"Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition, there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes."—George Soros
Since 1998 the Open Society Foundations’ commitment to documentary photography and its role in revealing wider global issues has been made manifest through its Moving Walls exhibition. The 21st installment opened last week in New York, and will continue later this year on to Washington, DC and London.
The five photographers represented in Moving Walls 21—Shannon Jensen, Mark Leong, Nikos Pilos, João Pina, and Diana Markosian—are a diverse lot, but their work shares a commonality of compassion and concern for people and their plights. Whether it’s Sudanese refugees, Hong Kongers under Chinese rule, the legacy of Operation Condor, the collapse of Greek industry, or the lives of young women in Chechnya, the commitment to sharing these stories is impressive.
These images of shoes from Shannon Jensen’s series Long Walk, while ostensibly simple, tell a difficult story of survival, migration, and human resilience. In this case, the captioning and stories behind the shoes are as poignant as the images themselves. Jensen’s photographs, as well as the others featured in Moving Walls 21, remind us to never forget that our capacity for understanding, no matter how imperfect, should never prevent us from caring. —Lane Nevares