Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
June 20, 2011

Cool Pics from Failing States

Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images

FP has a penchant for futility rankings accompanied by like-minded slideshows. Fortunately for Westerners otherwise drowning in chain stores and television sitcoms, this stuff — given the crackerjack photo editing — is exciting as hell. This is from Guinea.

Foreign Policy photo gallery/Article (Postcards from Hell, 2011)

(photo: Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images. caption: When Alpha Conde became the first democratically elected president in Guinea’s half-century as an independent state, he inherited a laundry list of legacies to try to undo: an overly militarized state, a culture of judicial impunity, a corrupt and unregulated mining sector (from which the government draws 70 percent of its revenues), and an impoverished population. Just over a third of Guineans can read and write.

Yet the window of calm, and the opportunity to catch up, are welcome in this brand-new democracy. “President Conde’s actions — or inactions — will either create a positive new human rights trajectory or trap Guinea in the excesses and abuses of the past,” Human Rights Watch’s senior West Africa researcher Corinne Dufka said when releasing a report on the country’s future. The court where Conde was inaugurated in December 2010 is pictured here.)

About the Photographer

Antrim Caskey

Antrim Caskey is a photojournalist based in the Coal River Valley, W.Va., and specializes in reporting on the human and environmental costs of mountaintop-removal coal mining. She has been arrested several times in the course of her reporting and been sued by Massey Energy. She founded Appalachia Watch, an advocacy journalism project, and self-published "Dragline," an award-winning photo exposé on mountaintop removal. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Smithsonian magazine, the New York Times, and was featured in the documentary The Last Mountain. See more of Antrim's work for BagNews here.

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