Category Archives: Politics

Hilary Lam: March for Our Lives – Anti-Gun Movement

 

Photography and Text by Hilary Lam, Copyright 2018

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March for Our Lives: Anti-Gun Movement

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Less than one month prior to the anti-gun rallies that took place across the United States, 17 children and adults were killed in a school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In 2012, 20 children and 6 adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary school. And the deadliest school shooting in US history occurred at Virginia Tech in April of 2007, which led to the unfortunate deaths of 32 innocent lives.

The discourse on gun control laws escalated immediately after the most recent horrific event. Survivors of Stoneman Douglas High School voiced their concerns at a live-streamed town hall meeting with political representatives and members of the National Rifle Association less than a week later. At this moment, young and empowered teenage students openly confronted Senator Marco Rubio and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch directly. Pressing questions were asked and demands were made. The issue of NRA’s monetary donations to representatives, brought up a major concern over the role of incentives in altering gun control policies. Rubio did not state that he would turn down future NRA contributions. Another main concern was the ease in which citizens were able to purchase assault-rifles. Further restrictions and background checks for gun buyers are being demanded.

On March 24, thousands of people gathered in support of the student-run March for Our Lives rally. I personally attended the event at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia and was inspired by the number of parents who brought along their young children to this important event. It was reassuring to see my own community, students of all ages and residents of Philadelphia, united in efforts against another malicious attack on young lives due to the fault of guns being in the wrong hands. It was my first time experiencing a collaboration such as this one, and it is impossible not to notice the slogans and words expressed on the many posters. The energy, voices and actions of our youth is one that is so powerful and must be heard by all surrounding generations.

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About The Author: Hilary Lam is a Graduate student enrolled in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional article by Hilary Lam, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/hilary-lam-the-organic-form-as-sculpture/

 

Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, News, Photography, Popular Culture, Travel, Women

Anisha Arora: South Africa. The Land of Contradictions

 Native South African dancers outside Nelson Mandela’s house in Johannesburg

Native South African dancers outside Nelson Mandela’s house in Johannesburg

 

Photography and Text by Anisha Arora, Copyright 2018

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South Africa. The Land of Contradictions

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South Africa is a land of contradictions. What you see on the surface are beautiful beaches, sprawling vineyards, clear sky and dramatic mountains everywhere. You are enchanted and enthralled by the beauty, and rightly so. But slowly, you realize that this beauty hides a brutal truth. The truth of the white man, once again, justifying formalized racism.

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The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town at sunset

The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town at sunset

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I got the wonderful opportunity to visit South Africa over the Spring Break, as part of Wharton’s Global Immersion Program. I absolutely fell in love with the country and highly recommend visiting both Cape Town and Johannesburg.

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 Penguins at the Boulder Beach

Penguins at the Boulder Beach

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Cape Town is astoundingly beautiful and is often called the Silicon Valley of South Africa, with a budding entrepreneurial ecosystem. The views of the Table Mountain never gets old, the beaches are beautiful and pristine, and the views at the Cape of Good Hope are unparalleled. My favorite memory, though, is of seeing the penguins at Boulder Beach for the very first time. I also recommend visiting Stellenbosch to see the beautiful vineyards and taste the much-touted South African vines.

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A giraffe at the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, near Johannesburg

A giraffe at the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, near Johannesburg

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It’s easy to lose yourself in the natural beauty of South Africa. However, a trip to South Africa is incomplete without an attempt to understand its complex history. The apartheid museum and the Soweto townships in Johannesburg, as well as, a trip to Robben Island are a must. Robben Island houses the prison where Nelson Mandela was kept locked up for almost 2 decades.

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Words inscribed on the wall of Nelson Mandela’s house in Johannesburg

Words inscribed on the wall of Nelson Mandela’s house in Johannesburg

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Our guide at Robben Island, an island used for isolation of political prisoners. Our guide was a fellow prisoner with Nelson Mandela (who spent 18 years imprisoned on this island)

Our guide at Robben Island, an island used for isolation of political prisoners. Our guide was a fellow prisoner with Nelson Mandela (who spent 18 years imprisoned on this island)

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 A sign at the Apartheid museum, from the time when apartheid was practiced in South Africa

A sign at the Apartheid museum, from the time when apartheid was practiced in South Africa

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Personally, it was difficult for me to fathom that apartheid ended within my lifetime. It was even more difficult to fathom that human beings can inflict such torture on fellow human beings, with a perfect ability to rationalize these actions. Some of the exhibits at the apartheid museum also reminded me of the divisive language we see today around anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-refugee emotions. We, homo sapiens, never learn from our past.

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Colorful houses in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood

Colorful houses in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood

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A colorful market in Johannesburg

A colorful market in Johannesburg

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Through my photographs, I have tried to capture the various aspects of South Africa, from the wildlife, the mountains, the beaches to the locals and places of historical significance.

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A local South African playing music on the road

A local South African playing music on the road

 

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About The Author: Anisha Arora is enrolled in the Graduate program, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Anisha Arora, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/anisha-arora-a-whiff-of-history/

 

Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, History, News, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn: Photography Students, Women

Frank “Fangyi” Fan: Trade Tensions Between US and China

 

Photography and Text by Frank “Fangyi” Fan, Copyright 2018

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TRADE TENSION BETWEEN US AND CHINA

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US-China Trade War has been in the headlines of major newspapers and websites for the past several weeks. On March. 22, 2018, President Trump signed an executive memorandum which would impose tariffs on up to $60 billion in Chinese imports; in response to that, the Chinese government published a statement which would impose tariffs on about $3 billion worth of U.S. exports. If the two countries do not come to an agreement in the following months, a fully-fledged trade war between China and the US would be highly possible, which will have enormous underlying impact on the global economy. This series of photographs strives to examine the current state of the relationship between the two superpowers, from the perspective of a Chinese international student in Philadelphia.

Several pictures  were taken in Philadelphia’s, Chinatown section. The history of Philadelphia’s Chinatown could be tracked to the mid-late 19th century when Cantonese immigrants migrated to Philadelphia  to open laundries and restaurants around the neighborhood. Nowadays it has become a vibrant community of Asian Americans as well as a great destination for Chinese international students to have a taste of home. The cuisine in Chinatown is always one of the top reasons to attract visitors. Although the potential impact of the trade war on Chinese restaurants in the U.S. would be limited, the prevalence of Chinese cuisine implies the size and influence of the Chinese community in the U.S. The tension between the two countries would definitely play a role in the daily life of Chinese people living in the U.S. Besides the restaurants, in Chinatown, mom-and-pop stores that sell goods imported from China could also be easily found. Those stores sell everything from hardware products to household goods, mostly imported from China. Relying on the cheaper labor in China, those products compete in the market by having a more attractive price. If trade war arises, those goods would lose a significant share in the market for sure. Right at the edge of Chinatown, six months into its construction, the Eastern Tower Community Center has been attracting attention from visitors in Chinatown. Located at 10th and Vine, the new community center is just two blocks away from the heart of Chinatown, which hopefully would drive an entire renovation of the neighborhood and the local economy.

As the busiest port terminal in Philadelphia, the Packer Terminal was a great spot to experience the influx of imported goods into one of the major cities on the east coast. While I was there trying to take picture of the colorful containers, I was actually ousted by the security person there, who said that the port only allowed relevant professionals to enter. However, I did take a couple pictures to showcase the volume and variety of the imported goods stored at the terminal. Everyday, hundreds of trucks come over here to bring the goods shipped from overseas to all kinds of places in Pennsylvania. For every one of us, we experience the benefits of globalization on a daily basis. With that in mind, I hope that U.S. and China could settle down on the current trade conflicts since no one would want to see a trade war  actually happen.

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About The Author: Fangyi “Frank” Fan is a Senior enrolled in the School of Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018. To access additional articles by Fangyi “Frank” Fan, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/fangyi-frank-fan-colors-of-bottles/

 

Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, History, News, Photography, Popular Culture, Travel, UPenn, UPenn Photography

Diary: Why I bought a 38

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38 Holstered. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2018. Model: Sandy Ward

 

Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018
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38 HOLSTERED

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Back in the early 90’s, my wife and I were visiting friends at a party in Vineland, New Jersey, about an hours drive from our studio in center city Philadelphia when my cell phone rang.  It was a neighbor in our building on 6th street informing me that our apartment had been broken into and police were called to investigate.  I was shocked at first never before was I violated in such a personal way. Sandy (my wife at the time) and I immediately drove home speeding up 42 North towards the Walt Whitman Bridge. By the time of our arrival home the building was silent, no police in sight,  just a vague description from a neighbor that they saw a man with a tape player in his hand hastily walking down the fire escape and out the back door of the building.

When I entered the apartment from the garage, the rear door exiting to the fire escape was closed but not locked. There was no clear sign of a break in. Not a scratch on the door or a crowbar left behind. It raised serious questions as to who could have entered the loft without breaking in? A few things were missing; change that I left on the burrow of my bedroom, my fathers antique watch that he gave me when I was in college, the new tape player that I just bought was missing.  All of the wires connecting it to the rest of the stereo equipment was strewn about. My mind started to imagine and search for who the perpetrator could be? Was it one of my employee’s some of whom did have a key?

The next day I drove up to my father’s house in Elkins Park and asked him to go with me to a gun shop that I knew was straight up 611 just before you get to the Willow Grove mall. We parked out in front of the nondescript place, walked in and began pacing up and down the cases looking for the best way to comfort my fear of the break in. Thoughts of Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry came to mind.  I also recalled when I used to go out in the back woods with my roommate in college to practice shooting at tin cans with his 44 Magnum until one day he cracked the barrel by overpacking the bullets. The store’s salesman convinced me I didn’t need anything that large. The 38 Rossi was an adequate means of protecting my home in the event of another break in when I was home or worse home with my wife and children. I became a regular at the shooting range and eventually learned how to pack my own hollow point bullets.

Fortunately, I have never had to use it other than to enjoy the cheap thrill of being able to hit a target from a certain distance. Nowadays folks go out and buy an AR15 for similar reasons. Somehow I think that is a bit over kill.

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To access additional diary entries by Tony Ward, click herehttp://tonywarderotica.com/diary-portrait-of-a-jersey-girl/

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About The Author: Tony Ward is a fine art photographer, author, blogger, publisher and Adjunct Professor of Photography at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Portrait of Tony Ward by Ed Simmons, Copyright 2018

Portrait of Tony Ward by Ed Simmons, Copyright 2018

Also posted in Accessories, Art, Blog, Diary, Documentary, Environment, Film, History, News, Photography, Popular Culture, Still Life

Alexandra Rouvet Duvernoy: Trumpisms – Commentary by A.H. Scott

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Artwork  by Alexandra Rouvet Duvernoy, Copyright 2018

 

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Illustrations by Alexandra Rouvet Duvernoy, Copyright 2018

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Commentary by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2018

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Alexandra’s astonishing image made my brain tick-tock about how people sometimes get what they deserve. And, of course, those who heralded the man of orange bought the ticket he was selling and now they”re in the same hellhole of his madness that the rest of us are in. This is “The Price Of The Ticket For A Honeymoon in Hell” and WE ALL are paying it…in tears….and for some, in cheers….. Mr. and Mrs. America got EXACTLY what they asked for – TUNE IN, FREAK OUT, GET BEATEN!

“No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride…and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well….maybe chalk it up to forced consciousness expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten” – Hunter S. Thompson (“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, 1971)

THE PRICE OF THE TICKET FOR A HONEYMOON IN HELL

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When he drooled like a junkyard dog, “What the Hell do you have to lose?!”

She thought it was cute and charming to her ears and let her common sense snooze

And, now shackled to that mad rat of lies she now must pay for what she decided to choose

Missy America batted her lashes without surprise, as he slimed Mexicans, McCain, Muslims and more

She said, “They are the other and me as a real American is what he adores”

Willingly she was as he came a callin’ with a Barnumesque yawn

Yet, now the damnable reality has started to dawn

Now, it’s her turn to be in for a spine-chilling shock 

Dearly disheveled we are gathered here today

The doors are sealed and guarded, so none contained within these walls can get away 

Tyrannical misogyny makes his soul drool

Would be easy to call him a fool

Let’s go for a few words more complicated and cool 

Will this madness ever cease?

Never shall it be, for Lucifer is whom he has to please

Missy America was seduced by his bravado

She figured how bad could he possibly be

He promised me a wall to keep me safe

And, an economy that would make me feel ever so great

He even said, I would be the way of great once again

How bad could he be?

What kind of pain could he possibly inflict?

The answer is dainty n’ dear Missy, “This is the rat you decided to pick!”

Not so pure she may be

Yet, compared to his intentions, she is virginal evergreen

Man with crest of bleached sheet upon his head said in a growl, “Do you take this Miss?”

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Alexandra_Rouvet_artist_France_pen_ink_color_anti_Trump_propaganda_Lady_Liberty_marriage

Artwork by Alexandra Rouvet Duvernoy, Copyright 2018

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Portrait of Alexandra Rouvet Douvernoy at Hotel Regina, Paris. Photo: Tony Ward

Portrait of Alexandra Rouvet Douvernoy at Hotel Regina, Paris. Photo: Tony Ward

 

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About The Artist: Alexandra Rouvet Duvernoy is an artist who specializes in pen and ink drawings.  She also is a model and muse of Tony Ward. She currently resides in her native France.

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About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and frequent contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To read additional articles by A. H. Scott, go herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/h-scott-follow-ruble-road/

 

Also posted in Affiliates, Art, Blog, Current Events, Erotica, Friends of TWS, History, Men, News, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women