First, the question of “making a difference”. One need not burden oneself ( or keep the expectation or assumption) of the image of “making a difference” in large or remarkable efforts, (i.e. Mother Theresa). But, one can and should help make a difference . The West ( North America – Europe, the U.S. and Canada) were once thought to be Christian in world view and philosophy. While that is significantly dwindling , those that espouse Christian values best address the call to Tithing (which has at its heart relief and assistance for the marginalized) and understand that “doing” means as much as “believing” (faith and deeds) as we are so abundantly well off in comparison.
LAAH: What exactly is it that you do?
As an Artist I endeavour to create and then stimulate via my work. My medium of choice is Photography and the aim is get the viewer to see what I see, feel what I feel and interact and engage with the images and thoughts behind them. However, at this point I am desiring that my work can be a difference maker in the on going relief efforts for the marginalized in the world.
LAAH: When did you start?
I started in earnest 5 years ago. The initiative to work with Cause Canada came to me only several months back and was a result of some introspection, a great deal of conviction, and some observation of the on going development of a material world view in the “West“. Having been a regular contributor to their efforts, providing images for the Annual Gala Benefit – which is a Fund raiser – and a regular attendee at the Gala – the contrast between a periodical “‘donation” by myself and others versus the constant daily need of the marginalized drove me to the idea of using my work to help raise funds and that urging evolved into the Cause Gallery just 5 months ago.
LAAH: Why do you do it and what is the motivation or passion that keeps you going?
I got involved because – I am constantly amazed at the beauty, complexity, synchronicity and intricacy of the Natural World. That I am so fortunate to experience this with relative ease and comfort, is augmented by the understanding that many in this world never get to see or enjoy the things I get to see and do – while some are so impoverished getting a meal is their wonder! This is not meant to induce guilt for others but – in knowing that we ( the “First” World) are so very fortunate, I am convicted and endeavour to use my photography as a tool to both aid and address the issues for those in need by partnering ,in effect ,with Cause Canada, an NGO dedicated to Assistance and Relief for the marginalized.
LAAH: Do you feel that what you have done so far has made a difference? If so, can you explain how?
This is a favourite topic! First, the question of “making a difference”. One need not burden oneself (or keep the expectation or assumption) of the image of “making a difference” in large or remarkable efforts, ( ie. Mother Theresa). But, one can and should help make a difference . The West ( North America – Europe, the U.S. and Canada) were once thought to be Christian in world view and philosophy. While that is significantly dwindling , those that espouse Christian values best address the call to Tithing (which has at its heart relief and assistance for the marginalized) and understand that “doing” means as much as “believing” ( faith and deeds) as we are so abundantly well off in comparison. Yet, statistically we ( the Christian community) give less than 2% of 2% of our abundance. And even 2% would yield enough to significantly ease the suffering of the less fortunate. And yes, I do feel it has made a difference. There are folks who have purchased images based on the Cause Gallery and the funding initiative to direct a portion of their purchase to poverty relief! (Any amount is a “difference maker”). In actuality it is those funds are the actual difference maker – I and the images are merely the conduit.
LAAH: Who are your allies and supporters in this enterprise?
My main ally is the aforementioned NGO – Cause Canada, with whom I have partnered to raise funds and get those funds directed to those who are marginalized in our world! Who are my supporters – anyone and everyone who decides to participate in funding ANY relief effort and specifically the efforts of Cause Canada. ( IE. Maternal Health, providing small animals, planting gardens, planting trees, clean water etc.) That means that any reader, any person, anywhere in the ‘West” can and hopefully , will be allies and supporters. One person at a time, changing views and making a difference .
LAAH: Do you have plans to grow your involvement, to expand the scope of your project? If so, can you elaborate on these plans?
I do hope that in the near future I will be able to accompany the Cause Directors on some of their relief work trips. In sitting down and discussing this idea I was stricken by the thought and comment made re: taking images of the marginalized “we don’t want poverty porn , as it were, but, to show the dignity and pursuit of life by the people we serve”. That impacted me and has me preparing in my minds eye -so that I can capture that statement in images once I go – “dignity and pursuit of life”. See what they see, and maybe – feel what they feel?
LAAH: Like anything in life worth working for there must be difficulties and struggles too. Can you share with us what have been your greatest challenges?
It is a continual struggle for all Relief Agencies to raise funds. In the economic and political climate we are experiencing – giving is dwindling. So, it is my aim to “tweek” the heart and eyes of folks who visit my website in search of prints to allow me to direct a portion of their purchase to relief and not just to their comfort. Yet, to do this without being preachy but being engaging.
LAAH: How can people help you?
Simply ponder the difference you CAN make, if you focus on the abundance of your provision and the singular (and remarkable) change you can effect by re-thinking your purchases and the direction and use of one’s disposable funds .
All Images Are © Ron Hallam
Ron Hallam Artist Bio
I live in Banff,Alberta Canada – a National Park, World Heritage Site and fortunately my home! And what an opportunity this affords one. My creative outlet being Landscape Photography , makes Banff a veritable , never ending source of subject matter. Thank you for browsing my website, and, I hope you will find some images that “catch your eye” and “grab your emotions”.
Being in the midst of this place I get to go out and capture the incredible mixture of light and natural environment subject matter this place provides. I readily admit I am spoiled, with Banff National Park as my back yard, I just leave my house and walk, ski or ride into this wilderness in barely minutes! The wonders of this place, from a simple day’s walk to extended trips, provide a Landscape Photographer a never ending, always intriguing and deeply engaging array of subject matter, light , mood and moments to create , then express and hopefully engage the viewer with that moment captured “from an infinity of other possible sights”. ( John Berger, Art Critic and Poet)
“When we make a photograph, be it a Landscape, Portrait, or a photograph of a sport, in a sense we are opening a window onto a small section of the world.” (Tony Bridge-Photographer and Writer) I hope to take you on a walk around the Park visually, and, it is my hope that you’ll be moved to say – “I’d like to go see that someday”. Delight yourself with having some of the photos presented here on your wall – until someday arrives! By the way Gita is an acronym – God is The Artist!
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