Visual Peacemaking–Gallery Showing

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“Hoping (and working) for Peace in the Holy Land”

Photo Gallery documenting the Israeli / Palestinian Conflict:
(This show will travel. Invite me to share the photos and the stories of courage, peacemaking, and hope in the midst of conflict. Write me at: andy.larsen@peace-catalyst.net FMI or to schedule a showing)

In 2011 I was able to serve in an international program in the Holy Land for 3 months with a team of 32 people from across the globe. We were placed in 7 different locations across the West Bank with the following aims:

1. To provide protective presence to vulnerable communities where we lived
2. To show solidarity with people affected by the occupation
3. To collect stories and document aspects of the situation on the ground and to advocate in partnership with Israeli, Palestinian and International groups for a fair and just peace to the conflict.

I was located in the city of Hebron and worked directly to support and protect children from the Cordoba School, to daily be present in the old city and visit families that suffered from Settler Violence.

Visual peacemaking:
“Art is a discovery of harmony, a vision of disparities reconciled, of shape beneath confusion. Art does not deny that evil is real, but it places evil in a context that implies an affirmation; the structure of the picture, which is a metaphor for the structure of Creation, suggests that evil is not final.” —Robert Adams

Images have a powerful role in telling stories and framing human perceptions and experiences, especially of peoples and places unfamiliar to us. I have found photography an incredible aid in building bridges between cultures and people who normally do not engage each other, helping me tell stories back and forth across a divide that normally is posted with a huge “NO TRESPASSING” sign. In a world where divisions seem to be growing and prejudices hardening, I’m finding the work of visual peacemaking critical.

Artist’s Statement: In the words of a favorite author, “it has been said…that we are not human beings trying to become spiritual, but we are spiritual beings trying to become human.” Photography helps me in the journey of bridging heaven and the spiritual journey with life lived in our messy and wonderful world. With my camera in hand, I’m often stopped in my tracks when confronted by the beautiful variety of color, light, shapes, nature, cultures and people. My response ranges from exaltation, to gasps–or utter silence.

Thumbnail 3I travel a fair amount as a Christian leader to places beyond the tourist’s guidebook, often cross-culturally and internationally, many times to places of conflict. I aspire to be a peacemaker, following the call of Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount. Aesthetically, I love water, reflections, bright colors, textures and contrasts. My themes in photography include landscapes, architecture, both classical and modern, as well as people and other cultures and to massage the connections between the spiritual and worldly, day to day experiences of life. Please visit my blog to view and purchase prints, and to join this visual journey. I’m passionate to keep learning more about the craft of photography, and to work the intersection between heaven above and the earth below.

A prayer of reconciliation:
Lord Christ, help us to see what it is that joins us together, not what separates us. For when we see only what it is that makes us different, we too often become aware of what is wrong with others. We see only their faults and weaknesses, interpreting their actions as flowing from malice or hatred rather than fear. Even when confronted with evil, Lord, you forgave and sacrificed yourself rather than sought revenge. Teach us to do the same by the power of your Spirit.–William Breault

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2 Comments

  1. Truly inspired and genius, Andy. A man can ask of God for such a vision and execute poorly. You have created excellence with the vivid touch of His Power and Inspiration. May you be put before kings.

    1. Author

      Tim, I’m humbled by your comments!

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