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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Thursday, March 23, 2006
    On being truly concerned

    Saw this Sebastiao Salgado picture close-up at Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art today. Like so many of his pictures this awesome shot pins the viewer to the spot, and keeps them there. Did me, anyway. It's a fire fighter in a Kuwait oil field being protected against the extreme temperatures by chemical sprays. Another in his canon of pictures which detail the severe realities of working life in the majority world.

    "I hope that the person who visits my exhibitions, and the person who comes out, are not quite the same," Salgado is quoted on the wall alongside this picture. "I believe that the average person can help a lot, not by giving material goods but by participating, by being part of the discussion, by being truly concerned about what is going on in the world."

    This, after a good meeting at Iona Community HQ in preparation for a week on the island in May, with what promises to be a fascinating group of community activists from Scotland and beyond. One who was with us today is currently involved in trying to establish - with the South Africa model as inspiration - a Truth Commission for Scotland. Because the truth about what's really happening in people's lives is seldom told or acknowledged. Hail this idea! Hail Salgado! Hail Kember, Loney, Sooden and Fox! Hail all bearers-of and seekers-after truth!