Publications

2013
Santiago, Chile — Spanish Lessons
Lerner KL. Santiago, Chile — Spanish Lessons. Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge) [Internet]. 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

SANTIAGO, Chile — Writing finished, a late night walkabout for a cerveza while working in Santiago, Chile, a few weeks ago ended with me sitting with a woman at a bar hosting a lusty karaoke night. That's karaoke with verses sung in Spanish, of course. 

My drinking companion, wearing a dress considerably too short for her age and the cool fall Chilean weather, first approached me outside the bar and offered me a successive series of services. There were no strings attached, just fees. (more)

Note: Originally published as an academic paper submitted as part of the 'Displaced by Disaster' project for Harvard (See https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/displacedbydisaster).

Fukushima --Inside the Nuclear Disaster Exclusion Zone
Lerner KL. Fukushima --Inside the Nuclear Disaster Exclusion Zone. Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge) [Internet]. 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

[Author's note: In April 2013, along with a half-dozen other journalists and writers from around the world, I was allowed access to photograph inside the media-restricted Fukushima exclusion zone. As a form of protest, a local official (identified and described below) unlocked gates to the contaminated zone then off limits. Accompanied by a translator, I was then allowed to take photos of the instrumentation used to monitor radiation levels, contaminated soil removal facilities, and other sites. I was in the zone for two hours, — a time calculated to offer a reasonably safe level of radiation exposure.  — K. Lee Lerner]

NAGADORO, Japan — Following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) initially reported the safe scram — execution of a nuclear plant’s emergency reactor shutdown plan — of Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi plant located about 150 miles north of Tokyo. (more)

Note: Originally published as an academic paper submitted as part of the 'Displaced by Disaster' project for Harvard (See https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/displacedbydisaster).

Iwate Prefecture, Japan — Tsunami Impact Zone (Photo essay)
Lerner KL. Iwate Prefecture, Japan — Tsunami Impact Zone (Photo essay). Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge) [Internet]. 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Iwate Prefecture, Japan — A deadly wall of water sweeping inland submerged the bridge in the background and scrubbed tracks from the high-speed concrete railroad bed in Rikuzentakata, Japan. (more)

Note: Originally published as an academic paper submitted as part of the 'Displaced by Disaster' project for Harvard (See https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/displacedbydisaster).

Rikuzentakata, Japan — 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan: Recovery, Reconstruction, and Radiation
Lerner KL. Rikuzentakata, Japan — 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan: Recovery, Reconstruction, and Radiation. Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge) [Internet]. 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Rikuzentakata, Japan — A memorial Senbazuru (1000 origami cranes) hangs from a piling at the heavily damaged dock in Rikuzentakata, Japan. In the distance are remnants of a flood gate through which a deadly wall of water swept inland to claim the largest loss of life of any city lying in the broad band of destruction along the northwest coast of Japan. following the 2011 earthquake-triggered tsunami. (read)

Note: Originally published as an academic paper submitted as part of the 'Displaced by Disaster' project for Harvard (See https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/displacedbydisaster).

Jakarta, Indonesia —Jakarta's Docks Serve as a Hub for Human Trafficking
Lerner KL. Jakarta, Indonesia —Jakarta's Docks Serve as a Hub for Human Trafficking. Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge) [Internet]. 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Jakarta, Indonesia — UNHCR and other agencies, including the International Organization of Migration (IOM), argue that displaced people are highly vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking. Advocacy groups contend that maritime ports across Asia, including the docks of Jakarta, Indonesia, are ports to prostitution and work slavery for displaced people lured or taken from disaster zones and economically distressed areas of South Asia. At an international meeting to discuss security issues related to human trafficking and displaced populations. Both relief and law enforcement personnel agreed that displaced populations are at special risk for exploitation. UNHCR officials, granted anonymity due to the fact they were not authorized to speak to the press, said that Jakarta's dusty and dangerous docks serve as one of the main hubs for human trafficking in Asia. (more)

Note: Originally published as an academic paper submitted as part of the 'Displaced by Disaster' project for Harvard (See https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/displacedbydisaster).

Madhapur, India --Desertification creates Displacement Perils: Life around a dying lake
Lerner KL. Madhapur, India --Desertification creates Displacement Perils: Life around a dying lake. Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge) [Internet]. 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Madhapur, India — The remains of statues thrown into a lake in Madhapur, India, during Hindu festivals from years past lay scattered on the exposed lake bed. Local annual precipitation is now sufficient only to form temporary pools in the lowest parts of the lakebed. A decade ago, the lake supported local fishermen.  (more)

Note: Originally published as an academic paper submitted as part of the 'Displaced by Disaster' project for Harvard (See https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/displacedbydisaster).

Hyderabad, India --Indian Mujahideen Bomb Makers Linked to Recent Bombing
Lerner KL. Hyderabad, India --Indian Mujahideen Bomb Makers Linked to Recent Bombing. Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge) [Internet]. 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

HYDERABAD, INDIA-Now home to more than eight million people in the metropolitan area, Hyderabad, the capital city of the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh, and nearby Secunderabad, have long experience with the plight of displaced people and the civic tensions displacements create. An area shared by Muslims and Hindus, deadly terrorist bombings in February 2013 again stirred religious and cultural tensions in an area where land disputes concerning displaced people continue over grants dating to the 1947 Indian partition with Pakistan (which eventually evolved into the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of Bangladesh). (more)

Note: Originally published as an academic paper submitted as part of the 'Displaced by Disaster' project for Harvard (See https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/displacedbydisaster).

Geneva, Switzerland — Displaced by Disaster
Lerner KL. Geneva, Switzerland — Displaced by Disaster. Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge) [Internet]. 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Geneva, Switzerland — With major disasters on the rise, media’s short attention span leaves millions alone on the road to recovery

Driven from their homes and communities, displaced people are vulnerable to violence, exploitation, poverty, and disease. In a chorus of languages that crosses continents, displaced people also lament that the media’s short attention span to their plight leaves them voiceless and alone on the road to recovery.

In contrast to the flow of media-enticing bloodshed provided by conflicts, the hardships and perils facing those displaced by natural disasters usually slip quickly from news headlines. Media attention inevitably shifts international attention from one natural disaster to another. (more

Note: Originally published as an academic paper submitted as part of the 'Displaced by Disaster' project for Harvard (See https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/displacedbydisaster).

2012
Nairobi, Kenya — The Economics of Poverty in Nairobi Slums
Lerner KL. Nairobi, Kenya — The Economics of Poverty in Nairobi Slums. Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge). 2012.Abstract

Nairobi, Kenya — Both the Kiberia and Mathare slums of Nairobi, exist in the shadows of areas of relative affluence. An upward move from the shantytowns in both slums is procurement of a state built and subsidized apartment at the edge of the slum. 

Inside the slums, in some cases literally in the shadow of those tall apartment buildings a shadow economy exits. Based on both currency and barter, the economy helps residents to survive, but on thin margins and without hope to participate in the larger economy or contribute to sustained economic development. (more)

Nairobi, Kenya — Education costs contribute to generational poverty in Kibera and Mathare slums of Nairobi
Lerner KL. Nairobi, Kenya — Education costs contribute to generational poverty in Kibera and Mathare slums of Nairobi. Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge). 2012.Abstract

Nairobi, Kenya — In both the Kibera and Mathare slums of Nairobi, Kenya, life is hard and perilous. The slums are among Africa's largest. Depending on the number people displaced from rural areas by civil strife, disease, and grinding poverty, Kibera can rank among the world’s largest slums. Up to two million people live in challenging conditions.

Mothers walk children to school through streets littered with garbage and filled with violence. Regardless, children are also expected to venture out on their own to help gather the water and fuel needed for daily existence. (more)

Nairobi, Kenya — Lack of clean water and sanitation plague Nairobi slums
Lerner KL. Nairobi, Kenya — Lack of clean water and sanitation plague Nairobi slums. Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge). 2012.Abstract

Nairobi, Kenya — In both the Kiberia and Mathare slums of Nairobi, life is hard and perilous. The procurement and storage of clean water are consuming facets of daily life; and the sanitation infrastructure inadequate to prevent disease. Containers for storing clean water are coveted. (more)

Nairobi, Kenya — Al-Shabaab Terrorist Bombing in Kenya (June 2012)
Lerner KL. Nairobi, Kenya — Al-Shabaab Terrorist Bombing in Kenya (June 2012) . Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge). 2012.Abstract
Nairobi, Kenya— Based on forensics analysis provided by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), police officials in Kenya now say that a recent explosion in downtown Nairobi shopping mall, Sunday, was an act of terrorism. Originally thought to be an electrical explosion, officials now say a fertilizer-based bomb killed one person and injured 37 others. (more)
Cairo, Egypt — The Plight of the Zabbaleen
Lerner KL. Cairo, Egypt — The Plight of the Zabbaleen. Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge). 2012.Abstract
CAIRO -- Living on the outskirts of Cairo, near scenes of sporadic fighting with Muslim factions since the 2011 Revolution, residents of the Zabballen Coptic Christian Community express fear that repression and clashes will increase if the Muslim Brotherhood and the more ultraconservative Salafis continue to gain political strength. 

The Zabbaleen, who characterize themselves as the "people of the trash," are a minority community of approximately 60,000 Coptic Christians who gather, process, and attempt to recycle waste generated in Cairo. (more)
Tahrir Square, Cairo — Save the Children of Syria (Phot)
Lerner KL. Tahrir Square, Cairo — Save the Children of Syria (Phot). Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge). 2012.Abstract

TAHRIR SQUARE, Cairo — While Egypt's Revolution has, at least for now, moved into a battle for ballots, the legacy of Arab Spring remains bloodied by bullets and bombs in Syria.

The destruction, danger, and death in Syria is not new. groups in Egypt tried to raise awareness during the 2012 Egyptian Presidential campaign, both as a direct call to action and as warning of what might happen should civil war break out in Egypt. (more)

Cairo — Egyptian Military Guards Ballot Counting; Calculates Long-Term Strategy (May 2012)
Lerner KL. Cairo — Egyptian Military Guards Ballot Counting; Calculates Long-Term Strategy (May 2012). Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge). 2012.Abstract

Cairo -- Tight security protected a continuing presidential election ballot counting process in Cairo. While failing to secure the votes needed to avoid a runoff, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Mursi's apparent first place finish in Egypt's first ever truly contested presidential election assured him a spot in the June runoff. Behind tight security, vote counting continued in Cairo on Friday to determine whether Pan-Arab Karama (dignity) Party's Hamdeen Sabbahi (also spelled Sabahi) or former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq will face Mursi.

Sabbahi , described as a Nasserite for his support of Gamal Nasser's mix of pan-Arab nationalism and socialism, remains popular across a spectrum of religious interests. Shafiq, a former air force officer, Minister of Aviation, and stop-gap Prime Minister in the final days before Hosni Mubarak's ouster is more polarizing. A Mursi-Shafiq showdown will put many of Egypt's Tahir Square revolutionaries "in the teeth of a tiger," i.e., faced with voting for an Islamist candidate anathematic to the liberalized democratic ideals of the revolution or an openly pro-Mubarack "feloul" (remnant) of the old regime.

Notably absent is Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (simply known as Sisi), without question as Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, the most powerful man in Egypt. Sisi holds the real power. He has operated a quiet campaign, primarily defending the interests of the Egyptian military, especially their perceived relationship as friend to the people and guardians of the revolution.  (more)

Cairo — Egyptian Instability Imperils Antiquities and Infrastructure (May 2012)
Lerner KL. Cairo — Egyptian Instability Imperils Antiquities and Infrastructure (May 2012). Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge). 2012.Abstract

CAIRO — As the 2011 revolt spread from nearby Tahrir Square, revolutionary flames from a government building set ablaze licked perilously close to the Cairo (Egyptian) Museum that houses many of humanity's most cherished archaeological treasures and antiquities.

As the 2011 revolt spread from nearby Tahir Square, revolutionary flames from a government building set ablaze licked perilously close to the Cairo (Egyptian) Museum that houses many of humanity's most cherished archaeological treasures and antiquities.— K. Lee Lerner Egyptian Instability Imperils Antiquities and Infrastructure Egyptian Museum, Cairo.  ©LMG. Photo by K. Lee Lerner. All rights reserved. 



With its tourist industry subsequently decimated -- vividly evidenced by empty museum courtyards and cafes normally teaming with tourists -- a major challenge to whatever political faction ultimately controls still undefined presidential powers will be to restore stability to an increasingly troubled Egyptian economy.

Regardless the political countenance that will gaze upon Egypt, protection of antiquities is vital. (more)

Cairo — Egypt's Presidential Election (May 2012)
Lee LK. Cairo — Egypt's Presidential Election (May 2012). Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge). 2012.Abstract

CAIRO, EGYPT--With voting set to start Wednesday, supporters of candidates and a spectrum of advocacy groups converge on Tahrir Square, the cradle of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, for last-minute campaigning and debates. Polls point to uncertainty over the outcome of Egypt's upcoming presidential election. Security forces stationed near the site are cautious and on alert as crowds grow nearing the first round of balloting. 

Although differing in aspirations for the revolution, Egyptians interviewed argued that the revolution's future was equally uncertain, hinging in part on which parties and leaders will first exercise post-military control of the country. (more)

Maasai Mara, Kenya —Crossing the Sand River into Bush Country
Lerner KL. Maasai Mara, Kenya —Crossing the Sand River into Bush Country. Taking Bearings. LMG(London, Paris, Cambridge) June. 2012.Abstract

Maasai Mara, Kenya — I have crossed the Sand River into bush country.

Among the great natural wonders of the world, the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya  (also spelled Masai Mara) and the Serengeti National  Park in Tanzania form a  contiguous savanna of open range grasses with clumps of umbrella-like acacia trees and scrub. 

Two flights by small prop planes from Nairobi were required to reach a short dirt airstrip located deep in the Mara.

Even at the cusp of the migration, recent terrorism in Kenya has greatly reduced visitors to both the Serengeti and Mara. During a long day of exploration, I crossed paths with only two other jeeps. For much of the time, it was truly wondrous isolation.  

Well guarded from poachers, yet still wild, it's a place a man armed only with a camera is easy prey. (more)

Cairo, Egypt — Absentee Vote in Egyptian Presidential Race Boosts Islamists (May 2012)
Lerner KL. Cairo, Egypt — Absentee Vote in Egyptian Presidential Race Boosts Islamists (May 2012). Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge) May. 2012.Abstract

CAIRO — On the eve of a historic presidential election set to shape the future of Egypt's ongoing revolution, results from absentia ballots cast by Egyptians living abroad gave Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi, an early lead. During the 48 hour pre-voting "silent period" in which official campaigning is forbidden, pro-Islamist supporters received a boost when the Egyptian Foreign Ministries released absentia counts from 33 countries.  (more)

Cairo — Egypt's Presidential Election (May 2012)
Lerner KL. Cairo — Egypt's Presidential Election (May 2012). Taking Bearings. LMG (London, Paris, Cambridge). May 20. 2012.Abstract

CAIRO, EGYPT--With voting set to start Wednesday, supporters of candidates and a spectrum of advocacy groups converge on Tahrir Square, the cradle of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, for last-minute campaigning and debates. Polls point to uncertainty over the outcome of Egypt's upcoming presidential election. Security forces stationed near the site are cautious and on alert as crowds grow nearing the first round of balloting. 

Although differing in aspirations for the revolution, Egyptians interviewed argued that the revolution's future was equally uncertain, hinging in part on which parties and leaders will first exercise post-military control of the country. (more)

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