Not just any photo. We are collecting photos on the theme of a ‘human bridge’ for a book that has been a while in the making called Life Bridge: The Importance of Connection.
Feeling creative? Please join us on this journey by submitting a photo of your human bridge.
There are two quotes which frame an ‘artistic brief’ for this project drawing inspiration from Bill Shore’s inspirational 2010 book: “The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men”.
The first quote is written by Bill Shore himself where he describes “the imagination gap: a narrow but vitally important space between the impractical and impossible.” He writes:
The imagination gap is a place where hope lies waiting to be discovered, and cannot be extinguished once it has. Most failures in life are not failures of resources, or organisation, or strategy or discipline. They are failures of imagination.
The second quote is taken from a graduation speech by Ophelia Dahl (cofounder of Partners in Health and daughter of renowned children’s book author Roald Dahl) when she quoted Adam Hochschild who earlier wrote about the importance of “drawing connections between the near and the distant”:
Linking our own lives and fates with those we can’t see will, I believe, be the key to a decent and shared future… Imagination will allow you to make the link between the near of your lives with the distant others and will lead us to realise the plethora of connections between us and the rest of the world… and this will surely lead to ways in which you can influence others and perhaps improve the world along the way.
The compilation of this book funds the 10 City Bridge Run which is a citizen led initiative that asks a simple, but important, question: “how might we use our networks to improve child survival?” The image of a ‘human bridge’ helps to illustrate this question.
So please, help us out and send us a photo of your human bridge. It won’t be the same without you!
I just returned. Both to writing the blog, but also from a near life-changing experience in Papua New Guinea.
Papua New Guinea is a fascinating country. Truly the land of the unexpected. Arguably the most diverse country on earth, in every respect. Also a country which has been raped by years of colonial and neo-colonial intervention.
Papua New Guinea is a country rich in resources. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday quoted Stephen Promnitz who is still involved in mining interests in Papua New Guinea as a chief executive and formerly a young geologist with CRA who later merged with Rio Tinto. The article explained:
The 1988-89 (gold) rush left an impression. “It was the most astounding thing I have ever seen. There was more gold than you could poke a stick at. So much so that I thought I would never be looking for gold again. The locals were shaking gold nuggets from the roots of the grass. Some of the nuggets were the size of goose eggs“.
With so much abundance in resources, why then does PNG now have a near epidemic in HIV (close to sub-Saharan African levels) and the second highest rate of child mortality in Asia Pacific? Why is the average weekly salary for most people around K15 (about AU$4)? Forget US$1.25 per day…
I returned with fresh eyes seeing how child mortality is an important issue, and more than ever before I want you to be involved. I started taking photographs of human bridges while I was in PNG, and will post the link on Flickr here shortly. I deleted a whole bunch of photos accidentally (including some priceless photos of human bridges), which in itself was good food for thought- what did I really value: the photos or the emphasis on reducing infant mortality?
Taking photographs of human bridges was instructive. Approaching it from a Western mindset of order and sound structure just doesn’t work. People have their own ideas of what it means to build a bridge, and it is refreshing to see this human creativity at work, even if the finished project is a little lumpier than the perfect bridge that you might have wanted to see from the other side of the camera lens.
Sorry about the absence from the blog- a lot has taken place over the last month or so since I have been writing. To start, my friend Aaron suggested the focus of the event be squarely placed on the photographs of human bridges- after all, this is where the real work is in this initiative. This meant that no running will occur until 24,000 photographs of human bridges have been collected. This is a collective effort.
Earlier I had intended to start running on 1 March, and so this change meant I had pushed the start date to coincide with the Paris G20 Summit which was then scheduled for June 2011.
This suggestion was followed by news from my friend Mark that the Paris G20 Summit has been shifted to November- the G20 will now only meet once annually. This is in fact good for me. Consequently, the run will now take place across November to highlight to the outcome of the photographs gathered. It will travel through 10 countries, and while I will visit Paris, I don’t intend going to the G20 Summit itself- that money is better spent elsewhere. I intend to be running with other people in each city. It is fresh canvas again.
The timing change is good, not because it gives more time for preparation, but because it gives adequate time to focus on the curating of 24,000 photographs to form a pictorial petition to be given to the G20 leadership ahead of the November Summit. One photo for each child that dies on any given day (using 2008 figures). To reduce the infant mortality rate to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals target requires a further reduction of 10,000 deaths daily every day from the present infant mortality rate which sits are around 21,000 children under five who tragically and needlessly die daily.
Let’s get to work. Good to be back. Join me on this journey- I need your help.