Photographer captures human face of endangered species

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An Pied Tamarin is photographed by Tim Flach in this photo part of the book "Endangered". (AFP)
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London-based photographer Tim Flach poses with his book "Endangered" November 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. (AFP)
Updated 25 November 2017
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Photographer captures human face of endangered species

WASHINGTON: Can you love an animal to death? A new book by British photographer Tim Flach documents some of Earth’s most treasured species pushed to the brink of extinction by manmade crises, from pangolins hunted for their scales to Brazil’s pied tamarin threatened by urbanization.
“Most of the changes in the past have been driven by natural forces, but on this occasion, it seems to be driven by us,” Flach told AFP on a visit to Washington.
“My real question is: ‘Why am I here doing it? Why am I here taking a picture of the last male white rhino?’ It’s the question of how we got to that point, rather than simply one of wonderment.”
Coral, insects and even some ecosystems are included alongside some of the most recognizable threatened mammals such as polar bears and lesser-known creatures like harlequin toads.
The panda is one of the least vulnerable species found in the more than 150 images of “Endangered,” whose release coincides with a new exhibition of Flach’s photos in London’s Osborne Samuel Gallery.
Flach, known for his highly stylized photographs of dogs and horses, captures the animals’ almost human expressions.
On the book’s cover, a crowned sifaka lemur hugs his knees toward his chest, his bright yellow eyes betraying a worried yet inquisitive look, like a reprimanded schoolboy.
Flach, 59, often uses a black velvet backdrop and his lighting captures colors in such detail that one can almost feel the softness of the lemur’s black, orange and white fur.
In the summer, Flach trekked to Russia’s Caspian Sea, hiding in a “fly-infested hole” in search of the saiga antelope, an Ice Age survivor that once roamed alongside woolly mammoths but could soon be wiped out by poachers preying on its twisted horns.
Flach could only get a good sighting of the females, so he returned in the dead of winter with the longest lens he could borrow from Canon and got just one shot.
Other encounters during a two-year odyssey included staring the last male white rhinoceros in the eye and swimming with great white sharks off the Galapagos Islands.
He hopes that others share his passion for wildlife.
“If we care about something, we are more likely to take action,” said Flach.


Lebanese star Myriam Fares faces blackface backlash

Updated 15 December 2018
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Lebanese star Myriam Fares faces blackface backlash

DUBAI: Lebanese singer Myriam Fares has come under fire on social media after a scene in her latest music video appears to show the star in blackface.
Fares released the video for her new track, “Goumi” (Get up), on Wednesday and the jungle-themed video sees the pop star performing in African-themed costumes. In one scene, she is painted a significantly darker shade and is seen wearing a neck ring.

A still from the video. (YouTube)


“Are we not going to talk about @myriamfares blackface in her new video? And all that cultural appropriation is (going to) slide?” one user commented on Twitter, while another tweeted: “Myriam Fares is the perfect example (of) Arab ignorance. Is it really difficult educating yourself on what is right and wrong? Blackface? In 2018? What is more disgusting is the fact that the comments are all praising the video and no one sees her actions as wrong.”
Some users, however, see no issue with the video, with one Twitter user praising it for presenting a “wonderful mixture between Arabic culture and African culture.”