Hello from OSO!
During one of our learning journeys to Stockholm, Sweden, two of our colleagues, Victor Paredes and Juan Ressia decided to develop a piece of work which was a little bit out of the ordinary.
They visited the Fotograkiska Museum, where a native well-known photographer, named Albert Wiking, was having a photographic exhibition, collecting pictures and stories of highly inspiring people throughout the world. They entered the museum without knowing anything about what they were going to see. After reading the introduction of the work these photographers have done, they were so captivated that they began to take notes and make an essay about it.
We would like to share these reflections with you, along with the inspiration they have brought to the team.
We Have a Dream – About Courage, Compassion and the Human Rights
By Albert Wiking
Albert Wiking is a Swedish photographer and designer. In his photographic exhibition “We have a dream”, he shows a selection of 114 portraits of people who in some way have inspired something and have fought for their dreams and for the rights of all.
Albert, along with his companion Oscar Edlund have been traveling since 2002 collecting in photographs and in writings the stories of these people; writers, politicians, activists, artists, philosophers…
This exhibition is more than just photographs, it is an exhibition about extremely influential people or even very humble people, who have struggled to break with the established and impose their values, people who have had the courage to inspire and create change.
Albert and his team had an interview with Nelson Mandela, whom considered as a role model, but unfortunately, he passed away before the meeting took place. His are these words:
”My inspiration are men and women who have emerged throughout the globe, and who have chosen the world as the theatre of their operations and who fight socio-economic conditions which do not help towards the advancement of humanity wherever that occurs. Men and women who fight the suppression of the human voice, who fight disease, illiteracy, ignorance, poverty and hunger. Some are known, others are not. Those are the people who have inspired me.”
Among the many people with their respective histories shown in the exhibition, I have been able to collect several of them, all of which have taught me a great story and have inspired me in one way or another.
MARTA DA SILVA – BRAZIL
Marta’s childhood was very difficult. She was passionate about soccer, but in Brazil it was forbidden for women to play it. It generated conflict when the boys saw her play, and was criticised by all neighbours. Despite this, Marta never gave up her dream of being a professional footballer player, and she fought to change those inequalities in Brazil. Criticism made her fight harder to fulfill the dream of her life. She is now considered the best female footballer in history, dubbed as “Pele with Skirt “, and she is the only woman to win 5 consecutive Golden Ball Award. In addition, she has been appointed as a UN ambassador to Poverty and gender inequalities.
SAMUEL OPIO – UGANDA
Samuel Opio was born in Uganda, a country where homosexuality is seen as an aberration and is punished, discriminated and threatened. Samuel Opio defended publicly the rights of the LGBT community, the response was several agents visiting his house and beating him up. Samuel Opio continues to struggle day by day fighting for the rights of these people even though its country is becoming even more homophobic.
LEYMAH GBOWEE – LIBERIA
Leymah is a Liberian activist who fights everyday for human rights in his country. She initiated the movement that ended with the Second Civil Liberian War in 2003. She mobilized women from her country, and even collaborated with muslim women to fight for women’s rights thus becoming a founding member of WIPNET (Women in Peacebuilding Network), as well as winning the Nobel Peace Prize.
JANE GOODALL – ENGLAND
Jane Goodall is an English primatologist, ethologist and anthropologist who is mostly known for his work taking care of chimpanzees in Tanzania for more than 50 years. Thanks to his great care of these animals, his perseverance, empathy and ability to observe, she made great contributions in the research of the unknown world of chimpanzees. She is a passionate defender of animal rights and equality. She is currently a UN messenger of Peace.
RICHARD BRANSON – UNITED KINGDOM
The entrepreneur we all know in LEINN, founder of Virgin Group, supporter of taking care of the environment and constant fighter for world peace. He organized a meeting between Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan with Saddam Hussein to reach a peace pact, the day before the meeting, America bombed Baghdad, therefore, the meeting was never held. He was recently awarded with the Peace Summit Award for his contributions to human rights.
Ruby Rose was born in Australia. Since a very young age she began to have very clear her feelings of attraction towards women. In those times, homosexuality was not very well received in her country. During her school time, the girls of her class followed her to her house and beat her up, which sent her to the hospital several times. She is ambassador for Headspace, a mental health institution for young people established by the Australian government, plus she also fights against homophobia and school bullying.
I was very surprised by how a normal photographic exhibition has been able to distinguish from the rest and give it a more human approach to what they want to transmit. Instead of being just another photographic exhibition, they are shown as a call to sanity and self reflection about what really happens in the world and how there are people who have been able to fight against what disturbs them.
More than a photographic exhibition, in my opinion, the biggest message that these artists want to transmit is not the visual image, but the voices of people who have had the courage to fight against injustice and the construction of peace. I think that what they want is to encourage people to pursue their dreams, to get out of their comfort zone and do what really makes them happy and believe is right. As they say, change is a collective process, uniting dreams and voices of each one is possible to make this world a better place.
“We Have a Dream”
This essay is somewhat different from the others, it came to us by chance in the museum of Photography of Stockholm where we entered to see an exhibition. They were not simply portraits, all had in common the pursuit of a dream that had inspired them in their lives. These were potos of famous people like Dalai Lama or Richard Branson, and of people not so famous, such as Urmila Chaudhary, along other 114 photographs with their stories and inspirations.
With this, the photographer seeks to inspire people and spread the story of these heroes, important and influential people alongside people with little dreams struggling to maintain order in their neighborhoods, bring equality or food to inhospitable places.
Urmila Chaudhary was born in 1991, and the 4-year-old, against her will, had to be sold by the father as a slave to a wealthy lawyer. She worked as a slave for 11 years, where she only ate leftovers in putrefaction and if he dared to ask for something he was burned with hot water. Was released in 2007 and since then she is an activist and fighter for human rights.
“The hardest was not being able to look anyone in the eye for 11 years, “ she said.
Tariq Ali, 1943, Pakistan. From an early age he lived in England where he studied and worked. During the Middle East wars he lost all his family. Today he works providing roofs and food to Syrian refugees in Britain.
Mirjana Krisanovic became blind due to genetic problems at the age of 10. Her passion was running and so did not give up. With much work and help from their beloved ones, she started training until she became the first blind woman to run half marathon in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In addition, she climbed a mountain which was 4000 meters high in the Himalayas.
“Believe it or not, the blind are also afraid of heights,” she said in her biography and added that at a time during the climbing she paralyzed because of fear, but her coach told her that fear is all mental and with only that thought in her mind she finally reached the top.
Marta Viera Da Silva, known as Marta, the best female soccer player of all times, with 5 golden ball award, no one surpasses it. She explains us that since a little girl she liked soccer, and played in the street or in the beach with her brothers and friends, but parents did not let her play because at that time, women’s soccer was banned in Brazil. Fought until being the first federated woman. Today she works for many girls to have possibilities to achieve their dreams.
Dalai Lama, now 81 years old, in 2011 left all the work he had as director of the Tibetan administration, to be simply a spiritual and religious leader. In 1989 he won the Nobel Peace Prize and since then has been regarded as a mentor in the area of human rights and has won many prizes from various agencies.
Inna Shevchenko, born in Ukraine, was an activist from the early years of her life and founded Fumen group which is a group of feminists protesting and striking in Kiev against the government. She was a journalist for a short time since the newspapers she worked for did not allow her to express her opinion freely.
Nelson Mandela. Although the title of the exhibition refers to the speech of Martin Luther King, the exhibition is dedicated to Mandela and inspired by him and what he symbolizes. They had a scheduled interview but Mandela died the day before he died. They left at the entrance of the exhibition his speech to inspire visitors:
“My inspiration are men and women who have emerged throughout the globe, and who have chosen the world as the theater of their operations and who fight socio-economic onditions which do not help towards the advancement of humanity wherever occurs. Men and women who fight the suppression of the human voice, who fight disease, illiteracy, ignorance, poverty and hunger. Some are known, others are not.T hose are the people who have inspired me. “
These are just some of the many biographies and portraits. The purpose ofAlbert Wiking is to show what have many men and women of different races and religions, colors, sexual orientations have achieved; fighting for a cause, pursuing their dream, inspiring others, helping.
We are small, we are not going to change the world, but things like this inspire us on keeping working to chase our dreams. I only wrote 6 testimonials chosen at random buy the force emanating from the images and biographies are the reason i performed this small piece of work. It is not aimed at any project or implementation but just to keep it as a role model.