898b A Few Words, 05-JUN-2020

video version

The world is a crazy place right now.. and I’ve been struggling whether I should say something here, whether I should use this podcast as a platform, because this is a show about photography. But right now, it’s about human beings and about how we treat each other, this is about things being invisible that should be visible.

And I know I’ll get push-back for this, “stay in your lane”, “stick to photography”, heard all these things before, but that’s fine.. I know that’s not the big majority of you.

And I’m of course talking about this crazy mixture of protest and covid and violence and injustice that I’m seeing everywhere right now and that’s been around for a long time.

And before someone tells me “Chris, you’re an outsider, and you’re not in a position to comment on what’s going on in the United States.”

While this is boiling up big time and very visible in the States right now, this is not at all limited to the US. This is going on everywhere. Here in Germany, right around us, right around you. And still, a lot of people choose to ignore it. And that’s why I’m talking about it here.

I’m also well aware that I’m coming at this from an incredibly privileged European, German, white, male perspective.. and I’m not in the position to talk about racism from my own perspective, because I HAVE NEVER HAD TO EXPERIENCE RACISM AGAINST MYSELF. Not a single time in my life. I was never afraid of the police. I never had to be afraid of the police. This is privilege.

I have been witness to racism against friends though, but I never saw or experienced racism against myself.

I’m sad, I’m shocked about what I see right now. The open injustice, the open violence, against people. But also the hidden injustice and the hidden violence that has been going on in the past and is going on right now.

Now, the one perspective that I can add to this is a historical one. Because to me as a German, all that’s happening right now rings extremely loud and very uncomfortable. There’s been a very dark time in our German history, not even 100 years ago, and a lot of what I see right now, reminds me of that.

And we live in this amazingly connected world, so whatever is happening across the pond will be felt over here, in other places, in one way or another. It’s always been that way.

So I would like to do several things:

First, I want to use this platform to express my solidarity, to add one more voice to the many voices that already condemn what’s happening.

I would also like to tell you that I see you, that I hear you, probably not enough in the past, but that must change in the future. This must change right now. And it must change in here. In all our minds.

And visibility is a big part of that change. And so is photography.

So while I feel very powerless from this remote position, which isn’t that remote. The one thing I have and that I can offer is this podcast, this platform, this channel and I’m asking you, the community, and especially those in this community who have been on the receiving end of such injustice, the people of color: What can I do to help you?

And this could be as simple as presenting a photo project from a photographer of color in episodes here, regularly, there’s so many different ways and that’s where you come in.

What can I do to give you more visibility? To help you tell your stories? To give you more voice?

Photography is all about making things visible. The ESSENCE of photography is story telling.

I really hope that we will all come out of this as unharmed as possible, and with more strength and with better understanding and hopefully with some positive change.

There’s ONE thing that does give me some hope right now, and that’s the millions of people world-wide who are taking to the streets, from New Zealand to cities all over Europe, and all over the world.

We are photographers. Let’s learn to see.

Thanks for listening.


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