Abedin in TEDx

Abedin (War Children World Collection 2002-2013)-Abedin Mahdavi
Abedin (War Children World Collection 2002-2013)
January 19, 2019

Abedin in TEDx

 
 
 

Hello,
ok so I think I’ve come from the middle of war, but I have no interest in talking about war to you, because we’re hearing too much about war in our everyday life.
instead, i want to talk about the eyes, energies and the specific things that happen in the world, which we sometimes see. the eyes, this can be any child’s eye, I’m a photographer, we can imagine many things about these eyes, it can belong to a child from somewhere around the world that has a unique vision, anyone can conclude anything.
The story began from this photo, this was shown on my 1st photo exhibition in Sweden and was the reason I was titled “ War Children Photographer “, but I never have wanted to have this title, i think here’s the best place to talk about it, I didn’t like it at all, because from my point of view, there’s no honor in being the photographer of the children who are in the middle of war and don’t have whatever the other humans have, first of them being solace and safety.
the night I was titled, I was in my hotel room in Sweden and constantly thinking about my place in the world and why I was titled, why isn’t there peace so I can be “ Peace children photographer “ or life, or even laughter, Why am i war children photographer.
I didn’t sleep that night, like every night in war in which you have to be concsious all night and sleep through the day, but it was a different night for me, because i reviewed every lesson I have learned through my life, from the first philosophical lesson that i learnt when i was 6, the lesson today i brought here with myself and is in my pocket.
this was the philosophical lesson. a tiny little pencil, so what was the story behind it?
My parents are both teachers, so I learned to read and write when i was 5 and started going to school at 6. My first grade teacher always used to tell me that you don’t listen to my teaching and instead draw things on the books’ margin, so be at your way, but be aware of some things.
He taught me my first lesson.
He said “children, use the pencils to their very end, because there are people at your age from every corner around the world that don’t even have this little pencil.
This was my last pencil of first grade, i kept it in my showcase beside other tokens from around the world and it’s my dearest token.
That night in Sweden, it jumped to my mind. What was the second lesson? When my father gave me my first camera in the age of 13, it had a great charm at my age, but there was a question alongside it, what am I gonna do with it? my father told me keep this camera and photograph, but the world is not just the things you see through your camera, there are so many other things that you see with your eyes and heart, maybe remembering those things and share the with others could be more important, now you have the camera, go.
at the time, 2006, i have already gone to many countries but the confusion was with me all the time, so I returned to eyes and looks and searched for my savior, because if i have to risk my life in war zones taking photos and making films, I have make something happen even as much as myself.
we cannot change the world and we all know that, but we can think about it and take a step towards it, so I did it. So I again went for the eyes, and thought about them. you can see the child with a beautiful sunglasses , you can imagine many things about him, for instance, he may be a Mexican or south American kid wearing the sunglasses at the beach, you may also get a happy feeling from him, many ideas come to mind, but. I said I have to search for life, humanity, freshness and cheerfulness in the middle of something that nobody could think of Anyone can show the faces of war, any photographer can show you war at it’s most beautiful way, but for how long must we see war?
we can take the steps when we see the beautiful things in the middle of war and show them to others.
I went for discovering the pure human emotions and that was beautiful for me and i thought i can make things happen with that, i can talk more fluent with them and everyone would understand, it’s not like the speed and progress of technology in the world, in which you read the news constantly and get tired very soon, but can you really put this photo away?
it’s time to boast a little. why not? because there is the life that should be and I’m following it, these kids, their smile and the background, let’s talk about our resemblance instead of our differences.
They are so many resemblance between us humans, why not talk about them? We have always been talking about our differences and that’s the reason our world has come to this stage, the world we like to change but can not, the world we want to do many things for, but when the tsunami of news and negative energy hit us, we suppose we are helpless.
But i say no, there are many things to do, what are they?
let’s observe another look, let’s talk about this one, laughter, the common thing between everyone around the world, when you go in any country abroad and smile, the passport police will smile back, i have this experience in the middle of war, from both the under war people and the ones with guns, this became an element for me which that night i though about, I should the photos, do the things and take step in the way as much as myself, bringing the news is of other people and everyone is doing it, i must do something for the change I’m longing for.
at least send my discoveries of pure man emotions correctly to the people of the world, so how could i do it properly?
i found resemblance the best way and laughter and hope the first things.
I have come to this conclusion, after seeing the first helps to the under war people caused by my photos, that it is possible, so why stop it?
if I’m supposed to risk my life, let’s do it for a lasting event. Someone came to me someday in the middle of war and said that you sacrifice many things when you come to war zones and war has nothing in it, why are here?
What do you want to gain from it?
Only a photo or a news or show wrecked things to people? I told him, you can understand some things in the middle of war that you can’t find in your ordinary life, he said like what?
I said the first thing the meaning of life, but why? Because in that situation your life is between your inhale and exhale, like this.
That’s when you understand the true meaning of life, and that’s where you understand that there is no difference between you and other people of the world.
Every human on this planet can create laughter for such a child, even you who are present here.
I said to myself: ok abedin, from the moment you finish your exhibition and go back to another war, you only have to take steps in this way, the way in which you can’t change the world, but you can take photos about humanity, life, love, laughter and the resemblance between humans and make everyone think.
If we think about each other and our resemblance, relationships can change in the world and when they change, with the speed of technology, emotions will travel all around the world fastly with the help of discovering the pure human emotions which we create alongside the technological discoveries which help us, and when they are everywhere, there will be no war, I take little steps as much as myself, but why? Because of this.
they laugh and run towards you and finally complete the colors of world, there are so many colors that we don’t see as we’re supposed to, but they exist at their most perfection in an atmosphere in which we can understand life, put away evil and search of our resemblance, I learnt to talk only about the resemblances.
AbedinMahdavi