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Photos as Window on the World

Photos Offer Window on the Worldi
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January 24, 2014
Photography offers a window on the world, and a recent photo exhibition shows how the camera is bringing people together globally. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles.

Photos Offer Window on the World

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Mike O'Sullivan
— Photography offers a window on the world, and a recent photo exhibition shows how the camera is bringing people together globally.  

Artist Joy Feuer is arranging an art installation that combines objects from the site of a California wildfire with photography.  They include door knobs, latches and other household items.

“Somehow the collision of hearing people say repeatedly, 'There is nothing left,' I kind of thought, what if we could put something beautiful back into the nothing," said Feuer.

The objects have been frozen in a block of ice, which is photographed repeatedly as the ice melts and the composition changes.  It is a project of the group ART from the Ashes, which Feuer founded in 2007.  

After a natural disaster, like the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011 or Hurricane Sandy, the severe 2012 storm that struck the Eastern United States, the artworks are displayed in an exhibition that raises funds for victims.

“We all know that disasters happen, tragedy happens.  We can not control Mother Nature, we can not control people, but what we can do is create an answer with art," said Feuer.

The recent show called "Photo LA" explored the boundaries of photography and art.  

Another of the show's displays was from a nonprofit group called Thuto, featuring photographs taken by children in Botswana.  The word "Thuto" means “education” in the Setswana language, and money raised from the project will help educate children in a Botswana village called Mathangwane.

Annelize Bester spearheaded the project and distributed inexpensive cameras to the children.  She chose 32 of their photographs for the show.

“We got at least 1,000 images, not all good, as I said, but I am very excited.  Of the ones that are up at the show, I am very excited about it," said Bester.

Faces from around the world are in another exhibit from the group Women in Photography International.  Photographer Callie Biggerstaff says these photos from women in dozens of countries show similarities as they portray children, family members and friends.

“We have the same moments, regardless of the country, regardless of the clothing, regardless of anything.  We all can relate.  And that is what is lovely about it," said Biggerstaff.

She says photos like these, collected in exhibitions and shared in online forums, are creating new communities and helping photographers around the world showcase their talent.

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