Abir’s inspiration

The Reminders project cover image/photograph copyright Abir Abdullah and published here with his permission and The Reminders Project.

Often it’ my colleagues who fan the flames of inspiration within. Their acts of dedication, perspiration, and commitment render me speechless.
Such was my experience, when I viewed the images on Climate Refugee’s by photographer Abir Abdullah. Stunning and quiet his images reminds me of our humanness and of our collective agreement in this era called “Global Warming.” With all the facts and figures surrounding “Global Warming” I find that it sometimes makes the issue a little too painful to the ear and the urgency growing a little deeper under the skin. Then, the strong speaking quietude of his photographs brings the point further home and meeting no resistance… such is the power of the still image.

Abir writes:

Nature has never made it easy to live in Bangladesh. Since childhood, I lived with my family right beside a riverbank. We swam in the river, we played and we even relied on the river for transportation. In short, our life had its highs and lows with that of the river. Sometimes, our house flooded during the full moon and we feared being washed away or left floating in the river. Thus we grew up with the river and flooding was very much a part of us. In 1988, I witnessed the biggest flood of the country, one of the largest in Bangladesh history, though I was not a photographer at the time. Since then, I have witnessed the three major floods of the last decade as a photographer and I have seen the stories of the displaced people who eventually lost their homes. Many today live in other lands, and many have been forced to migrate to the cities seeking better prospects. Consequently, the capital fills up with more people every day.”

The Paradox of Our Times
“Is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers

Wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints

We spend more, but we have less

We have bigger houses, but smaller families

More conveniences, but less time

We have more degrees, but less sense

More knowledge, but less judgment

More experts, but more problems

More medicines, but less wellness

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values

We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often

We have learnt how to make a living, but not a life

We have added years to life, but not life to years

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back

But have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour

We have conquered outer space, but not inner space

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted our soul

We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice

We’ve higher incomes, but lower morals

We’ve become long on quantity but short on quality

These are the times of tall men, and short character

Steep profits, and shallow relationships

These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare

More leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition

These are the days of two incomes, but more divorces

Of fancier houses, but broken homes

It is a time when there is much in the show window

And nothing in the stockroom

A time when technology can bring this letter to you

And a time when you can choose

Either to make a difference…. or just hit, delete.”

– His Holiness the Dalai Lama

photograph of HHDL during a teaching on the Heart Sutra
copyright Ana Elisa Fuentes
Quote provided by Abir Abdullah
To view more of Abir’s images, please go here
To subscribe and/or view The Reminders Project, please go here
Reminder project design by Youme

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