Operation Eden

Doc Searls referenced this blog Operation Eden and damn, but do I have to say this is amazing. Well, amazing, in the sense that I deeply wish this blog did not need to exist. It’s photographer Clayton Cubitt’s blog of his attempts to help out his family in the Pearlington MS area, and his photos of the survivors. These pictures are heartbreaking things, and I like his goal:

I normally shoot fashion and portraiture for magazine and advertising clients. I’m often called upon to make celebrities look heroic. Celebrities aren’t heroic. These survivors are. I wanted to make portraits of them that showed their pride, and dignity, and strength, even in such low circumstances. I wanted to show my respect, and love.

He is selling prints to raise money to help get his family on their feet. I’m not quite sure how you buy them. It looks like we might be between eBay auctions. If he were to sell a set of those photos of survivors, I’d get it.

6 Replies to “Operation Eden”

  1. I was talking with someone from Sri Lanka last night who is living in Washington DC. I commented on how much more coverage we have had of Katrina compared to the tsunami in Asia last year. The awful devistation Katrina brought is not even remotely close to what asia went through yet you wouldn’t know it judging by the coverage. She agreed with this.

    The Sumatra-Andaman earthquake caused a tsunami which hit last December, killing nearly 200,000 people in 13 countries! The last tally I heard for Katrina was 800. Now look at the amount of media coverage Katrina is getting. It’s like we value American lives more than Asian lives. I have always thought people have equal value. Nationalism is a sentiment I do not understand. We came over here and killed a bunch of native Americans so we could take their land and because of this we are all kin to each other? I don’t understand this. Someone please explain it to me.

  2. We ought to all consider that during a catastrophe such as Katrina, donations to charitable organizations that are not related go way down. Needy organizations are hurting badly now. So maybe give to both? or consider a charity not related to Katrina.

    While powerful media images are helping the effort to aid the needy, the media is making money from the suffering of others. This sort of bothers me. There is a sick joke among local television crews who are asked to cover very tragic traffic accidents. They refer to the dead in such stories as “Crispy Critters”.

  3. Not only is the guy an excellent photographer, but an extremely polished writer as well. The stories and photos are gut-wrenching, yet the faces of those survivors eloquently portray their determination in the face of all the destruction; I hope if I’m ever faced with anything like that, that I’ve got 10% of the cojones that the pictured survivors have.

    On a side note, I’m sitting here wondering how the (lo|lofi|cynono)mics philosophy plays out in disasters like the ones we’ve witnessed over the last few weeks and months. Everyone here at EGC has contributed generously to relief efforts; this is needed, and proper. I wonder, however, if a lot of our charitable donations may not have been better spent in direct aid to displaced individuals, towards their rebuilding effort. It seems to me that FEMA is still trying to find its ass with two hands, and even the Red Cross, who is not a rebuilding organization, has had its share of negative comments. I guess what I’m trying to say is that there is an overabundance of immediate relief money, and very much less towards the reconstruction effort. It doesn’t suffice to say that “my tax dollars handle that”, since to me it is manifestly clear that they aren’t or won’t.

    Therefore, I’d propose that disaster relief be apportioned into a fair amount for immediate relief, to the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and/or church-based relief efforts. Then, after that, in some way seek out a family, a person, a city block, a small town, or some other small-scale entity, and direct the bulk of your contributions there. If every well-read weblog, every bowling team, every Friday-night-beer-drinking-and football-handicapping group across the country would adopt some individuals needing longer-term relief, many people could be helped at once, with the satisfaction of knowing that your money went into the hands of someone who really needs it, and who isn’t getting help elsewhere.

    This is small groups helping small groups; and I’d contribute to such a thing.

    –Ken–

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