Other people’s lives are our business, as writers.
Tamsyn Murray wrote a lovely and important post a few days ago, about how vital empathy is for writers, readers, and the world. I agree with her entirely. When we stop imagining, and stop trying to understand the way other people (and cats!) think and feel and live, we start wars.
Here are some photographs I’ve come across in the last few months, from other people’s lives. A doorway to imagination, to empathy. What are the stories behind these pictures? Who and what did these people love, hate, fear, desire?
I know some of the stories. Others, I’ll never know. But if all of us can imagine, and do our best to empathise, maybe some of these stories will never be repeated.
|Crimean Tatar girls in national costume, Crimea, 1930s|
|Ukrainian village women in national costume, central Ukraine, 1950s|
|Crimean Tatars in exile. Those who managed to take a sewing machine with them when they were deported from Crimea could make a living. Uzbekistan, 1950s|
|Photos retrieved by rescue workers from a residential building destroyed by shelling in Nikolaevka, East Ukraine, July 2014. Nearly two months later, no one has collected them from the grass outside|
Dream Land, a novel about the Crimean Tatars