Welcome to the inaugural IMPACT online exhibition, a project exploring the internet as a venue for insightful photographic work.
In an effort to remind viewers of the important role photographers play around the world, we invited an array of photographers to share galleries on their blogs that comprise 12 images representing an experience when they had an impact on or were impacted.
By clicking on the links below the IMPACT logo, you can move through the exhibition, viewing other galleries by different photographers. You can also click the IMPACT logo to be taken to a post on the liveBooks RESOLVE Blog where you can see an index of all participating photographers.
We hope that by linking different photographic visions of our first topic, “Outside Looking In,” we can provide a multifaceted view of the topic as well as the IMPACT individuals can have on the world around us.
-The IMPACT Team
The Mountain Kingdom
Text and Photographs by Jeremy Wade Shockley
I felt pride working alongside the Basotho, sharing in their labor. Their amusement was matched by my efforts. I watched these students accomplish and create. In contrast, many Basotho sat idle, unable to better their situation in a country where not everyone is afforded the same opportunities.
In Lesotho, working in economic development, I witnessed first hand how this developing country created jobs despite their limits in education and infrastructure. I helped train those seeking a trade, those who sought to embrace the economy that will eventually determine the fate of this small country.
I set foot on African soil for the first time knowing that Lesotho would be my home for the next two years. What I would gain was a deep understanding of culture, unparalleled in a short lifetime of travels.
My service as a Peace Corps volunteer not only afforded me the opportunity to explore the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, its culture and landscapes, but to ply my craft as a photographer, unaware of the impact that it would have on the course of my life.
Lesotho, one of the poorest countries in the world has its share of hardships: unemployment, loss of life through HIV/AIDS, new strains of drug resistant tuberculosis, and a critical lack of education needed to combat these problems.
Through my images I hope to convey that despite hardships and struggles facing the Basotho people the strength and fortitude of their culture enables them to embrace each day with optimism. Their faces carry the burdens of a hard life and are often stern, yet a smile is almost always inevitable.
Inspiration to photograph Basotho at work and collect these images into an essay came from what I saw as strong parallels to America in the 1930’s. A country hard at work, determined to survive, and able to produce against all odds.
To learn more about how you can help visit FRIENDS OF LESOTHO.