using the power of photojournalism to expose social and ecological injustice

Thoughts on Ferguson, MO…

I grew up not far from Ferguson, MO.  In fact it was half an hour away.  This morning, 18 August 2014, I read that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered the MO National Guard to Ferguson to attempt to quell peoples’ outrage in that city due to the shooting of an unarmed black youth, Michael Brown, by a white policeman 9 August.  He was shot six times, including twice in the head.

While going through some of my photos today, preparing for an upcoming exhibit, I came upon the photo below that I took in 1995 in Burlington, VT during protests at the National Governors’ Association Conference there.  The protests helped stop the execution of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.

And still news commentators wonder why people take to the streets.

The caption below the photo tells more.

plmartin-robTwo protesters are arrested attempting to blockade President Bill Clinton’s motorcade during the National Governors’ Association Conference in Burlington, VT in 1995.  They were protesting to draw attention to the impending execution of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, who signed the Death Warrant for Mumia Abu-Jamal, attended the National Governors’ Association Conference in Burlington, VT from July 29 to August 1.  Governor Ridge was targeted during four days of militant protests in support of Abu-Jamal during the conference.  There were 24 arrests.

In what many believe was a frame-up for his political beliefs, activist Abu-Jamal was convicted of killing a policeman in 1981.  The protesters said his “trial” was farcical, with an inadequate defense, suppression of evidence and a judge who put more people on death row–the majority them people of color–than any other judge in the U.S.  The execution order was overturned, but left Abu-Jamal on death row.  Mumia Abu-Jamal would have been the first political prisoner to be legally executed in this country since Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were electrocuted in 1953.  Following the protests in Burlington and other cities, the death warrant was rescinded.


Leave a comment



This Monday, Aug. 11 2014 photo shows Associated Press video journalist Simone Camilli in Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip. Camilli, 35, was killed in an ordnance explosion in the Gaza Strip, on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 together with Palestinian translator Ali Shehda Abu Afash and three members of the Gaza police. Police said four other people were seriously injured, including AP photographer Hatem Moussa.(AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

This Monday, Aug. 11 2014 photo shows Associated Press video journalist Simone Camilli in Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip. Camilli, 35, was killed in an ordnance explosion in the Gaza Strip, on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 together with Palestinian translator Ali Shehda Abu Afash and three members of the Gaza police. Police said four other people were seriously injured, including AP photographer Hatem Moussa.(AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

BEIT LAHIYA, GAZA (August 13, 2014) — An Associated Press video journalist and a freelance Palestinian translator assisting him were killed in an ordnance explosion Wednesday while working on an assignment about the aftermath about the recent war in the Gaza Strip.

The Associated Press reports that Simone Camilli and Ali Shehda Abu Afash died when ordnance left over from fighting between Israel and Islamic militants blew up as Gazan police engineers were working to neutralize it in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya.

Police said three police engineers were also killed, while four people, including AP photographer Hatem Moussa, were badly injured.

Camilli, an Italian national, had worked for AP since being hired as a freelancer in Rome in 2005. He relocated to Jerusalem in 2006, and often covered assignments in Gaza.

Full AP coverage is online here.

Leave a comment

Alternative Media is the Only Media You Can Trust

*!alt media GJE0058-R1-E002 copy

I watched the news on television this morning and listened to the talking heads blather on about “we need boots on the ground in Iraq…self-defense of Israel from Gaza threats…the U.S. must make Putin pay before it’s too late…we must stop ISIS now before they are at the steps of the White House or march through New York City…”  I’m scared shitless.  Scared of the inane medium of television.  Bought and paid for by the corporations of their choice.

I shot this photo at in 1972 at the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, FL.  The same was true then as it is now.



Leave a comment

View in MST (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra – Landless Workers Movement) encampment

*PS-Braz-stove&woman-DSC_0237 copy

A stove and the back of a woman in a typical tent used in MST encampments.  The MST here took over portion of a plantation owned by timber company Aracruz Cellulose, removed the non-native trees and erected their camp, complete with a well, community space and an elaborate system on non-hierarchical decision making.  The camp was named Galdino dos Santos, for an indigenous chief who was murdered two years earlier in a racist attack.  (Brazil 2005)  photo: Langelle

Leave a comment

GJEP board chair unveils social and environmental justice photography at #SeeMeTakeover in Times Square

The following article ran today, 23 July, 2014 in Climate Connections:

Photography amplifies the truth with stillness. In that single frame, that isolated millisecond, a truth is revealed, a visual message that can be understood regardless of language, culture or economic status.

G8 Riot Clown

G8 Riot Clown

For Orin Langelle, photographer and board chair of Global Justice Ecology Project, that message is to document a truth we face at GJEP every day – the struggle to create a world that prioritizes social and environmental justice. Since 1972 Langelle has given a voice to these conflicts in his powerful images, documenting peoples’ resistance to war, corporate globalization, ecological destruction and human rights abuses. From protestors and policemen at Vietnam War protests to going behind rebel lines with the Zapatistas in Mexico, Langelle has seen the world change through the lens of his camera.

Amador Hernandez Elders

Amador Hernandez Elders

“In my travels on this planet, I have seen a lot,” Langelle wrote on his website. “I have witnessed the beauty of this Earth and the efforts of many peoples striving for justice, and I have seen the ugliness of the abuse of people and the land—dictated by the greed of the power elite and those who serve them.”

Three of Langelle’s poignant shots will be prominently projected over the bustle of Times Square in New York City as part of the #SeeMeTakeover project on July 24, 2014, from 8-9 p.m. The project will showcase the work of artists and photographers from around the world on two of the largest video billboards at 46th St. and Broadway.

Upside-down Kuna

Upside-down Kuna

Langelle’s photographs capture more than a moment; they document the struggle of activists, indigenous peoples and organizations that fight to protect this planet and its inhabitants from the crushing axe of corporate greed. Langelle’s photography transports audiences into those moments, compelling them to look into the faces of truth and daring them to take action. Langelle is also a member of the steering committee of the international Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees and part of the Critical Information Collective. View more of his work at

About the photos in the SeeMe Takeover Times Square event:

 G8 Riot Clown (2007): This clown in front of riot police was one of 80,000 demonstrators in Rostock, Germany protesting a meeting of the G8–the world’s eight richest nations–in Heiligendamm, Germany near Rostock in early June 2007. Shortly after this scene, police used water cannons to spray the crowd with water mixed with tear gas.

Amador Hernandez Elders (2011): Journalist Jeff Conant and I took an investigative trip to Chiapas, Mexico, where we met the people of Amador Hernandez, an indigenous village based in the Lacandon jungle (Selva Lacandona). They invited us to document and learn of the plans of the government to relocate them from their homes. What we uncovered was another battle in the ongoing war between a simpler or good way of life (buen vivir) vs. the neoliberal development model.  Following our exposé, the government retreated from its plans and the community was not relocated.

Upside-down Kuna (2010): 2010 marked the 80th anniversary of the establishment of Kuna Yala, the autonomous territory of the Kuna people. The territory was officially recognized in response to political pressure and resistance by the Kuna, which began in 1925 in response to the violent suppression of Kuna cultural practices. In this photo, a Kuna youth walks upside down on Wichubwala island in Kuna Yala, off the east coast of Panama.

Leave a comment

Three photos by Orin Langelle to be displayed in Times Square, NY

Note: Three of my photos have been chosen by SeeMe for a display in Times Square.  Please see the email below – Orin Langelle

Congrats!  Your work is going to be displayed in Times Square! The show is this Thursday, July 24th (2014)  from 8-9pm!

Here’s your images that are going to be featured:



The billboards are located at 46th St. and Broadway in the heart of NYC.

We’ll be photographing the show, in case you can’t make it. We’re also working on sending everyone exactly what time their work will be shown, but we haven’t finished that yet.

Such incredible work deserves to be seen, congrats again!

Thanks for making the #SeeMeTakeover possible, we can’t wait!

Stay creative,

P.S. Here’s a flyer to share with your friends!


Leave a comment

June 2014 calendar photograph for McGill University

This photograph I shot in Nicaragua’s Bosawas jungle in 1998 was requested and used by SEDE – Social Equity & Diversity Education office of McGilll University in Montreal, Quebec (Canada) for their 2014 calendar.  The text that ran on the right side of the June calendar page is below.


GROUP: Climate Justice Montreal

Climate Justice Montreal is a group pursuing environmental and climate justice through education, mobilization and collective action in solidarity with directly affected communities. Through direct action, conferences and a climate camp, we played a key role in raising awareness about plans to construct a pumping station in Dunham, Quebec, destined to pump tar sands oil east.

The tar sands industry is violating the right of current and future generations to a livable world—not only by pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but also by removing precious top soil from the Albertan land- scape and submitting millions of people across Canada to the hazard of oil pipeline spills near their communities.

In January 2013, we held a day-long forum at Concordia University where two hundred participants came to discuss and plan mobilization to stop the tar sands from coming to Quebec. Climate Justice Montreal strives to create a better world through consensus, recognizing the need for decolonization and anti-oppression in the transformation of politics and the empowerment of communities to determine their own, just, safe and sustainable futures.


Global Justice Ecology Project explores and exposes the intertwined root causes of social injustice, ecological destruction and economic domination. We work to link struggles and strengthen diverse movements with strategic action, information, media and analysis.

One program of ours, Climate Justice Media, uses media as a strategic tool to amplify the voices of frontline communities that are fighting the impacts of climate change, the fossil fuels industry and dangerous false solutions to climate change such as industrial biofuels.

The STOP Genetically Engineered Trees Campaign is an example of how we identify interconnected issues that need addressing, and work to build effective coalitions to leverage systemic change. We founded the campaign in 2004 with the goal of protecting forests, biodiversity and rural communities from the potentially catastrophic impacts of genetically engineered trees. This issue intersects with many others, including the rights and autonomy of Indigenous Peoples, the protection of forests and their biodiversity, the well-being of rural communities and the decision to use land for fuel versus food.



Leave a comment