• December 4, 2014

Genesis: Youth Group looking through Salgado’s lenses

by Tom Steigerwald

“The latest monthly meeting of the youth group brought together once more our young friends, including Junior, Marionel, and Eli, joined by Fr. Paul, Julian, and myself. This month we escaped for a few hours from the noise and lights of the city to take in the thoughtful vision of Brazilian pho­tog­ra­pher Sebastião Salgado at his new exhibit, “Ge­n­esis,” a series of black and white pho­tographs, taken over three years, of grand but fragile and threat­ened nat­ural beauty, and native peo­ples working out a living in those parts of the world as yet untainted by civ­i­liza­tion.

We spent a won­derful two hours in this exhibit, where each of us felt drawn to dif­ferent images. We looked through the artist’s lens at a winding river-scape and won­dered if any reason guided its seem­ingly inef­fi­cient course, mar­veled at the har­mony between a woman and the untamed land that was both her source of life and an unpre­dictable danger, and won­dered what two men keeping watch over a great valley thought about their place in the uni­verse.

At the end each one shared a favorite image and what moved him most about it, and I was impressed by the depth and thought­ful­ness of the boys’ com­ments. But even more moving was how at ease they were with sharing their thoughts: even the shy ones felt com­fort­able exposing their thoughts to their peers, without fear of being made fun of. I think this is one of the ways they feel loved by Heart’s Home, and it’s why they keep coming back: they can be them­selves here without wor­rying about being rejected. I look for­ward to the next youth group meeting, and so do they!”

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