People and Places

Places I’ve been, people I’ve met.

Karl Johan Olsen
Han Kjøbenhavn
Martin Miehe-Renard
COP 15
Remee
Jan and Kevin Magnussen
Thomas Troelsen
Iran
Fredrik Skavlan
Moscow
Sweden
Mosque
Johan Olsen
Roskilde Festival
Lisbeth Wulff
Thailand
Vibe
Aarhus
COP 15
Ali
Jerusalem
Mixed Martial Arts
Jon Stephensen
Ulrich Thomsen
Ida Auken
Mads Holger
Oslo ferry
Nephew
New York
Medina
Varanasi
Martin Brygmann
Beelitz-Heilstätten
Iran
Anders Matthesen

People and Places

Places I’ve been, people I’ve met.

Karl Johan Olsen
Han Kjøbenhavn
Martin Miehe-Renard
COP 15
Remee
Jan and Kevin Magnussen
Thomas Troelsen
Iran
Fredrik Skavlan
Moscow
Sweden
Mosque
Johan Olsen
Roskilde Festival
Lisbeth Wulff
Thailand
Vibe
Aarhus
COP 15
Ali
Jerusalem
Mixed Martial Arts
Jon Stephensen
Ulrich Thomsen
Ida Auken
Mads Holger
Oslo ferry
Nephew
New York
Medina
Varanasi
Martin Brygmann
Beelitz-Heilstätten
Iran
Anders Matthesen

People and Places

Places I’ve been, people I’ve met.

Karl Johan Olsen
Han Kjøbenhavn
Martin Miehe-Renard
COP 15
Remee
Jan and Kevin Magnussen
Thomas Troelsen
Iran
Fredrik Skavlan
Moscow
Sweden
Mosque
Johan Olsen
Roskilde Festival
Lisbeth Wulff
Thailand
Vibe
Aarhus
COP 15
Ali
Jerusalem
Mixed Martial Arts
Jon Stephensen
Ulrich Thomsen
Ida Auken
Mads Holger
Oslo ferry
Nephew
New York
Medina
Varanasi
Martin Brygmann
Beelitz-Heilstätten
Iran
Anders Matthesen

People and Places

Places I’ve been, people I’ve met.

Karl Johan Olsen
Han Kjøbenhavn
Martin Miehe-Renard
COP 15
Remee
Jan and Kevin Magnussen
Thomas Troelsen
Iran
Fredrik Skavlan
Moscow
Sweden
Mosque
Johan Olsen
Roskilde Festival
Lisbeth Wulff
Thailand
Vibe
Aarhus
COP 15
Ali
Jerusalem
Mixed Martial Arts
Jon Stephensen
Ulrich Thomsen
Ida Auken
Mads Holger
Oslo ferry
Nephew
New York
Medina
Varanasi
Martin Brygmann
Beelitz-Heilstätten
Iran
Anders Matthesen

People and Places

Places I’ve been, people I’ve met.

Karl Johan Olsen
Han Kjøbenhavn
Martin Miehe-Renard
COP 15
Remee
Jan and Kevin Magnussen
Thomas Troelsen
Iran
Fredrik Skavlan
Moscow
Sweden
Mosque
Johan Olsen
Roskilde Festival
Lisbeth Wulff
Thailand
Vibe
Aarhus
COP 15
Ali
Jerusalem
Mixed Martial Arts
Jon Stephensen
Ulrich Thomsen
Ida Auken
Mads Holger
Oslo ferry
Nephew
New York
Medina
Varanasi
Martin Brygmann
Beelitz-Heilstätten
Iran
Anders Matthesen

New job!

I’m thrilled to announce that I will be working at the Danish newspaper Berlingske from September 1st! Also, my story AfriChina is now shown in Øksnehallen, Copenhagen, as part of the Personal Projects group exhibition. Hope to see you there…

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

Exhibition at Copenhagen Photo Festival

I’m very pleased to announce that my story AfriChina will be exhibited in the group exhibition Personal Projects in Øksnehallen during Copenhagen Photo Festival 2012. I am also part of Personal Projects’ large scale exhibition at Kongens Nytorv in Copenhgen, which is up already. Meanwhile, I’m still in the process of updating the website, stay tuned as the sections are updated. Today I’ve added two stories to the story section, AfriChina and Grandmothers.