Here are two different looks at our human traits, one of them good and one not. Except that each reveals something uniquely good about us.
Susan says, “Lucia took two photos. One of what we keep and another of what we throw away. The wild-feathered bird above is constructed from the tons of plastic trash we’ve thoughtlessly thrown in the ocean. It’s an indicting art work made from garbage. The photo below she took in the National Archive that houses books and documents from our history: books we’ve saved in a breathtaking library; books that we, as a nation, revere. But how uniquely human both these photos are. We are people of conflicting ideals. At the same time wasteful and smart. And yet we also possess another trait: the to look at our faults in very clever and transformative ways. The trash bird underscores our willingness to bare our faults, look fearlessly at them, poke fun at them, attempt to correct them. We are sentimental, extravagant, and awestruck at our achievements. And we are bold, honest and creative in exploring our failures From the bird to the library, our conflicting attributes are on display. Used together these photos could provoke an interesting discussion about what it means to be human. What an interesting bunch we are.”
Lucia says, “Both of the scenes in these photos had an enormous effect on me. The first is a close up of one of the 17 sculptures on exhibit throughout the Smithsonian National Zoo, called ‘Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea’. The sculptures are of sea birds and creatures created from 315 billion pounds of plastic found in the oceans. Personally, I consider myself very conscientious of doing my part for the planet – not being wasteful, recycling, etc. But after seeing these ‘creatures’ meticulously created from the smallest pieces of trash, I’ve become even more diligent. My little nephew said it made him sad to see these sculptures, because of what they represented. His little voice keeps ringing in my ears because I know his generation will inherit the damage we’ve done to the sea. I guess for this family, this exhibit did what it set out to do. On the other hand the photo below left me in awe of our history and our reverence for knowledge and our need to preserve it. Destruction on one hand and protection on the other. How do such diverse tendencies coexist in a culture? Is it possible that our need to preserve history will influence the dire need to protect the world we live in? For the sake of my nephew’s generation, let’s hope so.”
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