DAY 3: Second Day in Amsterdam

I slacked. This post should’ve gone up the night of June 14th, but laziness took firm hold. I have no regrets; I slept like a baby last night. First solid 8 hrs of sleep since arriving in Amsterdam. It was heavenly.

I didn’t, however, make it to the Israeli documentary screening my host so graciously invited me to. Apparently it’s easy to lose track of time here. Very easy. Often I’ll think an hour has passed since checking my phone, but upon re-checking, I’ll find its been 3 or 4 hours since.

I’m also not a good planner. I’ve tried to waltz into Amsterdam with a checklist but every time I arrive, I only ever want to wander the city. I did manage to visit the World Press Photo exhibit though, which is a prestigious annual photography contest where they display what they consider the best of 2014. It was held inside a cathedral in the center of downtown. Large white boards with high-quality images imprinted on each one hung from steel cable off the floor.

Some boards consisted of multiple images, telling stories of families ruined by drugs and violence and sex, or survivors in war-torn Gaza, or athletes accomplishing iconic sporting moments. It was overwhelming, really. I definitely urge you to look at the images yourself on their website: http://www.worldpressphoto.org/collection/photo/2015.

Sergey Ponomarev's coverage of the crisis in Gaza is downright harrowing. Or Pete Muller's coverage of the Ebola outbreak in Haiti. Darcy Padilla's long-term project is a well-deserved first prize winner. Actually, all three in the long-term project are absolutely amazing. Liu Sung's second place portrait was the first photograph that really caught my eye at the exhibit. Or Arash Khamooshi's coverage of a man in Iran who was set to be executed after he'd stabbed and killed another man in a street brawl. The coverage by Khamooshi went on to reveal that the mother of the deceased, in an act of forgiveness, slapped the man set to be executed across the face once the noose was around his neck. When you hear the story and experience the imagery, it's quite powerful.

Not much else to say for the 14th cause I’m fried from the 15th and writing that too… But that’ll be better cause it’s fresh in my mind. I really shouldn't conclude the night without writing something the day-of otherwise the magic’s gone… But It was still a great sleep though. No regrets... but still.


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