It’s that time of year again: National Geographic Adventure has nominated ten individuals to stand in the running for 2013 People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year. This year in particular, we’re incredibly proud to announce that the outstanding Shannon Galpin of Mountain2Mountain is one of the Adventurer of the Year nominees — and you can vote for her starting today, November 1st!
M2M, which Shannon founded in 2006, “believes in the power of voice as a catalyst for social action,” and has touched the lives of many since its inception. In its latest project, Streets of Afghanistan, M2M utilizes the power of photography as the voice of change.
In 2009, Shannon became the first woman to bike in Afghanistan, challenging societal norms and gender perceptions in that part of the world. In general, Shannon’s work has seriously highlighted the significance of perpetuating equality for women and girls in conflict regions, and will continue to impact generations to come.
For good reason, Shannon is nominated as Humanitarian of the year. Via Nat Geo Adventure:
The 38-year-old has braved some of the most violent periods in Afghanistan—a country considered by many humanitarian agencies to be the worst place in the world to be a woman—to work on women’s education and health. She fostered midwife training to combat infant and maternal mortality in the Panjshir Province. In Kabul and Kandahar, she helped develop reading programs for the daughters of women in prisons, some of whom were jailed for adultery after they were raped or for escaping arranged marriages.
She has used her bicycle as an icebreaker with village elders in remote mountain villages, and in a particularly bold fundraising act, she’s mountain biked 140 miles across the Panjshir Valley. In Afghanistan, women cannot ride bikes because of laws and social customs, a fact that Galpin believes has hindered women’s education by preventing them from being able to independently travel to school. As a foreign woman, Galpin was able to cross this boundary and turn it into a conversation starter.
Women’s rights are personal for Galpin. At 19, she survived being raped and knifed while coming home from work in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“I couldn’t think of anything worse beyond what had happened than being labeled a victim,” says Galpin. “I was petrified that I would be viewed that way and would have to wear that label for the rest of my life.”
Want to vote for Shannon Galpin? Go here to do so through mid-January.
We’re always proud to support the work of Mountain2Mountain and Shannon Galpin, who founded the non-profit in 2006. M2M “believes in the power of voice as a catalyst for social action,” and has touched the lives of many men, women and children since its inception. In its latest project, Streets of Afghanistan, M2M utilizes the power of photography as the voice of change.
Streets of Afghanistan is, as stated on its blog, is “a touring cultural exhibit of life-size photographs that depict life in Afghanistan, as Afghans see it.” For it, a combination of Western and Afghan photographers collaborated to transport viewers to the streets of Kabul, showcase the landscapes of Afghanistan and portray the images of the people who live there.
After having toured the U.S., Streets of Afghanistan‘s collection of 40 life-size images will now make its way full circle by way of several public showings in Kabul itself, and will enable the people of Afghanistan to not only see these captivating photographs, but to comment, discuss and interact with them as well.
Mountain2Mountain founder Shannon Galpin says it best in a recent Streets of Afghanistan post:
“Photography transcends language and challenges stereotypes and bringing showing this exhibition publicly in Afghanistan challenges what we think is capable in a country like this. Art has the power to inspire, to spark conversation, and to bring joy – showcasing these images in public areas where Afghans can enjoy art for art’s sake, and be proud of the beauty and spirit of their country.”
Bike enthusiasts and photographers Stan Engelbrecht & Nic Grobler spent two years traveling in and around South Africa — capturing portraits of people and their beloved bikes along the way. The culmination of their project is a book, Bicycle Portraits, divided into three parts that encompass the portraits, stories and essays about the South African people they encountered during their journey. As stated on the home page of the Bicycle Portraits website, “Bicycle Portraits has turned into a portrait of a nation through the bicycles that they own and ride every day —revealing all manner of social, class, historical and cultural nuances never imagined.”
Unless you’ve been living in a deep, dark cave… You may have noticed that there is a lot of cool stuff going on out there. So, we thought it was high-time we started rounding up some of our faves each Friday. Every month, we’ll be choosing a theme that fits with the Osprey lifestyle. Now that it’s October, we find ourselves looking up at the sky looking, waiting for signs of winter… so we’re dedicating this month to that big, beautiful sky. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!
We’ve become big fans of photographer Ben Canales over the past few months. He recently won the 2011 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest and his ability to capture the night sky is pretty incredible — he also applies that skill to moving pictures and is the brainchild behind some killer time lapse production for Uncage the Soul, based in Portland, Oregon.
So in honor of inspiring some fall adventures, which hopefully take you to the kind of places where you can spend hours gazing at the night sky, here are a selection of starry photos.
Images: Ben Canales
Joshua Johnson aka “Joshywashington” traveled through Argentina earlier this year. Joshua is a Seattle-based travel blogger always on the lookout for the next journey. He also heads up MatadorTV. Read more from Joshua on his blog…
Photos have a way of bringing you back to a place… to an experience. When looking at my photos from a recent trip to Patagonia, these five bright, red images brought me right back to my journey. To me they tell a compelling story of my two weeks in Patagonia, one of earth’s most desolate, colorful and coveted travel destinations.
Once or twice each year, Francisco and I lead educational tours of Puerto Rico for students visting from the mainland US.
The tours are 7-day trips that start in the capital, San Juan, and move on to the island’s second largest city, Ponce, and the fishing town of La Parguera. Along the way, kids experience the El Yunque Rain Forest,
the Camuy Caves,