I must admit when my friend and fellow artist and visionary Eddy asked me to help head up a photography project for JAM Jewish Art Month I was conflicted because I do not identify with any religious group and tend to avoid the possible limitations that can be imposed by religious labels. For me, I most closely identify my religious beliefs in the words of the Dalai Lama "My religion is very simple, my religion is kindness".
But I was up to the challenge. The idea behind the project is to work with 13-14 year old teens, with the objective of self discovery, of allowing their religious/spiritual identity to unfold through the photo documentary approach.
We met and tried to clarify our objectives, realizing that the objectives are still out of focus. That through the process of daily photo taking and posting them on our Flickr group, we can more clearly communicate to each other and ultimately to ourselves what our religious or spiritual place is in the world. We will meet periodically, snap away, talk about what we are discovering, what is pulling us to photograph, and maybe understand that what we are drawn to, tells us and others something about ourselves. It is an uncertain journey that is exciting. Who knows where it will end and what will come out of it? Therein lies the interest for me; the not knowing.
We hope to create a self-published book at the end of this journey, as well as have an exhibit of some of the framed photos. I suppose this will give us all a glimpse into a sense of our identity, and it's moment to moment changing. Like the snap of a photo, a frozen moment in time. Who knows if this process will blur or focus my own spiritual sense of place?