Pre-sale of the book with a working title “Life Bridge: The Importance of Connection” enables the 10 City Bridge Run to take place, an epic journey that begins with a stunt by running 10 sub-marathons in 10 cities across 10 countries. The stunt is to open a conversation, asking ‘how might we use our networks to improve child survival?’
“Life Bridge: The Importance of Connection” will be an inspiring and beautifully published book featuring the best 100 photographs of ‘human bridges’ selected from a photo collaboration.
Money raised will cover essential expenses involved in production of the book Life Bridge: The Importance of Connection, conduct of Design Forum, running, and sustainment of the 10 City Bridge Run. No salaries are being paid, and all engagement of time, including that of Matt Jones, is entirely voluntary. Proceeds excess to need will be invested into programs that help to improve the delivery of child survival.
Why a human bridge?
The iconic image of a human bridge illustrates the potential for greater use of our networks to make a difference in improving the delivery of child survival. We have drawn inspiration from many sources, and reduced the characteristics of a human bridge to three key ideas: imagination, connection, and empathy.
Two of these ideas come from quotes taken from Bill Shore’s excellent book “The Imagination of Unreasonable Men”. Bill Shore describes:
the imagination gap: a narrow but vitally important space between the impractical and the impossible…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.
Bill Shore writes about Ophelia Dahl (co-founder of Partners in Helath and daughter of renowned children’s book author Roald Dahl) who was quoting Adam Hochschild’s words about the importance of “drawing connection 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 third idea comes from the highly respected Australian photographer David Maurice Smith who recently spoke about the importance of provoking conversation at the recent Reportage exhibition held in Sydney:
With empathy comes connection.
“The Importance of Connection” is a photo collaboration on the theme of a ‘human bridge’. The best 100 photographs selected from among this collaboration will be captured in a book called “Life Bridge: The Importance of Connection”.
What is a human bridge?
To some extent, the definition of a human bridge is up to you and your imagination. The thought that initially sparked this idea was that a human bridge was about the connection between two or more people. Photographs might express one of five particular themes:
- Tell a story. Provide an interpretation of “a human bridge”,
- Bridge the Imagination Gap,
- Connect the Near and the Far,
- Seeing the Possibilities, and/or
- “With empathy comes connection”.
Anyone can enter this collaboration. This includes all calibre of photographers, students, enthusiasts, hobbyists, and amateurs of all ages and skill levels. You do not have to be a photographer to take part, you simply need to enjoy the art of taking photographs.
There is no cost to enter this collaboration.
The Brief – an epic journey to help improve child survival
“The Importance of Connection” is a photo collaboration featuring 100 images on the theme of a ‘human bridge’ to be captured in a book called “Life Bridge: The Importance of Connection”.
Connect like you give a damn! It won’t be the same without you.
Advice from a Master Story-Teller
It is worth listening to Ridley Scott who gives good instruction in this clip below titled Life In A Day. It was part of a collaborative video project he started in 2010, the same year that the 10 City Bridge Run commenced as an idea.
Scott gives two good pieces of advice in telling a story through capturing an image, and think about this in relation to your design and submission of a ‘human bridge’ photograph:
- It must be personal.
- Capture what appeals to you as the photographer/curator.
Entering a Photograph
Anyone can enter this collaboration. Entry is open to any person regardless of any circumstance.
There is no cost to enter or to submit a photograph. Any expenses incurred in the taking, developing, processing or submitting of a photograph remain your responsibility
Participation as a prize
Photographers selected among the best 100 photographs will have their names and website contact details included next to their work, along with a short title and caption if they wish to provide such information.
What makes a good photograph?
At the recent Head On Photo Festival in Sydney, Magnum photographers Shahidul Alam and Eli Reed, along with Benjamin Lowy, recipient of the Magnum Foundation Emergency fund, suggested a good photo has the following characteristics:
- “Telling stories. It is what it does to people that matters. Is it going to bring about change?” (Lowy)
- “Ambiguity and encouraging questions, as well as to tell stories. The photograph asks more good questions than it answers.” (Lowy)
- “It is inherently captivating. There is a truth and beauty about the story.” (Lowy)
- “When things are photographed in a particular way, what do we lose? Complexity of the stories often doesn’t come across when we provide a simple rendering.” (Alam)
- “Be a fair witness, not overdoing it, otherwise you will mess it up…Look at what’s happening. It’s not a game, but it is the ultimate game. Pay attention.” (Reed)
- “Fascination with life. That is what it means to be a humane human being. Being a human being first (not a photographer). It is it’s own reward.” (Reed)
The reason why a good photograph matters
Magnum photographers Shahidul Alam, Eli Reed and Chris Steele-Perkins at the recent Head On Photo Festival in Sydney gave these reasons why taking a good photograph is important. The same reasons inspire our aspiration for change through the 10 City Bridge Run project to create through this photo-collaboration of “Life Bridge: The Importance of Connection”:
- “People in the villages do not exist. News is not about them, not for them. People in problems of a massive scale will exist as numbers, not individuals.” (Alam)
- “The power of an image…Those are the stories that often don’t get told. It is challenging the sources of power.” (Alam)
- “Photography changes the world. Things we can do at a personal, finite level that make a difference. Those small, tactile, little steps…it certainly made a difference to me.” (Alam)
- “Everything changes the world at one point. It is an aggregate thing….Grains of sand on the right side of the justice scale.” (Steele-Perkins)
- “Photography for me has been this fantastic passport to the world.” (Steele-Perkins)
- “Some people say photography doesn’t work. Screw that. It does work. I have seen the difference it makes…Photographs can change the world. Just think of the Holocaust.”