Friday, April 18, 2008

Go Fly a Kite...

Kites have always held a special place in my heart. The last photographs I made in Burma in 1999 were of children flying kites...a truly uplifting experience given the oppressive political and social climate of the country.
I also explored death and dying through hospice with CITY 2000.I was consumed and overwhelmed with the subject matter and marched into the office to announce my intention to quit.
Rich Cahan, the director, urged me to remain and suggested I photograph Chicago's Annual Kite Flying Festival on the south side.
I did and it was a truly wonderful counter point to hospice.
I suppose my Visitations work addresses a similar asthetic. Anyway...I was running an errand yesterday and heard the most wonderful story on NPR. "While working for the U.N., Patrick McGrann observed how bureaucracy and distance make it difficult to help people in troubled countries. He decided that in addition to needing jobs and stability, people in war-torn and poor areas also need to have fun.
On one of his trips home, Patrick met someone who had a great passion for kites. That meeting led to the founding of the Kite Gang. He tells Dick Gordon that children in refugee camps and their families face constricted opportunities; teaching them how to make kites can earn them some money and allow them to have fun at the same time." Click HERE to hear the story...learn more about The Kite Gang.

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