Reflection

"Our Humanity on the Move"

Sebastiao Salgado is a Brazilian photographer and photojournalist who has spent his life documenting the faces of migrants and sojourners across the...

"Our Humanity on the Move"

Sebastiao Salgado is a Brazilian photographer and photojournalist who has spent his life documenting the faces of migrants and sojourners across the world. Read this poem by Jan Bowman and reflect on how you see "our humanity on the move."


Sebastiao Salgado

by Jan Bowman

 

He won't let us forget

those we've forgotten—

or would like to forget—

the migratory kind

who've lost their feathers

to war or drought or disaster

of any kind. Though innocent—

seldom guilty—they're caught.

 

He frames them

in the act

      of migration:

 

open sores

ragged trousers

one plastic pail

fifty thirsty children

 

Serbs, Guatemalans, Kurds

Russians in the U.S.A.

Palestinians in Lebanon

 

a girl, about twelve, holding her father's photo

in Afghanistan, her face as stolid

as the mud-plastered wall behind her

 

three small boys from Rwanda

clutching a gray wool blanket

eyes as huge as their fear—and one tear escaping

 

Vietnamese, Angolans, Moroccans

my people in your country

your people in mine

 

He photographs our humanity

on the move.

 

  • What lines from this poem stand out to you? Why?
  • Where do you see "our humanity on the move" in your community?
  • Who won't God let you forget?

 

Poem from Weavings: A Journal of the Christian Spiritual Life, Vol. XXI, No. 4 (July/August 2006)(Nashville, TN: The Upper Room: 2005), 24.

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