The Family of Man

Though a photography exhibit, my favorite part of The Family of Man was the integration of quotes with the photos. I was loving taking photos of photos but the exhibit was fairly silent and my camera’s fairly loud so I limited my photos to only the most impactful. More still available on my Flickr.

The exhibit goes through Clervaux Castle and explores life starting (obviously) at the beginning with birth.

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Reading this quote, all I could think about was an emotionally charged sermon I was given in high school youth group (the message’s not actually religious). The woman (I wish I could remember her name) spoke of how we could never imagine hating a child. Okay, maybe you don’t like children but stick with me here. We look at babies as perfection though they scream and cry. Even looking at our own baby photos, we (or I know I at least) cannot help to grin and think how cute we were. Yet as we get older, many people look in the mirror and no longer love what they see. What changed since being that perfect baby in the photo? If looking at a photo from every day in someone’s life, could they point to a specific photo and say on this day I was no longer worthy of being loved? Is the switch flipped on our 8th birthday? 6th birthday? Younger? When all of a sudden do people begin seeing ourselves as less than perfection? And I’m not talking self-righteous, conceited perfection, I mean as simple as loving oneself.

Alrighty then, that last paragraph was a bit… weighty. Let’s all shake it out. Talk Dirty just came on my Spotify so my moods lightening already. Though, I am looking at my photos from the day and their all pretty serious so we might go back to that heavy place. This is just a bit of a break. Here’s a cool photo I took yesterday walking the trails by the seminary we are staying in.

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And moving on to the regularly scheduled museum brooding.

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This past week in social entrepreneurship, we all chose a top of interest to us. My topic has been clean water. Though a focus of many groups, hundreds of millions of people still live without improved water*. We have dropped to a singular percentage of humans without access but it still equates to over half a billion people. This does not include people paying outrageous amounts for the water or constantly being sickened by polluted water. I was researching a social enterprise* today which created localized water treatment plants and water ATMs. You read that correctly, water ATMs. The company, Sarvajal, is made up of franchises owned by locals in India. The company sells water at the same or lower prices than many charities (they charge to cover facility costs) but because there’s ownership to the facilities so they are maintained unlike many other water sources. Since the enterprise wants to make money (to put back into getting more water for the people), they look for cheaper solutions and actually found a way to make treatment plants for ~$2500 (5% of the previous $45000). If interested in learning more or helping their cause visit their website: www.sarvajal.com.

Alright, one more real thing then we’re out of here. Time for another break. I’m currently listening to Beauty and the Beast (if you want a soundtrack for the rest of this post). I really like having this blog. It lets me get out all the crap in my head without making someone tired of the sound of my voice. If you get bored by me here, you can just stop reading but I can keep talking and will never know. It’s a win-win for all. I feel this post is very ADD.. Sorry? And here’s another photo from my walk yesterday. Reminder: this was in the middle of the woods.

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The Family of Man exhibit was created after WW2 and the atom bomb. People knew the creation of the bomb was two sides of one coin. It could mean peace for the world or destruction for the world (side note: watch the 100 on the CW/Netflix it’s amazing and all about the after if we did destroy the world with nukes). To end the exhibit, they had a powerful photo of the mushroom cloud resulting from the bomb destruction. Then around the next bend is a collection of photo’s showing the next generation with a Shakespeare quote-probably one of my favorite from the entire exhibit:

O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful, and yet again wonderful

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Though the exhibit is over 50 years old, it could have been created yesterday or tomorrow. The timelessness is unbelievable. While the technology increases, our basis of life stay the same. We begin as dust and it’s where we all shall return.

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Lesson of the day:

If a girl runs ahead after getting off the city bus in Luxembourg, there’s a chance you will find her around the corner petting a cow.

Also learned just before publishing this, the exhibit is call The Family of Man not Life of Man or Museum of Man.

Words of the day:

Emotional = émotionnel
Art Exhibit = exposition d’art
of = de

*Definitions:

Improved water source: one that, by nature of its construction or through active intervention, is protected from outside contamination

Social enterprise: though the definition is often disputed, they are basically companies helping social matters through typical business means and trying to create profit. The difference is the profit is spent on investing in increasing social value rather than economic value.

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