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    'For five months, smugglers mounted a huge and secret operation whose full details are only now coming to light. The objective: to carry 350,000 manuscripts to safety in [Mali's] government-held south. The treasures moved by road and by river, by day and by night, past checkpoints manned by armed Islamic police. The risks were great. Rescuers faced the possibility of arrest, imprisonment or worse at the hands of the thugs who had taken over the north. Militants from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb were capable of acts of enormous cruelty.'

    Last year, while Jihadists took over Timbuktu, residents came up with a courageous plan to save their country’s priceless medieval manuscripts. The fascinating story is in Smithsonian Magazine, with photos by Katie Orlinsky.

    The Aqualillies rehearse for a show at a private birthday party in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California. The underwater dance troupe merges the art of ballet with the athleticism of synchronized swimming.

    From The Aqualillies, by Katie Orlinsky

    Bamako, Mali: “Miss Timbuktu 2009” Tanti Gassamba. She currently lives in Bamako after fleeing Timbuktu with her entire family last year. She hopes to return home soon. photo by Katie Orlinsky

    via Reportage Instagram

    Laurent Van der Stockt for Le Monde/Reportage by Getty Images Katie Orlinsky/Reportage by Getty Images Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Reportage by Getty Images Brent Stirton for National Geographic/Reportage by Getty Images

    Visa Pour l’Image, the annual photo festival in Perpignan, France, will celebrate its 25th anniversary this September, and a number of Reportage photographers will have their work recognized during the week of exhibitions, screenings and awards. Most notably, Laurent Van der Stockt is one of four nominees for the prestigious Visa d’or News award for his groundbreaking work covering the use of chemical weapons in Syria (top), as shot for Le Monde. Six photographers are receiving evening screenings of their work, including Katie Orlinsky's project on the victims of Mexico's drug war (middle left); Alvaro Ybarra Zavala's report on the health effects of chemicals used in farming; and Brent Stirton's story about the illegal ivory trade (bottom).

    You can see a full lineup of Reportage photographers being featured in Perpignan on the Reportage Web site.

    Credits (clockwise from top): Laurent Van der Stockt for Le Monde/Reportage by Getty Images; Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Reportage by Getty Images; Brent Stirton for National Geographic/Reportage by Getty Images; Katie Orlinsky/Reportage by Getty Images.

    Congratulations to Toby Smith, Katie Orlinsky and the other photographers who made PDN’s list of 30 to watch in 2013. See more of them on the PDN Web site:

    Above: DRAX, YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND - MARCH 2008: Drax is the largest power station in the UK, providing 7% of Britain’s power needs. Photo by Toby Smith/Reportage by Getty Images. See more of Toby’s “LIght After Dark” images here.

    Below: CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO: Women march at the Revolutionary Day parade in 2010, at the height of drug-war-related violence in the city. Photo by Katie Orlinsky/Reportage by Getty Images. See more of Katie’s “Innocence Assassinated” project here.


    The Women of Mexico’s Drug War

    U.S. photographer Katie Orlinsky moved to Mexico in 2006, just after graduating from college. The drug war surrounded her, and she quickly realized that women — not just men — were serving as its weary warriors, ferrying contraband and kidnapping kingpins. Between 2007 and 2011, the number of women incarcerated for federal crimes rose 400 percent. Orlinsky began to wonder: Who are these women? Innocent victims of a broken system? Cold-hearted criminals? Both?

    In 2010, she entered the female prison in Ciudad Juárez and began photographing the convicted women inside. 

    See more. [Images: Katie Orlinsky]

    Katie Orlinksy, a featured photographer for Reportage by Getty Images, will be speaking at the Alexia Foundation's “Stories That Drive Change” event at 25 CPW Gallery in New York on Wednesday, Jan. 23, from 6 to 9 PM. Last year, Katie was awarded first place in the Alexia Foundation Student Awards, which supported her continued work on “Innocence Assassinated,” a photoessay on people whose lives have been affected by the Mexican drug war. Photographs from that series will also be on display on Wednesday night. Another of Alexia Foundation’s grant recipients, Justin Maxon, will also speak and present his work.

    WHAT:   Alexia Foundation “Stories that Drive Change” Gallery Event
    WHEN:   January 23rd, 2013 – 6:00PM to 9:00PM
    WHERE: 25CPW Gallery at 25 Central Park West (at 62nd Street), New York, NY 10023. 

    Katie Orlinsky has joined Reportage as a Featured Photographer.  Welcome, Katie!

    Please see some of her work from Mexico, Nepal, and Gaza in her Reportage portfolio.

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