A Meditation

In Nature, Video

I feel numb. A certain photograph has been stuck in my head for about a week. It’s actually a frame from a video that I hope to never watch. It shows a police office kneeling with one knee pressed against the neck of a man on the ground. The man dies as a result. I can’t stop thinking about it. And I feel numb.

So much has been said. So much will be said. People smarter than I have discussed the power of images, how they can catalyze us to action, or reveal our indifference. What about images that terrorize, dehumanize, and traumatize? I can’t stop thinking about that image, and I feel numb.

During this global pandemic, I’ve been thinking about how the images I made during this time will reflect my state of mind. Years from now, when I look at the images I created, will I be able to see the anxiety, the fear, the disconnection, the connection, the sadness, the absence? Will I be able to sense the complexity of everything I felt during this time? Now, I wonder about the rage, the despair, and the resignation that comes from yet another horrific killing. I can’t stop thinking about it. I feel numb.

Let me end with these: an image I made on what would have been Ahmaud Arbery’s 26th birthday, and a video I captured on the day after George Floyd’s killing. May they (and all the countless others) rest in peace.

Happy birthday, Ahmaud Arbery. I wish I didn’t know your name (May 8, 2020)
More than 9 seconds of a world without George Floyd (May 26, 2020)

-Eyes wide open, Chinwe

6 Comments

  1. There are pictures in my head that have forever changed me, too. Really seeing things as they are while still holding onto hope for fresh perspectives.

    I keep going back to one of my favorite quotes – “We should be photographing two things. The things that should be put right and the things that should be appreciated.” —Lewis Hine

  2. Your pictures almost always seem to be about a never-ending dance between darkness and light -both literal and metaphoric. I really feel it in these – both are deeply moving images.

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