Barcelona- Partly out of boredom and partly out of the itch to simply create something new out of old, I threw together this photo montage over the weekend. In this era of digital photography where one shoots thousands of frames rather than analog hundreds, I was reflecting on how almost all of the images I make will never see the light of day in this regard. I put this video together in a largely random fashion with images that have been just sitting in my laptop for years. I put the photos in the order they came to me as I grabbed them one by one from various folders containing my view of many of the biggest news events of the last 10 years.
Interspersed with them are much more sublime moments of everyday life around the world. An elephant in Thailand, an aged priest in Ethiopia, a glitzy office tower in Manhattan. This has been my reality and is our collective reality. Globalization and social networking simultaneously accelerate worldwide travel and technological integration while hyper compartmentalizing our lives. We speak more so to only those who we want to and listen to those with whom we already agree.
No one knows just where any of this is going. Billionaire fraudsters suddenly imprisoned, social revolutions springing up from seemingly nowhere (though not quite), calcified dictatorships counted on for decades in the interests of “stability” suddenly crumbling to pieces, it seems as if the entire world order is in question.
Abu Dhabi, UAE- My friend Phil Stebbing, celebrated British filmmaker and luminary in the Kabul expat scene, has launched a project called The Lifeline. The Lifeline is a three team documentary project with a global scope where the separate crews will travel from New York to Buenos Airies, London to Capetown, and Sydney to Tokyo respectively, documenting local sustainability projects among a wide array of communities. These three classic overland/water trips are ones I have always wanted to do but have been to caught up in the here and now of the global war on terror to get involved in. The environment, more specifically the globalization of environmental catastrophe and the shared burden this phenomenon brings, is the most important issue that has ever confronted mankind. Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine act as distractions while they entire earth burns in the biggest of all pictures. While for most people war is the near and the immediate, it is the decaying of our environment, which has always been portrayed as the far and distant, that is humanity’s gravest concern. The environment is here and now and it needs a lifeline.