“Listen to the Voice of the People”

South Korea is a country forged in fire and protest. Its democracy is vibrant and seemingly stable, but every few years the populace rises to remind the rulers that people power matters. The current president, Park Geun-hye, the daughter of South Korea’s former dictator Park Chung-hee, hasn’t taken well to this democratic rite of passage, and last month attempted to brutally put down protests against her conservative and anti-labor policies.

Last weekend, undeterred by Park’s police force, tens of thousands of Koreans turned out to continue their push back against her conservative agenda. Farmers, workers, students, religious leaders, and artists staged demonstrations throughout the city, before converging at Seoul City Hall for a massive demonstration rally and march through the city. They ended their march at the hospital where a farmer, Baek Nam-gi, injured by a police water cannon at similar protests last month, remained unconscious. Click on the gallery below to view images from the December 5 protest.

Ben Weller is a photographer based in Nagoya, Japan. All images by Ben Weller /www.wellerpix.com © 2015

Women wear traditional Japanese clothes walk with traditional umbrellas.

Through the Lens: Nagoya Matsuri

If you’re traveling to Japan, make sure to schedule your trip around the many festivals or matsuri that take place throughout the year. Nearly every city, town, village, and even neighborhood has its own festival, and they’re a great way to experience and learn about local music, food, art, and history.

Matsuri are often held in autumn, and serve as a celebration of the harvest (which explains all the great food you’ll encounter during your visit). Here in Nagoya, the city’s annual festival takes place over two days October, and features dozens of events, including J-Pop performances, samurai shows, and parades.

This was my first time shooting the Nagoya Festival, and it was some of the most fun I’ve had since moving to Japan. I hope the gallery below will inspire you to visit Japan and experience matsuri for yourself.


Ben Weller is a photographer in Nagoya, Japan. All images by Ben Weller / www.wellerpix.com © 2015