Today I have the honor of hosting the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. When asked to come up with a theme, without skipping a beat I decided upon Humanity. Here is my own answer to the question and challenge below. To see the official WordPress Photo Challenge: Humanity and to respond, please click here.
There is so much conflict and heartbreak in the today’s world: Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Gaza, Ukraine and the raw memories of 9/11 to name a few. Sometimes it makes me wonder what on earth has happened to humanity and compassion for others. Has it all disappeared?
The more I see the world, the more I realize that although people are all different, we are also very much the same. We may speak different languages, have different cultures, religions, values and physical traits, yet we all share common hopes and dreams of love, family and survival.
When I travel, I am inspired to take photographs that show the common humanity of us all. I aim to capture images of everyday people around the world hoping to provoke compassion for others and an understanding of their differences. My favorite photos are the rare ones that capture the raw emotions of others and spark a curiosity about their lives. For me, these images reflect the common humanity the human race shares and creates a connection between us.
Some of my favorite photos of humanity are the ones where I feel as if my photograph is touching their souls like these ones below.
I met these two girls inside an unauthorized slum in the heart of New Delhi. Although their clothing was tattered and torn, their eyes were full of joy, innocence and curiosity about the outside world and a tall, blond-haired blue-eyed woman asking to take their photo. They reminded me of my own children.
I met this woman in southern Ethiopia at Project Mercy, a not-for-profit relief and development agency working to alleviate human suffering and poverty in Ethiopia. Although she could not read or write or speak the same language, her pride at her handiwork was evident.
I captured this woman sitting in Old Havana, Cuba and was captivated by her. I wondered what she had witnessed during her lifetime through the rise of Castro and the Cuban Revolution. I found the juxtaposition between her weathered skin and the aging tree where she was seated in the heart of Old Havana’s past grandeur, fascinating.
We live in an interconnected world yet so many people are simply unconnected. Photography can be used as a means to bring the world together.
For this week’s challenge, share what humanity means to you. It can be one simple photo or an entire collage like below to represent a sea of humanity. Use your imagination.
What does humanity mean to you?