TIME India

See the Aftermath of the Deadly Landslide in Kashmir

At least 6 people were killed in a landslide after unseasonal rains lashed India, authorities said Monday. It occurred in a village some 25 miles from Kashmir's capital city of Srinagar.

Read next: At Least 6 Die in Kashmir Landslide

TIME Social Media

Facebook’s Gorgeous New Campus Has a ‘Green Roof’ the Size of 7 Football Fields

See photos of Facebook's expanded headquarters

Facebook didn’t hold back in its expansion of the company’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters.

The 430,000 square ft.-building, known as MPK 20, can hold up to 2,800 people and is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, according to sources familiar with the project. It includes a 9-acre green roof — that’s roughly the size of seven football fields — with a half-mile walking loop and over 400 trees.

The building, which Facebook announced in August 2012, was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry’s firm, Gehry Partners. Though Gehry’s name is tied to several elaborate landmarks including the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Calif., the Canadian-American architect said the Facebook’s new campus has a decidedly simpler design.

“From the start, [Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg] wanted a space that was unassuming, matter-of-fact and cost effective. He did not want it overly designed,” Gehry said in a statement. “This is the building that we created for him.”

 

TIME Japan

Springtime for Tokyo as Cherry Blossoms Show Their Colors

Japan's Meteorological Agency announced on March 29 that the city's cherry blossoms had reached full bloom, five days earlier than in an average year

TIME Sports

Celebrate Baseball’s Return With Classic Photos of Ebbets Field

As the MLB gears up for the 2015 season, a look back at one of baseball’s most beloved ball fields

“The Brooklyn Dodgers as the world knows them will soon cease to be,” LIFE warned in 1957, as the borough’s chances of keeping “Dem Bums” in town grew slim. The team’s home, Ebbets Field, was a few thousand seats too cozy and lacked adequate parking, with the surrounding neighborhood offering no possibility for expansion. Building Commissioner Robert Moses suggested that club owner Walter O’Malley address these issues by moving to Queens—an idea the latter promptly deemed preposterous, sealing the team’s fate as a west coast franchise.

But long before its troubles began, Ebbets Field was as beloved as the players who dug their cleats into its sloping green. And when LIFE dispatched a photographer to capture the spirit of the place in 1940, that spirit was found in droves in the fans that filled its seats. Their faces registered triumph and heartbreak alike, foreshadowing the disappointment that would rule the borough when, six pennants and a World Series title later, its baseball days would be no more.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME portfolio

See the Real Side of China’s Great Wall

This photographer cycled 4,000 miles along the country's Great Wall

The Great Wall of China is one of the world’s most popular destinations in Asia.

Referred, in the country, as “The Thousand-Mile-Long Wall,” the site was once thought to be visible to the naked eye from outer space, although that claim has since been proven to be false.

Yet, certain sections of the wall – perhaps the most majestic and photogenic, which are open for tourism — were rebuilt by the Chinese government in the 1970s and 80s. The widespread imagery of a refurbished Great Wall meandering through long sweeps of green mountains in rural Beijing, has not only shaped outsiders’ imaginations of an ancient country replete with rich history, but has also helped China build for itself a national identity and pride.

In 2013, Chinese photographer Fan Shi San cycled 4,000 miles along the Great Wall from west to east in three months, with the goal of building a visual archive of the country’s most symbolic construction. What he discovered was far from what he’d imagined.

“When I was photographing along the actual walls, the scenes I encountered constantly overthrew and reconstructed my own idea of the Great Wall and China,” Fan tells TIME.

The idea of the bike trip first came to him after reading American journalist Peter Hessler’s Country Driving: A Journey Through China Farm to Factory, a book that closely examines the wild great walls north of Beijing and life in their nearby villages. “I did get a driver’s license just for this project,” Fan says, “but traveling with a car is too costly, so I started looking into cycling.”

the great wall, china
Fan Shi Shan A map of Fan’s route based on GPS recordings

Initially, Fan feared the harsh climate and wild animals in the less urbanized areas of western China. “I didn’t have a lot of experience in camping and long-distance cycling,” he says. But after cycling for hundreds of miles, he began to treat the journey not as an unconquerable task but as daily life with a different routine. “I would leave when the sun rises and stop when it’s down,” he says. On an average day, Fan cycled for about 40 to 60 miles, and either camped on the roadside at night or found accommodations in towns and villages, where he could stock up and take a shower.

“I would ride my bike slowly, photograph things that caught my eyes, and talk to people who interested me,” he tells TIME.

The fortifications, stretching across several provinces in northern China, were rebuilt and expanded throughout dynasties, and changed in the hands of numerous emperors. It carries not only the depth of China’s history, but also the geography and culture diversity of communities near them.

In the far-reaching regions such as Gansu and Shanxi provinces, where the walls were built by rammed earth with bare hands, and where the government has little oversight or interest in historic preservation, the heritage is left open to erosion by an extreme desert climate and careless human degradation.

Some villages and towns in the remote areas are slowly dying “in the progress of the reborn country’s industrialization and urbanization,” he says.

In some communities, Fan saw children playing in large groups on the streets without a guardian. Their young parents had handed them to grandparents before migrating to find work in overcrowded factories on China’s populous coastline. There, they hope to find a promising future, one that isn’t vanishing like the country’s old great walls.

Fan Shi San is a freelance photographer based in Shanghai. His work has been exhibited in China and the U.K.

Ye Ming is a contributor to TIME LightBox. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

TIME On Our Radar

Go Inside a Newly Public Trove of Rare Civil War-Era Pictures

The Library of Congress acquired more than 500 images from an 87-year-old collector

Hundreds of rare Civil War images, mostly made by Southern photographers, have been released online.

Collector Robin Stanford sold more than 500 images to the Library of Congress for an undisclosed amount, the Washington Post reports. “They’re just tremendously significant,” said Bob Zeller, president of the Center for Civil War Photography. “These are not post-war. These are actual scenes of slavery in America.”

Stanford, 87 and of Houston, had been collecting the images—many of them are stereo pictures, or two of the same frame that are printed on one card and meant to be seen in 3-D via a stereo viewer—since the 1970s. She had planned to donate her extensive archive to her son, John, but after his unexpected death last year, she sold parts of her collection to support her daughter-in-law and grandchildren.

“I’m so glad they’re here, because they will be available for everybody,” she told the Post. “On the other hand, I’m going to miss them.”

The Library has already digitized 77 of Stanford’s photographs. Among them are scenes from plantations in South Carolina, as well as pictures of a country in mourning after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

TIME portfolio

This Is the Strangest Animal Exhibit You’ll Ever See

As parts of Norway's Bergen Museum underwent major restoration, thousands of displayed animals had to move

When the Bergen Museum in Norway closed the doors of its natural-history section for restoration in 2013, it was forced to operate an unusual migration: move thousands of taxidermied animals.

“It was a really magical place,” says Norwegian photographer Helge Skodvin, who grew up in Bergen and now lives blocks away from the historic architecture, which was founded in 1825.

“For every person living in Bergen or being raised in Bergen, the natural-history museum is a common place to spend your Sunday,” Skodvin tells TIME. “If you ask [Bergen residents], they all have stories about the museum.”

Thus when Skodvin learned about the renovation and the consequential mass “animal migration,” he wanted to be a witness.

The fragile figures, many of which haven’t been out of the antiquated display cases for almost 150 years, have to be carefully wrapped for transportation. But instead of sweating over the move as the staff did, Skodvin chose to photograph it with a sense of humor. Armed with a medium format camera and a tripod, Skodvin set each animal at the center of the frame, and then, he just “let the animals be themselves.”

The animals will spend five years hibernating in a temporary storage across town before they can finally return home in 2018. “It’s like they are going for a little vacation,” Skodvin says. Although the photographer remembered the grand space with wooden floors as frightening when he was young, the museum now offers guided tours for visitors to wander around the emptied galleries.

Helge Skodvin is a freelance photographer based in Bergen, Norway. He’s a member of Moment photo agency presented by Institute.

Michelle Molloy, who edited this photo essay, is a senior international photo editor at TIME.

Ye Ming is a contributor to TIME LightBox. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

TIME photography

How Eliot Elisofon Brought an Artist’s Eye to Social Problems

For this LIFE photographer, modern art and social documentation could coexist in a single frame

War correspondent, art collector, color consultant, creative director, world traveler — there were very few things Eliot Elisofon didn’t do during his long tenure as a staff photographer for LIFE Magazine. But as diverse as his talents were, they can all be traced to the first two jobs he ever held: artist and social worker.

Elisofon, whose work is featured in an exhibit at New York City’s Gitterman Gallery through April 18, would come to be known as one of the first photographers to extensively document Africa in photographs. But he made a compelling body of work on more familiar territory long before making his way onto LIFE’s payroll. Born in New York’s Lower East Side in 1911, Elisofon received a degree in social science from Fordham University in 1933. While studying and after graduation, he took a job as a social worker for the New York State Labor Department, snapping photos in his spare time.

An admirer of Margaret Bourke-White and Picasso, Elisofon nursed a soft spot for painting that grew into a full-fledged portfolio of watercolors exhibited at museums and galleries around the world. As sensitive to light, texture and composition as he was to urban decay and social injustice, Elisofon’s early work was a combination of modern art and photojournalism, a blend that evolved over his lengthy career and positioned him as a versatile shooter. He was as comfortable creating Hollywood glamor shots as he was making candid portraits of African tribal leaders.

Like many young photographers, Elisofon’s first paying jobs were in advertising. While he would later revisit the techniques he learned from commercial photography, Elisofon had a fierce sense of artistic integrity and a keen understanding of the challenges artists face in making meaningful work while still earning a living.

In a 1953 lecture hosted by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America on “The Ethics and Morals of Creative Expression,” Elisofon explored the moral responsibility of the artist:

Am I immoral if I compromise my career? I began as a photographer in a commercial studio who spent the weekends photographing slum conditions in New York City. Some of my first magazine assignments were negative social reports in the South. I discovered that although great interest was shown by a few people in these studies that I could not get these stories published. Photography, and especially photo-reportage, is a medium which requires an audience. It soon became apparent to me that my career was at a standstill and I became a photographer of wider scope doing a variety of stories from the stars of Hollywood to the Atlantic Coast of the United States in order to gain recognition. I also managed to obtain assignments which interested me and which I felt had real value.

If Elisofon felt he had compromised by photographing celebrities, you’d never know it to look at the photos, as he approached these shoots with the same care and attention that he gave his work in Africa and on city streets. Equal parts technical virtuoso and acute observer, he saw social issues with an artist’s eyes, and documented them as a concerned photojournalist. His ability to turn urban decay into abstract art in his early work was an indication of the kind of duality and balance he would maintain throughout his career. He believed in the power of photography to inspire change, but he never underestimated the value of a beautiful image.

Krystal Grow is an arts writer and photo editor based in New York City. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @kgreyscale

TIME portfolio

Meet America’s First Video Game Varsity Athletes

The newest route to college is through a video game

Correction appended, March 27, 2015

Parents who think that video games are an academic distraction, take heart: pounding on the controller can now help pay for college.

Last fall, Robert Morris University in Chicago became the first college in the US to make competitive gaming ­ or “e-sports” ­ a varsity sport, and offer athletic scholarships for players. “My parents were always telling me to get off the Xbox,” says Jonathan Lindahl, a freshman e-sports player at Robert Morris. “So I’m really rubbing it in their faces.”

At Robert Morris, video game scholarships can be worth up to half of tuition and housing, or $19,000. What’s more, since the NCAA doesn’t regulate e-sports, they’re not bound by the rules of amateurism. A couple of Robert Morris players, for example, recently played in a semi-pro tournament and each earned around $1,000. Want to get paid as a college athlete? Stay on the Xbox.

Robert Morris spent $100,000 ­and received help from video game sponsors ­ to retrofit a classroom into a full-fledged gaming hub with hi-tech monitors, headsets, and chairs. The players look a bit like fighter pilots, and play League of Legends, a five-on-five battle game popular among college students. The top Robert Morris team has qualified for Sweet 16 of the North American Collegiate Championship (NACC), which starts on March 28: traditional sports powers like Michigan, Georgia Tech, Texas A&M are also in the mix. The “Final Four” will be held in Los Angeles in early May. Each member of the winning team will receive $30,000 in scholarship money.

A sure sign that college video games are like traditional sports: one member of the Robert Morris squad, freshman Adrian Ma, 18. left the school in November to join a pro team. “The opportunity was too good to pass up,” says Ma. A second school, the University of Pikeville in Kentucky, will offer e-sports scholarships this fall. For gamers, March Madness has indeed arrived.

Read the full story, The Varsity Sport of the Virtual World, in the latest issue of TIME magazine and on TIME.com.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the name of the student in slide 9. His name is Zixing Jie.

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