I am wishing one and all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, of all religions and whatnot's. It all comes from the same river anyhow! These two photos may not be my best, but it is more about the hope and feeling that they give to me. The photo on top is located at Václavské náměstí at the statue of sv. Václav (Saint Václav) in the center of prague. It has always been a tradition for Czech people for large gatherings. In this photo Czech people showed their grief with candles, flowers and tears at the passing of Václav Havel. I was told by Czech people there that Václav Havel in recent years was better appreciated abroad, and not so much by Czech people, but now that he died, the reality hit the Czech nation that he is no longer here anymore, he is now missed and appreciated more than ever now. This was evident in this outpouring of grief the day of his death December 18th and the days of mourning afterwards. It gives me hope that it woke people up and made them realize who he was with the importance of his work and words. I spoke to many young Czech people since he died and they expressed that they want to follow some way in his footsteps. He was not some normal politician. He was something more. All politicians worldwide are now obviously concerned about themselves, power and money. This is what most people expressed who I met this holiday week and I think this is what people are expressing in their own way throughout the world in 2011.
The photo on the bottom was a vision of pure goodness surrounded by evil. I went to the opening of an exhibit at DOX in Prague. It was called The Lucifer Effect: Encountering Evil exhibition. it was inspired by the book of the same title by a leading American psychologist Philip Zimbardo and it shows how surprisingly effortlessly people turn evil. It shows Zimbardo's psychology experiments that he did at American universities in 1960s and 70s and with his experiments/studies of taking normal people and putting them in situations like prisons playing guards and prisoners. Most of the guards become brutally violent against the prisoners. He did many more experiments showing how easy it was for normal people to turn into evil. The exhibit also has artwork by artists such as Hans Haacke, Jenny Holzer, Harun Farocki, Antoni Muntadas and the Bureau d’études group and then on the third floor there are interpretations of evil and good expressed through art by Czech artists. The images were overwhelming and very powerful. I was strongly effected by all these evil images, one after the other, but out of the corner of my eye I would see this image of goodness and purity passing through the gallery. It was this man with a baby. I finally had to take this photo, a father and son in a moment of pure love amongst all this evil imagery. It gave me hope when I was extremely depressed. This year, 2011 was difficult all over the world and for most people's personal lives. I felt we were all being tested. These images give me hope for 2012. Forget all these big mouth stupid head no-nothings blabbering about the end of the world! It is what you make it. If you think negative that is what you will get. I think it will be the beginning of a better world. It will be for me and I hope for you too!