This past weekend, WAW’s Junior Board held a film screening of “Frame by Frame”. The film is magnificent, both visually and in capturing the stories of four photo-journalists pursuing their passion in post-Taliban Afghanistan – with the knowledge that the return of the Taliban is a very real threat and with that, the risk of the ban on photography being reinstated.
There is a moment in the film when Massoud, one of the photo-journalists, is talking about Afghanistan and he says, “The world now is like one body, so all the members of this body should know that one member is in pain and the others should feel this, and they should know, and they should find out.”
These days it is easy to find out. Almost too easy. Because when you find out about one pain then you find another and another. In the mix of finding out about pain, you easily stumble across pleasure, and desire and a whole host of other things to distract you from the pain.
I was on Twitter when someone tweeted about the chemical attack in Syria. Five minutes later they tweeted about the Mets and baseball. When I say it’s too easy; that is what I mean. We are inundated with news and stories and visuals. The access we have to news around the world is unprecedented. The volume is unrelenting. Not just news though. We can shop online. Talk to people online. Play games online. Read books. Watch movies. Listen to music. Talk. Write. Read. Argue.
I fear it allows us to live in a way where we can skip from one thing to another, without really taking in the enormity of what is happening in the world around us.
As “Frame by Frame” explored storytelling through the medium of photographs, it reminded me again how incredibly important stories are. The visuals too. When you share a story, you share a piece of yourself and the invisible thread that connects us all can very well become visible through that story.
When we lock in to what connects us I believe, more often than not, we are then compelled to do something. To use our voices. Our time. Our money. Our energy. Something that contributes to creating change.
If you have been following this blog, then you know I am a single mother of two, born in Afghanistan, raised in Australia and am currently living in New York. You know my parents inspire me to no end. You know I was a refugee. However, you would not know that I love to eat and my favorite food is home-cooked Afghan food. You would not know that, though I am 38-years old, I cannot swim or drive a car! (On my bucket list or rather my to-do list for 2017). You would not know that when my iPhone broke today and I bought a new one, I cringed and couldn’t shake the guilt because I know what it takes to make one.
That is a small window into me. I am sure there is something there that many of you can connect too. What about you? Where were you born and raised? What makes you cringe? Can you swim?