Finding an Image for Vulnerability

Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 6:53 am

Finding an Image for Vulnerability

In looking for a lead image for our show with Brené Brown, I tweeted out a request for people to send me “shots of vulnerability and shame.” I was intentionally vague; I wanted to see how people might run with it. The truth is, I didn’t receive that many submissions. I didn’t need to.
All because of one powerful photo (above) from Brit Hanson, a poet and digital storyteller living in Barrancabermeja, Colombia. Here’s the context as she tells it:

“Several weekends ago, I attended a commemoration of the massacre of 43 people in Segovia, Colombia on November 11, 1988. A group of young men and women from the area performed a theatrical vignette in commemoration of the victims of the massacre.

I love the story this photo tells. The one in which young folks in imminent danger act courageously. The one in which their creative act is a subversive and nonviolent statement of power. The one in which they remember the past and imagine a different kind of future.
These young folks were brilliant and brave and incredibly vulnerable as brutal violence continues in the Segovia community today. I thought this photo really captured the vulnerability of their courageous act of performing in such a volatile context. And that’s the irony about vulnerability, isn’t it? Vulnerability is always courageous, no matter how grandiose or mundane the expression.

Their vulnerability was performing. Mine was admitting that I was scared to even be there.”

Thanks, Brit. It’s just what we needed.

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is the cofounder of On Being and currently serves as chief content officer and executive editor. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi” and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent’s reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

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