PhotoPlay: Who, What, Where, When, Why?

Blog/Produced by The High Calling

PhotoPlay: Who, What, Where, When, Why?

The expressions from the movie Oranges and Sunshine twirl through my thoughts as I feel a hunger to unwrap my own past. My plate of food is barely touched while Calvin and my mother wipe napkins over their lips. I ask question after question but sometimes there are no answers, only speculations as to why or where or who. When my feet touch South African soil again I will spend time holding slide after slide to the light to piece together my lineage that traversed Kenya, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, the Okavango Delta and Zimbabwe.

The story begins in South Africa where I push into the world gasping for air. My memories are bright colours, brilliant sunshine that cakes the skin, dry land and dripping watermelon juice and the spraying of pips from laughing mouths; beggars and lullabies sung in Zulu mud huts, ripening corn, fermenting milk and segregation which punctured my insides.

My journals contain pencil sketchings of recollections. Essays fill and poems bring release to pent up questions. Maybe sonnets will lyric together the sketchings?


For this month’s PhotoPlay, capture five images that represent your history. Each image must answer a question below, one question per image:

  1. Who made up your DNA?
  2. Where do you come from?
  3. What object is precious to your past?
  4. What memory resonates most deeply?
  5. What moment in history marks your childhood?

Symbolism is important in recollection. To assist your photo search, find symbols to portray the memories that come back to you. The image I chose for this piece very strongly resembles Apartheid and reconciliation, two realities that shaped my life.

Further instructions and a challenge:

  • If you feel like stretching your creative fibers, join our poet friends in the creation of a sonnet that explains your history. You can learn how to do that over at TweetSpeak.
  • Upload your images to The High Calling Flickr Group and tag them with: ‘photoplay 17’, ‘The High Calling’ and ‘High Calling Focus’.
  • Create a set with your images and include the link to the set in the description of each image.
  • Submit your images and poetry by Wednesday, August 24th, for a place in the image gallery here at The High Calling and possibly a feature at TweetSpeak and Every Day Poems. (Note: This gives you an extra week!)
  • Have fun and remember to stretch yourself.

Image and post by Claire Burge, in cooperation with L.L. Barkat.

    Our free online resources depend on your support! For a limited time, all donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000. Don't miss this opportunity to help Christians connect the Bible to everyday work.