Part of the Vinnytsia chicken farm, a controversial project to build Europe’s largest industrial poultry farm in central Ukraine. Image by Claire Provost. Ukraine, 2015.

Ukraine Agribusiness Firms in ‘Quiet Land Grab’ with Development Finance

Hundreds of millions of dollars in development finance from the World Bank’s investment arm have helped to fund the controversial expansion of a billionaire’s agribusiness empire in Ukraine, amid growing concern that land and farming in the country are increasingly falling into the hands of a few wealthy individuals.

Controlled by one of Ukraine’s wealthiest men, Yuriy Kosiuk, the agribusiness company Myronivsky Hliboproduct (MHP) dominates the country’s domestic poultry market and exports chicken and luxuries such as foie gras across Europe. Since 2010, it has received at least $200m (£128m) in long-term loans from the bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Much of this funding has gone to support the building of Europe’s largest industrial chicken farm in the middle of Ukraine’s rural heartland. Almost 300km south of Kiev, the Vinnytsia poultry farm is part of an audacious effort to transform the country once known as “Europe’s breadbasket” into its “meatbasket.“

Read the full story by Pulitzer Center grantees Claire Provost and Matt Kennard for The Guardian.

Worryingly specific methods being listed there, Judith. Just saying.

THE FUNNY THING ABOUT FAT, WHITE FEMINISM

re: Tess Holliday in The Guardian

In recent years, quite a few queenpins have risen to the top of the body pos/plus size crop. Unignorably so, Tess Holliday (formerly known as Tess Munster) has reached heights not previously achievable in this genre by becoming the first signed model of her size. In the moment it seemed like a fantastic feat and a gargantuan leap forward for fat people of all shades and creeds. But as truth always comes to light, Holliday is proving to be just a problematic as standard sized white feminists.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Holliday spoke words that surely made records scratch in the minds of many fat women of color:

At one point, an African American guy, middle-aged, said something appreciative as he walked by. “What do guys think they’ll achieve by yelling something?” she asked, shifting her weight and adjusting the cape primly. “They’re like: ‘She’ll love this, I’ll definitely get her number.’” A pause, and then she added, with some satisfaction, “I do admit that black men love me. I always forget that, and then I come to a black neighbourhood and I remember.” And no one quite knew what to say.

Briefly, I wasn’t quite sure what to say either. Like I feared she would, Tess Holliday is moving into the disgustingly self-serving realm of visibility that too many non-Black women have coveted in order to acquire validation, but at the expense of Black bodies. Sitting in the middle of gentrified Brooklyn boasting about how Black men swoon over her lily white existence is intensely harmful to the women who make up those neighborhoods that jog Holliday’s memory. It is the same kind of cavity causing bitterness you can find on any given episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians or searching the #nappyhair hashtag on Instagram. Her satisfaction with allowing such anti-Black speech float from her lips falls right in line with the sort of “anything Black women can do white women can do better” attitude that has oppressed Black women globally for centuries. This is the same kind of behavior that prevents women like Gabourey Sidibe, for example, from being the face of fat acceptance.

Elsewhere in the article she makes mention of meeting her impending husband, a white man who moved from Australia to America assumably to be with her, via Tumblr and feeling like he was someone she could never have because of his level of attractiveness. She attributes being unpleasant to him in the beginning stages of their no longer long distance relationship to the “daddy issues” she diagnoses us all with. The author of The Guardian piece recalls Tess’s fiancé smacking her on the ass and saying “you can give it a good old smack” while Tess completely ignores the gesture. Looking beyond the inappropriate nature of a person she cares for touching her in that manner while she is conducting business, the allowance of this gesture further highlights her thoughts on Black men. Holliday was more than willing to run off at the mouth about the verbal contact of a Black man (which the author noted as ‘appreciative’) but doesn’t bat an eyelash at her “hot”, white fiancé’s fetish riddled, physical antics.

The funny thing about white feminism is that it will support the weight of any attitude as long as it is clad in porcelain skin and western beauty ideals, even in a reported size 22 package. I have seen some of the most beautiful brown feminists, fat and otherwise, march the streets of New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Detroit (my own hometown), and multiple other cities with recognizable “Black neighborhoods”, weeping and demanding that the lives of the men who could never have Tess Holliday’s companionship be spared and deemed valuable. But instead of the praise that Holliday and other women like her receive, Black women are ridiculed and reminded of their role as the steel beams lining the walls of mainstream feminism, used but never seen and rarely maintenanced, crumbling under every pound of the machine their great grandmothers died raging against.

The funny thing about white feminism is that it only looks into the abyss of Blackness for a back to stand on, a man to cry wolf over, and new beauty standards to absorb and then erase.

#EffYourBeautyStandards indeed.

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“Data, data, data! I can’t make bricks without clay!” the iconic literary sleuth Sherlock Holmes once declared. Over a hundred years after his debut, Adam Frost and Jim Kynvin went back through Conan-Doyle’s stories to in search of data to explain Sherlock’s enduring appeal. Above are some of the fun tidbits they uncovered.

Discover more fun facts about Holmes at our gallery. 

Give a man a fish and he can eat for a day. Give him a fishing rod and he can feed himself. Alternatively, don’t poison the fishing waters, abduct his great-grandparents into slavery, then turn up 400 years later on your gap year talking a lot of shite about fish.
theguardian.com
What the new One Direction press shot tells us about the band's future

It’s been 22 days, 2 hours and 7 minutes since Zayn Malik left the world’s biggest boyband to pursue his existence as a 22-year-old. The rest of the band, however, ploughs on. But for how long?

What the new One Direction press shot tells us about the band’s future

It’s been 22 days, 2 hours and 7 minutes since Zayn Malik left the world’s biggest boyband to pursue his existence as a 22-year-old. The rest of the band, however, ploughs on. But for how long?

A great photograph lets you into a secret. A great photograph reveals everything its subject hopes to hide. A great photograph is a window on the truth. A great photograph is the truth. These are just some of the quotes I was forced to fabricate when a Google search for “Inspirational + quotes + photography” proved futile.

My quest for photography based-wisdom began this week when an all-new image of One Direction was published by their team, Modest Management, on Monday. It’s their first group shot since mysterious fifth member Zayn Malik left the globally worshipped boyband at the end of March, and one that reeks of a robotic kind of louche.

But what can it tell us about the future of Simon Cowell’s carefully cultivated creation? Their previous press shots have been an articulation of the band’s intentions: at the start of their career, their pictures were full of tween-indoctrinating, post-X-Factor poses, full of zeal, boyishness and a parent-pleasing uniform of big hair and bow ties. Once they’d ensnared the entire teen population of Britain, they set their sights on the States – publishing press shots that were a patchwork of denim, bandannas and the odd subliminal Star-Spangled Banner. Before the launch of their more “authentic”, Mumfords-inspired album Midnight Memories, the band’s sixth member – an acoustic guitar – would incongruously pop up on shoots, while the rest of the group were adorned in sombre tones and in some severe cases, tweed.

If this new shot tells us anything about their future musical exploits, it is that they have never been more earnest. Their stern and distant expressions are a warning to fans that the endless selfie-onslaught is soon to end: could it be an attempt to distance themselves from fans before their ultimate split?

Fearing their disparate outfit choices were an ominous sign, I turned to the Guardian fashion desk for reassurance. As site editor Morwenna Ferrier explained, the band’s sartorial choices don’t necessarily spell out an immediate creative chasm, but they do suggest signs of some potential individual ambitions:

Niall: Where to begin? The chest hair of civil dissent? The open shirt in high-street plaid? Niall isn’t going anywhere. He knows the hand that feeds him, because it’s the same hand that removed his mug of tea seconds before this picture was taken and explains why he hasn’t dare move it since.

Liam: To many of you, Liam’s Topman denim waistcoat indicates a potential move into late 1980s stadium rock. Or, that he’s secretly become a father and isn’t coping with the transition very well. The truth, of course, is that it’s a metaphor for his massive, stonewashed-denim broken heart.

Harry: Continuing with his efforts to move The Brand forward, Harry Styles has relaunched himself as a City banker and is now exclusively wearing Thomas Pink. With the addition of his John Taylor hair, the whole look suggests he’s flagging up grand plans to move into Tory politics. [NB: Duran Duran are considered a super-Tory band.]

Louis: At 23, and as the oldest member, Louis is hurtling towards retirement – so the fact that his Craig Green-esque, fawn, long-line jumper also resembles a straitjacket is more than a coincidence. It’s also worth noting the expression of resignation. Clearly, we’re days away.

Clothing aside, I can’t help but think there’s something unusual about the composition of the image. Where once the band were seen clambering over one another like puppies in a playground, Harry, Niall, Louis and Liam look detached, maybe even superimposed. It’s a sentiment psychologist and body language expert Peter Collett observed, too. “If we were to take a pair of scissors and physically remove one of the four from this image, then it would not look like they were engaged. It’s what is called “The Cut Out Principle” – something that was often applied to images of Charles and Diana when they were photographed walking together. In this image of One Direction, they’re not interacting, they’re not taking their cues from one another.”

Collett continues: “There are other signs of detachment – Harry has his arms crossed, a classic barrier signal, while Louis has his fist in his hand – something we tend to do when we’re controlling unconscious feelings of frustration. Liam, meanwhile, has his hands in his pockets – which is either super-casual or a way of concealing your hands, ie not exposing what you’re thinking.”

So there you have it – here is a band glued together by contractual obligations, fraught with an aching sense of detachment, secret Tory ambitions and soon-to-surface frustrations. If this photograph spells out the truth – the anguish, the anxiety – I for one hope they don’t split: One Direction have never seemed more fascinating.

La basura de unos, el almuerzo de otros

Hoy, más de 1.000 millones de personas en el mundo pasan hambre. Paradójicamente, casi el 50% del alimento producido anualmente termina en la basura. Es por eso que el gobierno francés ha decretado una nueva ley en la que se prohíbe a los supermercados tirar alimentos que podrían ser consumidos, obligándolos a donarlos a aquellos que lo necesitan o bien como comida para animales. De esta forma buscan, no solucionar, pero sí mejorar la situación del hambre, exceso de basura y desperdicio de comida.

Antes de julio del año próximo los supermercados deberán haber firmado contratos con fundaciones que reciban las donaciones o de lo contrario se enfrentarán a multas de hasta €75,000. También estará prohibido arruinar intencionalmente la comida. Muchos supermercados rocían su basura con lavandina para evitar la responsabilidad legal de posibles intoxicaciones.

Últimamente se ha vuelto un tema popular en los medios franceses la cantidad de familias sin recursos, estudiantes y desempleados que a diario revisan los contenedores de basura de los supermercados y logran sobrevivir en base a alimentos descartados en perfecto estado.

Si bien el porcentaje de los alimentos desperdiciados que proviene de los supermercados es pequeño, el beneficio de esta implementación será sin duda importante. Además, se implementarán campañas de educación para enseñar a niños y empresas sobre la importancia de reducir el desecho de alimentos.

En Argentina, si bien no está regulado, las grandes cadenas de supermercados, entre ellas Cencosud, Walmart y Carrefour, donan anualmente a la Fundación Banco de Alimentos comida además de elementos de higiene y limpieza. Sin embargo, no estaría de más implementar medidas que aseguren que no se tiren alimentos que podrán ser consumidos por aquellos que más lo necesitan. Al igual que en Francia, no solo alimentaríamos a miles de personas sino que complementaría al plan de Basura Cero en la gestión y reducción de los residuos urbanos.

Fuentes:

The Guardian

Banco de Alimentos

Alimentos Argentinos