'How I made fathers in Senegal carry babies on their backs' – BBC News

‘How I made fathers in Senegal carry babies on their backs’ – BBC News

‘How I made fathers in Senegal carry babies on their backs’ 16 April 2019 These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright Marta Moreiras Image caption Birama, a civil engineer, and his baby Ndeye
Marta Moreiras and the subjects of her portraits – fathers carrying babies on their backs – were surprised by the attention they attracted as she took their photographs on the streets of Senegal’s capital Dakar.
“People were clapping – sometimes it was a bit hard to take the picture because we were having such a large audience,” the Spanish photographer told the BBC.
“All the women were like: ‘Hey, give me five, I’m going to call my husband – we don’t see this every day.”
And that is exactly why Moreiras started her project, which has been shortlisted for the portraiture category of this year’s Sony World Photography Awards Professional competition.
The idea came to her when she was looking through her photo archive, which for Senegal goes back to 2008. Image copyright Marta Moreiras Image caption Kumba and her baby Binta – from Marta Moreiras’s archive
“I realised that I had tonnes of pictures of mummies with babies on their back, but I just wondered why I didn’t have any of men.”
When she began phoning up some of her male Senegalese friends who had babies, most said that they would carry children on their backs if they were at home – but never outside.
“There’s a big division here between public spaces and private spaces… and it’s very important what others think of you,” says Moreiras. Image copyright Marta Moreiras Image caption Demba, a financial consultant, with his baby Ely
Yet her research and interviews revealed that men do play a significant child-caring role, not least because Dakar is expensive and couples often both have to work.
“That will force them to start dividing tasks.
“And when I asked the men if they actually participated in the education of their children and if they helped at home they were like: ‘Well, yes I’m forced to, my wife, she works as well – she can’t just take on all the different tasks.’
“But whenever you see a picture of a baby you never see a dad with them or playing with them or taking them to school or washing them,” she said. Image copyright Marta Moreiras Image caption Cheikh, a freelance videographer, and his baby Zoe
This is how she first coaxed her interviewees into having their portraits taken.
“I’d say: ‘All right, so to make it more visible – this role of the dad – I want to take a photo of you with your child.'” Image copyright Marta Moreiras Image caption Jules, a computer specialist, and his baby Jade
When they agreed to that, she’d say she would like the baby to be on their backs instead of in their arms – this too they happily agreed to, hesitation only setting in when she asked them to move outside to give the portrait “a more interesting setting”.
“We don’t do that, we don’t take children to the street on our backs,” was the general response – but Moreiras’s persistence paid off.
“The whole reaction on streets was very cool, so the guy I was photographing began to feel more comfortable about it.” Image copyright Marta Moreiras Image caption Moulaye, a music producer, and his children Hassan and Malick
The portraits she shot over a two- to three-month period were exhibited last May at Dak’Art, the African Contemporary Art Biennale, when the whole of Dakar becomes an art gallery.
And they certainly became a subject of debate – given the inspired decision to stage her exhibition at les parcours sportifs – a big open space on the main seafront thronged by those in pursuit of the body beautiful as it is full of gym equipment. Image copyright Marta Moreiras Image caption Mouhammed, a photographer, and his son Zakaria
“Ninety-nine per cent of people who go there are men, showing their masculine, macho side,” she said.
But they were also of an age when they were becoming fathers – the perfect target audience, says Moreiras.
One photo in particular had a great impact as it was of a popular rapper, Badou, known for his machismo. Image copyright Marta Moreiras Image caption Badou, a rapper, with his baby Mouhammed
“He has a public image, and everyone recognises him. It’s important in this project that some recognisable people are included to be role models and open the debate to realise there is nothing wrong with it,” the photographer said.
There were some public figures who turned her down when she approached them as they were concerned about public attitudes.
For Moreiras, who has eight of her portraits from the series in the World Photography Awards, it will be a “never-ending project”.
“I’m still working on it – I’m happy to have as many daddies as possible because I believe that to destroy this stereotype of mums with babies, that we have seen forever, we need to do at least the same amount of images with men.” Image copyright Marta Moreiras Image caption Scorpion, a wood designer, and his baby Africa Pictures by Marta Moreiras.
Winners of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards Professional competition will be announced on 17 April 2019. All shortlisted series will be exhibited at Somerset House in London from 18 April until 6 May 2019. Related Topics

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Notre-Dame: The story of the fire in graphics and images – BBC News

Image copyright Getty Images An investigation has begun into the fire that swept through the medieval cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, destroying its roof and spire.
Much of the roof was covered in scaffolding as part of a big renovation programme, which is being investigated as a possible cause of the blaze.
How the fire unfolded The fire began at about 18:43 local time on Monday (15 April). Pictures show flames shooting up around the spire, shortly after the doors were shut to visitors for the day.
The blaze spread rapidly along the wooden roof as onlookers gathered on the ground below.
Firefighters worked through the night to bring the blaze under control. At one point it was feared the whole building would be lost as flames were spotted in one of the main bell towers.
The fire was finally declared out at about 10:00 on Tuesday morning.
Image copyright AFP/Getty What has been damaged? Some 400 firefighters and 30 fire engines were deployed, but they were unable to save the spire, replaced in the 19th Century during a previous refurbishment and made of oak covered with lead. The spire collapsed just before 20:00.
The roof was made up of a “forest” of wooden latticework, much of which dated back to the 13th Century.
Underneath the roof, the vaulted stone ceiling appears to have survived mostly intact and this will have protected the inside of the building from the worst ravages of the fire. But it is still unclear how much of the interior will have suffered water damage.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said most artworks and religious relics were removed from the cathedral as firefighters worked to control the flames.
Sixteen bronze statues, including the 12 apostles, were removed from around the spire only four days ago, prior to the latest renovation work.
The Archbishop of Paris says all three of the cathedral’s famed rose windows have been saved, but other, smaller windows, closer to the seat of the fire, have been badly damaged.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The spire collapsed at 19:49 Rebuilding President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild the cathedral and already money has been pledged from within France. Offers of help have also poured in from around the globe.
A previous restoration in the early 1800s followed the publication of Victor Hugo’s novel, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, which revived interest in the ancient cathedral.
Drawings made at the time of that refurbishment are likely to help inform the rebuilding work.
Interactive The extent of the fire During the fire Before the fire Interactive Notre-Dame’s roof collapses Roof begins to collapse Fire begins to spread across roof Interactive Inside Notre Dame 15 April 2019 26 June 2018 .

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UK parliament could suffer same fate as Notre Dame, warn MPs | UK news

Palace of Westminster caught fire 40 times between 2008 and 2012. MPs are warning the Palace of Westminster is at critical risk of a fire that could prove as devastating as the blaze at Notre Dame Cathedral unless rapid action is taken to update parliament’s crumbling interior.
The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said the blaze should be a wake-up call that major work would have to be done. “I’ve been in Notre Dame Cathedral several times. It’s absolutely stunning and beautiful and you can see the whole history of France before you there,” he said.
“You see beautiful buildings like that and think of the beautiful buildings we’ve got in this country. If any of those were destroyed in fire how would we feel about it? The state of the building is very poor in Westminster and a fire risk is obviously huge with a building that has so much wood within it.”
The terrible fire at Notre Dame shows why parliament’s restoration cannot wait | Gaby Hinsliff Read more
A multibillion-pound programme of restoration and renewal is to start in the mid-2020s after MPs and peers voted last year to move out of the building to allow the vital work to be carried out.
Fire safety teams constantly patrol the neo-gothic Palace of Westminster , which caught fire 40 times between 2008 and 2012 alone; the small fires were quickly put out by wardens.
In 2016, the Guardian reported a malfunctioning light on an obscure part of the roof caused an electrical fire that could have spread rapidly, had it not been detected. Parliament’s ageing electrical system and maze of shafts and corridors mean a fire could spread quickly and unpredictably, experts have warned, with no proper system of fire compartmentalisation.
The House of Commons leader, Andrea Leadsom, said the Notre Dame fire was a “crucial reminder of the importance of preserving our historic buildings” and said fire risks in the Palace of Westminster were being constantly assessed.
The Labour MP Chris Bryant, who chairs the finance committee overseeing parliament’s restoration project, said: “Watching Paris tonight reminds me of the responsibility our generation has for the Palace of Westminster, especially Westminster Hall, which dates from the 11th century.
“We have taken far too long already putting our fire safety measures in place. Parts of the palace are as old as Notre Dame and we must make sure that every fire precaution is taken as the major work goes ahead. God knows, we’ve had enough warnings.”
The Cabinet Office minister, David Lidington, Theresa May’s de facto deputy, wrote a column in his local newspaper , Bucks Free Press, two days ago saying parliament had been lucky to escape a major fire or incident in recent years.
‘A tale of decay’: the Houses of Parliament are falling down Read more
“Several times in the last year, chunks of masonry have fallen off buildings. We’ve been very lucky no one has been seriously injured,” he wrote, shortly after MPs had to evacuate the Commons chamber because of a water leak.
“Worse, the electrical, plumbing, heating and sewerage systems are well beyond their expected working lifespan and in a dilapidated state. With each year that passes, the risk of a catastrophic fire grows.”
Much of the old Palace of Westminster was destroyed in a fire in 1834 and later rebuilt by the architect Charles Barry, though the 900-year-old Westminster Hall survived the blaze.
Lidington said the restoration work could not be avoided even if the buildings were turned into a museum and parliament moved to a modern building. “Even if parliament were to move permanently to another place, we would have an obligation to restore and renew the buildings,” he wrote.
“It’s sometimes argued that parliament should move to another city. The difficulty with that is that ministers are also MPs, and have to divide their time between their departments and parliament. So if you moved parliament, you’d have to move all the major government departments too, and still pay to repair the palace.”
A parliamentary spokesman said: “Fire safety is a key priority for parliament and protections are constantly reviewed and updated including at our active construction sites.
“Last year, we completed a major programme of works to enhance fire safety measures in the Palace of Westminster, and while this work continues, we stand ready to learn any lessons that emerge from the fire at Notre Dame to ensure we do everything possible to protect our people and buildings on the parliamentary estate.”
Topics Palace of Westminster Notre Dame House of Commons House of Lords Buildings at risk Architecture Heritage news

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Bernie Sanders gets support for ‘Medicare for All’ proposal from Fox News audience

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., held a town hall on Monday on Fox News and drew unexpected support from the audience for his plan to provide government-run health insurance to all Americans. “I want to ask the audience a question, if you could raise your hand here,” moderator Bret Baier said, addressing the crowd assembled in Bethlehem, Pa., to see Sanders speak. “A show of hands of how many people get their insurance from work, private insurance right now.”
Bernie Sanders speaks during a Fox News town hall on April 15. (Photo: Matt Rourke/AP) More Most in the audience raised a hand.
“Now of those,” Baier continued, “how many are willing to transition to what the senator says, a government-run system?”
Approximately the same number of people, many of them cheering loudly, raised a hand again, apparently surprising Baier, who added, “There’s 180 million people on private insurance, and they would be lost, right?”
“Fair question,” Sanders responded. “I know it’s what the right wing throws out, so let me answer it, all right? Millions of people every single year lose their health insurance, you know why? They get fired or they quit and they go to another employer. I was a mayor for eight years and you know what I did, what probably every mayor in America does, is you look around for the best insurance program, the most cost-effective insurance. You change insurance. Every year, millions of workers wake up in the morning and their employer has changed the insurance that they have. Maybe they liked the doctors, some people are nodding their heads, OK. So this is not new, every year. Now what we’re talking about actually is stability. That when you have a ‘Medicare for All’ it is there now and will be there in the future.”
Raise your hand if you’re sick and tired of your private health insurance company. We need Medicare for All. #BernieTownHall pic.twitter.com/3euHRCjqn9
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 15, 2019 The audience again cheered what Sanders had proposed, and the Vermont senator’s campaign wasted little time in posting the exchange to social media.
President Trump has made dismantling the Affordable Care Act a top priority of his first two years in office, promising that “the Republican Party will soon be known as the party of health care.” No formal health care plan from the administration has yet been written, and members of the president’s party have urged him to back off his promises until after the 2020 election .
Some progressives criticized Sanders for appearing on Fox News, which the candidate himself has described as “right-wing propaganda” intended to benefit Trump.
But in an interview with HuffPost , Sanders explained his rationale for appearing on the network.
“When I go on Fox, what I will say is, ‘Look, many of you voted for Donald Trump, but he lied to you,’” Sanders said. “‘He told you he was gonna provide health care for everybody. Yet his policies are to throw 30 million people off of the health insurance they have.’”

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Notre Dame’s 3 iconic rose windows are safe after the fire

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Another 2020 Democrat is looking to book a Fox News event, even as the chair of the Democratic National Committee continues to blast the network.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is in talks to hold a town hall on Fox News, The Hill and NBC News reported on Tuesday. This comes a day after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) participated in his own Fox News town hall, although The Daily Beast ‘s Scott Bixby reports that Buttigieg has been in talks a Fox event for “more than a month.”
Sanders’ town hall was especially noteworthy after the DNC’s decision to bar Fox from hosting 2020 debates. DNC Chair Tom Perez cited the network’s “inappropriate relationship” with President Trump, saying it would be unable to put on a “fair and neutral debate.” Sanders was the first of the 2020 Democrats to participate in a Fox News town hall, The Hill notes. It drew 2.55 million viewers, making it the highest-rated town hall of the year, per The Washington Post ‘s Paul Farhi .
DNC Chair Tom Perez has said that it’s okay for Democrats to still make appearances on Fox News like Sanders did, though, saying this is “a far cry from hosting debates,” per the San Francisco Chronicle . Perez himself appeared on Fox recently and chided the network after anchor Bill Hemmer asked him to reconsider the debate ban.
Some Democrats have criticized 2020 candidates for still appearing on Fox News, with Dan Pfeiffer, former adviser to former President Barack Obama, writing that “putting an imprimatur of legitimacy on one of the most destructive forces in American politics has long-term consequences.” Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Tim Ryna (D-Ohio) on Tuesday both said they’d be open to Fox News town halls as well, The Daily Beast reports .
Although Buttigieg’s potential Fox News town hall is not yet official, a spokesperson told The Hill that “reaching out to the Fox audience is something we intend to do.” Brendan Morrow

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