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World’s Last Male Northern White Rhino Dies
Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino, died at OI Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya on 19th of March. He was 45 years old (97 in human equivalent age). A team of veterinarians decided to euthanise him due to his agerelated problems and several infections. He is survived by two female rhinos: his daughter Najin, aged 28, and granddaughter Fatu, aged 17. White rhinos comprise of two subspecies: the northern white rhinos, which are nearly extinct and the southern white rhino. During the 1970s and 1980s, the poaching crisis largely destroyed the northern white rhinos in Uganda, Central African Republic, Sudan and Chad. The poaching crisis was the result of the growing demand for rhino horn in traditional Chinese medicine to cure various ailments and to use them as dagger handles in Yemen. The remaining wild population of last few rhinos were killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the beginning of 2000s, and by 2008, World Wide Fund, the global environment campaign considered the northern white rhinos extinct. To save the species from complete extinction, researchers have pinned their hopes on in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). They intend to use Sudan’s genetic material, and the eggs of the last female rhinos to preserve the subspecies. However, IVF has never been attempted with rhinos before. Better Photography magazine and Panasonic India conducted wildlife masterclasses for winners of Wildlife India Photography Awards, and twenty other participants from 25 June-1 July 2017, in Kenya. During this period, the winners and participants were able to meet Sudan in OI Pejeta Conservancy. A video was also shot featuring Sudan, which stressed on wildlife conservation. The film is title Sudan - Last Male Standing, and is available on Youtube. Having known the team that looked after Sudan so carefully, we offer our condolences from India. “We had the singular honour, to meet and touch the very last living male northern white rhinoceros on the planet. We are the very last generation to see this truly magnificent sub-species alive. We could not help feeling a sense of shame that humans killed them off with poaching, just as we do with so many other species. By being bystanders, our responsibility in all this does not diminish,” said Madhavan Pillai, Editor of Better Photography magazine.
Sculpting in Time – National Gallery of Modern Art, Bengaluru
This February, The National Gallery of Modern Art Bengaluru, together with the Ministry of Culture, presented Sculpting in Time – an exhibition curated by Sadanand Menon that showcased six decades of Balan Nambiar’s artistic journey. Comprising various works – from drawings in conte, Indian ink, charcoal, pastels, watercolour and oils to jewellery, enamel paintings on silver and copper and sculptures, the exhibition had also displayed a selection of the artist’s photographs documenting Teyyam, Bhuta and other ritual art forms. Lectures, panel discussions, music programmes, film screenings and gallery walks were also scheduled during the month-long exhibition.
Liquid Lake Mountain – Talwar Gallery, New Delhi
On February 8, 2018, the Talwar Gallery in New Delhi inaugurated Liquid Lake Mountain – a solo exhibition of new works by artist Alwar Balasubramaniam. The works reflect the shifts in pace and perspective that have accompanied Bala’s recent move from Bengaluru to the countryside in South India. The natural world comes to occupy a central role in all these works – not only as subject matter or even material but also as a kind of collaborator in their creations. On view till May 12, the exhibition portrays a sense of diversity, both in its use of materials and in its interpretations of the concept of transformation.
Photographer Detained for Not Practising ‘Real Journalism’
Kamran Yousuf, a freelance photojournalist in Kashmir, was apprehended in early September 2017, for his alleged involvement with incidents involving stone pelting. On January 18, 2018, he was formally charged with ‘criminal conspiracy’, ‘waging war against the government of India’, committing ‘unlawful activities’ and being a ‘member of a terrorist organisation’. He has been incarcerated since then. The National Investigative Agency, does not have any strong evidence against him, so far, but the chargesheet presented by them in the New Delhi court states that Yousuf is not a ‘real journalist’. Drawing from the ethics of photojournalism, the NIA said that a ‘real journalist’ should cover the government’s development activities such as inaugurations, statement of political party, an iftar party during Ramzan, and skill development programmes for unemployed youth, which is the ‘moral duty’ of a journalist. The NIA scanned through his devices, and they stated.... “Kamran Yusuf had hardly taken any video of such an activity, or any video or image of any such activity can rarely be seen on his laptop or mobile that clearly shows his intentions to only cover activities that are anti-national and earn money against such footages.” Yousuf dropped out of college in 2014, and began working for publications like Greater Kashmir, and Kashmir Uzma, where Photograph of Kamran Yousuf via Facebook he photographed the turmoil of the region.