Laura Beltrán Villamizar | KGOU
KGOU

Laura Beltrán Villamizar

Photographer Polly Irungu wanted to find a way to spotlight and support Black women photographers — so she created a community and database to do just that.

I first came to know Diego Armando Maradona in September 1993, when I was watching the qualifying match between Argentina and my country of Colombia for the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

Even though I was just a young kid at the time, I knew that Maradona, Argentina's star player, was something special. His vision, the way he dribbled past his opponents — he was respected and adored not just in his country, but across Latin America and the world.

Kentucky attorney general, Daniel Cameron, announced on Wednesday that none of the three police officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor would be charged directly over her death. One of the men was indicted for shooting into neighboring homes.

In response, protests emerged nationwide, demanding charges against the officers. Here's a selection of pictures from around the country, as demonstrators called for justice for Taylor and respect for Black life.

When Argentina went into strict lockdown in March, photographer Celeste Alonso was isolated at her home in Buenos Aires. She started taking photographs, trying to make sense of what it means to be alone for long periods of time — an effort that continues now, months later.

Among the images are daily black-and-white Polaroids. On one of them, she writes down the definition of "instant," literally trying to capture what a moment in time means.

It was in the early evening of Aug. 4 when two blasts convulsed Beirut. First, onlookers saw a major fire at the Mediterranean port. Then there was an explosion, and then another, shooting seismic waves through Lebanon's capital and a huge mushroom cloud into the sky.

More than 170 people died and thousands were injured. The scale of devastation — to buildings, infrastructure and people's livelihoods — is difficult to capture as residents take stock of the damage.

RUDA, named after the potent rue plant, is a collective of 11 female and nonbinary documentary photographers from Latin America. It formed in September 2018 as an answer to the lack of female representation in the region and the need to portray social developments from the female and local gaze.

The killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police last month sparked outrage that has spilled into the streets, with mass demonstrations and marches against police brutality and systemic racism.

Black photographers have been documenting the nationwide protests in a way that amounts to telling "our own history in real time," said Brooklyn, N.Y.-based commercial photographer Mark Clennon, "because our parents, and grandparents never really had a chance to have their voices heard."

In March, photographer Neha Hirve moved from Sweden back to her childhood home in Pune, India, where she had grown up with her grandparents. It had been more than a decade since she'd lived in the country of her birth.

Brazil leads South America in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases. More than 7,000 people have died, and there's evidence more deaths have gone uncounted.

President Jair Bolsonaro has remained one of the few world leaders defiant of the virus, denying its severity and calling on Brazilians to go back to work. This has led to massive protests around the country.

As the numbers and deaths mount, photographers from all over the country have started to cover the struggles of the Brazilian people, both inside and outside their homes.

In Spain, one the nations hardest hit by the coronavirus, a group of photographers from around the country have started a collaborative feed of images to document daily life during the pandemic.

#Covidphotodiaries is an Instagram project which was launched in mid-March and has gained thousands of followers.

With more than 20,000 reported cases as of Saturday afternoon, Iran has become one of the epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic.

The virus has affected Iranian leadership, and data show the spread is far worse than reported. As the crisis worsens, NPR talked with a group of independent documentary photographers about their experiences on the ground. Some took to the streets to cover daily life, some covered the response from private and public hospitals as staff deal with the pandemic, and some, as they socially distance themselves, take a more personal approach to storytelling.

Last week, the New Orleans bands Tank and the Bangas and The Soul Rebels traveled to Havana to participate in a cultural exchange; it was meant to acknowledge the past by celebrating the present.

Monday's fire that ravaged Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral, bringing down its spire and roof, struck during Holy Week. But even outside this key period in the Roman Catholic calendar, the cathedral draws visitors all year, some 12 million of them.

When Venezuelan photographer Fabiola Ferrero first traveled to the city of Florencia in Colombia, she took two instant cameras with her. Her goal: to portray a country in limbo between war and peace.

In 2016, the Colombian government and rebels from the country's largest guerrilla group signed an agreement to end half a century of war. Though a clear path to sustainable peace is still to come.

In April of 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped more than 276 girls who were attending schools in the northeastern region of Chibok, Nigeria. The incident drew international attention to the students' plight and the extremist terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the kidnappings. Photographer Rahima Gambo wanted to know why students were still going to school in the region despite the ongoing possibility of other dangerous attacks from Boko Haram.

Recent polls suggest that many Americans are enthusiastic about voting in this year's midterm elections. But a majority of Americans are unlikely to vote on Nov. 6. And while there are barriers to voting, there are also tens of thousands of people who could vote, but have chosen not to.

To kick off a Twitter chat on black storytelling and identity with documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson, #AfropunkSolutionSessions podcast host Bridget Todd posed a question that she always asks of creatives: "What role do you think arts & culture plays in social change? Can art change the world?"

She offered an example of a creative catalyst.

Aretha Franklin's funeral service remembers and celebrates the "Queen of Soul." Beloved by millions around the world, Franklin — who died of cancer on Aug. 16 — also leaves behind a six-decade career of advocacy, becoming a symbol and transformative leader in both the women's rights and the civil rights movements.

Here is a visual recollection of the funeral of one of America's most celebrated artists. This collection will updated throughout the day.

Tunisia is a land of contrasts. The north African country and its people have a complex history and a rich cultural heritage. While the Western world may be familiar with the country's northern region littered with prosperous beach resorts and museums, the southern territories are rich in resources but often less visited by tourists.