Thursday, April 24, 2014

Staycation, Day Four

Today's activities included a visit to the Annenberg Center for Photography and an over-the-top free exhibit celebrating 125 years of National Geographic. The exhibit was called The Power of Photography, with "powerful" an understatement. The way the photos were arranged, the video installations, the explanatory movie about the power of photography -- well, it was really mind-blowing. I was overwhelmed with emotion several times -- and both Henry and Oliver were mesmerized as well. My favorites were the photographs shot in Afghanistan by Lindsay Addario -- this one in particular (there was no photography allowed in the exhibit, so I pulled it online). Addario's commentary in the short movie shown was compelling -- particularly when she spoke about the power of photography to change the world, how an image is seared into our consciousness and how her desire was to show, expressly, the plight of women.

I learned a lot more about the suffering in the Congo -- Marcus Bleasdale's photographs of the children who fight in the wars and are then conscripted to mine for gold (most barely into their teen years) -- our gold, our insatiable need for gold -- and the more than 5 million people who have died there in the last decade. 

It took my breath away, made me think about the over-the-top response our country has over the deaths of several thousand. The whole exhibit made me think of the wide world, the breath-taking world, the scope of the planet and all living things and our own, often spoiled existence here in the United States.


  1. What a wonderful choice of things to do with your children.

  2. Fascinating! Looks like a great show. It's hard to imagine more miserable places to live than Afghanistan and the Congo, and it IS valuable to put into perspective our global social and economic roles in both countries.

  3. I agree with the notion that photography is a powerful tool for awareness and change. There is something so visceral about seeing those moments captured in time. Thank you for sharing!

  4. I wish I could see that! I subscribe to Nat Geo so I do see some of the photographs (I remember the gold article), but a whole exhibit would be wonderful.

  5. Photos tell our stories. The exhibit sounds amazing.

    I was reading an article the other day about the median annual income in Canada and the article said it was around $19,000/year. I wanted to argue and refute those numbers so started doing research and I came across other facts, including the fact that the median annual income globally is less than $2000/year. And I stopped complaining and realized how fortunate I am. I have running water, in fact as I write this, I can hear my washing machine wash my sheets. I am blessed, but I so often forget.

    That's why I like to take photos of the natural world around me, even in this city that I live, to remind me of how beautiful and the natural world is, all around me, just waiting for me to see it. Loved the photos of your garden. You are blessed as well. Here the snow has finally gone, the grass is starting to turn green and in a few weeks the leaves will appear, transforming the river valley into a green ribbon through the heart of the city.



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