By Trent Gilliss | Friday, February 26, 2010 - 4:06pm
For those of you still stuck in the office or waiting at home for the night’s activities. The Friday video snack is back.
The Qatar-born photographer Khalid Mohtaseb has received quite a bit of attention for his striking footage (below) of the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake using a still camera (Canon 5d Mark2, if you must know) and a pocket dolly. The technical specs are fun to discuss, but it is his choice of shots and the person behind the eyes that connect me with his subjects. Even the collapsed buildings are put into context by the people moving through them, and not the buildings being the main character. I like that about Mohtaseb. People matter. They’re art forms in and of themselves.
But, I decided to lead off this post with his montage of Lebanon and Egypt. There’s so much happiness and carrying on in the grittiness of circumstances. Children swinging and twirling and playing; young men squatting and smoking and laughing. Even the silent places have a sense of peace about them; the parched, cracked earth teems with life and optimism. If you clicked on one thing, I didn’t want you to deny yourself this slice of singing beauty.
For a few minutes, I’m transported and know somebody else, some other world — and then remember my wife and children and find my silent smile. Time to find home.
In our increasingly secular lives, we find ways to get at a purer distillation of who we are at the broken center of ourselves. A meditation on paying attention and finding prayer in quiet places and through unlikely sources.