For more than a decade, NOOR Authors have documented our growing climate crisis caused by fossil fuel production and material consumption along with the political forces enabling this planetary catastrophe. Through our work we have also pointed to solutions to help ensure sustainable human presence on this planet. The need for action is urgent.
As world leaders meet in New York City next month and climate actions are planned world wide, we will dedicate the month of September to sharing stories on the environment from our archive and works in progress. Please follow these stories on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
We encourage our media partners, researchers, and our community to do the same.
Labor Day in New York City is host for the most colourful and wildest parade in the U.S. Labor Day Parade, or West Indian Day Carnival. It gathers around two million people in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, on the first Monday of September.
People dress up as politicians, celebrities, or simply put on really vivid and bright costumes with feathers and crystals. The parade marches along the Eastern Parkway accompanied by the sounds of drums, whistles, reggae and calypso music, and sometimes people throw powdered paint at each other. Vendors sell some great ethnic treats and beverages along the way so that both marchers and watchers can fuel up and continue to party.
Since Trump was elected president, the interracial relationships have deteriorated to a state where most Americans (65%) – including majorities across racial and ethnic groups – say it has become more common for people to express racist or racially insensitive views (Pew Research Center). Yet the Caribbean community is historically embedded in the making of New York City as a cultural melting pot.
Caribbean immigration to New York City has been prevalent since the late 1800s and the early 1900s. This immigration wave saw large numbers of people from Jamaica, Haiti Cuba, Dominican Republic Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago. Since the nineteenth century, Caribbean immigrants were counted among some of the most influential members of black American society, holding positions as religious leaders, educators, politicians, and entrepreneurs. In New York City, they contributed with their unique cultural experiences to help shape the state’s identity.
The Carnival is rooted in the 1930's initiatives by Ms. Jessie Wardell and some of her West Indian friends who started it all by staging costume parties in big, enclosed places due to the cold weather of February. Late winter is a traditional time for the pre-Lenten festivities held in most Christian countries around the world. Organizers wanted to change the indoor locations to the open air spaces to keep the true carnival spirit with parading in bright costumes to the sounds of music.
From August 28th to September 29th, the travelling exhibition of the World Press Photo Exhibition arrives to Montreal, Canada. Sanne De Wilde and Bénédicte Kurzen will be there for the exhibition opening where they'll showcase their project "Land of Ibeji" by NOOR, that was made possible with the Nikon European Ambassador Grant.
The photographic project "Land of Ibeji" by NOOR visual-storytellers Sanne De Wilde and Benedicte Kurzen was featured in De Volkskrant and Culture Trip magazine's "The Gender and Identity" Issue, which launched on 4 July. The magazine is available at Tube and train stations in London, airports, hotels, cafés and cultural hubs in London and other major UK cities.
Bénédicte Kurzen and Sanne De Wilde have been nominated for the World Press Photo Contest, Portrait series with their collaborative photographic project Land of Ibeji discovering the mythology of twinhood in Nigeria. The rate of twin births in West Africa is about four times higher than in the rest of the world. The centre of this twin zone is Igbo-Ora, a sleepy southwest town in Nigeria. “Ibeji” meaning 'double birth' and ‘the inseparable two’ in Yoruba stands for the ultimate harmony between two people.
"The project is an invitation to look beyond identity as appearance and beyond the exoticism of the identical by calling upon a universal mythological figure: The Twin. It is an invitation for the viewer to travel back into the past and through that rediscover the present and move into the future.
We hope the ‘Ibeji’ project will inspire other creators. We would love for Nigerian artists to contribute from their perspective and expand on the project. We are very grateful for the participation and patience of the people we photographed and the time they spent with us.
We also want to thank Nikon Europe in believing and supporting this challenging project and allowing us to develop this project fully."
This project was graciously supported by the Nikon Europe Ambassador program.