Every Easter I spend away from Greece is a nostalgic one. These are the links that have kept me company through this one.
1. Last week I shared Lynsey Addario’s interview on the joys and perils of photojournalism. This week, I am mourning the loss of two individuals who were dedicated to bringing us honest and direct stories from Libya. Director and photographer Tim Hetherington and photojournalist Chris Hondros lost their lives while covering this conflict. The Wall Street Journal has shared a beautiful array of Hondros’ work in Afghanistan, Egypt, Haiti, Serbia, Iraq and beyond. In 2010, Hondros compiled a 20-minute series of images from his life and work. He titled it Diary and said about it:
“Diary is a highly personal and experimental film that expresses the subjective experience of my work, and was made as an attempt to locate myself after ten years of reporting. It’s a kaleidoscope of images that link our western reality to the seemingly distant worlds we see in the media.”
2. Lots has been said about the controversy surrounding Greg Mortenson. Marianne Elliott lets her experiences as both a peacekeeper in Afghanistan and a memoir writer inform her perspective on the issue, thus creating a critical and compassionate piece titled Three Cups of Humble Pie. It is also worth reading the comments; I particularly love how she draws the distinction between sympathy and compassion and still manages to extend the latter in a difficult situation.
3. The Mortenson controversy has not only prompted the aid and development community to reflect, but also sparked some engaging writing on literary portals. The Rumpus published an excellent piece by Steve Almond on “The Heroic Life: A Brief Inquiry into the Fake Memoir.” I especially appreciated Almond’s definition of creative non-fiction as a “radically subjective account of events that objectively took place”, as well as his observation that “fake memoirs are a symptom of the basic insecurity that plagues all writers: is my story worth telling?”
5. Francis Fukuyama penned a stunning, thought-provoking piece on the effect of modernization and development policies in Egypt. He offers: “Ideas precede action. Before we can hope to generate a coherent set of policies for Egypt, or anywhere else for that matter, we need a better understanding of development—that is, how changes in economy, politics and society over time constitute a set of discrete yet interlinked processes”
Bonus: Terge Sorgjerd’s time-lapse photography moves me. I first fell in love with his images of the Northern Lights and the story of how he compiled them. For his latest work of beauty, he spent a week at the top of Spain’s highest mountain, photographing the sky and his surroundings. Read the story behind The Mountain and enjoy it below: