Wednesday, 14 February 2018
At the Canadian Forces Peace Supporting Training Centre, teachers use a slide to explain to Canadian soldiers the nature of our world. If the entire population of the planet is represented by one hundred people, fifty-seven live in Asia, twenty-one in Europe, fourteen in North and South America, and eight in Africa. The numbers of Asians and Africans increase every year while the number of Europeans and North Americans is decreasing. Fifty percent of the wealth of the world is in the hands of six people, all of whom are Americans. Seventy people are unable to read or write. Fifty suffer from malnutrition due to insufficient nutrition. Thirty-five do not have access to safe drinking water. Eighty live in sub-standard housing. Only one has a university or college education. Most of the population of the globe live in substantially different circumstances than those we in the First World take for granted.
Shake Hands with the Devil
The Failure of Humanity in Ruanda
Carroll & Graf Publishers, New York 2004
Wednesday, 7 February 2018
Wednesday, 31 January 2018
We often do not know why we're doing what we are doing. And, why we regularly do not do what we know we should be doing. In other words, I'm rather sceptical of rationalisations for they are nothing but the stories that we tell ourselves after our subconscious has decided what to do (or not to do) in a given situation.
I've never thought the photojournalists' „bearing witness“-argument very convincing. You take photographs of somebody who clearly needs help? I imagine I would feel ashamed yet I do not really know for I've never been in such a situation. And, I wouldn't like to be.
Or, do you simply do what you were trained to do? Photographers take pictures, this is what photographers do. It is their job to show us photographs of people, places and things that they went to see – a strange job, come to think of it.
However: I highly appreciate it that photographs that document tragedies exist for they allow me to feel with the suffering of fellow human beings (and their close ones), they help me to connect with the world.
For the full text, go here
Wednesday, 24 January 2018
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
I can't always say why a certain book arouses my interest. In the case of „I, Oblomov“, I believe it was the press release that stated that „Ikuru Kuwajima explored the post-Soviet space of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan through the lens of 'oblomovism'“. Since these are countries I haven't visited but have seen numerous pictures of that I thought intriguing, I was curious to get to see more of these landscapes. However, this book is not about impressive nature but – although this was stated clearly in the press release but I had somehow overlooked it – about 'oblovism'. And while 'Oblomov' ringed some bell, I couldn't really place it.
As ever so often, Wikipedia helped and so I learned that 'Oblomov' happens to be a popular novel by Russian writer Ivan Goncharov, first published in 1859. Ilya Ilyich Oblomov, the central character of the novel, „is a young, generous nobleman who seems incapable of making important decisions or undertaking any significant actions. Throughout the novel he rarely leaves his room or bed. In the first 50 pages, he manages only to move from his bed to a chair.“ Goncharov writes: „On glancing casually at Oblomov a cold, a superficially observant person would have said, „Evidently he is good-natured, but a simpleton"; whereas a person of greater penetration and sympathy than the first would have prolonged his glance, and then gone on his way thoughtfully, and with a smile as though he were pleased with something.“
For more, go to http://www.fstopmagazine.com/