It is so easy to slip from being a sincere photojournalist documentarian into being a voyeuristic trophy hunter. The road to walk, the high road, is very narrow and the slope on either side is very slippery. The muddy incline on one side is called pride: Did I get the shot everyone will slap me on the back for? While the equally dangerous declivity on the other side is apathy: Do I truly care about the people?
Last week when these images were shot, our team had reached a point where the people and their critical needs were almost overwhelming us. The NEED was superseding our interaction with the people, our one-on-one connection. When I find myself at that point I have to force myself to look into their eyes and pause. I have to connect in some way .
The sick and malnourished 5-month old baby is central to both of these photos. Held by the father in one photo and the grandmother in another, the baby is surrounded by the remains of their home, destroyed by a mob incited by radical Muslims just a few days previous. How will this baby survive with no roof over his head, inadequate food, water and healthcare? Do we really care?
To send help for this village directly, contact: www.swi.org
(Canon 5D2, 24-105mm @24mm, 1/320 sec, f5, ISO 320)
(Canon 5D2, 24-105mm @105mm, 1/640 sec, f4, ISO 800)
©Copyright Gary S. Chapman 2009