The refugee crisis in black and white

first_imgAfter they’ve survived a harrowing trip across the Mediterranean in a crowded rubber boat, fleeing war and violence in the Middle East and Africa, many refugees do something anyone might do when they reach a safe harbor — they take out their cellphones and capture that once-inconceivable moment.To Maciek Nabrdalik, a Polish documentary photographer and 2017 Nieman Fellow, it’s a simple, natural reaction. But as refugees came ashore on the beach of Lesbos, Greece, late last year, it was the angry reaction of another photojournalist that captured Nabrdalik’s eye. For him, it exemplified the stereotypes now rising in European Union countries.“A photographer working for one of the biggest wire services, talking to two volunteers, said ‘When I see those people jumping out of the boat and taking selfies I’m so [angry] I don’t even take my camera out,’” Nabradalik said at a program last Wednesday at the Harvard Ed Portal that examined the politics and prejudices surrounding the migration crisis in Europe.“I found this man at that very moment guilty of what people in my country and Europe think of the refugees.”In 2015 the International Organization for Migration reported that more than 1 million refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, and other countries had crossed into Europe, mostly by sea. This year’s tally has already passed 300,000. The media has called it the greatest movement of people since World War II, and it has been deadly: In 2015 more than 3,700 migrants died trying to make the crossing, including many children.Cambridge residents Nani Jansen Reventlon (from left), her husband Andreas Reventlon, and Harvard lecturer Louie Dean Valencia-Garcia and grad student Ariel Elizarov converse among the exhibit. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer“Behind every single one of those numbers is an individual with a story, with a life, with hopes, with dreams, with nightmares, and these are the things that we don’t often see,” said Nkem Ifejika, a 2017 Nieman Fellow and presenter on the BBC World Service, who moderated the program. “Whenever we discuss refugees we use words such as ‘swamping,’ as if they are sludge, or words like ‘swarm,’ as if human beings are locusts, or ‘flood’ as if they are like an inanimate, destructive, uncontrollable phenomenon.”A collection of Nabrdalik’s work called “Refugee Crisis” was the focal point for the panel discussion, which included three other Nieman Fellows: Berlin-based reporter and columnist Georg Diez, German television correspondent Christian Feld, and Karin Pettersson, the political editor in chief at Aftonbladet, Scandinavia’s largest daily newspaper.Pettersson, who was an important voice on the political left in Sweden during the refugee debate there over the last two years, said that many Europeans lack perspective on the crisis. “I believe [the images from the front line] had an impact on civil society and initiatives from citizens to help refugees, and impacted policymakers in the EU for a short period of time — but that effect was not lasting. The refugee crisis isn’t over, rather the opposite.”Determined to bring awareness to the necessity of equal human rights, Nabrdalik followed the refugees on their journeys from Lesbos through Europe, documenting their plight in pictures as they went. It is a mission he said, not one he was assigned, but one he was called to, photographing them from a whole new perspective.“You are moved but feel you can’t do anything. This exhibition and its simple form is meant to be a conversation-starter,” said Nabrdalik. “I don’t treat it as artwork. It’s not a show that I would like you to go away with seeing nice frames and complimenting me for them … but hope for change.”Neman Fellows Maciek Nabrdalik (from left), Karin Pettersson, Georg Diez, and Christian Feld participated in a panel discussion. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerOn assignment, Diez also took a trip to Greece to witness the humanitarian crisis firsthand. He said this could be a historic moment for Europe, an opportunity to model how to deal with sudden migration from war-torn or economically depressed countries.“This is what it means to be a citizen. You don’t ask where you come from, you just help. On a one-on-one basis you build something, but it has turned into a politicized field of hatred and cynicism,” he said. “And people to this day don’t talk about the facts.”Feld said that so far, the European Union has failed to effectively deal with the influx of refugees or rally member states to share the burden.“The 28 member states did not use their potential in terms of power and wealth to tackle what has to be called a humanitarian catastrophe,” he said. “The Union was not a union at all. This willingness to compromise seems to have vanished during this crisis.”About 100 people attended the program, which also served as the opening of Nabrdalik’s exhibition, which will be on display at the Ed Portal’s Crossings Gallery in Allston through Oct. 27.Eva Rosenberg, arts program manager at the Ed Portal, said the issues his photos address could not be more timely or important.“The Ed Portal hopes to create the opportunity for dialogue about important issues of our day. Hosting five Nieman Fellows in conversation about the crisis epitomizes this,” she said.Nancy Kalajian of Somerville came to the program sensitive to the plight of refugees because of her family history.“I am a grandchild of Armenian Genocide survivors,” she said. “When I watch TV and see so many refugees in crisis it seems that very little has changed in over 100 years for people in many parts of the world.”Nabrdalik’s experience at the border left deep marks on him. Exhausted, hungry and clutching a small pack of whatever remained from their lives, these people were willing to risk drowning to flee the violence of their homeland, he said.“The refugees thought of this moment as a rebirth, very often they would say it’s a new life for them. I think if the media would show refugees with their cellphones just like us, maybe people would like to have them as neighbors,” said Nabrdalik. “But I’m not sure photography is enough.”last_img read more

Vattenfall to Compete in Hollandse Kust Zuid 3 & 4 Tender

first_imgVattenfall has decided to participate in the 750MW offshore wind tender for Hollandse Kust Zuid 3 & 4 in the Dutch part of the North Sea.In March 2018, the Swedish energy company won the Hollandse Kust Zuid 1 & 2 tender with a zero subsidy bid.”Vattenfall is strongly committed to the Dutch market. Through the participation in the Hollandse Kust Zuid (HKZ) 3 & 4 tender Vattenfall wants to further increase our contribution to the renewable transition of the Dutch energy system. After having won the first subsidy-free tender in the Netherlands (HKZ 1 & 2), Vattenfall is highly motivated to participate in the round for HKZ 3 & 4,” said Magnus Hall, Vattenfall’s CEO.In September 2018, Vattenfall received the irrevocable permit for the construction of the 700MW offshore wind farm Hollandse Kust Zuid 1 & 2. For this wind farm, Vattenfall has already started with the first preparations, by carrying out various geographic surveys at the site of the wind farm in the North Sea.”There are scale advantages that can be realized if the two projects can be combined and that will bring significant benefits in terms of cost reductions, providing a very robust business case,” said Gunnar Groebler, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Wind, Vattenfall.”In our offer we will be able to profit from the efforts already put into HKZ 1 & 2. Besides cost benefits, this will also give us a head start on design and construction, further reducing the risk in the project schedule. All in all, it has enabled us to prepare a very solid proposal for Hollandse Kust Zuid 3 & 4.”The Hollandse Kust Zuid 3 & 4 tender will run from 1 March to 14 March.”We have been very thorough in making sure our business case is robust and we are well equipped to manage all risks. Vattenfall combines a strong track record in building and operating wind farms in a reliable, safe and cost efficient way with an ability to handle electricity market price exposure and sell renewable electricity to our Dutch customers. Handing in this bid means we are committed to building the entire HKZ cluster and operate it for the next decades to come,” Groebler said.last_img read more