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Fun In Thatcher’s England: Newcastle, 1979

Fun In Newcastle 1979

Glenn Murtha and his brother jump from a second-story window in Newcastle, England, 1979. Source: Tish Murtha/AmberSide Collection

Glenn Murtha tells the story of this photo in an interview with The Guardian, extracted below for your reading pleasure:

he derelict houses in our neighbourhood were our playground. We’d jump from the second-floor window on to a pile of mattresses. Sometimes we’d get a bit hurt, but we didn’t have any fear in those days. Mrs Thatcher had just come to power and it was a time of austerity. My dad had his own scrap business, so he got a bit of trouble from the council for having vans and scrap in the yard, but he made a living from it, so they left him alone.

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Modern-Day Witches: Fewer Brooms, More Self-Determination

modern polish witches ceremony

Maria in front of the Palace of Culture in Warsaw. Image: Katarzyna Majak Source: Huffington Post

The word “witch” often conjures images of warts and pointy noises; broomsticks and cauldrons, and a woman whose ways should not just be avoided but punished. For a time, photographer Katarzyna Majak had precisely this same vision of what constitutes a witch.

Majak grew up in the primarily Catholic country of Poland, and wanted to explore the lives of those who failed to identify just as Catholic, but instead chose to live their lives as witches, druids and non-traditional healers. “I had realized there was something amiss around,” Majak explaines. “I intuitively felt what the mainstream offers to women does not satisfy their deeper search.”

And so Majak set out to create an alternate vision of the “Polish Mother,” a woman who gives up her own growth and freedom in order to dedicate her entire life to caring for her family. “When I started working on the project I felt some kind of attraction or ‘calling,’ to get deeper and stay open,” Majak explained. “This must have been the witch calling me, and I followed my instinct.”

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Las Médulas: Splitting Mountains In Search Of Spanish Gold

Las Medulas Sublime Vista

Las Médulas is a place of profound beauty with a surprising past. Source: Flickr

The Romans marched into Iberia in the second century BCE. The ruins of their architectural achievements are still scattered around the country, in Segovia, Mérida, Tarragona, Zaragoza, and many other places.

Las Médulas also bears a quiet testimony to the power of the empire. The mining site is located in the northwest of Spain, near where the region of Castilla y León meets the border of Galicia. The landscape here rises and falls in low, green mountains with slashes of orange cutting across them. These orange slashes are the scars of the Roman mining operations.

Las Médulas is where the Romans searched for gold. And they found it by tearing through the mountains of this verdant corner of Spain. According to ancient estimates, the Romans removed around 20,000 libra of gold from Spain each year, which converts to about 6,600 kilograms or 14,500 pounds. At current prices, this amount of gold is worth more than $27 million.

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Hope Among “The World’s Greatest Heap Of Debris”

Highwire Over Cologne 1946

World War II ravaged Cologne, Germany, destroying infrastructure, dozens of landmarks and–perhaps the hardest to rebuild–a sense of cultural substance.

After the war, sights like the one above–a woman walking a high-wire–were not uncommon, and were meant to offer those living within Cologne a brief reprieve from their quite literally ruined reality.

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