I just love the feeling of counting down the last few hours before another adventure into the unknown. I have wanted to visit this magical country for so long and now the bags are packed, cameras charged and inspiration is off the scale…
Attempting documentary photography and not feeling compassionate love for people would be pointless as far as I am concerned.
I love feeling the humanity in other people’s eyes, to guess at what they are feeling, to lock eyes with them even for a brief moment, to be part of their world for the time I that I am there and later again and again through their photographs.
With each visit to Yunnan, my connections are deepened and I feel compelled to return. Simplicity is a gem in our complex world of today, a fountain of peace to a busy and crowded mind.
A new month, a new place, part of the Guangxi autonomous region of far Southern China, is the beautiful and enchanting Guilin. When I travel in the heart of China or any other country, I find myself impressed mostly with the local people, the essence carriers of the land. Guilin, Yangshuo, Longji and the small villages along the Li River are inhabited by some beautiful people with a very rich culture just waiting to be explored and appreciated. I travelled to Guilin back in 2009 with a great friend from New York and we spent all our days and nights between its beautiful people and the hills. This old lady was washing clothes by the side of the river and she granted me several portraits that I treasure dearly. Her name she told me through a toothless smile several times but I just could not get it, and it does not really matter. She is so much more than a name.
This image concludes the Egypt series for the month of March and I thought in encapsulates the whole experience for me. Humans, friends, together in a quest, searching for the truth, looking at the ancient, to better cope with the now and with the future. The human story, our story, your story, my story, her story, his story , history…
The next month will be an entirely different chapter of my story, another life changing experience, in images..
till tomorrow, good night from New York, and thank you for bearing with me while I am traveling with very little time to comment on your work. Thank you also for your wonderful, thoughtful and encouraging comments on this series. I have enjoyed every post, and every comment and I have valued every reflection you gave back to me about the work.
The Pyramid of Khufu in Giza, the greatest and largest pyramid known to us, I had the chance to walk inside it in 1996. If you find the pyramids mysterious and impressive on the outside which everyone I know does, then the inside will leave you mystified! The pyramid of Khufu is constructed with shafts like this one in the photo above that are perfectly straight and on a large scale connecting in a strange maze that no one seemed to have figured out the purpose of despite many various efforts.
The wooden steps you see in the very old photo I took back then were added to allow tourists to walk up the shaft that leads to the king’s chamber.
It was a very strange feeling being in a such a wonder of the ancient past and thinking only how futuristic it felt.
(writing this post and the next few while away in NYC, so I will have very little to reply to comments, but hopefully will catch up soon :))
We live our lives in chapters and at some point each chapter has to end…
One of the hardest things to do after being charmed by people and after the sharing of a small part of life with them, is the separation. On the trip to Egypt, I had to say good bye so many times to so many beautiful people, it felt like leaving a small piece of me after each departure. It was always the children who left the most remarkable effect on me with their innocence, their playfulness and their natural way of being. Now that I have a child of my own, I feel so blessed to be able to laugh every day, to enjoy the simple things, to view the world through a veil of uncorrupted innocence as children do when I am in her company.
Children are our most precious responsibility, and they deserve out best effort to protect them and help them develop into the leaders of the future. I wonder how good of a job we are doing.
We create art inspired by what we see around us, what touches us, what we live with…
The children at valley of the nobles on the west bank of the nile near Luxor carry around dolls that they sell to tourists for a fraction of an Egyptian pound. The strangest thing about these dolls is that they are almost copies of the girls themselves. They are sewn from rags and dressed in miniatures of their own colorful homemade dresses. I still treasure the doll I bought from them and take with me from country to country wherever I move.
I wonder what it will be like going back there after the 15 years. Will these dolls still exist? Or are the children selling dolls mass produced in China? I sure hope not…
After being on an intense journey such as this to one to Xinjiang, the return to the big city is a bit of a shock. When I look back at my over 2 thousand photographs from this trip, it really feels like months were packed into less than a week. To have met Uighurs, Tajiks, Kazakhs, seen their old cities, homes, markets, traditions, to have eaten their food, danced with them, traveled their long roads, sat in their round tents, drank their yak milk, looked into their beautiful eyes, enjoyed their enormous hospitality, puzzled at their secret codes and customs… to have done all that and more and then go back to normal life is a bit of a jolt.
There will be a lot of sharing of their wonderful world in images in the next few days and lots of little stories to tell.
Today’s photo: a composite of sunset from the plane window as we approach Shanghai and bokeh of city lights on the drive home.