China Non-Ferrous Metal Company. The mine was abandoned by previous owners the British company Enya who shut the mine down in December 2008 claiming the mine was making losses as a result of low copper prices on the international market. This led to thousands of job losses in the mining town of Luanshya. The Chinese have since then invested heavily in new technology in the mine and have re-employed the workers.
LEFT: The sun goes down over the Great Wall Casino in Lusaka while a Zambian woman passes the casino carrying a bundle on her head. Many Chinese are keen gamblers and regularily frequent the numerous casinos in Zambia. RIGHT: Kindergarten teacher Helen Cheue lies down together with Eva, 2, to help her calm down for an afternoon nap in the kindergarten of the Chinese International School in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. Both Zambian and Chinese children attend the kindergarten, and the staff is mixed Zambian-Chinese.

Grandmothers

The Kyrgyz grandmothers struggle to make ends meet. The Kyrgyz Republic is the second poorest country in central Asia. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union the country has had severe financial troubles with many companies closing down, resulting in increased unemployment and poverty. Around 80 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s pensioners live below the poverty line, or twice as many as the average of the whole population, and as women on average live substantially longer than men in the country this is especially a problem for the elderly women. The pensions are very small, typically 30 to 60 euro. At the same time prices of basic goods like bread, potatoes, oil, fuel, and medicine are rising. One attempt to help in this problematic situation is GrannyAid, a program designed to help the elderly through self help groups. In these groups the pensioners meet to socialize and help each other and they get financial aid to start little businesses where they for example do different types of handicrafts that they sell on markets. GrannyAid is a joint initiative between DaneAge Association and DanChurchAid.

Batykul Toloeva, 73, has trouble walking. She tells that some people have tried to take her house away from her, but she gets help from her group to win a case in court so that she can keep the house. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Roza Vasilievna, 63, lives in an apartment with her 40-year-old daughter who is handicapped. In the mornings she washes the floors of a local factory to supplement the total of 5.100 Kyrgyzstani som that she and her daughter get in pensions. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
73-year-old Valentina Jegorovna is watering the plants in her small garden. She grows vegetables there. The Kyrgyz grandmothers struggle to make ends meet. The Kyrgyz Republic is the second poorest country in central Asia. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union the country has had severe financial troubles with many companies closing down, resulting in increased unemployment and poverty. Around 80 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s pensioners live below the poverty line, or twice as many as the average of the whole population, and as women on average live substantially longer than men in the country this is especially a problem for the elderly women. The pensions are very small, typically 30 to 60 euro. At the same time prices of basic goods like bread, potatoes, oil, fuel, and medicine are rising. One attempt to help in this problematic situation is GrannyAid, a program designed to help the elderly through self help groups. In these groups the pensioners meet to socialize and help each other and they get financial aid to start little businesses where they for example do different types of handicrafts that they sell on markets. GrannyAid is a joint initiative between DaneAge Association and DanChurchAid. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
60-year-old Ludmila Pavlovna gets around 50 dollars in pensions per month. Her son, who lives in Germany with his wife, has helped her to fix some things in her house. She cannot afford that herself. © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
GrandmothersrnDaria Petchenko, 85, lives in Balykchy, a city heavily hit by the collapse of the Kyrgyz economy. Everywhere in the city there are empty factories, broken windows and rusted iron, bearing witness of a more prosperous time before the end of the Soviet Union. Her grandchild who lives with her has a very big debt, so around two thirds of the 65 dollars that Daria receives every month go to paying off the debt. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
– © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
– © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Housing in Kyrgyzstan is often of poor standards. In many places there is not central heating, and with temperatures going well below 0 degrees Celsius the winters can be rough to get through, especially for elderly people. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
73-year-old Valentina Jegorovna is preparing food. Her 50-year-old son is divorced and unemployed, and he sleeps in the living room. So the two of them have to make ends meet with her pension of around 4.000 Kyrgyzstani som a month, roughly 90 US dollars, and the little money they can make from odd jobs. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
84-year-old Alexandra Zubrina was given prizes and awards for her work in Soviet times. She, like many other elderly people of Kyrgyzstan, has fond memories of life in the Soviet Union, a time when there were at least jobs and security for most of the people. Attempts are made for a transition to a market economy in order to boost the country’s finances, but until now the social safety net is hardly adequate to take care of the many poor elderly people of the country. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Eugenia Kelesnikova, 77, and Ekaterina Pustynnikova, 85, in the background, are taking care of the vegetable greenhouse at the Resource Centre for the Elderly in Balykchy. Every day elderly people of the city can go to the centre to eat breakfast and lunch, exercise, socialize and do handicrafts. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Roza Vasilievna, 63, lives in an apartment with her 40-year-old daughter who is handicapped. In the mornings she washes the floors of a local factory to supplement the total of 5.100 Kyrgyzstani som that she and her daughter get in pensions. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
85-year-old Varvara Petchenko has broken her leg and is not able to get out of bed. She’s almost blind and dependent upon the help that she gets through GrannyAid, a program designed to help the elderly through self help groups. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved

Le Mans Motor Race

The 24 hour race at Le Mans is the most famous endurance race in the world. It is very rich in tradition. This year’s race is the 78th, and the first race was held in 1923.
The overall winner, as well as the winner in the fastest class LMP1, this year was the Audi car number 9 followed by the Audi 8 and the Audi 7, a complete show of force by the German cars. The French cars Peugeot had hoped to be able to repeat their win from last year, but all their cars abandoned the race before it was over.
The race was held from Saturday June 12th at 3 pm until Sunday June 13th at 3 pm. There was practice and qualifying sessions as well as warm-up in the days and hours up to the race.

The Audi crew works on one of the cars during the Free practice session on Wednesday, June 9th. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Car number 29 Lola Judd from the Racing Box SRL team and a pair of legs on the track on Saturday, June 12th before the race. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Some members of the Team Peugeot Total watch the screens during the 2nd qualifying session on Thursday, June 10th. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Changing tyres on the Peugeot number 3. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Some members of the Ferrari AF Corse SRL team car number 95 watch the screens during the 2nd qualifying session on Thursday, June 10th. Among them are drivers Giancarlo Fisichella from Italy (front row number two from the left) and Jean Alesi from France (front row fourth from the left). The car finished 4th in the LMGT2 class. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
The Spyker C8 Laviolette car number 85 in the pit lane with one of the drivers Peter Dumbreek from Great Britain behind the wheel during the 2nd qualifying session on Thursday, June 10th. The car finished 9th in the LMGT2 class. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
One of the Corvette crews waiting for a car coming in for a pit stop during the Free practice session on Wednesday, June 9th. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Some members of the Aston Martin Racing teams are working on one of the Lola Aston Martin cars during the 2nd qualifying session on Thursday, June 10th. 007 finished 6th overall in the race while 009 retired from the race. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Olivier Beretta, Monaco (on the right), driver for the Corvette Racing car number 64 in the pit lane during the Free practice session on Wednesday, June 9th. The car retired from the race. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Girls are being photographed on the track on Saturday, June 12th before the race. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
One of the people in the pit lane holding a fuel tube on Saturday, June 12th during the race. The crew members who fill up the cars with fuel have to wear helmets for safety reasons. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
The car number 61 Ford GT of the Matech Competition team is being repaired on Saturday, June 12th during the race. The car retired from the race. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Spectators watch the circuit during the race on Saturday, June 12th. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
A fireman in the pit lane on Saturday, June 12th during the race. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
The BMW Motorsport crew works on one of their BMW cars on Saturday, June 12th during the race. Their car number 78 finished 6th in the LMGT2 class, while their car number 79 retired from the race. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Spectators watch the circuit during the race on Saturday, June 12th. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Spectators line up to take a trip on the Roue Parisienne (ferris wheel) during the race on Saturday, June 12th. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
One of the Aston Martin Racing teams are working in the pit on the night between Saturday, June 12th and Sunday, June 13th during the race. 007 finished 6th overall in the race while 009 retired from the race. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Spectators watch the circuit during the 2nd qualifying session on Thursday, June 10th. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Two members of the JLOC crew, Lamborghini Murcielago car number 69 are waiting in the pit between pit stops during the 1st qualifying session on Wednesday, June 9th in the evening. The car retired from the race. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
A member of the Hankook-Team Farnbacher crew is standing with the fuel tube in the pit before a pit stop during the 1st qualifying session on Wednesday, June 9th in the evening. The car number 89 finished 2nd in the LMGT2 class. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
The Hankook-Team Farnbacher crew is sleeping in the pit between pit stops on the night between Saturday, June 12th and Sunday, June 13th during the race. The car number 89 finished 2nd in the LMGT2 class. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
The circuit during the 2nd qualifying session on Thursday, June 10th. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Sleeping in one of the tunnels under the track on the night between Saturday, June 12th and Sunday, June 13th during the race. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Leftovers from spectators at a food stand on the morning of Sunday, June 13th. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
The Peugeot Team Peugeot Total car number 1 driving on the track on Sunday morning, June 13th during the race. The car retired from the race. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
The winning car Audi number 9 in the pit on Sunday, June 13th. The drivers of the car are Timo Bernhard from Germany, Romain Dumas from France and Mike Rockenfeller from Germany. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
One of the people working in the pit lane is looking at his mobile phone behind the pit during the race on Sunday, June 13th. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Race cars that have abandoned the race – during the race on Sunday, June 13th. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved

Overlooked – Poverty In Denmark

Denmark is one of the richest countries in the World, and also one of the most economically equal countries. But this is changing fast. From 2001 until 2007 the number of poor people in Denmark grew by 50 percent, even though this was a time when the financial situation was very good. This is according to the OECD poverty line, as there is no official poverty line in Denmark. The three families in this picture story are just a few of the people living below the poverty line.
The Ohgrøn family lives in a worn down farmhouse in Ledøje, north west of Copenhagen. There are seven members of the family: the father Per, the mother Sussie and their five children Michelle, Dennis, Dan, Patrick and Daniel. Both parents receive social welfare benefits and the suffer from various illnesses that make it impossible for them to have a job.
Lawand, Narin and their four children are Syrian Kurds. They have escaped from Syria because Lawand, the father of the family, was imprisoned and tortured twice. He tells that there were days when he was hung by his legs for hours. Other days he was locked in a dark closet. He was whipped and beaten with fists. The family lives in two small rooms in the Red Cross Center Avnstrup. Including the little hallway, which is full of footwear in all sizes, the family has around 30 square meters room for sleeping, reading, watching TV and eating. The bathroom is down the corridor in the opposite direction of the communal kitchen. Every fortnight they receive a small allowance.
Connie receives social welfare benefits. She and her two children Christina and Oscar have 3.000 dkr. to pay for food, clothes, diapers, transport, and entertainment when the rent, other regular expenses and her many, expensive loans have been paid. Connie is no longer able to work because of various illnesses. She has asthma, a bad back, and she has suffered from depression and anxiety attacks.

© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
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© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
© Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved

The Bikers

United MC Amager is a small biker club located on the island Amager with a sister club in Karlskoga, Sweden. The members and sometimes their friends and relatives use the club to relax, to party, to fix their bikes. And basically to get away from everyday life. Here in the club they are brothers respecting each other. Sometimes they go on trips to the club in Sweden to enjoy themselves and hang out with their Swedish brothers.

Bike – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Bar – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Resting time – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Dart board – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Megaphone – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Riding – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Fixing bikes – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Sleeping – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Hug – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Moose – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Things – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
More things – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Hug – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Bingo – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Riding – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Girls – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Fixing a bike – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Dancing – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Shower curtain – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Stomachs – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Gas tank – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Peeing – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Food – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
On the road – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Bathing – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Fog – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Partying – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Resting – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Peeing again – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Break time – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Fixing a bike – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Hanging out – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Ferry trip – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved

Black Water

The Buriganga River runs through Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. It is virtually dead due to pollution primarily from numerous tanneries located in the Hazaribagh area of the city.

The water of the river has turned black. There is a foul smell of chemicals and sewage, and few animals are seen in or around the river, except for countless crows scavenging the riverbanks. Even so, poor people who do not have other options bathe and wash clothes in the river every day. The waste water from the tanneries runs directly into the river with almost no attempt to clean it. Thus 50,000 tons of waste water run into the river every day from industries in the Hazaribagh area, mainly the tanneries.

The leather from the tanneries is primarily exported to Japan and the Western World, either as hides or as finished leather products such as shoes, belts, or jackets. As long as the importing countries do not emphasize the need to produce the leather under environmentally sound conditions, it is unlikely that the river will once again be clean.

Men bathing below the Babubazar Bridge. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Tanneries in Hazaribagh. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Bamboo canes by the riverside. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Dog in Keraniganj. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
View across the river from the roof of a mosque. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Man bathing in the river. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Travellers in a ferry. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Dyeing fabric. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Ferries. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Shipyard in Keraniganj. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Woman sitting in a ferry. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Workers sleeping by the river. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Evening prayers on the roof of a ferry. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Sunken boat. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Between two ferries. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Tannery waste. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Tannery in Hazaribagh. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Worker in a tannery. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Leather drying in a tannery. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Workers in a tannery. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Woman by the river. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Stream full of sludge. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Tanneries in Hazaribagh. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Cow’s horns. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Woman in Hazaribagh. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Man bathing. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Recycling plastic bags in the river. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Tannery waste. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Washing clothes in the river. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Fishing in Hazaribagh. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Girl crossing a bridge. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Small boats transporting people, animals, and goods across the river. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Boatmen. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Boat worker taking a rest. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Coconuts, melons, and bananas are loaded onto small boats. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Man bathing in the river. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved
Shantytown. – © Thomas Lekfeldt 2011 – all rights reserved