A Question of Seeing God

horizon-sculpture-83-by-lucy-humphrey-photo-courtesy-of-flickr-by-leighton-wallis.jpg

A small boy once approached his slightly older sister with a question about God. "Susie, can anybody ever really see God?" he asked.

Busy with other things, Susie curtly replied: "No, of course not silly. God is so far up in heaven that nobody can see him."

Time passed, but his question still lingered so he approached his mom: "Mom, can anybody ever really see God?" "No, not really," she gently said. "God is a spirit and he dwells in our hearts, but we can never really see Him."

Somewhat satisfied but still wondering, the youngster went on his way. Not long afterwards, his saintly old grandfather took the little boy on a fishing trip.

They were having a great time together. The sun was beginning to set with unusual splendor and the grandfather stared silently at the exquisite beauty unfolding before them.

On seeing the face of his grandfather reflecting such deep peace and contentment, the little boy thought for a moment and finally spoke hesitatingly:

"Granddad, I--I-- wasn't going to ask anybody else, but I wonder if you can tell me the answer to something I've been wondering about a long time. Can anybody - can anybody ever really see God?".

The old man did not even turn his head. A long moment slipped by before he finally answered. "Son," he quietly said. "It's getting so I can't see anything else."

Editor-in-Chief: @AyannaNahmias
LinkedIn: Ayanna Nahmias

Liara's Campaign | Beauty in its True Form

liara-reclining-photo-by-julian-holtom.jpg

UNITED KINGDOM - In a dialogue between acid burn activist, Liara, and the photographer, Julian Holtom, an amazing and inspirational synergy occurred and resulted in a series of portraits which are breathtaking. Liara's story, her bravery, and her passion are self-evident, but best summed up in her own words.

"As an artist my aim is to portray beauty in its imperfect form that can evoke new meaning to the beholder’s eyes. My work is dedicated to the Burn survivor community around the world; not only to represent all other burn survivors but to encourage and inspire greater self-esteem. To prove scars are not something to be ashamed of but they can become one’s identity, they should never obscure a person’s perception of themselves nor hinder them from living life to the full.

It is possible to overcome the emotional turmoil that comes with scars and that is our aim. There are organisations in support of burn survivors; such as the Katie Piper foundation, Phoenix Burns Society , Burn Victim Survivors group on Facebook and Burn survivors through the world whom I represent for example.

I approached Julian with whom I was able to work on the concept of portraying the scars as part of character and personality, with the aim to achieve something genuine yet beautiful in its true form. To prove that scars do not change a person, they make that person who they become.

Julian, thank you so much. I have not only had a relaxing and fun shoot but for first time as a model have felt confident with my body" ~ Liara

"Liara's closing comment pretty much sums up my desire to shoot her. She approached me via a modelling site where she will have faced relentless prejudice from photographers only wanting to shoot pneumatic breasted orange sex dolls. We met and talked, instantly I wanted to help her through this medium. Boy does she light up the room with her inner spirit when she's smiling. Which with her giggling most of the afternoon was very often. Really enjoyed shooting her, and have some really great shots for the time we spent together. More to come..." ~ Julian Holtom

Copyright Julian Holtom Photography ©2012. All rights reserved.

 

Editor-in-Chief: @AyannaNahmias
LinkedIn: Ayanna Nahmias

Carrie Mae Weems | Photographer

Carrie Mae Weems | Photographer

"This invisibility—this erasure out of the complex history of our life and time—is the greatest source of my longing. As you know, I’m a woman who yearns, who longs for. This is the key to me and to the work, and something which is rarely discussed in reviews or essays, which I also find remarkably disappointing. That there are so few images of African-American women circulating in popular culture or in fine art is disturbing; the pathology behind it is dangerous. I mean, we got a sistah in the White House, and yet mediated culture excludes us, denies us, erases us. But in the face of refusal, I insist on making work that includes us as part of the greater whole. Black experience is not really the main point; rather, complex, dimensional, human experience and social inclusion—even in the shit, muck, and mire—is the real point." -- Carrie Mae Weems

Read More

Steve McCurry | Through His Eyes

palazzo-ducale-genova-by-steve-mccurry-photo-courtesy-of-matteo-galiazzo.jpg

Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 01:48 a.m. DST, 23 December 2013

McCurry took his most recognized portrait, "Afghan Girl", in a refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan. The image itself was named as "the most recognized photograph" in the history of the National Geographic magazine and her face became famous as the cover photograph on the June 1985 issue. . The identity of the "Afghan Girl" remained unknown for over 17 years until McCurry and a National Geographic team located the woman, Sharbat Gula, in 2002.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC6b6X-Tf_E] McCurry continued to cover armed conflicts, including the Iran-Iraq War, Lebanon Civil War, the Cambodian Civil War, the Islamic insurgency in the Philippines, the Gulf War and the Afghan Civil War. His work has been featured worldwide in magazines and he is a frequent contributor to National Geographic. He has been a member of Magnum Photos since 1986.

McCurry focuses on the human consequences of war, not only showing what war impresses on the landscape, but rather, on the human face. “Most of my images are grounded in people. I look for the unguarded moment, the essential soul peeking out, experience etched on a person’s face. I try to convey what it is like to be that person, a person caught in a broader landscape, that you could call the human condition.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Follow Nahmias Cipher Report on Twitter
Twitter: @nahmias_report Editor: @ayannanahmias

Mehndi Henna | Beautiful Brides

Mehndi Henna | Beautiful Brides

Henna is traditionally used to mark important life events such as marriage. When most people think of henna they recall the designs such as those in the photo to the left. This type of design is a "Bridal Mehndi." In Africa, there is another more painful tradition of scarification; however, in regions throughout the world where Henna plants are grown and cultivated, women have used this plant for centuries to adorn themselves with exotic and beautiful designs, each as unique as the woman who wears them.

Read More

Wounded Woman Project | Autobiography of Rape

Reinfried Marass is an Austrian, professional photographer, born 1960 in Vienna. He started photography at age of 18 after his graduation as mechanical engineer. His work is internationally acknowledged and awarded at some of the world’s most prestigious photographic contests. Reinfried's photographs have been published in numerous international magazines and books - primarily covers, full pages, double-spreads or centerfolds.

Read More

Algerian Desert Flowers | Circa 1917

These Algerian Desert Flowers were featured in a 1917 National Geographic story that documented the exotic beauty of North African people and their religious customs. Unlike the anthropological approach to other cultures, people and countries that primarily exists today, the captions that reference many of the photos in this series 'Scenes of Orient' are ethnocentric, paternalistic and colonialist at best, and downright racists at worst. Thankfully, the beauty of these captured moments surpass the limitations of the recorder.

Read More