While rummaging through a flea market in California in the late 1990s, Polish photographer Justyna Mielnikiewicz found a copy of Sebastião Salgado’s Other Americas. The book, a seven-year visual exploration through Central and South America, served as inspiration for Mielnikiewicz to begin a decadelong project that has culminated in Woman With a Monkey, a collection of stories and photographs from the southern Caucasus.
When asked why photographers are drawn to the southern Caucasus, Mielnikiewicz responds, “It’s because the people are more emotional, and life has greater intensity.” With a wry smile she adds, “It’s because of the latitude. In every country the craziest people come from the mountains, and here it is all mountains. There is a tendency to do first and think after.”
In northern India, there is a river with over a hundred names. It starts in the Garhwal Himalaya and drops over 14,000 feet from the terminus of the Gangotri Glacier before marching some 1,550 miles to the Bay of Bengal. For nearly a billion Hindus in India and beyond, it is more than a river. It is the extension of the divine—Lord Shiva. Not only does it transport the prayers of believers visiting its waters, but it also provides sustenance for hundreds of millions of people, vast industry, agriculture, and endangered wildlife like the Bengal tiger and the susu, a blind freshwater dolphin. For Indians it is most commonly known as Ma Ganga—Mother Ganga. For Westerners, it is the Ganges, one of the most sacred of the world’s rivers.
No pet is considered average in the eyes of its human. While this is true, managing editor Monica Corcoran would like to turn the spotlight on those pets that rarely get the appreciation they deserve. “Show us why you chose a chinchilla over a canine or a fish over a feline,” she writes. Your Shot member Helder Quintas captures the spirit of the assignment with this sheep portrait. Move over cats and dogs—there’s a new crowd in town.
On August 6, before most of the world woke up, 47 riders from around the globe had saddled half-wild horses and set out on what the Guinness Book of World Records has called the longest equestrian race on Earth. The goal—beyond not getting seriously injured—is to ride a 621-mile (1,000-km) circuit of Mongolian steppe in less than ten days.
The race route is modeled on the horse relay postal system created under Genghis Khan in 1224, which was instrumental in the expansion of the Mongolian Empire.