As Years Go By


I suppose it’s been over a year since I posted anything here. There are plenty of reasons for that, but one of the main ones is that I’ve been focusing my writing on an attempt at a book. The style and substance that I enjoy, writing-wise, is better suited to that than this (a blog), methinks. I’ve toyed with the idea of posting a teaser here, just to let a small corner of what I’ve been working on see the light of day, and to see what kind of reaction I’d get. Most likely that would lead to disappointment, though; I’ve long been a writer without an audience, and the paucity of feedback I’ve become accustomed to getting via the internet tends to leave me frustrated. Still, writing is something I’ve always done and looks to be something I’ll continue doing, even if I’m my only reader. For whatever reason, it’s something I’m compelled to do.


Within the last week I reached a new milestone: I’ve now been in Ethiopia for three years. This put me in a reflective frame of mind. But rather than write something (still working on the book – don’t want to confound that with another writing project), I turned to my huge archive of photographs. I wanted to put together a compilation of images that span my time and experiences here, even if done in a somewhat random or haphazard way. This isn’t a new idea. It was easy enough for me to dust off my previous attempt at this, a photo project called Zirzir, and simply add on to where that chronology stopped. It did take a fair amount, but not too much time or effort, to come up with the result you’ll see here. Since I’m currently lacking photo-editing software that has the level of sophistication I prefer for working up images, I used a basic version that would get things close enough for the time being. So what I have here is something like a first draft or rough cut for a photo project that might appear on my website, if and when I get it up and running again. The final product should be a bit better than this, and would include images from my final three months.  This isn’t the most ideal venue for photo sharing, either, but I still see it as a few steps up from Facebook, which is amazing in its  apparent continual drive toward shallowness and robotic pop culture anti-thought.

What I have here is close enough, and spans my first three years in Ethiopia. Working on these images, it occurred to me that these, if viewed with requisite curiosity and reflection, say most of what I’d want to say about my time here. Of course they could never replace what I’m writing, but they offer, I hope, a different perspective, one that is open to more interpretation. If I have more time I might go back in and give them simple captions, such as place or event names, but for now I’ll present them as images without any explanation, open to the interpretation of the viewer.

… and now that I’ve managed to upload all eighty-odd photos, I can see that the WP-Robot has put them into a more or less random order, though generally opposite of chronological, which simply arranging them by file name would have achieved.  Oh, well, fair enough.

One last note to readers: if you see a photo you like, please click on it to see it larger.

ZZ87 ZZ11 ZZ115 ZZ112 ZZ111 ZZ110 ZZ109 ZZ108 ZZ107 ZZ106 ZZ105 ZZ103 ZZ101 ZZ100 ZZ99 ZZ97 ZZ96 ZZ94 ZZ93 ZZ92 ZZ91 ZZ90 ZZ89 ZZ88 ZZ87 ZZ86 ZZ85 ZZ84 ZZ83 ZZ82 ZZ81 ZZ80 ZZ79 ZZ78 ZZ77 ZZ76 ZZ75 ZZ74 ZZ73 ZZ72 ZZ70 ZZ69 ZZ68 ZZ67 ZZ66 ZZ64 ZZ63 ZZ62 ZZ61 ZZ60 ZZ59 ZZ58 ZZ57 ZZ56 ZZ52 ZZ51 ZZ49 ZZ46 ZZ45 ZZ43 ZZ42 ZZ41 ZZ40 ZZ39 ZZ38 ZZ36 ZZ35 ZZ34 ZZ33 ZZ30 ZZ29 ZZ28 ZZ27 ZZ26 ZZ25 ZZ24 ZZ23B ZZ20 ZZ19 ZZ18 ZZ1 ZZ4 ZZ6 ZZ8 ZZ10 ZZ11 ZZ12 ZZ13 ZZ16




4 thoughts on “As Years Go By

  1. Chad please continue to work on your book and this project. I may not have the critical faculties to give a meaningful critique beyond telling you I love what you are doing, but sometimes the role of the reader is to simply enjoy and be thankful to the author/artist for the gift of their work….Thanks for sharing.

  2. Well, you’re certainly not your only reader, and I suspect that the paucity of comment, at least in the past, may be largely due to the reluctance of those of us who haven’t experienced Ethiopia to risk putting our foot in it with comments and interpretations far from what you, in the midst of it, were feeling and thinking at the time.
    But thanks for these images, some of which I do remember seeing before. I especially love nos. 81 (tree, lake, man washing hair [?]) which I find the most beautiful of these, along with 886 (monolith in plain, clouds, road, bus). For me the most evocative image here is 103 (children or young men, night, coals, candle-cylinders), perhaps because it calls up some of my own impressions of a different part of Africa long ago. I think the half-dark, whether in painting or photography, always gives freer play to our memories/imagination/interpretation than broad daylight.

    I look forward to the book and to any parts that you may share pre-publication.

  3. Yo Chad,
    Great pictures! Something quite sombre and thoughtful about the series. No beaming children and distance between you and your subjects. Glad I subscribe. Keep writing and shooting!

  4. Reality! I love how this series captures Ethiopia. Too often I find myself only taking pictures of specific events or ‘pretty views.’ These pictures remind me that there is so much more to life than that. Life happens every day and so should the pictures that document it. Thanks for the beautiful reminder!

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