By: Michael Hicks
Despair is a poetically illusive emotion, digging in its jagged claws well before the feeling descends into a person psyche. Photographing moments of despair weigh heavy on any photojournalist. Is capturing the decisive moment frozen in history more important than the feelings of the individual going through a traumatic experience? Or does their despair pass on to you for a brief moment or in some cases a lifetime? Feeling the despair of others can change very quickly into outrage but outrage can very easily be filtered into change. Nothing can change tragic events but a lot can be learned from them. In some places tragedy is a way of daily life while elsewhere it happens less frequently. No matter where or how, tragedy spawns despair in every individual at some level. I don’t know a single photographer who is not affected by capturing moments of intense emotional despair. Some see more than others through combat situations or intense human strife. Some see despair on a daily basis through accidents or senseless acts of violence inside what is said to be “civilized society”. Either way despair hides itself well, usually resulting as the product caused by emotional progressions of misunderstanding, envy, mistrust, and eventual violence. I have photographed moments of despair, maybe not as much as others but no matter where, what, or how it always stays with you until a difference is made. This difference makes experiencing and processing the grief of others somehow worthwhile and turns despair into hope. I don’t know how else to explain it.
“In our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess” -The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso
Over sixty years have passed since the once sovereign country of Tibet was invaded, brutalized, and occupied by the Chinese government. The movement to free Tibet from communist rule continues to this day. Over a thousand Tibetans and their supporters marched through the streets of NYC on 3/10/13. This was one of many protests taking place simultaneously around the globe. March 10th marks the 54th anniversary of the 1959 uprising in Tibet. A long line of Tibetan flags held by the oppressed and those sympathetic to the cause swept across town from the United Nations to the Chinese Consulate.
One example of an ongoing project I’ve been working on the past few months. Series is another project humbly attempting to bridge scientific theory and photography. Brief summary below, much much more to come next year.
By: Michael Hicks
The way in which human brains process and eventually perceive reality is only accepted after visualization occurs. Countless occurrences stimulate the senses every millisecond while the brain chooses to focus on single moments at any given time. What this portrait series conveys is the other occurrences around the person being photographed. The specific movement choices of the person being photographed reflect the outcome of his or her perspective within that moment of time. These “other options” so to speak could have materialized given the viewers choice to perceive other outcomes. In some instances character specific distortion relates to personality.
All neighborhoods in the Rockaways were heavily affected by hurricane Sandy. A large percentage of homes were either destroyed or badly damaged by the storm. The people of these communities were forced to rely on each other until federal help finally arrived. Temperatures have been dropping making life without utilities a nightmare for many families. Philanthropic groups and concerned citizens from all over the country came to aid in distributing survival supplies and food. The National Guard and FEMA have begun to deploy in the area. Incidents of armed robbery and looting have been reported. The once popular boardwalk tourist attraction was reduced to splinters destroying all in its path as the sea and sand pushed inland.
These images show the devastation caused by hurricane Sandy in Breezy Point, Queens. More than one hundred homes burnt down as a result of high winds and flooding which made battling the flames nearly impossible. Members of the community along with civil servants relied on each other until federal help arrived. The National Guard was eventually deployed and helped residents cope with issues ranging from food, shelter, and supplies to medical emergencies.