The Problem With ‘Rolling Stone’s’ Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Cover Isn’t the Image — It’s the Reaction


Perhaps you saw, yesterday, the newest cover of Rolling Stone featuring the image of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Perhaps you had an opinion about it. And perhaps you expressed that opinion on social media hours before the long, reported cover story about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by noted journalist Janet Reitman was even posted online with an attached non-apology of sorts from the Rolling Stone editors. “The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day,” read the message. “The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens.”

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Energy Poverty has the Face of a Woman

Girls' Globe

Approximately 1.2 billion people – almost one fifth of the world’s population – live without access to electricity needed for day-to-day activities, such as lighting the home, keeping children and the elderly cool during the summer, charging your phone’s battery or meeting the needs of small enterprises. They use candles or kerosene wick lamps for lighting, and often go days without the ability to communicate with the outside world as they can’t find a place to charge their mobile phones. Worldwide, 2.8 billion people rely on traditional energy sources like burning wood or animal dung on open fires for cooking and boiling water, which leads to health and economic burdens that predominantly fall on women and girls.

Anywhere from 50 to 70% of people without access to energy are women and girls.

Women and girls bear the primary responsibility for fetching firewood, cooking and other domestic work, making them disproportionately affected…

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“It’s Huge: the Documentary”

Andrea's Photography

Artist, writer and film maker Dr. Nadia Ramoutar is working on an inspiring project that will follow five men’s journey from obesity to health. It’s goal is to create a movement that will encourage people to fight obesity with healthy, sustainable and affordable choices, and exercise.

Nadia will document as each and one of these five men lose a hundred pounds over the course of a year. These men will be working closely with various health coaches, they will deal with the emotional and the physical aspects of their condition.

I’d like to invite you to watch the video below. If you are as inspired as I am and believe that we can create change through art, support this documentary on Kickstarter. There are only a few days left. It’s worth your time and money!

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Brazilian protests explained — it’s not the economy, stupid

A Brazilian Operating in This Area

brazilianpoliceinactionBrazil isn’t for beginners. No matter if you are a Brazilian or not, it takes a long time to understand how such a self-centered country works.

I can’t say I do, but as a former student in a state school who had his mother working as a maid, I have explored a part of the Brazilian society which is not popular among the middle class I now belong to. The same middle class that has (poorly) projected our country abroad and is gradually changing. So let me go back in time to try to address the mindset behind the protests that are now rocking the streets of major cities back home.

Violent protests always lose in Brazil. It is just like our politics: if you are too hard on your opponent, no matter how right you are, you will lose.

If you are violent in Brazil you write a blank…

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Human Spirit

Human Spirit

“The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you. They are UNIQUE manifestations of the human spirit.” Wade Davis

Say I Love You Today

My grandmother passed away last night. My father’s mother, my Oma, had been in a delicate state the past few months. This May she would have turned 93. Many people will say she had a good life, that it was her time to go. No matter how old people are when they die, it’s still painful and sad, and there aren’t words that make it better.

I’m relieved that she no longer has to lay in a bed uncomfortable, unable to walk on her own, dress on her own, feed herself. Her every movement causing her to experience more and more pain. To see her like that, confronts you with the truth about life.

Her children, grandchildren took turns to see her and be by her side. No one wanted her to be alone. She died slowly before all of our eyes.  To me, this was the most difficult thing to witness, knowing that she was dying, that her body could no longer keep her spirit, to know that at any point she would take her last breath and it would be over. Time, as cruel as time is, passed. The minutes, and the hours, and the days passed, all we could do was wait.

Throughout this week, I thought a lot about her, the woman she had been. She survived wars, and economic downfalls. She worked hard to run a business; sometimes it was good and sometimes not. She raised four children, who all followed their own path. Still, there’s so little I know about the woman she was, all I knew growing up is that she was my grandmother, and she excelled at being one.

My Oma, was a kind, loving woman, who played with us, who sent us packages, who cooked delicious food. She taught me how to make crepes, and she taught me about saving money. Every birthday and every Christmas I received a beautiful hand-made card, and in her cursive writing the sweetest wishes and hopes for my life.

I’d like to think that life was good to her, but most importantly I hope she knew how loved she truly was.

Her death made me think about how we treat the people in our lives. While she was fortunate to have grown old, not everyone has this privilege. We walk around thinking that life is our right, we feel entitled, but we all have an expiration date and most of us don’t know when that will be.

Maybe we don’t show enough love, maybe we forget to call those who are far, we forget to write to those we haven’t seen in a while. We forget to visit. We are always too busy with our phones, computers and our problems.  I’m guilty of this. I forget to call, I don’t make the time to tell people I love them, and how important they are.

Make the time. Say ‘I love you’ today.

Andrea's Photography

We love to dance. We. Bolivians. We love a good party, and get on the dance floor, or street for that matter. There are many festivals throughout the country. The most famous one is the “Carnaval de Oruro” (February), but decidedly, not the only one.  Around the early 80s, a group of students from Cochabamba decided that our dances and traditions were getting lost, and they organized a festival that invited students from different fields, to represent dances a from various regions.

This festival is known as “Entrada Universitaria”, these photos are from my home town’s festival, that takes place in June. Early in the year universities decide on the dances to be represented later on. For instance, engineering students will dance the miners dance, all economy students will dance Caporales, medicine students will dance Diablada, and so on. They practice on their time off and rent…

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Andrea's Photography

Maybe I’m biased, but I think all women are beautiful. I love how different we all are. Maybe I’m also biased when I say that Bolivian women are beautiful. They are flirty, (coquetas) and most of them enjoy to dance.

On my previous post, I talked about a festival known as Entrada Universitaria. Dedicated students dance long hours to honour our traditions. These photos though, focus on the different women that caught my eye, and showcased their commitment and joy to their dance. One of my favourite things about the festivals are the details in the hats and costumes, which the women wear proudly.

Aren’t these women beautiful?


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Egyptian Streets

“I can no longer walk – or even drive – anywhere without receiving a dirty comment or without feeling scared that I may be attacked at any moment.”  Those were the comments of one female university graduate on life as a woman in Egypt.

“It’s disgusting and makes me feel like I am walking around naked!” said another female who happens to be veiled. “The abuse impacts all women of Cairo. Whether you are wearing the hijab, the niqab, or whether you are not veiled…women are harassed no matter what!”

This is the sexual terrorism that women across Egypt go through each day. Statistics released reveal that more than 90% of Egypt’s women – regardless of the neighborhood they live in – have encountered sexual harassment: grand-mothers, mothers, daughters – no one is off limits.

While driving in the relatively ‘upscale’ Heliopolis, I noticed a bunch of youth who had…

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