‘education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’
― nelson mandela


This is my response to this week’s WordPress Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge.

As ‘constant readers’ may know, I try to respond to this challenge most weeks, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, inspiration and consequent success (or not).

I’d like to be a pro-photographer. My biggest challenge? My best shots come from the heart, from my emotion, my passion, my anger, my love, oh dear HID, how would I fare in a studio (we shall see, maybe).

Anyway, back to the task in hand.

The image above is a composite. Obviously. I made it using my iPad and the Adobe Photoshop Mix app. It’s not great, I’m not proud of it technically, I rushed it, it’s now late and I’m tired. But I’d like to make my point so I will continue.

The two photos are separated by a few weeks in time in terms of execution. In terms of publication less than 24 hours separates them.

The first, in chronological terms, was actually shot on 26 September, 2015. I took a walk in the woods in Tervuren, near Brussels, I had a lot on my mind. Made a decision, whether it was a little or large decision is (now) of no consequence. Things changed. Life changes. And will continue to change. This image, of three geese (I think, I am no bird expert), was first published here on the evening of Friday, 20 November 2015 in response to last weeks’ challenge which was entitled ‘trio’. When I awoke on the morning of Saturday, 21 November the world had not only gone through the transition from night to day, from one day to the next, it appeared to have spun upside down and inside out. The Brussels Lockdown had commenced.

So, the second shot, taken during the afternoon of Saturday, 21 November 2015 could not be more different.

Transitions can be very difficult. They can be well orchestrated, they can be planned with care, or they can rip apart the fabric of our lives in an instant.

Paris. London. Madrid. New York.

And many more. Every nation, every race, every creed. All have suffered brutalising change. No one has been spared.

What matters now is how WE manage the next transition.

Do we hit back, bomb and blast and scream and shout. Do we ‘change’ the life of others with righteous vengeance? Are our bombs that rain down from the sky, the silent instant deaths that we deal by drone, are they any harder to bear, to rationalise? Who is right? We teach our children to turn the other cheek, to avoid fights and disputes in the school yard. Then, we have to explain why those sleek and shiny, sexy, steel tubes send sudden death to families far away.

Is there another way?

We shall see what we shall see.

What would you do?

For WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Transition

(and for Lucile’s Photo 101 Rehab as we approach one year of comradeship)


16 thoughts on “transition

  1. Very thought provoking. You make all good points. I hope we as a people choose not to hit back but to break the cycle, make it impossible for young people too even consider a path of terrorism, instill a love of nation and all people and make them feel included so that this doesn’t happen again. It’s a tall order but we as a whole global community can do it if we try

    • Well, if more people felt as you do, and we all tried to include all our neighbours – whatever their creed, colour or whatever else – we might be able to make that difference. As it stands I watch my nation as it plans to load the bombers again. My own view is that whilst we can’t let the bullies win dropping bombs from 30,000 ft isn’t the answer, I think that one has been tried before. What’s troubling is what do we do?

  2. A very moving take on the theme of transition. Very clever composite picture. I love the Nelson Mandela quote you opened with, its one of my favourites that I use often when talking with inmates in my correctional environment (obviously I’m an educationalist) . Thanks for showing your take on these dark days.

    • Thank you Debbie, at University in London I used to watch the daily demonstrations in Trafalgar Square outside the South African Embassy, sat my finals in the ‘Nelson Mandela Hall’. His words echo down the years.

  3. Andy, Your composite is a poignant visual of life before and after. I wish I had an answer to “what would I do?” Thanks for sharing your insights and news during all of this.

  4. I agree that striking back will not solve anything of the underlying issues and roots and causes. It takes a different approach and personal leadership. From ourselves because our political leaders look at public ‘solutions’ to get elected again. It is essential to get out of the doctrine of fear that is created by these events and nurtures our thoughts and actions in the wrong way. Powerful Andy.

    • Chris, your words too are powerful, we owe it to our children to elect leaders that are prepared to do what is right, for the long term, and to learn that bombing a problem away usually just fragments the problem and makes it worse. Dresden, Vietnam, Iraq, Libya…..when will we ever learn?

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