24 August 2010

Visual Peacemakers

So, I was going to tell you more about the big news strike going on in South Africa right now. BBC Africa has some great articles about how the military has stepped in - caring for those in the hospitals, and keeping the striking workers from hurting the patients and doctors who are continuing to work. With text messages throughout the day, Madyline's school reopened and anticipates continuing throughout the week despite nation-wide threats against government educators who do not close and join the strike.

But then, I read today's blog posting from the new fellowship I have recently joined International Guild of Visual Peacemakers and decided I need more good in my day - and you probably do too.

You might have noticed the badge off to the left and at the bottom of the page here. Clicking will bring you to the most visually engaging community I have been introduced to. A gallery of photographers who are using their voices to tell the stories of communities all across the world. Communities often misunderstood or marginalized - communities stereo-typed and oppressed by their sheer uniqueness to the mainstream western world. I am honored to be a part of this fellowship - and thrilled to be swept away by the talent and heart of photographers bringing me in to places that are beyond my own experience, but through their storytelling, invite me to live it as well.

Do yourself a favor - click on the badge IGVP to the left and enter a world of beauty and intrigue - and expect to be a little bit bigger than you were before you came inside and soaked up these spaces. Sign the charter for visual peace. Spend a moment reading one story - or an afternoon on a trip around the world.

Today's blog, written by Dr Howard Zehr, stated so beautifully:

"In my experience, documentary photography can help bridge the chasms that separate people. If done respectfully and collaboratively, it can also provide a way for people to share themselves. My vision, like that of the IGVP, is to use photography as a way to work on the healing edge. "

"The goal in much of my photography and in restorative justice is to find a way to reduce social distance. This is also IGVPs goal and that is why I am encouraged by their commitment."

He goes on to talk about social distance and how it has eroded our society on both sides of the chasm. His work in criminal justice (or as he prefers "restorative justice") and his love of photography has given him vision into the many facets of social distance and opportunities we have to bridge all that separates us.

I'm encouraging you to hop over and spend, even a few minutes at IGVP. Bookmark it for later. Send yourself an email reminding you that you wanted to head over there on your coffee break or while you sit down with your midnight snack. It's important - and I'm guessing that if you are here in the first place, it matters to you. People matter to you. The journey of life matters to you. Me too.

1 comment:

  1. What a fantastic presentation of IGVP and your passion for visual peacemaking. Great to have you as part of the movement.

    IGVP Pres.


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