A great photograph can spark social change

This week was a pivotal week for the global crisis in Syria and for the refugees of war torn countries around the world. I was on a road trip to Halifax on my way home when I heard the news on CBC Radio of the toddler found on the beach. Radio is a great companion on long drives and I was riveted by the discussions around the photograph. It was being compared to the photograph of Phan Thi Kim Phuc taken in 1972 during the Vietnam War. I was driving so I could not access the image but as a photographer, I started to form an image in my mind of the photograph as several experts and commentators discussed the image and their feelings around seeing it.

We arrived in Riviere-du-Loup quite late and I logged into my laptop to see the image. The reality of the photograph was so much more devasting than the image I had in my head all day. This image was riveting and it was devasting. The conversations of the day had moved from shock to how are we going to help on the news. Several experts and government agencies were saying that they did not have the answers but they did say we were going to find a way.

This was very inspiring to me and I am sure many people are feeling the same way. We want Canada to reflect a safe haven and to do more than just what we are asked in times of crisis. This may be the very tipping point for the social change we crave. It may end the last 8 years of the deconstruction of the Canada we know and love. The photograph that I include is the photograph I took from the lookout point at Riviere-du-Loup on the day this family was at sea. To me it signifies the beauty and the peace we as Canadians enjoy every day. Our hearts go out to the family in Canada and in Syria for this loss and we must find a way to do more despite the road blocks we face.

Riviere du Loup

One thought on “A great photograph can spark social change

  1. Your sentiments are wonderfully expressed, Maureen, and yes, something needs to be done and, if everyone focuses on doing the right thing in any circumstance and any event, we will find a solution to this problem.
    For centuries we have been insular thinkers, however, in a world where we are increasingly becoming global in our reach and with those affecting us, we need to reset our thinking to that of global, societal blending. How that is done, I really yet do not know. Fears of cultural and demographic invasion are real and in a perfect world we would hope to allow such blending but only where it makes us stronger, safer and in the most simplistic terms, happier. Such a challenge we face!

    Liked by 1 person

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