epa Photo Essays 2019

A change in road markings which marks the border between the Republic of Ireland (L) and Northern Ireland (R) outside the town of Middletown in Northern Ireland, Britain, 03 March 2019. On maps of Ireland, a line cuts across the north of the island like a scar, dividing Northern Ireland from the larger Republic of Ireland. That line is both physical and symbolic, signaling the geographic separation of two countries as well as their historical, social and religious differences. The reality of the Irish border is complex. Today, it is no longer a ‘hard’ border, though crossings are littered with rusting customs posts from another time. Often a change in road markings or the color of the tarmac are the only indicators that you have crossed into another country. It is possible to drive along a road and cross the border two or three times without even knowing it.

The Invisible Border

On maps of Ireland, a line cuts across the north of the island like a scar, dividing Northern Ireland from the larger Republic of Ireland. That line is both physical and symbolic, signaling the geographic separation of two countries as well as their historical, social and religious differences. After 29 March 2019, the thin line could well separate the United Kingdom and the European Union. The reality of the Irish border is complex. Today, it is no longer a ‘hard’ border, though crossings are littered with rusting customs posts from another time. Often a change in road markings or the color of the tarmac are the only indicators that you have crossed into another country. It is possible to drive along a road and cross the border two or three times without even knowing it. The border was established by the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921.

 

 

 

A Senegalese boy stands between boats on a section of beach that has been eroded away by a big storm revealing layers of waste in the beach sand in the fishing village of Yenne Todd, Senegal, 24 February 2019. Senegal is choking on plastic waste with tens of thousands of tons of it ending up in the ocean every year. A problem that is not only threatening the coastal population but also the economy. Due to a lack of comprehensive municipal waste management mechanisms, communities have engaged in their own clean ups in some villages. Environmentalists urge a change of policy regarding the use of plastics is urgently needed by government. EPA-EFE/NIC BOTHMA

Senegal Plastic Waste Crisis

Fisherman Samwu Ndaye is a volunteer who every morning combs the beach of Ngor, Senegal, to clean up the waste plastic that builds up there. Single-use plastic products of every kind litter the villages along Senegal's coastline along with other waste that gets washed up at different spots throughout the year, depending on the prevailing winds and ocean currents. As the world’s population grows, so too does the amount of waste that is generated, leading to a vast environmental problem on a global scale which waste management is just beginning to have an impact on. However, in low and middle-income countries, like Senegal, this process is all too often underfunded or simply neglected. Systematic municipal waste collection and disposal is lacking in many areas, so residents deal with garbage in their own way, by burning or dumping it along the shorelines.

 

 

 

A Chinese e-sports enthusiast (R) shows her gaming paraphernalia, from one of the games she plays, as they play the online game 'PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' (PUBG) in a private room with bed at an internet cafe in Beijing, China, 24 November 2018. EPA-EFE/WU HONG

The Rise of Esports in Asia

In 1972, the first video game tournament was held. A handful of people gathered in a computer lab at Stamford University, California, USA, to compete in the ‘Intergalactic Spacewar Olympics’ for the grand prize of an annual subscription to Rolling Stone magazine. Since then competitive computer gaming has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Esports, as it is known now, is no longer a sub-culture but roaring across the world supported by a voracious audience. Esports competitions are hallmarked by meticulously organized formats, stringent rules and large prize pools that see sponsored teams and individuals battle it out in various computer games. The players that make it to the pinnacle of esports carry a celebrity like status and garner the attention of legions of fans. They are promoted to an esports viewership that has eclipsed that of many traditional sports‘, amassing more than a 205 million peak viewership for the 2018 League of Legends (LoL) World Championship.

 

 

 

A close-up view of a Brexit inspired mural by anonymous British street artist Banksy depicting the European flag in Dover, Britain, 15 February 2019. The graffiti that appeared on a building near Dover's ferry terminal shows a worker removing one of the 12 stars from the EU flag. The Port of Dover, handling up to 10.000 trucks a day, estimated that no-deal Brexit can lead to almost 30 kilometers (17 miles) long lines to the customs. Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019, two years after Prime Minister Theresa May invoked Article 50, the mechanism to notify the EU of her country's intention to abandon the member's club after the tightly-contested 2016 referendum. The results of that referendum exposed a divided nation. Leave won, claiming 52 percent of the overall vote. Voters in England and Wales came out in favor of leave, while Scotland and Northern Ireland plumped for remain. It was still unclear on what terms the UK would leave the EU, with lawmakers having rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's initial deal hammered out with the EU, the fruit of years of negotiations. There was also talk of extending the March 29 deadline, which would delay Brexit, as well as the floating of a second referendum, with the opposition Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn appearing to now throw its weight behind that. Citizens and industries across the UK, including the banking, tourism and farming sectors, and many of whom rely on exporting products or bringing in goods from Europe, will have to adapt in a post-Brexit Britain, whether there is a deal with the EU or not. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

A Portrait of Brexit Britain

The UK is scheduled to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019 - two years after Prime Minister Theresa May invoked Article 50, notifying the EU of her country's intention to abandon the member's club after the tightly-contested 2016 referendum. The results of that referendum exposed a divided nation. It was still unclear on what terms the UK would leave the EU, with lawmakers having rejected Prime Minister May's initial deal hammered out with the EU, the fruit of years of negotiations. There was also talk of extending the deadline, which would delay Brexit, as well as the floating of a second referendum. Citizens and industries across the UK, including the banking, tourism and farming sectors, and many of whom rely on exporting products or bringing in goods from Europe, will have to adapt in a post-Brexit Britain, whether there is a deal with the EU or not.

 

 

 

A Tibetan Buddhist nun prays in front of a giant TV screen showing a ceremony with sculptures made of yak butter during the Monlam Great Prayer Festival, at Labrang Monastery, in Xiahe County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, China, 19 February 2019. Considered the most important event for Tibetan Buddhists, the Monlam Great Prayer Festival starts three days after Lunar New Year in western China's ethnic Tibetan region and is held for almost two weeks. During that time, millions of pilgrims head to monasteries to pray for good fortune in the new year and make offerings to their late relatives. Labrang Monastery, in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, which was founded in 1709, is one of the six largest monasteries of the Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism and home to the thousands of monks outside of the Tibet Autonomous Region. EPA-EFE/ROMAN PILIPEY

Monlam Great Prayer Festival

Considered the most important event for Tibetan Buddhists, the Monlam Great Prayer Festival starts three days after Lunar New Year in western China's ethnic Tibetan region and is held for almost two weeks. During Monlam, millions of pilgrims head to monasteries to pray for good fortune in the New Year and make offerings to their late relatives. One of the most popular destinations among pilgrims is Labrang Monastery in Xiahe County, China. The monastery founded in 1709 is one of the six largest monasteries of the Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism and home to thousands of monks outside the Tibet Autonomous Region. Although the Chinese Communist Party is atheist, it recognizes five religions, with one of these Buddhism, as well as many folk beliefs. Most ethnic Tibetans practice a distinct form of Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism.

 

 

 

An image taken with a 'tilt-shift' lens shows the popular 'Genex' tower, in Belgrade, Serbia, 25 February 2019. Actually called the Western City Gate, is a 36-story skyscraper and was designed in 1977 by the architect Mihajlo Mitrovic and was completed in 1980 in the brutalist style. The building is formed by two towers connected with a two-story bridge and revolving restaurant at the top. It is 115 meters tall (with restaurant 135–140 meters). One of the towers was occupied by the Genex Group. The second, taller tower, is residential and the restaurant is not working. EPA-EFE/ANDREJ CUKIC

Brutalist Architecture in New Belgrade

On the left bank of Belgrade's Sava river lies Novi Beograd, a complex of brutalist buildings that are both a celebration of functional no-nonsense architecture and a symbol of the new post-monarchic Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that was founded in 1945. The planned municipality, for which building works started in 1948, was devised at a time when the sprawling city of Belgrade was undergoing a deep socio-political shift. Novi Beograd was designed to be the main administrative center for the new government, with buildings for the Communist Party headquarters and the Presidency of the government serving as the hub of a functional grid plan with streets meeting on right angles. However, Brutalism is now enjoying renewed interest as more and more people have begun to embrace its practical philosophy and, from an aesthetic perspective, its attractive geometric shapes rendering an almost graphic quality to many of these buildings.

 

 

 

A view on the renewed house at Montefiore Street from 1920 designed by architect Isaac Schwartz in the International Style as part of the 'White City' Bauhaus ensemble in Tel Aviv, Israel, 10 December 2018. Nestled in the streets of downtown Tel Aviv stands the modernist architectural gem known as the White City: one of the largest concentrations of around 4,000 buildings created in the renowned 1930s Bauhaus style. The UN declared the Israeli White City a World Cultural Heritage site in 2003 triggering a renewed interest in the modernist complex. German architect Walter Gropius founded the Staatliche Bauhaus school of art, architecture and design in the city of Weimar in 1919, from where the emblematic architectural movement known as the International Style was developed. The year 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus school and as such the Bauhaus Association is set to celebrate the centenary worldwide with numerous exhibitions, events, research projects and more under the motto 'Rethinking the World.' EPA-EFE/ABIR SULTAN

White City

Nestled in downtown Tel Aviv stands a modernist architectural gem known as the White City: one of the largest concentrations of buildings created in the renowned 1930s Bauhaus style. German architect Walter Gropius founded the Staatliche Bauhaus school of art, architecture and design in Weimar in 1919, from where the emblematic architectural movement known as the International Style was developed. The rise of the Nazi Regime in 1933 forced the school to close, leading many graduates of the art school to emigrate from Europe. Among the Bauhaus graduates were several Jewish architects including Arieh Sharon, Shmuel Mestechkin, Munio Gitai-Weinraub and Shlomo Bernstein who moved to Palestine and helped the Jewish community to shape and build the future state of Israel.

 

 

 

epa07270678 (19/30) A group of explorers during a reconnaissance trip on ski randonee on the Edson Glacier, in the Ellsworth Mountains, Antarctica, 05 December 2018. The Glaciar Union camp is a Chilean polar station operated by the INACH and the three groups of the Armed Forces of Chile marking the beginning of all scientific activities planned in Antarctica for the summer season. During a month a group of eight scientists conduct their studies in the third most southern camp of the continent. The Armed Forces play a key role as they provide the logistics and help researchers in their tasks. They explore the surroundings, prepare field trips with scientists and ensure their safety at all times.  EPA-EFE/FELIPE TRUEBA

The New Antarctic Explorers

In a new age of exploration in Antarctica, Chile's Armed Forces are playing a vital role in making it possible for scientists to carry out their research on the world's southernmost continent. Antarctica is vast, almost twice the size of Australia, and only a select number of persons ever get to set foot on this continent. While it does not have any indigenous inhabitants, its population varies between 1,000 people in winter and 5,000 in summer. Most are researchers and station personnel spread across the 66 bases scattered along its coasts. The golden days of Antarctic exploration of the past century saw the likes of Norway's Roald Amundsen and Briton Robert Falcon Scott. Today's expeditions see teams of scientists and soldiers embark on new adventures on the White Continent with more technology at their disposal than ever before.

 

 

 

Joniel (17) rests on the ground after smoking the drug 'cripy' at the district of 'Las Mercedes' in Caracas, Venezuela, 08 November 2018. The streets of Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, are filled with homeless children who run, laugh, swim in polluted rivers, search for food among the trash and, in many cases, abuse drugs that allow them some respite from the harsh realities of living rough. These neglected minors represent one of the many faces of the severe economic and social crisis ravaging the oil-rich South American country. EPA-EFE/MIGUEL GUTIERREZ

The Smallest Faces of Venezuela's Crisis

The streets of Venezuela's capital Caracas are filled with homeless children. Children who run, laugh, search for food among the trash and swim in polluted rivers. And children who abuse drugs that allow them some respite from the harsh realities of living rough. These neglected minors represent one of the many faces of the severe economic and social crisis ravaging the oil-rich South American country. Over the span of two months, efe-epa photojournalist Miguel Gutierrez documented the day-to-day lives of these children, presented here in a four-part photo essay: 1: Portrait Series, 2: Life on the Streets, 3: Liliana (17) Gives Birth to Baby Boy, 4: Homes for Abandoned Children. The children mostly live in public spaces in Caracas, where, apart from begging, they have set up an elaborate system to survive.