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This week’s World Forum for Democracy 2017 editors

Georgios Kolliarakis

Georgios Kolliarakis political scientist, is a senior researcher at the University of Frankfurt.

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Introducing this week’s theme: Media, parties and populism.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

“Photography is nothing - it’s life that interests me”
- Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1952

We present original photography - from US troops in Afghanistan, Mumbai garbage collectors, to salt lakes in Bolivia - as a way of understanding the world through images.

To see all our slideshows click here. If you would like to submit any photography please email us

A different kind of humour: Tent signs at Camp Salerno, Afghanistan


In the second part of his photo feature on the US military in Afghanistan, Keiron Allen photographs signs and graffiti at Camp Salerno, and reflects on humour as a way of dealing with death… and life.
Romeo: Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.
Mercutio: No, ‘tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door; but ‘tis enough, ‘twill serve: ask me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man.

Humanising a beast - the American military


openDemocracy brings you the first of a two-part exclusive photo feature. In April 2004 journalist Keirón Allen returned to Afghanistan after six years. The experience made him rethink his preconceptions of the American military, and especially their dealings with the Afghan people. His striking and thoughtful photography questions and looks beyond the stereotypes and, “in one of the most dangerous places in the planet” brings an unexpected hope and humanity.
“It’s hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head”

Line of sight: the head, heart and eye of Henri Cartier-Bresson

Charles Chadwyck-Healey celebrates the great French photographer whose work sought to “preserve life in the act of living”.

'O say can you see': an election photo-essay

What does George W Bush’s America look like? Veteran war photographer Christopher Morris spent a year on the campaign trail with the president’s team. This is what he saw.

Fear This: a nation at war

Anthony Suau, known for his exposure of the effects of war outside the United States, brought his camera home to portray America on the eve of the invasion of Iraq. openDemocracy’s Solana Larsen talked to him about his new book, “Fear This: a nation at war.

A Pacific odyssey

Caspar Henderson visits a remote atoll in the Pacific Ocean state of Palau to help protect coral reefs against the effects of global climate change. In the process he encounters a world of natural beauty, enriching humanity, and surprising history that makes him reflect on life’s fundamentals.

Black: theatres of African American memory

The many streams of one great river, African American experience, are retrieved and reimagined in the work of the historian and photographer Deborah Willis.

The Other Olympics

On the edge of the Brazilian rainforest indians from the diverse tribes of the Amazon basin compete in the first Traditional Indian Games of Para. Here, more than a dozen tribes far-removed from urban life show that they both honour tradition and are part of the modern world, not ‘human peacocks'. An original photo essay for openDemocracy.  

The world of sea: underwater photographs from Malaysia

“If there is a God / She lives under the sea”. openDemocracy dips its toes in the South China Sea with “Wavelines”, a stunning exhibition in images and words of life beneath Malaysia’s Perhentian and Redang Islands, organised by the National Art Gallery of Malaysia. Angela Goh introduces the project, Ellen Butler describes the deep-sea experience, and Mano Maniam dives for poetic pearls.

Time and motion: catching waves

Dominic Pote’s photographs surf the dynamic flow where seascape and landscape meet. openDemocracy exclusively previews his current exhibition, whose “Shorelines” title serendipitously matches our own theme. First, Candida Clark hears literary echoes in his visual art.

Growing a beach in the Maldives

It’s easy to take a shoreline for granted: lost in contemplation of what lies beyond, the edge itself receives little notice. But what happens when even the brink begins to crumble? Faced with this dilemma, the Global Coral Reef Alliance haven’t stood still on the beach – they’ve grown their own.

Not a pretty picture

Mumbai's street workers toil in desperate conditions to clear the city of the 7,000 tonnes of refuse its people produce every day.

Not a pretty picture - Part 2

Mumbai's street workers toil in desperate conditions to clear the city of the 7,000 tonnes of refuse its people produce every day.

Voyage of 'The Noorderlicht' in pictures

For two weeks, openDemocracy’s Globalisation editor, Caspar Henderson, was on board the 93-year old ship “The Noorderlicht” – sailing to the Arctic in an innovative expedition that fused art, film and science to monitor and communicate the impact of global warming. Here we present some of the pictures he took, as well as some by fellow voyager Dan Harvey.

Through other people's eyes

Exclusively for openDemocracy, a young artist and curator explains why, this time, she went in search of other peoples’ eye-views. Plus, a selection of images from her exhibition.

Don't let a cloud stop the sunshine: the new president and the legacy of South-North relations

The new president in South Korea, Roh Moo-hyun, comes to power at a critical moment. The real advances of President Kim Dae-jung’s ‘sunshine policy’ towards North Korea are under severe pressure from the North’s nuclear weapons programme and its inclusion in President Bush’s ‘axis of evil’. Will the logic of the sunshine policy – a peace system on the Korean peninsula – be sustained amidst the global security crisis?

A crisis in nature photography

Commercial and professional pressures have reduced nature photography to a tedium of airless familiarity. The practice desperately needs a wider and more truthful depiction of its subject – not just an evolution of style, but of fresh things to say.

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