Last week I posted a series of images of the Gay Pride parade and march that occurred recently here in Manila. In that post I mentioned how when photographing events such as this, I often find it more interesting to capture the scenes around the event, the passersby, the people there to observe. I had a few more such photos from the Gay Pride event that I really liked but didn’t include in the previous post so I thought I’d post them separately here today. As stand-alone images they probably don’t work very well, but hopefully you will enjoy them within the context of the previous post which you can see here.
Category Archives: Social Justice
A week or so ago I just happened to find myself at Manila’s annual Gay Pride march in the Malate section of the city. A relatively small event, especially considering the size of the city, it was nonetheless a boisterous and lively group that wound its way through the narrow and crowded streets in a part of town known for its colorful nightlife. I don’t know any of the details, but typical of what I’ve seen of many Pride organizations, this event apparently almost didn’t happen due to lack of organization and problems with sponsors. Regardless, the show did go on though this disorganization may have had something to do with the small size of the event.
There was no organized route in the sense that one would usually expect from a parade. There were no blocked off streets, no pedestrian fences to keep people off the parade route, no traffic cops, and very little media presence. And no spectators, aside from the people out on the street going about their business, the occasional odd tourist, or those who came out of their homes or shops to see what all the ruckus was about. Although there was some corporate sponsorship in evidence, overall the march had a very grass-roots feel to it, more like a protest rally than a parade, something reminiscent of what might have occurred back in the 1970s and ’80s when the gay-rights movement was just getting started.
After a few years of photographing events like this, I’ve come to find that quite often it’s the vignettes of the everyday people who come out to watch the festivities that are the more interesting story. In this case, it’s the people on the street, some just going about their business, pedestrians caught-up in the mess of the passing crowd, some amused, indifferent or unsure, and some still covered in the soapsuds of their interrupted bath.
Bookstores the size of small warehouses, a library in virtually every town, online bookstores that allow you to have virtually any book delivered to your home in a matter of days, and now, instant access to hundreds of thousands of digital ebooks. That’s what most of us take for granted. With our incredibly easy access to books in the US and other Western countries, it’s easy to forget that a significant number of the children around the world don’t have any books at all. Books are a luxury, that if they are available at all, can cost more than many families are able to afford. This year Passports with Purpose is working with Room to Read with the goal of raising $80,000 to build two libraries in southern and eastern Zambia. Funds raised will be used to cover the costs of constructing building, all the library resources such as books and educational materials, teacher training and three years of support. Learn more about the project here.
You can help give something to children in Zambia that you likely take for granted on a daily basis. Your gift will help children gain a better education and delight in the simple joy of reading. If you’d like to help, you can contribute by visiting the project donation page. I had originally planned to sponsor a prize that you could bid on but I dropped the ball. There are plenty of other incentive prizes for you to bid on, however. Just visit the donation page and have a look. I’ll try and be more on top of things next year. Oh, and Room To Read is a 501 (c)(3) charity so your donation is tax-deductible.
This set of images isn’t probably what you might expect for my first post from Mexico. But then if you’ve followed this blog for very long you know I don’t always, and often try not to, post the everyday average tourist photos. On my first day out in Mexico City I stumbled upon the Occupy Mexico rally, one of the many anti-Capitalist rallys going on around the world yesterday. This wasn’t exactly on my agenda for the day but it seemed like something I shouldn’t pass up. Monuments and museums aren’t going anywhere but you can’t see this every day. It was a much more upbeat gathering than what I saw of the Seattle protest a couple weeks ago where everyone was huddled around their tents hoping not to get arrested. Although there was plenty of protest statements being made and group organizational meetings going on, it was more like a big day in the park with multiple bands on the stage, people playing games and doing crafts.
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Passports With Purpose is an annual travel bloggers fundraiser. Last year 90 bloggers came together to raise money (almost $30,000) to build a school in rural Cambodia. This year, the goal is to raise $50,000 to build a village in Karunganni, India through a partnership with Friends of LAFTI.
Friends of LAFTI is a foundation whose mission is “To support Land for Tillers Freedom (LAFTI), a non profit, non-governmental organization that gives impoverished families in India an opportunity to own land, receive training, build homes, earn their own income and give their children an education.” For more than 50 years, LAFTI have been committed to helping Dalits (India’s untouchables), especially women, with projects that include land distribution, cultivation, adult training, youth housing and housing construction. For about $2,000, LAFTI can build a home, for which the land title is given to the woman of the household. Passports with Purpose aims to raise enough money to build approximately 25 homes to create the Passports Village in Karunganni, located in the state of Tamil Nadu, India.
How can you help? Go to the Passports With Purpose donation page where for ever $10 you donate you can enter to win from a long list of prizes. The list of donated prizes include airfare vouchers, travel and tour gift certificates, and an HD video camera. Your donation is tax-deductible (for those of you in the States).
One of the things I ultimately hope to do with my photography, and this blog, is to somehow make a difference in peoples lives. I’m still working out how I’m going to go about doing that, but this is one small thing we can all do this holiday season to help improve the lives of others.