Resiliency Post Earthquake. Nepal.
What is resiliency photography? Really, it is just simple common human decency. Respect, and dignity. It is when the value of the encounter is more important than the “product” produced. It is not about the commodification or objectification of the Other. It is not about capturing portraits like animals in a zoo. It is about breaking through stereotypes, be they in images- poverty, smiling impoverished imp, old ethnic elder, romanticized ethnic, exotic Other to something more authentic, something based on real relationship, capturing an authentic moment. Resiliency photography is not about snapping away people and humans as wallpaper or ornamentation, but through a mutual exchange, through conversation and rappoire, before or after the photograph, honoring the person, respecting their dignity, and bringing mutual benefit through the encounter. It is not about “taking” or “shooting” a photograph. It is about being present and letting a moment of relevance, beauty, or truth in form, light and color, say something. Delight or horrify. Resiliency photography combines resiliency and trauma- reducing techniques with the act of photography. Resiliency photography is about resourcing and mirroring. Mirroring back another’s strength, light or truth, no matter how painful. Through a narrative of discourse, a resiliency photographer learns how to have a meaningful discourse and rather than re-traumatize those who have been through severely traumatic circumstances, objectifying them and photographing them as if robbing them of their spirit and dignity before drifting on to the next war or crisis zone, a resiliency photographer, works to help the subject recognize and see their own strengths and resources, no matter how challenging the circumstances. A resiliency photographer is not a Pollyanna, does not make false promises. A resiliency photographer is capable of listening, and remaining spacious to hold the most horrific and tragic of stories without hardening or growing callous, without over empathizing or rying to fix the unfixable, but maintaining an even-keeled open spacious compassion, a deep presence. Through this, the resiliency photographer documents dignity, acts with compassion and shares stories, visions of deep meaning.Read More