Shared Humanity: Photographing the Things that Unite Us
I am a member of the International Guild of Visual Peacemakers, a movement of visual communicators ‘devoted to peacemaking and breaking down stereotypes by displaying the beauty and dignity of various cultures around the world.’ I have also had the privilege of teaching young people and children about global issues for the past four years with the World AIMS Project. As I have been involved in promoting images of a world worth loving with my visual storytelling I have found that people are often inclined to try and mark out the differences between places and people. Children in schools also instinctively do the same thing. Why as human beings do we not attempt to look at what we have in common first?
One of my work ethics I am exploring this year is the idea of sharing and collaborating. When thinking about this I started to think about the shared values all human beings have and treasure and how those values should be part of what I do. I am going to photographically explore those today by looking through the archives…
We all value friendship don’t we? You see this playing out in different ways across the world. Some friendships are formed in childhood, some in solidarity against oppression, some are friendships that span the globe and some are friendships that span the years. Human beings like to be appreciated and loved and valued. Friendship provides us all with chance to cherish and to be cherished.
We all have faith; of course we place this in different things, but as you delve into someone’s story you will find faith there. For some this faith is in God, for some it is a set of values that they place their hope in and for others a faith in science and human achievement.
Our Connection to the Land
Whether it be the enjoyment of the feeling of sun on skin or the need to understand the land that feeds us all human beings have a connection to the environment around us. One of the saddest things about the part of the UK I am from is the dislocation people feel from the world around us. When we ask school children where milk comes from they will say ‘the supermarket’!
The Desire to Learn
We all want to learn new things. Humans are amazing because we are inspired individuals that take the ordinary and turn it into something new. We are all creative beings that have hopes and dreams. Even in the most desperate of situations people still dream.
Love is the best of what we are. Love for our partners, love for our children and our parents, love for our friends, love for each other…. Love has the power to transcend boundaries, language and conflict. Love can change the way we see the world. It may sound cheesy or cliché but love really is the shared value that changes the world for the better. We can see it in others and we can gift it to the world.
To explore other shared values check out the video from the International Guild of Visual Peacemakers:
Here is an interview with me by the IGVP
Peace, love and light to all of you!