A single image, once viewed, has irrevocable powers.
Whether positive or negative, whatever is portrayed in the four-edged frame will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression.
As with most other art forms, a photo is interpreted based on the preconceived notions, philosophies, experiences, and ideologies of the individual viewer. Additionally, that very same photo is framed by the preconceived notions, philosophies, experiences, and ideologies of the photographer.
A photo can be captured with the intention to portray a feeling of hope and interpreted to mean disparity and desolation.
A single photo has the ability to personally connect to an endless number of people on an endless number of levels.
To summarize, photos are influential and should consistently be valued as such.
Recently I found myself chatting with a friend about the current crisis in South Sudan. We were discussing that though there is clearly a pressing need for humanitarian assistance, there is also need for the outside world to see the other side of life for IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) – the humanity that still exists even in the most inhumane circumstances.
My friend candidly told me, “I want to see images that show IDPs as more than suffering masses.”
While visiting four IDP sites in Warrap State, South Sudan, I found myself frequently dumbfounded by the jaw-dropping beauty of the women. Of course, we all know that South Sudanese women tend to err on the side of gorgeous; what floored me was that they managed to remain equally beautiful while living in very basic, if not dire, conditions.
To be honest, this could have largely been due to the fact that I felt like a never-ending river of dusty sweat thanks to extreme climate that is dry-season in South Sudan. But, I’d venture its safe to say that these women are just straight-up drop dead gorgeous.
The juxtaposition of the following photos is just further evidence that beauty can exist even in dire circumstances.
Introducing a new perspective on IDPs in Warrap State: South Sudan’s Hidden IDP Models.
For more information about World Concern’s work in South Sudan, and how you can get involved, click here.