“Kalone is a football player from the national amputee football team in Sierra Leone. He is training on the beach. The football team is entirely made up of players with one leg and goal keepers with one arm. Amputated by machetes of the Revolutionary United Front, they are residents of the Murray Town amputees’ camp, which is home to victims of rebel atrocities committed during the civil war. Resist. Outcast by society, they resist to their destiny and the aftermath of a 10-year war. Resistance is what made them stronger human beings.Resist. For some people there is no other choice than to resist.” Sierra Leone, 2003. (Pep Bonet/Noor Images) “In a padded room rich with sweat, young women ran drills around me. Then turned, boxing their image in a broken mirror. In Afghanistan, as in many places in the world, women battle traditional roles and cultural boundaries as often as their opponents in the ring. Afghan Olympic boxing hopeful Sadaf Rahimi practices in the Kabul Olympic Stadium in Afghanistan in 2012. Simply by living their passion, practice becomes a form of protest.” (Andrea Bruce/Noor Images)
Noor Images is a collective of international photographers focused on contemporary global issues. In the wake of the Trump presidency in the U.S. and the threat to journalism worldwide, the group has launched its first print sale celebrating dissent.
As Noor Images marks its 10th anniversary, the agency will donate a share of the print sale profits to the Center for Constitutional Rights, a non-profit U.S. agency that uses law to positively affect social change. The Noor photographers chose images from their archive “as an inspiration and reminder that resistance takes many forms, each essential and life affirming.”
Photographer Nina Berman, a Noor member since 2009, had the inspiration for the selection. “I’ve always been a bit awestruck by moments of defiance and resistance when an individual or an entire community decide they can no longer simply comply. And so it occurred to me that as a group of photographers we’ve seen thousands of these moments around the world, some quietly personal and beautifully subversive, others more public and political, and it would be interesting to dig into our archive and make a series as a way to affirm the power of resistance and democratic principles at a time when many rights we hold dear are being challenged,” she said. See the images for sale here.
Over the course of the coming months, the In Sight photography blog will partner with the Noor photographers to highlight their visual stories in honor of this 10th anniversary.
“Resisting the devastating changes heaved upon their lives in the wake of protracted cofliicts on the Afghan border, hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced across Pakistan hang on to the last threads of former lives than can be salvaged. Having lost their homes and lands, livelihoods and often their dignity, what remains is humbling. Following families from Pakistan’s tribal areas over six years, I often found traces of former lives. In this image, a row of teaspoons found in a garbage dump have been tacked onto the wall at a temporary slum that is home to the internally displaced. A reflection of the intricately hand carved spoons that would have graced their farmhouse in Bajaur, they are a metaphor for a last stand. For such families, to resist is simply to not give up.” Pakistan, 2014. (Alixandra Fazzina/Noor Images) “The Revolution that swept across Russia, changed history forever, in many ways America was more poised for a Revolution with the weight of the down trodden masses, being crushed under the weight of capitalism, but the leaders of the day were not passionate enough, a revolution is like a great love affair. In the beginning she is a temptress, a Holy cause, the Virgin Mary, believing in something so passionate to die for it, the idea itself becomes the religion, not as pure, not saintly and in the end not even perfect, but a burning faith blood stained. On the roads of the revolution the people were caught up and carried along the roads and winds of change, the fires that consumed the people did so until they reached the ends of Russia.” Russia, Chechnya, Grozny, 2013. (Stanley Greene/Noor Images) “‘D’ and ‘O’, from Russia, were attacked because they dared to walk in the street holding hands. Being photographed for ‘Where Love Is Illegal’, a campaign against homophobia, was an action that defied those who would deny their love, and who they are. They taught me a valuable lesson: The greatest form of resistance can be the courage to be yourself.” Russia, 2014. (Robin Hammond/Noor Images) “On October 9, around 80 “warriors” in full war paint and armed with bows and arrows, clubs and lances occupied a construction site for the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant on the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon in Brazil. In a cloak-and-dagger operation, the native Indians stormed the Pimental cofferdam, chased off around 900 construction workers and took control of a large number of trucks and Caterpillar construction vehicles.” Brazil, Altamira, 2012. (Yuri Kozyrev/Noor Images) “If there is one man whose life is all about resisting it is Nelson Mandela. Fist in the air, he gave this word a new meaning; rising so far and above hatred, racism, tribalism, injustice, selfishness. His figure is now contested, and his heritage questioned within the border of his homeland, but his aura is undeniable. I was lucky enough to have photographed him a couple of times and his aura was thick like a warm coat. I understood that the culture of resistance is both political and intimate. By simply looking at someone he could make you feel you can, you have to be your better self. Amandla!” Johannesburg, South Africa, 2012. (Benedicte Kurzen/Noor Images) “During the four centuries of slave trade, characterized by tensions and class confrontations, thousands of slaves escaped from European plantations and created ‘quilombos’ in Brazil. Originally ‘quilombo’ means ‘place where one is with God.’ The quilombos rebuilt in Brazil were territorial organization of African origins and worked as an outlet against the violence of slavery. Wherever slavery flourished, so did resistance. Even under the threat of the whip, slaves tried to carve spaces of autonomy through rebellions. Some slaves escaped and lived in communities resisting to the acculturation. There they survived thanks to their ancient customs and recreated their old traditions of lyrics and dances, that would later become the famous Samba music. These alternative communities sought to reproduce Africa in the Americas. All members would be equal and free, just as they had been in their homeland. In a period of worldwide challenges, I want to remember how Samba was born to talk about awareness and hardship, and to dance for the hope and despair of all the people who live under an oppressive system. ” Brazil, 2012. (Sebastian Liste/Noor Images) “Nelson Mandela said: ‘A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.’ While this picture is subdued — the subjects of the photograph were anything but subdued. Each man represented a passion for humanity that was unbridled and displayed through their ultimate sacrifice that heart, ideals and a willingness to put your life on the line for a cause is what a human life is to be measured by.” Chicago, 2012. (Jon Lowenstein/Noor Images) “A mother and her son at the village of Bainpara in the delta of Bangladesh. Their land has been taken by the waters during a cyclone and subsequent frequent flooding. Flooding has always happened in Bangladesh, but today the waters often don’t recede anymore due to the rising sea level. If they do, the land is saline and crops won’t grow anymore. The sea is rising due to climate change and millions of people are at risk in Bangladesh. People are urged to move but they resist: it’s the land of their forefathers, which they have been cultivating. They resist that they have to pay such a high price, where their emissions have always been almost zero. Trump doesn’t believe in climate change and millions of people are sacrificed for that vision.” Bangladesh, 2013. (Kadir van Lohuizen/Noor Images) “When the Ku Klux Klan , a white supremacist organization, decided to march around a baseball field in a small town in southern New Jersey, a crowd of protesters showed up to resist. As the KKK donned their white robes and waved their Confederate flags, the protesting crowd, led by many black high school students, pushed the Klan behind the ball field fence and into the wooden bleachers. The Klan grew frightened and weak as the protesters outnumbered them. Chanting with righteous anger and moral authority, these teenagers drove the racist hatemongers off the field and out of town.It was my privilege to witness this beautiful moment of resistance when young people stood up for their ancestors and their own dignity.” 1990. (Nina Berman/Noor Images)
More on In Sight:
A former refugee’s moving photos of a crisis that he knows so well
‘I knew that a battlefield of suffering was in my eyes’: The many faces of Frida Kahlo
‘Caracas by day torments and by night terrifies’