Can a photograph change the world? Not likely. At least not directly. I mean, we do still have outrageous horrors taking place all around the globe as we sit here and read these words. The powerfully moving photographs from Nazi concentration camps did not prevent the genocide of Rwanda in 1994. The photographs of the agony suffered by millions in Bangladesh in 1974 hasn’t removed famine or starvation from the planet. The image of a naked, screaming Vietnamese girl– her skin burning from napalm– may have had somewhat of an impact on America’s role in the Vietnam War, but the U.S. and other countries continue to wage foolish, unnecessary wars to this very day.
Photographs cannot change the world. But people…if they want to… can. And photography at it’s most sublime level can move people to want to. The photographs in this short video by COOPH are worth your time. It is worth your time to find a few minutes to sit quietly and take in what some photographers have done and are doing in this world; to understand that as a visual and empathetic species we can indeed be moved.
What a photograph can do…what photographs do…is touch people in ways they never thought possible. And when you can move one person, you can move others. And when you move others you can, maybe, possibly, change the world.