We present a wide range of dispatches in April. Louie Palu writes one of the best descriptions of being under fire in Afghanistan. His written dispatch is accompanied by video. Luiz Maximiano went into Burma (called Myanmar by the military junta), which is always dangerous, and reports on a group of courageous individuals attempting to help their Burmese neighbors – no matter how far away. On March 15 there was an upset in the presidential election in El Salvador and Brian Harkin was there to see the former rebel group FMLN win its first election in 16 years. In India, Danish photographers Klavs Bo Christensen and Carsten Snejbjerg covered the Holi Festival – and came away encrusted with the brightly colored powder thrown to celebrate spring.
The story in Afghanistan has become grimmer over the last few years – the Taliban is resurgent and ruthless. Louie Palu discourages romanticism about being a war photographer and tells a gritty, hair-raising tale of troops under fire.
In Burma, Luiz Maximiano reported on the Free Burma Rangers established 12 years ago by, surprisingly, an ex-Major of the U.S. Special Forces who still works with the volunteers. While based on the American Army Rangers, these forces do not attack but send out small teams bringing medical assistance and then documenting government abuses.
Brian Harkin covered the lead-up to the recent elections in El Salvador. The FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Front) party campaigned and defeated the ruling Arena party. The new president, Mauricio Funes, fashioned himself the candidate of change and liked to compare himself to President Obama.
The most colorful dispatch comes from Klavs Bo Christensen and Carsten Snejbjerg who return to The Digital Journalist with a report on the Holi Festival in India. It takes place outside and within temples and involves colored water and colored powder. The ancient festival recurs annually to celebrate life and the coming of spring.