Saturday, 30 September 2017

Fordlandia: A Modern Industrial Ruin in The Heart of Amazon

This photograph of men standing in shirtless bodies, surrounded by the long leaves of the jungle fauna, and a thatched hut behind, was captured in a remote jungle in Brazilian Amazon. The year was 1934, and these were Henry Ford’s men. Six years earlier, the American industrialist had launched a massive operation in order to break free of the stranglehold the Asian rubber importers had on him and his industry. He had picked a location on banks of river Tapajos, hired a workforce and razed vast stretches of Amazon land to start a rubber plantation. But Ford’s dreams were much grander. He wanted to build a utopic community that was to serve as a double experiment in business and civilization. Unfortunately, Ford was only a businessman. By the time this photograph was taken, his dream was already breaking apart. 
Henry Ford had rigid ideas of what a utopia was to be. Being a quintessential American, that meant eating American food, living in American-style houses, attending poetry sessions and engaging in regular square dances where only English songs are played. He began to impose these imported ideas on food and lifestyle on the populace working there —things they were not accustomed to. The most irksome of his rules was the prohibition of alcohol, tobacco and even women and families. Denied of these simple pleasures, Forlandians would often sneak away to a nearby settlement that they called ‘Island of Innocence’, which was filled with nightclubs, bars and brothels.

As often seen from history, the signs of an impending disaster are seeded in the exhibition of arrogance. Ford disliked experts and what followed was a going ahead with detailed plans and execution of Fordlandia without any real scientific and ultimately business considerations. His plants withered, plagued by blight and other diseases, and troubled by alien culture, the workers rebelled culminating in a revolt that had to be smothered with the help of Brazillian army in 1930. The resultant disaster that Fordlandia today is an abandoned landscape full of well-intentioned but pointless waste of human energy and resources, both natural and financial. This would later cost Ford’s grandson Henry Ford II, a total loss of 20 million dollars in 1945 on its sale back to the Brazilian government.

Built with the vision to last, Fordlandia had all the amenities of a modern American town including a golf course, a full-fledged hospital, a large powerhouse and a hotel. One can now visit these crumbling concrete erections which still stand as monuments to failure and serve as aesthetically appealing whereabouts for contemporary photography.

After his failures, Ford tried relocating downstream, but a misplaced endeavour that it was, the entire operation was brought to a close with production of synthetic rubber in the world by 1945.

A strange fact of this ill fated industrial misadventure was that its Creator, Ford never even visited what was to be his version of utopia, and neither was there to be any rubber from Fordlandia to tire the wheels of the Ford Cars of America.

After 6 Years And 720,000 Attempts, Photographer Finally Takes Perfect Shot Of Kingfisher

Alan McFadyen, who has been an avid wildlife photographer since 2009, just captured a photo that he has spent 6 years trying to get. By his count, it took him 4,200 hours and 720,000 photos to get a perfect shot of a kingfisher diving straight into the water without a single splash.
“The photo I was going for of the perfect dive, flawlessly straight, with no splash required not only me to be in the right place and get a very lucky shot but also for the bird itself to get it perfect,” McFadyen told The Herald Scotland. “I would often go and take 600 pictures in a session and not a single one of them be any good. But now I look back on the thousands and thousands of photos I have taken to get this one image, it makes me realise just how much work I have done to get it.”
McFadyen, who also runs a wildlife photography hide business, was inspired to love nature and wildlife by his grandfather. “I remember my grandfather taking me to see the kingfisher nest and I just remember being completely blown away by how magnificent the birds are. So when I took up photography I returned to this same spot to photograph the kingfishers.”

“The photo I was going for of the perfect dive, flawlessly straight, with no splash required not only me to be in the right place and get a very lucky shot but also for the bird itself to get it perfect”

Friday, 29 September 2017

26 Rare Vintage Photographs of Everyday Life in The Soviet from the Late 1920s to Early 1930

The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, together with the Ukrainian, Byelorussian, and Transcaucasian Soviet Socialist Republics, formed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), or Soviet Union, on 30 December 1922. Out of the 15 republics that would make up the USSR, the largest in size and over half of the total USSR population was the Russian SFSR, which came to dominate the union for its entire 69-year history.

Following Lenin’s death in 1924, a troika was designated to govern the Soviet Union. However, Joseph Stalin, an elected General Secretary of the Communist Party, managed to suppress all opposition groups within the party and consolidate power in his hands. Leon Trotsky, the main proponent of world revolution, was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1929, and Stalin’s idea of Socialism in One Country became the primary line. The continued internal struggle in the Bolshevik party culminated in the Great Purge, a period of mass repressions in 1937–38, during which hundreds of thousands of people were executed, including original party members and military leaders accused of coup d’├ętat plots.