March 10, 2016

BW photograph of two concrete bumpers that have been moved from a parking lot.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The blizzard of 2016 left so much snow in some areas that plows were unable to make much headway in clearing it.  As a result, front end loaders were used to move the snow from one area to another.  On occasion, additional objects were also scooped up and displaced, as depicted in the above photograph.  It would have taken such a machine to lift, move, and drop these relatively heavy bits of formed concrete.  The goal was to move the snow as quickly and as efficiently as possible-anything else that was picked up simply became part of the process.

BW photograph of a concrete bumper that has been moved and has broken into three pieces.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Inevitably, with such dramatic movement, things will be broken.

In keeping with the theme of the previous post, these concrete bumpers are being used as a metaphor for the displacement of people worldwide.  For example, the war in Syria started five years ago this month.  During that time, hundreds of thousands have been killed and millions have been displaced; many of those in both categories have attempted to make it to Europe.  One of the fundamental principles of the European Union was the concept of open borders.  However, these mass movements of people from one country to the next can, and often does, create political, economic, and social destabilization in neighboring states/countries.  One can look back to the civil war in Sierra Leone during the 1990s and the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 for other examples.  Natural disasters can create similar circumstances as evidenced by the relocation of so many before and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Such is the case within the EU-as a result of the thousands and thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing war-torn countries, many states in the EU are now closing their borders-please be sure to read this report from NPR.  Children often suffer the most in such situations, as this report from NPR and Save the Children documents.

There are many NGOs working to help the people struggling with conflicts and natural disasters around the world-UNHCR, Medecins Sans FrontieresThe World Food Programme, as well as the aforementioned Save the Children, are just a few.  Within the United States, should a refugee be granted such status, the International Rescue Committee can provide assistance.  They, of course, need the requisite financial support to continue their work.

Imagine a world that does not need these kinds of programs.  Once you have finished with that fantasy, imagine what the world would look like without these kinds of programs.

Take care.