Wednesday, February 15, 2006

World Press Photo Exhibit

World Press Photo is run as an independent, non-profit organization with its office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where World Press Photo was founded in 1955. The organization is controlled by an independent management board and employs around 20 permanent staff members. The Amsterdam office acts as the hub for a network of professional contacts worldwide. The cooperation and assistance of people in this international network makes organizing the contest, exhibitions and other activities on such a large scale possible.

They were running a photo exhibit recently in the city and I had the opportunity to visit it. I had never been to one of their photo galleries before and so while on the one hand some images there shocked me, there were others that made ponder about the world we live in. As I walked from one shocking and thought provoking photograph to another, I could not help but reflect on some of my recent experiences. The animosity, hostility and meaningless banter that all of us go through tirelessly day in and day out seemed like a mockery of life itself. If a photograph is worth a thousand words, then each of these photographs depicted the life and times of civilization itself. The brutality, the helplessness, the cry for the invisible omni-present was so crystal clear that it made me feel naked and ashamed. Ashamed of the life we all lead in our own little comfort zones painstackingly finding fault with everyone else but ourselves. We cry for justice when someone breaks our heart, but where is that justice for these people who seem to be a part of a culture that none of us can ever come close to imagining? A culture bred by terror. A culture that threatens to wipe out the very existence of love and harmony on this unique planet of ours. These thoughts left me weak and numb at a certain point.

Other significant photographs displayed in this exhibit spoke of courage and the willingness to live. There was one stunning photograph of a swimmer diving into the pool with no legs to aid his effort. I wish I could see his face and bow my head to salute him for celebrating the human spirit. There was another instance where they showcased the brilliant artwork of Mother Nature in the animal planet. The vibrant collection of colors made me appreciate and thank the heavens for blessing us with what we have.

I leave you with these thoughts and images to reflect upon. Maybe you too will find a space in your heart for someone else for a change.

ShaKri

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2 reflections:

Deepa said...

powerful words... you sort of start feeling guilty of being privileged during such times and begin to wonder what you did to deserve all that you have. th etsunami pic that won an award is great.

shakri said...

Thank you for being here with your response Deepa. Yes, it indeed makes us re-examine our priorities in life.

ShaKri

 
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