When we’re hurt we cry, when we’re happy our faces reflect our joy. We welcome the breeze that cools us on a hot day, and the warmth of a fire on a chilly night. We love our children, care for our friends and family, and cherish the time we have in the open arms of our partners.
Life is a series of choices: what we say, where we go, what and how we think. Everything we do reflects a choice we have made. If we choose to focus on our differences, then it’s “us versus them”: animosity, resentment, and bitterness will prevail, even war. If we focus on our commonality as human beings on earth, who share the experience of our humanity and take the same joys and sorrows in life, then we see each other as we see ourselves. Tolerance, empathy and understanding abide. We know ourselves as part of the plurality of our common human identity.
Every day in Rwanda, I ask myself why these people appear so happy when they have so little? Perhaps because they are grateful for what they do have, grateful each time their most basic needs are met: safety, food, shelter, companionship. Being with the Rwandans is a gracious and joyful experience, yet at times I feel ashamed. How thankful am I for what truly matters in life? How much am I missing when my gratitude comes more from the latest “toy” I’ve bought, and not from the smile of a loved one?
When your vision becomes a reality, how will you tell your story?
I’m a commercial photographer and photojournalist based in Portland, Oregon, since 1991. I specialize in commercial location photography for businesses. The majority of this work is for architectural, corporate, editorial, and public relations clients, and appears in a variety of print and electronic media. You can view samples online at: www.adambacher.com.
Since 2007 I’ve been taking a month each year to devote my time towards humanitarian missions.
Three trips have taken me to Rwanda, for a project documenting the countries recovery from the genocide in 1994, which claimed the lives of one-million people in the course of 100 days. Images and stories from the places I visited are featured on my blog site at: www.bachersblog.com.
This November, I’m going to Haiti for 4 weeks, to help two non-profits working tirelessly to save and rebuild lives following the earthquake in 2010. As well as donating my still and video images, I plan to create a traveling print exhibit, and a multi-media educational presentation to build awareness and remind us of Haiti's needs. If you’re interested in project please see this link: http://igg.me/p/44329?a=249927&i=shlk
My commercial work makes this humanitarian effort possible. I exhibit and speak nationally, offering a provocative visual and journalistic insight into contemporary Rwanda and the recovery, reconciliation, and reconstruction of the of the country. This message of hope, peace, and diversity, has been enthusiastically received at peace conferences, corporate gatherings, and in public schools.
All aspects of location photography including: Architectural, Corporate, Editorial, People, Public Relations, Travel and Photojournalism.
Adam, your photographic artistry is astounding (of course!), but your descriptions provide such a depth of feeling. Thank you for sharing this site, your pictures and experiences.
Adam, Wow, your pictures and articles are touching the lives of veryone at work. Marta wants to know if we can order basket(s) from the women and if we can how can we do this. Thie pictures of the children touched me the most. You can not see the “fear or pain” but the joy. It sure makes me grafteful for my life. Americans do not know the word suffering…well some do I am sure, but not to the magantute of the people in Rwanda. Thanks!!
Adam,Your pictures are works of art capturing the soul of what it means to be a person in this world. How amazing your journey must be. I am so impressed by the depth of your experience.
Thanks so much for the pictures and diary. I wanted very badly to come with Vicky and still dream of the day I’ll be in Rwanda. I remember Kenya and what a special place Africa is and can’t wait to first hand get involved in the work we do at Itafari.
Thanks again. I’m visiting her often.