A Meditation

In Nature, Video
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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


  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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