Pope Francis attends his weekly audience in St. Peter’s Square on November 26, 2014. During today’s General Audience, Francis told pilgrims the Church is on a continuing journey towards heaven. By Franco Origlia/Getty Images.
Missouri national guardsmen in riot gear line up in front of the police station on November 25, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Over 2,000 Missouri national guardsmen are being deployed a day after demonstrators caused extensive damage in Ferguson and surrounding areas following a St. Louis County grand jury decision to not indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown. By Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
Anti-immigration protesters shout “Go home!” to demonstrators during a vigil in support of children fleeing violence in Central American outside the White House on November 24, 2014. Organized by the Central American Resource Center, a Latino resource and justice center in the District of Columbia, students, activists and their supporters held the vigil to demand the Obama Administration continue to reform the immigration system. By Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
Adriane Ohanesian photographed the women of Burma’s Kachin Independence Army (KIA):
In Kachin State, in northern Myanmar, the anti-government sentiment runs particularly strong. In fact, rebels have a strong enough presence that control over Kachin is effectively split between the government and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). The KIA is the last remaining major rebel group in Myanmar that has not signed a ceasefire agreement with the government. While the country at large has begun opening its doors, the government has simultaneously banned UN agencies, international NGOs, and even foreigners from entering into KIA territory. Effectively, this leaves the people of Kachin with little access to the outside world.
The women of Kachin have few opportunities in this isolated region, outside of serving the KIA. From the age of 16 women are eligible to join the army, and often remain there until they are discharged for marriage. While some join out of dedication to their people, others are forcibly recruited. This is a look into the lives of the young women going through their first experiences of military training with the KIA.
In an interview, Ohanesian describes how she got access to her subjects:
Through the assistance of local NGOs, I was able to make contact with women who had been soldiers and from there I was able to get into contact directly with the leaders of the Kachin Independence Organization (the political branch of the Army). Once I made contact with the right people within the KIO/KIA the logistics and access were relatively straightforward. When I got on the ground, I explained to the women what I wanted to do, which was to follow their lives from morning to night. I also made sure that they knew that they could ask to me stop photographing at any time. I think that part of gaining the trust and respect from the women was the fact that I accompanied them at all times. I went on every patrol, to every boring military lecture, even if I wasn’t photographing. We were exhausted on patrols together, we were drawing together during boring lectures, and we were falling over slippery rocks in the river when it was time to wash.
In general, my most powerful organizational tool for this project was emailing—a painful amount of emailing. I emailed everyone, and I had meetings with everyone who would offer to see me, even if they seemed to have no relation to the project.
See more pictures from the series here.
(Image caption: After finishing morning training a young woman applies thanaka to her face inside the women’s room at the military base outside of Laiza, Kachin State, Myanmar, May 17, 2013. The 9 women shared an unlit room throughout the two-month training. © Adriane Ohanesian)
The experiment is actually fairly straightforward and easy to understand. First, his subjects have their portrait taken in the most unadorned, simplest terms possible. Then, the photos are modified many times over into 50 different versions of the original that are all shown to the subject, one-by-one, while monitoring their brain activity using an Emotiv EEG brain scanner.
Based on the data from the brain scanner, Chasserot can pinpoint the photo that generated the strongest positive reaction. Finally, he posts the original image and the ‘ideal’ image side-by-side so you can see the differences.
See more of Chasserot’s work here, and check out a video about the project below the jump:
Like some Doctor Who re-union, here’s Frank Foer, Mike Kinsley, Rick Hertzberg, and yours truly at Wednesday night’s 100th Anniversary dinner in honor of The New Republic. The NYT has a write-up of the event here. It was wonderful to see some old friend and former-friends and also a little unsettling to see so many once-deemed-eternal magazines and newspapers figuring out a way to survive in this new and unforgiving media economy. I really hope TNR endures. These institutions matter. And the web has yet to create their equivalents.
A member of the Iraqi police special forces holds his weapon as he rides a car during a parade in Iraq’s holy city of Najaf before heading to fight Islamic State (IS) group jihadists on November 19, 2014. The previous week Iraqi forces broke a months-long siege on the nearby Baiji oil refinery, the country’s largest, and joined up with elite troops who had been holding off IS onslaughts for months. By Haidar Hamdani/AFP/Getty Images.
A man grooms his mini poodle after competition at the 2014 China International Pet Show in Beijing on November 17, 2014. The China International Pet Show (CIPS) will take place from November 17 to 20. By Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images.
A reader writes regarding Friday’s FOTD:
While I know you posted that white tiger with the best of intentions, I wish you might have accompanied it with some education about the white tiger, which occur in nature, but which zoos usually acquire by breeding a father white tiger to his female white tiger offspring – resulting in a wide variety of health issues that plague these animals throughout their lives. White tigers may seem exotic, but they are actually a representation of animal cruelty. Here is a link with some more information.