“Man (woman- humanity) is a mystery. It needs to be unraveled, and if you spend your whole life unraveling it, don’t say that you’ve wasted time. I am studying that mystery because I want to be a human being.”
~ Fyodor Dostoevsky, in a letter to his brother, M.M. Dostoevsky, August 16, 1839
The Staggering Story of Humanity: an interdisciplinary exploration and chronicling of the human condition. Glimpses, whispers and shouts yearning to find meaning.
The Face of Humanity Project is something I have been working on since the summer of 2016, when I traveled to St. Paul, MN to photograph the protests at the Minnesota Governor’s Mansion in response to the police shooting an unarmed black man named Philandro Castile. Although at the time I did not operate as The Face of Humanity, the same inner intuitive artistic anthropologist nudged me to make my way to Summit Avenue that summer.
I spent two days there talking and photographing both protestors and law enforcement. I have been passionate about injustice for as long as I can remember, but that passion ripened after my undergraduate theological studies. The interest turned into a desire to document (“bear witness”) injustice with photography and poetry, in the hope that awareness would affect change and help for the marginalized, helpless, lost, refugee souls wandering the earth. As Albert Camus wrote in The Almond Tree, “We must mend what has been torn apart, make justice imaginable again in a world so obviously unjust, give happiness a meaning once more to peoples poisoned by the misery of the century.”
After that I photographed, observed, and reflective on these experiences:
- 2018 – The March for our Lives (against gun violence) in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
- 2018 – Cuba
- 2019 – the U.S. Border (Mexicalli to Tijuana)
- 2019 – Haight Ashbury in San Francisco
- 2019 – Homeless Tent City in Santa Cruz, CA
- 2019 – Paradise Fire Aftermath – Paradise, CA
- 2018-2019 – Homeless and Itinerant people in Duluth, MN
- As well as ongoing experiences to “bear witness” to injustices.
The Face of Humanity Project is being developed into a photographic/poetry exhibit, along with spoken word, created out of the above experiences. Some of the material from this project will be published here on my blog and, later, in a book.
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.”
~ William Faulkner
The bold irreverent one
Born into the melee
Stands against the night of conformity
Takes a knee for injustice
Breaks the back of ignorance
Hears the quiet small voice of the minor characters
In the midst of the staggering story of humanity
Above the fray of the noisy crowds
Amid the milieu of mendacity
All with the force of impeccable intuitive interpretation
Capturing the fatigued faces and feelings
With a lens and a pen