In 2016 I came back from a visit to my parents in law in America. My girlfriend is African American* so we were extra exited by what’s going to happen, specially if T…p would win. When we came back at the end of September we anxiously waited till the election where over. It was off course a big disappointment. The good thing is that I started this blog. I already had an other place where I posted my daily pictures and now I wanted a blog again to vent on. I made a whole series of photoshopped pictures of the situation in America and wrote about it. Now it is almost over, I wanted to wait with it but after what happened last night I might as well post it now. I re-upload most of the pictures I made in 2016, and I will tell something about it. I was hoping back then that the readers would understand the pictures, including all the details, but that didn’t happen.
*I asked my girlfriend if I could still use these words to describe her…mistake;-)
This picture is taken in a beautiful part of America and the sign tells a story of that place. Look at all the marks that the foreigners left as a sign of their appreciation, to show the world that they traveled all the way to this great place. I chose this picture and changed it to use it as a commentary on our society that is heading more and more towards a “me” focused world instead of a world where the other (you) also counts. People say more and more: “I don’t want refugees because I don’t trust them” instead of YOU come from a country destroyed by a war and YOU have it much worse than I have so YOU can come here.
The internet brought the world and its people closer together compared to 20, 50 or a 100 years ago but this technical marvel has not brought our hearts closer together. Twitter brought us the Arab spring and a fifth of the world is connected on Facebook and you would think that we would be more understanding of each other. Instead we see more and more people and governments closing their doors and longing back to the day’s where everything was neat in a box and labeled for clarity. Our modern need to take selfies is a vivid reminder of this, we like to share with the world a picture of ourselves, look at me.
I was this week for work in Amsterdam and there I saw the famous selfie sticks in use and I paid some attention. To be fair, the people were taking photos of all the sites, but they stuck their head in front of it and the camera every time. Imagine these people showing their pictures back home to some family members: here is a picture of me, and me, and me and my friend, and me etc. They showed the world where they have been instead of what that other world looks like. But maybe I’m not fair, 20 years ago it was not possible to easily make selfies with the film camera’s we had back then and it was a lot of work to send a couple of hundred friends a copy of your pictures. Maybe the modern technique has only awoken a slumbering need in us humans. Maybe there was never a Youtah and always a Metah
This time no heavy stuff, just a fun picture made from 3 different ones taken in Iceland. I like to make some rules for myself, I often start with one picture and for this one I could only use pictures from that trip, just to limit my choices. Another limit is time, you can spend hours fine-tuning a picture, but I have other things to do to. Normally I have no plan and just start playing in Lightroom with one picture and see where it goes from there.
I made this picture in Photoshop at the end of December 2016. I think it was after reading an article about Syria and the lack of compassion we westerners have with those people. I imagined how someone is watching tv and see destroyed houses and dead people on the street and that they casually lean over to get some chips, maybe change the channel to watch a cartoon as if nothing happened. Or you can compare it with watching a beautiful landscape, you mumble something to your spouse, and you turn around and walk on to the next place…”Ooh yea, more bombs, what can you do”
The frustration is off course also pointed at myself, I still remember when ISIS blow up some historical monuments, I was more chocked by that the than by the constant news of dead children washed ashore. Maybe that’s why I make these pictures and write about it, I don’t want it to be normal, I don’t want to be jaded, see that kind of needless suffering as another landscape I have seen before.
The picture below is the original i made at the Grand Canyon, the background are two picture from the net and are from a city in Syria. I hope it catches our western distance to that war and our voyeurism.