A great big Thank YOU to everyone who has been involved with the Understanding Meets Hope Photography Project! It has taken considerable courage for the subjects to come forward, welcome me into their homes, and have conversations with me regarding their disease, treatment and their emotional health along the way. Some moments of the conversations have been harder than others, and at those moments these people have selflessly allowed me to photograph their feelings in order to capture some “truths” about what a diagnosis with cancer (or any life threatening disease) can mean when not covered up with humour and bravery. To Mike, Mark, Peggyanne and Beth… words don’t seem adequate enough to express what my heart holds for you. I came to your homes to take your photograph …and left with far more.
I believe in this project and sometimes underestimate its importance… even if just to me. I may have also underestimated the amount of time that should be invested and given to people considering this project for themselves. Since there is no rush, l have recently decided to postpone the exhibit date in order to find a few more subjects for the final display. In the end I want to be comfortable knowing that I did everything I could to get the word out and offer the opportunity to everyone.
Keep checking back for a new Exhibit date! …and thanks for being along for the ride.
The interview with Mike Fortune from Cable14 will be airing today at about 25 minutes after most hours and again on the 9th at about 5 minutes before most hours. The producer will be dubbing me a copy and I hope to have that feed onto the website for those of you without basic cable services. Special thank you to the Associate Producer, Kathleen Foster, for all her sincerity and warmth.
This weekend I’ll be taping a feature segment with Cable14 for their LINKED show! Stay tuned for airing details.
This morning we taped an interview segment for the news on Cogeco! (It will air on channel 23 for Cogeco cable customers next week.) I was beyond nervous. I trembled and perspired like a mad dog in heat. Once or twice I feared I might be electrocuted by the microphone battery pack they had nestled down into my back forty. And …I sat alone on a stool with football stadium sized lights all around me revealing every unflattering nook and cranny that I try so hard daily to disguise.
I put myself out there today, outside my comfort zone – WAY outside – and I showed bravery in myself that I haven’t seen in a long time. I’m staying consistent to my purpose and true to myself. Today I reached out to people who are suffering. Hopefully someone will show their own bravery …and reach back to me.
Images contribute to how we see ourselves, how we define and relate to the world, and what we perceive as significant or different. I decided to document the emotional cancer journey of strangers in order to capture the naked truth of it and then display it out in the open in an April 2009 exhibit for all to see. Still images overcome boundaries of language, skin colour, age, religious beliefs, education and socio-economic levels. It is simply put… people looking at people.
The importance of revealing the impact of the emotional cancer is to remove some long associated assumptions with this disease as well as help those that have not been afflicted to no longer fear its mystery and become dilligent in their early detection. Early detection is our most powerful weapon against this disease.
I have enlisted the media’s help in order to help me find willing subjects. Those who are suffering and even those who are dying. I would also like to include folks that are getting better and some who have come through it but still carry it’s weight from time to time. I need these same people afflicted with the disease or those suffering its effects to allow me to capture their deepest and sometimes darkest moments and be willing to share those moments captured with others in order to teach truth and hope. It will not be an easy task to persuade people to come forward, but hopefully in appealing to them and their families, they will allow me (with my unique perspective and understanding) to include them as part of an incredible journey of hope.
I have 3 TV interviews coming up in the next few weeks to aid in my plight for volunteers. (I hope to stream in some video should it be recorded.) If you know of anyone who would be willing to participate in this project, please give me a call or send me a note. Thanks.