4.10.2008

healing

The community held a "night of healing and hope" concert tonight to help the residents of South Parc apartments and Hser Nay Moo's family recover from their loss. They brought the angelic voices of a local children's choir to the church where Moo's funeral was two days ago. For the first time the family seemed at peace, as though they found some solace in their faith for a better world beyond this one.
Cartoon Wah, the father of Hser Nay Moo holds his 1-month-old baby, the first of his born in the US. Also, I had an editorial decision I'd been mulling over since this was published today. A Salt Lake Tribune photographer was there with me to cover the event. He basically had the same pictures as me and the paper chose to run his version of the children silhouetted. The Deseret News chose to run 2 pictures, that as the dominant and the one of the father holding the child as a secondary. For me, the story is not about children singing, it is about how the community and family are healing. This image for me says it all. The only way the family is moving on is through each other, hope for the future (baby), and faith. For something like this, I don't think the event matters as much as the story telling. But, the SL Trib generally makes good editorial decisions, so I might be wrong.



The story behind this girl is somewhat interesting. When I first heard of Moo's missing from the apartment complex, I immediately thought of a weather feature I took in January. I met a Burmese family walking through the snow back to their apartment and followed them. They eventually invited me into their apartment, where due to the language barrier we exchanged few words and mostly expressions. When I heard that Moo was missing, I searched through my notebooks for the names of the people I met that day. This girl's name was written down as Hser Nay Paw, also a refugee that recently moved to the US. I had been wondering if I had written down the wrong name the whole time and the girl I really met was the one that was kidnapped. Finally, in probably the last assignment I will shoot on this incident, I met the girl I intially though was gone.

3 comments:

the.kim.peterson said...

I really do like the first image as a more definitive "healing" photo than the alternative choir photo.

andrea said...

these are all really beautiful.

Melvin said...

WOW!!! stunning work....
thanks for sharing...........

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Melvin
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