Nature is Speaking

Nature doesn’t need people. People need nature.

Everybody needs to see this.

 

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the old development worker

This post was first published in my political analysis corner, but after giving it some more thought I changed it around a bit, split the original blog in two and decided to bring the part about my dad over here, which seems more fitting…

As my father returns to Afghanistan for the so-many-eth time I can see he is tired. He is still doing the job he has done all his life; writing and evaluating development aid projects, always returning with the conclusion that it wasn’t enough; that human greed sabotaged progress once again and that people at the bottom of the food chain have stopped believing they will ever be better off.

Irak 2009 (237)

I got angry with him a couple of months ago, when he rambled on and on about everything that was wrong with mankind, about how all that is good and beautiful in the world is being broken down and trampled on. It takes him several weeks to come down from that cynical cloud each time he returns, which gives us very little time to actually enjoy his company before he heads out again to burden his soul and thoughts with the weight of the world.

It reminded me of when my great aunt, aged 95, lost her son and declared she no longer believed in god, if this was how he treated her and the people she loved. I felt I needed to guide her back to her faith as if this would somehow restore the balance in the world. She was the believer and I the non-believer and that is how it was meant to be.

In the case of my father, he was the one fighting for more funds for development aid and voting on the political parties that most fanatically promoted the re-distribution of wealth, whereas I stood somewhere slightly left of center, being skeptical and calling for a more inclusive system but with a critical eye on unnecessary handouts. I criticized NGO’s and their old fashioned post-colonial attitude of bringing aid and knowledge to the “poor unknowing souls in the third world”. I called my dad paternalistic and labelled him old school. He called me naive and unrealistic.

But now it seems my dad has lost his faith in the sector he has worked in for almost fifty years and that he can’t seem to let go of (or it of him). More than anything he has lost his faith in the Middle East and Afghanistan most of all. He gets so very bitter when he speaks of the endless violence, the politicians sabotaging productive decision making and the corruption that runs through every single institution. I think it is the shamelessness that accompanies it that hurts him most of all.

DSC_0175.JPGOn the one side I wish he would just retire and spend the rest of his days walking through his garden, talking to the cat and taking pictures of butterflies. On the other hand I know it would be the death of him as he is addicted to the feeling of being needed and making a difference.

Even if at the end of the day he feels hardly any progress was made on the issue at hand, he needs to give it his full 100% and maybe a little more. It’s what we love about him and at the same time it is what makes him such a difficult person to be around.

So I guess it’s up to us, the people who know him, to pick out the positive traits he has and give them new life in our thoughts and actions. Perhaps it will even help him during those moments of bitterness that will undoubtedly bubble up from time to time.

The world through my brother’s eyes

You know those people who can pick up any random instrument and just instinctively know how to work the thing? They just hoot, whistle, strum, tap or pluck a bit and then… there you have it: beauty!

1780253_418645348272979_443952143_o.jpgMy eldest brother is like that, but not with music (even though he did play the trumpet for a while, in his teenage years). He has the eye. He looks at completely mundane situations and suddenly feels the urge to get on his knees and take a few shots from a funny angle. Yes, he is a passionate photographer and a bloody good one, if you ask me.

Of course I am biased. He’s my big brother. I grew up looking up to him (in the most literal sense as well as figuratively speaking). He never does anything without at least one honest attempt at becoming really good at it and often succeeds. He has top sport mentality that he applies in every aspect of his life and I have nothing but respect for him for that.

But enough talk, let me show you his stuff!

There’s the beautifully cliche…

…the awe-inspiring…,

…and the artsy fartsy:

I know he loves the artistic experimental stuff most of all, but he’s done some wonderful wedding and commercial photography as well.

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Check more of his pics out on Flickr, drop him a message on his Facebook or give him a friendly tweet, if you like what you’ve seen! Also, let me know what you think in the comment section, so I can pass it on.

His own website, Photgraphie TB, is in French, but it’s all pretty self explanatory and totally worth a visit.

A good weekend to all of you!