Photo of the Day (2.23.10)

Today’s Photo of the Day is a dramatic shot from Flickr user driftingfocus. Beyond the lighting, stark contrast, and simplicity of the image, I find that the emotion captured on this performer’s face is very moving; the mark of a well timed shot. The photo’s caption explains the setting:
“A woman performs a traditional funeral rite dance on Jindo Island, South Korea. This dance, native to the island, is a national treasure in Korea.”

South Korean funeral dances are performed to both comfort the mourner and pray for the soul of the deceased. Certainly a shot that tells a story, and piques my curiosity for South Korean culture.

If you have photos to share, submit them to our Gadling Flickr Pool, we might just pick it as our Photo of the Day!

Venice hosts its own funeral

Venice is dying. At least, according to Newsweek it is. The population has been shrinking so rapidly (it dropped below 60,000 this year) that the mag predicts there won’t be a single full-time resident in the city by 2030. A city that sees millions of visitors per year, an average of 55,000 per day, won’t be home to a single person. Yeah, I’d call that a dead city.

To draw attention to the issue, residents of Venice have organized a mock funeral in which three gondolas will pull a red coffin through the city’s canals on Saturday, November 14th.

In addition to the flood of tourists who make the city nearly unlivable during summer months, other factors such as increasing home prices and a shrinking tax base, have combined to result in the mass exodus of long-time Venetians.

One of the organizers of the “funeral” says this doesn’t have to be the end though. He hopes that by drawing attention to the issue, some of the problems can be addressed and new citizens will be lured to Venice. “It might be the beginning; it could even spur a rebirth. Now we just have to create a Venice [people] will want to stay in. We have to give them a reason not to leave.”

[via Budget Travel]