Jordan Bower, photography: “I’ve spent the past three years working on a photo project called ‘what does it mean to be a human being?’. It’s come about in response to what I feel is a deep misunderstanding of what life is like beyond our direct experience. From the perspective of the west, the less developed world is typically portrayed as either a war-torn, poverty stricken urban slum or as an exotic and idyllic tourist attraction swiftly adopting western values. These simplistic stereotypes enable us to dehumanize the billions of human beings who live and die there by not affording them the creativity, intelligence, humanity and potential for love that we extend to each other. The only reason we accept radical income disparity and environmentally damaging consumerism is that we think our ideas are better than their ideas – and that we’re individually more valuable as a result.
The truth is there is no consensus on what it means to be human. Look inside at your own happiness and sadness, success and failure, wealth and poverty, achievement and suffering: all of us are all of these things all of the time. Each of us is the main character in our own complex story. None of us is simple or easily understood.
The human condition is fundamentally unchanged from that of our ancestors. It is shared, if diversely expressed, with all other human beings on this planet. All of our issues stem from treating some people as if they were worth more than others. We teach our children to treat others with trust, honesty, respect, and kindness. This is what I’m doing here. I’m not saying something new: I am repeating what we all already know.” More of Jordan Bower at http://stockthatdoesntsuck.com/results/?Artl=86#id