Amazone Women – Senegal by YZ.

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YZ “Amazone” Senegal. West Africa (photo © YZ)
According to historical accounts of the First Franco-Dahomean War, in the 1890s it was the highly trained military women who were chopping off the heads of the French.
Sometimes while they slept.
French Street Artist YZ Yseult has begun her own campaign to pay tribute to the fierce female fighters of the 19th Century West African country of Dahomey, who are more commonly referred to as Amazons.
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YZ “Amazone” Senegal. West Africa (photo © YZ)
A startling narrative of female power not often heard today for some, but as YZ is researching her own history as a descendent from slaves, her portraits reflect a personal impetus to tell these stories with a new force.
She has named this series of strong warriors on the street “Amazone”.
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YZ “Amazone” Senegal. West Africa (photo © YZ)
Read on via French Street Artist YZ Brings “Amazone” Women to Walls in Senegal.

The ‘disappearing’ Hippopotamus.

Photographer Tim Flach’s latest book Endangered, with text by zoologist Jonathan Baillie, offers a powerful visual record of threatened animals and ecosystems facing the harshest of challenges.
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Common hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius.
IUCN Red List status: Vulnerable.
In 2003, surveys showed that the number of hippos had dropped by 95% during eight years of civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Hippos are hunted for bushmeat but have become the focus of poachers interested in their ivory canines following the 1989 ban on trading elephant ivory.
International trade out of several African countries is restricted, but the law is not yet enforced on the ground.
Today, African elephants outnumber hippos four to one.
Source: Tim Flach’s endangered species – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian

Maasai Warriors help Protect Lions.

Maasai warrior Kamunu Saitoti scans the Kenyan rangelands for a signal from a number of lions that have been fitted with radio collars.
Saitoti is part of an organisation called Lion Guardians, a conservation initiative started in 2007 to find ways for the Maasai and lions to coexist.
Scientists estimate that lion populations in Africa have fallen by more than 40% in the past 20 years and the 20,000 or so wild lions that remain occupy just 8% of the species’ historical range.
Image Credit: Photograph by Marcus Westberg/Life Through A Lens.
Source: Travel photo of the week: the warriors helping to protect lions in Kenya | Travel | The Guardian

The Desert libraries of Chinguetti.

Desert libraries of Chinguetti, by Patrick Tanguay
Al Ahmed Mahmoud Library in Chinguetti
I did not know about these wonderful places. For hundreds of years, families in Mauritania have been maintaining libraries of old Arabo-Berber books.
Originally on the route of pilgrims travelling to Mecca, the libraries are now at risk from the spreading Sahara and ever dwindling numbers of visitors, in part because of security restrictions due to terrorism.
Most of Chinguetti consists of abandoned houses which are being swallowed up by the ever encroaching dunes of the Sahara.
But this was once a prosperous city of 20 000 people, and a medieval centre for religious and legal scholars. It was known as “The City of Libraries”
Mauritania’s hidden manuscripts. The bone-dry wood creaks as the book opens at a page representing the course of the moon, framed by black balls and red crescents.
The manuscript contains 132 pages of Arab astronomy bound in well-worn leather, a 15th-century treasure stored, with similar items, in a cardboard box in a traditional dwelling in Chinguetti.
Seen as a legacy from their ancestors, the families feel it’s an honour for them to care for these books.
Source: Desert libraries of Chinguetti

Under an African Sky.

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Image Credit: Photograph by Carey Nash, National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
A Hamar woman and her son stand beneath a dramatic sky in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley.
“After walking from our tent along the riverbed, we met up with this nearby village and the beautiful people [who] lived there,” writes photographer Carey Nash. “We felt so welcomed.”
Source: Photo of the Day: Best of June | PROOF

Rashida. scrapyard Water Seller, Accra.

Image Credit: Photograph by Carolina Rapezzi, first place, single.
Rashida, originally from the north of Ghana, is a water-seller in a scrapyard in Accra.
Agbogbloshie is one of the biggest electronic waste dumps in the world.
Broken computers and appliances are burned to extract raw materials like copper, iron and aluminium. …
Workers and children are exposed to toxic emissions.
Rashida sells water bags for 1 Ghanaian Cedi (15p) to workers who need to extinguish the fire and cool down the copper extracted from burning cables, wires and other appliances’
Source: Ruby slippers and Retrotopia: LensCulture winners – in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian