TIME Photojournalism Links

Photojournalism Daily: Dec. 15, 2014

A compilation of the most interesting photojournalism found on the web, curated by Mikko Takkunen

Today’s daily Photojournalism Links collection highlights Monique Jaques‘ work from the fourth annual World Muslimah Award in Indonesia. The award, informally known as Miss Muslimah, is seen as Islam’s answer to Miss World. Instead of bikini rounds, Miss Muslimah contestants take part in Koran recitals, Islamic shopping challenges and debates around approved fashion accessories, to find a personality that could serve as a role model for millions of Muslim women around the world. But as it turns out, it’s not completely unlike traditional beauty pageants. There might be hijabs, but also high heels, tiaras and trophies. Jaques’ photographs offer a fascinating look at the event, which strives to put piety over beauty.

Monique Jaques: High Heels and Hijabs (Al Jazeera America)

Year in Focus — The Year’s Best Photojournalism (Getty Images)

Photos of the Year 2014 (The Wall Street Journal)

Michel du Cille: A Photographer With Compassion and Respect (The New York Times Lens) Moving tribute by James Estrin to the Washington Post photographer who died while on assignment in Liberia last week. | Read also TIME LightBox remembrance by David von Drehle

Steve McCurry (Phaidon)It’s the journey not the destination,” says the legendary Magnum photographer.

TIME indonesia

Papua Remains a Killing Field Even Under New Indonesian President Jokowi

INDONESIA-RIGHT-MILITARY-UNREST
A Papuan activist delivers speech at the Hotel Indonesia roundabout in Jakarta on Dec. 10, 2014, during a protest against the killings of teenagers in the Papuan town of Enarotali two days earlier Adek Berry—AFP/Getty Images

The death of five high school students in skirmishes with Indonesian soldiers demonstrate the huge task ahead for Jokowi

The vivid images that emerged from Indonesia’s Papua province this week are pretty gruesome: teenage boys in school uniforms lie in a pool of blood, surrounded by shell-shocked residents. They are a grim reminder of the ongoing human-rights abuses in the country’s easternmost corner, wracked by a low-level armed separatist movement and heavy-handed military crackdown for about half-century.

On Monday, five high school students, aged 17 to 18, died in the town of Enarotali after security forces allegedly shot at a crowd of about 800 Papuans — many of whom were pupils — protesting on a soccer field, not far from the military and police offices. At least 17 civilians were wounded, including women and children. A sixth victim died on Tuesday, Papuan media reported.

The ill-fated protest was sparked by a brawl between troops and local residents, including children setting up Christmas decorations, shortly after midnight — it ended with a 12-year-old boy being beaten by rifle butts and stones thrown at the military personnel. The U.N. Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International have since called for an independent investigation into the deadly shooting.

The killings raise doubt on the commitment of new Indonesian President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, whose election victory has buoyed hopes that the world’s largest Muslim majority nation may finally address rights abuses, self-determination grievances and economic inequality — issues that have long plagued the resource-rich provinces of Papua and West Papua.

However, the most recent shooting is “one of hundreds” of rights-abuse cases documented by HRW over the past 15 years in the Papua region, says Andreas Harsono, the group’s Indonesia researcher. “None of these have been resolved. If anyone is ever put on trial, he would be sent to jail for a few months, but no military men nor policemen have ever been fired because of human-rights violations in Papua.” Indonesian police and military have denied involvement in the Monday shooting — the army chief of staff even suggested the Papuan rebels were behind the incident.

Jokowi, who traveled to Papua and West Papua during parliamentary and presidential campaign seasons, has shown plenty of goodwill gestures to the troubled region. In a June visit, the then presidential candidate told an adoring crowd of his family’s close affinity to the Papuans’ homeland. “My wife was named Iriana because her grandfather was a teacher who was deployed to the then named Irian Jaya for quite some time,” he said, referring to the old provincial name of Papua.

Just weeks after his election victory, Jokowi met with Papuan politicians and leaders and promised to boost dialogue between Jakarta and the two provinces. In October, the President made Yohana Yembise his Minister for Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, the first Papuan woman appointed to the Cabinet.

The Papua region, which has some of the world’s largest copper and gold mines, is the only remaining area plagued by armed separatist conflicts in Indonesia. (East Timor voted for independence in 1999 and Aceh rebels reached a peace deal with Jakarta in 2005.) While the two Papuan provinces are currently a virtually no-go zone for foreign reporters — two French journalists making a documentary on Papua’s insurgency were arrested last August, jailed for more than two months and later deported — Jokowi has spoken about lifting media restrictions.

Conversely, though, Jokowi has been heavily criticized not only for naming a hard-line retired general, Ryamizard Ryacudu, as Defense Minister, but also for supporting an increased military presence in the region, including a plan to establish a new military command. Indonesian rights activists say the higher number of security forces could trigger even more violence in Papua.

And like the Tibetans, Uighurs and Mongolians in China’s periphery regions, Papuans are also worried of the influx of new migrants into their homeland — a number that is likely to increase if the new Transmigration Minister could push a migration program to Papua from other islands, especially the densely populated Java. “It is seen as an attempt to Indonesianize Papua,” Harsono tells TIME.

One day after the shooting, in an International Human Rights Day event in the southern Javanese city of Yogyakarta, Jokowi reiterated his human-rights commitment. “The government is paying attention and committed not only to resolve past human-rights abuses but also to prevent rights violations from being repeated in the future,” he said

That may be reassuring to some, but Papuans and human-rights activists are demanding more concrete actions, not just promises, from their new leader. “After nearly two months in power, nothing has been realized yet,” Harsono says about Jokowi. “There have been no significant changes.”

TIME indonesia

Indonesia Reaches Racial Milestone With Chinese Governor of Jakarta

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, with his wife Veronica Tan, poses prior to taking the oath of office to become the governor of Indonesia's capital Jakarta on Nov. 19, 2014 Tatan Syuflana—AP

For the first time in 50 years, a non-Muslim will be calling the shots in Indonesia's capital city

Sixteen years after anti-Chinese riots wreaked havoc in the Indonesian capital, newly installed President Joko Widodo has inaugurated an ethnic Chinese politician as Jakarta’s new governor.

Joko held the position until he became President. The appointment of his onetime deputy Basuki Tjahaja Purnama as successor is seen as a significant shift in Indonesian politics. The Christian politician, whose brash and combative style of leadership has earned him many supporters as well as detractors, is the first ethnic Chinese to fill the role.

In interviews, Basuki, popularly known by his Hakka nickname Ahok, recalled how during the disturbances of 1998 he and his family joined neighbors in the predominantly Chinese district of Pluit to defend their lives and property, using sticks, Molotov cocktails and machetes.

But his political rise marks a watershed in ethnic and religious tolerance in Indonesia, which has the world’s biggest Muslim population. The last time Jakarta was led by a minority governor was from 1964 to ’65, when then President Sukarno appointed a Christian artist, Henk Ngantung, to the job.

Religion and ethnicity can still be hot topics in Indonesian politics. During the presidential election earlier this year, Joko’s popularity was hit by smear campaigns that falsely accused him of being both a Christian and of ethnic Chinese descent.

The hard-line Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI, has also staged violent protests opposing Basuki, saying Muslims should only be led by Muslims.

However, the mainstream Muslim population appears to be indifferent toward Basuki’s religious background. Nadhlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest Islamic mass organization, is giving support to him. “As long as he is just and siding with the people, he is our governor,” said NU chairman Saiq Aqil Siradj last week. Leaders should be judged based on their honesty and dedication, he added, “not religion.”

Basuki, 48, became known nationwide after YouTube videos of him berating incompetent city officials went viral. Similar clips of other local leaders admonishing their subordinates have surfaced and been shared widely since then. But the new governor faces a mounting challenge in administering a city that is plagued by traffic gridlock and massive flooding problems.

TIME indonesia

Female Police Recruits in Indonesia Are Made to Take ‘Virginity Tests’

Incoming Indonesian President Joko Widodo visits Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Indonesian army and police during the rehearsal for the ceremony to greet Joko Widodo as the country's new leader at the presidential palace in Jakarta on Oct 19, 2014 Firman Hidayat—Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

"All women who want to become policewomen should keep their virginity,” says the police force's jobs website

Woman applying to join Indonesia’s national police are subjected to “virginity tests” that are described by recipients as “painful and traumatic,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Tuesday.

Although senior police authorities insist the practice had been abolished, HRW claims to have interviewed female police officers and applicants in six Indonesian cities who had undergone the “discriminatory and degrading” test — two of them in 2014.

Nisha Varia, associate women’s rights director at HRW, said the practice “humiliates women” and called on police authorities to “immediately and unequivocally abolish the test, and then make certain that all police recruiting stations nationwide stop administering it.”

The practice is administered as part of the recruitment physical examination, two senior policewomen told HRW, and is intended to determine whether female applicants’ hymens are intact.

One 24-year-old recruit described the test as “really upsetting” in an interview with HRW. “I feared that after they performed the test I would not be a virgin anymore,” she said. “It really hurt. My friend even fainted because … it really hurt, really hurt.”

In response to the HRW report, a spokesman of the Indonesian police told local media that “there are no virginity tests in the selection of policewomen.” But he added: “In the selection process, there are comprehensive medical tests for men. In medical tests for men and women, we also conduct examinations of reproductive organs, not virginity tests.”

However, the Indonesian national police’s jobs website still states: “Policewomen must also undergo virginity tests. So all women who want to become policewomen should keep their virginity.”

Only 3% of Indonesia’s 400,000 police officers are women. Married women are not eligible to join the police.

“So-called virginity tests are discriminatory and a form of gender-based violence — not a measure of women’s eligibility for a career in the police,” Varia said. “This pernicious practice not only keeps able women out of the police, but deprives all Indonesians of a police force with the most genuinely qualified officers.”

— With reporting by Yenni Kwok

Read next: ‘Virginity Tests’ Throw Spotlight on Indonesia’s Conflicted Sexual Morality

TIME Malaysia

Malaysian Court Legalizes Muslim Cross-Dressing

A judge called the law 'degrading, oppressive and inhumane'

An appeals court in Malaysia Friday struck down a law prohibiting Muslim men from wearing women’s clothing, calling the ban “degrading, oppressive and inhumane.”

“It has the effect of denying the appellants and other sufferers of GID [gender identify disorder] to move freely in public place,” Judge Hishamudin Yunus said of the ban, according to the BBC.

Though Malaysia technically allows for freedom of religion, many Malaysian states mandate Shari’a law for Muslims and maintains a separate court system to enforce it. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights are not readily recognized in the country.

Aston Paiva, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the decision was a significant step forward.

“This will be a precedent. This court binds all other high courts,” he said, according to Agence France-Presse.

[BBC]

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: November 6

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. How do you frighten political strongmen? Teach journalism.

By Thomas Fiedler in the Conversation

2. Far from policing free will, taxes on sugary drinks make sense in the context of subsidies for corn syrup and the Medicaid and Medicare expense of 29 million Americans with diabetes.

By Kenneth Davis and Ronald Tamler in the Huffington Post

3. Palm oil production has a devastating impact on the environment, but smart science and better farming could reduce the harm.

By Michael Kodas in Ensia

4. We shouldn’t let Ebola panic squelch civil liberties.

By Erwin Chemerinsky in the Orange County Register

5. What we learn from video games: Giving military robots controls like “Call of Duty” could save lives on the (real) battlefield.

By Patrick Tucker in Defense One

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Hong Kong

Not Just Sex Workers: Here’s What We Know About the Hong Kong Murder Victims

Hong Kong Women Killed
In this Nov. 3, 2014, file photo, a high-rise apartment building, foreground center left, where two women were found in a flat rented by British banker Rurik Jutting, stands among other buildings in Wan Chai district in Hong Kong Vincent Yu—AP

The media has been quick to describe as "prostitutes" the two dead women found in the Hong Kong apartment of British banker Rurik Jutting. The truth isn't that simple, and one victim may not have been a sex worker at all

The arrest of young British banker Rurik Jutting, who was charged last weekend with killing two women in Hong Kong, has drawn the world’s attention to the city’s darker side, with current and former financiers coming forward with breathless confessionals of cocaine-fueled nights and easy sex.

But all of that is a world apart from the lives of the two victims — young Indonesian women brutally murdered just days apart in the district of Wan Chai, where posh apartment buildings, like Jutting’s, sit in uneasy proximity to topless bars and sleazy nightclubs.

Both Sumarti Ningsih, 23, and Seneng Mujiasih, 28, first arrived in Hong Kong to work as domestic helpers. They were among hundreds of thousands of Southeast Asians in the city — mostly Thai, Filipina and Indonesian women — who work to support their families back home, or to fulfill a modest dream like building a house or saving for a small business.

Sumarti, from Cilacap, a town in southern Java, was a single mother with only a primary school education, but described as “very thoughtful and smart” by her mother Suratmi, 49. Her parents, who are farmers, tell TIME that she worked as a nanny when she was 18, shortly after she left her husband and gave birth to a baby boy in 2009. Life was a struggle.

“She said she didn’t have enough to eat when she lived with her husband,” her mother tells TIME.

Two years later, in 2011, she went to Hong Kong, leaving her son in the care of her parents. She worked as a domestic helper, managing to send around $250 home every month. That’s more than twice what a girl without much education can expect to make in Java working as, say, a shop assistant or in some similar role.

After working as a domestic helper, Sumarti found a job — illegally — in a Hong Kong restaurant as a waitress. Then she returned to Cilacap in 2013.

She wasn’t there for long. Back in Indonesia, she took a DJ course, and then traveled to Hong Kong at least twice more, staying for months at a time. The most recent, and the last, visit began in August, when she arrived on a tourist visa. On each visit, Sumarti returned to the same restaurant to make money for her son’s education and her parents’ daily living expenses.

Other Indonesian women in Hong Kong take on similar work, particularly those who overstay their domestic-helper visas.

One such overstayer was the second victim, Seneng Mujiasih. Her family lives in Indonesia’s Southeastern Sulawesi province, and she began working as a domestic helper in Hong Kong some years ago, but her contract was terminated in 2011 by her employer.

Finding a new employer meant paying large sums — the equivalent to many months of wages — to an employment agency. Instead, Seneng, known as Jesse Lorena to her friends, chose to stay on and work illegally in Hong Kong, taking on whatever job she could find.

“She wanted to save money to build a house for her mother,” says Eni Lestari, an adviser with the Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers in Hong Kong, who spoke with the victim’s friend. Seneng is said to have lived in a cheap boarding house not far from Jutting’s luxury apartment building, J Residence, where the rent on a 350-sq.-ft. flat costs around $2,800 per month — seven times a domestic helper’s wage.

There are around 6.5 million Indonesians working overseas, sending home $7.4 billion of remittances last year. Many of these migrant workers are women working as domestic helpers in the Middle East and East Asia. Almost half of Hong Kong’s 320,000 domestic workers are from Indonesia.

Although the city offers legal protection to domestic workers, including a mandatory minimum wage and days off, rights activists blame draconian immigration restrictions and Indonesia’s employment regulations for making the women vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

Newcomers incur huge debts to employment agencies. In a case that shocked the world, Erwiana Sulistyaningsih was tortured for months by her employer before she was sent home emaciated and disfigured in January. Despite her plea for help, her agency had refused to intervene because she still owed them money.

Strapped for cash, mired in debt or simply wishing to earn more, some migrant workers, including overstayers like Seneng, take on other kinds of work, from other cleaning jobs to washing dishes or waitressing in restaurants or, in a comparatively few cases, selling sex. Sometimes they do all of the above, moving fluidly between the lives of sex worker, migrant worker and illegal alien.

In interviews with Indonesian-language media, Seneng’s friends said she had been an occasional sex worker. Sumarti’s mother believes that her daughter was not. “I believe she actually worked, and was not doing anything bad,” she tells TIME. “I know my own daughter. She said she worked in a restaurant, and when I called her, she said she worked from early morning to late in the evening.”

Eni slams the media for quickly and pruriently painting the women as mere prostitutes. “We should understand that nobody come here to work illegally or do an immoral job,” she tells TIME. “They are forced by circumstances to do so.”

Unfortunately, those same circumstances persist for millions of Indonesian women. Every day, at Hong Kong’s glittering international airport, more arrive, with the modest aim of earning enough to feed and house their families.

Sumarti was due to pass through the same airport on her way home on Nov. 2. Instead, back in Cilacap, her grieving parents are now waiting for her body.

“Right now I only wait for the return of my daughter’s body as soon as possible,” says her mother. “I am very shocked, and cannot accept it. Whoever did it to my daughter has to get the heaviest punishment.”

Read next: How to Spot a Sex-Trafficking Victim at a Hotel

TIME World

This Stunning Drone Footage of Island Surfers Will Make You Desperately Want a Vacation

Taken in Indonesia's gorgeous Mentawai Islands

Can’t take a vacation right now, because of silly obstacles like your job or money or your kids or fear of flying? Well, this video is kind of like a little vacation in itself.

It features drone footage captured in the gorgeous Mentawai Islands of Indonesia and comes complete with soothing but upbeat music. So grab your headphones and allow yourself a five-minute escape from it all.

(h/t Boing Boing)

TIME indonesia

New Indonesian President Jokowi Talks Tough With Fading Power Australia

Indonesia's new President Widodo shouts "Merdeka" or Freedom at the end of his speech, during his inauguration in Jakarta
Indonesia's new President Joko Widodo shouts "Merdeka," meaning freedom, at the end of his speech, during his inauguration at the parliament's building in Jakarta on Oct. 20, 2014 Darren Whiteside—Reuters

Indonesia's newfound chest-thumping may simply be a fledgling administration's efforts to win domestic approval, but is nonetheless indicative of shifting powers in the region

Two days before his Oct. 20 inauguration, new Indonesian President Joko Widodo, gave Australia a stern warning not to test the territorial sovereignty of the world’s largest archipelago.

“We will give a warning that this is not acceptable,” Jokowi, as he is widely known, told Fairfax Media in reference to half a dozen incursions into Indonesian waters last year by Australian navy ships turning back boats full of predominantly Middle Eastern asylum seekers. “We have international law, you must respect international law.”

Bolstering Jokowi’s message, Indonesia’s new Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi — the first ever female in the role — confirmed on Wednesday a departure from former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s principle of “thousand friends, zero enemies” to national interests first.

“To uphold our political sovereignty, what we must do is preserve the sovereignty of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia,” Retno said at her first press conference. “We’ll do this firmly and clearly.”

The interception one day earlier of a Singaporean passenger aircraft over a well-traveled flight path that cuts through Indonesian airspace may be indicative of Jakarta’s new hard-line stance. Indonesian fighter jets forced the aircraft to land and pay a $4,900 fine — despite protestation from the Singaporean owner, ST Aerospace, that it had been using the route for a number of years without the need for prior clearance from Indonesia’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

However, these messages must be read within the context of Indonesia’s time-honored political melodrama, where tough talk against meddling foreign powers is par for the course. It’s also an easy and predictable way for new administration to score political points on the home front. “I think Jokowi’s warning to Australia was made for domestic consumption rather that advocating a nationalistic tone in foreign policy,” says Philips Vermonte, head of international relations at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta.

Indeed, Jokowi’s apparent double standards when dealing with Chinese incursions in the fish- and gas-rich waters of the Natuna Islands, on the northwest coast of Indonesian Borneo, seems to demonstrate diplomatic nuance rather than a new era of nationalistic fervor.

As recently as March 2013, armed Chinese ships bullied Indonesian patrol boats into releasing Chinese fisherman caught trawling illegally near Natuna. China has also included parts of the waters around Natuna within its so-called nine-dash line — its vague southern maritime boundary, adding Indonesia to the long list of countries it’s dueling with over aggressive claims to some 90% of the South China Sea.

In April, Indonesia’s armed-forces chief General Moeldoko penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal promising to strengthen Indonesian forces on Natuna and prepare fighter jets to meet “any eventuality.”

But two months later, during a presidential-election debate in June, Jokowi claimed Indonesia had no beef with China. In later interviews he adroitly turned the burning strategic problem with China on its head, suggesting Indonesia could serve as an “honest broker” vis-a-vis the Middle Kingdom’s disputes with other countries in the South China Sea.

This should not, however, be understood to mean the new Indonesian administration will be pushovers. Its soft stance on overlapping territorial claims with China is obviously linked to the fact that China is Indonesia’s second largest export trading partner. Australia, meanwhile, barely makes the top 10.

The lesson, it seems, more concerns shifting regional power than newfound Indonesian belligerence. “Australia needs to understand that Indonesia’s place in the world is growing, while it is not,”
 adds Professor Tim Lindsey, director of the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society at the Melbourne Law School. By current estimates, he adds, Indonesia will have world’s seventh largest economy in around a decade and the fifth largest by 2050. “Australia’s current policies of turning back the boats doesn’t seem to factor in any of that at all,” says Lindsey.

“I think Australia would be advised to take [Jokowi’s latest about naval incursions] warning very seriously, and that it would be unwise to look at it in narrow terms by saying, ‘Their navy is very small so it’s not a valid threat,’” opines Antje Missbach, a research fellow at Monash University’s School of Social Sciences in Melbourne. “There are many ways Indonesia could make a point without involving its navy.”

Moreover, she adds, “Look what happened last time Australia offended them,” referring to when Indonesia recalled its ambassador to Australia for six months following revelations by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden that Australia had spied on Yudhoyono and his wife.

Speaking to TIME, Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says, “It is not the government’s policy to incur Indonesia’s waters” and blames past incursions on the opposition government it replaced following the September 2013 general elections. “[We’re] working closely with the new government of Indonesia on people-smuggling issues and we are optimistic about initial responses,” Morrison says.

Optimism is one thing; keeping out of your neighbor’s backyard is another altogether.

— With reporting by Yenni Kwok

Read next: Australia’s Top ISIS Militant Killed: Sources

TIME animals

This Rare Chicken’s Body is Entirely Black—Including Its Organs, Meat and Bones

Just one chicken costs around $2,500

lost-at-e-minor_logo

This article originally appeared on Lost at E Minor.

Prepare to meet the so-called Lamborghini of Poultry. This is the Ayam Cemani Chicken of Indonesia. It’s a rare breed of chicken, and you can probably see why. Everything about it is black: plumage, beak, tongue, legs, toe nails, even its meat, bones and organs! The only thing that is not black is it’s blood – though it comes in a very dark shade.

The word ‘Ayam’ means ‘chicken’ in Indonesian, and ‘Cemani’ translates as ‘completely black’ in Javanese. They get their black coloring from a genetic trait known as ‘fibromelanosis’. Don’t ever make the mistake of slaughtering it for a quick snack, because one chicken costs around $2,500! For comparison, 15 average chickens would cost you just $85, while other special breeds cost about $149, making the Ayam Cemani well-deserving of its nickname.

(Via Viral Forest)

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