Two Vultures and One Sparrow
Salvador de Bahia, Brazil 2009
® Chong Piang Nhok
I took my first workshop with Ernesto in Sicily 2008. Then, I walked the same streets and places with my fellow students. But I did not see the beautiful “moments” which my more accomplished fellow students saw, and photographed. It was humbling. But I was happy because I had begun to learn to see “moments”, “elements”, “layers’ and “juxtapositions”. And I had begun to look at, and appreciate images in a more meaningful way.
This is my second workshop with Ernesto. I still find it difficult to anticipate and see “moments” before they unfold. But I think I have improved a little. At least I know when I “did not get it”!
Salvador is an amazing place! Yes, there was poverty. There was misery. There was despair. There was decay. There was death. But there was also beauty. There was music. There was dance. There was energy. There was hope. There was life. I think, collectively, we photographed some of these.
And apart from photography, and enjoying the place called Salvador, I returned with something totally amazing.
We chanced upon a meeting by a group of “Sem Terra” negotiating to get a piece of land to farm. We, total strangers, were welcomed to that meeting. When we left, an elderly gentleman cleaned the muddied feet of a fellow student. He gave us some watermelons. And then thanked us for our presence!
His parting words, coming from the depths of his heart: “Please do not forget us”.
Chong Piang Ngok
® Silvana Lisca
What am I doing here, again? What a strange feeling…this workshop is all I’ve been dreaming of over the last few years. And yet, now that I’m here, I feel so inadequate, so under-standard. And shy, so terribly shy!
Holding a camera somehow makes me feel vulnerable, as if I was handling a weapon designed to steal people’s souls, their precious moments. But I don’t know how to steal them.
How I admire the others’ way of moving around freely, approaching their subject and taking the picture they want! I cannot. When I’m together with them, I do feel as a sparrow among vultures. Gentle vultures they are, and although they could not turn me into one of them, they did teach me that sparrows fly as well. Thank you guys!
® Simona Turin