What We Love This Week, Volume CXXI

China Symmetry Walking Soldiers

Soldiers march past Tiananmen Square in 2009, the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Source: The Atlantic

China Knows How To Do Crowds

China Symmetry Acrobats

Martial arts students practice for a stunt performance for the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games. Source: The Atlantic

Surely, you remember the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, a staggering visual display that turned crowds into art. Well, the Chinese people have not lost that skill set in the years since. Whether the mass coordination is precise out of necessity (military marches and martial arts stunt performers) or not (outdoor yoga for pregnant women), these photos reveal the surreal beauty of both synchronized movement and synchronized stasis. From the frightening (SWAT teams performing anti-terrorist drills) to the whimsical (3,100 students forming a smiley face), see more at The Atlantic.

Chinese Symmetry Mist

Chinese Taiji boxing rehearsal for the opening ceremony of the 2008 World Traditional Wushu Championship in Shiyan. Source: The Atlantic

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Street Portraits: The Faces Of India And Pakistan

india pakistan street portraits uplifting

Sufi, Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan Source: Bored Panda

Parents often discourage their kids from backpacking, and not necessarily just out of safety concerns; it’s often the case that once their children are exposed to the world’s intricacies waiting just beyond their own borders, they’ll never come back. Such is the case with Lukas Szolc-Nartwoski. Since 2007, Szolc-Nartowski has roamed the streets of India and Pakistan, furthering his passion for photography and capturing stunning portraits of the people he encounters. Backpacking through the region since his first visit to India in 2001, his views–and subsequently, his art–have become increasingly complex.

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25 Devastating Images Of Nepal Post-Earthquake

Nepal earthquake Buddha is destroyed

Devastation after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hits Nepal. Aside from the human cost, cultural artifacts from antiquity are also damaged. Source: CNN

A massive earthquake registering 7.8 on the Richter scale hit Nepal on April 25th, leaving over 5,000 dead and potentially hundreds more trapped under rubble, according to current estimates. Towns at the epicenter of the quake have experienced a 90% loss of buildings and infrastructure in the Kathmandu district of Nepal alone. Highly dependent on tourism and agriculture for its economic development, Nepal will likely experience massive long- and short-term losses in the wake of this natural disaster.

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What We Love This Week, Volume CXX

Smithsonian Winners Green Net

Women of a small village near Vinh Hy Bay, Vietnam, sew a fishing net. Photographer: Pham Ty Source: The Atlantic

Winners Of The 2014 Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Announced

Smithsonian Winners Beijing

Reading in the National Library of China in Beijing. Photographer: Yilang Peng. Source: The Atlantic

This year, Smithsonian Magazine editors received over 26,500 entries for their annual photo contest. Just this week, the magazine announced 2014’s winners in each competition category, being: the Natural World, Travel, People, Americana, Altered Images and Mobile. Given the high quality and diversity of all the shots, we have a hard time fathoming how they arrived at their decisions. See more at The Atlantic.

Smithsonian Winners Holy Week

Holy Week celebrations in Acobamba, Tarma, Peru. Photographer: David Martín Huamaní Bedoya. Source: The Atlantic

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