came in. He looked at me with pity and reassured me
that everything would be fine. Just relax. No problem.
I have come to learn that when people say no problem,
you must worry. Anyway, he turned out to be correct,
and, within an hour, we were taken to see the director
of the SSS. He was a Yoruba man, dignified and in one
of the long flowing gowns they wear. He informed us
that we would be released and lectured us on how
to work properly. Within an hour, Von [Dimieari Von
Kemedi, main Delta contact] and Oronto [Douglas,
human rights attorney] and a group of people came to
take us away. Von was dressed in a fancy suit to project
importance. We hugged, and it was amazing. But then
you called Oronto, and he handed the phone to me. As
we were talking, the director came in and saw this and
became livid. He immediately grabbed the phone and
confiscated it from Oronto and dressed down the agent
present in the room. Apparently no visitor is allowed
to use cell phones in this building. Oronto followed
behind him and rescued his phone. It was dramatic,
and all I could think was—this is a setback! But no …
we were gone within ten minutes, and then I called you
from the car.
It was over, and I could taste freedom again among
Nigerian friends who had proven their commitment and
goodness. For them, this was a human rights issue and
further emboldened me in my understanding of what is
at stake here and why my work must continue.
Ed Kashi: “suspended isolation reflects the state i occupy,
where i’m always coming and going from home.”
This trip is filled with roiling dreams of fleeting images,
disconnected but rich, indecipherable but powerful.
My mind is tired but working hard. My soul is restless
and searching for some kind of peace. My heart hurts,
whether from my stomach or by some fruitless search
for peace in it. I awake each morning from my busy
night of dreaming, trying to make sense of what the
day holds and how to approach it positively. Today in
Aleppo, it’s a brilliant, crisp, sunny day, after a night of
thunder and rain.
Suspended isolation reflects the state I occupy,
where I’m always coming and going from home.
Home has become a base for me, so when I leave I
take time to separate … although I never entirely do.
Then upon reentry, I reconnect, yet much of the time
I’m already thinking about where and when I’m going
again. This constant state of flux creates this sense of
being suspended between worlds and always feeling
isolated on some level, since I can’t ever get grounded
or fully connected either at home or on the road. One
of the issues at home is how distracted everyone is,
whether from your work or the digital gadgets and
friends of the kids. And of course, you all must live
your own lives, and so, you are not in sync with my
rhythms and moods.
Photojournalisms is now available as an app through the
Apple i Tunes store. Kashi and Winokur will present the
seminar “How to Evolve Across Media Platforms” at the
PhotoPlus Expo in October.
BO TH PHO TOS © ED KASHI/VII PHO TO