We count our time with seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years, with repetitive numbers. Repetition seems to make us feel settled, to let us know where we stand and where we are going. We put numbers on everything in an attempt to clothe the unknown with tangible references. We capture time with numbers, but time is elastic, and is is known to slip away…
Her little home is built on stilts, her bed is a mattress on the floor, her feet are bare, her dreams are of faraway places, her toy is a red balloon, she holds on to it for dear life…
Girl in Sihanoukville~ Cambodia
It was a Sunday morning in Goma and we had spent the early morning in the medical center meeting and photographing refugee children. The children and their parents had nothing but rags on, some had bandages, very tired faces and exhausted smiles.
And then driving back on the black volcanic streets of the city I was startled to see this beautiful girl. She was immaculately styled as she crouched there playing with dry reeds on the ground and waiting for her parents to walk together to church.
The best moments in photography are the ones that just happen when everything comes together without much planning and I love this photograph for just that fact.
Life is a series of tiny moments stringed together with emotion. Throughout this string are some impressions that just stand out and demand to be remembered. A writer might write about them, an artist might immortalize them with their brush, and us photographers, we pray that our camera is there within arms reach to capture that moment and use it again and again to take us back there, to the place where we felt something movingly significant.
Since very early childhood we find ourselves drawn to certain colors. We choose our clothes in those colors, we declare that color to be our favorite, we like to draw and write in shades of it and we realize from early on that color has a great influence in our lives. I remember growing up with a great sense of pride listening to the story of the first clothing dye having been brought to the world by the Phoenician grandfathers of my country. Tyrian purple (originating in Tyre, a harbor town in Lebanon) was a violet-purple dye derived from the shell of the Murex sea-snail, and was used to color garments of the Elite at that time in the whole region. And color is all around us inspiring us, influencing us, the charging red, the calming blue, the clarity inducing white, the appetizing orange…
As I have been drawn so much to sepia tones and black and white photography lately, I felt like posting a colorful shot today, the fresh juicy red pepper!
Clowns have been known to be around since the times of ancient Egypt, when the role of clown and priest were held by the same person. This points to a much more significant importance for the role of the clown which goes far beyond animal balloons and silly tricks. Through the deformation of certain features and focusing on the ridiculous, many important esoteric and psychological lessons were passed on. Similar roles were played by the pantomimus of ancient Greece, the mimes of France, the Lazzi of Comedia dell’arte, even to Japanese Kabuki theater and Native American Shamens.
What fascinates me the most when seeing a clown or a mime, is the face behind the mask. I always find myself looking through the eyes to detect what that face is really projecting behind the painted smile. Strange traditions that are most definitely worthy of a deeper research.
City life is fast, unrelenting, and always moving. At all time, you are pushed and shoved into different directions with the moving crowd, unless you are able to move against the rushing current. How do you do something that counts in a sea of humanity? How do you swim against the stream? How do you find your freedom in a world of old doctrines and a society of rigid opinions?
photo taken: a cross road and moving taxi in central Hong Kong by night
The world seems to be waking up to a new dawn, a new reality, a new arrangement. One quarter of the world population lives in China and speaks Chinese. As the red dragon awakens, it spreads its wings wider and wider to cast its reddish shadow on parts of our world. Whether this is good or bad, whether we like it or dislike it, it remains an irrefutable fact. And the way of the red umbrella is discipline, repetition, dedication, an unwavering focus, a unified goal, all pushing in the same direction, which begs the question, is this the natural human way?
One of the most charming things about Geneva and the neighboring villages in Switzerland is the little fountain in every village square. Beautiful stone pools with a tap of running water and a background of glorious looking flowers in shades of red and pink. They just make you stop, look, sigh and wonder at the beauty of life. It takes very little to inspire me in a place like this where simple details create a whole lot of charm.
Geneva in September! A fountain of inspiration!
Chinese people often refer to their ethnic identity as “descendants of the dragon”. The dragon is believed to be fierce, strong, dignified, wise and auspicious. Hence the celebratory dance, historically performed by acrobats, up to 50 dancers per dragon, who hold it up with poles and move it mimicking the movement of the dragon’s river spirit in an undulating and flowing rhythm. It is quite captivating to witness and it is accompanied by loud drumming and clinging of cymbals from the musicians. As many times as I have seen this dance, I still witness it with incredible awe, and I find that it causes you to stand taller, prouder and stronger, and somehow induces an inner calm afterwards. A mysterious gem of the Chinese ancient culture…