Posts Tagged ‘war’

What would Jesus do?

Bethlehem © Jim Korpi

A moment can stay in a photographer’s head for life. This is one of those.
Bethlehem, the supposed birthplace of Jesus, is a city-sized prison. It exists within the West Bank, a small country-sized prison. I say this with no political posturing but with the memory of observation. I’ve never witnessed something so unjust.
Streets in the holy city were sparse, buildings vacant, shuttered. While photographing, I saw very few people. Walking down one main road, I saw a man pushing his wheelchair almost down the middle of the street. He would stop and point something towards the sky. As I got closer I realized the man had a small digital camera in his hand. I approached him and asked what he was photographing. “The sky,” he said. “The clouds are beautiful.”
To this day the hairs on my arms raise with goosebumps and my throat tightens with possible tears when I think of this man in his wheelchair making photographs of the clouds. An outsider would consider his situation Hell, but somehow this man smiles and finds joy at the sight of a beautiful sky.

Italian Bicycle Thieves


Protected Motorcycle, Isernia, Italy © Jim Korpi

The metal rims of Buzzino’s bicycle clanged on the rubble of road, an out-of-tune banjo plucking a hurried song.
You could hear him coming for a mile. The roads were quiet. The Germans shot most things moving along the road and British planes bombed from the air.
Dusted in a thin coat of flour, the apparitional form of the partisan baker Buzzino rushed from one part of town to the next.
Since the occupation by the Germans in Florence, keeping possession of your bicycle, your horse, or any mode of transport proved difficult. The Germans stole what was needed.
Buzzino reckoned he would hold onto his bicycle by making it less of a convenience. He removed the rubber tires. It was a rough and loud ride, but no German ever stole his bicycle.