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Sunday, August 15, 2004

Roller Blading Through Water

1:45:48 PM    

Falun Gong Protest

Falun Gong Protest, Union Square

I was on my way back from Adorama, thinking how strange it was to have both Dektol and HP Paper in my bag when I came across this sight.  What trivial thoughts my head is filled with.

"By the late 1990's, Falun Gong had become enormously popular among the Chinese people, with 70 to 100 million people practicing in China. Despite its peaceful nature, then Chinese President Jiang Zemin viewed the popularity of Falun Gong as a threat to his power....

"Hundreds of thousands have been illegally detained, tortured and sent to forced labor camps. Well over 1,600 have died at the hands of the Chinese Police..." - From Pamphlet


So here is one of the people the Chinese government is afraid of: Bill.  I asked him if it was okay to take this shot, that I didn't want to get him into any trouble.  He said it was okay. 

I spent a good half-hour talking with Bill who told me stories of torture, too horrible to think about.  We spoke for some time about how it was possible for people to do such things to each other and his answer, such as it was - was that they had lost their human qualities and had become animals.  They had become: evil.  But I told him that even animals didn't do such things to each other  - and we came to the conclusion that it was just impossible to truly understand.  The one thing we both were sure of, was that the more control the state had - the more they abused this control and would do whatever it took to hold onto power. 

1:43:39 PM    

Subway Sleep

Has anyone ever seen a good definition of "street photography?"   I haven't.  To paraphrase the Supreme Court - I think I know it when I see it.  But although Henri Bresson is one of the kings of that style - some of his most famous pictures such as the Isle de la Cite. (Yes, Steve - I love this shot too).  For example, does it have to be done on the street to be street photography?  Can it be a posed photo a la Doisneau?  Does it have to be grainy, black and white?  I think I prefer the term Urban Photography.

Possibly, it can't be defined by any set of objective properties, but rather as an historical movement.  We are tired of all these posed photographs which try to emulate the painter.  The lightweight camera now allows us to take pictures of things that the painter would have difficulty capturing.  It is its own way. 

6:56:59 AM