How much (or how little) do we know about the people fighting for our safety? Do you know what kind of life they lead? Their dreams? Their aspirations? Their personal battles? What are their lives like? What do they dream about? Do they find girlfriends easily? Do they like chocolate? What do their non-military friends and family think about? Why don’t they just follow in everyone else’s footsteps and do an MBA and go for a 9 to 6 job? Do they invest in mutual funds? Who does their taxes? Do they like fast bikes? Do their wives support them? What do they teach their kids?
Pritish Nandy laments the misuse of the word “Hero”, and the dearth of real heroes. But I think we are surrounded by them.
Its not just the soldiers. Even the neighbourhood policemen. The honest ones and the dishonest ones. The rich ones (ha!) and the poor ones. The fat ones and the fit ones.
Its easy to be critical of the system. Its easy to think of these people in abstract terms. Its easy to ignore them. Its easy to think only of ourselves. Its easy to sit back and enjoy your book/ coffee/ free porn/ farmville/ girl/ bike/ Crème brûlée / IMAX movie / whatever.
But when it is presented in front of you in the form of real-life flesh and blood, you do sit up and take note, don’t you? I did. This marvelously impartial photo-essay on how an american soldier made me wish I knew more about our soldiers too.
I would love to do something like that. To take an abstract term (soldier / policeman) and flesh it out for you. Make it real enough for you to sit up and take note.
How? I have no idea.
I think I am good enough a photographer to be able to take the photos. But I have no idea how I am going to get the permissions, the access and the funds.
Can you help?