When someone else's reality matters
We live in a time where the image dominates and shapes our understanding of the world. We are manipulated towards happiness, desire, belief, shock, fear and hope through pictures whether they are static or moving. We have no true grasp of reality. Until occasionally an image comes along that makes us jump into someone elses life for a split second. And all too often it's the painful ones we feel or is it the fact that when one of those painful images comes along it jumpstarts us out of the saccharine sweet reality we are comfortable in?
I don't know I just work here. Anyway one of those pictures has arrived and it has made an impact that an image, over numbers and words, can only make, a statistic that we don't like becomes visible washing up on a shore like a piece of waste tossed away by our throw away society, then the thing that sticks in your throat are those little shoes.
Like so many others it made me realise I have just watched telly and acknowledged that the world is a shit place and we need to get our fingers out and help others, but then changed the channel or drew another picture while feeling a bit annoyed. It was seeing the image and signing a petition to get our government to sort themselves out and then talking to my mate Stuart about his riding from Edinburgh to London to raise money for Palestinians struggling to survive, that made me want to do something.
What we have seen is an image that reminded us that those statistics we hear and watch on television have faces and children and lives that are as valuable as ours. And that includes the men. When researching what people in Calais need I was surprised to learn that it is predominantly men who are camped there. If it was an image of a dead man on a beach would it have had as much impact? Of course it wouldnt, we have become used to dead men, we are always shocked by the death of children, because rightly we believe it's not their fault. But every child has a father, and in a better world that little boy could one day have become a father. And it almost certainly is not everymans fault. Whose fault it all is is a lot bigger and a lot wider a discussion. What matters is we help all of these people and that's why I'm doing what I can through collecting for these men and selling some of my work to support them.
As Lawrence Weiner once said 'It aint about you, it's about we'