“AfroMaidan” and other foreign media perspectives on Ferguson

Screenshot of Svobodnaya Pressa article calling Ferguson protests "Afromaidan." Article date: Aug. 13, 2014. Screenshot Nov. 25, 2014.
Screenshot of Svobodnaya Pressa article calling Ferguson protests “Afromaidan.” Article date: Aug. 13, 2014. Screenshot Nov. 25, 2014.

It’s always fascinating to see a foreign perspective on domestic news, and Ferguson is no exception. A number of news outlets have collected observations, some recent and some from August, on how the press outside of the US is covering the events that have unfolded since Michael Brown’s killing by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Predictably, some Russian state media have taken an opportunity to skewer the US, saying the protests are a sign of a coming race war. In August, for instance, Svobodnaya Pressa called the protests “AfroMaidan” (a reference to Euromaidan) with a subhed saying that the events are lesson for the world in American-style democracy (screenshot above). Max Seddon, writing for Buzzfeed and who you should follow on twitter if you’re interested in Russia, has another good roundup of Russian coverage of Ferguson, including translations of Russian memes and online jokes about the events.

Buzzfeed translation of Russian nationalist joke about Ferguson protests.
Buzzfeed translation of Russian nationalist joke about Ferguson protests.

According to the Washington Post, British publications have sent their war correspondents to cover Ferguson and they’ve drawn comparison to police response after 2011 riots in London (wiki). And the LA Times and Hollywood Reporter look at coverage from China, England, Russia, Japan, and Germany, though the Washington Post has better links to original reporting from those countries. In addition to the countries already mentioned, Al Jazeera shows what the media in Turkey, India, and elsewhere, have said about Ferguson.

Foreign Policy’s coverage of how Ferguson is covered from afar should not be missed, also. The piece offers a historical perspective, looking at how worldwide media, including the African press, covered early civil rights protests in Birmingham, Alabama.

Slate has a short piece on China and Iran’s coverage (here are English versions of heavy Iran coverage), which linked to the Wall Street Journal’s look at how China’s government has commented on Ferguson.

Related: Here’s Vox’s take on how US media might cover Ferguson if it happened in another country. The piece is in the same vein as Slate’s excellent “If It Happened There” series, which has a new entry today: America’s Annual Festival Pilgrimage Begins. Another photographer has been arrested while covering the news in Ferguson. And be sure to check out my previous posts on Ferguson: Court orders Ferguson police not to interfere with photographers and Ferguson: a fascinating and troubling study of visual politics, race, the police, and the media.

Need a laugh? Watch this photo crew work in Zero G

The video above is hilarious. Of course, Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit Issue has a lot of…issues. This year Barbie was in the mix. Last year, the magazine featured “exotic” locals alongside swimsuit models. But forget the controversies for a minute, and instead marvel at the photo crew (photographers, grips, makeup artists, warddrobe assistants, etc.) trying to produce a photo shoot without the benefit of gravity.

Sports Illustrated behind the scenes video
Sports Illustrated behind the scenes video – screenshot

This year, model Kate Upton was photographed in zero gravity, on one of the so-called “Vomit Comets.” Photographer James Macari and his crew do an admirable job floating through space and trying to control hair, water droplets, and themselves, in zero gravity. Upton also has an impressive amount of control of her expressions and body while being photographed in zero g. You can see the resulting photos here, but really the video above is all you need. You can see this video and another at Sports Grid.

(via metafilter)

National Geographic launches photography blog

With the inspirational video above featuring a diverse collection of National Geographic photographers talking about why they take pictures, the magazine has launched a new photography blog called “Proof.” There’s not much there just yet besides a welcome message, which says the blog will feature behind-the-scenes looks at National Geographic’s storytelling process, and an odd little post called “Musings: Bonnie Briant.” It’s not clear whether Proof will publish long-form journals like what John Stanmeyer has written on and off again on his personal blog or shorter snippets like what many National Geographic photographers have been posting at the Photo Society blog. Nevertheless, it’s a space worth watching.