The Age newspaper asked me to go to Poland to photograph some trains that were being assembled there, but destined for Melbourne...a great job. First trip to Poland for me, must go back soon. Very atmospheric place...
It has been a long time between posts, but what can I say? Busy busy...
These images are from a trip to Dublin late last year, just after the announcement of the bailout. I've been to Ireland only twice, but on this most recent trip the mood was quite different to the previous visit. People were subdued and the mood was low.
My husband Dave (a journalist) and I recently travelled to Armenia to do a feature story on tuberculosis in the former Soviet bloc. Vazgen, 57, lives in the capital Yerevan with his wife Anahit, their two daughters, and granddaughter. Vazgen has suffered from multiple drug resistant tuberculosis for many years, and is currently undergoing the Medecins Sans Frontieres TB program. Due in part to bad education in Armenia about the disease, TB has a huge stigma there. Many people don't realise that it can be curable. I met TB sufferers who hadn't told their peers, friends or even family, that they have the disease. For that reason many TB sufferers did not want their picture taken, except, that is, Vazgen, whose wife Anahit says “We are tired of being ashamed of this disease,”. Vazgen says, ''My friends find an excuse to avoid me. But you get used to that.''. It's heartbreaking, especially when you consider that it doesn't have to be this way: with a bit of education in Armenia people could change their attitude.
If you want to read the full story in The Age newspaper online, click here.
If you want to look at the full set of photographs on my website, then click here and look at ''The Ticking TB Time Bomb''.
My husband Dave (a journalist) and I recently travelled to Armenia to do a feature story on tuberculosis in the former Soviet bloc. We went to have a look at the work that Medecins Sans Frontieres are doing there. And they're doing quite a lot, it turns out. Armenia is unfortunately a world leader in drug resistant TB. Widespread misuse of antibiotics created to combat TB has lead to drug resistant strains that now infect about half a million people a year, less than 3% of whom receive proper treatment. MSF have been running a TB program in Armenia for many years, and are the only people working to fight multiple drug resistant TB in Armenia.
Suren (photo directly below), suffers from XDR (extensively drug resistant) TB. He caught the disease in a Russian prison 13 years ago. His wife and two children live in Belarus, therefore he does not see them often. He is an intelligent, funny, fragile, tired, sick man. The toxic drugs and the separation from his family cause him mental anguish, ''How do you keep going when you're afraid to hug and kiss your own children?'' he says.
The photo above is of Dr Armen Gharagyozyan, one of the many inspirational medical professionals working with MSF in Yerevan.
To read the full story in The Age newspaper online then click here, or to see more images from the story on my website, click here and look at ''The Ticking TB Timebomb''.
As you might have seen on my other blog posts, I travelled to Armenia recently to do a story on tuberculosis. A month ago I knew next to nothing about the country, but now I can proudly tell you a bit about it! It was the first state to adopt Christianity and it lies in the Ararat mountains, where, and you can believe this or not, Noah's Ark is said to have come to rest. The Armenian diaspora is huge - eight million Armenians live outside the country. The population stands at about three million. The best time to visit Armenia is spring time. There are heaps of monasteries scattered around the country. The food is great - lots of grilled meat.
The best bar I have ever been to is in Yerevan. It's a sub-terranean joint called the Rock Bar, click here. It's run by a really friendly couple (they'll always call a cab for you at the end of the night) and their library of music DVDs is never ending. Be sure to order a Rock Shot if and when you get there.
This is stunning Mt Ararat...
...and it is much loved by Armenians. I took this photo at the popular weekly Vernissage flea market, it is heaven for treasure hunters.
This is one of my favourite images, taken on a job reporting on the Camorra (the name for the Neapolitan mafia) for The Sydney Morning Herald, in Naples, Italy. I took the photo at a ceremony where the Naples Anti-Mafia police unit was opening a regional office in a palatial villa they had confiscated from the Camorra. To me, the man in the photo is so unmistakably Italian - with a touch of Dirty Harry about him.
I've started this photo blog because there are so many interesting people and great moments in life that don't fit to the fairly narrow criteria of newspapers and traditional news media. So, this is my way of showing these moments and these people.
I hope you enjoy this photo blog! I won't be updating it everyday, but hopefully every other day. I'm aiming for quality over quantity.
Check out my website too, if you're interested:
(All of the photographs herein are copyrighted by the photographer. No part of this site, or the content contained, may be used or reproduced without express consent of Penny Bradfield.)