Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/05/03

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Subject: Re: [Leica] depths of reverberation
From: "Julian Thomas" <>
Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 10:59:13 +0100

- ----- Original Message -----
From: "Dave Richards" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, May 03, 2000 12:47 AM
Subject: Re: [Leica] depths of reverberation

> If a child is living on a trash heap, scrounging to survive, I doubt their
> primary concern is learning to express themselves photographically.  They
> would probably appreciate a hot meal or a warm, dry, safe place to sleep,
> and they would be better off being examined and treated by a doctor.
> When you are hungry, dirty, living in fear and facing death every day,
> aesthetics and the beauty of life take a back seat.  Way back.

In one way you are right. You can't change economic circumstances of this
kind without some kind of change to the global economic forces which caused
it. However, a primal need of humankind is to understand and take control of
our world throught the manipulation of signs and symbols - art. If people
have no understanding of their life other than through their immediate
experiences they stay where they are. Taking a photogtraph forces you to
stand outside - it also can help you find dignity and beauty in almost all
circumstances, as Salgado proves every day.

I've come across another project called 'Shooting Back from the Reservation'
(The New press 1994), edited by Jim Hubbard. here a similar project in
Indian Researvation communities.

Like the dump project, this had enormous impact. Kids started to succeed at
something for maybe the first time in their lives. Now this is may seem
wishy washy and not really helping, but it is at least giving kids something
positive, and if they start believing in themselves, they then may find a
way to move outof the dump.

But I'm a sociologist so I'd much rather reign in the multinationals who
caused this in the first place <g>

But you are right - there is something inherently wrong in large sections of
the world needing charitable works, but then every little helps!