To take photographs that people take seriously, you have to, well… take photography seriously too. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a lot of fun at the same time. In fact, sometimes the best approach to the most serious photographic topics is an offbeat one.
Charlie Eckert and Addi Somekh, for example, have been traveling around the world for more than a decade. In that time, they’ve visited more 34 countries and taken over 10,000 pictures. But these aren’t the usual photographs of poverty-stricken African villages, Brazilian street children and crumbling Soviet architecture from one of the -stans and shot in somber black and white. Charlie might be a talented New York-based photographer (you can see his work here) but Addi is an equally talented maker of balloon hats. Wherever they went, from Guatamala to Ougadougou, Addi would create a unique, colorful balloon hat and Charlie would take a picture of the smiling wearer.
The result is a wonderful panorama of genuinely happy people around the world, all laughing at the same thing and demonstrating through their laughter their shared humanity.
The ability of a humorous photograph to show what we all have in common has been put to its greatest test though by French “undercover photographer” JR, and by Marco, a 45-year old technology consultant from North Africa who, he says, “has been active in a number of groups promoting coexistence through Art and Culture.” The pair have been traveling through Israel and the Palestinian Territories taking close-up photographs of people pulling faces and then mounting them in huge montages across the region. People who work in similar jobs on opposite sides of the Green Line dividing Israel from the Palestinian Authority are placed side-by-side to show their similarities.
“We want that, at last, everyone laughs and thinks when he sees the portrait of the other and his own portrait,” they say on the website of their project Face2Face.
These people might not be wearing funny hats, but with expressions like these, they don’t need to.
[tags]addi somekh, charlie eckert, face2face, palestinian[/tags]