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Steve Smith

Freelance Photographer, Program Manager in Knoxville, TN

Your World Means Nothing: Living as a local in rural Kyrgyzstan

PRESENTED ON AUG 17, 2017
IN KNOXVILLE @ VOL 24

Steve Smith presents a photo essay on rural Kyrgyzstan, a place he is lucky enough to visit and photograph often.  There, he typically embeds with village families for several months and lives as a local.  Working both in medium format film and digital, he works to tell the story of a land and people who live as if time stood still.

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Nothing Really Interests Me

BY JOHN STEPHENS
@ VOL 4 ON DEC 04, 2014

Artist John Stephens is fascinated by nothing in particular, and he tells us just what he means by that. For the past few years John has been exploring spaces that have no particular significance to them, and photographing the results to great effect.

"Presentation of the Day" on December 16, 2014.

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Biogasdoneright: a tool for improving living conditions

BY FABRIZIO SIBILLA
@ VOL 26 ON APR 09, 2015

Biogas is an ancient fuel (it is first described in documents of the Assyrian empire) that holds great premises for the development of rural areas, since it produces a clean fuel (the biogas), but also produces a high quality fertilizer (the digestate) that not only improves the soil fertility, but can turn farmland under degradation into a productive land.

In the last decade Italian farmers slipped in a serious crisis and in order to come out of the crisis they discovered that a well managed biogas plant could help them in boosting their productivity and regaining competitiveness, thus they named their way to the biogas as #biogasdoneright.

Prompted by these facts (easiness of biogas technology to be implemented even in low tech, rural areas) and prompted by the fact that improving soil fertility will lead to better yield in agriculture, Fabrizio Sibilla has thought to export the biogasdoneright in a small village in Senegal, to improve the villagers' quality of life.

In collaboration with the Diouma school (organized by Evelyne Kleikers and Michela Padovani) and the Italian Biogas Council (CIB), a rural plant for the production of Biogas at the school will be established. The hardware needed will be assembled with local, low cost materials and the expertise will be provided by the CIB, that will send their personnel for the organization of the biogas plant and also will assist the local farmers in reaching an “ecological agricultural intensification” from their field. Local authorities agreed to give 8 ha if land surrounding the village for the start of this test project.

The CIB personnel will install two crops (Opuntia, the well known cactus fig and Italian sainfoin, a nitrogen fixing plant that is an excellent forage and resistant to droughts) in these 8 ha and teach the local farmers how to farm them. The biogas plant will be located at the school but will also serve the local community, especially in form of common kitchens were the village women will be able to meet while cooking and use a clean fuel (poor stoove wood combustion is the highest death case for children under 5 years in developing countries).

The aim of the project is that, once the village farmers will understand the potential hidden in the biogasdoneright, then they will spread the word to the neighbouring villages and teach them what they have learnt, in order to leverage the effect that foreign help can do to improve the quality of locals.

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Printing in Rural India

BY DENISE KARABINUS
@ VOL 26 ON MAR 11, 2016

Denise Karabinus will share several innovative collaborative projects generated during this first ever community art residency in rural India. Gram - means - Village. and the Art Residency aimed to promote cross-cultural exchanges by providing a meeting point for artists in diverse fields to work side by side with artisans, children and residents in rural India with the purpose of creating small lasting changes in the community.

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From Puffin Hunters to Prostitutes – Portraits from the last 15 years

BY TESSA BUNNEY
@ VOL 2 ON MAR 31, 2016

Tessa Bunney is an accomplished photographer based in Vientiane, Laos who is fascinated by the intricacies of rural life. For her PechaKucha presentation she shares 20 of her favourite portraits from the last 15 years, during which she has met and photographed a diverse range of people both close to her home in rural North Yorkshire (UK) and around the world.

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Spend Nothing, Do Everything: Using Constraints as Momentum for Creativity

BY LAURA READ
@ VOL 25 ON JUN 09, 2016

"When I moved to Edmonton, I had a great time exploring my new city, but after about two years a started to feel a bit stuck. So I gave myself a challenge which would get me out of my routine."

Designer Laura Read recounts the story of her month-long challenge to spend less, connect more, and explore the free and uplifting underbelly of Edmonton—offering inspiring tips on how to rethink your routine and rediscover your surroundings.

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Rural Famous

BY JUSTIN BECKMAN
@ VOL 7 ON AUG 25, 2016

"That landscape and rural culture around it not only continues to inspire the work I make as an artist but inspires me as a husband and father, as a friend and a human."

In Rural Famous at PechaKucha Night Ellensburg Vol.7,  Justin Beckman shares his love of "open spaces". His journey from the smoggy city of Los Angeles to the rural views of Ellensburg have led him to create photography that highlight the beauty of rural landscapes and accentuates the differences between rural and city life. 


This was "PechaKucha of the Day" on Monday, January 30th, 2017.

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Living Your Life With Passion: How I Got Paid to Travel The World

BY ANDREW KASZOWSKI
@ VOL 1 ON JAN 25, 2017

"You can do what you dream of."

In Living Your Life With Passion: How I Got Paid to Travel The World at PechaKucha Night London, Ontario Vol. 1, Andrew Kaszowski shares how he lived out his dream of traveling the world. He took his writing and design experience to sea, setting sail as Publications Editor aboard Crystal Cruises’ four-month World Cruise. He has been to 38 countries. Learn how Andrew did exactly what he dreamed of doing: and got paid to do it!

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A Living Economies Mind Feast: Moving Out of Insane Economics

BY GEN DE SPA
@ VOL 30 ON MAR 15, 2017

Gen de Spa talks about living economies as an educational network promoting systems of exchange that foster community wellbeing. She shares the importance of strengthening and helping sustain regional economies by promoting interest-free means of exchange - currencies based on and respecting the living systems of our planet - to complement money in local communities. 

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Le village de Pourgues

BY BAPTISTE BERNIER
@ VOL 32 ON OCT 25, 2018

Fondé sur des principes de liberté, d'égalité et de respect, le Village de Pourgues en Ariège offre à chacun de ses habitants de jouir d'une liberté individuelle indépendamment de l'âge. Le projet doit permettre, individuellement, à chacun d'entreprendre dans le respect de l'autre et collectivement d'explorer de nouvelles perspectives notamment en matière d'autonomie alimentaire, énergétique et de construction écologique en valorisant les matériaux et les savoir-faire locaux.