I find myself highly conflicted about how I'm spending my day, and in the interest of documenting the experiences behind WAR-TOYS (good and bad), I thought that I would share.
An 11 year old boy was killed yesterday not far away, and a journalist friend invited me to accompany her to the funeral and hospital. As powerful as it would be to document the raw experiences and emotions around such a terrible event, it's not why I'm here. My photo essay isn't about recording the aftermath from a journalistic perspective. It's about articulating the viewpoints and lingering effects seen in the children who live and survive.
I've given myself a clear mandate, and today, it's difficult to adhere to. Rather than further indulging in a long-held fantasy of being a photojournalist and gathering what would surely be powerful footage for an eventual documentary, I'm staying in my room and doing my job. I'll be looking at the drawings I've collected and planning for the toy shoots that begin tomorrow. It's why I'm here, and my time is highly limited.
I hope to someday have the resources to pursue these individual stories as they arise and work more with individual children as they recover from events such as these. Without a dedicated therapist and perhaps a producer (if not a complete crew), there is only so much I can do. Knowing this doesn't make it any easier to swallow, especially today.