Colors: Frontier

Issue 63, Winter 2005


For the new issue of COLORS, the magazine about the rest of the world, our correspondents went out to the edge, to the frontiers that people everywhere in the world (and beyond) are exploring right now, proving that there still are borders out there — both physical and mental — yet to be crossed. The result is an issue packed with photojournalism and reporting from the outer reaches — unexplored lands, conflicted territories, and new ideas.

“Frontiers” goes to Abkhazia, Antarctica, Belgrade, Berlin, Cuba, Iraq, Israel, Kashmir, South and North Korea, Mozambique, Palestine, Shanghai, Thailand, Yemen, and Saturn…and beyond.

Political frontiers, of course, are all about lines on the ground: In “Neither Here Nor There,” photojournalist Ami Vitale offers a remarkable visual portrait of Kashmir, a gorgeous and contested region split between Pakistan and India and fractured by a separatist uprising. This extraordinary photography portfolio presents the work of one of the most astonishing young photographers to come to COLORS. In Berlin and Israel COLORS takes an in-depth look at both sides of one of today’s most controversial borders-in-progress and compares it to one of yesterday’s most monstrous. COLORS went out and interviewed people on both sides of two history-making barriers: the Berlin wall and the Israel Palestine Green Line. Some borders are just imaginary lines, belonging to countries (both serious and farfetched) that are yet to be recognized by the rest of the world. In “The State of Where?” Dan Halpern looks at what these unrecognized nations — from Abkhazia to Palestine to Sealand — are willing to do to fight for a place on the maps.

What about the in-between places? In “Found at Sea,” award-winning fiction writer Adam Haslett gives us a glimpse of the daily grind on offshore oil rigs, that insanely dirty and dangerous work — all done for our petroleum-guzzling sakes.

COLORS crosses frontiers of knowledge and science too. In “The Cure?” Silvana Paternostro chronicles the use of a new painkiller and, just maybe, a groundbreaking cancer treatment, made from a mysteriously effective scorpion-venom by Cuba’s ultra-advanced biotechnology industry. On the other side of the world, Ann Marlowe goes to Yemen to find a local hero, a doctor straddling the cutting edge of women’s health care, in a country where modern medicine is still considered a conspiratorial threat to tradition. And the final frontier gets closer: Michael Benson reports on how aremote-controlled robot photographer from Earth zips off 1.5 billion kilometers away, takes in the sights — like the gorgeous rings of Saturn, rippling to the rhythm of distant moons — and sends a few snapshots back home.

And then there are the frontiers beyond our usual way of thinking

On the Thai Burmese border COLORS found a kick-boxing monastery whose young initiates battle the national scourge of drug-trafficking by teaching Buddhism. Photographer Jack Piccone’s exclusive access to these gentle warriors is a not-to-be–missed photography portfolio. And in the heart of the war in Iraq, photojournalist Rita Leister talks to the gravediggers in the holiest cemetery in the Muslim world about just how bad the inexorable violence is for business.

See PDF version for cover and press release.



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