Ethos of Photography

I want to say a few words today about photography. The words that spring to mind are these… Embedded in our Western culture is our desire (conscious or otherwise) to express our differential. The hierarchy that envelops us. The gap between the observer and the observed.

Why am I picking up a camera? Is it narcissism? Am I expressing my superficiality? My grasp of knowledge? My social status? My ‘outsider’ status? My potential? Who or what am I drawing on? What is my intention? What am I showing you when I take a photograph?

In taking the photograph pictured above, I am a guest in this milieu. It’s the first time I’ve stepped foot into the environment of an African orphanage. How do I show this situation? Is it fair to show the children and the adults as equals? When we (the adults) are the outsiders and this is a children’s home.

I want to make a heart connection with these children. I wonder if this is possible in the short time available to me? As a member of The Peace Project team, this is one stop of many …tightly packed into a day. I want to linger, but lingering is not possible when there are 10,000 pairs of crutches to distribute on one day.

A photographer with supernatural powers could compress all her questions into the blink of her eyelids. I have yet to reach that state of awareness.

I’m not a photographer laden with accolades. Officially, I’m not a photographer. I’m a woman who takes pictures. This is a lifelong pleasure and one that has been more private than public.

I want to see the world.