The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

Photographing Spirituality

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James Estrin, co-founder of the The New York Times Lens blog will be exhibiting a collection of his work documenting human spirituality at the 92nd Street Y on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.

A woman performed a Hindu ritual in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. 2005.

Michael Winerip, who is familiar with Esterin’s work notes:

Having worked many, many 12-hour days with him, I can say firsthand that James Estrin’s photos definitely don’t happen by themselves. Beginning Jan. 7, a collection of his work documenting human spirituality will be exhibited in a solo show at the 92nd Street Y on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. It is a subject to which he has repeatedly returned since he started at The Times in 1987, and encompasses everything from photos at churches and synagogues to prison sweat lodges and childbirth suites.
While some of the worst atrocities in history have been committed by people warring over religion, Jim hunts for the commonalities among faiths.
Still, photographing spirituality is a tricky business.
“The challenge for me is capturing the essence of an invisible event,” he said.
He can see the invisible because he is spiritual himself, and knows where to look. Jim believes in God and man. “The earth was created imperfectly,” he said. “It’s our role to try and perfect it.”

Author: Daniela

I will forever be grateful that I was introduced to the utility and beauty of hand crafted products early in life - from the symbolic motifs sewn into the coarse linen fabric of Croatian traditional wear to the colorful Kilim carpets that decorated the parquet floors in my grandmother's living room. I treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," the smell of the flower stalls in the open air market where my grandmother bought produce early every morning for the day’s meals and the summers spent at my great grandmother's where the village wags would come to gossip over thick, black Turkish coffee in her cool stone kitchen. Someone noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world - one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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