The Face of God-Images of the Divine at Work in Humanity
Disaster and war dominate the media, but another force is at work in the world. Divine love drives ordinary people to extraordinary service. The Face of God will document 10 stories of world-changing people whose weapons are love and faith.
"There were two things I wanted to do. I wanted to show the things that had to be corrected. I wanted to show the things that had to be appreciated." -- Lewis Hine
Natural disaster and man's inhumanity to man are, and have always been, tremendously important issues. Equally important, however, are stories of human courage, strength and dignity, as eloquently addressed by Lewis Hine, the famed 20th - century documentary photographer and social reformer.
Now, more than at any other time in history, thousands of ordinary men and women dedicate their time, money, energy and will to solve the inexplicable puzzle of human suffering on a rich planet. Many thousands of these people are motivated by faith and grace, seeking to embody the scriptural imperative “Treat others as more important than yourself.” Collectively these modern-day servants comprise The Face of God.
One archetypal example is Mother Theresa. Before her recent death she spent her entire life giving her all to help the unfortunate in Calcutta. It was easy to imagine the face of God when looking at Mother Theresa: She fairly glowed with the internal power of love. Her example helped the world see the joy, and impact, of selfless living.
Today, countless people all over the planet give themselves entirely to serving others. My dream assignment is to find these people and tell their stories through photographs, audio, and video interviews. I would like to profile 10-15 primary stories of little-known but exceptional people from a variety of races, age groups, sexes, socioeconomic backgrounds, and geographic locations. Through the telling of their stories of selfless love, the Face of God will emerge. The stories will be photographed in a documentary style, with the emphasis on revealing genuine moments and real emotion. I will seek to publish a book of photographs with a companion multimedia website featuring short documentary films containing video interviews and still photos that allow the people featured to tell their own stories in their own words. The web site may also contain sidebar stories with information graphics, maps, Q & A’s, fact boxes and data visualization that examine the global landscape of charitable living and giving. The site will feature a blog in which I will report on the experience of finding these people and revealing their remarkable stories. The blog will be the first piece of the project online and will solicit recommendations from readers for stories to cover, effectively making the project a two-way communication with readers. From their suggestions, I will select some of the stories to tell.
The goal of this project is simply to “show the things that had to be appreciated” with regard to people living their faith. It will not pontificate, but bring to light the amazing power of love and attempt to show the Face of God in our neighbors and strangers.
In more than 20 years as a photojournalist, multimedia producer and professor, I have had the privilege of meeting and sharing the lives of many extraordinary people. This dream assignment will allow a synthesis of these experiences into a work that can serve society by featuring people whose lives are an inspirational example of good in our world.
In keeping with the spirit of the project, if I am selected as the recipient of the $50,000 prize I will donate ten percent to the primary cause of the people featured in the project.
Please vote! Thanks for your confidence.