Fiji

13th April 2016

Happiness. True happiness. Is not bound by materialistic confines. It is a notion that I did not fully understand nor appreciate until this moment. A moment in which I witnessed a love and joy that dwell from the power of kindness and the care of a community. In being exposed to the harsh realities of Fijian life for locals, I was humbled by the children I came across, who despite a mere stranger, were willing to open their hearts and be the burst of colour that would be considered impossible to generate in those conditions. In walking down an old sandy road we came across a smiling child in a bright purple dress, her green eyes burst with love and purity as she waved and continued on her path.

Why do we as humans rely on attainable valued items to make us happy? In the rush and congestion of a developed country we lose sight of what is important and instead attempt to content a hollow echo within us by replacing love and hope with materialism and consumerism.

We forget the colours. The sounds, the sight. The crash of a wave and warm yellows and soft pinks of a sunset. It was a culture shock to witness the lives of the Fijian culture, their lifestyle is incredibly raw to what we have been socialised to. But more so, I was shocked by the knowledge I gained from the experience the value of the unattainable items in life, the unspoken language we share.

As a photographer I use a camera to interpret this unspoken language – for a camera is an item used to bring people together, to capture a moment; a smile, laugh, tear. The camera is a symbol of hope no matter what race, culture or ethnicity. It is a symbol that one is a part of something bigger and the hope that their lives, their moments are worth capturing. Because no matter who you are, we all are gifted with moments – but it is up to you whether you choose to capture it, or allow it to slip away.