aftershock – jon lowenstein
January 12, 2010. Four days before my fortieth birthday. As the magnitude of the quake continued to grow I grew more and more interested. My fortieth passed and I sat idle working in frozen Chicago. I am not a ‘news’ photographer, yet I do take an interest in documenting certain ‘news’ stories that touch me, that pull at me to go and witness our collective history. Yet still I waited and continued to watch the story on my evening glow box. ‘There are too many photographers. What good would another one do?’ (That question remains unanswered today) Thousands died. The numbers continued to mount. They screamed for help, wailed through the glow of the cold Chicago night air and outside I saw the shiny city gleam from my 11th floor apartment. I thought of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Then a call. Not any call, but a call from Blenkinsop, Philip Blenkinsop. ‘Go now Jon. Now, go to the airport right now and go. You need to go!’ ‘Right now?’ I answered. ‘Yes, right now. Go to the airport right now! You don’t need a month, you can go for 3 days. Just bring some honey, walk around and take pictures.’ With that revelation my life was changed. A few days later I made the journey through Santo Domingo and into Port au Prince. The pictures speak for themselves. I can only say that it changed my life. I don’t take life for granted anymore and try to be thankful for everyday, for every breath. I’ve been back twice since that time. I will keep on returning. Haiti will rebuild. – Jon Lowenstein
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