I’ve come across a photojournalist that… leaves me almost speechless, allow me to introduce you to Brian Sokol . I initially skimmed through the pictures on his website and a few pictures in I knew I loved his photography and his photographic eye.
I envied the shots he took and I’m in awe of the colors, the lighting and the image that he’s been able to recapture.
After stopping at some pictures for a few seconds and gazing over others for a full minute or two, I decided to look through his photo stories because my hunger for his work grew.
I found my way to one of his photo stories titled “Maoist Rise to Power”, looking from one gray image to another I found myself thinking “I missed it all…”. For there, in the white to black gradient lay images of a revolution that is relevant to me but that I was only witness to from the other side of the world.
Though showed only in hues of shadows, I know all too well the shade of red that would have been in almost every picture. The symbol found on flags, shirts, heads and walls are easily found all across the city today. But the excitement, the anticipation, the uncertainty of then’s future and my today… are as colorless to me as those pictures.
In his photo story “The Kathmandu Uprising” I was filled with similar sentiments. Though seeing pictures of bleeding heads on concrete floors and silhouettes in front of a fire weren’t new to me… recognizing the features of the faces and seeing them in my mirror brought it all home.
These are the events that brought Nepal to where she is today. Those are the flames that raged in the hearts of my people… the charred remains that will forever remain black streaks in our history.
The photos of conviction, of uniforms, of rebellion, anger and hope are all emotions and moments that I will never be able to claim as my own. I won’t have the stories my friends do of being on the streets.Telling future generations about both Jana Andolans I’ll never be able to describe the smell of smoke, nor will I be able to talk about the suspense that hung in the air, because though it’s been told to me in various versions by as many people, I don’t know.
Instead, a man who doesn’t have Nepal in his blood (but perhaps in his heart), a man with a passport that isn’t forest green, has memory cards full of images that allow me to see the days , months, and years that I will be able to say was a part of my generation.
I am happy to have these imagines, but I feel oddly cheated.