I'm looking for a photographer in Paris who would be interested in a collaborative photographic project between Kathmandu and Paris asap. Please share, or even better, be that photographer!
I am currently in Kathmandu, Nepal and over the next two weeks I will be exploring various social and development projects concerned with post-earthquake rebuilding. In addition, as a follow-up to the successful 2Photographers project in July between Athens and Berlin, I am looking to develop a similar collaborative project looking at the two cities, Kathmandu and Paris, in the aftermath of disaster, the earthquake six months ago in Nepal and the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.
The idea of 2Photogaphers is to create a visual "conversation" between two photographers in two different locations around the world within the same time period. For a look at the first 2Photographers project, A Tale of Two Cities: Athens & Berlin, please follow this link.
My stay in Nepal is relatively short so time is of the essence.
You can contact me via Facebook ( https://facebook.com/EdwardMorganPhotographer ), ecmorgan [at] ymail.com or here on my website.
As I look out from the coast of Normandy into the blustery water and deep grey skies stretching over from the south coast of England, I try to immerse myself in the moments of 6th June 1944, over seventy years ago, when thousands of Allied soldiers and sailors crossed over during the night to begin the largest amphibious assault in military history.
It's rather old hat, to be honest. We've seen plenty of films and heard endless accounts of the D-Day landings. However, as with all these historic events, you rarely appreciate them fully until you stand where warriors once stood. Or martyrs once burned. Only then can you begin to contemplate the overwhelming mortality of those textbook legends and History Channel heroes. Suddenly, they really are just like you and me.
So, as I return to my wandering imagination, I wonder, as I'm sure almost everyone who visits here does, what it would be like to have been part of that assault. How would I have handled it?
Would I have handled it?
Fear and Excitement are the two emotions that spring to mind. Then I think, in reality, fear would probably have played quite a minor part until literally minutes before the assault. And then would almost certainly have only squeezed in another few minutes before other emotions took hold.
Which makes me ask what Fear is really all about, especially as it seems we live in a society which finds itself in a state of chronic, prolonged fear, gradually crunching the life out of all worth living. For an emotion that prides itself on the self-preservation card, it doesn't seem to be helping us at all.
Fear has a clear purpose. We fear heights, spiders, the dark, Death. All things to be avoided if we are to remain safe. But then Death itself, the common denominator in all fears, is rather a strange thing to be afraid of, for the simple reason that it's difficult to properly comprehend what death actually is until it's happened. Perhaps that desperate moment before the executioner drops the sword, when there is sufficient calm for adrenalin to play no part, perhaps that is the middle ground between life and death. But it is very brief. And by then, Fear only hinders you and detracts from other emotions which could help you avoid "the end" for a little while longer.
So Fear is something that does indeed need to be controlled. It will keep us safe from harm but in the wrong circumstances has the opposite effect.
The men who recently wrestled a gunman down on a train in France didn't feel Fear. Those that came to their aid moments later probably had to overcome their Fear but those that were first to react did so, and so quickly, precisely because Fear was not the first emotion to rise within them.
The men who crossed over the Channel that night were scared. And in being so, they became heroes. For the marvelous thing about Fear is the opportunity to be brave.
Paleng Children's Centre in rural Lesotho works to improve child literacy and one of the ways they are doing that is through a storytelling form called Kamishibai. Kamishibai means literally "paper drama" in Japanese and originated in the 12th century, although had a renaissance in the depressions of the early 20th century as a way of providing an income to unemployed men.
The story is narrated through images, with the corresponding text written on the reverse (however it can get confusing because the text for the image must be written on the back of the previous card, not the current one).
Paleng have been using it as a fun way of encouraging reading for older children and an entertaining story for the younger ones.
For more information about Paleng and the work they do, see their website at www.paleng.weebly.com
For more information on Kamishibai, see this website.
The public transport in Athens has been free for the last two weeks due to the economic, political and social crisis.
So I decided to ride the trains.
The idea was to carve out a trail of interesting observations as I zoomed across the city in various modes of transport. Unfortunately, I got sidetracked with another issue. But that didn't stop me spotting a few really strange little scenes that I thought I'd share.
There's an interesting project by Spanish artist ELTONO that involves walking, observing and creating art with what you find. Check it out here http://www.eltono.com/es/projects/promenades/
Today I launched a new project called 2 photographers. The idea is a visual "conversation" between two photographers in two different locations around the world within the same time period. The aim is to play off one another and hopefully create a dialogue of images that are influenced by their counterparts but entirely separate at the same time.
Along with Berlin-based photographer Ben Chislett (www.benchislett.de), we started the first series today, A Tale of Two Cities: Athens & Berlin. We've chosen Athens and Berlin because of the current situation involving Greece and it's place in the Eurozone. At the moment Germany and Greece find themselves as polar opposites in terms of economic stability and much has been made of the differences between the two. Germany, as the European powerhouse is seen by many to represent the unwelcome austerity measure being forced upon the Greeks for the last few years. Greeks, on the other hand are being blamed for dragging their country into this position through irresponsible spending and corruption. It's a clash of the stereotypes: German efficiency and fondness of rules vs Greek apathy and fondness for ignoring them.
Can a conversation between two photographers shed any more light on the matter?
We have decided to use black and white for consistency and style. Other than that, the aesthetics will evolve as we progress.
You can keep up to date with all the latest images via https://www.facebook.com/twophotographersproject and I hope to set up a website for it shortly. Just might not be this week!
"The Other Human" is an action of solidarity and a manifestation of love towards our fellowmen, with the hope to awaken consciousness and for there to be other similar actions from others and from groups.
Greece is teeming with social cooperatives and grassroots initiatives that have grown up out of the crisis in the last few years. When I arrived in Athens I had decided to seek out a few of these projects and see how ordinary Greeks were finding innovative solutions to serious economic and social problems.
I came across one such group, O Allos Anthropos (The Other Human) in one of Athens' squares and was invited to see more the next day in a different part of the city.
Well, when I arrived I think I counted more journalists and photographers than people waiting to have dinner. I suddenly felt uncomfortable being another big fat lens sticking into someone's stew. But I was there to discover what they were up to so when Kostos Polychronopoulos, the founder of the initiative, offered me a pair of disposable gloves to start cutting the bread, I took him up on it.
It was meant to be a series of photos showing the story of this small group of people arrive with all their equipment; stove, table, utensils, food, in bundled into a supermarket trolley. I ended up helping them prepare and serve what turned out to be a delicious pasta in tomato sauce with parmesan cheese. Piping hot, but in this heat, it got the sweat glands doing their job.
A remarkably simple, yet effective initiative. As Elena, one of the volunteers said, "this is for people who cannot buy food but it is also for people who are just lonely."
I'm looking for a photographer in Germany who would be interested in a collaborative project between Greece and Germany asap. Please share, or even better, be that photographer!
Info: I am currently in Athens and over the next week and a half I'm exploring various social projects in Greece. The idea that has occurred to me is a collaborative effort between a photographer in Germany and myself, whatever the approach. I have my ideas but would love to hear yours too. But it would have to be over the next week.
You can contact me via Facebook ( https://facebook.com/EdwardMorganPhotographer ) or my here on my website.
It's worth noting that the "No" vote was not a No to Europe or the Euro.
I suspect a bit of calm will be crucial over the next few weeks.
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