Sooooo. As many of you know, this is what I do with my life now. I know I have royally failed at updating my blog. The last time I even posted anything I was in another country and it was almost 8 months ago. A lot has changed since Bosnia, both inside me and surrounding my life. And while there have been many ups and downs in the first year at my new job, this new chapter in my photographic life has definitely shed light on places in my heart I didn’t know existed.
I’ve learned what Im passionate about, and what drives me crazy. I’ve learned that I am not nearly as tolerant as I should be. I’ve learned that no matter where you go or where you work, there are some things you will never escape . I have learned a lot lot lot about sports, and athletes in general.
Believe it or not, before I started this job I thought basketball was an arbitrary game where people just ran up and down the court with the ball, and those people just so happened to be the best, so they always fell in the right place. WRONG. Turns out most sports are like chess, lots of thinking and pawning etc. Who woulda thought…. And no matter how good they are, they are still only 18-19 years old… hahaha.
Generally I am terrible about updating my blog- this I know. But I’m sitting in the Vienna Airport halfway done with my travels to leave one of the most amazing photo experiences of my life.
Truth With a Camera, for those of you who dont know, is an organization geared toward photojournalism with a social justice purpose- that creates photos that make you want to react, and change something. I participated in this workshop last year in Quito, Ecuador, and this year in Zenica, Bosnia. My NGO moderately fell through so I ended up working on an essay about the remnants of the war.
The Bosnian War ended in the mid 1990’s but there are still some very deep scars. Racism rules the country and you can still see bullit holes in every direction you turn. I witnessed some amazing things and heard some incredible stories, despite a language barrier. The last day the whole group got to attend a ceremony on the bridge in Visigrad, where they dropped 3000 roses in the river for all of the victims of genocide- the muslims that were senslessly slaughtered by the serbs and then thrown into the river.
You can see it in the faces of Bosnians- they still hurt. And for many of them, what they saw, the people they lost, and the stories they bear testimony to will never leave them. As we rode in one of the front vehicles of a line of bus loads of thousands of people in the processional to attend this ceremony, I sat in the back of the van and silently cried. You can feel the pain in the mountains of Bosnia, where thousands of dead bodies still wait to be uncoverd- holes full of trash and bones. I actually stood on the pile of bones where 8 people were burned alive, locked in a neighborhood house, and just discovered this week.
All of these photographs are from the 3,000 roses ceremony, which was not only very emotional but also very tense. It took place in territory still occupied by Serbians, and many of them looked on with hateful glares. Many of them regard the leaders of the genocide project as heros, even still.
Soon I’ll throw together an edit of my essay. Until then, thanks for looking!
Its football time in the bluegrass, which means the general student population as a whole is getting trashed every Saturday. Were working on a project about different issues like on campus drinking, so it was really cool getting to spend most of a football game shooting things other than the game. Its surprising how much better of photos you can get when you look off the field…
Yesterday began Joker Phillips reign over the UK football team. Itll be interesting to see what he can do.
In about 8 hours I get on a plane to leave Ecuador. I’ve grown here, photographed some incredible people. I’ve learned things I never dreamed I would even need to know.
You can’t grow as a photographer, a photojournalist, unless you know how to continue growing as a human being.
And all I can say is thank you to all the people who touched me in my time here, who blessed me, those who let me in their lives, and showed me how to really see.
went on a nice little vacation to peru for a week, which included a trip to the desert. Doesnt look like stereotypical south america huh?