25 October 2010

WAR !!! What is it good for !!!

Censorship in the military. Don't see. Don't know. Ignorance is bliss but there are homeless men walking in the world carrying the wounds and war around in their heads. Families missing parts and a yearning for something more innocent. Jesus walks on the water and befriends the fallen solider or someone made a deal with the devil and the beat goes on.

I once was on assignment on a military base documenting 'techno warfare' a few years before Iraq. As a journalist, the soldiers practiced their interaction with the media and this story made me remember how that policy was being made. I grew up looking, terrified as a small child watching the Viet Nam war play in black in white. I used to have nightmares ; even as a little as I was I identified with the brown children running from bombs ; The photographs that came out of Nam helped to draw attention to the real truth of what was going on - those truths are what some people don't want us to know.

As I looked at David Douglas Duncan's work I remembered certain feelings from pictures. I listened to his voice; and those of soldiers who may or may not have made it home back to the US of A. I think of how my life would have been different if my dad had been sent to Nam and I wouldn't have been born in Flagstaff. I remember the hollow look; and the tender, and fear, and hell of the darkness of the jungles of faraway places I could only think of what my mother's country looked like. Bombs...people running. guns. them and us. us and them... always the other brother like Cain and Abel...

I have never seen combat or a violent death happen before me. When I look at these pictures I wonder how we can still support war or be blind to the effects. Some things haven't changed... but still there are stories to tell to help us open our eyes.

Examples of what you could or couldn't photograph:If we really SEE what's going on how can you close your eyes? After I read about Mark on a photoeditor.com I was compelled to find the book I 'stole' from my dad; I PROTEST. A very small and powerful book sold for a dollar. There is another book, WHERE WAR LIVES that haunts me too. We need photographers to keep us real-

over Family dinner Dkish, Dad, Laura we discuss what is being Human? Humane? I am still contemplating it....

Slideshow link :DAVID Douglas Duncan

23 October 2010

Chaco on my mind

The Chaco Meridian is a direct north south alignment from Chaco Canyon in NM, to the ancient trading center of Paquime, Chihuahua. Being south has made me contemplate north these past three years. Got the book and spent a couple days wandering in the northern Gran Chichimeca watching Venus and Pluto on the horizon. Presented the Suenos de Aztlan under the stars to a lovely group of fellow travelers and share the love and amazement of how these two points are connected. I had no photos of Chaco and my dad collaborated with me to fill in the gaps. I sure look forward to returning again with insight and curiosity. Started reading Stephen Lexon's book, The Chaco Meridian on a cold, dark, and stormy night. Rain and Wind Gods follow me home in either direction.

Cultura Paquime: Sitios Arqueologicos - Paquime Culture Documental Docum...

21 October 2010

From Chihuahua with love !!

Sometimes you enter a contest and share company in a collection of memories. Thanks to the Santa Fe PHotographic Workshops for selecting my image for their collection FAMILY 1st Photo contest. Images came from 25 countries, and the contest inspired 702 photographers to enter 2544 images. I grew up looking at the images in book The Family of Man since before I could walk or talk but I remember I could as a baby feel those Family moments. Tender. Funny. Sad. Traumatic. Magical. I am grateful for the opportunity to share what I've come to love in people. Thank you to todas las familias, all the family, who've shared this amazing journey of life with me.

For me this portrait, of the Mennonite sisters and the beautiful quilts they make, is a much needed representation of the Mexican people connected to their culture and the landscape that has been portrayed primarily as a war zone every day with no end in sight. This moment too is real. It is an interior view within the folds of the sierras and valleys of Mexico's history.

The Mennonites immigrated to Chihuahua from Canada after the revolution. They keep to their traditions from Russia and Germany. They speak an old dialect of German. we can't speak each other's languages. English, or Spanish. Yet there is no need for language when you can feel a smile grow on your face as you take part in shared laughter; this is an example of when there are no lines marring the exuberance of joyful expression from the heart of Chihuahua.

I am reminded of why I want to be a photographer when I remember how I felt when I made the picture and also how it makes me feel remembering that laughter.

Here's to HOPE and more peaceful times on the borderlands. OJALA QUIERE.