Nothing Changes On New Years Day

Nothing I or anyone else may photograph will ever change the world. But that doesn't stop photographers from trying.

Queue up that U2 song and consider the following.

Think of any famous image from the 20th Century depicting war, war crimes, extreme poverty, violence.

Remember the photograph by Eddie Adams, the one of the Vietcong soldier being executed?

Remember Tank Man, the guy standing in front of a column of Red Army tanks in 1989?

Remember any of Robert Capa's images of D Day?

How about one of my personal favorites, the image of the man who refused to salute Hitler at a rally in 1936?

Nothing changes on New Years Day.

This isn't another anti-humanity hit piece. I'm just stating a fact, for now. Humanity doesn't change, nor do the terrible leaders we learn to covet out of sheer stupidity. For the record, I'm talking about your choice of politicians and leaders, my Dear Reader, not only the ones who were at the helm during times of historic conflict and destruction. But I digress.

The Dhakuria Railway Colony

I don't know how long this place has existed but I suspect it will be here for a very long time. I will be visiting there on New Years Day to photograph and document the never-changing drudgery and danger which is ever-present at this site.

I say "will be" because I'm writing this piece on December 28th, 2019, and will be scheduling this to post on January 1. Because of the whole New Years Eve drinking session, right? Yeah, some things never change for me either.

What are my plans? For the next week or so I want to take my daily shots during the morning hours at the Colony. I've been photographing here for years, ever since coming to Kolkata. I suspect this will never change either.

Have a look at my 2018 album of Dhakuria railway colony images. You will likely connect to the reasons why I think it's important to photograph such a place, why such a place shouldn't exist. I've talked about this place plenty already. Certainly more writing and images ahead in 2020 and during my stay this week.

And so I raise my drink retroactively on New Years Eve to all the photographers out there who photograph conflict, poverty, and the darker sides of life. Without your work, humanity would be even more lost than it is now.

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