Cory Zimmerman studied photography, painting and film making at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Southern Illinois University, the University of New Mexico, and the Santa Fe University of Art & Design. Capturing the everyday lives of people from different cultures, in order to illustrate that people are people the world over, is his passion. His goal is to bring people together through photography. He is a firm believer that with understanding comes appreciation, beginning with introduction, media often being the only means to bridge geographic and cultural gaps between societies and peoples. He is available for the documentation of humanitarian efforts and any such projects that give people a voice woldwide.
“There are two things everyone is in the world: one of them is a photographer and one of them is a poet.” —Larry Towell
As it has been said, “Humans are humans the world over”. It may be a redundant message, but it is a necessary redundancy. While the world may be on the path to unification, simultaneously we are confronted with the threat of isolationist agendas, as the contrary natures of conservative human instinct and the evolution of progressive consciousness meet. My desire is to say now more than ever a message of unity is of upmost importance, but the truth is, it has always been, if not aloud, then deep within the heart of humanity. As vague a notion as it may be, it is a fact, which can bridge gaps continents apart. With understanding comes appreciation, with appreciation comes respect, peace, tolerance, and an ever growing affection for our race as a whole, despite diversity. In fact, diversity can become the fuel which stimulates and cultivates our palette for the broad range of flavors humanity has to offer. But this can only happen through exposure.
An image can speak a thousand words, a thousands words that can describe the joy and sorrow, the pleasure and pain that we all share as humans, across all borders, on each side of every spite fence and wall. We need to see through these walls until we lose focus of them, until they become invisible and increasingly unnecessary, and hopefully, nonexistent. I believe in the power of the image, in the magic of photography to tell the tale of humanity, to tell the story of strangers worlds apart. To teach humility and tolerance, and to cultivate interest and compassion. To inspire, to unify, to conquer and squash ignorance. To promote peace and justice. To put an end to blind prejudice, at least to the ends of human capability, and to stretch those ends until they snap. To stretch our awareness of our selves, to finally see each other as our own.
Only when we realize, “Humans are humans the world over”, will we see ourselves in our enemies, just as we do our allies. Only then, will we truly hesitate before pulling the trigger, pushing the button, or voting for hate to pull and push on our behalf, as we turn a blind eye, in concern for only me and mine. Yet, in reality, all is we and ours, and we are them and theirs. But first we must meet, and this is the power of the image, the magic of photography, to introduce us to a ‘strange and different’ part of ourselves, yet, a part of ourselves.
As I float around the streets and alleys like a ghost, I float through a mass of living, life, surrounded by dozens, hundreds, in some places thousands of lives, intricate, passionate, focused, waning others weaning, smiling others starving. In love, in pain, in all the various stages of life and processes of living. In all hours of the day, every month maturing the year, the decade, one generation on the heels of another slowing tide. I see clashes, embraces, violence, yet more often than not, tenderness, and a subtle tip toe of true presence, and slight acknowledgments of the moment, wholistic, cooperative agreements to accentuate the delicacy of existence.
Each frozen moment, flickering frame by frame, feeling for that one card in the deck, that whispers here we are now, in this ultimate beauty, this ultimate tragedy. Sometimes a distant vision, other times a burning focus, or the burnt out empty stare. Yet, often the lovely dream flickering upon the surface of the youthful eye. Fluttering hearts and the screams of unconscious terror. When I walk into the street, with my eye, my lens, I search and search for that tender moment, which will echo in a frozen frame, forever throughout this mystery. It is love. Recognition is love.