Photos to tell a story
December 21, 2012 9 Comments
I expect you all have photos, interesting photos, kids photos… even well-taken photos. I just feel like posting a few I have taken this week while out and about, walking around on my own, with Finlay the dog, and with friends on the bird walk (but no bird photos, they fly away). Nothing special yet everywhere ordinary is quite lovely. Click for bigger pictures.
And, in between being out and about I am reading a book about one photo which was taken quite a while ago, in 1957. The book is Elizabeth and Hazel, by David Margolick, the story of two women who were born just the year before me, Elizabeth on the same day as my sister. Fifteen years old in 1957, they attended school in Little Rock, Arkansas. I remember hearing the name of that town, the place where school desegregation hit world headlines, and Hazel (white) and Elizabeth (black) got caught in a photo which is now a book. I am riveted by this book (and there is a video and info about it here ).
If you too are appalled by ignorance and hate and the ways in which difference gets used as a vehicle for throwing that hate and anger somewhere that can’t throw back, read it. It is even more appalling how those who had the power, possibly, to help, either failed utterly to use it helpfully, or worse, used it to compound the hate. Margolick manages to show how very very hard it is for those who do not hate, to stand up and say so, and for those who do, to find where it maybe should be going.
Failing to stand… we are all guilty sometimes.
What is riveting is also how very similar it seems to other contexts, and how much we are all human and vulnerable and need help.
Maybe all photos tell a story.
But, apparently Hazel, who does not come out of this story well, said once: To them it’s a picture, To me, it’s me.
Let’s listen as well as looking at photos.
(I don’t seem to be managing to write this without sounding smug. I would love some replies – what do you think about sharing photos, especially newsworthy photos and what they can say, never mind how I sound?)