Close

Donate today to keep Global Voices strong!

Our global community of volunteers work hard every day to bring you the world's underreported stories -- but we can't do it without your help. Support our editors, technology, and advocacy campaigns with a donation to Global Voices!

Donate now

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Stories from and

Peru: A Tour Around Casa de Aliaga

casa-de-aliaga-centro-historico

Image by Wenceslao Bottaro, used with permission.

On his blog Blucasendel, Argentinian journalist Wenceslao Bottaro explores new ways of linking with tourism and other ways for communication and promotion of touristic attractions. This time, he graphically shows what you can find in front of the Main Square of the colonial Ciudad de los Reyes (City of Kings), as Peruvian capital city Lima was originally known.

At the Casa de Aliaga, you will be able to appreciate history and architectural trends from XVI century:

Apenas entrar, la primera impresión es deslumbrante. Hay mucho para ver y asombrarse: los muebles, las colecciones de objetos, las escaleras, las lámparas, el patio. Todo lo que es madera está trabajado obsesivamente en los detalles.

De las paredes cuelgan pinturas, en las vitrinas se exhiben piezas de vajilla, documentos genealógicos y de la época de la Independencia. Lámparas de todo tipo se combinan con la luz del sol generando una extraña atmósfera en las habitaciones.

The minute you get in, the first impression is dazzling. There is a lot to see and to be astonished: the furniture, the collections, the stairways, the lamps, the courtyard. Every wooden article is obsessively carved in every single detail.

Paintings hang from the walls, glass cabinets showcase dishes, genealogic documents and from Independence period. All kinds of lamps are combined with sunlight, generating a rare atmospohere in the rooms.

Bottaro has also written about other place that's worth to visit in Lima's historic downtown. For instance, “the guard change at Presidential Palace; the Inquisition Museum; the historic Bar Cordano, and, especially if you are with children, to have fun with the Magic Circuit of Water“.

More about travels with Wenceslao Bottaro on social networks: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

This post is part of the thirtieth #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on November 24, 2014.

Adorably Ugly Cats Take Over Tokyo Train

"Ultimate Relaxation," the winner of

“Ultimate Relaxation,” the grand prize winner of Japan's recent busukawa neko “adorably ugly cat” contest. Image source: Canon Japan

The winners of a popular contest to find Japan's most “adorably ugly” cats (busukawa neko) have taken over select trains on Tokyo's Yamanote Line. 

The Yamanote Line is full of “adorably ugly” (busukawa) cats!

Many train lines in Japan are already plastered with print advertising. Now, for two weeks in November and early December, the Yamonote Line, the loop line that travels around central Tokyo, is decked out in photos of the winning cats. A YouTube video titled “Canon's Adorably Ugly Cat Campaign Hijacks Tokyo Trains to Promote New PIXUS Printer” offers a glimpse:

The campaign is sponsored by PIXUS, a line of Canon desktop printers, and offers a grand prize of 100,000 yen (US$10,000). Out of nearly 6,000 submissions, 288 finalists and prizewinners ended up displayed on the train.

One lucky cat won the top prize:

And here is the grand prize winner! The photo's title: “Ultimate Relaxation.”

 There were a variety of runners-up. This cat won second place in the contest:

And here is the second-place prize. The title: “No f-ing way, man.” The golden color of this cat's coat perfectly balances the fine silver fur of our grand prize winner.

As the purpose of the contest was to promote Canon's new printer, many of the cats were awarded prizes according to how well their ugly mugs might accessorize a variety of personal belongings.

And the winner for “would look best printed on a handbag” is “May I eat a sticky bun?”

Here is the winner of “would look best printed on a T-shirt”!!! This cat has tickled the fancy of T-shirt designers everywhere!

The cacophony of ugly cat images has become quite popular with Japanese commuters, who have posted photos of the decked-out trains on social media.

This is so cute!  #スマフォトレイン (smartphone photo train) #山手線 (Yamanote Line) #ブサかわ猫ちゃんグランプリ (Adorably Ugly Grand Prix)

The Yamonote Line is CRAZY! It's turned into a total advertisement for PIXUS. The carriage is absolutely plastered with adorably ugly cat pictures. Now I totally want to make a calendar! \(^o^)/

The full list of adorably ugly cat contest finalists can be seen here. To keep on top of Japan's adorably ugly cats, follow @busakawaleon

Childhood Play Remains Technology Free by Brazil’s ‘Old Frank’ River

A girl and her doll, in Xique-Xique city, Bahia. Photo by Markileide Oliveira, published with permission.

A girl and her imaginary doll in Xique-Xique, Bahia. Image by Markileide Oliveira, published with permission.

Markileide Oliveira‘s photos portray the daily life of the population of Xique-Xique, a small town located on the banks of the São Francisco River, in the backwoods of the state of Bahia – one of the most arid regions of Brazil. The “Velho Chico” (“Old Frank”), as the river is popularly known, is one of the most important rivers of the country, running through five states and providing much of the livelihood in areas that are unsuitable for agriculture.

Markileide says she is especially fond of the local children, whose universe remains untouched by technological development:

Em meio a modernidade do século XXI e o mundo virtual que abraçam as novas gerações, existe uma infância que sobrevive aos impactos das novas tecnologias. A inocência das crianças que nascem na beira do rio causa em mim um encantamento inexplicável, percebe-se que a felicidade vive no imaginário das crianças ribeirinhas, onde é possível sentir a boneca imaginária que vive nos sonhos dessa menina que posa para fotografia.  

Simplesmente linda.
 
Longe das tecnologias elas aprendem a sentir, a viver e ser criança. E brincar… 
De boneca, de casinha, de se esconder, de salva latinha, de pegar piaba com o lençol da mãe e depois soltar para vê-las nadar e ganhar o rio, brincar de lavar as louças só para [dar] comidinhas aos peixes…
 
… As nossas memórias parecem ganhar vida. 
 
 É possível reviver as lembranças de quem viveu uma infância na beira do rio.

Amidst the modernity of the 21st century and the virtual world that embraces the new generations, there is a childhood that survives the impact of new technologies. The innocence of the riverbank children brings me an inexplicable enchantment; you realize that happiness lives in the imagination of local children, where you can feel the imaginary doll who lives in the dreams of this girl posing for the photo.

Just beautiful.

Away from technology, they learn to feel, to live and be a child. And to play…
With the doll, doll's house, hide and seek, using their mother's bed sheets to grab the little fish and then let it go to see it swimming and taking on the river, pretending to be washing dishes just to give tidbits to the fish…

… Our memories seem to come alive.

  It's possible to relive the memories of those who spent their childhood by the riverbank.

Childhood Xique Xique

Portrait of Childhood, “Old Frank's Riverside Community” series. Image by Markileide Oliveira, published with permission

More photos of Xique-Xique by Markileide can be seen on her Facebook page.

An Indian Photoblogger's Lone Fight Against Plagiarism

Term of copyright in photographs:- Length of copyright -50 years. Graphics by Anirban Saha. Used with Permission.

Term of copyright in photographs:- Length of copyright -50 years. Graphics by Anirban Saha. Used with Permission.

Indian photoblogger Anirban Saha points to a growing problem in India — plagiarism of intellectual property online. A number of his photos were used in a poster for a theatre festival, on a cover of a book, in an advertisement by the state government, in political banners, in magazines in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and a school publication without his consent.

He writes that Indian copyright laws protect intellectual property, but there is not much awareness:

We can spread the awareness of intellectual property rights, share contact details of lawyers who have already fought similar cases. We should be more aware of safeguarding our creations and spreading the awareness to create a better world. Read about Indian Copyright Act 1957. More than the artists who still now are a minority, it is you readers who can make a difference. You need to be aware and spread the awareness.

Anirban Saha also publishes a number of graphics to make the Indian copyright laws easier to understand.

Togolese Bloggers Poke Fun at President for Over the Top BillBoard

Someone sure wanted people to know that he was thankful for Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé generosity. This week, a giant billboard was raised in Lomé, Togo that praised the president's action in favor of providing lunch for school children. The billboard seen below reads in french :” Thanks Daddy Faure for the children's school lunch“. Togolese citizens were taken aback by the message and its exuberance. They took to twitter to poke fun at the Billboard and create the hashtag #merciPapaFaure (Thank you Daddy Faure). 

OK, how about some fun with the hashtag #mercipapaFaure ? 

The photo above has been shared widely on twitter. Adzima provides some background on the state of the affair for the Togolese children at school.

Ten Tips for Shooting the Perfect Photography

Shooting a good photography isn't a chance result, dedication is necessary, and above all, getting connected with the location.

Un niño Masai – fotografía: Laura Schneider, utilizada con autorización

A Masai boy. Photograph by Laura Schneider, used with permission

GV contributor Laura Schneider offers us ten tips for taking the best photographies on our trips. Here we have some of them:

1- No te olvides de llevar la cámara, cargada y con suficiente memoria adicional.
[...]
5- Toma nota de las fotografías
6- Lentes
7- Madrugar
8- Ahora o nunca

1- Don't forget to take the camera, loaded and with enough additional memory.
[...]
5- Take note of the photographies
6- Lenses
7- Wake up early
8- Now or never

Laura also shares one experience of hers:

Recuerdo cuando fui a Kibera en Kenia, la segunda villa o slum mas grande de África quería fotos naturales, no posadas. Quería que la gente no se esconda con la cámara. Así que me puse una camiseta de fútbol de Argentina. Los niños que había en el lugar se acercaban y me decían: Maradona o Messi y eso me permitía entrar en conversación.

I remember when I went to Kibera in Kenya, the second biggest slum in Africa, I wanted natural photos, not posed ones. I didn't want people hiding with the camera. So I wore an Argentinian football T-shirt. The children there approached me saying Maradona or Messi, and that allowed me to make conversation.

You can follow Laura on Twitter.

This post was part of the thirtieth #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on November 24, 2014.

Using Your Reflex Camera From Your Cellphone? Lumera!

Yes, now it's possible! Thanks to Lumera, after two years of hard work as a result of a project by Open Hardware, from Hackbo, Bogota's hackerspace. It's all about a small device that gets integrated into your reflex photographic camera, transforming it into a “smart camera”. Using Lumera, you can handle your camera from your cell phone, save your photos in the cloud, share them on social networks or edit, among other possibilities.

Fotografía extraída del sitio web Kickstarter, utilizada con autorización

Photo from the website Kickstarter, used with permission

Sergio Fabara explains how it works:

Lumera cuenta con conectividad Wi-Fi y Bluetooth LE, un display LED, doble puerto USB, batería integrada y varios botones para compartir y transferir archivos de manera rápida y sencilla. El accesorio se ancla a la cámara mediante la entrada de tornillo universal y por el puerto USB se conecta al de la cámara. Y se vinculará con su celular mediante una app que estará disponible para Android y iOS. Con esta app, podrán configurar la antena para conectarla directo a las cuentas de Dropbox y Google Drive, haciendo el respaldo digital mucho más sencillo.

Lumera has Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth LE, a LED display, double USB port, integrated battery and several buttons for quickly and easily file sharing and transfering. The accessory is fixed to the camera through the universal bolt input and through the USB port gets connected to the camera. And it will be linked to your cell phone through an app that will be available for Android and iOS. With this app, you will be able to set up he antenna to connect it directly to your Dropbox and Google Drive accounts, thus making digital backup way much simpler.

LumeraLabs is a Colombian-origin hardware, software and application firm that participates in a campaign by Kickstarter to raise funds to launch Lumera. So far, the project has raised $41,903 out of the $90,000 they have set as a goal. There is still time until December 12 for those photographs or amateurs that want Lumera to reach its goal.

A Mouse Amidst the Mist

First thing in the morning, amidst the mist that populates the waves in the township of Guetaría, a typical fishing village in the shores of Guipuzkoa (Basque Country), we can discern the shape of Mount of San Antón, which as we can see on J. G. del Sol Cobos in this image from this group blog, resembles a mouse. All along the rough way up, we have one of the best sights of the Basque Country. There is even a lighthouse on top that integrates the landscape and makes us think of the traditional lifestyle in this area of Northern Iberian Peninsula.

This so well-known shape in Guetaría connects through a tombolo (branch that gets two parts together) with solid ground, and from different point of view will look as the tail of a rodent.

Image by of the Guetaria Mouse from Zarauz, Guipuzkoa, Spain.

After some research about the history of this natural park surrounded by the Cantabrian sea, we know that until the 16th century it was an island. Today, it's a famous spot in Guipuzkoa, where we can find plants and trees as native as exotic, besides a fantastic panoramic view of the coastline.

You can follow J. G. del Sol Cobos on Twitter.

This post was part of the twenty sixth #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on october 27, 2014.

Interview With the Author of ‘Chinese Turkestan', a Photographic Documentary of Xinjiang

Far West China interviewed Ryan Pyle, a Shanghai-based photographer who recently published a photographic documentary of Xinjiang titled “Chinese Turkestan”:

The news is so segregated and so focused on conflict areas that places like Xinjiang get left off the map. When the spotlight does turn there, it’s all about the violence that is happening there. It’s had its problems, sure, but there is so much more of a story to tell.

Before I first went to Xinjiang in 2001, I was sitting in a hostel in Beijing and people were saying “Don’t go to Xinjiang” and the Chinese and other foreigners were saying “Don’t go to Xinjiang.” But I went out there, and I had the most amazing time. It was such and eye-opening experience.

Blogger Puts a Naturally Formed Face of Buddha in Bhutan on the Map

Blogger Passang Tshering, a high school teacher from Wangdue, Bhutan, wrote in his blog on 31 August, 2014, about an image of Lord Buddha's face formed out of natural rock located on the elephant shaped hill on which the famous Wangdue Dzong is built. He posted photos of the site and wrote:

I don't understand how this place is not recognized as one of the holy Buddhist sites, though some people already knew about it.

Tshering writes in a follow-up post that his post about the face of Buddha has become popular and many are flocking to the site:

It was on Sunday I posted the story and by Monday I started receiving pictures from people who went there to see for themselves. By Wednesday the site was crowded with people, and that evening authorities decided to put fence around it. Today when I went there I could see long queue of people across the river, and many breaking through the fence already. On the other side of the river cars and people are causing traffic jam on the national highway. This is more than the attention one can ever ask for.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site